Our Home | Loft Renovation

When we moved into our home nearly 5 years ago, (as if it has been that long), we renovated the whole house. We moved into a home that had had one owner since it was built in the 50s and they had pretty much not done a lot with it since.

We got a bit of a bargain (a bargain for a house in Surrey anyway) so luckily we had some to spare to be able to re-do it all, as it was in major, major need. I’m not sure what we were thinking about when we decided to decorate and renovate the whole house all at once, as well as working full-time and being learners at DIY. Anyway, after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, literally, we have a home that we love.

Extreme Makeover - Home Edition... Extreme Makeover - Home Edition...

It might be a 5-year-itch but I’m getting ready for some more changes. I think one or two rooms need a bit more love, maybe feature walls or something and we definitely need some more shelving and accessories around the house in general. We had it valued about a year ago and mentioned we were thinking about a conservatory / orangery. We were told though that the only real way to add value would be to add another bedroom. Our rooms are all pretty good sizes so cutting one in two would make two tiny rooms so the only real option would be a loft conversion. In both of the homes I lived in as a child, we had loft conversions and I always really liked them. They are generally large rooms and they were always so quiet. Being third in the pecking order though meant that I didn’t really get the option to have it as my own room, so maybe now will be my chance?

kitchen 6efbc-kitchen

The best part though? Being able to decorate! Pinterest wasn’t around when we did our decorating originally five years ago, so I have lots of ideas that I would love to see happen. Loft’s have lots of cool little corners and things too where quirky little pieces and storage could go.

Curtains obviously aren’t an option for a loft, so it would have to be roller / blackout blinds, but that totally works as the rest of our windows have venetian blinds. VELUX have a huge selection of good quality options.

We have had a look at plans and how it would work and where the stairs would be and it would take up some space from the smallest bedroom, but that shouldn’t be a major drawback as it will create a fourth bedroom that will be a really good size.

What ideas do you have planned for your home?

Rebecca x

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The post is working alongside VELUX.

Tips For Not Wasting Food

After getting a food recycling bin over a year ago, I have become so much more aware of how much food we waste. I like to think I’m pretty good at saving money and meal planning but I have had to rethink my approach. Here are some tips I’ve come up with along the way, to reduce the amount of food that we basically just throw away.

  • Your Freezer is Your Friend
    • I think frozen food gets a bit of a bad rep for not being that good for you but that isn’t always the case. Frozen meat, fish and vegetables, are frozen shortly after being caught / picked so all the goodness is kept in. With frozen food you can then use what you need and the rest stays frozen, ready for next time.
    • Freeze your leftovers or fresh fruit or veg that is going off soon and won’t be eaten in time. Things like fresh soup freezes really well too.
    • I also try to portion things up in freezer bags too, so then when I’m defrosting, we will only use what we need so nothing is wasted. I do this all the time with the nut milks I make at home.
  • Make a Plan
    • This is essential. I can’t understand when people go to the supermarket without a shopping list! I have to have mine, otherwise I waste money and food. Only buy what you plan to make and work around things that you already have in your cupboards / freezer when you plan your meals.
  • Stock up!
    • From carrot tops and celery stubs to chicken bones, all of these ‘scraps’ can be saved for soup stock pot and more. Then they can be, you guessed it, popped in a freezer bag and frozen in portions.
  • Omelettes & Smoothies
    • Things like omelettes and smoothies are brilliant for using odds and ends from the fridge or fruit bowl. If you’ve got a lot needing to be eaten and it won’t freeze too well (like eggs), then whip up an omelette for lunch with that random spring onion, half a pepper and tomato that is in the fridge.
  • Portion Control
    • If you really think about the amount will actually eat (particularly useful with children as they can waste a lot of food), and only cook that amount. If you want seconds later then get them but if you make too much and no one eats it, it will most likely just get thrown in the bin.

I’m also sharing my favourite recipe for using up some veg that you might have in the fridge. They may not look like much but they are tasty, low sugar and a good way to get children eat vegetables and they won’t even know it.

Veggie Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

0912c-june8

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup plain flour / rice flour
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup grated sweet potato
  • 1/3 cup grated carrot (or courgette)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup veg oil

Method

  1.  Add the flour and baking powder to a bowl, mix and make a well in the centre.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and mix together well.
  3. Line a muffin tray with cases (not needed necessarily if you are using silicone trays) and then spoon the mixture into the cases.
  4. Bake for 15-20 mins in a warm oven (180°C)
  5. Leave to cool before turning out from the tray. Enjoy!

Rebecca x

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*This is my entry to AO #WastelessJourney competition.

Win 1 of 5 Art Therapy Colouring Books

Keep calm and colour in!

Children have known for years that settling down to tackle a nice bit of colouring-in is a relaxing way to unwind and it looks like us grown-ups have finally caught on!  Cool, Calm, Create, pre-school specialists, Redan Publishing’s first magazine to target adults and will hit the newsstands on 30th July, providing a monthly shot of art therapy to frazzled parents up and down the country.

The new magazine offers 68 pages of intricate colouring and doodling spreads designed to help focus the mind and aid relaxation.  Using a bespoke blend of patterns, mandalas and tangles, issue one has a marine and ocean theme and comes with a free cover-mounted gift of 5 colouring pencils, making it the perfect gift to pick up and go and an ideal travel companion for summer holidays.

colouringbook


Julie Jones, Joint Managing Director commented, “As a specialist in children’s magazines we are well practiced in producing colouring pages, so we are delighted that adults are catching on to what children have known for years – colouring makes you feel good!  With Calm, Colour, Create we have produced a monthly colouring title that not only gives readers the therapeutic benefits of detailed colouring, but also a sense of achievement in creating some really stunning patterns and images that they can be justly proud of, with the added benefit of free colouring pencils to get started.”

So if you want to try it out and win one of the five copies I have to giveaway, all you need to do is:

~ Make sure you are following this blog via BlogLovin HERE

~ Leave a comment on this blog post – let me know if this is for you or someone else, or just say hi!

Good luck!

Rebecca x

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*collaboaration

Competition Terms & Conditions:

  • The giveaway will run from 6am on 28th July 2015 and run until 11.59pm on 11th August 2015, GMT.
  • There are five prizes – all winners will receive one copy of the Cool, Calm Create grown-up colouring book.
  • Open to UK residents aged 18 and over.
  • Entries can only be completed by following on BlogLovin’ AND leaving a blog comment.
  • All entries will be checked and verified.
  • The winner is chosen at random, using random.org, from all valid entries.
  • The winner will be announced 12th August 2015 and the winner will be emailed, as well as announced through AAUBlog’s social media pages.
  • The winners will have 72 hours to respond with their details, otherwise a new winner will be picked, following the same procedure.

Recipe for Busy Mums | Salmon & Vegetable Couscous

I really like cooking but when you are busy, it is so handy to have a few recipes on hand that are quick, easy and healthy to make. This salmon recipe with vegetable couscous (or with quinoa if you are gluten-free), literally took me 10 minutes to put together. The kids preferred to have the salmon mashed up in the couscous but you can serve it wither way. I also added some orange pepper in with the onion so you can add any other veg that you would like.

salmoncouscousedit

Grilled Salmon & Vegetable Couscous

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 – 4 Salmon fillets
  • 1+1/2 lemons
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 120g frozen peas
  • 1 mug couscous
  • 2 mugs boiling water
  • dill
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. Squeeze the lemon juice from the lemons and grate 1 tsp zest; set aside.
  2. In a wok or large pan, fry the onion in olive oil until tender.
  3. Stir in the peas, lemon juice and water and bring to the boil. Stir in the couscous, cover, remove pan from heat, and let it stand for a few minutes.
  4. Brush salmon with a little olive oil and place skin side down under the grill until cooked. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and dill.
  5. Serve the salmon on the bed of couscous.

Linking up to Tasty Tuesday at Honest Mum.

Rebecca x

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*collaboration