Monthly Archives:

January 2018

Rustle Up A Tasty Tea In Minutes With Rustlers #RustlersHack

Ella has started playing football with some friends at our local sports centre. It’s on a Tuesday night, 5-6pm. She doesn’t want her tea before playing football so she has a snack after school and has her tea when she gets home. After all that exercise, she’s very much ready for her tea when she gets home.

This week she asked if her friend could come home with her and have tea with us after football.

We usually eat at 6 pm so Tuesdays is a bit tricky now. Ant does the cooking but he’s also the one who does the driving so he has to drop Ella off and pick her up.
It’s ok if he’s put something in the slow cooker but if not he has to try to fit in cooking and driving.

Rustlers Southern Fried Chicken

Yesterday we decided to make a quick and easy tea. Everyone had a Rustlers burger, some microchips (these were a treat as we’ve never bought them before) and beans; we had made some guacamole for the first time ever but it turned out to be a bit too spicy for everyone so beans it was!
We’ll know for next time not to use a full chilli!

Ant picked Ella and her friend up from football then cooked the tea in the microwave when he got back.

Everyone had their buns toasted and they all loved the burgers and chips. Ella and her friend had their burgers with just the peppered mayo that came with the burgers but Kaycee added sliced tomato and the mayo to hers.
The burgers are slightly smaller than the average burger so they’re great for smaller appetites, however, Aiden is a strapping 17-year-old and he said it was enough for him.

Quick, Easy Tea

For a midweek meal that needs to be quick and easy but most importantly one that children will love, these burgers are a great choice.
I have been looking at all the Rustlers products on Tesco and I’m tempted to add a couple of flame-grilled gourmet BBQ burgers to the basket for Ant and me; they look delicious!

Rustlers southern fried chicken burger




This post is an entry for BritMums Rustlers Burger Hacking Challenge, sponsored by Rustlers

New Wallpaper, Feeling Shattered and Spicy Pork #LittleLoves

I’m really looking forward to the school holidays. I seem to be feeling shattered all the time at the moment. I just want some relaxing days with no schedules to keep to.
I think I’m in need of a holiday with the super wonderful husband; we try to get away for our anniversary each year. With all the work around the house we want to do, though, I don’t think the budget will include that and a family holiday.

Maybe next year!

Little Loves

Little Loves


Little Loves Read


I started reading The Red House by Mark Haddon. I loved The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time and was looking forward to The Red House.

However, after reading about 20 pages I had no idea what was going on. If you’d have asked me what had happened so far in this book I’d have been stumped.
I went to Goodreads to see what others had written about it. The first review I read was by John Luiz and he said it was a chore to read. That’s how I was feeling I couldn’t face the thought of picking that book up every day until it was finished so I stopped reading.

Life is too short to spend time reading a book you’re not enjoying!

the red house by mark haddon



I think I probably saw the link to this blog post at Sugar & Spice & All Things Spliced on Facebook. It’s about our children’s on-demand lives and it really resonated with me.

Little Loves Watched


I finally got around to watching the last few episodes of 13 Reasons Why. I read the book in 2016 and was excited when I heard a series was being made.
I started watching it then for some reason left it halfway through.

It was a bit difficult to remember what had been happening with having a big gap in between but I managed to get back into it and really enjoyed it.

I’ve just read that season 2 is coming sometime this year. I’ll be sure not leave it in the middle of the series this time.

13 Reasons Why Netflix



Little Loves heard


The girls seem to have been bickering more with each other this week. Unless I’m just tired and picking up on it more than I usually would!



Little Loves made


Ant made some guacamole. It’s delicious but a bit too spicy for me. I can eat it in small amounts!

We also made a spicy pork and rice dish for dinner the other night. I loved it and can’t wait to have it again.



Little Loves and lastly

Wallpaper & Paint

Ant and I went shopping to B&M for a few bits. We ended up buying wallpaper for the living room and choosing the paint colour we’re going to use! We got a great bargain. The paper we wanted was originally £9.99 but it was marked down at half price.

When we got to the checkout, it had been reduced further and we got it £2.50 a roll!

I can’t wait to get started but we have curtains, curtain poles, throws, cushion covers, glass paint and emulsion to buy as well before we start.


Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

Talking To The Dead By Harry Bingham – Book Review #4

I’ve bought lots of books from the charity shop after reading the blurb on the back. I get annoyed when it doesn’t mention anywhere that the book is part of a series.
Luckily, Talking To The Dead turned out to be the first book in this series.

I’ve got about 4 books (that I know of so far) that are books from the middle of a series. I now have to collect the series if I want to read those books!

I’ve learnt my lesson now. I’ll Google each book before I buy it to make sure it isn’t part of a series.

Talking To The Dead

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:


At first, the murder scene appears sad, but not unusual: a young woman undone by drugs and prostitution, her six-year-old daughter dead alongside her. But then detectives find a strange piece of evidence in the squalid house: the platinum credit card of a very wealthy–and long dead–steel tycoon. What is a heroin-addicted hooker doing with the credit card of a well-known and powerful man who died months ago? This is the question that the most junior member of the investigative team, Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths, is assigned to answer.

But D.C. Griffiths is no ordinary cop. She’s earned a reputation at police headquarters in Cardiff, Wales, for being odd, for not picking up on social cues, for being a little overintense. And there’s that gap in her past, the two-year hiatus that everyone assumes was a breakdown. But Fiona is a crack investigator, quick and intuitive. She is immediately drawn to the crime scene, and to the tragic face of the six-year-old girl, who she is certain has something to tell her . . . something that will break the case wide open.

Ignoring orders and protocol, Fiona begins to explore far beyond the rich man’s credit card and into the secrets of her seaside city. And when she uncovers another dead prostitute, Fiona knows that she’s only begun to scratch the surface of a dark world of crime and murder. But the deeper she digs, the more danger she risks–not just from criminals and killers but from her own past . . . and the abyss that threatens to pull her back at any time.

My Thoughts

I was really looking forward to reading this book but I have to say I was very disappointed.
The blurb on the back says:

A detective with a disconcerting familiarity with corpses.

Listening to what the dead woman and her daughter are trying to tell her, and tracing the twisted path that led them to their deaths, quickly becomes an obsession for DC Fiona Griffiths. But searching for the truth wherever it leads will mean taking a journey to the last place she wants to go.

Her past.

I took from this that she had a way of ‘talking with the dead’. This was further backed up, or so I thought when I read the end of chapter 1 where it says:

Matthews is talking about formalities and I’m blathering answers back at him, but my attention isn’t with any of that stuff. I’m going to be a policewoman. And just five years ago, I was dead.

I couldn’t wait to find out what she meant by this. It turned out I had to wait right until the end of the book and by that time, I wasn’t really bothered any more.
The book seemed to go on forever but I never really got sucked into the story. I was often confused about what was actually going on and it took so long to get answers to everything that I stopped caring.

At the end of the book, Fiona found out something about her past that I think was meant to make me want to go and buy the next book. I won’t be bothering.

talking to the dead by Harry Bingham

Goodreads challenge 4 books read


For more book-related posts, click here

Shower Room Upgrade – Rainfall Shower

If you’re a long-time reader, you’ll know that our downstairs shower room is in serious need of an upgrade. I think it’s been in since the 80s and it’s very pink!
I think I’ve written about it every year since moving here. I’m afraid to say it’s still got the pink bathroom suite.


The problem is, the bathroom always seems to be the one home improvement project that can get put back when something else crops up.
It’s all in working order, it’s just the look of it that needs changing so it’s never the number one priority.

I really want to make it a priority this year but with so many other projects in the pipeline, I fear it’s going to stay pink for yet another year!



We did decorate the shower room last year and it looks much better than it did but that’s just another reason to put it off in favour of everything else.
Ant really hates the shower in there because it’s tiny. You have to be very careful not to touch the shower curtain when you’re having a shower because the floor gets soaking wet if every bit of it isn’t inside the shower tray.
Just this morning I stepped onto a soggy, squelchy bathmat because one of the children hadn’t kept the curtain inside the tray.

Wet Room

Ant would really love a wet room but I reckon it’ll be out of our price range. He’ll be happy with a better shower and a glass shower surround. He’s going to start planning the layout soon.
The easiest thing to do would be to replace everything but keep it all in the same place.

However, that’s not what we want. We want the sink moving next to the toilet and a tall cupboard installing so I can store all the towels and toilet roll out of sight.
I’ve said before that Ant can turn his hand to most things and he finds plumbing fairly easy. It means I’ve no worries about getting a big bill if all the plumbing needs changing when we move everything around.

bathroom upgrade

Rainfall Shower

Ant would really love a rainfall shower but he said he’ll need to fit a new shower pump to power it. The system we have now is too old to be of any use if we had a rainfall shower.
I’ve been checking out the cost of changing to a new rainfall shower and I’m pleased to say it’s not as expensive as I thought, even when we include the cost of a new pump.
You can buy shower pumps from Pump Sales Direct. They stock an impressive range of shower pumps – all of which are designed to improve water pressure and efficiency.

It’s going to be lovely having a shower with proper pressure but it will mean I’ll have to invest in a shower cap to keep my hair dry. At the moment it’s easy enough to keep my hair away from the water because it’s not a very good shower!


This is a collaborative post.


Christmas Poinsettia – My Sunday Photo

I reckon this is the best Christmas poinsettia I’ve ever bought. I’ve never had one that’s lasted this long and it looks like it’s still going strong 🙂

I bought it in November from Lidl along with another 2 Christmas cactus plants. The one I bought last year only just made it through Christmas!

Because it’s doing so well I’ve decided to try and keep it alive all year and not just chuck it out like I usually do when it starts to fade.
The RHS site has some advice on how to care for it all year.

Wish me luck!

Christmas Poinsettia

Christmas poinsettia

More Sunday Photos


5 Overlooked Remedies for Back Pain

Back pain is among the most common illnesses people of all ages suffer from. These pain disorders have many causes such as falling, lifting something too heavy, pregnancy, or simply poor posture. Back pain is a chronic disease that is why it should be treated early on. The longer someone has it, the harder it is to manage it successfully.

There is now a modern and faster way to treat back pain; by using the pain patch. A pain patch is a new approach to pain treatment using quantum physics by getting the power of 200 remedies known to reduce pain and apply it directly to the source of pain thus giving it fast acting and long lasting pain relief. This is just one and maybe the newest pain remedy you can try for your back pain. Read on for simple pain remedies that are often overlooked and which might just work for you.


  1.  Proper Exercise

The muscles in the abs and back provide the best support to the lower spine. These muscles need to have at least 20 to 30 minutes workout per day to strengthen them. Simply sitting upright on an exercise ball daily for 30 minutes can do the job of strengthening your core muscles.

exercise to help stop back pain

  1.  Restorative Sleep

Pain is considered a leading cause of insomnia, a disorder causing difficulty with falling asleep or staying asleep. Around two-thirds of people suffering from back pain also suffer from this sleeping disorder. Ironically, lack of sleep can also worsen back pain. For this vicious cycle of pain to stop, both back pain and insomnia should be addressed accordingly.


  1.  Cold or Hot Therapy

Simply applying hot or cold packs can help reduce back pain. Either hot or cold therapy can relieve pain. Cold packs reduce inflammation and act as a local anaesthetic which slows down nerve impulses to keep nerves from contracting causing pain. Heat therapy, on the other hand, stimulates blood flow which can bring healing nutrients to the painful area. It also impedes pain messages being sent to the brain. Heat therapy can be done in many ways such as soaking in a hot tub, taking a hot shower or by just using a hot pad or hot water bottle and apply to areas experiencing back pain.


  1.  Release your Endorphins

Releasing endorphins is the most natural way of treating back pain. Endorphins are hormones naturally produced by the body which can help block pain signals from registering with the brain. It can also ease tension, anxiety, and depression which are usual causes of back pain. You can release your endorphins by engaging in activities such as aerobic exercise, meditation or massage therapy.


  1.  Engage your brain

Specialists in treating chronic pain now recognize that pain is not just a sensation but is more likely influenced by the way the brain processes these pain signals. Therefore, the brain can somehow learn how to manage the pain sensation. The mind can be used to control pain thus helping the patient to become less dependent on pain medications. Some of these techniques in coping with pain are relaxation and distraction techniques. Relaxation techniques can take away the attention of pain by slow, deep breathing to release the tensed muscles. Distraction technique, on the other hand, takes the focus away from the pain by doing simple things you like such as watching a movie, reading a book or listening to music.


Back pain is a simple and common disorder, yet it can affect your daily activities so much so that you cannot function well. Hopefully, these easy yet overlooked remedies may ease you through your lingering back pain.

This is a collaborative post

All In One Spicy Pork And Rice – Syn Free Hairy Bikers Recipe

Thankfully, Ella wasn’t home for dinner when we had this delicious spicy pork and rice dish from the Hairy Dieters cookbook. It was just the right amount of spice for me but would have far too spicy for her.

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Beef Goulash – Slimming World Syn Free Hairy Bikers Recipe

I bought The Hairy Dieters cookbook from the charity shop last week. We’re planning on making lots of the recipes but adapting them so they’re Slimming World friendly. Everyone enjoyed this beef goulash, even Ella who can be a bit tricky with anything spicy. To […]

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4 Tips to finding a reputable divorce attorney

If it is inevitable that you will need to have a divorce, one of the most important choices you will make is hiring your divorce lawyer.  The divorce process itself can become complicated, especially if you are dealing with children and properties, so you want to get someone who will be with you through every step of the way, and who is not just after the money you will pay him or her for the legal services that they will render.

Reputable Divorce Attorney

divorce attorney

Check out the tips below to help you make the best choice.

  1.    Ask friends and family for recommendations

    – the best thing you can do is to ask around. Do you have any friends or family members who have gone through the process of divorce? If you know a non-divorce lawyer, ask them for a referral to get you started in your search. But you need to know what kind of lawyer you can afford. Not everyone has a six-figure salary, and if you are the kind of person who lives from paycheck to paycheck, you need to choose your divorce lawyer properly.


  1.    Use the internet and look through directories

    – you have to use the internet properly. Do not be tempted to get the services of a lawyer or law firm because their website looks very professional. It would be easy to create a good-looking website but it does not mean that they are the best. Use the internet to gather information. You can check names of potential lawyers, see what kind of education and certifications they have, and how many years of experience they have as  divorce lawyers. Don’t forget to see if there are reviews for the lawyer you are eyeing. There are also some rating agencies that have a list, but you should also take it with a grain of salt.


  1.    Schedule a call or a consultation

    – narrow down your choices to around two or three lawyers, and schedule a time of consultation with them.  It might be tempting to just hire the first lawyer you will talk too, especially if you do not want to rehash your story. But you may want to get more than one perspective on how your case should be handled. Listen to the potential lawyers and check which process you may be most comfortable with. Also, make sure you already have a list of questions you want to ask in order for the consultation to run smoothly.  Some common questions you may ask are how much years of experience have they had with family law, what types of cases they have dealt with and so on. Do not hesitate to ask as there are no wrong questions because it’s better for you to be well-informed.


  1.    Look for any red flags and go with your instinct before making a choice

    – know that in a divorce process, nothing is ever really guaranteed, so be wary of lawyers who promise you too much. If they also tell you confidential information about their former clients, it might be safe to think that they will also talk about you with their future clients. Go with your gut and choose a lawyer that you feel most comfortable with. They might be doing business, but understand that it is your life, so you need to choose the best one to fit you.

Warming Soups, Relaxing Weekend & A Good Read #LittleLoves

It’s been a pretty uneventful week which is always good! Aiden, Kaycee and Ella went to Derbyshire for the weekend to stay with family and I had a nice relaxing weekend with Ant 🙂
We’ve been making some warming soups which I love when it’s cold outside and we even had some snow. Not much but I still got excited!

Warming Soups And A Good Read

Little Loves


Little Loves Read


I’m currently reading a book called Home by Amanda Berriman. It’s her first novel and I’m hooked. I only started it yesterday and I’m halfway through already.

It’s told in the first person by 4-year-old Jesika who lives in a dump of a flat with her single-parent mother and baby brother.
I’ll be finishing it later on today and I can’t wait to find out what happens.

Home by Amanda Berriman


I’ve been following the story about the Vlogger who pitched to an Irish hotel owner (I’m not naming the hotel because I think he’s an awful person and I’m not giving him any more publicity) and has since been treated terribly by him and his ‘fans’.

I don’t care what she did, how she could have worded the email better or anything else, to be honest, the fact is he didn’t need to go public the way he did.
I read this article from Toby & Roo and totally agree with everything it says

Little Loves Watched


Ant and I watched all 10 episodes of Mindhunter over 3 days. It’s the closest we’ve come to binge-watching a show on Netflix!

Mindhunter Netflix


Little Loves heard


My brother tagged me on a Madness video on Facebook and it took me right back to my 20s. I love Madness!


Little Loves made


We’ve made more soups this week including a cauliflower cheese soup that’s low in syns. It was nice but it would have been nicer if it had been a bit cheesier!

cauliflower cheese soup slimming world recipe - warming soups


Little Loves and lastly

Donate Blood

I gave my third blood donation yesterday. Stocks are very low at the moment because of all the illness this winter. It’s even more important to give up an hour of your time and make your donation 🙂


Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
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