Thursday, 22 February 2018

How To Manage A Monthly Budget



The end of the month can drag, literally drag especially if you are paid at the end of each month. You can find yourself living on the bare minimum and just about surviving until payday on a ration of variety flavoured noodles, all because you've overspent on that new shoes, coat's for the kids and yourself or after a long weekend of partying or finding that the pesky boiler has broken down and needed replacing, therefore, leaving you a bit strapped for cash and not budgeted properly for the month, don't worry it happens to the best of us.


We've all been there no matter how much we deny it openly, but admit it only to ourselves we didn't budget properly (quietly in one's mind). We need to take charge and sit down and go through and make a monthly plan as painstakingly hard as it can be to go through, it can be so rewarding at the same time.

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In order to take the first steps to budget properly, we need to understand where our money is going.


Envelopes
Ohh this is great, not gonna lie I love my little envelopes, once I've paid all my major bills, rent and nursery fees and calculated my monthly travel fees and topped up my oyster,  I like to divide up a number of things envelopes and label them, with items that we will need for the month, food, entertainment, pet etc. It's a great way to not overspend and allows me to only use my card in an emergency.

BYO Lunch
Waste not, want not, a great way to save a bit of cash, is by bringing in your own lunch, use last nights leftovers to make a healthy salad or sandwich. Prep from the night before, to free yourself a bit of time in the morning, to get other things done, before you leave the house.

Free Work out
Pop the gym on hold, there are so many ways you can work out for free, be it a gym park, a brisk walk to get the kids to school, running home once you've dropped the kids home, to working out at home whilst watching free YouTube works outs.

Savings
Another great way to budget for the month, is having a little savings pot, great for seasonal changes when the boiler brakes down, but perfect for saving for that summer holiday, so we can get our swimming costume on and sip sangria's in the sun, to having some cash set aside for the kids parties and weekend activities. 

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London Mumma xx

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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The Knitwear You Can Take In To Spring



Whilst I am wishing for Spring to be here, alas it is not, but what I am currently buying is knitwear that you can take into Spring. 



Now the knitwear that I am wearing now that I am taking into the run up to Spring is not the heavy chunky kind, but the light and lose knitted ones, one that you can wear and take from day to night, teamed with a midi skirt, jeans or trousers and even a pencil skirts for work, it is always a good idea to carry knitwear around with you, plus it is perfect for layering too. 

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With hopes and our eyes set on Spring's soon arrival, there are so many lightweight knits out there, from this seasons must have plain pastel coloured ones to those with graphics and logos all which will stand the test of time and are reliable, especially to see you through the ever changeable ever unreliable weather.


I have rounded up a selection of affordable knitwear for you to take into Spring and most I can safely say that is folded nice and neatly in my wardrobe. 

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London Mumma xx







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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

How To Manage Holiday Savings


Even though the winter season is shortly coming to an end (I pray) I am sure we are all craving some summer sun beating on our skin, giving us a golden sun-kissed glow and sand in our toes and the ocean sea air and what better way to prep than getting yourself organised for some holiday saving.

I crave to be more organised and money friendly, but who am I kidding I am terrible. Who am I to give advice if I can not even take it, but contraire mon frere, I've grown up well a little, unless there is a kids party afoot and I see a bouncy castle then it's game on, rents you better get your kids outta the way Mumma coming-a-bouncing!! But I think I've cracked it on how to manage holiday savings, which I will be sharing with you in this post some of my handy tips and tricks.

But jokes set aside I have made a few amendments and look at things a bit more practical to help get me more money savvy for the holidays. No New Years resolutions here, but 6 things you can do for you.

Plan ahead
As soon as you know where you want to go and if you don't have the cash in full, a great way is by putting a deposit down in advance and paying it off as you go along before your flight date, great for families or big travel destinations.

Money
If you know you haven't got good credit, get that sorted, I was scared at looking at my credit score, but I had to take the plunge and take a peak, with one eye opened mind you, and a great way of building back up your credit score is by paying off your bills or another way is even by getting a loan, even with bad credit you might be able to secure loan no matter how big or small, but repaying it off in time can help boost your credit. Plus it comes in handy when to have extra cash whilst on holiday.

Clothes 
You are going to need to new swimming costumes, beach towels and dresses so buy as you go along or even look out for sales and key pieces that will stand the test of time.

Insurance
A massive saving is holiday insurance, no matter where you go in the world holiday insurance is perfect and a life saver and get you out of any sticky situations which are out of your control, plus it will give you peace of mind too, I always get my holiday insurance from The Post Office, they have everything I need and loads of different packages to suit all types.

Gifts
You are always are going to want to save money for little trinkets to bring back home to loved ones and gifts for memories of your holidays, so set aside a small budget for this, be it an allocation to each person or a budget in mind of what you will be spending. 

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London Mumma xx


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Monday, 19 February 2018

Superheroes & Vegan Lunches At The Diner

I've realised and embraced, the fact that my daughter loves dressing up at any given opportunity and you know what I'm ok with it and I secretly loving buying her new costumes also, lets just not let her know that shall we!

Ever since we went to IKEA a few months back Leanora has an obsession with hot dogs, with lashings of ketchup, (utterly hate the stuff, smells weird) and what better way than saving the day on a day spent exploring London by fuelling up and trying out The Diner, in The Strands new Vegan menu, drum roll they have whooping great big hot dogs.

Bundled on the tube and fighting our way to get a seat and Leanora then nearly falling asleep, we finally made it to The Diner, to try out their tasty vast Vegan menu with some friends in tow.

We are always on the hunt for something new and tasty, especially when it involves some sweet potato fries and lashings of melted cheese on top and everyone's favourite good old mac n cheese. 

Today I knew was going to be a good day, I work long weeks and last week I can not believe I clocked up 60+ hours at work, so it's important for me to make sure that my weekends are for Leanora, friends and family too, so we are always on an adventure cramming loads of sightseeing, food and giggles in and who better to spend it with than my cutie superhero.

What I love about London is that it is literally the food hub of the world, with new openings on a weekly basis, something from all over the world it's hard to not find something to suit everyone's taste, plus they are becoming more family friendly too. 


Snuggly tucked away into our booth, we all knew what we wanted and set to order straight away and we wasted no time in ordering errthing!!



I love nothing more than a burger and don't get to have them often, so as soon as I saw the southern fried seitan burger I was all over it, I mean it's insanely good, I've had one before and hands down I rather eat this than a normal burger, plus you can't even tell that it's not even meat.


Fries, fries, fries, sweet potato fries oh how we loved thee and you made my heart skip a beat with cheese, I mean it's like little angels singing to you, well ones that we are going to wolf down and these sweet potato fries are simply heavenly. Crispy and sweet, what more could you want........

A bad boy side of vegan mac n cheese, I was a bit dubious, does it taste the same as normal mac n cheese, does it look the same, what can I say see for yourself and sorry to Sarah and the kids for eating it all and going into a mac n cheese coma!!



It was a thumbs up for Leanora for her veggie hot dog. Elias enjoyed it too.


Sarah went for the nacho salad, which was whopper I mean it was a mammoth of a salad, served in a crispy cajun roasted taco shell.

All giggly and stuffed, we headed for a stroll around the strand with the kids, them running off and hoping we could ketchup.

A massive thanks to The Diner for having us and we will be back soon to try out the vegan pancakes soon.

You can find The Diner at The Strand here for their Vegan menu, plus Soho and Islington too.

My jumper is from H&M and bag from Primark, Leanora's superhero costume is from Marks & Spencer's.

London Mumma xx
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Thursday, 15 February 2018

Very Lazy Chicken Satay


I have a huge weakness for chicken satay! Growing up, every Friday night was takeaway night, my brother and I got to choose what we wanted and it was simply a no-brainer, Chinese duh! 

It was rich, it was different, it was exciting and we loved it, we still do!


Over the years my mother has become intolerant to msg, which if can make her quite unwell, she still loves and carves Chinese, so being a good daughter I aim to bring her some ol skool comforts so she is not left out and create dishes that she along with family and friends to enjoy.


It's taken me a little while to master this recipe and I'm chuffed to say I have finally got it right and it's as tasty as ever and packs a whopping treat on your taste buds. 


Rather than spending loads of time slicing and dicing, I've taken the lazy route thanks to very lazy, pre-made ingredients. Whilst I love cooking from scratch, there are times I seek a quick route, so it gives me more time to spend, chat and relax with family and friends and with this recipe and some great fresh ingredients I can do just that.

Very lazy Satay chicken

550 grams chicken breast
1 teaspoon of chopped garlic - 1 clove finely chopped
1 teaspoon of chilli - 1 chilli chopped
3 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp of sesame oil

Wooden skewers - leave to soak for 60 mins
Metal skewers - you are a-ok 

Very lazy satay sauce

2 tbsp of coconut oil 
1 teaspoon of chopped garlic - 1 clove finely chopped
1 teaspoon of chilli - 1 chilli chopped
2 tbsp of maple syrup 
180 grams of crunchy peanut butter
220 ml of coconut milk
Splash of soy sauce

Directions
1. Dice up your chicken breast and place in a bowl, add your garlic, chilli, soy sauce and sesame oil, take large wooden spoon and toss all around to make sure the marinade goes all over the chicken, cover with cling film and place in your fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight.
2. Grab your saucepan, place over a medium heat add your coconut oil, give the pan a little swish round to make sure the whole bottom half of pan is covered.
3. Add your chilli and garlic fry until soft, a slight golden brown on your onions.
4. Add in your saucepan your peanut butter, let it loosen up a little, whack in your maple syrup and coconut milk, give it all a stir until it becomes lose add in a little more coconut milk if you want it a little more saucier. 
5. Add in your soy sauce, make sure to keep to keep on stirring for a further minute, take off the heat and pop in a heatproof bowl and leave to cool on one side.
6. Take your chicken from the fridge and set to side for 20 minutes, to take the chill off
7. Turn your grill on to a medium heat.
8.Take your skewers and slide your chicken chunks on, place on a wire rack ready to go on your grill, repeat until complete.
9. Pop your chicken skewers under the grill for 8-10 mins, flip over and cook on the other side for 8-10 minutes. 

A great dish for sharing with friends and family, kids love this too. Great served with some sticky rice or my Chinese sweet sticky wings makes for a perfect night dinner. 

What will you be serving, this Chinese New Year?

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London Mumma xx

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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

How To Change Someone's Day The Happy Way



TOP  |  JEANS  |  SUNGLASSES

This year I'm being a bit selfish, but selfish to myself, nothing I enjoy more than changing someone's day, the happy way. Yes, it may be Valentines Day, the day of love, but lets put love on hold for a second and think about making someone happy, not necessarily by buying something for someone that will last for a short period, but a random act of kindness goes a long way.

Am I people pleaser, is it ok to be a people pleaser, yes sometimes it is and nothing wrong with it I rather do one thing to make someone happy, no matter how small or large the gesture, it doesn't have to be for a significant other, or member of family or friend, it could be a total stranger. 


Smile
The most infectious act of kindness. The other day I woke up in a bad mood, nothing happened, I was just in bad mood, probably hormones or something, but instead of me wallowing in this anger, I decided to flip the script, after all, we want to have a good positive day right!?! The moment I stepped outside of the house, the first person I saw I smiled art, not like a weirdo smile, but a genuine one and that person smiled right back, wished me good morning and I and you too will have an instant uplift in mood.


Talk to someone
Take a moment out and talk to someone, be it a friend you have not spoken to in a while, to stranger or homeless person, just talking to someone can really brighten up a persons day. 


See the grandparents
Nothing makes my grandad and me happier than a little chit-chat, be it about the news, the western that he is currently watching, or our favourite topic, Celebs Go Dating! Now that he is retired he spends his days at home cooking for the masses and cleaning the house. Throughout the day, whilst he may be doing chores, or looking over the paper getting ready to put a bet on a horse, he is on his own, like most grandparents who are throughout the day, so take some time out for them, and give them a call or go and see them I know where I will be later, I just hope he's cooked my favourite soup!

Buy someone a coffee
A random act of kindness, can one really surprise someone but makes them also happy, it is all about making someone's day with just a selfless random act. 

Pay someone a compliment
Nothing makes someone's day more than a nice compliment, be it about there cooking, what they are wearing. Try giving the first three people you see a compliment, it would totally make there day.

Bake
Why not whip up a nice tasty treat for your neighbours, such as my bitchin banana bread, it won't just make them happy, but you happy too, plus your house will smell super comforting. 

London Mumma xx




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Tuesday, 13 February 2018

A love Letter To You From MINTD Box



Whilst I purchase many beauty products throughout the year, I find myself needing my monthly top up and what better way than to be sent a darling beauty box each month, and this months box is a  love letter to you from MINTD Box

This months box has been created for you in mind, to nourish, elevate and empower your inner and outer beauty. With little tokens of love and self care, this months box has all your needs this loving month, be it a treat for you or a gift for a loved one, this box has everything to keep you a happy bunny. 


A bath is a luxury treat and one that should certainly be spent enjoyed, I always wonder why I don't have bath's more often, they are so calming and relaxing, especially when you have one of my all-time favourite bath oils from Roque O'Neil, Therapie Equilibrium Bath & Shower Essence a heavenly fragrance bursting with With Persian Rose, New Zealand Lavender, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Wild Sweet Orange and the newly discovered Fragoni. 



Anytime you reach into my handbag you are guaranteed to always find lip balm, with the winter air my lips have become so dry and chapped, but I've been giving them a little love from Omorovicza, there super hydrating Perfecting Lip Balm, is a miracle and helps revive and nourish dry lips with this cooling and plumping lip balm, plus it leaves your lips looking nice and shiny. This lip balm has a delicate smell of vanilla, certainly not overpowering and it is perfect for any skin type. 


Nothing is more comforting and inviting than a candle, a nice warm glow Cocolux Australia's, Lily and Bergamont candle smells so earthy and androgynous, it features strong, masculine citrus and intense fern-like notes. This strong rich base is gently complimented by the uplifting top notes of perennial floral and Lily of the Valley which makes you feel as though you are transported into a sort of magical woods and what is great is that it a natural product too.




Ok, so where do I start, chocolate, chocolate in bed.....Pure heaven and Esthechoc has hit the nail on the head with this bad boy, this chocolate is a food supplement in the form of 72.6% dark chocolate and the world’s first nutricosmetic with a strong, scientifically proven impact on the metabolism of ageing skin. Need I say more, plus you only need a one bar per day, so a little certainly goes a long way, which is great, especially for me as I am not a major chocolate fan.


Next time you find yourself tossing and turning at night, reach for Slipsilk™ anti ageing, anti-sleep crease, anti bed head pure silk pillowcase, it is a well-known fact that Cotton grabs your hair and twists it at the root throughout the night, damaging hair and causing bed-head in the morning, whereas slipsilk is so gentle on your hair, it allows your hairstyle to last overnight, great for those with brittle hair, plus it is great for your skin too. 

The box costs £70 per month a great price, as the box is worth £177. you can either sign up as a one-off or they have a new subscription package which recently just launched, a bi-monthly service (every 2 months they deliver a box). 

Have you tried this months MINTD Box?



London Mumma xx

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Monday, 12 February 2018

Pancakes With Orange Maple Syrup


With the first half term hijinks of the year here, that can mean only one thing, pancake day and there is no better day than pancakes day, am I right!? And in this household, we love nothing more than some ..........pancakes with orange maple syrup.


Piled up high, with lashings of orange syrup it the perfect sweet way to start your day, well actually not just for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner too, these golden brown goodness stacked on your plate can be consumed any time of the day.


In all my 30 years I've always struggled to make pancakes and get the consistency of the ingredients right, I'm the type of gal who just throws it all into a bowl, whisks it all up and pray for the best, once flipped and fried up! No surprise, it didn't always work out to as planned, but now I've got a sure fire way to always make sure you get pancakes just right with my nifty new gadget from Cookut. 


Cookut, have created MIAM, a Shaker to give you Homemade pancakes in an instant! Simply add flour, milk, eggs and sugar as per the measurements on the Miam pancake maker and shake! No lump, no mess, simply pours straight into your pan and fry. Makes up to 10 pancakes, plus if you turn it around on the other side it gives you instructions to make crepes, everyone is a winner. Plus for those that are Vegan, they even have a Vegan shaker too, how great is that. 

Everyone is a winner this pancake day,  so for those that are like me and need assistance on making the best pancakes ever, you can pick up a normal one from here or the vegan one here

To make 10 pancakes:

110g plain flour
2 large eggs
300ml oat milk - you can use cows milk or milk of choice
1tsp of baking powder

1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl, then transfer into a jug, as it is much easier to pour when frying. 

2. heat a frying pan & add a blob of butter. Swish it around your pan & when it’s bubbling, pour in your batter. 

3. Cook for about a minute or until you see your pancake starts bubbling, that time it means your pancake is ready to be flipped over and cooked on the other side, repeat until complete. 

To make orange maple syrup (enough for 10 - 15  pancakes)

1/2 cup maple syrup
1 large orange

1. In a small saucepan heat maple syrup and juice from your orange, grate the orange and place shavings into the saucepan. 

2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then decant into a small jug and pour over your pancakes. 

If you are in the mood for some more fluffy pancakes, topped with loads of fruit, then this recipe is for you

So let me know what you think or how you like to top off your pancakes. 

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London Mumma xx
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Friday, 9 February 2018

4 Ways To De-Stress After a Long Week


What's better than the weekend, Fri-Yay, yes ladies and gents we have survived and it's now time to de-stress after a long week.

We all have those weeks when life or work can get the better of us, the boiler has broken down, you've lost your travel pass, the kids are acting up, the boss is a pain, colleagues are not pulling their weight, your workload is ever increasing and you see no sign of it slowing down let alone packing up and leaving the office for the day or should I say night.

Those 5 working days can sure be tough, but ever the optimistic (currently laughing to myself in my head, I mean, I try to be) the weekend is not far and you want to enjoy it to the fullest, but in order to

Run
No matter the time of day you choose to go for a run, it is the perfect opportunity for you to hit the ground running and pound the pavement to clear your head and your mind from the week's stresses. Plus an added bonus, you get a great work out in to, perfect for toning up your calves, thighs, hips, glutes, core, and arms – a true full body workout.

Buy A Plant
Nothing quite like adding some greenery in to your home, as well as looking good they are great air purifiers too. 

Hot bath 
Nothing quite relaxes the body than a nice rich hot bath, filled with some delightful scented oils. A good bath pretty much helps solve everything. So let the magical powers at be, wash over you and let it take away your tensions, worries, and let it make you feel complete and new for a brand new day.

Cook
Nothing better than cooking something exceptionally wonderful, be it a sweet treat, like my bitchin banana bread or something nice and healthy and why not get some friends round, together you can all create something even more magical whilst having some fun.

We hope you manage to have a better week with these tips! How do you make sure you de-stress after a long week?


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London Mumma xx


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