My diet sucks!
Seriously…..the 5 a day rule is more like 5 a week in our house and, honestly, I hate it!
Personally, I blame Hubs. He’s such a fussy eater that I can count on both hands literally every food item he will eat….most of it processed crap and none of it is fruit!
Becuase of this I get stuck in a rut with cooking. I always have to cook 2 or even 3 meals a night if I want something healthy to eat and while the smallest child is still not sleeping all night I’m usually too tired to cook anything so we all end up with processed chicken and chips or pasta.
Occasionally though my body has a major strop and starts craving salads so I will motivate myself to eat more healthily but even then I struggle with trying out new things……Not this week though!
This week I decided to push the boat out and try a new recipe – I give you a stock image of Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta. (mine tasted amazing but it did NOT look this good)
2 chicken breasts (chopped or sliced)
3 – 4 cloves Garlic (depending on how much you like it) crushed – I used this frozen garlic
250g Mushrooms (thinly sliced)
Cooking oil (I used fry light spray oil so not sure how much – enough to coat a pan though)
Handful of fresh parsley
1 chicken stock cube
6 tbsp cream cheese
Cheddar Cheese (optional)
Salt & pepper (optional)
Cook the pasta to al dente and set aside.
coat a deep frying pan (I use a wok myself) with a little oil and fry the chicken breast until lightly browned.
Add more oil if needed and add the shallot, garlic, and mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add a little of the chicken stock and reduce down. Repeat several times until mushrooms are golden.
Whisk the cream cheese into the remaining stock and add to the pan and bring to a boil and simmer uncovered until the sauce starts to thicken slightly.
Add the pasta and continue to simmer until sauce has thickened.
Stir in the chopped parsely. This is also where I added the cheddar as I like mine extra cheesey.
Season with salt and pepper and serve.
I’ve made this twice this week and it’s a new favourite now.
It also works well without the chicken and I tweaked it to add in some courgette too to up the vegetable count a bit. Both were equally delicious!
If you give it a try or have a tweak of your own let me know in the comments.
This week’s sharing Sunday is bringing you 2 new businesses I’ve found just this week!
Becky’s Bath Bombs
I’m loving the videos Becky shares on Facebook, the fact all the ingredients she uses are clearly listed on the website and all the products have the relevant safety accreditations.
The hidden toy bath bombs are going on my wish list for the kids and I’m still trying to decide which of the unicorn style bombs or dust I want for me! <3
My second share for today is a wonderful idea called Calendar Mums.
Rachael and local photographer Becky are organising a calendar girls style shoot showcasing mums in all shapes and sizes to create a calendar to raise money for Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity.
I absolutely LOVE this idea and as a mum with wobbly, bobbly bits myself this is something I can absolutely get behind!
The summer holidays are here and last week came the posts on social media about how parents can’t wait to spend some family time with the kids #soblessed #makingmemories etc you know the ones!
They’ll be the same people counting down the hours until bedtime and debating if 1 pm is too early to break open the 2nd bottle of Gin in 3 days!
So when that time comes here’s ideas to keep them amused without breaking the bank.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that I may gain commission on if you click on them to purchase.
5 ways to entertain the kids under £20.
1 – Home made slip and slide.
We had hours of fun as kids with this one! We had a little green area at the front of our terraced house and the parents would take it in turns to keep watch on us while a big group of neighbourhood kids took turns messing about on a cheap strip of plastic with either a hose gently spraying it down or if a hosepipe ban was in place we’d squirt some washing up liquid on it and soak it down with water pistols! Good times! 🙂
(Note this was the 80’s and I do not recommend adding anything to help with the slipping process due to the health and safety of your little ones!)
You will need:
Thick plastic sheet – something like this is perfect! A hosepipe or access to water. Space – A clear, flat piece of grass to set up and get sliding.
Check the ground carefully for anything that may cause injury!
Small stones, sticks, and prickles are all to be avoided for this one. The ground should be as flat as possible too. Too many bumps will result in bruises (believe me I know!) and dips in the ground will result in big pools which might seem like fun but for best results and less friction, I recommend keeping things as flat as possible.
Plus from a health and safety point of view, you don’t want anything that will cause the kids to speed up too much! Controlled slipping is the aim of the game here! 🙂
Then simply spray the plastic well and get sliding!
Bonus points can be awarded if you have water pistols to hand to add to the fun. 😉
2. Rock painting
Rainy day arts and crafts are always a win because let’s face it the British summer is never perfect sunshine all the time!
You will need:
Some rocks – We collect a couple from the beach every when we visit but any medium to large stones from the garden will do. (give them a wash before you start) Paints – again you can use pretty much anything here but I find poster paints are best with the small kids as washing out spillages is much easier! You can pick these up easily from places like the Early Learning centre, hobby craft or The works for a few quid. Something like this works well http://amzn.to/2uSJLNi Finishing spray – If you want to keep your finished artworks you will need to coat them with a sealer of some kind. A coat of Mod Podge or a clear spray will work great, Both available from hobbycraft/ eBay/ Amazon etc. Both come in gloss or Matt effect so you can choose which suits you best. I use this one from Wilkinsons Paint brushes/ applicators – you can get creative here! Try a bit of rag rolling, finger painting printing with cotton reels etc or you can just go with good old fashioned brushes!
We love this set from Amazon in our house as it has a bit of everything! 🙂
Don’t forget something to cover the kid’s clothes and the floor it could get messy! 🙂
Ideas for extending this one include adding a magnet to the back of smaller rocks to decorate the fridge, adding googly eyes to make rock monsters or why not make an audience for the kids to stage their own ‘ahem’ Rock Concert…sorry 😉
3. Outdoor Chalkboard
My Pud is pretty creative and loves drawing and arty stuff so we always have a stash of outdoor chalks on hand!
They are big chunky versions of the normal blackboard chalk and they can take a beating on the rough patio surfaces.
When I was shopping for our latest batch I came across this too!
Outdoor chalk stencils! (I know they think of everything these days)
These particular ones come with chalks included or you can buy different designs and chalks seperately for less than £10 and like I said they last ages!
This one is basically free art day. Let them go to town on the patio and paths and brick walls and simply wash it down or wait for it to rain and the clearing up is done for you! 🙂
You could extend the play by using chalks for games like hopscotch , hangman, and noughts and crosses if you want to add a bit more structure.
4. Melting Snowman biscuits
A quick simple ‘baking’ idea without turning on the oven.
You will need:
Biscuits: Any plain round ones will do. Icing Sugar
Chocolate Beans: Mini smarties or the ones in the baking section work great for colour or you could just use chocolate chips.
Black writing icing or black icing pen
Twiglets or stick shaped snacks(optional)
This is an abridged ‘how to’ recipe taken from the BBC Food website.
Mix the icing sugar with a little water to make a smooth, thick but still runny paste.
spread/ drizzle the icing onto a biscuit to create the melting snow.
Add a marshmallow for the head and some chocolate beans/ chips for buttons and a nose.
break a twiglet in half and add it for the arms (if using)
Use the black icing to add 2 eyes and a mouth. (If not using twiglet arms you can add arms with black icing instead)
set until icing is dry then enjoy.
Side note: This one can get very messy but the kids LOVE it!
5. Foam pavement paint
This one is an idea from The Tiptoe Fairy
I’ve not tried it myself yet but it looks really cool so I’ll be trying it out on our next sunny day!
You will need:
Two 4 oz. bottles of WASHABLE school glue
1 cup white flour
4-5 cups plain white shaving foam
food coloring drops
1 extra large plastic zipper bag
smaller plastic zip lock bags – 1 per colour
Optional: plastic squirt bottles – I’ve just ordered these for us to useThe process to make it is fairly simple but The Tiptoe Fairy explains it so well with some great step by step photos I will now pass you onto her for that bit! Click here to visit the tiptoe fairy’s blog
Don’t forget to come back and tell me how it goes though!
If you try any of these out do let me know in the comments
It’s something I always say I should pay more attention to. I often get headaches that are cured quickly after I drink a big glass of water! Whilst looking through some of my facebook pages to network with I stumbled across this gem! I’m so ordering one of these from Hydrate M8!
Ok first off I want to make it clear this is a shameless plug for my own website!
Now that’s out of the way let me tell you why I love these tablets. I have had a hugely busy week and as usual, the smallest child has not decided to try and destroy me via the sleep deprivation method!
Some people that use these tablets report getting a bit of an energy buzz (pardon the pun) after taking them (my brother is actually a huge fan of these when he needs to get the housework done before the Mrs gets home! :p ) For me though it’s more a case of just keeping steady and not dropping off to sleep at lunchtime which I consider a win these days!
Victoria Beckham has advertised the stuff (not this particular brand mind you) as a great superfood boost sprinkled on her cereal and a superfood indeed it is! For more real and a superfood indeed it is! For more details, you can check out the blurb on the website 🙂
Once upon a time, there was a girl……
She was just an ordinary girl, she wasn’t treated badly by a wicked stepmother and she wasn’t a fairytale princess or destined by some twist of fate to meet a prince and become a princess.
She was always a bit of a loner as a child and prefered the company of her books and favourite cartoon movies to the other kids her age as they would tease her for silly things, like not having the ‘right’ school bag (aka one with a big brand name emblazoned all over it which made it ‘cool’) or for not having crush on the ‘right’ kind of boys (what could she do? She just happened to be drawn to the geeks like herself)
Every day the girl trudged through a big swamp, not to go anywhere, in particular, it seemed to be a curse that everywhere she went there was just a big energy sapping swamp to drag herself through.
It was hard, it was tiring and sometimes when a storm arrived she would find it too hard to go on so she would just sit…..up to her neck in the thick muddy waters and wait for it to pass before getting up and trudging on some more.
A few years passed and the negative comments that had been carefully stored by the girl’s brain into a special little compartment began to manifest into a little troll who lived in her head. He was a mean and nasty little grey creature, shriveled and angry looking and he liked to whisper mean things to the girl every time she thought that she deserved something good.
One day as she was dragging herself wearily through her swamp the little troll spied a water well. He directed the girl to the well and then kicked her into it!
The well was large and it was deep and the water was just a little higher than the girl was tall. Drowning would be as easy as just giving up trying.
The girl spent many years treading water in the well and the troll was happy. She was making bad choices that kept her in the water and never tried to escape the well as it was far too high and even if she made it what was the point? She would still be knee deep in swamp water right?
A few more years passed and the girl had grown up and had a baby girl of her own. She decided that a well was no place for a baby so she decided to climb out of the well. It was hard!
The walls were wet and slippery but she knew things had to change so she ignored the troll in her head and she climbed! She slipped a few times on the way up but she kept on climbing and though it took a whole year to do it she made it to the top of the well.
The troll was so unhappy that he passed out from rage and the woman and her baby found a small patch of dry grass close to the well and lived happily on their ‘island’ for a while.
Soon through the troll recovered and began whispering to the woman again. He managed to get her to visit the well a few times but he couldn’t get her back down it no matter how hard he tried.
Happily ever after?
The woman met a man who was passing by her island and they fell in love. He was a good man and he helped the woman to empty some water from her swamp. He said nice things to her many times a day and grey little troll began to shrink and become quieter.
They had 2 more children and the sun began to shine on their now much bigger island. They were happy.
Then a storm rolled in and the troll snapped awake and seized his moment! He picked the woman up and threw her back in the well.
The woman wasn’t taking this lying down though. She knew now how it felt to be happy and she knew she would get back there again! Her husband threw down a rope and helped her to begin climbing again. He tried to help as much as he could but he children needed him too so the woman climbed when he helped her and rested when he was away. Sometimes she would rest too long and more than once she slipped all the way back down to the water but she kept climbing and once again got clear of the well.
The woman and her family will probably always live on that island near the well. The little troll now lives inside the well and calls to the woman daily. Sometimes the love and laughter of her family drown out the trolls calls sometimes a storm will blow in and make his calls louder, or worse, blow her back down the well again. But she knows no matter how many times she falls down that she can get back up again and that the sunshine at the top is worth the fight.
Having a business in Network Marketing means I see people spamming Facebook constantly with posts about how they love Monday which, I believe is supposed to trick the general, employed, public into thinking their life is somehow better because of their “awesome” business!
I can honestly say though being in Network Marketing myself, Mondays mornings are just as hard on me as they are on Hubs when he has to drag himself out of bed to go to a job he hates.
Finding motivation can be tough but there are a few things you can do to help.
Have a solid morning routine.
A good morning routine starts the night before. Getting enough sleep will set you up for a good day ahead. As the mother of a 10-month-old who still wakes several times a night, I believe I’m more than qualified on the subject of sleep deprivation and how it can ruin your day!
Wake up with enough time to do everything you need to do (make sure you include time for breakfast!) plus an extra 5 – 10 minutes to allow for any unplanned activity.
I used to scoff at the idea of the law of attraction but I’ve actually seen it in action! It’s insane!
As part of my morning routine, I spend 5 minutes each morning writing a gratitude journal.
Basically, I list a bunch of stuff I am thankful for each morning. I find it sets up my brain to focus on the good things more than the bad and as much as you may be laughing now I urge you to at least give it a try for a month and see what you think.
I know it sounds mad but if your morning is going well and you have your 5 – 10-minute allowance going spare, find an upbeat song you love and dance like no one is watching.
Swedish researchers, writing in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, have found that dancing can improve problems such as stress, anxiety, and depression! If having a boogie round the kitchen table while you cook breakfast isn’t your thing try some gentle stretches. Anything to get your body moving is a win and will help your get pumped up for the day ahead.
I’ve created a youtube playlist to help me get going in the mornings (and with the housework or just when I’m having a rough day to cheer me up) you can find it on my youtube channel by clicking below.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes for you 🙂
Have a great Monday and a great week ahead <3
I love it when people talk about my businesses. I work really hard to make sure it’s all good sharing and I thought is would be good to pay it forward and spend a bit of time each Sunday to do the same to a couple of small business or products that I love or that are close to my heart.
First up in my first ever sharing sunday is a local baker who makes the most beautiful cakes. (I’ve seen her flowerpot cake in person and I didn’t believe it was actually cake at first!)
Liz at Bubakes not only makes incredible, edible artwork she donates 25p from every order to the charity MIND.
Go check out her story for more information on why this charity is so close to her heart.
Next up is a lovely little online store caled Norah & Me. I stubbled across this small business in a facebook group for self employed parents who home educate their kids and I fell in love with the adoarable charaters on offer!
Most of the items offer a customisable option and the products are CE certified. I’m definitely going to placing an order for Pip soon. I just need to decide on which adorable litlle friend (or 2) will be joining our home (I think the floppy eared bunny is going to be one of them though! 🙂 )
Sunday is the day I use to plan out my week ahead.
All apointment on the calendar get moved onto the notice board so they are right in your face and can be seen by everyone at a glance any time they enter the kitchen which means I don’t have to explain over and over what’s on for the week…..which means a win for me! 🙂
Sunday is now also a day for sharing some details on small businesses I follow on social media and that I love! Some I have used personally, some I plan to, some I probably won’t ever need to use but have networked with the people involved and trust them to give a great service should you ever choose to use them yourselves! (keep an eye out for that post later on today)
My week ahead
So next week is a busy one (for the kids at least, which means more stress and worry for me!)
M has her first day at college for an orientation day, Pud is spending a full day at his new school (without his usual 1:1 for some of it! 😮 ) and then a half day without said 1:1 later on in the week as well as an end of year picnic with the pre school which involves some begging from me to my dad as we can’t get there without a car!
Monday sees me pick up the 1950’s housewife routine regardless of how bad the kids are! (I mean the mums in the 50’s had to get on with it regardless right?!)
I also need to find time to work on my 2 work from home businesses and keep the kids entertained! It’s gonna be interesting, especially seeing as I’m feeling decidedly under the weather today, but I’m going to grin and bare it and see if I can get it all done.
I’m also planning a few of my blog and social media posts and scheduling them today to lighten the load during the week.
I will still be checking in every day though. Checking my viewing figures each morning is a bit adictive to be honest. I’m hoping the excitement wil fade over time but knowing me I doubt it. 😀