Ginger Bisquite

Lifestyle, DIY, Family & Food

Wayfair UK giveaway

September 16, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 1 Comment

wayfairWhile relaxing  over on the Isle of Wight, Wayfair UK got in touch to ask if I’d be interested it running a giveaway on the blog.  Thankfully they were happy to wait until we were back on the mainland to sort out the prize, and I’m thrilled to say that one lucky reader will be able to win a £150 voucher to spend on their site.  I did debate choosing some of my favourite bits, but I figure everyone is after something different and instead I’d love to hear about what you would get if you were to win.

Let me tell you, it’s not going to be easy to choose, Wayfair UK stock over 350,000 products across all areas of the home.  I find it so difficult to concentrate whenever I go to look for something on their site, there’s so many lovely things that I could spend hours just browsing.  Wayfair UK offers products from top manufacturers around the world and guarantees absolute satisfaction, I am a particular fan of the bed linen and garden items but love what they have on offer for the home office too.  Below you can see some ideas I have put together for what I would spend the £150 on, themed around the home office.

Wayfair UK £150 voucher

 

To be in with a chance to win, simply fill in the rafflecopter below and tell me, what you could buy with your £150 Wayfair UKVoucher?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Old Fashioned Sweets

September 13, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 0 comments

old fashioned sweets Do you have a secret stash of sweets to keep as a little treat to yourself?  I don’t always have something to hand, but I can quite frequently be found rummaging through the cupboard to see if I’ve left any small morsels of chocolate ripe for the picking.  And, I can’t be the only one who goes crazy for those little old fashion sweet shops that you sometimes come across in picturesque towns and villages? I just love to have a good browse, picking out my old favourites and trying some new things too.

So, when I was contacted by Ashby Treats and asked if I’d like to sample some of their traditional sweet shop fares sent straight to my door I was happy to oblige.  A few days later a box appeared, balanced on my front door step, it was a big and brown, and I couldn’t wait to get the children tucked up for their nap and break it open.old fashioned sweets

My box included a great selection of treats, all hand packed and labelled in lovely black and red sweety bags.  It instantly reminded me of our wedding where we had a ‘sweet buffet’ with our own bags and jars.  This is also something Ashby Treats can offer as well as a sweet finding service!

For me, old fashioned sweets are the ones I love, and my favourites from this selection have to be the ultra fizzy cola bottles, bon bons and the gorgeous walkers chocolate eclaires.  I think this is such a perfect gift, and I am planning to order some for friends.  Perhaps these could be the perfect gift for after the birth of a baby?

What would you choose?

Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with Ashby Treats, all thoughts words and opinions are my own.

Living Arrows 33/34/35/36

September 12, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 0 comments

The summer seems to have disappeared into the distance, somewhere between now and July, the time just evaporated.  I remember when it was just beyond reach, Neil preparing to pack up his things for the end of term.  The prospect of those six weeks stretching out in front of us, days and days of time that we thought would last forever.  We were feeling the sense of anticipation, tempting, weeks just the four of us.  Of course now, just in the blink of an eye it’s over and we are drawing ourselves back into our old routines.  It was a wonderful summer, so many bright days, lots of visiting friends and family and exploring everything the Cotswolds has to offer.  Here are some more of the memories we will keep.

la.aag.13.08.2014 (1 of 1)la.eag.23.08.2014 (1 of 1)-233/52 Once we had returned from our trips to see family we visited the lovely Cotswold Country Park for the second time.  I remember our last visit so clearly, it happened to be just a few days before we made an offer on our house, I have phone snaps of the brightest of blue skys.  What a difference a year makes, from one child to two; two busy babies splashing in the water and running their hands through the sand.  It was so beautifully sunny, a big bright and blue sky stretching out in front of us.  Then, without warning there came a sudden chill in the air followed by rain, rain and more rain lashing down.  We ran for cover, and found ourselves sat huddled in the boot of the car, waiting for it to pass with only some smarties to sustain us.la.aag.25.08.2014 (1 of 1)la.eag.23.08.2014 (1 of 1)34/52 Lovely days at home, pottering, organising, making messes, tidying the messes and then making more mess.  Cuddles and kisses on the sofa, making play dough in the kitchen and listening to ‘let it go’ on repeat.  Amidst this, they still continue to grow, your very first tooth came through Evie, less than 1mm of a razor-sharp blade, just another reminder of the first year of your life slipping on by.  Then there was the potty training success (after 3 failed attempts), the time was right and with a sticker chart in hand, you did it Nye.  We started the first few days giving you treats after you had been on the potty 5 times, but after a few days it was just second nature to you.  No need for stickers or treats, just done. Another milestone been and gone and we barely even noticed it.

nipperskipper.iow (1 of 1)la.aag.29.08.2014 (1 of 1)
35/52 The next week we had our perfect little holiday, just a few days of exploring the Isle of Wight.  Adventures to some culinary gems and trips to the beach to look for shells, crabs and driftwood.  Evie you took it all in from the comfort of your carrier, happy to go along for the ride, whilst you Nye enjoyed every second of exploring, running, playing and digging.  You were slightly uneasy about staying in a new house at first, but still slept well every night.  Over the summer you have really blossomed into a little human, we no longer have to worry about you sleeping during car journeys as you are happy to sing and chat in the car. Evie on the other hand, eludes sleep like a master, you want to be awake, crawling, interacting and prefer to sleep cuddled up in our arms, especially in the day time.

You both tried Lobster for the first time, cooked simply with pasta in our holiday house.  It’s amazing to give you the tastes of you things and see how you like them.  Of course we had busy days but we were able to relax too, and just before we headed to the ferry to go home we took a pit stop at the park where you were able to push Evie on the swing for the first time.  It wasn’t quite as smooth as I would have liked, but to be honest, Evie loved it and just loves being a part of the games you play.la.aag.05.09.2014 (1 of 1)la.eag.05.09.2014 (1 of 1)36/52 We are back at home and the start of the new term is looming over us.  Autumn appears to have arrived, the nights are suddenly getting darker and there can be a bite in the air.  The moon has been out, so big and bright in the sky, sometimes we can see it, morning and night and Nye, you just love it.  It’s funny you’ve slept so well even when it’s light when you go to bed, but there seems to be something about it getting dark that you like.  Now when it does get dark, you tell us it is bed time and head upstairs, you ask to see the moon every night and I lift you up to look out the window.

Evie you are a super speed crawler, it just suddenly happened that we can be in the living room, but before I know it you’ve chased the dog into the kitchen.  you’ll head full speed for her, weaving your way under the dining table.  I head off to find where on earth you’ve gone and imagine what you’ve been able to get up to in the 1 minute I took my eye off you.  You amuse yourself now by picking things up and throwing them, so impressed by your own ability to let go, the sounds you can make and how far you can throw things.  Another favourite activity is pulling books off shelves, I think I had forgotten this stage.  And of course as soon as I tidy up you’re back at it, it’s so much fun for you.

The holiday rucksack

September 8, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 3 Comments

gb.houseoffraiser (1 of 1)-2
It’s hard to believe that it was just over a week ago since we returned from our holiday to the Isle of Wight.

We had such a wonderful time, exploring an Island unknown to us, as our first family holiday as a family of 4. The weather wasn’t quite as you would expect in August, but equally we quite enjoyed the moody sky’s and refreshing sea breeze.  We wrapped up warm and took in the view from every side of the islands coastline.

Every day of our short break we tried to cram in as much as possible, planning our activities the night before and packing ready for the adventure the next day. On the first day we managed stop off at the garlic farm, take a trip to Blackgang Chine, a browse of Ventnor high street, swimming in the famous paddling pool, as well as some treasure finding on the beach, before coming home for fresh lobster tagliatelle.What's in the bag with House of Fraser

Luckily for us, before we left we selected a bag from the House of Fraser men’s accessories range, and Neil choose a lovely Bag from Original Penguin.  As far a holiday bag can be, it was the perfect fit for a family of 4.  We were able to pack nappy changing supplies for a 9 month old, spare clothes for a potty training toddler, swimming gear, packed lunch as well as any pebbles and souvenirs we picked up along the way.

 

We’ve since been using the bag as our swimming bag as both children currently have weekly lessons.  Perfect for stuffing towels and snacks into, pulling the drawstring closure shut and running for the car. (We’re always on the verge of being late…)

Disclosure: Post in collaboration with House of Fraser, all thoughts, words and opinions are our own.

First look at the Samsung Showcase Fridge Freezer

September 7, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 0 comments

samsung chowcase fridge freezer

Today I am excited to share with you, the new Samsung showcase fridge freezer. It touched down in my kitchen just yesterday, and here are my initial thoughts on it’s looks and design.

To look at it externally, the samsung showcase is a standard american fridge freezer and comes in a lovely brushed steel.  The design is very sleek and reflects the light, making it seem somehow elegant and stylish, even though, as an american fridge freezer, it is larger than a standard uk fridge freezer.

Internally, it’s almost exactly the same size as my previous one, but the use of space is really intelligent and allows you to find all the ingredients you need quickly, with the excellent showcase two door function.

I admit, when I originally read about the show case, two door fridge idea, I had no idea how it would work.  However, on arrival I was immediately impressed.  The first door allows you to access those every day essentials, milk for your tea, butter for toast, sauces to grab in a hurry when everyone is sitting down to tea.   Then when you are looking for larger items you can open the ‘inner case’ and still access everything. Overall it’s really changed the way I think about organising my things in the fridge.

I’m excited to see how we get on with the showcase fridge freezer over the next week, my first impressions have been great.  Even the delivery guys were impressed with it, they said they’d never seen one like it and loved the two doors.  I admit I felt pretty chuffed, as these are guys that deliver fridge freezers every day of their lives!

Disclosure: I was sent the Samsung RH57H90507F American Style Food Showcase Fridge Freezer : £2,549 RRP for the purpose of this review.  For more information, to order or to find stockists, please check the Samsung website.

Get the industrial look

September 4, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 0 comments

gb.asdahome.industrialI just love the industrial look, the combination of textured walls of brick or concrete, bare metals and thick cut wood.  It might seem like it’s a difficult look to pull off outside of a new york apartment, but actually with some key pieces it can be pretty simple.

I took delivery of this new Chandler Bar Stool this week and oh, it is a thing of beauty.  When I chose it online, I couldn’t quite visualise how it would look, in situ, but the reality has been even better than the online photos.

Just working with this one piece as inspiration,I think it’s easy to get the industrial look.  The stool seat is very thick and sturdy and the mechanism for making the stool taller and shorter is a simple screw that allows you to move from side to side, perfect for a busy kitchen or office.  It’s even got that cool and simple functional vibe going for it.  The texture of the wood contrasting against the slick grey metal, it’s a match made in utilitarian heaven and it would look great in any kitchen or dining area.

In our house the stool was the perfect addition to my shed office, where I was desperately in need of a stool for the pre-existing worktop.  If you wanted to, you could even take the industrial look a little further by creating your own diy desk made of pipe.  Paired with a simple metal lamp you’ve got the makings of a trendy space fit for style police.

Disclosure: Post in collaboration with Asda Direct, all thoughts, words and opinions are my own.

Are you a #yogartist ?

September 3, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 0 comments

yogartist.Yogurt is a staple food in this house, the children think it’s a wonderful treat akin to chocolate cake.  Evie in fact is becoming quite the demanding soul and shreaks loud enough to set your teeth on edge, if she isn’t provided with her daily supply.  So, when TOTAL yogurt got in touch to ask if I’d like to have a go at being a #yogartist I thought it sounded like a fun activity.  A summer afternoon of messing around with some yogurt, I was sold.

Armed with a lunchbox full of exciting healthy sprinkles, empty jam jars, an apron and stickers, we created some fabulous masterpieces.

First Nye decided we needed to taste test all the different flavours, just to check they were edible, you understand!  We opened the strawberry, lemon, blueberry and vanilla fruyo and tucked in.  Nye decided his personal favourites were vanilla and blueberry which he layered up with a good dose of cinnamon, oats and dark chocolate sprinkles.

We then decided to make a yog monster with curly brown hair and almond eyes, I was pretty impressed with how it came off, and it tasted delicious.

We were really impressed with all the Fage Total yogurts, they are so thick that Evie could pick the yogurt up with her hands rather than having to hand her a spoon to smear all over her face.  So overall, perfect for the whole family!  (And of course I’ve got plans for the leftover yogurt…)

gb.fage.yogartist (1 of 1)-12

Disclosure, post in collaboration with Total Yogurt all words, opinions (and masterpices) are own.

Personalising a playhouse #mywaltonsplayhouse

August 31, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 0 comments

waltons playhouse challengeOver the next few weeks they’ll be plenty of playhouse updates, as I’ve taken up the Waltons Playhouse Challenge, to decorate a playhouse for just £50.

You may have noticed from my media feeds that I have been going a little playhouse crazy and now you know why.  (Not that I ever need any more of an excuse to while away many an hour on Pinterest.)  This happens to be the second playhouse I’ve painted in the last few months, as we recently bought and assembled one for Nye’s pre school.   Thankfully this time, I have the pleasure of keeping the playhouse though.

After already painting a cute cottage playhouse for Pre School, I wanted to do something totally different for our garden.  So, in the end we decided to go for a beach hut theme.  I have already had so much fun, thinking up thrifty ideas and you can see an amalgamation of all my plans and inspiration on my Playhouse Beach Hut board below.

Follow Ginger Bisquite’s board playhouse beach hut on Pinterest.

Making a start

I learnt from my previous playhouse painting experience that once the paint is dry it develops a slightly plastic quality which means once you’ve started painting you can’t easily paint over the top.  So personally I start with the painting, especially any specific design work I want to include.

To go with my beach hut theme, I decided to paint an anchor onto the front of the playhouse.  To do this I simply found a simple anchor clip art, then enlarged it to fit on one side of A4.  I then held this in place and used a biro to trace round the outline, leaving a clear mark on the surface of the wood.  Once completed, I could then fill in the outlined shape with my paint.

gb.waltonsplayhouse. (1 of 6)-2 gb.waltonsplayhouse. (6 of 6)-2

Once the anchor section was done, I continued to paint the other panels in cream.  I’ve used a lot of garden paint this year but discovered when researching colours that, B&Q, Homebase and Wickes now do their own brand of garden paint which is cheaper than the normal brands.  We already had a little blue paint left, but I bought the cream from Wickes for £15.99.  I’ve now painted the whole house, and only have touch ups to do, and 2.5litres has been the perfect amount to do two coats all over.

You can now see the progress I have made so far, with the blue and white colours coming together and the anchor taking shape.  Another thing I learnt from the last playhouse is that there is sticky back plastic on the windows so there’s no need to worry about neat edges as they will clean up perfectly when it’s all finished.

And finally here’s a quick breakdown of what I’ve spent so far.  My next challenge is to find as much sand as possible to create a beach for the front and start making the finishing touches that will bring it all together, including a palette sofa, curtains, DIY beach mobile and a fishing net hack.

gb.waltonsplayhouse. (4 of 6)-2.text.

Disclosure: Post in collaboration with Waltons, all thoughts, words and opinions my own.

Back to Pre School with Debenhams

August 30, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 2 Comments

Nye starts back at Pre School next week.  I’m kind of excited, I like the feeling of prepping for a new start.  However, I’m not really looking forward to Neil returning to work as September rolls on in. It’s been a lovely six weeks together, full of trips to family and friends, then topped off by our holiday to the Isle of Wight.
This weekend we’re busy trying to get all the odd jobs around the house done whilst we have a few more days.  I’m busy packing bags, and filling the fridge with things suitable for a packed lunch.  I saw this Debenhams back to school competition on Mellow Mummy‘s blog and loved the idea of picking things which would be perfect for as a Back to School kit.  I was just talking to a friend today who was saying she had picked out a pre school uniform set, ready for Pre School’s paint and mud.

back to school with debenhams

We started by looking at T-shirts, there were so many to choose from that it was really hard but Nye really loved the stripes on this Gruffalo one, paired with the green trousers its fun, comfy and practical as they won’t show up dirty marks.

And for Nye, a perfect Back to School look has to include layers to put on and off depending on the weather.  Waterproof overalls to keep dry outside, and then wellies that are easy to pull on and off. Then we finished off the look with a spare hoodie to throw on and a very cute pair of converse, perfect for exploring indoors.

Got any back to school staples? Why not have a go at designing your perfect back to school outfit too.  You can enter on Brummy Mummy or Mellow Mummy until 31st August.

Our First Family Holiday in the Isle of Wight

August 28, 2014 by Jenni Clutten | 1 Comment

first family holiday
Do you remember the first family holiday you took?

Our first family holiday after Nye was born, was to Center Parcs when he was just one year old.  It seems like such a long time ago now, but it was memorable in so many ways.

I remember the build up, once the booking was confirmed, dreaming about all the things we’d do together, relaxing nights around the fire and days splashing about in the pool.  Even though it was January I remember the crisp weather that the beginning of the year brings and how lovely it was just to get away for a few days.

Roll on a year and we are preparing to take our first family holiday with Evie.  She will be 9 months old as we venture to the ever so exotic Isle of Wight. (We’re a tad behind on the whole passport ordering).

How to travel in the car with under 3’s.

  • When we travel we tend to plan things so that the majority of the journey is taken up with the children’s naps.  It’s only an hour and a half to Southampton ferry port from our house, so as long as we leave after the children have had a busy morning we should be close to stopping.
  • We then factor in some out of car time, before the second leg.  Food, movement and fresh air all seem to help!  Now Nye is older, when he does wake up we can usually get by, taking song requests and just chatting about what we can see out of the window.
  • We also like to pack a small bag with a colouring book, crayons and snacks for when we are travelling with our toddler.  This also works well in cafe’s and restaurants to keep them entertained.  We like Pink Lining ones, especially the exceedingly cute Robbie the Robot Mini Rucksacks which are the perfect size.pink lining

Family Activities in the Isle of Wight

  • Dinosaur Isle
  • Blackgang Chine
  • The Chocolate Apothecary, Ryde
  • The Garlic Farm, Newchurch
  • Catch, Fish and Chip Shop, Yarmouth
  • Ventnor Haven Fishery
  • Stockbridge Farm Shop, PO36 0QA

 Anyone got any tips for things to do with a 9 month old and a 2 1/2 year old in the Isle of Wight?

 Disclosure:
Post in collaboration with Pink Lining, all thoughts words and opinions my own.