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Inspiration, Recipes, Tips and tricks

The complete Christmas day checklist

December 5, 2018

The big day has arrived, the presents have been wrapped, Father Christmas has visited, and the festivities have begun, now all that is left to do is to cook the Christmas dinner. This helpful checklist make sure the day runs as smoothly as possible.

Turkey

The star of the show. This needs to be the first thing in your oven once you wake up (or have been woken up!) Place the seasoned turkey in a roasting tin along with carrots and onions (breast side down), after around 15 minutes turn the turkey breast side up and roast for the appropriate time. Make sure you keep the turkey juices to one side to make your own, flavour-packed gravy. Here’s a fantastic recipe featuring stuffing and gravy. When it comes to Christmas cooking, we need all the help we can get, so alongside all the extra pairs of hands, the Vision oven is fully equipped to lighten the load. Its integrated door camera ensures you can keep one eye on your roasting whilst prepping and entertaining!

Cranberry sauce and gravy

Why not put a spin on traditional Christmas sauces and add some liqueur and spices to the mix? Adding sherry or madeira to your turkey juices makes for a rich and flavourful gravy – the perfect complement to your festive dinner.

Cranberry sauce is also a staple in many families’ Christmas dinners, but this tip will make your sauce the talk of the table. Adding in a splash (or more) of wine and some chopped chillies will provide an unexpectedly rich kick to a simple homemade cranberry sauce. After simmering your cranberries, wine, chillies and sugar together until it reaches a jam consistency, season with salt for a truly scrumptious cranberry sauce.

Stuffing

What’s Christmas dinner without all the trimmings? Stuffing is an easy side dish to prepare ahead of time and then place in the oven on the day for a hassle-free crowd pleaser. Why not use Hoovers Vision oven to look up the best stuffing recipes for the whole family, and its integrated HD camera will allow you to check on every aspect of your dinner whilst it’s in the oven without opening the oven door.

Brussels sprouts

No Christmas dinner is complete without a bowl of Brussels sprouts which everyone tries to avoid! This recipe however will get everyone fighting over it. Shred your brussels sprouts, chop your onion and grab your lardons. Fry the lardons until golden, place on a paper towel to drain and add your onions and salt to the pan and cook until tender or until they are browned. Then add your bacon back into your mix along with the shredded brussels sprouts for 5 minutes and serve right away.

Roast potatoes

Peel, chop and boil your potatoes on Christmas eve to cut down the preparation and give you more time to enjoy the day amidst the cooking frenzy. Of course, the crispier the better so for the most amazing roast potatoes heat up the goose fat in a roasting tin before you put the par-boiled potatoes into the pan. Top tip: rough up the edges of the potatoes slightly to give them extra crispiness.

Vegetables

This part is all up to you, honey roast parsnips, carrots, peas, broccoli, red cabbage and many more make a great addition to any Christmas dinner just make sure you peel and chop all the veg before the big day to have one less thing to worry about.

Don’t forget about the washing up! Hoover’s AXI dishwasher can help save loads of time on the washing up, after all the scrumptious food has been devoured its time to load all the dishes into the dishwasher. Hoover’s innovative design allows for up to 16 place settings to fit so it’s perfect for Christmas for even the biggest of families.

We’ve covered the essentials, but the list of Christmas Day supplies can be a daunting prospect. You’ve got to think starters, desserts, cheese boards, snacks – there’s a lot to forget! This comprehensive Christmas Day list should help you make sense of it all!

Keep an eye on our social channels for all the latest product news, competitions and offers. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Inspiration, Recipes

4 comforting winter dishes

December 5, 2018

What’s your favourite thing about the autumn months? Leisurely country walks on a Sunday, pub lunches, collecting conkers with the kids… whilst the weather may take a cool turn, there’s still plenty to enjoy throughout this transitional season.

One of our favourite things about moving into the autumn and winter months is our adapting food habits. The fresh, cool salads and vibrant Mediterranean dishes start to take a back seat, and in come the hearty pies, stews and root vegetables, packed with deeply warming textures, colours and flavours to reflect the autumnal shift.

 

Lamb tagine

Delve into the colourful, punchy-flavoured world of North African cuisine with a lamb tagine. Moroccan cuisine is characterised by richly-spiced marriages of sweet and savoury spices alongside grains such as couscous. The perfect one-pot for family nights in, you’ll need good quality lamb from the butchers, tomatoes, stock, onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, turmeric, prunes or apricots, chickpeas and lemon juice.

This simple recipe can be made in advance and heated up for those comfy Friday nights in. First heat the oil in a deep casserole dish, then add the onions once they have begun to colour add in the spices and garlic. In the same casserole dish add in your cubed lamb for 5 minutes, then add in your chopped tomatoes, prunes or apricots, lamb stock and a pinch of sugar. Add in 100ml of water and simmer for 3 hours, stirring often. For the last 30 mins stir in the chickpeas and lemon juice and season to taste.

 

Cottage pie

Comfort food doesn’t get much better than the hearty family favourite – cottage pie. This classic British dish is perfect for the colder nights and is a simple dish that all the family can enjoy. All you need for this recipe is a large onion, diced carrots, good quality minced beef, tomato puree, plain flour, red wine, fresh thyme, beef stock, frozen peas, Worcestershire sauce, potatoes, butter and milk. In a large frying pan heat the oil and then add in your diced onion until they start to brown, then add your diced carrots and stir. Brown your mince in the same pan and cook thoroughly, then add tomato puree and flour and stir through, pour in the red wine and add the thyme.

Once you have added the stock simmer for 45 minutes then turn the heat down and add in your peas and Worcestershire sauce to taste and keep warm. Meanwhile boil your potatoes in a large pan for around 12-15 minutes until tender. Drain the potatoes, add the butter and milk and mash until smooth. Place the mince onto the bottom of a baking dish and spoon the mash onto the top. Grill for 8 mins or until golden brown, serve whilst hot.

 

Roast vegetable tart

This colourful meat-free tart is ideal for a family lunch or served cold for an autumnal picnic. Packed full of flavour and served on flaky filo pastry it makes for a lighter option this autumn/winter. You will need sliced aubergine and courgette, chunky wedges of red onion, cubed sweet potato, ready to roll filo pastry, red or green pesto, cherry tomatoes chopped in half, feta cheese, oregano and balsamic vinegar. Pre-heat your oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7, place your cubed sweet potato in a large baking tray and season, roast for 10-15 minutes or until soft.

Meanwhile heat a griddle pan with oil and char the sliced aubergine, courgette and onions, add more oil if you need to. Remove the potato from the oven. Place the filo pastry onto a baking tray, brush the pastry with pesto leaving a 2cm gap around the edge, arrange the veg on the top, add the chopped tomatoes and crumble the feta before sprinkling with oregano and placing into the oven for 20 mins or until crispy and golden. Serve with a mixed salad.

 

Pear and berry crumble

Made with British pears and mixed berries this sweet treat is delicious served with ice cream, crème fraiche or custard after a hearty meal. Make it into individual deserts or one big one for everyone to dig into. To make this desert you will need ripened English pears which are peeled and cubed, thawed mixed berries, lemon juice, golden caster sugar, mixed spice, flour, oats, light brown sugar, chopped walnuts, a pinch of salt and cold cubed butter.

First toss the cubed pears and mixed berries with the lemon juice, sugar and mixed spice until coated, place the fruit at the bottom of a greased baking dish. Meanwhile to make the crumble topping, in a bowl combine flour, oats, brown sugar, walnuts and salt. Then with your fingers rub the cold butter into the mixture and form clumps, place this into the freezer for 10 mins then sprinkle on top of the prepared fruit and bake for 30-40 mins until the fruit is soft and the crumble is golden brown. Serve warm with custard, ice cream or crème fraiche.

As each of these wholesome recipes requires an oven, Hoover Vision is the perfect companion, allowing you store your favourite recipes or browse the internet for new ones. Hoover Vision is also equipped with an integrated HD camera meaning cooking can be monitored remotely via a tablet or smartphone through the Hoover Wizard app thanks to the Hoover innovative connected technology. Learn more about Vision’s innovative capabilities here.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Recipes

Highly commended at The Electrical Product Safety Conference 2018

December 3, 2018

We’re thrilled to announce that our innovative HHV67SLX WiFi Décor Hood has received a ‘Highly Commended’ Safety Innovation Award from Electrical Safety First.

Launched in 2015 as part of our first collection of fully-connected appliances, the product can be controlled and monitored via the Hoover Wizard app.

Consumer safety is of upmost importance to us here at Hoover and we strive to produce the most innovative appliances, so we’re proud that our product has been recognised by the UK’s electrical safety experts for its unique safety credentials.

The HHV67SLX WiFi Décor Hood can be controlled by a tablet or smartphone, allowing you to reach and utilize a range of safety measures in the kitchen using wireless technology. From additional security features that are rarely offered by household appliances to important safety features.

If there’s an unexpected change in normal conditions, such as a rapid increase in temperature the cooker hood will automatically activate and notify the user, both on the product and via the app. This allows you to take action immediately, even if you’re in a different room in the house.

The in-built Smart Sensor also monitors grease levels and temperature, preventing accidental fires by alerting users when cleaning or maintenance is required.

If you’re away from the house you can also switch the appliance’s light on remotely to give the illusion that somebody’s home when the house might be empty – meaning this innovative hood doubles up as a security feature, as well as a kitchen appliance.

Using an intelligent clean air function, the cooker hood can set the fans in motion at the lowest speed for 10 minutes every hour, making sure the air in the kitchen is the cleanest when cooking. This helps to ensure the safest experience for you as grease and steam doesn’t build up, adding peace of mind when both in and away from the home.

As well as following installation and user guides, we encourage new customers to register their purchases at www.registermyappliance.org.uk, so that they can be contacted quickly and easily in case a safety repair is ever needed.

Keep an eye on our social channels for all the latest product news, competitions and offers. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Recipes

A guide to winter wine pairing

November 29, 2018

The cool winter months bring out a different side to our eating and drinking habits – our transitional palette is largely wrapped up in the desire to retreat to warmth and comfort to indulge in rich hearty food.

Winter food is often cooked slowly, with dishes being rich in meat, heavy and often fatty, and bold, aromatic, savoury flavours playing a central role. Whilst you may have some staple winter recipes to turn to when you’re looking to impress friends or family or celebrate the arrival of the weekend, pairing your dish with a complementary wine is a must if you want to take the experience up a notch.

The complex, deep flavours associated with winter dishes tend to attract red wines, with their similarly rich qualities. Winter food is all about warming the soul, so it stands to reason that a hearty, full-bodied wine should partner it. The world of wine can be confusing, but much like the way we approach food in the changing seasons, winter tends to move away from the fresh, crispness of whites and towards rich, full-bodied choices. The characteristics of certain wines complement particular ingredients, and a fantastic way to elevate food to new heights is to pair it with a characterful bottle of wine.

To help you go the extra mile, we’ve highlighted some pairings to give a try.

 

Chardonnay – king prawns

Although most whites are more suited to lighter, summer-influenced dishes, a full-bodied chardonnay can certainly be enjoyed on a winter’s evening. A hearty, bold fish dish is the best accompaniment to a chardonnay so try some prawns or monkfish or in a buttery, creamy sauce to maintain the winter comfort. Try frying king prawns in garlic butter, and adding lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley to linguine pasta for a classic French and Italian pairing.

 

Malbec – roast pork

The bold, punchy flavour of Malbec wine works perfectly with indulgent meat dishes. Roasted pork belly, seasoned with fennel seeds, salt and pepper, and slowly roasted, alongside caper and garlic mashed potato and a hearty sauce would marry with a highly tannic Malbec seamlessly.

 

Shiraz – beef

High tannins are best coupled with rich foods, which screams out for a wintry beef casserole. Use stewing beef, onion, carrot, celery, stock and to really ramp up the flavour, and slow cook for around two and a half hours until the meat is tender. Serve with some buttery cabbage and parsnip mash.

 

Chianti – tomato mozzarella pasta

A spicy tomato and mozzarella pasta dish is the ideal Italian pairing, marrying the sharp punch of the tomato and chilli with the hearty, creaminess of mozzarella and fresh pasta.

You’ll no doubt be stocking up on plenty of food and drink this winter season – make sure it’s all suitably chilled with the AXI fridge-freezer.

An unfortunate danger when drinking red wine, is the risk of spillage and stubborn stains! Thankfully the AXI washing machine is equipped with innovative Artificial Intelligence to give your personalised washing recommendations.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Inspiration, Recipes

Christmas dishes from around the world

November 29, 2018

Cool, dark evenings and the sparkle of Christmas lights signal the beginning of the festive season and for a month or so we can enjoy the building anticipation, the festive markets and the warmth of spending time with family and friends. For most of us, food is at the heart of all things festive, from specials in the sandwich shops and bakeries to the Christmas Day feasts, the cheeseboards, chocolates and leftover turkey sandwiches. It wouldn’t be the same without the indulgence.

We’re all used to roast turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets and a hearty pile of vegetables, it’s easy to forget that round the globe people enjoy a host of delicacies, some familiar and some completely removed from the festive feasts we enjoy.

If you’re looking for some new culinary ideas to give your Christmas dinner a twist, we’ve taken a quick tour round the globe to give you a glimpse of how families enjoy their festive meals.

 

Italy – Panettone

Originally from the northern city of Milan, panettone is a sweet bread loaf enjoyed at Christmas by many Italians. Its popularity has even seen it enjoyed in Western and Southern Europe as well as parts of Africa. Panettone typically contains candied orange, lemon zest and raisins, and is often accompanied by sweet wine or served with a mascarpone cream. If you really want to impress friends and family, then you’ll need to draw on your best baking skills to create this fluffy, light sweetbread. If you fancy taking the plunge, take a look at this recipe.

 

Sweden – Julskinka

In Sweden, buffet banquets to rival the hungriest of British families are the norm at Christmas. The traditional ‘julbord’ is a packed table full of Scandi delicacies, from the area’s renowned meatballs to pickled herring and ‘Risgrynsgröt’, a sweet rice pudding. The essential centrepiece, however, is the Christmas ham or ‘julskinka’. The ham is traditionally boiled to maintain a tender texture before being coated in a sweet and savoury mustard breadcrumb and baked until the coating is golden. Take a look at this simple recipe if you’d like to substitute the Christmas turkey this year.

 

Germany – Roast goose

Those of us enjoying Christmas markets in the UK can thank Germany for the influence – the historic centres of every major German city are transformed by the Christmas markets each year, a tradition which dates back to the 15th century. Whilst you might have enjoyed strudel or Glühwein at the markets, you may not be as up to speed with the German Christmas dinner at home. Roast goose, or sometimes duck, is typically the preferred choice of meat in Germany, accompanied by a hearty side of dumplings, red cabbage and stewed kale.

 

France – Bûche de Noël

Historically, the custom of burning the Yule log was commonplace throughout Europe. Many French families would bring a large wooden log into the house and burn it over the twelve days of Christmas, but by the 1940s this tradition had died out and been replaced by the ‘bûche de Noël’ chocolate log cake. Usually made from a genoise sponge and chocolate buttercream, plenty of additional touches tend to be added, from icing sugar, cream to raspberries, chocolate ganache and dashes of booze like this recipe.

 

Brazil – Bacalhau

Brazil’s melting pot of colours and its southern hemisphere climate have come together over the years to create quite a different Christmas experience to the one we enjoy in the UK. Despite the warmer temperature and the Iberian cultural influence felt throughout the country, Brazilians enjoy a roast turkey as the centrepiece of their festive meal, although it’s typically served with white rice and walnuts. Alongside the turkey, the other Christmas mainstay is ‘bacalhau’, which is dried and salted cod usually served with eggs, peppers, potatoes, onions and olives. If you’d like to take an adventurous turn in your Christmas dinner prep, here’s a traditional bacalhau recipe.

 

Philippines – Lechón

As a former Spanish colony, the Philippines has inherited lechón as a prized national dish. Lechón is whole roasted suckling pig and is prepared for many special occasions in the Philippines, including Christmas, where it stands as the grand focal point of the feast. The cooking method, slow rotisserie roasting in a charcoal pit, gives a unique flavour and distinctively crispy skin. Whilst a whole pig certainly isn’t a practical option, cooking pork belly in the Philippino style is a fantastic alternative to the standard British turkey.

You’ll no doubt be stocking up on plenty of food and drink this festive season – make sure it’s all suitably chilled with the innovative AXI fridge-freezer.

With this diverse range of recipes to have a go at, you’ll need to an innovative oven which is up to the Christmas challenge. The Hoover Vision oven has a 19” touch screen interface for simple use, an integrated HD door camera to monitor the progress of your food and Wi-Fi connectivity so you can monitor food on the Wizard app.

And finally, after all the festivities, merriment and the never-ending piles of pots and pans the AXI dishwasher with its extra-large basket allows you to wash up to 176 items in one wash load, giving you more time to spend with your family.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Recipes

Win a £50 supermarket voucher to splash over the festive period!

November 20, 2018

We’re giving two lucky people the chance to win a £50 supermarket voucher to spend on Christmas dinner supplies for their friends and family!

There will be two separate competitions on our social channels – one on Facebook and one on Twitter.

Facebook entry

Like the page, comment on a competition Facebook post and tag four of your friends.

Twitter entry

Follow the account, comment on a competition tweet and retweet.

Whether you spend it on party food, decorations or ingredients to make the perfect cocktails for your party, we’re sure that a £50 supermarket voucher will come in very useful!

Our range of innovative cooking, cooling and cleaning appliances are perfect for everything from party preparation to post-party clean-up’s.

We all know exactly how messy Christmas Day can become. The latest innovation in our market-leading floorcare range, the H-Free cordless stick vacuum, has the power of a traditional corded model, and a runtime of 25-minutes, so you’ll be done with the Christmas day clean-up in no time.

With the logistical challenges presented by Christmas dinner cooking duties, you’ll need an oven which can stand up to the test. The Hoover Vision oven will help you go above and beyond, with an integrated HD door camera to ensure nothing gets burnt whilst your busy entertaining guests! You’ll also need a spacious fridge-freezer when you stock up on your festive food and drink – take a look at the AXI.

For making light work of the washing up, there’s the the innovative AXI dishwasher, featuring Artificial Intelligence and Wi-Fi connectivity, and for all the napkins and table cloths, turn to the AXI washing machine.

The winners will be announced on Wednesday 19th December.

 

Competition terms and conditions:

  1. The promoter is Hoover Ltd.
  2. Employees of Hoover Ltd or their family members or anyone else connected in any way with the competition or helping to set up the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition.
  3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  4. Closing date for entry will be 18.12.2018 after this date no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
  5. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
  6. The rules of the competition and the prize for each winner are as stated in this post.
  7. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions. Entrants will be notified of any changes to the competition as soon as possible.
  8. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
  9. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
  10. Two winners will be chosen by Hoover Ltd.
  11. The winners will be notified by via the social media platform through which they entered within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
  12. The promoter will organise delivery of the prize to one specified address
  13. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  14. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  15. By entering, the winners and all entrants agrees for their name, entry and any images/videos submitted as part of the entry to be used in publicity activity. The winner is also required to provide an image of themselves with their prize for use online and in the press. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
  16. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  17. The prize is one £50 supermarket voucher per winner. The winners may choose between a Tesco or Sainbsury’s voucher. Please note that two separate competitions will be running. There will be one winner per channel (Facebook and Twitter).
  18. There is no cash alternative.
  19. This competition is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by Twitter or any other third-party channels in which the competition is being promoted on.
  20. This competition is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by Tesco or Sainsbury’s.
Recipes

Making the transition: A guide to vegetarianism

November 20, 2018

Social media stories, cooking programmes on the TV, new restaurant openings and dedicated supermarket sections – these are just some of the areas we’re now seeing vegetarianism in our daily lives. This is a reflection of the huge increase in vegetarianism in the UK, driven by factors such as ethical, environmental and health concerns as well as social media. Recent reports suggest that 25% of British people now cut back on the amount of meat they eat.

Veganism and vegetarianism are certainly the food trends of the day. Are you looking to cut down your meat intake or shake it completely? From new recipes to substituting meat, here’s a quick guide to help kickstart your vegetarian diet.

Know why you want to make a change

With all the medical and healthy living advice, media influences and news that we’re aware of these days, we can be persuaded to make changes. This is fine, but it’s important to know and understand the reasons why you want to make the change to vegetarianism. Whether it’s for ethical or environmental reasons, or it’s part of maintaining a more balanced diet, then it will be much if easier to maintain if you have a solid foundation and you’ll be more committed to the change.

Experiment with new recipes first

Plates of refreshing bulgur and vegetables salad

If Monday comes around and you tell everyone, “I’m vegetarian from this day on”, you’ll risk finding it a much more difficult and unenjoyable experience. Steady transition is the best approach as you’ll need to plan the types of meals you’re going to be eating every day. To inspire yourself to tackle the challenge start by working in one or two vegetarian recipes each week, then two or three, and so on. This way you’ll be more prepared to get to grips with the reduction in meat and you can develop more satisfying dishes.

Improve your kitchen skills and understanding of ingredients

To ensure your vegetarian diet is healthy and balanced, you might need to get up to scratch with some more cooking techniques, as well as understanding what foods work the best with each other. Losing meat can initially leave a void which can often result in some bland dishes or unhealthy dishes if you’re not careful! A bean chilli with brown rice, for example, provides a great mix of protein, fibre and low GI carbohydrates.

Bring in the meat substitutes

vegan quinoa eggplant spinach chickpeas rye Burger. toning. selective focus

Still missing the texture of meat? Struggling without a focal point to your dishes? There are plenty of meat substitutes to be found in the supermarkets these days, some will be more familiar than others, but they all provide great alternatives for people with a range of tastes. The most well-known brands are Quorn and Linda McCartney, which produce a range of foods, from veggie sausages and burgers to scotch eggs and kievs. Heading into more specialist territory, we have tempeh, tofu and seitan, which can often be found in a range of Asian cuisine. Still desperately craving some BBQ pulled pork? Say hello to the jackfruit.

Focus on nutritious ingredients

Above most other considerations, one of your key concerns should be to simply focus on including as many nutritious ingredients in your dishes as possible. From beans and lentils, to protein-rich meat substitutes, nuts and seeds. It’s easy to fall into the trap of eating veggie burgers, cheese toasties and omelettes all the time. So get down to your local greengrocers, stock up on fresh veg and start experimenting! To ensure you have a balanced and varied diet, read the NHS’ advice on healthy eating for vegetarians and vegans.

To help you with recipes ideas and cooking techniques, our stylish, innovative Vision oven is the perfect kitchen companion. The oven is set up and controlled through the 19″ interactive touch screen with one single on/off button. A quick and easy way to navigate around the oven and use for step-by-step cooking tutorials for your veggie recipes! You’ll also need plenty of fridge space for all those lovely vegetables so check out our range of spacious AXI fridge freezers.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Recipes

Top tips to give you motivation to clean at home

November 12, 2018

We’ve all sat at home and procrastinated in the knowledge that the house is in need of a bit of TLC. Dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing the bathroom… it’s tempting to leave these jobs until tomorrow, but the longer we leave them, the bigger the cleaning tasks become. Once done, we wonder why we ever put them off, so, how can we drive ourselves to stay motivated and clean our homes regularly?

Maintaining a clean and organised home helps us feel better about ourselves. It keeps us proactive and it even helps us to keep fit, but it can be overwhelming if you have a big mess to clean up. Whether there’s too much clutter or you feel stretched for time, to make it a bit less of a chore, we’ve thought of five tips that will motivate you to get started when you’re procrastinating.

Entertain yourself

Listening to music or a podcast whilst doing a chore like cleaning your house is an obvious way to make it more enjoyable and even speed you up. Music can help us improve our mood to help with mundane tasks because our brains release dopamine, the chemical responsible for enjoyment and motivation. With it stimulating the areas of the brain responsible for movement and co-ordination, it might be why we enjoy moving to our favourite songs. So, dance your way through your cleaning chores and you could be enjoying some well-earned relaxation at home in no time.

Set an alarm

Working within a certain timeframe helps make cleaning more manageable, this way you have a clear idea of when you’ll be finished and you won’t get bogged down in worries about how many hours of the day you feel like you’re going to waste. Setting a timer or alarm also helps you stay focused to make cleaning faster and more effective. Housework does not have to be an all-day ordeal – a lot can be done in just half an hour.

Try a new vacuum cleaner

A lot like when you get a new pair of shoes or clothing that you can’t wait to wear, investing in a new product to help your cleaning may motivate you to use it. Older vacuum cleaners tend to be heavy, difficult to manoeuvre and their power cords are prone tangle frustratingly. Our range of innovative cordless vacuums can help you tackle these issues. H-Free cordless vacuum cleaner is great for getting every kind of surface clean, underneath furniture and above doors. They also come with a wall mount which avoids clutter.

Reward yourself

We can sometimes forget to pat ourselves on the back and give ourselves a break, so after completing each task, give yourself a small reward. Have a brew and a biscuit or read the newspaper. Go out for lunch or chill out by watching a film. Next week, when cleaning time comes up again, you’ll know you can relax without the guilt of having procrastinated.

Be ready to invite guests

You may be hesitant about inviting friends and family round to your home if it’s a mess. If you maintain the mentality that people are always welcome to come round, you’ll be motivated to stay on top of your cleaning more regularly to ensure any impromptu guests are welcomed and you can spare any embarrassment. Sometimes, the pressure of other people seeing your home can really drive you to clean up.

For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Recipes

5 ways to cut down your single-use plastic consumption

November 1, 2018

The way we use plastic and the severely detrimental impact it has on the natural world has become a hot topic in recent times. We aren’t completely helpless when it comes to changing the way we use plastic though and there are plenty of ways to limit our personal plastic footprints.

By introducing these five steps into your day-to-day routine, you can start to make improvements in the way you use plastic, cutting out a lot of its unnecessary use. As well the positive environmental impact, you’ll end up saving money along the way!

Carry a reusable water bottle

Drinking water concept. Female runner tying her shoe next to bottle of water.

Do you buy plastic bottles of water with your lunch meal deal? You’re not alone – over 35 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK. Cut this out with a reusable water bottle. Not only will you cut down on plastic use, reusable water bottles are great way of encouraging you to stay suitably hydrated throughout the day – it’s easy to neglect your water intake on busy days!

Say no to disposable cutlery and straws

Many bars and restaurants have started to stock paper straws, but try to decline plastic straws if they are offered to you in a bar. When it comes to cutlery, it’s easy to get caught short, especially when you’re eating on the go. Try to pack cutlery from home or even purchase a handy keyring spork.

Carry a bag

Fresh vegetables healthy food concept

Plastic bag use in the UK has dropped by 85% since the 5p charge was introduced and many of us now ensure we have a shopping bag to hand when heading out to do our weekly shop. Getting into the habit of carrying a shopping bag in your regular work bag or your car is always useful for post-work trips to the supermarket.

Use your local greengrocers rather than the supermarket

Supporting your local greengrocers is a excellent way to cutdown on the excessive packaging that you usually find in supermarket fruit and vegetable sections. As well as reducing your plastic use, you’ll be supporting independent business, saving money and buying the best fresh produce.

Carry a reusable coffee cup

Huge amounts of coffee cups are thrown away every year in the UK – in the region of 2.5 billion – and only a fraction of that number is recycled. A reusable coffee cup is the answer here and the likes of Pret a Manger, Starbucks and Costa Coffee offer a discount if you bring your own cup.

The innovative new AXI dishwasher allows you to control the appliance via the Wizard app, which can help you monitor your machine’s consumption, providing a report at the end of each cycle to help you reduce water and energy usage.

Do you have any more tips for cutting down on plastic use? Be sure to share your efforts with us! For more information on our range of innovative appliances, like us Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Recipes

Tackling the big shop: Food shopping rules to live by

October 30, 2018

Do you look forward to the weekly shop or dread the mad dash? Everyone has a different approach and some people quite enjoy it, but it can often be quite stressful and tiring, especially with work and families to factor in. Without a plan and a good shopping list, it’s easy to shop inefficiently and expensively. Whether you want to start eating more healthily, shop smarter, cut down on bills or cut the waste, to help inspire you we’ve rounded up some tips to implement into your big shop routine.

Make a shopping list

This is the most obvious of all, but despite this, plenty of shoppers head to the supermarket without a list. It’s best to create weekly and monthly lists to return to, which form the foundation of your food shops, and as you go along you can add specialist ingredients for certain recipes which might’ve grabbed your attention. Before writing your list, check your cupboards, fridge or freezer so you’ve got an idea of what you need. Sometimes simply writing a list doesn’t always suffice when trying to ensure you have a balance of ingredients and you’re not tempted by ready meals. This is where a weekly menu comes in handy.

Plan a weekly menu

Running out of suitable ingredients and inspiration is a sure-fire way to a guilt-ridden takeaway call. If you’re having a hard time making up a list that helps you cook varied meals, start by making a food menu for the week. This menu can serve as the guiding force for your shop and guarantee you’re not left at a loss when Friday evening comes around and you’re left with just a potato and some noodles to work with! This kind of pre-planning will often leave you with leftovers for work the next day, saving you the disappointment of the supermarket meal deal.

Don’t shop when you’re hungry

Rushing through the supermarket on an empty stomach after work, already imagining sitting at the dining table… most of us will know this feeling all too well. Worse than the frustrating desire to get home and eat your dinner is the fact that your judgment will most likely be clouded and you could end up making some dodgy choices. If possible, it’s best to avoid the post-work dash. When you’re hungry, you’ll be tempted to buy expensive impulse items (usually junk food). With a full stomach and a clear mind, you’ll be able to stick to your list.

Buy frozen vegetables

Contrary to what you may have heard, there’s no evidence to support that frozen vegetables are any less nutritious than their fresh equivalents. This makes frozen veg great to bulk buy and keep in the freezer. Fresh vegetables are often the items we throw out, so choosing a mixture of frozen and fresh is the ideal approach.

Self-discipline at the check-out

When it comes to queuing up and waiting to buy your items, the checkouts are one of the most profitable sections of the store as they’re filled with treats and offers that you don’t need, but will no doubt catch the eye. We’re often bombarded with multipacks of crisps, doughnuts and chocolate just as we’re about to leave. If you want to treat yourself that’s obviously fine, but if you feel yourself impulsively reaching for these items, think about whether you really want them!

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