Post in association with Iceland

They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch but they, whoever they are, are wrong.

Wait what? You CAN get lunch for free?

Why yes. Yes you can. With the Iceland bonus card.

Iceland Bonus Card

Let me explain.

You will have realised by now, if you’re a regular reader, that I’ve become a bit of an Iceland convert, ever since I realised that Iceland was about more than frozen kebab pizzas. I’ve been educated about the benefits of frozen food in terms of freshness and not needing artificial preservatives and let’s be honest, it didn’t take much to convince me on the convenience front either.

So what is the Iceland Bonus Card then?

The Iceland Bonus Card is a savings card. You pick one up in store, register it online, and then every time you go shopping, and fancy tucking a bit extra away, you can ask the cashier to top it up. You can add money to your Bonus Card through the Iceland website too. Easy.

Then, when you’re next shopping, either in store or online, you can choose to use some or all of your balance to pay your bill. Pretty straightforward yes?

Except here’s the bonus aspect of the Iceland Bonus Card – for every £20 you save, Iceland will give you an extra pound for FREE. Just like that, automatically. Greggs sausage and bean melts are on offer at the moment in Iceland – 2 for £1 – so that bonus pound could LITERALLY buy lunch for you AND a friend.

(If you have never eaten a Greggs sausage and bean melt before then WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?? That’s the food of the Gods right there. Oysters? RANK. Greggs sausage and bean melt? HELL YES.)

What could I use my Iceland Bonus Card for?

CHRISTMAS! View Post

In association with Maryland Cookies

recipe cookie butter spread Maryland Cookies

In the important cultural debate that is ‘cookies or cake?’ I am very much in the cookie camp.

For me, it’s a question of consistency of experience. Sure, you can get some amazing cake, no denying that. Sometimes they’re just right – moist and delicious and full of flavour – but all too often I’m left disappointed by cakes. They might LOOK lush, but then the sponge is dry, or the frosting to cake ratio is all wrong, and you eat it reluctantly, thinking ‘for God’s sake, what a waste of calories, I could have had four gins for that.’

(And yes, you could just NOT eat it, but food waste remember?)

With a cookie though, or a good plain biscuit, you know what you’re getting. No one ever cracks into a packet of Maryland and comes away feeling like they’re had anything other than the exact cookie experience they were expecting. No snack-time risk, no worry, just mid-afternoon cookie fun times. View Post

Post in association with Metis®

Metis® fruit recipes

Imagine if you will that a plum and an apricot go on a date.

They get on well as they have a lot in common – they both like classic crime fiction, they love to travel, and they both have a stone in their middle, that sort of thing. One date leads to another. On the second date they crank it up a notch and do an activity – segway maybe. Or pottery painting.

Time passes, stuff happens, and they have a baby. They call it Metis®.

Metis® fruit recipes

Ahhh!

Oh how I wish that’s how it happened! View Post

What does tea time look like for your family?

This is dinner time in our house:

typical family dinner time

Ha ha! Not really.

Who has family dinner times like that?? Everyone is so attractive! And all those white units and place mats and teeth? What I love most though about this picture is that the caption is ‘family laughing around a good meal in the kitchen.’

I do my own voice over as I look at it:

MUM, laughing: Oh look everyone at how big our bowls of peas and carrots are!

DAD, laughing: Ha ha! That’s so funny! I love vegetables! Isn’t that funny kids?

DAUGHTER, laughing, but also crying a bit: But Daddy I hate peas!

DAD, laughing: Just keep laughing Angelica!

DAUGHTER: But it hurts my cheeks…

MUM: Ha ha ha! What a lovely family dinner we’re all having!

ANYWAY.

Family meal times in our house don’t look like that. In fact, weekdays are pretty quiet. Bee has long since left home, so it’s more often than not just me and Belle.

That’s okay though. That’s the beauty of a modern family – it can be anything you want it to be.

(DUM DUM DUM!!)

According to new research from potato brand McCain, as part of their We Are Family campaign, we often find it hard to identify with the portrayal of family life as shown in the media. 84% of families surveyed claim they haven’t seen anything in popular culture that depicted a family like their own in the last six months and 45% of Brits think more needs to be done to show the reality of everyday family life.

I agree, and to illustrate the point, Belle and I created a mini fly-on-the wall documentary of tea times in our house. (Does this video count as popular culture?? It definitely shows the reality of family life…)

View Post

I have to admit that until I started working with Iceland a few months ago, I would have never thought to order my weekly shop online with them. To be totally honest, I didn’t even know you COULD shop online at Iceland. I thought it was just one of those places you went to buy a six pack of cornettos for a pound when you were in town with friends and didn’t want to spend £2 each on a Magnum.

(It IS good for that mind, it’s just more too. In fact, without wanting to get you over excited, if you wanted to splash out and get five ice creams for £1.50, you could get five mini Viennas on sticks. Follow the link and take a look. It will CHANGE YOUR LIFE.)

I feel like this year though, after going to Iceland’s autumn/winter launch and then getting to go up to London and spend Christmas with them, (in July), Iceland has blossomed in my mind from rows of freezer cabinets to somewhere where you can actually SHOP properly. For actual things that aren’t just frozen Slimming World meals. (They do loads of these – top tip if you’re on Slimming World.)

Turns out Iceland online is an awesome place to shop.

Hold up though, I know what you might be thinking.

‘Yeah, yeah,’ you’re muttering, ‘she would say that wouldn’t she? Everyone knows you can’t get EVERYTHING you need from Iceland – you can’t exactly buy frozen toilet roll can you?’

No, obviously no one wants frozen toilet roll, but despite the name, the majority of things that Iceland sells aren’t actually frozen.

*MIND BLOWN* View Post

Gousto food delivery

I quite often tell the story of when Bee went off to university for the first time, and had to share a flat with seven other students. In that entire flat of eight apparently grown up people, Bee was the only one who knew how to use a washing machine.

Isn’t that shocking??

On the one hand I was proud, but on the other, kind of embarrassed on their behalf. How had these young adults grown up without being taught how to do basic tasks around the house? It quickly became clear that what they lacked in washing machine skills, they most definitely did NOT make up for in the kitchen.

Teaching children how to do things for themselves like cooking, cleaning, catching trains and generally taking care of themselves, is surely what parenting is all about? Yes, you have to look after them a bit, and make sure they don’t walk into roads and stuff, but ultimately your goal is to equip them with the skills to function as an independent adult, not shelter them from all responsibility. If your child goes off to university never having used a washing machine, then something has gone wrong.

It’s one of the reasons I really like trying out recipe box schemes like Gousto.

Gousto is the compromise between simply handing your child a hardback Delia Smith and a Tesco Clubcard, and driving yourself mad trying to cook delicious yet wholesome meals for a whole family EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Instead you get to cook from scratch, but without the hassle of having to decide what to make or go shopping for ingredients. View Post