My favourite toasted sandwich recipe

Today marks to start of British Sandwich Week and that’s also day 8’s prompt on #BEDM, so I thought I’d share my favourite toastie recipe of all time. I often make variations of this recipe and it’s totally delicious!

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Serves: 1

Ingredients

  1. 2 slices of your favourite bread – I like homemade white bread or multigrain seeded.
  2. Butter/spread – I butter the bread lightly and this makes the toastie crispy , golden and delicious.
  3. Your favourite cheese – I use a mix of sliced mozzarella and a mature cheddar for a full flavour that melts into  gooey stringy loveliness.
  4. Caramelised onion – You can cook your own or use from a jar.
  5. Lashings of your favourite tomato chutney – Asda make a lovely chutneys in their Extra Special range – these make incredible variations. Likewise, The English Provender Co. make exceedingly good chutneys.
  6. Finally scatter with basil leaves – I’ve also used watercress and baby spinach.

Pop on its bread lid and toast in a Panini press, or cook each side in a pan until golden and the cheese has melted.

Enjoy!

I’m taking part in Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day In May challenge. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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What’s this ‘date night’ thing, you speak of?

It’s funny that ‘date night’ should be today’s #BEDM topic as I was thinking just the other day about how little ‘couple-time’ we get these days. Little to none really. I see people gushing on social media about ‘date night’ – parents and non-parents alike, and I waver somewhere between feeling insanely jealous, and then giving myself a shake as that’s just life – a sacrifice you happily make as a parent.

Then  I read articles that don’t agree with ‘date nights’ at all; deeming them an excuse to not make an effort the rest of the time. I suppose I see their point, but personally, I’d see a ‘date night’ as ‘me-time’ spent with the one person who truly understands.

In all honesty, by the time the children are asleep, all we want to do is tidy up, eat up and go to bed ourselves. But, we do try to grab ourselves an odd morning together; just the two of us. It might only be a couple of hours between pick ups and work shifts, but it’s our time and I enjoy it.

With this in mind, I thought I’d share some ‘couple-time’ (I think that’s probably a better name for it in our case) ideas for knackered parents.

Go for a coffee – Not romantic in the slightest but it’s a great way to relax and have a good old chat. I love popping to Starbucks/Costa and having a naughty coffee (mine’s a White Chocolate Mocha FYI) so it feels like a treat as well as some well-deserved chilling time with my favourite grown-up.

Catch a daytime movie – Time is usually against us on this one. But visiting the cinema was one of the ‘dates’ we used to enjoy a lot before we had our family, so it makes us feel young and free again!

Eat Alfresco – Breakfast on the balcony, or an impromptu picnic in the park can be equally romantic and if you’re clever, you can whip up some suitable food in no time at all. Obviously not so lovely if it’s the middle of a Winter freeze, but we have been known to wrap up and go for a long walk with a flask of tea!

Cook for each other – Food is a big part of our family and so going to the effort of cooking a special meal for someone means so much. We often do this to mark special occasions – Birthday’s, Valentines, anniversaries.

Go out for breakfast – If you have school age children, and happen to both have a day off together (I know – shock!) then why not take the opportunity to go out for breakfast? OK, it’s not quite the same as going out for dinner, but we really enjoy it! Great food, great company and amazing conversation – what more do you need?

Do you and your partner have Date Nights? What do you do?

I’m taking part in Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day In May challenge. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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5 top tips on preparing for a Spring clean

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This weekend marks the start of my big Spring clean. I’ve got some catching up to do housework wise, as I’ve had a ridiculously busy week and I’ve had to let a few things slide (okay, a lot of things!)

I’m no housekeeping expert but I do love a list and I do love clean and clutter-free house (she jests… with a houseful of children!) Anyway… I’m in the middle of writing a detailed Spring Cleaning post, but in the meantime, here’s some tips I’ve learned along the way.

  1. Numero uno, and possibly the most important tip of all – enlist help! You might well be the master of your house, but it doesn’t mean that everything is up to you. Everyone can chip in where they can.
  2. Don’t expect to get everything done in one day. Even if you have no other commitments, lots of help and plenty of motivation, cleaning a house from top to bottom is a big task. Spread it over at least a few days, if not a few weeks – especially if you are going for a thorough deep clean and declutter.
  3. My favourite word – DECLUTTER. You can not properly clean a room that is full of clutter. Tackle this before you even consider cleaning. Remember, if it’s not beautiful, hugely sentimental or useful in some way – re-home it or recycle. Just look at each item and say’ does this bring me joy?’ If the answer is no and it’s not something that helps you out on a day-to-day basis, then consider getting rid!
  4. Don’t move or lift anything that could cause you harm or risk damaging something in our home. Either enlist some strong arms to help, get a professional in to do it, or leave well alone. Injury or expensive damage is not worth the risk!
  5. Consider going green where your cleaning products are concerned. Homemade cleaning products are often cheaper than chemical based cleaning products and better for you, our environment and your home.

Keep your eyes peeled or subscribe for more cleaning tips and detailed cleaning routines – coming soon!

I’m taking part in Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day In May challenge. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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Family favourites – April

This months favourites are mostly mine really, as April seemed to whizz by in a flash and I’d not really gathered much to include.

The weather

We are all thoroughly enjoying the sunshine that has made a welcomed appearance this week; that means more outdoor activities, no coats, ice cream and hopefully more happy faces and family picnics. Welcome Spring… please do stay a a while and feel free to bring your friend, Summer soon too.

Spring Flowers

We just love the outdoors during this time of year – the flowers, the wildlife…..everything seems so new and beautiful. It gives me a new-found positivity about life. I know that sounds ridiculously deep, but it does and as someone who struggles with anxiety and sometimes depression too, I think that’s really important for me. I love Spring photography too – birds, flowers, bumble bees. They are all on this years ‘shot list’.

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On to beauty products, I have been loving a few things this month and first up is my new cleanser. I bought it ages ago in Asda, but I’ve only really started to properly use it as my second cleanse at night. It feels amazing!  It’s called nspa Beauty Rituals Melting Cleansing Gel and I think it was around £6-£8. It is a gel formulation that melts into a milk cleanser as it contacts with wet skin. It feels so lovely and it removes any make up that my Micellar water might leave behind. My skin feels lovely and soft, hydrated and not at all irritated. As someone with dry and sensitive prone skin, I’m very impressed with this product. The grapeseed oil takes off make up without the need to scrub at the skin, and it also contains ginseng, vitamin E, avocado, apricot and neroli oils – it smells lovely too!

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I occasionally treat myself to a Pink Parcel (the most amazing surprise box for that time of the month) I love the concept so much and a few months ago I received this mini bottle of Lola’s Apothecary Sweet Lullaby Soothing Body & Massage Oil in my box. The full size bottle is £36 from Notonthehighstreet. I instantly fell in love because I absolutely adore lavender and it looks and smells divine. It claims to ‘promote deep healing and tranquility’ and you know what? I’d agree with that. It’s soothing, relaxing and was incredible as a massage oil after a shoulder injury. Both myself and my other half love it – it’s quite sensual too. It’s quite an all rounder, as it can be used on problem skin, hair, nails and even as a cleansing oil/moisturiser. I’ll definitely be repurchasing!

Lola says: “Sweet Lullaby is a comforting scent with Lavender and Ylang Ylang at its soothing heart, grounded by Patchouli and Vanilla at its spicy base, and uplifted by Sweet Orange in the top note to sing a sweet lullaby” – a truly beautiful scent.

lolas

And finally on to food. Just one favourite this month as I don’t feel like I’ve been eating very well at all. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a random allergy to chillies but peppers don’t seem to have any effect on me at all. *yay* My hubby picked these Sweet Peppers Stuffed With Cream Cheese on a recent trip to Aldi and I’m addicted! They do have white pepper in them, so they have a bit of a kick, but it doesn’t affect my allergies so I am over the moon! YUM!!!

peppers

What have you been enjoying this month?

I’ve skipped today’s #BEDM prompt to bring you my monthly favourites! But, you can find out more about it by clicking the badge below:
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What’s in my bag – the mum edition

I can not tell you how pleased I was that I’d cleaned out my bag a few days before seeing that today’s #BEDM prompt is ‘What’s in your bag?’.
That said, I am not going to post images of the horror that was the inside of my bag. No. Just…. No.

Please tell me that I’m not alone in finding small children’s snotty tissues, half eaten apples and bits of popcorn stuck to the bottom? My gorgeous Cath Kidston bag was subjected to all of the above said atrocities, along with 10 billion receipts, several pens that no longer work and more inhalers than my child will ever need in a 24 hour period. I know I never like to be without one, but they seem to be breeding!!

I think the most random thing I found in my bag (and how I hadn’t noticed it when rifling for spare change, I have no idea) was this rather disheveled looking, naked fashion doll. Nobody remembers putting her there so I can only assume that this plastic, popcorn-munching stowaway climbed in all by herself. That’s what my daughter thinks, anyway!

doll

Other items that I do actually consider essential include:
Tissues – a must-have for snotty noses, sticky faces and make-shift doll blankets. Likewise, baby wipes are also universally useful for pretty much everything.
Lip balm – annoyingly, this isn’t even mine. It’s my childs…and it’s a Balmi too!
A manicure kit – Don’t laugh but this has saved my life on many occasion. Last week I snapped my nail backwards whilst trying to grapple with all the gym kits, school bags, coats and other *stuff* the kids plonk at your feet the second they escape from school (ouch!) It broke, and then kept catching on everything I touched which hurt like hell, so out came my trusty little nail kit and I completed minor surgery on myself, right there on the school playing field. It’s also stopped all hell from breaking loose when I couldn’t open a My Little Pony blind bag in the middle of Tesco car park.
Kidilicious snacks – I’m not one to use sweets as a bribe… but fruit snacks that children think are sweets? I have no problem with that 😆
Purse, keys, phone (obviously)
Water bottle – Not that I ever get to drink it myself, but it’s important to keep hydrated!
Pens – preferably ones that work are most useful *rolls eyes*
Notebook – I carry one with me everywhere. I do love a list!
Spare hair bands – I just know that halfway to school my daughter will realise she has sports and needs her hair tied back. I buy millions of the things; usually the big bundle you can buy in Primark for £1. I just pick up a pack everytime I go in there.

Not massively exciting, admittedly! So, what’s in your bag?

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Walking is good for my soul…

.....But not so much for my sole! *badum tish* Stay with me.... I'll get to the point :lol:

Apparently it’s Walk To Work Month… who knew?

Do you walk a lot? I don’t drive so I tend to walk everywhere anyway.  On an average day I probably walk about 8 miles outside of the house. I’ve always walked everywhere, even as a teenager – I love it.

Obviously, it’s good for you. The fresh air (sort of), the exercise, the surroundings – nature and the outdoors definitely does wonders for my state of mind. I find it relaxing yet exhilarating (except when it’s blowing a gale – I hate windy weather… rain, storms – no problem, but wind? Just NO!)

Most of my photography is taken outside – the World is a beautiful place and we’d notice it more if we were to Just. Slow. Down.

A photo posted by Tabi (@onehome6hearts) on

Love being outdoors, especially this time of year. So beautiful #woods #nature🍃 #ukblogger

A photo posted by Tabi (@onehome6hearts) on

When my children were younger I’d scoop them up into their wrap, and wear them on family walks…the wonder in their eyes was magical to see, there’s nothing quite like it. I really miss babywearing! The kids have always walked to school, whatever the weather. I think it’s good for them too and they’ve never questioned it as they’ve always done it.

We love to go for long walks in the woods too – so much to see and experience. Much needed time away from screens and the internet could not be better spent if you ask me. If I could do it every day, I would.

Unfortunately, all this lovely walking has its downside. Especially when you run as well. Over the past 8 years or so I’ve suffered from occasional Plantar fasciitis; or thickening/inflammation of the plantar fascia. However for the past 2 months, it’s become chronic pain that lasts all day. It’s just not feasable for me to rest, so the ligament struggles to heal, resulting in me hobbling about like Hopalong Cassidy. By the time the day is over, I can be found practically crawling around on my hands and knees. It also caused me to have Sciatica which I believe was due to the way I had to walk/limp. Not nice at all.

I have a night brace (which has to be the most uncomfortable thing to try to sleep in) which stretches out the plantar fascia overnight. I also have the most fantastic foot wrap that supports my arch and the plantar fascia as I walk; coupled with a memory foam heel wedge that I wear in my shoe. A great big pain in the…..well, foot. But it does seem to be allowing the ligament to heal again. Thank the Lord! I’m not the best patient…. not because I’m a wimp or whine a lot, but because I just don’t have flipping time to be injured! 😆 I’m sure most of you are with me on that one!

So, if you are ever unfortunate to suffer from this painful condition, I highly recommend a foot wrap that is designed to support the plantar fascia –  it’s literally changed my life! (yes, slightly dramatic, but it has!)

Do you or have you suffered from foot pain of any kind? What helped you?

This is my post for Day 3 of #BEDM. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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Monday Musings

I’m back with day 2 of #BEDM and today’s prompt is share an opinion-based post. Hmm, well, as much as I like to be opinionated, I try to keep controversy off the blog (for now anyway 😆 ) so instead, I’m sharing a tongue in cheek list of things that I’ve learned in recent times; as a parent and well…. as a human being.

  • No matter how much fun you have with your kids on a day out, one will always whine all the way home.
  • ‘Netflix and chill’ DOES NOT MEAN ‘Netflix and chill’!
  • Fun fairs make you spend almost a weeks grocery money on everything that will make your children puke.
  • It is possible to love and freaking despise LEGO at the same time.
  • I can make sh*t disappear by the time I count to 5. iPads, phones, wi-fi connections….
  • There is no such thing as ‘too many eyeshadows’…or nail polishes, make up brushes, blushers, shoes….things…..
  • I’m a great judge of character, and so is Karma.
  • Wine o’clock should be written into my daily routine.
  • It is possible to become widowed by a video game.
  • You simply can not declutter anything with a child around. The ‘bin/recycle’ pile suddenly becomes a trove of ‘my favouritest toy EVER’.
  • Something more painful than helping your child with their homework is teaching your mum to use a mouse.
  • When you finally find something your toddler will eat and stock up on it in case the factory burns down and they can’t make it anymore…you can guarantee they will hate it by the time you’ve unpacked the shopping bags.
  • I do not give my youngest enough credit. She is fearless and determined. It’s me that over-thinks and worries too much.
  • After having a wonderful long weekend with my favourites, I declare that all weekends should consist of three days. I might start liking Mondays then! 😆

I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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5 things you didn’t know about me – #BEDM Day 1

The first post of Rosalilium’s ‘Blog Every Day In May’ should be an easy one as 90% of you probably know nothing about me at all. However, I find myself dithering over what to write. I’m feeling a little bit brave today so here we go…

5 things you didn’t know about me

  • I suffer from anxiety and have done since my teens. I won’t lie – anxiety has held me back all my life. It’s stopped me making friends; it’s allowed me to be bullied and prevented me from doing what I really want to do – I honestly think that’s sad. There shouldn’t be a stigma attached to mental health at all and I truly hope that if anyone out there that struggles too finds the courage to fight it. Talk about mental health. ALL. THE. TIME. Mental illness IS an illness, just like any other and just because you can’t see it, doesn’t make it any less important. It doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

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  • I’ve always wanted to write since I was a GCSE student all those many moons ago. I love classic literature and have always had a fondness of the written word. My childhood dream was once to become a journalist.  I guess that’s why I first started writing online – somewhere for me to express myself without anxiety. Or that’s the plan anyway. Saying all that, I am ashamed to say that I can’t remember the last time that I read A WHOLE book. That’s awful isn’t it? I just find it so hard to turn my brain off enough to allow myself to become absorbed in a story. Does that make sense?  Maybe I should write one instead?! 😆 😆
  • I have a random allergy to chillies. It’s only since I developed this allergy that I’ve realised just how many pre-prepared food items (especially convenience foods) actually contain chillies in some form or another. It’s another reason to cook from scratch as much as possible, I guess! I can no longer cook with fresh chillies either which breaks my heart as I LOVE cooking homemade curries.
  • I am a beauty product, homewares and YouTube addict. You won’t be surprised if I tell you that my favourite types of YouTube videos are usually hauls. Mainly because I’m a (window) shopaholic, and a nosy cowbag! 😆 😆 I love cushions, candles and canvases with little motivational quotes as they all allow me to update my house without making my husband weep. I am a highstreet girl when it comes to cosmetics and I’m loving all things Make Up Revolution at the moment.
  • I’ve struggled with my weight since I entered my 30’s. I was always fairly slim growing up, so I’ve not enjoyed seeing my dress size go up and up. I am quite active but unfortunately for me, I am an emotional eater. I eat when I’m anxious. I eat when I’m down. I struggle to have a healthy relationship with food on both ends of the spectrum and this is why I think, personally, that I don’t do well on diets. Any tips on this would be gratefully received as I have around 2 and 1/2 stone to lose!

Apologies for my inane ramblings, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post anyway!

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New year, New challenge!

Yeah yeah… you’ve heard that all before, I know. Me too, but this IS a new challenge that just so happens to have come about as we wearily stumble our way into 2016 full of too much Prosecco & mince pies…. Oh, and cheese. FAR TOO MUCH CHEESE!

Anyway, I’m not going to suddenly find my inner gym bunny and start sweating on a treadmill, no. I am going to blog! Huzzah!! Something I used to love and then loathed for a bit. I’m hoping I’ll love it again as I do miss it in some ways. I am what they call a creative soul… which basically means I am a slob… I make mess wherever I go and I blame my ‘creative mind’. You should try it, sometimes I even get away with it!

In all seriousness, I like to be creative, whether it’s jotting down my inane ramblings, penning a poem, drawing something pretty, cooking my heart out in the kitchen (the mess people! Oh, the mess!) or just painting my nails… I like to be doing something so a blog is somewhere I can document all those things whilst *hopefully* connecting with some like-minded peeps along the way.

So… ladies and gentlebugs this is my very first post on my very new and shiny blog. I will be posting all about our family meals; there might even be some healthy eating going on… I said might. I am really in to beauty products and homewares… totally Cath Kidston, Make Up Revolution, Primark  and Yankee Candle OBSESSED and I do love a bit of YouTube so fully expect me to mention Tanya Burr, Zoella, Fleur De Force and the like…. I think I’ll have to write a post about my fave YouTubers!!

I have some recipes to write up, so those will be on the blog soon.

If you want to find out a little bit more about me, then have a read of this!

Happy New Year everyone! I really hope that 2016 brings you every happiness!

If you’re a tweeter, please do give me a follow (love you long time!)

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