Friday, 29 September 2017

Tomato Butter Bean Cod Stew

It's officially Autumn now and as soon as it strikes I want to pig out of soups and stews. I always find them so warm and cosy and perfect for this time of the year. Usually I eat stews containing meat, but last night I opted to make mine with white fish as thats what we had in the fridge. This is nothing I've ever attempted before, so I was not sure how it would turn out. Eek!

The meal took no longer than 30 minutes to prep and cook and can easily adapted. If you don't have butter beans, you can use another type or don't have a green pepper - use a yellow one! So what you'll actually need for this is...

A fillet of white fish - I used cod
Cherry tomatoes
Butter beans
Green pepper
Salt, pepper, smoked paprika for seasoning.

I've given no measurements, as I am the type of cook who likes to wing it and throw in anything that I think will work. Luckily on this occasion it worked! So heres what you need to do...

Grab a big old frying pan and soften your chopped green pepper. Turn the heat down and then throw in passata, rinsed butter beans, the cherry tomatoes and your herbs and spices for seasoning. Let this simmer and give the passata a chance to thicken up. Just remember to stir now and again so it does not stick to the pan.

You can cook your fish any way you like, if you want to oven bake it or fry it in a shallow oil - then its up to you. I cooked mine in tin foil in the oven at the same time I was prepping and cooking the stew.  It was just easier than keeping an eye on two pans at the same time.

Once your fish is cooked you can now add it to the wet dish. Depending on your preference, you can either flake it, cut it into chunks or just lay it on top. Give it all a stir and let it sit for a while so the fish can take on some of the flavours and thats it. You're ready to dive in and enjoy. 

This is nice and healthy and not too stuffing like a classic stew. You'll certainly get your five a day with this dish.

Angela x


Saturday, 23 September 2017

Food Temptations And How To Avoid Them

Whenever it was someones last day at work, it seemed like the tradition was to buy cake and lots of it. I know from personal experience it can be very difficult to avoid temptation when they, aka naughty treats are literally put under your nose. What I usually do which - sounds very weird is I sniff the food.  Doughnuts, cakes, chocolate, biscuits whatever is, I'll take a deep breath through my nose...I take in the smell of it and that's enough for me. Strange I know, but there is no calories in sniffing, only when you eat it! True story. I'm quite lucky to have a strong will power most of the time, but I know others can struggle... here are some of my tips for you to avoid temptation.

The Bigger Picture
There is a very good saying... A moment on the lips, a life time on the hips. Just guesstimating, but I think you'll need to do approximately 500+ burpees to burn that slice of cake off.  You fancy doing that really? No? Then put the spoon down my friend! If you eat it then remember have to burn it off!  Keep in mind the bigger picture, don't let one piece of cake ruin it for you... If you eat it you might cave and want more bad things!

Do You Really Want It?
Just because it's there does not mean you have to grab a fork and start digging in. If it was not there, would you rush out to the shops to buy something similar?? If the answer is no, then you don't really need it do you.  Just walk away. Yep just keep walking.

Visual Trick
I like this trick where I visually change what the naughty food looks like.  Instead of seeing cake for example, in my mind I just see a big bowl of sugar with a spoon. Seem very advertising now? Not really hey. No one would eat sugar with a spoon on its own would they?? Technically that's what cake is.... Just think about it.

And finally

Have Some...
...but have a very very small portion.  If you cannot keep the craving at bay or you've been healthy eating for a while then have a small piece and I mean SMALL!! If you've gone without sugar for a long time, it'll be out of your system.  You might only be able to manage a small amount of cake, as you'll find the sugar in it too sweet and your stomach has reduced in size meaning you'll fill up faster.  Afterwards you might think why did I bother?!

If  you had some did you enjoy it?  Was it really nourishing food?  Naughty treats never are.

I hope these tips help someone. Do you have any tips??

Angela x


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Little Angels Bath and Sleep Time

I love to use cruelty free beauty and home products wherever possible. You can read HERE why I chose to go cruelty free. When I got pregnant and it came to the point of thinking about products for my little one, I knew I wanted to use cruelty free items with them too!

When I went to the Asda Little Angels event at The Dorchester back in July, I was given the most amazing goodie bag. Luckily everything in the bag was cruelty free, which I was SO happy about.  I thought I'd share with you the baby bath time products I received.  There were a few bits for Mama too, but I'll share those on another post. So here's what my little bubba got...

Newborns in the beginning don't become too dirty as they hardly wriggle around that much. However when it comes to the six week point where you can finally use products in bubba's bath, you can use this Conditioning Shampoo. With its gentle no tears formula, this product keeps in mind how sensitive newborn skin really is. There are no parabens and it is hypoallergenic.

I think what I love the most from what I was gifted is the Liquid Talc. I gave this little beauty a shout out in an earlier favourites post HERE as I was loving myself. Guilty! However I needed it for my chaffing thighs when it was hotter and it worked a treat. It provided me with lasting protection and really did the trick. I'd certainly have this on my shopping list when this runs out.

The Extra Sensitive Wipes come in a small packet of 15 wipes, which I think is the perfect size for perhaps little ones hospital bag. They also come in a bigger pack of 64 wipes. Great for at home use or in your nappy when you are out and about. The wipes can be used from day one, as they contain 98% purified water and are very soft and gentle.

Some babies will get a little sore under their nappies, for whatever reason. If your bubba is unfortunate to get a little bit of nappy rash, then don't worry. Asda sell a sensitive Nappy Cream which will help in no time at all. This rich cream is fragrance free and anti-bacterial to help babies bottoms feel better in no time. Like all Little Angels products, this it is paediatrician approved!

Now, if your little one is ready for bed but you just want to give a refresh as opposed to a top to bottom bath, these Extra Soft Bedtime Washcloths are a fab option.  Smelling of lavender and chamomile which will relax and calm baby before bedtime, these cloths are extra soft and larger than the normal wipes. They'll be no need to rinse or dry your sleepy head after using these - a really great option just before bed time.

All the products I mentioned at Mumsnet approved and tested. If real mums love it, then it cannot be a bad thing can it?! What products do you love to use on your little cherub?

Angela x

*All products mentioned are PR samples

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Happy 40th!

Ha it's not my 40th birthday. I'm not at that milestone of my life just yet - I have a few years to go before I reach there. Thank god. Actually bubba and I are at full term! We reached 40 weeks exactly on Wednesday 6th. A milestone I thought I never see, because I never thought I'd be able to have a baby.

The finish line instead of being a blurry dot in the distance is now just a stone throw away - I just can't reach it yet as someone obviously didn't receive their eviction notice. I knew deep down that the little one wouldn't appear on its due date. Many people texted asking for news on the baby, which was sweet. Bless them for caring, but they do realise that not all babies arrive on their due dates. We're not talking a scheduled flight here - we're talking babies. They make up the rules as they go along.

It is little sad our little pumpkin hadn't arrived, as I always imagined that the 6th would be their birthday. I tried to get it out by vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, doing a load of laundry, painting a fence...walking the dog - but no show. I've now got the big exercise ball out to bounce this baby out, whether it likes it or not.

Last Thursday I had my usual midwife check up at 40+1 weeks. They said to me at my previous appointment two weeks before, if I'd be interested in a sweep to encourage things to start. In the end we (the midwife and I) agreed to wait. We thought baby should have a chance to come when it wants to come and to start poking it at only one day overdue seemed a bit much. We booked an examination/sweep for yesterday to see how things were going. It didn't go totally to plan, so I am going back on Thursday for sweep number two. That's if I haven't had the munchkin already by then - however I doubt it.

Ideally I did not want to go so overdue, as I would have to be induced :-( Obviously I know I would have no control over that. If it does happens then the birthing unit at my hospital is out of the question and I'll be stuck on the labour ward which I don't want to be. I had the ideas of birthing pools, darken rooms and flicking fake candles - calm and serene. Now I think we're basically going to be poked, prodded and drugged until baby comes. When little one pops out we are going to be having words I tell you now!

What can I do to get this little one out? Any ideas? Help me!

Angela x

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Things People Say To Pregnant Ladies

I believe everyone thinks they can say whatever they like to you once you're pregnant. Everyone wants to know everything which is sweet, but they then comment on everything. Sometimes they say nice things, but other times they say thing which really make you feel either self-conscious or awkward. They probably don't mean it, but it's almost like their brains and mouths are not linked and come out with anything and everything. This is just a few comments I've received from random folk.

You're Looking SOOOO Big/Small Today!
Are you calling me fat? Are you saying I don't look pregnant because I'm so small? Ha! It's a strange thing when people start to comment on your tummy area and its size. Is it acceptable to make comments? Would they like someone making remarks on the size of their tummies? Rolls eyes...

Your Bump Looks Bigger 
Well I am growing baby... so I will get bigger. It won't get any smaller will it really? I found my bump looked smaller and bigger on different days especially in the beginning due to bloating. Then when I got to my 7th/8th month, I am obviously bigger, so the daily comment of you look bigger subsided but only a little.

How Is The Baby?
I don't know why don't you ask it? I don't mean to sound bitchy and almost that I don't sound very appreciative saying this, but I sometimes think people forget you are still a person and not just an incubator for this little human growing in my tummy. Perhaps ask how I am first, then move on to the baby? Just an idea.

Your Life Is Going To Change - ALOT!
Well duh! I know. I'm not going through this pregnancy with my eyes closed. At the end of the day me and my hubby are bringing a new life into the world. I know it won't be a doddle or easy peasy. I trust to will change for certain.

You Look Glowing
Lol, thank you. It's not a pregnancy glow, it's makeup. I looked crap when I was suffering with morning sickness and full on mega tiredness. I didn't really care what I looked like and makeup became something I really did not think about. It just was not a priority in my life. Then later on when I hit trimester number two, it was like I had new batteries - I felt ALIVE! Back came in the makeup, followed by 'wow you look good/look glowing'. This is now because I care again.

It's Going To Hurt
Yawn, really you don't say. Pushing out a human child from my lady garden I can safely assume will not be painless. You really do not need to point out the obvious to me to be honest. However I know you will anyway.

You Look Tired
No shit Sherlock! I'm pregnant, I'm growing a human that is sucking the life out of me like a parasite (sorry baby but you kind of did) and probably no doubt suffering from morning sickness at the same time. I think people do not realise how much pregnancy can take it out of you and make you feel like crap!

Sit Down And Rest
Yes I know I know, but life does still continue when you're pregnant you know. The fairies aren't going to come along and do the washing up and laundry for me. You still have to go to work to earn money to pay the bills. I mean I do rest when I can, but I cannot put my feet up for 9 months and do nothing. Not very realistic.

You've Dropped!!
A fully packed out womb with baby and all isn't very light, especially when you're nearly full term. So it is a given that you might drop south because of gravity. Everyone then gets excited thinking baby is literally on its way because you've dropped. Keep calm people, keep calm.

I'll probably end up writing another post after the baby comes, no doubt called things people say to ladies who have just had a baby! I bet I'll some funny things to write on that post.

Angela x

Friday, 8 September 2017

Vionic Shoe Review: Minna Ballet Flats

For starters excuse the photobombing paws above, but they are so cute I had to leave them in! Cat lover over here.

Any-ho, our poor little feet go through a battering during our lifetime don't they? They very much are used and abused and at certain stages of our lives they need a little help and support, especially during pregnancy. Vionic is shoe brand which has everything from boots, sandals, flip flops, trainers and more that has specialist technology designed by experts of all things feet.

Now you might assume that shoes designed and made by a podiatrist for chiropody and podiatry purposes might be ugly or granny like - wrong! They are actually really nice and you may be pleasantly surprised by how many styles there is to be had.

When I was given the chance to try out a pair of Vionic shoes... I couldn't say no could I? My pregnant feeties needed the help! I opted for the Minna Ballet Flats in Grey Snake* colour as I'm quite a fan of the good old ballet flat. My first impressions were 'ooo these are FANCY', as I'm so used to wearing a cheap pairs of Primark shoes. You could instantly see the quality in these shoes. 

Made from durable materials with a faux snake skin pattern and the bow detailing on the leather toe cap - these are FAR from granny like I can tell you now! There is a firm yet flexible rubber sole that has the perfect grip, which is fab considering we're heading to the wetter months of the year.

Orthotic technology is high on the agenda with these shoes. They feature FMT technology, a biomechanic removable evaluated foot bed support that will help with the natural alignment of the foot. Because it is removable, on days where you might not feel up to having the extra support - all you got to do is remove the foot bed. They also come with a deep heel to help with support and stability - no more excuses for falling over.

It may feel kind of strange at first wearing the shoes with the support which I discovered. If you're used to wearing a certain style of shoe, then wearing a pair of Vionic's for the first couple of times might seem uncomfortable. However you will soon adapt and they will feel like a dream to put on your feet. As I'm used to putting on flat flip flops or ballet pumps to begin with these felt a little odd, however I got used to them after a few wears out and about.

Another great thing about Vionic is they also sell half sizes, so if your feet are not the standard size then not to worry Vionic have got your back or your foot should I say?!

If you want to browse the digital aisles of what Vionic have to offer (and there is a lot trust me) well the link is HERE.

Angela x

* AD/PR Sample (All opinions are my own as always!)


Thursday, 7 September 2017

Why I Decided To Go Cruelty Free

Firstly I write this post not with the intention of spreading my opinion around and forcing people to chose my way of life. That's not what I'm about - I'm not a bully or a brain washer.  Everyone has the right to make their own choices in life and do as they wish, however I am about educating people wherever I can. So if I do end up changing your mind, well that will make me a happy trooper.

I'm a big softy when it comes to animals, ask any one who knows me. When I took the above picture of the bunny in Cornwall I pretty much said ahh at every picture I took of it. I'm so soft that if I see a bee walking on the floor I have to try and move in case someone steps on it and kills it. I'll jump over a line of ants walking in the garden and I am always chatting to my cat like she knows what I'm saying to her - I swear she does. I'm a soppy animal lover through and through and I'm proud to admit it.

I've currently been cruelty free (CF) for approximately 2 years. I first got an insight to the CF world when I went to a blogging event years ago for the Tara Smith. I can remember when she was introducing her brand to us all, that she was so PASSIONATE about the products being CF and containing no animal products. I think I fell in love with the idea of being CF from that moment onwards thanks to Tara. Here was a hair stylist to the stars of Hollywood telling us all that you don't need products containing animal products and that have been tested on them to look good. She changed me, forced my eyes open wide and I'm very grateful for it. After that moment I started to research brands and look at everything I owned.

Before I become CF I loved big makeup brands - posh expensive brands that look friggin' amazing. You know the ones I'm talking about right? If you see back on my blog and YouTube channel there are lots of posts and videos I've created which contain brands like them. Sadly a lot of them test on animals. Sometimes it's not the companies themselves that do it, but third parties when it is required by law - namely China where it is the law. Before any foreign beauty product can be sold in China it must be tested on an animal - sad but true. You can read this post from Cruelty-Free Kitty which talks more about brands and the whys. Cruelty-Free Kitty is a great source I like to visit to keep up to date with all things CF.

Annoyingly you really have to have your wits about you when choosing brands. I've had to check their small print on their websites. Some give the impression they are CF in the policies, saying things like 'we do not test on animals or ask anyone else to do so on our behalf - unless required by law'. Argh! The reason why these brands sell in china is because of the money - pure and simple. Greedy people want to line their pockets with as much money as possible at the cost of the animals. It makes me angry and so sad that is the reason. China and it's beauty market is huge and worth billions. However there is some hope as not all beauty brands opt to sell there because of their laws. They still make money and not at the expense of animals in laboratories.

Luckily in the EU it is against the law to test on animals for the beauty industry. Praise the lord! I'm not sure why China cannot follow suit - If the EU doesn't do it then why them? Perhaps in the future China will rethink their policies and follow in the EU's foot steps.

The reason why I chose to become CF is because I didn't want to be apart of it any more. Putting money in the pockets of the greedy and the animals being used as beauty product testers. It made me feel sick ... how can a animal lover like myself do it? To use a product, that an animal has had to suffer bad treatment and testing to make sure its good enough for us humans? It made perfect sense to me now to end my association with these companies.

There are so many brands that are CF, so there is no need to worry your little socks thinking where will your next tube of foundation will come from if you merge into CF products. There are plenty of cool amazing brands out there which will surprise you. Why do you think I'm always having Lush baths? ;-)

Anyways, I hope this post sheds some light on the decisions I have made to be CF. Perhaps this will encourage you to think about the products you use.

Angela x

Monday, 4 September 2017

Hello September

Wow it's September. The month of change, so I thought a little life update was in order.

It feels like it has taken ages to get to September and now it is finally here. I love September, it is the change in the air as it gets nippier. The leaves on the trees changing from the lush greens to the oranges and burnt reds. The nights draw in and the need to put the central heating on becomes a real thing!

September also marks the time our bubba is nearly due, which to be honest scares the shit out of me. I want to meet baby, but its the in-between stage that doesn't really feel me with the joys of spring. I feel like a ticking bomb. We are basically ready and waiting for little one to decide to pop out whenever it wants to. I just hope I don't go to over due as I don't want to be induced. Eek.

Another change happening this month is that I am finally being made redundant from my job on the September 29th. Myself and colleagues first got told back in February and now it's officially D-Day looming over the hill at the end of the month. It's different for me as I'm obviously on maternity and I haven't had to stay at work until the end as such. It will be weird when my maternity leave is over next year, as I won't have a job to go back to. I've never not had a job before and I am already being asked when I go back what is my plan. Let's have my baby first before we give that a thought.

Angela x

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig