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Tips and tricks

5 ideas for streamlined kitchen organisation

March 12, 2018

Our kitchens are hives of activity, from rustling up family meals to weekend baking and rushed breakfasts, they see plenty of action. With all this action going on, kitchens can become messy and cluttered – once you lose control of your organisation this can make for a stressful and inefficient kitchen experience. With making lives easier in the kitchen in mind, we’ve got a selection of great ideas for streamlining your organisation to ensure you can get on with the most important kitchen activity – cooking!

Throw out pans and gadgets you don’t need

We’re all guilty of falling for the latest trends for kitchen gadgets and utensils, but after the initial excitement of your new purchase, these items often fall by the wayside. If you know you’ve been neglecting a soup maker or a spiralizer and you know it’s just taking up precious cupboard space, then it’s time to move it on. Throwing out items you simply don’t need or donating to charity will free up valuable space and free you of the stress of kitchen clutter.

Replace your cookbooks with a tablet

Cookbooks can take up huge amounts of space, especially if you’ve accumulated a lot over the years. If you’re looking to cut down, then a fantastic way of doing this, as well as keeping up with today’s innovative times, is to replace them with a tablet. A huge range of cookbooks can be downloaded digitally these days and you can buy stands to use your tablet whilst you’re working away on your food and searching for quick recipes and tips. A tablet could also open up a world of innovative home features via our selection of WiFi-enabled appliances.

Install open shelves

Bending down and reaching up to sort through store cupboards can be a real chore in the kitchen, especially when you’re in the middle of multi-tasking whilst cooking. A great way to introduce some neatness and efficiency is to use open shelves to store pantry items or crockery that you reach for on a regular basis.

Add spice racks to kitchen cabinet doors

If you’re a lover of cooking, you’ll no doubt have a large selection of spices to call upon. Ensuring these are stored in a handy and accessible way is a key consideration to creating a truly streamlined kitchen space. One of the best options is to add space racks to your cabinet doors, making them easy to reach for and neatly stored, so you don’t have to root around for a jar that’s seemingly gone missing. Adding a spice rack is a simple DIY job and there are plenty of metal and wooden options to choose from online to suit your kitchen style.

Utilise hooks

It may seem tidier to store utensils, pots and pans in cupboards, but they’re often cramped into corners and nestled away awkwardly when you reach for them. This is where hooks come in handy. For your most-used kitchen items, it’s a great idea to install a strip of hooks under open shelving so you can quickly grab items and hang them up again when you’re finished without hassle.

Explore our range of innovative and stylish kitchen appliances here. Keep up to date with all the latest news, updates and competitions by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter.

Cleaning, Tips and tricks

5 decluttering tips for a stress-free home

March 7, 2018

The seemingly-inevitable result of a busy week; clutter can take over so quickly it almost feels normal. However, although the mess might seem like the natural product of a jam-packed schedule, studies show that a cluttered home can have negative effects on our productivity and work ethic, beyond the time wasted stepping over dirty laundry and dealing with days-old washing up. Here at Hoover, we care about your personal space, that’s why we’ve compiled a few effective tips on managing, reducing and eventually saying goodbye to clutter in your home:

  1. Evaluate

The first logical step is to consider the situation, look at what you need to do and set yourself some targets. Consider how much value certain things hold; do you really need all of your old school books? It’s important to avoid getting caught up in convincing yourself to keep items that can be easily replaced; if it’s less than £10 to replace and easily sourced, is it worth keeping just in case? Once you start answering these questions, you can begin your path to a decluttered home!

  1. Eat the frog

A common method for organisation, often associated with professional time management, eating the frog, is great for tasks both at work and at home. By analysing your home and making plans to remove the larger items first, you’ll not only have surplus room for tacking the smaller tasks afterwards, it’ll make the rest seem easier too.

  1. Four boxes method

The four boxes method is a tried-and-tested formula for dealing with a cluttered home, providing an easy rationale to your approach. Simply grab 4 large boxes and allocate an outcome for each; one for things you will throw out, one for things you will donate, one for items you will put into storage, and the last for items that need a new place in the home. Dealing with clutter in this way keeps it organised and avoids making even more mess along the way.

  1. Storage solutions

Of course, there will be many items you do want to keep, some of which don’t have a defined place to live. Now consider what you need to make the most of your space; shelving, under-bed storage and drawer organisers are a good starting point. Perfect for saving floorspace in your hallway or washing room, both the Discovery and Freedom cordless sticks come with a wall mount for added organisation.

  1. Digitise

Don’t let sentimental value be your downfall. In the age of streaming and cloud connectivity, there’s no harm in reducing some clutter that can be easily digitized. Consider how much your CDs and DVDs add to your home aesthetically, and how much they take away organisationally. Burn any unneeded DVDs and CDs onto your hard drive or straight onto an online storage cloud or look into what you can stream without them, saving space for the essentials.

We hope these ideas will help you take care of your spring cleaning and if you’ve got any top decluttering tips, we’d love to hear them. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more home advice, recipe inspiration and innovative product updates.

 

 

Tips and tricks

Form and function: 5 essential kitchen design considerations

February 16, 2018

A space for friends, family, spending time with the kids and for leisure – the kitchen is the heart of our homes. The amount of time spent in the kitchen means that you can benefit hugely from carefully planning every aspect to ensure you truly make the most of it.

A well-designed kitchen will give you more quality time so we’ve rounded up a few essential things to consider when you’re looking to remodel this area of your home.

  1. Cooking options

Cooking with Hoover means style, innovation and care are at the top the list. And cooking is, of course, central to almost everything that happens in the kitchen. So, considering your cooking options at length is hugely important. Whilst the overall look and feel of the kitchen is important, it’s crucial you start designing your kitchen around your appliances. Do you have a large family with plenty of mouths to feed? Are you a keen baker? Do you like trying out lots of new recipes that you’ve seen on TV or online? Or do you want your kitchen to reflect your interest in technology and innovation in the home with our revolutionary Vision oven? Once this has been decided, you can work to build your kitchen around your oven and hob choices to ensure that the space is both stylish and functional. Explore our full range of cooking options here.

  1. Breakfast bar or kitchen island

As well as a space to cook and create, the kitchen should also be seen as a blank canvas to inject style and character into your home. If the space permits, breakfast bars and kitchen islands can be a stunning addition to the kitchen. Not only do they provide a luxury atmosphere and striking focal point, they also provide a great alternative area for dining and entertaining guests. This kind of feature, not only provides a focal point in the kitchen, it also creates more room for stylish additions such as plants and lighting to introduce personal character.

  1. Suitable lighting

Lighting may seem like a small part of your kitchen design, but there are actually a large number of options on offer, which encompass every aspect of the way you interact with your kitchen. The first port of call is your ceiling lighting. In this area you can opt for recessed spotlights for a clean, modern look and a bright source of light. If you’re leaning towards the interior design focus, hanging pendants provide a wealth of aesthetic options as well being great for task lighting. Once you’re happy with your main source of lighting, you can introduce extra options like under-cabinet lighting and lights to illuminate breakfast bars or kitchen islands.

  1. Storage solutions

Storage in the kitchen brings together a meeting of both style and function considerations. The first thing to consider is the functional aspect. If you’re a big fan of cooking or baking, you probably have plenty of utensils, pots, pans and gadgets, which tend to be the most space-consuming items. Working out your kitchen cabinet requirements is a good place to start, whilst deep drawers are also fantastic solutions to consider for storing larger items such as food processors and toastie makers. Once the practical side of your storage is accounted for, you can think about the style element. Kitchen cabinet doors and handles then provide an excellent opportunity to hone the style of your interior design.

  1. Multi-function tap

One of many innovative recent additions to contemporary kitchens has been the multi-function tap, which, if you’re looking for a stylish and modern approach to design in your space, should certainly be a consideration. As well as saving on the time of boiling kettles, they also save on the energy required to boil a kettle. These taps often have filtration systems added, whilst there are also the added safety benefits of the boiling water taps, which is a vital consideration for families.

If you’re looking to kit out your new kitchen, take a look at our broad range of cooking appliances here. For more tips, news and product information, you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Tips and tricks

5 steps to prepare for an innovative smart home

February 5, 2018

It seems like you can’t open a newspaper, magazine, or turn the TV on these days, without seeing something about Smart home connected technology. There are now a huge range of devices and appliances on the market which aim to make our home life easier, from kettles and lighting systems to heating and entertainment hubs.

At Hoover, we’ve been part of this innovative smart home revolution for quite some time and we’re very proud of our WiFi-enabled range of stylish kitchen appliances, that can be controlled by the Wizard app. This technology allowed us to offer the UK’s first fully connected range of kitchen appliances, helping you to save time while taking care of your family.

If you’re about to take the leap into the world of smart home technology, we’ve drawn up a step-by-step guide to ensure you’re fully prepared to bring some innovation to your home. There’s no need for a big overhaul, but these simple steps will make sure the transition is smooth and help you to get the most out of your new smart home.

Draw up a floor plan

Drawing up a rough flooring plan can be very beneficial in the early stage of your preparation. It doesn’t have to be an architect-level blueprint, but having an idea of where furniture, gadgets and appliances will be housed is very important. The fact that these items are WiFi-enabled places extra emphasis on their positioning, so that you can ensure they are running to their full potential.

Think about where you place your WiFi router

It may seem obvious, but ensuring your WiFi router is positioned in the best place possible is of great importance. Try to make sure it’s as central as possible and positioned away from heavy walls and large furniture items as these will weaken the router’s signal. As the majority of your smart technology will be placed downstairs, the living room or kitchen areas are usually suitable spots for your router, but the layout of your home is obviously a big consideration.

Consider WiFi boosting options

It’s worth searching for options to extend and boost your WiFi signal. There are a number of approaches you can take to give your broadband connection an extra push to ensure suitable capacity for the added demands of smart home technology. Take a look at our list of essential tips for boosting your WiFi at home here.

Use Ethernet cables

Ethernet cables are a great way to ease the load on your WiFi router. As we’re all aware, WiFi can occasionally be suffer from interference and signal loss. This makes wired Ethernet connections a highly-reliable option for smart home connectivity. Where possible and if the device allows it, using a mix of Ethernet and wireless connections gives the best of both worlds, leaving you to optimise your most important smart devices and appliances.

Think about tidying cables

More technology at home is often going to result in more cabling, especially if you’re opting to use ethernet cables with some devices. This means keeping cables hidden is important for both safety and general tidiness at home. There are plenty of options for holding and concealing cabling simply, saving you any headaches.

Taking the leap into the world of smart home technology? Take a look at your options to introduce a fully connected kitchen with our range of WiFi-enabled appliances here.

Inspiration, Recipes, Tips and tricks

4 essential tips to boost your WiFi at home

October 17, 2017

As so many of us have electronic devices in our homes which can be connected to WiFi, it’s not uncommon to run into problems with signal strength and internet speed from time to time. This can cause some slight inconvenience or serious frustration, depending on the severity of the problem. Thankfully there are a number of simple actions you can take to boost your WiFi at home quickly and cheaply. Here’s four quick fixes:

  1. Pick the right location for the router

Ensuring your router is positioned in the best location possible is absolutely essential to having an efficient and trouble-free WiFi connection in the home. The first thing to do is make sure the router is placed in the centre of the home. The aim of this is to stop the WiFi signal travelling through too many solid surfaces, such as walls, as they can slow down WiFi speeds. If you place the router at one end of the house or in the corner of a room upstairs, you risk affecting the signal strength and speed. Ideally it should be placed centrally, with clear space around it and raised from the floor on a desk or table.

  1. Upgrade your router

You may have fast internet to improve your home WiFi, but if you’re using an old router this will slow things down, so buying a new router is something which should be considered. Different features such as ethernet ports and the number of antennae the router has impact a router’s speed, and there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to choosing new hardware. Take a look at this roundup of some of the best routers around.

  1. Turn devices off

Devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones shouldn’t be left on all the time – they benefit from being switched off occasionally. If they’re constantly online, the connections can become ‘tired’ and less efficient. Simply switching devices off a little more regularly will make a huge difference.

  1. Get a WiFi extender

If you’ve tried all the above and you’re still struggling to stretch your WiFi signal as far as you’d like, then thankfully there’s still another technological option – the WiFi extender. These handy gadgets boost WiFi connection so you reach those faraway corners of the home or even the garden. Here’s a useful guide to the benefits of a WiFi extender.

If you have any more innovative ways of boosting your WiFi connection then be sure to share them with us on Twitter.

Inspiration, Tips and tricks

6 ways to keep cool at home this summer

August 11, 2017

We all love to soak up the rays, enjoy the sunshine and top up your vitamin D, but when the sweltering heat gets a little bit too much, we’ve got the perfect set of heat-defying remedies for you.

From DIY air-con hacks to simple changes in the home, we’ve got you covered. You can stop worrying about over-heating and enjoy the sunny weather (when it’s here!)

  1. Create your own DIY air-con

If you’re not blessed with an actual air conditioning unit, you might have to get practical to fashion an alternative. If you’re really struggling with the heat, it doesn’t take too much effort, fortunately. For some quick cooling action, simply fill a bowl with ice and position it in front of a large fan (not too close!) to provide you with homemade cooling to rival any beachfront breeze.

  1. Swap your sheets

Being too hot at night is one of the worst aspects of warm weather, especially if it results in trouble sleeping. Switching up your bedding is a great way to freshen your bedroom for summer and when it comes to fabrics cotton is a great choice – it’s breathable and stays cooler than heavier alternatives.

  1. Close your blinds

If you’ve been out all day enjoying the sunshine, there’s nothing worse than coming home to relax and cool off only to find that your house is even hotter than it is outside! If you’re out of the house for the day, it’s best to keep your blinds closed to avoid the sunlight heating up your home.

  1. Eat spicy food

Even if the heat has dented your appetite, you should fight the urge to just survive on ice cold drinks because when you’re feeling hot and bothered, a spicy dish is the way forward. Spicy food makes you sweat, which speeds up your body’s cooling down process.

  1. Freeze a sponge

Once you’ve tried this brilliant cooling hack, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to discover it. To prepare for the summer heatwaves, soak a fresh sponge in water and leave it in the freezer to call on when required. It’ll cool you down in seconds without getting you soaked!

  1. Cool your pulse points

It’s always handy to keep a bag of ice in your freezer, some for your refreshing drinks and some for cooling yourself down! If you’re looking for a quick cooling fix, apply an ice pack to your wrists, neck, feet or the back of your knees for fast and effective relief.

Now you know how to keep yourself cool at home, you need to keep make sure your food is suitably chilled. Take a look at our range of innovative frost free or static fridge freezers in a variety of height and widths to suit everybody’s needs.

Got any more hacks for staying cool this summer? Share them with us on Twitter.

Cleaning, Tips and tricks

7 quick facts about steam cleaning

July 31, 2017

Steam cleaners are wonderful things they’re adaptable and offer a sterile way to clean your home. For those new to steam cleaning there are a few things you may not know, so hopefully this blog will help you ahead of your first deep clean, as well as providing a bit of background info on steam cleaning.

  1. It’s natural and chemical-free; the combination of steam power and temperature alone is enough to break up stubborn dirt, meaning you don’t have to apply any additional chemicals. As steam evaporates quickly your surfaces will dry much faster than when cleaned with water.
  2. Always make sure you’re wearing protective clothing when using a steam cleaner! Never forget that, by its very nature, the cleaner gets very hot and will leave floors hot for a few seconds afterwards.
  3. Prepare the machine by removing its water canister and filling it with hot water, then checking that the filter is clean (if it’s not, just give it a rinse in the sink). Turning the machine on will cause the water to heat, and once a mist appears, you’ll be ready to go!
  4. You can steam clean most household surfaces, but it is essential to pay attention to the material you’re cleaning and make sure you think about how it will react to direct water and heat. We’d advise testing a small part of the surface first to see how it will respond to the process of steam cleaning.
  5. Once you’ve started, keep the machine moving and avoid applying pressure in one area for too long. This is an especially important thing to remember when cleaning surfaces such as upholstery, mattresses, curtains and carpets, as you need to make sure you don’t oversoak the fabric.
  6. A steam cleaner will also do wonders for tiles, ceramic and metal fixtures. It’s a life-saver for removing grout, mould and fungus. It also helps avoid streaks when cleaning glass and mirrors.
  7. Once the job is done, let the surface dry before disturbing it again. If you’ve cleaned around an entry-way, pop a sign on the door to make sure no one tramples all over your shiny new floor! You can also open windows to speed up the drying process.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a steam cleaner we have a fantastic selection of upright and handheld models available, have a browse of them here and follow us on Twitter for future product announcements.

Inspiration, Tips and tricks

Family Activities – 5 things to do in the garden

July 31, 2017

There are plenty of activities to get stuck into as a family so don’t waste these summer months on the sofa! Keeping the family active doesn’t have to mean long walks away from home or trips to the pool. Here’s a few things you can do to make the most of the sunshine and get active in the garden.

1. Give badminton a shot

Cheap and readily available Badminton kits means the garden becomes the court in a flash with a quick and easy set up. Endless fun and easy to pick up, Badminton encourages fair competition and helps teach children hand-eye coordination. Keeping everybody fit and active is just as important as relaxing in the sun! A classic, there’s a reason it’s still popular two centuries on.

2. Keep busy with a bee house

Bee’s keep the world turning but sadly we’re losing them at an alarming rate. Without them we face losing a majority of our precious fruit and vegetables. By building a make-shift bee nest you can do your bit to help and have some fun along the way.

Grab a terracotta plant pot, some bamboo sticks or straws and cut them to size (parents), seal the bottom of the pot with modelling clay and stick your sticks or straws in. Once it’s finished, personalise it with flowers and foliage and place it in a corner of the garden and watch them settle. Don’t worry, they’re more scared of you than you are of them.

3. Grow your own fun

Planting fruit and vegetables is a great group task as there are enough jobs to do for everybody, and it’s a chance for children to learn responsibility and take care of their chosen plants. Once the fruit or veg is ready you can harvest them and enjoy the results as a family, showing that the effort pays off. It can be hard to get children to eat well so getting them involved in the process early is a real benefit.

4. Garden Totem Poles

Why not work together on an alternative garden decoration? Sand down some old wood and carve some patterns to make an Aboriginal or Mayan inspired template, again for safety this should be done by an adult! Once carved, hand over to the children to paint and design. This kind of activity encourages some creativity and artistry, working towards a common goal and celebrating the results – something the kids will definitely remember fondly! Once summer’s over you can put it up in the house, providing it’s not too scary.

5. Hose pipes at the ready

Everyone remembers the fun of a water fight. Water fights are a great way to get out stresses and frustrations in a harmless environment for siblings and partners alike. Remember a grass garden is ideal from a safety point of view. There are countless things you can get involved in the fun; water guns, the hose pipe (if it’s got extra settings you’re in for a winner) and water balloons. Playing pong with buckets and a tennis ball is a good way to integrate a bit more competition, losers get the bucket tipped over them.

If you have any innovative ways of passing the time with the kids this summer when why not share them with us over on twitter.

 

 

Cleaning, Tips and tricks

Tips to keep your car clean

July 14, 2017

Messy environments create a cluttered state of mind, you wouldn’t leave your kitchen in a mess and your car is just as important. If you’re driving to work, taking the kids to school or cruising around with your mates on a regular basis it can be difficult to keep the car clean. That’s why we’ve complied a few handy tips and tricks to make it easier for you.

Keep the smells at bay

There’s no point having a clean car if it smells! Along with making sure you don’t leave any foodstuffs in the car overnight it’s also worth investing in sun screens for the windows to stop your car overheating. Any slight smell will be amplified by the heat and can take a long time to dissipate.

Make your own wax

Kerosene is a cheap and easily-available petrol based liquid which makes for a great alternative car cleaning solution. Simply add a cup of kerosene to 3 gallons of water and sponge down the exterior of the car. It should leave it glimmering and gives an almost water-resistant texture, giving you greater resistance to rust.

Clean up as you go

Having a car cluttered with wrappers and bottles can get very annoying and untidy. Keeping a small but durable bag in the back and making sure you and your guests use and empty it will stop it getting on top of you. Prevention is better than the cure. Better yet, try not to eat in there in the first place!

Bird poo stain prevention

Vinegar can do wonders when cleaning bird droppings. Although it’s regarded as something of an ‘old wife’s tale’, there is a science to it as it neutralises the acid and helps loosen the stain. Toothpaste is a similar alternative for this and will remove the gritter stains below the surface, be sure to scrub carefully and you will be saved from any permanent paint damage. Soapy ‘soft’ water should do the rest!

Invest in the right kit

These classic Chamois leather cleaning cloths and sponges have stood the test of time. With some soap, water and a bit of elbow grease they’ll get your car way glossier than your everyday cleaners. Wiping down dust regularly will stop it building up. Messes should be cleaned immediately or it’s likely you’ll find a smell lingering soon after. They’re also handy for keeping the wheel, hand break and gear stick hygienic. There’s always going to be mess and dust in those places you can’t reach. An easy-use handheld vacuum will ensure your car never gets too dusty and it’s always presentable. If you use the car daily it’s worth having one in there all the time. We have a wide range of options perfect for this, you can find them here. If you’re lucky, you might even find some change that you have dropped in the past.

Organisation is key

Save space in your glove box for things that really matter. You’ll find yourself with lots more overflowing spaces and, ultimately, lots more things scattered on the floor if you don’t keep a tidy glove box. Condensing your CD collection into a CD case is one thing you can do to be pragmatic with your space. Children can make a mess in the car. You can save yourself a bit of tidying by strapping backpacks to the front seats for storing children’s games and colouring items in the back. Ideally, they’ll keep their things in there and save you time cleaning and repacking them each time you leave the car.

If you’ve got any other innovative ways to maintain your wheels of steel why not share them with us on Twitter.

Cleaning, Tips and tricks

How to keep your kitchen clean: top 5 hacks

July 6, 2017

Cleaning the kitchen can be a long and tiresome task, especially during the summer months when the heat only adds to the stress of the job. Luckily, we have some quick and easy cleaning hacks that will help ensure your kitchen remains in pristine condition all year long.

  1. Steam cleaning – powerful and flexible

Steam cleaners are a highly-adaptable option for cleaning around your home, and a great alternative to traditional mops. With a steam cleaner, there is no need to repeatedly fill a bucket of water and lug it around the home with you, so cleaning up feels much less like a chore. However, what many people don’t realise is that steam cleaning also gets rid of germs which aren’t visible to the naked eye. Why not take a look at our collection of steam cleaners?

  1. Blinds – grab, swipe, repeat.

One place we’re all guilty of neglecting when it comes to the weekly chores – is the kitchen blinds. They’re very delicate and incredibly fiddly, but this little hack is guaranteed to ease the stress. Simply grab a pair of barbecue tongs, wrap a dust cloth around each tong and secure them with elastic bands. Then go crazy. Grab a blind, swipe along and repeat. It’s as easy as that. You can also spray some household cleaner on the blinds beforehand, which will help add an extra sparkle to the finished product.

  1. Tops of cabinets – one final clean…

Over the course of a couple of months high surfaces can become greasy and dust bunnies can form, meaning that even the smallest gust of wind could blow all that muck onto your kitchen worktop. So, by following these simple steps, you will only have to deep clean the top of your fridge and cupboards once – and never again. Just wipe them down with some antibacterial wipes, dry them off, take a cutting of cling film or wax paper the same depth as the surface and let it sit. It will collect dirt and then every month or two just replace the paper – easy, right?

  1. Coconut oil – it isn’t just for cooking!

Coconut oil can prevent dust, remove chewing gum, unstick a zipper and, among other things, maintain healthy guitar strings! However, in this blog we’ll be highlighting how coconut oil can save the day when it comes to cleaning the kitchen. If you have a collection of oven safe iron pots, pans and skillets, then you can encourage the seasoning of your products by rubbing a thin layer of coconut oil on every part of the pan. Set your oven to 200°C and let the pans sit for approximately one hour. You can even rub coconut oil into wooden work tops, cutting boards and utensils to sanitize them without using chemicals.

  1. Drains – bicarbonate of soda and vinegar are the perfect pairing!

Mixing these two household items makes cleaning the drains so much simpler and this is how it’s done. Pour hot water down the drain, followed by ½ cup of bicarbonate of soda and then, after a minute or two, add 1 cup of vinegar and another cup of hot water. Cover with a plug so that the reaction happens below the drain surface and let it work its magic for about 5-10 minutes. The volcanic-like reaction will dislodge any sludge that’s left in the drain leaving the hot water to flush it all away. Keep on top of your drains by doing this once every few weeks to ensure your pipes remain in perfect condition.

Share your innovative kitchen cleaning hacks with us by following us on Twitter.