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Meal Plan: What We’re Eating This Week

At the start of the year we decided to make some big changes to our lifestyle and some of these including shedding some pounds and making a conscious effort to eat healthier. So far, it has been really great and we all have been enjoying the nutritious meals that are jam packed full of fruit, veggies and lots of goodness. 

We are now six months into our healthier lifestyle and I have lost more than two stones and we are still kicking it with the healthier meals and lifestyle. I’m always sharing my meals over on my Instagram and because so many of you have been asking about those recipes I thought that it was time I shared my meal plan with you. Before this year, I had never planned a meal in my life (unless choosing a wedding breakfast counts) but pretty much I would always choose to free ball it than stick to any kind of plan! But it was then that I would get stuck in the day to day repeating of several recipes, over and over and I can find it really tedious and boring which is why I would always reach for the sweet treats. 

So you could say that I am fairly new to the meal planning game, but I seem to have a way to meal plan like a queen and stick to it. Honestly, it saves me so much time and with our meal planning we have also been saving between £10-£20 a week. Everyone should give meal planning a go just for that reason. But not only will you save yourself a few quid meal planning can really help change the way you eat and change your food buying habits.

Our meal choices are of course slimming world friendly, so far I have lost two stones and 7 pounds by making a few swaps and focus on the slimming world plan. There have been meals that taste bloody amazing but there have been some that are so awful that even the husband wouldn’t eat out of love! So with meal planning it’s all about trial and error and figuring out what you love and what you hate. So here we are, week one of the meal plan.

Monday :: Honey Pork Burgers Tray Bake from Slimming Eats

Sounds amazing right? Who doesn't like a tray bake? Chopping and chucking a list of ingredients into a tray to cook for a little while and bam one delicious meal for the family. I love the simplicity of tray bakes and the fact I can add everything on to one tray and cook with minimal effort and less cleaning up afterwards too, just the one tray. This was one recipe that my husband wasn't too fond off due to the butternut squash, but it actually tasted amazing. Even though the original recipe uses chicken mince we decided to use pork mince, so I would imagine it alters the taste slightly, but as long as you use 5% pork mince to ensure you stay on plan, you're winning. This dish is full of speed food which will help you keep you fuller for longer, you could also pop the burgers into a wholemeal bun for a special treat and add a side salad too. 

Tuesday :: Fajita Fish, Mixed Herby Potatoes, Salad and Sweetcorn. 

I’m always looking for more ways to incorporate seafood into my family’s diet and this fajita fish has become a dinner time favorite! The fajita seasoned fish fillets have a crunchy top really which really takes this dish to the next level. It’s the perfect quick meal for those busy weeknights where you need to get dinner on the table quickly. This fajita fish is baked to crispy perfection and topped with a colorful and refreshing green leaf salad. Even though we are trying to not eat bread in our diet for the next few weeks but you could serve the fish fillets in a wholemeal wrap or over rice for a quick and easy dinner that the whole family will love!

Wednesday :: Lentil and Sausage Casserole, Oven Baked Asparagus and Cauliflower with Herby Potatoes from Slimming Eats

This Sausage and Lentil Casserole is such a great recipe and it's something that everyone could enjoy, even my fussy four year liked this dish. Not a lot of preparation is required for this recipe. You can simply chuck all ingredients in the slow cooker wait for a for a few hours and enjoy. It's that simple. For us this is the perfect dish for a midweek meal or for those colder days. This dish is jam packed with flavour, cooked in a slow cooker and you only use simple ingredients, no fuss with this dish. When it comes to using the sausages choose ones that are low syn to make sure you keep within your syn allowance, however you could also keep this dish meat free and add more veggies to it. Try and tweak and change the recipe to your taste and experiment with flavours. 

Thursday :: Chicken Marmite Pasta with Cauliflower, Minted Garden Peas and Baked Carrots from Pinch of Nom

I know the combination of pasta and Marmite sounds odd and it us a dish that you will love it or hate. But for the lovers of Marmite you need to try this quick and simple dish. Basically for this dish cooked chicken and spaghetti is tossed into stock, along with some onions, veggies and chopped rosemary and a little of the pasta cooking water to make a flavoursome sauce for spaghetti. This meal was so quick and simple to rustle up, my favourite type of meal. We added some minted garden peas and baked carrots as a speed food and it was a great combinations. Like I said this dish is a one of twp camps; you will love it or hate it. I really enjoyed the flavoursome pasta, my husband who normally loves Marmite, but didn't like it in the slightest. 

Friday :: Grilled Sausages and Bacon with Chopped Tomatoes, Beans, Sauteed Mushrooms and Dry Fried Eggs

With slimming world, you really can have what you want in moderation and seeing as we have ditched bread for two weeks there was only one thing for it a on a Friday - a grill up. We had some low syn sausages, bacon with the fat cut off, sauteed mushrooms and dry fried eggs with some beans and chopped tomatoes. It was the best way to end a week of many downs. We then followed this up with a lovely cup of tea and curly wurly because sometimes it is neccessary.

So there is our meal plan for our weekday meals, what do you think? Will you consider any of the recipes that I included?

My Favourite Bathroom Beauty Essentials

I don’t know about you but when it comes to a bath or a shower, it’s all about indulging in a little luxury. We all need to make more time for ourselves and to help kick start an evening routine with a gorgeous rose petal bath is the only way to start me time. When it comes to rose petal there are so many amazing qualities that this iconic flower has, you can kind of understand why many women having being using rose petals for centuries. Rosewater soothes irritated skin, brightens your complexion and tightens pores for a smooth appearance. And the petals give off a natural calming scent and a rose petal bath can completely change your mood due to its amazing qualities.

However it's not just the bath that can help kick start an indulgent evening there are so many bathroom beauty essentials that can help make you feel relaxed too. I think that we need to put more luxury into our life to help make us feel good. Over the last few months I have been trying lots of great bathroom products and have been figuring out what works for me, and more importantly what doesn't. So I thought that today I would share some of my favourite bathroom beauty essentials that I have really enjoyed using, and hopefully may inspire you to try them too.

Dove Go Fresh Revive Body Wash in Pomegranate And Lemon Verbena - £2

This is one of my favourite body washes! It's super hydrating and creamy and always leaves my skin feeling amazingly soft and smells absolutely gorgeous. This particular body wash is pink in colour and spreads so easily on damp skin and lathers up really well whether in your hands, a scrunchie or sponge. I have really sensitive and dry skin as this really does leave my skin feeling nourished. The fragrance is amazingggg! It’s probably my most favourite of all the Dove ranges. It’s beautiful, fresh, fruity pomegranate with subtle lemony verbana and it lingers for some time.  

Caudalie Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil - £18

This Caudalie Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil is by far one of the best make up removers I have ever tried, honestly it's a complete game changer. It’s a lightweight oil that emulsifies when you add a little water which tends to be something that you get with oil based cleansers. This Caudalie cleansing oil removes make up effectively, and even though I normally double cleanse, you wouldn't necessarily need to double cleanse with this. As soon as I get in the bath or shower I run a clean flannel under running warm water and give myself a mini facial and place the flannel on my face for five minutes. Using 3 pumps of the oil and rubbing it gently into my skin, the cleansing oil easily breaks down makeup, even the most stubborn eyeliner. Once you have broken down all the makeup, apply some water to wash the product off. It is at this point I tend to remove the final bits of oil with a flannel to make sure the skin is completely clean and dash more warm water onto my face. 

St. Ives Apricot Fresh Skin Scrub - £4

I really love this scrub, it really is a good faithful scrub to have stashed away in your bathroom. It doesn't get much better than patting your face dry and feeling the smooth after you exfoliate. That's the magic of a good face scrub. There are other ways you can exfoliate your skin, but nothing beats using a good ole facial scrub to scrub away dead skin and help unclog your pores. These formulas usually have a gritty texture, and it's that grit that deep-cleans skin. St. Ives Apricot Fresh Skin Scrub is something that I tend to use two to three times a week as exfoliating everyday can strip the skin of its natural oils, which can cause breakouts.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer - £19

Now this is something that is pretty essential for all types of hair, and we could all give our hair something extra to ensure we get those lustrous locks. The Philip Kingsley Elasticizer is a pre-shampoo intensive moisturising treatment that aim to deliver elasticity, bounce and shine to hair. It also provides UV protection even after washing, helping prolong the life of colour treated hair. They say that visible results occur from one application and improves with continued use. I have become ever so slightly obsessed with adding this into my hair care routine. You apply in sections to damp hair and then wrap it up in a towel. Leave on for 15 minutes and it generates a heat with your scalp that activates the treatment process. Then you simply wash off with your normal shampoo and conditioner. I tend to change my shampoo and conditioner on a regular basis as my hair get use to products so quickly. This pre-treatment creates a health to your hair that makes styling easier because hair is softer, more shiny and just full of life again, so it something that I definitely needed in my life that's for sure. 

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter – £10

If you get the chance to try the body butter, try it. It’s AMAZING!! The name itself describes how it is, it really is like butter. The smell of this cream is absolutely amazing. It will leave your skin feels smoother, softer and fresher. I normally use it after I have a shower so it absorbs better but anytime should be fine. Unlike other moisturisers out there this one is not heavy at all and is really light and delicate on skin. The Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter is something that I do use everyday, and it's great for dry skin to give it that extra moisture it craves. I have yet to come across anything like it as a beauty girl, it sinks into my skins so quickly and leaves my skin feeling super smooth, smelling great and most certainly hydrated. And it's an absolute steal at £10 for a tub that lasts ages.

So what do you think of my bathroom favourites? Are there any you use? Or is there something you'd like to try? 

A Quick and Simple Lunch

We’ve all been there staring in front of the mirror wishing our hips smaller; our waist thinner; our arms more toned. Luckily, over the past few decades, society has moved towards a new way of thinking and we should be feeling more empowered and embrace our bodies. Even though I am comfortable with who I am, there are times where I wish I was smaller, healthier and fitter. I want my whole family to be healthier, personally shedding those extra pounds may even improve our chances of conceiving. My ultimate goal is to try and shed three stones not with a crash diet or some fat burning secret. But I want to completely transform my diet, begin a fitness routine in the hopes to help become completely comfortable in my own skin. 

I have been into this new lifestyle just over six months and I have shed an impressive two stones and three pounds. By losing these extra pounds has really helped kick start my weight loss, I already feel better, stronger and feel so much more confident in my skin. In a way, eating good food, making sure I am getting in my five a day and drinking lots of water has really improved my mood, my skin and even my hair. A big part of this lifestyle is down to my food. I have had a massive shake up and haven't slipped into old ways, yes there are times where I will eat a sweet treat or have a takeaway, but nothing in comparison to how it used to be. 

Successful weight loss involves making small changes that you can stick to for a long time. And that means being more physically active during your day to day activities, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This can be achieved by eating less, moving more or, best of all, a combination of both. Now if I am being completely honest with you all, my weight loss so far is due to good food and a hell a lot of meal planning. 

Over the last few months I have been planning our evening meals like a queen. Even though I have pretty much got meal planning to a tee, when it comes to lunch prep that is a whole different story. I tend to leave my Healthy Extra B for our family evening meal or a snack and I rarely have any bread left for the standard sandwich. So my choices for lunches are limited and its normally a salad, couscous or savoury rice. So, my lunch needs to be a little more adventurous. There are so many foods that you can eat on slimming world that are really good for you that are jam packed full of vitamins and minerals to help keep you fuller for longer and a good example are of course eggs. 

Eggs are high in protein and nutritious while free of carbs and sugar. When you’re trying to eat healthy, eggs are an awesome go-to for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as just a snack. The key is to use the eggs in a variety of different ways by adding spices or seasonings and pairing them with loads of wholesome vegetables and even grains. You really are spoiled for choice when it comes to eggs as there are so many ways that you can add them into your diet and thankfully spruce up my lunchtimes. 

My favourite egg dish is without a doubt an omelette because they really are so versatile and you can keep it simple and wholesome or be as dramatic and over the top as you dare. I prefer simplicity when it comes my omelettes but have to be jam packed full of goodness like this ham, tomato and mushroom omelette. The free foods are eggs, ham, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach and I have used Frylight 1 cal cooking spray to cook the omelette on both sides. I have used reduced cheddar cheese and I will be using as part of my Healthy Extra A, however if you wanted to save your Healthy Extra A then you will have to syn accordingly. 

To make this omelette you will need:

Low calories cooking oil spray
20g mushrooms
2 medium eggs
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 slices of lean ham, chopped
1 spring onion, chopped
25g reduced fat cheese, grated
4 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
A handful of spinach
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop and slice the vegetables and grate the cheese, these can either be used as part your Healthy Extra A or syn accordingly. Spray a frying pan over medium heat with the Frylight and fry the mushrooms for a few minutes.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl, add a sprinkling of parsley, smoked paprika and season with some salt and pepper. It is at this stage that I would add the cooked mushrooms, ham, cheese, and spring onions to the egg mixture and stir until combined. 

Add a couple more sprays of Frylight to the frying pan over a medium heat and pour in the whisk eggs and quickly swirl it around, ensuring all the sides are covered. When the omelette has set on the bottom, add the cherry tomatoes and spinach and cook for a few more minutes. 

You can either fold the omelette in half or you could try and unleash some creative pancake skills and flip the omelette and cook on the other side. Personally, this is what I like to do to ensure the omelette is cooked on both sides. Fold in half and served with a speed worthy leafy salad. 

Are you a fan of omelettes? What is your favourite combination?

A New Home, A New Start For Harley

It seems to strange to think that we have had this beautiful boy in our family for over four years and it has been an adventure to say the least. It just wouldn't be the same without our cheeky Welsh cob, he just has the best personality. We discovered that Harley loved polos when he once nudge me and nibbled at my pockets for them, he is such a character. In the few short years Harley has moved from one field to another, then to another we were just unable to settle in one place. After searching high and low for the perfect field for him, we think we have finally found our forever home and we couldn't be more excited. 

Moving to a new home can be a both exciting and daunting experience. For one uprooting our boy from familiar surrounding and separate him from his field friends. The feed and water can be different and things like stables and fences will be in different place, at our new field we still have to place our stable. There are new people, companions, and new schedules to learn about. All these changes made Harley a little nervous at first but soon enough he settled and adjusted. 

We did need to make sure that his new home was ready for him, we had to ensure that Harley's new home was safe as possible and comfortable. We wanted to make this field transition as easy as possible. We removed older fences and installed new ones, added in a gate and checked the whole fields and surrounding for any hazards, the last thing we wanted was for Harley to get hurt. As much as we love our boy, he is a jumper and we didn't want him to feel nervous with move and jump over the gate, or try to barge through a fence. We also made sure that we had an adequate supply of hay, and fenced off half of his field to ensure that one side of the grass keeps healthy and enough to supply our horse for weeks at a time. 

Once we did all that, it was time for the move. At first, Harley’s behaviour seemed quite different compared to what it was like in his previous home. Being moved to a new home is pretty stressful for a horse and seeing as its the fourth time he has moved, we wanted to make sure that it was a smooth process. But thankfully Harley took it in his stride and pretty much settled in straight away. 

A bright Spring morning we decided to go down to the field to go and spend some time with Harley. Being a family who love to spend a lot of time outdoors, our choice in clothing is super important. As we know Spring can be an unpredictable month as it can be sunshine one minute, over cast the next to full on torrential rain. The morning started off beautiful then got chilly quickly. But we don't want the weather to stop us spending as much time as we can with Harley. So with a little help from Rydale we can do just that. We were kindly send over a Cross Neck Hoody in Navy and the cutest Roxby Canvas Trainers in Spotted Navy.

Cross Neck Hoody in Navy

Hoodies are one of the most versatile pieces anyone can have in their wardrobe. It’s functional, comfortable and stylish in equal measures. It's also bang on trend and this cross neck hoody is practical and super stylish. This Cross Neck Hoody in Navy arrived beautifully packaged in a navy blue star detailed box, wrapped in tissue paper and as soon as I pulled the hoody from the package I could already tell the quality of the hoody was nothing like some others I own. 

A our modern twist on the traditional hoody, with a snuggly cross over neck and glitter embroidered elbow patches. With practicality still a key a factor, this hoody itself is thick and warm with traditional kangaroo pouch pockets and a fleece lined hood. At first glance, this hoody looks pretty good as its smart enough to wear walking around, or popping to the shops, yet practical enough to carry out your yard duties in and ride in. A great all rounder. It's so soft and comfortable, really thick and warm, and the cross over at the front is excellent! I love that I'm able to scrunch the hood down like a scarf instead of it hanging over my shoulders. The kangaroo pockets are so practical which are perfect for a set of keys or mobile phone, plus nothing falls out of them. This is the perfect staple to have in my wardrobe all year round to help keep me warm, but yet looks super stylish. 

With this Rydale cross neck hoody there is a great attention to detail. Personally the best feature of this hoody was of course the cross neck due to the practicality of the oversized neck and hood. It feels so cosy and warm without all the layers. After our day at the field and lots of horse dribble the hoody needed a quick spin in the washing machine, I was a little worried about washing it as I didn't want the hoody to lose its colour or shape. But I didn't have to worry as it washed really well and what makes this hoody even better is that I didn't even have to iron it! Woo. Even though this isn't the cheapest hoody on the market with a retail of £34.99, but its on offer at the moment on the Rydale website where you can get two hoodies for £60. It really is worth every penny. 

Roxby Canvas Trainers in Spotted Navy

To accompany my hoody we were also sent these Roxby Canva Trainers in Spotted Navy. I love these types of shoes, anything that looks cute but super comfy is most definitely my thing. These spotted navy canvas trainers are the best thing to help kick start your wardrobe this Spring. These shoes come in a variety of different colours to help and cater to all tastes and start from a size three and go up to size seven. With a durable canvas outer, a grippy rubber sole and contrasting lace they are a must have. I have already purchased a couple of other pairs ready for my holiday in the Yorkshire dales in July as they are so comfy and are an absolute steal at £14.99. 

So what do you think of these products from Rydale?

We were kindly send these items for review from Rydale, but as always my words and opinions are my own.

Four Reasons To Set Yourself Achievable Goals

Life has been pretty hard lately and I really haven't been in a good place. I know that I just needed to take some time away from the blogging scene to have time for me, time away from it all. As much as I love blogging, at times it can really knock your confidence and self worth. With the constant pressure to do this, to do that became too much and I even questioned whether I am enough. It was at this point that I realised that I needed time away and spending time with my family was just what I needed. But now I am feeling more like myself and as if I’m ready to get out of this slump and begin writing and enjoy writing again.

So with that I thought that is would be a great time to set some mini goals for me blogging wise, making lists and setting goals is something that I do actually enjoy. I can get so much done if I have a target to meet, so setting some goals is just what I need to stay build up my self-confidence and to stay focused to achieve as much as possible. 

If you’re anything like me then there’s a big sense of pride when you are ticking off goals that you have set yourself. By showing an ability to set yourself challenges and to keep motivated to push through and achieve something you really want leaves you feeling happy and positive.  Something I need right now. Accomplishing and achieving goals empowers you to want to achieve more, set the bar high and not to expect anything less. If I am yet to convinced you to dabble in a little goal setting, the here are four reasons why you should set some goals. 

Goals Give You Focus

First and foremost, goals give you direction and a destination. They give you something to aim for and direct your effort towards. You do have to bare in mind that goals can change. Life goals at twenty may not even remotely be anything like life goals you may set in your thirties as you get older and circumstances change, so should your goals. Once you have your general goals you can break them down in order to achieve them, as ultimately goals help guide you to where you want to be in life. By setting life time goals is similar to choosing a destination you want to reach. Instead of aimlessly wandering though life, with goals you are able to determine where you want to go. 

To give this a little context, say for example you want to start your own business you will have to set logical steps to try and reach those goals, if you know the end result. By breaking down these goals into month by month goals say will help give you direction and purpose on what you need to do. By setting smaller goals at first will be more easily achievable than setting goals that are near enough impossible during the beginning stages. By setting these types of goals at the end you will be able to see your progress and figure out what worked and more importantly what didn't. 

Goals Help Us Believe In Ourselves

By setting yourself achievable goals is a great way to fuel your ambition. The whole idea behind goal setting is just about creating a plan for your life and holding yourself accountable, its also about giving us the inspiration to aim for things we never though possible. I am living proof of that, as a self employed work from home mama to one. In throes of being a stay a home mum to my beautiful girl and feeling completely isolated in parenting, I started to write down my feelings and started a blog. A few years on and I am now heading into my second year of being self employed. Who would have thought that by me writing about the ups and down of being a stay at home parent would open so many doors. Do you want to accomplish something that many people dream about, but few people ever actually accomplish? Unless you make it a goal yourself and work everyday towards achieving such goals, why would you ever believe you could accomplish it. 

Goals Help With Us Make Decisions

Goal setting is a powerful process for identifying what you want to achieve and then focusing your efforts on making your goals a reality. By creating clearly defined goals, you provide yourself with long term vision and motivation to see yourself progress towards your aims. As we have already mentioned, setting goals really help keep you focus on what is important to you, what you want to accomplish, and where you want to be in the future. This in turn helps in decision making. However people make decisions using different styles. Some like to be logical and using a scale to organise their options, whereas others like to use more subjective factors like their feelings and gut instincts. Meanwhile some people tend to seek others whose opinions you respect and trust. 

Goals Help With Self-Confidence 

Goals must be challenging yet attainable. Challenging goals can help improve performance and be great to help to focus, however to help overcome any challenge confidence is a key component. Your self-esteem and confidence have a major impact on different aspects of your life, but building self confidence is not something that happens over night. It can take time, but one of the best ways to build your self confidence is to set goals and achieve them. Life has been hard lately and my self-confidence has taken a real knock and that in itself has really affected my anxiety. So, setting goals for me is a great way to start building my self confidence back to what it used to be. As a starting point by keeping the goals small and achievable will be good for gaining my self-confidence which then enables me to work towards accomplishing the more challenging goals, which in turn will help build my self-confidence.

Life has been so tough lately, if I am being completely honest with you I was completely broken. Something has to give, and unfortunately it was my blog that had to give. It wasn't helping. I was putting myself under so much pressure with numbers, with brands until it was too much. And so, I decided to take a step back. It was actually a conversation with my four year old that changed my whole mindset. My daughter helped me snap out of my slump and I thought to myself enough is enough. I can really achieve anything I want to accomplish and that I was going to try my hardest to get where I want to in life. By working hard to make my dream a reality is going to take a lot but I know that there will be a lot of discoveries along the way as I try my hardest to leave my comfort zone, go to new places, meet new faces and appreciate the different situations. People who make goals tend to achieve more so don't waste another minute challenge yourself to dream, and dream big. 

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