Thursday, 26 March 2015

Pea and Cheese Mini Muffins Recipe

I am very late to Pininterest party, but last week I decided to join and see what the fuss is about. I lost 2 hours pinning lots of things like nails, funnies and food. I came across this muffin recipe from Feeding Olive, like myself she struggles what to feed her little girl but is also portable for when she's out.

These sounded perfect for what I needed and after investing in a muffin tin (madness that I didn't have one already!). I slightly adapted the recipe to accommodate what I had, I also went a little mad on grating the cheese and had more than it originally stated so I changed the amount of cheese to vegetable amount.
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup milk (cows milk/breastmilk/formula)
  • 3/4 Cup of vegetables (in this case I used solely peas but Feeding Olive recommends a good list of mixable veg).

How to do it
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Put muffin cases in tray
  2. Sift flour and baking powder together. Give it a quick stir to make sure the baking powder is evenly distributed. Stir through veggies and cheese. 
  3. Pour oil and milk into a jug then crack the egg into the jug and whisk it all together. Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and pour in the liquid. Mix until just combined, giving you a thick batter. (I did put mine all in the food processor and mixed together in one lot, still came out perfect.)
  4. Spoon batter into muffin tray and bake in the oven for 15 - 20 mins, until the muffins are nice and golden on top. Remove tray from oven, and cool muffins in tray for 5 mins, then turn out onto a rack to cool. 
Makes 12 muffins (I was more generous with my mixture and made 9)

As you can see with the food processor I got the peas in small pieces so they hide better in the muffin, Beth likes peas on their own but doesn't like them in chunks in other food so this disguises it well. The flavour has a sweetness from the peas (I used Petite Pois) and a milky tang from the cheese (a mild cheddar). 

The biggest test was Bethany as she can be very cautious with food I had made from scratch, but a few bites and she had her hand out for more. She ate a majority of it before having enough, which I am really pleased about. I now have a small supply ready for when we go out so she has some lunch to nibble that I know what is in it. 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Bethany Update - Month 14

I thought this month I'd be writing that she is finally walking, nope, we've had a few false starts. The past week she likes to let go of furniture and balance on her feet for a few seconds before landing on her bum, so there is at least progress. I also brought her a My First Walker Toy for her to use like a zimmer frame when she's walking as you can see within a day of having it she was whizzing round.

We also have a new word, "yeah" which has greatly increased the communication as she shakes her head for, "No" but says, "Yeah" for yes. Of course, there are those moments where she just repeats it over and over again, Beth is becoming chatty, most when she's sitting down somewhere so her high chair or pushchair, just natters away to the world.

The main photo is from a photo shot she did a few weeks back to enter a local competition that goes live next Friday so expect it being plugged then! The photographer was brilliant and when you see the photos there is a bad one amongst them. I would like her to, tell me parent who doesn't, but for me it was wonderful to get some professional photos of her rather than chasing her with a camera!

That cannot be comfortable surely?!
Her new favourite food is peas, we went out for dinner one night and would only eat the peas. I now have to make sure she eats her other bits before she knows there are peas or nothing else gets eaten. On the other side there are worst things for her to become food obsessed over (until the next fad).

Just as Beth gets over one cold, she then gets hits with another. This is we ended up in the walk in clinic at our local hospital with a high fever, was told there was nothing they could do. We also got told that it was very likely that Beth would be a candidate for Eczema in the future as her rashes have come back. Another week on the steroid creams.

This doesn't seem to bother Beth too much, she still is the happy, bright little girl that I love who can be a little mischief.

Her first drawing (now on the fridge)
Sofa and reading time

Monday, 16 March 2015


I've been part of the The Orchard by Tesco for a few months now, it give shoppers the opportunity to try different parts of Tesco and give their feedback in exchange for reduced or free items. The invite for this programme arrived at the right time that I was re-focusing on trying to get a bit healthier and fitter.

Over the past three years Tesco has been working towards reducing calorie, fat, sugar and salt content of thousands of our own brand products, like fruit juice, cereals, yogurts and soups, but still tasting the same.

I got to try three different items from the range: Healthy Living Red Berry Yogurt, Golden Syrup flavor Oats and Healthy Living Lentil and Vegetable Soup.

The Oats were convenient and quick, really useful when Bethany is wanting attention and I needed something really quick but can keep me going until she goes to nap and I get lunch (sometimes this can be 3pm!). The syrup gave them a sweetness so you thought you were getting something a little bit naughty with your nice. It is cheaper to buy a bag of oats and syrup but sometimes you need that connivance.

The biggest let down for me were the soup, the flavour was OK and made a filling lunch. A whole can is 156 calories BUT is 40% of your salt allocation for the day.I commend that Tesco are trying to reduce the salt content but I found it strange to see this on a "Healthy Living" product, at least it is not hidden in the same print and people can make their decision to include. With this in mind I always made sure that the rest of my day balanced and not take on too much more salt.

The hit of the three with both Hubby and I was the yogurts. The Red Berry has two cherry and two strawberry, this has yogurt as well as pieces of fruit. It a reasonable sized dessert for 64 calories, it has the right level of sweetness and bitterness of the fruit. I have my eye on the Toffee and Vanilla which are 66 calories but I need to go to another store to get them.

I agree Tesco has made some in roads to make their ranges a lot more healthier but I do feel there is some more room for progress. However, if this is what they have so far then its a good place to start.

*I am no obligation to blog for The Orchard programme (where I received vouchers to try products) and I may receive extra compensation for this.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Why You Need to Quit This No Smoking Day

I have spoken on my own journey of quiting in I Used to be a Dirty Smoker I am not going to preach at you, because well that's not going to make you even considering quiting. I'll give you the facts and let you decide on your own.

For you
  • Your sense of taste will return and you will enjoy the taste of food more.
  • Your breathing and general fitness will improve.
  • The appearance of your skin and teeth will improve.
  • You'll be more confident in social situations because you won't smell of stale smoke any more.
  • Your fertility levels will improve, along with your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby.
  • You will save money - the average smoker has 13 cigarettes a day, which works out as 364 cigarettes a month. That's £141 a month and £1,696 a year that you could be saving by not smoking. 
For your Family

Children are particularly vulnerable to secondhand smoke, as they have less well-developed airways, lungs and immune systems. The best way to protect you and your family is to make your home and car smokefree.

It will be an offence to smoke in a private vehicle with someone under 18 years old present, and for a driver to fail to prevent smoking in a private vehicle with someone under 18 years old present. People who fail to comply could be issued with a £50 fixed penalty notice.

 I did it, and yes it wasn't easy, but the benefits as the taste and smell came back out did everything. There is a huge amount of support out there on NHS who can lend an ear, we are there to support  not judge.

You can also get more support on Smoke Free where you can claim a free quit kit to start you off

*This is NOT a sponsored post, I am a NCSCT Stop Cessation Supporter who specialises in mental health and an ex-smoker.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Book: Love, Tanya by Tanya Burr

First of all an admission, I have never seen any of Tanya Burr's videos or read her blog. There, I said it, it's out there, so why did get the book out of the library? I know Miss Burr is currently one of the biggest vlogger on Youtube at this current moment, I was intrigued by this as I knew it was more of personal book than Zoella's novels.

It is a mixture of autobiography, hints and tips and personal experience. It starts from Tanya's childhood with more focus on how she got into make up industry (She got her experience assisting one of the Pixiwoo ladies). Tanya dives into different topics from make up, fashion, love, baking to her experience with living with anxiety.

The chapters, to me, are then split into sub chapters, her life story, top 10 lists and then hints and tips. The style is easy going and light, Tanya has openly admitted that this has been ghost writed, it still is essentially her at the heart but she has had help with how to put all the thinking together. This does give it a more polished look than say a personal blog would of been.

Apart from her history, did I learn anything new? Not really, the majority of the make up and fashion tips is something I knew from my own experience in make up or have learnt through magazines/other blogs. In simple terms this is a very person focused magazine, targeted at the people who already watch/read her.

If I got given this as a present I would of been happy with it, it has the perfect format to be able to dip in and out of with a cup of tea when you have five minutes to spare. I would like to point out that Miss Burr is only 25 years old and the book is targeted towards that market, so a lot of advice and recommendations is towards them.

RRP £12.99 but currently on offer on Amazon for half price.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Superdrug Naturally Radiant Brightening Eye cream

I brought this alongside the Overnight Peel in my previous post. (You can read here)

I have been always a little dubious with eye cream and yes had seen them as a bit of a fad, even when I worked on make up counters. To me it was just another add on to increase my sales, but then this was twenties me with no need for eye cream really. This changed when I hit my thirties and was more worse when those sleepiness newborn nights came along.

I had been using Benefit's It's Potent eye cream and of course felt that it had been missing from my life. It was a small sample pot from one of the British Beauty Blogger's Boxes and was soon scrapping the scraps, sobbing. There was two reasons for the sobbing 1. It had run out and 2. To replace it was £25.50.

I was looking at the Superdrug Naturally Radiant range and alongside the peel decided to give this a try (at the time it was half price, normally £5,99. Currently on buy one get one half price). Uses Mulberry and Kiwi extracts to brighten and smooth the eye area. You massage a small amount around the eye area using the ring finger in light motions, day and night.

I was impressed with this straight away, it gave similar results as the It's Potent in the smoothing and brightening department.