Today I am throwing it back to a time, pre-children, where James and I would get all dressed up, go out for dinner and celebrate another Valentines Day spent together. It is safe to say this hasn’t happened for a few years now.
One of my goals for 2018, alongside ‘make myself a priority’, is to re-fall in love with James. Not that we have fallen out of love but we have definitely put our relationship on the back burner since having the girls. So when Debenhams got into contact to see if I wanted to get involved with their upcoming Valentines Day campaign I think I literally bit their hand off!
As part of the campaign they have treated James and I to a gift experience for two with over 990 experiences all over the UK. When I first saw the experiences to choose from I thought I would be all daring and book for us to do a bungee jump or a romantic horse ride through the new forest. But when I saw a one night stay with dinner at Shendish Manor I just knew this was the one for us! The thought of having an adult conversation over dinner, getting all dressed up (complete with no snot marks) and having a full nights sleep with no interruptions was just too good to pass up!! Plus Shendish Manor is the place we plan on having our wedding reception one day.
Now not only did Debenhams send us a gift experience but also a gift voucher to spend on their huge range of Valentines gifts. I honestly spent an age browsing trying to think of something to get the man who has everything! So I’ve thrown caution to the wind and treated myself. After all this is all about rediscovering us.
I shopped with our Valentines Day stay in mind. I treated myself to some new pyjamas for our overnight stay, my favourite ever perfume, a new top to wear to dinner, a new mascara and lipstick to help me feel a million dollars!
Thank you Debenhams for giving us the perfect chance to rediscover us! I am super excited for Valentines Day this year.
*I was kindly sent the gift experience and a gift card to spend from Debenhams. However all views are 100% my own*
*This is a collaborative post
I’m not sure if its just our house but James is a total scrooge when it comes to turning the heating on. If it was up to me it would be on all day every day! So I’ve had to come to some sort of compromise and come up with some other ideas to keep our home winter warm and in turn save money.
1. Use timers on your heating
We have the heating set up to come on first thing in the morning to take the edge off and in the evening. This way the girls are warm over bath time and before going to bed. Then most days we are at work so there is no need to be on. On the days we are at home I may manually pop it on for an hour!
2. Keep radiators uncovered
May seem like an obvious one but we really notice the difference if we have washing drying on them. Likewise with furniture like sofas or beds, don’t have them in front of the radiator or the heat cannot circulate.
3. Use your curtains
By closing your curtains in the evening you will be locking some of that heat in. But make sure you open them again in the morning to allow the sunlight to naturally warm the rooms.
4. Add texture
We have laminate flooring in our living room, which also happens to be the biggest room. By adding a rug it has really helped to keep the room warmer. We also have blankets on the sofa so that if we are feeling a little chilly we can wrap ourselves up! Soft furnishingswill help to make a room feel warmer too.
5. Maximise your insulation
Most heat is lost through the roof so by adding 25cm of insulation giant through your loft could help. But make sure you also insulate the loft hatch with the same self-adhesive strips you would use for windows and doors. Oh and check non of your roof tiles are missing or there would be no point in insulation. It is always worth checking with your energy supplier to see if they have any schemes running.
So this is how I keep our home winter warm. What are your top tips?
When I found out it was Afternoon Tea Week this week I almost wet myself. No joke I love afternoon tea! The thought of sitting in a cute setting surrounded by scones, cakes and tea makes me giddy!
So in celebration, here are my top 5 places for afternoon tea in Hertfordshire:
1. Church Farm, Ardeley
After a day exploring the farm animals and woodland play area, a good scone is much needed. And I am telling you these are the best scones I have ever tasted. Complete with fresh jam and cream from the farm! I can taste it as I type.
2. Molly’s Tea Room, Hitchin
My sister took me here for my birthday and it was my first experience of afternoon tea. I have been hooked ever since! It is such a dainty, florally setting which is how I imagine my kitchen would look if it wasn’t for James! The food is nothing too posh but delicious all the same. The staff are super lovely too!
3. Shendish Manor Hotel, Apsley
This is where I want to get married. The grounds are just stunning and their afternoon tea will be on my wedding menu for sure!
4. Orchard Tea Rooms, Shenley
I discovered this place completely by accident. It is situated in Shenley Park which is the cutest little place. There is a walled garden, fairy door trail and play area. Although I have not actually tried their scones I can tell you their breakfast is nice! Their scones are on my list.
5. Pendley Manor Hotel, Tring
Now this is another I have not actually tried but I plan to. The photos I have seen look delicious and I think I’m getting quite good at determining a good looking scone!
Are you an avid scone eater like me? Now I need to know.. cream or jam first? I personally cut the scone in half, slap some cream on and then smooth the jam on top!!
We all know that baby wipes are up there as the most used baby products. But for more than just baby related things. Like cleaning the whole house – apart from mirrors. Don’t do that it smears. Badly! Well after a twitter chat (#BabyHour every Thursday) Sophie and I reckon Sudocrem might just be up there with it. Here are other uses for Sudocrem:
- Nappy rash obvs 😉
- Put it on their neck when their dribbly to stop it becoming sore and smelly.
- Chapped lips? Sudocrem on overnight.
- Dark under eye circles? Sudocrem on overnight.
- Spots? Sudocrem on overnight.
- Chafe? Apply Sudocrem before, during and after.
- Shaving rash? Sudocrem.
- Dying your hair? Put Sudocrem around your hair line and on your ears!
- Face mask? Sudocrem once a month.
- Cracked heals? Sudocrem.
- Fake tanning? Apply to the palms of your hands and bottom of feet.
- Dogs – helps their skin to heal.
- Horses – mix with honey for nasty cuts.
- Horses – aftersun on their noses.
- Grazed knees & cuts.
- Nettle rash.
- Insect bites/stings.
- Keep scars dry in warmer weather.
- Small burns from straighteners, kettles and pans.
What other uses for Sudocrem would you add?
I’ve been quite enjoying Slimming World of late. But the one thing I struggle with is finding breakfasts that will fill me up without using both of my healthy extras. Porridge seems to keep me full for hours but then I struggle for options with lunch and dinner. So I have been on the hunt for slimming world breakfast ideas that use only one or none of my healthy extras.
Slimming World Breakfast Ideas Using No Healthy Extras
All you need is 4 large eggs, a dash of milk and some muffin cases. Add any fillings you like and BAM you have a completely syn free breakfast. They are freezer friendly and can be a perfect snack to keep in the fridge too! Two Hearts One Roof has a recipe if you fancy giving them a try.
Fruit & Yogurt
Exactly what it says on the tin. An apple dipped in a toffee mullerlight feels like a bit of a treat. Gives that bit of crunch and is completely syn free and lots of speed!
I tend to save this for the weekend so that I feel like I’m being a bit naughty. Aldi low fat pork sausages are the closest I’ve found to a proper sausage and are only 2 syns each. A lower syn sausage that I don’t mind the taste of are Heck Chicken Italia sausages at 0.5 syns each!
Yet to try this because to me this is more of a lunch or dinner than a breakfast. But it can be syn free and no need to use either of your healthy extras.
Slimming World Breakfast Ideas Using Only 1 Healthy Extra
This can totally be made using neither of your healthy extras but I love to put a bit of cheese in my omelettes. Just gives it more of a flavour! Ham and cheese are my favourite fillings with a bit of spring onion for speed.
Baked oats (HEXB)
I tried these for the first time the other day with the other half of the mullerlight drizzled on top and OH. MY. GOODNESS. Why had I never tried this before? I add fruit to the finished product instead of in the recipe to save on syns!
Beans/egg on toast/sandwich (HEXB)
Even throw a bit of bacon in to make it more exciting. Scrambled eggs on toast reminds me of my childhood so its a real comfort for me! So makes the perfect slimming world breakfast in my opinion.
Overnight oats (HEXB)
One of my favourite slimming world breakfast choices! I love the texture of this. My favourite toppings/fillings is a vanilla mullerlight and strawberries!
Oat Pancakes (HEXB)I am a massive pancake lover yet I haven’t tried these yet! Definitely one for this weekend. I’m going to try this delicious looking recipe from Frugal Family.
What are your go to slimming world breakfast recipes? Or do you have a recipe that can be adapted to suit the plan?