Friday, 31 January 2014

I'm an Angel {a PostCircle Angel}

You know I love writing, right? Writing that is snail mail, the best kind of mail.

I joined PostCircle {which is the brain child of Miss Beatrix} sometime in March 2013 and when Anna asked for volunteers to be PostCircle Angels I jumped at the chance. I'm loving my new, very important role.

Do you love happymail?  You can click here to find out how to sign up!

Here's some PostCircle HappyMail that I sent out recently...

I hope you get some lovely happymail through your letterbox soon!

A x

Thursday, 16 January 2014

{teapigs} matcha green tea

Hello, hello! Have you heard of matcha green tea, or more importantly teapigs matcha green tea? I was kindly sent a modern matcha kit to try it out for two weeks in January. Perfect as I was tackling this year with my new 14 goals in Twenty 14.

To give you a little snippet of matcha green tea, it's been shown to increase energy. It's also high in antioxidants and lots have seen benefits in their skin and also their performance when training.  It so versatile that it can be drunk hot or cold, in water or juice or in smoothies! You can also add it to your porridge or bake with it!  Gulp.. I was keen to try out this little pot of green goodness!

In the kit there was a 30g pot of matcha green tea {which you store in the fridge once opened}
A measuring spoon {little cute thing}
A teapigs shot glass
An electric hand held whisk
And a cute little badge!

teapigs matcha shot

I opted to take a shot each morning, so I measured out my half a spoon of match green tea {around 1g} and my shot glass of water and whisked {I did try this in the shot glass and it went everywhere, so the next day I whisked in a bigger glass then poured into the shot glass}. It didn't taste of anything much, just a mild taste of green tea and it wasn't unpleasant. I've been taking my shot each morning with breakfast without fail for two weeks.. how do I feel?

I do feel a little more refreshed, anyone who knows me will know how busy my lifestyle is... working full time, running a small business, three kids {make that four if you count the Mr}, lots of travelling and I'm a clean freak so always busy and I've not even mentioned my total obsession with #Postcircle.

Usually on my days off, the mornings will be hectic with laundry, cleaning, prepping dinners / lunches and also entertaining the little one with painting or playdoh or something creative {she takes after me, loves the arts}, by mid afternoon when we have a little chill out time I am usually zonked and can easily doze off when littlest naps. But since taking matcha I've not been flagging, I feel I can keep going for longer... ok by 7pm I'm ready for my bed, if only I could go! So I can relate to the increased energy, although it's not instantly obvious, you are most definitely not buzzing or high in any way. 

I've also been thinking about the benefits of matcha being high in antioxidants... Now I can catch a cold at the change of the weather, the change of season and sometimes I can catch the cold just by thinking about it and when I do, I suffer quite bad. In the past three months I've had two bad bouts... right now {touch wood}, I'm feeling fine so I am hoping that the high levels of antioxidants are working in keeping any germs at bay. I'm going to keep going with the matcha shot each morning for a while now and let's see if the cold arrives and if it does how it is compared to previous bouts!

I've not noticed any changes to my skin yet, but it is only two weeks in. 

One thing I really have noticed is... how to describe this... an inner calm? I'm quite a stressed out person {although in the public eye I might look calm and collected}, I am a born worrier. Lately, I've felt a kind of stillness inside and can quite happily just sit and collect my thoughts. Is this related to taking the matcha shot? Who knows, but I like it!

Have you tried matcha? I'd love to hear what you think. I'm going to keep going and I'll report back in another two weeks time!

Oh... this product won a slimmer award!! Here's hoping it helps my weightloss!

Thank you to teapigs who sent me the matcha kit to review. The review above is my honest opinion of the product.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Meal Planning {Monday}

 Meal Planning Monday

Hello! Here's to the first meal plan of the year... incorporating number 1, 2, 4 and 6 of my 14 goals of twenty14 I've got some new recipes to try out and some below that I've already tried {yum!}

This week we're planning to eat:

Monday - slow cooker meatballs with spaghetti {homemade meatballs made from turkey mince}

Tuesday - chicken tikka, riata and rice {using this Schwartz packet}

Wednesday - roasted veg pasta and garlic bread {homemade sauce}

Thursday - lamb leg steaks and veg stir fry rice

Friday - chilli, wedges and cheese

Saturday - slow cooker ham with mash and veg

Last week we tried some new things, which were all very tasty!

Roast Veg Lasagne - ready to bake

Roast Veg Lasagne

I had some mozzarella that needed used up {I hate waste} and some limp peppers in the fridge... I roasted the peppers with some spray oil and herbs and layered them with lasagne sheets, a carton of Sainsbury chopped tomatoes with basil and chilli and the mozzarella.. baked for 20mins. Such a filling dish, I'll be making this again.

Roasted Veg and Chicken

I had a whole cauliflower to use up and one of those limp peppers so I chopped them up along with a carrot, added two cloves of garlic and sprinkle of herbs and roasted for an hour. Topped with a chicken breast and a splash of Nandos medium sauce {still a bit spicy for me}. The roasted cauliflower was a nice change, didn't really taste like cauliflower which was strange but nice.

Homemade Turkey Burgers
Homemade Turkey Burgers and Piri Piri Fries

We had these yesterday... amazing! I had a huge pack of turkey mince in the freezer which I had no idea what to do with {I picked it up at supermarket and was reduced to 10p from £3.50}. I defrosted the mince and added some frozen onion and mixed herbs, shaped the mixture into burgers and gave a quick fry in the griddle pan {with spray oil} to seal. I then covered them with foil and baked in oven for 15 mins. The fries were home fries and when cooked I sprinkled with Nandos piri piri chip sprinkle {Yeah I got a little Nandos gift set from a colleague, love it}. I served the burgers with melted cheese, mayo and salad.. on a roll. Everyone loved them and they were so juicy and simple to make. I'm using the other half of the turkey mince for today's meatballs. Two hearty meals for 10p! Can't beat that!

Healthy Lunches

It's Monday {as you know}, so that means the diet starts healthy eating starts, so I'm going to try and pack a healthy lunch each working day. The one above was from Friday - ham salad with raisins and grapes, it was so tasty and I used the leaves as wraps! Today I have king prawn salad and I made my own thousand island sauce {Will let you know if it's a hit!}

I'm now following the Meal Planning Monday board on Pintrest if you want to join in click the image at the top to go to Mrs M's page!

Look forward to reading all your meal plans.

A x

Thursday, 2 January 2014

14 goals in Twenty 14

Happy New Year!
14 goals for 2014... I'm rubbish at NY resolutions, rubbish! So this year, I'll try goals...

1. Eat healthier
{this I need to do}

2. Lose weight
{hoping this goes hand in hand with number 1}

3. Don't stress
{so much}

4. Plan
{I often stress when I have lots to do but can't seem to get my head around it all}

5. Pamper
{make time for me, at the very least once a week.. hoping to squeeze in a spa day!}

6. Try more
{new crafts, new recipes... I'm stuck in a rut and repeating crafts and recipes}

7. Get out more
{a walk, a pub, the cinema... just GO OUT!}

8. Read
{I'm averaging on 4 books a year... that's total rubbish as I love to read}

9. Say No more
{I often agree to things I don't want to do / have no time for.. I'm a sucker}

10. Buy less
{I have too much stuff.. I need to de-clutter}

11. De-clutter
{the house, my clothes, my life}

12. Piano
{play more, learn more.. our piano sits there unplayed!}

13. Charity
{plan a charity event, fundraiser}

14. Relax more
{chill out, smile, breathe in the fresh air, watch a movie}

There you have it. The healthy eating begins tomorrow, I'm actually looking forward to making a start and feeling quite motivated! Long may it continue.

A x