Bagging A Bargain On Your Next Luxury Handbag

It’s true when they say that a woman can never have too many bags. Having options to pair with all of your outfits is never easy, and most of us will want to have enough of them to keep our outfits fresh and up-to-date. This isn’t always easy, though, given the price of a lot of the luxury options on the market. To help you out with this, I will be exploring four of the very best ways to bag a bargain when you’re buying your next handbag and ways to save you loads of money.

Browse online marketplaces

Over the last couple of years, websites like Depop have managed to make a name for themselves acting as a marketplace for people who want to sell the items which they don’t want to keep. Anything, ranging from clothes to shoes and handbags can be found on this platform, and its a great place to find vintage bags of all different designs. You can snap up a bargain at a percentage of the original asking price.

Explore the outlets

In some cases, you won’t want to go second hand with your handbag purchase so looking for a way to save money on a new one will be of utmost importance. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use outlet stores, which is much cheaper than going for the normal high street options. At outlets, the goods on sale may have slight defects or imperfections or are last seasons designs but you will get them at a great reduction on the RRP.

Check out discount codes

You should be able to find loads of stores on the web which can help you to find products like luxury handbags. Some sell new, some sell second hand, and loads of them will offer special deals if you have the right code. Michael Kors Voucher Codes, for example, can be used to get some great savings on handbags which you’d never be able to afford without it. This sort of route can be taken with most of the shops and designers you can find.

Join social media groups

Social media can be an amazing tool when you’re shopping for bargains. There are loads of closed and open groups which are set up for the sole purpose of sharing deals, coupon codes, and other ways to save money. By signing up for these sorts of pages, you will give yourself the chance to find better deals without having to do any work at all. There are also a number of Facebook groups dedicated to selling second hand and unwanted gifts. 

Rummage in thrift shops

Lastly, check out the thrift or charity shops in a wealthy location. You will be surprised what you can find at the right price. I've seen Cath Kidston and Kipling bags on a regular basis, and my friend who manages a charity shop says she does sees expensive bags now and again. Can you imagine the delight if you came across a Mulberry or Hermes bag?

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start looking around for your next luxury handbag saving. There are loads of ways to save money on something like this,. and with these hints and tips you could find yourself never paying full-price again.

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Travel Inspiration For My Home

I love to travel, I think that is probably obvious to my readers. I love it so much that I even have a second blog, Fly Drive Explore, with my husband, Mr W. Now Mr W (Marcus) likes travelling so much that he doesn't like to come home, but I'm always happy after a trip to return to my little seaside town on the South Wales coast. After all, there is no place like home. 

I like to decorate my home with the odd travel-inspired item and recently I've been looking to newly decorate our computer room with a travel theme. It will be somewhere to make videos for our YouTube channel too.

Mural by Lovell Johns

The problem is knowing exactly how to design the room to make it perfect. The most important thing is to pick items that really suit our travels. First of all, I’d love to pick up this world map mural from Wallsauce above and use it as a feature wall. I think the colour palette is gorgeous. This made to measure mural would certainly add interest to any wall space.

Globe £51.99 Wayfair

Following on from that idea, I’d love a globe that I could have on a side table so that I could spin it and pick where we should go next - there are still so many places I’d love to visit, as would Mr W! I also think an ornamental compass and telescope would make a fab addition to the decor - we’ve all seen those age-old films of people sailing the world, spying other boats with their telescopes and finding their way with the help of an old compass - they really epitomise travelling in the olden times and I’d love some ornamental pieces if I was to have a travel themed room.

Vintage suitcases - £180 Etsy

Whilst suitcases may seem cliche when it comes to travelling, there truly is so much you can do with your home decor with them. I’ve browsed Pinterest many a time and seen them being used as a corner piece or as some sort of side table. You don’t necessarily have to use full-size cases either to get the travel theme - smaller cases make for some perfect shelving and I’ve even seen people turn their suitcases into a gorgeous retro turntable.

Luggage label postcards £5 John Lewis

I’d love some vintage style prints postcards up on the plain white walls surrounding my feature wall - there is something so charming about vintage postcards, isn’t there? You can pick them up cheap in charity shops and boot sales. I find it intriguing thinking about where the person who wrote them must have been and what they got up to. They would make a great talking point. I've also seen some luggage label postcards that look very cool and retro too from John Lewis at the bargain price of £5 which would brighten up the room. 

A canvas I created with my photo of New York 

Finally, I recently I created a canvas of New York with my own photo which I adore so that would be the pride of place on the wall too. This was surprisingly cost-effective and how amazing is it to have your own photographs made into a canvas like this?

There are so many cool items to decorate a room these days in a travel theme, all I have to do now is choose some and get decorating. Do you like any of these items? How would you decorate a travel themed room in your home?

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The Top 5 Places To Visit In India – That Are Off The Beaten Track

Whether you’re a nature lover, an avid hiker or keen explorer, rural India has plenty to offer you. With stretches of stunning landscapes hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the main cities, here are the top places to visit that are a must-see on your next trip to India:

1. Munisyari 

Located in the Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh District, Munisyari is tucked away in the Himalayas, surrounded by peaks that are capped with snow. As the base point for a number of hiking routes, it’s perfect if you’re looking to trek across these stunning mountain ranges. But even if you don’t fancy doing something too strenuous, this area should be on your list of places to visit.

2. Lakshadweep 

Are you keen to explore the depths of India’s oceans? Then you’ll love Lakshadweep, which not only boasts blue lagoons, exquisite coral reefs and divine beaches but is also home to a variety of islands that are great for partaking in some water sports. To make the most of the tours and attractions on offer, the islands of Kavaratti, Minicoy, Kalpeni and Kadmath are the best places to start.

3. Kutch

The Rann of Kutch is a salt marsh located in Gujarat’s Kutch district. It’s divided into two parts – Little Rann and Great Rann, with a desert to one side and the sea to the other. This is what creates such a biodiverse area, meaning it attracts plenty of wildlife, from the Indian wild ass and the desert fox to the blackbuck, which is quickly becoming endangered.

4. Jaisalmer 

Close to Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer features thousands of sand dunes that are quite simply breathtaking. Often nicknamed ‘the jewel of the desert’, this location is well-known for its grand fort, palaces and various Jain temples which are true to the elaborate Indian style.

However, you’ll also find yourself marvelling at the natural beauty of this location, especially if you choose to explore the area by camel.

5. Dudhsagar Waterfall

Found on the border of Goa and Karnataka, the Dudhsagar Waterfall has been beautifully carved by the Mandovi River. Even though it is only India’s fifth largest waterfall, it’s certainly one of its most powerful, which is why you’ll often hear it being referred to as the ‘Sea of Milk’.

Nature-lovers will also be pleased to note that it’s found in the heart of the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary which boasts an abundance of wildlife and birds.

Sadly, there isn't enough room to write about each and every one of India’s beautiful places, but hopefully, the list above gives you a good place to start when you begin your adventures in the majestic world of rural India.
*Guest post

Creating The Perfect Dressing Room

I think every woman dreams of having their own personal dressing room or walk-in closet. Everyone wishes that they had a man like Mr Big from the Sex and The City franchise - who can forget when he gave Carrie a walk-in closet as a token of his love? 

I must admit that I have been in friends houses and been in awe of their walk-in closets - I know a blogger friend of mine almost bought a flat with one too, it was such a selling point for her. But when it comes to a dressing room just for you, you need certain things to make it perfect. I wish I had my very own - it would certainly make getting ready in the morning a lot more pleasant and who wouldn’t love peace and quiet to get ready at their own pace?

Be practical

You need to make sure that the room itself is practical - have those beautiful decorative items, but also utilise the space wisely.  Consider the style and colour palette of the room - where is it in the house, and what sort of natural light comes into the dressing room. 

Many people have a dressing room or walk-in closet attached to a bedroom so you may not have any windows in the room. Getting a range of lighting, therefore, is a must. You want to make sure you are getting natural light but you also want to ensure that the artificial lighting you have is suitable for the room. You could always consider daylight bulbs, which imitate natural light and are recommended if you are putting on your makeup there.

When it comes to fittings, what are you looking for? When creating the space, are you looking for inbuilt fittings or stand-alone pieces such as one of these full length mirrors? If you are looking for a walk-in closet, inbuilt shelves and cupboards are probably the best ideas whereas a dressing room could work with either inbuilt or freestanding mirrors.

Consider furniture

You’ll definitely need a chair or a bench style piece of furniture such as an ottoman in your dressing room.  Somewhere where you can be seated whilst getting dressed or putting on your makeup. You’ll want somewhere to hide your clothes, accessories and cosmetics away so wardrobes, chest of drawers and shelving is a must. Of course, what is a dressing room without a dressing table? Somewhere to showcase your favourite cosmetics and accessories! Also, a full-length mirror is advisable - this will be your point of call in the room, where you check how everything looks and fits, where you check that your makeup is on point. 

I think that my very own dressing room or walk-in closet is a pipe dream - unless I change my son’s bedroom into one whilst he is away at university but I don’t think that would go down too well….

Would you love your very own dressing room or walk-in closet - or are you, in fact, lucky enough to have one already? If so, I am so jealous!

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Want To Travel The World For Free And Love Pets? Then Consider House Sitting

Want to travel the world, but have a limited budget, then why not consider house sitting? 

Mr W and I love to explore the world, and as travel bloggers with two blogs, this one and Fly Drive Explore we need to create content all the time. We've been lucky enough to go on a number of press trips, but we still pay for a lot of trips ourselves. So when we were looking into ways of travelling recently without paying a fortune we came across the concept of house sitting.

House sitting, is what it says it is, you basically sit someones home when they go away. Most house sits also include looking after pets as well. 


There are many benefits to house sitting for both parties.

1. Someone is living in the house so it's great for security.
2. Pets are looked after and kept company.
3. Saves money for the homeowner on kennels fees.
4. Agreements can be made to water plants for example. 
5. House sitters get to travel and stay in accommodation for free.
6. If you are a pet lover it's a great way to travel and look after different animals without the constraints of having a pet yourself.
7. You get to stay in someones home, so have more space than a hotel and an authentic local experience. 

How to become a house sitter

There are a number of sites for house sitting. The majority expect you to look after a home and one or more pets. Some popular ones are below. There are a few that offer professional house sitting for a fee but I do not have experience of these. 

Trusted Housesitters - many listings, one of the most popular sites. Free to browse and costs house sitters £89 a year. If you sign up with my link you get 20% off and I get two months free!
Nomador - Free to apply for three house sits, 65 Euros for the year.
House Sitters UK -UK specific, costs house sitters £20 a year.

What you need to do

Each site is different but there are some processes that are common and that you need to do. 

After signing up which some will let you do for free with limited access, you need to create a profile. House sits are built on trust. so it's important in your profile that you show your personality, that you come across as trustworthy, have experience with animals and are generally a nice person.

Ensure you mention any previous experience of house and pet sitting and if you have had pets yourself. It's good to mention any jobs that show how responsible you are, for example, if you have been a teacher or nurse.  If you have had a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check its also worth mentioning this, as this can help reassure the owners. Upload photos of yourself and photos of you with pets. If you can get a character reference or a reference from a previous house sit this will all help and should be mentioned in your profile.

Some sites will allow you to select animals you are confident in looking after and these can be added to your profile. 

Once you create your profile then all you need to do is search for a house sit.  If you want to get full access then pay the subscription charge and apply for your first house sit.

Our experience with Trusted Housesitters

I decided to sign up with Trusted Housesitters because they seemed like a professional company, they appear to be the largest and have the widest selection of house sits available at any time. 

After creating a profile, emphasising how trustworthy we were and our experience with animals, I signed up for full membership. Trusted Housesitters have three levels of verification - Basic, Standard and Enhanced.

For a basic level, you need to provide an email address, phone number, and an external reference. My friend gave me a character reference and mentioned the fact that I had house sat for her and looked after her animals when she was away.

To get to the standard level of verification, you need to complete a document check, which can be done online through the site and doesn't cost anything. A passport or driving licence or an identity card is needed for this. 

To get to the enhanced level of verification you need a CRB check, and this can be done again through the site. The cost for this is £100. 

We have both had CRB checks in the past so decided not to go ahead with an updated one. I think housesitting relies on trust on both sides, and a CRB check doesn't really tell you how trustworthy a person is, how responsible and how good they are at looking after your home and your pets. Also, of course, there are the cost implications so we decided to see if we could get a house sit without one.

So we applied for a house sit and waited. After a couple of days, I thought that we didn't have a chance as we hadn't heard anything and applied for another house sit but got turned down as they had already found someone. All was not lost, however, as the original house sit I applied for got back to us and asked to speak to me on the phone.  After a phone call and a chat with the owner, we were pleased to be offered it, our first house sit!

Our first house sit was in the beautiful Cotswolds, in a gorgeous grade 1 listed house. The owners were lovely and really laid back. We looked after two dogs, one older dog and a younger one under a year old. We really enjoyed our time exploring the area and the dogs were so loving but not without their challenges, however, we came through generally unscathed!

Some things to consider

Make sure you have some sort of house sitting agreement in place. On Trusted Housesitters the owners can create a welcome pack, with all the important information on and this is essential. There is a lot of information you will need, about the home and the animals and this should be written down so there are no misunderstandings. When you get to the home I recommend you spend some time with the owners to run through everything and ask any questions you have.

House sitting is an exchange of services. You will be expected to keep the home tidy, maybe water the odd plant or two as well, and feed any small pets like gerbils, and goldfish.   It's not just restricted to dogs and cats and small animals though, I've seen donkeys, alpacas and lizards for example. Some may even leave bikes and cars for you to use. Make sure you are covered by the insurance and are aware of any terms on using them.

On leaving it's an unwritten rule to leave a gift, such as a bottle of wine, maybe get some basic food in for their return like bread and milk and leave the home clean. Don't forget you want a glowing reference from the homeowners so you can add it to your profile, and build a breath of references.

House sitting is perfect if you are a single person or couple. There are house sits where you can sit as a family but some people may not want children in their home, or cannot accommodate children / may not have space. 

House sitting is a great way of seeing the world and we hope to apply for house sits in Europe and the US in the future.

If you want to try Trusted Housesitters go through one of my links above to get 20% off or apply code RAF145494 at check out.

Would you ever consider house sitting?

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Achieving Good Feng Shui in Your Garden

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese system of laws that concern how items are arranged in a space that allows energy – chi – to flow unhindered. It is a system that is applied to the where a building is built, the direction it faces and how interior items of furniture are arranged.

To prevent blockages of chi in the home and garden, even when it is not possible to knock it down and start again, the principles of Feng Shui can still be applied in spaces and areas that exist. This is why many people and gardeners who understand the concept of Feng Shui and the power it has for balancing harmony in a space, use it to determine the final design of their outdoor space.

So, where is the best place for your stylish rattan garden furniture? Should you incorporate a waterfall? Are you mixing the wrong colours in the wrong places, blocking harmony and chi?

Simple ways to include Feng Shui principles

Many believe that by composing a garden that works in harmony with them and nature, it becomes a place that relaxes and revives the mind, body and soul in equal measure. And so, without knocking down walls or heavy lifting, how can you apply Feng Shui to your garden?

Are you paying enough attention to natural elements?
We assume that everything in the garden is ‘natural’ but in recent decades, our penchant for cheaper materials has meant this is not always the case. Rattan, for example, is a better alternative to plastic garden furniture, simply because it is a natural material and from a sustainable source too. But it is not just the materials we use. It can be the design of the garden and its contents. For example, leave a patch to become a wild garden, allowing wildflowers and native species to thrive, for insects to visit and not be harmed by chemicals and for birds to enjoy the space too. 

Trees are an important part of Feng Shui in the outdoors but pay close attention to them. They should not be overgrown or touch your property.

Is there water in your garden?

Flowing water is generally good within Feng Shui, promoting the flow of energy in a space and is also thought to increase income too. Water in the Feng Shui system includes natural bodies of water, such as lakes and ponds, as well as man-made ponds. Waterfalls and fountains are also good news when it comes to Feng Shui.

If you haven’t already, why not add running water or create a pond, both create for wildlife.

Do you understand Bagua?
Bagua is a principle of Feng Shui that concerns where things are placed according to eight trigrams. By having the right things in the right places, key aspects of your life are harmonised.

For example, it could be that if a relationship is under stress, there may be an aspect of the Feng Shui within your home or garden that is out of line. By moving it, harmony is restored.

What shape is your outdoor dining table?

The simplest of changes can have a huge impact on how people enjoy a space. The principles of Feng Shui suggest that a round dining table is more harmonising in a space, including the garden, perhaps people linger longer. There is no ‘header or footer’ at a round table, no one in charge, no one at the bottom of the pile – all equal and all harmonious.

Have you considered the five-elemental colour cycle?
The colours representing fire, earth, wood, metal and water need to be incorporated in your garden in a way that accents and harmonises, rather than hinders and damages. Not come across the concept before? The five-elemental colour cycle is easy to adapt to your garden.

Is your garden too still?

We associate calmness with stillness and whilst this may be true, no movement in the garden can cause your chi to stagnate. Windmills and bunting flags that gently flutter in the breeze could be the very pieces that allow the harmony and energy to flow through the space.

Feng Shui is not just about adapting the space for your own ends but for your family too. Better still, your summer BBQ guests or friends that pop by for afternoon tea will have no idea how the ancient art of Feng Shui is having a positive impact on them. But you will because you will all linger, for lingering and be more relaxed and revived…

Rattan Direct help customer achieve harmony and balance in their gardens with a range of garden furniture made from sustainable materials. 

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Making The Most Of A Lapland Holiday In Ruka, Kuusamo

Today on my blog I have a guest post from my good friend Lucy, Lucy runs The Parent Game blog and recently had a fantastic opportunity to travel to Lapland. This is what she got up to on her trip. 

Travelling to Lapland is the culmination of a lifelong dream for many people. It is the kind of destination which can be a long time in the planning and the result of years of build-up and saving. So, how do you decide what to fit into your dream holiday? Which of the many trips and excursions are going to make your adventure extra-special? We've put together this guide on making the most of your Lapland holiday, using our own experiences from our base in the fabulous Ruka Ski Resort in Kuusamo, Finland. Whether you are travelling as a couple or a family, there is something for everyone in this stunning part of the world.

My son and I visited Ruka in March for five nights and it was a jam-packed trip. I've included all the activities we tried ourselves, so all of them are suitable for children, although this is not essential! All the activities we tried are available either at the resort, or a short drive away from Ruka and there is also a reliable bus service. All our activities were organised through Ruka Safaris, who offer friendly and helpful guides to make sure you get the most from your experience. Although it is sometimes possible to hire equipment and go it alone, I highly recommend making use of them, especially if you are short of time, as they know all the best places to go to get the most from every activity.


Ruka is most famous for its fantastic skiing facilities. They have amazing ski slopes, ranging from beginner to expert and everywhere in between. The expert slopes are viewable from some of the many restaurants in the resort, and it's lovely to look out at the skiers and snowboarders flying down the mountain as you enjoy some local cuisine. If you have children or are more of a beginner, it's a short free bus ride to Ruka Snow Park, which has everything you need for beginner skiing. You can hire all your equipment, which is expertly fitted, and even book a ski lesson with one of the friendly instructors. Children are encouraged to take part and the instructors are lovely with little ones, there English is pretty good too, which really helps. As well as skiing, you can also hire toboggans for children to try on the slopes, or even have a go at snowboarding. There is also a restaurant where you can get a lovely cooked meal, we had Lasagne, or just enjoy a drink and snack while you rest from your activities in the warm.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is a brilliant activity, particularly if you want to really experience the Lappish culture. When you visit Lapland, you will notice a lot of large snow-covered areas, that look like fields. These are actually lakes and Finland is famous for having, not only a lot of lakes but also the cleanest water in the world. Ruka Safaris offer Ice Fishing expeditions where you will be taken to the perfect spot in the middle of a frozen lake. There, you will be shown how to drill through the ice and then provided with bait and equipment to try to catch a fish. It's beautiful and peaceful out on the lake and it's enjoyable just to be there, but nothing beats the feeling of excitement when you actually catch something!

Snow Mobiling

Ruka Safaris offer lots of options for snowmobiling. You can choose a long or short safari, to various destinations, you can even organise a safari from Kuusamo airport to your accommodation, as an extra-special start to your holiday! As we had children with us, we took part in a group safari around a lake, which wasn't too long and is perfect if you are a bit nervous of driving these pretty large machines, especially if you have your offspring on the back! For children to travel with you, they have to be able to reach the footrests, otherwise, they will need to travel in a trailer. It is best to check with the guide when you book.

Husky Rides

We visited Lammintupa to take part in a husky ride. Lammintupa is a short drive from Ruka Ski Resort and well worth the trip. There are lots of different activities to do there and they also have a cafe which makes the most delicious pancakes! The Husky ride was very exciting. You are given a big kick sled (where you stand on the skis at the back) which has a basket in the front for a passenger and is pulled by six really excited dogs. You have a brake and so have some control over how fast you go, which was great for me, because I was a bit scared and thought I was going to fall off! The huskies follow a set route and you are instructed to use the brake if you start to catch them up and use your feet to help them along if they start to struggle uphill. It takes a little getting used to but is worth it as it's a truly unique experience and really fun. While you are there, you can also spend time with the husky puppies, who are obviously adorable!

Sleigh Rides

Also available at Lammintupa is another favourite of a Lapland holiday, the sleigh ride. Before you enjoy a ride through the countryside, you are able to meet and feed the reindeer and find out a bit more about them. We did our sleigh ride straight after the huskies and it was lovely to be able to do something so relaxing after all the adrenalin and excitement. The best part of the sleigh ride, which also followed a set route through the forest, was that you had plenty of opportunities to take in the scenery. And, wow, what a scene! Miles of unspoilt, beautiful snowy forests, everything sparkling and white, a truly fantastic landscape that you will never forget. With the reindeer sleigh, both passengers get to sit down in the comfort of the sleigh and it's very easy to steer the reindeer around the route, so it's relaxing for everyone.

Northern Lights

If you are very lucky, like we were, you can sometimes catch sight of the iconic Northern Lights from your balcony. We stayed in RukaSuites Apartment Hotel and the balcony was a definite highlight, along with a very welcome sauna, which is an important Finnish tradition. For the best view of the lights, though, you need to get away from light pollution, then the lights are easy to see, take photos of, and you tend to get a better impression of the different colours. 

pin for later

Ruka Safaris offer guided tours either on foot, by snowmobile or on the bus. The Northern Lights are never guaranteed, they are fickle and prefer to please themselves when they show up, but the guided tours offer the best chance of seeing them because they have a lot of experience in when they are most likely to show up.

Lucy stayed at the Ruka ski resortWould you visit Lapland?

*Ice fishing photo & husky close up credit Harri Tarvainen

Bistrot Pierre Cardiff - Spring Menu Review And Get A Free Drink

Ok, I'll confess, I am a bit of a fan of the French restaurant chain Bistrot Pierre.  I've eaten at a few of their branches and they are head and shoulders above the rest of their competitors for the quality of food and the prices. Last year I reviewed the Swansea Bistrot Pierre in Mumbles, so I was excited to be invited to try out the new Spring menu range in their Cardiff branch last week.  Read on to find out what I thought and to get a free drink with your meal!

The Cardiff branch is just off the Hayes, on Caroline Street (affectionately known as 'chip alley' to the locals). Don't let that put you off though as the addition of this restaurant adds a touch of class to the area.

The restaurant is understated and tastefully designed inside and service is pleasant, attentive but certainly not stuffy.

My son and I were welcomed by Erica our server and shown to our table. Bistrot Pierre like to focus on seasonal ingredients and great value French cooking and the menu reflected that. 

We ordered from the A La Carte Spring Menu see below and chose the Salade de canard and the Calamars. I ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and my son a coke. There was a selection of about 40 choices of wine, including champagne, almost all available by the glass as well as by the bottle. 

My Calamars (squid) was perfect. It wasn't overcooked and rubbery, instead, it was easy to cut into, coated in a mildly spiced batter and melted in the mouth. Served with garlic aioli I devoured it in no time. A very good dish.

My son really raved about the Vietnamese duck salad and said it was similar to Cantonese crispy duck but without the pancakes! Crunchy, crispy duck with yielding duck meat underneath, rested on a thin julienne of Asian vegetables.  A smattering of sesame seeds and hints of five spice, chilli and coriander made this a dish packed full of flavour.  A great start to our meal.

For our mains, my son ordered the 9 oz Entrecote or rib eye steak and I ordered the Poulet printanier, a chicken dish with a creamy tarragon and mushroom sauce. 

The steak wasn't as good as expected.  Unfortunately, It tasted as if it was not seasoned and was gristly. The herb butter didn't add anything to the dish and made it greasy. The fries, however, were crispy, light and very good. My son has had steak here before and has never complained about it previously, so I just think it was an off day for this dish. 

The latter dish, poulet printanier, was new on the Spring menu - pan-fried chicken breast sliced and served in a rich sauce of mushrooms, peas, asparagus and tarragon.  You could really taste the mushrooms in this dish and this was further enhanced with the addition of yummy truffle oil adding an earthy flavour. The tarragon really shone through as well. A good dish and one well worth ordering on the Spring menu.

In Bistrot Pierre, most mains come with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables unless otherwise stated, and the vegetables were seasoned and drizzled with butter. The baby roast potatoes were incredibly tasty. I think they are cooked in olive oil, and you get a great flavour but they aren't crispy like traditional roasties, just a note if you are expecting them to be. 

At this point, we were both full, but I couldn't resist dessert!

We ordered the Mousse au chocolat and the Frangipane. 

The chocolate mousse very good indeed. Rich and smooth and made of the best Valrhona chocolate, it was topped with small crunchy balls of chocolate that added a nice texture to the dessert. It had a slight orange taste but the waitress asked the chef and it didn't contain any. Odd but delicious all the same.

I've had the frangipane before and just couldn't resist ordering again as I remembered how great it was. A light sponge flavoured with pear and almonds, with a secret thrilling raspberry layer. It comes covered in cream and decorated with almonds and pistachios, adding a nice crunch. This frangipane pudding really is a delight and totally moreish and is one of my favourite dishes on the menu. If you like puddings I urge you to order this - you won't be disappointed. 

At this point, we were full to bursting so declined the cheese course and any further drinks. 

We really enjoyed our meal at Bistrot Pierre Cardiff. It was very good indeed the only slight disappointment being the steak.  What I like about the menu is that there is always a decent selection for those that don't eat red meat, like my husband.  Chicken and fish is always featured on the menu, with a couple of vegetarian options, and usually a pork dish too. 

The Spring A La Carte menu has a wide range of dishes and they also do a Spring Prix-Fixe (fixed price) evening menu with any two courses for £14.95, which I feel for food of this quality is a bargain.  The lunch menu has two courses for £11.95 and three for £13.95 which is also a great deal.

The chain also has a groovy Bistrot Pierre app, that allows you to collect points towards a free drink, starter, main course or even two-course meal. I do have this on my phone and it's surprising how fast the points add up. At present they will give you 1000 points if you download the app (which is a free one-course lunch or breakfast), but do check out the website to see if this offer is still valid.  I was so pleased to be given a free carafe of wine on my birthday, just for having the app! 

For my readers today that visits any Bistrot Pierre, and there are 24 around the country, I am giving you something free too! When you order a main course you can claim a complimentary 175ml glass of house wine, a bottle of beer or soft drink. 

Print off code LBPBWCKJ and hand it to your server when you dine quoting 'blogger free drink voucher'. Check out the terms and conditions here, valid until 20th July 2018. 

Tell me, do you like French bistro food? Would you give Bistrot Pierre a try?

6 Bedroom Storage Hacks

If your bedroom is a constant mess and you blame the fact that you don’t have enough space for everything, then perhaps you’re in need of some serious bedroom storage hacks, which is where this blog post comes in handy. 

I have teamed up with Happy Beds, the UK’s fastest growing online bed and mattress store, to create some handy tips on how to keep your mess completely organised. 

1. Invest in a storage bed
Storage beds are a great way to hide all of your mess, whilst still keeping it in one place. Rather than shoving everything under your bed and then spending ages taking everything out to find the one thing you’re looking for, ottoman beds help you stay organised and put everything into sections. Having one of these means you can lift up the top of the bed, making everything in the storage compartment easily accessible. 

2. Build shelves
Shelves are a great way to fill up wall space – especially corner shelves. Not only does it mean that you can display your photos or ornaments, but you will be able to make use of the corner of your bedroom when nothing else will fit. 

3. Bed organisers
I get it. You want a bedside table for your phone, a photo frame of a loved one and maybe somewhere to put your TV remotes. However, is this really a necessary piece of furniture? Why not invest in bed organisers? These work by sitting half under the bed and then the rest hanging out with multiple compartments – it does the same job, yet it is a lot more cost-effective and a little less large.

4. Make use of the door
Doors can become pretty handy when you use them in an innovative way. You can buy multiple storage pieces for doors; vertical handbag hangers, jewellery hangers and even shoe racks for the back of the door. These are extremely convenient, especially when space is at a premium, in box bedrooms for example!

5. Fold down desks

For those of you that are studying, or work from home and have a limited space, having a fold-down desk is a great option. Rather than having a clunky bit of furniture in the back of your bedroom, a fold down desk means you can access a desk when you need it, the rest of the time it can be free floor space.

6. Make storage boxes your best friend

Storage boxes are extremely convenient to keep you organised. They can be stored on top of cupboards, underneath beds and furniture and in whatever small spaces you can find. Add labels to these boxes so that you can easily decide which box t
o access, rather than hunting through them all. 

Tell me do you use any storage hacks?

*In collaboration with Happy Beds