Cooking, Healthy, Instagram, Parenting, Recipe

Slow cooker spag bol!

One of my favourite recipes to use up random veggies in the fridge, and absolutely minimal effort is needed to make this. Because your wonderful slow cooker does it all for you!

Ingredients

  • 500g lean beef mince (optional)
  • 2x garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 4/5 closed cup mushrooms
  • 1 celery
  • 1 handful of pitted olives
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 1 tsp of dried basil
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp of dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp of Worcester sauce
  • 1 cup of boiled water
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to serve with
  • Fresh spaghetti pasta

Utensils

  • Electric slow cooker
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Fine grater
  • Collander

Method

  1. Turn your slow cooking setting onto the highest, leave the lid on.
  2. Prepare your vegetables. Peel your carrot, garlic cloves and onion. Dice all of the vegetables, leaving the garlic you want to make sure you finely grate the garlic.
  3. Place your beef mince, if your using it, into the bottom of the slow cooker. Pile your now prepared vegetables on the top.
  4. Open your tin of chopped tomatoes and pour in.
  5. Add your tomato puree, Worcester sauce and your dried herbs.
  6. Add one cup of boiling hot water
  7. Give all the ingredients a good stir and place the lid back on.
  8. Leave now for as long as you want, but id recommend no short time than 3 hours. If you’ve put it on before work, turn onto warm when you arrive home. If you’ve put it on at lunch time, keep it hot until serving.
  9. 1 hour before you want to serve your minimal effort dinner, add the chopped olives. Its nice for these to keep their shape for the dish.
  10. Fresh pasta takes 4 minutes to cook, dried pasta can take up to 10-12 minutes depending on how much your cooking, so make sure to leave yourself plenty of time.
  11. Boil the kettle and pour into your pan. Turn your hob up high and add the pasta. Once is comes to a boil turn it down to a moderate simmer.
  12. Drain pasta and serve together with your delicious Bolognese.
  13. Add parmesan if you want too!

And there we have it. Easy, peasy, no effort needed spag bol which can feed as bigger family as you want. If you want to be even more time efficient you can buy the vegetables already cut up and frozen which is perfect for storage. I however, much prefer chopping them up. I find it relatively therapeutic. Also we have our veg box delivered to us from River Ford Farms, so I like to use these fresh ingredients in my cooking.

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Parenting

Easy, peasy, multi-tasking, baked risotto.

As a busy mamma of 2, 1 baby and 1 toddler sometimes I have been known to struggle to get the recommended 5 a day on the dinner table. However through trial and error, and late night internet scanning, I have found a very easy & mouldable recipe that could help with this recurring problem.

Whilst entertaining the high chair trapped, baby with a wooden spoon and saucepan, and the constant flow of snacks so toddler keeps away from the hot oven. I begin my risotto!

My easy, peasy, multi-tasking,baked risotto!

Ingredients

  • Risotto rice 1.5 cup (2 adults 2 small children- adapt depending on your family set up).
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1tbsp of butter
  • 1litre boiling water
  • 5 chestnut mushrooms
  • 1/2 courgette
  • 1 small red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1tbsp tomato purée
  • 75g Parmesan
  • Black pepper to taste

Utensils

  • 1 casserole dish
  • Chopping board
  • 1 sharp knife
  • Pyrex jug
  • Fine grater
  • Wooden spoon

Method

  1. Pre heat your over to around 180’c
  2. Cut the cherry toms in half, dice your red onion and courgette into small pieces. Pop them in your casserole dish and into the oven for around 7mins.
  3. Meanwhile, boil the kettle and begin to dissolve your vegetable stock cube into your Pyrex jug.
  4. Slice your chestnut mushrooms into chunks and finely chop your 3 garlic cloves.
  5. Once you remove your casserole dish from the oven add your butter and risotto rice. Make sure you coat your rice with the butter as it melts. Then add your mushrooms and garlic.
  6. Finally add your stock. I’m relatively bad at sticking to instructions, so I’d pour the stock over, just enough so it covers the rice.
  7. Add your tomato purée and ground black pepper. Return to the oven.
  8. After 15 minutes check on your risotto.
  9. If it’s soaked up the stock, give it a good stir and add the left over.If you find there’s still plenty of moisture, return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
  10. You’ll begin to smell your risotto cooking away.
  11. Once all the liquid has been consumed, and the rice is soft and fluffy, it’s ready!
  12. Grate over your 75g of Parmesan cheese. Stir in quickly and serve hot!

Easy peasy baked risotto! You can do this whilst doing plenty of other things. It also uses minimal utensils, meaning less washing up!

I have also added other ingredients to this wonderfully flexible recipe. Butternut squash, peas, chorizo, left over roast chicken, leeks, chives and cauliflower. Be adventurous and find what suits you and your family!

Ready for oven for 7minutes!

Once the stock, mushrooms and tomato purée has been added.

The risotto above is cherry toms, butternut squash and chives!

Bon appetite

Parenting

Secret vegetable toddler muffins!

So I’ve made these so many times I cant count. These sneaky vegetable snacks are perfect for the slightly more difficult child, who won’t willingly dive fork first into a bowl of yummy veggies!

They do contain dairy, eggs and gluten. So these may not be for you, however I’m sure you can adapt them. It’s a very basic recipe to manipulate.

Ingredients

225g self raising flour

175ml milk

75g strong mature cheddar

25g Parmesan

1 peeled and grated carrot

1 grated courgette

4 broccoli florets cut up into tiny pieces

4 cherry tomatoes

1 medium egg

55ml of oil

Pepper to taste

Utensils

12 cupcake cases

A mixing bowl

Wooden spoon

Box grater

Weighing scales

Kitchen paper

Colander

Baking tray

Method

  1. Set your oven to 180’c.
  2. Prepare your vegetables. You can use a wide variety, but I’ve found these work best for our family. Peel your carrot. Then using your box grater, grate the carrot and courgette. Place the carrot and courgette into paper kitchen towel and squeeze any excess juice from them. Place them into a colander and let them stand.
  3. Cut off 4 broccoli florets. Give them a wash. Then remove the stalks and chop the heads into tiny pieces.
  4. Cut your cherry tomatoes into quarters and leave them aside to pop on top for decoration.
  5. Weigh out your self raising flour, cheddar cheese and Parmesan. Mix together well.
  6. Add your 1x beaten egg, 175ml of milk and 55ml of oil.
  7. Stir together making sure that there aren’t any lumps. Then add your chosen vegetables. In my case, carrots, courgette and broccoli. Mix together vigorously. Add a good grind of pepper.
  8. Place your muffin cases into either a muffin tray or Yorkshire pudding tray, the elevated sides will keep your slightly heavy mixture from spilling out.
  9. You should be able to make 12 cupcakes so share the mixture out evenly, being careful not to over fill. If you have any remaining mixture wait for your first batch to cook and then pop your second batch in.
  10. Add your tiny pieces of cherry tomato that you left over earlier, and an extra sprinkling of cheese, my toddler likes to help with this part.
  11. These should bake at 180’c for around 20minutes. I’d set a timer for 12mins and see where you’re at. A good tip to test whether they are cooked, is to use a sharp knife of skewer and push it straight through the muffin. If you can remove your knife clean they’re cooked, however if they come out with residue mixture they need a little longer.
  12. Once cooked remove carefully from your muffin tin and leave to cool down on a cooking rack. You can serve hot, but my toddler prefers them cool.
  13. I have made these for packed lunches so once they are fully cold, I wrap them individually into sandwich bags, then pop them into the freezer. The night before i need one, I take it out, leave it on the side and it’s defrosted ready for lunch the next day!

Parenting

What sleep expectations should we expect from a newborn?

In the kindest and most gentlest way possible. None. I’d have absolutely no expectations. I’d assume the worst. Be prepared not to sleep now for at least the next four years or so! Ooh aren’t I mean? But in all honesty, more often than not it’s really not that bad.

The first few weeks are awful. But that’s down to the fact that your vagina feels like it’s been torn off, your melons ( breast feeding or not), are now bulging so high you could balance a plate of toast on them, but you don’t dare because they’re so bloody sore. And you’re uncontrollably crying at the most ridiculous things, for example. There are crumbs that have been left squeezed into the butter from burnt toast. I mean how dare anyone upset the ying and yang of the clover tub? So you cry at this utter disaster for about 60 minutes. Serious problems right?

So my big piece of advise would be ,especially for first time parents, is to have very little expectations. Therefor when your baby surprises you with a good few hours of solid sleep, you will not only feel wonderful but you’ll be so bloody happy. You can buy all the gadgets, you can follow all the books but your tiny, little gorgeous person will follow their own pattern. They will set the trend. They will make the decisions. I have two completely different sleepers on my hands, and I have done the exact same routine with both. So what can I say?

Just what ever you decide to do make sure you and baby are both happy. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do. Don’t be pushed into spending hundreds of pounds, or to do something that you really do not want too. As for that lovely family member or friend who tells you that their child slept 8-10hours from 6 weeks old. They can shove that unwelcome piece of rubbish up their derriere. Reality is that they are probably lying. So don’t listen to them. Just smile politely and walk away.

Below is a throw back pic of Evie at 6weeks old and Isla at 21months. The following photo is now!

Enjoy your little ones because they don’t stay small for long ❤️

Bedtime, Instagram, Parenting, Social media, Yoga

Liebster Award Nomination!

leibster-award

Good evening everyone. I’m currently catching up on blogs from the past few days, as I was romantically whisked away for the weekend at a rather delicious hotel in Lavenham, Suffolk. If any of you folk have visited the area, you will know what I mean by ultimate chocolate box.

The old worldly houses carry this rather handsome and ruggedness about them. Their bodies appear weathered, with their darkened wooden outer frames, set onto a pure white canvas. Slightly lopsided and bent, they are still standing strong after hundreds of years. Their roofs thatched and weaved together, with a rather less confident chimney pot balanced on the top. The sweet little roads wind and swirl around one another, dancing in and out of these clusters of cobbled paths. So utterly perfect in a rather discombobulated way.

Now that’s enough creating writing about houses and villages. I’m sure your all pretty bored. Its time to answer the following 11 questions all about me plus 11 facts! Eek! Ive been awarded this nomination by the wonderful mummy blogger Heather-  you’ll find her honest and extremely relatable page here on this link given obabyy

Youll also find that ive tagged or written on your blog posts, letting you know if i have nominated you. Enjoy reading!

Here are The Official Rules Of The Liebster Award

Write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers.
  6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post .Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.

Here are my nominees

https://thecuriousmummy.com/

https://thecoastalmummy.com/

http://www.crummymummy.co.uk/

https://dearmummyblog.com/

https://lifewithlolax.wordpress.com/

Time for me to answer:

Why did you start blogging? 

Well I started blogging purely for me. I love sharing about my experiences and my take on motherhood. I knew there were so many more people doing just that, and I wanted to jump on the band wagon. So I did!

Who is your greatest inspiration?

Within the blogging world, probs Rachel Brathen (yoga girl), but real true life my mumma!

What is your favourite quote?

Everything happens for a reason.

If you could meet anyone dead or alive who would it be?

Anne of Cleves- I really want to know what the appeal was with Henry the VIII

Favourite place?

My home.

Favourite song?

If I’m feeling energetic Run DMC- “Its like that” or if I’m feeling totes emosh and I want a cry Goo Goo dolls “Iris”.

What would be the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

Sort out ourselves, and our families financially. Then id buy a castle with ponies and water slides for stairs!

Dog or cat?

CAT!!

Best compliment you have ever received?

That both of my children are so beautiful.

What was the last picture you took with your phone?

Isla dancing in the kitchen

Greatest memory?

I have so so so many I cant just choose one. But my two greatest memories were bringing the girls home from hospital for the first time.

11 Facts about me.

  1. My mums maiden name is Faux and my birthday is the 5th of Nov!
  2. I hate Liquorice.
  3. I can suck both of my nostrils in together at the same time.
  4. I can tell you anything about the series FRIENDS characters or stories (ask me I dare you).
  5. I have a grey Mr cat called Merlin.
  6. Cheese has been sent from heaven I love it so much.
  7. I went on CITV Prove it when I was 12 years old.
  8. I haven’t got my GCSE maths.
  9. I used to dance Ballet and Modern until I was 17.
  10. I am a dedicated tea drinker.
  11. Some day id like to run my own business.

Questions for my nominees

  1. How old were you when you first fell in love?
  2. How many times do you think you’ve watched Mr Tumble and his shitty bag in the last year?
  3. What is your favourite dinner to have cooked for you?
  4. If you were stuck on a desert island who would you take with you?
  5. Most memorable moment?
  6. If you could change your name what would you change it too? Princess-conswala-banana-hammock? (Friends quote).
  7. Where is your favourite family holiday destination?
  8. Gin or Wine?
  9. The earliest you have ever had to get up with your child/children?
  10. Favourite activity to do with your family?
  11. Who is your inspirational blogger?

Enjoy my answers, questions and attempt at creating writing! Please tag me in your posts, I cant wait to read them. Thanks again to Heather for nominating me!

Cia!

 

Parenting

Channelling our energy into something positive.


So I took a week or so off from my Instagram and WordPress blog. I had a great half term spent doing exciting things with the girls and really enjoyed having Isla to myself for the week!

Unfortunately pre half term, some sad and lonely soul decided to send a little piece of hate mail across to my blog. Unfortunately they sent it as an unknown account, meaning I didn’t even have the chance to question or find out why they felt the need to leave such unkind words. If I’m honest at first I thought, woahhh what have I done? I questioned my content, and for two seconds I thought maybe this isn’t what I want to do any longer. But after that passed I felt awesome. This poor soul clearly isn’t happy with their own life, and gets such great pleasure out of pushing their inner paranoia and anger towards other people. So my dear friend, I glad you vented to a strong women, rather than someone who could actually have been “on the edge”. And if it’s a personal attack against me, and if you know me. Don’t read my blog? Don’t follow me on Instagram and don’t search my profile. I’m not making you read my posts.

Anyway, now that’s off my chest the real topic for my writing this eve is to encourage women to stick together and unite as one huge monsterous unit! There are a few accounts I follow on Instagram who I literally adore so so much! One being Yoga girl – Rachel Brathen and the other Mother Pucka- Anna Whitehouse. Please search and find them!

These two women are so strong. I adore how they are, and what they stand for! They are inspiring me and encouraging me to do something about the stigma around stay at home mums, working mums, discrimination at a work place, and the female race! They both support so many such great charities. 

It’s early days but I really feel so strongly about women’s right therefore i think it’s a path I’d like to explore further into, and to make a difference for women who can’t do it themselves or who are too frightened. This doesn’t only mean within our society, whether it be in the U.K but all over the world. I also feel the negative attitude towards stay at home mums or young mums needs to stop!

Whether your a young mum, older mum, working mum or stay at home mummy we are all women! If your a member of the public, think twice before you give those daggering looks across the shop floor. You will have absolutely no idea how that women is feeling, and quite frankly your stare could make it all worse for her. Instead be supportive and help her. Or maybe smile. Be nice.  

We need to be voices for one another. We need to give each other the confidence that maybe another person is missing. There are some awful goings ons within the world. 75% of trafficking is women! Young women being forced into marriages. And here in the U.K we have far too many taboo subjects that women still feel too frightened to speak about. Mental and physical abuse being the main topics. Over the last 4 years these have increased by 77%, not just for women but also young children. Being a mother this pulls at my heart strings. 

Rosa, Women’s Aid and Refuge are such wonderful charities. I really appreciate their hard work, and in the future I would love to work for them or with them. In the mean time I have a few ideas that hopefully by the new year will come into action. 

Please let’s just stop attacking one another behind computer screens. Let’s channel our energy into something positive! And protect one another. 

emotions, Instagram, Parenting, Social media

Blogtober day #13 I need some me time.

Aren’t we all in need of some mummy time now and then? Yes we are!

A few months ago I had a bit of a melt down and came out with all kinds of crap like, “I cant be a mummy anymore”, or ,” I’m a terrible mum, I don’t deserve my family”. I just felt like I had heavy shoulders every day, i was so tearful and miserable. I think the sleep deprivation alongside my first menstrual period arriving in 18 months, had tipped me over the edge. Poor Declan had come home with a beautiful bunch of flowers, and he was repaid with a snivelling emotional wreck. Classic women. He was so understanding, and after I apologised for probably being quite rational and mean, we worked it out. We worked out that I needed some very earnt time off, but not for days or hours. I just needed a couple of eves where I could go and either have dinner with the girls or have some pampering. Now usually I couldn’t justify these things, every week or so. But for my own sanity I needed it.

Spending 7 days a week, 15 hours a day with two absolutely lovely, but small children is so rewarding but also very emotionally draining. You can feel yourself slowly turning into a robot, repeating the same phrases hour after hour. Of course i knew what we were signing up to when we decided to have children, but that doesn’t make it any easier. As most of you mums can relate too, having a shower in peace is luxury. Going to the toilet in peace without a toddler either running off with the toilet roll, or trying to wipe your bum for you, is luxury! Having breakfast, lunch or a hot cuppa tea is luxury!

So after my three hours sob, feeling very sorry for myself and eating 2 dairy milk bars and a box of maltesers. I got over it. I realised I was being utterly shit to the girls and my perfect man. And sorted an action plan. Firstly was to continue with tap dancing. My regular Tuesday time off. Good cardio exercise, and an excuse to act very silly whilst pretending to be Michael Flatly from River Dance. Secondly to see the girls (me pals), once a week during the evening. Don’t get me wrong I love having friends over whilst the girls are awake and running around, but I cant ever finish a conversation. There is always a bum change if not two, and always a crying baby or toddler because they need feeding. So as nice as it is having friends over during the day, I cant concentrate on them, my focus is always on my children.

So realising that I just need some time for me has made a huge difference to my mood. To my attitude. And towards my very fortunate and wonderful life. None of this would be possible without my man. My bricks and water who is my best friend and keeps me from going crazy. But also drives me crazy sometimes too.

I have also realised that having a good old cry like that was probably the first time since changing from one child at home, to two! And it is bloody hard work. In the first few months of Evie’s life I probably spent hours after hours asking Isla nicely not to climb up onto the fire place, and to be careful when she was jumping off the sofa. Because as soon as I would sit down to feed the baby, there was always a reaction. To be expected of course. You cant expect a 20month old baby to be ok with another small thing taking up a lot of mummy and daddies attention, when it did just used to be her! Anyway it was hard but every day just keeps getting better and better. I love my family and I wouldn’t change them for the world, and I hope they wouldn’t change me either. If you feel like you just want to cry out everything you maybe feeling, then go for it. You will feel so much better after for it.

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