Thursday, 21 September 2017

Recipe- Slow-Cooked Chilli Con Carne

Oh, slow cooker, you do make my life so much easier! You're like a personal chef, working hard all day in the kitchen while I do other, more exciting things - like laundry, doing the school run, & checking Instagram (again). Okay, so while cooking is pretty much my favourite thing to do when I'm at home, I know not everyone feels that way. On days you don't feel like cooking in the evening or life is just too hectic, this slow cooker chili con carne will hit the spot with little fuss. The best part is it makes at least 8 servings, so you can freeze half for another time.

All you have to do is brown the meat first, then stir together all the ingredients in the slow cooker & plug it in. To dress it up, top your hot bowls of chilli with sour cream, grated cheese or chopped green onion, then grab a spoon & dig in.

Now I will be honest with you, this was the first time I've made this chilli from scratch & even though it did taste nice, it wasn't the best. So if any of you guys have any tips to make it taste better, please send them my way! 

With just 10 minutes prep time & the Slow Cooker doing all the work, it really is a quick & easy meal to make. 

Ingredients- Serves 8
  • 900g Ground Beef
  • 1 1/2x Onion, diced
  • 1x Red Pepper, de-seeded & diced
  • 1x Green Pepper, de-seeded & diced
  • 1x Cup Celery, chopped
  • 1x Can Red Kidney Beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1x Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1x Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2x Tbsp Tomato Purée 
  • 2x Tbsp Wostershire Sauce
  • 5x Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 2x Tbsp Mild Chilli Powder
  • 2x Tsp Ground Cumin
  • Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper, to taste

1. Warm a large frying pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat & cook, stirring frequently, until browned & any excess liquid is evaporated. Transfer the meat to a slow cooker with at least 5-quart capacity. 

2. Add the onion, red pepper, green pepper, celery, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic, chili powder, wostershire sauce, cumin, salt & pepper to the slow cooker. Stir to mix it all together.

3. Cover & cook on HIGH for 5 hours, or on LOW for 8 hours.

4. Serve with sour cream, grated cheese, & chopped green onion or chives.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

15 Things That Happen When You're Having A Kickass SAHM Day

Not very often but sometimes, Stay-At-Home-Moms totally slay their day. Here is what happens when you’re a total stay-at-home #BossMom

1. You wake up to the sound of your actual alarm rather than the sound of one or all of your kids screaming/crying/being absolutely distraught that they lost a sock.

2. You have coffee pods, milk AND sugar in your kitchen & no one has to do a 7:10am dash to the local Budgens for emergency breakfast supplies.

3. You get to drink your perfectly made cup of coffee HOT, whilst watching Good Morning Britain, in relative peace; rather than the tepid concoction you normally gulp down in the middle of breaking up a cereal fight among the feral children.

4. All the kids are settled watching CBeebies/NickJr/Ryan’s Toy Reviews (see YouTube) giving you 20 whole minutes to get dressed. You’re so impressed with how the day is going, you even wing on some lippy #Winning

5. Everyone leaves the house ON TIME. No one is missing a sock/book bag/limb or £1 donation for the PTA fundraiser. You walk the school run (where it isn’t raining!) like an urber #bossmom and even get complimented on your lippy. Today is a good day.

6. After popping to the shop to pick up everything you normally forget, you get home & prepare dinner for the evening. You even enjoy ANOTHER hot cup of coffee.

7. You realise the house isn’t actually that messy (huh? Has the hubby finally learned to pick up his boxers off the bathroom floor?) so the housework takes precisely 15 minutes. Leaving more time for another HOT COFFEE & a sneaky catch up of The Great British Bake-Off.

8. The baby is being unusually happy playing solo with the toy kitchen/wooden blocks/random raisins he found under the couch – so you spend a whole hour online-window-shopping (adding stuff to multiple baskets despite never actually hitting the checkout button) for tat you absolutely do not need but definitely want. You’re feeling in such a good mood that you eventually treat yourself to a new mug from Matalan.

9. The baby takes a nap at 12:30pm (#winning) so you take a nap too (#doublewinning)

10. You wake feeling refreshed (that never happens) with plenty of time for a hot coffee before the school run pick up. The baby is still snoozing.

11. The School run is a breeze; Another compliment on the lippy (that is still in place) it isn’t raining, children come out of school happy rather than shit-moody with NO letters asking for a £1 donation to another PTA fundraiser. 

12. Your other half surprises you by coming home early. At 4:00pm

13. Everyone eats their dinner without a mini war breaking out/moaning about the veg/or throwing a hissy-fit over your choice of glass for the squash. 

14. Hubby takes over bath-book-bed. And pours you a large glass of wine. And runs you a bath, complete with a bath bomb/bubble bar combo (And some tea-lights)

15. Children are asleep by 18:45. You are now seriously #winning at Mum life. You continue watching Suits on Netflix but because you’re feeling super productive (& empowered) you invite the hubby upstairs for sexy time. This. Is. The. LIFE!

16. You wake up at 5:23am to the baby crying & the middle child whinging that she can't fall back to sleep, then realise all of the above was just a cruel dream sent from Lucifer himself. There is no milk. You do a 7:10am dash to the local Budgens to get emergency breakfast supplies, the school run is a shit-show & absolutely no one takes a nap at any point whatsoever during the day. Lifesuckers, I know (sigh).

Gemma Xx

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Mystery Blogger Award

Hello all, hope your having a great week so far!

A couple of months ago, I had the privilege of receiving a nomination for the Mystery Blogger Award, & I’m wholeheartedly honored to receive it. I was nominated by the lovely Katie Lou who writes over at A Mother's Love, please go check her out! She writes a great deal about Mental Health, some really empowering stuff! 

Created by Okoto Enigma, the Mystery Blogger Award, is this cool award for bloggers with innovative & intelligent posts. She writes that,

Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion. – Okoto Enigma

A huge thank you to Okoto Enigma for creating this ingenious award! With each nomination, it is required by the nominated blogger to answer a couple questions from their nominator.

The rules for this award are as follows:

  1. Put the award logo or image on your blog
  2. Thank the person who nominated you & link their blog in your post.
  3. Name the creator of the award & link their blog.
  4. List the rules.
  5. Answer your nominator’s questions.
  6. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  7. Nominate 10-20 people.
  8. Ask your nominees 5 original questions of your choice.
  9. Share links to your best blog posts.
  10. Notify each of your nominees by commenting on their blog.

Right so here is 3 things about myself that you may not know:-
1) I've always wanted to learn how to surf but am overly paranoid that I'll get bitten & eaten by a shark- crazy I know! 
2) I get my best ideas right before going to bed. My mind never seems to be able to shut off! 
3) I have two speeds: busy, busy, busy OR lazy, lazy, lazy! 

How long have you been blogging?
Oh not for very long at all, I started my blog the beginning of February of this year, so that's what, 7 1/2 months now?!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Oh gosh, there were numerous things I wanted to be, I'm pretty sure it changed on a daily basis! I know at one point I desperately wanted to be a Children's TV Presenter!!

What is your all time favourite song? 
Hmmm, this is a hard one! I think it would have to be... 'I Will Wait' - by Mumford & Sons. Absolutely beautiful song.

Tea or Coffee?
Coffee! No contest! I literally would not be able to function without it!

When is your favourite time of year & why?
Christmas, hands down! Most definitely the best time of the year for me! It's not just Christmas Day that I love, it's the whole build up to the day. All the festivities that go on, the great food & drink. Being surrounded by family & friends. Couldn't think of anything better, personally!

An Open Letter To The Person Who Got Me Through Depression - this is my favourite post so far, as without this guy, my rock, my love, I would be nothing! This was a letter I had originally written down in private, for mine & MR.B's eyes only. I'm still not 100% sure why I did post it for the world to see, but I sure am glad I did! I got such a lovely, positive response from this post, just reminding me that I'm not on my own, & the fact others could completely relate to what I was saying, well that makes blogging all the worth while! 

  • What made you start your blog, & what makes you stay?
  • If you had to write about one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
  • Where do you draw your inspiration from?
  • Where’s your favorite place to write? (Mine is Costa ☕️ & outside on warm summer nights 🌴)
  • If you could be anywhere in the world, doing anything, with anyone, where would you be, what would you be doing, & who would you be doing it with?

*Would you like to have a chance to be nominated? Leave a blog comment with your blog URL for consideration. The winners will be announced on:- Monday 25th September 2017. 

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Aircraft Marshalling Game- Geometry For Kids

Aircraft Marshalling Game

Give your child a chance to feel like an important member of the ground personnel that helps guide air traffic at our airports & learn a whole host of skills while he's at it! All you need are some simple materials & a chart of aircraft marshall signals to practice directions, geometry, and following directions.

What You Need:
Paper towel cardboard tubes
Orange construction paper
Printout of aircraft marshaling signals diagram

What You Do:
1. First, your child gets to make orange wands for aircraft marshalling! Have him cover two cardboard paper towel tubes with orange construction paper. Trim the paper with scissors as needed, & then glue it to the cardboard tubes.
2. While you're waiting for the glue to dry, your child & his friends can review the aircraft marshalling signals below. These are the real signals used by aircraft marshallers at airports!
3. When the wands are ready, your child & his friends can practice the marshalling signals. When they feel they have memorized them, they can play a game.
4. One game idea is for one child to be the marshaller & the other child the airplane. The airplane should follow the marshalling directions given by the child with the orange wands.
5. If you've got more than two kids to keep busy, you can use the wands for a version of Simon Says. The aircraft marshaller with orange wands is “Simon.” Simon gives his directions as marshalling signals, & the other children must follow. For more complexity, Simon can add verbal directions also such as “180 degrees” or “90 degrees” as he directs others to turn right or left. This game reinforces direction & geometry lessons!

*Disclaimer- This is a guest post.