Author: Hayley Cowlishaw

Summer Staycation At Home

A staycation is basically taking time off, but staying at home. Lots of us are jetting off on holiday now that the covid rules and restrictions have eased. But many of us still prefer to wait for the chaos to subside before travelling again.

So if you’re leaving your passport at home and avoiding the hassle of the airport this year, we have some great ideas to ensure it’s enjoyable for all.

One thing we can’t guarantee is good weather, this doesn’t have to ruin your break, just be sure to always have a plan B.

It’s Summer, so of course you want to spend as much time as possible outdoors. The key is creating a space in your garden that is comfortable and inviting. You don’t want to be putting in too much work, that will just defeat the object. Choose your favourite spot and set out some comfortable seating and a table. An area in your garden where you can relax in the sun, read a book and a eat and drink until your heart’s content. Simply adding outdoor lighting, a few cushions and blankets give it the extra special touch.

If you like to cook, an outdoor kitchen or barbecue is a must during your staycation. Stock up your fridge and cupboards with your favourite food and drink so you have everything to hand when the mood strikes you.

A fire pit or a chiminea is a great addition to your garden space. If you don’t already have one, now would be a good time to invest. Not only will it keep you warm on those chillier evenings, the glow adds a visual warmth to your space.

Did you know Firemizer also works great on BBQ’s, fire pits and even pizza ovens?! It’ll get your coals hotter much faster, help them to burn more efficiently and last up to a third longer! Furthermore, it will reduce any harmful pollutants emitted by 72%.

Get £5 off with code: FIRE5

 

 

How to BBQ with Firemizer

The weather is hotting up, therefore barbecue parties are being planned! Did you know you can use Firemizer on your BBQ?

If you have one in your log burner with some life left in it, you can simply migrate the material into any outdoor solid fuel appliance like a Fire pit, BBQ or even a Pizza oven!

Firemizer will get your BBQ to cooking temperature 20% faster! Team it with Firebuilder to start your summer off environmentally friendly.

BBQ With Firemizer

Simply place it on the base of your BBQ, place the coals on top, and start it like normal and see the difference. It’ll get your coals hotter much faster, help them to burn more efficiently and last up to a third longer, and reduce any harmful pollutants emitted by 72%. The only way to BBQ is with firemizer!

Using Firebuilder

FUEL SAVER

Why not try using Firebuilder to start your fire? With no kerosene, the food will be free from any harmful chemicals to keep your food tasting great. Just break the cardboard brick, light the edges, place it on top of your solid fuel and let the fire burn downwards.

Grilling Meats

  1. Beef = ground beef cook at 71°C Fahrenheit, steaks cook at 62°C. Use direct heat for chops and steaks. Use indirect heat for roasts and larger cuts of beef.
  2. Chicken = chicken breast and legs cook at 73°C. For thick pieces of meat cook over direct heat, larger pieces over indirect heat.
  3. Pork = sausages cooked at 73°C while pork chops cook at 62°C. Start cooking sausages on high heat so the outside is nice and charred then move to a cover part of the grill to finish off.
  4. Seafood = salmon or shrimp cook at 62°C. Oil the grill well to reduce sticking. 

 

How To Make Your Fire Pit Last Longer

It is feeling a lot chillier than we’d expect for this time of year. Most of us have spent time getting our gardens ready to enjoy the sunshine, but the weather has other ideas! You can still make the most of your outdoor space if you have a fire pit or chiminea to keep you warm. And with the help of Firemizer, it will burn for much longer into the evening.

Fire pit

Whether you are entertaining or enjoying your fire pit alone, the last thing you want is for your fire to be going out every few minutes. First, you need to get your fire lit. Place scrunched up newspaper at the bottom of your pit and then place kindling (small dry sticks) on top. Carefully light the newspaper and kindling with a long match. An even easier way to light your fire is with Firebuilder, our handy firelighter and kindling in one!

Now you are ready to add your wood. There are certain types of wood that are less likely to spit or smoke too much. We recommend ash, oak or hawthorn for a steady, long-lasting burn. These are dense woods which will produce less smoke and residue. It is very important to only burn dry wood. Damp wood smokes heavily producing far more particulate emissions, making it worse for the environment.

Above all of this, the best way to burn for longer, reduce emissions and also save on fuel is by using Firemizer! Simply place at the bottom of your fire before you add your fire lighter and kindling and just sit back and enjoy the benefits.

Our Firemizer and Firebuilder Starter Pack is also available on our website.

Charcoal BBQ vs. Gas

We are well into BBQ season and the glorious smell of outdoor cooking is frequently wafting through the air, but which is best, Charcoal or Gas?

Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference but here we go through the pro’s and con’s of both options.

A gas BBQ does offer convenience, although there are some things it just cannot replicate when compared to a charcoal BBQ. It is impossible to achieve that distinct flavour you get when cooking meat over real charcoal coals when using gas.

Gas barbeques will give you the benefit of firing up at the push of a button, making it instantaneously ready to grill your food. But doesn’t that take away the pride of attaining the perfect heat to cook upon?

Generally, barbequing with coal is cheaper than with gas and it is also an easier fuel to buy. However, it is a little messier as the ash left behind can be a hassle to clean up.

When it comes to temperature control and management, a gas grill is much simpler to use. A charcoal BBQ can take 15-30 minutes to get going, however it will reach higher temperatures which gives your meat that perfect brown, crispy exterior.

So which is better for the environment? Charcoal can produce a lot more carbon dioxide than a propane grill. However, there are a number of eco-friendly charcoal brands that you can buy made from 100% naturally occurring products.

Is the mess, difficulty of temperature control and emissions of coal swaying you more towards using gas for your outdoor cooking? Don’t make your mind up yet, Firemizer is a game changer! Simply place in your BBQ before adding your coals. It will get them hotter much faster, help them to burn more efficiently and last up to a third longer.

Not only that, it will reduce any harmful pollutants emitted by 72%. The benefits of Firemizer doesn’t end there! Maximizing the length and efficiency of the burn means less ash to dispose of after your BBQ.

The only way to BBQ is with Firemizer!

GET £5 OFF USING CODE: FIRE5

Fireplace Makeover Made Easy

You may not be lighting your fire as often now that we are in to the warmer months of the year. All the more reason to dress your mantel and maintain it’s visual warmth. A lot of us like to rethink and refresh our living room’s overall look from season to season. Whether you want to go all out or just add some subtle seasonal touches, we have found some simple yet beautiful décor examples for your fireplace.

Plants are one of the more versatile decorative elements of a home. They can go just about anywhere with the right lighting, including your fireplace. Choosing a variety in different shapes and sizes will ensure lots of visual interest. Plants enhance the overall appearance of any space. But not only that, studies have found that they boost moods, increase creativity, reduce stress, and eliminate air pollutants.

Hanging a mirror above will bring out the positive features. As well as this, it is also favourable Feng Shui practice to place a mirror over a fireplace. The water element of the mirror balances the fire element, bringing in good energy to the room. Ideally you want the mirror 2/3 the width of the mantel. Avoid positioning the mirror too high so it can be used functionally.

Candles are the next best thing after a real fire, and there are many ways to incorporate them into your décor. When your fire isn’t lit, candles will create a cosy mood and ambience.

Add greenery, a mirror and candles and you will achieve a look of pure elegance.

You can also go for a theme by displaying accessories like ornaments, pictures and books. Don’t be afraid to mix the size and style of the decorative objects, as this will add to the confident, eclectic feel. If you have wallpaper pick out a bright colour and choose similar coloured items to create a striking feature.

 

Celebrate Easter Outdoors

Are you considering celebrating Easter outdoors this year? We have put together a few ideas to get you started.

Don’t let the weather put you off!

Unfortunately, one thing we can’t plan in advance is the weather. But, it doesn’t have to ruin your plans if the rain starts to fall, you just need to be prepared. Gazebo’s are a great investment if you don’t already have one. They can be used over and over throughout the year, and look great decorated with lights and garlands for celebrations.

Add a personal touch with hand made decorations

You will find hundreds of idea’s online for DIY Easter decorations, why not get the kids involved too?  Not only will this save you money, it keeps your children entertained during the holidays too! Your hand made décor is guaranteed catch eyes and strike up conversations between guests too. Give it a go, and have some fun with it.

 

Organise an egg hunt

Firstly, you will need to decide on whether you want to go all out, keep it simple or aim for somewhere in-between. Above all you want to keep it fun and not cause any unnecessary stress for yourself. As well as chocolate, it is a nice idea to place clues and riddles along the way too.

Go for the unexpected and get the BBQ out

Without a doubt, everyone loves a BBQ! If you haven’t already lit yours this year, then Easter is the perfect opportunity. Keep the traditional Easter theme with lamb and vegetable skewers or serve favourites, like sausages and burgers. Either way it will most definitely be a delicious treat for all.

Not only is Firemizer beneficial on your log burner, did you know it also works great on BBQ’s?! If you have some life left in your existing Firemizer, simply migrate the material into your barbecue and place your coals on top. It’ll get your coals hotter much faster, help them to burn more efficiently and last up to a third longer! Furthermore, it will reduce any harmful pollutants emitted by 72%. The only way to BBQ is a BBQ with firemizer!

 

 

Reasons To Love Spring

It’s official, we have made it through the winter months and Spring is here!  We can now welcome longer days and warmer, sunnier weather. There are many reasons to love Spring, but here is what we are most looking forward to…

It makes you happier

It’s a fact! Sunlight increases the brain’s release of serotonin which regulates feelings of well-being and happiness.

It makes you healthier

Sunlight also provides us with more Vitamin D. This important vitamin helps with growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance to certain diseases.

Fruit and Veg is at its best

Springtime sees the return of bright and colourful fruits and vegetables like strawberries, kiwi’s, radishes and asparagus. Spring is a firm favourite with chefs as flavour and freshness is at it’s peak!

Flowers are in bloom and trees are turning green

You will already be reaping the benefits, and enjoying the daffodils and tulips popping up. Did you know, colourful plants and flowers increase positive energy? Plants and flowers oxygenate the air, boosting brain cells, which also improves memory and concentration.

We see more animals

When the weather becomes warmer, animals will make an appearance again. Many give birth in spring, and let’s be honest, we all can’t help but smile when we see baby lambs and calves running around the fields.

Evening walks

Now the days are longer we can enjoy the fresh air and take an evening stroll. A perfect way to unwind after a busy or stressful day.

Barbeques

With the extra warmth and light in the evenings, spring is the perfect time to get outside and have a barbeque! There is nothing more pleasing than the smell of food cooking on the BBQ drifting through the air. Did you know, you can use your Firemizer on barbeques and firepits? So you can continue to save money throughout the year!

 

Happy Spring 🙂

Get Spring Clean Ready!

February has been and gone, and Spring is now on the horizon. As we welcome longer, milder days, that Spring clean might be creeping to the top of your ‘to do’ list.

Now is the perfect time to plan and prepare!

Make A List

Never under estimate the effectiveness of a list. There is nothing like the feeling of ticking off those little jobs that have been hanging over you. A typical list might look something like this…

  • Hoover/Sweep/Mop Floors
  • Empty bins
  • Dust – high & low!
  • Wipe door handles & light fixtures
  • Wipe window sills & ledges
  • Change bed linen & towels
  • Clean kitchen appliances – inside & out!
  • Wipe countertops & cabinets
  • Wash the dishes
  • Clean & disinfect toilets
  • Bathroom clean – sink/bath/shower
  • Wipe skirting boards
  • Clean windows – in & out

Purchase Necessary Cleaning Products

Take a look down your to do list and jot down what you will need for each job. But, keep your items to a minimum. Too many cleaning supplies can create unnecessary clutter. Choose a good all purpose cleaner and some cloths that will cover the majority of surfaces in your home. Then, you can purchase other specialty cleaning products, such as window cleaner, furniture polish and disinfectant.

Declutter

Leading up to your deep spring clean, start tackling area’s one at a time. Throw out, out of date food from your fridge and cupboards. Clean out your junk drawers, take clothes and items you no longer need or use to your local charity shop, and so on. You’ll feel so much better afterwards!

Get In The Mood

Prepare yourself mentally, think about how great it will feel when your home is fresh, clean and organised ready for the new season. Make it fun, get your favourite feel good playlist ready to blast out! Finally, set a date. Mark it on the calendar and commit to it.

 

Save On Gas, Cook Your Pancakes Over The Fire!

With Shrove Tuesday just days away, now is the time to starting stocking up on your ingredients to make the perfect pancakes! Why not save on gas and cook your pancakes over your fire this year, it’s really simple to do and fun too!

Mixture recipe

  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • tbsp vegetable oil for cooking

Vegan option

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • tsp baking powder
  • tbsp sugar (any kind)
  • tbsp vanilla extract
  • 400ml plant-based milk (such as oat, almond or soya)
  • tbsp vegetable oil for cooking

Method

Firstly, place all the ingredients into a bowl or large jug, then whisk to a smooth batter. For best results set aside for 30 minutes to rest, if you don’t have time, you can start cooking straight away. Next, you need to heat a non-stick frying pan over the fire before pouring in your oil. Once nicely heated, pour the batter mix into the pan and spread the batter thinly around the pan. Finally, the fun bit! Flip the pancakes once cooked on one side and leave for another minute on the other, then serve!

Toppings

Although traditional toppings like syrup and Nutella are delicious! Why not try something different, like…

  • Jam and cream
  • Yoghurt and nectarine
  • Peanut butter and banana
  • Fruit and ice cream
  • Bacon

Top tip: don’t forget to use Firemizer under your charcoal or wood as this will give you an even burn which helps cook over a fire!

Valentine’s Day The Eco-Friendly Way

Valentine’s Day can have a huge impact on the environment. Over 40 million of people in the UK are expected to celebrate this year. So that’s over 40 million cards covered in glitter, glue and metallics that are not recyclable. We also spend over £1 billion on gifts like balloons, teddy bears and decorations that are impossible to recycle. Consequently these end up in landfills.

But, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate the day of love! We should just be more mindful of how we choose to. Here are a few ideas for a more sustainable Valentine’s Day.

Eco-Friendly Cards

Why not give the ultimate personal touch, and make your own card? Have a rummage through your recycle bins and junk drawers for things you could use and let your artistic side run wild. Another option is buying from an eco-friendly company. I have found a fantastic business that hand makes cards from 100% recycled paper and seeds. After use the card can be planted in your garden and will grow into beautiful flowers! Check them out here – Eco Friendly Cards.

Did you know, ash from your fire can be a useful additive to your compost heap? or, it can be applied directly to fallow ground and dug in.

Get Your Bake On!

Show how much you love someone by spending a couple of hours in the kitchen making them a sweet treat. Cupcakes are really simple to make and perfect for sharing too. You can’t go wrong with cookies, and you can decorate them to your recipients taste. If you don’t have much time, chocolate-dipped strawberries are a guaranteed winner. Drizzle white chocolate over milk chocolate for the extra wow factor!

Swap Flowers For A Plant

Cut-flowers are a beautiful gift to receive, but unfortunately they don’t last. Wouldn’t it be much better to receive a house plant, that with care and attention, will stay alive. House plants act as a natural filter to indoor pollution, research found that there are over 50 houseplant types that remove pollutants and gases. And that’s not all, it’s a gift that keeps on giving! Plants have also shown to lower stress levels and help to improve your wellbeing.

So show the planet some love this Valentine’s Day and opt for  the eco friendly way!

Happy Valentine’s Day ♥

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