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Packed lunches can vary from person to person and there is no right or wrong foods to have in your packed lunch but they are mainly cold foods that can be eaten on the go, or of course you could have a flask of soup in your packed lunch and serve it from the flask cup, even dipping bread in. There is no wrong way.
My children sometimes have packed lunch for school and they tend to have the following items in their luches ~
A piece of fruit or even a box of grapes/cherries
I sometimes make them a pasta dish where I will cook up a pan of pasta and add chicken, sweetcorn and mayo, they take this in a little tupperwear type box then.
I think the main thing to remember when it comes to packed lunches is that it needs to be quite easy to eat, there's nothing worse than making yourself a big towering sandwich, popping it into your bag and then struggling when it comes to eating it.
You can get so many different boxes now to keep your packed lunches in that you do have a wider range of choice.
My hubby used to take curry and rice into work with him, he used a box with compartments so it didn't end up a sloppy mix by the time he got to eat it.
You can also get little fruit containers now, in the shape of whatever fruit, a banana for instance and these stop the fruit getting bruised in your bag.
I think packed lunches are still a popular choice with so many people as you can have whatever you like.
If your after something quick to eat then look no further than the humble toasted sandwich, or toastie as I shall refer to it throughout this review.
It's nicer than a regular sandwich as it's more warming and for reason they also seem more filling.
There are endless amounts of fillings you can choose from but I like cheese and beans in mine.
You simply have to butter two pieces of bread, place them butter side down (so they don't stick) add your fillings and pop the other piece of bread on top, with the buttered side facing up and pull down the lid of the toasty maker. It's simple! It takes around 4-5 minutes to get it cooked but that is no time at all when you consider the amount of time it takes to make a big meal.
I like to serve my toasties up with a nice bit of salad and there you have it a complete meal, ready in 5 minutes! Great.
Filling ideas ~
Cheese & Beans
Cheese & Ham
Or you could even do a breakfast toasty where you cook two sausages, slice them in half lengthways, cook up a rasher of bacon, add the bread to the toasty maker, layer on the sausages and bacon and add a nice generous helping of beans.
You could fry up an egg whilst waiting for the toasty to cook and there you have it, a nice breakfast toasty.
You can even fill them with sweet things if you so wish to do so. Marshmallow fluff, nutella, peanut butter etc... All work really well too.
I have to admit I am not a massive fan of soup. I prefer broths and stews as they have a bit more substance to them but recently I have had my tongue pierced and this means I was unable to eat any proper food so I decided I would eat soup until it was feeling better.
I decided to make homemade soup as I had everything here I needed.
Chicken stock cubes
Cook some chicken pieces or break pieces of a whole cooked chicken, chop up the veg into small chunks, add to a pan of boiling water, add the stock cubes and let it simmer until cooked, pretty much as you would cook a chicken stew or a broth.
When the veg is tender, remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Put the whole lot into a blender and blend until smooth.
And there you have it, a Chicken and Vegetable soup.
It tastes like chicken stew and is surprisingly creamy. It's really filling too and despite only being able to eat soup for 4 days I wasn't hungry in all that time. I was getting through 4 bowls of it a day and it kept me going and I suppose it is because it is filled with goodness.
I really enjoyed this soup and will be making it again.
It would be perfect served with some crusty bread, especially in the colder months when warm foods like this are really appreciated.
I love to bake, and always get asked to make birthday cakes for friends and family member but sometimes I just like to make cupcakes and this is one I really enjoy making and eating :)
225g Caster Sugar
225g Self Raising Flour
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
125ml of Natural Yogurt
175g Desiccated Coconut
For the icing ~
175g white icing sugar
2tbsp lemon juice
1tsp warm water
To decorate ~
1. Place 12 large cupcake cases in a muffin tray.
2. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs and vanilla.
3. Sift in the flour and gently mix, fold in the natural yogurt and mix until well combined. Now add the coconut and stir this through.
4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake from 25 - 30 minutes on 180degree, or until golden. To check if a cupcake is cooked through I use the tap test where I tap the bottom of the cake, if it sounds hollow it's cooked.
5. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack to cool.
6. For the Icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and slowly stir in the lemon juice and water until smooth.
7. Spoon a little icing on each cake and smooth over, finish off with a sprinkling of desiccated coconut.
These are nice little cakes to make and they taste really delicious. They are great for afternoon tea and they always go down a treat.
This is my hubby's absolute favourite dessert, it's also something I make every Christmas for the family to enjoy after dinner if they don't fancy Christmas pudding.
It's a nice, easy recipe to follow, it's easy to make but the effect is brilliant and it looks like you have spent an age preparing it when you really haven't.
250g Digestive Biscuits or Chocolate Digestive Biscuits
600g Cream Cheese (I use Philadelphia)
25ml Baileys (or any Irish Cream alternative)
100g Icing Sugar
200ml Double Cream
100g Grated Chocolate
Cocoa Powder to dust
You will also need -
Baking/grease proof paper to line tin
1. Start by crushing your biscuits, you can do this by hand or in a food processor, I do it by hand by placing the biscuits in a sandwich bag and beating them with a rolling pin until finely crushed.
2. Melt the butter in a pan until it has turned to a liquid consistency.
3. Add the crushed biscuits to the butter and mix until they have absorbed the liquid, being careful not to burn them. Remove from heat.
4. Place the biscuit/butter mix into the lined tin and pack it down firmly, this is the base for your cheesecake so you don't want it to fall apart and crumble to nothing.
5. Place tin in the fridge for approx. 1 hour or until set and hard.
Whilst waiting for the base to set you can prepare the topping.
6. Whip up your double cream by whisking it until stiff.
7. Grate your chocolate if you haven't already done so.
8. Lightly whip the cream cheese and beat in the Baileys and icing sugar, fold in the whipped double cream and grated chocolate, keep folding until smooth.
9. Grab your biscuit base from the fridge and spoon on the creamy mixture until you have none left, smooth out the top and return to the fridge to chill for at least another two hours.
10. Remove carefully from lined tin and place onto a nice serving plate.
11. Before you serve, add a sprinkle of cocoa powder over the top and some more grated chocolate or even chocolate curls.
12. Serve and tuck in!
This cheesecake is more about waiting for it to set so it is something I prepare in the morning so that I know it will be ready for later on. It's really delicious, not too sweet and the Baileys gives it a luxurious expensive taste.
It's a massive hit in our house.
I love cooking and baking, and I especially like making my own bread but one day I thought to myself, if I can make bread then I can make pizza's surely? And as pizza's are a favourite food in this house I decided to give it a try.
Not only is are these pizza's delicious and easy to make and cook, they are also cheap which is great when you are on a budget.
2 Cups of Plain Flour
1 8g Sachet of Dried Yeast
1 Tsp of Caster Sugar
1 Tsp of Salt
2 Tbsp of Oil (can be Olive or any other cooking oil)
3/4 Cup of Warm Water
1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the center and add the oil and water.
2. Mix ingredients (by hand or using a dough mixer) into a soft dough.
3. Remove dough from the bowl and knead until soft and pliable.
4. Return dough to bowl, cover over with a clean tea towel and place in a warm spot for 30 minutes whist you wait for the dough to rise.
5. After 30 minutes the dough should have doubled in size. Punch the dough once to get rid of air bubbles.
6. Remove and knead quickly for one minute.
7. If you want one very large pizza then roll/shape, add toppings and cook. If you want two still large but smaller pizzas then split into two balls, roll/shape and add the toppings and cook.
My preferred toppings ~
I use a tomato base, usually tomato puree and tinned tomatoes (not all of the juice)
Basically anything you like on a pizza you can put on it. If you like a BBQ flavoured sauce then use that instead.
I cook them in an electric oven on 180degree for 20 minutes.
They are delicious, easy to make and use very little in ingredients. You know exactly what you have put into them too.
My kids and hubby love these pizzas and they always go down well with friends and family too.
I was bought this Pink Ice Watch for Christmas last year and I have to be quite honest and say I was really surprised at the time as I rarely wear watches, I buy a nice fashion watch now and again but I tend to only wear them if I am going out somewhere nice and am dressed up so I was not expecting a watch at all.
Not being a massive watch fan I first thought that my father had been feeling the pinch that year as I just assumed it was a cheapy watch but after looking online I realised why he seemed a little disappointed at my reaction!
He would have got more of a reaction had he handed me over a kettle I think!
Anyway, the Ice-Watch comes in a cube type packaging, win what looks like a lego block. The watch looks all nicely displayed and the colour is really nice.
It has a silicone strap which I think is great for when I go out walking and jogging as it stays firmly in place on my wrist, the face is nice and bright and easy to read.
It comes with a 2 year guarantee but I have had no problems with it at all so hopefully I won't be needing this, it seems like a pretty sturdy watch. It is water resistant up to 50m, I can't comment on this as I have never worn it whilst in the water. And it is a nice light weight watch to wear.
I like that the clock face is easy to read at a glance and having the date there is a useful feature too.
Overall I am quite happy with this watch.
I bought this top going back a good few months, maybe even a year or so but it is still one I go back to now and again when I want to go for the smart yet casual look rather than dressing up when I go to the pub with the girls.
I was browsing at an online catalogue when I came across this and it caught my eye as it looks long enough to wear with tights/legging rather than trousers so I ordered it, I am pretty sure it cost around £28 at the time of purchase.
It's quite a trendy top, it's quite long and comes down past my bum, maybe would seem so long on a taller person but great for me. The colour I love, it's a nice shade of grey and it has two lace panels making a mock collar.
It comes with a slim black belt which does finish the look off well as it seems to nip in the waist and give me a nice looking figure. The peplum shape coming down nicely and it looks like a short dress on me.
The material being a polyester fabric does seem a little fragile but even after numerous washes it has held up really well.
It goes great with a pair of black leggings or tights and a nice little leather jacket to finish off the look, not forgetting the skyscraper heels too!
I like it, I have found it to last me well, wash well and it dries quickly too if you are in a hurry. I haven't had to tumble dry yet so not sure how it would hold up to that but washing on a regular 40 degree wash has left it looking fab.
I bought this Hello Kitty Fibre Optic Lamp for my niece, I also bought a Toy Story one for my son too as they were really cheap on Amazon Christmas time last year.
The kids were well impressed with them and thought they were great, this Hello Kitty design one has a pink base with a picture of the character on the front and a small spray of the fibre optic strands coming out of the top. I think they do need more strands to make them fall in a better way but for the low price I can't really complain.
The lamp is operated via 3 AA batteries so is portable which is a good thing, as it can be taken all over the house with them! It's a nice little night light too and the colour changes do gently soothe the child off to sleep.
My niece loved her little lamp and she still uses it now, it's set on her bedside table and it's put on every evening when she is put into bed and then her parents turn it off a little while later. They have said is has been great for her as she wasn't a very good sleeper, she just didn't like going to bed when she could be playing, however since having this she likes it and goes to bed with no problems.
The battery life isn't great and they change them every week but they do only use cheap batteries so it's not a massive expensive.
Considering the low price it has held out really well. They are only small and come in a small rectangular box so it's a great stocking filler.
I recently acquired a Welsh dresser which I have painted and decorated in a shabby chic style, to go in this dresser I wanted a nice set of love heart lights which I was going to purchase from B&M Bargains, unfortunately before I had the chance to get them they had sold out so I decided to look online.
I came across these on Amazon and whilst they were more expensive than the ones I had originally intended to purchase, I thought these looked nicer.
They have a mix of red and white rattan love hearts and these colour match my dresser perfectly as I have red and white bunting on the back panel.
I was also pleased that these came with a plug rather than being battery operated as the lights hang from the top of the unit and it would have been a pain getting them on and off all of the time.
The love hearts are only dainty but the warm led lights give off a lovely glow and add a nice bit of light to that part of the room. I was pleased that they did not have the bright white bulbs as this is not what I wanted, these are pretty much the colour of Christmas tree lights and it's a nice warm yellowy colour.
The box they came in was quite pretty too, with it being a carton type box so they would make a lovely gift.
These did cost me around £15 when I purchased them, and I can see that they are now retailing for £19.99 but they are lovely and I do think they are worth it.
This is a lovely little play gym by Bright Starts, it comes in it's own plastic zip up carry case for easy storage and it also folds flat.
I bought one of these for my son from Asda at the bargain price of £12 when they had a baby event and he used it daily for months. It was perfect when he was a tiny baby as the little animals kept him amused.
The middle animal, the Zebra pulls down and vibrates and has a little tune playing, and this is also great for clipping onto the pram when you are out and about too.
The mat is really soft and nicely padded which provides a perfect place to lay your little one down, the nice bright colours capture their attention and keeps them in awe for long enough for you to get things done.
The cross bars of the gym are made from a soft foam so they can't cause any injury should your little one bump into the bars, there's also a little plastic mirror that you can attach to any bar and this keeps baby amused too.
I really liked this, I liked that at the end of the day I could just fold the mat up and pop it back into it's storage bag and put it away, it's small enough that I could slide it down the side of the sofa when not in use.
It is a lovely little play gym and I would highly recommend it.
I hope this helps x
My hubby recently ordered me this case from Amazon and when it came I was pleasantly surprised. When my hubby said he had ordered me a Moshi case, I instantly thought of the monsters and to be quite honest I wasn't exactly thrilled! I am 29, I am not into Moshi Monsters and my hubby being a wind up decided to keep me thinking that it was indeed the monster case he had ordered me and I was slightly dreading it, until it came, and then I was quite happy.
He ordered the case in white as he thought it would go well with my white phone and not be too obvious and I am pleased with his choice as I do really like it.
It's a nice sleek case with a nice soft finish that feel lovely in the hand.
It has a nice minimalist feel and look to it which I really like as it distracts nothing from the overall look of the iPhone.
The back has a hole and through this you can see the Apple logo on the back of the phone, it has grooves in all the right places to allow easy access to the power button, volume, mute, and charge port, the camera is clearly visable and the case does not interfere with photo taking in any way.
I don't think it would protect the screen if you dropped it but it does protect from knocks and scratches which is what it is meant for.
It serves it's purpose really well and looks good too, the price isn't too bad either and can be bought for round £8 on Amazon.co.uk.
In order to save a few pennies I stopped buying 'big' brand medicines, I figured the cheaper products were just as effective but in not so fancy packaging and this turned out to be true.
I buy the Galpharm Ibuprofen tablets either in Poundland where they are three for £1 or in Savers where they are 19p a box and I think this is a fantastic price for these tablets. They have more or less the same ingredients as the pricier brands but do the same job and just as effectively.
I have recently had my tongue pierced and was advised to take ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling and they also help with the discomfort too. I took these tablet immediately after having the piercing done and carried on taking as recommended on the box which was to take 1 to 2 tablets up to 3 times a day and not to exceed more than 6 in 24 hours. All the relevant information is on the back of the box and there is also a leaflet included inside.
I found these tablets really helped with the pain and swelling of my tongue and I do believe that these helped with the healing process because as soon as the swelling was reduced my tongue could then heal in the way it is meant to.
These are easy tablets to take and are small white round coated tablets that go down easily with a glass of water. They contain 200mg of active ingredient so precautions should be taken when using this and any other medication.
~ Elastoplast Water Resistant Plasters ~
Elastoplast have been around for over 80 years so they must be doing something right.
I bought these in the summer as having four boys there's always some sort of accident due to happen, usually involving my 7 year old! I bought these in Boots for around £2.40 for a pack of 40 assorted plasters and I thought this was quite good value.
I wanted water resistant plasters as in the summer holidays my boys love to play with water pistols or in the pool (weather permitting).
In the pack you get a nice assortment of square, rectangle and small dot plasters. It's the rectangular strip ones that probably get used the most by us though. The plasters come in their own little pack ensuring they are sterile before use and they are easy enough to apply by simply making sure the white material part is over the graze/cut and the rest sticks to the skin. It does stick well and stays put until you want to peel it off.
They are water resistant and work really well, we have used many of these over the holidays and they have all stayed put whilst the children have been playing so I think they are great.
To get them off I just peel away the sides and they come off easily, but with the boys they like to make out it's a painful ordeal so I use baby oil to loosen the stickiness ensuring removing the plaster is a painless process.
I have needed one of these over a cut on my finger from a knife and it has stayed put whilst I am doing the dishes and cleaning up around the house, I would recommend them if you are looking for a water resistant plaster.
Thanks for reading :o) x
I am naturally fair but dye my hair a really light shade of blonde and to keep it looking bright and not brassy I like to use products specially made for blonde hair and that is why I started buying products from the Pro-Voke Touch of Silver range.
I bought this shampoo along with the Twice Weekly formula too. The Twice Weekly shampoo is correctly named as using it everyday can cause your hair to take on a violet like tone, but using this Daily Maintenance shampoo in between will keep your hair colour looking bright without it taking on any violet pigments.
This shampoo is a pale violet in colour and has a nice consistency, it's easy to work into the hair and lather up and rinses out with ease, after using it I notice my hair looks healthy and bright so I would say it works great for me.
I would recommend using this alongside the Twice Weekly one as I am sure that by using them together helps stop any brassiness coming to the hair.
The scent is clean and fresh but not fruity or floral, just clean smelling I suppose.
It is suitable for people with white, blonde or platinum coloured hair.
I find this really useful in the first few weeks of me colouring my hair as it ensures my blonde stays nice.
It can be bought in stores like Boots, Asda and even the lower priced places like Savers.
It comes in a large plastic bottle, with a flip top lid.
You only need a small amount so the bottle will last a good while, I wash my hair everyday and this lasts me around a month, so at £2 a bottle it's not a bad price.