Friday, 18 August 2017

Camping King Prawn Pasta & Holiday Adventures!

Last week we went on our first camping holiday. This is something that I have been looking forward to. Getting the kids (and me!) away from the television, away from the internet and just going back to basics a bit more. But what I was most looking forward to was cooking camping style. We went armed with a two ring gas stove and a couple of pans. I did take some food with us so that we did not need to go shopping straight away and took non perishable foods such as pasta, rice and tinned food. One meal that I knew that I would make would be one that uses fresh fish. I adore fish of all sorts and as we were staying just outside of Bridlington on the East Yorkshire coast so I knew exactly where I could find some. Next to the harbour is a little shop that sells fish that has been brought in fresh from the fishing boats. But before I tell you all about my recipe let me tell you a bit about our holiday!

There really is something soothing about being by the sea and we ventured down to the seafront for walks on all but one of the days that we were there. The children (and the hubby and I) loved walking, paddling and exploring. By the end of the day I was shattered but the kids were full of energy, I simply do not know where all of their energy came from. One day when it was just the kids and I (the hubby had to work for part of the week) we used the park and ride to go into the centre of Bridlington. This is where the stunning harbour is. When we arrived the tide was out and the children were fascinated by how the tide came in and out. As you can see on the picture above when we went in the evening the tide was in. This was the twins first UK seaside holiday and I relished in showing them how beautiful our country is, especially along the coastline.
Visiting the harbour gave the children the opportunity to learn where our seafood comes from. Yes, they know that fish comes from the sea, but visiting the harbour allowed them to see the traps that go in the sea and to see the boats that collect the fish for us to eat. We decided that king prawns were what we wanted to eat on that day and I had an idea how I would cook them. So we sourced some fresh ingredients from a local greengrocers and returned to the tent for a feast.

This is what I did...

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Loving the Outdoors

Going camping last week made me realise how much I love the outdoors and nature. One of my favourite ways to relax while away, admittedly it was when the children were in bed, was just looking up at the sky. We often do not take the time to look up and admire the beauty that is always there.

Since returning home I have found myself missing being outside and have noticed a drop in my moods and a rise in my anxiety and combined with stir crazy children this has not been a good mixture. Over the weekend J asked me if I would go outside at watch the meteor shower. On the first night it was too cloudy but thankfully the following night it was lovely and clear. We were stood, looking up for so long we got neck ache, so we ventured down to the bottom of the garden to sit back and enjoy the show. Well, I say show, but we only saw one shooting star but it was spending time with J that I enjoyed most of all. I wish it was lovely enough to do this all year round. It was so relaxing just looking up at the sky but we cannot rely on the great British weather to do this all year round.


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Charlie Bighams - A perfect Meal for Two or More!

Last year I wrote a post about the Charlie Bigham's ready meals and since then they have become more widely available and we have tried even more of the delectable dishes. So when I was asked if I would like to share some more meals with you I knew I could not say no.

Until we tried Charlie Bigham's ready meals we had been a bit fussy with the ready meals that we had. In fact we rarely had them. We are passionate about good quality meals and getting pre-prepared meals that use quality ingredients can often be tricky. But Charlie Bigham's use carefully sourced ingredients from trusted suppliers and each recipe has been hand crafted by their top chefs.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

CookBlogShare 2017 Week 33 - Plus 4 Deliciously Tempting Bakes

Hello and welcome to week 33 of #CookBlogShare!

I hope you are all having a lovely summer break so far. Last week we ventured on our first camping trip which, up until we had 36 hours of non stop rain, we thoroughly enjoyed. I have to admit that my favourite part of the trip was experimenting with camping meals. After having some successful meals I have some lovely recipes to share over the next couple of weeks and plenty of ideas floating around my head! Here is a little taster of what is coming!

Anyway now onto CookBlogShare. Last week the linky was hosted by Jacqui at Recipes Made Easy who shared a delicious round up of pork and bacon recipes. If you missed them pop over and take a look. At the moment I have definitely got a sweet tooth and am loving bakes, so it was no surprise that, for me, the sweet bakes stood out. Here are my 4 favourite bakes from week 32 of #CookBlogShare...

Friday, 11 August 2017

Banana and Date Loaf

Not many people like getting really ripe bananas. But I love them as it means they are perfectly ripe for baking! I even look on the reduced section and whenever there are any there I stock up. They are also delicious frozen then blended into an ice cream, but that is another blog post!

This recipe has become a firm favourite. The banana makes it a lovely moist cake while the dates give it a toffee like flavour. Combined together you get a banoffee style loaf which is great as it is or with a layer of butter.

This is what I did...

Monday, 7 August 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 32 The Camping Edition!

Hello and welcome to week 32 of #MealPlanningMonday!

This weeks meal plan is a little different to normal as this week we are going back to basics and are camping! This is our first ever camping trip so I think that having some meals planned is a necessity. I have brought some non perishable foods with us such as pasta sauces, wraps, tins and packet mixes. I am planning to buy fresh meat, fruit and vegetables as we go and hope to find a lovely farm shop near by. But to help the week go smoothly I have come prepared to make the following meals.

For the first part of the holiday I will have the hubby with us so meal times will be easier as we will either eat out or we will prepare the meal together, but during the week the hubby has to work so it is just me and the kids so all of the meals need to be kiddie friendly, easy and fun meals we can all dig into! I have tried out a couple of meals using just two pans as that is all I will have. I am nervous but so excited to try something that is completely new and back to basics!

This is what we will be feasting on while camping...

Friday, 4 August 2017

Summer Curd Tea Loaf

Since making my Raspberry and Blackcurrant Curd I have been using it in as many recipes as possible. As the curd contains egg yolk it needs using within a week. Not being one to like waste I have had so much fun experimenting and adding to bakes.

This recipe is based on my ginger tea loaf which is a firm favourite of the hubby. I have changed a few ingredients but have followed the basic ingredients. But as I had a lot of curd to use, this one has a delightfully fruity tang to it. It is a perfect tea loaf to have as a mid morning snack with a good cuppa!

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Bean and Bacon Stew - A Pressure King Pro Recipe

This meal is not the most summery of meals but then again we have not been having much of a summer! But it is an easy meal which is perfect for the busy summer holidays. Who doesn't love a good old one pot meal? I love them, less washing up, full of flavour and super easy and this one is no exception. Plus when made in the Pressure King Pro it is cooked in a fraction of the time!

Beans are a great way to bulk out a meal and helps you to cut down on more expensive ingredients. This recipe is a great meal when you are getting to the month end and money is a bit tight. It is a cheap meal that will make enough for the family plus enough for some leftovers the following day. As well as a cheap way to bulk our a meal they are also a healthy addition. They are full of fibre, protein and iron! With the fresh vegetables you know that you are getting a bowl full of goodness!

This is what I did...

Monday, 31 July 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 31

Hello and welcome to week 31 of MealPlanningMonday!

Please excuse my absence last week. We had a lovely weekend away and did not get home until late on Sunday, hence no meal plan in place! Last week the twins and I were at school and work until Tuesday so a busy weekend was followed my a manic two days for me doing all of my end of year work. But now we are well and truly in holiday mode! This week is going to be all about planning for our holiday. We are going on our first camping holiday. We recently bought a tent to enable us to get away more. Holiday cottages are so expensive so we hope that this will give us some lovely cheap getaways.

This weeks meals are going to be easy meals that do not require much effort. To help I have got a couple of review meals that we will be indulging in this week. I have some delicious Charlie Bighams meals and some super tasty and quick Dell'Ugo pasta and gnocchi dishes.

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

Friday, 28 July 2017

Raspberry and Blackcurrant Meringue Pie - A kMix Recipe

Last week I told you how to make my super yummy Raspberry and Blackcurrant Curd and this week I am going to share a recipe that is a perfect way to use some of that curd. My Raspberry and Blackcurrant Meringue Pie is a delicious alternative to the traditional lemon meringue and one that we all love!

Ever since trying the kMix a few weeks ago to make my lemon and lime meringue pie I have wanted to make more meringue, which as we have chickens and get a lot of eggs it is a great way to use some of them up! Since using the Kenwood stand mixer to make meringues gone are the days of collapsed meringue. Using the kMix they come out so fluffy and with very little effort from me. The kMix does all the hard work and lets me show off my puddings! 

If you love meringue pies, this dessert will not disappoint. The sharp but sweet flavour from the curd accompanied by the fluffy meringue and the sweet pastry will leave any diner coming back for more!

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

#CookBlogShare 2017 Week 30 - Plus a Catch Up

Hello and welcome to week 30 of #CookBlogShare.

Wow week 30! Where have the weeks gone?

For this weeks CookBlogShare post I am doing something a little different as a one off. This week I am going to have a catch up with you all. To be completely honest I am shattered and forgot all about writing this post until last minute, yes even us bloggers forget! Over the weekend we attended a beautiful wedding across the other side of the country so last night was a late night and end of the school year work has left me well a truly exhausted. But the good news is that tomorrow is my last working day until September! I am certainly looking forward to catching up with everyone from the CookBlogShare gang!

So what have we been up to? Well the weekends have been full of family time and relaxing. Plus we have had a couple of lovely visits to RHS Harlow Carr which is only an hours drive away. Best of all is the Betty's tea room that is there. When we go we always stock up on fat rascals, Betty's apple and juniper tea, coffee and sweet treats. Slimming World would certainly not approve! But hey, you have got to live a little haven't you?

Take a look at these gorgeous sweet treats...

Friday, 21 July 2017

Quick and Easy Chicken Curry - A Perfect Midweek Meal

Since returning to work full time I have been trying new, quick and easy meals. Ones that can be made in no time, without the stress of a lot of preparation and meals which are healthy and will please the whole family.

Last week I decided to go for a family favourite, curry. Curries do not always require long marinading time to be tasty and this recipe is proof. Ready in just over 30 minutes this is a meal that can be made easily but more importantly it is a lot healthier than grabbing a take away, not to mention cheaper!

Pair this curry with some rich turmeric and cardamon rice or as my children wanted, rice and beans, naan breads, poppadoms and dips and you have got a meal that has been transformed into a feast!

This is what I did...

Thursday, 20 July 2017

How Healthy is your Lunch?

Since returning to work full time I have really struggled with what to have for lunch. I will admit to getting lazy and fed up with sandwiches. On the odd occasion I have called into Tesco on my way to work and picked something up. I tend to go for their salads but have also been tempted with their delicious wraps. This is not always good for my diet or for my pocket! So when I saw this infographic from TrustTwo I thought that I would share it with you as it certainly did open my eyes!

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Raspberry and Blackcurrant Curd

After the hubby built the fruit frame a couple of years ago each year we have had more and more berries to harvest. This year is no exception. I do normally make jam but this year wanted to make something different and something a bit more versatile. So I decided to make a curd. We all love the creamier texture of a curd and it is perfect spread on hot toast, warm, fresh bread, scones and it ideal for a meringue pie!

Next week I have got a summer meringue pie recipe to share but before I do I thought that I would share with you how to make the basic curd. This curd can be the basis of so many different bakes and recipes. So expect to see more recipes that use this curd as I am sure that we will get a lot more berries over the season!

This is what I did...

Monday, 17 July 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2017 Week 29

Hello and welcome to week 29 of #MealPlanningMonday!

Wow the weeks are certainly flying by aren't they? J finishes year 7 on Friday and the twinnies have got two more days next week, as have I and then it is the summer holidays! Now that I am working and have been full time the last couple of weeks I know that come next week I will be ready for a break. We have got some exciting plans for the holiday. I am taking the children on our very first camping trip in August. The hubby will be with us a couple of days but as he cannot get anymore time off he has to go home to work. So it'll be some quality time for the kids, the hubby thinks I am crackers but it is better than being stuck in with three bored kids!

We had a lovely weekend. Yesterday we took a spontaneous trip up to RHS Harlow Carr and we all had the best day ever. The children were all so good and we had such a good quality family day out. We came home with lots of foodie treats from Betty's bakers and a bottle of gin!

Last weeks meal plan was a success. I did not get round to making the quiche in the week as I had planned to and ended up popping into Tesco and getting some reduced fish cakes but I will be making it this week so all is not wasted! This weeks meals are, as before, a mixture of easy meals that can be made either quickly once I get home or left in the Pressure King Pro.

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

Friday, 14 July 2017

Ambronite Supermeal Drinks Review

We all know that to maintain a healthy diet ensuring you eat regular meals is essential. One meal that I often struggle with is breakfast. I often find that I am not hungry first thing so put it off then before I know it lunch time has arrived and I have missed the all important first meal. So when Ambronite got in touch with me to ask if I would like to try out their drinkable super meal shakes I though it would be the perfect way to start the day.

For me it was important that the shakes were not to be used for slimming purposes as I do not think shake diets for slimming work in the long run. But the shakes are an ideal way to make sure you are not missing any meals while getting a boost of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Each serving of Ambronite shakes contain:
  • 10g of plant based protein
  • Fibre
  • 9 veggies, berries and fruits
  • Omega 3
  • 29 food based vitamins and minerals
  • NO dairy, wheat or GMOS

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Easy Chicken, Chorizo and Bean Rice - A Perfect Midweek Meal

This last week I have realised how hard it is to juggle home life and working full time. I have found that when I get home in the evening all I have wanted to do it relax. But when you come home to a family, relaxing is way down on the list. So to make life a little easier I have been looking for ways to make meal time not only stress free but also tasty. I quickly realised that the freezer was going to become my best friend. I do not normally have many frozen foods in but this week they have been life savers. Having pre prepared frozen vegetables, in particular, has saved me no end of time and this recipe shows you how versatile and full of goodness they are.

We all love the chicken and chorizo combination. Chorizo add such a fantastic depth of flavour, you really do not need to worry about extra herbs or spices. When cooking easy midweek meals, the least washing up the better, so I have made this a chore saving one pot meal. Tasty, easy and not a lot of pots, what more could you wish for?

This is what I did...

Monday, 10 July 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2017 Week 28

Hello and welcome to week 28 of #MealPlanningMonday.

Wow what a week I had last week! Last week I did my first full time week at work and it was manic, but I loved it! I am so pleased to say that we all survived me not being at home during the day and was proud of how we all pulled together and got jobs done! The hubby has been a huge help, especially in the mornings as he has got up and made me a lovely big bowl of porridge and a hot coffee to get the day going.

As for last weeks meal plan it really did give me one less thing to worry about. Having all of the meals planned made life so much easier. I was able to go to work happy and knowing what we were going to have. I used the Pressure King Pro to slow cook the gammon joint and for the first time used the delay start function of it. When I got home the gammon was cooked to perfection!

This weeks meals are all easy meals and a few I am hoping will give us enough for lunches the following day.

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

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Easy Salmon Salad for a Dry Summer Drinking

As soon as the sun comes out we all crave longer, colder drinks. A good refreshing beer is the perfect drink for a hot day. But we do not always want the alcohol that goes with the beers. Recently we have been trying a number of low and zero alcohol options. So when Krombacher got in touch to ask if I would like to try their new non alcoholic beers it was perfect timing!

Today I am going to tell you a bit about Krombacher non alcoholic beers, what we thought of them and share a recipe that is the perfect pairing for both beers.

Krombacher have recently released two non alcoholic beers, a pilsner larger and a wheat beer. The hubby is quite particular when it comes to beers so the Krombacher certainly had it's work cut out. The first beer that the hubby tried was the weizen beer, a wheat beer. When I gave him the beer he actually commented that he could not tell the difference between a regular alcoholic wheat beer and the Krombacher non alcoholic beer! This is definitely a beer that we will be having again. I definitely preferred the lighted pilsner beer. So for us they suited us perfectly, one being an ale connoisseur and the other, me, just liking a cold drink! More and more people are going from alcoholic beers to non alcoholic beers and drinks suppliers have noticed the consumer change and have even seen non alcoholic stores like Dry Drinker having a boom in sales! They even have alcohol free gin!

The foodie that I am I love to pair food with drinks and after doing some research I discovered that both the pilsner and the wheat beers both pair well with similar foods. So selecting the key ingredients was easy. Both beers go well with green vegetables and fish and as it is summer the green vegetables had to be salad items. This salad is not only deliciously healthy but is also so quick and easy to prepare.

This is what I did...

Monday, 3 July 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2017 Week 27

Hello and welcome to week 27 of #MealPlanningMonday!

This week is going to be a manic week I think, but an exciting week. Today is my first full day back in the working world. I have settled into my job with ease and really do enjoy it. The welcoming people and the relaxed setting has certainly helped me get back into the working routine. This week I am going to really feel the extra hours so this weeks meals are all dinners that are either quick and easy or ones that I can leave in the Pressure King Pro. One of the main challenges for this week is also going to be packed lunches. I really do not want to resort to sandwiches on a daily basis so I will need to spend more time in the evening preparing something that is healthy as well as filling.

I haven't spoken about Slimming World in a while. I have had a couple of weeks off due to working but I did go last week and I have called target. Admittedly I am not at the target which I had set myself but I am feeling happy as I am and really not that bothered if I do not lose any more weight. I think that this new found confidence has come with starting my new job. I am going to return to group in the holidays just to make sure I am maintaining the weight and not putting on what I have lost.

This is what we will be enjoying this week..

Friday, 30 June 2017

Venison Sausage Casserole

In our house we all love a good stew. They are always so full of flavour and a real comforting meal. When we were shopping recently in Marks and Spencer's Food Hall we spotted some delicious sounding venison sausages. Venison is a meat that we love so when we spotted these sausages we could not resist.

I knew that they would taste amazing in a stew and wold help them to go even further.

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Weight Loss Fashion

Today I am sharing a post that is a little different to my foodie post. I have spoken in the past about my weight loss journey. I still have not reached my final target but I have reached my original target and I am finally feeling happy with how I am. Since I returned to the working world a few weeks ago I have been getting glimpses of the old Kirsty coming back and I love it!

Along with the weight loss and returning to work I definitely needed some new clothes. So when I got an email asking me if I would like to try out some summer clothes the timing was perfect. When it came to deciding what to try I knew that I would need some blouses and dresses. But I like clothes that can be multi functional, items that can be worn for work but also at the weekend.

#CookBlogShare Week 26 - Plus 4 Summer Recipes

Hello and welcome to week 26 of Cook Blog Share.

Well a lot has happened during the last 4 weeks. I have started my new job and loving it! But next week it is changing again. Until the end of term I am doing full days. So I have a feeling I will be well and truly ready for the six weeks summer holiday to come!

Last week the Cook Blog Share linky was hosted by Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes who, like me, could not resist the lovely summer feeling! As the weather has been glorious it is no surprise that summer dishes won again this week. I am hoping for plenty more lovely weather and lots of eating al fresco. The meals that I have decided to feature are all perfect for outside dining with the family or friends.

Here are my four favourite recipes from week 25 of #CookBlogShare...

Monday, 26 June 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2017 Week 26

Hello and welcome to week 26 of #MealPlanningMonday.

Wow we are already half way through the year! Where has the time gone?

Last weeks meal plan was a huge success, we had each and every main meal that I had planned! The only slight alteration was that the meatballs were used in a bolognese sauce and is in the freezer ready and waiting for next week as we decided to get an easy meal while we were out on Saturday. I am finally getting used to my new routine of housework, kids, blogging and work. But it is all about to change yet again! I have been asked to do some overtime as of next week. I will be doing full days until the end of term which is going to make meal planning even more important!

This weeks meal plan is a super cheap budgeting plan. As I am now employed I have had to declare this for our tax credits. I always declare any changes as soon as I can so that we do not get any over payments. This has meant that we have had a drop in money which, until I get paid, really is effecting our shopping budget. But I am not complaining I think it does us good to have a cheap week! Since my work with Aldi came to an end I have been looking round at supermarket prices and have been pleasantly surprised to see that a lot of prices at Tesco are now comparable to Aldi. This, for me, is great news as I can place click and collect orders and not have to pay significantly more for our shopping! The click and collect service is now a God send! I drive past Tesco on my way home so not only does it save me time but also saves us money each week!

This weeks meal plan is not only a cheap one, but, I think, a delicious one! This is what we will be having this week...

Friday, 23 June 2017

Lemon and Lime Meringue Pie - A kMix Recipe

One of the hubby's favourite desserts has to be lemon meringue pie. He often moans that I do not make this a lot and he is right. I could not tell you the last time, before now, that I made one. So when I mentioned to him that I wanted to try out the balloon whisk attachment on the Kenwood kMix stand mixer he suggested a lemon meringue pie without hesitation. As I was baking for father's day I could not refuse.

When I made the pie it was one of the hottest days of the year so needless to say I did not want to be in the kitchen for hours so I did cheat a little. Instead of making my own pastry I did buy some pre made shortcrust pastry. Unfortunately it did not turn out as well as when I make my own. I must confess I did wonder whether or not to share this recipe simply because of the poor pastry but the pie tasted amazing and the meringue was the best I made! Plus I am only human, not every single meal or recipe I make turns out Instagram perfect, but hey that is life!

When it came to making the meringue the Kenwood kMix did a fantastic job and I was able to hold the bowl upside down in no time! The meringue has to be the best meringue that I have ever made. It was so light and fluffy and once baked had the perfect crispy topping combined with the softer centre.

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Sprouted Wholemeal Spelt Flour Carrot Cake

One of my all time favourite cakes has to be carrot cake. Surprisingly it is not a cake that I make very often but that makes it even more of a treat!

I was recently sent some new flours to try which gave me the perfect excuse to make a carrot cake! I was sent an email from the team over at Bite UK telling me about the new Spiffing sprouted flours. Needless to say I was curious and wanted to know more. Sprouted flours have been through a germination technique called sprouted. This process wakes up the grain, bringing it to life and acting as a catalyst for nutrients. Flours that have undergone this germination have many benefits including:
  • More easily digestible. They are rapidly absorbed by the body and kinder to the stomach.
  • Increased key nutrients such as Vitamins B and C, folate, fibre, essential amino acids and increased anti oxidants.
  • Enhanced taste and texture.
The flours come in four varieties:
  • Sprouted wheat flour
  • Sprouted wholemeal spelt flour
  • Sprouted buckwheat flour
  • Sprouted chickpea flour

For this bake I decided to use the sprouted wholemeal spelt flour. I love the nutty flavour that spelt brings to a bake and knew that it would be perfect for this cake. I got my inspiration for this cake from Signe Johansen's beautiful book Scandilicious Baking. This is what I did... 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Quick and Easy Food Hacks for a Healthier Tea Time! - Guest Post

Fast food and being healthy don’t usually go hand in hand, but when you’re whipping up your own dinners it’s possible to combine the two. Take a look at my food hacks for making classic dishes healthier and quicker, or preparing in advance to get you ahead on the night.
Wok it up
One of the quickest meals you can make has to be a stir fry. I like to pack in loads of vegetables so it’s really good for you – whatever I have in the fridge but usually carrots, peppers and greens at the very least. If you have a big wok you can cook your meat, veg and sauce together too and save on washing up.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2017 Week 25

Hello and welcome to week 25 of MealPlanningMonday!

I hope you had a great week and were as blessed with the summer weather as we were! It feels so good to finally have some sunshine and heat. My moods are always so much better when it is sunny! Over the weekend we have spend the majority of the time out in the garden. I even did my ironing outside in the sun while the children were playing under the water sprinkler.

Last week I started my job and I love it! I know that I made the right decision applying for the job. It has given me a new lease of life. I am my old self again, interacting with real people and having something different to apply myself to. Being part time means that I can still keep up with my love of blogging. I really do have the best of both worlds.

The only thing that did not quite go as well was my meal plan. It started off well but then the nice weather came and my food motivation went out. We did have the mushroom and lentil ragu, which was amazing and enough left for a second meal. So the following day I added some MOR pork, super green veg and lentil sausages that I was sent to try and had a second meal. The gluten, wheat and dairy free sausages went perfectly with the sauce. Each sausage is full of pork, asparagus, peas, spinach, green lentils, onion and coriander in a sweet chilli dressing.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Birthday Gift Round-up

It is official, I have been well and truly spoilt with both gifts and love! I thought that I would share with you some of my gifts and some things that I plan to treat myself to with some of my birthday money!

My family know that with Cath Kidston items they simply cannot go wrong. This is a brand that I love! So when I opened this beautiful British Birds Curved Saddle Bag I was over the moon. This is a bag that I had pointed out in the past to the hubby. It is smaller than my other bag and is perfect for me to take to work. As the bag is smaller he knew that I would also need a smaller purse, so also wrapped me up this lovely little leather Cath Kidston purse. As I have recently started my new job I also wanted some new work shoes. I like my shoes to be a bit different. If I am wearing all black I like a pair of shoes that give it a bit of contrast. These Elvington Rose Embossed Ballerina Shoes are a fantastic addition to my shoe collection!

Anyone that knows me knows I love gin! So receiving a bottle of Thomas Dakin small batch gin got the thumbs up from me! This is a gin that I have not tried before which made it even more exciting! For my coffee at work the kids also gave me this quirky quote mug that says "Do more of what makes you happy" this is a perfect quote for life!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Race for Life Energy Boost Flapjacks

Last week my mum and I completed the race for life. We usually run in the morning but the race for life was being held in the evening so I knew that we would both need an energy boost both before and after the race. This is how this recipe came along. After doing some research into foods I discovered that malt extract is a fantastic, healthy way to boost sugar levels and replenish your energy levels. Malt extract is not something that is widely available in supermarkets but I did find some in our local Holland and Barrett store. In this recipe I have paired the malt extract with honey, bananas, dates and plenty of protein!

This is what I did...

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Life and Luck Before 40!

Photograph courtesy of Pixabay

Today is my birthday.

Today I turn 39.

39, how can I be 39?

All of a sudden the years seem to have crept up. Next year I hit the big 4 0. I remember feeling dread as I went from my 20's into my 30's then once my birthday was over I realised it was not such a big deal. So why is 40 such a big deal?

People say that once you hit 40 you have hit mid life but I am going into my final year of my thirties with a different view. When I hit 40 I am going to be going into some of the best years of my life. During my thirties I have noticed a huge difference in how I feel about life. I went into my thirties as a single working mum to J. During my 30's I met, fell in love with and married my hubby. He turned my life into something that I dreamt of. He gave me the stability and completed me in a way that I always longed for. We have been blessed with our beautiful twins and have a loving family. My 30's have been the most settled, happy and stable years. Lady luck has definitely been on my side and as I go into the final year of my 30's I am actually looking forward to seeing how my life changes during my 40's.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Food for Healthy Hair

Recently I have been looking more closely about what vitamins and minerals are good various aspects of our health. At the moment I have been looking how food can benefit the health of my hair. Last summer I had a hair disaster. I decided that I wanted to change the colour of my hair from dark brown to blonde. Yes I thought that I would save some money and do it myself. Not surprisingly it did not go as planned. My hair went from dark brown to orange! This happened just before we were due to go on holiday with Carnival Cruise. I ended up getting the colour sorted at a hair dressers which did get the colour looking good but it did damage the condition of my hair. It needed a lot of bleach and toners and since then the health of my hair has not been fantastic. I try not use heat products unless I am going somewhere special and use deep conditioning products. But to try and repair my hair the natural way I have been looking at what foods will help to naturally repair the colour damage that I have done. Eating the correct balance of minerals, nutrients and vitamins will help to keep your hair shiny, lustrous and strong.

This is what I have discovered...

Photograph courtesy of Pixabay

Monday, 12 June 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2017 Week 24

Hello and welcome to week 24 of #MealPlanningMonday.

This is a big week for me. Today I am finally starting my new job. I am so excited and a little nervous but looking forward to starting this new chapter of my life.

This weeks meal plan was planned before I did my shopping. Over the last few weeks I have been getting a box of vegetables delivered so I have planned after the box has arrived. But as they are away for a couple of weeks I have had to plan more in advance. To save money I have also gone back to ordering our shopping online. When I go shopping I often get tempted by offers and always end up buying more than we actually need. So by shopping online I have more control and can easily add or take things off over the week. During the half term I did a 'click and collect' order so that I did not have to take the children shopping and it was so easy! So instead of getting my shopping delivered this week I have done another click and collect order and plan to continue shopping this way as it is going to be so much easier now that I am working.

Last week I completed the Cancer Research Race for Life. This, for me, was a great achievement because when I signed up to do it I could not run for 2 minutes let alone for 5k. So I am feeling quite proud of myself and plan to continue running. I completed the race in 41 minutes and found finishing with my mum to be really emotional.


Friday, 9 June 2017

Family Time at Prezzo

During the half term last week the children and I met up with my sister and her daughters for a lunch treat at Prezzo. The school holidays gave us the perfect opportunity to get together with the children to enjoy some food. 

Prezzo have made family dining even easier and family orientated with their new La Famiglia Feast sharing dish. We, as a family love to sit and eat together and regardless what others have everybody wants to dig in and try other meals which when you are out can be a bit difficult. But Prezzo have created the perfect feast for a family. One large bowl of pasta, side dishes, drinks and even ice cream. One bowl for everyone to share. This is ideal for families and a fantastic way to come together over some delicious food.