Just added a forum section! Get involved

Hi guys.

I have decided to add a forum section to maillardvillemanor to help everyone share tips on DIY, foodie stuff as well as chit chat about anything you can think of! There is also a blog section letting you share/talk about your blog and talk to other bloggers letting you build relationships with them which is really important in blogging!

You can sign up here.

If you do sign up your account will need to be approved first (this is to stop spam robots signing up and spamming the forum).

If you have any suggestion on making the forum better then please give me a hoot. I hope to see you all there very soon.


Update: Just fixed a problem with posts being blocked by default.


Homemade ovencooked crisps!

Yours should look like this when done.

In my household we are living on a budget, meaning we have to live on budget foods like supermarket branded crisps… which aren’t very tasty or healthy at all. To be honest they taste like cardboard. The crisps also look pretty gross too either being transparent in color because they have been fried so much, or in a packet you often find all sorts of really weird mutant crisps in different colored crisps like the charred black ones, the fungus whites, the moldy green ones or not forgetting the bogey yellow colored ones usually found at the bottom.

So I have decided to scrap the cheap crisps and make my own. So a couple days ago I got cooking and ended up making some rather yummy crisps. So I thought I would just quickly share with you guys what I did, its not really rocket science! Honestly making your own crisps is easier, cheaper and you can make them much healthier than the moldy ones you buy at the shops.


Seasoning of your choice (you can really experiment here)

A couple potatoes.. SWEET POTATOES ARE THE BEST! (1 potato gets gets you plenty of crisps)

1tablespoon of vegetable oil

How to

Slice your potato(s) into paper thin slices, use your own judgement as to how chunky you want your crisps! If you use a peeler to slice your potatoes I find are to flimsy and I find it is best to use a knife to cut them.

Then place your potatoes slices into a sandwich bag and then pour in your vegetable oil you then have to shake it which should coat the potato slices!

Once coated you should make to shake off any excess oil on the slices and lightly coat a oven pan with vegetable oil (this is to stop the crisps from sticking to the pan).

Next put your coated potato slices onto the pan making sure that there are spaces in between each potato slice and season. When seasoning it is always good to sprinkle the seasoning on from height helping you to better cover all the slices more evenly.

Place the pan into a preheated oven at around 250 degrees you should bake them for 2 hours flipping them over half way through. This is the best way to get the crispiest chips possible and stop them from getting soggy.

Resting the crisps for around 10 minutes after baking is a good idea.



New design! again!

After taking on board some of the comments I was getting about the new webdesign, I have decided to start again with a totally new one. With the last one I think I was trying to copy pintrest too much! Well guys and gals please tell me what you think again in the comments below… if needs be I will change it again :)

PS, creating a logo is on my to do list.


Letter cushions! Inspiration

Letter cushions/pillows what ever you want to call them can really put some attitude into your room! If you get it right you can brighten up your room and put some of your creativity into your room. You can put these on your sofa, bed, shelves or dump them where ever you want.. they really do go anywhere.. though mind you dont over do it with too many otherwise it might look tacky.

You can buy some really super letter pillows or you can choose to make your own quite simply by stitching on your own letter or word. I like making my own… once you get the hang of it you can really make some great designs. Just buy a blank pillow and just stitch your design onto them… The trick is to know what your going to do and do it! It is best to get a stencil on first so you know what your doing. (you may find that you will need buy a couple of practice pillows as your first attempt may not be perfect. I will be making a how to post later on to tell you guys exactly how you can get started! but first I thought I would post here some great designs to give you some inspiration and get you thinking.


*Remember they are your pillows so you can put what you like on them (even rude words if you so wish.. but you might want to quickly hide them when you have visitors).

Webdesign, never happy!

Im never ever happy when it comes to webdesign! I am always constantly (overly) tweaking bits here, there and everywhere… spending hours sometimes on the smallest details (you wouldn’t really think that by looking at it) and at the end of all of this im never 100% happy. Website design is so technical as well editing style sheets, sorting out fonts and  arranging color schemes… I prefer house DIY over website DIY… for me its a lot easier to get right.. plus with real life DIY you can get your hands dirty and get creative because webdesign is so technical and because you cant exactly reach into the screen and change what you want straight away it is rather frustrating…..

I am looking at my design for my blog right now.. and I know there is something not quite right about it… Im thinking of starting again.. and changing it totally.. any suggestions?

Sick and tired of my sore feet

I have been searching around.. just about forever on the web lately to find some good orthotic insoles for my plantar fasciitis. To be honest my version of plantar fasciitis probably isn’t plantar fasciitis and just a mild case of sore feet but that doesn’t matter.. hehe. I have been asking on various forums and what not about what I should buy with some people telling me to get one thing and giving me advise and other on another forum people telling the complete opposite. Plus Iv searched so many site now I am sick and tired of seeing insoles…. Finally made up my mind.. im gonna buy some from here.


So of you might go.. no dont buy them.. buy some £200 custom made insoles instead… well I am not made of money and after reading and reading iv came to the conclusion that custom insoles wont do my feet much good… because im not suffering from fallen arches or anything like that so I dont need them… plus all of this is giving me a sore head so id end up needing some insoles for my head as well soon if im not careful ;).. So that it decided getting some off shelf ones and that’s final!


Once the petal have gone "white" you can empty out the water from the pan into a jar of some sort and your rose water is ready!

How to make rose water! It is so easy!

Rose water smells lovely and can really do your skin a lot of good as it is packed full of minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants that can be really beneficial for your skin helping  to balance oily skin and rejuvenate your skin. Plus the water can be used as a anti-inflammatory helping to ease and sooth your skin. It is thought rose water can stop the signs of aging… well making your own rose water is easy and quick.. all you need are some rose petals, a pan to put them in and some water (no artificial chemicals needed!).

It is best to get roses that aren’t sprayed with chemicals (the more organic and naturally grown the better, so if you can then it might be a good idea to grow your own roses) You dont have to settle with the standard red roses there are tons of colors to try but it doesn’t really matter that much what color you use.

All you have to do is fill up you pan with water, put your rose petals in the pan… then place the pan on the hob leaving it to simmer with the lid on. Your rose water will be ready when the rose petal loose all of their color.

Im feeling that I should write and tell you guys more but to be honest that’s it! Rose water is so simple to make.


Really cool insoles to make you taller

Found something whilst shopping around recently on the internet. What I found are sly, clever and may really help me out. Height increasing insoles! I hardly ever wear high heels because they tend to really hurt my feet I have actually ended up with plantar fasciitis too last time I a pair.. so that means that I am always having to wear flat shoes from now on and considering I am not the tallest person in the world kind of sucks big time.

These soles aren’t that much money to buy online, Iv not had any discomfort from wearing them as elevation of the heel does usually cause tension and pressure on the feet but the insoles elevate your heel better than high heels do and minimize this pressure and tension and you put them in shoes and buy putting layer on the heel you make yourself tall! You maybe thinking there is more to them than that right? but there isn’t that’s it.. that simple.

Some of my friends are a little confused though they are sure I was smaller than them before. hehe.

(If you are going to get some I suggest the half insole gel ones as the full insole ones can be to big for lady shoes and they are more lightweight and less bulky)

Rightmove displays price you bought your house for! DOH!

(I dont know if this is old news.. but it is new news to me! as I have just put my house up for sale and its now listed on right move.)

So Rightmove for the benefit of its users slaps  the price that your bought your house for originally right next to the price you have it up for now! Yeah good one Rightmove, a real kick in the teeth for property developers and even just normal people just trying to sell their home. Plus psychologically placing the old house price right next to the new one like this surely could make people look at the old house price as the price they should be aiming to buy for.

This is exactly why I dont like dominant mega website like Rightmove, this feature where Rightmove scrape housing records and display the old price that it was bought for on the listing is really bad for sellers….and I am astonished that they are getting away with this. It isn’t like you can boycott being listed on Rightmove too because just like all monopolies everyone uses them and if your not listed then it is pretty darn hard for people to find out that your site is up for sale!

This really puts those selling their home on a back foot as well as those who buy new homes and want to sell the house again later on for whatever reason (for instance you lose your job and need the to down size). Before things were simple, you would put your house up on the market and people would use the asking price and other properties on the market to judge how much they are willing to pay .. now though people will use the prices that the property sold for last to make their decision and if your house is up for sale for a lot more than you bought it for then chances are your going to have a tough time convincing people!  Though I guess DIY, home improvements and by making your home special and unique does help but those who have bought a already done up new house will have a tougher time than those who bought a run down cheap one!

Update: Something else to consider that I have just thought about, is that it may help buyers initially but when it comes to their turn to sell the house they will get the exact same thing, so nobody really wins at the end of the day only Rightmove.

Preventing and getting rid of plantar fasciitis

I thought seeing as I have just all about recovered from my plantar fasciitis now that I might help out those of you have it too by telling you what I now know about this painful foot thing and how you can prevent getting it! How I got it, which I explained in my other post but if you forgot I basically got it when I went out shopping putting my feet though their paces and I overstretched them and inflamed them causing plantar fasciitis.. its got to be said though that athlete usually are the ones that get this condition the most (I guess you could say then that shopping is a a sport), but whether your running around doing sport or runnign around the shopping mall keeping your feet protected should be your main priority if you want to stay on your feet! As soon as you start feeling cramp or pain in your arches dont carry on.. give your feet a rest. I wish I did. I recommend buying some arch support insoles, they have done my feet wonders since I got them. Some site sell custom insoles for really expensive prices but those were not the ones I got I got some that fits all sizes and made out of gel.. gel because the gel adapts to your foot shape and in that way are just as good as custom insoles anyway so save your money. Oh yea before I forget I have also seen but not tried some insoles for high heels too they maybe a good bet if you dont want to give up wearing your high heel shoes. Whilst I am talking about high heels try your best to not wear them all the time especially if you going to be walking around or standing in them for ages because people dont say they are bad for your feet for nothing. You can cause damage to the ball of your foot and the arch as the heel gets elevated and puts pressure on the arch and ball of foot.

Iv just noticed that I have been talking about how to prevent plantar fasciitis and foot pain and not actually explained why plantar fasciitis comes about. Well from what I understand from reading and reading some more on PF I have learned that pf is mainly caused due to tight arches that become inflamed because of overuse. Tight arches could be a result of over pronation, supination, flat feet.. a tight Achilles heel being over weight which puts more weight and pressure on the arches, or wearing shoes that cause tightening like high heels (dont get me wrong I dont think high heels are evil or anything just wish they made them better for your feet).

So there you have it.. how you can prevent it and how you end up with plantar fasciitis… maybe I should have wrote that the other way around.

It not nice getting it.. takes a week or two to heal up… but wearing some insoles can really make a difference and make sure even when you dont have it put your soles in your shoes and support your feet afterall they are the ones doing all the leg work haha that was a bad pun.

You might actually find this article useful – it helped me loads!