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Monday, February 22, 2021

Weekly Meal Plan - 22/02/21



Well didn’t that half term just whizz by?! It was lovely just winging it but now we’re back to home learning, we’re back to a routine which I’m secretly grateful for.


Monday

Chicken pasta salad


Tuesday

Toad in the whole with mashed potato and green beans


Wednesday

Flatbread pizzas with salad and garlic bread


Thursday

Homemade beef pasties with chips and salad


Friday

Bombay Biryani (this Simply Cook meal is definitely a winner in our house)


Saturday

Fish, chips and mushy peas (homemade)


Sunday

Curried chicken, rice and peas, plantain, roti, macaroni pie and salad.



We’ve been really enjoying the Simply Cook meals. I like how speedy the meals are too cook and the range available. If you fancy grabbing a trial for just £1 click HERE.


What’s cooking in your house this week?


Emma xoxo



Monday, February 8, 2021

Meal Plan 08/02/21

 


We are finally on the home straight. I don’t know about you but I am definitely looking forward to a week of no google classrooms. I signed up to the trial of Simply Cook so I will be giving few meals this week from there a try.


Monday

Thai basil pork with rice(Simply Cook)


Tuesday 

Hot dogs and fries


Wednesday

Pasta with salmon and peas


Thursday 

Sausage and mash with gravy in a giant yorkshire pudding


Friday

Bombay biryani ( Simply Cook)


Saturday

Steak pies, hassleback potatoes with carrots and broccoli 


Sunday

Lamb stew


If you want to give simply cook a try then click HERE  for a trial £1 box.



Emma xoxo








Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Domestic and General Appliance Cover - Tried and Tested

Like most people up and down the country we’ve had moments where we’ve walked into the kitchen to find the washing machine has leaked, opened the fridge freezer to find its defrosted or noticed the kids have gone rather quiet after a bang only to find the tv has somehow been broken and for many years I would get that sinking feeling. Despite having contents cover when something like that would happen we’d usually incur out of pocket expenses to pay for a repair or in some cases replace the item all together.

For years people I knew had talked about how good Domestic and General were so I finally called them to discuss my options. We decided that for us the most important things to cover were our big kitchen appliances and our main tv and being the UKs leading specialist warranty providers I knew we were in safe hands.



After a quick call to Domestic and General I was talked through the options available to me and within 15 minutes my appliances were covered from the same date and all for less than £25 per month! The only information I needed was the make and model of my appliances(so handy to have this information before you make the call) and my bank details in order to set up the direct debits. Each item that you choose to cover will have its own direct debit set up but you can choose to have them all come out on the same day.

Within 6 months of taking out the cover my washing machine broke down and I was worried that the process to claim maybe complicated but I needn’t had worried. The same day it stopped working, I called them, explained what had happened and had an appointment booked within 2 days for an engineer to come out and inspect it. The engineer agreed that the washing machine needed replacing and by the end of the day I had been given a number of replacement options. In less than a week I had a new washing machine delivered and fitted!

Since then I have had other issues like recently the heating element in my oven stopped working and my a couple of years ago my fridge freezer had to be replaced but I’ve always found the process of booking a repair or engineer straightforward. 

In recent times Domestic and General have made using their service even more user friendly. You can set up appliance cover online as well as over the phone and manage your plans, appliances and repairs all in one place in your online account.

With most of the country spending more time at home over the last 12 months and that set to continue,  now, more than ever people are using their appliances a lot more than they would ordinarily do and having the kids at home more has led to a reported increase in accidental damage to items so if ever there was a time to consider taking out appliance cover, it’s now!

If you are interested and want to find out more click HERE to be redirected to the Domestic and General website.

What has been your biggest inconvenience with appliances?


Emma xoxo

Monday, February 1, 2021

Meal Plan 01/02/21



Here we go with our first meal plan for February. Am I the only one who gets a little excited when a new month starts on a Monday?

Monday

Pasta bolognese bake


Tuesday

BBQ wings, chips and salad


Wednesday

Breakfast dinner


Thursday

Salmon, green beans and crushed new potatoes


Friday

Beef nachos


Saturday

Fish finger rolls


Sunday

Nando’s fakeaway 


We are going to attempt ‘Fakeaway February’ here and the money we would have spent each weekend on a takeaway we will put in a pot and save it for a treat if we are ever allowed out again. 


If you have any fakeaway favourites I’d love to know which ones and the recipes to help us along this month.


I’m taking part in Katy Kickers food linky this week and am looking forward to seeing what everyone else has on their menus. If you are looking for some food planning inspiration or just some meal ideas this is a great opportunity to check out what others are cooking up in their kitchens.

Emma xoxo

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Staycations - Making the most of the UK


The Tower of London


Ok, I won’t lie. When I think of a holiday my first thoughts run to golden sands, hot sun, sipping cocktails by a pool, swimming in the sea and not in the UK.
The pandemic last year meant that our holidays and short breaks abroad had to be cancelled so we looked a little closer to home and I have to say we have been majorly overlooking the UK for a short break or family holiday.

Some places are definitely more suited for a city break, others for a week away with the family and there are some great solo adventures to be had too. This year we have said we will actively look at booking some UK breaks if and when our government allow.

City breaks
Perfect if you just want to get away for a few days and fancy doing some exploring. There are so many cities that have lots to offer from architecture to amazing landmarks. Why not visit London to see the
Birmingham
Queens residence or Big Ben. Oxford and Cambridge have some beautiful buildings to admire and Bath is a historians dream.


Beach Getaways
You don’t have to travel abroad to relax on a beach, the UK has some absolutely stunning beaches. If you are looking for a longer stay then why not pack your bucket and spade and head to the coast. From the idyllic beaches and backdrops of Cornwall and Devon to the more old fashioned seaside towns like Margate and Camber, there is something for everyone at the beach!

A Plane Journey
If for you a holiday just isn’t a holiday without a plane journey then that’s still an option. Whether it’s to Scotland or Northern Ireland for a short break or something a little longer, why not grab a cheap flight and fly there.  This way you still get to experience the airport and flying experience whilst still exploring the UK.


Accommodation Options
The number of accommodation options has greatly approved over the last few years making finding the most suitable option for you much easier and more affordable. Over the years we have used a number of different websites to book either a package or accommodation only holiday or break staying in accommodation varying from boutique hotels, home away from homes, static caravans and b&bs. Before deciding on and booking something make sure that you have explored all options and picked accommodation best suited to your budget and your needs.

Brighton Beach

Below is a list of places that we have visited for either family holidays or short breaks that I would definitely recommend and may give you an idea to kick start your planning.

The Lake District
The Norfolk Broads
Camber Sands
Great Yarmouth
The Isle of Sheppey
Cambridge
Oxford
Salisbury
Walton on the Naze
The New Forest
The Isle of Wight
Brighton
Margate
Southend
Stratford upon Avon
Windsor
Hastings 
Glasgow
The South Downs
and my hometown London

The Norfolk Broads


Check out some of these places for accommodation(we have personally booked through all of these)
Booking.com
Airbnb
Parkdean Resorts
Premier Inn
Travelodge 
Lastminute.com
Holiday Pirates
IHG
De Vere Hotels
Hilton Hotels

Where are some of your favourite places to stay in the UK for a short break? Does your family have form places that you like to visit regularly for a family holiday? I’d love to know where you recommend we visit.

Emma xoxo

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Meal Plan - 25/01/21


Week 4 of home learning and I’ve let the kids help with deciding what will be on this weeks menu.


Monday

Garlic chilli prawns and noodles


Tuesday

Homemade pizza and garlic bread


Wednesday 

Lamb biriyani


Thursday

Mushroom and sausage pasta 


Friday

Cajun spiced chicken thigh burgers and chips


Saturday

Takeaway


Sunday

Jerk pork, rice and peas, plantain and salad.



Emma xoxo

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Our 2021 Bucket List

If you had told me in December when I was thinking about our bucket list for 2020 how the year would go I would have laughed so hard. I mean who could have even guessed half of the disasters that 2020 would throw up; a bushfire, floods, swarms of locusts, coronavirus, BLM all that and we hadn’t even been met by summer yet.

So many of my personal and our family goals were negatively impacted by coronavirus in particular but we still managed to make some fantastic memories, see beautiful new places and do lots of things in spite of that so I’m not going to let the uncertainty of 2021 prevent me from setting goals and creating our annual bucket list. I’ll just do it with all of the crazy in mind.




One of the big things 2020 taught us was about loving the space we live in. As a family that like an adventure we don’t spend too much time at home usually but last year forced us to spend lots of time in our home and we realised that the space we had and how we were using it didn’t really work for us so quite a few of the things on our bucket list this year will reflect that. We want to make the space we live in more suited to us and practical. Also, whilst we know that travel isn’t a definite this year we would still like to at least explore some of the beautiful places that the UK has to offer.




2021 Bucket List


Redecorate our bedroom (replacing bed and wardrobe)

Replace dining table

New sofa

Visit 2 new places

Eat out less

Save more money

Try more new recipes

Go to the theatre(at least once)

Picnic on the beach

Spa break

Visit Cadbury world

Grow tomatoes and strawberries from seed

Make tie dye t-shirts

Visit a national park

Fly a kite

Visit a historical site

Go to a drive in show or movie



Our bucket list is 100% flexible and whilst we would love to be able to tick everything off the list we know that with the world the way it is we may have to postpone some of these. In the same spirit we know that as the months roll by there will be things that we will definitely add to our bucket list. 





Having a list of goals for the year ahead is definitely motivation for me, particularly on days when I feel like life is leading me rather than me leading it! 

Remember, your bucket list is a reflection of you and your life and for that reason it can be as simple, complicated, wild or ambitious as you want it to be.


Do you have any plans or goals for this year? If so, I’d love to hear about them.


Emma xoxo

Monday, January 18, 2021

Weekly Meal Plan 18/01/21




Using the slow cooker last week whilst supporting home learning was a big help in our home so this week I’m going to try to make use of it as much as possible again.












 


 

Monday
Meatballs in a tomato and basil sauce with spaghetti 
 
Tuesday
        Chicken fajitas with sweetcorn salsa and wedges 
 
Wednesday 
Jacket potatoes with a selection of fillings
 
Thursday
Beef koftes with rice, homemade flatbreads and salad
 
Friday
Pork casserole
 
Saturday
Loaded fries
 
Sunday
Jerk pork with rice and peas, homemade coleslaw, salad and plantain 


What dish are you most looking forward to this week?


Emma xoxo

Monday, January 11, 2021

Meal Plan 11/01/21 - The slow cooker edition


After the disaster that was learning from home/working from home/being a domestic goddess/keeping children alive and looking after myself last week, I’ve quickly realised that something has to give.

Despite having a meal plan, it was getting to 5pm and we were still trying to finish up school work, work and quite frankly I was shattered so this week I have decided to make the most of my slow cooker and get the dinners on in the morning so once dinner time rolls around we are ready to go! 

All meals are slow cooker friendly


Monday 

Fake-away kebab and chips


Tuesday 

Beef casserole with green beans and root vegetable mash


Wednesday 

Chicken korma, rice and naan bread


Thursday

Sweet chilli halloumi and plain boiled rice

(it was a hit last week so requested again)


Saturday

Sam’s birthday takeaway choice


Sunday

Roast chicken dinner



What does your lockdown week 2 menu look like?


Emma xoxo

Monday, January 4, 2021

Weekly Meal Plan 04/01/2021

 So here goes, the first meal plan of 2021





Monday

Slow cooker bolognese with rigatoni, garlic bread and steamed veggies


Tuesday

Sweet chilli halloumi and rice


Wednesday 

Chicken wings, chips and salad


Thursday 

Homemade pizzas, dough balls and salad


Friday

Sausage, mash and onion gravy


Saturday

Chicken noodles and spring rolls


Sunday

Roast pork with all the trimmings 




What is on your meal plan for this week?


Emma xoxo


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Lockdown Lessons

Here are a few of the things that lockdown taught me

Having fun doesn’t have to cost a penny

If you follow me on Instagram, have read previous posts or seen my YouTube videos then you will know that we love to get out and about and have fun but lockdown made us realise that the fun doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Once restrictions were lifted a little we were able to get out we had so much fun on literally a few pound which proves that you can have fun for next to nothing. 


We really don’t need to eat out as often

I have to admit, we probably eat out more than we should but with the restaurants shut and not being a fan of delivered food we really got back to basics in the kitchen and had so much fun trying new and old recipes and I can honestly say it didn’t feel like a chore...it was enjoyable.


There is more time in the day than we realise for me time or self care

We often say we don’t have enough hours in the day to do all the things we need to do but with the combination of homeschooling, working from home and just having to spend so much time at home you are forced to manage your time and schedule better and better time management meant being able to find time in the day for


me. Whether it’s a face pack, 30 minutes to sit alone and read or a walk, lockdown taught me there was more time for me than I’d realised.




We can get on as a family

When lockdown was announced I panicked. All of us at home together, 24/7!! Surprisingly enough, the time at home together was actually fantastic. We really got to learn more about each other, what makes us tick and had a giggle. Yes there were days that we wanted to kill each other but on the whole it was a great experience and I’m grateful to have had that opportunity.


Shopping is not so necessary 

Ok so yes we need grocery shopping but this one is short and sweet. I really don’t need to buy half of the crap that I do or shop as much. During lockdown I saved a small fortune!


We are really resourceful

Between homework projects, diy, shops being closed and all the other mayhem of this year I’ve come to realise that we are super resourceful. Things were repurposed, we made use of things that had been lying around in cupboards and drawers for ages and generally were *resourceful*


Travel doesn’t have to be too far from your doorstep 

We had several trips cancelled due to the coronavirus this year and at first I was so upset but we used it as an opportunity to explore closer to home and discovered some amazing places within the UK. There really are some beautiful places to be found on our shores.





Needless to say lockdown and the virus reminded us of the importance of looking after one another, being kind and looking after our planet but what else did lockdown and the coronavirus teach you?


Emma xoxo

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Am I Enough?




The last 6 months have been interesting to say the least. The impact of what we have been through has not just physically taken it’s toll on so many of us, it has also left a vast majority of us mentally scarred too.

After months of homeschooling, trying to keep on top of my own work, housework and everything else I have had to juggle, the whole experience left me questioning or rather doubting my abilities. Am I a good enough parent? Am I being a supportive enough wife? Have I been there for my friends? The list went on.


Recently I started reading a book called How To Stop Feeling Like Sh*t. Every chapter involves a challenge where you are asked to look at different areas of your life and really take stock of how you feel about and treat yourself and I realised that I wouldn’t treat others how I treat myself. It’s only really the last couple of weeks that I’ve actually stepped back, taken stock of everything and wholeheartedly challenged the self doubt and my reasons behind it and do you know what, I’ve come to realise that I AM ENOUGH. I give my all, I love with all my heart and I learn from my mistakes.





A perfect example of doubting myself or feeling inadequate is this week on Instagram I made a reel and very nearly didn’t post it. Here’s why, I am rarely in a picture as I will duck and dive to avoid them where possible but when I do take a picture I won’t usually upload them anywhere because I am constantly picking at everything wrong with me in the picture. I’ll criticise my photography skills and video editing skills and deem things just not good enough but on Monday I posted the video because despite me not being 100% happy with it I was happy enough with ME and that is a huge amount of progress.


It’s so easy to get caught up with life and forget about ourselves particularly with everything that we’ve had going on in the world lately but when was the last time you stopped and thought about what you need, how you’re feeling and how you’re doing?




We are always making time for everything and anything else so with things settling into a ‘new normal’, maybe now is the time to look at your mental health and well-being, set some time aside for you and just make sure that you are ok.


Emma xoxo