Sunday, 25 September 2016

Life Unexpected: Kitchen Essentials

Kitchen Essentials List

Kitchen Essentials

The kitchen is the very heart of any home, and for me it was the first room I got together in our new home. Even before we officially moved in, I knew I needed to have the facilities to be able to offer beverages and snacks to the friends and family who worked so hard to help me get in through the door.

For me the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the whole house, after all it is where you spend so much of your time. You’re in there preparing the food, washing the dishes and preparing for the busy day ahead. It is where I get little man his breakfast and sign his reading record, it’s the room that we as a family spend so much of our time.

Kitchen Essentials

As many readers know, Leo and I have spent the last 2 years back at my parents home, moving our entire lives back under their roof was no easy feat, and after living on our own prior to that meant that we had the entire contents of our old home to find homes to store it. When I first found out about the house move, I thought we would be pretty much set, and I didn’t think that we would really need to much in order to be ready to move, but of course that would have been too easy. Everything that had been in storage had not faired too well over the last few years in the garage, so I made a list that was soon as long as my arm, and knew that we had to make a start somewhere.

I wanted a vintage looking kitchen with a hint of modern shining through, so I opted for some fun typography that I actually designed and printed myself, purchased some inexpensive frames from B&M Bargains and set them on the kitchen wall. I purchased a cream bread bin, kitchen roll holder and washing up tub and paired the sink off with a chrome washing up rack.

Kitchen Essentials

I decided on a Black Beko Fridge Freezer, and a Stainless Steel Black Zanussi Cooker I liked the idea of the contrast between the pale walls and additional items I had selected. I think the Monochrome additions combined with the contrast of the Red feature canvas has really made a statement in this room. 

As the kitchen it’s self isn’t the largest in the world, I have tried to conserve space by slipping a White breakfast bar along the back wall with 2 bar stools. This has been a great addition for us as it has meant that I can keep the consumption of food within the confinement of the kitchen, and means I can keep the living room entirely for entertaining, relaxing and out a desk in the space that I have left over. It’s nice having the option to have space to sit down to eat without compromising on space and altering plans I had for other rooms.

Dorris & Co Old Friends Are Best Baker Oven Dish
Dorris & Co Old Friends Are Best Baker Oven Dish 
I love the simple colour ways because it means you can jazz a room up in other ways, and if you suddenly decide on a complete colour change, you can add as much or as little as you like. I look around the kitchen and suddenly feel like a real grown up. When I think back to the kitchen we had at the old house and our jazzed up union jack knife set, I feel like the style I have incorporated into our new kitchen has most definitely matured.

Kitchen Essentials

The modern touches I have added in fall mainly within the small appliances, we have a beautiful Toaster and Kettle set from the Hotpoint Ultimate Collection. They are both Stainless Steel and unlike any other set I have ever had in the kitchen before. The Kettle allows you to set the temperature to suit how you want your beverage to be enjoyed, this means that if you want to boil the water to a suitable temperature that can be enjoyed straight away, you can! It heats up quickly and really stands out on the side, everyone who has stepped for in the kitchen so far has been really ogling the kettle, so it’s definitely turning some heads for all of the right reasons.

Hotpoint Ultimate Collection TT 44E Toaster in Stainless Steel
Hotpoint Ultimate Collection TT 44E Toaster in Stainless Steel

Dorris & Co Old Friends Are Best Nipper Board
Dorris & Co Old Friends Are Best Nipper Board

Hotpoint Ultimate Collection WK 30E UP0 in Stainless Steel


The toaster is made with the same Stainless Steel and can hold 4 slices of bread at any one time, and even though it’s just Leo and I living here, you would be surprised how much toast we have been getting through (we are currently head over heels for Bacon Sandwiches!). The Hot Point Set is digital, so you can adjust them by just using the display buttons, and the toaster even tells you how many minutes until your toast is ready.

Hotpoint Ultimate Collection Kettle WK 30E UP0 in Stainless Steel
Hotpoint Ultimate Collection Kettle WK 30E UP0 in Stainless Steel
Hotpoint Ultimate Collection Kettle WK 30E UP0 in Stainless Steel

When it comes to getting everything that you need for your very first kitchen, I think it is important to make a list of everything that you will need to get started, and once you have that list have a think about the budget you can allocate in order to purchase everything that you need.

I usually follow a clean eating diet, so my kitchen essentials had to include lots of different gadgets that you wouldn’t necessarily need when first starting out, but for my culinary style (which is often referred to as weird!) there were a number of things that were nothing short of essential:

OXO Good Grips Kitchen tools
  OXO Mango SplitterOXO 3-in-1 Avacado SlicerOXO Locking Can OpenerOXO Melon ballerOXO Swivel Peeler,  OXO Kitchen & Herb ScissorsOXO Box Grater OXO Hand Held Spiralizer

OXO 3-in-1 Avacado Slicer

OXO 3-in-1 Avacado Slicer

I prepare a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, and if you have ever tried to cut a Mango open you will know just how challenging it can be! I welcome tools that make my meal preperation that little bit easier, and the Oxo Spiralizer is an incredible kitchen addition because of it's compact size. I was using a full size Spiralizer up until this point and I always found it a nuisance to clean. The OXO Good Grips Hand Held Spiralizer takes up little to no draw space and is really easy to clean.

Prestige Stone Quartz 6" Chefs Knife
Prestige Stone Quartz 6" Chefs Knife
Tilt - Angled Non-Slip Chopping Board
Brabantia Mixing Bowl Set
Brabantia Mixing Bowl Set
Brabantia Mixing Bowl

When you cook as much as I do you want good quality cooking equipment, whether I am cooking up a big bowl of Pesto Pasta Bake or dreaming of a big stir fry full of colourful vegetables. I want to know I have a pan to suit every single culinary whim that enters my mind.

Prestige Stone Quartz 3 Piece Pan Set
Prestige Stone Quartz 3 Piece Pan Set

Prestige Stone Quartz 3 Piece Pan Set

Prestige Stone Quartz Baking Tray
Prestige Stone Quartz Baking Tray
School Of Wok - Carbon Steel Wok
School Of Wok - Carbon Steel Wok
One of the top essentials I need in the kitchen, is a blender. I enjoy a good smoothie, and as I eat a lot of fresh food, I like to have the power in hand to be able to prepare my own sauces and dips. I even make my own Pesto and raw snacks so I need a serious bit of kit that won't let me down. The Nutri Ninja Complete Kitchen System has ticked all of the boxes for me. It is everything I need in one complete package, so you get the food processor element, high speed blender and Nutrient Extractor. So now you don't need to run out and buy a food processor to do the things that the blender is quite simply not cut out to do, it's 3 appliances in one extremely handy appliance. Better yet it comes with 4 different jugs each with different capacities. You have the 2 smaller sizes which are the standard size with the original Ninja models, and then you have the 2 larger ones. I usually use the food processor capacity so I can put more ingredients inside.

Ninja Complete Kitchen System

Ninja Complete Kitchen System
There are some fantastic features on the Ninja, including a number of IQ programs that make the system so easy to use:

- Frozen Drinks Smoothies
- Food Puree
- Low/Dough
- Med
- High
- Pulse
- Blend
- Ultra Blend

Ninja Complete Kitchen System


It is by far the most powerful system I have used and the first of it's nature that has been able to handle everything I can throw at it. In the past I have managed to make a competitor model smoke, it was quite simply not able to handle the workload that I required from it.

The Nutri Ninja Complete Kitchen System looks great on the work top and doesn't take up too much space, which is exactly what I needed due to my work tops not being as big as I would like.

Vax Steam Fresh Power Plus Steam Cleaner

I'm a stickler for a clean kitchen, and because it is where the dog spends his nights it means I like to be completely on top of cleaning the kitchen floor. For this we have the Vax Steam Fresh Power Plus Steam Cleaner. It has been an absolute god send with a puppy roaming around, especially with the little accidents that are inevitable when house training. There has been mornings when I have entered the kitchen to find a sea of piddle, and I have instantly relaxed the moment I realised that it wasn't an issue, I could just pop the steam mop on and make sure it was all cleaned up properly.

So why is the Vax a touch above the rest?


Vax Steam Fresh Power Plus Steam Cleaner

Vax Steam Fresh Power Plus Steam Cleaner

I have to start with just how easy it is to maneuver because that is a massive factor for me (360⁰ connector & adapter), secondly all of the cleaning modes use a combination of steam and detergent to help break down grease and grime much more effectively. It even comes with 250ml of Detergent to start you off. Thirdly the steam head is so powerful, and this is only heightened with the inclusion of the steam boost function so you can really get those pesty stains that don't want to come away. 


Vax Steam Fresh Power Plus Steam Cleaner

Vax Steam Fresh Power Plus Steam Cleaner

It isn't just for floors though, you can literally clean from floor to ceiling. This means that it isn't just a steam cleaner for the kitchen, this opens up possibilities all over the house. You can get up into the corners of those hard to reach areas with ease (and without breaking a sweat which is what I am in it for!), you can ever use it on cooker hoods and bathroom tiles (It's perfect for bathroom tiles!), and all of this is what makes the Vax Steam Fresh Power Plus such a dynamic house hold addition.


What's in the box?


Vax Steam Fresh Power Plus Steam Cleaner

- 2x Microfibre pads
- 360⁰ connector & adapter
- Accessory bag
- Carpet glider
- Precision tool
- Soft scrub brush
- Wall mount

This concludes the Life Unexpected's Kitchen's Essentials, but over the coming weeks ahead I will be sharing a number of titles within this series. We are slowly getting there with the rest of the house, and I cannot wait to uncover each room and show you what we have been up to over here!

Disclaimer: I was provided the above products for the purpose of this feature. All views and opinions are completely honest and my own.

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