Lessons Learned by Taking a Break from Social Media

Taking a break from social media had been something that I had been thinking about for a while.  I had actually first thought about having a break from social media over a year ago.  Each time I tried though, I seemed to get drawn back into this modern day addiction.  It took a series of issues with my computer and my mobile phone to force me to stop checking all of my accounts for a while.

A Social Media Obsession

As a blogger, social media is an important part of my everyday life.  Promoting blog posts, finding blog posts from others to read and interacting on all of my social media pages is enjoyable but very time consuming.

It is so easy to get sucked into reading lots of social media updates and articles online.  All sorts of articles grab my attention.  One moment, I will reading about how to decorate a birthday cake the next I find myself watching a hair tutorial.  Before I know it, I’ve read about politics, Disney Land, how to save money, the 50 best slow cooker recipes, how to pack a suitcase effectively, what the cast of neighbours from 1989 all look like now, I have looked at a lot of photos from the 1900s on a local history page and have watched some of the build up to the birth of a giraffe.

What ever did I do before social media?

A Forced Break from Social Media

I spent some time in the countryside, where internet is very limited and broadband is the stuff of dreams.  This was the beginning of my social media break. Continue reading Lessons Learned by Taking a Break from Social Media

Easy Dairy Free and Egg Free Pasta Sauce Recipe

This dairy free and egg free pasta sauce recipe has been a favourite of mine since I was about 18 years old.  When I first left home, pasta became a huge part of my diet.  From making spaghetti bolognaise to my favourite pasta and sauce dishes, I have continued to make many pasta dishes over the years.  I was asked to write about this dish as a part of the Belling’s Cooking in Style campaign.  You can find more wonderful recipes by searching for the hashtag  #GoodLookingCooking on social media.

I’ve always dreamed of having one of the Belling range ovens to enable me to create new dishes.  I love that these come in different colours too.

The Problem with Pre-made Pasta Sauces

After finally figuring out that I had some food intolerances, I realised that many of the pasta sauces I was using actually contained some of the foods I was intolerant to.  I can’t have cows’ milk (unless it is a2 milk), eggs, bell peppers or chilli peppers (including paprika).  It is very difficult to find pasta sauces that don’t contain these foods.

As a result, I have spent some time devising my own pasta sauce recipes that are just as quick and easy as the store bought sauces.

Easy Dairy Free and Egg Free Pasta Sauce Recipe

Enjoy your dairy free and egg free pasta!

Serves 3

Ingredients

200g dried pasta
Tin of chopped tomatoes
6 rashers of bacon, cut into squares
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp vegetable oil
A pinch of salt and pepper

Method

1. Add 1 tsp vegetable oil into a pan of boiling water. Add the pasta and leave to cook until al dente.
2. Fry the bacon in 1 tsp oil.
3. Put the chopped tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper into the pan with the bacon. Leave to simmer on a medium heat.
4. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce.
5. Stir the sauce to cover the pasta.
6. Serve and enjoy!

Dairy free and egg free homemade pasta sauce ingredients: chopped tomatoes, black pepper and dried oregano.
Dairy free and egg free homemade pasta sauce ingredients.
Fry the bacon and cook the pasta.
Fry the bacon and cook the pasta.

Tasty, quick and easy pasta sauce recipe. Enjoy!

A Fantastic Dish for Students, After Work and After School

I found this a great recipe to use as a student.  It  is also a quick, easy and filling meal to make after work when I have very little time between getting home and starting to work from home again during the evening.  My children also love this dish.  They always clean their plates when we have this after school.

My children love helping me to measure out the pasta (I am not good at this as I always put way too much in. It’s a good job they are there to help me get it right), as well as to mix the ingredients for the sauce.  H often makes sure she taste tests the pasta before I serve it.

Alternative Pasta Sauces to Try

This pasta sauce recipe lends itself to having more vegetables added to it.  In the past, I have added grated carrot to it, sliced carrot also works well.  Broccoli and chopped onion with a hint of crushed garlic are also tasty additions to this dish.  Also, I have, on occasion, swapped the oregano for basil that gives this a different flavour even though the base ingredients are the same.

This dish is so versatile, family and allergy friendly that it is a recipe that we will continue to use again and again throughout the coming years.  Maybe one day, it will be a dish that my children can cook when they leave home.

 

Disclosure: This is a Collaborative Post.

How To Get More Of Your Five A Day

Convenience food is at an all time best isn’t it? Microwave burgers, rice and everything nice. Meals you pour hot water over and eat out of a pot. Ready made everything that you can eat out of the packet, or chuck in the oven for half an hour and it’s cooked. Then there’s the various street vendors and high street chains offering high quality tasty treats for super low prices and all ready almost instantly. Food is definitely, the most convenient it has ever been.

The problem with this is, we as a country are also more obese than we have ever been before. Studies show that in 2015 nearly 70% of men in the UK were obese, and nearly 60% of women were also found to be obese. Rising trends tracked from 2001 show that this percentage has been constantly rising over the years. This is not just because of convenience foods, lack of exercise, computer games, busy lifestyles or any one factor, it is because of a combination of things leading to any one person piling on the pounds unknowingly. Continue reading How To Get More Of Your Five A Day

5 Great Nights in That Will Put The Pub to Shame

Wintertime is upon us, and no one really feels like venturing out and braving the weather just to go to the same old local. While the pub or local bar might not be appealing, we have to remember that it’s important to socialise and keep in touch with friends, even if all we feel like doing is hibernating! Why not organise a night in with friends? It’s cheaper, more creative and guaranteed to warm everyone’s spirits during this cold time of year. Here are some ideas for how to host an unforgettable night in with friends.

1. Homemade Non-alcoholic Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres

Night In. Photo provided by Shine PR. ID:150523649

Sometimes you have to put the kids to bed and get down to business with the grown-ups! Non-alcoholic ocktail parties offer much more than the pub and at a fraction of the cost. Choose an exotic non-alcoholic cocktail or two and all pitch in for the ingredients. Continue reading 5 Great Nights in That Will Put The Pub to Shame

Tangle Teezer Hairbrushes for Long Hair

The Tangle Teezer hair brush has made our lives so much easier over the past couple of years.  For a long time, both my daughter and I have struggled to find the right hair brush that takes the knots out without pulling.

We have tried a variety of hair brushes over the years.  From wide toothed combs to fine toothed combs to barrel brushes.  Nothing seemed to work very well in getting those knots out of longer hair.  My daughter also has curly hair so this was an extra challenge.

Continue reading Tangle Teezer Hairbrushes for Long Hair