Monday, May 21, 2018

Keep Things Fresh! Growing Your Own Herbs for Home Cooking

Nowadays, when we head out to buy ingredients for a delicious home-cooked dish, we’re constantly pestered by news articles and scientific studies. We’ve grown to be worried about all sorts of artificial ingredients, colorings, pesticides, and additives that might have worked their way into the food that we’re picking up from the supermarket shelves. Now, sourcing absolutely everything that you use from local, organic suppliers would be nigh on impossible. That is, unless you want to move to a mythical location where you can get pineapples, pak choi, and fresh fish from your own backyard. However, there are certain things that you can grow yourself without having to leave the country or dedicate your life to cultivation and agriculture. Herbs are one of your viable options. If you like your dishes with a little flavor, chances are that you already incorporate a variety of herbs into your home cooking anyway. But there’s something extra special about cooking with herbs that you have grown yourself. Not only does it taste a whole lot fresher, but you can guarantee that the herbs you have grown are pure and unadulterated. So, if this sounds like something that you could get on board with, here are a few sage pieces of advice (excuse the pun) that can help you get started on the right foot.

What You Will Need

Herbs can be grown indoors and outdoors, however, it is generally advised that if you intend to eat them at some point, you should keep them indoors. This means that they remain clean, rather than being exposed to wildlife and the elements. Besides this, all they really need is a container, watering, and a little supervision. Some herbs will require fertiliser to reach their full potential, so if this is something that you are going to opt for, remember that organic liquid fertiliser is best for edible plants. While you should look into whichever herbs you decide to grow in more detail, you should bear in mind that the majority of herbs flourish in a bright location, so kitchen windowsills tend to be a top spot.

Choosing Herbs

There are a whole host of different herbs out there that you can easily grow in a home environment. So let’s take a look at three crowd favourites for now.


Basil is one of the most commonly used culinary herbs. The most common type is sweet basil, which is said to have flavours of liquorice and cloves. It can be used to make pesto, which goes perfectly with pasta and as an extra topping for pizzas.


Rosemary is originally from the Mediterranean and is deemed one of the most aromatic and pungent herbs out there. People compare its spiky, needle-like leaves to lemon-pine, which goes perfectly with garlic and olive oil in a variety of dishes.


Chives have a very onion-like flavour, which is why they often replace onions themselves in flavours such as cheese and chive. You should throw these into a dish once it is already cooked, as heat destroys their flavour.

So, there you have it. A basic how-to when it comes to keeping your dishes fresh with your own homegrown produce!


Friday, May 11, 2018

Habits that will Keep Your House Clean (Even if You've Got Children)

When you have a busy family home, it can be a constant battle to keep it looking clean and tidy. Not only will you have to deal with the daily messes, but perhaps curious toddlers that seem to pull out everything in sight. The good news is that there are some habits that you can get into, that will make cleaning your house simpler, even if you have got little ones. It can’t guarantee a tidy house, but at least it will be clean.

Dry The Sink

This is especially true for any kitchen or bathroom sinks that are of the stainless steel variety. After using the sink, if you leave the water there, even splashes or drops, then they can lead to marks and encourage limescale. But if you dry the sink after use, these marks are going to be much more reduced, and there will be less limescale, if any at all, making it a quick and easy spot to clean. So don’t forget to dry your sink after use.

Laundry Routine

When you’ve got plenty of laundry to be doing, it helps to have a bit of a routine to it. Even if you don’t have enough to do daily, it can help on the days that you do. Put a load of laundry in as soon as you wake up, and then by the time you’re ready and have had breakfast, the clothes will be ready to go in the dryer before you start the day or head off to work.

Shoes Off

Some people can be quite particular about whether shoes are on or off in a home. They can bring in excess mud, dirt, germs, and grime. So if you have little ones, and especially if you have carpet, it can be a good idea to start a ‘shoes off at the door’ policy. Otherwise, you might find that you’re carpet cleaning more often than not. And with little ones playing or crawling on the floor, you want to make sure that you’ve got a clean carpet for them to be playing on.

Speed Clean

When you think about having to get a whole room cleaned or all of the bathrooms or to vacuum all of the floors, it can feel pretty overwhelming. And when we feel like that, it means that so much less is going to get done as it is hard to even get started. So instead, think about speed cleaning. That could be where you’ve got ten minutes to clean something before you need to leave. So pick a room or even just a corner of a room, and clean as much as you can in that time. You’ll be surprised at what you get done when the pressure is on and you have dedicated cleaning time.

Reduce Plastic Use

The more packaging on things, the more you have to put in the trash. And the more in the trash, the more times you have to empty bins and take the bins outside. So if you are more conscious of the waste you are creating (or buying), then it can mean some saved time on trash duty.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A Weekend Away For Less!

Even the most simple of vacations can be expensive. When you start adding it all up, the cost rises until it seems as though it’s going to be one expensive little trip away. But we’re talking about going abroad there. If you go abroad, you’ve got the flights, hotel, car parking, spending money etc. If you go for longer than a week, you would definitely need to get your savings up as quick as possible. However, a weekend away doesn’t necessarily mean hopping on a plane, you can easily have a nice weekend away right here! All you have to do is pack the car, find somewhere that you want to explore, and go and explore it! Here’s how you can have a weekend away for less.

Free Locations

There are plenty of free locations dotted around that will give you the most perfect weekend away. No, we’re not talking about a hotel that’s going to be giving out rooms for free, we’re talking about getting out in the open and back to nature. The best places to stay are the ones that will just allow you to pitch a tent, or even just park your van or can to spend the night. Whichever one you do, you’re going to want to fill it with comfort. One way of doing that is by staying dry and having a nice shaded outdoor area to relax in. You can shop here for awnings that will do just the job for you. If you’re going to choose a tent, go camping in luxury by making sure you have a double blow up bed mattress, a nice duvet to keep you warm during the night, and plenty of snacks and drinks in case you get peckish during the night. Hopefully there will be toilets close by for you to refresh yourself in. Just make sure you check that before pitching up for the night. The best locations are the ones closest to the beach, a lake, or even in a forest if you’re looking for some real adventure.

Finding Things To Do

There’s plenty of things to do that will hardly cost you a penny, especially if you’re going to go camping. A lot of the campsites that you might pick will be close to adventure parks or businesses offering things such as zip wiring, kayaking, and other fun things. Always do you research beforehand and make sure you’re picking somewhere with plenty to do, and always try and find vouchers from the internet of things you would like to do.

Money Saving Hacks

The things that we’ve listed above are money saving hacks, but there’s a few extra things that you can do to shave off those pennies. The first is making a habit of camping rather than hotels. Camping for just one night can give you just as much fun as a hotel would, but you’ll be paying far less! You should also try and take picnics and snacks so you’re spending as little as possible whilst you’re actually out there.