Making gratitude a daily habit


Dairy-free banana bread recipe


With a daughter who has a dairy and apple intolerance, it can be difficult to find shop bought dairy free items that not only taste good but aren’t filled with undesirable ingredients. I constantly adapt recipes to so my daughter can enjoy the same foods as everyone else. During the school holidays, when you’re out and about, a coffee and a piece of cake can easily cost you £5.50 each. That’s if you can find anything dairy free that is. It’s so easy to make your own and cost effective too. This recipe is based on a recipe by Tessa Kiros. I’ve adapted it to make it dairy free and made a few other small changes to taste. Dairy free banana bread recipe 125g dairy free spread 180g sugar 1 rounded tablespoon treacle 4 ripe bananas, mashed 2 free range eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ teaspoon cinnamon 250g plain flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 3 tablespoons almond milk (or you could use oat or rice milk if you can’t have nuts) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Grease a loaf tin with dairy free spread. Cream the dairy free spread with the sugar and treacle. Add the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and banana and mix well. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until smooth. In a cup, mix the warm milk and bicarb until no lumps remain. Add to the banana mixture and combine well. Pour the banana mixture into the greased loaf tin and bake for between 50 – 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out onto a metal rack and allow to cool. Serve warm with dairy free spread.

I hope you enjoy my video and for more dairy free and other recipes, be sure to give this video a thumbs up!

Bright blessings,


Mrs R

We have a Youtube Channel!

Hello my Lovelies,

I cannot believe I forgot to tell you that we launched a Youtube Channel!

Check us out here.

This is our intro video… I’m quite chuffed with it.

Please subscribe and if you watch any of the videos leave a thumbs up so I know more about what you would like to see in the future.

Crafty Planning on Etsy

Hello my lovelies,

Since I’m returning to work, Missy has been rather anxious about after school club and childcare arrangements since I’ve always been there before and after school. While she will be going to her godmother who is a childminder a few days a week she was still worried she wouldn’t remember what was happening on which days.  I also thought it couldn’t be a bad thing for her to learn to manage her own little life and to get a better idea of what was happening on what day, who’s birthday was coming up and that kind of stuff.

So I got her a little planner.  While it wasn’t expensive, we had fun setting it up and choosing washi tapes to go in it. We wrote all the details she would need to remember in it and she was so excited.  She took it to school and showed her teacher who thought it was a fabulous idea because she knows how anxious Missy sometimes gets.  She’s an AMAZING teacher.  Like next level amazing.  Anyway, I digress.

Earlier last week, Missy’s planner went missing. She swears she kept it in her tray at school and I believe her.  We drove back to school to see if we could find it to no avail. Other things in the classroom had gone missing earlier in the week too.  It was all very strange.

Missy was really upset as was I.  Here I’d though I was helping her to feel less anxious but she was so upset about it going missing that she cried for ages and kept promising me she had put it in her tray.

I did everything I could think of in the hopes of getting it returned including informing her teacher who also searched the classroom and putting a message on the Year 3 parents group on Facebook to ask that bags me checked in case one of the kids mistakenly picked it up.  You know?  Mistakenly. I also asked the office a few times over a few days if it had been handed in.


I offered to buy Missy a new one but she didn’t want a new one. She wanted the one she’d worked so hard on.

I mentioned in the UK Planner Addicts Facebook how disappointed I was that it had gone missing and had so many people sending positive thoughts in the hopes it would be found. One lady, Jodie the owner of Crafty Planning offered to send me some stickers from her kids range for when my daughter either got her planner back or we bought a new one.

Well, Missy went in one morning this week and once again and after working with her stuff from her tray all morning knew her planner wasn’t there.  After play time, she went back into class and went to get her stuff out of her tray again and her planner had been returned!  She was so happy!



Then today, we went to a birthday party and got home to a wonderful RAK (random act of kindness)  from Jodie at Crafty Planning from her new kids range. Missy is in love with these beauties.

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The colours are so vibrant and I just love the original designs.

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And best of all they’re only £1 per sheet!  That’s pocket change!  I’m so happy with these and Missy can’t wait to start using them.  Of course you could use them for more than your child’s planner.  They could be used as reward stickers, or on little notes in the kids lunch boxes.  They could go on the covers of their school books before you cover with plastic or used to decorate their pen pal letters.    Pretty and versatile!

And best of all is that Jodie has a Kids Sticker Club!

Here’s the blurb from her store about the club:

“This club is designed to give your little person a sense of doing their own planning and being able to enjoy their own planner stickers and happy mail. For each registration for every £5 per month the adult spends with the registered Etsy account, they will receive one free sheet of stickers from the kids section. (Please put a note in the note to seller section to request this). The child’s order will be posted in the same package as your order unless additional postage is purchased for them to receive their own happy mail.

Children will also receive a birthday card and sheet of stickers as long as the adult has made a purchase from the shop within the last three months prior to the child’s registered birthday.”

What a fantastic way to make your little one feel special!

As of next week I will be working again and can tell that I am going to be a regular at Crafty Planning. I’ve only recently started using stickers in my planner – I only really started planning last year and am still learning my planner style.

If you place an order with Crafty Planning please pop the words – recommended by Leo in the comments box and I might get a little treat too.

As always, thanks for reading and happy planning!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R





Menu plan w/c 1 January 2018

Menu plan monday Winter

Happy New Year, my lovelies!


I hope you all had fun last night, I certainly did.  Although I might have drunk a little too much prosecco and got a tiny bit tiddly.

Ho hum!

January is always a  long month which calls for a tightening of the belt.  Plus, I’m on a no spend month.  More on that tomorrow. The best way I’ve found to save money is to meal plan which I’ve sorely neglected in recent months.  But I’m back on it and will be doing my best to post my meal plans every Monday. Not only to keep myself motivated but to inspire you too. Let’s save money together!

Monday:  Chicken arrabiata served with watercress salad on the side

Tuesday: Slow cooker Sloppy Joes – I’m using the recipe from The Organised Mum

Wednesday:  Eating out for a birthday dinner

ThursdaySlow cooker thai curry  – I’m using the recipe from The Organised Mum served with rice and butternut squash

Friday:  Sausages, mash and veggies

Saturday:  Leftovers

Sunday: Roast chicken dinner

Bright blessings,

Mrs R


Review: The Walled Garden Restaurant, Nags Head

Hello my lovelies,

Yesterday afternoon, we visited the Walled Garden restaurant at Knights Garden Centre Nags Hall for lunch. We’d been there before and had a gorgeous meal so decided to return since were were in the vicinity.  I can’t say that our visit was as successful this time as our first visit!

The place was tastefully kitted out for Halloween and the staff were dressed as various gouls to match.

The layout of the Walled Garden and the Potting Shed (it’s coffee shop) is quite strange.  We waited to be seated and were then asked where we wanted to sit.  Missy asked if she could sit at a table by the fish tank but was told that these tables were part of the seating for the Potting Shed coffee shop and as such we couldn’t be served a hot meal there.  We found this strange since we had walked through the Potting Shed into the Walled Garden and the tables and chairs were different in both places.  The table we wanted had the same furniture as the Walled Garden and the section wasn’t marked off.  But ho hum!

Our waitress seated us at a table near the window with some menues and disappeared for 15 minutes and only came to take our order when we flagged her down.  She admitted she’d forgotten about us.

The menu was once again strange. We were given a small menu which appeared to be the lunch menu which had a 2 or 3 course option where you could choose from 3 starters, some main courses and a series of puddings.  We had to ask for a children’s menu which was from a different menu which appeared to be their main menu.  Mr R and Granny R decided to have a 3 course option.  Missy upon looking at the children’s menu asked if she could look at the lunch menu and decided she wanted a scotch egg but didn’t like the coleslaw and endive salad.  I said I’d ask for a substitute of chips.  I opted for the burger on a dough bread roll with coleslaw and sweet potato chips.   I would have had a starter to share with Missy but the lunch menu had no other starter options besides those within the 2/3 course option.  To be honest, none of these appealed to me in the slightest as they either had blue cheese, smoked salmon or Gnocchi with pesto (I think!).  It was strange to have a 2 or 3 course menu for lunch anyway!  For drinks, Mr R and Granny R asked for tea while I asked for a milkshake and Missy asked for cloudy lemonade. Our waitress took our order and we all forgot to ask for Missy’s meal to be brought when Mr R and Granny R had their starter.  Most restaurants bring a child’s main meal with the adult’s starters as a default anyway but we did call the waitress back to ask. She said that she’d already put the order through and the kids meal couldn’t be brought with the starters as she hadn’t put it into the computer that way. I’m not quite sure why a pre-made scotch eggs and some chips couldn’t be quickly rustled up to be served with the starters.

Our drinks arrived and the milk for the tea was served in an adorable mini milk can. My milkshake arrived and I was very confused.  It wasn’t thick like you’d expect a normal milkshake to be, instead it was the consistency of Nesquick and had a large handful of ice floating around in it.  For £3 I found this very expensive for Nesquick with ice.

We had a long wait for the starters despite the restaurant being only a quarter full.  In this time, we couldn’t help but notice the loud music which seemed to have a theme that clearly did not suit the rather elegant surroundings.  Songs ranged from Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell to Alice Cooper’s Frankenstein. I really enjoy a bit of hard rock but the music was far too loud to enjoy lunch over.  Alice cooper gave way to Wagner’s Flight of the Valkyries, the Adam’s family and then oddly enough, the sound track to Psycho.

The starters arrived and they were truly a work of art.  By this point, Missy and I had finished our drinks (I’d fished the ice blocks out of my Nesquick) and the waitress hurried off before I could ask for another round of drinks.  Mr R and Granny R enjoyed their starters and we waited another 10 minutes before our mains were brought out.

The mains were gorgeous! Mr R and Granny R had the lamb rump with potatoes dauphinois which were perfectly cooked.  Missy’s scotch egg was huge and the egg inside was clearly a free range egg which she thoroughly enjoyed.  My meal was received at this point with much enthusiasm since we’d waited so long for it.  The sour dough bun was really hard and was quickly discarded but the patty was homemade and delicious, the salad fresh, the sweet potato fries were the best I’d ever tasted and then coleslaw was homemade and very tasty.

While we were eating trying to talk over more Meatloaf a waitress started sweeping noisily around us.  We found this highly surprising since it’s not usual to sweep dust in the air while diners are eating.  Granny R was not impressed.

We once again waited quite a while for our plates to be cleared and the menus to be brought back for desserts to be chosen. While we waited Missy began to grow bored. Knowing it was difficult to keep her occupied for the long wait that seemed to the norm at The Walled Garden I took her to look at the cakes at The Potting shed.  There they had a fantastic array of cakes half of which were Halloween themed and looked fantastically gruesome.  Knowing we’d be having desserts I scoped out the selection for anything dairy free and found one of the pre-packaged gluten free brownies was dairy free and Missy loves a brownie!

Granny R didn’t fancy anything on the set menu and asked instead for the lemon meringue pie that we’d seen a nearby table enjoying. I copied her and Mr R asked for the baked cheesecake with stewed rhubarb. I must point out at this stage that the table across from us which was part of the Potting Shed seating, was occupied by a woman who was eating a burger.  Can you tell I’m still confused by the seating situation and lack of demarcation?

Our desserts arrived and they were utterly delicious!   The lemon meringue pie was the best I’ve ever had.

We discussed our experience at The Walled Garden while we waited for the bill to arrive and all agreed that we could not fault the food but the service, confusion about the seating arrangements and loud music left much to be desired.

We give the food an 8/10

The service 5/10

The general experience 5/10

It’s a shame because our first experience at The Walled Garden was very positive.  The food is so tasty that we’d probably go back however, their service needs a shake up!

Bright blessings,

Mrs R




Easy Focaccia

Hello my lovelies,

I must apologize for not blogging much recently, I am working on rectifying this and hope to bring you some great blog posts, recipes and ideas every week starting today.


It’s half-term for us and as such I try to do some baking or cooking with Missy (DD has now been renamed to Missy since she’s 7 going on 15!). She was really craving pizza but as a dairy free kid she can’t have shop bought pizza.  I know I can buy frozen pizza bases but I find they expensive when we can whip up a batch of pizza dough for mere pennies.  Plus, I get the added bonus of teaching Missy about weights and measures and help her to learn the life skill of cooking.

We made her pizza and used Marchego cheese which is a hard goats cheese. While I know this isn’t dairy free it doesn’t contain the cows milk protein that affects her, however, she only has it occasionally.

After we made her pizza, there was a lot of dough left and I really didn’t fancy pizza because I was having chicken soup for lunch.  Then I had an inspired thought… I could make focaccia!


This pizza dough is really versatile and can be used to make pizzas, focaccia, calzones, dough balls and much more.  Check out Kitchn’s post for some great ideas.


Here’s the pizza dough recipe I use.  It’s easy enough for kids to help but best made in the morning so that it has time to prove if you want to use it to make lunch. If you’re using it to make dinner, make it in the early afternoon.

Easy Pizza dough

500g plain flour

1 sachet of dried yeast

1 tsp each of sugar and salt

250ml of warm water mixed with 2 tsp olive oil

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until the dough is soft and well combined.  Knead well in the bowl for about 5 minutes to break down the gluten.

Place the dough in a warm place covered with a tea towel for about an hour until it’s doubled in size. Probably about an hour or so.

Knead the dough again  (also called knocking it back) for another 5 minutes. Cover with the tea towel and allow to rise in warm place.  About 1-2 hours.  It should be nicely risen.

This should make one small pizza and one swiss roll pan sized focaccia.


To make the focaccia,  simply grease a swiss roll pan with a little olive oil and press the remaining pizza dough into the pan.  Make little dents in the dough with your fingers pressing all the way into the bottom of the pan.  Add some fresh sprigs of rosemary and brush with more olive oil all over the surface. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 220 degrees Celsius until it’s golden brown.



I hope you enjoy this recipe and as always, if you try the recipe please leave me a comment and let me know how you enjoyed it.

Bright blessings,

Mrs R