Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Project 365 - Our Year In Pictures

I am delighted to have completed my first Project 365. A full year in pictures has been completed. I have taken a photo everyday for a whole year. One of the reasons that I decided to start my Project 365 at the beginning of the year was to have a photographic record of our year. Particularly of the children. Over the year they have changed so much and now I have photographs to look back on.

I have collected my favourite pictures of the year as a round up and will definitely be continuing my Project 365 during 2015.

Here is our year in pictures...

I hope you all have a fantastic 2015 and here is to another successful Project 365!

I have been linking up weekly with The Boy and Me - Project 365 without this linky I wouldn't have completed my year in pictures so thank you The Boy and Me x

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 29th December 2014

I don't know about you but after an over indulgent Christmas I am starting to crave healthier food!

This week I am a day late with my meal plan as we enjoyed a couple of days away at Center Parcs. 

This week I do not have many meals to plan as we are away again for new year but I could not miss the last meal plan on 2014.

Next week I am planning to serve a lot of vegetables and extra healthy foods. I will be giving my diet a kick start for the new year. I have not been following my diet over Christmas and it has been lovely but after new years eve I am back on it! However this week we will still be having some treats.

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

Week Commencing 29th December 2014

Monday - Chicken Curry

Dinner was a delicious curry thanks to my mum.

Tuesday - Flat Iron Steaks

Steak night with chips, stuffed Portabello mushrooms and salad.


We are at my mother in laws so no cooking for me!

Friday - Oven Baked Italian Meatballs

This meal is going to be packed with delicious Mediterranean vegetables.

Saturday - Slow Cooked Pheasant

This year my mum and dad bought me a new large slow cooker for Christmas. I love using slow cookers however I was finding that my small one was too small now there are 5 of us eating. I have got a new Crock Pot saute slow cooker and cannot wait to try it out! On Saturday I will be slow cooking pheasant wrapped in bacon and cooked in cider.

As always I am sharing my weekly meal plan with At Home With Mrs M - Meal Planning Monday.

mpm different fonts.png

Point and Shoot from Center Parcs

After a busy Christmas day it was lovely to escape to the haven of Center Parcs. As you will know I love going to the tranquil setting of the Sherwood Forest resort. This is a break that I booked earlier in the year to escape some of the hurtful memories that I knew Christmas would bring.

This was our first break away as a family, just the five of us. It was lovely having the undivided time together.

The night before we left the snow started so we were a little worried how the weather would be the following day. Thankfully it hadn't settled at home, however the closer we got the Sherwood Forest the more snow there was. It made Center Parcs look truly magical and the children loved it. This was the twins first real experience of snow as last time we had any they were too small to remember. 

On Sunday, despite the cold and ice, we decided to get some bikes. That is one of the things that we love about visiting Center Parcs. It was such a cold day but we all enjoyed cycling around the snowy resort and stopping half way for a hot meal certainly helped.

Sadly the days flew by all too quickly and it was time to come home. However the little break was fantastic.

Here is our weekend in pictures...


As always I am sharing my Point and Shoot post with two lovely ladies, Em from Snowing Indoors and Aby from You Baby Me Mummy.


Monday, 29 December 2014

Brother P-touch H105 Label Maker - Review

When I was a child I loved my label maker, everything had labels whether it needed it or not. Those days were long forgotten until I was asked if I would like to review the Brother P-touch H105 Label Maker.

The one area which I must improve my labelling is with frozen food! I am a devil for having leftovers that end up in the freezer without labels. The majority of the time I do not know when the food was frozen or exactly what it is. I have countless times taken out Chilli Con Carne for tea for it to be Spaghetti Bolognese and vise versa. It really is a lucky dip when using up leftovers out of the freezer. The times that I have labelled the bag I have struggled to get a pen to write clearly on the bag and a lot of the time it is not clear after being in the freezer a while.

This is where the Brother Label Maker is going to change how I freeze food,. This handy gadget is an easy way to label bags ready for freezing, label homemade preserves, label the children's school equipment and even label presents!

Now for the technical information, this machine offers:
  • 1 font
  • 178 symbols
  • 7 frames
  • 20mm/second print speed
  • Easy to adjust auto design function
  • 10 auto label designs
  • 3 font sizes and 9 font styles
  • Takes 6 AAA batteries (not included!)
This label maker has an easy to use design which is compact and portable. Without needing to look at the instructions in great detail it is quick and easy to get up and running and printing labels! My 10 year old couldn't wait to have a go and I can see him using it a lot in the future, he will be labelling everything!

The Brother P-touch H105 retails at £40.00 which I feel is a fair price if it is a machine which you will be using often. However, not included in the price are the batteries or the ac adapted which is available. That is the only negative point that I have found with the machine. I feel that it would be even better value if it was possible to charge up as opposed to battery power. So far it is unknown how long the batteries will last for, but I don't see the machine using that much power.

For more information visit,uk

Disclosure: I was sent the Brother P-touch H105 for the purpose of this review. No payment was received.  All views and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Leftover Turkey Recipe Ideas

No doubt I will not be the only one who has got a lot of leftover turkey from Christmas dinner.

I love using leftovers in meals. The meat always seems to add so much flavour to a dish. So I thought that I would share with you four of my favourite ways to transform leftovers into a delicious new meal.

Below are a three recipes which work really well with turkey. Simply substitute the chicken/bacon for turkey and enjoy!

Ginger and Lemongrass Turkey

Marinade the cooked turkey as in the original recipe. To reheat the meat cook in a teaspoon of olive oil over a medium heat until hot. Serve with potatoes and vegetables.

My favourite way to use up leftover meat has to be in a curry. This recipe is a delicious sweet curry that the whole family will love!

This recipe is a great way to add a Spanish twist to turkey!

Simply change the bacon for leftover turkey for this deliciously light meal.

Of course you could always go for a good old turkey sandwich!

How ever you choose to eat your leftovers enjoy x

Friday, 26 December 2014

Word of the Week - 26th December 2014

Without a doubt this weeks Word of the Week has to be...


Christmas time is a time I always look forward to as we are all together enjoying the festivities and fun. It is also a time that we look back and remember people that are sadly not with us for Christmas. This year my thoughts are with my grandparents. This has been the first Christmas without any of them. However I know that they are looking down on us.

After a manic Christmas day Boxing Day is a more relaxed day for playing with new toys and spending yet more quality family time together.

For the first time this year we are going away for a couple of days. Tomorrow we are going to one of our favourite places, Sherwood Forest Center Parcs for a mini break just the 5 of us. I am sure that the weekend will be a relaxed one with trips to the pool, cycle rides as long as it stays dry and walks in the forest. Perfect for this time of year!

As this is my final word of the week for 2014 I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year. Here is to a fantastic 2015!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Bacon and Broccoli Pesto Pasta - Family Favourites

Whenever I serve this there are clean plates all round. It is such a quick, easy tasty meal. It pleases us all, me because there are vegetables in and everyone else as it has bacon in it!

Pasta is definitely a favourite in our house. It is such a versatile ingredient that can be catered and adjusted for everybodies tastes. At this time of year when heavy meals are a must it is nice to have a break and enjoy pasta. This meal is lovely with bacon but could also be made with any leftover turkey that you may have after the big day!

Here is this weeks Family Favourites recipe...

Bacon and Broccoli Pesto Pasta


6 rashers of bacon (approx 300g), chopped
1 lg red onion, chopped
200g broccoli florets
100g button mushrooms, quartered
400g pasta shapes
3 tbsp green pesto


1 - Cook the pasta as per instructions

2 - Place the broccoli florets in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes

3 - Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan  and add the onions and chopped bacon cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked and the onions are starting to caramelise

4 - Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes

5 - Add the cooked florets of broccoli to the pan, combine all of the ingredients together and keep on a low heat

6 - Drain the cooked pasta and return to the pan

7 - Stir in the green pesto and finally add the bacon, broccoli and onions

This dish is delicious served as it is or with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese accompanied with garlic bread.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas x

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Minute Steak in Peppercorn Sauce

We always enjoy a good steak. However it is nice to add a sauce and serve it differently every now and again. One of my favourite sauces to have with steak has to be a peppercorn sauce. This recipe is based on those two flavours coming together perfectly.

When cooking steak it is always best to use the finest quality, The minute steaks that I used were so lean and tender. They were a pleasure to both cook and eat!

This is what I did...

Minute Steak in a Peppercorn Sauce


300g minute steak, sliced into strips
1 Ramiro pepper, sliced
1 red onion, halved and sliced
250g mushrooms, chopped
25g butter
25g plain flour
300mls milk
1 Knorr peppercorn flavour pot
Wholegrain rice to serve (1 cup per person)


1 - Cook the rice as per instructions

2 - Heat 1tsp of olive oil in a pan and over a medium heat cook the onion, mushrooms and Ramiro pepper until soft

3 - While the vegetables are cooking melt the butter in a pan and add the flour to make a roux

4 - Stir in the milk and bring to the boil stirring continuously

5 - Once the sauce has thickened stir in the peppercorn flavour pot and remove from the heat

6 - Add the steak strips to the pan of vegetables and cook for 2 - 5 minutes depending on how you like your steak to be cooked

7 - Once the steak is cooked to your liking pour over the peppercorn sauce and mix thoroughly

This is a tasty, quick meal to make and a fantastic way to enjoy steak!

The meat that I used in this recipe was from I recently reviewed their fresh meat range and you can read what I thought here.

Disclosure: Myprotein sent me a voucher to use in their fresh meat range for the purpose of the review. No cash payment was received. All views and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

Tasty Tuesdays on

Christmas Meal Plan

This is a post which I have been meaning to write for weeks! I have it all in my head but being the person I am I need to have it all written down.

Last year was the first time I cooked a Christmas dinner and we had my mother in law round. This year my parents will be coming for Christmas day so this will be the first time I have cooked Christmas dinner for them!

This is what I have got planned...


The hubby and I will be having toast with smoked salmon and bucks fizz while the children will have whatever takes their fancy from toast, cereals or chocolate breads.



  • Venison Pate with Toast
Main Course
  • Roasted Free Range Turkey Breast filled with Caramelised Onion and Plum Stuffing
  • Chestnut and Bacon Stuffing
  • Roast King Edwards and Sweet Potatoes
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Honey Roast Parsnips
  • Broccoli
  • Red Cabbage and Onion
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Brussels Sprouts fried with Bacon
  • Bread Sauce
  • Cranberry Sauce with Port
  • Gravy
  • Christmas Pudding with Brandy Sauce for the adults
  • Hot Chocolate Pudding for the children
Evening Meal
  • If we can even think about more food it will simply be nibbles and turkey sandwiches
I hope you all enjoy your Christmas meals!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Weight Loss Journey - Week 7

This is going to be my last weigh in post of 2014 as next week I am taking a week off. But I will be back with my weight loss post on Monday 5th January!

I have decided to not worry about weighing over the Christmas holidays. I am going to eat healthily but I will enjoy chocolates, alcohol and treats, obviously in moderation. I am going to continue with my shakes for 2 of my meals but I am not going to be strict.

This week I have had the odd treat and alcohol. So I am not surprised that I have only lost 1lb. However it is another pound off and not on!

As it is coming to the end of 2014 I have been thinking a lot about what I want to achieved with my weight loss in 2015. As I said before Christmas is my time off. However when the new year starts I am going to give it my all to loose the last 12lbs to reach my target weight. If I reach it I will be over the moon, however if I do not get there I will not be too disappointed as I am happy with the progress that I have made so far and am so much happier with the way I look. The next focus will be maintaining the weight that I have lost!

If you are slimming too at the moment have a couple of days off over Christmas and enjoy the festivities!

Here's to a fantastic 2015.

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 22nd December 2014

This is going to be a busy foodie week with us being at home for Christmas day. With that in mind I am preparing easy, light meals at the beginning of the week.

I am still yet to fully plan our Christmas dinner. I have it sorted in my mind, but being the person I am I like to have it all written down. Then if I do get my knickers in a twist I can sit and look at what I have planned. As everyone keeps telling me, everything will be ok, but my Mum's Christmas dinner is certainly a hard act to follow! She makes the best Christmas dinners! I just hope that on the day the Christmas dinner that I make will be enjoyed by everyone.

Anyway on with this weeks meal plan. This is what we will be enjoying this festive week...

Week Commencing 22nd December 2014

Pasta with Bacon,Broccoli, Leeks and Mushrooms

This is such a basic but tasty meal. I simply toss in the bacon, broccoli, leeks and mushrooms into the pasta and add a little green pesto. It is a quick, easy, light meal to start the week.

Indian Fish Bake

When I was looking in my freezer over the weekend I found quite a few pieces of fish so on Tuesday I am going to bake them with Indian inspired flavours and served with rice and naan.

Homemade Burgers

As a treat for Christmas eve I am going to make some homemade burgers with chips. I thought it would be nice to have some pick up food before the all of the heavy meals that we will be having over the next day or two.

Christmas Dinner!

This year we will be having venison pate to start with, followed by turkey and all the trimmings followed by Christmas pudding.

Boxing Day

On Boxing day we will be enjoying a steak dinner.

Saturday and Sunday

Over the weekend we will be having Game Pie on one of the days and I am not too sure what on the other day but it will definitely be an easy meal!

I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and a fantastic week.

As always I am sharing my Weekly Meal Plan with At Home With Mrs M for Meal Planning Monday.

mpm different fonts.png

Sunday, 21 December 2014

15th December - 21st December 2014 - One Picture Everyday For One Year

Where has the week gone? The time is simply flying by at an incredible rate. I just hope the Christmas holiday does not go by as quick.

This week we have been busy preparing for next week. We have wrapped presents, received our Christmas shopping delivery, watched Christmas movies, watched Joseph's school Christmas service and Joseph has broken up from school.

Here is our week in pictures...

Monday 15th December 2014

This ended up being the only picture that I took on Monday. It was taken during our weekend at Center Parcs but I have been waiting until my Center Parcs Winter Wonderland post was live before sharing it. This is a rare picture of all 5 of us together in a picture and it will be a memory that we will treasure.

Tuesday 16th December 2014

On Tuesday we popped to Tesco and the twins were delighted to be greeted by a lady giving our chocolates for Christmas.

Wednesday 17th December 2014

I was recently sent a voucher to review Myprotein's fresh meat range and on Wednesday I made a delicious minute steak in a pepper sauce. I will be posting my recipe next week. 

Thursday 18th December 2014

On Thursday the twins and I went to watch Joseph's school Christmas service at the village church. Normally when we go to church my mum comes along to help with the twins but to also watch Joseph. This week she wasn't able to so it was just the twins and I. Before we went in I told them to be super good and they really were! We did have to make a quick dash to use the toilet at school for Taylor but they enjoyed listening to the music and were pleased to see their big brother.

Friday 19th December 2014

Friday was a stay at home day. I busied about doing housework in the morning while the  twins played together. This picture was taken in the morning while the twins were sat together talking and playing together. Moments like this fill my heart with pride but also makes me realise that they really are growing too quickly. Joseph broke up from school on Friday for the Christmas holidays. 

Saturday 20th December 2014

On Saturday we had a poorly Joseph. But we did still manage to go out for a bit and visited my hubby's mum for lunch. My mother in law has invested in Frozen for the children which, as you can see, kept Isabella busy. We had the evening with my parents and I cooked a meal. We also watched Mandela The Long Walk To Freedom which was a fantastic film about an awe inspiring man.

Sunday 21st December 2014

Today we have woken up to a fit and healthy Joseph but Taylor has been struck down now. It seems to be a 24 hour bug. We just hope that everyone is better before Christmas day! Today has been mainly filled with cuddles.

As always I am sharing our week in pictures with:

The Boy and Me - Project 365
Make Do and Push - The Week That Was Captured

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Grab button for The Week That Was