Sunday 21 April 2024

Three Amazing Ways to Explore the UK


Image Credit: Pexels

{This is a collaborative post}

As a child growing up we holidayed in the UK each summer, in fact, we were even more predictable than that and we basically only went on holiday to beach resorts within a couple of hours' travel of our home in Surrey. My Dad has never liked long drives and he's a bit of a homebody so we didn't even contemplate going abroad. 

Roll forward a few years when I had my own income I was desperate to travel and explore further afield, so each year I'd go abroad two or three times a year and always to somewhere new, so I could experience different cultures and places. It was great to have this time of exploration and excitement, but then once I had settled down into married life we had children, my desires changed.  The idea of taking babies, toddlers or even young children on a plane and dealing with the burning sun sounded like a nightmare!

So, for many years we chose to holiday in the UK and explore our amazing country. There is so much to see and such a lot of variety of places to visit, that you do not need to head to Europe, the Caribbean or the Americas. You can also travel the UK in all sorts of ways, so let's explore a few that my husband and I fancy taking on in the coming years.

Caledonian Sleeper Train to Edinburgh

None of our children have been to Scotland yet, so we are really keen to expose them to the delights of this amazing country. Edinburgh is a very easy train ride away from London, just 7 hours and 45 minutes away and we can book seats or sleeper cabins to enjoy our ride. I'm sure we'd have an early morning call to ensure we can see some of the sights as we travel into Scotland.

It feels like August is a perfect month to visit as the weather should be good and we will get to see the Edinburgh Tattoo, which is an amazing sight to behold. We've been to many military parades before, but I don't think any will come close to this and it will give us a taste of real Scotland. 

A few days in Edinburgh will be easy to fill with visits to the castle, the Royal Mile, the Underground vaults, Calton Hill and the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Image Credit: Unsplash

British Isles Discovery Cruise

We've never experienced a cruise as yet and it is something I really fancy. I love the idea of visiting multiple places but without it being too difficult to move between them. A UK cruise is perfect for people like us, who have not yet cruised, as we can ease into it gently and see if it is for us.

There are multiple places in the UK to be able to board the cruise, a range of different cabin types depending on your budget and of course so much delicious food and drink to enjoy as you cruise. Depending on the cruise you choose you can be at sea for as little as three days or as many as you like if you decide to go long haul.

On a British Isles cruise, you may get to stop and explore places such as the Orkney Isles, Isle of Mull, Isle fo Sky, Belfast, Cork, Isles of Scilly, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Bristol, Liverpool and you might even choose to add in a little more excitement by choosing stops at the Channel Islands, Belgium or the Netherlands. 

Cornwall by Camper Van

OK, I say by campervan, but if I am honest, I am more of a woman who likes her comfort, so I'd probably choose the less cute motorhome option, and know I can have a decent night's sleep. We've never explored Cornwall as a family as it is a very long drive to get there, but I feel it is somewhere that I want to go to.

I'm an old romantic at heart and the amount of books I have read that are set in Cornwall has really whet my appetite to visit there. It's another trip that I'd like to do in the warmer months, but maybe in early May or late September so that we don't have the full summer holiday gang there at the same time. 

I'm picturing the motorhome parked up somewhere beautiful with a nice glass of wine and a book as the sun goes down and my husband and I enjoy being in each other's company, before heading to a small restaurant for some beautiful home-cooked food. 

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Cooking with Kids: Dive into the Fun of Seafood!


How many scallops in a pound
Image Credit: Unsplash

{This is a collaborative post}

Have you ever considered the kitchen to be the perfect classroom for your kids? It’s not just about stirring and mixing; it’s an opportunity to teach valuable life skills and instil healthy eating habits. Today, let's explore how seafood can be a fun and nutritious part of your child's diet, with a focus on understanding quantities like "how many scallops in a pound".

Starting Simple

Introducing children to cooking can be a delightful exploration, particularly with dishes that are simple and fun. Seafood is not only nutritious but also highly adaptable for young chefs. For those just beginning, it's best to choose recipes with few steps and minimal cooking requirements, such as baking or assembling, which are safer and still incredibly satisfying.

No-Cook Seafood Starters

Starting with a no-cook recipe can significantly reduce the stress of introducing children to the kitchen. A simple seafood salad, for example, can be an excellent first dish. Children can easily mix pre-cooked shrimp with various dressings and their choice of colourful vegetables. This activity is not only safe, as it avoids using the stove, but it also helps children understand mixing and matching flavours, fostering creativity without the dangers of heat.

Creative Wraps for Little Hands

Children can lay out soft tortillas and top them with ingredients like flaked salmon or tuna, which are easy to prepare and handle. Add-ins might include lettuce, diced tomatoes, or a mild dressing. Wraps can be rolled up for a mess-free, fun experience that also teaches kids about balancing flavours and nutrition. This no-cook option keeps everything safe and straightforward, allowing even the youngest chefs to participate fully in the meal preparation process.

Hands-On with Seafood

Encouraging children to get their hands dirty can transform cooking from a chore into an exciting activity. Simple, tactile tasks like assembling fish tacos or skewering shrimp for grilling are not only fun but are educational opportunities that enhance fine motor skills and teach kitchen safety.

Creating Mini Chefs

Scallop skewers are a fantastic way to involve children more deeply in cooking seafood. By counting and preparing scallops for skewers, children can learn about portions and quantities—such as estimating how many scallops in a pound, which typically ranges from 20 to 25. This teaches them about planning and preparation, important skills for any aspiring chef.

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Tapping Into the Industrial Revolution: Reinventing Your Home

Image Credit: Unsplash

{This is a collaborative post}

Get acquainted with the industrial home design trend, its raw beauty is waiting to be unlocked by you! Reviving earthy foundations from yesteryear with sleek sophistication for today's homeowner is what the industrial aesthetic is about. So now is the time to strip back layers of traditional home design to uncover those cool yet edgy vibes of industrial aesthetics, not just as an aesthetic choice, but as a powerful statement about strength, character, and authentic living!

The Blueprint of Industrial Chic

Industrial design celebrates the raw beauty of materials that are typically hidden away. Exposed brick walls, visible ductwork, and concrete floors that have long been considered undesirable are now welcomed features in any work-live loft space. Together, they contribute to creating an atmosphere that's both stylish and practical, mixing raw materials with contemporary fixtures and fittings that balance rough with sleek.

Materials Matter for Industrial Style

At the core of industrial chic lies its material palette - wrought iron, raw steel, and untreated wood - which creates an unrefined elegance in any space, echoing architectural history from old factories and warehouses. You can incorporate industrial style elements into your home through simple choices like opting for sleek steel kitchen islands or bolder ones such as installing sliding barn doors. Each choice nods towards this period while keeping a firm footing in contemporary design.


Lighting the Way: Illuminating with an Industrial Glow

Lighting plays an integral part in setting an industrial mood. Vintage pendant lamps, Edison bulb fixtures, and floor lamps with metal finishes not only illuminate but also contribute to creating an inviting ambience by emphasising old-world charm mixed with contemporary living. Choose pieces with metalwork details that capture this aesthetic for maximum industrial spirit!


A Fusion of Form and Function

Industrial design philosophy embraces an orderly space where each piece serves a specific function. Here, minimalism marries functionality to enhance decor choices. Open shelving units showcasing kitchenware, books or collectables can add visual interest while maintaining its utilitarian ethos while remaining true to industrial aesthetics.


Pipe Shelves: The Quintessence of Industrial Flair

Pipe shelves encapsulate the true spirit of industrial style, merging functionality and aesthetic appeal seamlessly. Crafted from metal piping and repurposed wood planks, these shelves serve as dynamic focal points while simultaneously offering sturdy storage solutions. Their modular nature enables creativity when placing or arranging these shelves, whether as one statement shelf or part of an entire wall ensemble. Pipe shelves not only pay tribute to engineering feats from yesteryear but also bring raw, open-concept qualities into any space - perfectly complementing industrial chic ideals while also showcasing anything from kitchen spices to classic books on display!


Soften the Edges

Incorporating soft furnishings and greenery can soften the industrial aesthetic, keeping it from appearing too cold. Think plush rugs, soft throws and indoor plants which add colour, texture and life into an otherwise metallic backdrop. Having both hard and soft elements present ensures your industrial-inspired home remains welcoming and comfortable for everyone visiting it.


The Industrial Revolution of Home Design

Industrial design is more than a passing trend - it is a timeless style that celebrates form and function in harmony, old and new, encouraging homeowners to rethink conventional design practices while finding beauty in both raw and refined elements. When approaching this trend in home renovation or piecemeal renovation projects, success hinges on finding balance between rugged industrial charm and sleek contemporary accents. Your only limitation in seeking industrial chic can only ever be your own imagination!

Finding the Right Water Hygiene Specialist in 2024

Image Credit: Pexels

{This is a collaborative post}

As we get further into 2024, a growing number of businesses are realising the importance of smart outsourcing. There are a growing number of service providers that can help you with the tasks necessary to run your business, and choosing the right provider is rarely an easy task.

One area where it’s extra important to choose the right option is in the realm of safety and risk management. With that in mind, we decided to go through some of the main points to look out for when finding a water hygiene specialist in 2024.

Connection with professional bodies

A good place to start when it comes to researching hygiene specialists is to check what professional bodies they’re members of. Ideally, you’ll want to identify a provider with accreditation from bodies such as UKAS and BSE, to ensure that they take regulatory compliance seriously. 

After all, you don’t just need assistance with practical measures; you also need to make sure that your approach is compliant with the applicable legal structures governing your niche. 

Provision of appropriate services

While in some cases, you might just want to get some general advice, in most cases you’ll need a water hygiene specialist in order to help you with a specific issue. That might be assistance in developing a water safety plan, advice on how to navigate certain regulatory frameworks, or risk assessments for specific issues such as Legionella. 

In general, it’s best to choose an option that provides a relatively wide range of water hygiene related services. You might just need help with your water safety plan at the moment, but it’s entirely possible that you’ll need assistance in other areas further down the line, and it’s most convenient to continue using the same provider.