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Szechuan Beef Slimming World Recipe

Szechuan Beef

This Szechuan beef recipe has chillis and chilli sauce in it but I think we’re going to leave them out or not add as much because Ella doesn’t like anything spicy.

Szechuan Beef

1.5 syns per serving
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 400g of lean rump, sirloin or fillet steak, visible fat removed
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce/tamari
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 level tsp cornflour
  • 2½ cm piece fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 fresh chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • A good pinch of Chinese five-spice powder* (see tip)
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp chilli sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small red chilli, deseeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced

Method

  1. Trim off any fat on the steak and slice the meat thinly.
  2. Mix the soy sauce, water, vinegar, salt, cornflour and ginger together in a bowl.
  3. Add the strips of steak and turn them in the marinade. Cover and leave to marinate in the refrigerator or a cool place for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat the sesame oil in a wok or a deep frying pan, and stir in the garlic, chilli and Chinese five-spice powder. Cook for 1 minute, then add the marinated beef.
  5. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until the beef is brown outside but slightly pink and juicy inside. Remove and keep warm.
  6. Add the peppers and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then return the steak and any remaining marinade to the wok, together with the chilli sauce. Stir-fry briskly over a medium heat for 1 minute.
  7. Season with plenty of black pepper and scatter the chilli and spring onion over the top. Serve immediately.

For more recipes, click here

Recipe from Slimming World

Special Egg Fried Rice Slimming World Recipe

Slimming World Special Fried Rice recipe

No Chinese Fakeaway would be complete without special egg fried rice! The great thing about this special egg fried rice recipe is that you can add any vegetables you’d like and even some prawns.

I have to say, doing these recipe posts is making me very hungry and I’m really looking forward to my Slimming World Hunters Chicken tonight.
It’s from Iceland and it’s the first time I’ve tried it.
We usually cook all our meals from scratch but we have some pigs in blankets to use up after I made a mistake and Christmas and ordered about 50 of them so everyone else is having those and I’m sticking to plan and having syn free hunters chicken with pasta.

Special Egg Fried Rice

Syn Free
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 350g cooked and cooled long-grain or jasmine/Thai fragrant rice
  • 200g frozen peas
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce/tamari
  • 400g fresh bean sprouts, rinsed
  • 6 spring onions, very finely sliced

Method

  1. Spray a wok or large frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. When it is almost at smoking point, add the cooked rice and stir-fry for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the peas, stir-fry for 5 minutes and season well. Add the beaten eggs and stir-fry for another minute.
  3. Stir in the soy sauce, bean sprouts and most of the spring onion and cook for 2 minutes or until the eggs have set.
  4. Scatter over the remaining spring onions to serve.

For more recipes, click here

Recipe from Slimming World

Char Sui Pork Noodles Slimming World Recipe

We’re going to be having a Slimming World Chinese Fakeaway night at the weekend so I thought I’d share the recipes with you.
Our first recipe is for Char Sui Pork Noodles.

Char Sui Pork Noodles

Syn Free
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • 30g fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 level tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 400g lean pork loin, visible fat removed, thinly sliced
  • Low-calorie cooking spray
  • 1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp rice vinegar
  • 250g dried medium egg noodles
  • 600g mixed stir-fry vegetables

Method

  1. Put the garlic and ginger in a small food processor and blend until fairly smooth.
  2. Put one-third of the paste in a wide bowl, add the five-spice and 2 tbsp soy sauce and mix well.
  3. Add the pork, stir to coat well and leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, spray a non-stick saucepan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over medium heat.
  5. Add the remaining ginger and garlic paste and fry for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the stock cube, tomato purée, paprika and 300ml boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the vinegar and remaining soy sauce and bring to a boil.
  8. Cook the noodles according to the pack instructions and drain well.
  9. Spray a non-stick wok or large frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a high heat. Add the pork, fry for 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through, and transfer to a plate.
  10. Spray the wok with more low-calorie cooking spray, add the vegetables and a splash of water and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.
  11. Return the pork to the pan, add the noodles, sauce and a little water and bring to a simmer. Serve piping hot.

For more recipes, click here

Recipe from Slimming World

Back To Blogging

Laptop, notebook, pens and coffee - back to blogging
Image by annmariephotography from Pixabay

The blog was neglected for most of last year. I hardly did any personal posts because there wasn’t much to write about.
Lockdowns and Tiers meant we spent the majority of the year in the house and I just couldn’t summon any motivation to get back to blogging.

This year is going to be different even though we’re in lockdown again. I need to get into a work routine which means planning posts, working on my Pinterest account (which has also been neglected!) and getting a couple of other blogs up and running that I’ve been working on sporadically.

Back To Blogging Recipes

I bought some new recipe books from my Slimming World group when groups were open so we’re going to start trying new recipes again instead of having the same meals every week.

I want to try lots of recipes from the Fakeaway book. We all love Chinese food but feel it’s far too expensive and often leaves us very thirsty.
Hopefully, cooking our own healthier versions will save us calories as well as cash!

Aiden saw an article online about a woman who wrote different meals on wooden lolly sticks and put them in a jar so she could draw one out each day. It saved her having to decide what to make for dinner each night and I love this idea so we’re going to give it a try 🙂

Crafts

Due to Covid-19, I didn’t do much paper crafting for Christmas like I did the previous year.
I really missed working in the studio so this year I plan to work in there more often and get up a good stock of cards and gifts.

Last week I made a personalised box frame for my sister to give our little cousin for his birthday in memory of his grandad and some 3D layered scenes for Christmas presents for family. I love how they turned out and I want to make more of these kinds of gifts to sell.

Personalised best grandad 3d shadow box frame
Personalised 3d shadow box best grandad frame with lights
3D Layered shadow box scene - deer in the woods with lights

Let’s hope 2021 is a much better year for everyone and I get back to blogging asap!

9 Tips To Buy The Perfect Chocolate-y Gift For A Loved One

assorted chocolate
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

This is a collaborative post

The best medicine for celebrations, be it birthdays, valentines or anniversaries is sharing and consuming chocolates. Gifting has never been easy, especially when you want the recipient to enjoy and truly like what you gift! For instance, you know your friend is brand conscious, and they mostly like purchasing branded clothing. 

You need to consider a few things before buying the perfect chocolate gift for someone close. Take a look at these 9 tips before you hop to the nearby mall and purchase chocolate hampers for your near and dear ones! Check them out now.

1.      Let’s Talk About Personal Taste First

From a wide range of chocolate types available in the market, what does your friend or dear ones like? Your choices could include multiple types like dark chocolate, milk chocolate, truffles, caramels, alcoholic, non-alcoholic, etc., Make sure you know their taste though!

2.      Do You Have Enough Budget?

chocolates
Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Gifting can be quite expensive; it is a wise thing to consider the budget that you would like to buy the gift for.

Always remember that gifts are something that you put your love and thoughts into, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. Go around your budget a little bit but mostly stick to how much you have and do the best by gifting different types of chocolates.

3.      Dietary Restrictions

This one’s perhaps the most significant, health-wise. Are you aware of any allergies or dietary restrictions your loved one might have?

Some chocolates that contain milk can affect someone who is lactose intolerant. Also, it’s no secret that many people have been known to complain that dark chocolate triggers their migraines. Make sure you have all the information you need beforehand.

4.      Choice Of the Right Brands

If you are gifting them chocolates from their favourite chocolate maker, they will always remember it because they will know that you are aware of their favourites. Some well-known chocolatiers are Teuscher, Godiva, Valrhona, etc., that you could explore and ultimately choose one from

5.      Single Flavors Or Multiple Flavors?

Your personalized chocolate gift box can contain lots of small and big chocolates, but do you want it filled with the same flavour or like it to be an assortment of sorts? This choice mostly lies with you in case this gift is a surprise. If your friend is an experimental type, then you can always go wild in terms of choosing flavours,

6.      Want Pretty Packaging?

Valentine chocolate
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

Wanting pretty packaging is fine, but don’t blindly buy something just because of the packaging, because the product quality inside is what truly matters.

7.      The Source Of Chocolate Making

Just like clothing brands, chocolate brands, too, are known to have links with unethical trades. You would need to research the companies that are ethical in their trade. One good company that has Direct Trade Certification is Madécasse.

8.      Look For Discounts

We all know premium chocolates costs a fortune. If you are buying it during the festive season, selective products might be on discounts.

9.      Market

You always have a choice. Do you want to buy from an online store or physical store? Either way, it goes a long way if you know reviews of that store first. You don’t want to buy gifts that don’t turn out well for the users who bought it before.

Conclusion

So those were our tops tips. And if you got here, mission accomplished. There’s no way your loved one will not like something that you’ve so thoughtfully gifted them!

To make the gift a little more special and personalized, don’t forget to write a heartfelt message or choose a greeting card to do so.

Let us know which tip helped you the most.

Easy Lifestyle Changes to Help You Sleep

This is a collaborative post

We all struggle to sleep from time to time. Sometimes, the reasons for our sleepless nights are clear. You might have had too many late nights or early mornings, only to find that you can’t get back into your routine. You might be drinking too much caffeine late at night or overeating sugar. Sometimes we can’t sleep because we are stressed out and worried, and so we spend our nights tossing and turning as we struggle to turn our minds off for the night. 

Health Issues Caused By Lack Of Sleep


Lack of sleep can cause a whole host of health issues including memory problems, mood changes, weakened immunity and high blood pressure which in turn can lead to heart and other organ problems, dizziness and ear problems, to name a few.

Problems with your ears can be particularly stressful and even painful. It’s important to maintain good ear health, which the team of Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) doctors at Auris Ear Care can help you with.

Finding The Cause

But, the causes aren’t always as clear. You might find that you can’t sleep, but that there’s no apparent reason for it, which makes it much harder to deal with. Fortunately, it doesn’t always have to be difficult, and you might not have to make any drastic changes. There are often just a few simple lifestyle changes that can improve your quality of sleep, as well as its length. 

lifestyle changes to help you get more sleep - Woman asleep on the sofa
Pixabay – CC0 Licence

Stop Smoking

Smoking might not directly impact your sleep. But, it can hurt the quality of the air in your home, increase your adrenaline levels, and have a negative effect on your mental health. Of course, quitting isn’t an easy change, but you could always go for a classic shisha pen in this kit for a swap.

Switch Off for an Hour Before Bed

A common cause of sleepless nights in the modern world is our growing use of technology. We sit in bed on our mobile phones or tablets, or minds kept alert by both the light and the content that we view. Try to switch devices off, or at least put them down for an hour before bed. 

Leave Your Phone in Another Room

You might also be guilty of sleeping with your phone charging up next to your bed. This won’t hurt you as such, but you might be tempted to check more than the time if you wake in the night. You might also turn to your phone as soon as you wake up, instead of trying to get a little more rest or waking gradually. Leave your phone in another room overnight, and you might sleep much better. 

Exercise More

yoga pose
Pixabay – CC0 Licence

Getting even ten minutes more exercise a day can help you to sleep better. It tires your body out, eases your stress and improves your mood. Try cardio exercise, or at least going for a short walk after dinner.

Get Organised for the Morning

Sometimes, we can’t sleep because we are worried about how much we need to do in the morning. You might be subconsciously planning what you need to do. So, start doing some of it before you go to bed. Pack lunches, get uniforms out, prepare what you are going to wear, and even begin showering before bed. You might sleep better if you know your morning will be easier. It can also mean that you can get up a little later. 

If these changes don’t help, there’s still no clear reason for your sleepless nights and no sign of improvement, you may want to look for any other symptoms, and see your doctor. Just in case it’s a symptom of an underlying condition. 

Tips To Look After The Health Of Your Household

This is a collaborative post

Being happy and healthy is all that a household needs when it comes to their wants. There are plenty of opportunities to help make that so, particularly if you feel that you might be lacking in that somehow. Here are some tips to look after the health of your household.

family walking on a pier at sunset - look after the health of your household by getting exercise together
Image Source

Improve Relationships With Food

Your relationship with food is more important than you think. The food that we consume has an impact on how healthy we are and what chance it gives us when it comes to living a long and healthy life. Unfortunately, everything that is bad for you always ends up tasting really nice. However, you can help improve everyone’s relationship with food by preparing your evening meals from scratch. Learning what you’re putting into your food is essential, and when you know that, it can help you figure out how to make those meals a little healthier. Your idea of portion size and moderation might also be a little warped. It’s certainly healthy to look at your plates and see if there are some issues with the amount that gets piled onto your plate each time. The ratio of veggies to protein, meat to meat alternatives is also very important.

Improve your relationship with food as a household, and you’ll start to feel a lot happier in yourself.

Do Some Family Exercise

Keeping on top of exercise can be essential for your health in general. As you get older, the need for exercise becomes more important so to help this, why not try family exercise? It could be an opportunity for you and your family to go down to the local swimming pool and spend a morning or afternoon swimming together. Sometimes it can be necessary to take someone with you when exercising because it can certainly help motivate you further. Ensure you’ve set up a time and an exercise class or routine that everyone enjoys. This is a family exercise and so everyone who is involved, should enjoy what they’re doing and not feeling like they’ve been dragged along.

Ask your family members what they’d like to try out and give each other the opportunity to try something out that you all may have not tried before.

Try Out Supplements 

Supplements can pretty much be assigned to anyone in your household, as long as it’s a suitable age for your child to be taking them. For adults, things like CBG are starting to emerge as a popular supplement to take when it comes to advertising. So what is CBG? Well, it’s a cannabinoid that is taking the wellness industry by storm because it’s an all-natural supplement. It can help benefit pain management, which can come in handy when recovering from any injuries or pain from working out. There are so many different supplements to try, both for the young and the old. As with anything though, it’s always a good idea to approach your doctor first to see what they think about what you’re looking into.

Keep The Home Tidy

Keeping your home tidy and clean is useful for your health because if you let the cleanliness of your home deteriorate, then you are likely to cause illnesses from spending too much of your time in a cluttered home. Try to involve your household more and stress the need for keeping all spaces in the home clean. Declutter on a regular basis and make sure you’re getting rid of anything that’s maybe taking up a lot of room. Keep your surfaces clean by having proper cleaning products and equipment, especially those you don’t often touch because these are the ones that accumulate a lot of dust, like your windows and doors. Set up a weekly or monthly cleaning schedule that you can all contribute to. The more respect everyone has for the home, the better it will be treated. The health of your household can always be helped if you’re willing to pick up after yourself and to keep all of the dust at bay in your home.

Woman in a kitchen, cooking dinner
Image Source

Stress The Importance Of Medical Appointments

Medical appointments are something that we all have access to, but we often forget to attend them. And although many of us can end up leading busy lives, you’re not busy enough to skip your medical appointments or to forget about going. You want to be able to set a good role model for your children in that looking after your health and getting regular check-ups is good. So make sure you’re going to all your dental and doctor appointments but also take advantage of the free eye tests and hearing tests. These are both things that are usually free first time around, and they might pick up something that hasn’t been recognised by yourself.

Always Stay On Top Of Personal Hygiene

Taking care of yourself is essential, and your personal hygiene can certainly impact your health too. By not brushing your teeth twice a day or not washing your hands after you’ve out. These are all the little things that you don’t think are bad for skipping a day on or not doing at all, but they are really vital. You should always try and carry a hand sanitizer and that way you keep on top of destroying any germs that might get transferred from communal areas to your hands. The amount of dirt and bacteria that can sit on your hands and potentially cause you harm is as worse if not more than your standard toilet bowl. Be wary of personal hygiene and that of others in the household.

Looking after your health as a household is important, so the more you can do to help yourself, the better. Start by washing your hands religiously before mealtime and if not, use hand sanitizer to do the same job. Stress the importance of medical appointments with your children and make sure they’re attending once they’ve flown the nest too. Keep your home tidy as often as possible and remember to declutter every now and then. Try out supplements and don’t forget to do some family exercise together as and when you can. It’s a great bonding experience but one that’s also healthy!

What to Consider when Buying Skirting Boards?

This is a collaborative post

skirting board

Is it high time to make some changes to the interior design of your beloved home? If your budget isn’t large enough to cover a costly remodeling project, an introduction of some ornate elements will contribute to its glamour.

Skirting boards have made a boom in the market owing to their decorative role and remarkable functionality. These not only enhance the décor of rooms but hide unsightly piping and cables, which ruin the interior design of homes. Scuff marks will no longer be an issue, as walls will be provided with the required protection.

These are the main factors to consider when choosing skirting board styles for your home.

Design

Homeowners are suggested to start the search for the right skirting boards by looking at their design. The style you opt for is supposed to match the interior décor of your residence in order for the baseboards complement the flooring, furniture, and other elements in the rooms.

Generally, homeowners are provided with a choice between traditional and contemporary skirting boards. Traditional baseboards are a suitable alternative for homes decorated in Victorian, Georgian, or Edwardian style due to the myriad of tiny details. Apart from matching the baseboard design with the architrave, artwork, and furnishings in your house, make sure you pay close attention to dimension.

Since houses decorated in Victorian and Georgian style are known for their remarkably tall rooms, homeowners are advised to opt for taller skirting boards. However, this isn’t the case with Edwardian houses where rooms aren’t as tall, thus requiring shorter baseboards.

Contemporary skirting, on the other hand, lacks details but charms individuals with its minimalistic design. These styles are best suited for modern homes, which are nothing but plain. Make sure you avoid combing modern interior décor with vintage skirting or two different traditional styles together.

skirting board

Colour

The choice of colour is also considered significant when shopping for such ornate elements, as homeowners can use them to achieve subtleness or contrast. Although most people use baseboards for the purpose of creating contrast, these can make interior décor more uniform by blending the colours of halls with those of the rooms.

Nevertheless, the majority of homeowners use baseboards to make a contrast by opting for a hue that’s contrasting to the white colour of walls. White walls can be paired with baseboards in any colour as long as the hue matches the rest of the decorative elements in the room. Additionally, white skirting can be used in combination with coloured walls as long as the finish is attentively chosen. Keep in mind that making the wrong choice of finish will strike the eye of visitors when entering the house.

Material

The material of baseboards is of the utmost importance, as it not only contributes to the appearance but also to their lifespan. For instance, MDF (medium-density fibreboard) skirting has become a trend in recent times owing to its long-lasting nature, plain look, and affordable prices. The best thing about MDF models is their resistance to moisture, which substantially reduces the risk of warping. Hence, these baseboards can be used in the kitchen and bathroom without worrying about the effect of dampness on their quality.

In addition, MDF skirting boards impose minimal requirements when it comes to installation and maintenance. The affordable cost of these models along with their low-maintenance character makes them surprisingly cost-effective when compared to softwood and hardwood.

Softwood baseboards are a better alternative for traditional homes due to their vintage charm. These are available in a multitude of designs but you can also stain them in any colour you find appealing. When noticing the first signs of wear and tear, you aren’t supposed to replace the baseboards with new ones. On the contrary, you can sand the softwood and apply a new coat of finish to restore its former look. Read here about the characteristics and uses of softwood.

Hardwood skirting is considered to be a high-end alternative, mostly preferred by owners of historic houses. The glamour and longevity of hardwood make it the costliest variant in the market, providing the best opportunities regarding customization. It’s the best solution for residents who want their baseboards customized to fit their preferences. Manufacturers even offer pre-stained and pre-oiled models if demanded by customers.

Furthermore, hardwood skirting is sought-after for its remarkable resistance against scuff marks. Nevertheless, you might need professional assistance to install hardwood models, as these need to be drilled prior to being installed on the wall. If you aren’t proud of your DIY skills, make sure you leave this task to the experts.

Height

Another feature worth considering is the height of skirting boards. The age of your property is what every homeowner is advised to take into account before selecting the best height. Given historic homes have incredibly tall ceilings, it’s no wonder high baseboards are preferred for such properties. The average height for traditional homes is approximately 225mm in contrast to the 125mm for modern residences. The low height of ceilings in contemporary homes should encourage homeowners to opt for shorter skirting.

Nevertheless, homeowners can make an exception when wishing to protect their walls from high traffic. Youngsters and pets are known to cause wall damage, which can be prevented by installing higher baseboards.

Painting

In terms of painting, homeowners might need to spend some time painting these elements depending on the finish they prefer. White skirting doesn’t require painting but you need to paint the boards if you want another hue. These elements require delicate painting, which is why some individuals decide to trust this task in the hand of professional painters.

Light colours are better suited for living rooms and kitchens, as these make the rooms look more spacious. In contrast, dark tones are more preferred in bedrooms, home offices, and halls.

Final word

Baseboards represent an affordable but elegant remodelling solution. These are budget-friendly, customizable, durable, and protective.
You’ll immediately fall in love with the charm they’ll provide to your residence!

Everything You Need to Know About Changing Your Name

This is a collaborative post

There are times in everyone’s life where they want to start over with a new identity and new plans. While some plans fall through, others don’t. Many times there are too many reasons a person might consider getting a new name. Like in the case of divorce or separation, a woman would like to get her surname changed or would want to change her entire name. In some cases, a person might want to leave his old life behind and start afresh with a new identity, a new job and probably even a new name.
But thanks to the fast-growing and evolving world, changing your name has become more hassle-free than ever. All you need to get is a deed poll.

Deed Poll: 

A legal binding document that works as a piece of evidence. When you decide to get a new name, the deed poll is that official document you need to fill out to get this process done. It will help you to update your name in all other official and essential documents like your passport, license etc. It states the necessary information like what new name you have decided to go with, and from what date onwards.

How important is it to get a deed poll? 

Changing names is not something you do every day. It is your marked identity. The new name you choose, is now your identity proof that has to be updated in all of your important documents. If you decide to change your anime due to any reason, you need to do it officially, by informing the right authorities and sending out updates to relevant organizations. You must sign the legally binding document and notify certain authorities to get going. 

Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

In many cases, when you’re married, your marriage certificate can act as a proof of a new name, but in the case of separation, a deed poll may be needed if you decide to go back to your old name.

Do You Always Need a Deed Poll?

No, you don’t always need a deed poll. In case of marriage, the marriage certificate will act as a legal document for the new name change. If your marriage were finalised in the ion UK, the state would issue a certificate mentioning your old name and the new name. This acts as a legal document. 

In case of separation, you may need a deed poll if your divorce hasn’t been finalised yet. But if you have gone through the divorce, you won’t need a deed poll to switch back to your maiden name. It would help if you had your decree absolute.

How to Apply For a Deed Poll? 

Applying for a deed poll over has become very easy over the years. You can even order one online. 

Start by filling out an online application, and once all the details have been entered, you will be redirected to the payment page. There is a minimal amount for deed poll that you need to pay.

After the completion of payment, your deed poll will be sent to you via post along with any duplicate copies that you might have ordered. 

Once you receive your deed poll, you will need two witnesses to sign the documents along with your signature, stating that you are willingly going ahead with this change. 

Once done with signature, you need to notify important organizations to update your name in all important documents.

The process is relatively seamless and straightforward, and it won’t take much of your time. Make sure you have a list of the official bodies you need to inform and then you’re good to go.

At any point in life, you can go through this change, but you need to be above 18. And in case you’re not, you can ask your parents or guardian to help you with this.