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Why Firepits Are Good For You

Firepits don’t just bring you warmth, they have lots of other advantages too. As well as being practical they can bring you health and emotional benefits too. Here’s just a few reasons why firepits are good for you…

Help you to relax and unwind

After a busy or stressful day can you think of anything better than sitting by an open outdoor fire? Scientists have found that an open fire reduces blood pressure. Subsequently the longer people sit in front of a roaring fire, the greater the relaxing effect it has on them.

You can use them all year round

Using a firepit enables you to enjoy outdoor living all year round. As a matter of fact there is no reason why you can’t throw an outdoor party, even in the middle of winter! Undoubtedly a burning fire is sure to keep your guests warm on a cold evening. In fact, why not get out the marshmallows for a delicious s’mores treat for everyone to enjoy.

It lights up the night

No outdoor lighting can compete with the blaze of a real fire. Firepits provide an ambient glow to your evening long after the sun has gone down. Make the most of your garden sat in the warmth and comfort of your open outside fire gazing at the stars.

Creates a romantic atmosphere

While firepits great for gatherings, they also set the scene for a romantic evening for two. No need to go ‘out out’, as an alternative share a bottle of wine and gaze at the twinkling sky snuggled up with your loved one.

You can use it to cook

Cooking is simple using your firepit. All you need is a grill rack, a couple of pots and some tin foil. Classics such as hot dogs, burgers and kebabs are always delicious. Try wrapping potatoes in foil and tucking them amongst the coals for perfect jacket potatoes!

 

Now you know why fire pits are good for you, keep your fire burning even longer into the night by adding Firemizer. Click here to order yours.

 

How to Help The Environment in 5 Simple Steps

It is important that we all know how to help the environment. Just a few simple changes to the way we live can have a huge impact, not only the environment but your bank account too! Being mindful of your consumption habits can save you money.

Being environmentally friendly can be a fun challenge for all the family, so get the kids involved too!  Just think how much cleaner the planet would be if everyone adopted even 1 or 2 of the following changes…

1. Leave the car at home

Ditch the car for short journeys in favour of walking or cycling. For your commute to work, could you use public transport or car share?

2. Re-use

Not only will this save you money it will save resources and energy to manufacture new ‘stuff’. When shopping, always use a reusable bag. Plastic bags end up in landfills or other parts of the environment, which can then become harmful to animals. You can also minimise the use of  disposable cups and bottles by always carrying a reusable alternative.

3. Recycle 

Recycling is so simple, always make use of your recycling bins at home and visit your local recycling centre regularly.

4. Shop local

Shopping locally not only supports small businesses but reduces your carbon footprint too! Check out local retailers before you click for that next day shipping. You can visit your local farmers market for fresh, package-free food.

5. Save water

Conserving water at home is easy, simply turning of the tap when brushing your teeth makes a difference. Collecting rainwater to water your plants and only turning on your dishwasher when it’s full are great habits too.

 

Undoubtedly, big changes are needed, but little ones do add up. Knowing how to help the environment by following these simple lifestyle choices can reduce your carbon footprint and make a major impact on the planet.

Host the perfect garden party!

With Covid restrictions lasting a few more weeks, your original social plans may have had to be cancelled. Why not host the perfect garden party to lift your spirits?

It doesn’t have to be a stressful task, you can easily create a fabulous party for all to enjoy with a few of the following ideas.

Bar Area

There is no denying that outdoor bars look great! They have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. Best of all you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create your very own tavern. A simple shelf accompanied by a couple of stools looks the part, a potting bench can also easily double up as a stylish bar. Display your favourite beverages along with ice and glasses and hey presto – bar area complete!

Party Games

Undoubtedly getting out the games will entertain guests of all ages. Keep it simple by leaving out classics like Twister, Swing ball and Jumbo Jenga to get your party going. However, you can always make your own games out of things lying around the house. Ring toss and tin can bowling are really simple to create!

Photo Booth

Capture the fun times with a homemade photo booth. Leave out some props in a signed area and let your guests do the rest. Gardens provide the perfect backdrop for fantastic snaps!

Set the scene

Host the perfect garden party with a theme. Whether you’d like bright and colourful, comfy and cosy or sleek and sophisticated, setting the scene will certainly wow your guests. Textiles such as table linen, rugs, blankets and cushions are great way to make your garden inviting. Whether it be with candles or lights, you can’t go wrong with lighting and it makes a huge difference to the ambience.

Buffet or BBQ?

However you decide to feed your guests it’s always a good idea to check for any special dietary requirements of your guests. You don’t want anyone leaving with an empty tummy!

With all this in place who needs to go out-out?! 🙂

 

                                                                                                                                             

How to clean your wood burning stove – a useful guide!

How to clean your wood burning stove, now is as good a time as any with the warmer summer months upon us.

Although wood burning is brilliant for generating heat efficiently, it can become messy if you don’t keep on top of maintaining it. Keeping it clean will also increase the lifetime of your stove.

Here are some tips to get your stove looking and performing it’s best

 

Firstly there are a few things you’ll need to check

  1. Examine the firebrick lining and see if it needs replacing  – the lining will keep the stove from overheating
  2. Make sure the chimney is cleaned. This will prevent chimney fires and help your stove burn more efficiently.
  3. Check the sealed door. You want a tight seal to make sure smoke doesn’t enter your house. The cord that’s around the door may need replacing on occasion.

Before you start make sure your stove has fully cooled.

Equipment you’ll need:

  • gloves
  • newspaper
  • a small ash shovel
  • a small brush
  • a metal ash bucket
  • household glass cleaner
  • cloth

It’s a good idea to wear protective gloves whilst cleaning your stove. Place newspaper on the floor around your stove then use a small shovel to remove all the ash into your metal bucket or container, you can use a hand brush to gently sweep any remaining debris.

You will find that if you have been using Firemizer there will be a significant reduction in the amount of ash produced, therefore making it easier to clean!

When your used Firemizer starts to deteriorate, ensure it is cold before removal. Firemizer can be recycled with your normal household metal waste.

Click here to order your replacement Firemizer.

Take the ash to a safe place outdoors away from any bushes or other materials that might catch fire. Leave for at least 24 hours before you dispose of it.

Apply glass cleaner to the glass and wipe using a cloth until the window is clean. If parts of the window don’t clean straight away, let the solution react for a few minutes before wiping. You can then use a dry cloth and hoover to clean the exterior of your burner.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions which came with you stove. The information provided is guidance only, and should be followed only in accordance with the guidelines of the manufacturer.

So now you know how to clean your wood burning stove, there is no excuse not to keep it looking spick and span!

 

Try Firemizer in your BBQ!

As the weather is forecast for a hot weekend it’s perfect weather for a barbeque! Why not BBQ with Firemizer! If you have some life left in your Firemizer, simply migrate the material into any outdoors solid fuel appliance like a Fire pit, BBQ or even a Pizza oven!

Why not check out Firebuilder to start your summer of environmentally friendly! find out more here

To get your BBQ to cooking temperature 20% faster here are some of our top tips!

BBQ With Firemizer

types of BBQ

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 a BBQ with firemizer!

Using Firebuilder

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. 

For more tips and great advice check out this article

4 Things To Do While You’re At Home

The first day of spring is here and no one imagined spending most of Spring at home but here we are. To help with boredom here are some activities you can do while at home!

Indoor camping

If you’re stuck at home with kids struggling for ideas to keep them occupied then indoor camping might be the way forward.

  • get the snacks and drinks – hot chocolate is a good choice
  • Make some games – cards, board games or treasure hunt
  • You can use a tent or make one out of bedsheets and blankets
  • Make sure to fill the tent with blankets and pillows so its extra comfy

smoreIndoor S’mores

To fit with your indoor camping why not make some food to enjoy! S’mores are the best treat to have while camping. Grab some crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate and you are ready to go. Check out our other blog all about S’more and other yummy ingredients you can use.

Gardening

Being inside for most of the day isn’t fun so bring some of the outside inside by taking up gardening!

Start easy with some herbs like basil, rosemary or mint, make sure you don’t overwater them and they have adequate drainage. Another idea is making your own terrarium, this is a collection of small decorative indoor plants that created by you is one of a kind. You can buy kits to help you get started then once you’ve got the gist you can experiment with other decorative elements.

If you do have access to a garden then go to town with herbs, vegetables or flowers. Did you know using Firemizer in your wood burner creates finer ash. This can be used in your garden or for composting.

CinemaMovie Night

Who doesn’t love watching a film!  So why not make it more memorable than just sitting on the sofa. Create your own cinema, get some sweets and popcorn, set up a comfy, cosy seating area full of blankets and pillows and you’re ready to go. Don’t forget the films though!

How To Look After Indoor Plants

With spring approaching and new plants, flourishing you may be thinking of adding extra things to your home to spruce it up. Well, why not get some indoor plants, they have so many benefits and make your home feel very cozy.

Benefits of indoor plants
  • Boost mood, productivity, concentration and creativity
  • Reduce stress, fatigue, sore throats and colds
  • Clean indoor air by absorbing toxins, increasing humidity and producing oxygen
  • Add life to a sterile office, give privacy and reduce noise levels
Succulents

These are very trendy and easy to find. Popular succulents are living stones, lithops, money plant and crassula ovata.

How to keep them alive
  • they need plenty of light but don’t let them get chilled or sunburned.
  • If your plant starts to stretch or get tall it is not getting enough light
  • Grow them in gritty free-draining compost and allow them to dry out completely between watering
  • Never let them stand in water
Cactus

There are so many different types of cactus. Bunny eared Opuntia cacti produces prickly pads and the Barrel Cactus with its bright yellow spines are perfect for growing on windowsills. Moon cactus are also popular and especially with children as they are fun and funky plants that have a small round top cactus, which can be red, orange of yellow, grafted on top of a taller green base specimen.

  • happiest in a sunny spot
  • Don’t overwater them
  • Place in gritty, free-draining compost and water with tepid rainwater
  • Wait till the compost has dried before watering again
Fern

These come in different varieties but not all make good houseplants. Maidenhair, asparagus and sword ferns will grow in cool shady spots like the bathroom or kitchen.

  • grow best in bright light with some shaded spots midday
  • Poor light can be tolerated for short periods
  • The plant will die if room temp is below 10 degrees
  • Keep the compost permanently moist
  • In hot dry air mist those leaves to prevent browning and drying to a crisp
  • Throughout spring and summer give ferns some dilute liquid feed every couple of weeks.
Geranium

The best ones to grow inside are those with scented leaves. Some popular choices are the rose-scented pelargonium capitatum and lemon-scented pelargonium citronellum.

  • grow them in a sunny position but not in a spot hit by the full midday sun
  • Water moderately during spring and summer
  • Avoid the compost becoming too wet
  • Feed plants every 10- 14 days with high nitrogen fertilizer in spring
  • Pinch out the shoot tips in late winter to encourage growth
  • Once flowers start to form switch to a high potassium fertilizer such as tomato feed.

 

Can you make pancakes over a fire?

With pancake day only 3 days away the most important question is can you make pancakes over a fire?

The answer is a firm yes, so if you’re out camping and want some pancakes or fancy making over your fire at home here is how.

Mixture recipe

  • 1/2 cup of self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of milk

Vegan option

    •   300g self-raising flour
    •   A teaspoon baking powder
    •   1 tbsp sugar
    •   1 tbsp vanilla extract
    •   400ml plant-based milk (oat, almond, soya, coconut)
    •   vegetable oil for cooking

All you need to cook is warmth from the fire and hot flat surface to cook on

Don’t cook in the flames but use the hot embers, charcoal is an easier option as it’s easier to get the hot embers stage and you use less fuel. However wood will work just fine!

Cooking surface

Cast iron cookware is the best and a crepe pan is a top choice as they are very flat and large.

You can use a cast iron griddle which has slightly higher sides but other than that there isn’t much difference.

Method

  1. When the embers are hot place your pan onto the embers and pour a little bit of oil.
  2. Once spread and the oil is warm pour on pancake batter
  3. The proper way to tell when a pancake needs turning is when the bubbles in the top burst.

Toppings

  • Orange and sugar
  • Lemon and sugar
  • Banana and Nutella

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

What drinks can you make over a campfire?

What better way to make the most of your campfire than bringing some home comforts to the outdoors! 

Traditional Campfire Coffee Recipe

  • First, place six teaspoons of ground coffee into the camping coffee pot and then pour three pints of cold water over the coffee grounds.
  • Place the coffee pot on the fire and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiled, take the pot off the heat and allow it too steep for approximately three minutes.
  • To make the coffee more delicious, try adding three or four spoons of cold water to the liquid after steeping to settle the coffee grounds.

smoreThe Campfire Percolator Coffee Pot

This campfire coffee recipe is the most common method for making campfire coffee.

  • Add one to two tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee for every six ounces of water.
  • To avoid having coffee grounds in your mixture, it is recommended that you poke a hole in the coffee filter and place it in the perk basket.
  • Watch the percolator until the mixture turns a coffee color because the longer the coffee percolates, the stronger it will become.

Campfire hot chocolate

  • Mix the dry ingredients at home, Cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Heat milk in a camp coffee pot or saucepan over low heat. 
  • As the milk begins to heat add 2 tablespoons of the cocoa mix to the bottom of your mug.
  • Then top with 1 cup of warmed milk and stir until combined.
  • Why not add some toasted marshmallows into your hot chocolate

Cooking Tip: Using whole milk for this recipe will make it nice and creamy. Or you can use an alternative milk option like soya milk or coconut milk, it’s perfect with hot chocolate.

Cooking Tip: Don’t scald the milk, heat it slowly

cooking tip: Don’t forget to use Firemizer on your campfire. this will help distribute the heat for an even burn.

Campfire Cocktail

ingredients

  • Bulleit bourbon
  • Malt whiskey
  • Marshmallow syrup
  • Caster sugar
  • Mini marshmallows
  • To make the syrup, boil the marshmallows with 500ml water. Once they have dissolved, add the sugar and stir to dissolve this until fully combined. 
  • Stir all ingredients over ice and serve with a toasted marshmallow (optional).

5 Reasons Wood Burners Are Good For You

As people are becoming more aware of pollution wood burners are getting a lot of heat [pun not intended] from the media and activist groups. However, there are benefits to wood burners and ways to decrease any potentially harmful particulates.

Drying the air

Wood burners are very good at drying out damp environments which will make your home more pleasant and breathable. By keeping the air in your home free from moisture will prevent mold from forming which could lead to health problems.

Repelling allergens

Log fireplaces can help reduce the number of allergens in the air. These can get caught in the updraft of hot air from the fire. This will carry them out through the chimney or flue.

Providing relaxation

When it is cold and miserable outside there’s nothing better than sitting by a warm fire. A wood burner can really make a house feel more homely. You can also use your fire to cook on adding another element to your wood burner.

Cut down on heating bills

As heating bills rise more people find it hard to heat their homes. Having a wood burner can be very economical by saving you money on your heating bills. While you may have to still use your heating in other rooms having the option to lessen your heating bill while keeping warm is a win-win.

Good for the environment

Wood is carbon-neutral fuel, the amount of carbon dioxide given off when burnt is equal to the amount consumed by other trees which absorbs the carbon dioxide and releases oxygen.

There are other alternative fuels like coffee logs that are made from used coffee beans. Both wood and coffee logs work well with firemizer which will reduce your fuel consumption, reduce particulates and creosote in your flue.

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