General Ramblings

General posts about life

Do you find that you are often packing the same things for your lunch? Before I go to work my mornings are very busy, I need to walk the dog, make sure my son has everything for school, sort out breakfasts and packed lunches. Mornings can be a frantic race against the clock. I try and do some of it the night before, but there is always some emergency like lost homework. It is funny that it doesn’t matter if you ask the night before, these things are always remembered the next day resulting in a mad panic.

When it comes to lunch I like to make it fresh in the morning. I try to make something healthy that is low in calories as I am currently trying to lose weight. Recently I have been trying Warburtons Thins which are ideal if you are trying to cut down bread. They only contain 100 calories per thin so are great if you are on a diet. At the moment if you buy Warburtons Soft Brown Sandwich Thins in Asda 10p from each sale will go to the 2015 Ticked Pink fund, helping to support the over half a million women in the UK currently living with or after a diagnosis of breast cancer. Warburtons Sandwich Thins are RRP £1.28 for pack of six including the 10p donation.

Thai Chicken SandwichWarburtons Soft Brown Sandwich Thins are part of the Asda Tickled Pink campaign which has a range of gorgeous pink products products to help support the incredible work of Breast Cancer Now and Breast Cancer Care. From pampering products to clothing by picking up any of these you are supporting a great cause. I was sent some of these products to try and think it is a lovely range and a great way to raise money for the charity.

Ticklked Pink RangeThe other day I came up with a tasty and delicious sandwich filling that was perfect for jazzing up my lunch. The filling can be prepared the night before and the sandwich assembled the next morning and taken to work or school. It uses natural yoghurt with red pepper, coriander and lemon rind which gives it a bit of zing. When mixed with chicken and crunchy lettuce it is a lovely tasty sandwich to brighten up your afternoon.

Thai chicken Sandwich

Thai Chicken Sandwich

Thai Chicken Sandwich
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Ingredients
  1. Warburtons Thins
  2. Lettuce leaves or mixed salad
  3. Cooked chicken breast
  4. ½ red pepper
  5. 2 tbsp fresh coriander
  6. Rind of ½ lemon
  7. 4 tbsp low fat natural yoghurt
Instructions
  1. Chop the red pepper and coriander finely and mix with the lemon rind and yoghurt
  2. Place the lettuce on either side of the Warburtons thins then add the chicken and a spoonful of the yoghurt mixture
  3. Put the sandwich together and enjoy.
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/
 If you are looking for other sandwich ideas I came up with a few when I enjoyed a picnic in the garden. It is getting a little cold to do this now but the sandwiches are still great for lunch. What is your favourite sandwich filling? I am always on the look out for new ideas.

I was sent the products to try in return for an honest opinion, I was not obliged to say anything nice.

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I must admit to never having tried bagels. I have seen then many times in the shops but for some reason I thought that they were really dry and chewy. When Warburtons sent me a hamper of their new bagels to try I found that I had been wrong all this time. Bagels are actually quite delicious and versatile, they can be topped with lots of different things. Even better Warburtons plain bagels only contain 120 calories and the sesame and cinnamon & raisin varieties have 130 calories. This means you can have a treat without feeling guilty. You can find Warburtons bagels in Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons RRP £1.40 for six. They will be in Tesco and Iceland soon.
 
Four tasty bagel topping ideasBagels are a bread product that originated in Poland. The dough is shaped into a ring shape and is boiled before baking, which gives them a crisp exterior. Often they have seeds, like sesame or poppy added to the crust. Warburtons bagels are slightly thinner than normal which is why they have fewer calories. I had the bagels, now to think up some toppings the family would love. I came up with four tasty bagel topping ideas.

Warburtons bagelsButter

What could be nicer on a raison and cinnamon bagel than butter? A hot toasted bagel with butter melting onto it with a hint of cinnamon and juicy raisins when you bite into it? Butter was the perfect topping. I did wonder about adding bananas and honey or other exotic toppings but the butter was ideal. I loved eating these for breakfast, they set up up for the morning.

raison and cinnamon bagelChicken, sweetcorn and bacon

chicken, sweetcorn and baconIn a bowl I mixed up some cooked chicken, chopped up pieces of bacon and sweetcorn with mayonnaise. Add this to a bagel and finished with some mixed salad leaves and you have a lovely snack for lunch. I used Warburtons plain bagels which set the filling off perfectly. Be warned though this filling is highly addictive and you will want more. A carrot and raisin salad would be perfect served alongside.

Egg and bacon

egg and bacon bagelIf you are hungry in the morning these make an ideal breakfast. Toast a bagel, fry up some bacon and scramble the eggs. Chop the bacon into small pieces and add to the egg. Spread a little butter on the bagel and top with the bacon and egg mixture. Some black pepper and salt can be added as seasoning. Be warned though, they are very filling. If you are planning on going out for the day these would be a perfect breakfast.

 Smoked mackerel and cream cheese

 smoked mackerel and cream cheese bagel
I love smoked mackerel, and peppered smoked mackerel is one of those things I could eat all day. A bagel with cream cheese, black pepper and peppered smoked mackerel is a perfect snack. The cream cheese brings out the flavour of the mackerel. If you are not keen on mackerel smoked salmon with a sprinkle of lemon and a little dill would work as well. Why not serve with a tomato vinaigrette salad?
 
I am definitely going to be eating bagels more often now as they are really versatile and tasty. What do you think of my bagel topping ideas? Do you have any suggestions for bagel toppings I can try?

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

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I love trying new recipes. When you are working it can be very easy to get into a routine and find you are cooking the same meals time and again. When you come home tired it is understandable, it is easy to make something you are familiar with. I like to experiment at the weekends and try different dishes. Once I have tried making them once I know if I like them. I can then make them though the week a few weeks later to keep mealtime varied.

Recently Sunrise Senior Living challenged me to try one of their recipes. They make sure all the recipes are nutritious and tasty so they are good for everyone, not just the elderly. They have a wide range of recipes on their website, from Baileys cheesecake to bream with salsa and fish and chips. I had a look and chose to make Smoked Paprika and Red Onion Chicken.

Smoked Paprika and red onion chickenI am a big fan of paprika in dishes, it adds a lovely smoky flavour. One of my favourite dishes is Mexican chilli beef that uses paprika with a splash of lime juice and some fresh chillis for a tasty dinner. For a really low calorie meal chorizo and butter bean stew is both tasty and filling, as well as being easy to make. The smoked paprika and red onion chicken combines the smoky taste of paprika with red onions and sage. This gave me a great opportunity to use some of the fresh sage that is growing in my garden. The bush is trying to take over the flowerbed, not leaving room for my other plants.

The chicken is served with a gravy  made with red wine and stock, simmered gently reduce it. The dish is then cooked in the oven to impart the flavour to the dish. Whilst it does take a little time to get the dish ready to go into the oven, the result is worth it. The smoked paprika and red onion chicken is a flavour filled dish.

smoked paprika and red onion chickenI chose to serve my chicken with potato salad and a tomato salsa as it was a warm afternoon. This worked well, it complemented the flavours in the dish. For a more filling dinner you could served the smoked paprika and red onion chicken with mashed potatoes and peas. Rice would also work well.

smoked paprika and red onion saladSmoked paprika and red onion chicken recipe

Smoked paprika and red onion chicken
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Ingredients
  1. 10ml sunflower oil
  2. 1 red onion
  3. 10g fresh sage
  4. 50ml red wine
  5. 340ml beef stock
  6. 17g gravy granules
  7. Pinch salt and ground black pepper
  8. 4 chicken breasts
  9. 200ml olive oil
  10. ¼ tsp smoked paprika
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan160C Gas Mark 4
  2. Peel and chop the red onion.
  3. Heat the sunflower oil and sauté half the onions until they are golden brown.
  4. Add the wine and simmer until it reduces by half
  5. Add the stock and simmer for 10 minutes
  6. Add the gravy granules to thicken and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  8. In a separate pan heat the olive oil.
  9. Add the chicken breasts and seal them. Turn until cooked evenly then place in an oven proof dish.
  10. Add the remaining onions and the paprika to the pan and sauté until soft.
  11. Add the onions on top of the chicken and then pour over the gravy.
  12. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Dragons and Fairy Dust http://www.dragonsandfairydust.co.uk/
The dish was a success, both my husband and son enjoyed it and now I have made it once I will be making it again. Next time I will add a few more gravy granules to the sauce to make it a little thicker. The sauce was really tasty though and I used bread to sponge it up from my plate to finish it all.

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.comI was sent a gift voucher to enable me to buy the ingredients for this recipe.

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Do you want to lose weight but struggle to know what foods you should be eating? You are not alone, research from Weight Watchers has shown that half of all women do not know what foods they should eat when adopting a healthy eating routine. This summer Weight Watchers aim to show how you can still eat your favourite foods, feel healthy and feel good about yourself. They are taking their Feel Good Café on the road to demonstrate healthy and delicious menus creating using Weight Watchers products which you can buy in the shops. I previously took part in the Weight Watchers Feel Good challenge and was surprised at the range of foods available.
 
Weightwatchers food

Weight Watchers Feel Good Café Menu

The Weight Watchers Feel Good  Café will be serving a menu of dishes which are perfect for different times of day. There are three different dishes available on the menu for you to choose from:
 

menuWhere to find the Weight Watchers Feel Good  Café

The Weight Watchers Feel Good Café can be found on these dates in the following places:
 
  •  Windrush Square, Brixton: 4th – 6th June
  • Queen Victoria Statue, Manchester: 11th – 14th June
  • Dortmund Square, Leeds: 19th – 21st June
  • Victoria Square, Birmingham: 24th – 27th June 

If you attend the Brixton pop-up café you will find a selfie station where you can take feel good snaps with friends and family. You can upload your picture with the hashtag #feelgood and share how Weight Watchers made you feel during your visit. Every social share though the Feel Good Café competion site will be entered into a prize draw to win 1 of 100 hampers filled with Weight Watchers goodies. Don’t worry if you can’t make it, there is another chance to win on social media. Just tweet Weight Watchers at @ww_uk or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/weightwatchersuk for another chance to win a Weight Watchers hamper.

Feel good for summer with Weight Watchers’ top ten tips

If you are looking to lose weight and get fit for the summer, Weight Watchers have a Feel Good for Summer Plan available online for website subscribers. The details are also in the May/June Weight Watchers magazine.  These top ten tips are some of the ideas from the plan and will get you started.

  1. Be inspired – Put an old photo or a quote that inspires you and reminds you of your goal somewhere that you will see it. Place it on the fridge or on your phone for example.
  2. Get support – Team up with a friend to help motivate you and keep you on track.
  3. Keep track– The Weight Watchers mix and match menu plan helps you stay in control but make sure you keep track of the treats you are eating and mark them down.
  4. Sip smart – Our body is two-thirds fluid. Keeping hydrated is the key to staying healthy. Aim to drink 6- 8 glasses of fluid a day. Water is a good choice.
  5. Get fruity – Fruit is essential for health and is also a great hunger busting back up if it is too early for lunch.
  6. Be kit wise – You don’t need to buy the most expensive trainers to have good kit. Research properly before buying and ensure you ask for help to get the right fit.
  7. Jot it down – Finding it hard to make time to exercise? Make time by adding a regular slot to your diary and help you make it important.
  8. Measure up – Make a note of your waist, hip and leg measurements each week. The loss of inches will help to motivate you
  9. Treat yourself – Don’t ban foods as you will only want them more. Treat yourself on certain days and savour it.
  10. Celebrate your wins – When you reach a goal, like losing a few pounds or doing an extra set of squats, share the news with family and friends. This will help keep you motivated.

Will you be attending a Weight Watchers Feel Good Café pop up event? Let me know how you found it if you go.

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

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How would you like a simple way to change your mood, allowing you to feel calm, romantic, rejuvenated or pampered? Radox are offering a way to do just that with their new Radox Creamy range. Each product in the range contains two active natural ingredients specifically chosen to transform bodies and minds and they are bursting with fresh scents to lift and transform your mood. You can choose to feel calm, feel rejuvenated, feel pampered or feel romantic and each bottle contains the scents to help create the mood in your bathroom.

 Radox creamy rangeThere are four products in the range which offer a range of moods and fragrances, you are sure to find one that will suit you.

Feel Calm

Feel Calm lets you create a calming shower sanctuary. Blended with jojoba oil and soothing camomile it will relax you as you shower, soothing away tensions of the day.

SunsetI always feel calm when I watch the sunrise or sunset. There is something soothing about the way the colours spread across the sky. Each one is individual, some are red, some are golden and each is special. I love watching the colours get stronger and the shapes in the clouds as the sun hits them, then seeing it slowly fade away. Watching a sunset is a great way to relax and makes you forget your troubles.

Feel Romantic

Radox Feel Romantic contains romantic scents of orchid and blueberry will leave your skin feeling loved and remind you of romantic moments in your life.

VeniceIt makes me think of my honeymoon in Italy where we took a ride on a gondola. It is romantic being taken under the bridges, listening to the water lapping around you and feeling the sun on your head whilst looking at the beautiful buildings around you. One day I will visit Italy again.

Feel Pampered

Feel Pampered is a creamy blend of shea butter and ginger to keep your skin soft, supple and moisturised whilst making you feel special.

Whitley Bay LighthouseI always feel pampered when we take a trip on a Sunday afternoon and get dinner out. Whether it is fish and chips by the seaside or Sunday lunch in a country pub it is lovely to be with the family and not have to cook. It gives me a great feeling of contentment.

Feel Rejuvenated

The last in the Radox Creamy range is Feel Rejuvenated which contains orange oil and vitamin E to leave you feeling energised.

King Charles SpanielI always feel rejuvenated when I have been out walking with my dog. There is something about his enthusiasm, he loves to explore the undergrowth and if he sees a bird will happily chase it, then wonder how it flew away. We always discover new things when we are out and the exercise and fresh air makes me feel more alive.

Radox Creamy Range

I love the Radox Creamy Range, the scents are gorgeous and they add an instant lift to my mood. The products are kind to my skin and make it feel softer and moisturised. The products are available in most retailers RRP £2.15. Which of the range would you pick up and why?

I was sent the Radox Creamy range in order to take part in a blogger challenge and write about my experiences of feeling calm, rejuvenated, pampered and romantic. My opinions are my own.

 

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