RECIPE JOURNAL: Meatless Monday {1 year, 2 weeks & 1 year 3 weeks}

Another combined Meatless Monday this post, hoping to get back to weekly posts going forward but as you read this post you may well understand why it’s been somewhat hectic and crazy recently. 

So before I get on to food here’s my fortnight  in 8 (Starting with the week ending Sunday 03 July 2016):

8.


  

  1. Firstly and most importantly this fortnight started with the mind-blowing information delivered at our 12 wk scan that we’re expecting twins! TWINS! WTF! Something neither of us ever considered as even a possibility as we have none whatsoever in the family, either side, it was in category “oh that happens to other people, I don’t really need to pay attention” and then boom! It was happening to us! I will go more into this and my journey to twin mummyhood in my new blog section Future Little Gherkins – but yeah, in summary – MIND-BLOWN! This image was how we announced on Facebook and I must say we were both so blown away by the love and the support which came back in abundance, so so many well wishers – which definitely helped with feeling like it was all going to be ok.
  2. This quote I found in my news feed this week and it was just so on point (see no.1) – as the dust settled I was re-taught this lesson once more that no matter how much you plan your life, consciously or subconsciously, it never does turn out exactly as planned – but that is actually ok 🙂 – in fact, as my friend Rachel commented on this very photo “What I got instead is so much better than I could ever have imagined”…
  3. On Thursday, post scan, I worked the Cranfield University 2016 Graduation, it really is such a wonderful day of celebration to be part of and I was very proud to be involved once again 🙂 And for a bit of fun this year our Social Media Marketing Team set up a photobooth.
  4. On the Friday I had the day off work and went down to the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show with my Mum, Sister and Aunty. We had a lovely day browsing around and catching up, even though the show was more commercial than I had thought it would be and less show gardens I was still very pleased to have ticked it off my bucket list.
  5.  We met up with Adam’s family for a pre-birthday celebration, for him, over the next weekend and his lovely cousin Penny gave me this gift – such a cute idea of lots of caption cards for capturing all the different stages of pregnancy
  6. I’m a great believer in trying to laugh when life throws you unexpected challenges, and this poster which one of my friends shared on my wall this fortnight really tickled me 🙂
  7. Final quote of this week is just about remaining happy and counting your blessings every day and it really does show on your face and radiate from you – that is the true measure of beauty
  8. A bit of a funny video shared by Time about the Downing Street cat, but used here as a placeholder for the pretty major news that this fortnight we said goodbye to David Cameron as our Prime Minister and hello to Theresa May, though we didn’t have any say at all in who the Conservative Party chose to lead them for the next foreseeable amount of time before the next general election, and I always feel pretty disconnected from politics in this country anyway, I felt it was an important enough change that it deserved a mention here. It remains to be seen what a new PM, new cabinet and our choice to leave the EU will mean for the UK going forward but it has happened now so so be it… a new future of politics begins as of now too.
Right on to food…

1 year, 2 weeks

Breakfast:

Granola with semi skimmed organic milk and a glass of fresh tropical juice from the milkman.

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year 2 weeks}: Breakfast

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year 2 weeks}: Breakfast

 

 

Lunch:

A jam jar of salad, some melon, leftover pasta parcels from 1yr 1wk, a pack of dairylea dunkers, a petit filous, an apple, a packet of animal biscuits and a jam jar of squash.

 

 

Dinner:

This was my first week where I felt well enough to go back to yoga on a Monday so when I got in I just wanted something quick and easy and tasty, cream of tomato soup, a bagel and a packet of crisps 🙂

 

1 year, 3 week

My morning sickness returned worse than ever on Sunday and I just felt completely wiped out all day, hence my decision to put 2 Meatless Monday posts together, I was particularly gutted as I had entered my 2nd trimester where it was supposed to clear up and I had felt so so much better all week and had managed to go back to both yoga classes for the first time in weeks to my delight and was genuinely starting to feel like me again and then bam – Sunday, Monday and Tuesday all felt horrid. But the weird thing about morning sickness, for me at least, aside from the fact it isn’t just morning or just sickness at all so all in all it’s a stupid name for it to be fair, is you don’t actually lose your appetite, sure you don’t fancy certain things but your body seems to crave food and every time I feel sicky, if I eat I generally feel better 🙂  

Breakfast:

Just granola, with semi skimmed organic milk and grape juice this morning. 

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year 3 weeks}: Breakfast

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year 3 weeks}: Breakfast

Lunch:

Dairylea Dunker (this could be turning into a current daily obsession, but they really are just so yummy), Meze and houmous, packet of animal biscuits, an apple, a plum and 2 petit filous :). I find I feel best when I have lots of little things like this to just graze on throughout the day rather than eating lots in one go.   

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year 3 weeks}: Lunch

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year 3 weeks}: Lunch

 

Dinner:

Just went for a jacket potato and salad. A useful tip when cooking a jacket potato in the over is to put it on a bbq metal sequer as that conducts the heat into the middle of the potato and mean it takes less time to cook – should be 40-50 mins rather than an hour or more, which all saves energy, time and money so is all good to me. For the filling I grated some cheddar and mixed with black pepper and chives from the garden and butter, proper yummy. I treated myself to a packet of pom bears whilst I was waiting for it to cook.

What did you eat this Meatless Monday, I’d love to know, please leave me links/comments below… 

 

Please check out my Pinterest meatless inspiration board: #MeatlessMonday  to gather some pinspiration:

pinterest board

Along with the official Meatless Monday board which I am also now sharing on:

Meatless Monday Bloggers - Official Board

Find out how I got on to Meatless Mondays in the first place by watching this video:

And check out #meatlessmondays on this blog to see all my Meatless Monday posts and recipes. Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

 

 

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RECIPE JOURNAL: Meatless Monday {1 year! & 1 year 1 week}

Milestone week and the week after – a whole year of doing Meatless Monday! As you may have seen on my Facebook Page, I decided to amalgamate the last 2 weeks into one post as with finishing off our holiday in America, traveling home, dealing with jet lag and going back to work and then having a family wedding at the end of the week I really haven’t had much of an opportunity to blog.

I know I have said this before, but I am going to say it again, as a year milestone post seems like a good place to write it, I have been amazed by how easily I have adapted to giving up meat once I week. I love meat, but I love animals too, and whilst I always do try to buy local, organic and free range whenever I have an opportunity, when I watched this Upworthy video on Meatless Monday I was genuinely blown away by how many good reasons there were to do it… 

I am a foodie but I have a busy life, both social and work and family, and don’t always have time to cook, but I have found it so fun finding out about easy meat free alternatives and the more I learn the more I am eating meat free more than once a week too. I genuinely do believe I can do it then everyone can! So I hope you do take the challenge and give it a go, I bet you will be surprised how easy it is and how many options there are. Pinterest as ever is your friend and you can find some great ideas boards linked at the bottom of this post. It is cheaper, healthier, more environmentally friendly on every level and it really is amazing what a difference it makes to all those things just by giving up meat once a week. 

But before I get on to food here’s my fortnight  in 8 (Starting with the week ending Sunday 26 June 2016):

I’ve cheated a little by using the Instagram layout tool (which I love! by the way) as I just had too many lovely things to share with you in the past fortnight…

 

  1. After leaving New York we flew to Chicago and then picked up a rental car and drove to Kalamazoo in Michigan, around 2 hours away, where my sister and her family live. They only can come back to the UK every couple of years so it was really special to be able to see them all in the year in the middle. My nieces are just so gorgeous and we get on so well with my sister and her husband too. We really cherish the time we get to spend together. It was hot hot hot, these first few photos were from a walk we went on in some lovely woodland near their house 🙂
  2. Where they live isn’t far at all from Lake Michigan, which is literally like the sea-side just without salt water, but honestly other than that you would never know the difference. We were very lucky to be invited to spend the day at their friends beach house which was just lovely and had more beach toys than I think I have ever seen in one garage 🙂 We just chilled with the kids on the beach and in the lake – it was just perfect! We also then spend a separate day visiting a little lakeside (seaside) town near them called South Haven, which had a harbour and pier and lighthouses along with some awesome ice cream shops – very much worth a visit! 
  3. It is always sad to say goodbye but always nice to get a group photo of everyone to treasure, many happy memories made this trip.
  4. Our next stop en route back to Chicago was a place called La Porte, just outside Michigan City in Indiana, it was an excellent stop over and lovely AirBnB and we say the craziest of lightning storms over the corn fields!
  5. Then we carried on driving to Chicago, the last place we visited before flying home. We stayed in an awesome neighbourhood, which I would highly recommend to all, call Andersonville. We went to downtown Chicago first and went on the architectural river tour, which again I would highly recommend to all and then headed back to Andersonville itself for the last couple of days where I met up with a my friend Meredith, and her lovely girlfriend Erin, whom I had met when she was an American exchange student during my undergrad degree 10 years ago (where did that time go!) and unfortunately hadn’t had the chance to see since.  They were our tour guides for the whole time and took us to so many artsy, funky and foodie places I lost count. I’m telling you this is a must see neighbourhood if you ever get the opportunity it really is amazing! 
  6. Back in the UK and a little blurry from jet lag, but managed to re-arrange two exciting furniture deliveries to be re-delivered on the Monday (jet lag recovery day I had booked before going back to work, definitely a good idea when changing timezone, I honestly don’t know how people manage to function without). The first of which I had ordered was our stool for our bedroom which I had sourced at a random website I hadn’t used before called Private Floor, which seems to do all sorts of last season furniture at discount prices, similar concept Achica, the snag is you have to order your bargain months in advance and they just send it out once in stock, but this little gem cost just £50 – which for a stool of that quality is actually really great. Then came my bargain of the year! Courtesy of dotcomgiftshop – I saw this in their sale email whilst stateside and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the price. I’ve been swooning over these industrial look dining chairs for at least 5 yrs but have never seen them at a decent price, they usually go for around £130 each – which was just never going to be in my budget. These were actually under £100 for 4!!!! Now boys and girls when you see a bargain that good – it is actually criminal not to get them, and so I did and they are just as beautiful in person as they were online – super happy!
  7. On the way back to the UK on the plane I finally got round to watching the Great Gatsby, a film which I had heard good things about for a long time but never got round to watching; Leo (tick), Baz Luhrmann Directing (tick), set all in the fabulous 1920s but with a postmodern Baz Luhrmann nodd (tick). Anyway it really was a fab film which I would recommend adding to your bucket list. But I really did get inspired by the styling, so when it came to picking out a look for my sister-in-law’s wedding at the end of the week I figured why not go to town with it a bit, so I made a trip to Claire’s accessories and got myself some 1920s hair accessories and costume jewellery. Then went to my lovely hairdresser friend Mel, who put the look together for me the morning of the wedding – I was so pleased with the result 🙂 
  8. Finally thought I would share a few of my favourite snaps from yesterday at my lovely sister-in-law’s wedding. It was such a beautiful day and they just looked so happy together, I wish them every happiness for the future. 
Phew…Right onto food…

1 year

At this point we were staying with my sister and my brother-in-law…

Breakfast:

OK cheating a bit on the photos as I quite honestly forgot to photograph breakfast so had to source these from google image search, my bad, but had a lovely piece of toast with honey and a cup of English breakfast tea, my sister, bless her ordered Yorkshire Tea in bulk on the internet and always insists on the importance of making tea in a teapot 🙂

 

Lunch:

For lunch I just whipped up some veggie crepes for myself my sister and nieces using what they had in the fridge and made lemon and sugar ones for dessert followed by an apple.

 

 

Dinner:

For dinner my brother-in-law (an amazing home cook taught to cook my his Italian Grandma – enough said!) put together a delicious veggie chilli and rice dish which I followed with a piece of his handmade blueberry cake and some grapes – yes I was pretty spoilt with food in Kalamazoo 🙂 

1 year, 1 week

First week back home in the UK… and severally jet lagged still so excuse the random food choices once again…

Breakfast:

Breakfast was actually pretty normal, Cheerios with milk and a glass of grape juice. 

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year! & 1 year 1 week}: Breakfast

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year! & 1 year 1 week}: Breakfast

Lunch/Snacking:

This lunch/snacking took place from mid morning to late afternoon and was admittedly random but because I felt so sicky with the jet lag I just went for what I fancied when I fancied it which consisted of:

  • a packet of cheese and onion crisps and glass of grape juice
  • an apple
  • an english muffin with butter and Marmite and a cup of tea
  • and finally a petits filous

Dinner:

Dinner was a little less random but certainly a bit plain Jane,  so when I made leftover pots up I added grated cheddar, fresh chives, sun-dried tomatoes and diced bell peppers. When I had it on this night I literally just used the jarred sauce on its own and that was it! Ah well it served its purpose at the time, I am looking forward to the leftovers mind 🙂

Please check out my Pinterest meatless inspiration board: #MeatlessMonday  to gather some pinspiration:

pinterest board

Along with the official Meatless Monday board which I am also now sharing on:

Meatless Monday Bloggers - Official Board

 

And check out #meatlessmondays on this blog to see all my Meatless Monday posts and recipes. Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

 

 

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RECIPE JOURNAL: Meatless Monday {week 51}

So we’re into week 51 of Meatless Monday… Fully based in the States this week and primarily in NYC still so that is what I will focus on…

Here’s my  week in 4 (week ending Sunday 19 June 2016):
  1. We have really made the most of our time in the city and seen a whole bunch of stuff which I hadn’t before, the city really does have so so much to offer, it’s the kind of place where you only ever feel like you’re getting the tip of the iceberg when you go there, but I would suggest going for 4-5 days at a time as there is just so much walking and we were both glad that we did our 4 days before flying on to see my sister in Michigan. One of the fab things which we saw this time but I hadn’t seen last time is all the amazing street art – we found this one in the East village and Adam took a photo of me in front of it – it’s just so full of colour – I love it – well worth keeping your eyes peeled as you walk round the city for any possible examples.
  2. On one of our final days in the city we went to the World Trade 911 memorial fountains… 911 is a day I will never forget along with everyone else in my generation, it just seemed so unreal as we watched it play out on the TV, I remember I was in town shopping on the way back from MK College and one of my contemporaries came running over to me and said “Gill, go home and turn on the TV, WW3 is about to start!” – Well thank God that didn’t exactly happen but it certainly did change the world and we know it – so so sad how many innocent people died that day, how in spite of how it came about, as I am aware that there are many many conspiracies about how the towers came down and who exactly was behind it all, the point is far far too many innocent people lost their lives that day, far too many families were broken forever! I think it really sank in for me and finally didn’t feel like it was all just a movie when I watched the Fireman documentary on the events of the day – that brought it home and made it all real. Last time I was in NYC in 2008 the site was still just a massive hole in the ground which we just drove past on our cab ride uptown, so I really wanted to make sure I saw the finished memorial this time around. I have to say I was quite blown away by its beauty, it really had been designed to be such a poignant, peaceful and beautiful place to reflect, and I can only imagine that I would bring some peace to those who lost people they knew and loved on that horrific day. This is one of my favourite photos I took at our visit, hope you love it too.   
  3.  Today was the official start of summer and the longest day – we were based in Michigan and it has been boiling (29’C) all  so we have mostly just lazed round the house huddling round various fans and going to the nice cool basement whenever we have an opportunity to as my sister is yet to have her AC installed. It’s been lovely hanging out with my American family as, we only get to see them a maximum of once a yr and a minimum of every 3  which can be hard to take so I really to cherish any opportunity I have to spend with them.  
  4. Finally I wanted to mention the second tragedy to take place since we have arrived in the States, the 1st being the Orlando shooting; an American-born man who’d pledged allegiance to ISIS gunned down 49 people early Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the deadliest mass shooting in the United States and the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11, authorities said. And the second, Congresses complete failure to even amend any of the gun laws post this dreadful attack which was confirmed today – I can’t even describe my disgust at this – I just don’t understand the rationale of these people, how can they possible think that no changes are needed! Seriously! 
Right onto food…

It’s worth stating that this Monday just gone I was really suffering with jet lag as we had only just arrived in the country and so my eating was still very topsy-turvy… luckily after 24 hrs I did finally regulate and have felt fine ever since… 🙂

Breakfast:

Breakfast was just simply and what our AirBnB host had kindly left for us to use in the apartment, a nice blended part cornflake part granola cereal and some Tropicana orange juice, I then came across this really tasty Raspberry Lemonade, also by Tropicana, which I don’t believe we can get back home but was really refreshing in the heat so I bought some from the deli downstairs to take out and about with me.  

Lunch/Brunch:

I have called this lunch/brunch this week as it was probably closer to a 2nd breakfast, but end of the day I was still getting used to the 5 hrs time difference, it was what I fancied and it was yummy. I found this gorgeous cafe just off of Central Park and down from the Guggenheim with help of the places to eat function on google maps, which is so easy to use and really does show you some places which you wouldn’t otherwise find. I just ordered some really nice fresh, brown honey toast and one of the nicest cups of earl grey tea I have had in a very long time! – who said American’s don’t know how to make tea – I definitely proved that theory wrong with this place. and had to post you some photos of the inside too as it really was just stunning architecture,  highly recommend you checking it out if you are ever in the city! 

 

Dinner/Linner:

By Linner/Dinner, with my stomach still utterly confused as to what was going on, I unfortunately made the school-girl veggie 101 error of ordering a veggie burger in a restaurant, if I’m honestly with myself pretty much because my husband had ordered a delicious looking meat burger and the chips looked awesome too – so I though – oh it won’t be that different, it will totally meet that need – right – wrong! Learn from my mistake – never order a meat substitute in a restaurant, especially one which doesn’t specialise in veggie food – it’s along the same lines as the rule to never order a curry outside of an Indian restaurant it is just always a disappointment! I just wish I had ordered the veggie pesto pasta – which I was toying with the idea of – but then I got won over by the idea of the chips…damn it. Ah well it wasn’t all bad – it just meant that dinner (linner) consisted of the very nice French Fries and the side salad which came with the burger which I just couldn’t eat 🙂

Please check out my Pinterest meatless inspiration board: #MeatlessMonday  to gather some pinspiration:

pinterest board

Along with the official Meatless Monday board which I am also now sharing on:

Meatless Monday Bloggers - Official Board

Find out how I got on to Meatless Mondays in the first place by watching this video:

And check out #meatlessmondays on this blog to see all my Meatless Monday posts and recipes. Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

 

 

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CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 5)

This is the 5th of my series of blog posts reviewing our cat tracking collars and app from KADDZ, check out #KADDZ  to see my whole series of blog posts on these collars. 

This time I said I would go into the remaining reports under the individual cat profiles, more and more of which become available as more and more data is collected by the collars.

Right, so from the profile screen you see you have a button called…

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

Click on this and you will get the following screen…

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

In this post I’m going to focus in on the final 2 reports available from this list, Necklace Status Overview & Summary Output…

Necklace Status Overview

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

When you click into this report you get the following screen:

Screenshot_20160620-161447
…Which in turn has several sub reports available after the initial screen including Trail, Movement Brightness

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review: necklace status overview

Screenshot_20160620-161440

Trail shows the times and places your cat stopped on their most recent journey.

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review: necklace status overview

 
Screenshot_20160620-161457

Movement is a neat report which shows in a simple bar chart at what time your cat moved the most in the most recent period of movement. 

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review: necklace status overview

 
Screenshot_20160620-161514

Brightness  shows, again in a simple bar chart, brightness level where your cat and collar is in the most recent recording period. Of course it is worth bearing in mind that if your cat is lying around somewhere they may well be laying on the light sensor, which may well affect the accuracy of this report, but it is still once again another fascinating insight into your cat’s behaviour. 

Summary Output

When you come out of Necklace Status Overview you can then go back to the main reports page in order to select the Summary output report…

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

Screenshot_20160620-183715.png

 

This is another fascinating report, which breaks down your cat’s activity to show when they are inside and outside both weekly and daily. 

In my next, and final post, I will go into the remaining features on the app including how to track your collar if it does go missing and useful features available for when you are on holiday and you have cat sitters… we continue to be very impressed by these collars and their functionality. If you have any questions at all please comment below and I will answer wherever I can, and if not direct your query to my contacts at KADDZ directly.

Check out #KADDZ  to see my whole series of blog posts on these collars. 

You can also check out their company using the following links:

KADDZ on Facebook

KADDZ on Twitter

KADDZ on Pinterest

KADDZ website

KADDZ on YouTube

KADDZ tracking collars

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RECIPE JOURNAL: Meatless Monday {week 50}

So we’re into week 50 of Meatless Monday… This was the week which started with a flood and ended with New York City baby! (hard to believe looking back on it that so much happened this week, but here I am in NYC writing this post so it must be true!). So fair to say it’s been a bit of a hectic one! I also still haven’t fully got over my cold so please excuse if some of my food choices seem a bit random!

Here’s my  week in 4 (week ending Sunday 12 June 2016):
  1. So on Tuesday this week after what seemed to be a pretty lovely day weather wise the heavens literally opened and so occurred some of the most biblical proportion rain I have seen in living memory on campus where I work! This photo which I have picked really doesn’t show the half of it, but one of our Cranfield contemporaries put together this YouTube video which definitely gives you more of an idea of what went on! Cars went off the road and into ditches, people were stranded, several buildings were flooded, and several of my colleagues cars sustained flood damage too! I’ve honestly never know anything like it! But I was very lucky and my baby car is a bit higher up and so made it through the flood water and crawled home without any damage thank goodness. 
  2. This is just a sweet quote I saw on the Elephant Journals this week and basically what I took from it was to count your blessings every minute of every day, which is what I always try to do, especially when we all do have so much to be thankful for, for me this week being lucky with my car in the floods, and then a few days later when I took it in for some regular maintenance at the wonderful local garage – Pikesleys in Woburn Sands, and it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg, and then of course being able to come to America on holiday with husband which I will give more details of in points 3 and 4 and also in next weeks Meatless Monday as all my food for that was purchased in NYC 🙂
  3.  This Sunday just gone we flew to NYC to begin our 2016 American adventure! – Starting in NYC before going on to Kalamazoo in Michigan to visit my sister and her family, then back round Lake Michigan stopping off in Michigan City for the night en route to Chicago where I am meeting up with a wonderful American Exchange Student friend who I haven’t seen in 10 years since I was at uni! Before flying home.
  4. This photo was taken on our first day here in NYC at the Top of the Rock, still arguably one of the best views in the whole city! I had seen it last time I had been on a friends recommendation but I was trilled to get the opportunity to show it to my lovely hubby today and he was just as blown away as I was!  
Right onto food…

Breakfast:

Marmite bagels with ginger and orange tea with honey, I grated and then strained the ginger in order to get more of the ginger medicinal effect to help my cold. 

Lunch:

Leftover broccoli pasta, a jam jar of salad, a lemon and white chocolate cupcake (courtesy of M&S, and left over from birthday celebratory tea last week), and apple, some quavers and some leftover ginger tea and ginger beer to finish.

 

Dinner:

For dinner, I was still very much in a place of eating what I fancied and what I could stomach on top of my lovely summer cold symptoms! So I had the perhaps random, but to me delicious combination of several rice cakes with butter and Marmite and some good old traditional canned cream of tomato soup – proper comfort food. I then treated myself in the food shopping this week to a pack of mini twister ice lollies which were as much of a favourite in childhood as they are now, just so refreshing and delicious.

Please check out my Pinterest meatless inspiration board: #MeatlessMonday  to gather some pinspiration:

pinterest board

Along with the official Meatless Monday board which I am also now sharing on:

Meatless Monday Bloggers - Official Board

Find out how I got on to Meatless Mondays in the first place by watching this video:

And check out #meatlessmondays on this blog to see all my Meatless Monday posts and recipes. Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

 

 

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RECIPE JOURNAL: Meatless Monday {week 49}

So we’re into week 49 of Meatless Monday… Another Monday, another bank holiday weekend, we are spoilt for them at this time of the year but then we don’t, now, have any more until August… It’s been a pretty busy week this week, with anniversaries, weddings, family meet ups and summertime colds for good measure!

Here’s my  week in 4 (week ending Sunday 05 June 2016):
  1. I managed to develop a summertime cold over the weekend, seemingly from nowhere, which I am still battling with right now so am going to head for an early bed very soon, on Wednesday however it was our wedding Anniversary and 3 years very happily married we are, though, due to the blasted cold, we had to cancel dinner plans and I wound up off work all day and streaming with cold we still had a lovely romantic evening snuggled on the couch, with the cats, eating pizza and watching TV, and though it wasn’t what was planned it was actually kind of perfect. 3rd yr in is represented by leather gifts so I got him a twisted leather bracelet with our wedding date engraved on a plaque and he got me this lovely Ted Baker pen with stylus and leather case. – Just perfect #happywivesclub    
  2. Fast forward to the morn of Adam cousin’s Penny’s wedding and I am relieved to say I was feeling a lot better – topped up with fresh ginger tea off I went to get my hair put up at my lovely hairdressers for the day – such a great way to make yourself feel just a bit more special on special occasions. I have to say I am also seriously impressed with this Karen Millen dress I managed to find on eBay 2nd hand and perfect condition for £40 including postage, likely add a ‘0’ if you were going to buy it new. I always get occasional wear for bargain prices on eBay – would much rather a 2nd hand Karen Millen, Ted Baker or Coast dress which I know the quality will last the test of time and I will treasure rather than some throw away Primarny number, don’t get me wrong Primarny has its place too but when it comes to special, occasional wear the eBay route always seems to work out to be a winner, if you are yet to give a go I can highly recommend it 🙂
  3. It was an absolutely beautiful wedding, filled with so much love friends and family, a real special day, and this was one of my favourite photos, just a selfie with my lovely hubby taken in the spur of the moment which actually turned out to be a lovely one 🙂
  4. The week came to a close with a re-arranged birthday meet up with my two besties, just a casual afternoon tea affair with Marie and Anna and Ellamay (Marie’s little girl, also with a birthday in June) I just treasure these times together, just hanging out and catching up with good friends over a cuppa tea, it’s just pure bliss. 
Right onto food…

Breakfast:

Fresh bread toast spread thick with set honey (just like my Daddy would), which I had with my usual nice mug of lemon, honey and ginger and a small glass of fresh juice to take my vitamins with.

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk49: Breakfast

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk49: Breakfast

Lunch:

Lunch turned into my main meal of the day as we went over to my parents to meet up with them along with my sister and her husband too. Jacket potato and cheese, salad, pumpkin falafel, and my Mum’s delicious ratatouille. This rather delicious fresh juice to drink and then not one but two puddings! – well I was at Mum’s and it was the bank holiday! – first a mini pot of Haagen-Dazs Cookies and Cream ice cream followed by a slice of her homemade flan 🙂  

We then finished off our afternoon finally getting round to using our National Trust membership at the lovely, Ascott House (which I will attempt to write a separate blog post on shortly), but for now here is a lovely photo of the 4 of us in the grounds… 

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk49: Trip to Ascott House

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk49: Trip to Ascott House

Dinner:

For dinner I just had leftover mushroom pasta from wk48

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk49: Dinner

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk49: Dinner

 

 

Please check out my Pinterest meatless inspiration board: #MeatlessMonday  to gather some pinspiration:

pinterest board

Along with the official Meatless Monday board which I am also now sharing on:

Meatless Monday Bloggers - Official Board

Find out how I got on to Meatless Mondays in the first place by watching this video:

And check out #meatlessmondays on this blog to see all my Meatless Monday posts and recipes. Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

 

 

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RECIPE JOURNAL: Meatless Monday {week 48}

So we’re into week 48 of Meatless Monday… 

My  week in 4 (week ending Sunday 29 May 2016):
  1. At the end of this coming week is my husband’s first cousins wedding, we’re all really looking forward to it – it should be quite an event, as apart from anything else they are getting married on the famous Woburn Estate and having the reception in the Safari Park. This was the first part of my prep, to get my nails done by my lovely ex-colleague and friend Suz, I just love a French manicure, it is so timeless and classic and this is done with gel polish so fingers crossed should last the week and beyond!  
  2. This quote came back up on Timehop this week but always makes me smile and never gets old, it’s just so true!
  3. It was that time of the month, time for a girls night out again this week, so back to my current fave haunt, Revolution De Cuba in MK and this time with my lovely friend Georgie, from the village, we both had a lovely night and decided to eat there too and the food was good value and yummy.  
  4. It’s almost time for a pretty big vote in the UK – BREXIT – do we stay or do we leave Europe! Personally I want to stay part of Europe for all sorts of reasons, I like being part of something bigger, I like that opportunities and choices which being part of Europe provides, it’s good for where I work at a University as Students from Europe can easily come and study with us and as such are a big and very important part of our client base, if they had to get visas and pay international fees it would definitely effect a lot, these are just some of my reasons and everyone of course has to decide for themselves the right decision for them. I came across this article this week and found it to be a very interesting read, and worth having a read yourself if you are still trying to decide: Brexit: we’re asking the wrong question
Right onto food…

Breakfast:

Berry granola, with semi skimmed organic milk, which I had with my usual nice mug of lemon, honey and ginger and a small glass of fresh juice to take my vitamins with.

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk48: Breakfast

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk48: Breakfast

Lunch:

Lovely Meze with sugar snap peas, peppers, carrots and pitta and a cup of lady grey team and some melon, an apple and a Dark chocolate Tunnocks Caramel Bar

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk48: Lunch

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk48: Lunch

 

Dinner:

I had had my monthly Abel and Cole delivery this week in which I had received a crate of chestnut mushrooms, so I thought I’d go for a bit of what I fancied and whipped up some creamy mushroom and sage pasta using fresh sage from the garden, here’s how I did it….

 

Please check out my Pinterest meatless inspiration board: #MeatlessMonday  to gather some pinspiration:

pinterest board

Along with the official Meatless Monday board which I am also now sharing on:

Meatless Monday Bloggers - Official Board

Find out how I got on to Meatless Mondays in the first place by watching this video:

And check out #meatlessmondays on this blog to see all my Meatless Monday posts and recipes. Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

 

 

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RECIPE JOURNAL: Honey and Sweet Chilli Chicken {guest post by Iona Bruce}

JamJarGill:RECIPE JOURNAL: Honey and Sweet Chilli Chicken {guest post by Iona Bruce}

Iona

I am excited to introduce yet another guest author here at JamJarGill.com, Iona Bruce, of IonaBFit is a personal trainer, fitness blogger, competitive trampolinist, and weightlifter from Glasgow. Her blog www.ionabfit.com shares fitness advice, workouts, lifestyle tips, and recipes which are easy to recreate at home!

Check her out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and of course at her blog itself. 

She has very kindly put together a delicious and healthy looking recipe for you to try at home….

 

Honey and Sweet Chilli Chicken
Serves 2
This simple chicken dish is a great healthy alternative to that Saturday night takeaway. It gives you all the flavour you could want but takes less than 15 minutes to make!
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Ingredients
  1. 400g chicken, chopped.
  2. 4 desert spoons of sweet chilli sauce.
  3. 2 desert spoons of honey.
  4. 1.5 desert spoons of dark soy sauce.
  5. Lemon juice, optional, to taste.
  6. 3 spring onions, chopped.
  7. 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.
  8. 1 cup of rice, rinsed.
  9. 2 cups of water
Instructions
  1. Add the sweet chilli sauce, honey, and soy sauce to a bowl and mix.
  2. If you find this too sweet, add lemon juice to taste.
  3. Add the chicken to the bowl and cover in the marinade.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for two hours (this step can be missed if in a rush).
  5. Add the coconut oil to a frying pan and melt over a medium heat.
  6. When the pan is hot, add the marinated chicken.
  7. Cook thoroughly, making sure to keep stirring.
  8. Once the chicken is cooked, add the spring onions and stir through.
  9. Whilst cooking the chicken, add the water to a separate pan and bring to the boil.
  10. Add the rice and cover with a lid before simmering for 10 minutes.
  11. Once cooked, leave for a few minutes, or until the rice has absorbed the excess water.
  12. Remove the lid, mix the rice and allow to stand for another 2 minutes.
  13. Add the rice and chicken mixture to a dish and serve immediately!
  14. To add a ‘crunch’ to the dish, serve with homemade tortilla chips http://www.ionabfit.com/2016/04/16/tortilla-crisps-recipe/.
So they call me Jam Jar Gill... http://www.jamjargill.com/

 

Please do drop me a line at jamjargill@gmail.com if you too are interested in writing a guest post… I am always interested in collaborating with my blogging community & small and/or local businesses 🙂

 

 

 

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RECIPE JOURNAL: Meatless Monday {week 47}

So we’re into week 47 of Meatless Monday… 

My  week in 4 (week ending Sunday 22 May 2016):
  1. Posted this week by one of my teacher friends, but actually made a lot of sense…It is in fact pretty rare to know what you want to do with your life at 18…but we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about this…I’ve decided now to categorize my 20s as my Goldilocks era, I was trying things out and trying to work it all out and that’s ok…30s is for settling, and sorting you need to go out and experience the world a bit, I’d advise anyone to do the same 🙂
  2. I got an Amazon Fire TV Stick for Christmas from my lovely hubby, and I have also been getting more and more addicted to Spotify recently (please check out my playlists here) and so when we had some couple friends coming over for a dinner party this week, also bearing in mind we no longer have a working traditional stereo, I suddenly thought, ah I wonder if there’s an app on my firestick for Spotify, and sure enough there was! 😀 this was quite a revelation as now I can play music again in the house! Hurray! so definitely a discovery worth sharing. Really pleased overall with my Firestick, please see link below for how to order one, they’re super easy to set up and transform any TV with a USB port into a internet ready TV:
  3. I saw this quote this week and just wanted to share it purely as a good reminder 🙂
  4. The Global Retreat Centre, which I am a big fan of, have rebranded their emails this week and are sending out weekly thought provoking reminders, I saw this week’s one and definitely thought it was worth a share, as it really was quite profound. 
Right onto food…

Breakfast:

I went back to Aldi shopping for the first time in ages this week and picked up this super yummy new granola which I had with my usual nice mug of lemon, honey and ginger.

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk47: Breakfast

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk47: Breakfast

Lunch:

Lovely Meze with sugar snap peas, peppers, carrots, baby corn and pitta and a cup of lady grey team and a nectarine, an apple and a Dark chocolate Tunnocks Caramel Bar

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk47: Lunch

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday: wk47: Lunch

 

 

Dinner:

It was the last night before my hubby came back from his bro-in-law-to-be’s 5 day stag do in Madrid so I thought I would treat to myself to something a bit indulgent for dinner and this is how I did it… (I also started, whilst cooking with some sweet and salty popcorn to keep me going after yoga and finished with a more healthy apple)…

Please check out my Pinterest meatless inspiration board: #MeatlessMonday  to gather some pinspiration:

pinterest board

Find out how I got on to Meatless Mondays in the first place by watching this video:

And check out #meatlessmondays on this blog to see all my Meatless Monday posts and recipes. Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

 

 

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CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

So this is the 4th of my series of blog posts reviewing our cat tracking collars and app from KADDZ, check out #KADDZ  to see my whole series of blog posts on these collars. 

This time I said I would go into some of the reports under the individual cat profiles, more and more of which become available as more and more data is collected by the collars.

Right so from the profile screen you see you have a button called…

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

Click on this and you will get the following screen…

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

In this post I’m going to focus in on the 1st 3 reports available from this list…

Heatmap
JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

This is one of the most fascinating of the report as it tracks on a map where your cat spends most his/her time, I found this particularly fascinating when this report first became available as my perception was that the cat I was looking at was out all the time! However the heatmap showed otherwise and actually if you looked at it in percentage terms you can be quite surprised at the results. The other cool thing about this report is you can break it down to show their movements for day and night together and separately at just a click of the central button…

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

Interesting Paths
JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

This report makes a list of all of your cat’s individual journeys, you can then click into each one to see how they have got from A to B, and all their stops along the way. To get the most interesting reports it’s best to click on the ones with the most stops. Here is the list view:

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

Here is an example of one of the Interesting Paths which Akita has taken:

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

You’ll find as you gather more data that your cats have quite a specific routine of how they get to and from all of their favourite places, this is just so fascinating. 

Current District
JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

JamJarGill: CAT PARENTING: KADDZ product review (pt 4)

This is a daily report to show you a ring fenced off area of what your cat’s current district is. It shows you a date in the top right corner of the report, so you can always see what day you are looking at, it then has a highlighted ring fenced area on the map along with drop pins with times showing the points which they have registered as being situated throughout that day. You can simply click the arrows on each side of the map to look at the report for the previous day and then to come back to the current day so that you can compare and contrast. You can also, as with all maps on this app, zoom in for more detail if wanted/required and change between as normal and satellite map based on preference as described in my last post. A few example screenshots given below: 

In my next post I will go into some of the remaining reports available in more detail… we continue to be very impressed by these collars and their functionality. If you have any questions at all please comment below and I will answer wherever I can, and if not direct your query to my contacts at KADDZ directly.

Check out #KADDZ  to see my whole series of blog posts on these collars. 

You can also check out their company using the following links:

KADDZ on Facebook

KADDZ on Twitter

KADDZ on Pinterest

KADDZ website

KADDZ on YouTube

KADDZ tracking collars

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