Tag Archives: Homemade

Feeling Spicy

4 Mar

Hi folks,

Can not believe we are into March already. It’s been such a quick year already. My days seem to just fly over so fast, life moves so fast. Sometimes it feels a struggle to fit in family life, work & not to mention trying to cook from scratch every day.

I love homemade healthy food & when it’s quick & simple… even better! I don’t like plan food either… I like something with a little spice!

This week I’ve been creating some lovely, quick & easy meals, using my new fave ingredient!

On Monday I made a gorgeous Chilli in the Slow Cooker. The crushed chillies add just enough spice. Its the perfect staple to keep in your spices cupboard.

To make, I threw the following into the crock pot:
250g Lean Beef Mince
Chopped Celery
Diced Garlic
Diced Onion
Sliced Mixed Peppers
Chopped Mini Corns
Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Tin of Kidney Beans
A good helping of Schwartz Chilli Flakes.

I left it to cook all day. I thickened with a little tomato purée before serving.

This Chilli was super yummy. Plus, it’s totally healthy as i didn’t use any added salts or oils. Perfect!

On Tuesday I made a delicious Moroccan inspired Lamb Stew.

I’ve thrown the following into the crock pot:
300g Diced Lamb
Diced Celery
Diced Onion
Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Handful of Dried Apricots
Fresh Coriander
Mixed Peppers Sliced
1 Tin Chick Peas
Crushed Garlic
A good Sprinkle of Schwartz Crushed Chillies

Both meals were utterly delicious, healthy & so simply to make. Making your won sauces tastes so much fresher than using a premed jar of sauce. This little jar of spices has gone so far & i still have loads left! Well worth the money!
Tonight I’ve used the chillies as a seasoning. I sprinkled on a pork loin & grilled, then served alongside a baked potato & salad.
This little jar of spices is so versatile & a total must have for any ingredients cupboard.
It’s amazing how eating healthy really lifts your mood & makes you feel so much more positive. I’ve loved how easy these meals were to make.
I can’t to try more recipes!
Thanks so much as aways for reading & I hope you’ve found my review useful.
Love & Huggles,
Hayley xxx
Schwartz have sent me Crushed Chillies for review, but all views are my own

Any Excuse For a Party!

8 Aug

Hi folks,

You all know what family life is like here at Thorne Towers… hectic, busy, fun & full of giggles. You also know that we don’t need an excuse to celebrate & have a party.

Since Seth is becoming a big brother in October, we’ve been trying to get him to understand that we’re having a baby join our family. He’s only 2 year & 5 month old… sometimes I think he totally gets it & other times I think he’s still not quite sure.

So… what better way to get him excited? Have a little tea party! And what does every party need? Well, cake of course!

bakerdays are a fantastic company who make letterbox cakes… yes that’s right… a cake delivered through your letterbox! How fab is that!?

Yes you read that right… they can make you a stunning personalised cake to celebrate any occasion that comes in a lovely tin & fits through your letterbox. They also offer gluten free, wheat free & dairy free options!

Seth was sent a cake to celebrate the fact that he’s going to be a Big Brother. I can’t even begin to tell you just how stunning the photograph was. The detail & quality was so high. And Seth adored having a Ace with his face on… he’s such a poser.

Seth’s cake was a plain sponge – simply because that is his favourite. But you can choose other options. You also don’t have to choose a letterbox cake. They offer 4 different cakes sizes as well as cupcakes.

Now for the important bit… how did it taste?

As you can imagine… Seth takes his role as cake testing rather seriously. After snaffling his first piece… he hastily demanded another. I can therefore confirm that he did indeed think it was “Nommy Nommy” lol. That’s a direct quote right there. This 2 year old knows good cake when he tastes it.

Everyone agreed it was really lovely & super fresh. I have to admit that I was thinking “will it be fresh?”… but it really was! Plus it’s such a fantastic novelty having it delivered through your door. You could send this to any loved one for a special occasion & it would most certainly make them smile. You don’t even need an occasion really… just simply treat someone who needs a pick me up perhaps?

Thank you so much bakerdays for making a little boys day. What better way to become excited about being a big brother than with cake!

Thanks as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Resolutions, Health and Babies

8 Jan

Hi folks,

I just simply can’t believe that we’re already into 2018! Last year just went by so fast in a massive blur! I hope you’ve all had an amazing Christmas & New Year.

Our Christmas was simply amazing… lots of laughter, sparkles & food! Maybe a little too much food actually. I’ve gone back to basics today in a bid to lose 2 stone. I think coz my mind is the zone of healthy eating… I’m actually already feeling better. Mind over matter so they say. Healthy eating always makes me feel so much happier too.

In between Christmas & New Year, I had a few tests at Hospital. Luckily everything came back tip top 🙂 So I’ve literally skipped into 2018 with a clean bill of health. I’m hoping that maybe this could be the year that we add a new addition to our family. But I guess we’ll have to wait & see.

Until then though… we’ve added 2 new little darlings to our family… Tuna & Mayo 🙂 Seth’s new Goldfish.

Like most folk… I’ve started the new year with some new year resolutions. Now, I don’t like setting outrageous & unattainable resolutions… nor do I like the ‘New Year New Me’ saying… so here are my ‘realistic’ resolutions:

  1. Do more things for myself… what I mean by that is, that since Seth has been born I just don’t do anything as a treat just for me. I used to go out a lot & I used to have my nails done each month. All of that kinda faded away as I just put everything & everyone first. So, on Saturday I went to get my nails done all on my own. It was so lovely. I even made an appointment to have them done in 3wks time! Go me! I have to say that my separation anxiety has added to it too. Going out on my own just never feels right. But I think I’m slowly getting better with that.
  2. Be healthier. I’d love to lose 2 stone. I just really need to be the healthiest Mammy to Seth that I can be. I owe it to him to be the best version of myself that I possibly can.
  3. Be Positive. It’s no secret that I’m a positive thinker… and I plan on continuing that. Having a positive approach to life really does help to get you through the tough times.

I’m so excited to see what this year will bring. Last year we moved home & we didn’t anticipate that – but it was the best thing we ever did. I just love our home so much. Seth has more space to play. We’ve started to make plans for a little decorating. Nothing too in your face… just a nice freshen up with mostly neutral colours. I want to add a roller blind to the guest bedroom & new curtains. Then in the spare room, we want to re-paint & add a new curtain pole & curtains etc… Seth’s Room doesn’t need a spruce up since we did when we moved in. The same as our room… we did all the sprucing up & finishing touches as we moved in. We shall get there I’m sure.

My lovely frosty view this morning.

I’m hoping this year will also be the year that I pass my driving test. The first step will be to get my theory test booked in. I’ve started my manoeuvres… well… pulling up on the left & parallel parking. Eeeeck… I just can’t wait until I’ve actually passed.

I can’t believe that Seth turns two this year too. I just do not know where the time is going. Soon enough we’ll be putting the tree up for next Christmas lol.

Well I shall leave this post here as I’ve a mountain of laundry to do… fun times lol.

Thanks so much as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Prepping for the Party Season 

18 Oct

Hi folks,

I love this time of the year… it’s easily my most favourite. The leaves are turning orange, there’s a chill in the air & the dark nights are drawing in. I just love it. 

Our spare room now resembles Santa’s Workshop at the moment. I’ve been in full crafting mode prepping for Halloween & Christmas. I’ve even started to wrap Christmas gifts too! Haha… I know I know… I’m super early! But, the more I do now then the more time I have to just sit back & enjoy the festivities. 

We decided this year we were going to set a sensible budget on how much we were going to spend on Seth… that budget literally went out of the window within hours. We’ve gone so overboard… but we just couldn’t help it. I keep thinking he’ll be our one & only… so why not spoil him 💙

We’ve bought him a gorgeous corner sofa for his bedroom. We’ve turned it into a reading corner. We were going to save it for Christmas… but we’ve given him it early. It just looks so cute in his room.



Along with pretty much finishing off our Christmas shopping… I’ve also started stocking piling in my pantry too. I’ve made a start on buying frozen party food. Crisps, chips & dips. Crackers, biscuit selections & chocolates. And of course… bottles of sparkles. I got a bottle of Bollinger for half price!!! I’ve also got some Moët I bought while it had money off. I always plan in advance, so when December comes all I need to buy is fresh & perishable items & then spend money on fun days out. 

At the weekend we went Pumpkin Picking. I’d never been Pumpkin Picking before. Seth had so much fun trudging through the fields to find the perfect pumpkin. I just love family days out, making memories.

We’ve got a few visits to meet Santa booked for December… the plan is to see Santa each weekend in December. We’ve also got our holiday to Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs booked too… I’m so excited!!! You all know that Center Parcs is my happy place. 

I’ve got a lovely blogging trip down to London booked for next month – Eeeeeeck! It’s exciting going down to London… but I always get a bit nervous too. I promise to take lots of pics… I’ll give you all more info about my trip soonly 🙂 And… I’m sure it’d be rude not to pop into Liberty too to check out their gorgeous Christmas shop.

Driving lessons are continuing on a sparkly high! In fact… I start manoeuvres in 2wks! Yikes! Can you believe that!? I’m starting with the dreaded parallel park. But… I shall remain positive! And I CAN do this! I tell you what though… driving with a bloody sat nav is rather off putting. It’s being added to the driving test come December… so that’s something I have to get used too. I’ve been playing lots on the theory test app – so I should get that booked in. I think there’s like a 6wk waiting list. 

I’ve had quite a few medical appointments of late too… urgh! I’ve not been feeling 100% really. But, I’ve been having some tests & I have a referral to a consultant up at the Hospital – so hopefully soon I shall some answers & a solution. Once I know more… I shall let you know. 

I’ve got lots of lovely reviews coming up too 🙂 so please keep checking back for those. 

As always – thank you so much for reading! 

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Foodie Fun with the Must-Have Highchair!

31 Jul

Hi folks,

So… you know what it’s like when you get too giddy & throw yourself into impulse buys without thinking first. Well… that’s what we did with our high chair purchase. Not long after Seth was born… so waaaaay before he was ready for weaning, we immediately went out to buy a highchair. I think we were just too giddy about being new parents & couldn’t help but have this need to buy then & there. The highchair we bought was the Cosatto Noodle Supa in the C Rex design. Now… this wasn’t a really bad highchair… but… we didn’t really do our research. We went for pretty & funky over function & usability. Once Seth was at weaning age… I did start to pick quite a few holes in the functionality of this highchair & there was lots I would’ve changed about it. Always always always do your research! I wish I’d had our new highchair from the beginning…


We’ve been having lots of fun with our new highchair from Joie. We have the new Multiply 6in1 Highchair. This highchair is the only thing you’ll need for weaning/meal times… here’s why…

  • 6 modes including baby mode highchair, traditional highchair, booster, portable booster, toddler chair and play table
  • 5 height adjustments
  • Seat and frame fold compactly and stand when folded
  • Extra large tray with one-hand release
  • 4 position adjustable tray with cupholder
  • Full coverage dishwasher safe tray insert doubles as a placemat
  • Clever tray storage on back legs
  • 3 position seat recline
  • Removable, washable, soft infant insert
  • Removable, wipeable seat pad
  • 3 position height adjustable footrest
  • Integrated wheels on front legs
  • SoftTouch, 5-point harness


The removable tray is a Godsend. Seth is 16 month & we’re trying very hard now with plates, bowls & cutlery… but sometimes the plates end up on the floor. So the removable tray is ideal for when they’re still not fully using a bowl or a plate. The fact it is dishwasher safe too is just fantastic.

The straps also remove really easy for cleaning & soaking. A high chair that is easy to clean is an absolute must. I’ve found this chair extremely user friendly. I use the chair in our dining room & our lounge, which means I am moving it around the house a lot – it’s really light & easy to move. Even with my back problem, I have found it super easy to lift & manouvre. The wheels on the front are fab!

Storage-wise this highchair is really good. The tray comes off with one hand release & clips straight on to the back via a cross bar on the legs. Then you can fold in the chair via two release buttons so it’s more slimline to either stand upright in a large cupboard, utility room or to either tuck to onesie in your dining room. It’s extremely easy to use. In fact… one thing that I did forget to mention is that I put the whole thing together when it first arrived. I literally took it out of the box… read the instructions… & popped it all together! I NEVER build anything. I’m just not good at it. But this is so user friendly – that even I could do it!

I’m going to be reviewing this item over & over again, as… it grows with Seth!!! So… when we start using it as a separate table & chair – expect another review! The amazing thing is that we’ll be able to use it for snacks, meals & activities too. It’s such a good investment! Especially when you take into consideration that you can take the seat part off the frame & use as a travel high chair. Amazing!!!

We can also safely say that the comfort aspect of this highchair is top notch… since Seth even likes to fall asleep in it.


Thank you so much for reading & I hope you’ve found this review useful!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Melting Creations

14 May

Hi folks,

A few weeks ago I was sent some lovely eco friendly handmade soy wax melts to try. I do love a yummy fragrance engulfing my home.

These melts are handmade by a single, stay at home Mammy. The packaging isn’t fancy – to keep costs low. But, the product itself is so lovely that it doesn’t need to be wrapped up in a fancy box.

The scents I received:

Black Cherry

Dove

Parmaviolet

Cinnamon Apple

Candy Hearts

Angel Cake

Mango

The first scent I decided to try was Black Cherry. I popped two of the little melts in to my warmer. I decided to use two, simply as I like a stronger scent. The aroma was lovely. It almost had a ‘fizzy’ candy kind of smell. I’ve used these melts in my sitting room, but also in my kitchen to get rid of cooking smells. Honestly, these melts literally fill my whole house. Even with the door closed downstairs… I could smell it up in the bedrooms. None of the scents were too heavy either.


All of the other scents were just as lovely. If you’re looking for that fresh clean scent… then Dove is the one for you. Candy Hearts is just like a fizzy refresher sweet. Parmaviolet literally does just make you think of childhood sweets. Angel cake has that lovely home-baked fragrance. Mango is lovely & fruity for the Summer. Then last but not least – cinnamon apple made me think of cozy nights in & Christmas.

Now, we all know & have tried the big brand names when it comes to wax melts & candles. Yes… they are beautiful… but they can be rather pricey too. These little melts & bars are so easy on the purse strings. You could also buy a few packs & split into little parcels for Wedding Favours or Baby Shower Gifts. Or, with the end of term fast approaching – these little melts would make a lovely gift for your favourite teacher. A lot more diet friendly than a box of chocolates!

The wax bars are fantastic value for money as you can break them into 8 pieces. So essentially thats 8 melts for the price of 1 really. As they’re so affordable, you could also become really creative. You could buy a few bars & break them up & make some fragrance cocktails. Add a piece of this & a piece of that to create your own home fragrance! I mean… why not.

I love that this is a little family business & that Stacey get’s her kids involved too, with helping Mammy to add the stickers to the packets etc… Being a Mammy myself, I know just how much kids love to get involved. I mean, Seth is involved in so much of my work… & he loves it!

So, all in all… amazing little melts that are so affordable.  Also, with them being soy wax… they’re a lot more ‘safe’… Cleaner burning – no toxins, carcinogens or pollutants which means it’s less likely to trigger allergies. No petrol-carbon soot like you can get from petroleum-based paraffin candles. It’s also longer lasting  as soy wax burns cooler. Therefore you can enjoy soy wax melts for generally 30-50% longer than a paraffin based melt.

You can find Melting Creations on Facebook here & you can find them on Etsy here.

Coming soon… I shall be posting my London adventures very soon. The Mothercare A/W 2017 Press Show was utterly fantastic! I have some gorgeous pics of the new collections along with a summary of Clemmie Hoopers Q&A.

Thanks so much for reading folks!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Healthy Me… Healthy Family… Barefaced Groceries

1 Feb

Hi folks,

I’ve got a lovely little review for you. As all you know I’m a continuing weight battler… having lost 6 stone already… I’m in the throws of operation ‘lose baby weight’. I’ve always looked at these online sites that send you the ingredients with recipe cards to make like 3 or 4 meals. But I’ve always found them to be quite costly.

A few weeks back I stumbled upon a fab online grocery store called ‘Bearfaced Groceries’. They literally provide fantastic fresh food boxes. You can choose from a variety of boxes… all meat… slimmers… vegetarian… all fruit… or a fab mix of everything. Everything is Farm Fresh too!


I was so excited to receive my Bearefaced Box. I received the Deluxe Seasonal Box which is currently on offer for £50 from £100. So… what’s in the box?

  • 2kg of Chicken Breast Fillets
  • 250g Unsmoked Dry Cured Bacon
  • 2 8oz Grass Fed Rump Steaks
  • 4 Pork Loin Steaks
  • 5oog Grass Fed Lean Beef Mince
  • 4 Lamb Chops
  • 2 Skin on Haddock Fillets
  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 Pack of Watercress
  • 2 Packs of Coriander
  • 2 Garlic Bulbs
  • 2 Pieces of Ginger
  • 4 Golden Beetroot
  • 1 Turnip
  • Large Parsnips
  • 1 Large Cauliflower
  • 1 Large Broccoli
  • 2 XL Onions
  • 500g Mixed Carrots
  • 2 Large Leeks
  • Mixed Peppers
  • 5 Large White Potatoes
  • And… You get a £10 voucher off your next box!!!

You may not get recipe cards… but you can always check the recipes section on the their website for any hints or tips. Or… head on over to my weightloss journey page. I have had so much fun making some fab food with this box. It’s even better as I feel so confident using these products to make food for my little boy as it’s such good quality & super fresh! I was determined to not waste a single thing. So, I decided to use any leftover veggies to make homemade soups. That way I could batch cook & then freeze it. This was such a good idea. With all of these nasty bugs & viruses going around, I wanted to give us all a boost. Seth loved all of the soups I’ve made. Weaning has never been easier.

Having so many fresh ingredients at my finger tips has been so fantastic. Normally I buy a lot of frozen meats & vegetables to keep costs down. But these boxes are so affordable… especially with the massive discounts right now. I’ve made chicken curry, chilli, Moroccan stye lamb, bolognese, homemade burgers etc… Our food has been so colourful & aesthetically pleasing. 


The best thing about this boxes as there isn’t any contract or commitment you have to enter into. You literally just order what you want… when you want it! You can’t say fairer than that. If you’ve been inspired to order… which I hope you have… then just follow this link to receive £10 off your first order! So you could get the box I received for a mere £40!!! The meat alone comes to waaaaaaaay more than that in value. The meat is so well packaged too, that you can easily pop straight into the freezer. I split up a lot of the meats to freeze. That way it stays nice & fresh. Oh &… the way in which these boxes are packed is amazing!!! The food was cool & fresh with the help of fab packaging… lots of Cooke blocks & insulation. So you e no worry of your food arriving in tiptop condition!

So… what are you waiting for!? Order a box! Feed your family fresh, home cooked food that won’t cost the earth. I mean lets face it… everyone is on a budget these days… this company is seriously a find. I will be ordering more from this company. They’re real people offering real food & ingredients at fab prices. Gone are the days that we all have enough time to go buy fresh veg at the green groceries & locally sourced meats from the butchers. Well… I know I don’t have the time. My life is so full of Mammy-ing, work, baby groups, housework, socialising etc… I barely have time for anything else.

I hope you’ve found this blog useful!

Thanks as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx