November 9, 2017

Things I’m loving this month

Here’s what I’m loving this month.

Little Moons Spiced Pumpkin Pie Mochi

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October and November are the time to celebrate the humble pumpkin, from hollowing them out for Halloween to creating a delicious pumpkin pie in honour of the American Thanksgiving celebrations, this great vegetable comes to the fore at this time of the year. With this in mind the clever people at Little Moons have launched a limited edition Spiced Pumpkin Pie edition of their Mochi ice cream bars in Whole Food Market stores across London. If you’ve never had a mochi, this is a great excuse to try them – especially as Little Moons swaps out the traditional red bean paste filling for gelato. The gelato is then wrapped in a sweet, soft mochi dough. These delicious pumpkin versions of the yummy spheres combine real pumpkin with an autumnal spice mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and ginger. Another little bonus – each one is only 100 calories.

I used to eat Ice Cream mochi with my housemates all the time when I lived in Los Angeles, as there was a Japanese supermarket behind us and fell in love with the green tea ones there. These are a step up though – the pumpkin spicing is so delicious and unique. I might have to stock up the freezer while they are still available! Don’t worry if you miss out on these though as they also make Matcha Green Tea, Toasted Sesame, Coconut, Raspberry, Yuzu and Salted Caramel among others…so there’s plenty to choose from! (Buy six mochi for £1.25 each at Wholefoods in London)

Piccolo Foods

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Move over mum guilt, there’s no need to feel guilty getting a Piccolo pouch out for your little one. With a huge variety of Mediterranean flavoured pouches, from yoghurt based breakfast ones, mixed fruit, risottos, mixed vegetables, fish pies, mac n’ cheese and so many more on offer, there is a huge selection to take you through baby weaning. The added bonus here? For every pouch sold, Piccolo donates one to a child in need.

Even if you are doing baby led weaning or have older children, these packs are great for on the go snacking, running through porridge to jazz it up or to encourage children to try new Mediterranean flavours and include more fruit and vegetables in their diet. Use the vegetable mixes with a cooked up pasta or serve as a toast topping.

These are my favourite baby food pouches by far and my little man, who turns his nose up at most purees these days, opting for finger foods instead, happily gobbles these down. Available in all good supermarkets.

A Place For Everything

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I love sorting! I love finding a place for everything and regularly decluttering the house. I feel clearer in my mind, I feel there’s less dust and dirt hiding around the house and it genuinely makes me happy to live in a more ordered house. I’m the first to admit though, that sorting never seems to stop. I will have various piles around the house which need sorting, which expand and grow like their own lifeforms over weeks.

One thing that always helps with sorting is having some stylish and practical storage around the house. The perfect place to keep your shoes, a wine rack which makes a feature of the bottles you are collecting, a stair basket for taking things upstairs every night that don’t belong downstairs etc. If you too are planning on starting your sorting early and getting a head start on the new year’s resolutions to sort out the piles, then head on over to A Place for Everything, who funnily enough, have a place for everything.

YogOaty Shaken Udder Pouches

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These new YogOaty pouches from Shaken Udder are fantastic for anyone looking for a portable, yoghurt treat. Great for lunchboxes, weaning babies  or adults alike, these delicious yoghurt pouches are smooth mixes of yoghurt, fruit and oats. With 100% natural ingredients and no added sugar or sweeteners, these can be enjoyed by anyone from 6 months upwards! Available online at Shaken Udder or in good supermarkets now.

All of the above were given to me to try for free. However, opinions are always my own and I am not required to write a positive review.

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October 10, 2017

Things I’m loving this month

Yet another month has flown by in the blink of the eye, so it’s now time for October’s ‘What I’m loving this month’ review section. Below is a round up of all the lovely things I’ve enjoyed reviewing this month.

Lobster Homeware

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The aprons from Lobster Homeware aren’t just pretty, they are pretty much the most functional aprons known to man. With integrated oven gloves, which can also be removed and used separately or used as pot mats, you’ll never be hunting around for them while cooking again. There’s also a handy teatowel loop, deep pockets for filling with whatever you may need while cooking and uniquely, a mobile phone pocket. With a huge variety of designs and with a height adjustable feature, there really is an apron for everyone in the range. Available now for £25 from Lobster Homeware

Spontex Collect Range

I’m sure you’ve heard of Spontex before as they create household products which make cleaning easier for everyone. They make everything from cloths and scourers to gloves and floor care products. They’ve recently introduced the Collect range and I was sent a couple of products to try.

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The Spontex Collect Max Indoor broom, not only looks stylish but has been designed to collect the maximum amount of dust and dirt in just one sweep. So easy to use, the mixed non scratch fibres wipe up all types of dirt which is attracted to the electrostatic blade, which is built into the brush. With a telescopic handle, the broom will reach everywhere you need it to. This is an easy to use broom and I definitely noticed the difference compared to my normal broom. It didn’t miss anything off the floor. (£12.99)

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Why not pick up the matching Spill Collect Dustpan and Brush (£9.99) at the same time. It’s a great compliment to the broom and with its unique locking system, nothing drops out on the way to the bin. It also has a built in squeegee which made clearing up liquid messes a doddle.

 I Sea Pasta Tagliatelle

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A delicious low carb alternative to pasta, I Sea Pasta is a seaweed designed to fool you into thinking it’s actually a pasta. It looks like tagliatelle but is actually 100% wild, handpicked seaweed from Irealnd.  With 80% fewer calories than pasta and packed with rich, natural goodness including Iodine, iron and Omega 3, this is an easy and tasty way to get some extra hidden vegetables onto your plate (and even the kids!) Another huge plus point…seaweed is incredibly sustainable and we should all be trying to include it in our diet

Available from Seamore for £4.28 a bag.

CAMRA’s Historic Coaching Inns Of The Great Northern Road & CAMRA’s Wild Pub Walks

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As Christmas draws ever nearer, why not take a look at CAMRA’s online shop for the perfect gift the real ale lover in your life. With a huge variety of books on offer, you’ll find something for everyone, from the beer fantastic, to the walker who enjoys an occasional stop at a pub along the way. My two favourite picks include CAMRA’s Historic Coaching Inns of The Great Northern Road and CAMRA’s Wild Pub Walks.

In the first book, Roger Protz takes us on a journey down the ‘route 66 of Britain’ which instead of diners has magnificent coaching inns. Find out more about the history of some of these fantastic watering holes and be inspired to take a roadtrip yourself. (£12.99)

CAMRA’s Wild Pub Walks by Daniel Neilson focuses on 22 walks in beautiful or remote landscapes which also happen to have a pub or two along the route. Be inspired during your hill walks to divert to one of the many great watering holes described throughout the book and perhaps enjoy a new route or two. There are plenty of different abilities of walks covered from long to short, challenging to easy. The book also covers a wide variety of areas from the highlands of Scotland to the Yorkshire Dales and Pembrokeshire. (£11.99)

Colgate® Enamel Strength Toothpaste

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I’m a diet coke addict, and one of the downfalls of this addiction, among many, is that I worry about the enamel of my teeth. As we all know the chemicals in fizzy drinks can wear them down and make them weaker. For this reason I was excited to try out the new Colgate Enamel Strength Toothpaste. Designed to give your teeth added protection, helping to replenish and seal enamel, this toothpaste can help make teeth more resistant to acid damage. I tried this toothpaste for a month and was incredibly pleased with the overall look and feel of my teeth. They took on a smooth finish and a natural shine which they didn’t have before and I feel great in the knowledge that the toothpaste helped to strengthen my teeth 4 times more than regular fluoride toothpaste. £4.49 for 75ml. Available from all major retailers now.

Note: I was sent all of the above to review, but all opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.

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October 8, 2017

Enjoying art at home with Artfinder

There’s nothing which adds more style to any room in your house than a fresh piece of artwork which reflects your style or creates a statement you want to convey. Often owning such a piece of original and unique artwork can cost a small fortune, but thanks to Artfinder, you can easily find artworks – be that sculpture, photography, paintings or graphics, for any budget.

I was gifted a £50 voucher to review a piece of art from the site, and believe me, for that amount there was plenty to choose from. Discover new artists who are just starting out, or find more established artists with unique pieces on offer – all by browsing the one site.

I settled on a beautiful painting from Sarah Gill. Sarah specialises in capturing images from her travels around the world, such as Italy and France, but also includes art that reflects views closer to home in the peak district. Take a look through her selection of works of art, most of which come pre-framed and are affordable, yet beautifully created and full of life.

This Way Home by Sarah Gill‘This Way Home’ is a wonderful painting, full of beautiful blues, gorgeous greens and all set in a night time scene. It looks fantastic in my house and has been a talking point for guests.

Artfinder is a great way to make sure you are taking home a unique and special piece of art. A couple I know went to Spain once and spent a small fortune on what they believed was an original painting. They returned home only to discover the painting was actually from Ikea! With Artfinder, you not only have a huge choice, but you can find out more about the artist and protect yourself from silly mistakes…ensuring you are the only person with that particular piece of art.

I know it’s early in the year to be mentioning the ‘C’ word – but with Christmas only a few months away, Artfinder is a great place to find that special, meaningful gift for friends or family. Alternatively, why not gift a voucher and see what they choose for themselves.

www.artfinder.com

Note: I was gifted a £50 voucher to use on Artfinder.com but I was not obliged to write a good review and opinions are my own.

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September 14, 2017

Jambalaya

There are plenty of recipes which you can knock up in a Morsø cast-iron pan. A beautiful casserole, a whole roasted chicken or a creamy soup, but something which always warms my soul is tasty Jambalaya. A favourite with young and old alike, this Louisianan dish packs plenty of flavour with a punch of heat. There are a million different recipes for this tasty dish, but here’s what works for me. Feel free to tweak as appropriate – just make sure to add plenty of meat, as that’s what makes this dish so tasty!

Take a look at the huge variety of Morsø pans here.

Jambalaya

 

Ingredients

  • ½ giant Chorizo sausage chopped
  • 2 Onions chopped
  • 2 chopped Garlic cloves
  • 3 Chicken breasts
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • ¼ tsp Chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp Cumin
  • ¼ tsp Allspice
  • ¼ tsp Oregano
  • ¼ tsp Thyme
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • ¼ tsp Paprika
  • 200g Long grain rice
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml water

Method

  • Add Chorizo, chicken, chopped onion and garlic to the pan. Cook until chicken is browned and onion is softened
  • Add the green pepper and cook until softened and then add all the seasonings and spices as listed above
  • Add the long grain rice and stir through to take on the flavours of the pan
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and water, pop on the lid and leave to simmer until the rice is completely cooked through
  • Serve immediately. Simply present the beautiful Morsø¸ pan in the centre of the table and let everyone dig in! Add a dollop of Greek yoghurt to cool down the Jambalaya if it’s a little too hot for your family!

Jambalaya2Find out more about Morsø¸ and their fantastic Cast-iron pans at www.morso.co.uk

Sponsored post by Morsø¸

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September 10, 2017

Once in a lifetime purchase

There aren’t many things these days which are made to last. In our throwaway society, it’s unusual to find items which are both affordable and designed to last a lifetime. There are a million reasons to buy quality over quantity, from saving the environment through to saving money and if you are looking for an item which will never need replacing and which will make cooking a breeze, then why not take a look at Morsø cast iron pans.

These beautiful pans are made by Morsø¸ who have been crafting cast-iron stoves since 1853 on the island of Mors in Denmark. In recent years they’ve used their knowledge of cast-iron to create a range of contemporary, high quality cookware. Remaining true to its Danish heritage, Morsø¸ has created a sophisticated range of pans which both look stylish on the table but also perform fantastically.

Cooking with cast-iron is always a joy, whether on the hob or in the oven, over time they absorb the flavours and seasonings from all your cooking, become non-stick by default and make each new dish tastier than the last.

I was sent four pans to try out at home for myself and have had a great time cooking up my usual meals as well as dabbling with some new recipes. Watch out on the blog for some new recipes using these beautiful pans soon.

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The Multicocotte with Skillet Lid 

£219

I’ve never seen a pan like this before -it is truly unique in its versatility. This pan is 3 in 1 and can be used as a large pot for casseroles, big dishes etc, a bread pan and amazingly enough, the lid can also be used as a roasting pan.

Throw out your extra pans and stick this in your cupboard, as it covers everything. This large pan can fit pretty much anything you imagine, from whole roast joints to casseroles to feed a small army.

If you only buy one cast-iron pan, then it has to be this one. Stick it on your wish list for Christmas now!

Casserole Dish 

£139

I love this casserole dish, the perfect size for pretty much anything you fancy, from a whole-roasted chicken through to pasta, rice dishes, casseroles (of course) or even a soup, this pan does the job.

The cast-iron works really well to keep the heat in, which is great if like me, you get your timings wrong with the other dishes and need to keep it warm while everything else cooks!

This casserole dish also looks fab as you present your dish to your family or friends in the centre of the table.

Frying Pan and Saucepan

Both £119

These beautiful pans will be a kitchen staple for the rest of your life, guaranteed. These heavy pans work well on the hob to distribute the heat evenly and look beautiful with their oiled wooden handles, so can be presented on the table as well as used on the hob.

Remember, the more you use all of these pans, the better the flavour!

Keep an eye on the blog for some cast-iron recipe inspiration.

Find out more about Morsø at www.morso.co.uk

Sponsored post by Morsø

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July 11, 2017

Keeping Things Cool

If you’ve been following the blog over the last month or so, you’ll have seen that I’ve been taking part in the Haier Fresher Diaries Challenge. The idea was to take stock of how much food I’ve been wasting, come up with a plan to tackle it (thanks to the people at Haier and Love Food Hate Waste) and then of course implement it.

I was shocked by how much food I was wasting on a weekly basis, simply by not storing them correctly most of the time! The lovely people at Haier are helping with my mission to cut down on waste and one major way to do this is to get a fridge freezer which can really deal with your food and help it to stay fresher for longer.

I was sent the Haier Cube Series HTF-610DM7 to review and over the last week I’ve had great fun playing with it, and all its exclusive Fresher Techs which are designed with freshness in mind!

Fridge

I stole this picture from Haier as I can’t seem to get an image without my reflection in it. That’s how shiny it is!

The cube has a huge capacity of 610 litres, which gives you plenty of room for all your food – no matter how big your family.

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Just look at the size of this fridge – enormous. Note also the incredible day like lighting – so easy to see everything. Yes, I need to go for a shop to fill it all up now!

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I’ve again stolen one of Haier’s images as it really shows the huge capacity that this fridge freezer has!

There’s a fridge compartment, a freezer compartment and a compartment called the ‘Switch Zone’ which can be used as either a fridge (+5 degrees) or keep it as a freezer (-20 degrees), dependent on your needs. It’s so flexible! I think this will become especially useful at Christmas when I’m buying lots of party food and need a place to store it all.  You can easily control the temperature on the outside of the fridge door. The separate compartments also mean you can open them individually, reducing the amount of electricity loss by up to 60%, making sure you save money and save your food from perishing unnecessarily!

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The freezer compartments – You can see the ice maker at the top on the left. The right section is the ‘MyZone’ which means it can be changed from freezer to fridge or vice versa easily enough.

There are two compartments in the fridge – the humidity zone and the dry zone, which work with different ingredients to keep them at their freshest. Fruit and vegetables thrive in the humidity zone as it keeps them at their optimum humidity and moisture levels (90%) by using a unique plant fibre membrane – you can go away for days knowing when you return it will still be ripe and ready to eat. Cheeses and meats should be stored in the dry zone which reduces humidity to below 45% – meaning things will definitely last longer by between 4 and 7 days which makes a massive difference!

The whole fridge is also equipped with Haier’s anti-bacterial technology. This is done through a UV light which eliminates bacteria throughout the fridge. What I noticed immediately when starting up the fridge was the fantastic lighting. The fridge has a daylight touch to it, so that it feels really bright and you can easily see what’s hidden in the depths. No more yoghurts discovered weeks after their sell by date in the corner.

And perhaps, most importantly when you have an open kitchen/diner like we do the fridge is low noise – so low noise in fact, that we can’t hear anything. It also has an A++ rating, which means it’s incredibly energy efficient

Want to find out a bit more? Watch the video below.

There are so many useful features in this fridge freezer which will help me with my food waste challenge and make it so much easier. Take a look back over my old posts to see some useful tips for preventing food waste.

This was a sponsored post by Haier UK. For more information, please visit: www.haier.com/uk or visit their facebook page @HaierUK.

 

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June 26, 2017

Preventing food waste and saving money

As you’ll know from my previous posts, I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in the Haier fresher food challenge. I reported back on our food waste after a week and was disappointed at the amount of food I had to throw away, simply because I’d forgotten about them or not looked after them properly. (Have a look back through my posts to see the previous videos)

The lovely people at Haier, no.1 worldwide in household appliances, took a look at my videos and came back with some handy hints and tips as to how to prevent this kind of waste in the future. They linked with the people at Love Food, Hate Waste and have created a video which looks at how I can make my food last longer and avoid any wastage. See below for their advice.

What fantastic advice! I was really disappointed by the amount of waste I had in the fridge when I reviewed it (you’ll see I had to throw away chicken, yoghurts and all sorts!). I saved it all up to be thrown away in one go, and usually don’t do that…and it shows the quantities of waste that is thrown away.

Thanks to Haier I now have some great ideas for making my food last longer, and taste fresher for longer too. I’ll definitely be using the tip to add some kitchen towel to a bag of salad to give the leaves a better shelf life.

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I’ll also be adding my citrus fruit, apples and pears into the crisper compartment of my fridge, as Helen (the lovely lady in the video) explains that they will last much longer this way. This seems so obvious, but it has been a habit of mine to stick this kind of fruit into the fruit bowl, so this is a little easy change which can make a huge difference!

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Something as simple as separating chicken breasts and freezing half will also be a regular occurrence from now on as will freezing yoghurts before they go off, and then enjoying them as an ice cream alternative. Genius!

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All of these tips are so easy to implement, that I’d be stupid not to! Trust me, there won’t be as much food waste in this household going forwards.

The added benefit to all of this, as well as the obvious benefit to the environment is that I would save around £547 a year by sticking to the above tips and tricks.

For more information, please visit: www.haier.com/uk or visit their facebook page @HaierUK.

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June 6, 2017

What I’m loving this month

It’s been a while since my last round up, as the months seem to have flown by in a busy blur.

This month I’ve been lucky enough to try some great homeware and foodie items. Here’s a round up of my favourites…

Sparkling Ice

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A new range of healthy fizzy drinks, Sparkling Ice combine natural sparkling water with flavours, producing a refreshing and tasty drink with only 12 calories per bottle. Available in four different flavours – Black Raspberry, Orange Mango, Peach Nectarine and Kiwi Strawberry, these should be your go to for on the go refreshment. Each bottle also contains vitamins and anti-oxidants.

Available in all good supermarkets for around £1.25.

 

E-Cloth Starter Pack

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It’s that time of year again. Time to spring clean! There’s nothing handier for your home overhaul than the E-Cloth Starter pack. This pack is a selection of E-Cloths most popular items including:

  •  The Bathroom cloth which is great for tackling limescale
  • The Glass and Polishing cloth which easily remove grease and finger prints
  • The General Purpose cloth which is super absorbent and easily tackles spillages
  • The Kitchen cloth, which has scouring pockets to scrub at stubborn grease
  • and of course, the Window cloth which leaves your windows smear-free and sparkling

The reason I love E-Cloths? You don’t need any cleaning sprays at all. With just water or elbow grease, your home can be sparkling again in no time. Available here for £17.99

Wahaca Soft Taco Kits

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I often pop into Wahaca with friends or family when in London, as the food is so delicious, affordable and authentically Mexican. It’s one of my favourite casual dining restaurant chains and I also have a couple of Thomasina’s Mexican cookbooks at home which I’m trying out. However, for the unitiated to Mexican cuisine, these new soft taco kits from Wahaca are a great, easy introduction.

I was sent two different soft taco kits to try out at home: The Tomato & Smoky Chipotle Kit and The Fiery Habanero & achiote kit. The kits contain everything you need to create the meal with tortillas, marinade and a salsa. Simply add your chosen meat or vegetables. Nice and easy to create a delicious meal.

These kits are literally 100 times better than the usual Old El Paso kits. Packed full of flavour and featuring specific chillies, these will add some flavour to your Friday night. A word of warning though, only the brave should attempt the Fiery habanero & achiote kit….it nearly blew my socks off!

Available in Tesco now for £3.69

Wham Flexi Bags

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These Wham Flexi Bags are some of the best things which have come into my house this month. These flexible bags available in square and bag size are pretty much capable of carrying anything. Use them in the garden, for groceries, to store the kids toys or like me, put one at the bottom of your stairs for things which need to be put away upstairs or use it to transport drinks or use as an ice bucket at your next BBQ. These pretty bags are incredibly durable and will be lasting you for almost a lifetime I imagine! Prices vary from £2.50 for the smallest through to £7.00 for the bigger sizes. Find out more here.

Lyons Coffee Bags

UCC Lyons Coffee Bags packaging

Now this is an interesting concept….Lyons have created a range of coffee bags featuring fresh ground coffee. Simply place in your cup and brew for 3-4 minutes for a cup of freshly ground coffee…any time, any place. So convenient for on the go and great for sticking in your bag for holidays, caravanning or even just for the office. Currently available in 4 different varieties (one of them a decaf), there’s something to suit everyone.

Just make sure you brew them for 4 minutes, as we found these could be a little weak otherwise. Available in all good supermarkets with an RRP of £2.60.

**I was sent all of the above to review, but opinions are 100% my own and I was not required to write a positive review.**

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May 25, 2017

The Haier Challenge – An Update

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It’s been a week since I started the Haier Fresh challenge and I just wanted to give you a little update on where things since my food shop last week. See below for my video diary which will tell you a little more about my habits this week.

It’s been absolutely shocking to discover how much I’m just throwing away because it’s gone off – from strawberries and salad, through to chicken and yoghurt. Appalling!

This challenge has made me much more conscious of my food waste. I’d definitely recommend doing something similar yourself at home, to keep tabs on what’s been thrown away.

My fridge is gradually emptying, as you can see…. with not much left from the original shop…. just a few stragglers.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Haier suggests to prevent such waste in my fridge!

Find out more about Haier here or follow them on Facebook @haieruk

Sponsored Post by Haier

 

 

 

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May 21, 2017

Feeling Fresh With Haier

Food waste is a huge issue in the UK, not only with supermarkets and shops but also in our own homes. I don’t know about you, but there’s always that cucumber you didn’t get to before it disintegrated or those yoghurts which have long passed their sell by date before you even think of them.

Environmental reasons are of course, a major factor as to why preventing food wastage in the home is so important, but let’s also not forget it can help us save a fortune!

For this reason, I was excited to take part in the Haier Fresher Food Challenge, which will see me updating on my normal shopping and fridge use, followed by some advice from the Haier team on how to keep my food fresher for longer…helping me to combat food wastage.

At the moment my fridge is definitely not being used to its full potential – I throw things in where they fit and then forget about them, unless I can see them! Although I create meal plans before I pop off to the shops, life changes during the week and we often come in late or move meals around just to confuse me.

I’d say the things we tend to throw away the most are salad bags, cucumbers (they really seem to deteriorate quickly), yoghurts and berries (which I always find go mouldy quickly). Food that is used in the meal plan doesn’t tend to go off, as we know when we’ll be using it and I’ll hunt through the fridge to find it. But anything which is either a healthy snack or salad based, soon goes off.

Here’s a little intro to my kitchen and of course, my weekly shop:

Here’s a little snap shot of my weekly shop

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And here’s when it’s been all unpacked in a most higgeldy piggeldy manor in the fridge

 

These shots say it all really…there isn’t a system going on in the fridge at all!

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Sorry for the fussy shots – the light from the fridge has messed it up a bit!

If you’ve not heard of Haier, the people behind this campaign to get us keeping food fresher for longer before, then let me tell you a little bit about them…

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Haier are the global leader in major household appliances. You might not have heard of them before as they are fairly new to the UK market…so watch out, as you’ll see plenty about them over the coming months.

Their range of fridges and fridge freezers use Fresher Tech solutions, which are designed to help consumers to reduce their food waste and inevitably save money. Through better storage and use of our fridges, Haier wants to help us find easy ways to make our food stay fresher for longer and ultimately help prevent food waste.

Find out more about Haier here or follow them on Facebook @haieruk

Sponsored Post by Haier

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February 21, 2017

Wanderlust with Lonely Planet

There’s only one thing on my mind this time of year…and that’s where to go next. If you are like me, then you really have to pick up a few great books from Lonely Planet which are packed with inspiration, tips and ideas for your next destination or even how to explore your own home town.

 

Wine Trails (£19.99)

Wine_Trails_LargeLooking for the perfect weekend of vineyard tours, wine drinking and tasting? Then this is the book for you. Featuring detailed itineraries focusing on 52 areas near cities around the world, this guide tells you everything you need to know to create the perfect weekend of vino.

WineTrails

Areas featured include expected regions such as Australia, New Zealand and Chile, but there are plenty of more unusual countries too such as Hungary & Slovakia, Lebanon and Slovenia too.

Each section includes a map with local wineries marked on the page. Each one has a little explanation and extras in each area include Where To Stay, Where To Eat, What To Do and Celebrations.

This is a great gift for any wine lover, or yourself 🙂

Food Trails (£19.99)

Food_Trails_Large

I’ve reviewed this one before, but wanted to include in this round up, as it’s a fantastic book for inspiring foodie based weekend trips. Laid out in a similar format to the Wine Trails book above, this one takes you on weekend tours of top foodie destinations around the world including of course, where to eat!

Foodtrails2

Learn about food markets, tours, trails and the best places for street food in 52 different destinations around the world – a great bucket list book!

The Best Things in Life Are Free (£16.99)

The_Best_Things_in_Life_are_Free_LargeHave the travel bug, but tight on budget? Then this book can help you save a penny or two. Packed with money saving tips and tricks for over 60 major cities around the world, this will inspire you to travel on a budget. The guide includes parks, free experiences, events and museums around the world which can be enjoyed on a low budget trip.

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A must-read for any traveller, this will save pennies and open your eyes to new experiences across the world.

101 Ways To Live Well (£7.99)

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While technically not a travel book, this little life-saver helps you take on the travel mindset any day of the week. Helping you feel less stressed and frazzled with a few small tricks such as mindfulness exercises or yoga moves.

101 ways to live well

Just 5 -10 minutes a day working your way through this book can help improve your life in just a few little steps.

The perfect gift for your stressed co-worker, or use it yourself to remain on an even plain – just like me!

The Big Trip (£16.99)

The_Big_Trip_LargeDesigned for the gap year traveller, this book covers everything you need to make your big trip a reality. Don’t feel this is only for the post school backpacker though, as if you are planning a career break at any time in your life, this book is packed with useful information relevant to you too.

Big Trip

The book takes you through everything from planning your trip before you even leave the country, to finding volunteer work, where to stay, ideas of what to do and how to make your money last. A really useful ‘survival’ guide to your year off.

You Only Live Once (£22.99)

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This is the ultimate bucket list book, not in the traditional sense – this isn’t a list of places to visit and things to do, it’s about helping you find what’s important to you and reigniting your passions for them. Simply choose a chapter which is split into time eg An hour, a day, a month etc and choose an activity which could be ‘dressing up for a day’ or ‘Swimming with fish’.

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Once you’ve chosen the time you want to commit and the activity, there are a list of suggestions of where and how to do it. This is a great coffee table book packed full of inspiring and achievable ideas for those who want to live life to the fullest.

The Ultimate Travelist (£19.99)

10013-Lonely_Planet_s_Ultimate_Travel_List403556_LargeThis book is pure travel inspiration. A great hardback book filled with 500 of the best places to visit in the world. Take your pick or just make your way through the whole list – it may take some time though! This book even comes with a fab map, which you can stick on your wall and mark off with pins as you hit the 500 destinations. Where does your favourite destination come in the list?travelist

There are plenty more great books available from the Lonely Planet Shop, so why not take a look here and pick up something for yourself or a friend. I’m currently reading the Travel Writing and Travel Photography guides – so stay tuned for another Lonely Planet review soon.

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January 30, 2017

What I’m loving this month

It’s time for my round up of things I’m loving this month.

  1. Sistema Storage

Sistema

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to get organised. I’ve been busy clearing out cupboards, selling excess belongings on ebay and sorting out my cupboards this past month and when it comes to organising the kitchen cabinets, Sistema has been a lifesaver. Their Kip-It range are not only super functional for holding all your opened items such as raisins, rice and cereal, but they can make your cupboards organised and beautiful – Just like you always imagined. Find out more on the range by visiting www.sistemaplastics.com  Prices vary by item.

2. Flat Stacks

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These nifty Flat Stacks from Wowzr are a real space saver. Another resolution for this year was to try and save money, so the husband is being sent off to work with lunch pre-packed everyday. The great think about these containers is that they are collapsible. Simply fold them up and they are easy to transport. They not only save room in your bag on the way home from work, but when not being used, simply fold up to be stored away from sight.

3. Itsu snacks

Itsu

Everyone is looking for the ultimate snack. Something that staves off hunger, is healthy and of course, low in calories…which is why these seaweed and miso soup snacks from Itsu are so great. Crispy Seaweed thins are available in three different flavours: Wasabi, Sea Salt or Sweet Soy and Sea Salt. At around 20 calories per pack, these are moreish salty little snacks. A great replacement for unhealthy crisps.

Also available are two different Miso Soups – around 40 calories each and available in regular and vegetarian. Find these at all good supermarkets now!

4. Lonely Planet Food Trails

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Another thing I’ve been busy doing during January, is dreaming of trips to take during 2017. This is where Lonely Planet’s Food Trails book comes in.  With a variety of itineraries for trips around the world which take in the best dishes, restaurants, food markets and more, this book highlights the must visit foodie capitals of the world including Buenos Aires, Puglia, Melbourne, Penang and Paris. A great read and a huge inspiration for trips.

Currently available for only £13.99 here.

Note: I was sent all of the above to review, but all opinions are my own.

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