Dyson v8 Animal Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson v8 Animal Review

The Dyson V8 Animal has been specifically made to meet the needs of pet owners. Unlike the V8 Absolute, this is the V8 version for pet owners. As well as being cord free and extremely easy to use it is a powerful cleaner with great filtration and 40 minutes of cleaning time. However that Dyson power comes at a pretty high price, Dyson is one of the more expensive manufacturers on the market. So is the Dyson V8 Animal worth the higher price or would a cheaper cordless be just as effective?

Dyson V8 Animal

What you get with the Dyson V8 Animal

The V8 Animal is a step down from the V8 Absolute, the top of the line of the V8 cleaners. But it is a great improvement on the cheaper V6, the first of the models Dyson brought out that was cordless but powerful enough to rival main upright cleaners. The V8 comes with tools that make it east to clean up wherever it is needed and it has two powered heads giving you better suction for the pet hair that can be stubborn to lift. It has a comfortable pistol grip with an on/of switch that is placed like a trigger so you can easily turn it on and off when you want to. The batteries are placed around the wrist area to ensure it is a balanced vacuum cleaner to use with the motor above them and the dustcup at the front. That bin has a capacity of 0.54 liters so while it is not huge, it will not need to be emptied continuously.

Dyson V8 Animal cleaners come with two filters, the main goes in and out of the cyclone area at the top and the second that is post motor can be found at the back. The claims are together these trap particles as small as 3 microns. Both need to be cleaned now and then. There is a slider switch for maxing the power you get from it that is placed on the housing for the motor. Near that is a red catch that when pulled over the bin is how you empty the dustcup. The design means there is less chance of having problems with clumps of fur blocking sections of it. If you are also considering the V8 Absolute, consider checking this detailed comparison of the Animal and Absolute: Dyson v8 Animal vs v8 Absolute.

Using the V8 Animal

As mentioned this vacuum cleaner has great suction so even when you are using it in standard mode it lifts debris and pet hair well. It does not suffer from a lack of power like some other cordless cleaners. It is effective at cleaning especially on carpeted flooring on with the tools takes care of things like furnishings and stairs too. It is not that loud being about 75dB which is around the same noise level as a quiet corded upright.


When you switch to the Max power mode though you get a big change in power and suction but also the noise gets louder too at around 83 to 85 dB. It is a powerful suction with this mode, great for difficult areas and is stronger than many corded cleaners like this and also louder. With the Direct Drive floor head on carpets it cleans brilliantly in either mode. It should easily pick up powder or small particles with one pass and it reaches the edge close to the walls well on both sides. The powered brush bar on standard mode gives good cleaning and you get a longer run time. But if you need that extra cleaning power the Max mode is there and it does reach deeper. When cleaning the same carpet on the Max mode another 20% of dirt was collected.

The V8Animal is not as good on hard floors as carpets though it does clean them still. Without the Soft Roller Head you do not get as good a finish but it is still an adequate result. Spilled cereal can be picked up with one pass and with little flicking. The design of the cleaner with its open front and a plastic bar that is flexible means while Max mode is there if needed, in most cases standard is just fine.

Conclusion – is owning a Dyson V8 Animal worth the cost?

If you are not on a budget and you are a pet owner the Dyson V8 Animal is a great cordless vacuum cleaner is definitely worth buying. You get a great company that is innovative and a cleaner that performs at the top of the range with great power, suction and more versatility. If you are trying to decide between the V8 Animal and the V8 Absolute it comes down to whether you are a pet owner and how much hard flooring you have in the home. The Animal does an excellent job at what it was designed for, picking up pet hair along with other dirt and debris. The Absolute though has that Soft Roller head for those hard floors that just gives a slightly better finish.

Shark Vacuum Reviews

The company behind the Shark vacuum cleaner is Euro-Pro. This company makes many different types of appliances and in fact did at one time make its own vacuum cleaner line but now they are sold under the Shark brand. Here is a look at the Shark vacuum cleaners and what customers are saying about them.

shark-vacuum-cleanersA lot of people may have seen some infomercials advertising Euro-Pro vacuum cleaners and for some that might indicate products that are less than durable. In fact Shark vacuum cleaners are not second rate and as well as being seen advertised there can also be found being sold by top retailers like Sears. Companies would not knowingly buy and sell products that were inferior, it would affect their reputation and their profits. They are considered among the best vacuum cleaners in the market. You can also buy Shark cleaners easily online and many companies that have physical stores also have websites that offer the same products. This means prices become more competitive and makes it possible for consumers to find some great deals. It also means it is easier to find spare parts when you need them.

shark-technologyMost consumers who have bought and used cleaners from Shark have said the suction power is good and that they perform well. Some models comes with HEPA filters, the best kind you can get and that makes them suitable for people with allergies. These filters are washable too so there is no need to have to buy replacement filters. You can also opt to get something bagless so you also do not have to remember to buy bags when the current one gets full. Some are aimed specifically at pet owners and some are cyclonic. You can also get different kinds of cleaners like canisters, hand held, industrial and uprights.

One of the other positive things about Shark vacuum cleaners is that they are usually less costly than many popular cleaner brands. This means they are great for people who are shopping on a budget, or perhaps they want a second cleaner for specific jobs and do not want to spend top brand prices.

Not everyone has praise for every Shark vacuum cleaner. The upright cleaner does better in reviews than the canister does. Bagless machines seem to have dust cups that are on the small side which means customers have to empty them more often. There have also been models that clog easily and some that over heat. The biggest problem though is probably that many who do have issues then have problems with Euro-Pro’s customer service.


If you are looking for a vacuum that is affordable, usually cleans well, but has less bells and whistles than a Shark vacuum cleaner may be something to consider. If you have money though, and want lots of features then the other top brands are more likely to have what you need.

Upright vs Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner

Choosing a vacuum cleaner – Upright or Cylinder?

When choosing a vacuum cleaner it is not just about the brand you want go with, or the features, it is also about what type of machine will work best for you and meet your needs. The two most common types of vacuum cleaner are the upright and the cylinder. If you are not sure what the differences are between them or what features each tend to have here is a look at both and also a quick guide on getting the best one.

upright vs cylinder vacuum cleaner

Upright vacuum cleaners

powerlite_uprightAn upright vacuum cleaner is one that you can push around as it has wheels or a ball that enables maneuverability. It cleans when its brush bar touches the rug and the suction power pulls in the dirt, dust and debris. To clean hard flooring most uprights have the option of turning off the beater bar so that it does not fling the dirt around the floor. If you are going to be cleaning different kinds of floors with your upright you will want to check you have that option.

Over the last decade or so there has been a huge amount of development and innovation in vacuum cleaner design, especially with the attachments and the brush bar. If you have a larger home to clean this is the better option for most people. However there are some things to consider first. Some cons to an upright vacuum cleaner include:

Suction may be too strong for some types of rugs and carpets and can actually pull the fibers out and damage them. You can though just trim them back to the right height (happens mostly with twist pile and shag rugs).

If you are tall, to use an upright you have to bend over and this can cause backache.

A lot of uprights are heavier and therefore require strength to use them, especially when moving them up and down the stairs.

A lot of uprights are also quite bulky in size so can be hard to maneuver in small spaces, you will also probably have to use the tools and attachments more to reach areas that are hard to get to.

On the stairs you should always use the attachment to clean rather than trying to move it on the step above you. It is easy to lose your balance this way and leave you with an injury. The hose is a lot safer.

Cylinder Vacuum cleaners

cylinder-vacuum-cleanerA cylinder vacuum cleaner is more compact, it is the type you pull around with you as you use a hose and the cylinder shape on wheels follows. These are much lighter machines and they come with good suction and are a lot easier to use on the stairs. Being small means as well as being easier to handle in terms of weight, they are also easier to store and to get in and out of a cupboard.

Cylinders are great for those corners and tight small spaces that an upright is not good at reaching. But they are not as effective as uprights and are not good for larger homes. They are however a lot cheaper, you can find cylinder cleaners for under $50 even. Overall if you have a large home it would be a good choice to get an upright, but then perhaps something else for the stairs if using the hose looks too awkward. You could get a cylinder for the stairs for a fair price, or a handheld of some sort. If you just have a small space to clean though a cylinder is just fine.

What to look for in your vacuum cleaner

There are some things that are worth paying a little more for, or to look for in your vacuum cleaner before buying. These things include:

Bagless – Some people might be okay to change bags every time they fill up, deal with the dust that can escape, and the occasional cheaper kinds that burst on you. But there are some great bagless vacuum cleaners out there now that are light, easy to empty and easy to click back on. Plus you never have to remember to buy replacement bags again. Bagless may not be the way to go though if you are asthmatic as it can release dust into the air as you open into the bin.

Top filters – It is worth paying extra for the best filters. HEPA is the best, trap the smallest particles and are the best for those with allergies.

Pet hair – Any good cleaner should be able to deal with pet hair on floors but you also want one that gives you the right tools and accessories to get it off of upholstery, furniture and stairs too. Look for rotating brushes that can be put onto the end of the hose to allow you to do a more thorough cleaning.

Dyson DC59 Review

Taking a closer look at the Dyson DC59

If you are looking for one of the best cordless vacuums on the market today and budget is not a problem the Dyson DC59 is pretty hard to beat. At $500 you pay for that top performing technology but you get a cordless stick vacuum that can be used on your car and in your home for multiple jobs done with ease. The DC59 is a handheld and stick vacuum in one so you get the convenience of having two machines in one to take care of all the jobs using a top rate cleaning power.

Dyson DC59

The vacuum sits on a wall mount when not in use.  On that docking station is will charge and then be ready when it want it. When it is time to give the floors a clean just grab it, give the carpets a deep clean that other brands will be hard to match and move on to your hard floors and clean those too without any fuss. Then when you need a crevice tool remove the head and use the wand to take care of cobwebs, walls, dusty furnishings, ceilings and so on. Get into the crack of each stair easily making stairs a breeze to keep clean. Or use it on your car cleaning up the debris that accumulates there with ease. This machine will out perform even its closest top 5 rivals.

dyson dc59 accessories

Top aspects of the Dyson DC59

  1. Convertible handheld and easy handling – The ergonomic design and the fact it is well balanced means this feels better in the hands and easier to handle. Then when needed the wand can be detachable to become an easy to use and effective handheld vacuum. You really can get all the jobs done with the Dyson DC59.
  2. Excellent performance on carpet and hard flooring – There are two parts to the motorized brush as there were in the DC44 model. There are carbon fiber bristles and a rubber squeegee to ensure all the debris is gather and collected. With its wider measurements at almost 10 inches it can now pick up more in less passes. And it works just as well on hard flooring.
  3. Comes with a good combination of attachments and tools – In most cases competitors with cordless stick vacuums do not include many if any attachments or tools. But the Dyson DC59 comes with a brush tool, pet tool, combination nozzle and crevice tool to help with your cleaning with the added bonus that they actually can be stored on the docking station when not in use. You do not have to find a place to keep them!
  4. Trigger ensures power is not wasted – With most vacuums the machine turns on and stays on while cleaning. But the DC59 actually has a trigger which you hold down while cleaning to keep it on, but when you release the trigger, say because you need to move furniture, the power turns off so you save all of the power for actual cleaning time.
  5. Re-engineered battery for better performance – Compared to the DC44 the DC59 has 1.5 times the power thanks to the re-engineered Nickel Manganese Cobalt battery. You can get a good 20 minutes of high suction power cleaning, if you have the motorized brush roll on it is 16 minutes. If you need a boost in suction still you can get 6 minutes of higher power while in boost mode.
  6. Effective even on tough pet hair – Pet owners find this a very effective tool for their fight against pet hair. Not only does it come with an attachment to help it gets even the toughest hair and does not clog up the vacuum. Plus when needed it is not hard to clean.

LOVE THE WAY YOU LOOK IN 3 EASY STEPS – A guest post by Luke Havard

Unless you get surgery or live in the gym, the way you are aesthetically designed is the way you’re supposed to look. Learn to accept it in a positive way & decide that you will be grateful for the way your body looks and functions! Make a decision, that instead of wasting energy worrying or even hating certain aspects of body you will reinvest that energy in to the process of enjoying & experiencing life in all its fullness!



 The way you look is unique to you. It’s not a weakness; it’s your greatest strength! There’s no one else like you anywhere in the world & there never will be! Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, for two reasons; firstly, for every person that you feel inadequate next to there is someone else who would feel that way stood next to you! Seriously, as bad as you may think that you have got it, there is always someone worse off! Secondly the reason that people who are confident in their own skin are often very sought after people, is because genuine self-esteem and confidence is a very attractive quality. Those people have consciously tapped into the fact that their individual uniqueness is their most valuable selling point and they work it like a pro! The more that you relax in your own skin, the more others will warm to you as you relax.

 Another important aspect of self-esteem and confidence is to honor your body; treat your body as a temple. In essence what I’m saying, it’s important to train and look after your body as neglecting your body will lead to lack of energy, becoming over weight and even suffering from ill health. Looking after your body and training is good for you, unfortunately people can get this part completely out of balance. Instead of honoring the life that the body is designed to facilitate they start worshiping the idea of perfection. Their perfect body becomes their answer to happiness. But this doesn’t equate to more self-esteem or happiness, this actually makes people hyper sensitive to their own imperfections, no matter how small they be!

 Keeping healthy and training regularly whilst incorporating a balanced life style will certainly improve and maximize your physical potential as well as creating opportunity to socialize and meet new people, which are both positive aspects which help to improve self-esteem and confidence! Make an effort, not a masterpiece! When we take time to look and dress our best, eat a balanced diet, being mindful and deliberate about enhancing our personal appearance (without obsessing over it) we feel great because we have been intentional about looking our best. Looking our best is important, but remember it’s not the be all and end all of self-esteem and confidence it’s just a part of what makes us confident!



I can write about this subject with complete confidence and clarity because I have a great amount of experience in this area. My physical appearance is something that I struggled with for years, even becoming obsessed with training in the gym convinced that I was skinny, to the point that I was weighing in at 104 KG of muscle! Only years later have I truly learnt to accept & love my body. Whilst speaking to other men in the gym who are still struggling with the same hang ups in their 40’s, I know that this is a massive issue that impacts both men and women! Over the years I have really learnt to make the most of every area of my person & I’m learning about different facets I have all the time that I didn’t recognize as strengths before.

 If you’ve enjoyed the blog and you don’t have the privilege of having a friend or a mentor who you can go to for guidance support and encouragement in your life, please sign up to my email newsletter at lukehavard.com to receive tons of valuable resources, for FREE! It’s my pleasure to serve you and help you learn the strategies and techniques that I have learnt the hard way over the years through developing myself.

To your success!



So, the summer passed by and before I even noticed, leaves started falling from the trees & autumn arrived.  Christmas is only a few more weeks away & it’s about time to start to fantasize about the outfit I’ll be wearing on New year’s eve. Not to mention the complete excitement/disgust (your choice) that comes along with the idea of all the family events I’ll have to attend during the holidays. How time flies and I didn’t even realize!

This is why, my dear friends, it’s time to reflect on everything and set new goals & priorities! (& yes, the new year didn’t even start yet!)
Last year I was complaining about the fact I didn’t have enough freelance jobs, this summer I was drowning in them. In fact, there were so many that I worked every spare moment I had. I even woke up at 5am in the morning for weeks (all grumpy), to get my work done. Not to mention the amount of junkfood I ate. That’s the kind of nutcase I am.
But while I was in my own little bubble, people (according to facebook) were grilling sausages on the barbecue while sipping cocktails. Women were giving birth (baby boom right here!) and tanned people were posting amazing pictures surfing crazy waves in Biarritz. While I… I was working. (okay okay, I admit. I did have a break or two!)

Anyway… this is the reason why I decided to try to balance my life more and not to forget to enjoy it as much as I can. Life is not only about work, earning big bucks (as if!) and accomplishments, where’s the joy? Take time to get out of the house, try new things, visit new places, meet new people, explore the unknown!
This is something I have to remind myself constantly, altho’ I love doing all of these things, I easily step into this trap time after time.



I’m changing. I just realized I’m ready for a new chapter in my life. I’m not getting younger, you see. Goodbye quarter lifer crisis (HELLO 3-0!). It’s time to embrace who I am, right here, right now!
Not only ‘I’ am undergoing changes, also this place – meandmyego.com – will! I want it to evolve with me. It’s a piece of who I am and what I want people to see. It’s a place I want to share with YOU and hope you might get inspired, maybe even learn from my stupidity.

I’m a person that loves variety. I’m easily bored and I need to be constantly triggered, I don’t have a long attention span.  I love different things and projects and this is why I don’t ONLY want to commit to photography. When I overcommit, I tend to back away… and I don’t want to do that to something I love so dearly. Photography is a way for me to express my emotions, but while I’m constantly working for other people, trying to catch THEIR emotions, mine get lost along the way. This is why I want to take a step back & explore the ‘new me’ again, experiment some more and find the joy I had a few years ago. I wonder which images will pop up in the near future and I hope I’ll discover a whole new side to my work while I’m doing so. I hope you’ll enjoy this journey too!

So this is why you will see more new experimental work on this blog in the future. Not only that, you might also find some design work and I will blog on a regular basis about things that interest me. I want this blog to be my own little world of beauty and I’d like to share it with you. (After all, I didn’t follow the Blogcademy for nothing!)
I’m sure not all of you will agree with me. Most photographers like to keep it ‘professional’ and don’t like to make their blogs/websites too personal and that’s fine. I’ve tried it, didn’t work for me. I decided I needed CHANGE and I want to do whatever makes me happy. I’ve thought about splitting up my portfolio & my blog, but why the heck would I do that, while it’s all ME? (ohyeah… and my ego) I’m a huge blog reader, I’m a geek, I love indie rock bands and I drool over men in leather jackets. I’m clumsy as hell, I read self help books and I dream about a life in New York, I sing under the shower, cuddle my doggie like a mad woman and I’m a total control freak. I enjoy reality tv and even more Dr. Phil’s advice. That’s all who I am… nothing more, nothing less.
Luckily, the internet is a place you’re free to go wherever your like.

So this is it, time for CHANGE! Which changes are you making in your life?
(… Ohyeah, and I made you a mix tape to celebrate… Because I WANT TO!!! :) )

Blogcademy #1/2012 – PART ONE


The moment that Kat from Rock n Roll Bride announced a blogger workshop together with Gala & Nubby (whose blogs I’ve been following for years and years), I just knew I had to be there!
Not only was this the perfect excuse to go to NYC once again (my favourite city in the whole wide world!), this workshop came at the perfect time for me!

Let me explain this to you…
You see, I’ve been wanting to make this blog more than a photography blog for some time now, but I guess I never really got to it. This is why I’m super happy to have been able to join this epic 1st Blogcademy workshop, so I can finally take the steps that are needed to create what I’ve been planning for a long time. Let me tell you, it will be awesomesauce!

Hello Brooklyn!
As usual, I found a room through Airbnb. This time in Brooklyn and thank god, without bedbugs! #HOORAY! Not only was it super affordable, it was also close by the subway and only a 15-20 minute ride to Manhattan! Perrrrr-fect! #RECOMMENDED!
Lovely Lauren prepped everything for my arrival and I couldn’t have been happier with my bedroom. I’m not a huge cat-lover (crazy dog person, right here!), but I must admit that I DID enjoy my stay very much together with my two new furry friends. They were just too cute & friendly!

After a haircut by Kristin Jackson at Tomahawk Salon (it feels like I’ve been doing a blogger tour), some vintage shopping in Brooklyn, an energy healing session (thank you, Audrey!) and exploring the neighbourhood by myself, I was finally ready for the Blogcademy weekend!



This is how we do that shizz…
At first, I must confess I was kind of ‘starstruck’ the first time I saw these three. Ridiculous, right? It was SO strange to finally see these ladies in the flesh, after reading their stories & seeing their pictures for years on a computer screen – dorky me!
They looked fabulous and were exactly as I expected, if not better!

The things we’ve learned were very insightful and inspiring. It was also interesting to hear all their different stories, ideas and creative inputs about blogging/marketing, since they all have a different background.
As much as I’d like to get more into detail about this, I suggest you follow Blogcademy online and reserve a spot for the next workshop. You have to experience it yourself, it’s so worth it!

As you can see, also lovely Lisa Devlin (kickass photographer!) was at the party & learned us a few tips and tricks to pimp our photo’s the right way! I hope to meet her again soon on one of her Photography Farm workshops, whenever my budget allows me.

I’m so grateful to have met so many inspiring sweethearts this weekend and can’t wait to see how everybody will put all of this into practice.  I will keep following you all on your journey in the blogosphere and who knows… hopefully we’ll meet again soon in person as well. (I think we should already organize a reunion to look forward to!) I.LOVE.YOU!
Part two will follow later this week. More pictures, goodie bag swag, blogposts by the other Blogcademy graduates & other fabulousness coming up!


Top Tips For Freelance Photographers

As many of you know, some time ago I made the decision to go freelance with my photography. Being a freelance might sound great – being your own boss and working when you choose to – but it can be more difficult than you might imagine. With this in mind, here are a few tips for anyone else who is planning to go freelance.

One of the most important things to remember as a freelancer is that you will need to be disciplined. Working for yourself means that you won’t have the boss looking over your shoulder, but you’ll still need to put in the hours if you want to be successful. Following you dreams means a 100% dedication, at least, if you want to be successful.
It can often be easy to get distracted by facebook or games of cheeky bingo when working online, but this can mean that you won’t complete as much as you hoped. Why not set time aside to indulge in the pastimes which you enjoy, and focus on your work when you need to.

As a freelancer, you will also need to learn to manage your money carefully. If you’re unable to find work, then you won’t get paid, and some months are likely to be busier than others. Most freelancers soon learn not to blow their earnings as soon as they’re in the bank – you never know when work might dry up and you find you need to dip into your savings. (that’s how I’ve learned my lesson the hard way) You may also find that you need to think more carefully about the investments that you make. Your camera equipment won’t be provided for you, so you’ll need to consider what to invest in if you want to develop your freelancing business.

Have fun doing what you do! This is why you’ve started your business, right?
Experiment, try different things, find creative solutions.  Whatever you do, don’t forget the passion! It’s super important to reflect on your work and business once in a while and ask yourself how you’d like to take it from there. Are you still having fun? If not, shake things up a little and make it work!

Lastly, you will need to develop your contacts. Make sure you are always reliable, and impress those that you work for in order to ensure good recommendations. This can be key in establishing yourself as a freelancer.