How to Save Time and Money as a Household

Large Capacity Washing MachinesLarge Capacity Washing Machines by Beko UK

‘I can’t remember the last time I saw the bottom of my laundry baskets’

For the last few weeks I’ve been reviewing Beko’s Large Capacity EcoSmart Washing Machine that can do a 9kg load in less 39 minutes!  I was able to do all of my laundry in the fraction of time and I can confirm that both of my laundry baskets are now empty and I’m managing to keep more on top of it.

Washing more in one go means that you have more time to do the stuff you love

If I’m honest I’m not a hundred percent sure how much 9kg is, but just imagine the weight of 9 bags of sugar.  Apparently it will wash 45 shirts, but we don’t own that many between us so I couldn’t test that out!


Save Money on your Energy Bills

As a family we are dreadful for wearing things once and then chucking them in the laundry basket.  This is especially true for my daughters pyjamas and school uniforms.  The clothes aren’t normally ‘dirty’ and just need to be freshened up hence why I like the ‘Quick Daily’ wash cycle.

It was incredibly easy to install and unlike our old washing machine it only requires a cold water feed.  We have now capped off the hot water feed.  Even though the drum is probably twice the size of our old one it slotted perfectly into the same dedicated space in the kitchen.

Beko Large Capacity Washing Machine
Larger drum but still fits into standard opening

Wash an Entire 9kg load in 39 minutes

When it first arrived I was a little intimidated by all of the buttons.  But it’s simple really.  All of the options are presets (e.g temperature, spin speed, time, etc).

Beko Washing Machine Settings
It’s simple really!


So, if you choose the Daily Quick wash it will run for 28 minutes at 30 degrees and spin at 1200 rpm.  However, you can also increase and decrease the spin using the + and – buttons if you like.

EcoSmart Washing Machine by Beko
A load in less than 30 minutes!

My Toweling Robe, which is very bulky, needed more than just ‘Quick Wash’.  In the past it would barely fit in the drum and I had to use force to get it in, but this time I found that it easily fit and I could chuck a few more things in with it as well.  I washed it on ‘A Class 40’ but increased the RPM to 1400 to get a bit more of the water out.

Spend less time doing laundry
For those slightly tougher jobs!
Beko Large Capacity Washing Machine
It’s a Tardis!

Automatic Half Load Programme

I was a bit stumped when I wanted to do a half load, I spent a few minutes looking for a smaller load button, but worked out that the washing machine automatically adjusts the amount of water by the weight of the loaded laundry.  Genius!

Silence is Golden

The Beko is also noticeably quieter than our old one.  In the past when our old one was running, especially when it hit the spin cycle, it sounded like it was going to take off, we had to close the kitchen door if we were trying to watch TV in the lounge and wouldn’t dream of putting it on before going to bed at night.

Here is the washing machine in action.  I could have put a lot more in but still need to retrain my brain that I can!

Overall, we really like the washing machine and it’s made a huge difference to keeping up on chores.  The only thing I would like to see is a way to control it via an app on my phone so I can turn it on when I’m out!

Disclosure: The washing machine, installation costs and delivery fees (£350) were compliments of Beko for purposes of this review. 



Sage Soft Open Kettle by Heston Blumenthal #review

You know you’re middle age when you get excited about a new kettle…..

It’s no secret that I think Sage Appliances by Heston Blumenthal are rather sexy.  I’ve also have the Multi-Cooker, which is not only a Slow Cooker but it sautés and makes rice and risotto, I’ve been known to drag friends in just to have a look at it.

Our kettle blew up earlier this week, well it didn’t actually blow up it just stopped working, we checked the fuse in the plug but guessing it is the element.  I never liked it anyway; it was dreadful for lime scale, splashed boiling water and took ages to boil.  We bought it as a quick cheap replacement for its predecessor.

Introducing my sexy new kettle!

Sage Soft Top Kettle by Heston Blumenthal

The Sage Soft Open Kettle (RRP £79.99) holds 1.7 litres, has a controlled lid opening so it doesn’t splash boiling water on you, has built in boil dry protection just in case I forget to fill it, not like I’ve ever done that before and it has a tram like ding.  ;-).  It was a little pricier than other kettles I’ve bought but I’ve had to replace them on a yearly basis so it’s a false economy really.  I’d rather pay a bit more for quality.

Just popping the kettle on!

Disclosure:  The Kettle was complimentary for review purposes.


More tech specs

Tech Spec Sage Kettle

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Houses

Desperate for more space?

I don’t know what came over me.  Just after New Year, I don’t know if it’s guilt over the excess at Christmas or the New Year New beginnings thing, but I found myself doing some uncharacteristic cleaning and apparently I’m not alone.  I asked around and quite a few friends found themselves doing this as well.

I started by tidying my basket of cables, it was like spaghetti junction, simply using cable ties.  I can never make myself throw out cables as you never know when you may need one.

How to store cables

Then with a bad back, I clambered under the stairs and gave it a good clean and created some useful storage space for wrapping paper.  Personally I think it’s genius.

How to store wrapping paper

Like everyone else, under my sink, was something nightmares were made of.  I wish I took a before picture.  I found these fab shelves that fit around pipes.  I still need a few more basket to store the towels but it’s a start.

Under Sink Storage

And finally, I doubled the space in my cupboard using this simple rack.

Ideas for storing tins

My next mission is my bedroom.  I’m on the hunt for clever ways to store scarves and necklaces.  Suggestions?

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas!

Deck the halls with boughs of holly……..

I hate tinsel, inflatable Christmas decorations and cheap branded advent calendars.  Some get the impression that I’m humbug when it comes to Christmas, but I’m really not, I just like to keep it in perspective.  We’ve dotted a few decorations around the house and it’s starting to feel a bit more like Christmas and I’ve done a big chunk of my Christmas shopping.

You’ll never guess where the decorations (garland, candles and hearts) came  from………..

Christmas Decorations from Wilkos


Wilkinsons, they have an amazing selection of classy decorations which are incredibly cheap.  Some were only a £1 and I think the most expensive one was £4.

Advent Calendar from Not on the High Street


I’ve even splurged and bought a new advent calendar from Not on the High Street.  I’ve filled it with gold coins, gingerbread men, spinning tops, glitter and some Luxury Chocolates from Bellucci Chocolates.  I accidentally put a chocolate covered coffee bean in the calendar.  You should have seen Madame’s face.  Priceless!

Father Christmas Fancy Dress Costume

And of course we can’t forget Father Christmas.  He’s (she’s) going to be rather handy on Christmas day.

Just a few more things to organise and then I can start to enjoy the holiday season.  Wine and food has been ordered.

Disclosure – The decorations, chocolates and fancy dress outfit were complimentary for review purposes.




No kids allowed! How to design a child-free, adult bedroom

In association with Sainsbury’s

The minute you bring kids into a home, the space is transformed. While there are many things to love about the changes they bring, it’s nice to create a space for you and your partner that is completely child-free. This can be an oasis and a sanctuary which can wonderfully complement a lively and loving family home.

Here, we consider several things you’ll need to think about as you work to design your new adult friendly space.

Make use of space

It can be difficult to relax in a cluttered space so one of your top priorities when creating your relaxing space should be to get the most from it. You don’t necessarily need to have a large bedroom – just to use the space wisely.

The key to a good use of space often lies in storage. If too many items are on display then a space can appear cluttered regardless of the room’s size. Storage should be efficient and attractive.


Choosing and Placing Furniture

 Storage is not simply a matter of utility. The furniture you choose to house your belongings is sure to have a considerable impact on the room’s overall feel and aesthetic. You’ll therefore need to make important decisions about the size and style of each piece of furniture.

When choosing the style, it can be a good idea to look for a starting point. If your bedroom has any defining stylistic features, these are worth your attention. This might be the original decorative features of the property such as skirting boards and picture rails or a more recent addition such as a modern window fitting.

The bedroom is typically a space which doesn’t house a wide range of furniture, thus making the pieces of furniture that you do choose even more important. Make the most of the chance to choose a mature style and browse childrens furniture to get your kids rooms kitted out at the same time.

Where possible, try to keep the furniture evenly spaced in order to avoid the result of clutter. It can also be beneficial to leave clear and defined passageways through the room, while blocking out as little light as possible.


Colour schemes

Just as throughout the rest of your home, the colour scheme in your bedroom is of utmost importance. The bedroom is actually somewhat unique in this respect due to the specific times of day which you spend in there. The colour scheme that you choose will need to look at its best in the morning light, as well as at night time.

The colours that you choose should be suited to the mood you’re trying to create. Running with the theme of being child-free and relaxing, try to avoid anything too striking on the walls and carpet. An inoffensive purple, red or blue can be a great starting point but dark colours also work well if matched with more neutral, muted tones.

AtlantisDark1If you’re looking for something a little bolder, try to express this in the accessories, rather than on the walls. While blue can feel clean and purple can be relaxing, red tones are perfect for creating a romantic feel in the bedroom and all can be introduced through accessories.

You’ll want something that both you and your partner love and according to a survey by Dulux, the most popular colour is blue with red and green coming in second place. Orange, brown and purple are also at the top of the list (although our like of orange is said to wane as we age) while yellow comes in at the bottom with just 5% of those asked preferring this shade.

Remember there is more to choosing a colour scheme than going with something you like and UKTV has a great guide that can help you.



The bedroom is the perfect place for you to house some adult artwork. Artwork is the ideal opportunity to put a personal finishing touch to the design of a room. Whether you opt for some line drawings or a small set of sculptures, be sure to make the most of the opportunity to personalise your room in this respect.


It’s also important that the artwork you choose fits in with the style of the room. Everything from the colours used to the frame you choose can make a difference so give this careful consideration and don’t rush in.

Remember that the rules of Feng Shui are important here and there are plenty of guides on how to choose and arrange artwork in a way which follows these principles. You can find more ideas about this here.