Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2019

Mother’s Day is just around the corner I know most people are searching for the perfect gift. I know some people are not like mean and they either no longer have their mum or a good relationship.  However, if you are a lucky person like me to have such a good relationship.  You will want to show her how much she means to you. Of course, this does not have to be your mum is could be anyone special.  I know people who give gifts to Aunties, Grandma’s and Step Mums. You could even give gifts to your Dad if you do not have a Mum and he is like a second Mum.  Today I am going to share with you some gift ideas. There are so many different things which you can purchase of course. Just because your a Mum does not mean that you like the same thing as someone else.  I am going to be featuring a number of smaller brands within this gift guide because as you may know I love to support smaller brands.

 

Jewellery

There are some amazing companies which make jewellery I have tried a number of them. If your Mum does have a Pandora why not get a charm or earrings which they do amazing sets. I do have a couple of Pandora bracelets, all of them have meaning and Jess has purchased me some of them for Mother’s Day in the past.  If you have a sibling you could go halves on them as I know some of the charms.  These are not that cheap and can put people off purchasing them.  Another company which I recommend checking out is Jellewery Box this is where my hear necklace came from I ordered it a couple of years ago. I wear it every single day and there is no sign of wear on it. It actually has Jess’ name on it but you can have whatever you actually want on it.  I would recommend them because I think mine even though it was personalised was only around the £20 mark. I could not believe how cheap it was for something personalised.  Another company which I have purchased from is More Than Yesterday Designs these are hand stamped they do necklaces as well as keyrings they all can be personalised. This is something which I love, I have ordered from them this year for my Mum. I have actually got my initial, my brother’s and Jess’. You can get them super personalised which I think always means more when it comes to Mother’s Day.  They do not actually break the bank either I think mine cost around the £25 mark including postage.

Clothing 

Hoodies and Jumpers are something I live in. I work from home as many of you know and to save putting the heating on I will just stick another layer on.  So Jumpers and Hoodies are something which I need plenty of and to be honest adore.  One of my favourite brands is actually Surviving Society the jumpers are so comfortable maybe because they are organic cotton. I actually might have to order another one because mine is just so amazing.  It is a small mama business which means you actually are supporting a fellow mum when you order. I find them to be so well priced. Katie will be happy to help you find the size you need this is something which she did for me. They also have some amazing t-shirts which I might have to browse because t-shirts are something which I am starting to lack in.  Another clothing brand which I have my eye on some of their things is Ada & Alfred they do some amazing looking sweatshirts which include coffee and conquer which you know is something which I think is my life motto.  I may or may not have sent a link to Joe as a hit for this Mother’s Day. After all, it is something which I will be using for a while.  While browsing I also noticed they have Motherhoodie hoodies on their as well which look amazing and something different. Sometimes we get bored with the same hoodie.  I might have to purchase one which is slightly oversized because then it is going to be cosy just how I love it.  I would recommend both brands things I have had in the past have always been of such high quality.

Flowers

I know this is a traditional gift which a lot of people do purchase their Mum or loved ones for Mother’s Day.  I know this is something which we do send to Joe’s Nan for Mother’s Day. This does mean that we have used a range of different companies as we need them delivered. Sadly we rarely get to see her on actual Mother’s Day.  There is a couple which I would recommend checking out Serenta Flowers she always has said that they have been great quality when we have sent them. I know Appleyard also do some amazing flowers and deliver I was lucky to be sent some at Valentines. They actually lasted for nearly 3 weeks which I think is amazing for fresh flowers. If you are actually going to be seeing your mum closer to Mother’s Day the supermarkets do some amazing bunches. They are a fraction of the price and from an inside source who works with them he said there as good quality. For sure who does not love getting flowers at a special occasion.

Activewear

This may be a niche one but as you may know, going to the gym is something which I am doing more. Since the new year, I have managed to go 3 times a week on average. This does mean that I need more activewear than I have in the past. Currently I am using some of my older stuff I have only purchased a couple of tops. However, some of mine is now getting to big or too tight. Both because I am losing weight but I am also gaining muscle. I was looking for some new leggings because I think this is going to have to be my next investment. Then I cam across another brand owned by a badass mamma. LAPactivewear they do some of the funkiest and bright leggings which I actually love. they are around the £28 mark which is not actually that bad for gym leggings they look so comfortable as well. I have hinted a few time that I would like a pair. They have some amazing designs which are coming out in April. The pair which I want most the liquorice ones are not available till May is it strange to ask for a pair for my birthday?

Spotify/ Music

Music plays such a huge part of my life to be honest, when I am working I usually have it on. When I am doing work because it makes me happy and passes the time faster to be honest who doesn’t love dance and sing along when they are doing tasks. You can either buy them a CD which is something I did for my mum and she has used it so much. I purchased her the new Boyzone CD and then told her she was going to see them live. I know she plays this a lot when she is doing jobs. However, if like us you rarely purchase any CD and like a wide range of music why not try out a subscription to Spotify. I think it is around £9.99 a month which is not that expensive if you play music as we do. It is perfect for when you are in the car, working and also in the gym. I must listen to hours of this a week and I even find different artists when using it. If you are unsure how much your mum is going to use spotify why not get her a subscription for a few months and review it. If she uses it enough then she can start paying for it herself.

Candles/ Reed Diffusers

Candles and reed diffusers are something which I have loved for such a long time. I love my house to smell nice and these both help us to achieve this, of course, we do not have to spend a fortune on them. Some of the best candles we have found are actually from home bargains and they are a Wickford and Co. I think they are actually a dupe for Yankee Candle but they are a fraction of the price of those.  They actually are around the £3 mark which is so cheap because they do have a throw which is amazing and as good as some of the expensive ones. The one which I am burning at the moment is actually is pink lemonade. This is one which I picked up last year so they may not actually have this in this year.  But I would recommend seeing what scents they do have in because they are amazing. Aldi also does some amazing candles we used one for the centrepiece at Christmas. They are usually dupe of Jo Malone which for a fraction of the actual price. They have a good scent as well I also have the reed diffuser in our bedroom and I must say that makes me happy because your bedroom can become horrible smelling which is something we want to avoid.

Craft Activity

I think that this is something amazing to do with your mum. There is nothing better for doing some craft activities and having a coffee with your Mum. I know this is something which me and my mum do not get to do very often due to the fact that we are always so busy. However, I have been sent these lovely Craft Buddy crystal art card kits. These would be perfect for sitting down over a coffee and slowly doing with your mum. Sometimes it is about the quality time that would be spent with them which means more. These kits are £5 which means that you could get a couple and do one each if you would like. I think you can also do these as your mum’s mother’s day card this year. It will show that you have spent time and effort into doing it. There are also kits which you can make your own bath bombs and facemasks which Superdrug sell these would be perfect if your mum is into pampering herself a little bit more. I might have to pick some of both up so I and my mum have something to do together. Usually, when we are together we are so busy.

Pampering Set

Something which you will know if your a mum is self-care is important but something so many of us neglect.  I know for certain it is something which I neglect however, mothers day is a good time to get your mum something to treat herself with.  I know this is something which I do for my mum often at her birthday or mother’s day. Lush is a company which I have used before and gifted her. This year I was kindly sent some products from Pretty Little Treats. They are a Yorkshire based company who make handcrafted bath and body products. They smell and look amazing they come so well packaged as well. I have been using the Strawberry Jam Lip Balm and for sure this smells good enough to eat. I like that you can personalise the box so that you can add what you want to it. For example, for only £15 you can actually get 4 of the items which is so much cheaper than other brands. You are supporting a small business and a little seems to go such a long way with these products. I also like the fact that you can put what your mum is going to use in them rather than items which they are not going to use.

I hope this gives you some insight into what to get your mum for mother’s day.

 

What are you buying your Mum?

Charlotte xx

 

 

 

Meal Inspiration Monday- Paprika Chicken Goujons

Sometimes we all want a simple meal which the whole family are going to eat. Of course, you always have those meals for emergencies in the freezer. I wondered if I could make one of those meal chicken goujons from scratch because this then means I know what is in them. Plus they also seemed a really easy meal to make and could be frozen for when we needed them as well.  Today I am going to share with you the recipe which I think is originally a Hello Fresh meal to make these paprika chicken goujons.

Ingredients- Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts

Glug Of Oil

24g Plain Flour

1/2 Lime Zest

17g Paprika

10g Dried Thyme

Method
  1. Lay one of the chicken breasts between two sheets of clingfilm and bash until 2cm thick. I did it with a rolling pin, to be honest, it helps get rid of any anger.  Do this for all chicken breasts
  2. Cut the flattened chicken breast into 6 to 7 long strips
  3. Put a glug of oil in large frying on a medium to high heat. Let it get really hot
  4.  Put the flour in a mixing bowl with the lime zest, paprika and dried thyme.  Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Mix together really well then add the chicken strips. Toss with your hands to ensure the chicken is well coated in the seasoning flour.
  6. Once the oil is hot add half the chicken to the pan.
  7. Cook until golden all over this should be 3-4 minutes.
  8. Then cook the other half and serve with wedges, chips or salad.

Hopefully, you found this very interesting because I know Goujons are something which a lot of people go for when they need a quick meal.

What are your go-to quick meals?

Charlotte xxx

 

Picking the Perfect Bedding for your Room

Your bedroom is one of the most important places in your house. It is the place where you spend most of your time so it is important that everything is perfect. Of course, the most important part of your bedroom is actually your bed. The place you sleep and if like me the place you crave to go every single second of the day. It is safe to say that I am in love with my bed.  There is something about the feeling of been super cosy and getting a good nights sleep.  Being a parent means that you need all of the sleep which you can get you never know when the little ones are going to wake. Also if your children are anything like mine they will actually wear you out every single day.

Bedspreads are something which is so effective in helping create the perfect bedding for your bedroom. They are something which in my head I had down as being very expensive.  Maybe this is because they look like they should be a lot more expensive maybe because they look like they should be.   However, I could not have been more wrong about this Yorkshire Linen sell super king bedspreads for as low as £30.  This is super cheap compared to other places where you can be paying double if not more. They do sell the smaller sizes including double and king size if like us you have one of those sizes. They may the room look very finished and polished off which is something which I think is what you want. Everyone wants that perfect bedroom whether it is just so you feel more proud of your house. Or whether you end up showing it on Instagram as I do. Bedspreads can make it look like you have put a lot more thought into the room.  They add a lot so much as a finishing touch and look like you have done more than you actually have. They even can change your bedroom a little bit you know when you get bored but can’t afford to redecorate the room. The addition of a bedspread and maybe some new bedding to go with it. Then you can have a completely transformed room which you will love again.

With the upcoming spring and summer months, a bedspread would be perfect. For those nights when it is a little bit too warm to have the duvet on but I like to boil when I sleep anyway. But if you are not like me and prefer something a bit thinner then a bedspread would be perfect for you. They even act as another layer when it is super cold in the winter which is great. Who does not like something else to snuggle up to in the colder months I always like to be snug. We should really get one because of the fact that I do actually steal all of the covers when we are in bed. So poor Joe ends up with nothing and he ends up feeling the chill.

There is a wide range of designs which you can choose from so this means that you can always get one to match your current decor. You can get ones which are just one overall colour, this would be good of like you have patterned wallpaper. Sometimes you do not want too many patterns I know this is something which I would look into.  They also sell patterned ones if you have one colour walls and want to add some patterns into the bedroom. For sure there are so many different options it means that you are going to find something which works for you.  There is a range of colours as well which also means that you are going to be able to match. I think we are actually going to be doing our bedroom up either this year or next year. There are other elements which I feel are more important for us to do than the bedroom. However,  for sure I know that a bedspread is something which we are very likely to purchase. After all who does not want to be cosy and also stylish at the same time. For sure this is something which I want. I can not get over how affordable they are this does mean that you could have a couple of these depending on what bedding you actually have on at the time. I am sure you can actually find one which is perfect for you and your bedroom.

Have you ever used a bedspread on your bed?

 

Charlotte xx

 

This is a collaborative post

 

 

Meal Plan 15th March #11

Today I am sharing with you the meal plan for this week. There is a lot of meals which I have been featured before. I  have four nights this week where I am having to eat alone. Joe is away and Jess eats at nursery. Which means I get to select meals which I have already prepared in the freezer.  A bonus of him away does mean that I am going to have some more of that elusive freezer space.  Saying that I do keep purchasing reduced stickered items for a time when he is away.  I hope you enjoy reading about what kind of food I have been eating this week.

Monday- Chicken Goujons, Wedges and Spaggethi Hoops, something so simple but effective.  I actually made the chicken goujons way back sometime last year and made too many so froze them. I thought this week would be great to dig them out and consume.  We have no chips in so wedges are going to be served.  I think I prefer wedges anyway.

Tuesday- Beef Casserole and Mash this is something which I have frozen as well. I only had enough for one person.  The weather is meant to be pretty rubbish this week so I think this is going to be appreciated.  I have some potatoes in which I am going to turn into Mash Potatoes and serve. Something warm and comforting for tonight.

Wednesday- Lasagna and Salad maybe Garlic Bread. To be honest, could I have a week where I do not consume pasta I do not think I could. There are so many little tubs of lasagna in my freezer that I need to get some removed.  So I decided that I was going to have this for a meal this week.  I have some salad because I am trying to be a good girl and eat a bit better again at the moment.

Thursday- Mediterranean Fish and Wedges. There is actually one left in the packet which means that it makes sense for me to finish them off. I would actually purchase this again I know it is a birds eye one but it can be expensive if you do not purchase them on offer. I reckon I will end up serving this meal with mixed veg so that there is some greens in the meal.

Friday- Fish Pie, this is a recipe which I found on Pinterest I was looking for a fish dish. We have some to use up and I came across a fish pie now this is something which we have not had in the longest time. I think this is going to be something which we just have on it’s own hopefully it is going to be very filling. If this is something which I enjoy I will end up sharing the recipe with you on Monday.

Saturday- Pasta Bake, I have some creme fresh which I need to use up from a previous week. Of course, this meant I just went to pinterest to see what I could make with it. Then I did find a pasta and spinach pasta bake this is something that I would not have thought about before. I am looking forward to this because it is something different. Spinach is something which I am unsure if Jess would eat but because it is with pasta she should eat this. I will maybe serve this with garlic bread because we have a spare one in the fridge so I may use this.

Sunday- Sweet Chilli Prawns and Noddles. Noodles are something which I could consume very often. We had some prawns in which I fancied using up this does sound like something a little bit different to what I would normally make. I do not think I have every heated up sweet chilli sauce and I am sure this is something which I have to do for this meal. Hopefully, this is going to be a meal which Jess is going to end up eating. I may have to purchase something in case she does not like it at all.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing what meals we have been consuming this week.  As always these posts are part of the meal plan linky ran by the lovely Katy. There is so many of us who join now you are bound to find some meal inspiration.

Why are you having for your meals this week?

 

Charlotte xx

 

 

 

Preloved Finds February 2018

As you may remember I am trying to be conscious to purchase more preloved items. I think that people do not realise how much we do waste. Jess grows out of toys and clothes very quickly I do sell a lot of her clothes which are in good condition. Sometimes I do manage to sell toys as well if I think that they are worth it. Usually, I sell on eBay then things which are not perfect end up in the charity shop. Usually when in there we look if there is anything else we would like. We have had toys and games for a fraction of their RRP.  EBay is somewhere were I get items which I think are going to be perfect for nursery. As we need clothes we do not mind getting a little bit ruined. Shopping preloved for us is to save items ending up in landfill and to save us some pennies.

This month we had a lot from the charity shop there was so much good stuff in there. This could have been because people have been having a clearout after this Christmas.  I am hoping to share every month what we have been picking up. If you have not seen what we picked up in January have a look here.  Jess managed to get some amazing bargains as we went in a fair few charity shops this month. Usually, we only go once or twice a month so we do not end up with too much in the house.  We are always trying to declutter because we always want more space.

The first couple of items which picked up are some Orchard Toys there a brand which we love. There so educational, however,  they are so fun and we can play them as a family after nursery.  The first one which we picked up is Dotty Dinosaurs which was only 50p which I think it is a steal. The reason why is because one of the dice is missing however, this does not affect play. I have been since told if you contact Orchard Toys they will replace missing parts which is amazing. This game is simple you pick a board which is dinosaur shaped you roll the dice which has all different shapes on . Then the one it lands on is the one which you can add to your dinosaur. It also has a colours version of this but we do not have the colour dice.  We have had so much fun playing this game since we got it. Hopefully are going to be getting the replacement dice very soon.

The other Orchard Toys game which we did pick Doodlebugs which is almost like a child’s version of UNO.  This is one which can take a long time so beware because your child may get bored Jess can when we play this.   I think it is going to be one which we are going to let a lot of play out of. This is one which she can play when she becomes a bit older too.  I think I prefer uno to this one as you do not always get a winner this is something which we have had in the past.  For £1.50 you can not go wrong because of the fact that these games can be up to £7-9. I know this has been played but this does not affect our joy.  I will be looking out for more Orchard Toys because we do have so much fun playing these. We do not see many of the Orchard Toys second hand because they are so loved.

The other item which we picked up from the same charity shop is a box of Frozen jigsaws. As you may know, Jess does love doing jigsaws because this is something which she can do on her own.  We do offer her help if she needs it she manages to a lot of them super fast.  Jess does actually complete the 35 ones now.  So we have had to pick up some of the harder ones. We got this Frozen boxset which has a 35, 50, 70 and also 100 these should keep her happy for longer.  I think these are going to be a lot harder and we are going to have to help her do these as they look so much harder.  These only cost us £2.50 which I think is cheap as they are Disney I expect they are around £5-10 in stores.

In another charity shop, we managed to pick up some more jigsaws for Jess which were Disney.  As you can see these Jigsaws actually have 10 in 1 box and are  Princess themed. The princess seem to be something Jess is getting into more as she gets older.  These are only 25 pieces however, the backgrounds of these are hard. I am sure she is going to have to ask for help she did last time we had them out. This is great because it gives us some time together and they will last a while. I was more amazed all of the pieces where actually there for the price we paid. We only spent £1 on all 10 of these. Some of them were also still bagged which was amazing. We are going to have so much fun with these which is a bonus when they are not costing the earth.

Jess is Paw Patrol mad which means that sometimes we do have to watch it. However, it is not always on the TV  which can be a pain when she is demanding it is not on Youtube.  So when I found these I knew I had to pick up these DVD’s. Jess is going to get so much use of this because of how she loves it. These are ones which she does not have on DVD already which is shocking. She has so many of these I managed to pick £1 each for these DVD’s.   These usually are around the £3-4 mark when you see them in Home Bargains and B&M.  These will be great for when she wants a movie day because you can pause as they are episodes.  She does not have the attention span yet for a complete movie which is a little bit of a shame. I am going to be keeping an eye out for any more paw patrol things because it is something Jess loves and has for a while. However, I am unsure how much longer she is actually going to be a huge fan of the show.

I think this month we managed to go a little bit jigsaw crazy  we picked up 4 more jigsaws for her to play with.  The easiest one I guess you could say with 35 pieces is a Peppa pig one. This is one which Jess loved but she claimed at the end of the month that it has become too easy. For us this is then when we know it is time for it to find a new home.  We actually took this back to the charity shop one weekend.  Jess was repeatedly doing this one on her own with no help in a few minutes. I am so proud of how good she is at them . We actually only paid 50p and ot gave her a few hours of fun.

We also picked up a Minnie Mouse jigsaw which is a 50 piece jigsaw hopefully she is going to be able to keep this for a long time.  This does look like there is a lot of background colours which are the same this is going to mean that it is going to be a lot harder for her. She always needs a challenge because this is going to push her. She has not tried this one yet so I am sure that she is going to have enough fun when she finally does get it.  This is going to be perfect for those days when we get home from nursery and she wants to do something. Or on a weekend when the weather is pretty rubbish this is going to be great.

Another jigsaw which Jess picked up is another Disney Fairies which is a 42 piece. This again looks like on which is one which could last for a while because it is harder than some of the ones which she currently owns. Disney is something which she seems to be getting into more and more. I can only see this getting stronger and stronger.. Again this is a steal at only 50p because these are more expensive than this in the stores. There is a wide range of colours on there which is something which Jess is going to love. I do not think this one is going to be too hard for her but she many need some help.

The other jigsaw which we did pick up was a Doc McStuffin jigsaw which is another Disney show. This is not one which we have actually seen so I don’t know the characters. It is a 42 piece jigsaw I am unsure how hard she will actually find this one. If it is too easy it can go back to the charity on one of trips.  If it is a little bit too hard we can work together on this. This jigsaw is one which she doesn’t currently have access to because I have to keep some back.  In case we can not replace the ones which we have already completed for example and we would not have enough space.

Cooking books is something else I like to pick up because they are so much cheaper than paying the RRP. It also allows us to get new recipes which I then can come and share on my meal inspiration Mondays.  The two which we have picked up are the Hairy Bikers Dieters for Life this has a lot which we have made from it. These have a lot of recipes which are healthy which is amazing because this is something which we are trying to do.  I actually picked this book up for £1.50 which is super cheap because it would have been at least £10 when it was brand new.

The other one is a takeaway book which has all the classics in which you order it is so much cheaper and we find a lot of pleasure in cooking meals which we have never done before. There is a hell of a lot less calories which is good for people losing weight but still wanting treats.  This is one which we have made a few recipes from since we have owned it I would recommend this book if you can get your hands on it.  There is so many recipes which I want to make as a result of this book. It cost us £1.50 and for sure it is one which we will be getting more use out of. I am going to keep my eye out for more of these cooking books.

Another item which I picked up is a boxset of books from Next. These are actually baking books which is something I love to do as well. There is three in this set which include Gorgeous Cakes, Chocolate Treats and Cupcakes Mini Bakes. These are going to be amazing when I want some inspiration. Usually, I find a lot of the inspiration on Pinterest however, sometimes there is nothing better than having an actual book. I for sure will let you know when I have made something using this book with all this rainy weather I can see if been soon. I picked up this boxset for £2.50 which is a little bit more than I usually pay however, it is for charity.

What have you picked up preloved this month?

Charlotte xxx

 

Meal Inspiration Monday- Chicken Katsu Curry

 

Katsu curry is a meal which I always seem to order when we go to Waggamama. We do not live that close to one I think the local one is around 30 mins drive and then it does mean that we spend a lot of money on food. I wanted to be able to make my own  Katsu curry at home and this is something which I managed around Christmas time. I may have to make this again because I am craving Katsu Curry.  The recipe which I actually used came from an old Asda magazine which they share recipes in you can find a lot of them on Pinterest. If you do not know what Katsu Curry is it is a Japanese curry which is completely different from any other curry which I have actually tried.  This recipe does even allow you to make the pickled veg and egg fried rice which sometime is served with Katsu curry of course this is an element which you do not have to include.

Ingredients – Serves 6

For the Chicken Katsu

4tbsp plain flour

1 beaten large egg

80g fresh breadcrumbs

2tbsp sesame seeds

3 Chicken Breast Fillets sliced in half

Rapeseed oil, for frying

For the curry sauce

1tbsp rapeseed oil

1 large chopped onion

1 large diced carrot

2 crushed cloves garlic

3cm piece grated ginger

3tbsp mild curry powder

500ml chicken stock

1tbsp clear honey

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 star anise

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1 bay leaf

For Pickled Veg

4 sliced radishes

1/4 cucumber, halved, deseeded and sliced

1 medium carrot, peeled and finely sliced

1 red chilli, finely sliced

2tsbp rice vinegar

1tsbp caster sugar

For Egg Rice

275g Jasmine Rice

125g Frozen Peas

1 Large Carrot Diced

2 Large Beaten Eggs

2tbsp Rice Vinegar.

Method
  1. To make the pickled veg, toss the sliced vegetables, chilli, rice vinegar and caster sugar together in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Then set aside until needed later.
  2. To make the curry sauce, heat the oil in a pan on medium and fry the onion and carrot for 5-6 mins, until soft
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook for 2 mins. Sprinkle in the flour then gradually add the stock, stirring constantly
  4. Add the honey, soy sauce, star anise, bay leaf and chilli flakes, then simmer for 15 mins
  5. Remove the star anise and bay leaf, then blitz the sauce with a handheld blender until smooth. Keep warm until needed.
  6. To make the egg rice, bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the rice and simmer for 12 mins.
  7. Add the peas and carrot and cook for 3 mins. Swirl the water, pour in the eggs and cook for 2 mins.
  8. Drain through a sieve and return to the pan then stir through the vinegar, then allow to sit.
  9. To make the katsu, put the flour and beaten egg on separate plates
  10. Mix the breadcrumbs and sesame seeds, then put on a third plate. Dip the chicken in the flour, then the egg and then the crumb mixture.
  11. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high setting. Fry the chicken for 5 mins on each side until crisp, golden and cooked through inside. You will probably need to do this in 2 or 3 batches. Once cooked cut the chicken into wide strips.
  12. Serve and top with katsu sauce,and pickled veg.

This katsu curry is actually fun this is for sure something that Joe and I will be making again in the future. It is cheaper to make than going out and eating at waggamamas and it does give you some bonding time if you cook with your partner which is something which we tend to do. In total I think it took us around an hour to make this meal however, it was full of flavour and was a meal which I enjoyed. To be honest it did taste as good as the waggamamas offering which they have on their menu.

Have you ever made Katsu Curry?

 

Charlotte xxx

 

 

February Edit Tag

I know this post may seem a little bit late but this is because February is such a short month. I had so much content which I wanted to get up and this February tag is of one those who just ended up in March. Next week coming to a preloved post from February as well.  This month the lovely Lisa has chosen the theme of love, romance and getting through the lag that is winter. This is because of course, February is the month which has Valentines and statistically is the coldest month of the year.  So I am going to get on answering the questions which I have been asked for this month.

What is the blog tag?

The blog tag is just a fun tag about getting to know the blogger behind the blog, but to also talk about things topical each month which Lisa does share.  I am going to share my answers to things which she has asked and then hopefully you will actually find something which you would not have normally learnt about me. If you have not been tagged just feel free to copy the questions and answer them.

How’s your day going?

Today is a day which I feel like I need more hours in the day. This is a common theme this week I wish I could have more hours.  I am trying to get so much done this month both on my blog and also in the house. It is making me want to sleep a lot and what is this rubbish weather. I thought spring has come at the end of last month.

Did you celebrate valentines day?

We did actually we purchased a meal for two which was amazing we got it from Asda. I would recommend doing this next year we had steak as well which is something which I have not had for a long time.  Since we have Jess it does mean that it is harder to go out. We finished the night off by watching the latest Thor film which I have not seen. Now, what else could a girl want for Valentines?  I know there is are people who are not into Valentine’s day but it is something which we are not hugely into either.

Tell me what is your favourite chick flick?

Chick flicks are something which I do not watch a lot of. However, I would say that one of my favourite chick flicks is friends with benefits for sure this is a film which I could watch a hundred times. This reminds me I have not actually watched this for such a long time.

What are you looking forward to in Spring?

I am looking forward to having some better weather which means that we can go out and explore. Days out are something which we love doing as a family. This year, of course, I want to start on the project garden because that does need a lot of TLC.  In hopes that by the summer it is going to be useable and be the place where some amazing memories are created.

What do you want to achieve this month?

I have done both Febaury goals and a March Goals posts which you can read.  I do want to get more organised and ahead with things this month. More time is something I love because it has started again where my evenings are been eaten up by doing jobs.  Which is something that I am not a huge fan of at all. With this time then I could spend more time on self-care this again is something which I have neglected. Have you started to notice a theme here.

As it’s hibernating season, what are you Netflix faves?

I have just got rid of Netflix again, however when I did have it I was loving Consumed. I binged watched that and it made me realise that I did not need half of the things which we have.  Slowly I am decluttering our lives again it seems to have got a little bit crazy again after Christmas. I like documentaries as well so something which I love is the Air Ambulance type of programmes which you get on Sky and all of the good work that they do. It is very important to support them because you never know when or if you are going need them.

What has life taught you this past month?

Life has reminded me more than taught me this month how everything can change at a click of the fingers. I am not saying this because someone has died but been an armed forces family things do change at the drop of a hat. I can find myself solo parenting the little monkey for periods of time. But it does mean that Jess does have an amazing bond with me she is like my best friend sometimes.  I know Joe is actually her favourite because she does tell me enough.

If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your days what would it be?

Salt and Pepper Chicken from the Chinese it is amazing. Or if I am allowed I would make it at home because that’s a hell of a lot healthier and Katy has an amazing recipe which you should all try.  Failing that Katsu curry because that is something else I love. Damm I now am craving both of these and can’t have either for lunch.

Name one tv show that you just can’t get into?

I do not watch much TV anymore actually.  I would say something like call the midwife because everyone is obsessed with it and it is something which I have not watched a lot of.

What is the most romantic thing you’ve ever done?

Is cleaning the house, doing the washing and making food for him classed as been romantic.  This is something which I find my self doing a lot so I would say this is something. I would say this.

If you fancy doing this post feel free to and leave your links in the comments so I can read them all.

 

Charlotte xxx

 

 

Meal Plan 8th March #10

This week I feel like our meal plan is going to be a bit different to most other weeks. We have a couple of meals out and we are using some meals which we had in. We have still managed to do a wide range of meals which is always a bonus.  So I am going to share the meals which we are going to consume this week. I can not wait to consume some of these.

Monday– Mixed Grill and Wedges, this something which we have purchased already.  We got it when we visited the Tong Garden Centre, a mixed grill is something which Joe loves so we thought we would have one for this change. We are going to share the mixed grill and serve it with wedges instead of chips because we already have some in. This is going to be a meal which is simple but easy to make.

Tuesday– Chicken Stir Fry, this is a meal which Joe has been saying he fancies for a while. So it is something we are going to get around to making. Again when we visited the garden centre they had some good offers on the meat so we picked a kit up. This means that it is already seasoned and full of sauce. I seem to remember that it a Thai style which is always good to try something different.  Of course, it is pancake day as well so we will be having some pancakes maybe before tea so we can have them with Jess which is going to be a bonus.

Wednesday– Meatballs and Pasta. Shockingly I am not making my own meatballs as I have done in the past. This time we have actually purchased some to try they come in an Italian sauce which means we do not even have to do this.  I am either going to put this with some spaghetti or some pasta depending on which we actually fancy.  This for sure is one which I am looking forward to as well because meatballs are not something we have often.

Thursday – Chicken Curry, we actually got some curry pastes for Christmas. So I am going to attempt to make one of them I think I may try the Bali or the Thai first. I will let you know how it comes out, I do not know if I have high hopes for this. We are going to have this simple with rice and some Nan bread as well.  This again should be simple and full of flavour I am hoping so.

Friday– We are actually eating out with my parents on Friday. I am unsure where we are going to end up no doubt a local pub close to them before the rugby. It will be nice to go out for a meal with them as I don’t think we since we have moved. We do not have Jess either as she is at her other grandparents for the week.

Saturday– Mexican Burrito Rice Bowl this is another meal which Joe has chosen. Mexican as I have said previously is a type of food which I love. He was searching my Pinterest for inspiration when he came across this dish. To me, it sounds like it could be very nice and it is something different for this week. I am looking forward to it because it is something different to what we would normally choose. If it is nice I think I am going to share the recipe on my blog as well in a meal inspiration Monday post.

Sunday– this is likely to be a takeaway or sandwiches something quick. We actually may eat at a party which we are attending however, this does not finish till 7pm so when we get home is going to be closer to 9.  It does depend on how hungry we are to what we are going to eat that evening.  It is likely that Jess will end up been treated to another McDonald’s on the way back so we know she has been fed.

As you can see it is a little bit of a strange week for us a meal out and an undecided day.  I hope you have found some inspiration from the meals which we are going to have this week.  As always these posts are part of the meal plan linky ran by the lovely Katy. There is so many of us who join now you are bound to find some meal inspiration.

 

What are you consuming this week?

 

Charlotte xx

Goals For March 2019

I can not believe that it is March already because February seemed to go super fast.  I did not manage to completely hit all of my goals which I aimed to do maybe because it went so fast.  This month I want to smash it and get a lot done before Joe has some time off in April.  I am going to actually to reflect on the goals which I set last month before I set the goals for March.

Last Month

Personal– I managed to work out 3 times a week which managed to see me lose 2.5kg. I do feel a lot better for this I am trying to tone up but losing weight is a bonus. Start Planning some days out I have a few pencilled in. I have done some up till the end of March which is a bonus. I can not wait to get out and explore more places. Reviews of where we go will be shared on the blog because they are some of the most popular posts.  Cook more is something which I have been doing  I have enjoyed.  It has meant that I have been able to spend time in the kitchen and reducing my stress levels which is a bonus.  I did not manage to make a list of the freezer or the cupboards however, I do now know what is in the cupboards.

Work– this is an area which I managed to fail as such in however, I did manage to achieve one. I managed to double the amount I earnt from my blog this is something I am proud about. Thought I have not been paid for all of the work yet it is more money I earnt this month.  I did not manage to use tailwind a lot this month though I have been pinning a lot more which has seen my traffic go up. 100 followers was not something I achieved either I think I am around the 65 mark so still a little bit off . I pin daily so if you would like to follow me over there my link is here.  Facebook I did not hit 200 followers but I have been posting more often. I have found this has been helping. More people are now engaging which is a bonus I may hit this goal in March. I am only 10 followers away from this goal.

 

Money– Sell 20 items I actually managed to smash this one and sold on eBay alone 26 items. I still have a lot more which I need to list some of these are only low-value items but all help.  Looking into additional income streams this is something which I have started to do more this month. I still have a way to go because there is so many. Today I  cashed in my first payment from an app which I have been using. Hopefully, March is going to be the month when I look more into matched betting with Cheltenham coming up.  We kept the weekly food bill overall under £35.  There was one which was closer to £40 but some just £25 a week.  I am very proud of this and this is something which I hope to keep this down. My phone bill I managed to reduce by £6 for the rest of my contract. I had actually banked 35GB of data so I can use this if I find that I am not getting enough. I am going to be looking at my gas and electric and see if I can bring these payments down. We currently pay more than we use so are in a bit of credit.

Now on to the goals which I want to achieve in the month of March.

Personal-

Do more for me– this is something which I have been neglecting in the month of February. I did not manage to even finish a book at all after finishing I think I read 5 in January.  Skincare is another element which I neglected, I could not even tell you the last time I did a facemask. For me, it does not have to be a lot just having half an hour.  To read, paint my nails or something like that in the evenings is what I want to do more of. I think this is an element I struggle with because of the fact I work from home.  I know I need to make more time for myself so I do not burn out or become ill again.

Bake more– this is something which I did a lot in December and January however, I have not done one since my heart cookies for Valentines.  I want to really get back into this so I am not tempted to by as much sweet stuff when we do the weekly shop.   Jess also loves it so I am sure that she will be glad if we get to bake again.  I have been finding some amazing Easter bakes on Pinterest. I  might have to try them and share some of them with you if they’re as good as they look.

Start sorting the garden out for summer- since we moved it has been autumn and winter.  Now it looks like spring hopefully I can transform it into the garden I want it to be.  Somewhere where I can work and Jess can play.  Of course, this is weather dependent.   I am going to do a whole post about the garden when it is done but you can read about my plans for it here.

Spring Clean– this time of year makes me want to sort out and clean the house after the winter months. This could be due it been lighter which makes me want to sort out. I want to clean the carpets this month this is one of the final steps in getting Jess’ room finished.   I may do a room tour at some stage her room is the only one I am fully happy with at the moment.  Currently, I do have a huge urge just to gut the house clean.  It could because I know soon I am going to be putting my own stamp on the house for the first time. I am hopefully going to be sharing the journey on Instagram.

Work-

Get two weeks ahead of schedule- this is something which I had achieved at the start of the year however, I got ill at the end of Jan and this went.  I know Joe is going to have some time off work at the end of this month start of next. I want to be able to be spending some of the time with him rather than working all of the time. Even if it does just mean that I have to work half of a day compared to a whole day.  If I have some content scheduled it will mean I do not have to do as much and gives me a break as well.

Use Instagram Stories More- this is something which I have in the past I find that I get better engagement with my followers.  In the month of February, I did actually lose a lot of followers on Instagram. I also think this does give you an insight into my life as well. I do not always show a lot on here. However, I will share a lot of random things on my stories and even some bargains which I have found. If you do not follow me already I am @cupsofcharlotte.  I  aim to upload at least 2 stories per day we will see if this is something which actually happens.

Increase page views by 10%– slowly I have noticed by page view increase.  This does mean that there are more of you reading my content.  I would love 10% more page views this month and I think it could be doable with some work. It is nice to see your blog going somewhere and for more people to be able to read the content that I do create. I have been increasing my page views for the past few months but not as much as 10%.

Share other bloggers work– After all, sometimes we do need a little love from our friends. I want to share work from other bloggers which I have enjoyed reading or similar. It may allow people who follow me but not them to find some new people to follow. Sometimes people see it as a competition to have the most followers but I have found the community to be amazing.  This is something which I want to focus on this month because why shouldn’t we spread the love. I am aiming to share them on different platforms because this may attract different people.

Money-

Earn money every single day in March.  I know this is something which may sound crazy however, I do not mean a large amount of money every day. This is going to help having more money to spend on my family and the home. If I earn £1 a day at the end of the month that is £30 extra. I do not earn the majority of the money in this house however, I do like to contribute to the bills and days out having more money always helps.

Completely Look into Matched Betting. This is something have been meaning to do I have just not got around to it.  I know there are some big racing festivals coming up in March and April and this would be a great time to start earning some more money.  It looks pretty simple to do I think I just need to find some time to sit down and dedicate to this.

Have at least 2 no spend days a week- spending little amounts is something which I can end up doing and then I wonder why I have spent so much. I am aiming to do a no spend not taking my cards out with me for a couple of days a week. This will stop me making purchases which I do not need. Then we can have more money for things which we actually do need.

I am only going to do 3 money goals this month I feel like some of them are rather large goals.

 

What do you want to achieve this month?

 

Charlotte xx

 

 

 

Meal Inspiration Monday- Cheesey Bacon and Sausage Carbonana

 

It’s Monday again which means that it is time to share with you another recipe which I have made. Today I am going to share a pasta dish which is something which I have not done for a long time. Recently, you will know if you read my meal plans that we had a cheesey bacon and sausage carbonana. It came around because we had some sausages which needed to be used up so I turned them into this tasty meal.  It was a pretty simple dish but the twist of having sausage in it was something which I really enjoyed.  I feel like this meal was actually very comforting and warm and we actually had it during a cold spell when that is what you want to consume.

Ingredients- Serves 6

5 Tablespoons of soft butter

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

360ml double cream

150g cooked spaghetti

450g sliced sausage

225g bacon cut into pieces

1-2 teaspoons crushed garlic

115g Parmesan Cheese

115g Italian Blend Cheeses

Method
  1. In a small bowl, cream the soft butter by beating it against the side of the bowl with a wooden spoon until it is soft and fluffy.
  2. In another small bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks with a whisk until they are well blended, then stir in 50g grated cheese. Set both bowls aside.
  3. Put the spaghetti into the boiling water and stir with a wooden spoon to be sure the strands don’t stick to one another. Stir occasionally, about 7-12 minutes.
  4. Add oil to the pan and fry the bacon and sausage fry until browned then flip over the sausage.
  5. Once sausage is cooked move the cooked sausages to the side of the pan, reduce heat and add your garlic and blend in with your cooked sauage.
  6.  Stir in the cream to bacon and sausage. Bring the cream to a simmer and keep it warm until the spaghetti is done.
  7. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain it thoroughly in a large colander.  Stir in the creamed butter, tossing and turning the spaghetti with tongs to coat every strand.
  8. The stir in the hot bacon, sausage and cream mixture and finally the beaten eggs and cheese, mixing everything together thoroughly.
  9. The heat of the pasta and other ingredients should cook the raw egg on contact.
  10. Taste and season with garlic salt and a few grindings of pepper.

I think this meal only took around 20-30 minutes which is not very long. These does mean that you can make this on a work night.

Have you ever thought about doing a twist on carbonana? I loved the twist which we did on this meal.

Charlotte xxx