Category: lifestyle

Blogging Goals for 2017

Blogging Goals for 2017

I’ve been in and out of this blogging game for quite a while now. A good few years. To start with I worked with bloggers to build my brand, then dipped my toe in the water for a bit, stepped back and focused on other […]

2016 in Pictures | A Year of Change

2016 in Pictures | A Year of Change

I thought, as the year draws to a close I would write a little annual summary. It’s fair to say, I think, that 2016 has been a year of unexpected changes for us as well as a time for achieving things I never thought  I […]

Help a Homeless Person this Christmas

Help a Homeless Person this Christmas

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Last year, as I walked through our town centre with arms filled with Christmas shopping and treats I passed a young homeless woman. I was taken aback by how much seeing her sat there, her pet ferret huddled in her jumper, got to me. Christmas is a time for family and it struck me as a I struggled up the high street with my bags how lucky the majority of us here are to be able to spend the festive season with our loved ones, cosy and indoors being spoiled with love and gifts while there were people just like that lady who would likely spend the holidays trying to keep warm on cold winters days and nights with barely any belongings, no warm dinner to go home to and the sole company of her beloved pet.  Half way up the road I stopped in my tracks. What was I doing? I couldn’t just walk past this vulnerable person like everyone else was doing and forget about her once I was home. So I turned around, headed for Superdrug and filled a basket with things that would make her winter a little easier. I chose practically as well as adding a few treats from me to her and spent around £20. I left the shop and said ‘Happy Christmas’ as I handed her the bag. With that, I continued walking through the centre with that feeling you get when you know that even if just a tiny bit, you’ve made a difference to someone’s day.

This year, I will be doing the same and I’d love it if this post encouraged just one reader to help a homeless person this Christmas. If you’re stuck on what to include in your bag, here are some ideas.

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S O M E T H I N G  T O  K E E P  W A R M

A wooly hat & gloves

Hand warmers

Socks

A blanket

S O M E T H I N G  T O  E A T

Sandwiches (homemade or shop bought)

Cheese & Crackers

Biscuits

H Y G I E N E  P R O D U C T S

Sanitary Towels

Toilet Roll

Wet wipes

Deodorant

Toothbrush & paste

Dry shampoo

A C H R I S T M A S  T R E A T

A large bar of chocolate

A lipstick or nail varnish

A Gift Voucher for a café or a supermarket

 

For more ways on how you could help a homeless person this Christmas, visit the Crisis UK website.

Christmas Crafts | Festive Hot Chocolate Stirrers

Christmas Crafts | Festive Hot Chocolate Stirrers

Ah it’s that time of year again where I get to to get a bit creative with decorations and gifts. This year we’re hosting Christmas dinner and so I wanted to give our guests a little something as an after dinner treat. On the hunt […]

Christmas Markets in Kent and why everyone should pay them a visit

Christmas Markets in Kent and why everyone should pay them a visit

I do love a good Christmas Market! Sean and I have been to two already this year and I am seriously working my diary around the upcoming ones local to us. Here’s a list of Christmas Markets in Kent for my local readers and a […]

Winter Warming Comfort Food | Beef Stew & Dumplings

Winter Warming Comfort Food | Beef Stew & Dumplings

You know those evenings when all you want to do is wrap yourself up on the sofa, light the candles on the fireplace and sit in front of the TV with a big bowl of comfort food to warm your belly? This is one of my all time favourite dinners that my Mum would make when I was little. Over the years I’ve adapted the recipe and added my own little take on it. It takes just 10 minutes to prepare and is perfect for popping in the oven and getting on with some work or watching a movie. You could also cook this in the slow cooker but obviously it’s going to take a lot longer.

Ingredients:

400g Diced Braising Steak

4 carrots

1 onion

1 cup of mushrooms

Half of one suede

2 tbsp Tomato Puree

1 garlic clove chopped and crushed

3 tbsp Bisto Gravy Granules

300ml cold water

For the Dumplings:

50g Atora Suet (vegetable or beef)

100g self raising flour

5 tbsp cold water

Plus add your choice of boiled or baked potatoes or crusty bread to serve.

Step One: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.

Step Two: Chop your carrots, mushrooms, suede and onions. You’ll want fairly chunky vegetables so don’t chop them too finely. Place them into your casserole dish along with the diced beef, tomato puree and the garlic and stir.

Step Three: Add the Bisto Gravy Granuals and stir once again before adding the water to your dish. And yep, you guessed it, stir one more time before popping it in the oven for 1 hour 40 minutes.

Step Four: Making the dumplings. The messy bit! Remove the stew from your oven and stir. Combine the flour, water and suet in a separate bowl and stir until you achieve a firm but soft dough. Separate into six to eight balls and drop them into your casserole dish. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes.

Step Five: Remove your stew from the oven and serve with crusty bread or boiled or baked potatoes for the ideal belly warming tea.

If like us, there’s only two of you at home, stick to the recipe and then freeze the half you don’t eat for those evenings when you just cba to cook. You’ll need to defrost it fully at room temperature, then you can reheat in the microwave or oven until piping hot throughout for a super quick meal. Plus you might just save a few pennies too!

I’d love to hear from you if you make this recipe at home. :)

Beef Stew and Dumplings

 

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We Moved Out!

We Moved Out!

So… here are we then! After the most bonkers and busy 7 days, here I am sitting on the floor of our new Sofa-less Living Room in our new home wondering how on earth I managed to pull off such a hectic week with hardly […]

Summer Reflections & Looking Forward to Autumn

Summer Reflections & Looking Forward to Autumn

Well it seems Autumn has made a quick and sudden arrival this year. It was almost as though the clock ticked over into September 1st and  over night the flipflop and ice cream weather was replaced by drizzle and leaf fall. Not to mention the […]