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.

ANYWAY.

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?)
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Okay, straight up, this is a review of a bin. I’m not gonna lie to you.

But when is a bin more than a bin? When it’s a waste separation and recycling system.

The JosephJoseph Totem 6o waste separation and recycling system in fact. Like this one, which now lives in our kitchen:

JosephJoseph Totem 60 review

Ooooh!

As you know, we moved house a few weeks ago and although in some ways we have a lot more space, like a garage and a garden and a loft, we do have a smaller kitchen, and you can’t keep your kitchen bin in the loft can you? NOT handy when you’re cooking tea.

In fact, in the weeks leading up to the move I started to freak out a little bit about the kitchen. Fiance must have been sick to death of me talking about where we were going to put a table, and I’d say that by the time it came to moving day he was DONE with all talk of recycling storage options.

(I don’t blame him. I was BOOORING.)

In the old house we had a big space under a worktop where we could keep all that kitchen crap like carrier bags and recycling and potatoes, but in the new house we don’t have anything like that. What I needed was some kind of genius system where I could keep rubbish and sort recycling without it taking up any more space than a regular bin.

OH WELL HELLO JOSEPHJOSEPH TOTEM 60! View Post

Post in association with Salter Cook.

I really enjoy a spot of baking. I find it relaxing – weighing out the ingredients, following the instructions and, of course, eating the mixture from the bowl with my hands.

(The best bit.)

Normally when I cook though it goes something like this:

  • Get all my ingredients out.
  • Okay, 100g of flour? Excellent.
  • Get to scales. How much flour was it again? Check in recipe.
  • Repeat for every ingredient.
  • Forget something crucial and don’t discover it until the end.
  • Every time I reach a new step, read through the whole recipe again to remember where I was.

It’s a bit of a kerfuffle.

What I really need is a helper. Someone to organise all my recipes for me, get the oven temperature sorted and tell the scales how much of everything I need so that I don’t have to remember. They could cross things off as I go through the recipe and then set a timer for me so I don’t get distracted looking at Instagram and burn my cookies.

WELL HANG ON A MINUTE!!

The Salter Cook app, pro bluetooth kitchen scale and bluetooth cooking thermometer do ALL OF THOSE THINGS! It’s like they were listening, and designed a range of products just for me.

Salter Cook scales View Post

Every since I got back from my trip to Croatia with James Villas a few weeks ago, (read about it here), I’ve not been able to stop thinking about our trip to Brijuni National Park.

Brijuni National Park

Can you see why??

Brijuni National Park is a cluster of 14 islands, just off the Istrian coast. If you’re flying into Pula and staying in that part of Croatia then you really MUST visit, even if it’s just for the day. There are hotels on the main island too – Veliki Brijuni – and it would be a very quick and easy transfer if you wanted to stay in the national park itself.

Brijuni National Park

Easy peasy lemon squeezy

We were staying in a James Villa right up in the northern part of Istria, but even then it was still totally doable as a day trip. They have plenty of properties nearer to Pula too though, so worth checking out. View Post

When Belle left primary school, it hit me a bit harder than I had expected. I’ve never really been big on ‘firsts’ – first day of school, first whatever else – they are exciting and fun but never moving. 

But when Belle finished primary school, it suddenly hit me that I had no children left to watch in school nativities. No more primary school sports days to go to. No more having to ingratiate myself with the other parents on the playground so as to arrange play dates. Nothing.

It turns out that ‘lasts’ are a bit more moving for me than ‘firsts’.

And then she went to secondary school and every day is an achievement just to get her to go, so that’s a distraction. Bee finished her A-levels and graduated and all of those things are okay because they aren’t the END. Bee can finish things and that’s okay, because Belle stills gets to do them.

Last night Belle brought home her school report for the end of Year 10. It was part of a big pack of information about school uniforms and newsletters and a calendar for the next academic year. I have a paper diary, because I can’t get my head around not writing down dates with a pen, and I have an academic year one because it seems to fit better.

I picked out the calendar and got a pen, ready to write in dates of note. I started at the end, (I don’t know why really, but I do the same with magazines), and the first date was GCSE results day.

empty nest

I text Bee.

‘MY DIARY GOES UP TO THE DAY BELLE GETS HER GCSE RESULTS. I AM NOT READY TO NOT HAVE ANY CHILDREN LEFT AT SCHOOL AND TO NEVER HAVE TO GO TO A BORING CONCERT OR PARENTS’ EVENING.’ View Post