Wednesday, 26 February 2020

How To Perfect Your Storage For The Small Home With IKEA

Let’s talk storage! Before children even arrive, you’re inundated with stuff - whether it’s gifts from the baby shower or cute toys and clothes you’ve bought to prepare. I mean, I bought an insane amount - but you never know how much you’re going to need. Storage is absolutely key. 
My house is filled to the brim with LOL Dolls, teddy’s, Elsa dolls, books, race cars and even that dreaded Lego. Yep, not fun waking up in the middle of the night and stepping on one of those bad boys! But okay, I’ll admit it, my house would not be the same without all of these toys, they all have sentimental value, plus Leanora and I love creating scenes with them. From rescuing the damsel in distress, to swashbuckling pirates on a treasure hunt to Leanora’s favourite, her being the mumma and reading all her soft cuddly toy children a good book, then putting them to bed.

Alongside all the toys, there’s also our own family items and decorations around the home. It’s really important for us to incorporate some well thought out storage ideas without compromising on style. Who better to assist, than IKEA! They’re not all hot dogs and meatballs…
Storage is key for my home, it’s not a large home, so space has to be well balanced out. My favourite accessories are storage boxes and baskets. They’re perfect for storing toys, books, plants and everything in between. Not only do they look stylish around the home, they also add a great texture and design element too. Plus when tidying up, it’s the perfect storage solution to get rid of all the clutter. I have a few affordable stylish favourites - the BRANÄS and FLÅDIS from IKEA.

The FLÅDIS is a great multifunctional storage solution and can be dressed two ways:
  1. With the handles in to show your contents - perfect for the soft plush toys! 
  2. With the handles out to conceal your items  e.g. those pesky smaller toys or hanging plants.
They also have a similar one perfect for the kids room - the KRALLIG. It has a stylish light pink base. 

The BRANÄS is a hand woven rattan basket, which goes hand in hand with the stylish KALLAX storage unit which I picked up in the matt white. We also have the glossy version in our living room. Not only is it the perfect organisational storage unit, its neutral colour naturally integrates with our decor. 

Another great storage solution is the STUK - a moveable storage case that can easily fit in a wardrobe or under the bed. It also slots nicely under the sofa too! We’re using STUK storage cases to store lots of different things:
  1. Books! The cases help to keep them all in one place.
  2. Summer clothes (hopefully not for too long!)
  3. Bed linen - the cases are perfect for this as they’re dust proof!

Sometimes you simply just do not have the room, but if there ever was a time to perfect your storage, it’s now! IKEA have some great storage solutions for your home to suit all your families daily needs.
 
Lindsey


Disclaimer: This was a paid collaboration with IKEAUK
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Thursday, 20 February 2020

We Are Loving Marks & Spencer's Restore Candles



When the weather is a dreary as this, all I want to do is snuggle up with Leanora on the sofa, with a good book a warming cup of moon milk and a feel good family movie, with a little extra help of sealing the mood than with a warming scented candle.

I’m a comfort kinda gal, L too, give us the all the slow cooked steak Pies and a hot cuppa of coco with a beautiful scent wafting through the house and we are golden, for us it’s the simple pleasures the little things that we cherish most and a good candle ticks all the right boxes for us both. Even when we get home, shoes and coats are taken off, the first thing she says is mummy candle time haha!


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I’m introducing are new favourite candle which we’ve bought in bulk at Marks & Spencer restore candle in Amber when I first opened this, the scent was intoxicatingly good and could not simply be left in store, it’s rich in scent and fuelled with my favourite which is geranium.


The restore candle once lit, radiates and instantly makes the whole house warm, and even once put out it’s calming scent still lingers through. I find that when this candle is burning I feel calm and at ease, perfect to wind down with after a long day.

If you are looking to make a change of scent or need a little extra comfort on the cold winter nights, I can not recommend this Marks & Spencer Restore candle enough. 

Have you purchased the Restore candle or any others from the Marks & Spencer Collection, or what are your favourite candles right now? I would love to hear in the comments below.



Lindsey 

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Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Manuka Kitchen, Fulham

You see, it’s half term and this week we’ve been out and about all week, off to the cinema, stomping around London sightseeing and exploring our hometown and whilst doing so we’ve built up quite an appetite, so with four bellies rumbling we decide to head to Manuka Kitchen, the independent award winning restaurant located in the heart of Fulham. 

Looking for something cosy and intimate, be it with the kids or friends to even date night, then Manuka Kitchen is the perfect Aladdin’s hidden cave just for you.

The restaurant is big supporters of their locally sourced suppliers, with values that match their own and I love to support businesses that supports their locals too.

But let’s get down to the good stuff, it’s been a windy wet week so let’s dive right in to Manuka Kitchen as I can not wait to show you what this independent award winning restaurant has to serve up.

When eating out with kids, especially in a new place it can be hard to know what they would like, you want them to have a nourishing dish.


Getting settled at the table and having the kids wash there hands, we ordered a selection of hot drinks, my favourite The beetroot latte, hot chocolate for the girls and goldyn mylk, for the other mumma.Whilst perusing and drooling over the healthy seasonal menu, what do we spot but blueberry pancakes Leanora’s favourite, if she could have her way and eat them everyday she certainly would. I mean just look at how fluffy they are, I was a little sneaky and pinched a bit of Leanoras, after all sharing is caring!



Home-cured salmon royal.

Perfectly cooked, super fresh, the eggs are poached to pure perfection, honestly the best royal I’ve had.

Crunchy pot, a nice light and refreshing granola and Greek yoghurt pot with a. Sprinkling of pomegranate.

To share between us the Garden Scrambled Egg, it was so good I could have eaten that also all to myself.

What I love about local bistros like Manuka Kitchen is that it’s seasonal products on offer, items on the menu that you would happily eat anytime of the day, what’s even more of a delight the menu changes monthly, but glad some of our favourites will always be on there, it’s a delightful intimate setting that will keep you guessing and wishing for the updated menu the following month.



If you are looking for good quality food and a great dining experience, or a healthy stack of pancakes loaded with warming maple syrup and fresh blueberries to keep you fueled, then Manuka Kitchen is where you need to be.


Guys, if you have been here what have been your favourite dishes? If you’ve not what are you waiting for let me know in the comments below your thoughts or your recent gem of a find.


You can find Manuka Kitchen at; 510 Fulham Road, London SW6 5NJ or to make a reservation call 02077367588



Lindsey




Disclaimer: this post was a paid collaboration, but all words are my own
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Monday, 17 February 2020

The Parents Guide To Half Term


I don’t know about you but I’m looking forward to this half term, not only do you get to spend it with your favourite humans, there is no getting up early for work or the school run whop whop! Guess who’s gonna treat themselves to new bed sheets for the special occasion....

Where to begin with so much fun stuff going on there is so much to look forward to, weather permitting of course, this week for us Londoners a bout of snow is on the horizon, personally I’m looking forward to it for the snow angels and snowball fights.

Cinema
I don’t know who is more excited Leanora and I and hopefully you too as we are off to watch the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie. All I can here in my head is the Sega Mega Drive coming on....all with me SEGA!

Cooking
Let’s talk everything from breakfast, blueberry breakfast muffins, quorn burgers for lunch, Aubergine lasagna for dinner and funfetti popcorn to doughnuts, forget about dining out and get cooking, plus you’ll save yourself some money too for those half term activities.

Theatre
Still time to catch Cirque Du Soleil’s epic Luiza show at the Royal Albert Hall, perfect for the whole family of all ages to watch this energetic, colourful acrobatic show about the wonder and beauty of Mexico.

Netflix & Chill
What free days are made for simply Netflix & chill. Not everyday you have to go out, yes I know the kids will destroy the house, but we all need a break and half terms can be expensive, so I say make a few favourite snacks dishes, get your comfies on grab the duvet off the bed sit back and relax on the sofa and watch a movie or two. Currently we are watching Locke & Key a great series for the family a little spooky at times, but you’ll know when it’s coming more suitable for older kids, however,another great family movie is Leanora’s favourites Angry Birds & Annie. When the kids are off to bed I’ll be watching The Stranger, I’ve not even started this yet and heard so much great thing about it, have you seen it? I’ve saved it for now so I can binge watch it now that I’ve a few days off from work.

Lightopia
The most amazing light show we’ve ever seen. Last weekend we set off down to Chiswick House & Gardens for a stroll around the park lit up by beautiful light sculptures from tinkerbell, dinosaurs, flowers and animals.

What are your plans this half term? I would love to hear and for you to share in the comments below.

Lindsey
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Slow Cooked Steak Pie


Rich slow cooked steak pie, nothing better on a cold night when you need a little comfort. Pie is the best form of comfort food hands down, it’s melt in the mouth good and hearty for the soul.

When handled with love it’s pure bliss. I’ve only recently started making my own, my first go of it was with my humble chicken pot pie and since then I’ve not looked back and never bought a ready made shop one.



Only a few ingredients are needed to make his slow cooked steak pie and with the kids on half term, there couldn’t be a better time to make this feel good pie.


After a wet weekend we will be venturing out the house today finally, off to the movies to watch Sonic. So I know with today looking the same as this weekend I’m looking forward to coming back home to this delicious pie. Thinking ahead and trying to be organised this week I’m making this hearty pie now before we set off for our day, saving my time by doing all he hard work now, so when we get home, simply got to re-heat and cook some veggies, giving me a lot more time to put my feet up and relax and spend a bit more time with L.



What I love is he fact that you can tweak this recipe, even get creative and vegetables to it, or for something more robust I would even recommend putting in some potatoes, but I like all of mine on the side, give me all the mash and green beans on the side please.



Let’s get to it shall, after all we’ve a busy day ahead to let’s get cooking. 



If you make this dish, let me know what you think in the comments or below or share your snap with me over on Instagram.


Ingredients 


1kg diced braising steak
1 large onion diced
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 beef stock cubes mixed with 600ml boiling water 
1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten


Directions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Heat half the oil in a large pot over a medium heat, brown the meat in batches, then set aside. Add the onions a drizzle of more oil, then cook on a low heat for 5 mins until coloured. Scatter over the flour, stirring until the flour turns brown and comes together with the onions. Tip the meat and any juices back into the pan along with the ketchup and give it all a good stir. 
  2. Pour over the stock, and bring to a simmer. Pour the filling into a pie dish place in the oven for about 2 hrs, until the meat is tender. 
  3. Unravel the pastry, drape over the dish and use a knife to trim and press the edges against the side of the dish.
  4. Brush the pie with egg yolk. Make a few little slits in the centre of the pie and bake for 40 mins until golden. Leave to stand for a few mins before serving.


Enjoy.


Lindsey


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Friday, 14 February 2020

Blueberry Breakfast Muffins



Blueberry breakfast muffin! Yep I’ll have one to go please, Leanora too!! Weekday mornings are manic, who has time to have a proper breakfast when you got to get the kids ready for school and yourself for work, get a load on timer, feed the cat and take out the rubbish, not me that’s for sure.

Breakfast should be comforting, healthy and filling and these blueberry breakfast muffins are just that. Loaded with oats soaked in milk, some honey, a little vanilla and that warming cinnamon and those sweet blueberries, these loaded breakfast muffins are a total breakfast game changer.


I like to plan ahead, I always have been the type of person who thinks days ahead, I mean when I get home from work I’m already thinking and planning out breakfast, believe it or not even what we are having for Sunday dinner, yeah I know I’m a weird, but if I don’t plan I can’t think straight. Whilst whipping up our quick mid-week dinner consisting of polenta and mushrooms and Leanora running round the house hunting for our grandmas birthday cake who turned 90 a few days ago, the idea came to me to make some blueberry breakfast muffins, winner winner, breakfast made at dinner! A cross between a pud brekkie!

This recipe I have to say has no sugar in, zilch! I thought it may have needed it but it truly doesn’t you get enough sweetness from the blueberries and subtle hint of the honey and cinnamon.

I was skeptical at first if Leanora would like these, so on the school run I gave her a piece of my own and that was it, whole thing gone in minutes, just annoyed with myself as I only brought out the one.


Not only are they tasty, but super filling too thanks to the oats. Normally come 10am I’m looking to pick at something bad for me or I’ll reach for some granola as I know I should go for the healthier option. But truly I am content until lunch, that’s what we want something that’s healthy, tasty and can curb hunger and keep you filled and fueled through you're the morning.

I recommend making these the night before, so you don’t have to faff around in the morning, giving you more time to get you and your family ready and out of the house on time.

If you make this recipe I’d love to hear your comments below and I’ll be sure to respond, also if you whip up a batch share it and tag me on Instagram.



Ingredients

1 cup (240ml) milk

1 cup (80g) oats

1 and 1/4 cups (156g) plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (115g) butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/2 cup (120ml) honey

1 medium egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (190g) of blueberries



Directions

  1. Soak the oats in the milk. Set aside for 20 minutes so the oats soak up some moisture, this is very important.
  2. Preheat oven to 200C). Lightly grease a muffin/cupcake pan with butter or use muffin liners.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl until combined. Set aside. Whisk the melted butter, honey, egg, and vanilla extract together in bowl until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir then add the soaked oats and blueberries. Fold everything together gently just until combined.
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin liners, fill them all the way to the top. Top with oats and a light sprinkle of Bake for 5 minutes at 220c then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 200c Bake for an additional 16-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pan, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.


Store these into an air tight container and keep them at room temperature and will stay fresh for a few days or store in the fridge for a week.



Lindsey

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Monday, 10 February 2020

Long Distance Dating, Does It Work?


Dating long distance can be hard, whilst it can be fun because you can travel and see outside your post code and visit new sites with a loving companion it’s not always feesable and can even cause a strain on our relationship.

As you know I’ve been dipping back my toe in the dating pool and I have recently started dating a friend who did just live a little too far, whilst he is a great guy he is just not a local guy! I mean yeah I’m busy with being a parent and working full time So I would not of been able to spend as much time together as we would like, it did  get me thinking would it really last and was this fledging relationship worth it for one another.

We met at a friends party overseas and always kept in touch. It can seem like a fairly tale at the best of times, knowing you are out of town spending quality time with a new person having fun exploring somewhere completely different and leaving all worries behind. The best part was bringing in my suitcase to the office on Friday itching to get out of work and whisked off for a romantic adventure, I literally did no work over the period we were dating on a Friday, just could not get my head into the game, all I could think about is heading out for dinner and picking and deciding where we were going to eat, lunch the next day to our boozy afternoons spent people watching in the pub before a long walk by the river and heading home to get changed to party the night away.

Sunday’s were hard, I felt utterly heartbroken, I think more for the sake of my own sense of freedom that I craved as well as spending time with someone I cared about, but by the time I got home it got me thinking is this what I want a weekend here and there stolen on or something more solid and close to home, did I want to date someone so far away?????

Clearly not, as we both came to a mutual understanding, but we are still great friends and think we are better off this way than in a dating relationship that was too long distance for either of us.

So back to the drawing board and back on the dating sites, something a little more close to home and there I search for a London dating site. Keeping it close to home not only saves you that extra cash to get a few more extra drinks in or order a double portion of calamari to even getting you that new dress you also get to realise how many singles there are in London, who doesn’t Love London Singles!

I can happily inform you that I’m back on the sites and I have a friend who just moved and he too is on his local Buckinghamshire dating sites so know matter where you are in the country you can find Love Buckingham Singles to you lovely London Singles too.

Have you guys ever dated long distance, did it work for you or maybe not, even would you do it again travel the world to see that someone


Lindsey

Disclaimer: this post was a paid collaboration, but all words are my own


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Monday, 3 February 2020

The Best Plaid Skirts To Wear To Work


Fun fact, I love getting dressed up for work! Of late I’m hooked on skirts, in particular plaid ones, if you are  ever looking to freshen up your work wear wardrobe than this is the way to go.

Super easy to wear and versatile, the plaid skirt is the perfect wardrobe staple that can be worn a multiple of ways, with a crisp white tee, shirt or a cosy knit. I’ve a variety of checked skirts in my wardrobe, from short, pencil to midi and different colours also.



I know I should plan what I’m wearing the day before, but sometimes I get stuck and inspiration lost, plus by the time I've got home, all I can think of is making my dinner, having a nice hot bath, sorting out the babe then getting ready for bed!! 



I have a tendency to get easily bored and tired of my work wear wardrobe, I then stress and have to think do I want to wear heels, a loafer or a pair of boots, with my work wear look of the day. But when I’m stuck I can always rely on a checked skirt to work, for a cheeky look I’ll go for a short skirt worn with a loafer and some tights, something more sassy and sexy then a pencil version, but may favourite is a midi worn with some ankle boots or if cold, ill wear it with a knee high pair, it quite simply is the perfect look to take you from desk to dinner a two in one double whammy.

What is your go to work wear item in your wardrobe?

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Lindsey


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Thursday, 23 January 2020

What To Do, Buy And See This Weekend


I am certainly not alone in saying this, but I live for the weekends! Who doesn’t!its a time to chill catch up with friends, spend time with family, eat great food and do what ever you want in your time, no worries about work for the next 48 hours, just pure bliss and indulgence.

When it comes to the weekends, it’s always important to do something different and have fun doing it and there is so much on this weekend to see, do and try and simply wander around.

Borough MarketI love this place, it’s a great place to walk around, it’s some great food and drink some amazing wine, plus my favourite is people watching. No matter the weather, this in door market is a great place to get lost and wander around on a Saturday and try some new and tasty dishes and snap up a few tasty delicacies.

Lunar ParadeIt’s Chinese New Year and I’ve made some great dishes in order to celebrate, such as my super easy prawn dumplings or some tasty sweet sticky chicken wings! This Sunday from 10am there will be a parade celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year and I’ll certainly be heading down to watch in all its glory then end our celebrations with a hearty lunch in China Town.

Books
Looking for a new adventure, non-fictional read, head to your closest book shop and peruse the thousands of books waiting to be read. I can not stress the importance of reading books not just for yourself but especially for your kids, nieces and nephews too! I have a few books in mind for me for February’s book review and few educational ones for Leanora also.

TrainersThis kid of mine, she is having a growth spurt and in need of some new trainers, so we will be heading into town to get her feet measured and get some new kicks for her and whilst at it I’ll treat myself too.

Cirque Du Soleil
I was invited to the opening of the latest Cirque Du Soleil, Luzia show and honestly its breath taking. The costumes, the story and music is always beautiful and powerful and is great watch, family friendly too, it’s money worth spent and a great way to start the weekend.

What do you have planned for this weekend?

Lindsey

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5 Things You Need To Know To Have An Awesome Work & Dating Life Balance


Us driven career women, can find it hard to balance a work and dating relationship, especially when we are focused and ambitious and want our careers to thrive and that’s an amazing thing, but us career minded women can forget to step away from the career woman and become a fun loving dating woman.



It’s so easy to get wrapped up in your career, especially when you are doing something that you are very passionate about, trust me I’m there, but you also have to unwind and let yourself go and find that perfect equilibrium.



Our potential suitors can at times find it a little tricky, intimidating easily! But trust me there is nothing sexier in a man or woman who is strong, focused and knows what they want in their personal life as well as there career, sure we all need a little guidance and become over obsessed with our career and have tunnel vision, but don’t forget to be proud of what you have achieved as there is so much more from your career to dating and meeting new people.



This year I’ve decided to make a few resolutions to keep me on track and well balanced out and to remember it’s not all work, work, it will be there tomorrow and go out have fun, unwind and meet new people and find that perfect one, doesn’t matter your age there are so many platforms that you can sign up to such as silver-dating.com, also via an abundance of apps and to senior dating site there are a lot of choice from you to pick from to have an awesome work and dating life balance.



You need a second life
Step away from that laptop, yep close it! There is so much more than that screen, get out and explore the world, whilst you may have your dream job already or possibly working towards that promotion you need to have that dream life too.



Unwind
No matter what you do at work today, it will always be there to come back to tomorrow. Spend that quality time investing in you and your relationship and spend that time to unwind with someone you care about.



Prioritise
We’ve got this far and you are doing an amazing job, but prioritise time for you, work and your relationships outside the office, you don’t want to burn yourself out if you have to when it comes to work ask for help!



Health is wealth
In order to be the best productive you, you need to take care of you, no point turning up to work frazzled over worked and stressed out, to rocking up on that date and your head is elsewhere. Be kind to yourself, your mind body and soul! Come lunch take some time to step out of the office, take a walk, grab some food, or if you can get in a work out in your lunch break , or simply take sometime out to meditate to help clear your mind! No excuses you can ever. Do it after work and take some needed time for you.



Get social
Don’t forget to fit in your friendships, arrange some dinner and drink events to meet and catch up with old friends, I am sure enough that you’ll meet new friends and potential new suitors when your out.



Overall to have that perfect balance is to make sure you are happy and healthy, once there everything will fall into place and you will achieve that perfect all round balance.



For more dating and lifestyle tips, don’t forget you can follow me on Bloglovin and Instagram for all the latest updates.



Lindsey



Disclaimer: this post was a paid collaboration, but all words are my own


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Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Prawn Dumplings


Prawn dumplings are my jam, I eat them by the truck load and could happily do so every day. With the Chinese New year not far away, I thought why not make some myself, I was a little worried, but I took the plunge and made them and I did not realise how easy they were to make. Made with fresh raw prawns, tasty bamboo shoots and diced up water chestnuts and a dash of rice wine, these can be made for your Friday night dish instead of a take out, or over the weekend in time to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

The best things about the dumplings,they are so easy to make and you can customise the recipe to your liking, not a fan of prawns, why not go for a veggie option or even a chicken version, if you are wanting some with meat. This weekend I think I will be making a selection of veggie and protein filled dumplings with Leanora, her small hands are ideal too. 



You will never make a small batch of these dumplings, but don't worry they are ideal for freezing too, so when ever you fancy one you'll have some stored in the freezer, added bonus is that you can steam from frozen, or even fry straight on to the skillet. 

If you fancy another takeout dish to make at home, perfectly accompanies with these dumplings are my Chinese sticky chicken wings. I am also in the process of refining a new recipes which will be out in time for the Chinese New Year, another takeout treat in the form of noodles, so be sure to come back Friday, to complete your Friday night at home takeaway.

If you make these prawn dumplings or sweet sticky wings, be sure to tag me on Instagram, so I can see your photos. 

Lindsey
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Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Dinner Ideas For The Next 5 Days


picture from @pinterest

The easiest way to stick to a budget and a plan, is meal prepping. Every Sunday I think about what we are going to eat and stick to it. Meal prep is a big and in thing and I absolutely love it, I know I’m guaranteed to eat fresh healthy food and something a little naughty at the end of the week, plus any left overs you can take to work for lunch, so need to think about spending that extra cash and struggling on what to eat come noon!



Left over chicken from your Sunday roast, turn the left over chicken in to a tasty pie. Make individual ones or a mammoth one to share with family and friends, perfect for those cold nights.



Come on, who doesn’t love a good pizza! This beauty takes no time to make, friendly on the pocket meat free and if you are mushroom love this is for you.



Wanting to go meat free and trick the kids, then this tasty spag bowl is perfect. I wanted Leanora and I to eat a little less meat and when I thought of this dish, I was hesitant and thought I’d get caught out, but no! She loves it and is none the wiser.



With these cold days and nights we are having we want something winter warming and this soup is simply heavenly, enjoyed curled up on the sofa with a good book, plus perfect to pack up for lunch.



Come Friday night, we love a takeaway, but we are all about saving money and why not make your own Chinese at home and make a batch of these sweet sticky wings! Trust me that they will last no time in the house, I always end up making to batches.

Do you enjoy meal prepping? What have you got lines up for the next few days?

Lindsey



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