Wednesday, 27 April 2016


As a society we throw away 7 millon tonnes of food and drink away every year*.  It's an inconceiveable amount and I am as guilty as the next person for wasting food usually due to the fact that I hadn't planned my meals properly or used up leftovers.  And it really annoys me.  Living, as I do, on a farm, I see day in, day out the effort and resources that go into producing good food - something that we so easily take for granted. 

So, I'm on a mission to reduce the amout of food I waste.  Time for a little planning - and to think outside the box.


 I have only just started to do this and it had a phenomenal impact on not only the amount of food we waste but what we spend.  Both have reduced dramatically.  Because I eat at home (and have a toddler and farmer to feed) five lunchtimes a week, where I can I make extra portions at tea time and have it as lunch the next day. It's timesaving and makes sure everything is used up.


Like so many families we ditched the weekly shop a long time ago.  Yes, we still do a stock up on store cupboard items every now and again but we generally now buy milk, bread and fruit and vegetables every other day or so.  Again, this has slashed the amount we waste and we only buy what we need.


This sounds so obvious but it's a phrase to remember.  I have seen me have caramelised houmous on toast for breakfast just to use stuff up.  Just think outside the box - if a recipes calls for one ingredient but you only have another, try to adapt the recipe a little and see how it goes.   And don't restrict certain meals to certain times of day.
  • Ready to bin it?  Old milk makes the best scones & bruised fruit is great heated with spices and frozen as a compote for later - beaut on porridge. 
  • Sunday roast leftovers make for amazing midweek lunches.  I love left over mash potato and green veg fired up into bubble & squeak with cold meat.
  • Pick the meat off and then boil up chicken carcasses to make stock.  You can make soup or a pie with the meat and can freeze the stock for when you need it.   The stock from a boiled ham also makes a super tasty base for pea and ham soup!
  • Cold new potatoes are delish sliced and fried with a salad or make Spanish omelette for a quick meal. 


Alongside my slow cooker, my freezer is my new best friend.  I freeze everything - seriously EVERYTHING.  Here's some of my favourite cheats:
  • Make breadcrumbs from the heel of the bread and freeze them.  When you come to make fishcakes, burgers etc you'll have them to hand and homemade is wayyy better than shop bought (and cheaper).  
  • When I  buy ingredients for making green juice I freeze then right away.  Spinach and kale especially freeze really well and blend well from frozen.   I absolutely hate going to the fridge to find things have gone off before I come to use them.
  • Buy reduced meat and stick it in the freezer, beef mince is especially good for this as you can make meatballs fro it first.  Unless I am going to eat meat on the day I bought it I always (portion it up if need be and) stick it in the freezer anyway.  If you see meat or fish reduced as its coming up to its best before date, buy it and freeze it to use later.  
  • There came a time recently when I was getting so fed up of wasting food that I started buying preprepared frozen veg.  Chopped onion, butternut squash, mushrooms, baby carrots, sliced peppers, peas (obvs) and spinach are ones I regularly buy as well as frozen parsley.  Buying fozen is sometimes just as cost effective as buying fresh and there is zero watse.
  • Freeze leftover pasta sauce in portions for a super quick weeknight tea. 
  • Grate and freeze cheese that has maybe gone hard or is looking a but ropey.  It's great to add to sauces from frozen to add richness.  Butter freezes fine too and homemade herb butter is a fantastic way to make fresh herbs go further.
  • Sarah Wilson, author of I QUIT SUGAR & SIMPLICIOUS blogs about using the freezer - check out this post as a good starting point and... 

* Accoding to LOVE FOOD, HATE WASTE NI Website.

Monday, 25 April 2016


Calling all Yogis!

So the lovely people at the OM Yoga Magazine are giving two lucky readers the chance to win a pair of weekend passes to the OM Yoga Show at Event City in Manchester on 20/21/22 May.  

The biggest yoga gathering in Europe*, the show promises 
" open yoga classes, where you can try your hand at something new, to intensive yoga workshops, where you can take advantage of the world’s leading teachers being available
to help you perfect your poses. In addition, a meditation area, stage performances, an inflatable hot yoga pod, and a dedicated children’s yoga studio, not to mention over a hundred exhibitors, providing all you need for your yogic life."
To enter click the link below - entries close 23:59 on 8th May 2016.  Open to UK residents only. You must make your own way at your own expense to the show.  Two prizes of one pair of tickets for the event are available.  No cash alternative is offered.  Prizes will be issued by OM Yoga Show. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 24 April 2016

A WEEKLY ROUND-UP // 24.04.2016

I love looking back over the week and inspired by Aly Harte over at Darling Edna I thought a wee weekly round up might be a nice way of finishing off the last seven days.

Plate wall inspiration at Titanic Belfast Cafe.


We have had visitors this week so we have been busy packing everything in.
  • We made our first visit to TITANIC BELFAST on Wedsnesday.  It's an amazing building telling the story of both Belfast and Titanic.  A wander around the surrounding area too  is worth an hour or two to take in the slipway where it was launched and also, if you can find it, take tea and cake in the beautiful Belfast Baking Company on the dock side.
  • Making the most of the sunshine, we decided to sample the menu at the tea room at Glenarm Castle on Thursday.  The food was stunning and  Eva loved being able to roam around the outdoor space while we ate. 
    Glenarm Castle Gardens
  • I have been swooning over Neal's Yard Products this week after signing up to become an Independent Consultant.  I'm not overly bothered about doing parties and really pushing product sales but I love the company ethos and the prospect of 25% off some of my favourite beauty goodies (Wild Rose Beauty Balm & Orange Flower Facial Oil) was too good an offer to miss.  If you love Organic products the starter pack (currently £80) is a fantastic way of getting your mits on a great selection of products.  There's no targets or pressure to sell either so you can do as much or as little as you like.  Find out more here.

  •  I was totally gutted to heard about the deaths of both Victoria Wood and Prince.  Both were absolute masters of their craft and had a major place in my childhood.  Their passing reminded me of all of the amazing times I had had with my family dancing and singing and laughing.  I read a tweet the evening of the day he had died reading: "She's teaching him 'two soups' right now...".  

I hope so...xx 

Prince at the O2 in 2007.

Friday, 22 April 2016


WHAT IS IT? // On a basic level this is a multipurpose balm that will cleanse and moisturise your skin.  However, it's so much more than that!  Celebrating its tenth birthday this year this little pot is jam packed with skin nourishing goodness that, in my opinion, will improve your skin overnight.   

Neal's Yard say it: "Nurtures and revitalises all skin types.  Our award-winning Wild Rose Beauty Balm can be used as a rich cleanser, gentle exfoliant or deeply nourishing balm – to quench areas of dry or dehydrated skin."

WHAT'S IN IT? // Rosa canina (Wild rose) seed oil*, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil*, Cera alba (Beeswax)*, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea butter)*, Cannabis sativa (Hemp) seed oil*, Borago officinalis (Starflower) seed oil*, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) flower oil*, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf oil*, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Cymbopogon martini (Palmarosa) herb oil*, Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) leaf oil*, Ascorbyl palmitate, Tocopherol, Citral, Citronellol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.  

99% Organic.


WHY? To be honest, I had heard about this product before but the price tag of £38-00 for 50g jar put me off.  Don't let it do the same to you!  This balm is great at taking off heavy make-up when used as a hot cloth cleanser (an organic muslin cloth is included in the box) and works really well into the skin for a nightly face massage.  

What I love most about it however is it it's thick emollient texture which melts into my skin when used as a nightime treatment after retinol and before my moisturiser.  It's packed with antioxidents thanks to the Rosehip Oil and with essential oils of Geranium, Frankinsense and Rosemary and skin softening jojoba, starflower oil and  hemp it calms the skin quickly taking down any redness overnight.  A multi-tasking masterpiece of a product.

**I am a Neal's Yard Independent Consultant and have the potential to make money from selling NYR Organic Products.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016


Lately my skin has taken a somewhat ashen turn for the worse.  I'm pretty obsessed with skincare and am meticulous (most nights) about taking my make-up off so I was pretty peeved when I started to look decidedly dull one morning as I stood In front of the bathroom mirror.   That's when I decided to get serious about my night-time routine and after only two weeks of reintroducing and acid toner, a retinol treatment and facial oil I have already started to see results.  Here's what I choose....

AN ACID TONER - not pictured due to the fact that I'm currently using Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action pad for this job and they don't look pretty...but they are good!  The saliyilic acid in them sloughs away dead skin cells and leaves bright new skin underneath.  I usually use Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion but so glad I gave these a crack - all down the advice of the wonderful beauty blogger Caroline Hirons

INDEED LABS RETINOL REFACE - This is a no- frills topical Retinol product from Boots and it's brilliant.  I use it three times a week at night and the next day my skin is so soft, plump and less crinkled looking - I've actually seen a reduction in fine lines with this (yey). Goes on like a serum and as I'm not using it every night it lasts for ages.  Plus it's only £20 - which, for a retinol product is pretty darn good! 

NEALS YARD ORANGE FLOWER FACIAL OIL - an absolute beaut.  Infused with neroli oil on a base of pumpkin and olive oil this sinks into the skin and leaves it super hydrated. One of my major skincare concens is dehydration and I am   conscious too that using Retinol can potentially dry my skin a little so I smooth this on every morning and night to boost help with fine lines - it's lush, it works and it's 99% organic which I like to think balances out all of the chemically products I otherwise use.

And finally...

A BIG GLASS OF WATER BEFORE BED - it's just sense really.  Keeps you hydrated through the night & flushes out the toxins. 

What are your skincare heroes just now? 

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