Thursday 26 February 2015

My Better Place - Flitwick Wood

I'm so lucky to have a beautiful woodland practically on my doorstep.  Truth be told it's one of the reasons we moved here - having a green and natural space nearby was up there with good schools and transport links.

As soon as I walk into a wood, the stresses and strains dissolve away, my heart-rate seems to slow and I can breathe deeply.  I can forget about my workload and deadlines waiting for me at home, or the pile of dishes on the drainer waiting to be cleaned.

There's scientific evidence that forests have a positive effect on mental and physical wellbeing, but I don't need medical research to tell me that.

Any forest will do for me, but my local one is a place I return to time and time again.  Whether it's walking the dog, an outing with the family or an escape on my own.

Walking on the cushiony soft floor, built up of layers of spongey moss and mulch of leaves is a million times more relaxing than pounding a pavement.  

It's an oasis of calm, you'd never know you were minutes away from a busy main road and a stones-throw from a sprawling housing estate.  The trees absorb the modern-day noise and commotion, leaving only a cacophony of birdsong and the sound of squirrels cawing from their leafy dreys way up high.

Without fail, every time I'm here I hear the illusive Woodpecker rat-a-tatting on a tree in the distance, his hammering sending confusing echoes around the forest.  Only once have I ever caught a glimpse of his red and black plumage, but one day I'll spot him.

If I'm alone, without the rumpus of my daughter cavorting through the leaves, or the scent of the dog wafting through the air, sometimes I'll catch sight of a solitary deer grazing from the forest floor. He'll spot me and turn on his heels his white tail bobbing away into the distance.

This is a deciduous woodland, but even in the depths of winter there's always so much to see.  The green luminescent moss and lichen clinging to trunks and branches bring year-round soul-gladdening colour.

I love the mix of old gnarly dead trees, blown over in long-forgotten storms, and whippy new saplings springing up with youth and vigour from the fertile ground.

There's not a season I don't adore in the forest, and this time of year it's all about spotting new life peeking through.  The shoots of bluebells are coming up, getting ready to carpet the floor in an azure display.  Then it will make way to the wild garlic, the air will fill with a pungent heady aroma and I'll come with my basket to collect leaves and flowers for pesto.  Later in the year we'll suck sweet nectar from honeysuckle flowers and pick plump blackberries from the bramble, and in the winter we're dazzled by the ruby red berries on the holly trees.

Once I'm through the gate, I'm enveloped by the ancient space. A feeling of calm and safety washes over me.  This place is timeless.  No cars; telephone poles, street lights or satellite dishes.  In my mind I'm an ancestor of myself from a bygone time.

This woodland has been here since pre-Norman times, and we're still enjoying it today.  If you value  the tranquility of our country's natural spaces, get out there and enjoy them and fight to protect them.

If you want to visit Flitwick wood for yourself, you'll find a map here.

This #BetterPlaces post is in support of the Syndol Find Your Better Place campaign with Britmums. Syndol Headache Relief is now formulated for headaches.  Visit for online resources with information about headaches and how to restore calm in your life.

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Nutmeg at Morrisons Spring/Summer 2015 range

With range names like 'picnic', 'sugared almond', 'blueberry' and 'elderflower' you just know that this season's clothes at Nutmeg are going to evoke memories of traditional childhoods, long summer days at the beach, playing out til sunset and walks in the countryside.

We're fans of Nutmeg clothing, it offers great value for money, is produced in accordance with their ethical trading policy and yet is well made and hard wearing.

We love the extra design features and the thoughtful details making them comfortable to wear, such as super soft fabrics; printed itch-free labels; adjustable waistbands and items designed so children can dress themselves independently.

Here's some of our favourite items we put to the test from the clothes currently in store.

Nutmeg Morrisons Spot print rain mac

Nutmeg Morrisons Spot print rain mac coat

This stone coloured spot printed mac is one of our favourites.  Perfect for April showers and very chic.  We love the pocket and belt tie details. For ages 5-13 priced at £14-£16 depending on age.

Nutmeg Morrisons Flower jumper

Nutmeg Morrisons Flower jumper

Flower print jumper in navy and ecru, priced at £9-10 for ages 5-13 years. Great teamed with denim.

Nutmeg Morrisons Denim jacket and shorts

Nutmeg Morrisons Denim jacket

Nutmeg Morrisons Denim Shorts

The denim shorts are perfect for spring teamed with tights or leggings, seeing you through to the summer months when they can be worn on their own.  The cute embroidery and crochet detail makes these a bit more special.  Priced at £7. A denim jacket is a wardrobe staple, we love the printed heart detailing on the buttons, priced at just £12. Navy spot long sleeved top is from a pack of 3 priced at £8.

Nutmeg Morrisons Stripe Corsage Jumper

Navy and ecru stripe jumper with flower corsage £8.  This is a really pretty sweater, just the right amount of femininity but without the usual saccharine girliness.

So, which is your favourite garment?  We can't wait for the next phases of the collection to be launched and will be keeping our eye out in Morrisons.

Disclosure: We attended the SS15 press launch and were given a voucher to purchase some items to review.

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Shopkins So Cool Fridge Series 2 Review

Shopkins are the new kid on the block in our house and Ruby's completely hooked on the new craze.  Mini products that you'd buy at the grocery store, these little characters are great for little collectors.

I love that you can buy the individual characters for just a small amount, meaning they are a great pocket money toy that she can treat herself too, and the complimentary play sets such as the So Cool Fridge are perfect gifts for Shopkins-mad fans.

Shopkins Series 2 So Cool Fridge

Each purchase comes with a collectors guide and there are coveted exclusive characters to hunt down and add to your collection.  With over 100 different cute characters in each series, this range is on to a winner!

The So Cool Fridge is a great addition as it makes a brilliant store for your characters - the fridge holds around 35 Shopkins characters so I'm sure we'll test that out as our collection grows.

The fridge itself is just like our real kitchen fridge in that it has opening fridge and freezer doors, working drawers and a cool 'drinks dispenser' where you can dispense Shopkins drinks characters into the glass which comes with the set.

Also included are 2 shopping bags, so you can unload your new characters into the fridge just like real shopping, and 2 sheets of stickers which you can decorate your fridge with like magnets.

Ruby has described it as 'totally awesome', 'epic' and 'so cool' - I think this new vocabulary is coming from too many hours of watching YouTube, but it's all great kudos for Shopkins!

It's a great toy, sturdy and well made.  There's no assembly making it perfect for kids who just want to get stuck right in and play without having to wait for something to be built and there's tonnes of play value in it.

Check out Ruby's video to see what she thinks to it.

Purchase the Shopkins So Cool Fridge now on Amazon (eligible for Amazon Prime free delivery)

(Affiliate link)

Reviewed in association with Flair. We received this toy set to review but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Thursday 12 February 2015

Rooms Made For You - Innovative Solutions For Your Walls

Now, I don't know about you, but I've never considered plaster or plasterboard to be much of a consumer product.  It's not like we ever give it much thought when decorating our home or building an extension - simply book a plasterer and let them get on with it.

But British Gypsum Rooms Made For You are changing all that, with a new range of innovative products which will make your walls work harder for you and perform more of a function than just being the perimeter of your room.

The three new products you'll want to discuss with your plasterer when doing any home renovation now are:

I attended a showcase of these products and my mind is literally buzzing with possibilities of incorporating these into my home.

We went to the stunning Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard, and after being awestruck by the views, got down to demonstrations of the products.

Thistle Magnetic Plaster:

This was certainly my favourite of the three products, giving a mind-blowing amount of possibilities for styling your home.

The specialist plaster is applied just like regular plaster.  You can then paint it, paper it, decorate it however you like.  BUT, it's hidden secret is that it will hold magnets as if by magic.

Imagine being able to decorate as simply as popping a magnet on a wall?  You can change your style as often as you like with absolutely no damage to the walls.

Perfect for organisation walls in kitchens; playrooms for displaying artwork and storing toys; home offices for storage of paperwork and stationery; pop up your seasonal decorations without any blue tak or drawing pins...endless possibilities.

We had some fun with the glue gun and some magnets making all kinds of items to stick to the walls, the crafting and upcycling possibilities are incredible.

I've started a Pinterest board full of ideas because this really is a product I want to incorporate into my home and the next room which is tackled will definitely be getting the magnetic treatment - I'm only gutted we've just had our kitchen replastered.  Although, you can retro-fit and plaster just small areas of existing walls.

This is also a fun little video testing the weight limits for hanging items on the magnetic wall.  Bookcase full of books?  A TV screen?  You'd be amazed.

Lifestyle Wall:

Lifestyle Wall is a plasterboard product from British Gypsum with a new internal core making it much more durable than standard plasterboard.  It will withstand all the daily knocks and bumps kids can throw at it, but more than that, it allows you to fix items to the wall without any drilling or specialist fixings.

This was a revelation for me.  I'm not a proficient DIYer and often projects wait for ages to get completed because it involved the hassle of trekking out to the shed to find the drill.  Invariably it's flat and needs charging first. Then there's the nightmare of finding the right drill bit and that's before the headache of having to work out which rawl plug to use.  Plus the fact of course that I'm not very good with power tools!

Lifestyle Wall takes all these problems away.  You can simply hand screw directly into it, with regular screw - no need for special plasterboard plugs.

A single screw fixing can safely hold up to 15kg of weight as was demonstrated to us below.  Imagine the ease of putting up mirrors, TVs, book shelves, coat hooks... I think this will give a lot of people a lot more independence when it comes to DIY.

Because you don't need whacking great wall plugs, removal is easy too and you can simply fill, sand and re-paint if you want to change your room around, giving much more flexibility to adapt your home around changing needs.

We had a timed test and I managed to fix in 5 screws in 60 seconds - lets face it in that time I'd have still been looking for the key to the shed to go out and find the drill!

Silent Floor:

Awarded the Quiet Mark by the Noise Abatement Society, this product is a real bonus in any family home, as well as shared dwellings and apartments.

With the home being so multi purpose and people requiring the ability to have parties; friends round; play or practice music;  work from home; listen to audio-visual equipment as well as sleep this sound-reducing flooring (or it can be used as ceilings) really comes into it's own.

We listened to a demonstration of sound carried from a downstairs TV to an upstairs bedroom both with and without Silent Floor and the results were really noticeable.

Silent Floor can reduce noise by up to 15db which is over and above the standard building regulations.

With us planning to convert our garage into a family room, it's something we're going to seriously consider given that there's a bedroom above.

Special thanks to British Gypsum and Rooms Made For You for sharing these innovations with me.  I attended a showcase event and was compensated for my time.

Find out what some of my fellow bloggers thought of the products and check out these lovely blogs:

The Ana Mum Diary
Love Chic Living
The White Approach

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Marmite Chocolate Lollies

You either love it or hate it right?

Well, I LOVE it, and combined with chocolate it's possibly the most sublimely delicious thing EVER.

The Marmite/Chocolate combo is not a new thing.  Ever since the whole sweet n salty thing kicked off with salted caramel, people have been coming up with unusual combinations.  Ownership of the original Marmite Chocolate Cupcake recipe is hotly contested and Marmite are even bringing out their own Easter egg.

But this is a simple DIY make you can do at home.  They'd be perfect for a handmade Valentine's Gift - will you find your Marmite-loving soul mate, or do opposites attract?

Marmite chocolate lollies recipe

You'll need:

  • 75g good quality dark chocolate
  • 1/4 teaspoon Marmite
  • A silicone lolly mould and lolly sticks

Melt your chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of water.

Once fully melted, stir in the Marmite making sure it's fully combined.

Pour into the moulds, gently tapping to remove air bubbles.  Insert your sticks and smooth over the chocolate.

How to make Marmite chocolate lollies

Leave to set at room temperature first before transferring to the fridge.

Pop out and wrap with cake pop cellophane wrappers and a ribbon.

As a self-confessed Marmite lover, I can't say this for sure, but I think even those dissenters may like this if they like salty and sweet together.  It doesn't have the full-on meaty, yeasty taste of Marmite, just a subtle, completely moreish saltiness which means that one will never be enough.

So - Marmite: are you a lover or a hater?

Marmite Chocolate Lolly

Link up your recipe of the week

Tasty Tuesdays on

Monday 9 February 2015

Egg Collecting at Church Farm, Hertfordshire

We've been to Church Farm at Ardeley several times over the past year, and enjoyed many happy hours there camping and wandering around the farm.

This weekend we found ourselves back there again as the Old Man was taking up his Christmas present and being a Butcher for the day.  We planned to make the most of it and stay in one of their cabins - even we are not crazy enough to get the tent out in February!

This left Ruby and I with the whole day to entertain ourselves and after walking around the fields, enjoying tea and cake at the tearoom and stocking up on treats, Ruby was booked in to do the egg collecting activity in the afternoon.

Now, we'd done this before but I knew she'd love to do it again.

Visiting the farm is free, as is parking, and egg collecting sessions cost either £5.95 or from £7.50 if you want to keep and take home half a dozen eggs. The session lasts for around an hour, but we were incredibly lucky and because of the snow on the surrounding roads, it was a very quiet day.  We were treated like VIPs on our own private tour and we both had such a wonderful time.

Since we were last there, a new member of staff has joined the team. 'Chicken Dave' was the absolute perfect host, totally hitting the mark with his knowledge, fun approach and non-patronising way with Ruby.  He was a joy to talk to.

I was going to say what Chicken Dave doesn't know about chickens isn't worth knowing.  Except, so passionate about the chook's welfare is he, he's constantly striving to learn more, observing them, studying their behaviour, moderating their coops and environment and doing all he can to make them the happiest chickens possible.

By 'thinking like a chicken' he can understand how to make them more comfortable.  He could recite off all the requirements and measurements for optimum poultry welfare, but always wants to go one better.

These truly are happy eggs from happy chickens.

Besides chickens, there are also ducks and turkeys living side-by-side and one Guinea fowl.  We were told the charming tale of how the turkeys were saved from Christmas, and Dave pointed out some of the different behaviours between the different birds.

The ducks like to dig holes in the ground to find water to drink, and use the drinking stations to swim in!

We went into the laying sheds and scooped up all the eggs laid - 163 in all that day.  As I was gently fumbling around under one very obliging Rhode Island Red, she stood up and popped an egg out right there and then for me.  It was steaming hot, such a special moment.

Ruby helped fill up the feeders, and Dave showed us how to fork over the ground to expose juicy bugs for them to forage.

We learned so much and it was brilliant chatting and exchanging tips from the time when we kept chooks in our garden.  It made me realise how much I miss my girls.

After the collecting, it was time to take the haul back to the farm office where all the eggs are logged, cleaned, graded into size, stamped and boxed for sale in the farm shop.

Great bit of maths practice for Ruby - 30 times tables anyone?

Dave obviously saw how interested we were in the chickens and we were honoured when he asked if we'd like to meet him back after dusk and see the chickens go to sleep.  Ruby busied herself writing them a bedtime poem, and we met him, armed with torches at 6pm.

As we crept into the enclosure we could see all the different sleeping habits of the birds.  The turkeys standing guard outside the door of the hen house like big burly bouncers.  The gaggle of white ducks parading the perimeter fence, ever alert for foxes.  The re-homed chickens from a caged farm, huddled together in a tiny corner, still not aware that they have all the space in the world.  The natural pecking order of the cock and the No. 1 girls who get the best perch.  Some with their heads tucked under their wings. The other girls all puffed up and huddled together in a cosy bundle drifting off to sleep...all of them softly purring.

Sneaking into the coop at night was such a treat.  It smelled warm and cosy, it was calm and peaceful compared to the racket they make during the day. Everyone had their own place and was comfy and settled for a good night's sleep.  

I'm so glad we got to see this, because it really was a special sight.

After wishing them all sweet dreams, we quietly crept out, switched on the electric fence to keep them safe from Mr Fox, and headed back to our cosy cabin for hot chocolate and snuggles by the wood burner.

Special thanks to Chicken Dave for sharing his knowledge and passion for the chickens with us.  It's great to know they're in such good hands.

Linking up with Country Kids and Animal Tales.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Thursday 5 February 2015

Mother's Day Gift Ideas for Mums-To-Be (and a giveaway!)

My daughter's due date was Mother's Day.  Predictably, she dragged her heels and didn't finally put in an appearance til 10 days later and I was pretty miffed I'd have to wait a whole year for my first Mother's Day!

But to be honest, I think pregnant mammas deserve to be treated on Mother's Day.  They should be pampered and spoiled, after all they've carrying a huge responsibility around in their tummies for 9 months.

But what gift can you by for a mum-to-be for Mother's Day?  Well I've rounded up some fabulous treats to suit all budgets.

A positive birth.

I don't think a prospective dad could give any better gift than ensuring the mother of his child experiences a calm birth.  Resolve to learn coping techniques along with her and be a rock of support when push comes to shove (pardon the pun).

The Calm Birth School offer an online antenatal hypnobirthing course which can be done together, from the comfort of your own home.  Perfect for busy couples who struggle to find time to get to regular classes.

The classes are delivered in the form of videos direct to your inbox, and is backed up with supportive telecons and a private Facebook community of experts and peers to share any worries or concerns you have.

The aim of hypnobirthing is to allow you to fully understand your body and it's capabilities, have faith and trust in your own abilities and to arm you with deep relaxation techniques to help you stay calm and in control throughout pregnancy and birth.

Image Credit Philippa James Photography

Founders Suzy and Hollie are both experienced hypo-birthing practitioners, and busy mums.  Their no-nonsense attitude and down-to-earth manner will instantly put you at ease.

No vagina-whispering, kumbaya-singing, goddess-channeling nonsense.

Just scientifically-proven calming and relaxation techniques, so that
you know what is happening in your body and how to work with it.
The full course cost £150 and you can sign up for free initial sessions here.

Mum-To-Be Pamper Parcels

Pamper Parcels is a wonderful company with a real eye for beautiful, ethically sourced gifts.  Each item in their gift parcels is meticulously researched and only included if it meets their high standards.  You'll find organic; fair-trade; small business produced products with no animal testing; using recycled packaging and natural ingredients.  You can be sure you're gifting only the best for mum-to-be.

Mum to be Pamper Parcel £60

A beautifully luxurious treat for any pregnant lady, she can feel pampered and indulged with this set, hand wrapped and sent through the post with a personal message.


1 x Burt’s Bees belly butter
1 x Burt’s Bees foot and leg cream
1 x Green People nurture body lotion
1 x1 Tisserand luxury bath soak
1 x Montezuma milk chocolate bar

Smaller Pamper Parcels are available at £35, £30 and £25.

Promise Vouchers

This is a low budget, but super-thoughtful gift for any mum-to-be.  Design and print out your own book of IOU vouchers to be redeemed when she fancies.  I promise to paint your toenails?  I promise to do a midnight dash to the all-night garage and fetch Creme Eggs/Dr Pepper/Pickled Onion Monster Munch? I promise to rub stretch mark cream on your tummy?

Download your free printable ones here.

Pregnancy and Baby Diary

We've all heard the expression 'pregnancy brain'.  Well it's true, we'd forget our head if it wasn't screwed on.  Must be all that trying to remember to take our folic acid and remembering what foods we can and can't eat, that everything else simply goes out of the window.
Mum's Office comes to the rescue with this elegant diary for keeping track of all the important dates and information and recording all those special milestones once baby comes along.

Mum's Pregnancy Diary £16.95

This undated diary comes in this season’s colour ‘peppermint’ with lizard-effect hardback cover, silver gilt-edged pages and ribbon markers. The luxurious journal is a perfect gift for new mums and mums-to-be this Mother's Day.  It includes special pages to record the entire pregnancy: midwife appointments, scans, birth plan, classes, and pregnancy milestones; as well as tear-out shopping lists for baby and mum and a record of gifts received.  The journal also has dedicated pages to help with packing your hospital bag, things to do before baby arrives etc.  You will also find, need to know numbers, (an ‘In case I lose my mobile!’ section), not to mention a undated complete pregnancy diary for you to date (with a week-to-view double page spread) with signature ‘hot pink’ grid format for each week of your baby’s first year.  Record baby’s milestones, special dates, immunisations, check-ups, first smile, first steps and much more. With plenty of extra space for general notes.  This special book will become a wonderful keepsake in years to come.

Mum's Office have kindly offered one of these diaries to one lucky reader.  If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning this great prize, please complete the rafflecopter below. Closing date is midnight on Sunday 15th February 2015. UK entrants only please, one winner will be chosen at random.

Special thanks to Mum's Diary for providing the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Surprises in the frozen food aisle

When I do my supermarket shopping, I'm like a robot.  I generally pick up the same things, I go to the same places on the shelves, I go up the same aisles. I am a creature of habit.

There are some aisles I rarely visit.  The alcohol aisle for example (ok, that may be a lie).  But the frozen food aisle is one I usually skip for sure.  I have in my head it's full of chicken nuggets; chips; pizzas and any other kind of reconstituted, deep fried, saturated fat laden redy-meals you can imagine. I whizz up there briefly on the odd occasion that we've run out of frozen peas, or maybe for ice cream in the summer, but that's about it.

I've been asked by The British Frozen Food Federation and Cool Cookery to challenge my perceptions, and throw myself head-first into the freezer section (not literally, that would be foolish.  And cold).

I have to say, I was surprised.  I literally had no idea the range of frozen fruit and vegetables that is on offer.  Fish and meat too - actual pieces of real fish, not a breadcrumb in sight.

Obviously the advantages of buying fruit and veg frozen are reduced waste - how often have we thrown limp carrots out of the fridge or squidgy strawberries? Frozen food keeps for so much longer, you only use what you need and pop the rest back for another meal.

Fast freezing after picking means that nutrients are retained better too, so the chances are a bag of frozen green beans are going to have more vitamins in that that bag of floppy beans that have been lurking in your salad drawer for the past fortnight.

Put to the test of coming up with a meal using frozen produce, here's what I purchased:

1 large bag of mixed veg - sadly the supermarket was out of stock of separate carrots and beans, so I bought them mixed and risked frostbite separating them for my recipes!

1 bag of cod fillets 

1 bag of chopped coriander - oh joy!  Frozen herbs.  Who knew?  No more chopping, no more pots of droopy, sorry looking herbs sitting on the windowsill, now I can have proper, fresh tasting herbs in my cooking, without the maintenance of trying to keep pot plants alive!

So what did I make?

First up, carrot and coriander soup.  One of our favourite soup flavour combos, but I was delighted to find I could whip up a batch of hearty, homemade soup in about 10 minutes.  No peeling and chopping required.  Perfect for a warming winter lunch.

carrot and coriander soup recipe

Carrot and Coriander Soup Recipe:

300g frozen carrots
1 pint veg stock (you can buy frozen stock, or make it up with a cube, or make your own from scratch)
1 tablespoon frozen coriander


1cm piece of ginger, chopped and/or zest of half an orange


Place your frozen carrots in a pan with the stock (include your ginger now if using). Bring to the boil.

Simmer for about 10 minutes (this depends on how thick your carrot pieces are). Check to make sure they're cooked.

Turn off heat and add the coriander.  Stir in.

Blend with a stick blender or food processor, and stir in orange zest if using.

Serve with crusty bread or crutons.

carrot and coriander soup recipe

This soup was delicious, every bit as good as the soup I make with fresh carrots.  The colour was a little less vibrant than using fresh vegetables and herbs, but it tasted just as good.

Baked Cod with olives and chorizo

Baked cod with chorizo and olives recipe

This is another family favourite  which I adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe. I usually make it with fresh cod and fresh vegetables, but this time I've substituted frozen fish and frozen green beans.  The other items I usually have in my fridge or pantry, so it's a great one for a midweek meal.  It's also a low--maintenance recipe requiring minimal washing-up - winner!

Ingredients (per person)

1 frozen cod fillet
A few slices of chorizo
A handful of cherry tomatoes (halved or pricked so they don't explode!)
A handful of frozen green beans
A handful of olives
Splash of olive oil
Splash of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste.

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 180.

Take a large piece of tin foil and fold it in half.  Then firmly fold over the side edges a few times to make a parcel.

Place all the ingredients except the fish in a bowl and toss together. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon  your vegetables and juice into the foil parcel and add the fish on top. Roll over the top edge of the parcel, but be sure to leave space for air and steam to circulate.

Stand on a baking tray and cook for approximately 30 minutes.

Carefully open the parcel at the top (be careful of the hot steam) and tip out onto a plate to serve, make sure to serve up the smokey spicy juice too - it's the best bit!

Baked cod with chorizo and olives recipe

Again, I was pleasantly surprised with this dish using frozen ingredients.  It took a little longer to cook than using fresh obviously, but the taste and ease of cooking was just the same.

My life would be so much simpler if I could knock up healthy family meals from the contents of my freezer instead of having to keep nipping to the shops for fresh meat, fish and vegetables, so I have to say, I'm a bit of a convert.  I'm going to be checking out what other family favourites can be made from frozen now.

With research showing the average family can save £250 on their grocery bill by using frozen ingredients and reducing waste, there's no reason not to really.

Disclosure: I’m working with BritMums and highlighting the versatility, economy and nutritional benefits of cooking with frozen food. All opinions are my own. For recipes and ideas visit  I have been compensated for my time.