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25.8.14

Sure As Eggs

Lately we've been trying to eat more healthily.  We've been eating a lot more salad, grilled fish etc and also tried to cut down on carbs, which I have to say I'm finding difficult!  Potatoes, rice, pasta, bread etc have for me, always been an essential part of every meal on a daily basis! Trying to cut them out has been really difficult!  We've also started trying to eat more eggs. They're packed with protein, full of nutrition and amazingly versatile and to be honest we don't eat enough of them. In fact according to British Lion Eggs the limit on egg consumption has now been lifted as it's known the cholesterol they contain doesn't not have a significant effect on blood cholesterol.  

We were recently sent this Severin EK3157 Egg Boiler, which was handy as we all know I'm pants in the kitchen! This electric egg boiler seemed like the foolproof way to achieve hard or soft boiled eggs and if I can work this little baby anyone can!

The electric egg boiler is pretty small and able to cook up to six eggs at a time with just one small container of water.  Add the eggs, water and then set the timer to the required setting and leave it to do it's thing.  It'll let you know when it's ready by beeping continuously.








The first egg I tried was on a medium setting which seemed to come out quite firm with a soft, but not runny, yolk 




I tried cooking another egg on the lowest setting and this resulted in a much runnier yolk.  Perfect for dippy egg and soldiers, except no carbs means no soldiers!


Whilst on the British Lions Egg website I noticed their sister site packed with 100s of recipes.  I actually can't believe how many different meals you can make with eggs! In fact, I can't believe how versatile the simple omelette is!  I'll definitely be trying out the carb free omelette fajitas and Liz McClarnon's Thai style stuffed omelette! Visit omelette recipes to see exactly what I'm on about and tell me which is your favourite!

*Sponsored post.

8.7.14

The World Of Coco Design

Don't you just love it when you stumble across something new? This week I've discovered Oxfordshire / Stratford based company Coco Design

With over 10 years in the interior design industry they decided to hang up their hard hats and create a home collection inspired by urban and rural settings. Their chosen colour palette means their collection will be at home almost anywhere. 

Spring Chickens

Boulevard 

Their collection is painstakingly created through a 3-stage process of sketches, hand cut stencils and finally hand painted with recycled emulsions. Nothing goes to waste. One of the many things I like about this company! Although this is a relatively precise process, each piece is unique with visible brush strokes an additional and intentional feature 

Do you own any handcrafted, unique artwork?

6.7.14

Upcycle Furniture With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I've wanted to try Annie Sloan chalk paint for ages. If you haven't heard about this miracle paint here's a brief description from their website. 

1. Chalk Paint® is the BEST paint for painting furniture by a long way 
2. No need to prime or prepare 
3. Extremely low VOC so it is good for the environment 
4. You can use it on any surface, indoors and out (the outside of our shop was painted in it -- perfect!) 
5. You can use the paint by diluting it with water to make a wash to show the wood grain 
6. The colours are mixed intelligently and the website shows how you can adapt your colours for your use 
7. It's a girls' paint, but boys can use it too 
8. It's flexible so you can be creative and change your mind 
9. It allows your walls to breathe so it is perfect for cottage walls 
10. You can use it as an impasto (thickly) - leave the lid off to thicken 
11. We've been making it since 1990 so it's tried and tested 

The deciding point for me had to be No.2. No need to prime or prepare? Hmmm I was a little sceptical about that statement but with so many people raving about this product I was willing to put my doubts aside. For those of you who have ever painted furniture you'll know how much time goes into preparing and priming! It's a lot of effort to say the least! 

I already had a project in mind. This 6 drawer chest of drawers which I'd picked up recently from a second hand shop. Although I quite liked the wood stain it was scratched and the colour didn't really go with the grey and purple tones in our bedroom.

Before

After carefully removing the handles I set to work using a soft brush. The paint goes on thickly but a little really goes a long way. Handy considering the £18 price tag for a 1 litre tin. As recommended by the stockist we watered down the second coat before applying, which makes it a lot smoother to apply. 

There are lots of finishes you can go for. Shabby chic, two tone, rustic, crackle effect, etc but in all honesty I prefer a smooth block colour finish to my furniture. After allowing the paint to dry I rubbed in some clear wax. This protects the paintwork and adds a slight sheen to the overall finish - Note - the paintwork was touch dry in around 30 minutes but I waited until the following day before rubbing clear wax into the drawers.



Annie Sloan - Paloma - Clear wax


I love these original handles

My overall thoughts?

I have to say, I'm really pleased with the effect and although the paint was expensive I've still got well over 3/4 left in the tin! Not bad considering there are endless uses with this paint. With that in mind I decided to give a cheap terracotta plastic pot a coat.





However, if you are looking for the exact colour in the tin I would recommend giving your furniture a quick once over with a primer or some white-ish paint.  It goes without saying that the colour underneath is bound to change the overall shade you end up with.  If the shade isn't quite right don't worry, you can easily mix it with any other Annie Sloan paint to achieve the right shade.

Would I use this paint again?
Most definitely! I love how versatile this paint is. You can water it down, mix it and literally paint any surface with it.  It dries so quickly without any stickiness and hardly smells compared to other paints.  The only problem I have with this paint is deciding which colour to get next!

Have you tried Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? Have you got a project in mind you're about to work on? I'd love to see what you're working on.  You can tweet a photo of your project to me at @agirliknow





29.6.14

Contemporary Lamp Giveaway


It's giveaway time!  Everyone knows lighting is key to any room. There's nothing that can ruin the tone of your room more than a stark ceiling light; or worse, lighting so dim you feel as if you've reverted back to candlelight! To overcome this I'm a big fan of lamps.  There's an abundance of them in our home.  In fact, come to think of it there's four in our living room and I'm contemplating a fifth! You see great lighting can complete your room and set the scene or as some would say, 'um-bi-uhnce'.

Some of us aren't fortunate to have floods of natural light within our home which is where clever and decorative lighting comes to the rescue.  Choosing the right lamp will complete your overall design scheme, just like the right pair of shoes would complete your outfit.

I've teamed up with Out There Interiors and giving away this large, white, contemporary table lamp to one lucky reader of A Girl I Know.  This bold lamp will certainly make a statement in any hallway or lounge.  In fact I'm a little bit jealous that I can't enter the giveaway myself!






























If you haven't heard of Out There Interiors I would definitely recommend you take a look.  Known for their quirky and quality assured designs, I love how they describe themselves as 'furniture people - not arrogant people'  In fact I'm slightly obsessed with this Fuschia Pink French Chest of Drawers. Which would make a great feature in any room!





Anyway, back to the giveaway in question! To be in with a chance of winning this oversized lamp worth £140 just enter via the rafflecopter form below. 




a Rafflecopter giveaway

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