Valentine’s Gift Guide For Her 2019

Valentine’s Day is always one which ends up coming quicker and quicker every single year. It is just over a week away now so there is still some time to make a last minute gift purchase. Valentine’s Day is not one which we end up breaking the bank over. Usually Joe and I set a limit of around the £10 mark for a small gift. Last year I purchased him a hot wheels car the car he wishes he could have. In return I received a lovely mug and some soap in the shape of a rose. It just goes to show that you do not have to break the bank. Today I am going to share with you some ideas for this year.

A romantic night in– yes if does not have to be a physical gift which you give this year. Save the money by not going out and why not cook some amazing food together. Cooking food together is a good time to bond and something which Joe and I love to do. The Saucy Fish Co could have the answer Salmon is something which I would opt for. You could have it with something simple like potatoes and then there is always room for desert. I think this is a perfect idea. If you order from The Saucy Fish Co for Valentine’s you get a special sauce which is packed with three
aphrodisiacs so it will get you heading for the bedroom. We have had a few meals from The Saucy Fish Co. They have all been delicious and packed with flavour. You could cook any meal which you like including pasta or anything you love. For sure cooking is something which we will be doing this Valentine’s.

Lipstick- If you know your partner wears lipstick why not treat them to a shade.It means every time they wear it they can think of you. If you are unsure what they like why not have a snoop in their make up bag and see what shades they are wearing. You could even make it into a date where you take her to the counter and get the lipstick which she wants. This means that you can get what she wants and you also get a day out which can be a huge bonus. As time is something which Joe and I struggle to do this would be amazing.

Avenno Body Lotion- Something which you may want to purchase this valentine’s. You want to make sure that you or your partner has skin which is amazing. This then could mean that you are more likely to give them a massage which is something your partner may appreciate. I know I love getting a good massage. Having soft skin which is moisturised is something which makes you feel more confident anyway. This is a product which I love because always want as smooth skin as you can get. This is so natural and can be used on babies skin so it is not to worry if you have so sensitive skin.

Handbag– If you other half needs another handbag then this could be seen as a good time to purchase her one. Joe actually purchased me a new bag for Christmas because I needed a small every day bag. I do not need as much stuff now that Jess has become older. If you want to treat the love of your life to something which they are going to use a lot of the time. You do not have to spend a fortune on a bag it does not have to be designer. There are some beautiful bags on the high street in stores including New Look.

Card Holder– If you other half is anything like me then they will hate to carry change. This means that you do not need a huge section for change. I think this is one of the reasons I barely carry my purse around. Another thing which Joe purchased me for Christmas because I kept losing my cards. I find it so handy to now have all my cards together and it is a practical present. I hate getting something which is not practical as a present because I do not need to add more things to my house. TKmaxx is where I have seen some beautiful card holders in the past and usually they are not that expensive.

Massage Oil– as a qualified sports massage therapist giving and receiving massages are something I love to do. Having some some really nice smelling erotic massage oil is something which would make I give more massages. Indigo armatherapy massage oils actually have erotic and intimate oils which may make your partner more in the mood for some love. In the intimate bliss massage oil there is a blend which intends to stir passion, increase libido and bring states of sexual satisfaction and bliss. A whole bottle which is 100ml and will last you a long time so this is a bargain for £6.99. Purchasing this as a gift means that you may even be able to receive a lot more massages off your partner which is always a bonus. I think this would be an amazing gift.

Mugs – I am one of these people who love to drink a lot of coffee I think this this could be due to working from home. Mugs are something which I have have been gifted a few times over the last few year. I actually purchased on myself this year from Poundland of all places. I actually saw it on Holly Vlogs video they have some super cheeky adult ones. Including I suppose you will do and the one which I purchased you where only meant to be a one night stand. I think these ate great for £1 and something which I will get a lot use from this mug. They are a good size as well they are not small mugs which I hate.

Shampoo- This sounds a really strange one to suggest but why not save them some money. Shampoo is something which we we all need. As you may notice this is not one which is in a bottle. Procoal are a brand which sell solid shampoo now this is something which I have been using for over a year. A solid shampoo can actually last 3 times longer than a 250ml bottle of shampoo. This would save your partner some money because they are not having to purchase shampoo. I actually love it because I find them so easy to travel with them. They are £7 which is not going to break the bank and you know that they are always going to have amazing hair.

Flowers– Of course, you can always go for the classic flowers. I have never actually been bought flowers which I know is shocking. Flowers are something which I think make a home feel more homely and lovely. I love having flowers in and valentines is another occasion when it is perfect for flowers to be in the home. You do not actually have to go to the shops and pick out some flowers you can now order them online. This is something which I have done in the past to other people. Appleyard allow you to to order the day before up to 7pm. The flowers are actually guaranteed for a least a week which means your going to get you money worth.

These are just some of the ideas which you could get your female partner. This valentine’s day of course you can spend whatever your budget to show the love of your life you love them. What are you buying your love this valentine’s.

Charlotte xx

This post includes PR samples however, all views and words are my own.

Bear Kitchen Wakefield Review

I know it is Monday which means that usually, I would be sharing with you a recipe. However, as I stated in my February Goals I have not been cooking as much and with Valentine’s day coming up today I thought I would share a place to eat which we love in Wakefield. It is called Bear Kitchen. I actually found out about the place when someone I follow on Instagram visit. I since have recommended to a couple of people and they have made visits.

Bear Kitchen is an amazing burger and fast food joint with a twist. Everything is locally and ethically sourced produce in environmentally friendly packaging. This is something which is rare to find and the price is not expensive for the quality of the food.

If you are familiar with Wakefield it is not far from Westgate train station going away from town. This does mean that it has no parking which is a shame if like us you have to go in the car. You can park at the retail park and walk and this does not take to long to get to Bear Kitchen. You will not be disappointed the food makes it worth the travel. Delivery is available but I am unsure how far the travel I know we are out of area. The Bear Kitchen is a small restaurant with around 3 tables which each seat 4. This does mean that you may have to wait when you arrive for a table. You can always take out if this does not bother you. This is something for us which is not ideal due to having a Jess.

At Bear Kitchen you do actually get to almost create your own burger. So you can have whatever you want. You choose either beef, chicken, mac n cheese or hot dogs. These are known as bear grills then you add the bear toppers which makes it your own. These make your burger your own so these include the likes of cheese, gucamole, pulled pork, chilli con carne. No matter what kind of burger you like you will be able to find it at the bear kitchen.

Joe and I decided to go for two completely different burgers I seem to remember he went for a beef grizzly which means it came with cheese, fried onions BBQ sauce and bacon. While I on the other hand opted for a chicken Gringo which had gucamole, pico salsa, sour cream, nachos and jalpeno jam. The burgers with one set of toppers which is what we choose is £7.50 or it was when we visited. You do not get fries with them these are a side which you need to order. We opted for Haloumi fries which where so tasty and we got them to share as there we two of us. It also works out better value for money if you do this.

There is also deli rolls and chicken boxes, alongside salads and kebearbs if you do not fancy a burger. If you choose to visit on a Sunday you could have a yorkshire pudding wrap which is something which has become so popular last year. As you can tell the bear kitchen do have a wide range of options. I think this is amazing seen as the fact that they do locally source everything.

Taking your children is not an issue either I know that sometimes you are unsure about these places. I took Jess and was amazed how well they were able to cater for children she actually got a small hot dog with any topping which she wanted a drink and fries for £5. She did have a choice of any of the burgers on the menu and they would have made them to her size.

We found the staff really helpful and they took us through the menu because it can be daunting when you go for the first time. This is something which you can not fault. I have noticed that there are now a ton of vegan and veggie options available. Which I think is amazing as sometimes you can be limited when you go to eat out if you have dietary needs. Due to it all been cooked to order you can be waiting for a short while for you food. Jess did not get bored and our wait was around 30-40 minutes which I did not think was too bad at all.

I would recommend trying out one of there shakes they are so worth the money. I had a chocolate brownie one and it did have chunks of homemade brownie in it. It was a little bit sickly you would not want to have more than one. They are very filling as well which combined when the burgers are so tasty and filling made me full. The portion sizes are something which are not skimpt on at all they are very large. As you can see from the pictures.

Overall

There are so many more pieces on the menu which I want to try so I know we are going to have to make another visit. The food is amazing for the price point that it is. It is worth noting that bear kitchen is open Wednesday- Sunday 12-9pm. So do not try and go on a Monday or Tuesday. I would say this is value for money and as some other people I have recommend it to can not believe how cheap it is for the quality. For sure this is going to be a place we go again during 2019. See as we live not too far from the bear kitchen.

Have you visited Bear Kitchen if so what did you think?

Charlotte xxx

Goals For February 2019

After what seemed to be the worlds longest January it is finally over and we are in February. I know now this is when the days and the year is going to start to fly this always seems to be the case. I found myself to be really motivated by making some goals for January. Let’s look back and see if I achieved last months goals.

Last Month

Personal- I managed to meal plan all month which is amazing because it did mean that some money got saved. Always a bonus at this time of year, I think I managed 2 veggie meals a week for most of the month. I think I may have failed last week however, I am blaming that on been poorly. Another thing I am blaming been ill on is failing to go to the gym 3 times a week. I managed to what I think was flu and had no energy for a couple of weeks. I am hoping to get back on it this week. A massive success for me was reading I had planned to finish just two books but I managed 5. I have cut down the amount of TV time in order to read. I have reviewed the book I think was best this month.

Work- I wanted to engage more with my followers I think it is something which I managed to do. Well before I fell of the face of the earth. I managed to maintain both Instagram over 1000 and twitter 1500 followers. This is amazing because instagram has been hard to maintain recently. Pinterest I have grown from nothing to around 10k views per month which I think is amazing. I want to grow this even further this month.

Money- I managed to earn the money to cover my phone bill. I actually managed to cover half of the nursery fees which is amazing. I want to be able to cover them all the months when there are not school holiday by the end of the year. This was achieved by selling at least 20 items which boosts out income. I also looked into additonal income streams but I need to look into this more next month. Purchases this month where only the essentials as I was on a spending ban. This is somethign which I may do again in the future.

Now it is time for the goals for February.

Personal

Make lists of freezer and kitchen cupboards– I have a lot of food in the freezer and in the cupboards. One of them is that full it is barely closing so I would love to make a list and know what food we have to use up. This will help me meal plan and of course, save some money this month.

3 Work outs a week- I do not want to end up undoing all the good work which I did before I became ill. I want to make sure that I keep it up because I have already had to get rid of a couple of pieces which were big for me anyway which are now too big for me to wear them. I am going to aim for 3 gym sessions but they may be home workouts sometimes depending on my life.

Start Planning some days out- Planning where I would like to visit this year is something I want to do this month. They do not have to be expensive weekends away they could be simple things like visiting some local attractions. I always feel better if I have something pencilled in I love to look forward to things so I think this is something which I need to do.

Cook more– this may sound stupid because I am rarely eating out and ready meals. However, in the last couple of weeks I have barely been cooking meals from scratch they instead have been coming from my freezer. Now Joe is home I want to be cooking more again because this is a great bonding time for us.

Work

Double what I earn though my blog last month- last month I did not have the greatest when it comes to earning through my blog. There was a lack of money to be earnt. I would love to increase what I earnt this month or have the work lined up for the next couple of months.

Use Tailwind- This is an element which I need to get using, even more, this month. It helps schedule pins for Pinterest which is always a bonus. I have found when I have been using for my impressions to go up which is always important on Pinterest. You can also support and help other bloggers which are always a nice thing to be able to do as well.

Hit 100 followers on Pinterest– This would be crazy seen as I have only been taking it seriously for around a month. I have noticed an increase in the amount of traffic to my blog as a result. Currently I am on 50 followers so this could be a challenge but one I am looking forward to trying. I am loving this platform so much for finding inspiration as well which helps. If you do not already follow me I can be found here.

Use Facebook Page More- my facebook page is an area which I have been neglecting for a while. It could be due to me rarely using facebook personally but this is something I want to change as I know people love it. I have found that I can get some good engagement from it as well it if I post regular. I am only about 19 followers away from 200 to. If you want to you can follow me over there too

Money

Sell another 20 items- I have been sorting out so much and found items which I no longer have a need for. I need to either sell some of them and get the money for them or donate them to somewhere relevant because if I do not do this then the house is going to end up clutter which is never a good thing.

Looking into additional income sources– this is something which I started to do last month. I do have a couple of ways of making money they are very small income streams. Everything adds up and of course I will be looking into more this month I would have last month but due to been unwell for a couple of weeks I did not get around to it.

Keep the weekly food-shop to under £35 – This is something which I want to keep an eye on this month. Since we have been meal planning a lot more we have been saving money on food. I do not want it to slip and we end up spending a lot more than this a week. I think this should be easy obviously some weeks will be more expensive than others.

Check if we need things- this may seem stupid but currently I have Netflix on trial. I need to make decide if I want to keep it and if I do I want to cut back somewhere else in order to make sure that I am not spending too much. I am going to check the sky bill make sure we are getting the best value for our money. This is something I try and do every few months to make sure we are not wasting money.

What do you aim to do this month? Please let me know in the comments below I love to see what people want to achieve this month.

Charlotte xxx

Meal Plan 1st February #5

I can not believe that another week is over and it means that it is time to share the meals which I have been consuming this week. I have actually been poorly. This means I have not been eating some of the ones which I planned. So some of the meals are going to be repeated. So I am going to get on with sharing the meals which I plan on eating this week.

Monday- Bacon and Leek Pasta, this is one which I made too much of last night. I have decided that I am going to have this meal again. It saves me freezing it because I am still tight for freezer space. It is a meal which was so simple but I actually loved it. I might make it again in the future.

Tuesday- Mexican Beef Wraps, Beef tacos are something which I made a few weeks ago now. I actually had some left over which I decided to freeze easy meals are amazing when you are solo parenting. I have some wraps in and I think I am going to throw in some cheese with these. This is going to be super simple but no doubt packed with flavour.

Wednesday- Broccoli Pasta Bake, this is one I planned a few weeks ago but have been ill. I still have the broccoli which is in great condition. This for sure is going to be a meal which I am going to be able to freeze. The recipe serves around 4 so there is going to be plenty of left overs. I know due to it been a heavy broccoli meal this is not something which Joe would enjoy. I think this may be a meal which garlic bread because I have some in which actually needs using up.

Thursday- Sloppy Pasta- yes I am going to have pasta two meals in a row. I love pasta and this is a meal which I did not end up making last week. This is a meal which I have been thinking about so I took this as a sign of having to make it. It does not look like I need to purchase a lot of food for this either. This is ideal because of the fact it is getting close to the end of the month when money can be a little more tight.

Friday- Smoked Haddock and Chopped Tomatoes with Warm Bread. This is a meal which I am actually having at my parent’s house. I am staying over there due to the fact that I am heading to Manchester on Saturday with my Mum. This does not sound like a lot of food but it will be a large piece of smoked haddock. Part baked bread is something which I love to add butter with this it just makes it even more special. Of course, it is going to be really nice to be consuming a meal without it been alone as well.

Saturday- Out, as I mentioned on Saturday my mum and I are heading to Manchester. So this means that we are going to be heading out for a meal of course, there are plenty of amazing restaurants which we could dine in. I think this will be more of a something which we decide just before we actually want the food because I usually find this is the best way.

Sunday- Takeaway Pizza, I know it is a really bad end to the week and I have not hit the gym for a while. However, I do not get home till around 6pm and it is looking likely that Joe will be home. So as a treat for managing to survive another period of been solo it looks like we are going to have a takeaway. We will end up ordering from a local one which is cheaper than Dominos and to be honest it will end up doing me lunch as well on Monday.

I can not believe that it is February already before we know it we will actually be having salads. Instead of the warm comforting food which we require at the moment due to the fact the weather is bitter out there. I am looking forward to been able to cook for two people next week. I find it a lot easier than just for one.

This weeks meal plan of course is part of the meal plan linky which of you have not checked out you should. I get some amazing meal inspiration from other people who join in.

What are you planning on consuming this week?

Charlotte xxx

Book Review- One Small Thing

Reading is something which I have neglected a little bit since I lost my commute. It is something which I really miss there is nothing better than getting lost in a good book I find. For sure it is a goal of mine to get back into it if you have seen my January goals. You will know that I aim to read 2 books this month. To help me get back into reading I joined a book group I thought this may help me get my passion for reading back. For sure it has and of course, it is going to get me reading different genres and things I would not normally pick. Janauarys book was actually One small thing by Erin Watt. So here are my views on this book.

Blurb

Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.

My thoughts

I should start off saying this is a book which I finished in 3/4 days I could not put it down. I was having for force myself to go to bed I got so engrossed it in wanting to know what was going to happen next. This is very much a Young Adult teen kind of book something which I have not really read much in the past couple of years.

This story is filled with sadness, regret, and a ton of teenage angst and I couldn’t get enough of it. I felt like I really connected to the characters, Lizzie and Chase. This is a tale of forbidden romance between two young teenagers who to the outside world should never have met. My heart hurt for poor Lizzie who was forced to live in the shadow of her dead older sister. Feeling like she could not be the person she was meant to be as a result of this. I admired Chase for owning his mistakes and being the voice of reason that would help lead Lizzie away from her destructive path.

I fully understood why Lizzie was so angry at her parents she did not want to be like this. However, she did come across as a little bit bratty and rebellious. Her parents may have deserved it though as they did go to some extreme measures to protect her. Truthfully even as a parent I think they did go a little bit OTT.

Maybe I read way too many romance books but I do not think these two even loved each other. I think Lizzie was only wanting to be with Chase because everyone frowned up on it. This was another chance for her to be a rebel so she took it.

Overall Thoughts

I am glad I read this book as it is not one which I think I would have chosen. For sure I can see this been turned into a film at some stage it just has that feel about it. If you want something really easy to read which is going to get you started back reading this is one I would recommend. I love it apart from the ending it seemed to be a little too rushed for me. For sure I would recommend this book. I would rate it 4/5 stars the ending is one of the reasons this book is not a 5. I will be checking out more of Erin Watt’s work in the future.

Have you read one small thing? If so what did you think.

Charlotte xxx

Meal Inspiration Monday- Bacon and Leek Riscotto

If you have read my meal plans you will know that bacon and leek risotto is something which I made recently. The reason behind this was the fact that I had some leek to use up and wanted something warm. I was searching online for something to make and this is when I came across a bacon and leek risotto recipe. I for some reason thought that it was going to be super hard to make. This could not have been further from the truth. This is a meal which you could make after work if you wished.

Ingredient -Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil

6 rashers back bacon finely chopped

2 leeks halves then finely sliced

250g risotto rice

750ml Hot chicken stock

175g frozen peas

3tbsp soft cheese

Utensils- Frying pan, Knife, Wooden spoon, Ovenproof dish with lid,

Method

1.Heat oven to 200C/180C fan

2. Add bacon to frying pan and fry for 2 mins. 

3. Add leeks and fry for a further 4-5 mins until soft

4. Tip Rice in and cook for a further 1 minute

5. Pour hot chicken stock

6. Transfer into overproof dish and cover

7. Place in oven for 20 minutes stirring half way through

8. When rice is just tender and all liquid is absorbed, remove from oven and stir in peas. Place back in oven for 2 mins more

9. Remove from oven and stir in the cheese.

This is so simple and takes under 40 minutes to make a tasty and filling bacon and leek risotto. I think that this was an easy way of using some leftover which would have otherwise got thrown away.

Have you ever made a risotto from scratch?

Charlotte xxx

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 rashers smoked back bacon, roughly chopped
  • leeks, halved lengthways and finely sliced
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 700ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 175g frozen peas
  • 3 tbsp soft cheese
  • zest 1 lemon

Preloved Finds January 2018

Charity shops are places which amaze me there are sometimes no better places I love visiting more. The majority of them are so reasonably priced you manage to pick up some amazing bargins. Sometimes I get some books which I want to read other times things for Jess. You really never know what you are going to find. This year I am on a conscious effort to try and get things preloved if I can. I do not want to add to the ever growing pollution problem and also it can help me save some important dollar.

I decided that every month I am going to try and share with you some of the items that month which I have picked up preloved. These may be from the charity shop, Facebook , eBay or even other places. I am always interested to see what people have been picking up preloved and this is something which I thought I would start doing as well.

Jigsaws

The items which I am going to share with you are ones which we actually picked up in December. I have been meaning to share them for the longest time but just have not got around to it. The first items which I am going to share is a Peppa Pig jigsaw this was one which had 3 different puzzles within it. Jigsaws are something which Jess loves to do however, they can be very pricey. Usually, they are around the £6 mark instead this we actually paid 50p for this. This is something which Jess has had so much fun with and she can complete this one without any help. We since have donated this back to the charity shop as it became so easy for Jess. She is always happy to pass on toys to new boys and girls as she know she is likely to get another new toy.

We also managed to pick up another jigsaw which was Sofia the First. This is something which she has never seen the show. This is a 35 piece which means that it is harder than some of the other ones which she owns. I have a feeling that the swirl area is going to make this one a bit harder. Of course, this is something which we want because you never want them to be too easy. I have had to give her a little bit of help when we have done this jigsaw so I think this is going to be one which we are going to have it for a while, to be honest. Again this one was the bargain price of 50p which is crazy cheap for a Disney jigsaw.

Another game Jigsaw type of game which we picked up was this match it game. This is something which of course, Jess is going to grow into rather than actually be able to play now as such. You match the word to the picture so if you see eyes you have to find the eye word. This is going to help her learn so much we have played this a couple of times and found the ones which she knows. I also ask Jess to point to the part of her body as well. This game was only 50p as well so it is one which we know that we are going to have so much fun with. For sure it is one which we will be keeping for a long time because it will help her to learn.

Books

Books are something which Jess adores. Sometimes on a weekend she loves to go upstairs and have a CD on while she plays. I have found Disney books which come with CD perfect. They read the story and you can read along with them if this is something which you wish to do. I managed to pick a range of them up from the Charity shop a few months ago. So when we went in and they had Peter Pan, Little Mermaid and Tangled. I knew Jess did not have these and they are something which would be a great addition. These books are £1 each but of course, they have the CD which makes them a bit more expensive. As they are Disney I know that they are going to be in our home for a very long time.



Orchard toys are a company which we adore we have had so many of their games. Which have provided us with hours of fun over the last year or so. So when I spotted a couple in the charity shop I knew I had to pick them up. The first one which we snatched up was Old McDonald Lotto. You have to get all of the animals on your card like normal lotto. However, it does allow your child to learn their animals and this is something which Jess has loved to do.

The other game which I purchased for Jess is Round and Round. This is a game which you have to go around the board picking passengers up on your bus before actually getting back to the bus garage. I know this is another game which we are going to end up having hours of fun with. Jess is already super competitive at it so I can see the arguments when she does not win. I think I paid a maximum of £3 for both of these games . For sure they are going to be loved fwhile the cold weather is still here.

What preloved bargains have you picked up recently?

Charlotte xxx

Meal Plan 25th January #4

Today I am back with another meal plan this is something which I have been loving. Since meal planning we have found that we are saving money because we are not buying things which we are not going to use. I have also found it so useful because it keeps me eating actual meals when Joe is away. Only 2-3 weeks left of solo parenting. I am going to be sharing with you the meals which I am going to be consuming this week.

Monday- Leftover Pizza, last night my parents came over and we had a takeaway pizza. We ordered a little bit too much so there is going to be enough for me to be able to eat this as my tea. There should be enough to feed me and if not I have enough to make sandwiches if I need to be able to. This means that food is not going to go to waste which is huge for me.

Tuesday- Bacon and Leek Pasta, I still had some of the leek and bacon left over from last week. I decided that I was going to make something so simple a leek and bacon pasta was perfect. It is a simple meal to make and it can be done quickly. I sometimes need quick meals after nursery runs because otherwise I can be eating way too late. This was so cheap for me to make because all I needed to purchase was soft cheese. I seem to remember that this recipe I am using serves two so this will also do me a lunch in the week as well.

Wednesday – Chicken and Chorizo Paella, this is something which we have had in the freezer for a little while. I am going to use this up because of the fact, I still need freezer space. This is a meal which I know I am going to enjoy because it is packed with flavour. Chicken and Chorizo are two of my favourite meat flavours together. This is going to be a simple yet very effective meal.

Thursday- Veggie Quesadillas as you may know I am looking to have at least two meals a week which are veggie. This is a meal which I found on pinterest this is one of my favourite cuisines Mexican food. Quesadillas are something which I would be likely to order if I was out in a restaurant. Again this meal managed to not to break the bank as all I needed to purchase was wraps and some mixed beans. Hopefully this is something which I love because it looks like it is such an simple meal to make. I know it is something which Joe will adore as well.

Friday- Pesto Chicken ,Mash and Veg, the chicken is something which I already have in my freezer. I am still trying to make room for food in the freezer for other food which I plan on making. I am going to serve this with mash and veg because I still have some potatoes leftover. This is a semi healthy meal which is something I am trying to do this year.

Saturday- Meal Out– this is another meal which we are eating out. We are going out to see my brother so this means that we are going to be eating out. I am unsure where we are going to be eating. It is nice to eat out because it makes a change from having to cook. This can become a huge chore while you are solo parenting.

Sunday- Sloppy Pasta, this is a meal which I am making for a couple of reasons. I have have some tomatoes which really need to be used up and of course this is an perfect way to do this. Pasta is a meal as you may have read previously it is one of Jess’ favourite meals. I know this will end up getting eaten and if there is leftovers I can always have it for lunch.

This week I think due to he fact that I had the majority of the items in which I needed. The weekly shop cost me less than a £10 and this did include some cleaning products so as you can see it was a very cheap week.

Of course, this meal plan is actually is part of the meal plan linky which is run by the lovely Katy.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing what meals I am going to be having this week. What meals would you make if you was me?

Charlotte xxx

50 Fantastic Ideas for Engaging Dads Review

We all know the feeling there is so much that we want to do this year with our children. We want to create memories with them which are going to last a life time. This time of year can be tight for money but you still want to have some amazing times. I know this is personally something which me and my family want to do. As you know Joe works away a lot which makes family time even more special . Jess loves spending time doing things with her Dad.

Just before Christmas, I was contacted to see if I would like to review a new book. Full of ideas for Dad’s to do with their children, of course, I said yes because we are always looking for ideas of new things to do with Jess. 50 fantastic ideas for engaging dads is it sounds it is a book which has 50 ideas of what do to with your children. All of the activities which are in the book are very engaging meaning that you have to be hands-on.

There is a range of activities some which we are going to have to wait till the weather becomes warmer. However, there are plenty of the activities that Jess has done already. Even though the book does say for Dad’s we all know Mum’s can do it as well. The reason it is aimed at Dad’s is because they can find it harder to think of ways to engage with their children. When it comes to a fun and educational side of play. There are some activities in the book which I would never have thought about doing. Such as discount shopper allowing your child to go into bargain stores with a budget and allowing them to purchase items. Another one is a door colour challenge find doors which are the colour you say.

The activities tell you what you are going to need don’t worry if you don’t have them all. We have improvised with some elements and still had as much fun. The book also tells you what the children get out of it apart from spending quality time with their parents. One part which I think is the great is the way that it tells you how to develop it to make it even harder. We all know that children can get bored when something becomes too easy for them. It has progressions some of them we are going to be using as Jess is finding some of the activities easy now.

We have been doing the read me a story activity most evenings before bed. This is something which has been part of our routine for a while now and we find it seems to settle Jess before drifting off to sleep. She also will speak about the book in the morning and sometimes for days after. We will let Jess point to things within the book for example where is the frog . This is helping her learn the different animals and also be interactive with the story. For sure, this is something which we can keep up because books is something we have a lot of .

Block tower is another one which we have been enjoying this is something which we can do as a family. We use megablocks which is something that Jess has owned for a while and we have a race to see how can build the highest tower. Then we will ask her to count how many bricks there is again enhancing her learning. This is something I love doing in fun ways where it is possible. Another way we have done this is that you can only use a certain colour to build your tower this incorporates Jess learning her colours. Of course this is also teaching her hand eye cordination fan which is vital for when she starts writing.

The final one which I am going to share with you is the den building. Of course, we have not been able to go outside and do this one yet as it may be a bit too cold and windy. However, we have been using our home to do it we have blankets often around in our house so we have been throwing them over the sofa and footstool. Jess usually demands that I crawl around and she giggles her head off. I think this is one of her favourites from the book because it is one she demands even after nursery. Daddy I am sure will get roped in to play when he is back as well.

I know that we are going to have so much fun doing more of the activities. Another thing which I love about this book is the fact that the ideas in this are not that expensive. A lot of the things which are required you will usually have if you have children. For sure this is a book which is going to get a lot of love in our house. It would be a great present for some who has a toddler as well.

The book is available on Amazon, for £9.99 and can be found here. 

What activities do you like doing which engage with your children?

Charlotte xx

This post contains a PR sample however, all views are my own.

Meal Inspiration Monday – Beef In Black Bean Sauce

Chinese food is one which is my weakness I love it for sure. However, having takeaways can be very expensive let alone the amount of salt that can go into the meals. At the moment I am trying to eat a little bit more healthier and save money. So we made our own homemade Chinese last week I shared the special chow mein and today it is the turn of the beef in black bean sauce. This is something which we order more times than not when we order a Chinese takeaway. We found that when we made it there was more flavour than when we have had it from the takeaway and for sure more sauce.

Ingredient serves 4

1tbsp cornflour

2tbsp rice win

120g sachet black been sauce

100ml cold water

400 rump or sirloin steak

1 medium onion

2 tbsp sunflower oil

2 peppers cut into 3cm strips

2 garlic cloves very thinly sliced

20g ginger finely sliced

Salt

Pepper

Utensils- small bowl, spoon, frying pan

Method

  1. Mixed the cornflour with the rice wine in a small bowl until smooth. Following this stir in the black bean sauce and water and put to one side.
  2. Trim all the fat from the beef and cut into 5cm wide strips then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Fry the beef until browned. This will take around 6 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan.
  4. Stir fry the onion and peppers for another 4 minutes. Or until they are softened and lightly coloured. Add the garlic and ginger for another minute.
  5. Return the meat to the pan and pour over the sauce and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes. Or until the beef is hot and glossy.

What meal do you order from the takeaway and wish you could make it home for a fraction of the price.

Charlotte xxx