I mainly think of John Lewis for clothes and beauty but people are often surprised by the choice they offer in the kitchen department. The price range stretches hugely from their ‘basic’ range kitchen gadgets right up to high end kitchen appliances like these Delonghi ones. If I had £150 to spend in John Lewis, here is how I’d spend it.
Detect a monochrome theme here? Wow, that’s not like me…
Metal measuring cups - I read quite a few American food blogs and a lot of them only measure in cups. Being a brit, measuring by bulk doesn’t come very naturally to me and I tediously convert them to my native grams. These cups would make my life a lot easier.
Price’s Open Window Candle in Jar - I’ve had candles like this before and they’re an absolute godsend if you’re cooking something that lingers. They’re specially made to neutralise odours rather than mask them like a normal scented candle would.
Knife Sharpener - As fancy as using a knife steel can look, I’m far too clumsy to give that a go. We need a knife sharpener though and this looks like a safer option
Silicone Preparation Mat - I’d quite like a bendy prep mat to make scooping things in to the pan easier. My Parent’s have a few of the Joseph & Joseph ‘chop to pots’ but to be honest, they’re not great quality. I think something like this would do the job much better.
10 Minute Timer - Probably not the most practical timer to have in my kitchen but look how cool it is!
3 Piece Cocktail Gift Set - Christmas is around the corner, who wouldn’t want to whip up cocktails to impress friends and family?
Ravioli Making Kit -I really like the idea of making my own ravioli but I’m not one for fiddly things. Maybe a ravioli tray will make it less time consuming?
Pine and black steel wine rack - Matt & I are members of the Naked Wine Club which means, well, we like wine. At the moment our wine stands upright in a cupboard which is not very good at all for the contents. Laying bottles on their side means the cork maintains it’s size and doesn’t let anything in that might degrade the wine.
John Lewis asked if I cared to take a dreamy wander amongst their shelves in return for a ‘treat’. Although I don’t normally accept sponsored posts, they’re a brand I know and love. This is the type of post I’d have done anyway without sponsorship, just like I did for IKEA and Made.com. My opinions and content are always my own, you never have to worry about that.
There’s a week to go until the Xbox One launches and 14 days until PS4 hits the shelves. If you’re amongst the ladies that are dreading the new arrival, here’s why you should change your mind.
1. After the unboxing ceremony, the TV stand transforms in to a shrine. He’ll happily dust it daily.
2. It makes Christmas shopping easy.
3. Peace and quiet. In my world that has more value than money its self. Use that time to read a book, soak in the bath, enjoy a glass of wine. You’ll be rich in those early days, make the most of it.
4. Gaming improves decision making skills. Really. Their ability to accurately assess a situation and take the right action can be up to 25% faster than a non-gamer’s. That means he’s more likely to avoid car crashes and will be on his toes in an emergency situation.
5. Currency in your house becomes game time. Chores are the best way to buy it.
6. Taking a trip to the game shop to pick up cables, spares and games puts you in a convenient place to take a look around your favourite shops. If shopping isn’t your thing, game shops are never far from a Costa, Starbucks or cute coffee shop. There’s no coincidence there, that is planned. Go grab a coffee, you’ll get girlfriend points for letting him take his time.
7. You want to blow £300 on something materialistic? You’ve pretty much got a hall pass for that one. Oh, he’s preordered the PS4 and the Xbox One? Wow, that new [insert item] you’ve been lusting after suddenly seems much more feasible.
8. Last but not least, hell, you might actually enjoy playing on it too. I’m a firm believer that there’s a game for everyone out there, you’ve just got to find it. This generation I’ve been mostly pinching the pad from Matt to spend time on Tomb Raider, Hitman and From Dust. Even better if you find a game to play together I can promise plenty of giggles.
Matt doesn’t normally hold much opinion on interiors but one thing he did mention lately is that he wants some house plants, specifically a Japanese Peace Lilly – yeah he’s been watching Hot Fuzz. I’d say I’m pro houseplant but in more of a practical sense. I like to think if they’re going to take up room, they need to provide us with something. So for instance our chilli plants on the kitchen windowsill, pay their way most of the year.
The Flower Council disagree with me. They argue that house plants can give you way more than that. Apparently just having them around can lift your mood and they offered to send me some to try to change my mind.
Sceptical, I accepted and whilst I was waiting for them to arrive I started to do some research. I like to see concrete evidence for things like this, we’ve all been duped by ridiculous claims before so I like to be well-informed.
Mood aside, it seems some plants actually offer massive health benefits. Every 24 hours, they can remove around 80% of the toxins circulating in the air of a room including nasties like formaldehyde from cigarette smoke. Pretty powerful.
My African Violet arrived and I found a home for it.
Personally I prefer plants with more architecture than this, something to add dimension to a room, shelf, desk but the colour is beautiful. I don’t think the first photo really shows off how intensely violet the petals are. I also love how the underneath of the leaves is so red, but has it changed my mood?
Given my impending exam, I’m not sure now is the best time to notice any change but knowing that they are improving the air quality has changed my opinion about non foodie house plants.
I definitely want to get a plant for the bathroom but I don’t really know what would suit the room. I’d love some suggestions. It would be in front of quite a bright, north facing window and obviously being a bathroom can be quite humid especially when Matt’s doing his best Jay-Z/Kanye impressions in the shower.
Shower time rap aside, how do you lot feel about house plants? Do you have any or do you think plants belong outside?
Dr Plant are running monthly competitions on their Facebook page to win a houseplant so head over there if you fancy your chances.
Perhaps it’s a sign of adulthood that new cleaning products and practical things suddenly seem appealing. I grew up wondering why my Mother needed so many different sprays and cloths and now I find myself down that aisle in the supermarket, telling Matt that “this one kills 99.9% of bacteria”. What have I become?
When Appliances Direct asked me if I’d like to try something from their website I really cemented my practical ways. Aside from the large appliances, there were so many cool things I could have chosen like fondue sets and doughnut makers. I chose a steam mop…
I was so excited for my Morphy Richards Steam Mop to arrive. Suddenly with the addition of a plug, the lowly mop had become a gadget and I was interested.
I wasn’t sure you needed to see photos of me in my finest pyjamas, pushing around a steam mop so I’ll supply you with lovely stock from Morphy Richards themselves.
The mop comes with two pads, one for carpets and one for hard floors that can be chucked in the washing machine with your towels after use. It’s funny, I’d never really thought about how unhygienic a conventional mop is before now.
As far as cleaning carpets with it goes, I can’t really comment but I’ve been using it to clean our solid oak, pine and tiled floors and I am impressed!
I was worried that the cord wouldn’t be long enough to get around our living room/diner but it’s never ending! So many manufacturers over look things like cord length but Morphy Richards has it covered. 10 points for that.
The water tank isn’t very big but it’s easy enough to top up as you go if you’re tackling a few floors and comes with handy jug for just that. It’s amazing how quickly the floors dry after steaming too, it’s pretty much instant which cuts out the slip hazard.
I’m so pleased i got to test this out. It’s much easier and safer for me to get this around the house than a bucket of scalding hot water. For £41.97, I think it’s really worth it just to make your cleaning routine that little bit easier and quicker.
If you’re ever looking for cleaning appliances or kitchen appliances, I’d highly recommend taking a look on Appliances Direct. They’re one of the few companies that provide reliable time slots for delivery get things out to you next day and even unpack and set things up for you. You can’t really ask for more than that.
In two weeks time, I’ll have been sharing my life, recipes, reviews and general thoughts with you lot for 365 days. I’m really not sure how we’ve got round to this point already, it honestly doesn’t feel like that long yet at the same time I can’t remember what I used to do before I blogged. I just love it.
I’ll keep most of my sentimental soppiness bottled up until the big day I promise. In the mean time, here is a little thank you, for reading, sharing and supporting me for the past year. This blogoversary box has been compiled by some lovely brands which I’ll tell you a little more about below. Here’s what’s up for grabs:
1. First up, the beautiful porcelain cake stand and slice, from the Katie Alice English Garden collection available from Creative Tops. I know so many of you love retro style prints so hopefully this will be right up your street. I can imagine this taking pride of place at an afternoon tea. I don’t think I’d ever want to put it back in it’s box. Creative tops also have a large portfolio of heritage brands in their shop including the Victoria & Albert Museum’s fine china collections.
2. Joe & Seph’s caramel, honey and hazelnut popcorn, because what isn’t made better by the crunchy stuff?
3. A fruity jar of Island Cuisine‘s sweet and spicy creole sauce. It’s nice to see something other than Italian sauces isn’t it? I’m so pleased to see these Seychelles style curries hitting the shelves. If you’re not lucky enough to win the giveaway you can pick this up from Tesco or Sainsbury’s I believe.
5. Marimekko, poppy print tea towels and pot holder from Cloudberry Living, a Scandinavian themed home and gift store. Despite the super modern, fresh print, the design is actually a well aged 60 years old next year! They have aprons, trays, tins, teapots, plates, pretty much all you’d ever need in the same design. If you’re looking to update a room, Cloudberry Living are well worth a visit.
6. Last but certainly not least is Emily Pickle‘s “Hello” tea towel. My photos don’t do this justice so please pop here for a better shot. The lady herself, Kate, has designed for companies like Hallmark, Argos and Brabantia, but this is her very own collection of quirky, eye-catching designs lovingly named after her daughter.
You can enter below using the trusty Rafflecopter widget. Please take a minute to visit the lovely brands that have been so generous- you can gain a few more entries on the way too.