Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Finding the Perfect Autumn Winter Boots from Hotter

As much as I enjoy the summer, I always look forward to autumn arriving. There is something so comforting about autumn. Watching the leaves in the trees change from green to brown, cooking plenty of slow cooked meals, getting the jumpers out again and of course changing footwear! One of my favourite things about autumn is being able to get my boots out again. The flip flops have been put away and it is all about the boots. Even though I have plenty of boots a new years season definitely deserves a new pair of boots!

This got me searching for this years style. When I buy boots and shoes I am all for comfort before height of fashion. Gone are the days when all I want to wear are high heels, I now have kids to run around after, school runs to do, dogs to walk, chickens and rabbits to tend to. As much as I look for comfort I also want a pair of boots that look good! My ideal boots are ones that go with jeans or leggings but will also go with a long winter dress or with tights and a skirt.

When I was asked if I would like to try a pair of Hotter boots I jumped at the chance! In the past I always associated Hotter shoes with more mature wearers. However when I actually looked at what shoes they have to offer I was pleasantly surprised. I got my first pair of Hotter shoes earlier in the year and was instantly impressed. They stock both full and half sizes which, for me is ideal being a five and a half. My first Hotter shes were the the classic Shake shoes in a wonderfully summery cornflower blue. Over the spring and summer they were my go to shoes that went with all outfits.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Great Bloggers Bake Off - Savarin

As much as I love the Great British Bake Off I will admit that this year I have been a little disappointed with the themes *sorry* and I have found that on a number of weeks I have not been inspired to bake along. However as soon as I saw the technical from patisserie week I knew I had to have a go. I have never made a savarin before or, if I am honest, ever heard of it before. But I love yeast, sweet bread style cakes so knew that it would go down well here.

As always I was able to source all of the ingredients from my local Aldi. The ingredients are great and are low in price which is an added bonus! At the moment Aldi have got a lot of baking product that are on special buy and it was there I found a lovely non stick, premium bundt tin and an icing bag and nozzle set at a bargain price!

I will warn you that the savarin is a long bake. I started mine in the morning and it was finished in the evening. But it is a great bake and well worth the extra effort. As it needed a lot of time between steps I was able to do a bit, leave it and get on with other jobs and keep returning to the bake.

This is how I got on...

*UPDATE* Look what I received for my savarin!!!

Yes! I got a star baker award which I am over the moon about especially as I have never made one before and it was the technical challenge! Thank you Jenny for selecting my bake and for hosting the Great Bloggers Bake Off!

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 24th October 2016

The first half term for the children has been completed and we now have a week off! During the half term meal planning is even more important. As the twins have a hot school dinner in the evenings they have just been having a light meal so I am going the have to be organised. At the moment I am planning for us to all eat together in the evening, but if they are getting too hungry at lunchtime I will do them a hot dinner earlier. 

Last week I had my first Slimming World weigh in. Last week I was so good, I followed the plan 100% and was delighted to find that in my first week I had lost 4.5lbs! My target for this week is to loose 2.5lbs and get my first half stone award. So far, I am loving the food choices that the food plan is allowing me and have been eating a lot of free foods. My syns have mainly been a sneaky gin in the evening. However on Saturday the plan did go to pot. The day was manic, we have been redecorating J's bedroom and on Saturday we were putting up furniture, the kids were driving us crackers and I baked a Savarin! Cake and gin won and I enjoyed it. But from Sunday I was back on the plan and moving forward.

This week I am going to be paying particular attention to my lunches. With the children being at home snacking and picking is going to be more tempting so I need to plan even more.

This is what we will be enjoying this week...

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Fruit Layered Porridge Breakfast Bowl

Last week I joined a local Slimming World group. Recently I have been eating and drinking what I want without much thought to what it was doing to me health. This has caused my weight to naturally go up which is starting to effect my health and well being. So now my meals are all about using as many "free" foods as possible to ensure that I am full, but full of good, healthy foods. Normally I am not a breakfast person but this last week I have been looking forward to my breakfast. This has been my favourite breakfast. It does take a little effort but is so worth it and that is why I am sharing it with you today!

Oats are a deliciously filling fibre rich food that are the perfect way to start the day. Porridge oats should be classed as a super food. They are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre but they also help reduce high blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, keeping blood sugar levels steady and they give you enough energy to keep you going until lunch time! The best part is that you do not need to eat a lot to gain the health benefits. This breakfast, with the oats combined with fruit, is the ideal way to start the day.

This is what I did...


Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Chocoholic Chocolate Cake

A few weeks ago I was delighted to be asked to bake a cake for the village Macmillan coffee morning. The cake sale was a huge success and raised almost £600 towards helping this amazing cancer care charity. Macmillan were there for our family when my grandfather was poorly with cancer and they are a charity that touch the lives of families that have been or are effected by the evil disease. So to help raise as much money as possible I knew my cake needed to be something special. I decided to make a chocolate cake and all that I needed to get was some items to finish it off. I knew that I would find the perfect finishing touches at Aldi and I certainly did.

Aldi have a great selection of home baking products along with chocolate treats, sweets and biscuits. I eventually settled on chocolate fingers, everyone loves chocolate fingers! So I stocked up with chocolate fingers, cocoa powder and the other ingredients and got baking!

This is what I did...

Monday, 17 October 2016

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 17th October 2016

Hello Monday and hello to a new week!

Last week I took a huge step to better health. On Friday I went and joined a Slimming World group. In the past when I have tried to follow the plan I have done it online and have soon gone off track. I think that this is down to a multitude of reason, one, I was not in the right mindset and two, I was only accountable to myself, I could make excuses to myself or just not bother recording my weight. I know that if I physically go to a group and get weighed, along with the support of a group, I am more likely to succeed. When I actually stood on the scales, it was not as bad as I was expecting, but I am at my heaviest and it is starting to show on my health. My back is aching again, I am getting excess acid and bloating, which are all signs that I need to change what I eat. I am not looking at this as a slimming diet, I am looking at it as a lifestyle change for a healthier me. My weigh in days are Fridays so I will let you know how I got on in my first week next week.

This weeks meals are a mixture of ideas and recipes that I have found in my Slimming World books as well as adapted meals to suit the plan.

This is what we will be enjoying this week...