Making sourdough bread


I’ve put together the recipe and instructions for how to make sourdough bread from scratch. That’s making the sourdough starter and then baking your first loaves. It’s all easy to do, but takes time – this is true slow food and believe me, your patience will be well rewarded. I’ve tackled the recipes and instructions […]

How to sew stretch fabrics without a special machine

Knit fabric has come a long way in the past few decades. Remember the days of polyester double knit and icky leisure suits? Those days are gone. Now we have cotton jersey and microfiber and all sorts of lovely soft stretchable knits. But if you don't have a serger, an overlocking sewing machine - such [...]

Making your budget go further – cheap ways to redecorate your living room

turquoise room
Bored with your living room decoration, but don’t have the budget for a complete makeover? Don’t worry you can achieve a lot with a little imagination and preparation. The key to decorating is to plan in advance and keep it simple. These simple tips could save you pounds. Do your homework - Don’t rush into [...]

The financial resolution revolution

money fightclub

Resolutions you make at the beginning of the year – financial or otherwise – often fail to make it past mid-February. But don’t beat yourself up. Money Fight Club explains why spring is the new New Year when it comes to making the most of your money  How’s the diet, the fitness programme, packing up […]

Easy to make Lamb Pie

Lamb pie
Here at MIAMI we like nothing better than saving a little money, especially when it means you can create your own delicious meals at a lower price. We all know the pull to pick up a ready meal or even order up a take away, but there is nothing nicer than making your own meal [...]

The art of recycling paper

brian dettmara

Paper art originated in Japan over 2,000 years ago – it’s an incredibly complex craft that is still practised today, yet most people assume ‘paper art’ refers simply to origami shapes and animals. There are artists all over the world who are creating work that demonstrates just how incredible paper art can be, as well […]

Clear out the store-cupboard, fengshui the fridge – and cook up the contents.

photo of woman and vegetables

Deborah Dooley, journalist and owner of the wonderful writers’ retreat, Retreats For You, on why decluttering is not just about what’s in drawers and wardrobes. Catering for lots of people on a daily basis has brought home to me much more than the bacon/nut roast. It’s taught me the value of knowing exactly what’s in the […]

Empty the Fridge Soup

Pan of soup

Here’s Deborah Dooley’s tasty recipe to use up all those limp, sad-looking vegetables you were about to chuck out of the fridge and into the bin. Instead do as les francais do and chuck them in a pan to make “Potage Vide le Frigo” aka “Empty the Fridge Soup” Wash and slice that veg you so […]

We’re starting the 30 Day Get Chucked Challenge

Get chucked 30 day challenge

    February is a great time of the year to be get on top of all those little jobs we hate, and an even better time to start clearing out the deadwood before we start the manic spring clean. With that in mind I was inspired by an article by Victoria Lambert in the […]

How To Have A Crafty Valentine’s Day With Your Children

aHeart And Tree
  Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to indulge in a creative crafty day with your children as we fully believe there is nothing better than receiving a hand-made gift from someone you love. Please explore our ideas below on activities where the whole family can get involved – and if you have any of [...]

How to get the most from your New Year Resolutions

starting block

Hands up those who’ve already are already panicking about keeping their New Year Resolution wagons? Don’t worry you’re not alone… And help is at hand – just follow these tips and maybe a little hypnotherapy and you will be well on target to succeed. We all know that sticking to our New Year resolutions if […]

Revamp your child’s room

Decorating and personalising your child's bedroom is a great way to inspire them to express themselves, and allows them a private space to channel their creative and academic energies. This decision is especially potent when done around the start of the new school term. It gives your child reign over designing and creating the right [...]

Make a knitted bobble hat like Cheryl’s


Knitted bobble hats are all the rage again, and everybody wants one just like Cheryl Cole’s.  But don’t worry if you haven’t got £50 to spare – make your own! This is an easy pattern that if perfect for the novice knitter and is perfect for keeping warm in the  cold weather. All you have […]

Makeover your kitchen cupboards


Fitting a new kitchen can cost the earth – by the time you add on all the extra costs and hassle of having the builders in, it can make the thought of a brand new kitchen a little less appealing. So how about just making over what you already have? Painting your kitchen isn’t as […]

How to upcycle an old sofa into garden furniture

garden sofa

Just because something is no longer fit for purpose doesn’t mean that we have to throw it away – it might be that it’s fit for a new purpose.  Upcycling old furniture can mean that you can make your own really unusual garden furniture.   I had an old sofa that had been sitting in […]

Making elderflower cordial


Elderflower cordial is one of the first true tastes of summer and you can make it yourself just by foraging for the flowers and adding the cost of some sugar and citrus fruits. It’s a great pleasure to prepare and very easy…  just follw these simple steps. All credit for her recipe to Carrie-Jean Walker, Southern […]

How to reinvent your holiday wardrobe

summer wardrobe

The beach is waiting and you have nothing to wear? We don’t believe a word of it. Here’s how to revamp last year’s summer clothes and look absolutely fab darling.  What about that overstuffed wardrobe and those boxes of unwanted clothes in the spare room? You probably have the makings of a great new summer […]

Decorating your bedroom on a budget

Decorate your bedroom

Fed up with your bedroom?  Is it looking a tired and jaded, or maybe you’re fed up with the dark wood furniture, but don’t think you can afford to buy new pieces or can afford to get the decorator in.  Why not have a go at redecorating it yourself.   A few quick and easy projects […]

Entertaining in the garden


Summer time and the living is easy…time to get out the barbecue and enjoy the long hot days in your garden. You don’t need a huge garden to make the most of your outdoor room, even a small balcony or patio is more than enough.  It’s not about size and it’s about what you do […]

Step by step guide to repairing grouting in a patio

Garden path

These quick steps will have your patio looking as good as new before you know it. This is a very simple jobs, but don’t forget to have all the materials to hand Remove all the loose mortar and debris I use a patio weeder for this as it slides easily between  the slabs and can […]

Top uses for baking powder


Keep a small bowl or saucer of bicarbonate of soda in your fridge to absorb any bad smells but remember to change it every couple of months. Add a couple of dessert spoons of bicarbonate of soda to the wash or rinse cycle of your washing machine to get rid of any smells in clothes and […]

How to make your own face masks – recipes

face masks

Don’t throw away the left over fruit and veg etc from your fridge – turn into fantastically rich face masks.These simple recipes all use ingredients that should be to hand at home – or are easily obtained. Click here for our Top Ten Natural Face Masks Carrot and Coconut Oil Face Mask One of nature’s […]

Instructions for making a quilt out of old sweatshirts


Follow these 6 simple illustrated steps to turn the kids’ old sweatshirts into a beautiful quilt. And as a variation you can use it as a picnic blanket by backing it with oilcloth so it’s waterproof You will need Old sweatshirts Needle and cotton Fleece or more old sweatshirts for the backing or oil cloth […]

Make beautiful meringues – fast

Main pic

How to make beautiful meringues and produce an impressive teatable presentation in next to no time at all

Cleaning your home is the new therapy!


A new survey has revealed that for 83% of us happiness is a clean house! Apparently cleaning gives 57% of the population a feeling of satisfaction and yet less than half of homes in the UK get that annual spring clean. In fact a quarter of us neglect house cleaning chores because we’re too busy […]

Cutting the cost of motoring


You may be good at revamping clothes or making the weekly shop stretch a little further with some clever recipes but what about cutting your car running costs? Follow these simple tips and save money… A A The fact is most of assume that the cost of filling up at the pumps is beyond our […]

Money Fight Club – a new way to save money

money fight club book jacket close up

If you want to get your finances in order you have to do more than just look after your money – you have to fight for it, says a new, no-nonsense guide to money management, Money Fight Club. Beat the financial bullies The high street is full of financial bullies – from supermarkets to banks […]

Super quick fireplace makeover – Part One

finished and dressed project

Redecorating and entire room can seem like a daunting project, but how about just decorating one element? All it takes is a weekend – and a little imagination… Fireside makeover – Part One It’s the weekend and the last thing you want to do is to whip the paint brushes out. But giving a living […]

Planning a perfect… Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving table crop

Why wait for Christmas to organise a winter feast? Here are our tips for planning a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner. We’ve got some great recipes and a few new twists, ideas for decorating your dining table, as well as some history. There’s something for everyone – whether you’ve been doing it for years or are a […]

Great ways to save money at Christmas

christmas money

Saving money for Christmas by cutting down and making more gifts, cards and decorations yourself

Prolong the life of school clothes


Everywhere you look at the moment there seem to be ads under the banner ‘Back to school’ and offering all sorts of deals on shirts, skirts, trousers, coats and shoes. The ads are probably depressing the heck out of the kids but, as a parent, is a cheap deal really value for money? Will everything […]

Clued up recycling


Recycling essentially means doing our bit to keep waste out of landfill, or even worse, being sent abroad for a poorer country to deal with on our behalf. Ideally we should all look to reduce and reuse but if we do need to recycle it’s worth thinking about this – before we buy. Here’s our […]