Monthly Archives: August 2017

Meal Planning Monday 14/08/2017

I am new to this Meal Planning Monday post and decided to give it ago while I’m off on maternity leave.  I always struggle to find new and different ideas for meals but with the help of pinterest I’m experimenting with new ideas that we both love.

Before I was off work we slipped into a habit of eating a lot of processed food straight from the freezer so we were piling on the pounds, now with our wedding just under 3 months away we are trying hard to be good and eat smaller portions and healthier meals.

Salmon, Dish, Food, Meal, Fish, Seafood, Plate

This week’s meal plan includes:

Tuna Pasta Bake

Salmon Wellington with homemade potato wedges

Quiche, beef rice & Salad

Bacon, cream cheese, cheddar Chicken

Pan Fried Pork with apple sauce & homemade potato wedges

Homemade lasagna with Garlic Bread

Lamb roast dinner

What is on your meal plan this week?

Palettes At The Ready: A Guide To Trying New Food & Drink

Champagne, Pour A, Serve, Mineral Water, Festival

When you are trying to make the most of life and enjoy it, you will find yourself presented with a world of opportunity when it comes to food and drink. There’s always something new to sample; a new delight for your taste buds; something to tempt you into sampling.

For some people, however, there’s also a part of them that thinks… I’d rather just stick with what I know.

A huge number of people never quite grow out of the phase of childhood where they are picky eaters. If you know someone like this – or perhaps you are even such a person yourself – the possibility of enjoying the foodie life are always going to be limited. The food they buy at home for parties; the restaurants they dine at; the room service they order from hotels – it’s all going to be limited by the restrictions they place upon themselves.

If this all sounds familiar – and more than a tad depressing – maybe it’s time to change your ways? To attempt to combat the problem and enjoy all the fine dining and homely cuisine that the world has to offer, you need to follow a few simple steps.

#1 – Try One New Thing At A Time

If you’re determined that you hate curry, then there’s no point in loading up your entire meal with curry. It’s just going to put you off and make you not want to eat at all – there’s no point in that.

Instead, you’d start with something like a curry-based marinade when cooking steak at home. This is a light entry point into something new, without guaranteeing that you’re going to ruin your entire meal. Small entry points that allow you to branch out from there are the way to go.

#2 – Try At Home

If you’re going out for a luxurious meal, then you’re going to want to get your money’s worth – so of course, you’re going to struggle with eating something outside of your comfort zone. This is only natural, so if you decide to stick to chicken for your main meal and combine it with white wine, no one is going to judge you.

This is about finding a way to become accustomed to new tastes and flavours, though – so what’s the alternative? Try it at home. Experiment with recipes you would never normally try; cocktails you’ve never heard of. You can buy craft beer online to sample without the markup you’d pay while out; use the discount sections of supermarkets to try meats you would never normally opt for. When there’s not the expense of the bill on your mind, you should feel freer to try something different – and if you don’t like it, the kitchen is right there for you to whip up something that you do like.

#3 – Ignore Recommendations

This might be something of a surprise but, yes, you should ignore recommendations. If your friends and family are enthusing that you try something, it can be tempting to just bow to the pressure and do exactly as you’re told. Then, if you don’t like it, you’re pretty much never going to trust anything that person says again.

So just veto the whole process and only try things that you think you might like, not those which come with ringing endorsements. Learn to trust your instincts rather than the opinions of others, and you’ll soon have a whole new foodie heaven waiting for you.

Dinner Table, Restaurant, Dining, Place Setting

MAM 6 in 1 Microwave & Electric Steriliser Review

In May I headed out to the baby Show to see if could get some last minute essentials before our baby arrived in July.

Before arriving I had an email to head over to the Mam stall on the day as they wanted a chat with me about the products they could offer new mums to be.  When arriving at the stall I asked to speak to the relevant person, she gave me lots of information about a new products they had released.

One of which was the Mam 6 in 1 Electric & Microwave steriliser.  They offered it me to review which I was excited about as I didn’t have a steriliser and had heard great things about this brand.

Once baby arrived I couldn’t wait to put it in use and loved the option of being able to use it as both as an electric & microwave steriliser plus much more.

The set includes:

Whats included:
1x Electric Steriliser
1x Express Warmer
2x 160ml Easy Start Anti Colic Bottle
2x Start 0-2M Soothers
1x Teat Tongs
(Only 1 electric base unit included and needed for Steriliser & Warmer)

6 functions in 1 device
1. Microwave sterilising
2. Electric sterilising
3. Express bottle warming
4. Gentle bottle warming
5. Defrost & food warming
6. Keep warm function

The 6 in 1 is retailed at £90.00 which I feel is a little steep, I wouldn’t personally pay that much but I would recommend it as I love everything about it.

The set up of the steriliser is super easy and simple.  I have only used the microwave steriliser part but love it, put 200ml of water in the base, fill with bottles and place in microwave for 11 minutes and leave to cool for a few minute then they are ready to use.

* I was given this product free of charge for the purpose of this review.  However all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Want a Memorable Wedding? Here’s Some Advice

Memories are a precious thing, and when it comes to a once-in-a-lifetime situation such as a marriage, you want it to be as special as possible with as few problems as you can afford. However, one of the main issues with wedding planning and marriage is that far too many people are concerned about how to make their wedding perfect in the eyes of an article they read or with advice from a magazine.

Table With Plates and Flowers Filed Neatly Selective Focus Photography

Try to avoid wedding planners if possible

This isn’t the right way to go about planning weddings. Your wedding and proposal should be a collection of things that you and your partner share. Be it your interests, hobbies or the music you love—it should be about your union, not someone else’s ideas. Sure, a wedding planner can be a great boon and they’ll help you manage a lot of things with your wedding, but here are some drawbacks that you may not have considered:

 

  • Wedding planners are expensive – unless you’re willing to put down a lot of money to get some assistance, you might not want to choose a wedding planner. They’re expensive and you’re not always guaranteed to get a great service. If you want something done correctly, you’re going to have to do it yourself. Then there are hidden costs to consider later on when your wedding planning proposes something you never accounted for.
  • Wedding planners will take control from you – if you have absolutely no idea what you want to do with your wedding, a wedding planner is going to strip control away from you. If you really have no idea about what you want, then a wedding planner can be helpful. However, if you have some ideas that you want to see come true, then skip the wedding planner.
  • You lose the sentimentality of planning your own wedding – as mentioned before if you want something done you do it yourself. You’re going to miss out on a lot of memories if you don’t plan your own wedding, so try to avoid them if possible.

 

A few pointers to create a memorable wedding

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are some positive ways to create a memorable wedding:

 

  • Pick out the wedding bands as soon as possible – you’re going to spend a lot of time looking at classic mens wedding bands and something to accompany it. It’s going to be costly and you’re going to want it to be perfect in your eyes, so spend as much time as possible planning this.
  • Choose and theme and stick with it – want a wedding based on an interest that you and your partner love? Perhaps you love the idea of a classical church wedding, or maybe you want to do away with tradition and host your wedding someplace more modern.
  • Make everything bespoke – be it a bespoke wedding dress, suit or even decorations, don’t buy something that is pre-made if you want to stand out and have a memorable wedding.
  • Pick a venue that goes with your theme – barns don’t have to be the only place to host a wedding and neither is a church. You could pick a pub if you’re deeply integrated into the local community, or you could pick a huge castle if you want a more traditional theme. You could even have it outside!

 

Hopefully, this advice has helped you form a memorable wedding. These ideas are only the tip of the iceberg, but the main things to take away are to avoid wedding planners if possible and personalise it all the way.

Belo & Me Review

The weeks flew by rather fast till my due date, we couldn’t wait to meet our little bundle of joy.  We still had lots to organise and arrange right up untill weeks before baby cooper was due,  I did see myself as an organised person, but didnt feel very organised coming up to the end of my pregnancy, ran out of energy and was worried I had forgotten .

We had only got a small collection of clothes for baby Cooper together because we didn’t know what we were having so brought a few neutral outfits to start out.

I was approached and offered a collection of milestone cards & wardrobe dividers from the lovely people at belo & me.

I put the wardrobe dividers straight in the wardrobe ready to use, they looked super cute and made the wardrobe look very organised.  It made it so easy to work out what size the clothes were at a glance rather than trying to find the labels and check.

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The milestones cards are another must have and I couldn’t wait to use them.  They are great to remember special moments of your little one.

We have forgotten to use them a few times but are trying to remember them every step of the way so we take photos of them.

I would be sure to visit Belo & Me again for any future products I would like or even gifts to give friends and family.

The Wardrobe dividers are priced at £10.00 and the milestone cards at £12.00 I do feel these are a little pricey for cards.

  •  I was sent these products free of charge for the purpose of this review.  However all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Dementia: The Silent Thief

Aging is a part of life, but it is a part that can be monumentally cruel. While you have a lifetime of memories built behind you, age-related conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s can snatch those memories from you so quickly you barely notice. Living with dementia can be a huge strain, very emotional and so unfair. The people you knew every day are hard to recognise. The usual routines that made your life feel meaningful seem to go foggy, making you forget.

Dependent, Dementia, Woman, Old, Age, Alzheimer'S

From the point of view of a person with dementia, their reality is the one that is true. For everyone else? They have to have the heart-breaking experience of seeing you struggle and change. You may not recognise them and you could have spent years being independent and secure, and all of that is pulled out from under you in a moment. When you are in the early stages of dementia, it’s smart to appoint Court of Protection solicitors to give a trusted relative power of attorney and over your medical decisions and wellbeing. Relinquishing this sort of control is not the easiest decision to make but it is one that could be vital to your continued health.

The personal relationships and social environment for someone with dementia is vital to life, even more so than someone who doesn’t suffer from such a debilitating disease. Your carers, friends and family are there to help you feel supported and less lonely. The things that you lose as a result of dementia are not just your memory. Your self-esteem can take a hit, as well as your confidence and independence. Putting the right care and support in place before the dementia takes hold is the way to help yourself and help those who have to care for you.

Grandparents, Grandmother, Grandfather, Senior, Happy

As your condition progresses, you may not be able to cope with the diagnoses. Knowing that your mind is starting to fail you when it has been in top condition all your life can invoke feelings of anger and stress. This can result in outbursts and upset and this is understandable. Getting the right advice and help to accept the condition can ease the worry of what is to come. Acceptance will come after a range of other emotions, as it will come after you have a firm idea of what strain of dementia you have.

What can help, is keeping journals and diaries to help you record your life. The small, day to day activities that you write down can help you to identify your usual routines and patterns and keep you moving forward. Each of the entries in the diary can remind you of your next step. Write down instructions to yourself and to your loved ones as your memory allows you. Dementia is a thief in the night – your identity, your lifestyle and your memories all get stolen away by it. All you can do is put things in place to help you to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Don’t Panic! Overcoming the Guilt of Financial Mistakes

We have all made financial mistakes, and it is easy to feel embarrassed and riddled with guilt, especially if the monetary error you have made seems like a big one. However, instead of focusing on the past, you need to focus on the future. You can overcome your mistakes and move forward, and this will help the guilt to disappear.

Stress, Programmer, Etnwickler, Ibm, Retro, Pc

Own up to your decisions and the consequences that come with them – The first step to take is to own up to the decisions you have made. This does not mean that you should punish yourself for them. However, by addressing what you have done, you can stop the guilt from weighing you down and impacting other areas of your life. Admitting to yourself that you have made an error can be the most difficult part of the process, but it can help you to move forward. You will be able to address the problem and look at the numbers.

Focus on moving forward instead of trying to justify what has happened – There is no point in dwelling on the past. Trying to justify what has happened is not going to make a difference; it has still happened. The best thing to do is forget about it, and focus on what you can do to make things right. Revisiting your feelings is only going to make the situation worse. Instead, use your energy to focus on the things that do matter; getting in charge of your finances.

Take charge and give yourself full authority to do so – Often, we push ourselves away from something because we are so overwhelmed by the task at hand. You can ask yourself important questions that will give you the authority to move forward. This includes: How can you use your existing skills to guide you forward? And, what steps are required to make positive changes? You need to recognise that you have all of the power, and you need to use it.

Put a plan in action – Now, you need to put a plan in action. You can use your mistakes as a starting point for going forward. Think about where you went wrong so that you can make sure you don’t make the same error twice. You should also assess your existing contracts. Move from an expensive mobile phone tariff to one for bad credit like those offered by Zaggor.com. Call up your utility provider to see if there is any way to reduce your gas and electricity bills. Cancel the monthly subscriptions you don’t need. Once you have a full grasp of your monthly spending, you can then look for opportunities to save so that you can pay off your debts and move forward. It is important to track your monthly outgoings so that you always have complete control.

It is easy to feel guilty when you have made a financial mistake – or several of them. But there is no point in dwelling on the past. Instead, you need to follow the steps mentioned above and move forward productively.

Faye & Lou Muslin’s Square Review

When expecting your first baby you have to make sure you have lots of things ready for when they arrive without going over the top.  I have been writing myself some lists and notes of the items I will require definitely and things for my hospital bag.

Back in January, I was contacted by the lovely people at Fay & Lou who offered to send me some of their products.  As the baby wasn’t due till July and the sex is going to be a surprise I did advise them of this and it was fine.

Fay & Lou were due to have a new range of Muslin Squares coming out around March time so I was excited to wait and see what I would receive from the new range.

The middle of March arrived and I was advised their products had been sent out in the post.  A few weeks later I received a parcel which contained the beautifully coloured muslin squares.

A 3 pack of muslins squares in red, green & blue these are priced at £11.95

A pack of 3 Pastel star muslin squares.  These are also priced at £11.95

They are:

  • Size – 60 cm x 60 cm
  • 100% cotton
  • Machine washable at 40c. (The colours are colorfast and will not fade*)

I feel they are great value for money and are soft and delicate to protect irritation on baby’s skin with been 100% cotton.  These muslin squares will also be great for putting over baby on a hot day instead of a blanket to keep the sun of them.  They have many great uses and won’t take long to wash or dry.

  • I was sent these products free of charge for the purpose of this review.  However, all thoughts, opinions and photos are my own.

Dino-roar Single Duvet Set Review

My eldest nephew is 9 years sometimes going on 19 with his attitude.  He is into everything at the moment and has started saying things like “don’t like that it’s too babyish”.

When I was offered the Dino-roar Single Duvet Set from Room to grow I knew Jack would love it & he couldn’t wait for it to arrive and was actually excited to go to bed for a change.

The material of the duvet cover feels thick but certainly good quality. It washed and dried well plus can be tumble dried and Jack seems to love it though – he actually wants to go bed at the moment to see it!

The duvet set is priced at £24.99 I do think the price is a little steep but for good quality I would pay for it. It is made of 50% Cotton & 50% Polyester with the set including a single duvet & a pillowcase.

Room to grow don’t just offer duvet sets they offer bedroom furniture, accessories and much more.  When I require bedroom furniture I would be sure to visit room to grow first.

  • We were sent these products free of charge for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.