Sunday, 31 January 2010

INTERIORS - New Blog Guest Spot at Yell.com


I'm now writing a regular post over at Yell.com's interior design blog. I'll be covering all sorts from ideas and inspiration to flooring and furnishings. I'm a fan of design generally and you already know how much I love to shop so hopefully those two things will combine to give you all an interesting read each week. Let me know if you want me to write about anything in particular - your feedback is always welcome.

To keep up with my posts just head over to my profile on Yell's interiors blog. You can also subscribe to an RSS feed there.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

WEBSITE - Valentine's Candle Gifts at Nordic House



There are hearts galore for Valentine’s Day at Nordic House, the online lifestyle home accessories and gifts boutique. The choice includes Scandinavian inspired glass heart vases in different styles and sizes, decorative metal hearts, wall sconces, candles, tealight & votive holders with hearts, planters, cosmetic bags, cushions and pure linen wash bags appliqu├ęd with crochet hearts.

It's not just girls who love to stock up on lovely candles for the home, more and more men are into it too, so whether you are treating your girlfriend or boyfriend, it's a great gift idea.




To add the finishing touch and create the perfect romantic ambience, light up your house and garden, path or patio with Nordic House lanterns, rusty metal hurricanes or big outdoor candles. There are boxed gift vouchers available too, for those seeking a special gift from the collection.

Search out a touch of Scandinavia for Valentine’s Day at www.nordichouse.co.uk.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

DECORATION - Love Birds Wall Sticker

As you can imagine, I often find myself wandering round the web window shopping. My latest find is this wall sticker that is just too cute... I want one please!



Sunday, 10 January 2010

RECIPE - Rustic Sausage Casserole

Sausage casserole

I'm trying to cook more rather than just eating processed or pre-packaged meals. It's one way of helping me understand the nutritional value of things and also for getting more vegetables into my meals, something many of us could probably do with. My latest effort was a sausage casserole - yummy! I've included the recipe below.

What you need...
  • 1 large onion 
  • 8 Low Fat Pork Sausages
  • 1 average Yellow or red Pepper
  • 1 tin Italian Chopped Tomatoes or carton of passata
  • 1 small glass Red Wine
  • 2 clove(s) Garlic
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil 
  • 2 handfuls Button Mushrooms
  • 2 tsp White Sugar 

1. Take the sausages and cook gently in a deep frying or stir-fry pan. Low fat sausages may need a little oil. Once they are golden brown, remove from the pan and chop into slices.

2. Add chopped onion, sliced pepper and garlic (I use Lazy Garlic) to the same pan and cook until starting to soften.

3. Now add in the mushrooms and pop the sausages back into the pan and heat through.

4. Add a small glass of red wine to the pan and turn up the heat to reduce it down a bit.

5. After a few minutes add in a tin of chopped tomatoes or a carton of passata. Also add some sugar and herbs to season. I used herbs de Provence and oregano, but you can season to your taste. (I might try a spicy one next with lots of black pepper and chilli). Leave to simmer for at least half an hour for maximum flavour.

6. Serve it with rice, bread or my personal favourite, chunky potato wedges.

Sausage casserole

This recipe serves about 3, perhaps 4 at a push. If split into 3 portions you are looking at about 400 calories a portion not including your accompaniment. I'll be taking the leftovers into work with me and as we don't drink much wine, I've frozen the rest of the bottle into portions so that I can use them for cooking. How frugal of me.

Sausage casserole

Anyone else got a variation on my sausage casserole recipe?

Friday, 8 January 2010

NEWS - Giant Snowman at Priory Farm



With no shortage of the white stuff and a mechanical digger to hand, a Surrey farmer couldn’t resist the opportunity to have a little fun. Ian Ford, Land Manager at Priory Farm near Redhill, helped by his son Michael, made a giant snowman using several tonnes of snow they had cleared from the farm’s access roads.

Proudly showing off their finished creation, which stands around 15 ft tall, Ian said: “This is the biggest snowman we’ve ever seen it’s already attracting a lot of attention as it’s clearly visible from the road that passes by Priory Farm.”

If the cold spell continues, Ian reckons his new big buddy will hang around for the whole of January. Can you do better than this snowman?

Thursday, 7 January 2010

ART - Sculptures Made With Pencils

Fancy decorating your home with something a little unusual? Jennifer Maestre's pencil sculptures definitely fit the bill. Inspired by sea urchins she's created something quite beautiful out of one of the most mundane of objects. I'm not sure it would work in the home, but for public buildings or workspaces it could be a real talking point. See some examples below...






So how does she do it? Jennifer explains... "To make the pencil sculptures, I take hundreds of pencils, cut them into 1-inch sections, drill a hole in each section (to turn them into beads), sharpen them all and sew them together." It definitely takes some patience and skill to get to the finished result.Which is your favourite?

Visit Jennifer's website for more info

Friday, 1 January 2010

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