We removed what was left of our rotting, ramshackle garden shed last week. It left a nice big space for our new log preparation area – yes, that’s right, our new log preparation area!
We’re about to have two new wood-burning stoves installed and Justin is gearing himself up for the big day. He’s had his chainsaw sharpened and has been trawling the internet for other products to make a steady flow of logs easier. Here are five firewood essentials:
You can say one thing for our recipe posts – they’re definitely international!
We’ve gone from China, via the USA to this week where we’re in the North Africa/Middle East region with pitta and hummus recipes.
Pitta and hummus is a mainstay in our house. It’s a quick, healthy snack when you don’t feel like cooking.
They’re both fairly inexpensive to buy – both less than a pound for a standard pack.
Being so easy to pick up in the shops, I’ve never really thought to make my own at home.
What was I waiting for? Home made versus shop bought – now I know – there’s no comparison, home made wins hands down!
So long as there’s a tin of chickpeas in the larder and a jar of tahini in the fridge, you can whip up a delicious batch of hummus in 5 minutes flat… and make it just to your taste. As much or as little lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper as you like – and the consistency you prefer.
Lots of people insist on making hummus using dried peas. Yes, it will probably turn out even better – but unless you own a pressure cooker (I don’t) which will cook the beans in under half an hour, that quick snack will have to wait until tomorrow. I’ll make some using dried beans some day soon to see how it compares.
You can spice things up a little (or as they say on the X Factor, “Make it your own”). Add a little smoked paprika, ground cumin, caramelised onions, sun dried tomatoes, chopped chillies, coriander or parsley – just not all at once mind!
You can make and cook off a big batch of pitta and store the excess in the freezer – just defrost as needed and pop them in the toaster.
I have to say that they were delicious straight from the oven though…
… and there weren’t any left from this batch for the freezer!!
Small, cramped bathrooms make your morning routine completely unenjoyable. An ideal solution is to make the space bigger, but this isn’t always possible. If you’re stuck with a teeny tiny bathroom, there are ways to make the room appear more spacious without knocking walls down.
Here are seven things that will help you make the most of your small bathroom.
Many bathrooms suffer from significant amounts of wasted room due to irregular-shaped fittings and fixtures. Suspended vanity units above fittings such as the sink or toilet will help make the most of the space. A deep vanity unit can help store everything from spare cleaning products to hair care items and toilet rolls – incorporating all your storage needs in one convenient place.
Particularly useful in bathrooms which are dark (especially in mornings when it’s hard enough to wake up anyway), large mirrors can help spread any natural light the room enjoys via the reflective surface. A large mirror on the wall which receives the most natural light throughout the day will make the bathroom appear significantly larger.
Removing obtrusive light fittings without compromising the quality of light spread around the room can help create an impressive modern appearance and open up additional space in the bathroom. Recessed lighting can be positioned almost everywhere in the bathroom – wherever it fits most subtly and attractively.
John Cullen Lighting offers a selection of lighting options including LED lights behind a bath or above a mirror. Eschewing traditional lighting positions can help you utilise the full available space of the bathroom.
Removing the bath and implementing a walk-in shower can immediately save significant space in the bathroom. Consider how the door will open up into the space of the small bathroom to avoid obtrusive space-consumption. A high power shower head can make up for the romantic opportunities lost when the bathtub is ripped out.
A myriad of colours used throughout the bathroom can create a clustered appearance in the bathroom – so it may be prudent to use a simple, single tone feature colour throughout features and additions. A fixed colour scheme throughout towels, tiles and more can create an attractive yet minimalistic consistency, helping you make the most of your small bathroom.
Large, cumbersome towel racks are a completely unnecessary use of space. Small, subtle towel racks can be hung on almost any surface – ideal for small bathrooms. Hanging towel racks on the back of the bathroom door can help you fully utilise otherwise wasted space – freeing up floor space for other fixtures or just to remove any cramped feelings.
We’re getting lots of seed catalogues & special offers coming through the letterbox at the moment. It’s quite an exciting time for gardeners, planning their growing year ahead. We’ve just started planting and chitting ourselves – the kitchen windowsills are groaning! This week’s Etsy List has everything you’ll need.
Africa is a huge place – containing over 50 countries if you include the island nations. A myriad of landscapes is contained within their borders – savannah, desert, rainforests, mountains & sea coasts – from remote wilderness to urban hubs.
How can you sum it up in 8 items? Well, you can’t of course, but after browsing offerings on the web, here’s our choice of items with a distinct African flavour.