In association with Crock-Pot

slow cooker crock pot rice pudding recipe

I’ve never owned any sort of slow cooker.

I’m surprised really, as you’d think it would be right up my street – chuck it all in on pot, minimum effort etc. I love all that. But no, it is only now at the ripe old age of 39 that I have popped my slow cooker cherry.

I now own a Crock-Pot. ( A Crock-Pot 4.7L Digital Countdown Slow Cooker to be precise.)

I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was certainly something a little more complex than ‘plug it in, switch it on.’ I unpacked it, disposed sensibly of all the packaging, and got out the instruction booklet, ready to get to grips with the functionality.

‘Place the stoneware into the heating base,’ said the instructions, which caught me off guard straightaway as I wasn’t expected the dish to be so sturdy and wholesome. ‘Add your ingredients and cover with the lid. Plug in your Crock-Pot slow cooker.’

So far so good. View Post

Belle likes to play a game with me called ‘Would You Rather?’

‘Would you rather,’ she asks, ‘have a hand chopped off or a foot?’ She is jolly like that.

‘Which hand?’ I counter, because I’m pedantic.

‘Left,’ she says.

‘I’ll probably lose the hand then,’ I say. ‘But if it was two hands versus two feet then I’d sacrifice the feet.’

We have fun.


Weight Watchers set me a similar challenge recently. Would I rather spend a Friday night in cooking a chicken jambalaya from scratch, or popping a Weight Watchers chilled prepared chicken jambalaya in the oven while I chillaxed with a face mask and spot of Netflix?

(Can you guess which I might choose??)

Here I am talking a little bit about how I got on. This is the cheat’s version, for if you don’t have time to read the rest of the post because you haven’t discovered Weight Watchers meals in the chilled aisle, and you’re slaving away in the kitchen.

(Plus I’m in a face mask for some of it, which surely makes it worth watching if only for comedy value?)
View Post

Pure hemp oil has always been tied with controversies regarding its connection with marijuana, specifically THC or tetrahydrocannabinol which is the main substance that causes the “high” feeling. And because of this, hemp, despite being a common plant has been a target of many regulations and limitations regarding its cultivation and distribution. Despite this, the pure oil extract from hemp is still considered one of the best natural oil products.

CBD or Cannabidiol Hemp oil which is basically made up of high-CBD and low-THC content actually has a lot of benefits to our bodies. Its THC content is very low to the point that only traces of the substance can be found. Thus, there will be a 0% chance of a person getting high due to the use of CBD oil. To elaborate on the benefits provided by CBD oil, here are 3 ways on how pure hemp oil can help our bodies;

  1. Improves and maintains our Homeostasis

Homeostasis or a person’s overall balance is greatly improved with the help of CBD oil. The pure hemp oil penetrates our bodies through the ECS or endocannabinoid system in our bodies that mainly controls our sense of balance. And we all know that our sense of balance is greatly affected by our surroundings – the noise, smell, and other factors that can affect our balance. With the help of CBD oil, these negative factors are leveraged thus helping us keep and maintain a good sense of balance. And by having a good sense of balance, our moods will quickly improve. Additionally, it can also positively affect our appetite, sleep and reaction times.

  1. Improves and gives nutrition to our hair and skin

Among all natural oils, pure hemp oil has the optimized combination of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids greatly aid in the maintenance and treatment of our skins. Further studies have also shown that hemp oil can actually cure common skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema and other forms of skin allergies. By not just applying hemp oil in our skins but also consuming the oil itself, the regenerative and healing effects are doubled, thus the treatment will automatically be more effective and efficient.

Hemp oil is also used for treating skin dryness and acne problems. Because of its light composition, use of hemp oil will not heavily penetrate the pores of our skin causing a clog but instead give a more moisturized feel in our skins. And by also applying hemp oil in the acne pore areas of our skins, the inflammation and irritations are alleviated thus effectively speeding up its regeneration. And as for our hair, because hemp oil is rich in lipids that greatly supports cellular membranes which maintain the moisture in our hair strands, we can achieve a smoother and healthier hair.

  1. Helps in controlling our cholesterol levels

Diabetes, one of the most serious and dangerous medical conditions in the world can also be avoided with the help of hemp oil. As stated above, hemp oils are rich in omega 3, omega 6 and lipid fatty acids which greatly aids in lowering the cholesterol levels in our bodies. And by maintaining low cholesterol levels, the risk of diabetes, hypertension, and heart-related diseases are significantly decreased.

summer style guide

Image – by Maksym Povozniuk/shutterstock

When spring finally rolls around, it’s hard not to get carried away by the spirit and freshness of the season. Everywhere you look, there’s new life and colour. The flowers are waking up, the wildlife is coming back, and the streets are filled with people again.

There’s plenty to love about this time of year, but how can you make sure you’re ready for it? It’s important to look as good as you feel because the way we present ourselves has a big impact on self-confidence. So, it’s time to treat yourself to a wardrobe transformation.

This guide to dressing well and feeling fine in spring 2017 will help you unleash your inner fashionista. Keep reading for some affordable styling tips.

Hire a Stylist

Unfortunately, we’re not all blessed with a natural aptitude for fashion.

The good news is that it costs a lot less than you think to consult an experienced fashion stylist. This is a qualified individual, who can give you practical tips and advice. Working with a professional won’t suit everybody, but it’s a great option if shopping for new clothes makes you nervous.

Get Layering

The weather might be warmer, but unexpected showers and sharp breezes are still inevitable at this time of year. This is why many spring fashionistas use layering techniques to spruce up their outfits. For instance, you can team a skirt or dress with simple cropped pants for a supermodel look. Or, pair your favourite spaghetti strap dress with a long sleeved top.

Wear a Cream Blush

There are lots of easy ways to fake a summer glow, even though you’ve probably missed out on the sun just like everybody else during winter. One of the best is with a high-quality cream blush. It will leave your skin looking dewy and fresh as if those winter blues were never really here at all. If you want to save cash, pick up a blush which is great for use on lips too.

Colour Me Crazy

If you really want to step into spring, be bold and add some bright colours to your wardrobe. This big tone this year is yellow. Yes, it can be a bit much if not worn skilfully, but it’s not as tricky as you might think. Even sporting a very bright shift dress or a pair of capris pants is a guaranteed success if you balance out the rest of your look with more muted shades.

Lacy Perfection

Another big trend in 2017 is delicate, beautiful lace.

Think gorgeous dresses and intricate skirts, with super feminine details. The trick to making this trend versatile enough for everyday wear is to team it with much punkier accessories. Get your favourite biker boots, chunky necklaces, and winter chokers back out of the wardrobe. It’s time for a new breed of pretty.

Wrap Your Legs Up

Don’t forget that, even if the day is still chilly, you can still get away with wearing summer dresses and skirts. This is what tights were made for and they’re really easy to pair with any outfit that you like. Don’t be afraid to try something new and sport coloured tights. Just make sure that you balance any bright shades with an equal amount of paler, tempering tones.

Why Hiring a Stylist Could Be the Right Choice

If you’ve never seriously thought about hiring a style consultant, this year could be the one to change that. The reality is that trends come and go. It’s true that the fashion ‘must haves’ of this season might not be so popular in another six months.

However, the beauty of working with a consultant is that they teach you how to dress for your body, shape, and skin tone. So, the goal is to give you the kind of knowledge that will help you pick out great clothes no matter what the time of year.

Are you at that time in your life when you want to meet the right person? While in these days, being dependent is valued, there’s no denying that we all still desire a genuine connection with someone. That despite having gone through a series of bad relationships, many people still want to find the love of their lives.

If you are one of those people, you might want to ask yourself exactly what is keeping you from finding true love. You may have enjoyed living life as a single, but now you want someone to share your life with. If you are ready to take the next step, check out the tips below on how you can find and keep the love of your life.

  1. Be proactive – it’s time to wake up and start living. There are too many people who are satisfied with just daydreaming of the things that they want to happen in their work, their love life and family. Nothing can be accomplished unless you do something about it. It’s not the time to procrastinate, so you need to go out there and make friends, meet new people and start being proactive about your life.
  1. Be real – if you want your love to be authentic as possible, you also need to show your true self. Do not be a doormat and exist just to please others. You do not need to sacrifice your own happiness just to make others happy. Be authentic to a potential lover and show your imperfections. If you’re finding it hard to be open about that, you need to take a step back and reflect first before you try to pursue a lasting relationship. When you know they can love all your flaws and weaknesses, you know that that is the kind of relationship where both of you can grow.
  1. Be attentive – when you are out on a date, put your smartphone away. Have long talks and open up to each other honestly. Notice the little things, their habits, gestures, this shows that you are serious about forming a connection. Don’t forget to show your appreciation. You don’t need to shower them with expensive gifts, but little gestures like writing a love note or sending a message about how much fun you’ve had can go a long way in a relationship.
  1. Be open – if you’re finding it difficult to see a potential love in your circle of friends now, you can try and broaden your horizon to see more options. Try meeting new people, you can go with friends to meet new acquaintances. You can try going speed dating just to see if it will work for you. If you’ve never considered interracial dating, it may be time to try that. You can check out  if you want to try. The site has thousands of members of different races, so for sure that you can find someone you can have a genuine connection with.