Sunday 31 March 2024

Week 13 of #Project365 24th - 30th March. A photo every day for a year!

Happy Sunday and Happy Easter! This past week has gone in a bit of a blur. Stu tested positive for Covid and I have spent the rest of the week worrying that my girls and I were going to catch it, so far we haven't. I am starting to think we might be safe now. Stu has been going to work as his manager said we all have to treat it as a common cold and he had to go in. That same manager is off sick now as that "common cold" has left him feeling rotten. It is awful to laugh but he made such a big deal to the team early in the week saying people had to stop phoning in sick. We don't have much planned for today, Stu is going to do another test as he's feeling much better and if it's negative we might go out for lunch.

Now for a photo every day!

Lambs in the field
My fella and I and broken washing line
Covid test and dippy eggs
Blossom and Barbie

84/365 - 24th March
The lambs are out in the field, it must be spring! Stu did remind Ellie that we had roast lamb planned for during the week which I could have throttled him for. Grr! He's not funny!

85/365 - 25th March
My fella and I on our way out for breakfast. Looking back now there were signs that Stu was ill. I was in a t-shirt with a light jacket and was warm but Stu had a hoodie, big coat, a hat and was still feeling cold.

86/365 - 26th March
It was a lovely day and I planned to get tons of washing done and then the washing line broke. Ugh! I couldn't fix it as there wasn't enough line left to tie it up.

87/365 - 27th March
Stu did another test just to be sure he was positive.

88/365 - 28th March
Dippy eggs for lunch, done in the air fryer. They came out perfectly again. Shame about the toast, I overdid that!

89/365 - 29th March
I love seeing the blossom on the trees.

90/365 - 30th March
We watched Barbie now that it's on Sky Movies. We did go to see it at the cinema when it was quite new but now we know all the songs it was that little bit more fun singing along.

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Saturday 30 March 2024

This week my Word of the Week is: Positive! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


On Tuesday morning I had already decided my word, it was going to be sociable but life threw us a curveball and that changed. Now my word is positive! The last time I used the word Positive it was under similar circumstances, Stu brought Covid home from work. Ugh!

We had a lovely start to the week. We went out for Sunday lunch, went to see my dad and his partner and on Monday Stu and I went out for breakfast, saw my brother and then we went off to the local pub as it was reopening with new managers. When we were on our way there Stu was saying he felt cold and shivery, I just blamed the weather even though I was quite warm. 

In the pub we ended up sitting near where the new managers and chef were and had a good chat with them, they seem lovely. All the changes and new things that they are planning sound really positive. I am just liking the idea of food being served 7 days a week and regular entertainment being on. Last night they had an Elvis tribute on which looked fantastic but we decided to stay home to keep others safe.

While we were at the pub on Monday they were handing out samples of food and Stu tried some chicken with a spicy dip and started coughing and then hasn't really stopped coughing all week. We thought nothing of it and just assumed it was a cold, he felt achy, shivery and had a snotty nose but for us that is normal at this time of year with the change of season and all the pollen. On Tuesday evening when I was watching the documentary about Derek Draper and his final year suffering from the health complications from Covid I said to Stu you should do a Covid test just to see if you have it. It's the fastest I have seen a Covid test show as positive. At least we knew but it wasn't going to change anything.

It seems crazy that 4 years ago we had an app telling us if we had been in contact with anyone with Covid, we had to isolate for a couple of weeks, do numerous tests but now we just carry on as normal.

Stu had to sit on a bus for an hour to work, be in an office with no windows or ventilation and then come home again on the bus. He tried to open windows on the bus and at work near him but others complained they were too cold despite having the air conditioning on freezing at work. I dread to think who he has infected but that's the way of the world now, it's the new normal. Everyone avoided him at work and said it's wrong that people with Covid should still have to go in but understood that it's the company policies fault, not Stu's.

When Stu tested positive Becky was at work and I asked her what would happen if she tested positive, she said nothing apart from her having to wear a mask. If she is well enough to go into work she has to which for her is ridiculous. Her work think you have to be on deaths door not to go in. She had food poisoning a couple of years ago and was really ill but still had to go into work, she lasted about an hour before she was sent home and complaints were made. She had a really bad cold a few years ago which we thought was Covid but it was just the flu, she still had to go to work and infected residents. I would love to know how the residents families in the care home feel about their loved one's being treated by people who have Covid because I know I would not be happy.

Myself and the girls are absolutely fine, we have shown no symptoms of anything. In fact I have not even had any hay fever symptoms over the past week. We did a test yesterday and we're still negative despite Stu still testing positive. It's really strange but I am glad. I really didn't want to be ill going into the Easter weekend poorly.

I am looking at the positives, we saved a bit of money by not going out to the pub last night, next week Stu has a week off work and should be better to enjoy some days out, Becky has spent more time at home as she didn't want to run the risk of passing anything on to her friends and I had the most amazing nights sleep in Becky's bed while she was at work on Tuesday night while I was avoiding Stu! hehehe

How has your week been? I hope you have had a good one!

Word of the week linky

Friday 29 March 2024

What I have loved this week! Week 13. #FridayFavourites

Hello there and happy Friday! We have the long Easter weekend to look forward to. Many things have tried to ruin my week like a broken washing line, getting caught in the rain, noisy builders over the road and my fella testing positive for Covid but there has been more ups than downs. I am linking up with Erika and Andrea and share some of my favourites from this past week.

What I have loved this week

Beverly Hills Cop movies.
On Saturday I saw that one of the movie channels were showing all 3 of the Beverly Hills Cop movies. I forgot how funny they were. My youngest glanced at the TV and for a second thought it was Ncuti Gatwa, the new Doctor Who. I can see where she's coming from if you just glanced. I said it's not him but Eddie Murphy is the voice of Donkey off Shrek which blew her mind.

Opening the windows.
I have had all the windows open every day this week and it has been lovely to air the house out. It is really starting to feel like spring here and it is very welcome. 

A day with my fella.
On Monday my fella and I spent the day together. We went out for breakfast, to see my brother and dad and then to the reopening of our local pub. It was nice to spend some quality time together and do something different than sitting in the house. We think my fella caught Covid before Monday as he was starting to feel a bit off by lunchtime. 

The new pub.
It's not new, it just has new managers. I love what they have done with the place and the managers are running it for the local community. It's all about family, low prices and giving everyone what they want. I think £20 for a three course Sunday lunch is amazing especially when everywhere else seems to charge more than £30. I am just excited about the prawn cocktail for a starter, no one else seems to serve them now.

Katsu Chicken Curry.
Last week we had it in wraps and this week we had it with rice and we are obsessed. I have made extra sauce and put it in little tubs that are now in the freezer. The girls have had it on noodles and over chicken nuggets since. I didn't realise the sauce was so simple to make with just carrots, onions, garlic, chicken stock, soy sauce, curry powder and a little bit of flour. I did think there was more to it than that. 

Not being ill, so far!
So far myself and my girls haven't caught Covid from my fella, he is pretty much over it. We have been lucky considering we haven't really kept away from him, we thought it was just inevitable that we would catch it but maybe not. 

Easter holidays.
Yesterday the Easter holidays started and my youngest has 2 weeks off college. My fella has a week off work starting Monday which we are looking forward to and we have a couple of things planned. I just hope we have some nice weather!

What have you loved this week?

Friday Favorites linky

Thursday 28 March 2024

How to adjust to the clock change for healthier sleep!

As we prepare to move our clocks forward for daylight savings this Sunday reports have came in that the average person may lose up to 40 minutes of sleep. I hate the clocks going forward for that lost hour of sleep but it's not all bad as the days are longer and it means summer is on it's way!

Did you know that daylight is the natural regulator of our circadian rhythms. Even just an hour's change in our metabolism can disrupt our internal clocks, putting excess strain on the brain and nervous system. In fact the week following the time change delivers a 24% rise in heart attacks, an 8% rise in strokes and a 6% rise in fatal car accidents. Eek!

white cat sleeps under white comforter

6 tips to avoid sleep disruption during daylight savings!

1. Change your night time routine before the clocks change.

A little planning can help. To help minimise the impact of the time change, try to have your evening meal earlier and go to bed 30 minutes earlier for a few nights before the time changes. Amending night time routines before daylight savings will help ease the transition into the time change. 

2. Go to bed earlier the night the clocks change.

Where possible, on the night of the time change, go to bed an hour early. By doing this you are able to keep the hour that will be lost at 1 am on Sunday 31st of March, meaning you will not lose out on any sleep, making the transition into daylight savings easier to adjust to.  

3. Get as much early morning sunlight as you can.

For the week following the time change try to get as much early morning sunlight as possible to help your body readjust to the new time. The body’s circadian clock responds to sunlight and by taking in natural sunlight you feel more refreshed and energised for the day ahead.

4. Keep a consistent sleep routine.

By keeping a consistent bedtime and waking up at a similar time every day, your body will find it easier to adjust. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep alongside this to help hit the ground running when the clocks do change.  

5. Avoid caffeine close to bedtime.

As much as you may enjoy a caffeinated drink it can cause a disruption to sleep patterns. To limit any disruption to sleep, try and keep caffeine consumption to the mornings and early afternoon at the latest.

6. Nap if you need to.

If the clock changing has left you feeling very tired consider having a nap during the day to help catch up on some of the lost sleep. It is recommended to keep daytime naps short and sweet with 20 minutes being the optimal time for a power nap. A general rule of thumb is to opt for no more than a half an hour nap to ensure that you will be able to get to sleep at bedtime. 

Do you hate the clocks going forward or do you cope OK with the time change?

This helpful advice came from Brain Works Neurotherapy.

Wednesday 27 March 2024

My top 5 favourite Easter movies

I wouldn't say I am a big movie buff but I do have a lot of favourite films and I have been listing them for a few months. You can read about my favourite action movies, Sci-Fi movies, my favourite Animated movies and my favourite musical movies and my favourite disaster movies. In the run up to Halloween I shared my favourite scary movies and the week after I shared my not so scary movies which were more up my street for the spooky season, in the run up to Christmas I shared my favourite Christmas movies and most recently my favourite sport movies!


This time it is all about my favourite Easter movies. I didn't think there was that many Easter movies until I really thought about it.

Peter Rabbit!
Based on the books by Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit, his three sisters: Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton Tail (Daisy Ridley) and their cousin Benjamin enjoy their days harassing Mr McGregor in his vegetable garden. Until one day he dies and no one can stop them roaming across his house and lands for a full day or so. However, when one of Mr McGregor's relatives inherits the house and goes to check it out, he finds much more than he bargained for. What ensues, is a battle of wills between the new Mr McGregor and the rabbits.

I love the Peter Rabbit movies! I went to the cinema to see both of the movies with my girls. I love how the voices of the animals are all one's we recognise and the stories are so funny. They're not just movies for kids, there's plenty of jokes for the adults.

Watership Down!
No Peter Cottontail here and certainly not one to watch with little kids. This movie, based on the popular novel by Richard Adams and offers a slightly more ominous  perhaps, realistic take on what it's really like to be a rabbit out in the wild. Eek! A group of rabbits must find a new home after their warren is threatened by humans. This classic tale is best suited to tweens and teens as it explores more mature themes like democracy, power, and nature.

Jesus Christ Superstar!
Adapted from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Broadway rock opera, "Jesus Christ Superstar" recounts the last days of Jesus Christ from the perspective of Judas Iscariot, his betrayer. As Jesus' following increases, Judas begins to worry that Jesus is falling for his own hype, forgetting the principles of his teachings and growing too close to the prostitute Mary Magdalene. After Jesus has an outburst in a temple, Judas turns on him.

He was destined to be the Easter Bunny, but all he wanted to do was rock! When teenage E.B. leaves for Hollywood in pursuit of his dream to become a rock star drummer, he meets Fred, an out of- work slacker with his own lofty goals. Together the two encounter a series of hilarious mishaps and misadventures and in the end help each other recognize the importance of family. This family friendly film from the creators of Despicable Me blends animation and live actors to spin the tale of the Easter Bunny and his son, E.B.

Miss Potter!
Get to know Peter Rabbit in a whole new way. "Miss Potter" tells the story of Beatrix Potter, the author behind the best-selling children’s book “The Tale of Peter Rabbit." With an overactive imagination, Potter finds comfort in drawing and writing about the animals that she's adored since childhood. But after her attempts to find a publisher for her novels are unsuccessful, she soon finds a small firm that turn her luck and her entire life around.

I saw this for the first time a few weeks ago and it was such a wonderful and beautiful movie.

What are your favourite Easter movies?

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Not a girly girl but still a girl.

Becky my eldest is 21 years old and I'd say for the last 8 years she has never been a girly girl. She's not into make up, skincare, clothes or anything like that but it doesn't mean she's not a girl. She wears tracksuits and baggy clothes, it's what she's comfortable in and why not? I used to say to her not another tracksuit but it's just who she is and who am I to judge.

My eldest

She loves a good hoodie and to be fair she does feel the cold more than most people and they keep her warm but they are her thing. She must own about 30. Some she has for work, some she wears around the house and she does have some nice one's for going out.

Becky used to have really long hair, it was past her shoulders when she got it cut. Last year she decided to get it all chopped and went really short which took a lot of getting used to and she's had it cut since and it's a little bit shorter. She finds it easier to manage and thinks it's brilliant that it's brushed in about 20 seconds. 

Eldest hair cut short

Her short hair has caused some confusion, along with what she wears. Just the other week when the boiler man was here he was calling me madam and Stu Sir, when he was on his way out he said goodbye madam to Ellie my youngest and then looked at Becky and was a little bit puzzled. He just said goodbye. Becky thought it was funny.

It's not the first time she has been mistaken for a boy or lad. lol She was out with her friend in town a few months ago and her friend was attracting attention, only because she was dressing a Build A Bear while waiting for the bus when a man asked if her boyfriend had bought her that, Becky's friend was confused until the man pointed at Becky. To be fair she did have her back to him and when she turned around he was mortified. Becky thought it was funny. I am starting to think she dresses and looks how she does just for the laughs. lol

Once in a blue moon Becky will dress up in jeans and a nice top. She has a few fancy tops as she calls them and when she makes the effort she looks so different and a bit of a girly girl. That type of clothing is kept for special occasions though and times when I say a tracksuit is really not suitable.

My eldest in girly clothes

For years, when Becky was younger she wore girly clothes and felt uncomfortable in them but still wore them just to fit in. She's past that now and wears what she wants to wear and if people don't like it tough luck. Their opinions do not matter. I am glad and happy that she has found the confidence to be her, she's not a girly girl but she's still a girl.

Monday 25 March 2024

Our weekly meal plan! 25th - 31st March. #MealPlanningMonday

Our weekly meal plan

Hello there and happy Monday. How is it the last week of March already? We're heading towards the long Easter weekend, Stu still has to work on Good Friday but thankfully the buses are running their normal service, we thought they may have dropped to their Sunday service with it being a bank holiday.

Last weeks meal plan went really well, we ate everything but did swap a couple of days around. After the faff I had getting my food shop delivered I did not feel like cooking much on Friday evening. I booked the delivery to come between 10 & 11am and it didn't arrive so I rang up and they said a van had broken down but it would be delivered at 4pm. It arrived just after half past 5! The poor delivery guy was sick and his exact words were "you'd think a company like Sainsbury's would have a spare van. They didn't. We had the pizza's on Friday and enjoyed the burgers on Saturday.

We are getting another Gousto box this week. I had 25% discount so really pushed the boat out and got one of their premium meals (the lamb) which was an extra £2 per person. It still came to less than I would normally pay for a Gousto box and now my family love lamb it feels like such a treat.

On the menu this week we have:

Monday - Meat free mince Sloppy Joes with potato salad. It's a meal we have previously have from Gousto and we love it.
Tuesday - Gousto meal - Bingo’s Sausage & Baked Bean Hotpot With Minty Peas. I like the range of family meals Gousto are offering. It's good for evenings when you want something simple.
WednesdayGousto meal - One Tray Roast Lamb With Buttered Leeks And Roasties.
Thursday - Gousto meal Chicken Katsu Curry. We had Kasu Curry wraps last week and they were amazing so I imagine this is going to be just as good.
Friday - Gousto meal - Sausage & Caramelised Onion Sandwich With Chips.
Saturday - Pizza.
Sunday - Sunday lunch out! A roast dinner with all of the trimmings, maybe lamb again with it being Easter.

What are you eating this week? 

Sunday 24 March 2024

Week 12 of #Project365 17th - 23rd March. A photo every day for a year!

Happy Sunday! I hope you all have a nice relaxed day planned. We're off out for lunch and then we're going to see my dad. If the weather forecast is right it looks like it's going to be a nice day.

We have had a good week, quite a busy one with the boiler man coming for the yearly gas service and installing a new cooker, Becky went dog-sitting and Ellie has been finishing off part of her practical work at college. The teacher has said they are going to be having less days in the workshop towards the end of the college year as they're too far ahead and need to do more reading and writing in the classroom. Oops.

Now for a photo every day!

False eyelash and new cooker
Gousto Meals and Party Rings
Nails and me
Easter eggs and treats

77/365 - 17th March
I am sick of finding these false eyelash things around the house. Ellie is the one to blame, she's the only one who wears them. I keep thinking they are freaky looking spiders.

78/365 - 18th March
New cooker day! It was installed with no issues at all. Hooray! I love it. The girls say I am sad because I now get excited about new kitchen appliances. 

79/365 - 19th March
Our Gousto meals for the week. They were good one's, we loved every single meal. Most weeks we like all of the meals but this week we really loved all of them. I've decided that I need to buy a new folder for the recipes we love and will make again and then keep the other folder for one's that we just like.

80/365 - 20th March
Party Rings! I go years without eating these biscuits then see them in the shop and have to get some. They remind me of my childhood, they were always such a treat.

81/365 - 21th March
My nails desperately need doing, I hadn't got around to doing them as of writing this yesterday afternoon but should have by now.

82/365 - 22th March
Just me. Off out, on my way to my dad's. My dad did have to look twice at me. I had a dress on and make up, he thought I was going somewhere fancy, not just going to see him.

83/365 - 23th March
The Easter eggs and treats have been bought. Now we just have to resist eating them until the weekend.

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Saturday 23 March 2024

This week my Word of the Week is: Service! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


I think service is a good word to cover my week as it's came up a few times. Gas service, the and bus service and some customer service that I have had.

We had our yearly gas service on Monday. The friendly boiler man came and did his thing and installed our new cooker too. He is quite the character and it's the first time Stu has met him and he kept having to walk away to hide his laughter. The gas man was talking to me and was over explaining everything that he was doing and saying do you understand madam. He was verging on mansplaining things to me which Stu found hilarious. I probably know more about the gas safety checks than Stu does as he's usually at work when they happen. lol Everything went fine and it was all cleared safe to use for another year.

We are very excited for the beginning of next month when we are getting extra buses adding to our bus service. When the Covid lockdowns happened they cut the bus service down, especially the later buses on an evening but they are starting up again. The last bus from Scunthorpe used to be at 10 past 7 and it's changing to 20 past 9 with a couple of extra buses before and coming from Hull the last bus was at half past 8 but soon the last one will be at 11pm. It will be great for Becky because when she goes out with friends it means she can get a later bus home instead of staying in a hotel which would cost the same price as a taxi. Stu said we could have a night out in Hull and get the last bus home, no thank you! I like to be in my pj's by 9pm at the latest. hehehe It will be great for going for a meal out or to the cinema though.

I can't decide whether I had good or bad customer service from Sainsbury's yesterday. I hardly ever get the shopping delivered on a Friday because I go to my dad's but I was late in ordering it and decided to get it between 10 and 11am yesterday knowing we usually leave here for my dad's at 11am. It got to quarter past 11 and it still wasn't here so I rang up to be told there was a problem with the van but it's still coming but not until after 4pm. I am annoyed that I waited in for it without a phone call from them but at the same time I am glad they still delivered on the same day and at a time which meant I could still go and see my dad and be back before it was delviered.

I am still hooked on playing that Supermarket Simulator game that Becky got me on to. Stu was laughing at me leaving the customers waiting while I stocked some shelves. Bad customer service he says but they don't like it when they can't find something on the shelves but don't mind waiting in line. hehehe Even Ellie has started playing now and she says her customer service is way better than mine. 

How has your week been? I hope you have had a good one.

Word of the Week linky

Friday 22 March 2024

What I have loved this week! Week 12. #FridayFavourites

This week seems to have flown over and it's crazy to think that this time next week will be the start of the long Easter weekend. I am linking up with Erika and Andrea and share some of my favourites from this past week.

What I have loved this week

The gas safety check.
The boiler man came early this week to do our yearly gas safety check. Every year since we have lived here the gas safety check has caused drama. We have had parts needed for the old boiler which were hard to come by, the gas fire was condemned which meant we needed a new fire put in which is electric and we never actually use it and last year we had a new boiler installed. This year it all went well, everything is working as it should and there were no dramas. While he was here he installed the new cooker which is my next favourite.

A new cooker.
Our new cooker was delivered on Saturday morning which wasn't one of my favourites as it arrived before 7am and the delivery slot. Our old cooker was ancient and so much was going wrong with it. The oven door falling off, knobs not working and falling off and the back ring on the hob not working at all.

Our new cooker

New kitchen appliances are exciting and I am so happy with the new cooker but it is taking some getting used to. The oven door drops down instead of opening like a normal door and the big gas ring on the top is on the left instead of the right. It's good though, it does it's job and works properly.

The Walking Dead.
I was at a loss with what to have on the TV in the background over the weekend so decided to rewatch The Walking Dead (again). There is so much that I forgot about the early seasons like how young they all were, that Andrea was so annoying and how lovely Dale and Hershel were. 

The Eras Tour.
I finally watched it on Friday when it was released on Disney+. My girls made me watch it and I now understand why they love Taylor Swift so much. She is an amazing performer and I knew more of her songs than I thought I did. I've watched the concert twice over the last week. 

Getting washing out on the line.
We had a couple of really warm days. It was 16C which is practically scorching for this time of year. I of course had to get some washing out drying on the line. It seems ages since I last did and hanging the washing out is one job around the house that I really enjoy.

Washing out on the line.

My eldest getting over her fear of dogs.
For years, since she was about 3 years old Becky has been terrified of dogs. She had a bad experience with one when she was little and has been so scared ever since, so much so she would cross the road to avoid them, not go into houses where there was a dog and majorly panic if one did get near to her. This week dog-sitted a friendly pooch for a day, she was sending me photos and videos of it and asking if we can get a dog. We're not but it does make me so happy that she is over her fear.

New managers at the pub.
One of our local pubs is getting new owners/managers and I have seen their new website and I am very excited about the plans that they have. The pubs locally have been really struggling but whoever is taking this one over must have a fair bit of money as they're planning to serve food every day/evening for a lot less than they were charging, have lots of entertainment and offers on. I am very excited to read more about their mid-week afternoon teas and free crisp sandwiches on a Saturday.

Butterkist hazelnut chocolate toffee popcorn.

hazelnut chocolate toffee popcorn

My fella came in with a bag of this from the corner shop and asked if I wanted some. I tried it and wasn't keen but wanted more to try it again and then ended up eating half a bag of it. It doesn't really taste of hazelnut, chocolate or really toffee but something about it is so moreish. 

A pay rise.
My fella is getting a pay rise, another one. He only got his last one in December. Apparently the company that he works for has done really well over the last year so they are giving back to the workers. It's only about a £1 increase but that is better than nothing especially with the cost of everything else going up.

What have you loved over the past week?

Friday Favourites

Thursday 21 March 2024

Creme Egg Brookie Traybake - Recipe!

Are you looking for idea's for an easy Easter treat? Well here you go!  A Creme Egg is an absolute must for a British Easter and sharing this Creme Egg Brookie Traybake with family and friends is a great idea for using up leftover ingredients. The best news is that this recipe is actually very simple to bake regardless how spectacular it may appear.

 This Creme Egg Brookie Traybake is made with only a handful of ingredients and kitchen equipment. It's perfect for baking with the kids and using up leftover Easter chocolate (if such a thing exists!).

Creme Egg Brookie Traybake

The Creme Egg Brookie Traybake is made with just 8 ingredients and 5 pieces of equipment, perfect for fuelling those Easter egg hunts!

This recipe makes 12 Brookies!


250g of unsalted butter, melted.
300g of granulated sugar.
3 eggs.
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
300g of plain flour, split into 50g and 250g.
A quarter of a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.
200g of dark chocolate chips or a chopped up bar, split into 150g and 50g.
.6 Creme Eggs, halved.

2 mixing bowls (one should be microwaveable).
20 x 30cm traybake tin, lined with parchment.

Creme egg brookie


Preheat your oven to 160°C (fan).

In the microwaveable bowl melt 150g of the dark chocolate in 30 second increments, being careful not to burn it. Set to one side.

In the other mixing bowl combine the melted butter and sugar with the spatula followed by the eggs and vanilla. Mix until everything is combined.

Pour 350g of this mixture into the melted dark chocolate and mix thoroughly before folding in 50g of flour. This is your brownie base, pour this into your lined tin and spread evenly using the spatula or the back of the teaspoon. Pop this in the freezer while you make the cookie topping.

To make the cookie topping add the rest of the plain flour (250g) and bicarbonate to the remainder of the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Combine with a cleaned spatula until smooth then fold in the leftover 50g of dark chocolate chips/chunks. Take the brownie base out of the freezer and spread the cookie dough evenly on top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until risen and golden on top. Allow to cool slightly before gently pressing the Creme Egg halves into the baked Brookie.

Once the Brookie has cooled completely in the tin, remove it and cut it into portions.

This recipe is from the Easy Peasy Baking campaign, launched by UK Flour Millers, making baking simple. You can find more Easy Peasy Baking recipes and information on the campaign over on the FAB Flour website.

Wednesday 20 March 2024

10 wonderful things about spring!

Ahh! It's the first day of spring here in England. A time of renewal, rejuvenation, and rejoicing in the beauty of nature. As the weather starts to get warmer, the cold winter becomes a distant memory there's a sense of excitement in the air! I am trying not to get excited about the weather that we have had this week but it has been really spring like. Yesterday it was 16C which is just perfect for this time of year.

yellow flower field during sunset

The weather.
The weather is so unpredictable, spring is when mother nature decides to play hide and seek with the sun. One moment, you're enjoying some sunshine on your face and the next you're dodging raindrops the size of peas. Hopefully soon we can say goodbye to bulky coats and hello to sunshine!

The flowers.
From the daffodils that carpet the countryside in shades of yellow and gold (they are my favourite flower) to the emergence of bluebells in woodlands and forests across the country. They are all so pretty but of my favourite sight to see is the cherry blossoms that have just started to appear here although all of nature springing back to life really sets my hay fever off. 

As the birds return from their winter away, the air is filled with the sweet melodies of their songs. As much as I complain about the birds waking me up on a morning it is a sound that I associate with the warmer weather. I just hope they don't nest in the eaves of our roof again. 

Getting back into the garden.
As the earth begins to thaw gardeners across the country eagerly dust off their trowels and get to work in their allotments and gardens. I do love this time of year, sorting the garden and planting new things. In a couple of weeks we will have our annual trip to the farm shop to buy some bedding plants for the planters outside the front of our house which I am really looking forward to.

Spring Cleaning.
Cleaning isn't the most glamorous activity but there's something satisfying about decluttering and freshening up your home after a long winter. I always enjoy cleaning at this time of year, especially when I have all the windows open. It makes my home feel fresher and cleaner. Getting the washing out on the line is a big bonus too.

Longer days.
With the arrival of spring comes longer days. As much as I think I like the dark nights when they first arrive I do like the lighter evenings, the ice cream man driving around and spending evenings sat in the garden. I am sure in a couple of months we will be visiting the pubs beer garden to enjoy a couple of drinks on an evening too.

Baby Animals.
Is there anything cuter than a fluffy baby animal? From new born lambs frolicking in the fields to fuzzy ducklings waddling by the pond, spring is full of adorable critters that are sure to melt your heart.

Easter Celebrations.
Whether you're religious or not Easter is a fun! From colourful egg hunts to chocolate eggs there's plenty of joy to go around during this egg-citing time of year. There is the long Easter weekend to enjoy to which is at the end of this month.

Outdoor Adventures.
With the arrival of warmer weather, it's time to get outside! Whether you're exploring a nearby forest, biking along scenic paths or simply taking a walk through the park. I always have more motivation to get outside at this time of year. 

A Sense of Joy.
Last but certainly not least, spring just has a way of putting a smile on your face. Maybe it's the sunshine, maybe it's the flowers or maybe it's just the promise of warmer days ahead!

What are your favourite things about spring?

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Why being shy is a good thing.

I have always been a quite person. As a child I was painfully shy and I still am. You would never guess it with the fact that I write this blog. Writing things online is different than speaking to people face to face or even over the phone. There are plenty of times that I hate it and hate myself for not speaking up and out loud but sometimes I actually think it's a good thing. Being shy is not a flaw to be fixed or a hurdle to overcome, it's a superpower in its own right.

person in brown long sleeve shirt covering face with hand

There is a myth that being shy equals weakness. Nothing could be further from the truth! Being shy doesn't mean I'm timid or lacking in confidence, it simply means I approach social situations with a bit more caution and that caution often serves me well, allowing me to think about what I am going to say before I speak. My friend used to introduce me as the quiet one, the one who would sit there and take everything thing and she was right. Ever heard the phrase "still waters run deep"? Well, that perfectly sums up the essence of shy individuals. While others might be busy dominating the conversation, I'm quietly taking in my surroundings, picking up on subtle cues like the way someone twirls their hair when they're nervous to someone's change in tone when they're upset. I may not always be the loudest voice in the room but I can sit in the background and get a good idea about what people are really like. All and that attention to detail comes in handy more often than you'd think. Sometimes I see or hear things that those who were full of chatter did not notice.

One of the great things about being shy is that it turns you into an expert listener. Others open up to you and lead the conversation. People love to have a good chat to me as I will listen to them without butting in at every given chance, they get things off their chest, share their worries and people have said I have a calming effect on them as I am not in their face, talking to them. 

I may not be the life of the party but when it comes to forming deep meaningful connections I'm a pro! Shyness has taught me to value quality over quantity when it comes to friendships. I'd rather have a few close friends who really get me than a bunch of acquaintances any day. 

Being shy doesn't mean I'm stuck in my ways. I'm constantly challenging myself to step outside of my comfort zone and embracing new experiences and each time I do, I come out stronger and a little bit more confident than before. I still hate speaking on the phone but sometimes I will surprise myself, like when British Gas were messing me around with something I was that angry that my shyness just went out of the window and I argued back and eventually got what I wanted.

In a world that sometimes feels like everyone is confident and loud being shy keeps me grounded. I'm not one to put on a show or wear a mask to fit in. What you see is what you get, no frills and no fuss. Shyness is not a bad thing. It's a part of who I am and it's what makes me uniquely me. So the next time someone tries to tell you to stop being so shy, hold your head high and embrace your shyness with pride!

Are you a shy person?