How well do you know your children?

Reasonably well, I’d hope, but they can still surprise you. Yesterday afternoon, while Bee was visiting, I made mine fill out these 20 questions to ask your children from Shepherds Friendly. Have a look at the link and you can download and print off the list to do with your own children.

Here are our results:

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Do you remember a little while ago I tried out Everdine? It’s a food delivery service where everything is wonderfully wholesome and delicious. Imagine what it’s like being at my house for tea. (We had fish fingers, mini potato waffles and baked beans last night.)

Everdine is the opposite of that.

In yet another fantabulous Christmas competition, I’m giving away a month of clean eating meals from Everdine. It’s two, eight meal boxes, spread over a month, so 16 meals in total. That’s enough to make sure that you’re nicely balancing out all the Christmas excess and don’t have to feel quite as bad about yourself as if you were having mince pies and mulled wine for every meal. 

Everdine clean eating View Full Post

I’m a bit loathe to call this a recipe, as the whole point of bubble and squeak is to use up leftovers. I don’t want you to look in the fridge and think ‘Oh, I’ve only got two leftover sweet potatoes, so I definitely can’t make this…’

That’s really not the point. 

I’ll just tell you what I did, and then you can copy it, or have a look in the fridge and switch in other ingredients. I’m cool with that.

So, food waste. I’m actually pretty good at this, mainly because I’m so slack at doing the shopping in the first place that I never have enough in the fridge for dinner, let alone for leftovers. Since I upgraded my phone though, and no longer have to delete Twitter just to take a photo, food waste has become a bit more of an issue. I’ve rediscovered the joy on online food shopping you see, which means I get all over excited and order loads of things for actual recipes. Then I remember that I’m only home one night in the next four, and wonder what I’m going to do with it all.

This afternoon for example I’m leaving work early to make four steak and ale pies for the freezer (never done that before) because I have all the ingredients but we are going to my mum’s for tea.

Sainsbury’s is on a bit of a mission to reduce food waste too, with their #WasteLessSaveMore initiative

Households in the UK waste a mind blowing 15 million tonnes of food and drink every year. To bring this to life, that includes 5.8 million potatoes, almost 6 million glasses of milk and an astonishing 24 million slices of bread everyday!

Not only is this a huge problem for our environment, but families are throwing away money along with food. In fact, the average British family wastes £700 per year on food that could have been eaten, but is thrown away instead, that’s around £60 a month.

Sainsbury’s is passionate about helping families waste less, and save more, which is why they’ve invested £10 million in helping shoppers reduce food waste at home. A big part of that is helping families make better use of their leftovers – which is where you come in!

The website is definitely worth a look as it has some great recipes for using up leftovers, tips on freezing food properly – loads of useful stuff. I love the look of their eight winter salads, especially the beetroot one. I love a bit of beetroot.

You can make a start on reducing food waste and saving money by using your leftovers to make me twist on classic bubble and squeak…

How to make spicy sweet potato and spinach bubble and squeak

I started off with one large sweet potato, which had been cooked the day before. Sweet potato is less starchy than regular potatoes, so it works particular well when they are genuine leftovers and have had chance to dry out a bit. If you’re cooking them fresh, make sure to drain them really well. Mash the sweet potatoes up with a little bit of butter, salt and pepper. You won’t need to add any liquids.

I used ground cumin and garam masala to spice my sweet potatoes as these are my favourites. I went with a liberal sprinkle – maybe around half a teaspoon of each? 

spicy sweet potato and spinach bubble and squeak recipe View Full Post

These t-shirts from Son of a Tailor are genius.

If you’ve been wondering what to get for Christmas for your husband, dad, brother, awkward nephew, then your search is over. You’re welcome. (Plus read on and I have a discount code.)

Son of a Tailor make custom fitted t-shirts for men, totally bespoke, made to order, exactly as you want them. You simply buy a gift card, and it comes presented like this, making it an ace looking present. 

Son of a Tailor discount code

Inside you get a tape measure and a gift card, with a code to create a free t-shirt. Free international shipping is included as standard. They have really gone the extra mile here to turn what could have just been an emailed discount code into something really special. (You don’t get the cotton reels – you’re not expected to make the t-shirt yourself – that’s just me being fancy with props.) View Full Post

How early is too early to put up a Christmas tree?

I say ‘NEVER!’

Fiancé says that anything before the second week of December is common. I pointed out that I AM quite common, which he accepted was probably true.

I was prepared to compromise. Our tree at home – always a real one – would wait and instead I would decorate my office.

Hoorah!

An office Christmas tree is definitely allowed to go up earlier, because you don’t spend as much time at work over the actual Christmas period and so you need more time to appreciate the sparkles. Luckily I share an office with a friend, Paul, who is just as easily excited about Christmas as me, and another, Marcus, who is only young and so happily goes along with whatever I tell him.

Paul and I agreed that November 25th – one month exactly until Christmas – was an excellent time to head to Poundstretcher to fill a basket with all things sparkly.

I’ve never bought an artificial tree before and was a bit worried that it would look naff. It really doesn’t though. We went for a 6ft tree with snow tipped branches and fir cones, which was on special offer and just £24.99. It came in three parts and was very easy to erect – you just slot it together at the trunk and then bend the branches to bush it out a bit. Easy.
Poundstretcher Christmas decorations View Full Post