In association with Princes

We all have those tinned staples that are always in the cupboard. For us it’s kidney beans*, tinned tomatoes, baked beans and slippy peaches.

Slippy peaches, just to clarify, are tinned peach slices, so named by our family because when they come out of the tin they are slippy. Dur.

tinned peach recipe

I always buy tinned fruit in juice because then it properly counts as fruit doesn’t it? Genuine fact there – a tin of slippy peaches like these count as two of your five a day. And tinned peaches are so GOOOOD.

Let’s face it, how often do you buy fresh peaches and get them just at the right level of ripeness, and THEN be bothered to cut them into slices to go on top of a pancake? Never. What’s more likely to happen in my house is that I buy a load of fresh fruit because Belle has watched some kind of ‘how to peel a mango with a pint glass’ life hack video on Instagram, and then two weeks later it’s sat in a mouldy pile in the fruit bowl.

For me, tinned peaches are like the frozen pea of the fruit world – why would you even bother with the faff of fresh when they taste so good and are so easy to prepare?

For the last week Belle and I have been experimenting, in partnership with Princes, switching fresh fruit for tinned. Princes tinned fruit is packed from fresh, counts towards your five a day, and means you always have fruit handy at perfect ripeness, with no waste. What’s not to love about that? As part of our challenge we’ve been making some simple breakfast recipes using tinned fruit, including slippy peach pancakes.

A weekend style breakfast for weekdays

Now when you think of homemade pancakes and fruit, you’re probably picturing a leisurely Sunday rather than a hectic weekday morning. I mean weekdays, it’s all about the school run, trying to juggle everyone leaving the house on time – no way you’d have time to make slippy peach pancakes right?

WRONG! View Post

Although the general vibe of my house is cosy and colourful, since I had the wardrobes fitted and had to clear the entire contents of the room, my bedroom has been decidedly minimalist.

You might remember I shared some pictures after I’d done a little makeover and all I had was my newly spray painted pink bed, a rose gold coloured floor lamp and a plain, white bedside table. (Check out the post if you want a nose.)

Not a huge amount has changed, although I do now have a matching bedside table on the other side, complete with Swiss cheese plant. I love the architectural style of these, and feel like they’re perfect for adding a soft touch whilst keeping that sparse style.

Apart from that, I’m still open to ideas.

Essentially I don’t think I want to add too much at all as I love how clean and tranquil it feels. I want the bedroom to be an escape from the physical and emotional clutter of day to day life – somewhere clean and clear and beautiful.

white bedroom makeover tips

I love fresh flowers in the room, for a little injection of colour and a connection with the outside world, so this is something I want to incorporate. View Post

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Have a little stretch maybe, check to see how many people have liked that picture of some wisteria that you posted on Instagram just before bed, get up and make a cup of tea – all totally normal things to do, but all things we take for granted.

Generally I would say that I’m a very optimistic, motivated kind of person. You have to be I think to run your own business – you need to be on the ball and prepared to manage your time well, to keep yourself going no matter what. But there have also been periods in my life when I’ve not felt so great.

About three years ago I went through a particularly difficult time. I’d had a relationship break down, work was very busy and I had just moved house, to a new town. I started experiencing horrible anxiety, which I’d never had before. I’ve had short periods of being depressed, but the anxiety was new and I did NOT like it. For several months even doing the most basic of things felt really scary.

I would wake up every morning really early – at about 5am – and immediately feel terrified. I didn’t really know what OF, but I could feel the adrenaline pumping and over and over in my head I was saying ‘I don’t know what to do, how will I cope? I can’t cope.’ I’m sure this is more common for a lot of people than we like to believe, but I think the fact that it was so out of character for me made it worse – I had no coping mechanisms and no idea of what to do to make myself feel better, or even if I ever WOULD feel better.

I remember one morning lying in bed, crying, thinking I would go downstairs to make a cup of tea. That’s a simple enough thing to do isn’t it? Except it wasn’t. I managed to get to the kitchen and switch on the kettle, but I couldn’t stop crying and just couldn’t see how I would be able to make the cup of tea without something terrible happening. Because something terrible WAS going to happen, I was sure. Looking back I can’t even quite describe it – it seems such a simple thing not to be able to do – and yet I just couldn’t. I went back upstairs, still crying. I couldn’t even make a cup of tea. What was I going to do? How would I ever be able to work?

Just BEING felt overwhelming. View Post

I always *think* clothes review posts are a good idea. I get the clothes, and it’s exciting – ‘ooh I got new clothes!’ – and then I remember that I have to take pictures of myself wearing them, and I only have Belle to take them. (I could quite do with a boyfriend who also happens to be a professional photographer. Please apply in the comments with examples of work.)

When I put on my first items from Elvi, Belle was on hand to give me the confidence boost I needed.

‘You look just like Gran in that!’

Thanks Belle. (No offence Gran, but you ARE in your late sixties. Also, Belle meant me and not the clothes.)

I tried a variety of awful poses, while Belle clicked away. ‘I think it would be better if you held the camera straight,’ I suggested meekly,’ because I’m a grown up?’

‘I’m just trying to get an angle where your hair doesn’t look so thin,’ she reassured me.

Awesome.

Elvi clothes review

I figure this must be the angle that Belle thinks makes my hair look best

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It’s that time of the year again that I love – the run up to Christmas, where the nights draw in, and it starts becoming socially acceptable to eat mince pies for breakfast.

Oh, and I get a hacking cough that lasts for weeks and Belle starts to hate me.

Evenings in our house go something like this.

Me: COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH

Belle: *frowns*

Me: Sorry. It will stop in a minute – COUGH SPLUTTER – would you like me to go upstairs?

Belle, sternly, having had to pause her Netflix vampire programme: Yes.

See? She hates me.

It soon switches around though when SHE gets a cold and starts her wretched sniffing. (Which you’d think, now she’s 15 years old, would be behind us.) I say sniffing, although often it’s less of a deep, satisfying sniff, and more of an irritating attempt at one.

‘Mum, listen,’ she’ll says, trying unsuccessfully to sniff, ‘I can’t breath.’

‘Yes, thank you, I can hear that.’

‘But listen,’ more sniffing attempts, ‘my nose is all blocked up.’ A bit more sniffing, until my shoulders are suitably tense.

CUE OLBAS NASAL SPRAY. View Post

This week I had one of those moments where you feel like the universe is trying to tell you something.

I was having a bit of a funny morning one day, where I was feeling a bit unsure about something, and just kind of wandering about feeling twitchy and indecisive. I decided to go into Waterstones, because really, when DOESN’T looking at books make you feel better?

The first display I saw was this one:

Solitude how to be alone

That book stands out a bit really doesn’t it?

I had a bit more of a mooch. I picked up a book at random and opened it at a random page. This page in fact: View Post