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Do you know what makes me realise I must be a proper adult nowadays? It’s the level of excitement I felt when I was contacted by Steamer Trading to try out one of the brand new products by Le Creuset. I mean, Le Creuset! An absolute cult kitchenware product from a prestigious brand we all know and love. I couldn’t wait!

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We already have a retro set of Le Creuset. This set has been handed down the family from the 60’s, it’s in a bright orange colour and I can imagine it being the height of fashion back then. Nowadays, it’s still amazingly good quality, but maybe a tad bright for our colour scheme! We treasure it none the less, but I was excited to start my own collection – maybe with a colour more to my taste…

After quite a while of perusing the Steamer Trading website, I decided on this gorgeous cool mint colour dish from the new Vida Brazil range. I just love how the ombre colour blends from light to dark, giving it a really lovely look (the photos don’t do the colour of the dish justice!) Of course you can tell the quality by how heavy it is – I’m sure when the parcel arrived the postman thought someone had posted me a couple of bricks from the look on his face! ūüôā

I’m a big fan of Steamer Trading. We have a store in Brighton and often pop in to have a look around. I just love some of the funky and interesting cookware they stock, like square rice cube makers and mango cutters, I manage to convince myself I need EVERYTHING, despite the fact I’ve never tried to make rice into a square. Also,¬†the selection of colourful kitchen aid mixers are something I can only dream of!

Last time we were in Steamer Trading, I only wanted to spend a ¬£7 voucher and we ended up buying our Nespresso Machine. That place is good, but dangerous, I can’t go in without buying at least something! (You have been warned…!)

So, I’ve been using my Le Creuset dish for a couple of weeks now and I’ve already cooked a few different meals, lasagne, enchiladas, pasta bake and my favourite dish, stuffed tomatoes. It’s turning me into a domestic goddess, I’ll tell you!

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STUFFED TOMATO RECIPE

I am not a great chef at all, so this simple recipe is to show anyone can cook using Le Creuset (trust me, if I can, you can!). I haven’t included amounts as my cookery style is to just go with the flow and make enough to fill the tomatoes, ha!¬†

4 Large Beef Tomatoes
Cous Cous
Stock Cube x 1
Feta Cheese
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Aromat Seasoning
Garlic Powder

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (fan assisted)
2. Cut around the top of the tomato to form the ‘lid’, pointing the knife inwards towards the centre of the tomato.
3. Scoop out all of the filling being careful not to puncture the sides of the tomatoes  (do not throw away the insides yet!)
4. Create a simple rub using olive oil, aromat, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Brush this onto your tomatoes (including the lids) and place into a baking tray or dish (like my lovely Le Creuset!)
5. Boil water and add stock cube. With the dried cous cous in a bowl, add the boiling water with just enough to cover the cous cous. If you want to cheat here, you can also use packet cous cous with flavours for a quick and easy dinner!
6. Whilst the cous cous is soaking, dice some of the flesh from inside the tomato into small chunks.
7. Once the cous cous has soaked and absorbed all of the water, fluff with a fork. Add some of the diced tomato, stir, and scoop the mix into the empty tomato shells.
8. Crumble a layer of feta cheese on top and pop on the lid
9. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes

10. Serve and enjoy! 

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Post written in collaboration with Steamer Trading

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So, I’ve been talking a lot about our house at the moment haven’t I? Did you see our Living Room Tour? Our house truly is our pride and joy at the moment but I bet you’ve been wondering how we keep it clean with a naughty black labrador running around? Especially seeing as he moults all year round¬†and like all other dogs, he occasionally treats himself to a doggy spa treatment – the “Fox Poo Roll”. Sigh.

However, it isn’t all bad – ¬†having a dog doesn’t mean your house is dirty, it just means you need to take a few extra steps to keep on top of everything. ¬†But, don’t worry, after being a doggy parent for the last few years and a huge amount of trial and error, I’ve worked out all the best techniques¬†keep things spick and span, promise.

  • Rubber Gloves – This is the cheapest and most effective way of removing hairs from fabrics and carpets. Just pop on rubber gloves, lightly dampen under the tap, then rub over the fabric/carpet. You’ll be amazed at how many hairs you’ll gather up!
  • Pet Blankets – I have put pet blankets on all of Robbie’s favourite places to relax and it’s made my life so much easier! They are all made from a super lightweight fleece material so they wash and dry really quickly. I wash them once a week to eliminate any lingering dog smells and keep them fresh during the week by shaking them outside in the garden to get rid of any excess hairs and using products like Febreze for a freshen up.
  • Clean Pet Bowls and Toys –¬†Robbie licks his bowl clean every morning so you’d think it would be alright for his next meal – however even though his bowl looks fresh and clean, under the surface pet bowls are the perfect breeding ground for nasty bacteria. I’m sure you wouldn’t eat from the same plate every day without cleaning it, so why should your pet! I wash his bowl using our normal washing up liquid, but for added protection I always buy the anti-bacterial version.P5240967
  • Groom your dog – If you regularly brush your dog, this will help slow down the shedding within the house. We tend to take Robbie’s brush with us on dog walks as then all the loose hairs will blow away in the wind (trust me, even doing this in our garden ended up with the hairs back in the house!) We also brush Robbie’s teeth and bathe him now and again, usually when he’s rolled in Fox Poo or has been jumping in puddles – just ensure you use special dog shampoo (Robbie uses Pet Head, which comes in the cutest bottle!) and it’ll keep your pooch smelling perfect!
  • Keep an old towel by the front door –¬†Dogs have a habit of finding the dirtiest spots to roll, don’t be caught out by having to walk your muddy wet dog through the house. Leave an old towel by the front door so you can give your dog a rub down before their paws hit the carpet.
  • Fox Poo Scent Spray / Tomato Ketchup – ¬†Fox Poo is the worst smell in the world but dogs absolutely LOVE it. Even after a bath the smell can still linger so we use a Fox Poo Scent Spray, or if you don’t have any at home you can rub tomato ketchup into your dogs fur whilst they are in the bath, leave for a minute or so (however long you can keep them from trying to lick it off or shaking and it going everywhere) and rinse. This will remove that nasty odour, who knew!

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So, I hope these tips help you out – cleaning up after a dog really isn’t too difficult and for the amount of love they give in return, it’s totally worth it!

Post written in collaboration with Procter & Gamble and Super Savvy Me,

however all cleaning tips, dog hair woes and fox poo fiascos are my own

5 Tips On Choosing The Best Hotel For You

As you know, I love to travel. However, one of the tricky bits is all in the planning. In my working life I’ve been both Cabin Crew and a Travel Agent so I like to think I’ve got a bit of experience when it comes to hotel booking, although even being a ‘pro’ I’ve still had some crazy experiences! When I’m planning a holiday, the first step is the best flights and transport, then the next step is always to find the right hotel for our stay. There is always so much to consider, so it’s not an easy one and usually the bit that takes me the most time when I’m holiday planning. After all, you’re choosing your home away from home during the time of the trip, so it’s a big decision. So if you are thinking of booking a trip away this summer, look no further, here are a few tips to help you on your way….

5 Tips On Choosing The Best Hotel For You

Our hotel in Cape Verde – We wanted a relaxing, luxurious break so we chose our hotel based on it’s five star rating and excellent reviews.

1. RATINGS

The key is to strike a balance between a hotel that is right for your needs and selecting the hotel with the highest star rating, if you can. For example, a person who is going on a business trip and will not be spending a great deal of time in their room may decide that they are fine with two star accommodation, whilst families traveling together usually require more amenities and a central location. Of course, you can always shop around for the best deal too,  check out Discountrue coupons for Hotels.com that will allow you to book accommodation with special discounts.

5 Tips On Choosing The Best Hotel For You

Our hotel in Turkey – We wanted to get away from everything so chose this beautiful boutique property, hidden within the mountains.

2. LOCATION

If you focus solely on the price of your hotel, often the convenience of a central location will fall by the wayside. The key here is to ask yourself what you want from a location or how much the local transportation will be to get around. Be sure to avoid this common mistake by planning ahead and doing a bit of research. Are you someone who enjoys the nightlife or are you wanting go sightseeing everyday? If so, you’ll want to choose a hotel that places you in the centre of the action. Meanwhile, if you are looking for a quiet and peaceful stay will benefit from choosing a hotel that is located in a more rural area, like when we travelled to Turkey last year.

5 Tips On Choosing The Best Hotel For You

This is me arriving at one of the hotels we stayed at in Peru, we were on an action adventure holiday, so the quality of the accommodation didn’t matter too much as we moved around every night. I was quite worried when they told me not to fall through the ceiling though (those gaps above are holes!). It turned out our room was actually really nice they were just renovating the stairway!

3. REVIEWS

Ratings can be misleading, but thanks to the Internet, we can read real reviews that have been written by real people. These reviews provide us with the information that we need to make a truly informed decision and allow us to find out more about the ins and outs of the hotels we are considering. Just be sure to avoid any reviews that have been written and posted on the hotel’s official website as often many of these are constructed by paid employees, as opposed to impartial observers like you or I.

5 Tips On Choosing The Best Hotel For You

Sunset in our hotel in Cape Verde – this hotel had everything under one roof, so we just relaxed and enjoyed being waited on and pampered for a week.

4. SERVICES

How much are you going to be in your hotel? If you are on a city break, chances are there won’t be much need for extra services (well, apart from WIFI to post those all important Instagrams!) So, when planning a more relaxing hotel stay – are you looking for a hotel that provides you with a variety of restaurants to eat in? Would the presence of a pool end up swaying your decision making process? Make sure you have a good idea of the services you need for your trip before you decide on a hotel.

5 Tips On Choosing The Best Hotel For You

Our hotel in Turkey was locally owned and traditional in design, I loved exploring the beautiful grounds and taking in all of the traditional Turkish and Arabic design.

5. CHAIN OR INDEPENDENT?

While chain hotels offer their guests a certain level of reliability and convenience, some travellers are looking for a more unique and personal experience. For those who would rather have a unique experience, family and locally run hotels are able to provide the best option for you.

Overall, follow the above advice and take some time to chose your hotel, do your research and I’m sure you’ll have a lovely trip.

Happy Travels! 

Collaborative post with Discountrue

Pin for later:5 TIPS ON CHOOSING THE BEST HOTEL FOR YOU

Unboxing: Look Fantastic Beauty Box #LFJETSETTER

The Look Fantastic Beauty box couldn’t have come at a better time. This gorgeous parcel of travel themed treats, arrived a few days before my weekend trip to Krakow and had all the perfect essentials for packing in my suitcase. Plus, with all the products in the #LFJetsetter box being sample sized, I had perfect little weekend-sized products for popping in my hand luggage for my quick break away.

Unboxing: Look Fantastic Beauty Box #LFJETSETTER

The contents of this months box

I was excited by the contents of this months box, a range of brands I know and love, such as Caudalie and Dead Sea Spa Magik, as well as a few other brands to try for the first time.

Unboxing: Look Fantastic Beauty Box #LFJETSETTER

Caudalie¬†Eye Cream –¬†This was my top pick from this months box and one of my¬†favourite brands of all time, Caudalie! A gorgeous eye cream in luxurious gold packaging, plus what a great size for an eye cream sample! This is now a staple in my weekend bag and will last me a long time.

Korres Shower Gel –¬†Perfect for holidays as Korres products smell just so summery and fruity!

Cowshed Hand Cream (or Cow Pat?!) –¬†I’ve been a big fan of Cowshed for a long time so this is an ideal handbag-size treat. I find I get really dry skin on flights so I’ve popped this one into my handbag for a quick moisturise on the go during my travels.

Unboxing: Look Fantastic Beauty Box #LFJETSETTER

Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturising – This is a new brand for me, but I’ve only heard great things about Naobay. This cream is designed for dehydrated or dry skin so it’s ideal for using after flights or a long day on the beach.

TanOrganic Self Tan Oil –¬†I love the idea of a self tan oil and wonder if being an oil it’ll be easier to avoid the streaks? I haven’t tried this one yet, but I can’t wait to give it a go.

Dead Sea Spa Magick Beauty Balm ¬†–¬†Another of my favourite brands. We visited the Dead Sea last year so I’ve seen first hand the amazing salt and minerals that go into Dead Sea skin products, they seem to work miracles on my skin. I had not seen the BB cream before so I was excited to give this a try. I love the colour and the coverage, plus it’s SPF15 so is ideal for wearing on busy days sightseeing on a city break or such like.

Unboxing: Look Fantastic Beauty Box #LFJETSETTER

Mr Blanc Teeth Whitening Strips – These are fabulous little teeth whitening strips. I’ve always been cautious of teeth whitening as I once used a product that made my teeth so sensitive, but luckily these are so gentle plus they give fabulous results!

The #LFJetsetter box also comes with the most recent copy of Elle Magazine so theres my plane-reading sorted!

Overall, I’ve been really impressed with my first Look Fantastic Beauty Box and can’t wait to see what next month has in store. With the contents of the box priced at over ¬£70, I think ¬£12.50* per box is such a reasonable price and it was a lovely treat to arrive on my doorstep.

*Price based on 6 months subsription

PR Sample – all thoughts and opinions are my own

Pin for later: UNBOXING: LOOK FANTASTIC BEAUTY BOX #LFJETSETTER

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

It’s been a long time coming, but finally I’m able to show you around our living room! We have been working really hard on it for a while now and looking back to old posts, I can’t believe how much it’s changed since we moved in, you almost wouldn’t recognise it. I absolutely love having my own property and being able to add our own personal touch to it all. I also love that our property is so old and quirky – ¬†it’s been a really fun space to design and I fall further in love with our little house by the sea everyday.

So here is the official tour around our living room, starting with one of the most central points, our new sofa.

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

If you saw my living room planning post, we were deliberating over 3 or 4 different sofas, all grey tones but each different in style. In the end we decided to go with the 3 Seater Porto Sofa from Habitat. Annoyingly, we deliberated for so long, by the time we went to order, the 3 seater was out of stock, so this is actually the sofa bed version. It looks exactly the same, but inside has a mechanism to fold out into a double bed. We often have foreign language students staying in our spare room, so this was actually perfect as now we¬†have a place for friends to stay too. Also, it makes the¬†ultimate¬†movie watching bed, I have to say we’ve watched a few movies on it already and it’s like having a sleepover in our front room, so much fun!

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

I think we made the right decision with the Porto sofa, it’s comfortable and comes in a really durable, hard wearing fabric. The dark colour is perfect as Robbie has already made himself at home (as you can see on the picture above!). We have bought him a couple of puppy blankets to sit on, so usually he’s on a blanket just so give the sofa some extra protection from those mucky paws.

I was initially worried that being a sofa bed, the Porto might not be as comfortable as a normal sofa, however you can’t feel the bed frame below at all it at all. The bed itself is super comfortable too.

The only criticism I have was that when the sofa arrived, it came with only one delivery driver. Being a sofa bed, it was¬†mega heavy and I expected the delivery staff to help me into the house with it, but being one man he couldn’t carry it alone. Luckily Vee and a friend were here and between us we kind of half dragged, heaved and pushed it into our front room with much exasperation. It wasn’t easy at all! I expected from a company like Habitat to install the product, especially being so heavy. I wonder if a little old lady had ordered this, how she’d ever get it into her front room? It’s really a minor criticism but I think an important thing to point out if you make an order, be ready to lift it into your home!

Overall we really love our sofa though and I’m really pleased with the choice. We’ve ordered the footstool which will be arriving in a couple of weeks too!

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

To decorate our sofa, I finally got the cushions I’ve wanted for SO LONG. Our biscuit cushions are by Nikki McWilliams, I follow her on Snapchat and she just seems to lovely! I’ve loved these gorgeous designs for years and finally I’ve managed to get my hands on a couple. Even better, she’s just released these monochrome versions of the colourful biscuit cushions, which go perfectly with our grey styled living room.

Our geometric cushions are from Not On the High Street. I’m in love with geometric styles and even though our property has more of a classic feel to it, I wanted to add a touch of contemporary with this style.

I’m guessing you also want to see the ‘before’ picture too! This is our old leather sofa, it was well loved with a few paint splodges here and there, but it served us well. Vee chose the cushions with Dr Who and Union Jack prints brightening the room. The leather sofa was easier to clean but never mind, but I prefer the warmth of fabric so I’m happier with our new sofa even if it requires a little more upkeep.

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

So, onto the rest of the living room. Our fireplace is original and dates back to when the property was built in the 1800’s. ¬†I love to decorate our mantelpiece with fresh flowers, scented candles and I think the lanterns add a touch of elegance to the room.

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

Our colourful print is the Brighton Icons design by Place in Print. We have tried to add in personal touches around the room, so having some of the most famous landmarks of our hometown seemed to be apt for our seaside house.

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

Vee is into her lego and has recently completed this funky Lego VW Campervan, which now sitting on our windowsill. She also has some Star Wars pieces and is working on a giant model of London Bridge – god knows where we are going to put that!

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

 Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

Following on the theme of personal touches, we just loved these union jack ‘thrones’ as we call them. We have two so can sit like little princesses on our thrones, whenever we fancy it.

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

Lastly, Robbie has a comfy grey cushion bed in the corner where he can snuggle up and get comfortable. He loves our new living room – he has so much more space to run about, throwing his toys about and scratching is back on our seagrass rug, he’s in his element.

Finally - Our Living Room Tour!

I hope you enjoyed this little tour round our living room. Please do let me know what you think! If you’d like to see our ‘before’ posts, you can see them here:

 Restyling our living room floors | Adding a personal touch | Planning the Living Room

I was kindly sent the Habitat Porta Sofa Bed and Brighton Icons Print for inclusion in this post and an honest review. I wouldn’t feature things I genuinely don’t love and both items are now pride of place in our living room.