All posts by Kim

About Kim

Wife to Tom, First time Mummy to Little Boy Freddie and Auntie to 4 Boys & 1 Girl.

Cooking Meals with Mash Direct | Review

We use potato products with most of our evening meals whether it be chips or potatoes themselves.

Mash direct made it easier for prepping meals when your home from a long day at work with there ready prepared packs that you just cook in the oven.

About Mash Direct

Mash Direct is an independent company started by Martin and Tracy Hamilton at their family-run farm in Comber, in 2004; however, the family’s journey started long before that.

The Hamilton began farming the fields around Strangford Lough back in the 1800s and the land has been passed down through six generations, bringing with it a wealth of understanding and knowledge of the area and growing conditions

Due to the declining vegetable market in the UK, mixed with the poor prices farmers received for their crops, Mash Direct was born out of necessity as a way to keep the family farm afloat. One night, after discussing with a close friend over a glass of Irish whiskey, Martin dreamt up a business of providing traditional Ulster Champ that was both convenient and healthy. Since then, the business has continued to boom year on year and the farm truly is a family affair with Martin, Tracy and both of their sons, Lance and Jack all helping Mash Direct on its journey to become a national, household name.

Using their six-generations of farming expertise, Mash Direct has grown from 70 to 1,400 acres of fields that are tailored to growing traditional, heritage vegetables. These are then cooked to perfection using specially designed steam cookers on the farm for that delicious taste and texture of homemade food. Suitable for microwave or oven heating the Mash Direct range is available to retail, food service and food manufacturing throughout the UK, Ireland, Middle East and beyond.

A meal I cooked

We had sausages for lunch with broccoli and cheese sauce with the potato croquettes and it was yummy, just the right amount for both of us and our little boy to share.  I know it doesn’t look very appetizing but we both enjoyed it.

I forgot to take photos of some of the meals I have made and we have put some of the products in the freezer as it was getting close to the best before date.

The meals I have made with these product have been lovely full of flavour and made tea time less stressful.  I would be sure to look out for these products in the supermarkets or place an order online.

You could use their products in meals you probably wouldn’t even think of, see recipes for examples.

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

Meal Planning Mondays 15/10/18

Well the week before last and last week was a complete blur and I forgot my meal planning too. The week just flew by and my birthday just flashed before my eyes as I was just another year older.  We discovered we had rodent friends visiting from under the house into the electrical cupboard because our dog became very interested in there so we had to deal with that.

Then last week it was my husband’s birthday, I was in London at a client meeting but was home normal time so was OK and we celebrated the weekend with a meal out.

This week is a short week too at home for meals, will explain more next week.

This week’s meal plans are courtesy of Hello Fresh & My cook box.  Look out for my full review soon.

Hungarian chicken pasta

Cheats lamb moussaka

Butternut & goat’s cheese quesadillas

Creamy mushroom pasta

Be More Active In Your Child’s Life

We know that as a mom, you’ll be doing absolutely everything at the minute to be the best you can be for your children. You’ll go to work, do the cooking, the cleaning, the washing and the dressing. The list could go on, because moms really are like superheroes when it comes to the amount of tasks they are able to do. But with all of this in your schedule, it can sometimes be hard to actually be active in your child’s life. You’re so focused on making sure everything is in order, that you forget that actually being present with your toddler is the most important think, The younger children years are more confusing for your child than you might think. They’re moving their way through school, heading towards high school and their emotions will start growing and growing. So, we want to show you a few simple ways you can be more active in your children’s life, as well as do everything you’re used to doing!

Boy, Cute, Child, Infant, Indian, Asian, Kid, Childhood

Engage In Play

This is actually a big one that a lot of parents forget to do, because they’re not exactly sure what to do. Think about how many times you’ve been rushing around the house doing what you do, and your child has been sat playing with their toys chatting away to themselves. This is the perfect time to stop what you’re doing, and sit down for half an hour to actually play with them. Get down on their level, and actually show interest with what they’re doing. You need to make sure they’ve got a good set of toys, and if they need something new, you should definitely check out grimms toys for a colourful addition. You can also make sure you’re creating games to play with them. Whether it be you initiating hide and seek, or seeing who can paint the best picture!

Treat Them Like A Mini Adult

If you want to try and keep their troublesome younger child years as easy as possible, you need to try and make sure you’re treating them like a mini adult as much as possible. As they get towards the ages of 8 or 9 years, they want to be more independent, and as parents we generally don’t like that happen. We prefer to keep them bubble wrapped, and do absolutely everything for them, even when they don’t want us to. So, within reason, just let them do as they would like to do. If they want to dress themselves, let them chose what they’re going to wear for the day and just make sure it looks ok within reason. You can guide them on what looks good, but you don’t have to tell them what to wear.

Help Them With Friendships

Friendships are a big part of everyone’s life, and they really start to flourish during their younger school years. It’s a vital part of their lives where they learn how to socialise, and what to do during social situations. It’s also one of their main play outlets, especially when they’re at school or if you have playdates with your friends children. Help them to become confident in social situations, and teach the importance of sharing and being kind etc. They will keep these values with them for the rest of their life!

Men’s Guide To Wearing Their Jewellery Right

There was a time when men and jewellery came across as a mismatched combination but things have evolved on the fashion landscape today. The modern male is comfortable with flaunting stylish and trendy jewelry pieces and accessories. In fact, men’s jewelry is being used to add an impeccable appeal to various outfits for different occasions. While a sophisticated bracelet can build your image as that of a suave professional, a single hoop can make you look like an ultra-cool dude. But it is not just about the choice of the pieces that you wear but also how you wear them. Wearing the right pieces according to the occasion is important and so is carrying ones that match with your attire. If you have some swanky jewelry pieces in your collection but are not sure about wearing them right, here is a style guide to help you.

Simplicity equates masculinity

The rule of thumb for men’s jewelry jewellery style guide is to keep it simple as simplicity equates masculine appeal. A simple chain, for example, can elevate your look in the most effortless manner. You can opt for a thin chin if your taste is minimalistic or wear a thick one if you love to show off a little. Try a silver or gold chain with a talisman necklace if you are craving a little more attention but keep this look reserved for casual outings. You can wear a sleek bracelet in silver or gold on one wrist and have a classy luxury watch on the other. Tiny hoops or studs are the best in earring designs for the man of style and substance.

Less is more

Taking the minimalism rule to the next level, the advice for men is to follow the “less is more” mantra with jewelry. Specifically, you should be careful about not wearing multiple rings that attract unwarranted attention as it usually happens with those who wear colored gemstones on their fingers. If you are married, a simple wedding band is the best piece of jewelry that you can wear day and night. For the singles, you should wear one ring in each hand so that you are able to get attention without being too loud. A simple one in gold or platinum is great for work wear while you can opt for colored stones or talisman rings for casual wear.

Layering is in

Layering is a trend that has taken over the man’s and women’s fashion scenario in the last few years. You can use this style with chains and bracelets. Explore a range in thin and broad men’s chains here and buy them for your collection. Team two or more chains of varying lengths and thicknesses and look cool and trendy. You can play with layers on your wrists too, combining beaded bracelets with solid ones in gold and silver. What more, you can even wear a bracelet or two along with your watch if you are ready to experiment a little.

Make a style statement

Another tip to wear your jewelry right and look outstanding is by adhering to your personal style statement. Rather than just following trends, create a look that matches your personality and attitude.

For instance, if you are a cool dude type, try wearing multiple hoops in one ear. For men who prefer simplicity and sophistication, it would be a good idea to invest in simpler stuff such as an embossed bracelet or an insignia ring. Such pieces can replicate your personal style without being too loud. And if you have a point to make with your fashion sense, try wearing a statement pendant.

Distinguish casual and professional

An essential fact about men’s jewelry is that there should be a clear demarcation between casual and professional pieces. This is quite different from feminine jewelry trends, as many of the pieces can be worn both casually and formally by women. As a man, you need to be very sure about the jewelry that you can wear at work and the pieces that should be kept aside for weekends. After all, you would not want everyone to keep staring as you enter the boardroom with a necklace or earrings that get you undue attention for wrong reasons. For professional wear, stick to simple and sleek pieces while you can go wild with jewelry on casual outings.

Experiment now and then

If you are the one who loves to follow the fashion trends, there is no harm in going experimental now and then. Invest in some trendy pieces that you can wear on the days when you feel like acting crazy. Adding long chains, big pendants, colorful beaded bracelets, dangling earrings and gemstone rings to your collection is a good idea. You can even go creative and have some statement pieces customized from a designer. Mix and match these pieces to create experimental styles but make sure that you do not go over the board. Also, do not just step out for a formal evening or a professional meeting with one of these styles.

Follow the celebrities

Another handy tip to stay on top of jewelry trend is to follow your favorite celebrities who endorse men’s jewelry. Jay Z, Randy Jackson, Zayn Malik, Johnny Depp, Lenny Kravitz and Will Smith are just a few names that you can check out to stay updated with the latest trends in the industry. Keeping a close eye on these famed people can give you a good idea about the kind of pieces that you should stock for your collection. At the same time, buy and wear only those items that you can wear comfortably and frequently.

This fashion guide sums up everything that you should know about wearing men’s jewelry to look good and stand apart as well. Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned jewelry lover, try out these tips to buy the right pieces and flaunt them well enough. Surely, you will be able to get all the attention you deserve and have women swooning over your personal style!

Kiddyum Kids Meal | Review

Freddie is now over 14 months old and loves his food a lot and lets you know if he is still hungry by saying “more”.

I try and cook everything from fresh so when I cook something for us I will put some aside for Freddie but it is not always possible so it is nice to have a back up option in the house.

When working full time it is sometimes hard so I like to keep some ready meals in the freezer for him.  Weaning Freddie wasn’t hard as he eats pretty much everything you put in front of him which made it stress free.

I was sent 4 of Kiddyums ready meals made by Jayne  for review with Freddie.

My husband gave Freddie the Chicken curry one and said he ate half of it, and did enjoy it, but I didn’t manage to get any pictures. He said it smelt nice and looked yummy.

They can be ready in just 5 mins by microwaving them and following the instructions. You can purchase them from Sainsburys , Ocada and Co op.

I tried Freddie with the Fish and Veg Pie and again he ate half of it, he has been off his food a little recently has hes been poorly with a cough and cold.  It certainly looked tasty and had plenty of fish and veg in it with sauce too.

*We were sent the above products for the purpose of this review.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Meal Planning Monday 01/10/18

October, Well hello, nice to see you.  This month is going to be jam packed with birthdays and celebrations, starting with my birthday this Friday.

This week I will be cooking up:

Chicken tikka curry with boiled rice

Homemade Toad in the hole with Veg and gravy

Chicken enchiladas & homemade wedges

Lasagna & Garlic Bread

It’s My Birthday – Party Food

Cheese & Bacon Potato Skins with Beans and Salad

Roast Dinner with all the trimmings

What’s on your plate this week?

PoundToy Toys for £1 | Review

I had never heard of PoundToy before, but my sister  in law had worked with them and I was keen to get involved so was excited when they agreed to work with me.

There’s a huge selection to choose from,  not all at £1 but they have a large selection of goodies to choose from for all ages so you’ll be sure to find something you need.

I was given £50 to spend online, I picked gifts that I could give for Christmas or Birthday to family members.

There was plenty of branded and character related items such as playdoh and Graphix kits to choose, and the other non-branded stuff was perfect too. I went for a variety of things for Christmas and stocking fillers for my nephew and little boy plus stock items.

I struggled to work out what I wanted as there was so much to choose from, and with having nephews that are ages 4 – 11 and a little boy who’s 14 months so some was either too young or too old.

The website was really easy to navigate and the use of categories and filters made it easier to narrow down the search. I liked being able to go to the most popular department and then filtering by price from low to high. This worked well and helped me find the most toys for my money.

I would recommend using Pound Toys if you are looking for stocking fillers or presents for kid party’s, great value for money.

Meal Planning Monday 24/09/18

The nights are really drawing in now, and it’s dark before I know it.  When it’s cold and miserable I want nothing more than warm hearty meals like casseroles and stews and as all it seems to have done recently is rain it seemed like a perfect time to crack the slow cooker out and make some meals in it.  This is the last meal plan for the month of September too.

This week I will be cooking:

Sausage casserole and cheesy mash

Spaghetti bolognese and garlic bread

Chicken in red wine sauce with rice

Cottage pie, veg & gravy

Beef stew with dumplings

Burgers & Chips

Roast dinner with all the trimmings

Whats on your plate this week?

 

 

 

 

Everything for your home at Lionshome

Are you looking for new furniture to create a new room in your house or just update/replace your old stuff that you have fallen out of love with?

Look no further than Lionshome You can buy everything you can ever think of for every room in your house even the kitchen sink.  It helps you find all your items under one roof and directs you to the place to buy them and takes the stress out of shopping.

Lionshome website is really easy to negotiate around giving you clickable links for every room or item you are looking for.

My favourite products on the website and where I would put them

Arrrggghhh, this is actually more difficult than I thought as there is so much nice stuff, I want it all in my home.

Lounge

I would love this Table Mexican Pine corona Range unit, it would perfectly in the recess to put our television on and hide all the boxes and electrical in to prevent our little boy from thinking everything is a toy he can play with. It’s currently in the sale for £64.99 too, Bargain.

vidaXL Console Table Mexican Pine Corona Range 80x43x78 cm[2/5]

If our lounge was big enough I would love  this Stylish Coffee Table With Swivel panels – AVEIRO Walnut and White  as we currently have to use the fire place  or the gas meter boxing in as a table.

Garden

We only have a small garden and would love a bigger one next time around so there is plenty of space and room for Freddie and Carly the dog to run around

I would love some decent and comfy garden furniture this vidaXL Outdoor Lounge Set 15 Pieces Poly Rattan Whitewould be perfect but priced at £568.99 I think it is a little out our budget.

vidaXL Outdoor Lounge Set 15 Pieces Poly Rattan White[2/4]

A hot tub has always been a favourite of mine and would love a nice decking area to be able to have one so we could go out on an evening once Freddie is in bed with an alcoholic beverage and relax and unwind after a week at work.

Blue Hot Tub – Whirlpool Spa Bath – Outdoor – LAGOON Priced at £3999.00

 

Bedrooms

We have a 3 bed semi detached house but since having our little boy the spare room is full of boxes waiting to go in the loft of all his old toys and clothes.

How relaxing would this Leegt Custom Photo Mural 3D Wallpaper Forest White Pigeon Flower Vine Ceiling art be? You could put it in most rooms and it would be sure to take you away to a far away place.

 I love signs and this Let Him Sleep For When He Wakes He Will Move Mountains- Handmade Small Sign / Plaque  would look perfect in our little boys room over his cot bed

Would love Freddie to have a little corner in his room where he can relax and read his books or play with his toys and this Indoor/outdoor bean bag from Little Bertha would be a perfect addition and priced at £19.95 makes it even easier.  

What did we think of the Lionshome website?

The website is really easy to navigate, when you scroll down it directs you to different sections which you may be interested in, then on the left hand side once you have clicked into it will give you another list of the items available in that section

*This post is in Collaboration with Lionshome

Meal Planning Monday 17/09/18

Where are these weeks going? It’s scary how fast they are disappearing.   The weather has had it’s ups and downs too, we even resorted to putting the heating on over the weekend because it was cold and damp.

This week we are having:

Tuna pasta bake

Chicken in white wine sauce with rice

Lamb chops with veg and gravy

Pan Fried Pork with homemade wedges

Toad in the hole with creamy mash and gravy

Loaded baked potato casserole

Roast beef with all the trimmings

What is on your plate this week?