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Peppermint Tea Cooler...


A quick little recipe for you all.

Recently I have cut down my coffee and replaced it with peppermint tea but with the warmer weather creeping in I thought having some iced tea would be a better choice. So I came up with this Peppermint Cooler that can be ready in the fridge when ever I want it.



Ingredients

2 or 3 bags peppermint tea
1 pint of hot water
half lemon
ice to serve
sweetener optional

Method

1. Pop your teabags into a jug with your water and let it sit for a good 10 minutes. You can add sweetener at this point but I prefer it without.
2. After 10 min remove the teabags and place in a jug with a few slices of lemon. Then pop in the fridge and let it cool completely.
3. Serve with a slice of lemon, fresh mint and some ice.


This is not only refreshing but good for you too, especially if you are on a detox.

recipe - mine
syn - free

Beef Koftas...


Koftas come from the Middle East but have become popular all over the world because they take something as simple as mince and make it into something exotic.  They are incredibly easy to make and cook within minutes. Great for both under the grill and on the BBQ.

*remember if using wooden skewers to soak them over night so not to burn.

Ingredients

1 medium red onion, chopped
500g extra - lean minced beef
1 large red chili, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
salt and freshly ground pepper
fry light
1 tsp curry powder optional

8 skwewers



Method

1. Finely chop the red onion and place in a bowl with the beef, chili, garlic and some seasoning. Mix well to combined.
2. Divide the mince into 8 equal portions and shape around your skewers. Sprinkle with a little curry powder for an extra kick- optional
3. Spray with a little fry light and then pop under the grill or on the BBQ for 10 - 15 minutes (can vary depending on size) until they are cooked through and browned on the outside. Always keep an eye on them and remember to turn.
4. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of chili and onion.



This would be great on a SP day if served with a salad or some side vegetables.

recipe - mine
syns - free if using lean mince.

Rose Petal Shortbread...


Today I felt like baking so baking is what I did :)

As I didn't really know what I wanted to bake I looked in my cupboard for inspiration and found a little packet of rose petals from The Spicery  that my friend gave me and I immediately thought shortbread.


This is a basic shortbread recipe that I then added the rose petals to. It works every time so is a great recipe to keep in your kitchen.

Ingredients

125g butter
55g caster sugar
180g plain flower
rose petals - for baking


Method

1. Heat your oven to 160 fan. Cream your butter and sugar in a bowl. I love to use a wooden spoon, reminds me of when i was a child and baking with my granny.
2. Then add your flour and bring together, adding your petals half way through.


3. When everything has come together gently roll out to about 1 cm thick. The dough is very delicate. Then cut into rounds using a cutter or a glass.
4. Place on a lined baking tray with a sprinkling of caster sugar and then pop in the fridge for 20 min. After 20 min place in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes. You want them to be a light golden colour.
5. Leave to cool.


You end up with the most buttery, creamy yet crispy shortbread. Just delicious!


These are perfect for a gift or even an afternoon tea. The rose petals add a very subtle flavor but give the shortbread a bit of elegance. Choc chips would work too.

Welcome to our Amazing Team...


Big news... I GOT THROUGH!!! *YAY* I am so excited!

For those that have no idea what I am on about I will update you :) I am sure you can probably tell I am a massive lover and believer in Slimming World and as briefly mentioned in last weeks post I got through to the second round and went for my interview to become an Consultant.

Well on Saturday the post man delivered the good news in the form of a lovely welcome pack!! Whoop Whoop!! "Welcome to our AMAZING Team" such fabulous words to hear/see on a Saturday morning!


As I have a few things to sort and some holidays booked I am looking at attending training in September and hopefully starting my very OWN group towards the end of this year or the beginning of next. It will be in the Batford area hopefully and run in line with the wonderful Harpenden group.


All I have to do now is sit down with my pack, read through it and then sign on the dotted line. I am so excited for what the future holds. I am so passionate about Slimming World and cant wait to help others get back on track and find their body confidence.

If you are interested in joining SW next year and would like to be part of my group please let me know, that way I can make sure to update you with what is happening. You can also follow me on Twitter for lots of life updates :)

Natural Remedy for Chicken Pox - Oat Bath...'The wonder bath'


I'm not sure about your area but Chickenpox has been making the rounds and yes I was one of those mums that was like "please can my child play with yours" . Of course it's not nice having a sick child or purposely making your child ill but chickenpox is one of those viruses you want your child to get young as it can be very dangerous later in life. Getting it early also means you wont really remember it, which I defiantly don't. Another reason for wanting Ben to get it is that we are due to go on holiday in 4 weeks so its better to get it out the way now rather then leave it to chance and end up having to cancel our holiday due to not being able to fly.

In hindsight though I wish I had been a bit more prepared before thrusting my child into the nasty grasp of the chickenpox monster. Mentally, emotionally and physically. Ben being just two and not really understanding what was happening really struggled, especially when the 2nd wave hit and constantly said 'help help help' which made me feel completely helpless and cruel for making him catch the nasty virus in the first place. Night time was/has been the worst with high temperatures and broken sleep . 3am Wiggles and Pepper Pig (or as Ben calls it George) seemed to be the only comfort as well as lots of cuddles. Food has also been an issue with his appetite being non existent and him being quite weak  and grouchy because of it.

So like allot of mums and dads these days I took to google to try and find something to soothe and comfort my child. - what in earth would we do without google!!!!!???? And after ALLOT of research found a natural remedy using oats, bicarb, coconut oil and salt. THE OAT BATH!! Which I now call the 'wonder bath' !!!! Allot of people say don't bath your child as it can burst the blisters but just 5 short minutes in a lukewarm bath really, i mean REALLY made a difference in Ben's mood and his with his spots. The redness seemed to calm down and the spots in general looked and seem to be allot less painful and itchy.

Here is how to make this wonder bath...

Ingredients

1 cup oats
2 tbsp bicarb
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp coconut oil

1 new/old pair of tights or an old sock
scissors
large glass/pint glass

recipes can vary but this is the one I used

Method

1. Cut the bottom of your tight off a couple of inches from the foot and then cut yourself another small piece to use like an elastic band. You can just use an elastic band and a sock.
2. Place your piece of tight/sock into your glass folding the top over the top of the glass. This makes it easier to get the oats into the opening.


3. Pour your oats into the tight/sock. Then place your sock over the opening of the tap opening and secure using your piece of tight or elastic band. You want the water to be able to pass through the oats so don't seal the opening.     [Turn up your heating if cold]


4. Once secure start running the bath. While its running add the rest - bicarb, salt and coconut oil. DON'T MAKE THE BATH TO HOT!
5. Swish the water abit to make sure everything is dissolved and give the tight a little squeeze to release some of the milky/starchy water.
6. Using a jug gently pour over your child. Try not to keep them in the bath for to long.
7. Get them out of the bath and let then dry naturally as you don't want to burst any of the
blisters by rubbing them with a towel.

a happier spotty little man

I then dabbed on some calamine lotion on the spots and dressed him in sleepsuit to prevent him from scratching.

Ben with his Angel

I cant' begin to tell you what a difference it made. He seemed so much more relaxed and really helped with those hard to reach spots, like the ones in his hair and around his groin. ( note your little ones hair will be a little oily as you don't want to rinse it ) 
I did this once of twice a day and the oat bag can be used up to 3 times.

Natural remedies are the preferred thing these days but I did also use everything the doc/pharmacist said to.


Calamine lotion - to help with the sting and itch as well as dry out the spots, Nurofen - for fever and pain and Piriton  - for relief. ViraSoothe is another cream you can use on the spots, I found it great for his face.

Please always read instructions and talk to a Doc or Pharmacist before giving your child anything.
The oat bath is also something I researched(ALLOT) and used at my own risk. 

Chickenpox is very contagious especially 10 days before and while the spots are coming out. Once they have scabbed over you should be in the clear and your child can have a social life again.

I really hope other mums find this post helpful and if you are a mum or dad nursing a little one back to health I send you so much love as it is so hard seeing your little one like that and completely exhausting at the same time.

Illustrations By Sophie Wyle...


Sophie oh Sophie how you make my inner artist smile and at the same time turn green with envy!

Sophie is an artisit I found on Instagram and totally fell in love with! Her illustrations are beautiful and she is just adorable!!!! If you aren't following her FOLLOW her NOW!!



Sophie does the most amazing portraits using ink and watercolour . Her use of lines is just stunning and her trademark cheeks totally had me hooked on her style as they are so unique.

I was even lucky enough to have my portrait done which I am having framed for my 1 year remission anniversary. The photo she chose is from my first birthday since beating cancer as captures my mood and smile perfectly! - She even captured my slightly wonky eye which I LOVE!!



She is just so talented and would love a whole wall covered in her illustrations! I have commented so many times on her page that she needs to set up an etsy with prints. When she does i'l be her first customer!



She doesn't only do portraits but some amazing abstract art too which totally speaks to my soul and is like a reflection of me in high school! I would love to find my old sketch book to show her. 

These are some recent posts off her Instagram that I LOVE!! How she managed to look so beautiful with her face pressed up on a photocopier I will never know he he 


Sophie Wyle your art and Instagram will forever have my heart! <3

If you would like to see more of her beautiful art you can find her tumblr here .

all pics are from sophie's Instagram and tumblr

Hitting the weightloss WALL...


If you are or know someone that is a Marathon runner/ Runner you will now of the term hitting the wall, which basically means that your body and mind suddenly come to an halt and it can be tremendously hard to carry on and push through. Well I have applied this term to my weightloss at the moment. As I have mentioned before despite my enthusiasm I have really struggled since getting back from holiday and just seem to be going back and forth, losing one week and gaining the next.

I keep telling myself there must be another reason for it, like everyone's favorite 'muscle weighs more then fat' but the truth of the matter is is that it is completely my own fault. I have fallen back into old habits and seem to be completely ignoring my own advice when it comes to writing things down and measuring everything etc.

Everyday I wake up feeling positive and ready to kick ass in the food department but by the evening its 'oh i'l just have a little sandwich'  which then turns into 2 maybe even 3. Or its a 'one sweet/biscuit wont hurt' but in truth I end up having like 5!! Another killer is my sons food! I have a terrible habit of nicking food off his plate or finishing his left overs. Of course when its food optimizing meals that fine but when its pizza, chicken nuggets or chips it just a BUCKET LOAD of syns that I never write down and never count.


I then know in my head and heart that I have had a bad week and half starve myself on a Mon and Tuesday hoping for a loss on Tuesday evening which lets be honest is a perfect example of what NOT to do and my results are showing that! I have lost and gained 1/2 a stone about 3 times since coming back from group and my mood, confidence and body are suffering because of it. I also feel a bit hypocritical sometimes when I post about Slimming World or a SW recipe because I am not losing how I should be and not sticking to plan like I tell  and encourage others to do! BUT NO MORE...ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!

Yesterday I attended my interview to become a Slimming World Consultant and it has given me an extra push! If i get through I will be ECSTATIC but I need to get my journey back on track so I can be an example to others, share my journey/story and help others to reach their goals!
Monday marked the 5 week countdown to my Majorca holiday and my personal goal of reaching my Interim target.Again, I have to be honest Mon/Tues didn't go as well as I hoped and a 2 1/2 lb gain set me on a downward sandwich spiral but I WILL get there! I AM NOT GIVING UP!!!

So today I created myself a little Encouragement Rosemary bush on my windowsill. I will use it to write myself messages, countdown my holiday and remind myself to stay away from those syns ( its right next to the bread bin and sweet/biscuit cupboard)
Having visual reminders is great way to stay on track and keep yourself motivated. Its something I have always done, i even have a tattoo on my wrist saying Strength and Courage which helps me get through the tough times in life!

Everybody has a reason for being overweight, mine being both physical and emotion ( pregnancy, illness and eating myself sick to feel better) but you can over come it. Start by admitting  to yourself you have a problem, accept help and make an active plan to get yourself back on track and back to the weight you want to be!

And please don't think I am saying you cant be happy within yourself when on the larger side because you can there are so many amazing and inspirational woman like Callie [blog] who show just that, but for me I am not happy how I am at the moment and only I can change that!


I am ready to KNOCK DOWN that wall, ready to push through and find that slimmer happier me on the otherside.
Below are a few pics of me before iIstarted my weightloss and Slimming World journey. Pictures I absolutely cringe at but they are my before shots not my after! And as my little heart shows I have managed to lose over a stone and I know in my heart I can lose the rest and reach my target of 3 stone!



Right so that's it, my battle, my truths and hopefully some good advice that will help anyone else that feels they have hit the weightloss wall!

And of course an emah post is never really complete unless it contains a recipe, so here is a little something for you all. (what I had for breakie) And its SP :) :)


Baked Eggs || Great for breakfast or brunch, served by themselves or with toast as your HEB.

Ingredients

1 can tomatoes
2 eggs
salt and pepper
spring onion to garnish

Method

Pour your tomatoes into an oven proof dish, break in your eggs and bake in a hot oven for 15 minutes or until the tomato is warmed through and the eggs are cooked.Season and then sprinkle with spring onions to serve.
 syns - FREE

Family Night - Extreme Stunt Show...


A couple of weeks ago me and my boys (plus my friend Steve) went to go and see the EXTREME Stunt show while on its 2015 tour! My OH works very hard so family time is very important and this was a great way to spend some time together doing and watching something a little different. Plus who doesn't love motocross bikes flying through the air and monster trucks driving over cars, not to mention a man on fire! Hello...FUN! :P

The show lasted an hour and a half with a 15 minute interval - to set up new ramps etc and was packed with action from start to finish. All the guys involved are incredibly talented and showed off that talent fantastically. My son (now 2) Just LOVED IT and couldn't stop saying 'WOW' 

Here are a few pics...

Riding through a wall of fire.



Two wheel parade.

Benji loving it.


Pic not mine but i had to show off the monster trucks!

MAN ON FIRE!!!!

It was a great evening, even if a bit cold, and Benji hasn't stopped going on about bikes and trucks since!! He is a boy obsessed and I love it!!
After the show there was also an opportunity to meet all the guys and even get their autograph on your program, which we of course did! We also purchased some great little toys for Benji which he loves and hasn't stopped playing with. 

I definitely recommend you go along if it is in your area. Here is a link to their upcoming dates and venues. 

Photos - mine, green monster truck Kirston Tonon (Twitter)

Baked Cod in Tomato & Olive Sauce...



I haven't been able to make it to group tonight but I have made sure to stay on plan and came up with another delicious recipe, very Slimming World friendly and easy to make. It also goes along with last weeks post and uses a freezer favorite - Frozen fish.

Fish can be expensive and buying frozen can lower the cost. It is also great to have as it can be cooked from frozen making dinner quick and hassle free.


Ingredients

4 pieces frozen/fresh cod
half a red and yellow pepper, roughly chopped
handful of cherry tomatoes
handful of stoned green olives
3 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
half a chili, roughly chopped
1 tin chickpeas
500g passata
fry light
salt and pepper
handful of fresh basil

Method

1. Place your peppers, garlic, tomato, olives and chili into a baking tray and spray with a little fry light. Season.
2. Bake in the oven on a high heat for 15 minutes. You want the tomatoes to burst a little and the peppers to char.
3. Remove from the oven add the passata, chickpeas and fish. Season and then bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 160C fan.
4. Once the fish is cooked through sprinkle with fresh basil. You can serve it with crusty bread or pasta.


This dish is fresh, packed with flavor and only 2-3 syns (olives).

It would also be great for a dinner party as you can have it ready to pop in the oven as soon as your guests arrive.


recipe - mine
syns - 2