Tag Archives: kitchen

Housework and a bit of Unique Interior Design

Housework and a bit of Unique Interior Design

(Sorry for swearing, ‘Housework’ is not always a word that people take kindly to)

I pride myself on my housekeeping and interior design skills.  I’m ace at it.  In fact, I’m so good at it, I  feel I should share my expertise with you…..so you too can be as accomplished as I am.

Tip Number 1:

I recommend keeping a fully stocked bookcase next to the bathroom.  That way you'll never be short of something to read, even if that does mean the ocassional dash with your pants around your ankles.

I recommend keeping a fully stocked bookcase next to the bathroom. That way you’ll never be short of something to read, even if that does mean the occasional foray onto the landing with your jeans around your ankles.

This is a great interior design idea because it also means that you have to walk slightly sideways at the top of the stairs in order to pass the bookcase without knocking books onto the floor, causing a ‘Bookalanche.’  Bookalanches should be avoided, especially if they involve large hardback slippery books.  Small paperbacks are not as dangerous, although are still to be treated with caution.  Either type can cause you to fall head first down lots of stairs.  *Slippery-slip…Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy ….’OW!’*

Tip Number 2:

This is my jewellery box, I like to keep everything together in one place so I know exactly where to find things.  No separate drawers or boxes here!

This is my jewellery box, I like to keep everything together in one place so I know exactly where to find things. No separate drawers or boxes here!

‘Everything in it’s place!’ as my grandma used to say.  Well, this is the place I keep my jewellery.  I can instantly find whatever I want to wear which is really good. Then again, I can very rarely disentangle whatever it is I want to wear, so perhaps this isn’t actually all that good after all.  Hmm….  Dear potential burglars, this is all worth about £2 and is mostly home-made and charity shop fodder.  Just sayin’

Some of my beads and bracelets have ended up on the floor, not because I’ve put them there though.  They just like it there I think.  As long as I use the vacuum cleaner carefully and don’t disturb them it’s all fine.

Tip Number 3:

Cardboard boxes with old consoles in make wonderful mountain climbing ranges for cats.  Kitties love sitting on very fragile 15 year old consoles.

Cardboard boxes with old consoles in make wonderful mountain climbing ranges for cats. Kitties love sitting on very fragile 15 year old consoles.  They particularly love clawing boxes that have been lovingly preserved by anally retentive husbands who think that they’ll ‘be worth a fortune one day.’

Most people look on cardboard boxes as temporary things, the sort of thing you use when you move house and then chuck out afterwards.  Not us!  My mum used to be a school dinner lady, so we have inherited frozen chip boxes which are mega strong and useful.  My sister used to work in a factory that made biscuits and cakes, so we probably have a few labelled ‘Cake’ too.  These boxes are good and strong and will last for years, so why shouldn’t we have at least 5 of them in our bedroom?  When the ceiling lights aren’t on at night, and we can’t see very well, they’re fabulous for falling over.  Now that’s practical interior design for you!  Don’t throw away boxes!  Just work around them. Like forever.

Tip Number 4:

Keep clutter to a maximum.

Keep clutter to a maximum.

You’ve heard the phrase ‘Tidy house, tidy mind!’   Well, I can go one better.  ‘Cluttered house, cluttered-interesting-but-full-of-really-rather-random things…mind!’  That’d be my house/me.  Oh and dusting is pointless, if you dust it just all floats up into the air and then settles again.  Besides, I like writing in it.

Tip Number 5:

You don't need paint or wallpaper if you just cover a wall with shelves full of stuff.

You don’t need paint or wallpaper if you just cover a wall with shelves full of stuff

We like playing Tetris with things, you should try it.  Really.  Just wear proper shoes if you have a full on game because when stuff falls off the shelf it tends to be heavy and hurt your toes if you’re not wearing shoes.  I know this from experience.

Tip Number 6:

IMG_0096

Pile things on your kitchen sides, lots of things, of different shapes and sizes. Just because you can.

Beware of piling things on top of the microwave though, I was once told that it can cause it to blow up.  This interior design style, otherwise known as ‘teetering’ is perfect for really narrow kitchens.  It stops our cat jumping on the sides too, because there are no sides to jump on to.  Clever eh!

We are interior design geniussess, I’m sure you’ll agree.

(This is a sponsored post and this is actually my home.  If there is such an organisation as the ‘House Police,’ I think we may be arrested shortly.)

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Hotpoint American Fridge Freezer MSZ 900 NDF Review – Appliances Online!

Hotpoint American Fridge Freezer MSZ 906 NDF Review From appliances online!

(no penguins, that’s for later…..)

This is the ‘straight’ review, ie, no penguins featured – although they will be featured alongside this fantabulous fridge freezer in the Penguin Amnesty vlog which will go live next weekend.  Here’s my YouTube review, I hope you enjoy it and I especially hope you’ll notice the meticulously painted nails and not the scruffy hair.

I think the vlog review speaks for itself in many ways, we do really think that this is an amazing bit of kitchen equipment.  It is silver, sleek, shiny and ever so stylish.  The rest of the kitchen looks downright dowdy in comparison in fact!

Oodles of room!

This is a photograph of the fridge freezer in its entirety, you can see all of the shelves and just how much you can fit in there.  There’s absolutely tons of room, more than enough for a hungry family of four!  The kids have said it’s like a Dr  Who Tardis and I can only agree, it looks like a large freezer, but when you open the doors it’s really quite amazing how many shelves and doors and twiddly bits there are to make use of.  It’s actually massive!

Fits tidily in a corner too! Sausage is preparing to jump up really high by the way, or maybe he was doing a frog impression, your guess is as good as mine.

The features on this Hotpoint American Fridge Freezer are something else too!  When I first looked at the control panel, I’ll admit I took a deep breath and thought ‘Hmmm…. maybe I won’t be able to work this after all,’ but I was wrong.  It really is quite straightforward.  Most of the controls are described in the above video, and as you’ll be able to see, they are very self explanatory. In summary, via the controls you can arrange for ice-cubes, crushed ice, filtered water, temperature control (fridge & freezer), ‘Holiday Mode’ (switches off the fridge if it’s not in use), quick freeze and there’s even a button disable function so you can freeze the controls and stop your kids having a button pressing frenzy.

When everything else goes wrong, at least you have your fridge freezer to turn to!

My favourite button has to be the ‘I Care’ setting.  This is one of the many reasons why this is an A rated fridge/freezer.  You can switch off the glowing display by pressing both the crushed ice button and the reset button at the same time, this saves energy and yet still leaves everything working as usual, so you can still operate the control panel.  I love it so much because if I’m having a particularly bad day I can press the button and know that even if no-one else cares, my fridge freezer does.  Kind of reassuring really!  Aw….  white goods with a heart! (sorry, I’m giggling to myself as I type that)

How posh is this!

I’ve included a photograph of this here as you can’t see it very clearly in the video blog.  Never in all my years of fridge using, have I seen this!  This shelf has a ‘Humidity Control’ panel, if you’re storing fruit and veg with skins, such as cucumbers or tomatoes for example, the high setting keeps them at their optimum humidity level and they stay fresher for longer!  No more wrinkly tomatoes (unless you leave them for absolutely ages I suppose).  Lower humidity levels are perfect for leafy vegetables, so lettuces won’t lose their crunch.  The little plastic lever does seem a bit stiff to push along though, and I hope I’m wrong, but I do think it might be a bit prone to breaking, only time will tell.

A meat box with a difference! Again another feature I’ve never come across before. Quite literally ‘cool!’

This is so clever!  The box at the bottom of the fridge is specifically designed to keep meats cool, such as ham, or mince, or chops maybe.  Cool air is piped into the box from the freezer and everything is kept separate and more chilled than in the rest of the fridge which as we all know, is important when storing meat.  If you’re vegetarian or if you want to simply store an excess of vegetables in there instead, you just slide the knob across to the ‘VEG’ setting and it works almost exactly as the shelf above.  Neat eh!

Wiggly shelves! Brilliant for storing bottles and jars.

I do like that some of the shelves in the fridge door are a wibbly, wobbly shape, apart from being aesthetically pleasing, they are excellent for storing jars and bottles and keeping them in place.  If you open the door at speed, you don’t have a load of breakable jars and bottles skittering from one side of the shelf to the other.  Not that I’d ever do anything like that, I’m always calm, cool and collected in the kitchen. (Kay coughs and looks shifty….).  They’re also very deep shelves so you can fit loads in the door which is very easily accessible. The freezer has similar shelves too so you can grab things very easily without having to root about in the freezer getting frostbite if all you want is a carton of juice to defrost.

Speaking of frostbite, I’m so pleased that this is a frost free freezer.  Our old freezer is what can only be described as polar bear territory.  It gets absolutely covered in inches of ice, the shelves jam because they’re covered in frost, things get frozen in blocks to the back of the drawers and won’t come out and it is a nightmare compared to this dream of a fridge freezer.  No frost, equals no worries.  I can just reach in, grab stuff and that’s it. Packages of slippery frozen peas can be bunged in the bottom covered drawers so they don’t fall all over the place, and boxes can be neatly stacked at eye-level where I can reach them easily and conveniently.

And the best feature of all! Ice!!!

There is one stand out gem of a reason to buy a Hotpoint MSZ 906 NDF American Fridge Freezer.  Ice!  ice, ice and more ice!  And filtered water too!  Nothing beats wandering over to this sleek beast of a freezer and just casually filling a wine glass with ice cold filtered water, with a choice of either crushed or cubed ice.  This turns a simple glass of water into quite the occasion!   Home-made cocktails become a real possibility and I’m warning you, it’s a slippery slope on a Saturday night.  I speak from experience!

The water filter is easily replaced and the control panel does warn you when it is nearly time to change it.  This gives you a bit of time to organise a replacement filter, so you’re not abruptly left with a water filter that you can’t use.

In summary!  This is an A rated appliance and it’s easy to see why.  It saves energy where possible by way of the ‘Holiday’ setting and the hilarious and practical ‘I Care’ setting too and it yet it still maintains an optimum temperature for all your food.  The alarm that sounds after either the fridge or freezer door has been left open for more than 2 minutes will save you from accidentally spoiling the contents and you will fall head over heels in love with the ice-maker (well I did anyway!).

My only concern is that it is a little over complicated, but it simply has to be that way in order for it to be as perfectly designed as it is.  But…the more features it has, the more there is to go wrong maybe?  The plastic lever on the veg box is rather clumsy too, but that is a minor point.  Having said that, there are all the usual guarantees so I’m not overly worried.

So, from me, Horace and Darlek and Sausage! Thank you Appliances Online. You are simply the best!

Thanks so much to Appliances Online for being sending us this Hotpoint American Fridge Freezer MSZ 906 NDF to review, if you’d like to have a look at this fridge freezer yourself on their site, please click HERE! They have a huge range, in different colours, shapes and sizes.  (well they’re all vaguely rectangular at least).

This is a sponsored post, I was sent this product to review, no other financial reward has been given and all my thoughts are my own – as always!

‘Ice Lollies!’

Ice Lollies!

Use a tray! We ended up with orange juice all over the side....

Evening all!  Finally I’ve got around to posting about the ice-lollies I was on about earlier in the week! It was just a lovely, simple way to spend 20 minutes or so with my youngest, and we had fun so I thought I’d share the photos and the recipe (If you can call a Pineapple, and a splash of orange juice a recipe?).

The weather has been so muggy recently, and ice-lollies are really refreshing and if you make them with fresh fruit they’re actually healthy too.  I have to confess I’ve used leftover flat Coca-Cola for lollies in the past, but as Darlek says, they taste nice at first and then they just end up as icy water with nothing much else to them – plus Coca Cola isn’t known for building strong bones or teeth is it! (Go on, mutter under your breath about caffeine and sugar content…you know you want to.)

Anyway, to make amends for my bad lolly parenting I made these.  First of all I got a Pineapple (it was going cheap at our local green-grocer because it was very ripe, perfect for juiciness and chopping up).

Totally Tropical!

Next I chopped the husk (is that what it’s called?  Answers on a postcard please) off, and the spikey top.  I gave Sausage a very, very blunt knife and the very ripe pieces to chop up on a tray of his own, and went about dissecting the majority of the pineapple myself, although Sausage obviously thought he’d done the lion’s share of the chopping himself, and who was I to disillusion him?  Please note, sharp knives and small children do not mix.  Use common sense, lots of supervision and do the chopping yourself if you’re at all unsure if your little one is old enough to handle anything remotely stabby.  I did warn you!

Stuff fruit and juice into the lolly moulds, squish to to your heart's content to fit in as much as possible!

Next pour fresh orange juice in until the moulds are full to the brim.  Beware over-enthusiastic pouring.  We had an orange juice flood to contend with!

Whoosh goes the orange juice! The less full the carton, the easier it is to pour by the way.

Then simply add the tops, and place in freezer whilst aforementioned child strops because he want to ‘eat now!’ and doesn’t want to wait for them to freeze.

We left ours for a full day to freeze properly, although I’m sure you can eat them sooner than that.  The great thing is you can adapt this basic recipe as you wish as well, use different sorts of juices and  mix and match your fruit maybe?

You can buy lolly moulds for next to nothing in pound shops and supermarkets all over the place, just make sure you buy ones that are the right size for your freezer shelf!  It’s also a good idea to buy two sets of moulds like these, so that you can make the most of your ingredients.

Nom-nom-nom!

I just thought I’d blog this because I know I’m feeling a little nervous about the long summer hols and how I’m going to occupy my two.  I just thought it might be an idea for anyone stuck for an afternoon’s activity.  By the way, if anyone else would like to share simple, cost effective recipes or activities that involve a minimum of preparation or equipment, I’d be glad to hear them!  Not that I’m lazy or anything….