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Friday, 26 October 2012

Tuna & Vegetable Couscous

Sandwiches can be so dull. This week I decided to make a Mediterranean inspired tuna couscous for me, the Mr and the kid to enjoy for lunch (even though we'll all be eating it in different places!) Sorry I can't give amounts, I always guesstimate.

Vegetable boullion (I use Marigold, but Knorr or Oxo might do)
Yellow Pepper
Cherry tomatoes
Tinned tuna (I use Reel Fish because it's responsibly sourced and tastier than most other brands)
Olive oil
Sesame oil
Fresh mint
Lemon juice


  1. Pour as much couscous as you need into a big bowl with a teaspoon of boullion/stock powder and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak in for 5 minutes before fluffing up with a fork.
  2. Cut the feta into chunks and add to the couscous along with the olives, fresh mint, a squeeze of lemon juice and the tuna.
  3. Slice all your vegetables, brush with a mixture of olive and sesame oils and char on the griddle until tender. You'll need to do this in batches, and you'll need to open a window too as it can get quite smoky!
  4. When the vegetables are cooked and cooled, slice them a bit smaller if you like before adding to the cous-cous.
  5. Mix it all up, add a load of black pepper, salt if needed and perhaps a squeeze more lemon juice.
  6. Delicious for lunch with a cup of peppermint tea.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Soulmate Food Juice Cleanse

I've found myself getting really wound up this past week about one particular subject - detox diets. I've been stressing myself out about 'tailor made' 'lifestyle meals' company Soulmate food. In case you're in the same cocoon I obviously was and have never heard of them, this is a company which sends you ready meals through the post for an exorbitant fee of 'less than £25 a day'.

The part of their service I'm most interested in is the 'Juice Cleanse' which is a short-term detox diet. They say:
"Jump start your metabolism for long term benefits.
Our amazing fruit based, all natural cleanse not only rids your body of harmful toxins, but will help to increase metabolic performance and energy output, leading you on your journey to optimum health.
This scientifically designed juice and smoothie cleanse helps to improve efficiency of body function and digestion, due to a cleaner colon, leading to improved absorption of nutrients.
Greater efficiency equals enhanced energy levels and mental clarity."
The juices, which contain 'all natural ingredients', come as a three day package (18 juices, £150) or five days (30 juices, £200). Your daily allowance of 6 bottles comes numbered and named, but with no other information on ingredients or nutritional information. At first I thought this must be against the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 but, take a look at page 24 and you'll see that Soulmate food are exempt because they sell the products from the premises on which they are made.

Still, I wanted to find out a bit more about what was in the juices, so I emailed them asking for ingredients and nutritional information. Their response was:

Each juice contains around 900 calories per day and the flavours are as follows:
- detox breakfast - carrot, orange, ginger and super foods
- vitality - pineapple, banana and coconut
- berry active - antioxidant blend, cherries and mixed berries
- earth - a blend of berries
- tropical - orange, mango and passion fruit
- nutrilicious - strawberry, banana, grape and orange
Unfortunately an estimated calorie content for all six juices combined isn't exactly the nutritional breakdown I was after, and the flavours still don't tell me exactly what's in the juices. I decided to focus on finding out about ingredients and asked what exactly was in the 'super foods' and 'antioxidant blend'.
"The antioxidant blend is a concentrated blend of berries, as berries are brilliant antioxidants. Also, the superfoods is a blend of fruit, vegetables and mushroom extracts to increase mineral and vitamin content."
I was starting to get frustrated at this point, I couldn't understand why Soulmate food was so against disclosing the contents of their juices. I pressed for more information and asked for a full list of ingredients saying I have allergies, including several species of mushroom. Not entirely true, but I thought perhaps an allergy risk might make them more forthcoming. I was wrong.
"I would have to find out from our chefs about the exact ingredients. But I do know that we do not send anything to people with severe allergies as we are not a free from kitchen and the juices will be made amongst other things. We would strongly advise you not to do our juice cleanse."
Oh right, of course, so people with allergies should not buy these products. When you go through the ordering process there is a note at the bottom saying the service is not available for people with severe allergies but I still think the site is misleading. On the website they say they cater for people with food intolerances, and when you look into the Juice Cleanse information provided it appears that the only ingredients are those listed, there is no clue to there being a mysterious mix of fungus and vegetables in there.

Don't get me wrong, I know that legally this company does not have to disclose the ingredients or nutritional breakdown of their products, but shouldn't we be taking more responsibility for what goes into our bodies? You wouldn't buy anything from a supermarket without knowing the ingredients and if you asked for a list of ingredients in a restaurant and were fobbed of like I was by Soulmate food, wouldn't you be a bit suspicious?

On their website they cite one of their aims as educating people about healthy eating. How can you educate when you're hiding so much?

Friday, 19 October 2012

4 items, 4 outfits

Recently I realised that I have a severe lack of clothing that a) fits and b) isn't ancient. I decided that what I needed were some mix-and-match style items which can easily make the transition from slouchy mum to marketing queen and then classy cocktail drinker too. Well, here's what I ended up with...
Clockwise from top left : Cat Print Blouse, £19.50 M&S : Striped Cardigan, £39.50 Per Una : High Waist Bootcut Jeans, £28 Next : Rose Print Denim Jeggings, £25 M&S
And here's how I look...

Sorry about the rubbish photos - I'm not really a fashion blogger you know! Anyone else got wardrobe staples that go with everything?

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Fashion Break: Military Coat

Having watched a whole lot of Torchwood recently I have fallen in love with the idea of a long blue military style coat. I stumbled across this in Next the other day and love it! Unfortunately, they only had it in a size 6 or 8 at the time, so I might have to order it online. Gorgeous quality and would look amazing with black jeggings and a pair of boots.

Military Belted Coat - £90 at next.co.uk

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Glow in the Dark Halloween Roses

What smells like roses and glows in the dark? Glow in the dark roses!

These things are amazing. Perfect for a halloween party in the evening and gorgeous white roses during the day. These will be available from Interflora from 22nd - 31st October with next day delivery, so set yourself a reminder!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Project Life by Becky Higgins

I've tried scrapbooking very briefly before but always got disheartened by how boring and rubbish everything looked, and sticking photos and tickets and things down always felt a bit strange, a bit like I was ruining them.Then there's the amount of effort that goes into them. Hours are wasted just trying to get the right layout of combination of crazy patterned paper.

Image Credit

So, when I saw the Project Life scrapbooks by Becky Higgins I was totally excited. Simple, easy and beautiful. You buy a binder, plastic pages of pockets and a 'core kit' containing all the notecards your heart could desire. Then you add photos, tickets, memories - and there's your scrapbook.

Image Credit

As much as I really want to do one of these, the kit you need to start off comes at a staggering £58. The binder alone is £16.99. So for now I think I'll give it a miss, I don't think there's a hope in hell of me convincing Mr Bunn that £60 worth of stationery is money well spent.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Mission, craft room!

Today I have a project - Ashleigh and the Mr are out at rugby, I have two hours to myself. Am I going to have a long, luxurious bubble bath? No. Am I going to indulge by making a gorgeous, squidgy pumpkin cake? No. Am I going to clean the fish tank? No. Today, I'm going to take all my lovely craft supplies from their hiding place in the Harry Potter cupboard (you know, under the stairs?) and make myself a craft room!

My inspiration comes from Sew Many Ways. If you haven't seen this post you are obviously not spending enough time on pinterest. This room is amazing. I only have a little corner to work with, but I'm going to be using loads of the ideas found in the Sew Many Ways craft and sewing room.

So, here goes! Depending on how I get on you may very well see another post from me later today, so keep checking back. Wish me luck!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Review: Linicin Head Lice Treatment

Head Lice are always a bit of an embarrassing subject bringing up feelings of disgust in most people. The mere mention of them brings a tickly itch to anyone.

Having a 5 year old means that the little critters are an inevitable part of our lives now. Weekly (if not daily) combing to pry them off my daughter's hair, lotions and shampoos, old wives tales. It's a nightmare. The fact that Ashleigh has sensitive skin doesn't help either, and I'm not really a big fan of using harsh chemicals and pesticides on my child anyway. Luckily, I was recently sent some products from Linicin.

The first was their 15 Minute Lotion (£9.49 including comb) - it contains no insecticides and is kind enough to use from 6 months old (and also on pregnant and breast-feeding mums). It works by coating the hair and suffocating the lice whilst stopping the development of eggs. The lotion itself is an odourless oil which goes on really well. On Ashleigh's hair, which is a little past shoulder length, we used about half the bottle for the first treatment and the rest for the second 9 days later. I think for my very thick and very long hair we'd have needed at least a whole bottle though, so I stuck with the daily conditioning and combing. There are some great little games and activities on the Linicin website to keep Ashleigh occupied whilst she's waiting the required 15 minutes for the lotion to do its stuff. So, the lotion goes on, we wait, we wash and then we comb.

The second product I was sent wasLinicin Prevent Spray (£7.49). I simply spritz it onto Ashleigh's hair (once it's already in a nice, neat plait) and it keeps lice away all day at school. I don't know how, but it does. The bottle has lasted a good few weeks so far and is still half full.

The verdict? So far, so good. There were hardly any lice found in the second combing session and the prevent spray seems to have kept them at bay ever since. We're still doing weekly comb-throughs just to make sure but I'm really happy with both products.

You can buy all the products through the website and if you have kids I really recommend you do.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Fashion Focus: TLC Sport Clothing

TLC Sport | Sports Fitness Clothing for Women
Top £22 : Leggings £36

You may have seen over on Running Bunn that I recently got a lovely outfit from TLC Sport. Seeing as they're not a brand I'm familiar with I've spent a lot of time perusing their site. What I've found is that this is a family run, customer focused company catering for all shapes, sizes, fitness levels and activities. What more could you want?! Here's my selection of some of my favourite pieces from the site.