homemade Jaffa cake recipe

I know what you’re thinking – ‘Homemade Jaffa cakes? WTF? Why on earth would you go to the effort to make your own Jaffa cakes when you could just crack open a packet of McVities?’

Well yes, I can see your point, but making your own Jaffa cakes is more something you do for the activity than for the end product.

It’s like any kind of cooking really, or gosh, anything in life at all when you start to think about it. It’s satisfying making things for yourself from scratch, and fun in the process. (Sometimes. Unless it’s a complicated pastry or something.)

It’s the journey not the destination and all that.

PLUS, when you make your own Jaffa cakes you get to do things along the way like eat a casual square or two of Bournville and lick the cake bowl. View Post

Despite the title of this blog post, it’s actually freezing outside at the moment – a thick layer of snow and ice. Yuk.

I’ve got the heating up on full but even with all three cats on my lap I’m still far from warm. Just the thought of a sunny holiday in the Caribbean is making me feel a little bit cosier, but seriously, isn’t it supposed to be spring now? I’ve seen lambs being born and everything. Wearing a scarf and gloves everywhere just isn’t fun when you’re not wandering a Christmas Market with a hot mulled wine in hand.

Sunny holidays are, inevitably, something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’ve been on work trips as far as USA and Vietnam, but I’ve never been on a really luxurious summer holiday in the sunshine. I’ve always kind of liked the thought of going on a really luxurious resort holiday, either on my own or with Bee and Belle somewhere really exotic that I would probably never go to again. The Caribbean seems like somewhere only people on fancy cruises go to, but I guess there’s nothing to stop me browsing a few Jamaican retreats as options is there?

Cool things to do in Jamaica

Jamaica is a world so far from our own in terms of the culture, the scenery, the weather, the food, everything. I think I’d have a really good time there. It’s a really interesting place. Did you know that Jamaica is home to over 200 species of exotic orchid, or that it was the first Caribbean country to launch its own website? Thanks Google. View Post

Post in association with Wayfair

I used to have a bit of a blind spot when it came to interior lighting. My friend Lucy was always coming over and bemoaning my lack of flattering lighting.

‘It’s just these God awful centre lights!’ she would say. ‘You need some strategic lamps to stop me looking so ancient.’

She was right.

I took heed though, and if anything I’ve gone the other way – I have lamps everywhere, even in the kitchen, and candles galore for when you’re feeling like you really do need a darker corner to hide in. Lamps are lovely too for creating little areas of interest, highlighting areas of the room you particular like, or making cosy yet well lit corners for reading or crafts.

A well placed light can totally change the feel of a room – the warmth, the colours, the tone. You can give the whole place a lift without actually having to spend too much money.

This week I’ve been looking for a home for my new lamp from the Endon Lighting range at Wayfair. Endon Lighting has been around for over 75 years and has a focus on well designed, trend-led lighting. The range is definitely worth a look.

At the moment it’s next to my bed like this:

endon lighting at wayfair View Post

When it comes to choosing a child care centre for your child, there are lots of different aspects that you will need to consider such as the curriculum, quality of care, quality of facilities, and you should also think about the amount of exercise your child will receive. If a child eats a healthy diet and exercises regularly, it will help them to not only study harder, but it will also assist with maintaining their health for a long time to come. Making sure your child remains active can have lots of different benefits.

Choosing A Care Centre For Your Child

There are many different Sydney child care centres, so to find the right one for your child you will need to start planning early. When you visit the centre and ask them all of your questions, make sure that you also ask about the amount of exercise your child will receive daily, and if there is food available as well. You will want to see a big playground as well as areas of grass so that there is plenty of space for the children to play. Ask what physical activities they offer and if possible visit the centre at a time when you can see a class in progress. Make sure there is going to be lots of exercise for your child as well as the option of healthy meals when they attend child care for the first time.

The Physical Benefit For Your Child

As the saying goes, healthy body, healthy mind, and there can be quite a lot to this old pearl of wisdom. When your child remains physically active and eats healthily with the benefits, they receive it really is a no-brainer!

  • Physical exercise will help to strengthen the heart allowing it to pump harder and also help ward off heart disease.
  • Exercise will also help to reduce the blood sugar levels tiring your child, which could be just what you need at the end of a hard day unless they get cranky!
  • They will also benefit from strengthening their lungs allowing them to work harder during physical exercise and maintain the oxygen levels in the blood.
  • Bones will become stronger when a child exercises regularly and eats a healthy diet.
  • They will also help to keep their veins and arteries free from blockages which could potentially become life-threatening in the future.
  • People who exercise regularly have less chance of getting cancer and other major illnesses.
  • They will be able to control their weight and keep it at a healthy level.
  • By keeping your child healthy through exercise, a varied diet, and a good education, you will help to form them into a well-adjusted and balanced individual.

There are many different benefits to keeping your child active and helping them to maintain their health. When you are looking at child care facilities, you should place as much importance on this aspect as the curriculum that is on offer. Give your child the best start in live that you can and make sure they keep physically active and enjoy lots of play.

Image – By Lordn/shutterstock

A couple of weeks ago this picture popped up on my Instagram feed:

A post shared by Madelaine (@fromxthextower) on

I looked at it, scrolled on a bit, and then went back and looked at it some more. (It’s from a woman called Maddie by the way, who writes a really thought provoking blog here.)

I thought about it for a little while and started to feel a bit sad and cross all at once. Why it is that we have come to equate love with pain? Why do so many people feel that love without turbulence is somehow less worthy, less REAL? View Post

Post in association with Princes

mackerel salad recipe

Take a minute if you will to think about a can of mackerel.

(Stay with me.)

What are you imagining? The classic old mackerel on toast at your Granny’s on a Sunday afternoon? Well, THINK AGAIN. It’s time to look at mackerel in a whole new light.

(Yes, this is my actual job.)

If you don’t have a stash of canned mackerel in your cupboard then you’re missing a massive trick. You know how you always have tins of beans and chopped tomatoes? Well mackerel should be like that – a store cupboard essential that you can grab for a quick and tasty lunch whenever you’re in a rush. View Post