Garsons Pick Your Own Farm – Esher

Hello my lovelies,

Today we decided to make the most of the last of the Pick Your Own (PYO) seasons and headed into the lovely little suburb of Esher.


Not only is Garsons a fabulous PYO farm where during the peak season you can pick lovely fruit and vegetables, it is also an award winning farm shop and garden centre. Their premises also boast a fabulous restaurant and gift and homeware store.


Since we’d already been to Pumpkin Moon for pumpkins earlier in the week, we decided to see what other vegetables we could pick for the week.  Sadly, we’d left it a little late for much of the PYO farm produce but were delighted to find that courgettes, carrots, cabbage, french beans and squash were still available.

We had thankfully had the forethought to wear our wellies and got stuck in! Missy had great fun digging up carrots and finding the biggest french beans  in the first field.

We drove around to the next field and found some decent corn on the cob despite the corn season being over.  We also managed to find tender broccoli florets. Cabbages are in season and I  picked three to use in our cooking in the coming weeks.  The find of the day, however was our much loved gem squashes! These are a staple in South Africa and we have missed them terribly!  The ones we bought at Pumpkin Moon for £1 each have already been devoured.  These gem squashes were only £1.29 a kilo which worked out to be better value and we took as many as we could find.


The last field we gathered from was full of marrows and courgettes.  Marrows are not my favourite as I find them quite watery but I do love courgettes.  We filled our bag with these tender little beauties and I can’t wait to steam them and serve them with a little butter and a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt.

Once we’d picked as much as we wanted, we headed to the kiosk to weigh our spoils and were very surprised to only pay £14!  What a bargain!  Not only did we bring home a gorgeous bounty of the season’s best to feed our family, we had a fantastic morning out while Missy learned more about where our food comes from.  A win-win situation!

On the cards this week will be carrot cake muffins for Missy’s school packed lunch and carrot soup for me. We’ll also have a roast chicken dinner with roasted pumpkin, steamed courgettes, corn and roasted pumpkin.  I save time during the week but steaming a large batch of veggies when I do my Sunday roast. This means I have lots of sides readily available during the week.

Tomorrow when I do my grocery shop I’ll be buying some clear stand up zip lock bags to freeze my soup in.  I’ve plans for carrot soup and some roasted pumpkin, chili and coconut soup to fill the freezer.  Also on the cards will be my favourite french onion soup. Not an autumn goes by without me making a batch of this gorgeousness!

Don’t you just love Autumn?

Bright blessings,

Mrs R



Harry Potter Filofax Planner

Hello my lovelies,

I’m am soooooooooo excited to share my baby with you.  As you all know, I’m a die hard Harry Potter fan and with the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, my love for the wizarding world of Harry Potter has grown. I’ve had a planner of sorts most of my adult life but this is the first time I’ve had planner peace because my planner now is a complete reflection of me. Introducing, my Harry Po

I found this Finsbury real leather filofax at a charity shop for £2! I know, it was a real bargain. Over the past two months, my planner has really blossomed and come together beautifully. I’m so proud of it.

First of all, my family bought me a Harry Potter themed pandora-knock off bracelet and while I loved it, it kept getting in the way and caught on things so I recycled it into a planner charm for my filofax. I added Gryffindor colour beads and love the way it turned out.

From the top you can see the washi tape paper clips I made to mark some pages. I have tabs running along the top and right hand side of my planner.


My chocolate frog and Deathly Hallows charms decorate the bottom.

This is the inside cover and the first things you see are some bits I’ve collected. The dashboard was made using some scrapbook paper and an image I found online. I added the little baby hedwig pic I found online as a type of tab to help me turn the page.  Of course, no journey into the world of Harry Potter would begin at any other place other than platform 9 3/4.


Tiny Hedwig owl by  Cryptid-creations


I made the paperclip behind the Godric Gryffindor chocolate frog card using a large wooden button I found at The Works.  The Knight Bus licence was made for me by Woozelmom in a swap. Woozelmom makes the most A-mazing themed craft projects.   Check out my previous swap post about the wonderful things she sent me.


On the other side of my filofax cover is a tag from a pair of Harry Potter pyjamas that I got for Christmas which was addressed to Harry. I kept it because I thought it was cute.  I then have some washi tape samples that I use in my planner to decorate pages.  Above that is my miniature Marauder’s map.  I love it!  It was a printable from Britta Blvd and you can find the link to the printable here.  The snitch card is one I got from a RAK from Storm in a tea cup gifts. They do lovely themed subscription boxes. 18033070_10154959681305659_7050404997375769262_n18033343_10154959575120659_1429067500139513524_n

From this view, you can see the tabs are planning, lists and occasions as well as a little peep of Pigwidgeon.18033407_10154959575125659_8659674820507246476_n

Through platform 9 3/4 the first thing you see is of course a Hogwarts Express ticket and my personal information that I’ve blanked out.  I figured that if my planner got lost I’d be distraught and would hope that someone would contact me to give it back.

I’ve also added mine and my daughter’s vital information such as allergies and medication that we take.  God forbid, we are ever in an accident, our information, along with my husband’s contact details are printed there as an emergency contact. Inked17992330_10154959575250659_211426713908378420_n_LI

Then comes the Hogwarts express which naturally follows on if you go through the barrier at Platform 9 3/4. I love the Hogwarts silhouette tab on the right of the page.


On the back of the Hogwarts Express poster, I keep my owl sticky notes and tabs and my main goals for the year.


The next first actual section is my planning section. This seems like a subject Hermione Granger would be adept at which is why I place a picture of her here. Again, I found this online through searching Google images here .


Turning the page, there’s a quote from Ron Weasley, who was talking about Hermione at the time and then my lunar calendar. Most people think I’m crazy logging the lunar cycle but I find that the cycle of the moon really has an affect on my moods.


The pages that follow include dates for the academic year, weekly prompts for when I’m planning my week, yearly calendar, my future log page where I write down all events and dates to remember as I find out about them, my perpetual calendar and my Yearly planner calendar pictured below.

The Knight Bus ticket was another gift from Woozelmom and I’ve laminated it to keep it nice.


This Dumbledore quote is on the other side of my weekly prompts list and next to my future log pages.


My favourite picture of Newt Scamander graces the list section divider.


And one of my favourite moments of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them is on the other side of Newt along with my to do list pages.  Link here.18010873_10154959576245659_966801931237913801_n

My brain dump pages follow on from the To Do List pages. Don’t you love my pencil wand? I made it using a pencil, hog glue and paint. 18010264_10154959576395659_5625836229883820987_n

The occasions divider where I can plan any entertaining we are doing, birthday parties etc.


Another Dumbledore quote and some birthday plans for my daughter’s birthday party.


The next section is dedicated to my pen pals and contains their addresses and a log of letters written and received.  I love the little tab topper of Pigwidgeon. Hogsmeade poster here.


One of my favourite characters and quotes from the series along with my pen pal letters sent and received log. Picture here18033369_10154959576955659_6019791198061277798_n

The next section is a where my daily planner pages start. The photograph was taken when my daughter and I visited Platform 9 3/4


A map of Hogwarts follows and then it’s my monthly goals.  I like to set out my monthly goals along with my weekly intentions. More on those pages to follow.


Here are my page per day pages.  I created them in powerpoint where all my pages are created.  I love how my page marker turned out. It has my morning and evening routines printed on it.


My weekly intentions page is for things that I intend to get done during the week. I like the term intentions better than to do list.


My finance section comes next. The snitch picture can be found on etsy here.


Another Dumbledore quote found here.


I haven’t shown my budget which is personal but I have shown some blank expenses pages and online purchase log pages.  I’m not sure about you but I sometimes forget what I’ve ordered especially if the items will take weeks to arrive such as some items ordered from China.  My purchase log keeps me updates of what is still to arrive.


My personal section comes next.


My transfiguration (weight loss measurements) come next and there are a few of these pages to help keep me on track. I adore Luna. I can’t find where I got this picture from but if you come across it please message me and I’ll give all due credit.


Then there’s my cosmic ordering pages come next – they’re basically manifestation pages by another name.  If you are unfamiliar with the concept, check out the book The Cosmic Ordering Service or the website on the link above.


Because my work can take me all over the area, I like to keep a log of where I’ve worked that isn’t my usual base and I have titled these pages Muggle Business.  Then there are pages for the Books I’ve read, books I’ve got on order at the library and books I want to read.17992308_10154959578085659_6157492901752482001_n


Next comes The Burrow which is Swish cottage or our home.

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I keep things pertaining to our home here such a cleaning schedules, family schedules, details on family members such as clothing sizes and needs, wish lists etc.  Gryffindor poster can be found here17991900_10154959578405659_518650383477173535_n18010260_10154959578550659_4662343018696252841_n

Then there’s menu planning.  This adorable owl pic can be found here.


I plan my weekly menu here along with any shopping that needs to be done. Again, I can’t remember where I got this picture from but if you know the source please let me know.


Next comes my freezer, fridge and freezer inventories17952922_10154959583705659_2815238831386430107_n18033342_10154959584160659_3932955183703183554_n

There is also a page for writing down items I need to stock up on.

The last section is for writing where I keep blog post ideas along with my book ideas and notes. I love Vincent van Gogh paintings and this Hogwarts image done in the van Gogh style is just phenomenal.


At the very back, I have a little pocket folder that I made to keep stickers, a couple of birthday cards and my Morrisons savers stamp folder. What would Hermione do image can be found here.


I could go into so much more detail about the way I use my planner but I’ve run out of time!  This has been a lengthy post!

I hope you love my planner as much as I do.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R


Bare Naked Noodles

Hey everyone,

I’m back on my low carb lifestyle for the last time, I might add and I’m excited to chat to you today about Bare Naked Noodles!

These babies are zero fat, low in calories and 0.1g carbohydrates making them a dream for those on a low carb eating plan.  I found them in Morrisons for around £2.50 so they are not cheap and not intended for the whole family to eat. Unless of course, they are also on a low carb diet in which case this is gonna cost you big bucks!


I use regular noodles for the family and these bare naked noodles for myself.  There is a difference in texture compared to regular noodles.  They feel a little ‘squeeky’ on the teeth… kind of like halloumi feels once it’s been pan fried and you bite into it.  They don’t really taste of anything which is where a dinner like Thai chicken curry comes in.


I separated a portion of the Thai chicken curry for myself and tossed it in a bag of drained bare naked noodles, then heated it through for around 3 minutes.

Please note I have not been paid to write this review but was so excited at the prospect of eating pasta, I needed to share this with you.

To make Low Carb Thai Chicken Curry:

3 chicken breasts, diced

1/2 a leek, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

1/2 courgette, cut into battons

1 carrot, sliced into ribbons with the vegetable peeler

a handful of mange tout

1/2 jar of Waitrose Thai red curry paste (be aware this contains shellfish!)

1 chicken stock cube

1/2 a can of full fat coconut milk

Fry the diced chicken in a bit of coconut oil until lightly browned on both sides. Add the vegetables and stir fry until just starting to wilt.

Add the stock cube, Thai red curry paste and stir through.  Fry for another minute.  The smell at this point is INCREDIBLE!

Add the coconut milk, stir and cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the sauce has heated through.

Serve with add to wok noodles which you can add to the sauce a couple of minutes before serving or with basmati rice.


Bare naked also do their own version of rice which is also zero fat, low calories and practically zero carbs.  I’ve yet to try it but it’s on the list to buy soon.


As for my healthy eating plan, today I had:

Breakfast: Homemade cheese, sausage, mushroom and spinach fritatta

Lunch: Mixed green salad with red cabbage, pickled onions, feta cheese and salad dressing with some homemade chilli tomato soup

Dinner: thai red curry with bare naked noodles.

I doubt i’ll be hungry later but if I am, I will snack on celery sticks and hummus

As ever, if you try any of my recipes, please let me know if you enjoyed them. For those concerned, I intend to keep the slimming world recipes on my site in case anyone finds them useful.

Bright blessings to all,

Mrs R



Slimming World Slow cooker lasagne

Hello my lovelies,

I made this Slimming World Slow Cooker lasagne the other night and it was too delicious not to share with you.


I originally saw the recipe at but adapted it to my liking which is so typical of me.

  • 500g extra lean beef mince
  • 5 spring onions, snipped up with scissors
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
  • 1/2 a punnet of cherry tomatoes, chopped up
  • 1/2 pepper, diced
  • 1/2 punnet of mushrooms sliced
  • 1 courgette, cubed
  • 1 aubergine, cubed
  • 500ml passata
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • dry lasagne sheets (I used most of an already open box)
  • 300g fat-free cottage cheese
  • 250g quark
  • 50g fat free fromage frais
  • 1 egg
  •  90g reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated  – 45g is a HEA, and this recipe serves 4 so it’s half a HEA or 3 syns per portion.

In a large frying pan sprayed with Frylight, cook the extra lean beef mince with the spring onions, garlic, herbs and stock cubes until the mince is no longer pink.  Add the cherry tomatoes, peppers, courgette, aubergine and mushrooms and cook with the mince until softened. Add the passata and tomato puree and heat through.

In a bowl mix the cottage cheese, the quark and the fromage frais with the egg. Add a little salt and pepper if you like.

In your slow cooker, lay down about a 1/4 of the mince mixture on the bottom and then break up some lasagne sheets over the top until the mince is covered. Now layer with some of the quark mixture. Layer with lasagne sheets.  Repeat this process ending with the quark mixture. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Cook on low for 5 hours.

Once it’s done, place your slow cooker ceramic pot, without the lid into the oven under the grill for about 5 minutes so the cheese can brown.

Serve with a large green salad.


I’ll be honest, I did not think this would turn out great but I am delighted to say it was scrummy!  I fed myself, my daughter and my hubby and had two portions leftover to freeze.


I know that theoretically you shouldn’t split your HEA but the way I figure it, most of the time I don’t finish my milk allowance for the day. I’m really busy at often only have 2 cups of tea when I know that my milk allowance covers 4 cups of tea. If this is the case, I know I can have about 20g of cheese on my dinner.

Anyway, enough rambling!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R


Slimming World potato wedges

Hello my lovelies,

January ran away with me and I find myself deposited on my backside in February wondering what the heck happened!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but I’m following the Slimming World weight loss plan and I’m loving it!  Where else can you eat yummy foods that the entire family can enjoy without feeling deprived? Anyways, lurving it!

And one of the things I’m particularly enjoying making at the moment are potato wedges. Even the McCain Lightly Spiced potato wedges will set you back 3 syns for 100g and, let’s be honest, you’re not going to have 100g of potato wedges with your meal, are you?  I like a nice fat stack of them!  I decided there was a syn free or even lower syn version out there somewhere and I started to experiment.  I came up with the most fabulously cripsy, tasty SYN FREE wedges ever!


Here’s how to make them.

Syn free potato wedges

1 medium/large potato per person, peeled (if you wish) and cut into wedges

Fry light – the butter on is my favourite here

Spices of your choice – I like Schwartz chip seasoning  and garlic granules

Pinch of salt


Spray a baking tray with Fry light.  You can use the flavoured Fry light varieties here also. I like the BBQ flavour on these wedges too if you want to ring the changes. Place your wedges on the sprayed tray.  Spray more Fry Light on top of the potato wedges then sprinkle over the spices and salt.

Bake in a 200 degree oven until the potato wedges are cooked and crispy.

Serve immediately!

I love these with burgers, pulled pork, dunked in some quark and a little sweet chilli sauce (synned) or eaten like nachos.

What your favourite Slimming World recipe at the moment?

Bright blessings,

Mrs R




21 day grocery challenge: Week 3

Hello my lovelies,

It’s week 3 of the 21 day grocery challenge! Okay, I’ll admit this week was a little more difficult as I scraped the bottom of the barrel. I still managed to feed my family nutritious meals but I spent a bit more on groceries than I intended.

The total spend for week 3 was £26.46. We needed quite a few things like wet wipes, cheese, fruit, sanitary towels, bin liners… well quite a few things.  I still think I did remarkably well.

This week we are having the following:

Monday 11 January: Turkey & vegetable stir fry with green beans

Tuesday 12 January: Leftover lasagne (2.5 syns), couscous or tomato and cheese pasta

Wednesday 13 January: Steak rolls/salad

Thursday 14 January: Baked salmon with vegetable rice and salad

Friday 15 January: Spaghetti and meatballs/meatballs and salad

Saturday 16 January: Roast chicken drumsticks with butternut, broccoli and cauliflower cheese (4 syns), peas and corn

Sunday 17 January: Leftover spaghetti, vegetable rice, chicken soup with pulled pork pita breads

I’m incredibly impressed with myself and I managed to save £120 towards my driving lessons which is definitely a bonus and I now have an entire freezer to restock!

How did you do with your grocery challenge?

Bright blessings,

Mrs R



Create a successful week ahead!

Happy Sunday my lovelies!

Sunday’s are always blissful and most people want to make the most of their Sunday’s before Manic Monday.  Ever noticed though, how if Monday is a stressful miserable nightmare the rest of the week follows suit?  So it makes sense then to do everything in your power to make Monday as stress free and easy as you possibly can.


The first thing you need to do is have a little think about what things usually go wrong on a Monday or what things are a particular stressor to you?  Or you can just pick from my list below and get as many of these done today (on a Sunday evening) so you’ve set yourself up for a successful week ahead.

1. Get a meal in your slow cooker and set the slowcooker’s timer so you’ve got dinner all ready for when you get home on Monday evening.

2. Get your laundry washed and put away.  This way, you can do the next step.

3. Choose your outfit for tomorrow.  Or better yet, take 15 mintues and choose your outfits for the week and put them in front of all your other clothes in your wardrobe. Make sure each hanger has underwear and accessories too.  This way getting dressed in the morning is a no brainer.

4. Make your packed lunch for Monday and place it in the fridge ready to grab the next morning for work.  This not only saves money at work but saves time standing in queues at the cafe trying to get your lunch and eat it before your lunch break is over.

5. If you’re a stay at home mum, take the time to prepare healthy snacks like boiled eggs, chopped carrot batons, washed and prepared fruit or crudites, cooked chopped chicken pieces ready for snacks for you and the kids. You could also, if you feel up to it, bake something nutritious for a healthy treat too. The makings of a picnic are there and ready should the weather accomodate.  If you’re feeling extra energetic get your snacks prepared for the week!  That way you’ll always have something healthy on hand when the 3pm hunger pangs strike.

6. Check what’s in your fridge and do a quick menu plan for the week. Keep it simple!

7. Then do a quick online grocery shopping and get it delivered at an appropriate time later in the week.

Some of these things might not be a huge priority for you but believe me, doing most of these really makes for a successful week ahead.  Like I said before, if Monday goes well the rest of the week generally plays along.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Mama R