“Life is Good!” – A Mini Boden Story!

Mini Boden. childrens clothing, video review, British clothing

One of the first few ‘British things’ I fell in love with was Boden clothing, and Mini Boden in particular! I have closely spaced children who are only 15 months apart and have diametrically opposite tastes.. they’re as different as peas and yams! As I mentioned in Nature, Nurture and Apples falling from Trees – one is capable of zingy flamboyance, the other opts for a more muted palette!
Since my girls were little, I’ve turned to Mini Boden for their clothes so when I had the opportunity to review a few of their clothes, I thought I’d go the extra mile with it! We decided to make a small movie of our time spent in the South Norfolk woods…storytelling, poppy gathering, dandelion blowing and a lot of cake-eating.. (that really is what good times are made of!) (Please do watch it – it’s our first movie here on the blog and so that teeny bit extra special :))

The Intrepid Misaventurer featuring Mini Boden from Kanchan Char on Vimeo.

Mini Boden has always stood the test of time for me.. the quality is *great* (and in the one odd occasion where something goes wrong – Boden operate a no quibble returns policy – provided the fault has little to do with “having been mauled by pets, drawn on by nephews or worn while decorating”. It’s like a little insurance policy!;P

Do I hear ” At those prices, you need one?” Admittedly, Boden does cost more than a few highstreet brands (though I’ve been surprised at some labels recently that surpass Mini Boden in price but pale in comparison on design and quality).

 

Mini Boden. childrens clothing, video review, British clothing

For us, Mini Boden is a thrifty option – here is where I get lynched and mobbed, but hear me out! I buy clothes that are to be used by two children simultaneously, they see a lot of wash and still look as good as new for a looong time – I say this after years of buying Boden! I find that Mini Boden styles can be bought in a bigger size than your child needs and are still very wearable because of adjustable features, making sure you get maximum use of the item. Clever things like adjustable waists, slightly longer sleeves than what you get elsewhere (that means tees can be worn longer) and dresses that are A-Line in style tend to go on looking good even after your child’s grown out of the size bracket on the label. Nifty things like footless tights – again a Mini Boden staple, takes care of those transitional season days we have almost every other day in beautiful Britain! ;P And after all that jazz, stick it on eBay and get a very sweet sum back (I speak the truth, go test it…). This effectively makes your purchase (if at all), a couple of quid more than a super market buy.

Mini Boden. childrens clothing, video review, British clothing

I’ll let the gorgeous prints and design speak for themselves…or you can go over and have a browse at *Boden* and see for yourself. They’re offering a nice 30% discount  at the moment and if you’re a new customer, you get a little gift (say you’re new in the space provided for delivery options at checkout).

 

Mini Boden. childrens clothing, video review, British clothing

Happy Shopping! 😉


*Disclaimer : This is a sponsored post. All opinions (very honest, btw), stories and ramblings are authentically mine! :)*
A big thanks to the wonderful Daniel Simm, my partner in crime for collaborating with me on this! :)
You might also enjoy reading :

“Chrome, Smoke and BBQ!” – My Summer Mixtape!

Chrome, smoke and BBq , streetfood, meat

Chrome, Smoke and BBQ – Now, I might’ve borrowed the title from ZZ Top, but that’s where it stops for the band and me! (Resists the urge to act like a Rock Chick, or at a least a former Rock Chick!) I never was, and not for the lack of trying!

I love music, and in that way I suppose I’m truly unique! ;D  One of my first few posts– Abba or Wham? You know who to blame! discusses how some of our earliest childhood memories were probably made to music that our parents enjoyed, and have left a lasting impression on the direction our own music choices would take. Music is, and has always been my greatest escape route – it’s the calmer of nerves, the settler of upsets, the maker of magic!

music, Chrome, smoke, vinyl, black and white, monochrome

I often think that music has gotten more important to me as I’ve ‘aged’. Not in a way that it is in our youth – you’re not feverishly in love with any one musician – (this premise is not applicable to an 80 year old singer whose last name is Cohen, for him my girlish devotion is endless)– but, generally speaking, you’ve formed your tastes and know what reaches you. And then you begin to layer those base notes with more! :)  I often wonder if our territorial obsessiveness with our hobbies, music, movies, fiction have to do with escaping from the incessant chiming of smart phones and emails that require redress at 5 am? After all, one man’s 5 am is indeed another’s 11 in the world we wake in! Does being a film guru, an expert climber, an obsessive coffee brewer who takes over the whole process from scratch give us reprieve in a world where most of the day is accessed with the sweep of the mouse..and we stop periodically and think of the different ways we can access our senses – we garden, we bake, we craft, we paint. We pet the dog!  I often watch my husband dash to make it out of the door just before rush hour’s perverse Odyssey holds him hostage; I rush about organising housework and blogwork , ballet and swimming, playdates and homework all to the meticulous tick-tock’ing of a clock (well, I try) and I fear that there’ll come a time when we’ll inchworm home and be forced to reckon that deadlines, commintments, places to be are indeed the foremost reality of all our lives! Magic, romance, meaningful everydays’ are the stuff of urban myths…

 

music,wood rose, flower, texture, black and white, monochrome

Amidst the scurrying and the scuttling, and the sharing and bartering of cheese; once in a way something comes along – a song, a book, a place, a new love – and we stand mesmerized- like a moment of hope in a dystopic film, in a space and time diffusion that draws us momentarily into the reverie of a life we want, we dream of. A feeling that immediately lifts us, albeit temporarily from the bills that needily beg our attention, the mail that needs sorting, the crushed bug under the couch, a carpet that needs hoovering-and settles us into a  home  that holds a reverberating heart resonating with crackling fires and memorabilia connecting your past to this moment; of remembrances gone and good times to come -a  gentle hand unveiling tomorrow as a bounding spool of thread. Yes, that’s what music does to me – fills me with ebullient optimism! Not for nothing that music has been an encompassing presence in almost every religious/philosophical persuasion! :)

 

music, Chrome, smoke, vinyl, black and white, monochrome, the waterboys

Summer is probably when conviviality is at it’s peak ; and with the arrival ofthe Great British Summertime and a modicum of sunlight, we’ve got to be forced back indoors… nothing gives summer it’s due better than BBQ’s and Al Fresco dining! Hoildays and family time in the sun, buzzing with the excitement of something new and getting away from it all! (Do however prepare yourself to have to listen to Beyoncé in a century-old street cafe in Bologna – for such is the curse of standardization and conformity! )

We’re starting off our own little celebration here at The Intrepid Misadventurer HQ – after all we, move on to Bournemouth in August, so every weekend is booked to be spent with friends we’re leaving behind! Here’s my playlist that will foreground my memories this summer – it showcases a few Indie/Folk Artists with a large presence! I hope that you’ll enjoy what’s been playing on loop for me! Those of you, who like me are quite passionate about ’80’s music, do listen ..most have a distinct retro vibe! (Argh, imagine calling the ’80’s retro!! )

I’m working on a few Indian-styled BBQ food posts (think Tikka Kebabs on skewers and Coriander-lemon-ginger King Prawns) in short, things that wash down well with beer! 😉 Watch this (scrummy) space for more!

My 12″ of Summer! :)

 

 I would be chuffed to bits if you’d leave me your personal favourite track (feel free to also write about the memory that goes with it that makes it special)…I could be introduced to something new, or reminded of a song that’s got burried in time. It’s the closest thing to a ‘music swap’ which I would like to do once just for the sheer joy of i! 😉 Anyhoo, for now.. let the music play on!

www.intrepidmisadventurer.com

You might also enjoy some of my ‘real’ posts that are not influenced by sun, song or other such euphoriants!:)

Nature, Nurture and Apples falling from Trees!

Retro-Chic and the Cult of Neo-Sobriety!

My lovely bloggy friend Hannah over at Budding Smiles made a playlist too (some great songs!) If you’re as nuts about music as us – do check it out… :) x

Pan Seared Steak&Onions-Stone Earth Pan Review!

plate, latevder, white, china, lavender, foodstyling, table decor

To travel the earth with a cast iron skillet and my favourite camera – that’s the life! (that will also ever remain the dream!) For one, I can’t deal with the high maintenance of cast iron…I’m a clutz that cooks so messily that I have to wash the pan. With every use. With cast iron, that’s the equivalent of casting a spell on it that will only be undone by throwing into the fireplace for a few hours (as good grandmas did in beautiful Southern America.) Evidently, I’m not there yet..:)

Anyone remember the joy of your first non-stick pan? My mother got one when I was little and it had it’s own hallowed place in the kitchen – it came with it’s own scrubber and wooden spatula and was never, ever to used by the uninitiated. I remember the non-stick pan along with the microwave, and all to the taste of Tabasco! It’s strange how we remember things…

I’m a mod-con girl with an overly nostalgic heart. I want the cast iron skillet and I want it to be as easy as non-stick, dip in a sudsy wash and it’s as good as new. In very few cases, you can have your cake and eat it too! When Ozeri (a nice little company that’s recently launched it’s wares in the UK) sent me the The Stone Earth Pan, I thought it’s going to be a regular non-stick with a pretty face. Boy, was I wrong?! :)

 

Ozeri Stone Earth Pan. Non stick, non toxic, cast iron alternative
Ozeri Stone Earth Pan. Non stick, non toxic, cast iron alternative

Here are some winning reasons why the Ozeri Stone Earth Pan deserves it’s stripes : It utilizes a natural stone-derived coating from Germany that achieves non-stick perfection without PFOA, a harmful chemical found in traditional pans.
It’s an eco-friendly pan that delivers unprecedented non-stick performance without releasing harmful fumes or toxins at high temperatures
It features a scratch-resistant stone-based coating that is super easy to clean (unlike other clay/stone/iron pans that call for regular elbow grease)
The interior of the pan made out of durable heavy-gauge die-cast aluminum with no harmful chemicals or trace metals.
It boasts a comfortable heat-resistant silicon handle reinforced with 3 rivets and a magnetized base for rapid heat transfer with induction stoves. The pan is also oven resistant to 240 degrees, one reason I’d give it a Gold Star, Blue Ribbon..you get the idea :)

I decided to give it a test drive with lavender honey, chipotle sauce and balsamic vinegar marinaded lamb steaks. This is a family recipe kindly shared by my friend Mini and her mum Tara, who’ve spent years living in the American South and developed a cuisine that borrows heavily from Texas, Louisiana and California.

IMG_3312-2

You need 4 New Zealand Lamb Leg Steaks (they’remostly lean)

IMG_3307

Marinade that with 4tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tbsp oil, one teeny sprig of lavender (don’t be seduced by the pretty purple sprig for like rosemary, it could taste like washing up  liquid!)  1tbsp Tabasco Chipotle Sauce (this is an equivalent of some schmancy Creole one which we don’t get in the UK) and 3 Tbsp of lavender honey. Salt as desired and a sprinking of a little dried mixed herbs and one bay leaf. Mix and spread over the steaks till it’s covered well. Let it rest bathed in all those magical flavours for as long as is convenient to you, you’ll be amazed how this tenderizes the meat too! Pan fry to your desired level of doneness 😉

I chose this recipe because it’s a right nightmare with the honey on most pans, the caramelization is usally a nightmare to deal with so it was quite apt to test if this pan made of a stone coating could rise up to it..it did – and with honours! :)

Ozeri Stone Earth Pan. Non stick, non toxic, cast iron alternative
Ozeri Stone Earth Pan.

The honey,balsamic glaze caramelised beautifully and the steak cooked to perfection. The part that won me over was just how easy it was to deglaze the pan and make a gravy…a mere swish and swash with a wooden spoon and I had a great herb-infused gravy to boot. I poured off the gravy and added onions to the residue…I had these beautifully caramelized onions flavoured with the meat juices and herbs. It was a perfect meal. The pan then needed a gentle rinse, no scrubbing, no soaking.

IMG_3336

I liked that the pan has a good weight which minimised the risk of burning. It has industry grade rivets that won’t ever need you getting a screwdriver on it to tighten it! I don’t know about you, but my pan handles loosen up with use and I’ve got to perform some form of DIY to save the day on them. Here’s a pan that adds character to your kitchen with it’s speckled, unusual appearance. I give it great buy, and I’m glad I came across the company..after all, we don’t tend to look into things until they’re ‘heard of”!

 

Ozeri Stone Earth Pan. Non stick, non toxic, cast iron alternative
Ozeri Stone Earth Pan. Non stick, non toxic, cast iron alternative

The next time you’re looking for a pan, look this one up, I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed. It’s avaialble on Amazon – The Stone Earth Pan by Ozeri, with 100% PFOA-Free Stone-Derived Non-Stick Coating from Germany (30 cm (12 inch)) if you should like to order. Happy Cooking! xx

www.intrepidmisadventurer.com

You might also like to look into some photo tutorials of authentic Asian food here :

Prawn Masala&Curry-A photo-tutorial!

Spicy Tadka Dal, Steamed Rice and Mughlai Shammi Kebab!

 *Disclaimer : This is a sponsored post, and I was given this pan for my participation! All opinions, stories, recipes, and ramblings are authentically mine! :)*