Thursday, 19 December 2019

Keen Cook but Small Kitchen? Don’t Despair!

pic is courtesy of

I have been cooking from a very young age, as both my parents were total foodies and I grew up around a variety of foods and dishes that they enjoyed. My passion for cooking is totally inspired by them both. I have also taken great steps to pass this food passion to my daughters. Fortunately both my daughters  really enjoy cooking, but sadly they have restrictions as the shared kitchens in rented accommodation has limited space and they have many restrictions when it comes to storage.
I always say to them, no matter how small your kitchen is, there’s room enough to cook and get creative with recipes and ingredients. Small kitchens might present more of a challenge because you can’t spread out but, with the right approach, there’s always a way.

The Right Storage

Having loads of storage in the kitchen is a must. But what if you just haven’t got the floor or wall space for rows of cabinets and nice long work tops?

Could you work with any of these small kitchen ideas?
  • Fix hooks in the ceiling where you can hang pots and pans by their handles.
  • Put a narrow shelf on the end of a run of cabinets where you can store spices or cook books. Failing a shelf, add a simple towel rail for somewhere to hang tea towels or oven gloves so they’re to hand.

  • Use stacking racks in cabinets to maximise the space and make stuff easier to find.
  • Hang hooks under wall cabinets for mugs, small jugs or measuring cups.
  • Use all the wall space for shelving, right up to the ceiling and including the spaces around and over doors. High up, put things you don’t use often, leaving the lower shelves clear for items you reach for all the time.

  • Put dividers into drawers so you can organise items rather than having them in a jumble. You could use a cutlery divider, but if you want to separate larger items, try crafting your own with card cut from empty cereal boxes.

  • Use the space under the cabinets, on the floor. Take off the kickboards and replace them with hinged or sliding doors. As long as the space is clean and sealed, you can hide all manner of stuff down there, including equipment like the necessary mops and brushes to keep the kitchen hygienically clean. Basically, anything that isn’t too tall.

Organising Equipment

You know what you love to cook most, so don’t fill up your kitchen with equipment you’ll barely ever use. Get rid of house clutter and keep a clean space. For instance, suppose your speciality is baked desserts, but you don’t do much veg prep. A food processor would probably end up as an expensive dust collector, whereas a stand mixer would be working on most days. Determine to only give kitchen space to the equipment you need.

On the other hand, you might find you do need a large selection of items and machines, but not all the time. If your cooking passions run in cycles, put items you’re not currently using into self storage until the next time your inspiration calls for them.

Other culinary or dining passions are also difficult to indulge in with a small kitchen. Wine lovers need plenty of space to store cases or vintage collections, but finding the right conditions can be a challenge. Specialist wine storage units in some self-storage facilities are the answer to keeping fine wines in an optimal environment.

Similarly, if you love entertaining but find storage of additional dining sets difficult in a small kitchen, your local self-storage place will let you keep your best bits pristine in between dinner parties.

Don’t let a small kitchen put you off cooking. It’s a bit of a challenge sometimes, but there are always ways to work around or through any inconvenience so your space works the way you need it to.

When you have a passion for something as great as we have, there is no room for obstacles in the way. We always enjoy cooking, eating, dining and entertaining in the smallest of spaces.

**Post in collaboration with Big Yellow

Monday, 16 December 2019

Kenai Faux Fur Bean Bag, Arctic Wolf

My favorite room in my house is my lounge. Its bright airy and the perfect place to sit and work on my laptop in the day and relax and watch tv at night. I enjoy sitting on the sofas but when I am crafting or just sitting by the window with a book and cup of tea, I  like sitting on big cushions on the floor. My current favorite is the Kenai faux fur arctic fox bean bag from Bean Bazaar. 

The bean bag is stylish, spacious, comfy and made from freeform technology which means that the beads can move around freely moulding and sculpting your body shape to give comfort and support. Furthermore the beads have insulating properties, which help to maintain and keep the bean bag warm and cosy. The faux fur fabric cover is soft and durable with suede panels in the bottom to make the bean bag anti slip on wooden floors.

The bean bag comes in various different colours and would make the perfect piece of furnishing for your lounge, conservatory, playroom or bedroom. It retails at £89.99 and would make the perfect christmas present. I am totally besotted with this beanbag and as always any thing I love I always want my readers to try.

The lovely people at Bean Bazaar have offered to gift one citrusspiceuk reader  a bean bag so they too can enjoy the luxury of it. The winner will be able to choose the colour of their choice subject  to availability.
How to Enter:

·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date – 5th January 2020 12.00 am

How Rafflecopter works:
·        You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
·        Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
·         Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
·        Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
·        For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 

  • This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 who live in the UK.
  • The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses and announced on this page.
  • Prize:  1x Kenai Faux Fur Bean Bag 
  • citrusspiceuk is hosting this giveaway in collaboration with Bean Bazaar. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. They reserve the right to withdraw the competition at any time should any unforeseen circumstances arise, in case that the prize is not available a similar prize of same value will be substituted.  No monetary compensation will be given.
  • Bean Bazaar will be responsible for sending out the prize to the winner, by entering you are **consenting** to share your address for the prize to be sent and be contacted by email to notify you if you have won the prize. 
  •  Please note to be compliant with the new GDPR rules by entering the giveaway you are consenting to allow citrusspiceuk to contact you if you win the prize. Your data will NOT be used for any other marketing purposes.
  • All entries will be verified, failure to follow instructions correctly will result in participants being disqualified. Please do not cheat.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post is in collaboration with Bean Bag Bazaar.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Dinosaur Art ~Bostik Challenge.

Arts and Crafts are very dear to me and I have always spent time with my two daughters throughout their life crafting. In fact my older daughter now has an etsy shop where she makes bespoke scrapbooks that she creates. My girls are now older  so I craft with my  niece Little M. For those who follow my blog will know we spend one Sunday a month that's dedicated to crafting, baking and doing fun things. We do this with the items that I receive in the Bostik craft box. This is the last challenge for 2019 and the theme is dinosaurs.

Little M and I had lots of fun with the bostik boxes, she always comes up with great ideas. This month she chose to make a dinosaur art picture to give to her little brother who loves dinosaurs.

What you will need to make the dinosaur art:

I sheet black a4 card
I sheet white a4 paper
I sheet green a4 paper
Bostik White Glue
Bostik fine and wide glue pen
8 inch piece of string
Dinosaur cut out shapes

How to make the Dinosaur Art

1. On the white paper draw some cloud shapes and cut out.

2. On the green paper draw some grass shapes and cut out.

3. Using the Bostik glue apply it to the cloud shapes and stick them in position at the top of the black card.

4. Using the Bostik glue apply it to the grass cut out and stick it on the bottom edge of the black card.

5 Peel the sticky back from the dinosaur shapes and stick them on the grass area.
6. Using a pencil mark two holes 1 cm below the top edge and 10 cm apart from the centre of the card.

7. Pierce the holes with the sharp pencil.
8.Thread the string through the holes and tie a
knot to secure to make a loop for hanging the picture.

To Pin 

You may like other  Bostik craft posts:

This craft is suitable for young children although, adult supervision may be required for using scissors.. If you like this project check the link below for more art and craft projects, that you can do with your children.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Christmas Napkin Holder ~ Bostik Challenge December

The theme for the Bostik Box this month is Christmas.We had lots of Christmassy themed crafting items in the box. My little crafting partner Little M came to spend Sunday with me, can you believe she is almost seven now is quite a young lady.
In the box there were lots of wooden christmas shapes so she made some tree decorations with the cut outs and Bostik glitter glue. After  this we made some napkin holders for little M to take home for her Christmas table as gift for her parents.

Equipment you will need for making 1 napkin holder:

1 piece Green stiff felt 18cm by 8cm
1  piece green ribbon 60cm long
2 pompoms
Bostik glitter glue
Bostik foam pads
Bostik white glue

How to make:

1.Using the Bostik foam pads stick the pompoms onto the ends of the ribbon.

2. Lay the green felt and stick the ribbon centrally on to the felt with Bostik PVA glue.

3. Using the glitter glue make decorative spots or swirls and leave to dry. This takes almost 3-4 hours to dry but you can cheat and use a hair dryer if you are in a hurry. (Children will need adult supervision to use hair dryer)

4. Once the glue is dry, place the napkin in the centre and fold the holder over it and tie a bow with the ribbon. You can make more to complete the set.

You may like other  Bostik craft posts:

This craft is suitable for young children although, adult supervision may be required for using scissors.. If you like this project check the link below for more art and craft projects, that you can do with your children.

To Pin

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

A visit to the Peak District ~YHA Castleton Losehill Hall

Photo courtesy of YHA Castleton Castleton Losehill Hall

As a student, I have spent many holidays travelling to different cities with my friends, since we were on student budget we used to perpetually stay in youth hostels. These were an inexpensive way to get overnight accommodation, meet other travelers and make new acquaintances. As I got older and secured a job, youth hostel became something of a distant memory as the holidays were always in faraway places and stays were in luxury hotels.

Recently I was contacted by YHA to see if I wanted to visit the Peak District and stay at  their YHA  Castleton Losehill Hall. Not having managed this for many years I jumped at the chance to rekindle my student days.

YHA Castleton Losehill Hall is situated in the heart of the Peak District National Park. It is a fully refurbished gothic mansion which is set within 27 acres of parkland and offers offering beautiful views of the Peak District.

YHA Castleton Losehill Hall is only a stone’s throw from Castleton village in the High Peak district of Derbyshire near the Hope Valley. It is only a 15 minute walk  from the youth hostel to the village.

The village has many public houses, independent stores, quaint tea rooms, Peveril Castle and the Blue John Cavern and caves. Blue John is a semi-precious mineral which also known as Derbyshire Spar.It is a form of fluorite with bands of a purple-blue or yellow colour. You can see it during a visit Blue John Cavern and caves.

The location is perfect for hiking in the peak district with walks up to Mam Tor, Win Hill and Lose Hill.

YHA Castleton Losehill Hall  is a really gorgeous place to stay. The building is a newly refurbished Victorian Gothic house. The building has rooms of all different sizes, going from two to three sharing to eight sharing. Most have en suite bathrooms and additional washroom facilities too.  

There are dining rooms, a fully furnished bar, a lovely lounge room with open fire where you can sit and relax and mingle with fellow travelers. On site are meeting rooms and tranquil spaces too, for those who want to relax on their own.  

There are also has separate mews that are available to hire for private parties that sleep up to 28 people and have fully kitted kitchens and dining facilities. There is plenty of parking, drying rooms, cycle storage, luggage storage and free wifi too.

On site there is a restaurant that offers breakfasts, lunches and suppers. YHA has recently introduced their supperclubs, which offers a communal dining experience with other travelers to encourage people to make new friends and creating a more enjoyable dining experience.

Supper clubs are a great way to start new conversations and discuss with fellow traveler's their day's activities and share interests and team up.

A two course meal starts from as little as £9.95, this includes a main course and dessert . They also cater for all dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. Since I am a vegetarian this was important for me and I can definitely vouch for the meal which was delicious and very filling and great value for money.

Breakfasts at the YHA Castleton Losehill Hall are plentiful with a varied choice of toast, pastries, cereals, and a fully cooked English breakfast with tea, coffee, juices and smoothies. It’s the perfect way to kick start your day before embarking on the day’s activities.

Whether you are a solo traveler or visiting in a group, YHA offers many activities such as guided walks, cycling and water activities.  It is the perfect place to stay, which is inexpensive too.

During my stay our group did a three hour escorted hike with my fellow bloggers, it was a terrific experience and offered so many wonderful photo opportunities. The hikes are of different difficulty degrees and you can opt how long and how far you want to walk to suit your ability. Whatever you do, you will not be disappointed with the views which are spectacular.

I will definitely be returning to YHA Castleton Losehill Hall for a longer stay as I think, I have only scratched the surface with exploring the area.

**This post is in collaboration with YHA.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Clear Desk -Clear Mind

Did you know that research shows that working in a bright, airy workspace that is minimalistic helps you to be more productive?

I recently changed jobs and have a new office space. It's important to me to have a small area to call my own. I appreciate a tidy work area that is organised and clutter free with basic essentials on it such as a pencil pot, a note pad, an in tray and a clear space for my laptop.

However the workspace we currently have is really small and there is not adequate room for two office desks. There are many times when there are two of us needing to share the same desk and there is a lack of privacy.

I have been thinking of several different ways to organize the office space so that two people can share it easily, but each can have their own little area.

After looking at various office suppliers, I came across this excellent desk screen divider, the most convenient  way to divide the desk so each of us has our own work area. I like the idea as the screens are portable, need no special fitting and you can move them around when not in use. There are many different designs and sizes of screen dividers to choose from to fit any size office space.

With my new desk screen divider in place I can have a private area to work in and arrange my half of the desk that suits my needs. There are lots of ways to personalise your office space to suit you, check this post about more office ideas.

Did you know that having a clutter free clear space helps you to work better. Your mind can process information in a methodical way and it helps you to work more efficiently. Why not checkout this post on how to minimise clutter in your home.

There are also other ways to be more productive such as having a scheduler and a daily plan. Planning your day's activities ensures that you prioritise projects in order of urgency enabling you to complete on time.

I would love to hear from you about how you manage your daily schedule and keep your workplace organized. Do you do things differently?

Photos used with permission from Apres Furniture.

**collaborative post

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Home renovations ~Laminate Floors

Home renovations are fun to do, but they can take lots of planning and research. Whether you are painting and decorating, selecting new furniture or deciding what type of flooring there are many factors you need to consider and these will help to determine your choice. It will also depend on the size and type of room you have such as an open plan room

When choosing flooring it is very important to compare the differences between carpets and wood flooring to help decide between the two. You will need to weigh a lot of factors such as do you have children, pets and what form of durability do you need to make your choice. If you choose to have a wooden type of flooring there  are solid floors and laminate flooring,  both have their advantages and disadvantages. It is worth considering Laminate flooring which is a less expensive choice if you have a tight budget.                                                                                                       
What is Laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is constructed of high-density fiberboard and covered in a hyper-realistic decorative layer. It is hard wearing and very versatile. It comes in several colors and designs such as light, medium or dark. There are also many colors to choose from such as marble, mosaic and stone effects too. Many brands come with a water resistance and antimicrobial coating making the floors more suitable for everyday use.

What are the advantages of laminate flooring?
Laminate floors are hypoallergenic, they are easy to take care of. They can be vacuumed, swept, and mopped to keep fresh and dust free. They are relatively cheaper compared to solid hardwood floors and can be fitted easily as the panels are tongue and groove style and click together to create great results when laid on underlay. The floors look smart and stylish and can be fitted in any part of the house.

What were the disadvantages?
If the laminated floor is not treated correctly it can warp and scratch easily, so it’s important to choose a well-treated hard wearing design.

When deciding on the pattern of the laminate flooring, a lot of companies offer free samples so you can match the colour and style within the comfort of your home. Whichever colour or style you have in your home, you will find that the design options found in laminate flooring are enormous and there is lots of choice to suit all tastes.  
 All pictures are used with permission provided by flooring superstore
When deciding on the pattern of the laminate flooring, a lot of companies offer free samples so you can match the colour and style within the comfort of your home. Whichever colour or style you have in your home, you will find that the design options found in laminate flooring are enormous and there is lots of choice to suit all tastes.  
 All pictures are used with permission provided by flooring superstore

**Post is in collaboration with flooring superstore