5 Whisky Cocktails For Summer

With summer heating up, we’re finally at one of the best times of the year – the season of sipping cocktails on the patio! While whisky is known for its ability to warm you up after a few sips, after all, we all love a good Christmas whisky, when mixed into a refreshing cocktail, it can actually be the perfect option during the sunnier months of the year.

So, trade in your Old Fashioned for one of these summertime sips and pour yourself a perfect accompaniment for barbeques and alfresco dining!

Bourbon Sweet Tea

It’s sometimes a little too warm to enjoy a hot beverage in the summer months, so this American twist on our beloved hot brew can act as the perfect way to sate your tea cravings – made all the better with a big splash of whiskey, of course!

You Will Need:

750ml of water
250ml of Bourbon
100g of sugar
2 black tea bags
1 lemon, sliced or in small wedges
½ orange, sliced or in small wedges

To Make: 

  1. Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan and boil, stirring to ensure the sugar dissolves.
  2. Pop the tea bags into a jug and pour the hot sugar water in, leaving the tea to steep for around five minutes.
  3. Remove the tea bags and add in the slices of lemon and orange to impart some extra flavour into the mix!
  4. Pour the Bourbon in and give the drink a good stir.
  5. Cover the jug and leave to chill until the liquid has cooled down.
  6. Serve over ice, garnished with a slice of lemon, for a refreshing drink.

 Honey Whisky Lemonade

Add a sweet twist to your favourite whisky with this summery special. Perfect for entertaining, this recipe will give you enough syrup to make around ten drinks – if you’re up for a bartending feat!

You Will Need: 

125ml of water
6tbsp of honey
2 sprigs of fresh herbs (basil or mint are best!)
125ml of lemonade per drink
1 shot of whisky per drink
Ice and lemon slices to serve 

To Make:

  1. Add the water and honey to a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and pop in a sprig of herbs, leaving the mixture to simmer for around 15 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool for 15 minutes.
  4. In each glass, pour a shot of whisky over ice and top off with lemonade.
  5. Stir one teaspoon worth of the honey syrup into the drink and garnish with a slice of lemon, or a couple of herb leaves before serving.

Green Tea Highball

Bringing the tastes of Japan to your glass, this delicious cocktail combines two of the most popular Japanese beverages into one fantastic drink. In Japan, the Highball has become an iconic drink, so adding this traditional flavour to the mix is certainly something worth a try!

You Will Need:

60ml of Japanese whisky
60ml of green tea
30ml of soda water

To Make: 

  1. Brew the green tea and then leave it to cool.
  2. In a tall glass, mix the whisky with 60ml of green tea.
  3. Top the drink off with soda water and serve.

Raspberry Whisky

Add a fresh and fruity twist to your drink with this simple summer whisky recipe! Raspberries are a great summer berry, coming into season in July and August, so you should have your pick of fresh, local fruit!

You Will Need:

45ml of whisky
15ml of raspberry liqueur
120ml of ginger ale
A squeeze of lime juice
Fresh raspberries to garnish

To Make: 

  1. Fill a tall glass with ice and pour over the whisky and raspberry liqueur.
  2. Squeeze in a good dash of lime juice.
  3. Top the drink up with ginger ale.
Serve with a couple of raspberries as garnish.

Cranberry and Orange Cocktail

A simple recipe for a fruity and refreshing sip perfect for a summer’s day!

You Will Need:

90ml of orange juice
30ml of cranberry juice
60ml of whisky
15ml of Cointreau
15ml of simple syrup
60ml ginger beer

To Make: 

  1. Add the whisky, Cointreau, syrup and juices to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake it up for a minute before straining into your glass
  3. Top off the drink with ginger beer to give it a refreshing fizz.
The drink can be served as is, or with a garnish of orange peel, cranberries or a thyme sprig for added flavour!

pin for later

Do you have any whisky cocktail recipes you love to sip on in the summer. Why not leave me a comment below with your drink recommendations!


Coping With Arthritis

Arthritis is a medical condition causing inflammation of the joints which can make life difficult and painful for the sufferer. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Having a diagnosis of arthritis can be life-changing but there are ways to cope with this disease to make your life easier. I was recently commissioned by Mobility Plus to give my views on this topic. Let's find out what you can do to cope with arthritis. 

Take your prescribed medication

Medication can help control arthritis and relieve pain. Non-Steroid Anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen are commonly prescribed to help pain relief and swelling and there are other treatments such as steroid injections, depending on the severity of the condition. Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are also used to stop the immune system from attacking the joints. In severe cases, surgery may be advised.

Ensure you are your correct weight

If you are over your BMI it can put extra strain on your joints so it's important to be at the correct healthy weight. If you are overweight a slow steady weight loss is recommended, with a diet full of fruit and vegetables, low in fat and salt. A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to help in the case of inflammatory arthritis, check out the advice by Verus Arthritis for more information.  

Take gentle exercise

You may not feel like taking exercise when you have arthritis, however, exercise can improve muscle strength and reduce stiffness. Try exercise that is low impact such as swimming, aqua aerobics, or walking, and stretching exercises and pilates classes are also useful.  Avoid any high impact exercise like running and repetitive movement exercise like tennis. Of course, always check with your GP before taking any form of exercise if you have a health condition. 

Occupational therapy

Your doctor may refer you to occupational therapy for arthritis particularly in your hands and wrists. Arthritis in your hands can really affect your day-to-day living. Simple things like opening a bottle or turning on a tap can be painful. Occupational therapists can advise on movement without aggravating your arthritis. They can also supply various aids, gadgets and equipment to help with your daily life and make movement easier.

Use appropriate aids

Whether you are supplied with aids by an occupational therapist or source items yourself, there are a number of items you can use to help your arthritis. From a can pull tin opener, to an easy grip mug, to a one-handed nail clipper, there are lots of aids that can make your life easier if you have arthritis. Adjustments to your house like fitting handrails to help you get up the stairs, and fitting levers to taps to help you turn them can make a big difference. You will also find that an improved sleep experience can make a huge difference in how your symptoms flare. If you’re always stiff in the morning, then check out online mattress reviews and see if you could improve your nights’ rest. 

If you need to go out or even if you’re only staying at home, wearing compression socks may help alleviate arthritis symptoms. Compression socks work by applying gradual pressure on the legs and feet, helping to improve circulation in the lower extremities and reduce leg swelling, pain, and fatigue caused by arthritis.

Your doctor or physical therapist will measure your legs and feet and determine the level of compression that’s needed for your condition. It’s imperative to consult your health-care provider before buying compression socks to make sure you choose safe and healthy compression wear for you.

In the bathroom, walk-in showers make showering so much easier, without having to lift your legs to get into a shower over a bath. A shower seat for extra safety and handrails can all help you feel safe whilst showering. Walk-in baths are also great to assist you in bathing. 

Support groups

Having arthritis can take a big adjustment, however, there are support groups available to help. Arthritis Care has a number of branches around the UK that provide support and an opportunity for arthritis suffers to meet others.  They also provide self-management courses and workshops to help you improve your quality of life. 

Coping with arthritis isn't easy but with a few adjustments to your life, it can be made easier. 

Other therapies

Alternative therapies can have its place in arthritis care and some people get relief through acupuncture. Massage may improve stiffness temporarily, always tell your massage therapist that you have arthritis. Applying warm heating pads to aching joints may help, just be sure to follow the instructions. 

Coping with arthritis isn't easy but with a few adjustments to your life, it can be made easier. 

* AD

3 Quick Hacks To Keep Your Apartment Tidy

If you've recently moved into your studio apartment, you may be under the impression that a small space is much easier to maintain, but unfortunately, you're wrong. The main problem with a small apartment is that it can become overcrowded, which will make your living space look untidy, and cleaning standards will start to slip. To avoid facing a messy apartment after a long day at work, you should take a look at these top hacks, which will help you keep your small space clean and tidy, whether you are renting an apartment in London or a studio rental Houston TX. No one likes a cluttered environment, do they?

Choose the right furnishings 

If you have not yet furnished your property, then you need to make sure that the items you choose are the perfect fit. For example, if you're planning to buy a new sofa for your living room, you should measure the area where you want it to be and then narrow down your search with your exact measurements. This way, you can fit in more furnishings without overloading your space, which will make even the smallest studio apartment look spacious.

In the bathroom, for example, think of storage options, like cabinets to keep your personal items out of reach of children, bathroom storage baskets to keep towels tidy and hooks on the back of doors to air towels and hang up clothes.

To help you select the right decor for your apartment, you should take a look at the luxury studio apartments available at RW Invest, which feature the perfect size furniture that helps to maximise the space. Tenants can easily keep their apartments clean and tidy due to the well-thought-out layout, which prevents their space from looking congested.

Clear your clutter 

Once you’ve moved in all your belongings and decor, you will begin to realise that your space is just not big enough for everything. More than likely, you will not need everything that you've moved in with, so you should get rid of some items that aren't needed. One of the main areas that tends to gather clutter is the kitchen, as a lot of people tend to place all of their mugs (both dirty and clean) on the kitchen counter. In a studio apartment, you will not have the cupboard space to store your cups, so they will take up counter space instead. This can make your apartment look extremely untidy, so you should consider getting rid of older mugs or utensils, and just keeping a small amount that you use every day.

You may find it hard to part with some of your items, especially if you're a nostalgic hoarder. To help you kick this habit, you should make a pile of necessary items, and whatever is not needed should be either thrown away or donated, depending on its condition. This way, you can make more room for new decor or keep it simple by following the popular minimalist trend that will enhance the look of your home.

Organise important paperwork 

One thing that you will need to keep in your apartment is paperwork, such as utility bills, car insurance documents, or your tenancy agreement. When moving in, these types of documents tend to be forgotten about and are thrown to the side, making them extremely difficult to find later on.

Instead of just tossing them to the side, you should organise them as soon as possible. You could either place them in a folder and store it in your bedroom cabinet, or you purchase filing storage and label it so you can see what you're looking for straight away. This will help you organise your life and also make your apartment look neat and put together.

* AD

Disability Aids To Make Life Easier

If you struggle to get around because of disabilities, then you may be considering a disability aid to make your life that little bit easier. Here are some disability aids you could consider to help you. The NHS has a fantastic guide to some of the household gadgets and equipment to make life easier.

With more and more elderly people becoming disabled and struggling to get around, it is important to know just what is available on the market and what is best suited to each individual’s needs. Here are five examples of disability aids you could try:

Walking Stick

For those needing extra reassurance when walking, a walking stick is a fantastic resource. Taking your weight when you feel unsteady on your feet, a walking stick is handy when you need to get around but may struggle without it.

You can get a wide range of walking sticks - there are traditional canes or wooden walking sticks and also folding walking sticks and stick seats if you require a rest often whilst walking. You can get them in all different designs and get lengths to suit you best.


When it comes to getting around your house, stairlifts can help - meaning you can still get about upstairs if required. These are becoming quite commonplace in homes with disabled people or elderly people now to help them retain a little bit of independence.

The company fitting it will make sure you get the right one for your property to help you get round your home easier.

Mobility Scooter

If a walking stick isn’t an option but you still want to retain some of your independence whilst out and about, mobility scooters may be the option for you. You can get around with ease and perhaps even do some shopping whilst on it - they really are a handy aid to have.

Mobility scooters come in a few different sizes, so choosing the mobility scooter most suited to your needs and budget is important.

Walking Frame

These are often referred to as Zimmer frames and are ideal if you have low mobility. They are lightweight but also offer fantastic support if you are unsteady on your legs. They are durable and often great for use in both a domestic environment and outdoors.

These are genuinely very affordable and suitable to most budgets and are constructed from good quality materials. You can use them by using them for support whilst lifting them to move.


A rollator is pretty much a walking frame with wheels. A walking frame needs to be lifted for movement whereas a rollator has wheels and can be pushed along without any lifting required. They usually come with a built-in seat too so that you can sit down if you need a rest. If this is something that happens often, a rollator may be a better option than a walking frame for you.

These are just a few ideas of disability aids you could consider for you or a loved one. Perhaps you know of other disability aids that I haven’t mentioned here that you or a family member uses? I’d love to find out about any more aids people can use!

*Collaborative post

Top Ten Tips For Visiting Florida With Babies And Toddlers

Today on the blog is a guest post from Kim from OddHogg, a family lifestyle blog about travel and the struggles of living with type 1 diabetes.

Over the last 20 years, I have visited Florida quite a few times. From being a child myself, exploring as a carefree 20 year old and now going back with my own kids I have experienced quite a range. I was quite apprehensive about taking my children to Florida for the first time as they were just 2 and a half years old and 5 months old. I wasn’t sure how we would navigate the crowds and the heat, never mind the change in routine and eating out.

It turns out that I needn’t have worried. We had a wonderful trip and both children adapted really well, thanks to a few extra steps to make the whole experience enjoyable for us all.

1. Make Use Of The Disney Baby Care Centres

For most people visiting Florida Disney World is a must visit. Within the 4 main parks, there are Baby Care Centres. These are fully staffed areas in the parks where you will find private nursing areas with rocking chairs, baby changing areas, a feeding area equipped with highchairs, microwaves and a sink and a television area with seating. There is even a small onsite shop where you can purchase nappies, wipes, formula, sun cream and even some over the counter medication just in case you forgot your own.

I found that having this dedicated baby space where you can really take the time out to focus on your baby set my mind at ease. Knowing that we could go and cool down in an air conditioned room and have a quiet feed away from the madness outside was just what we needed, and I’d urge you to make the most of it too. 

2. Take A Pram

Even if your toddler is usually a fantastic little walker, if you’re going to visit one of the theme parks then a pram is a must. We easily walked 20,000 steps some days and it’s just unreasonable to expect little legs to keep up with that! With a lot of heat, exercise and excitement having a quiet space to have a rest might even mean you get an unexpected nap, meaning you can sit and enjoy the sunshine in peace.

We also found that when things got a bit overwhelming the pram was where the toddler chose to retreat. It is a familiar space and it is safe. So if the crowds were too big, the noise too much or the characters a little too scary then the safety of the pram can mean avoiding a toddler meltdown.

3. Use A Pram UV Cover

Although many areas in Florida try and ensure there is as much shade available as possible, it’s just not always practical. A UV cover for your pram will keep little ones with particularly sensitive skin to the sun out of harm’s way. They are breathable so your baby or toddler won’t overheat, and they can still see through it to watch what is going on around them.

4. Go Slow

Setting your expectations before you go can really help make sure you go slow while you’re in Florida with babies or toddlers. Too much stimulation leaves them overtired and grumpy, spoiling the mood for everyone. It is unrealistic to expect to do everything on your trip, so pick your priorities and schedule in lots of down time.

5. Use The Child Swap Option

While there are plenty of rides that little ones can enjoy, sometimes you just want to go on a bigger rollercoaster! The child swap option is available on selected rides in both Disney World and Universal Studios and it allows one parent to stay with the children while the other rides, and then they can trade places without having to go back to the end of the queue. So you don’t have to miss out on all the fun! Even better if you can do it over a nap time so the kids don’t even realise it’s happening.

6. Check Out The Accommodation Options

For us - self-catered accommodation in a villa was exactly what we wanted. Away from the hustle and bustle of the main theme parks, we spent our days off swimming in the pool and chilling out as a family. We had a few of our usual home comforts and it allows you to cook at home, which is just what we needed a few nights. Search around for a villa that provides a cot and highchair as standard.

On the other hand, if Disney World is the focus of your trip then there are many benefits to staying in one of the Disney hotels. You get early access to the parks so you can beat the crowds, plus you can head back to your hotel after lunch for a swim and cool down before popping back to the park for fireworks in the evening.

Think about what would suit your family best and then shop around.

7. Don’t Buy A Kids Meal

Portion sizes are HUGE. My eldest would never eat a full kids meal and it was just a huge waste of money. We soon stopped buying him a meal, instead, we asked for an extra plate so he could share what we were having. We never found anywhere that had a problem with this, in fact, that seemed more than happy to help.

8. Hunt For The Hidden Mickeys

Inside the Disney World parks, there are over 1000 hidden Mickeys to find. The could be hidden on window frames, depicted on the spots of an animal or sitting on the side of a lamppost. Looking for these Mickey ears hidden in plain sight is a great way to kill time in Disney World with a toddler while you wait in line for a ride.

9. Explore Outside Of The Theme Parks

There is so much more to Florida than just theme parks. Go and see the classic car cruise in downtown Kissimmee, or to the picturesque town of Celebration for a walk and let the kids play in the water fountains.

10. Relax

A trip to Florida is often a once in a lifetime experience and expectations can be so high. We all know that things often don’t go to plan when you’re with young children, and it’s no different when you’re on holiday. If it turns out that your toddler hates Disney characters, or the baby doesn’t like it in the swimming pool you can feel a bit uptight, but it doesn’t have to ruin your holiday. Take a deep breath, relax, and make adjustments so that you can all enjoy the trip. You deserve it!

Nixplay Seed Digital Photoframe Review

Photography has come a long way in 10 years.  As well as the ability to take a photo on your smartphone, and the advent of mirrorless cameras, how you can display photos has changed too. Enter the digital photo frame. 

A digital photo frame is a modern way of displaying your photos, without the need for a computer or printer. Now as a blogger and one that covers a vast amount of travel on both my blogs, I have a huge number of photos, so I was interested in finding a way to display them without printing them out, thus saving paper and the environment and not having to store endless amounts of photo albums too. This is where Nixplay's offer of a photo frame to review came in handy.

Nixplay are a technology company that sell a range of digital photo frames. Created by family man CEO Mark Palfreeman, Nixplay was created to ensure families stay connected wherever they may be. 

The digital photo frame I was sent to review was the Nixplay Seed 10 inch widescreen photo frame, retailing at £149.99. Using Wi-Fi connectivity this digital photo frames main feature is the ability to display photos sent from anywhere in the world. Now that's cool!

Set up, should have been relatively easy, somehow I managed to mess it up, and had to ask my son to help, but if you have a basic grasp of technology it's not hard to do. Before you set everything up, I recommend installing the Nixplay app first for your mobile phone, which is free from the App store, for Android and IOS.  Then you connect all the equipment, set up the Wi-Fi connectivity and pair the digital photo frame to your phone. To adjust the photo frame the power cord acts as a stand

You need to register for an account before you can do anything. Then you are ready to organise the photos you want to display by creating an album on the app or online on their website. You can even add short video clips. The photos then are sent wirelessly to your photo frame.  How clever is that? 

You can sort the album alphabetically or by date order, and you can also download the album too. Once you create your album you add selected items to your playlist. I found it easy to just drag and drop a whole album.

A great feature is the ability to send photos to your Nixplay email address if you or your family doesn't have a mobile phone, these will then display on your photo frame. 

You can set the frames settings to play the last 100 photos, up in increments to the last 1000 photos. To save energy there is a motion sensor that triggers the frame to go to sleep after a set period. To display the photos you have the option to shuffle the playlist, display caption and more.

Overall I was impressed with the Nixplay Seed digital photo frame, the frame is robust, the colours are good, the clarity of the photos excellent and with a little technical know-how, it wasn't too difficult to set up. You need any memory cards due to wireless technology. 

At the moment they have some great promotions on the Nixplay site, you can get a discount of up to 25%. A digital photo frame like this would make a wonderful Father's Day gift that's for sure. 

If you would like to win a Nixplay Seed digital photo frame retailing at £149.99 then head over to my Instagram and follow me and Nixplay, tag a friend and tell me why you want to win!

Let me know what you think of the Nixplay Seed digital photo frame? 

A Stay In The Nut Hatch Cottage Near Canterbury With Kent And Sussex Cottages

In a beautiful part of rural Kent, is the Nut Hatch, a cosy conversion, in the grounds of the owner's home in the little village of Goodnestone, I was invited to review the Nut Hatch recently by Kent and Sussex Cottages and as I have never been to Kent I thought it would be an opportunity to explore the area too.
After a four and a half hour drive from South Wales, and a wrong turning or two (I blame Mr W!) we arrived in the sleepy little village of Goodnestone, seven miles from Canterbury.

The Nut Hatch is a beautiful small conversion big enough for two and a baby and first appearances didn't disappoint. We were greeted warmly by the owner Emma, her husband and children and given a key to this unique property. 

The accommodation was decorated in shades of white and blue with a pop of colour here and there. It was fresh, modern and stylish, and you could tell the owners had excellent taste. In the lounge area was a sofa and comfy chair, a Smart TV with blue ray player built-in and a wood burner to heat the conversion.

Emma left us some food and drink for our arrival, which was a lovely touch after a long drive. Farm fresh eggs from her own chickens, fresh milk, local cheese, homemade bread, unsalted butter, apple juice, asparagus and homemade cake. A selection of homemade jam, Marmite, tea and coffee was also made available to us.

I wasn't expecting so much food and it was a fabulous surprise! The cake was so amazing we had to tuck right in too.

Next to the open plan lounge was the kitchen, with a washing machine, fridge with small freezer compartment, oven, two ring stove and sink. A kettle, toaster and microwave were also in the kitchen. All pots and pans you could need were provided to make a simple meal. Washing up liquid, and dishcloths were also available so you didn't have to bring your own, which you occasionally have to do in self-catering accommodation. 

There were a small indoor dining table and chairs big enough to seat four.

Granola and porridge oats were available complimentary for your breakfast.

Upstairs on the mezzanine level was the bedroom and bathroom. Again impeccably decorated, the bedroom was gorgeous and looked brand new. Super soft robes and towels were on the bed waiting for us, and as I walked into the bedroom the carpet sunk underfoot, adding an air of luxury. Also how cute is the sheep pillowcases and duvet set?

Two small bedside tables were by the bed and there were plenty of electricity sockets as well as USB sockets too. A hairdryer was stored in the bedside table, and there was a long full-length mirror as well as a mirror in the cupboard which was big enough to hang your clothes for a few days. A small radio and two ornamental birds were also by the bed, adding that countryside decor.

If you wanted to read in bed you had a selection of books from which to choose.

The bathroom had a bath and shower as well as sink and toilet. Toiletries were provided and included good quality soap, shampoo and shower gel as well as a luxury bath essence.

I really loved the blue and white tiles by the sink, such a beautiful design feature. The bathroom has sensor lighting which came on as you entered, and the bathroom was lovely and warm due to underfloor heating.

A welcome booklet from the owners told us about the area and recommended some cafes and restaurants within a short drive. There was also a guide to the Kent area from Kent and Sussex cottages.

As you can see the cool little conversion was beautifully decorated. As well as being spotlessly clean (I never saw one speck of dust)  the owners seemed to know what is needed for a comfortable stay. We felt like royalty being greeted with simple home comforts like homemade cake, and they even provided Mr W's favourite - Marmite, without asking. The Nut Hatch is incredibly well designed too. Although there is only one room downstairs the lounge and kitchen seem to blend into one and the dining area was useful too. Wi-Fi was relatively fast and free and there were plenty of sockets available including USB sockets built into the wall.

The Nut Hatch is also placed well to explore the gorgeous Kent countryside, being in the middle of fields of sheep and yellow carpets of rapeseed. The little village of Goodnestone has a pub, a few houses and Goodnestone Park, a mansion with estate and gardens. Wingham Wildlife Park and Howletts Zoo are both close by and make a great day out for young and old.

We took a trip to Canterbury one day and really enjoyed this small city. Canterbury Cathedral is the biggest cathedral I've ever visited and it has so much history as people have come on pilgrimages here since medieval times. We also visited the Canterbury Tales, the Roman museum and explored the shops, which were a great mix of independents nd well-known chains such as Debenhams and Marks and Spencer. 

The next day we visited Dover and Dover Castle and it was a super day out, Dover Castle was amazing! Check out our video of what to do in the area above from the dedicated travel blog and YouTube channel that I run with my husband - Fly Drive Explore.

You can book The Nut Hatch through Kent and Sussex Cottages. If we were in the area we would definitely stay again. A beautiful conversion, well situated for exploring the Kent area. Thanks to the hospitality of Emma and her family and Kent and Sussex Cottages for hosting us.

Highly Recommended.