I am a DisneyLife Brand Ambassador and this post was created in partnership with DisneyLife who have provided me with a free 12 month DisneyLife subscription.

As much as I like a good episode of University Challenge, I’m a sucker for The Disney Channel. I pretend that I watch it just for Belle, but it’s hypnotic – everything so smiley and colourful and sassy. I can’t help myself. Sometimes I just walk past on my way to the kitchen while Belle is watching an episode of Liv and Maddie and ten minutes later I find I’m still stood there, still carrying a pile of dirty washing.

I like the classics that Bee watched as a teenager, like That’s So Raven and Wizards of Waverley Place, but I like some of the modern shows too. I’m partial to an episode of So Random, (you’ve got to admire that girl’s pluck), and I secretly quite like K.C. undercover. K.C. Cooper has got the moves.

So far with our DisneyLife subscription we’ve been able to enjoy a whole load of films, music, books and TV shows, but now DisneyLife has a brand new feature – LIVE TV! Yep that’s right, even more Disney characters and family fun.

DisneyLife is perfect for school holidays and Christmas holidays in particular. In the summer you can kick the kids out to play in the street in the evenings but in the middle of winter? Not so much. Christmas can be a bit overwhelming for children (and grown-ups) and so by the time Boxing Day comes around it’s brilliant to be able to pack them off into a quiet corner for a bit of downtime. 

(Who am I kidding? I’m totally going to hide away with the Christmas tree and watch Sweet Home Alabama at some point over Christmas.)

DisneyLife live TV streaming

You can set up up to ten devices with one DisneyLife subscription and you can watch The Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD live, so children of different ages can enjoy different activities at the same time. Live TV streaming is available on compatible devices – check yours here.  View Post

On Wednesday Belle and I went for a day out in Exeter. 

Even though we live relatively close, we hardly ever go to Exeter. I’ve no idea why. It seems crazy really that our city of choice is Bristol, even though it’s further away. I think it’s just because we don’t know Exeter as well, so we don’t know about things like good parking spots. The last time we went we ended up spending as much on parking as on the petrol to get us there and back in the first place. We don’t tend to go on the train because the main station in Exeter is a bit far out of the city and the station in Taunton is about a 25 minute walk from us, which makes it a bit of a trek.

When we decided then that we fancied a day out in Exeter, we thought that a coach might be the way to go. The bus station is pretty central and it would mean we wouldn’t have to worry at all about where to park. It would also mean that Belle and I got to chat properly on the coach, rather than her just sitting there in silence while I stare straight ahead. (Who am I kidding? She played Minecraft all the way.)

We used the GoEuro website to do some research. It compares times and prices across different methods of transport to find you the best option. There’s even a box to tick to tie in your search with Airbnb if you are going on a longer trip and need accommodation too.

GoEuro book coach to Exeter

Funnily enough, flying to Exeter wasn’t an option for us. View Post

This dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe is inspired by my recent trip to Vietnam.

They have a lot of coconuts in Vietnam. We visited the Mekong Delta on day two, and went by boat to a tiny island where they make sweets out of coconut, grinding up the coconut and boiling it with sugar cane. We saw a lot of coconut based souvenirs too and, best of all, I got to drink a lot of coconut water. Pretty much everywhere you go you can order coconut water to drink, just like you might order a Coke – they just cut the top off a coconut and stick in a straw.

Not only does it taste amazing but it looks pretty cool too.

When Dole asked me if I wanted to try out their new frozen fruit packs then, I thought it might be fun to try and create a coconut smoothie recipe that you could actually drink out of a coconut, should you felt so inclined. 

Pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

Of course you can just make it and have it in a glass like a normal person, but where would be the Instagrammable fun it that?! I realised too, when I came home and found myself ordering a massive cheese platter when out for lunch with a friend, that I pretty much ate no dairy in Vietnam, so I figured a dairy free smoothie recipe would fit well.

But first things first…

How to break a coconut in half

This was the challenge. 

I’ve won coconuts at fairs before, but I’ve only ever eaten them by smashing them up with a hammer. You can’t display a smoothie just by pouring it over a smashed up coconut can you?

No.

I needed something a little more professional looking. 

I watched a few YouTube videos and the best approach, should you not happen to have a circular saw lying around at home, (which I don’t), seemed to be to tap around the circumference of the coconut with a hammer. (Drain the coconut water out first, or you will make a mess.)

I did this for about three or four minutes and started to get worried as nothing was happening. I had bought three coconuts, just in case anything went wrong with the first one, but I didn’t especially want to fail at the first hurdle. I kept on tapping and lo and behold, just at the point when I was ready to throw it on the floor and stamp on it, a crack started to appear! I kept tapping, following the crack, and look what happened!

I felt pretty pleased with myself.

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

Then the recipe – this is a piece of cake in comparison.

How to make a pineapple and coconut smoothie

It’s pretty straightforward to make a dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie, and the beauty of smoothie recipes is that you can be really flexible with them and adapt them according to personal taste or whatever you have in the fridge. For this recipe I used the following:

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

I was making my smoothie just for me, so if you want to make it for more than one person you’ll need to scale up the quantities.

Start with a big dollop of coconut yogurt in the bottom of a regular sized Nutribullet cup. Add a good handful of Dole frozen pineapple chunks. The benefit of using frozen fruit, other than that you don’t end up with mouldy fruit in the fridge because you forget to use it, is that you don’t need to add ice – the frozen fruit thickens the smoothie up a little and makes it lovely and cold.

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

Top up your cup to around the ‘max’ line with coconut drink. I used Koko dairy free but you could use whatever you like. You could even try using the liquid you drained out of your coconut earlier if you are going for the full tropical experience.

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

Then just whizz it up!

Now is the fun bit. If you’re just going to drink it, like a regular person, then go ahead! It’s yummy isn’t it? I was worried about the balance between the pineapple and coconut flavours but I think this is just about perfect. The Dole frozen pineapple gives it a lovely fresh, clean flavour and chills it too. This would be lovely with a cheeky splash of rum.

If, like me, you prepare all your food and drink with the sole purpose of taking nice Instagram pictures, then now’s the time to pour your pineapple and coconut smoothie into your coconut. (If you’re using the half with the three holes then don’t forget to plug them with something. I used blutac. Please don’t take that as a recommendation.)

I decorated my pineapple and coconut smoothie with tropical straws and toasted a little bit of flaked coconut to garnish. I did this just by tossing the coconut in a dry frying pan for about five minutes.

Tada!

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

 

How to win your own Nutribullet

If you’d like to win your own Nutribullet, so that you can easily whizz up a dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie whenever you fancy it, all you need to do is come up with your own easy smoothie recipe, inspired by your own travels. Take a picture of your smoothie and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #MYDOLESMOOTHIE.

I’ve posted about the competition here on my own Instagram, to inspire you:

It doesn’t have to be a super fancy recipe, just something that you love, and that makes you think of a favourite holiday or adventure. The winner will be chosen based on a combination of creativity, quality of photography and the story behind the recipe. The competition will close at midnight on 31st December, so you have the holidays to get creative. (Full T&Cs at the bottom of this post.)

Good luck!

Like the look of my dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe? Why not pin the image below for later?

dairy free pineapple and coconut smoothie recipe

Produced in association with Dole. 

The winner will be notified via private message on Instagram within seven days of the closing date and must respond within 30 days with their name and a mainland UK address for the prize to be delivered to. If any Prize Winner fails to claim the Prize within 30 days they will forfeit the Prize and another valid Entry may be drawn. We will arrange for the Prize to be delivered to you at the address provided, at our cost. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery. Only one Entry can be made per Eligible Participant; additional Entries made by the same Eligible Participant will not be accepted. Entrants must be in the UK and 18+. Judge’s decision final.

 

The other day Belle and I were having lunch in McDonalds. I make no excuses for the fact that we go to McDonalds because we like it, so there. Also, we recently smuggled a full McDonalds breakfast for two into the cinema under Belle’s coat and it was ACE.

So we were in McDonalds, having just collecting our meal. As a side note – Belle does like ordering through those screens but I’m not entirely sure of the point of them. They just seem to have shifted the queue from the ordering stage to the food collection stage. Who knows, perhaps they did research and found that people are happier queuing when they know their Big Mac is on its way.

Mcdonalds Big Mac and fries

Anyway, we’d collected our food and I put the tray down onto the table. Some of my fries spilled out of their little carton. You know how they always do that, and you have to sort of round them back up? I collected all together again and I put the last straggler straight into my mouth, (for the sake of efficiency).

‘Belle,’ I said, pulling a sad face, ‘that chip was completely cold.’

‘What do you mean?’ she said.

‘I mean I just ate someone else’s old, cold chip off a table in McDonalds.’

‘That’s disgusting,’ she said.

Yes. Yes it was.

Today I’m doing a bit of a tech review, looking at the Philips driving video recorder.

Do you ever do that thing when you’re driving, when suddenly you feel super tired and your eyes become harder and harder to keep open? Around 2.30pm in the afternoon is my weak spot and a few times this year I’ve had to pull in somewhere for a power nap. It’s a bit dull for Belle when she’s with me and has to sit watching me sleep in a service station for twenty minutes, but I figure better that than driving her into the back of a lorry.

The weird thing about getting tired while driving, (or generally), is that often you don’t notice it’s happening. You forget that you’ve been on the road for two hours and you go into that weird semi-awake state of mind where you can convince yourself of things that aren’t actually true.

‘Oh no it’s totally fine to close my eyes on the motorway for a minute or two,’ you find yourself thinking, ‘because I have that magical goat that sits on the dashboard to take over when I get sleepy.’

Heads up guys, the goat is not real.

Instead of a magical goat though, you could get yourself a Philips driving video recorder

The whole ethos of the Philips driving video recorder is to give you peace of mind whilst driving. Philips describe it as a ‘personal road safety guardian’. 

Philips dash cam video recorder View Post

As you know from my rather bizarre cemetery story, I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago. When I have a bit of spare time in a new city I like to try to find more unusual things to do, rather than the obvious tourist stuff. Anyone can visit the Eiffel Tower – I wanted something a bit more off the beaten track.

I’ve always been a big fan of graffiti, so I decided to see if I could find some cool graffiti in Paris to take pictures of. I know that technically it’s vandalism, sure, but when it’s done well, it’s amazing – the skill that goes into good graffiti is incredible. 

First up, I went to have a look at a little bit of the Petite Ceinture. The Petite Ceinture is a 20 mile loop of railway, built about 150 years ago and abandoned in the 1930s. It’s an incredible phenomena – this vast expanse of neglected land running through the heart of the city, that has become a much needed home to animals and humans alike. I accessed it through a little open door in a side street, and had to walk past some makeshift shelters and tents and climb some old stone steps to get up to the track.

Petite Ceinture Paris View Post

Remember Jon from The Money Shed? He wrote me that piece about matched betting and about earning money from home? Well, he’s here again today. (He keeps pestering me, so what can I do?) One of his forum veterans is running a 30 money making bootcamp, teaching you how to make money online from home – ideal if you’ve overspent at Christmas and want to recoup a little cash. It’s all legit. He’s a good chap. If you do take part, do let me know how you get on!

how to make money online

Do you like money? Of course you do! Who doesn’t?! With Christmas right around the corner most people have money at the forefront of their minds. Now that I have got your attention I am going to tell you how you can make £1,000 extra online EVERY SINGLE MONTH. There are 1000s of people out there who are already bringing home a huge side income from online moneymaking websites. 

Just to point out for anyone that doesn’t know The Money Shed has been going for 3+ years and is a HUGE resource for people on the UK as we help people gain financial freedom and get themselves out of debt in ways they never thought possible! 

Over on my forum, The Money Shed, there is going to be a 30 DAY MONEY MAKING BOOTCAMP STARTING ON JANUARY 3RD 2017!! One of our moderators veteran moneymakers, Katykicker, is going to be hosting the MONEYMAKING BOOTCAMP. Katy regularly earns £1000s online EVERY SINGLE MONTH AND IS GOING TO SHOW YOU HOW TO DO EXACTLY THAT!! Being full-time self-employed since 2013 has allowed Katy to explore a number of ways to make and save money online – and she wants to share her knowledge with you. Best of all this 30 day moneymaking bootcamp is going to be COMPLETELY FREE!  View Post