Monday, 31 July 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 31st July

We are now on week 2 of our childminders holiday, so I am off back to work, and Paul is taking the week off with Zoe. So this week's meal plan will be a bit disjointed, with planning for all three of us eating at different times/places.


Breakfast: Cereal for Zoe and Paul, I will have porridge at work.
Lunch: Zoe is deep in a jam sandwich addiction right now, so no doubt that will feature heavily this week for her. I usually buy a large pot of soup which lasts a couple of days lunches.
Dinner: Leftover roast chicken egg fried rice.


Breakfast:Cereal for Zoe and Paul, I will have porridge at work.
Lunch: Paul is planning lots of day trips and picnics this week, so we have lots of picnic things like Babybel cheese, mini cheddars, veggie sticks, hummus etc... I'll be having the second half of the soup.
Dinner: Slow cooked beef stew


Breakfast: Cereal for Zoe and Paul, I will have porridge at work.
Lunch: Leftover beef stew with bread and butter for all.
Dinner: Paul and Zoe are going to have a freezer tea (fish fingers) and I will make myself a jacket potato when I get home.


Breakfast: Cereal for Zoe and Paul, I will have porridge at work.
Lunch: Paul is taking Zoe on a playdate to the Discovery Museum, so packed lunches it'll be! I will probably turn to one of the naked noodle pots I have stashed at work.
Dinner: Bangers and mash with veg and gravy


Breakfast: We are all off together today, so I think so treat Maple Syrup Pancakes might be in order.
Lunch: I'd love for us to go down to the coast as a family today, so will take a packed lunch and some pennies for ice cream.
Dinner: Pesto pasta with bacon and garlic bread.

What is everyone else eating this week? Don't forget you can grab my free PRINTABLE MEAL PLANNER over on last week's Meal Plan Like a Boss post.

What's on your meal plan this week?


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Fluffy Maple Pancakes - The perfect family breakfast.

Pancakes are the ultimate treat breakfast in my house, reserved for birthdays and special occasions. I mean if it was up to me I'd make them all the damn time, I am fairly certain I could meal plan a full week based on pancakes alone. However, I am a firm believer that too much of a good thing can spoil it, plus I love how excited Zoe gets at the mention of pancakes.

I am usually a pretty traditional lemon and sugar type of gal on the crepe-style pancakes, however if there is maple syrup in the equation then it HAS to be fluffy American style pancakes. You need the thickness to soak up all that delicious syrup.

We were staying with my Auntie last weekend down in Suffolk, and she had been given some maple syrup by some Canadian friends, so I offered to make pancakes for everyone, with either bacon or strawberries. I didn't think Zoe would like the smoked bacon, which is why we had some strawberries, but honestly it was nice to start with the savoury bacon and end with the strawberry - sort of like breakfast dessert! Not that there were many strawberries left once Zoe had clocked them.

I don't have a dining table at home, so being away at a house with a dining room was a bit of a treat. I used to LOVE weekend breakfasts as a kid, we would lay out lots of cereal and toast and toppings, tea and coffee and juice. It felt like a real treat - parents reading the paper, and just time to chat and relax as a family. One day I would love to live somewhere with room for a dining table and recreate this moment with my family.

Its so funny the things you remember as a kid, I am sure my parents didn't think those breakfasts would stick in my mind so much. I do wonder which moments Zoe is going to remember as an adult.

So, to the recipe;


this recipe served 3 adults and one toddler, made around 8 pancakes

280g Plain Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
45g Caster Sugar
2.5 tablespoon (plus extra for serving) Maple Syrup
250ml milk (you can use any type of milk, I opted for semi-skimmed, but have made them with Almond and Hazelnut before)
2 Free Range Eggs
30g Butter, Melted
small amount for frying Oil or butter

1. This is really just a chuck it all in a bowl and whisk kind of recipe, I tend to measure out all of the wet then add the dry to it, but honestly as long as you whisk all the lumps out, go wild.

2. You need a good non stick frying pan, warm up some oil or butter (your choice, coconut oil is nice) and ladle mixture into the pan, tip the pan a little to allow the mixture to spread. I find for the thicker pancakes, cooking at a lower temperature for longer works best. I have a gas hob at home, but found the electric at my aunties house MUCH better for this - low and slow.

3. Repeat step two until all the mixture is gone, and serve with whatever toppings you like!

What toppings do you like on your pancakes? I am partial to warm caramelised banana or Nutella for sure. I am always looking for ideas though.


Monday, 24 July 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 24th July

This week I am off work (mostly) with Zoe, my Childminder takes two weeks holiday in the summer, so I am off this week and then Paul is off next week (the reality of working parents who never get to spend holidays together). Its actually really rare for me to cook a full week of toddler friendly food, so wish me luck!

It is also delightfully the last week of a very expensive month so frugal is the theme.


I am at work for part of the day, so will need easy things that can be prepared ahead of time.

Breakfast: Cereal and fruit for Zoe, coffee and toast for me.
Lunch: Homemade leek and potato soup with bread
Dinner: Tuna pasta bake


Breakfast: Cereal and fruit for Zoe, coffee and toast for me.
Lunch: Leftover pasta bake
Dinner: Salmon pad thai


We are spending the day in York visiting friends so will be eating out, as we are being frugal I will pack lots of snacks and maybe some sandwiches for lunch. We will eat breakfast before we go.


Breakfast: Cereal and fruit for Zoe, coffee and toast for me.
Lunch: Pitta pineapple pizzas.
Dinner: Butter chicken with rice


Breakfast: Cereal and fruit for Zoe, coffee and toast for me.
Lunch: Cheese toasties with carrot and cucumber fingers
Dinner: Mini roast chicken dinner.

What is everyone else eating this week? Don't forget you can grab my free PRINTABLE MEAL PLANNER over on last week's Meal Plan Like a Boss post.

What's on your meal plan this week?


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Blogger Pre-School Playdate @ Role Play in Hebburn

Play dates and two year olds are a volatile combination.

I have this rose tinted idea of what I want a play date to be; sipping coffee and catching up with friend while our little darlings play nicely nearby. Being able to hold an adult conversation and hear all about your friends new job, or new house, or even just chat about last nights gripping BBC drama (The Replacement, anyone watch it?)

However, this is rarely the reality, you inevitably end up chasing your child around some warehouse style play place, which has a ridiculous number of possible escape routes or dangers. Or your child insists that you go down the slide with them every single time, or wants you to hang out in the ball pool and watch them jump in and out 24,000 times - "look mummy, I'm jumping".

Don't get me wrong I adore playing with my child, we often go to these places just the two of us, or to the park, but sometimes you really just want to catch up with friends and drink coffee that is still warm.

So, when the lovely Nyomi from Nomipalony organised a playdate for local bloggers with pre-school aged children, I was a bit skeptical. I mean, yeah, it would be lovely to get to know other local bloggers better, but is that even possible while chasing down a toddler? However, I was pleasantly surprised by Role Play in Hebburn, which was the venue chosen. I'd heard about a few different role play style places around the local area but never explored them.

Roleplay is total play date heaven. There is a cluster of cafe tables running down the middle of the room, with a series of stations around the outside, from a construction site, to a police station - a supermarket to a hairdressers. Each play session is 90 minutes long, and during that time I got to sit and drink a hot coffee, eat a sausage sandwich and chat to lots of lovely bloggers - all whilst Zoe played happily with other children, staying completely in view the entire time! She would pop up every few minutes for juice, or to show me something, or to have a dance to the disney hit playing in the background.

My only minor negative would be the quality of the coffee, you guys know me and my coffee snobbery though. The sausage sandwich however, was top notch.

We had a lovely time and Zoe slept most of the way home in the sling. We will be back soon for a visit.

It is £4 for a 90 minute session during term time, or £5 on weekends or holidays. The spaces are limited so its never super crowded, which is a bonus if you've ever been to a soft play during a rainy school holiday.

Check out their website for more info.

I visited Role Play back in March 2017, just was slightly delayed in posting this. I was given free entry but was not asked to do a review and all views are my own, obvs.


Monday, 10 July 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 9th July

Despite taking an impromptu break from blogging, I have still been meal planning, mostly. I have weeks where I am ON IT and I feel great, then weeks when I am lazy and tired and wing it. My observations are that winging it is more expensive and often more fatty convenience food is consumed; you know how it is.

So anyway, this week is a bit of a short on in terms of cooking for me, as I am at a friends wedding then travelling down to Suffolk to visit family for the weekend...


Breakfast: Porridge and fruit
Lunch: Soup with avocado toast.
Dinner: Homemade beef stew.


Breakfast: Porridge and fruit
Lunch: Soup and avocado toast
Dinner: Teriyaki Salmon with wholegrain rice and quinoa


I am at a wedding, so will be eating fancy food at Doxford Hall, I can't remember what I picked, probably chicken or beef.


I am travelling down south, so no doubt will pick up a McDonalds, which is road trip tradition right? We are setting off near bedtime to try and make it as painless as possible and to also avoid the newly potty trained toddler needing to stop every 30 minutes (she still wears pull ups at night)


I am visiting family, so not in control of the meal planning, we usually do some cooking and baking though, which will be fun!

What is everyone else eating this week? Don't forget you can grab my free PRINTABLE MEAL PLANNER over on last week's Meal Plan Like a Boss post.

What's on your meal plan this week?


Sunday, 9 July 2017

Oh hey, fancy seeing you here.

Well well well, it's been a while huh?

I would usually start a post like this with an apology, an apology for lack of posts, or for being quiet, but you know what? I needed a break. I have been blogging for just shy of 8 years, and I was feeling like I was done, like I had nothing to say anymore. I took a step back, but couldn't quite bring myself to cancel my domain subscription.

I still LOVE blogs, I read a lot, but I still felt like my voice was feeling inauthentic, quiet, and lacking focus.

Did my break resolve those feelings? No, probably not. However, I did realise that I miss doing this. I miss sharing my life and my thoughts in this way, it is something I love doing so I decided to push back the self doubt and do this just for me. Don't worry I will try not to bore you with incessant naval gazing and pondering of the meaning of life. It'll be the usual yummy recipes, glimpses of life and family fun, and sharing family memories.

So, without further ado...

P.S How have you been?! What have you been up to? Tell me everything I missed!

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