I had a bit of a moment on Twitter last week.

On reflection, I think I was a bit pre-menstrual, which is where the ‘need a boyfriend’ bit came in, plus it was bin day, and bin day always makes me feel slightly less keen on being single. The dice thing, just so you don’t think I’m a bit slow with maths, was something I did know, but I was writing the post about the 648 different ways with yogurt and so I wanted to double check just in case.

‘Stylish recycling bins’ though, now that is a real dilemma.

Bins full stop in fact. It baffles me, because a bin is something that everyone has, and yet 99% of them are HELLA GRIM. I just don’t get it. We spend so much time and money on making our homes look lovely, and then you have to ruin it by sticking a stack of ugly white plastic boxes in the corner of your kitchen, next to a hideous metal and black plastic monstrosity that is YOUR BIN. View Post

In association with Lancashire Farm

Lancashire Farm full fat natural yogurt

I have a reputation in my family for being competitive.

I’m not entirely sure where it has come from. I mean I did TELL Belle she should have been on my team for that family football game. Of course she was going to go down in the tackle, she was only eight.

I had been thinking that I was mellowing with age, but then I went on a writing course recently where we played an Articulate style team game with celebrity names in a hat and I may have got a bit carried away trying to describe Boris Yeltsin through the power of mime.

This weekend though we played Toppers, a fun game sent to me by Lancashire Farm to encourage us to be a bit more adventurous with yogurt. (Ooer). All Lancashire Farm yogurt is made with 100% free range milk. They make one kilo tubs of natural and Greek style natural yogurt, both also available in fat free versions, as well as coconut, strawberry and mango flavours of low fat bio yogurt. View Post

In association with Attraction Tickets Direct

Last month Belle and I went to Orlando. It was Belle’s first time in the States and my first time taking Belle on a flight longer than four hours. She was very well-behaved and didn’t cry or ask to go to the toilet all the time, which is what I was worried about, what with all the ‘travelling with kids’ posts I read beforehand. I actually didn’t have to get out a single colouring sheet.

We’d been sent there by Attraction Tickets Direct, which makes it sound like a punishment, which it really wasn’t as it turns out there are quite a lot of things to do in Orlando.

WHO KNEW??

The first thing to spring to mind when you think of Orlando is ROLLER COASTERS, and justifiably so. I’ve been on a lot of roller coasters in the UK and every single one I went on in Orlando was WAY better. In the UK I normally just spend the time trying not to get my head bashed about, but in Florida the roller coasters just seemed so much more comfortable, so much smoother. Probably a weird thing to say about a roller coaster, but it means you can enjoy the ride rather than just concentrating on keeping your head still. They are much longer too, so you can really get into the twists and turns.

It isn’t all about roller coasters in Orlando though.

Here are some of the other things WE did, in case you want to copy us, because we are very cool. Regular readers will know this already – visitors who just happened to have Googled ‘things to do in Orlando’ will have to take my word for it.

(Don’t forget you can buy tickets to all of the parks mentioned in this post from Attraction Tickets Direct. I wrote more about buying tickets with Attraction Tickets Direct recently, so you can always check out that post to find out more about exactly why it’s worth doing.)

Ride the rapids at Aquatica

The river rapids were one of our absolute favourite things. If ever Belle seemed to be getting a bit hot and tired I just dunked her back in and she was back on track.

Aquatica has two rivers – Loggerhead Lane, the lazy river, and Roa’s Rapids, which are a little more adventurous. Roa’s Rapids were out favourites. Belle’s top thing to do in Roa’s Rapids was to try to shove me against the jets in the walls so I’d get my thighs pummelled, or to ride on my back while I tried to throw her off, rodeo style. (You may notice that her best bits tend to be at my expense.)

rapids aquatica Orlando

If you’re a fan of watery thrills, (ooer), do NOT leave Aquatica without a go on their brand new family raft ride, Ray Rush, which involves you swooping up and down a giant manta ray half-pipe. Worth noting here that Attraction Tickets Direct do a 3 for 2 SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens ticket, including free parking.

(Also I seem to have developed a new hobby – watching rollercoaster and water slide videos on YouTube. I really need a boyfriend.) View Post

I don’t often do recipe posts just for the lols, but I was thinking about making mini frittatas for my breakfast and I just thought ‘sod it, I’m going to take some pictures as I go and WRITE THIS BABY UP.’

(I have been working at home for quite a long time now and the cracks are starting to show. Yesterday I played YouTube videos of background cafe noise to make it sound like I had friends and last night at a networking event I asked a man what his favourite vegetable is.)

These healthy mini frittatas are DA BOMB. I love them because they are super tasty and easy to make, you can change the recipe every time depending on what you have lying about, and they’re actually really good for you because they’re full of vegetables and eggs and wholesome things like that. (Note: I also put a load of cheese in mine, which you could leave out if you wanted, or use in moderation, or just PILE ON, depending on your mood.)

This recipe makes a dozen mini frittatas, and you can either eat them straightaway while they are warm, or pack them in lunchboxes or for picnics or whatnot. I expect they keep, but to be honest they’ve never lasted long enough in my house to test it.

How to make your own healthy mini frittatas

To make your own healthy mini frittatas, you will definitely need eggs. This is the one essential. Oh and a muffin or small cake tray with 12 muffin holes. I use four eggs for my mini frittata recipe.

Then have a look in the fridge or freezer for odds and ends of vegetables to add. Today I used:

  • A handful of frozen peas
  • A handful of frozen sweetcorn
  • One grated carrot
  • Seven baby plum tomatoes, chopped. (This isn’t just me being specific, I only had seven.)

Having something grated like a carrot or a courgette works well to hold the mini frittatas together. Peppers work well too, finely chopped onion maybe? You get the idea. View Post

In association with Post Office Money

A few weeks ago I had an email from Post Office Money.

They wanted to talk to me about my house, which I bought last summer, and a new online tool that they were working on – This Is My Home – looking at affordability of housing for first time buyers. Post Office Money were conducting some research into the saving and spending habits of first time buyers throughout the UK, but as well as finding out more about averages, they wanted to hear some individual stories that highlighted the challenges faced by first time buyers and the compromises that sometimes need to be made.

At the same time they wanted to show that it owning your own home IS achievable, even if you do happen to be single, self-employed and not keen on depriving yourself of treats. (Me.)

So…

My unlikely story of home ownership

By the time I got to about 35, I felt like I’d really missed my chance to get on the property ladder. I was living in Bristol at the time and house prices were through the roof, (pun intended). My rent was so high though that had no disposable income left to save – I was caught in the trap.

Mostly, I felt okay with it. When I was growing up we lived mainly in rented properties and moved house quite a bit, so I guess I was used to it. I convinced myself that owning a house wasn’t all that important – I just couldn’t see it ever happening, especially not when I was self-employed. (Everyone knows blogging isn’t a real job right?) I felt like I’d made my peace with always renting.

‘It’s great!’ I would say. ‘If anything goes wrong it’s not my responsibility to fix it!’

What I’ve learnt since buying my own house last year though is that owning a home comes with a lot more feelings than just responsibility. Having never owned a house or had such a massive debt, I thought it would feel overwhelming. I thought it would be a pressure, something always at the back of my mind. I even worried that I might resent the house, or feel trapped by it, given that I’m not used to the idea of living in one place for a long time.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. View Post

Today I had my MIND BLOWN by a story in the papers about how to open OXO cubes.

First of all, let’s picture a little scene where I’m making something tasty – a shepherd’s pie maybe, or a bolognese.

I’ve fried a onion, browned my mince and had a glass of wine and I’m ready to add some stock. I get an OXO cube out of the little OXO tin I have in the cupboard which says ‘the original beefy cubes’ on the side. I fiddle about with it, trying to peel off the foil and invariably dropping at least part of the wrapper into the frying pan.

Finally I have it unwrapped and I crumble it into the pan. My fingers are covered in OXO cube. I lick them, forgetting it’s OXO cube. Bleurgh. I wash my hands.

Does this sound familiar?

It’s because all this time we’ve been OPENING OUR OXO CUBES IN THE WRONG WAY.

I can barely believe it. It’s like my idiotic hand gliding vs hang gliding moment all over again. View Post