Monday, 11 July 2016

Meal Plan

Sausage Casserole - I plan to make this with onion, leek, apples, cider and sage with lots of vegetables and mash. This will probably be our 'sunday dinner' this week!

Waitrose pasta with side salad. I bought two packs of my favourite Waitrose fresh pasta; the pea and ham for the kids and pumpkin and pine nut for John and I. this is literally one of my favourite meals! I drizzle a bit of olive oil over the cooked pasta, sometimes add some rocket if I have some and Bobs your uncle!

Chicken korma with spinach and rice.

McDonalds. It is Austin's birthday on Friday and I know he will want to eat at Maccies for his Birthday tea! I usually get a hamburger, fries and bottle of water. I know I know, so adventurous! 

Dinner with my parents. Usually we have a meal with my mum and dad every week. I think my Dad is planning to make a Mediterranean style fish stew with clams and prawns. Yummo!

*images courtesy of google images*

Sunday, 1 May 2016

The Lust List: New Look

Saving for a wedding means less shopping. It means a lot more internet browsing! I was on the New Look website for a good hour today, adding all sorts to my basket and pretending like I could afford to buy them. Here are the pieces that made it in to my fantasy basket.

This skirt is right up my street. I love the stripes, the waist tie, and the cross over detail of the front.

I really like these sandals. The blue colour would pop against a tan and chances are I couldn't get them on my tiny, fat feet but that doesn't mean I wouldn't try and squeeze my piggies in! Beachy!

I have seen these frill dresses all over the place and I love the denim version that New Look has to offer. My shoulders are a part of my body that I quite like and I think this dress is just so cute and comfy. I would probably look about 12 wearing this but actually I don't even care!

Can you tell I am feeling the blues this season? This sweatshirt is adorable and exactly the type of thing I wear daily on the school run. 

More blue! I am obsessed with the colour way of this Missoni-inspired vest top. I'm not sure I could ever actually wear this; would my mum-tum be hanging out or could my 5'2 frame get away with it skimming my ruined belly button?

I purchased a pair of black dungarees a few months ago; half expecting never to wear them. I have actually worn them to death and would love a light wash pair for the warmer months. These are perfect!

I'm blue, da ba de da ba dai... This playsuit is heavenly. This is basically me in a garment. Long sleeves, shown off shoulders, stripes, waist defining. I really think I may have to pick this one up soon!

Oh I love this swimsuit. The colour is gorgeous, and is one that really suits my skin tone. I am not one for bikini's these days but I love that this swimsuit has the cute little cut out on the front, aswell as a low back. It doesn't feel quite as mumsy as most suits do and means I can still flash a bit of flesh; just the smooth, stretch mark free bits!

Overall I am pretty impressed with New Look at the mo. Now if only my fairy godmother could sneak a wee gift card underneath my pillow tonight...A girl can dream.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

The Boden Preview: Autumn 2016

The Boden sale preview is here! I have always been such a big fan of Boden, particularly their children's range. Nothing beats it in terms of quality and hardiness. I think the only pair of trousers that Austin didn't manage to wear a hole in were some tartan baggies he had a couple of years ago, and he wore them to death!

I have picked out my absolute favourite pieces from the new collection, although lets be honest, I could happily roll around in every single piece!

Naturally we have to start with the Baby Boden collection. Bryony is now 2 and a half (albeit a small 2 and a half!) so the time that she will be able to fit into the baby collection is limited and this does make me well up a little. I was thrilled to see that they are now doing some of the baby Boden pieces up to 3-4 years, which gives me a whole extra year or so to be able to buy from it, which I hope to throughly make the most of! The collection for baby girls this year is particularly stunning. Cord, squirrels and florals galore. What is not to love about that?!

The Mini Boden Girl's collection is equally beautiful. I LOVE the hotchpotch floral dresses on either side, they remind me very much of dresses I saw in Portugal last summer and I think the navy one would suit Bryony's colouring perfectly. Some more lovely casual bits; I adore the tree print on the casual smock dress and cord skirt, as well as the ever popular rainbow detail pieces too which would be adorable for playgroup or nursery.

An honourable mention must go to the PJs. Bryony would love the doggy print, and I particularly love those vibrant green sheep printed ones! 

The boy's Mini Boden collection for Autumn is equally cute! Austin is almost 5 and now at school full time, so I don't find he needs as many clothes as his younger sister. I think these pyjamas are just adorable jammies for little boys! They have an autumal theme with conkers, bugs and trees. I definitely want to get him a pair of the tartan baggies and this pig top is super cute and funny too!

I don't tend to reach for the ladies collections in Boden; I am in my early twenties and to be honest most of their pieces don't excite me. I do love this dress though. In a mint green colour, a flattering shape and cute bird print I could definitely see myself in this!

Have you checked out the Boden Preview yet? Which are your favourite pieces? 

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Battling Bryony!

Today we had a rough day with Bryony. She is 2 and a few months, and in many ways I feel she has somewhat skipped the 'terrible twos' or 'tantrum' stage. Bryony's speech is great her for her age. Because of this, she can generally communicate easily what she needs or wants. In lots of ways I feel she is more of a threenager! We get lots of 'leave me alone', slamming doors and sulking. Bryony is a spirited child who doesn't shy away from confrontation, and I have lots of days where it feels as though I am constantly arguing or bargaining with her. In so many ways she is so grown up for her age, but in as many others she is still so much still a baby. She needs my touch and warmth in a way her big brother is growing out of, and her crying habits could rival a newborn! 

Today was a flood of tears from start to finish. It began with a trip out to our local garden centre. Bryony decided she wanted to sit in the front seat, and for the first half of the journey she screamed at me to 'get out my seat mummy!' I might add, she has never actually travelled in the front seat of a car in her life, but she did not let this one go. We listened to her howl for the rest of the journey, with poor Austin begging me to swap seats to shut her up! Again, another meltdown because she did not want me to buy a 'disgusting poo' bag of compost. This continued right through to bedtime when she finished off the day with an epic meltdown of gargantuan proportions triggered by not being allowed to take her wet facecloth to bed. We battled, and battled, and battled. In the end, we closed her bedroom door and turned the light off; at our wits end and not sure what else to do to calm her down. Seconds later, she is quiet as a mouse and putting herself to bed, kissing each teddy goodnight and telling them 'go to sleep babies or Austin be cwoss!'

This girl never ceases to surprise me! As grown up and tough as she is in so many ways, I try to remind myself that she is really still just my baby and to not expect too much of her. Not a day goes by where she doesn't make me laugh and I couldn't be more proud of the little girl she is growing into: headstrong, clever and charismatic!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Meal Ideas, Easter Week

On Easter Sunday, we will be eating a roast leg of lamb which is very traditional here in the UK! I think my Dad will cook it as we are eating there for Easter Sunday, and I imagine he will do something fancy with it, as he usually does. I will sort the pudding, like I usually do. Haven't decided what I want to do yet...

For the rest of the week and weekend, here are some of the meals I want to cook this week.

Jamie Oliver's Golden Chicken. From the 15 Minute Meals cookbook, and a firm favourite in our household! It really doesn't take 15 minutes to make but is delicious nonetheless.

Spaghetti Bolognese. I plan to get some mince beef from the butcher and make a good ol' Spag Bol, with extra mushrooms, peppers and grated carrot. The kids favourite, and one of mine too!

Cod Traybake. This is a recipe I kind of made up when we didn't have much in, but I have been doing it pretty often ever since. I pop some cod fillets in a tray with tinned plum tomatoes, olives, capers, and whatever veggies I have floating around in the freezer. I usually serve it with potatoes but this would work well with bread too! An easy, quick midweek dinner and super healthy too.

Roast Duck. With roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips, and maybe some greens on the side too.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Toddler Spring Wardrobe Wishlist: Next, Joules and Boden!

So spring is around the corner, Easter is a week away and the daffodils are bursting open to welcome the sunshine back in to our wet little country. Finally!

I would not consider myself to be a winter person. At all! I like sunshine and the vibrancy that spring and summer bring. Spring is probably my favourite season of all; it symbolises new life and for me that is a such a positive notion to be a part of. The evenings slowly begin to draw out and the sun rises earlier, which makes it so much easier to get up for the dreaded school run every day. I can practically feel my skin soaking up the vitamin D and starting to turn golden again on the odd occasion we get a day of sunshine. I love this time of year and I can't wait for what this spring and summer is going to bring!

One of my favourite things about the warmer weather is how carefree my children seem. There isn't the battle every morning stuffing them into coats, hats, snowsuits and welly boots. Throw on a pair of shorts, t-shirts, cardie and we are good to go! Living on a farm, in the winter, there is mud EVERYWHERE. Even the walk from our front door to the car results in at least one child splattered with mucky water from the puddles, and I can't wait for the time when my driveway will at last be dry. What a funny thing to get excited about, eh!

I just love dressing my kids in the summer. I love the shopping for it even more! As usual, I have been browsing online for some special pieces for my children this season, and I thought I would share some with you!

Usually, my first port of call for my children's apparel needs is the Little Bird range at Mothercare. Unfortunately, I have been a little disappointed with this season's new collection, so I don't think much will be coming home with us this time.

I was browsing my local Next store a week or so ago and lots of lovely items caught my eye for Bryony. Having a better look online, the Padstow range is totally up my street. Not only do I adore Padstow as a holiday destination (we visit Cornwall nearly every year), this little selection of nautical inspired clothes is just beautiful and I may have to make a cheeky purchase or two soon to bulk out Bryony's summer wardrobe.

1. Pink Lighthouse skirt. Girly and pretty! 
2. Boat vest tops A practical, useful addition for hot summer days. 
3. Denim Lighthouse tunic dress adorable on a spring day with long socks and converse. Oooh!
4. Stripe nautical blouse The stripes, the collar, the appliqué...oh my!
5. Retro shirt dress  Possibly my favourite of it all. I love the shape, so very retro.
6. Pink canvas trousers Another practical, useful item that would go with everything. Every little girl needs a few pairs of jeans and trousers in her wardrobe for days playing at the park. 
7. Red waterproof jacket The colour of this is gorgeous, a rich strawberry red. Toggles too!
8. Whale Jumper This is actually from the baby section which I noticed now goes up to 24m! I could get a few months wear out of the 18-24m for Bryony so worth getting I think! Perfect for when we go whale watching in August. 
9. Denim smock romper Very unpractical for a potty training toddler but I just love the smocking detail! Fingers crossed I can get this in the sale for next summer when she is confident using the toilet. 

I have to say that I adore the whole colour way here. Blue has always been one of my favourite colours and I love dressing both of my children in blue. Paired with soft pinks, cream and red, I feel that this selection is girly, young and epitomises the spirit of a great British summer! If only I could buy it all!

When I ask Bryony what she would like to wear, she without fail always picks out anything from Joules with a horse on. I am still squeezing her into a jersey baby set, and jersey dress which are in 12-18months, and would love to get her some new bits for my horse mad girl! Here are the ones I think Bryony would love.

1. Horse print leggings; Like I said Bryony is horse mad; she would love these!
2. 'Giddy Up' t-shirt. One of her favourite things to say while she rides her hobby horse.
3. Geometric flag leggings. These are a pretty cool print and would jazz up a plain t-shirt for warm spring days at the park. 

Joules can get pretty expensive, but these three items are on a 3 for £29.50 deal which saves over a tenner. Pair that with a 20% voucher code and that's a pretty good saving overall! I may have to use her birthday money for these bits soon...

Lastly, an honourable mention goes to Mini Boden for their spring/summer collection. To be honest Boden is one of those brands which never disappoints. The level of quality is second to none; I haven't found a high street store that matches in terms of quality. I rarely buy much from Boden simply because the prices are too high for our budget. These are a few of my favourite pieces (note, lots of dogs, whales, horses and rainbows!)

Have you seen any lovely items for your children in the shops this Spring? Please let me know about any pretty bits and bobs you see on your travels. <3

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Meal Inspiration | Slimming World Style

The first groceries and meal plan I have shown for a good while... and something a little different in that I am now following the Slimming World healthy eating plan. I wanted to trim down a little bit after gaining weight following the birth of my second baby. So far I have done quite well on the plan (more on that later!)

Here are some of the recipes I want to cook this week for our tea time meals!

Prawn Stir Fry. Loads of vibrant vegetables, fresh prawns, perhaps some rice or noodles whichever I fancy! I will probably have this with some sweet chilli sauce for flavour, along with fresh chilli and ginger in the stir fry for tons of flavour.

Fish Pie. I don't slimming world-ify this meal, I just use a few syns for the sauce, which I make the traditional way with a roux and fish stock. Mash on top and lots of greens on the side too. Proper comfort food!

Homemade Nandos. One of our favourite meals, I use the coat n' cook pouches to marinade the chicken thighs before I griddle them. We usually have typical 'Nando's' sides such as homemade sweet potato wedges, grilled corn on the cob, macho peas with chilli and mint, spicy rice and lots of fresh salad.

Diet Coke chicken. I am not a huge fan of coke these days, especially diet, but so many of my slimming world group members rave about this meal done in the slow cooker with peppers, onions and other vegetables. I want to give it a go this week!

Salmon, farfalle pasta with asparagus, peas, broccoli and a sauce made from fish stock, soft cheese and herbs.

Here's to a happy, healthy week!


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