Is my Zodiac sign to blame for my messy desk?

Do you think about your Zodiac sign and what it means for you? I regularly have a quick read of the star sign page in the newspaper to see what the week ahead has in store for me. Sometimes I think ooh that is so true for what is going on in my life at the moment. Yet other times I think what a load of rubbish.

My Zodiac sign is Pisces, I fall on the cusp of Aries and Pisces. I’m not sure that my traits are really that true of a Piscarian. Astrologists say this about us Piscarians.

Selfless, they are always willing to help others, without hoping to het anything back. Pisces is a water sign and as such this zodiac sign is characterised by empathy and expressed emotional capacity. Their ruling planet is Neptune, so Pisces are more intuitive than others and have an artistic talent.

So I guess thats me, I am kind and always happy to help others out. However I can also be selfish opposed to selfless but no-one is perfect… right?

I recently read that your tidiness is all connected to your Zodic sign, so I though I would see if I could have a reason for the organised chaos for my working space. I read that :

If your are Capricorn or Pisces your kitchen is full of gadgets which minimise the borel effect of organisation. These signs are ahead of the game, yeah their filling systems are organised, but probably because they’ve hired an intern to do it.

Now this is completely not me, I work in a mess. When I worked in an office you couldn’t see my desk because I had various documents all over it. Only I knew where everything was. Even today I work in a untidy way, various note books open at different pages full of ideas for blog posts or notes I have made. Or information from companies that have come in packages, items to use in photo’s. Anything any everything can be found on my desk with just enough space for my macbook to sit in.

I always try to keep my desk tidy, I think that I keep my desk looking neat and photo ready. Yet in reality I don’t, it doesn’t matter how many pretty baskets organisers I buy. I honestly cannot see that improving as much as I try, my desk will always be mess.

Although my desk is generally organised chaos, I am really quite an organised person. I have lists for everything so know who has what christmas present, or if I have got gifts for everyones birthday, shopping lists, holiday lists, generally I love a list. However you wouldn’t think that I was organised if you spent a day working with me in an office.

Over the years I have worked in a couple of different offices, nothing makes me happier than working from home using my vintage bureau it’s perfect for me. What kind of furniture at work do you have?

*This post was made in collaboration with Furniture at work.*

 

The perfect flight bag with Cabin Zero cabin bags

Over the past few years I have jetted off on flights all over the world. I have been lucky enough to visit Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore pre Husband and children. In more recent times around Europe with the latest trip to Crete earlier this year.

Our first trip of the year to Crete was visiting my Mother-In-Laws new Villa, so we opted for cabin bags only. Which was a silly idea really, because I started to panic about sizes of cabin bags that would be suitable for the airline. Did you know that each one has different restrictions on the size and weight of your hand luggage?

When I have previously travelled with a full luggage allowance I have always just taken a handbag on board with me to keep the essentials in. Passports, tickets, money, lipstick, blusher, sweeties. So I have not had to take much notice of hand luggage allowance before.

I did borrow a cabin bag from my sister, which was within the sizes of the luggage allowance for the air line. It wasn’t the prettiest of bags, and I am all about something that looks lovely. It was fine it did the job but wasn’t my first choice of ascetically pleasing luggage.

Cabin Zero Cabin Bags

I had seen Cabin Zero bags over on their Instagram page and really liked the styles. When Cabin Zero got in touch to ask me to review one of their bags, I was more than happy to do so. It will be perfect for our trip to Finland towards the end of the year.

I chose the Lipe Blue ultra light weight cabin bag in the 36litre capacity. I was drawn to the lovely feminine colour, not to much pink but just enough.

Cabin Zero bags all come with a 10 year warranty, but if you ‘like’ their Facebook page it is extended to 25 years, brilliant! They are all airline hand luggage size approved, which is great for any traveller who is going to be flying with various different air lines across the world.

The 36 litre bag is slightly smaller than the classic 44 litre bag. It has lots of fabulous features, it has adjustable straps, both top and side handles so you can just carry it if needed rather than on your back. There is a zip pocket on the front and 2 on the inside, one with a mesh panel which is great for seeing your documents sorted inside.

My 36 litre Cabin Zero bag weighs 700 grams, so it is super light weight so you can fit so much more inside it for your trip. It measures 44x30x20cm perfect for those airline hand luggage restrictions.

I think my favourite feature of this bag is the Okoban built in global tracking system. It gives lifetime tracking for your bag, you just go on line an register and then if your bag is lost or found it can be tracked back to you through Okoban.

I can not wait to head off on our trip towards the end of the year, to take my fabulous Cabin Zero bag with me. As the summer holidays are heading our way quickly I’m sure this bag will get some extra use for everyday things with the children.

Cabin Zero have kindly given me a discount code to share with my lovely readers, it is only valid for 30 days from now and gives you a 10% discount on any order you place with them. The discount code is CZCHAMPAGNEANDPETALS, let me know which of their gorgeous cabin bags you order.

*Thank you Cabin Zero for sending me out this lovely bag. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*

How to cook the perfect crispy belly pork in the microwave….

I love to cook a great Sunday roast for my family, it’s not something we do every week or even once a month. However when I do, it’s always enjoyed by the whole family. Due to my Hubby’s working hours it’s not often we sit down all together as a family to enjoy a meal, thats another reason roast dinners are enjoyed by us all even more.

Panasonic have just realised a new combination microwave which is going to change the way people cook at home. Panasonic have teamed up Chef Tom Kitchen who says you can cook the perfect crispy belly pork in the microwave. As we had a rare Sunday with us all at home, I though I would take a trip to the local butchers and buy some belly pork, before heading to the market to buy some lovely fresh vegetables.

Crispy Belly Pork In The Microwave

Ingredients

  • 1kg Belly pork
  • rock salt
  • seasonal vegetables

Directions

  • Using a sharp knife, lightly score the skin making criss-cross inserts.
  • Rub the pork belly with rock salt and place on a tray before cling filming and placing in the fridge for 6 hours.
  • Pre-heat the microwave oven to 200°C using the convection setting.
  • Place the pork belly on the wire rack and rest it on the metal tray. Carefully pour boiling water directly over the pork belly and fill the tray with 2″ of water.
  • Place the metal tray carefully in the lower shelf position with the belly on the wire rack in the middle shelf position.
  • Cook on the convection setting at 200°C for 20 mins. Then lower the temperature to 160°C and cook for another 3 hours.
  • If at the end of cooking the skin needs more crisping, cook on the grill setting 1 for a further 5-10 mins.
  • Serve with your choice of seasonal vegetables.

Crispy Belly Pork In The Microwave

Now, my microwave is a very basic one, which is only really used for defrosting the odd thing, cooking baked beans or peas for the children. So I didn’t have a shelf option or the ability to put the pork on a metal tray, so I went without.

Into the microwave it went, set the time and kept my fingers crossed it would be a success.

I have to say I was quite impressed with how my belly pork cooked in the microwave, it was crispy, succulent and delicious to eat. It wasn’t something I have ever thought about doing before and I was honestly a little bit worried about how it would turn out.

Have a look at this video that shows you just how to cook the perfect crispy belly pork in your microwave.

I would love to hear about you favourite ways to cook belly pork.

*This post has been made in collaboration with Panasonic.*

 

The Origin of Leather

I love a great looking leather handbag,  I’m drawn to the beautiful styles and colours of the leather. Yet, I never stop and think about why leather is used and where it originates from. And I don’t just mean from large animals.

The Origin of Leather

Leather tanning goes back in history for thousands of years, it is believed to be one of the oldest human activities along with hunting. Our Ancestors found that the animals they hunted for food also had skins that could be used. They realised that these skins were durable and they begin making clothing, shoes and tents with them.

In the colder months the items became stiff and unusable, yet in the summer they started to rot with the heat. So they started to look at ways to make the animal hide more flexible and stronger by rubbing animal fats into the skins. It was soon discovered that drying the skins in the sun or by using salt to dehydrate, stopped the rotting process.

As the centuries passed methods to preserve and maintain have become more refined yet the basic processes are still being used today.

Uses of leather through the ages

The Egyptians tombs shows that in around 5000BC leather was used for sandals, clothes, gloves, buckets, elaborate jewellery items and even for sending off after death. It is believed that they preserved leather by using tree bark and leaves that they soaked in water to coat the hides.

The Romans used leather for footwear, clothes, military equipment, including shields, saddles and harnesses for their horses.

As the centuries passed leather became more and more popular and by the medieval times most villages had tanneries. They were located by the rivers so there was a constant source of water.

When the Tudor Boat the Mary Rose was recovered it showed that they had started to use leather for not only clothes, bags and footwear but also used for furniture. Chairs, leather cases, wall coverings and also elaborate carriages.

During the 18th and 19th century there was more demand for different leathers, lighter weight items. So new machine processes were being used to make the leather thinner, lighter weight more readily available and more durable.

Leather today

Today leather continues to be a popular choice of material, it is used for so many everything items. Bags, shoes, furniture, phone cases, passport covers, wash bags, today leather can be made into just about anything. All produced in a variety of beautiful colours. It is not just used around our homes but also within the automotive, aviation and marine industries as well.

What is your favourite leather product? Mine is my beautiful tan leather handbag, that cost more than I am happy to admit to my Hubby.