Top 5 Must-Haves For Contemporary Homes



Home is where the heart is and it’s no secret we want to fill it with the best of the best. Most of us like to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and when friends and family come over we love to show off our impressive possessions to ensure they know we are fashionable so-and-sos, who are up-to-date with the most effective gadgets and gizmos.

Found at popular electronic shops online or on the high street, this list of top five electric must-haves will ensure your home is full of all the latest high-tech goods.

American Style Refrigerator

You can make a style statement with an American style refrigerator in the range of freestanding fridges from Electric Shop. Larger than most conventional fridges, they are great for large families and have tons of storage. Especially convenient for Summer months, most of these fashionable refrigerators come with water and ice dispensers allowing you to enjoy ice-cold drinks all year round.

Home Cinema System

No need to take a trip to a packed out cinema, you can bring the cinema to you with a Home Cinema System. Simply dim the lights and enjoy the high quality sound that fills the room. All sport enthusiasts will love to own one of these as the sound quality makes it the next best thing to being at the game. Great for video gamers, you can bring the game alive as the sound effects will hit you from all angles.

home cinema

Coffee Machine

A morning coffee has become a ritual for many of us and with a coffee machine you can save time queueing as well as money on coffee shop high prices. Coffee machines allow you to make any cup of coffee you desire in an instant, whether it is an espresso, latte or cappuccino etc. It’s a dream machine for busy bodies that are constantly on the go.

coffee machine

Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

Ideal for quick, small cleaning jobs such as cleaning after meal times and sprucing up your home before guests come over, these cordless vacuum cleaners are battery powered making them more flexible to help you get to harder to reach places. The vacuum cleaners are small and light so can be stored away easily.

handheld vacuum

Food Processor

The food processor makes chores such as shredding, grating, slicing, chopping and whisking a much easier task. They feature power controls and variable speeds that can be used for a range of purposes including baking and cooking. Encouraging you to eat healthier you can make tasty soups and shakes from raw foods in next to no time.

food processor

How many of these do you have? I have my handy cordless Dyson and my perfect-for-clementine-cake food processor but I’d love to have room for a huge fridge-freezer! Smeg even make one in a Union Jack design now but I’ll hold out for purple :) 

union flag smeg image from electric shop

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Ode To Autumn

Sara from Mum Turned Mom wanted to know about our favourite season for this week’s #ThePrompt…we’re halfway through mine! What’s yours?

 Autumn Colours 2014


Jumpers and jeans,
A cosy good look.
Snuggling indoors,
With a good book.
Clocks going back,
Nights drawing in.
Hallowe’en, fireworks,
Make a big din.
Leaves looking lovely,
Red, orange, gold.
Aside from evergreens,
Trees looking bald.
Changeable weather,
Sunshine, then rain.
Time flying by,
Soon be Christmas again.
Oh, darling Autumn,
My favourite of seasons.
Much nicer than Winter,
For so many reasons!


Prose for Thought
There’s more original poetry and prose to be found at Verily Victoria Vocalises
every Thursday.
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Woof Wednesday: Chewing The Puppy Fat

It’s almost Hallowe’en which means the dreaded festive season will soon be upon us with indulgence and over-eating. It also means that I’ll be bending your ears about toxic Christmas puddings nearer the time, and preparing a lecture for my Dad on not “dropping” bits of turkey and bacon for Stella! Meanwhile, in collaboration with Hills Pet Nutrition, here’s a timely reminder about dogs and food. 

Stella's Gotcha Day 2014 on Instagram

The dangers of leftovers: how to ensure that your dog isn’t overfed

It can be tempting to give your dog a treat, and overfeeding is a common mistake made by owners who want to show their pet affection. Although feeding your dog leftovers from meals and tasty dog treats may seem harmless, if done regularly it can lead to debilitating problems such as cardiovascular disease and other serious health conditions. It is important to monitor a dog’s diet and provide them with the right balance of nutrients, minerals and vitamins to ensure a long and healthy life.


Obesity is one of the most common problems among pets and can have a huge impact on their quality of life. Rather than preventing obesity, many owners instigate weight gain by overfeeding their pets, leading to an imbalanced metabolism. As dogs are unable to self-regulate their food intake, owners need to take full responsibility over the health risks associated with obesity.

The most effective way to treat obesity, or prevent it from occurring, is to provide your dog with controlled portions of high quality, nutritious pet food, such as those offered by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. It is also vital that you ensure your dog is getting adequate amounts of exercise.


image from Hill’s

If your dog is not losing weight despite changes to its feeding and exercise routine, it is a good idea to consult a vet for further dog diet advice.

Health problems

Foods that have an imbalance of nutrients and fail to meet a dog’s dietary needs can lead to a variety of weight-related health problems including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and respiratory problems. Excess weight in dogs can also cause external infections from skin folds, impede injury recovery and make exercising more difficult. Sadly, a bad diet can ultimately lead to a reduced lifespan in some cases.

Bad feeding habits

The nutrients humans need vary greatly from that of a dog. Many owners make the mistake of thinking that their dog doesn’t enjoy eating pet food and will feed them human food, including scraps that are high in calories. Not only can this cause rapid weight gain and sickness, but it can also get your dog accustomed to foods that fail to provide them with the right nutrients to maintain a healthy weight.

Whilst giving treats to your dog is a popular method of reinforcing good behaviour and showing affection, you should try to be sparing with your treats and opt for low calorie alternatives.

How to prevent overfeeding

Many dog owners make the mistake of thinking that their dog will only eat what he or she needs. In fact, dogs rarely have limits when it comes to eating, and will often overeat when given the chance. By establishing ‘meal times’ at regular intervals throughout the day, you can condition your dog into understanding when they are allowed to eat.

Measuring your dog’s portions can help to regulate how much your dog is eating. As a general rule, you should assess your dog’s weight, fitness and health condition to determine how much your dog should be eating.

Not all food is suitable for dogs; Labradors will try and convince you otherwise!

Not all food is suitable for dogs; Labradors will try and convince you otherwise!

Pet food

Although most pet food will include accurate guidance on portion size, it is important to note that individual dogs will have different nutritional requirements, and that feeding should be adjusted if your dog’s physical condition changes.

Always ensure that your pet food is providing the right balance of nutrition that your dog needs. If you decide that your pet food is failing to meet your dog’s dietary requirements, you should switch to a different brand and gradually mix it into their diet with incrementing portions. Speaking with your vet can also help to determine the appropriate diet for your dog.


Fresh air and exercise is important for both of you too.

Fresh air and exercise is important for both of you too.


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There’s Oil and Then There’s Oi1

I was recently given the opportunity to try a new brand of olive oil from Candiasoil* and I have to say I’m really pleased I did. oi1 Peza

Before I share my opinions, here’s some facts: 

Olive oils produced from a single variety of olive, from individual farms, produce oils with the most character and best flavours. We’re familiar with this concept for grapes and wine, but exactly the same is true of olive oils. Most oils available in the UK are blends, as it is more economical for companies to pick and choose olives from farms with big harvests, but blending loses character. For Oi1 oils, only a single variety of olive, grown on small local farms in Crete, are used and it is clear from the two oils in the Oi1 range just how much difference, when using a single oil variety rather than a blend, olive grove location can make to the taste of the final oil…

Oi1 Peza is produced from Koroneiki olives grown in the green, fertile region of Peza in central Crete. The oil is a smooth and slightly fruity extra virgin olive oil ideal for drizzling over cooked red meat, vegetables and homemade dressings.

Oi1 Viannos is also produced from Koroneiki olives, but these are grown in the mountainous and costal region of Viannos in southern Crete, which gives this extra virgin olive oil a more robust, fruity, peppery taste, great for drizzling over Mediterranean salads and pasta or for dipping breads.

The Oi1 oils carry a PDO – ‘protected designation of origin’ – stamp; this means that the oils have been picked out for specific high quality sensory characteristics, such as taste and aroma. Crete is not only the birthplace of olive oil, as the climate and soil is perfect for growing olives, but it remains unspoilt by heavy industry meaning the taste of the olives is unspoilt by pollution and this shows in the Oi1 flavours.

Oi1 oils are genuine extra virgin olive oils. The term ‘virgin’ means that the oil has been produced from a mechanical pressing process, rather than one involving chemicals, and produces an unspoilt oil with more integrity. The ‘extra’ before the virgin means that the oil has been judged to have a better taste, with some fruitiness and no sensory defects. It is also a measure of acidity and to be labelled ‘extra virgin’ an oil must have less than 0.8% acidity (straight virgin oil can have an acidity of around double this).

Sunlight and oxygen can ruin the quality, taste and health benefits of olive oil by breaking down some of its beneficial natural chemicals. Oi1 oils come in specially designed tins to prevent sunlight reaching the oil and cut down on oxygen contact. The tins also have special internal coatings to best preserve the oil and keep it tasting fresh.

I chose to try the Oi1 Peza variety as it seemed to be the version I would get the most use out of. I chose well.

So far I’ve made a marinade for duck fillets (Olive oil, blueberry vinegar & plum jam), and 2 different dressings…one with lemon juice & garlic granules for a prawn salad, and, the other with cider vinegar (because I hadn’t any red wine vinegar) & celery salt for a steak salad.

Olive Oi1 & Blueberry Marinade



Olive Oi1 Salad Dressing









All delicious.

It really is lovely stuff. Obviously it’s not going to be the cheapest option on the supermarket shelf and I shall continue using a basic oil for cooking, but, when taste matters, I would recommend this.

The tin is simply but effectively designed and just feels like quality…the only way to be when your contents resemble liquid gold…I had a slight predicament getting the thing open and it now drips a bit when I pour but I’m 99% that’s down to my inexperience and cack-handedness rather than a design flaw!

If you’d like to discover the difference between an ok olive oil and a superb olive oil, Oi1 oils are now available in Tesco stores nationwide and cost £6.50 for a 500ml bottle.

You can also save £1 with a voucher that’s available until the end of this week :)

* I was sent the Oil Peza for the purpose of this review but all opinions are my own.


Family Fever
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One Photo No Words 26 October 2014

lisas-life Stella Oct 25th 2014 sc

Silent Sunday @ Nicer Than New

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Turn Back The Clock

Apart from being a good reason to remember Johnny Hates Jazz…


This weekend we must actually remember to put the clocks back an hour as we say goodbye to British Summer Time.

I expect I’ll forget one as usual, most commonly the central heating, and not bother with the car one until Monday morning…it’s a good job really that the iphone resets the time itself or I’d never know if I was coming or going! I wish I had more time

But, what will we do with that extra hour? Tempur, the mattress people, have some ideas if you’re stuck.

Source: Tempur

Tempur have also kindly passed on some discount codes if you’re in the market for bedroom things:

Applies to adjustable beds or adjustable bed frames from the following ranges: Ardennes, Foxton, Ashby and Musica Order a single size Save £100 Order a double size Save £200 Order a king size Save £300 Order a super king size Save £400
Up to £400
Match a single size Save 50% off the RRP, up to £124.50 Match a small double Save 50% off the RRP, up to £174.50 Match a double Save 50% off the RRP, up to £174.50 Match a king Save 50% off the RRP, up to £199.50 Match a super king Save 50% off the RRP, up to £224.50 Applies to divan and headboard matching size combinations when ordered from the following ranges: Ardennes divan – add a matching sized headboard from any of the following: Ardennes Plain, Ardennes Profiled, Ardennes Buttoned Headboard ranges.
How does it work? Applies to a single product: Multi Pillow £10 saving will be applied to each Multi Pillow purchased up to a maximum of 10 in a single transaction.
£10 saving will be applied to each Multi Pillow purchased up to a maximum of 10 in a single transaction.
How does it work? Applies to Toppers ordered from the following ranges: Topper 7, Topper Deluxe 3.5 10% discount will be applied to each item in the shopping cart
10% discount will be applied to each item in the shopping cart
Sweet dreams :) 


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Opposites Attract

lisas-life opposites attract

What’s the opposite of me?
Well, that would be you.
Because, whatever I don’t like,
You most definitely do.

Morning routines are fun,
You drink coffee, I drink tea;
But it’s human nature,
That we won’t always agree.

Of course I have a dog,
That means you want a cat.
At least we both love animals,
I can give thanks for that.

I love to sit and read,
You turn the TV on,
But there are worse foundations,
To build our world upon.

We like quite different foods,
You want curry, I want chips,
Though, not in a restaurant,
We’d argue over tips.

In the evening when it’s late,
I’d love to cuddle close.
But, you’re on your Xbox,
Fighting with your foes.

When it comes to days out,
Could we be further apart?
You’d ride rollercoasters,
I’d rather look at art.

I’m happy with the radio,
Some melodic background noise.
But you turn speakers way up high,
Until we’ve lost our voice.

You’d argue with your shadow,
I prefer a little tact.
I guess that if one thing is true,
It’s that opposites attract!



More poetry at Verily Victoria Vocalises…
Prose for Thought

More opposites attracting at Mum Turned Mom…

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