How to Clean Your Oven with Baking Soda

My oven has been needing a good clean for YEARS but I’m a bit scared of those oven cleaning products. You know the ones that always seem to need you to have a gas mask and industrial strength gloves?  Our local oven cleaning man, apparently is very good but is £50 which I don’t have spare ,so I’d left it and left it.

But my oven was getting to the point where I thought that I’d probably burn down the house because it was so grotty.  Mine’s not a self cleaning one but shoving the wire racks in the dishwasher got those clean, it was mainly the door that needed the most work.  I’d been ignoring it until I saw this video on YouTube:

and then the results here

Without being mean I thought if he can do it, well then so can I!

So off I went to Amazon to order a large 450g box of Arm and Hammer baking soda for £4 (why can’t they sell it that size here in the UK?) and the next day it arrived. So it was time to play!

Here is my oven door, please don’t judge….well actually judge all you like it was pretty grim.


As you can see…well yeah if you can’t see through it then it needs cleaning.  I followed the YouTube instructions and mixed the baking soda with water to a pancake batter consistency and you will need a lot of baking soda for this.  Once it’s batter spread it over the glass.


Once I’d evened it out I left it for an hour. Now this is where I went a bit wrong, I probably should have left it for 2 or 3 hours but I was a bit impatient to see if it had worked!


I started rubbing it off with a washing up sponge and well, it got it up in the thinner areas but it was taking ages and wasn’t doing much.  Then Mr VP came up with the great idea of using a metal BBQ scraper to get it off. Be careful if you do this because you don’t want to break the glass, but hopefully your’s isn’t as bad as mine so they’ll be no need to use one!

10 minutes of scraping, wiping and cleaning later….


You can see your face it in and no nasty scary chemicals or men who cost £50! I can now actually see when my Yorkshire pubs are done 🙂  I’ve got half a box of baking soda left, just trying to figure else what to clean with it – American/Canadian readers have any ideas?

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Replacing Google Reader and Re-Subscribing

You know I was going to write a post about Google Reader being shut down, but then Miss L got ill and everyone beat me to it!

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I’m personally trying to decide between Flipboard or BlogLovin’. Blog Lovin has a wonderful simple import from GReader button for the lazy – well it won me over. But I’m also looking forward to seeing Digg’s GReader clone when it’s finished, I think that might be a little bit special.

When I started looking properly at Google Reader to see what needed moving, I know a lot of my favourite bloggers aren’t about anymore. I started to read and I spotted something that broke my heart a little bit. Ages ago you could link Facebook Updates to Google Reader and I’d saved the last FB update one of my friends made before she died. I’ve just emailed it to myself, her FB account is now long gone and I miss her. It’s nice to read some of her words and hear her ‘voice’ again. It feels almost like I’m digitally hoarding something, but I can’t bear to part with it. One of those sad but happy moments at the same time.

If you’re wondering what to replace Google Reader with @paulbradshaw on Twitter tweeted this rather awesome list of RSS Readers and the details of each. I don’t know if he’s the original source but it’s a very useful document.

If you want to keep up with Violet Posy you can follow me on BlogLovin’, Facebook and Networked Blogs. and if you want my plain old feed it’s this or there is an email subscription top right. I’d be really grateful! x

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Ideal Home Exhibition 2013

A couple of weeks back I received an invitation from B&Q to see if I’d like to go the Ideal Home Exhibition and would I like to meet Kirstie Allsopp?  Well who could refuse?  I’ve not been to the Ideal Home since I got my first flat 14 years ago and then it was all about the see through loo seats with glitter in them – remember those?

I was quite excited to go and have a day on my own wandering around looking at home goods. It’s been ages and frankly I could do with the inspiration having been couped up in the grey cold country for months on end.  The day before Miss L became ill, so many thank to Mr VP for working from home and holding the fort for the day, so I could go. He’s the best!.

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If you’re going here’s my advice, wear good walking shoes, take a bottle of water & a snack – the prices there are horrendous for food and drink –  £4.95 hotdog anyone? And fully charge your camera/phone whatever you take photos on.  I took a million photos, the whole places is like a live Pinterest board. So many ideas and you will forget most of them, take photos to remind you of what you thought was good.

So here are a lot of photos of my day out: first up Kirstie Allsop’s Vintage Styling talk…which wasn’t really about Vintage Styling at all but was really good.  I was fortunate to get there early and I met a lovely lady in the front row called Dilys who had travelled all the way from West Wales to visit the show. We had such a good chat, and it was nice to have someone to talk to and she told me all about her amazing sounding 1970’s ‘upside down’ house, a style that was in one of the show houses (bedrooms on the floor, living areas upstairs).

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But back to Kirstie, she’s very charming and basically gave a good talk on how to style your house easily and cheaply using what you have an maybe adding some bits and pieces. Sensible advice included buy a bunch of cushions try them at home and if you don’t like them, take them back. Kind of wish I thought of that before I went uber red everywhere!

A VERY good piece of advice from Kirstie was if you have a friend who’s house you like, let them loose on yours. Sometimes we get a bit hung up on where something should be to the point we can’t move it and can’t see a way round it (looks at my hallway sideboard!) or maybe a room should be a different colour?.  So I demand my friend Sarah comes up from Bristol and sorts my house out – her house is gorgeous 🙂

Kirstie took a Q&A and then was kind enough to have a chat and pose for photos, which I did purely so Miss L could see her hero *cough* Miss L adores Kirstie’s crafting show and they’ve really inspired my girl, which I think is wonderful I doubt she would have gotten into crafting otherwise.

After that I had a wander….ok I know this is a lot of photos sorry!

Gardens…..Love the Swedish Chair can you imagine snuggling in there?  That BBQ is the size of my kitchen!

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Storage Ideas…I need these exact two cupboards and I’m getting to small skinny radiators. I want to replace the gigantic ones in the downstairs of our house – they take up whole walls.

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Random ‘Pinterest’ things I spotted – you know me I don’t like modern that much, but I adore that white kitchen, I just really love it. I loved the double height windows on the Eco show house.  Cherry tree painting for Miss L in the Eco House was just like the one in her bedroom. And last but not least the ‘Denim’ Smeg Fridge – I love it but only if I didn’t have children/husband and dog!

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I then went back to the B&Q area because it has said there was a preview of George Clarke’s new series of Restoration Man. We’re big George fans in this house, apart from being a good presenter and sparking Miss L’s interest in architecture with ‘Amazing Spaces’ we like the work he’s done trying to get redundant properties back into use.  I grew up in social housing and it worries me that there is an entire generation out there who are never going to be able to get a home of their own either social or private purely because there are not enough homes being built. It’s daft.

So imagine my delight when I met up again with not only Dilys, which was lovely but the man himself was there. George talked for a good hour on both the subjects of Restoration Man, there was a restoration that I had entirely missed of an old Scottish Icehouse which looked amazing when it was finished and of Amazing Spaces – his caravan is still mad but his kids adore it!  And then about the work he’s doing to get redundant housing back to work and the horrid generic new build houses that are sprouting up like mushrooms everywhere – it’s true you can see a new house in Norfolk or Surrey and they are identical apart from the price for the self same house.

If you’re at the Ideal Home and he’s there giving a talk, go and see him. He’s very engaging and worth listening too.  I was fortunate enough to have a quick chat and a photo with him afterwards and I picked up a copy of his book to read too. It’s all about extending your house and changing your space, I’m really enjoying it.

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All in all I had a pretty wonderful day, I’m feeling more inspired with my home, I’ve already thought of some easy changes to make. And I’m trying to be more positive about our looming electrical re-wire – and that is a whole other post!  Hope you enjoyed the photos!

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Ok not entirely sure where the last month has gone?  It’s been thankfully a busy time at Violet Posy Design and I’ve been trying to cram in lots of work before my deadline of March 22nd rolls around and I have to finish work for the Easter Holidays.  Eek! I’m nearly there but it’s going to be close!

What’s been happening since last I wrote back in early Feb?

For a good 2 weeks I didn’t have my Macbook at all, I managed to drop it and break the screen. I felt like such an idiot, I meant to put it on the windowsill and just utterly missed and it crashed to the floor cracking the screen! £300 repair bill later it’s working just fine and they cleaned it which was something I guess. But a very expensive mistake to make! That of course threw off work for 2 weeks and I’ve spent the rest of the time trying to catch up.

What else?

Well I turned 41 and Miss L turned 10, both of us had lovely birthdays. She designed her own birthday cupcakes and we all went to see ‘Wreck it Ralph’ and then a meal with her friends, which was actually a really chilled and easy kids party. We shall be doing it again.

We travelled down to Surrey to visit friends and had a great time, I really wish we lived closer.  We had a lovely day up on the Downs where I grew up as a kid and you can see all the Skyscrapers especially the new Shard in London from there now. London’s about 9 miles away and it’s amazing how the skyline has changed since I was little. Sadly I didn’t have my big camera with me, just my iPhone so I couldn’t get a shot of it, but next time I’m down I will.

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I’ve been clearing the garden of weeds and bloody Ivy – seriously it is the bane of my life. It’s everywhere and a nightmare to pull up/get rid of – so that’s an ongoing job and will be for sometime.  I had the apple tree trimmed back a bit, I think it might have been annoying the neighbours so they now have a lot more light and I’ll have less apples to clear up in the autumn. And I’ve started planting up spring pots, I think I might have left doing my sweet-peas a bit late, but we’re going to do those in the Easter Holidays I think now.

I treated myself to the New Girl box set for my birthday so I’ve been watching that a LOT. I’m  very much looking forward to the new series starting later this month.  It just makes me laugh so much.

I’m really looking forward to Monday when I’m going to the Ideal Home show for the first time thanks to B&Q asking me to go. I’ll take loads of photos and post them.  And then it’ll be the Easter holidays and 3 weeks off with my lovely daughter – here’s hoping the weather has picked up by then. I’m so fed up with being cold all the time!

I really hope you’re all well? What have you all been up to?






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