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November 2017

Christmas Buffet – Slimming World Style

One of the biggest problems I face at Christmas is the Christmas buffet table.
It’s so easy to keep going back and filling up your plate that you can eat hundreds of syns without even thinking about it.

Christmas Buffet Slimming World Style

Christmas Buffet

I decided that I wanted to be better prepared this year. I’ve collected lots of different ideas from Pinterest and the Slimming World website to create 24 Slimming World Buffet Ideas.
Some are old favourites, such as Scotch Eggs and crustless quiche while others are new to me, like the lamb koftas and sweet potato pakoras.

New Recipe Daily

Like my Christmas Craft advent, last year, I’ll be posting a new recipe every day starting tomorrow and ending Christmas Eve.

Here are the Christmas Buffet recipes you can look forward to:

1st December – Paprika Wedges with Tomato & Basil Dip
2nd December – Ham & Broccoli Quiche
3rd December – Garlic & Herb Dip With BLT Bites
4th December – Chicken Satay Skewers
5th December – Scotch Eggs
6th December – Tuna Pasta Salad
7th December – Lamb Kofta With Mint Yogurt Dressing
8th December – Devilled Eggs
9th December – Prawn Salad Bites
10th December – Coleslaw
11th December – Sweet Potato Pakoras
12th December – Loaded Potato Skins
13th December – Soy & Honey Chicken
14th December – Garlic & Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes
15th December – Bacon & Tomato Puff Pastry Swirls
16th December – Lemon Drizzle Muffins
17th December – Stuffed Strawberries
18th December – Mini Meringues With Raspberry
19th December – Crispy Chocolate Christmas Puddings
20th December – Filo Pastry Mince Pies
21st December – Brownie Bites
22nd December – Strawberry Santas
23rd December – Berry Fruit Trifle
24th December – Homemade Baileys

I hope you enjoy all the Christmas Buffet recipes. Let me know if there are any you particularly enjoy – I have to say, I LOVE the homemade Baileys!

Please note: I’ve lost 7 and a half stone with Slimming World and kept it off for four years, however, I’m not a Slimming World consultant. I haven’t been trained and I’m not affiliated with Slimming World so please check all your own syn values.

Lunch At Windmill Farm Carvery, Lincoln

I have just enjoyed a wonderful afternoon having lunch at Windmill Farm with some of the lovely Slimming World ladies and I just had to share the photos with you.

Windmill Farm Lincoln

Windmill Farm

I’m going to be honest from the start and tell you that my meal was in no way Slimming World friendly! Instead of the carvery, where I could have made good Slimming World choices (like all the other ladies did!) I chose to have fish, chips and mushy peas.
I realllllyyyy enjoyed it!
It cost £7.99 for a small portion but don’t be fooled by the word, ‘small’. It was a generous portion and I’m glad I picked the small because I wouldn’t have been able to eat the large.

Fish, chips and mushy peas at Windmill Farm Lincoln
Totally forgot to take a photo so this is after I’d eaten half of it!

The ladies all had a standard carvery for £6.49 and they were all very impressed with the amount of meat they were given. Everyone really enjoyed their meals.


We all decided to have a dessert and I was going to have ice cream. That was until I saw the cakes on offer!
The display cakes were huge and I assumed it was an exaggerated display to get people to buy them.

When I heard people gasping as our waitress approached our table with 2 of the desserts,  I looked up and I really couldn’t believe my eyes.

They were, in fact, HUGE!

Our waitress informed us that boxes were available so we could take home what we couldn’t eat!

The thing that amazed me the most was that these desserts were under a fiver. Mine cost £4.49 and was totally delicious. I had toffee cheesecake and it was served with toffee sauce and a piece of waffle.

Toffee cheesecake at Windmill Farm

One of the ladies had Mars Attack chocolate cake…

Mars attack cake at Windmill Farm

and two of them had a chocolate eclair

Chocolate eclair at Windmill Farm

The other 2 ladies had ice cream and said it was delicious.

Booked to go again!

The staff were all lovely and made us feel very welcome. We arrived before 12 and didn’t leave until 3 and we never once felt rushed.

We’re going again in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait! I’m going to have the carvery next time and for pudding, I’m going to try an ice cream sundae 🙂

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Christmas Gift Guide For Tween Girls

Kaycee (12) and Ella (10) are at the age where it’s getting hard to buy Christmas gifts for them. Toys don’t cut it anymore! Now they’re into YouTube stars I’ve never heard of, pop groups I don’t know and collectable things that are a mystery to me (LOL dolls?!)

Tween girls can be hard to buy for so here are a few ideas I’ve picked up from listening to my 2 🙂

Christmas Gifts For Tween Girls


One thing both girls love to do now they’re older is to go shopping with their friends. A favourite shop of Ella’s is Smiggle and I know she’d have a wonderful time choosing her goodies!

Tween girls gift guide


LOL Dolls

I mentioned the LOL Dolls earlier. I saw them a few months ago but didn’t know anything about them. Ella told me what they actually were and she was kind enough to direct me to lots of YouTube videos!

They’re collectable dolls that come in a ball and you have to peel off the layers to find the surprises. There are also little sister dolls that have a present for their big sister in their ball.
I’ve seen a giant version for sale but instead of having a really big sister inside, it has lots of regular big sisters, apparently (I’m still really not sure what I’m talking about…..maybe I should have got Ella to write this bit for me!!).

LOL Surprise Big Surprise


Tween Bedroom

Kaycee’s been asking if she can decorate her room next year. We haven’t decorated it since we moved in 4 years ago so I’ve said yes. I’ve been looking at things I could buy but it’s difficult because she has to share a room for Ella.
Ella wants a unicorn bedroom. Kaycee doesn’t!

We’re going to have to come to some arrangement so they can both choose their own decor, I’m just not sure how we’re going to do it yet!

I’ve been looking at lighting for their room. Ella likes to have a light on but Kaycee doesn’t so Ella has to have one that won’t disturb Kaycee’s sleep.
I love this selection of kids lamps, especially the owl one. I think Kaycee would really like it as it’s a more grown-up style.

owl lamp


Both girls love reading and Kaycee is a fan of David Walliams. His new book, Bad Dad is out now

David Walliams Bad Dad

I tend to go a bit overboard with books as gifts for the children. I’m trying to cut down this year because we seriously have no more room for any more books!

Discount & Voucher Codes

With Christmas fast approaching and with the cost it entails, I have to be extra careful when I’m shopping. Before buying anything, it’s always worth checking to see if you can get any discount or voucher codes to help keep the cost down.


Click for another Christmas Gift Guide

Return To Promise – Debbie Macomber – Book Review #48

I didn’t realise Return to Promise was part of one of Debbie Macomber’s series. It’s the 8th book in her Heart Of Texas series, but it was fine to read as a stand-alone book.
Usually, I’d be annoyed to learn that I’d read book 8 without reading any of the others, but I really didn’t mind this time.
My only complaint about it was that I’d read it thinking it was a Christmas story but there wasn’t much about Christmas in at all.

It was still an enjoyable, easy ready, which is what I need right now. I’m really busy what with Christmas coming so these shorter books are great for this time of year 🙂

Return To Promise

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads


Return to promise by Debbie Macomber

Goodreads reading challenge 48 books read

For more book-related posts, click here


Stir-Up Sunday Photos

We had a lovely time stirring up our Christmas pudding ingredients today 🙂 It’s Stir Up Sunday, which is the last Sunday before advent. It’s traditional to make your Christmas pudding on this day.

Ella helped me weigh all the ingredients while Ant was cleaning the gutters for his mum. After lunch, Kaycee came home from her friend’s house and helped stir up the mixture.
We have to leave it overnight now then cook it tomorrow.

We’re going to make 4 smaller Christmas puds so we can share with the family. Nanny wants one and Granddad will be here for lunch Christmas day so he’ll be able to have some as well.

Christmas Pudding Ingredients

Stir up Sunday - Christmas pudding ingredients Stir up Sunday making the Christmas pudding - ingredients Stir up Sunday making the Christmas pudding - ingredients Stir up Sunday making the Christmas pudding Stir up Sunday making the Christmas pudding Stir up Sunday making the Christmas pudding Stir up Sunday making the Christmas pudding Stir up Sunday making the Christmas pudding - Kaycee, daddy and Ella having a mix Stir up Sunday making the Christmas pudding - everyone having a mix

I’ll be back tomorrow with more photos when the puddings are cooked 🙂

Baked Chicken Risotto -Slimming World

I love a good risotto but I don’t like making one; it takes so long and makes my arm ache! When I saw a baked chicken risotto on the Slimming World website I was delighted. It was sent in by a Slimming World member called […]

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3 Ways that foster care may be changing in the future

Being a foster parent is no easy task. It requires total commitment to care for a child you did not give birth to. Add to that the fact that many children who enter the foster system come from families that were not able to show them stability. Some of these children come from parents who do drugs, violence and have even resorted to abusing their own children.

foster care

It is now up to the foster parent to create a positive influence in that child’s life. It can be a daunting task, but many who have been a foster parent for years have claimed that it was all worth it. It helps that there are many support systems available for those who would like to be foster parents. Agencies such as Nexus Fostering aim to provide quality support and care to their network of foster carers.


But there is also fear that in the near future, there will be many changes that could happen in the foster care system. The three listed below are some of the perceived ways that it will change in the future.


  1. Due to financial instability and the cost of housing, fewer people will want to be foster parents.

    Foster carers in the UK are volunteers who get an allowance to cover the costs that they will incur while caring for their foster child. The thing with the setup of the foster system is that carers do not usually have another job. That is because arrangement in foster care is unpredictable, with some placements ending very soon and it might take some time before they get a new charge and during that time, the carers do not get an allowance. There’s also the cost of housing, with many families unable to rent or purchase homes with extra rooms because it is too expensive. Also, the younger generation, despite wanting to care for foster children, is hesitant to rethink their career options due to the financial instability that being a foster carer may bring.

  2. There is a possibility that there will be more residential care than foster carers

    – as stated above, there might be fewer people who will want to be a foster carer. It seems that now most foster carers are already near the age of retirement, and there are not many younger families who would be willing to take the responsibility. The result could mean that instead of foster carers, the children will instead be placed in residential carers, which may pose risks to the foster children.

  3. The campaign for more payment for foster carers may still happen

    – there is a campaign though, spearheaded by Fostering Network where they are proposing that foster carers receive £20,000 a year for payment being a foster carer. Although, it might seem far-off at this point given that there is still economic instability, the fact that it is being proposed may mean a better situation for foster families in the future.

foster care

This is a collaborative post

4 Reasons you should have your office cleaned regularly

Your office is one of the most important places that should always be kept clean, organized and generally well taken care of. This is the place that you spend most of your time during the week. Generally, all of the places where employees work should be kept clean to ensure that it is hygienic and decluttered. Believe it or not, this has been known to reduce the occurrence of having sick employees. What this means is that a company would maximize their employee productivity if the working conditions of the employees are hygienic and friendly. For this reason, a company requires the services of experienced cleaners. You can get the best cleaning services if you take your time and search for the right companies that do this. Commercial and Office Cleaning Services Perth WA – Quake is one of the best cleaning service providers you will find in Perth, Australia.

office cleaned regularly

Here are 4 reasons you should have your office cleaned on a regular basis.


  1. Helps lower maintenance costs and increase IT equipment lifespan


When your office is cleaned regularly, you are sure that your maintenance costs will be reduced. A clean office looks neat and as such, you are able to tell the areas that require maintenance and even replacements. When you inspect the office on a regular basis, you are assured that areas that require painting, replacements and general maintenance can be spotted. You also need to know that regular cleaning makes the IT equipment in the office usable and long lasting. Cleaning procedures such as dusting and removal of dirt and grime is a good way to ensure that your equipment is in good working condition all year round; effectively reducing maintenance costs.


  1. Decreases Employee sick leave days


It is important to make sure your staff works in a clean environment. This is the hygienic thing to do and it helps staff to be healthy all year round. Clean offices will effectively help the employees reduce their sick leave days in a year. On average, a worker will be on sick leave for 9 days. With clean offices and clean working environments, this can be reduced drastically. When offices are regularly and effectively cleaned, the spread of germs and viruses will be prevented and all will work happily and healthily.


  1. Clean offices are presentable to your clients


How would you feel walking into a dirty office for services? You would definitely think twice before giving contracts to companies will dirty environments. The same case applies to your office. If your office is not clean and well arranged, you can be sure your clients will not feel your professionalism. A clean office attracts business from clients who are serious and want to work with serious and professional organizations. You have to create the best first impression on your potential clients for a better business prospect in the future.


  1. Affirms your respect for your employees


A business owner who does not invest in cleaning services has no respect for their employees. When staff works in a dirty environment, they feel demoralized. This could finally cause staff apathy and eventually, they will leave your organization to work in better and cleaner companies. Even if your company may not afford the cleaning services of bigger cleaning organizations, you should at least ensure that you have hired affordable cleaners for this service. Regular office cleaning is generally a motivating factor for yourself and your employees.

This is a collaborative post

Christmas Cocktails with Lambrini

It’s nearly party season and nothing says Christmas Party like a good Christmas cocktail!  Myself, I love a sparkling perry so here are some recipes for a Lambrini Cocktail. My favourite Lambrini flavour has to be So Strawberry with Very Cherry coming a close second. I […]

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