We were loaned the Skoda Karoq for a week for the purposes of this review. No money changed hands. All views my own.

Skoda Karoq review front profile

That’s a lovely big growly car face isn’t it? This Skoda Karoq is saying ‘I’m going to get you to the supermarket and to school and on holiday goddammit and I’m going to do it in comfort and style.’

 

As I’m sure you’ve realised by now, I love a cheeky car review.

Not that I really KNOW anything about cars, but I like to think that’s a good thing, because it means I talk about them in a way non-car people understand and appreciate. I focus on the important things, like the number and size of the cup holders, rather than the stuff no one actually cares about, like the engine size and power. (Yawn.)

Also I love that for a week or so at a time I get to drive around in a car that fools other people into thinking I’m a grown-up, rather than in a 12 year old Renault Clio Campus, which looks like it should be parked outside one of those student houses where you can barely see the front door for the stacked empty Papa John’s boxes. Belle likes that she gets to connect her phone and play decent music instead of listening to my mid-90s folk CDs.

A couple of weeks ago then, I drove around for a bit in the new Skoda Karoq. To be completely accurate, it was the ‘Karoq SE L 1.5 TSI 150 PS 6G Man’, according to my booking confirmation email.

I’m not sure what most of that means.

Did I mention the cup holders? View Post

When Bee told me she was pregnant, back before Christmas, I was very excited.

Partly I was excited at the thought of stopping to chat to people with the baby in the street and them being SHOOK when I said ‘Oh no, it’s not MINE, I’m Granny!’ They would say things about how surely I wasn’t old enough, and I would laugh coquettishly and then ruin it by muttering something about just having greasy skin.

Partly I was looking forward to the opportunity to try doing things differently, to have actual money to spend and to have someone excited to go to a farm with me again.

Mainly I just wanted to be able to get one of those tiny baby feet and put the whole thing in my mouth and say NOM NOM NOM.

Bee was adamant that the baby was going to be a girl, and that she really, really wanted a girl. In fact, so sure was she that her and her boyfriend would be devastated if it wasn’t a girl, that they decided to find out the sex of the baby at their 20 week scan last week, just so they could give themselves time to get used to the idea.

It was a boy.

Of course Bee realised immediately that it didn’t matter at all, and if anything she seems even more in love with the baby than ever before.

https://twitter.com/ooftbeebee/status/1093609023579062272

I on the other hand was shook. View Post

You know how sometimes life is feeling a bit like too much hard work, and you really just need a couple of days to take some deep breaths and have a break from home? I’ve felt like this for the last few months, and so our weekend at Bruern Cottages in the Cotswolds could not come soon enough.

Sometimes with a mini-break you go away and it’s nice but also you feel like you could have had the same experience just having a bit of a tidy up at home and watching a film.

Bruern Cottages was NOT like this.

Bruern Cottages review

Bruern cottages reviews

There are a few standalone cottages in the grounds I think, but the main area is this sweeping courtyard, with joined cottages forming three sides of a square around the edges.

I find the term ‘cottage’ a bit misleading really. I think of a cottage as generally being small, maybe a bit gloomy, but the cottage we stayed in, which you can see in the second picture above and was called Wychwood, was bright and spacious and basically bigger than my house. View Post

Today’s breakfast lamb recipe is in partnership with the Lamb. Try it, Love it campaign. If you like this one, why not try my Greek lamb meatballs for an easy packed lunch?

lamb breakfast recipe for Valentine's Day

When I first mentioned to Belle that I was going to make up a breakfast recipe using lamb, she was sceptical.

‘A breakfast lamb recipe?’ she said, scrunching up her face. ‘LAMB? For breakfast?’

‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I’m going to base it on my favourite – eggs benedict – but bring in a literary reference for fun.’ She didn’t look less sceptical at this point, I have to say. ‘So it’s eggs and ham… green eggs and ham… GREEN EGGS AND LAMB!’

I paused for her to tell me what I genius I was. Silence. She’s 16 though, I don’t think it was a reflection on my idea.

The thing is, I could see where she was coming from. When I first considered lamb for breakfast I wasn’t sure either. The more I thought about it though, the more it felt like an untapped source of breakfasty meat goodness. We have no problem eating pork for breakfast do we? Bacon, sausages, black pudding – it’s all good. Steak and eggs isn’t unheard of for a hearty brunch, so why not come up with a tasty breakfast lamb recipe?

Plus there are environmental and health benefits to consider – lamb is a lot more sustainable than most other animal agriculture farming and it’s also one of the healthiest meats you can eat – it’s rich in niacin and vitamin B12 and a great source of things like protein, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. So there you go.

My green eggs and lamb recipe is pretty easy to make, although I’d suggest it’s more of a special weekend breakfast than a ‘we’re leaving in ten minutes godammit so find your shoes NOW!’ thing. It’s the sort of breakfast I imagine cooking up while listening to The Archers omnibus and drinking a big mug of fresh coffee. In fact, it would serve you very well as a Valentine’s Day breakfast – nothing says ‘I love you more than the cat, honest’ like taking your time over a special breakfast for someone.

That’s not to say my breakfast lamb recipe is difficult, in fact, it’s possibly easier than your regular eggs benedict because the ‘green’ bit comes from a cheaty hollandaise-style sauce made from avocados, which is actually much easier than regular hollandaise. Your Valentine doesn’t have to know that though.

‘Darling, I love you so much I made you this delicious avocado sauce from SCRATCH.’

Chuck a flower on the side next to the plate and cue some much deserved swooning. View Post

I don’t often host guest posts, but my posts from Jon at The Money Shed about how to earn money online from home are always really popular, so he’s back today with a few more ideas for you.

make money online from home

So, you want more money in your life so you can do more things with the family or go on nice holidays to sunny places far, FAR outside the UK but getting ‘that money’ is where the catch is!

My name is Jon and I run a website called The Money Shed which is all about helping people to earn money online from home. I’ve run it for over 5+ years now and as the UK’s largest community website dedicated to earning from home I like to think I know what I’m talking about!

Now in the past I’ve written for Jo about everything from How to earn thousands of pounds doing Risk Free Matched Betting through to 4 ways you can earn money from home that don’t include surveys or click-sites!

However today I wanted to introduce three of the easiest ways you can earn money from home that require minimum investment time wise and MAXIMUM rewards and DON’T involve you even leaving the house! View Post

Today’s post is in association with Notino and has been written by Bee

Hey guys, it’s Bee here. You might remember me from such exciting events as being pregnant with SSM’s first grandchild! I’m about half way through now so not long to wait. The baby is parboiled, if you will.

Anyway, this got me thinking about when I was younger and how much I looked up to my mum. It seems crazy to me that when I was about three years old and have my earliest memories of her, she was only 20, which is over three years younger than I am now! I can’t imagine being my age and having a six-year-old child, I really don’t know how she did it. I guess because she was a young mum I always looked up to her and thought she was really cool, as well as my aunty who is 13 years older than me who I saw a lot of the time growing up.

Baby Bee

Baby Bee

I have some really vivid memories of wanting to be exactly like them.

I remember always thinking my mum was the most beautiful lady I had ever seen – I’m sure a lot of little girls think that about their mummies too. View Post