Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Flippin' Fantastic! Giveaway with Abra-Ca-Debora!

Abra-Ca-Debora! have been REALLY brilliant and given me the chance to offer one of my lucky followers a wonderful pancake Hamper!






Abra-Ca-Debora offer a fuss free way to enjoy your pancakes and just worry about what you put inside, whether it be traditional lemon and sugar or something more adventurous!
The possibilities are simply endless and with no hassle of cooking the pancakes, Abra-Ca-Debora make eating them even more fun!
  How do you  like your pancakes? Are you a sweet or a savoury fan?


Whilst you are at it nip on over to their Facebook page and have a go on the Flip the Pancake game! You can win awesome goodies!


Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter and woo hoo you are in!

Happy Filling!

Just Fill in the Rafflecopter and Good Luck!


Terms and Conditions
  • open to over 18's only
  • open to UK residents only
  • The mandatory blog comment entry must be completed for others entries to be valid.
  • The prize consists of a Abra-Ca-Debora Hamper and will be supplied by Abra-Ca-Debora. No alternatives are available.
  • The winner will be contacted by me shortly after the draw closes to obtain details so that Abra-Ca-Debora may arrange their prize.
  • The winner must respond within 7 days or a new winner will be drawn.
  • The draw closes at 11.59 on the 02/03/2014




a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://www.theprizefinder.com/

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

MAD AWARDS 2014

The MADS are the UK's biggest and best awards for Mum and Dad bloggers and it is that season to nominate! (Hasn't it come around quickly again!)

There are literally thousands upon thousands of amazing, inspirational and fantastic blogs out there and this gives you the chance to vote for 1 or all categories you fancy:

http://www.the-mads.com/vote/

There are quite a few choices, so you have to work out from your favourite blogs who would fit best where!

I nominated in all Categories and it is hard as I love so many - some didn't fit in at all so I'm hoping for a few more different choices next year!

So if you know and love a great blog with amazing photos or a wonderfully written - can't - get - through - my - day - without - it type blog then this is your opportunity to say 







Happy Nominating and to all the nominees HUGE Congrats!






MAD Blog Awards

Monday, 24 February 2014

Lighter Life Fast - Week 3

I have just completed my 3rd weigh in so really I am just going in to my third week but so far it has been really good and I am enjoying it so much!

I lost 4.5 pounds in the first week and 2.5 this week (half term and I was slack) but half a stone so far so I'm thrilled!

I have added what I have eaten from the LighterLife Fast range to the main post so you can read it HERE

Thankfully this week I asked my good friend Gerty Schnim to come and guest Vlog and explain the science bit in more detail so please watch at your leisure and enjoy!
Underneath are some useful links and some before and after 3 week pics! I'm sure I can see some difference!













LighterLife Fast
LighterLife Magazine
LighterLife Group (FREE Consultation)

LighterLife FAST Exclusively at Superdrug


So after my previous shocking photographic evidence that I in fact ate Cadburys and they were not taken over by Kraft at all, I am half a stone down and feeling a lot less wobbly which is amazing!

I am feeling very motivated by the great start and as Lighterlife Fast & Intermittent fasting is not really a diet but a eating lifestyle.
Scientific research (which is ongoing) shows improvement in various ways to your system not just weight loss but also in cholesterol, bloods and heart health!

The 5:2 Phenomena.

This is really quite amazing and makes very good sense. The basic principle is that you eat normally for 5 days and fast for two. Now this is not a starvation diet - you do eat but it very controlled for the 2 days at 500 - 600 calories.
The science behind this actually shows that you do not try and over compensate on your 'off' days but in fact the human body will tend to eat less!

I couldn't possibly write about everything here but you can watch the programme that started it all on Horizon at the link below. It is extremely interesting and well worth an hour of your time!

Eat, Fast and Live Longer - Horizon


VOTE FOR ME BiB 2014 VIDEO

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Facing Isolation

How do you imagine your later years of your life?

Surrounded by family? In a home?

Do you ever consider being alone for days with only your TV, Pet or window for stimulation.....

It is a harsh reality and a damn scary one at that!

Unfortunately it is very true and facing thousands of our elderly everyday on a street near you.



My Mum was a perfect example, as a young woman she was very active. Playing piano, painting, cookery and then a family of 3 girls. Very active within the community and always attended village events on a regular basis. A family trait which we all seem to do is to make costumes; both my Nan and Mum were really good at making fancy dress and running events (so I suppose that is where I've got it from!) so there was never a dull moment.

In later life she became ill with COPD and heart failure. She couldn't walk and so became housebound. I was here as her carer and also a Mum to a growing boy, so times when maybe I should have been sat with her, I was with him playing and being a Mum myself.
It was a huge bone of contention, an elephant in the room that I didn't spend enough time just talking.
As time passed she became more bitter and the less she saw of people the more introvert she got, so when people did pop in she was miserable and antagonistic. Eventually albeit 2 old friends, nobody came.

Now this could be put down to her and how she had become but other people's lives and their own age/illness obviously plays a factor. So her friends were getting on and health not at it was - you cannot expect them to pop in on a regular basis - but I do wish some of them had.

Her carers that came to wash her (she didn't like me to do it and I wasn't arguing about that!) just did not have the time to sit and chat with her which is all really that she wanted. Tom & Magda her favourites always made time and were a delight to her. They made her last year a real pleasure every time they were on shift but 15 - 30 minutes; really is just no time at all.



So what is the answer?

I received an email today - it is highlighting a grant system that has been put in place for anyone that can make realised an idea to stop social deprivation and isolation in the elderly. It has to be sustainable and profit making.
I cannot think how this real social issue can be solved.

Everyone is so busy, Everybody needs to work to be able to put food on their own table! Yet there are so many fantastic volunteers within our country without whom I have no doubt this country would cease to function.
 They are our backbone and the underbelly of every community. Just sit there for 2 minutes and think how much is achieved just in your road/village/town by those that give just their time and energy to help where it is needed. Now think what you wouldn't have if those people just .... stopped.

I don't have an idea, I wish to God I did.

We are all getting older, and I would like to think by the time I need to be washed (heaven forbid) something will be in place.
I have my doubts.

What do you think could be done?
How would you solve this issue?

I would really like to hear  your views.



Saturday, 15 February 2014

Winter Warmer Recipe - Get in a Stew!

It is wet, It is cold, It is damp and it is MISERABLE! No I'm not talking about our government. I am of course referring to the wonderful weather we are experiencing!

I don't know about you but it makes me want to eat all those things that bring back memories of comfort and being soothed when times are hard.



Of course I am on my calorie controlled diet so however much I would like to sit down with oodles of rice pudding and crisps and chocolate and spud and butter and... and

You know the routine!

BUT that doesn't mean I can't cook something wholesome, filling and weather resistant!

The Co-operative Electrical are running a rather lovely competition to get us cooking those recipes that give a glow inside and make us feel all 'homely' so I just had to have a go! You can win an amazing £750 to spend with them in their electrical shop and there is even a £250 second prize!




I started to think about what meals I have loved in my life and only one really stands out and it would have to be my Mum's Beef Stew in a Woolly Jumper! Now that doesn't mean you have to wear a jumper to eat it, no; it is a stew that is then baked with a lower fat lighter alternative to dumplings - crust on the top.

I started to think about Mum and her wonderful cookery - she was a very old fashioned country cook. Born into a time of austerity and using everything you have.
1939 she was evacuated down from East London and lived with a couple that brought her up for the rest of her life. A very Darling Buds of May existence ensued and it really was a case of lashings and lashings of ginger Beer and rice pudding.




'Nan' as my Mum referred to her adoptive Mum, baked in ENORMOUS quantities - from cook books I have of hers it is 2LBS of Butter 12 eggs etc etc half a lorry load of flour! Her recipes were incredible.
Mum had Nan's habits and made huge meals, Sunday roasts were always a mountain and scones and sponges poured out of her kitchen. Summer always made room for the amount of Jam and raw tomato chutney that filled every surface!

Mum's Stew is just bliss, I didn't eat meat for a long time and so she made a vege version and it was as good! I am so glad I found out how she got the flavour before she died as her other recipes have unfortunately, now gone with her. She cooked from memory and hardly ever wrote down methods or amounts.
I do however still have her cookery bible as you can see very well used!






So on to food....

Beef Stew...

You need

Scales
A good pan that you can SCRUB (reasons why in a sec!)
casserole dish
mixing bowl
frying pan

over preheat to 150c Fan assisted or 170c conventional oven
Gas mark 3.5


Ingredients
Fry light
500g Lean Stewing Steak / Slow Cook Beef
400g old potatoes
22g plain flour (for tossing beef)
100g carrots
100 Onion
300 swede

Woolly Jumper Topping

170 ml 1% fat milk
225g plain flour
10g baking powder
salt pepper
Cheese if required (150g)

Seasoning
onion salt
cayenne pepper
black / white pepper

Method

Cut the beef into bite size chunks and remove any visible fat/tendons
peel and chop the potatoes
" Swede
" Carrots
" Onion

Toss the beef into the seasoned flour

Spray fry light into the frying pan (judge amount I used about 5-10) heat the pan and brown the beef off. Set aside.

In your saucepan add the very well rinsed potatoes (to remove as much starch as possible) and half fill the pan with cold water.
Bring to boil add the browned beef and rest of chopped veg cover bring back to boil and simmer for one hour only stirring once or twice.


 The stew MUST burn on the bottom of the pan!



Add your gravy granules or stock stir well and pour the stew into the casserole dish and set aside.



In the mixing bowl add the 225g flour, baking powder, seasoning and cheese if desired (leave a little cheese for top if you decide to use it) mix in the milk until you get a runny sticky dough.

pour or spoon the dough on to the top of the stew, even out and then pop in the preheated oven for about 20 - 30 mins or until top is golden brown. It will not rise.

Serve with your favourite veg! Enjoy!



This comes in at 239.5 cals a portion and only 3g fat - this serves 8!
Freezer friendly

Of course if you are not worried about calorific content then serve a huge portion in a bowl with crusty buttered bread!!

I would freeze the stew and make the topping as and when required - using the above amounts as a guide depending on the amounts.

What are your favourite winter meals? How do you warm yourself up? Do you stay healthy or do you think what the heck and pack it full of calories?!

Have a go at the competition yourself, you can find out all the rules of entry here.







Monday, 10 February 2014

In Floods of Tears

I've been sitting and waiting.

Nothing.

Over Christmas I couldn't watch one single programme without seeing a cry for help from a charity. I found it depressing, not the ads (well actually some of them) but of the amount that all need funding so desperately.

Evan made comments too, he kept saying he didn't want to see them. I said we have to or how else do we know what is happening but we both agreed that the advertising campaigns themselves were just too depressing. I would like to see video of those that it has helped, how they have involved themselves and that is not turning my back that is just wanting to see proactive accomplishment.

I fund raise I know what it is like and I know how hard it is.

That is why I am so angry and quite simply puzzled as to lack of interaction on TV and the press in regard to a donation line. I moaned about it today on my Facebook and then thought why am I moaning? That wasn't going to do anything so I googled Somerset County Council and spoke to a really nice guy there called Greg. I explained I wanted to do something even if only to get the word out and he was fab.
They have an emergency flood appeal already SO WHY DO WE NOT KNOW THIS?

DONATE HERE or text NOAH95 to send £10 to 70070

Why is there no flood appeal on TV.

It is not just Somerset but Cornwall, Devon, Berks, Hants, Surrey etc etc

This is not ending with more and more rain forecast it is going to get worse before anyone can even start to rebuild their lives, homes and businesses.

It is shocking that there is no main single Flood appeal being organised!

Come on Red Cross Come on Oxfam Come on DEC!!

Do Something!

Please bloggers out there if this has stirred anything write a post DEMAND SOME ACTION AND HELP THOSE IN NEED IN OUR BACK YARD.





You might not be aware of how left and alone they are - but they are! They have lost everything and there is no QUICK FIX! No insurance companies are going to pay out quick enough to replace clothes, food, transport anything.... now with the welfare reforms there are no Crisis loans/budgeting/ community loans for emergencies. 

We need to act and we need to act now.

Please share this post where you can.


LighterLife Fast - Diet week 1 Eating Plan

Read my first few days here

The post is long so on a sub page :) Please feel free to comment here though!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Giveaway - Treats for Little Ones!

Not to be outdone I have a little giveaway for those readers with young 'uns!

A lovely Gift set comprising of  a book and cuddly toy - Don't Worry Hugless Douglas and a rather amazing little contraption - an hour glass watch, a way to start your children off knowing how much time they have before they can read time!





Just Fill in the Rafflecopter and Good Luck!
Terms and Conditions
  • open to over 13's only
  • open to UK residents only
  • The mandatory blog comment entry must be completed for others entries to be valid.
  • The prize consists of 1st Prize gift set and watch 2nd prize an hour glass watch.
  • The winner will be contacted by me shortly after the draw closes to obtain details.
  • The winner must respond within 7 days or a new winner will be drawn.
  • The draw closes at midnight on the 14th Feb 2014
  • 1st prize winner can choose colour of watch


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

Giveaway - His & Her Treats!

I thought it would be nice to give away some treats as a prize so up for grabs is a Cadbury With Love heart and a Jelly Belly set!
As I'm on a diet I thought I would live vicariously through you guys!




Just Fill in the Rafflecopter and Good Luck!


Terms and Conditions
  • open to over 13's only
  • open to UK residents only
  • The mandatory blog comment entry must be completed for others entries to be valid.
  • The prize consists of a Jelly Belly Gift set and Cadbury Heart
  • The winner will be contacted by me shortly after the draw closes to obtain details.
  • The winner must respond within 7 days or a new winner will be drawn.
  • The draw closes at midnight on the 14th Feb 2014




a Rafflecopter giveaway
Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com