Reviewed – PaddlePak by Trunki

September 2nd, 2014

I have been a fan of the Trunki brand ever since I saw the first little suitcase on wheels. It was perfect, a storage space that could also double as a ride on toy or a seat for your little one. Trunki’s are both lightweight and durable, they provide a great travel option for those with young children, and they are a whole lot of fun too. But what about for the slightly older children? Those who are now going back to school, or having swimming lessions? Or maybe those who just have an independent streak and want to carry their own bags. Does the Trunki brand have anything suitable for them? The answer is an emphatic yes. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the PaddlePak.

The Paddlepak is a lightweight, water resistant backpack with an under the sea design theme. With adjustable shoulder straps, high visibility reflective trim and with a range of small pockets and hanging loops, they are just perfect for children who are no longer babies, but still love items that are cute and fun.

 PaddlePak Shark - Fin PaddlePak, Splash-proof pal for any adventure £24.99 click to visit Trunki


PaddlePak Shark – Fin
PaddlePak, Splash-proof pal for any adventure
£24.99
click to visit Trunki

Trunki very kindly offered Joe the opportunity to review a Paddlepak, and he chose the Fin the Shark design (pictured above) with no hesitation. The minute it was out of the bag, he was already asking if he could take it to school to show his friends – instantaneous approval from the boy. (School doesn’t restart until tomorrow, but the answer was yes!).

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We are already really impressed by our Paddlepak, and for a number of reasons. For a start, it’s a shark. Joe is currently a little obsessed with sharks (I blame his dad and Shark Week), and with the design incorporating a fin and a great neoprene tail that also serves as an extra pocket, this really does have the appearance of a shark. No wonder Joe loves it so much.

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Another thing that is great about the Paddlepak is just how lightweight it is – there is literally no weight to this bag, and so it is comfortable to be carried on your child’s back, with a soft mesh underside that adds to the comfort levels. That said,it is not lacking in space. It can easily accommodate a swimming towel and costume, along with cap and goggles etc for use for swimming sessions, and the fact that the bag is water resistant makes it a good option as a swimming bag – no more dripping all over the car.

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I really like the way the bag securely closes, with a roll top feature and an easy to use safety clip. This is taking the ideas used in adult backpacks and making them child friendly. Joe could easily fasten this bag, but often struggles with zips and buckle closures, again the Paddlepak is a great help for those developing their independence.  There is also a hook on the back of the bag which will enable it to sit easily on a school peg.

The Paddlepak is fabulous, Joe loves it, and I love it too, it is just so practical, but with a great element of fun in the design. Prices start at £9.99 for the Jellyfish grab bag, with the Shark design costing £24.99.

 

*We were sent a Paddlepak for review – all opinions are my own (and Joe’s.)

Wallis new season – dresses with sleeves!

September 2nd, 2014

Today’s post is a continuation of the look towards the new season ranges that are now hitting stores and websites. I think we can safely say that we all accept that Summer is over and Autumn has begun. I personally love the changing of the seasons, and the new styles that come with it. Autumn, in particular,  is a lovely season that brings gold, brown and orange to the fore in terms of nature, but also see new colours hitting stores. This season cobalt and teal are looking to be popular choices – a real departure after a summer of pastel shades, whilst there are also an abundance of red and berry shades. And, because it is Autumn, we also get the holy grail in terms of dresses – SLEEVES!

I’m focusing this post on Wallis, who have produced a fabulous range of simple, shift style dresses in long and three-quarter sleeve designs. Like a lot of woman, I am not a fan of my upper arms (put it this way, I’m not going to be giving Michelle Obama a run for her money any time soon), and neat, classic dress designs with sleeves help to cover this problem area in a really elegant way. I think this is exactly what Wallis has succeeded in doing with its latest dress collection.

Here are some of my favourites from the new collection – currently you can get 20% off the new season range for a limited time, and free UK delivery on all orders over £50 (use the code FREE50 at the checkout.)

Teal Chain Neck Crepe Dress     Was £40.00     Now £32.00 click to visit Wallis

Teal Chain Neck Crepe Dress
Was £40.00
Now £32.00
click to visit Wallis

Teal Drop Waist Ponte Dress     Was £35.00     Now £28.00 click to visit Wallis

Teal Drop Waist Ponte Dress
Was £35.00
Now £28.00
click to visit Wallis

Berry Placement Lace Dress     Was £45.00     Now £36.00 click to visit Wallis

Berry Placement Lace Dress
Was £45.00
Now £36.00
click to visit Wallis

Green Zip Front Crepe Dress     Was £35.00     Now £28.00  click to visit Wallis

Green Zip Front Crepe Dress
Was £35.00
Now £28.00
click to visit Wallis

Petite Leopard Dress     Was £40.00     Now £32.00 click to visit Wallis

Petite Leopard Dress
Was £40.00
Now £32.00
click to visit Wallis

Black Art Deco Lace Dress     Was £45.00     Now £36.00 click to visit Wallis

Black Art Deco Lace Dress
Was £45.00
Now £36.00
click to visit Wallis

Geo Print Over Layer Dress     Was £45.00     Now £36.00 click to visit Wallis

Geo Print Over Layer Dress
Was £45.00
Now £36.00
click to visit Wallis

Teal Hotfix Detail Tunic     Was £45.00     Now £36.00 click to visit Wallis

Teal Hotfix Detail Tunic
Was £45.00
Now £36.00
click to visit Wallis

Petite Port Embellished Maxi     Was £55.00     Now £44.00 click to visit Wallis

Petite Port Embellished Maxi
Was £55.00
Now £44.00
click to visit Wallis

Port Zip Front Crepe Dress     Was £35.00     Now £28.00 click to visit Wallis

Port Zip Front Crepe Dress
Was £35.00
Now £28.00
click to visit Wallis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online banking is becoming more personalised

September 1st, 2014

Online banking is one of the many conveniences that the digital age has brought with it. It enables you to view your balances, make transfers and pay bills, all from your mobile phone or tablet. Whilst there’s no doubt that mobile banking is incredibly convenient, there is a personal touch that’s missing when you log into your account online, especially compared to visiting your local branch.

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Whilst a lot of banks now offer live chat for their customers, many people find this to be a very impersonal way of having their questions answered, after all, it is still faceless and anonymous, and so,  as a result, banks are now looking into incorporating other forms of technology into their online service, such as video chat. Not only does video chat provide a more personal touch to online interactions but it’s also much more efficient for answering customer questions.

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Alex Bray, Retail Channels Director at Misys Banking Systems, recently had this to say on the subject: “Many banks are still struggling to connect with customers online – particularly during sales processes. I’ve always believed that video-chat would be much better for banking than web-chat. From a customer’s perspective, it is easier to initiate – it takes just one click, no tricky numbers to remember or dial in. The face to face option gives the customer a more human touch.

From the bank’s side, the customer interactions are likely to be faster than via web-chat – where customers tend to drift off mid-conversation. They also provide the opportunity for banks to differentiate their service, by providing a human interaction – which can be particularly tricky to achieve through digital channels.”

As mentioned in the quote above – One of the big downsides to live chat is that customers often don’t feel any particular obligation to stick around, especially if it takes the bank representative a while to get the answer to a particular question. If we’re being honest, I think we have all become distracted by the TV, or the kids when waiting for answers that seem to be taking forever. This would certainly be a problem that would vastly reduced using live chat and would enable banks to answer customer questions more efficiently, whilst also giving them a great way to separate themselves from the competition.

live_online_chatThe cost of implementing video chat into online services shouldn’t prove to be a stumbling block for banks either. Whilst there would of course need to be staff in place to answer customer questions, the fact that video chat would almost certainly be an optional alternative to live chat rather than a replacement, this means the additional costs of implementation would be minimal.

Now would appear to be the perfect time for banks to make use of video chat. One of the main reasons for this is the wide adoption of tablets in the last 4 years. Ever since the first iPad was released in 2010, the sales of tablets have increased drastically and are now established as a mainstream form of technology along with mobile phones and laptops.

When you also take into account how popular Skype has become as a video chat tool, then it’s clear that having the option to chat face-to-face with bank representatives would certainly be something customers would welcome in the very near future.

As technology advances further, banks constantly have to find ways to stay ahead of the curve and provide a service that’s incredibly convenient without compromising on good customer service. Video chat seemingly provides a perfect solution to this conundrum and will doubtless be integrated into online banking services in the coming years.

Guest Post.