pages

Prep for the week ahead...


Happy Tuesday everyone! Today I thought id share my tips on how to prep for the week ahead, great if you short on time and so helpful when on Slimming World.

I have started to get busier and busier and having things ready and prepared ahead of time is so important and helpful when it comes to staying on plan. Having things ready in the fridge and freezer means when i get up in the morning or come in late i can just grab somthing and have breakfast or dinner ready in minutes.


Here are a few examples.

Hard boiled eggs-  these are great for on toast in the morning, part of lunch and even a snack after gym. You can also chop them up and add them to salad for that extra bit of protein.

Strawberries or other fruit - I always have a tub of chopped strawberries in my fridge and freezer ready to have with yogurt or just by themselves. Great in over night oats too.

Chopboxes - I have two that I like to keep. One is for salads, omelets etc and has things like celery, peppers and red onion in it. The other is for sauce bases and has onion, celery and garlic in it. I also sometimes add carrot. ( can be kept in the freezer ) Its a great way to speed up dinner/cooking as all the chopping is done and you are insuring to get that little bit of extra free/speed food into your meal.


If you know you have a busy week ahead and have a spare hour or so why not prepare a few meals and have them ready in the freezer. Things like meatballs, cottage pie or lasagna are great as you can just take them out of the freezer in the morning and pop them in the oven when you get home.


Taking a little time to prepare will make a huge difference to your week, so if you dont already why not give it a try.

For other tips on how to stay on plan just follow this link .

Natural Lemon and Honey facemask...


The boys are asleep and i'm taking some me time ! Which means the Crime channel, a cup of coffee and a facemask! Tonight i'm treating myself to a lemon and honey facemask, for the second time! I just love it!
Its perfect for combination skin and leaves your skin refreshed and glowing.


All you need is a squirt of honey and a squeeze of lemon. Then give it a good stir and apply to your face using a foundation brush. Leave it for 10 minutes and then rinse with warm water. So simple.


If you add egg white to the lemon and honey it is a great breakout or acne clearing facemask. It will repair damaged skin and fight bacteria.

Why not give it a try, you wont regret it!

Hope you are all having a wonderful Saturday! <3

Beautiful Hertfordshire - Family Walk



I am so blessed to live where I do, not may people have such beauty on their doorstep.
And today we took full advantage of the sunshine and our surroundings and went for a family walk through the horse field and bluebell forest. It was just so wonderful! God really is a magnificent artist!

 Bluebells, a favorite in the spring.

 My boys and Angel.

 Jumping off our favorite log. It was two years ago that i visited this log with Ben, just days old.

 BIG JUMP!

 Running through the bluebells.

 A boy and his best friend.

 Just so beautiful.

Found a little hideaway.

What did you get up to today?

Banana, Honey and Walnut Muffins...


Happy Sunday all!! Hope you have all had a fabulous weekend and been enjoying the sunshine.

Today I descovered 3 bananas that escaped my sons clutches and had gone a little past their best, So instead of making the norm, which is banana bread. I decided to make muffins! :)
These muffins are great for breakfast or even a snack and are naturally sweetened by the banana and honey. NO SUGAR!

Ingredients

250g Self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb
pinch salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
75g melted butter
2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 good squeezes of honey, extra to serve
125ml milk
3 small very ripe bananas
50g walnuts


Method

1. Preheat your oven to 180C Fan. Sieve your dry ingredients into a bowl and crumble in your walnuts. Mix to combined.
2. In another bowl mix your eggs, vanilla, honey and milk.
3. Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients an then pour in your wet ingredients along with your bananas roughly chopped. Gentle mix together with a fork. Dont over mix, just till combined.
4. Place a heaped tbsp in your cupcake/muffin cases with a walnut half and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Until golden and cooked through.
5. Drizzle with honey as soon as they come out the oven and then leave to cool.


They are delciously moist and have a great natural sweetness. This recipe makes 12 - 14 small/medium sized muffins.

recipe - mine

Strawberry Overnight Oats...


Overnight Oats have taken the Slimming World world by storm and everyone is just loving how easy and delicious they are. Its a great breakfast or even desert and can be ready in the fridge when ever you want it.


Ingredients

Handful of strawberries, chopped (fresh or frozen)
couple tbsp oats (35g oats is a HE B)
couple tbsp fat free Greek yogurt
2 tsp of sweetener
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 jar you can close or use a bowl and cover with cling-wrap

Method

1. Start with your strawberries and layer with yogurt, vanilla, sweetener and oats, repeat for a second layer.
2. Seal and then pop in the fridge over night.
3. In the morning give it stir and enjoy.


You can of course used flavored yogurt like Vanilla Muller Light but just make sure to check the syns.

syns - free unless not using oats as HE then add 6.
recipe - mine

Beef and Mushroom Pies featuring Joules Animal Ceramic Plates...


Sun is out , the days are long and the weather is warming up which to me means Picnic time and these little beef and mushroom pies are great for just that.

As these are not made with steak it does take a few hours to cook but the recipe is still really easy, here is how to make them.


Ingredients

400g cubed beef
300g mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 pints of beef stock
sprig or 2 of rosemary
1 large onion, roughly chopped 
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper
ready made puff pastry
1 egg, beaten


 Method

1. In a large pan fry your onion and brown your meat. Then pour over the stock, chuck in some rosemary and bring to the boil. Once boiled for a few minutes turn down heat to a simmer and leave to cook for about 3 hours. You want the meat to break down and become soft but keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't catch or run out of liquid.
2. Once your meat is cooked add your mushrooms, paprika and seasoning and cook for a further 15 minutes or so. You want a slightly thick gravy. If its not you can add a tbsp of gravy powder. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
2. Cut 3 - 4 circles out of your ready rolled pastry, using a bowl as a template and fill half with the beef and mushroom mixture. Fold over and then crimp with a fork.
3. Brush with your egg and season with your salt and pepper. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 - 30 minutes at 160 fan.
4. Once golden and crispy remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly and then wrap ready for your picnic.


I served mine with a few salad leaves and some strawberries but feel free to go wild with what you take along.


These pies are super tasty and juicy thanks to the slow cooking. And the puff pastry gives them a wonderful crispy outside.
They are also great served with some mash and gravy for dinner.


Now I couldn't end this post without directing your attention to the amazing plates. These beauties are from Joules and cost just £8.95 each. They are classed as side plates but are still a good size. My choices are along a woodland theme but you can also get a cow, dog and chicken as well as floral print. They are truly lovely and I can't wait to grow my collection. Matching tea towels and aprons are also available.

If you would like to get your hands on these GORGEOUS side plates you can find them here.

recipe - mine
sponsored

Notebooks by Toni Owers...


Last month I decided to treat myself to a little something and ordered these fabulously adorable notebooks by Toni Owers, otherwise known as the wonderful Lemon Freckles ! 


Toni has the most wonderful blog, Instagram and Etsy Store filled with all things pretty, cute and magical! She is one of what I like to call my 'blogging unicorns' . Bloggers that fill my heart with sunshine and rainbows :)


These gorgeous little notebooks cost just £6 for 3 or £2.20 each. Cant go wrong really!
I use one for Slimming World Notes and another for creating recipes. The 3rd is currently awaiting its purpose in life but it will have one soon enough!


If you would like to get your hands on these little beauties then head over to her Etsy Store and make sure to check out her blog! Its wonderful!

Crispy Chicken, Chili Fries and Pepper Slaw...


This dish is inspired by a recipe I saw in this months Slimming World Magazine. I read it and it sounded delicious but then misplaced my magazine so had to improvise a bit. It is quite similer to a recipe I posted awhile ago Crispy Southern Fried Chicken but instead of rice crispies and creme fraiche I used wholemeal rolls and fromage frais.

I can't even begin to tell you how yummy it is! Another great fakeaway!

Ingredients

for chicken
4 wholemeal rolls
5 - 6 skinless drumsticks
tbsp fat free fromage frais
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic salt
1tsp mixed herbs
salt and pepper
Fry light

for fries
3 Large potatoes, cut into fries
1 tsp chilli
1 tsp cayenne
salt
Fry light

for slaw
1 red, yellow, orange and green pepper, sliced thinly
1 small onion, sliced thinly
2 tbsp fat free fromage frais
2 tbsp light mayo
salt and pepper



Method

1. For the chicken. Break your rolls into pieces and bake on a tray for a few minutes. This is just to dry them out slightly so you can get a really crispy coating.
2. In the meantime mix your herbs and spices in with the fromage frais and  coat your drumsticks. The Slimming World recipes uses egg white I believe but using the fromage frais makes the chicken super juicy.
3. Remove your rolls from the oven and crumble onto a plate. Season and then coat your chicken and place on a lined baking tray. Spray with a little Fry light and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 160 fan. You want the chicken to be cooked through and the coating golden and crispy.
4. For the fries. In a pan boil your fries for 10 min then drain, dry and transfer to a baking tray. Season with salt, chilli and cayenne and spray with fry light. Bake in the oven until golden.
5. For Slaw. In a large bowl coat your peppers and onion with the mayo and fromage frais. Season.
6. Serve hot out the oven on a big platter so everyone can just dig in.


The chicken is so juicy and the wholemeal rolls make such a crispy coating! It really hits the spot and curves the craving for greasy fried chicken.


If you would rather cook the SW version you can find it in this months magazine. Their version is 1 syn pp using the rolls as a HE. Otherwise add 6 syns.

syns - 2 using rolls as HE or add 6 syns
recipe - mine/inspired by SW

Hot Cross Easter Loaf...



Its Good Friday so I thought I would share something good with you all! A deliciously decadent Easter Loaf that is a cross between a hot cross bun and a cinnabon. 

Its filled with dried fruits, a buttery sugary center and drizzled with glaze, seriously good stuff!


Ingredients

for the bread
4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup dried fruit
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
grated nutmeg
1 packet of dried active yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup whole milk
good nob (4 tbsp) butter

for filling
nob (3 tbsp) butter, softened 
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 egg, beaten

for glaze
icing sugar
vanilla extract
whole milk

Method
1. In a pan melt your butter. Add you milk and sugar and when just above luke warm add your yeast. leave for 5 - 10 min.
2. Meanwhile in put your flour, spices and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combined. Then add your fruit, beaten egg and milk/butter mixture. Bring together with a fork and then tip onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
3. After 10 minutes place in a greased bowl and leave to rise in a warm dry place for about 1 1/2 hours. You want it to double in size.
4. Meanwhile make your filling just mixing the butter, sugar, cinnamon and orange zest together.


5. Once your dough is risen remove and roll out on a floured surface. Sprinkle with the filling and then roll pinching the seem together with a little egg.
6. Trim the sides and then place in a greased and floured loaf tin. Then cover and leave to rise a second time. About an 1 1/2 hours. You want it to slightly come over the top.


7. Once risen, brush with egg and place in a preheated ( 160 fan) oven for 40 minutes.
8. When golden, remove from the oven and leave to cool, remove from tin after about 20 minutes. It needs to be cooled before you add the glaze.


9. While the bread is cooling make your glaze, just mix together the icing sugar, milk and vanilla. Adding very little vanilla and milk. You want it a drizzable consistency.
10. Once the bread is cooled drizzle with the glaze.


Cut nice thick slices and if you feeling super naughty why not add a little butter. You can even toast it slightly under the grill.
I wouldn't put it into the toaster because of the glaze and sugar center. It could get sticky.

syns - just SO many
recipe - mine

Travel the Mediterranean with Slimming World...


This morning I received my copy of the new Slimming World recipe book Mediterranean Magic and have spent the morning reading through it and marking down recipes that I want to try this summer.

It's a gorgeous book! The recipes and pictures are all so vibrant and look absolutely delicious.

This beautiful hard cover book features more then 100 recipes and takes you through France, Spain & Portugal, North America, Italy, Greece and the Middle East & Turkey.


You will find all your summer holiday favorites and more, all following the food optimizing healthy eating plan. People wont believe you when you tell them you can lose weight eating these dishes.


The recipes are easy to follow and will suit all ranges of cooking skills.


The Mediterranean Magic Book will be available in your Slimming World Groups in the UK and Island from the 6th April and will cost just £9.99. Make sure to get your hands on it!


A few of the recipes are featured in this months Slimming World Magazine. Why not try one out.

Easter Nails from Barry M Quick Dry...


This week I treated myself to a few beauty bits and this pretty trio was bought especially for Easter.

This is the first time I have tried Barry M's new Quick Dry nail paint and  I love it! Being a mum to a toddler I NEVER have time for my nails to dry so I constantly have smudged nails but this has seemed to have solved that problem. So thank you Barry M.


The Quick Dry nail paints have a bit of a car/racing theme which I love as I am currently learning how to drive, I  don't think I will being saying eat my dust any time soon though, I am only on my 5th lesson.

The Quick Dry Nail paints dry within minutes leaving you with pretty nails in hurry. As they say... Wet, Set, GO!


Lap of Honour is a beautiful pastel purple/lilac colour.


Eat my Dust, a pretty pastel blue.


Road Rage, a lovely pastel green.

Quick Dry Nail Paint is available in 9 different colours, the three above and then 6 more . You can buy them from Boots or Online at BarryM.com . Boots is currently doing a 3 for 2 deal so I would definitely recommend popping in and having a look. They are £3.99 each.