Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Make your kitchen look rustic in five simple steps

Known for their relaxed, homely style, rustic kitchen designs have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering the perfect combination of warm country comfort and stylish aesthetics.
If you’re looking for ways to give the heart of your home an authentic overhaul, take a look at these simple steps:

1. Wooden worktops

One of the most effective ways to give your kitchen a rustic revamp is to invest in wooden worktops. Not only does wood have timeless charm and heaps of character, it’s also extremely durable, making it an ideal choice for busy family kitchens. There are a variety of natural materials to choose from, with oak, pine and cherry timbers among the most popular choices for traditionally-styled countertops. To browse the selection of materials available, worktop specialists such as Worktop Express offer a wide variety of unique, high quality timber surfaces that are ideal for creating an authentic look.

2. Open shelving

Rather than having a sleek, clutter-free kitchen, try bringing some personality to the space by having all your items on display. Open shelving can really help to set the rustic trend and add character to your decor. With a little imagination, you can easily create a unique and vibrant storage space by stacking your crockery and using a mix of containers, jars and bottles to hold frequently-used utensils and ingredients. To accentuate the country feel even further, you can even add copper or iron racks to your shelving to display your pots and pans.

3. Pendant lighting

As well as being a practical necessity, lighting has the power to transform the entire look of a room. To create a warm and inviting space, pendant lights make stunning centrepieces and work particularly well when hung over kitchen tables or islands. To keep in with the natural style, choose fittings that have a non-glossy finish. Raw materials like copper, steel and iron have an industrial charm and are a favourite among rustic enthusiasts.

4. Kitchen island

To complete the country-style look, you may also want to consider having a central island. Not only can these countertops create extra space for cooking, eating and entertaining, they also make a great home for all your culinary knickknacks. Simple, wooden designs, such as butcher block counters, are perfect for creating a relaxed, family-friendly style. If you’re keen on creating a ‘lived-in’ look, using reclaimed or distressed wood for your island will give the room a homely, vintage feel.

5. Farmhouse sinks

Installing a farmhouse sink is a simple way to give your kitchen the added wow-factor. These spacious, deep sinks are not only extremely practical, but also offer a unique focal point with an exposed front panel. Cast iron, fireclay, stainless steel and copper are popular choices for this style of sink and they work well in both contemporary and traditional interiors. With impressive looks and durability, it’s no wonder these stylish sinks have become such a sought-after feature in today’s kitchens.

*Guest post

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Starbright Toddler Bed Review and BearHug Toddler Bed Giveaway

Recently we were asked if we would like the chance to review a Starbright toddler bed. I was keen straight away as just a day before the email Abby climbed out of her cot! Once I saw a photo of the toddler bed I was amazing at the level of cuteness! StarBright Toddler bed is not only practical it's adorable! Did I mention how cute I think it is???

The bed has a lovely cloud head board with a cut out of a moon which places a gorgeous battery powered nightlight with a starlight projector! It also comes with a side table which can go either side. It has small bed rails towards the top perfect to stop little ones from rolling out.

The above photo was of Abby just after her nap. Straight away she loved it and kept lying down saying "ahhh".

I'm honestly in love with this bed and find myself peaking in on Abby a bit more than normal simply because I can't believe my baby is in a big girl bed!

I attempt to build it myself while Abby was having her last nap in her cot. Although it said it would take two people to do it I had it done within an hour and it was super simple to do!

You can also get matching furniture and if you head over to SuperBusyMum's website she also has a giveaway offer the choice of storage cupboards or toddler beds!  Simply fill out the rafflecopter to enter!

I'm super excited to also be able to offer another one of WorldsApart toddler bed's as a giveaway!

HelloHome BearHug Toddler Bed bedtime is extra cuddly with their favourite ted. With protective side panels that hug and the bear’s friendly face for nighttime comfort, the BearHug Toddler Bed is perfect for when your little one has outgrown their cot.
Simply fill out the rafflecopter to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Ordinary Moments

This last week has been far from the ordinary. We spent the week in Wales at Bluestone, it's been amazing. We've been very busy having lots of family time and it's been just what we needed.  I'll be sharing what we got up to later this week.

One of the evenings that stuck out in memory the most for me was one where we had nothing planned at all. Just an ordinary night planned relaxing with a movie.

I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and Ben was outside with the kids keeping them entertained and from under my feet. I was chopping away and all I could hear was the kids giggling. I peeked out the window to find them taking it in turns to roll down the hill.  Morgan decided to take on the role of teacher and spent his time telling Ewan and Rhys how they could be doing it better!

I spent the next half an hour cooking but taking quick peeks out the window to see what they were doing. I honestly could have sat at the window spying on the for hours. It really made me miss summer and I can't wait for the long afternoons playing in the garden.

Spring has definitely Sprung!


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Monday, 23 March 2015

Diet Chef Week 3

This week has been much harder than the last few as we've been on holiday. I took along my meals for the week but with being on holiday I certainly had a glass of wine or two. I even ate out at a very nice restaurant so I was sure my week wouldn't have gone well.

What I loved about Diet Chef this week was how tasty some of the dinners are. I've loved the meatballs and they really don't make you feel like they are diet meals. They just feel like smaller portions.

I kicked myself a little though because I only have soups left and I wished I had saved some of the pasta pots for at least the 6-7 hours of traveling. However while in Wales I headed to a Tesco's to find some food for the rest of the family and I actually found pasta pots for sale! I was actually shocked to see them but so pleased because I think I would have ate out for lunch a lot more if I had only had my soups.

I'm shocked to say that I've actually still lost weight this week!

Week 1 -6lbs

Week 2 -2lbs

Week 3 -1lbs
It's only a pound but it's still a loss! I have one week to go on my Diet Chef trial. It's been a tough few weeks but it's shown results.

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Sunday, 22 March 2015

Slimming World Sunday - Week 1 Lazy Lunches

You may have seen my posts about Diet Chef recently. I only have one week left trying it so afterwards I'll be moving back over to Slimming World. Although I loved the boost Diet Chef has given me, Slimming World is a lot easier to follow on a long term basis. Simply because I find if I'm hungry I'm very quick to head for a snack. I think Slimming World is great for filling you up and I'm sure there are people that would suit Diet Chef better than me because they cope better with the controlled portions.

When I make the move to Slimming World, the meal I used to struggle with the most was lunch. I'd always use my healthy extra B at breakfast for a slice of toast and so I felt that only left me the option of salad for lunch. Although I do love a good salad now and then having it 7 days a week can get old pretty quickly. Mid-day is also the time I'm probably the busiest. Abby heads to bed around lunch time and so it's the time I do most of the cleaning and blogging. Standing in the kitchen for ages isn't something I always want. So I've compiled a couple of lunch ideas that are super quick but also super filling.

Lazy Lunches Ready in under 10 minutes!

I'm a huge noodle fan, so when I discovered that these are actually SYN FREE I was over the moon. It's only the low fat ones that are free, and the other flavors all have a syn value so be careful while shopping that you grab the correct ones.

These are great by themselves and only take 6 minutes in the microwave. If they are a little too boring, you could always add a bit of fat free bacon and some veggies and it'll be like a little stir fry.

My second lazy go to meal are another new favourite of mine! These Pasta 'N' Sauces again are from Batchelors. They only take 10 minutes to cook. Although you can actually do these in the microwave I do personally find that they are better cooked on the hob!

Remember though that these are only syn free if you don't add the milk and butter! I don't notice the difference though and they still have a nice creamy sauce! There are other flavors but they do have a syn value.

Debs over at SuperBusyMum will also be sharing her Slimming World posts every Sunday. This week you can read all about her starting her journey along with what she's been eating so head over and give it a read HERE!

We thought doing it together would help keep us motivated! As well we've included the linky below as we would love for you to link up any related posts so we could all help each other along!

Just added this wee bit: Feel free to link up your SW journeys, recipes and anything else you have that is Slimming world related. Feel free to link up TWO posts if needs be and both OLD & NEW posts are very welcome.

We'd love it if you could grab our badge too!

In My Bubble

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My Sunday Photo: The biggest and littest


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Monday, 16 March 2015

Diet Chef Week 2

We're already into the second week of my Diet Chef diet and it's going well. Again  I've struggled with feeling hungry but I'm being good and sticking with it. I'm still really enjoying the food and I've discovered my love for the fruit oak cookie! It's so good and reminds me a little of Christmas Pudding! Again I've loved the pasta pots and just love how easy they are. When Abby naps it's so easy just to grab one and relax for a few minutes before cracking on with some dishes.

I'm still enjoying the food and feel like I've had more chance to try some of the other items I like. The first week I did stick to some of the things I first tried and found out I liked but I don't know why I was worried. Again it's all being yummy and I don't think I've disliked anything.

This next week I'm heading to Bluestone for a holiday so I'll be taking my food with me. I'm hoping to let my self have a little treat and eat out seeing as it is our holiday so I'm hoping to still have a loss!

This week I have lost again, Not as much as last week but losing such big amounts aren't good for the body so I'm still really pleased with my loss.

Week 1 -6lbs

Week 2 -2lbs

In two weeks I've lost just over half a stone!

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Mother's Day Pinwheel Cookies!

With my little ones still being fairly young, each Mother's Day we aim to make something as well as having Ben take them to pick a gift. I love baking with the boys so this year I got my thinking cap on for some ideas of pretty things to bake.

I found some pinwheels on Pinterest and decided to try my luck at turning them into cookie-pops! I think they turned out really well, even if I say so myself and think they are perfect for Mother's Day as they look like flowers!

All you need is a basic butter cookie recipe.

225g Self Raising Flour
100g Caster Sugar
100g Butter
1tsp of Vanilla

Step 1, Preheat the oven to 180C and using grease proof paper line two baking trays.
Step 2, Whisk together the butter (Room temperature) and sugar until creamy.
Step 3, Slowly add the egg and vanilla flavor.
Step 4, Add the flour and knead together in till it forms a ball.
Step 5, Roll out so that they are about 3-5cm thick and cut out into squares.
Step 6, Follow steps on Wikihow and create the pinwheel shape.
Step 7, Add sprinkles and bake for 15 minutes or until a light golden colour.
Step 8, While cooling add the cake pop sticks. If the cookies are left to cool before adding it'll be hard to push the sticks in.

Once the cookie dough is ready roll out and cut into squares. The easiest way to find out how to make Pinwheels is by visiting Youtube or Wikihow If I tried explaining just via typing I'm sure I would confuse you!.

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Instagram Round-Up Week 10

 1, 2, more Diet Chef pictures! I was really impressed with a 6lbs loss last week so I'm hoping for another good week!

 3, A throwback to world book day two years ago when Morgan went as the Saucepan Man from The Magic Faraway Tree. We had so much fun making that outfit so it's been a shame that his school have only done PJ days since! 4, This is the picture Morgan made of me to enter into a Mother's Day Competition! I love it! 5, Ewan gave us a scary this last week when he fell and banged his head while at school. We had to head straight to A&E because he started to be sick! Thankfully he was given the all clear and they put the sickness down to shock.

 6, While cleaning I thought Abby seemed a little quiet, I found her going to town on the tub of chocolate spread! Picture 7 is the after mass of mean evil mummy taking the tub off her!

 8, At the weekend before the boys headed to their Dad's we cleaned the car. The sun was shinning and it was a beautiful day 9, So when we heard the ice cream van's music we all went and waited for a little treat.
10, Finishing with Abby. The first picture I took while at my Mums. Abby is so in love with my sisters dog and she just sits for ages cuddling her. 11, This was taken today and she was in a grump. She didn't want to get out the bath and go for a nap!
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