Meal Planning Monday 18/02/19

Well I failed at this last week and I was doing so well since starting back with it.  I think with having a poorly boy, looking after him was our main priority but luckily he is back to normal now.

Last weekend I went on my friends hen do to Nottingham, it was lovely and a nice catch up with our friends.  We did so much from Friday – Sunday and I am exhausted now writing this, before heading back to work tomorrow.

So this week I am cooking:

Chicken stir fry with egg noodles

Lasagna & garlic bread

Jacket potatoes, Tuna/cheese/beans & salad

Quiche, beef rice & Salad

Fish cakes, vegetables & cheese sauce

Tuna Pasta Bake

Roast dinner with all the trimmings

What’s on your plate?

Making Butternut Squash Soup at home | Recipe

I love cooking and baking but never imagined making my own soup, I think the fact of just picking up a tin is way more convenient sometimes.

Then one Sunday a few weeks ago I looked in the cupboards and found a butternut squash so decided to make some soup.  I googled what I needed and I had everything in the cupboards/fridge to make it.

So here’s how I did it.

Butternut squash soup

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash – peeled and deseeded, cut into 3cm/1¼in cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 large onions (roughly chopped)
  • 2 medium carrots (peeled & roughly chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
  • 5cm/2in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped (I’ve used garlic too)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1.5 litres/2½ pints of vegetable stock

Recipe

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

  • Tip the prepared squash, onions, carrots and red pepper into a large, resealable freezer bag.   Add half the oil, salt and pepper and toss everything together until the vegetables are evenly coated. Tip into a large roasting tin and spread out to form a single layer.

  • Roast in the oven for approx 40–45 minutes, or until tender and tinged brown. Drizzle over the honey, if using, 5 minutes before the end of cooking.

  • Place the large, deep-sided saucepan over a medium heat, add the remaining oil and when it is hot, add the ginger or garlic and fry for a minute. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then stir in the roasted vegetables and add more salt and pepper.

  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and, using a hand blender, blend the mixture until smooth. Return to the heat to warm through and serve hot with crusty bread.

So there you have it, homemade butternut squash soup

Your Home As A Creative Space

Creativity should have a place in every home, even if it is only a small or limited one. Being creative will mean that you are looking after your brain, that you are allowing the chance to truly express yourself, and will act as a very effective means of home therapy. If you have a family, you will also find that encouraging them to be as creative as possible is something that you want to do if you are to keep them on the right track, as it will lead to them having a much fuller understanding of themselves and way of being. In order to make sure of all that, it helps if you make a point of allowing the home to be a strongly creative space. In this post, we will look at what you can do to make that happen.

Photo of Multicolored Abstract Painting

Carve Out A Space

First things first, find some place in the home which you can dedicate to creativity in all its forms. In most cases, this could probably be a corner of a room, or it might even be that you can use the dining table for such purposes. Wherever it is, even if you can’t find a space which you can dedicate solely to creativity, you will want to make it as easy to use as possible. The idea is that you will find it easy to just sit down there and get creating, and that everyone else in your family will find that too. By carving out a specific space, ideally one which is not too affected by the rest of the household and its daily comings and goings, you will be able to champion creativity much more easily and effectively.

Stock Up On Supplies

Depending on what kind of creative ventures you might have planned for yourself or your family, you will want to make a point of finding some particular supplies to stock up on. If you want to really make it worthwhile, you will make a point of finding some supplies for everything – meaning not only will you find some decent Fountain Pens, but also paintbrushes, glue guns, glitter, notepads and whatever else you might feel is necessary. By having as many creative supplies in that space as you can, you will then be able to turn to whatever you want as a means of being creative, and you will find it much easier to be creative in general.

Close-up of Hand over White Background

Make It A Part Of The Schedule

Making time for your creative efforts is hugely important. If you don’t allow time in your schedule for these pursuits, then it means you simply won’t find yourself engaging in them to quite the same degree, so it is essential to ensure that you do whatever you can to do just that. By making your arts a part of your daily schedule, you will be putting the hours in, and that will mean that you can expect to get much more out of it in the long run.

Meal Planning Monday 04/02/2019

Well hello there February, nice to see you again.

This month is going to be very busy as we’ve got hen do’s & the husband is away at a festival in Amsterdam,  Our 10 year anniversary and not to mention Valentines Day.  

This week we are having:

Pan fried pork with homemade wedges

Spaghetti bolognese

Burgers & Chips

Chicken Curry & Rice

Shepherds pie, veg & gravy

Chicken, cheese & Bacon Tagliatelle

Roast Dinner with all the trimmings

What’s on your meal plan this week?

Valentines Gift Guide | 2019

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching now and many of us are now thinking about gifts for that special person in our life.

Not everyone celebrates Valentines Day, We don’t really as we’ve been together 10 years this year and know we are in it for the long haul now.  Saying that though I still like to buy my husband something little to mark the day.

To Share

The Ned Rosé 2017 Waihopai River, Marlborough – From £12.99 per bottle

Nothing I like more than snuggles on the sofa with a bottle of wine and a decent film, my perfect kind of evening brought all together.

The Ned Rosé 2017 Waihopai River, Marlborough

Where to buy: Majestics Wine

Personalised Jelly Sweet Hamper –£35.00

My husband and I have been semi healthy eating recently, so Valentine’s Day is a great time for a hamper of sweets! This hamper retails for £35.00 and contains a large array of nostalgic sweets including fizzy bottles, rings, snakes, Jelly Babies and more.  It also comes presented in wicker hamper basket.

Where to buy: The personalised gift shop

 

For Her

The Devotion Gift Set – £42.99

You can’t beat a beautiful bunch of flowers, so this gorgeous “devotion gift set” comprising of flowers, chocolate & prosecco you just can’t go wrong.

Image of The Devotion Gift Set

Where to Buy: Bunches 

Seams Hand Cream 75ml – £14.00

Delightfully fragranced with Fragonia Oil, Shea Butter and Macadamia Nut Oil to mend, moisturize and protect your hands.

Where to Buy:  Seams Beauty

Where Have You Gin All My Life Bottle – £22.99

Where to Buy: Giftpup

Anma Massage Oil Passion – £9.99

Love a bit of relaxation time, how about these massage oils, great for both partners and are available to buy from Super drug.  They smell devine and the bottles are 100% recyclable.

Where to buy: Superdrug

For Him

Personalised Budweiser Beer – £11.99

What man doesn’t like beer? Personalised with an extra special message make the perfect gift for that special man in your life on any occasion.

Where to Buy: Personalised Bottle Labels

Jack Willis Sambourne Knit Bobble Hat – £30.00

Where to Buy: Mainline Men’s Wear

Personalised Wooden Tie Hanger – £12.99

The man in your life wear ties on a daily basis like my husband, lovely little gift with a personalised message on it.  No more saying they have lost or can’t find there ties.

Where to Buy: The Personalised Gift Shop

I hope this post has given you some inspiration this Valentine’s Day for that love in your life!

Have a good one!

Meal Planning Monday 28/01/2019

WHAT, where did January just go?  How are we at the end of the month already?

We have had a busy month and that’s probably why it has gone so quick.  Plus I was poorly with a bug that wiped me out for pretty much the whole week, I soldiered through but didn’t eat much just drank water – great for the diet though.

This week I am planning on cooking:

Homemade lasagna & garlic bread

Fajita’s & Chips

Sausage Casserole & Mash

Tuna Pasta Bake

Chicken wrapped in bacon & puff pastry with homemade wedges

Pizza & Chips

Roast leg of lamb joint with all the trimmings

What’s on your meal plan?

My Favourite Mugs

Our kitchen cupboard is over flowing with mugs of all different shapes, colours and sizes, yet I only like to use a few of them, the rest get pushed to the back to gather dust.

Here are my favourite mugs that I have collected so far.

We were gifted a set of these as a wedding present and we both said how nice they are.  The handle is the perfect shaped to hold it securely and easily.

My mum brought me this from our little boy for mother’s Day as a little extra gift from him, even though my husband had brought me gifts.  It came with a matching coaster and I love it.  It is a little on the big side and heavy but I still love to use it every day.

This mug was the first mug I received with all 3 of us on it.  I love it, it was included in a review here.

My nephew brought me this mug a few years ago now, so it is special to me.

I love Tea and drink quite a lot when I’m at work daily so was very appropriate for me to purchase this mug.

I brought the set of these for me and hubby after we had our little boy from next.  It’s a small and lightweight mug perfect for those spare 5 minutes you might have to yourself while baby is sleeping.

So there you go my favourite mugs to drink Tea from.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MUG? OR DO YOU JUST GRAB WHICHEVER MUG IS AVAILABLE FIRST?

Meal Planning Monday 21/01/19

Another week that has flown by.  Christmas is just a distant memory now it’s seems a long time ago to me.

We haven’t really changed our eating habits but are just trying to make our portions smaller and so far it is working well.

This weeks meal plan has:

Cottage Pie with Veg

Pizza & Salad

Pukka Pie & homemade chips

Lasagna & salad

Sausage, mash, onion gravy and veg

Chicken wrapped in bacon in puff pastry with wedges

Roast dinner with all the trimmings

What is on your meal plan this week?

Creating Our Photo Wall

We’ve lived in our home 4 years now, and in those 4 years we have done so much to the house, decorating, rewiring, building work, and a new bathroom last year and more but one thing, and the most important to me is photos.  We hardly had any photos up around the house of us, our families or nieces/nephews.

A house to me is a not a home without memories in the way of photos, so I changed this immediately and decided on creating a photo wall in the lounge.

I wanted all the photos in one place for everyone to see when they visited our home, the first picture frame I ordered was the “Daddy” frame for Father’s Day here and we have built it from there.  I then brought the “Freddie” and “Mummy” frames a few months later to make the set complete, but yet to still fill them with photos.  We built the rest around them in no particular order, and still have Christmas photos from the last two years to frame and put up.

We did have loads of photos but none were printed out as we’ve never got round to it.  The large middle frame my husband gave me for my birthday it’s a professional photo shoot we had done a few months before.

I want to change the end one of the 3 of us at our pre wedding photo shoot as my husbands head is chopped off.  We have got new additions to add of Freddie’s first nursery photos.

We will then move and start with some memories up the stairs and in the bedrooms

Have you got a photo wall in your house? would love to see yours for inspiration.

Vax Blade 2 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner | Review

Hands up if you actually enjoy vacuuming?  I don’t!

I can’t say it’s ever been one of my most favourite jobs to do,  lugging a vacuum every which way wherever you need it to be, finding or been able to access a plug socket, doing half a room before having to unplug and plug it in somewhere closer to get it to reach into those hard corners.

We had asked for one for Christmas from my parents, the continual thought of dragging one up and down the stairs until we could save up for a decent one had filled me with dread, but it’s no longer something I need to worry about.

With having a dog that is forever malting and a toddler who throws/drops food everywhere I wanted a vacuum I could quickly whizz around the house daily.  We were given the Vax blade 2.

The Vax Blade 2 is cordless, so I don’t have to worry about any cables getting in the way anymore.  The part I hated the most was doing the stairs and trying to balance the vacuum while trying to clean, now that has gone and it so much easier.

It’s as powerful as a conventional vacuum. It takes four hours to fully charge and gives you 45 minutes cleaning time – more than enough time to do the whole house.  There are lights on the handle to let you know how much power is left and lights when the brush is rotating to allow you to see what’s on the floor.

We use it with the long pole attached to do the laminate throughout the downstairs and the carpets upstairs, but  also included with the vacuum was a selection of other attachments to do other jobs.

It retails at around £200 and is well worth every penny.  I would highly recommend this vacuum.

  • We were given this product as a Christmas present.  However all words and opinions are our own.