The Bloggers Love Food & Drink Festival

On Monday I had the privilege of attending the Bloggers Food & Drink festival hosted by The Bloggers Hub. Check them out here if you want to find out more about their future events.

The event was held at Kanaloa Club in London. This is a quirky Tiki themed bar with some great decor features. I particularly liked the blown glass bottle ceiling in one area of the bar.

photo 3 (5)My only criticism is the lack of lighting in the venue meant that the products were not being shown off to their best advantage. Which really was a shame. So with that in mind apologies in advance for my poor photography.

Bad lighting aside though this was a fabulous event.  It seemed extra special as we got to meet so many of the brands actual creators and learn about the stories behind their brand.

Manny's Sauces

I was also able to share this experience with my Husband and Daughter which made a nice change as they do not get to experience much of what I getup to as a blogger.

photo 4 (5)

The event showcased a huge variety of brands ranging from Artisan Marshmallows from Brighton based Miss Millar’s Mallows‘ to Raw Milk from hook and son ,and sauces and cured meets from Manny’s Sauces. I urge you to check out MIss Millar’s website as my photos really do not do her product justice, they looked amazing and tasted even better. Espresso Marshmallow anyone? Miss Millars Mallows

If products that focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle are your thing that area was very well covered. I met some very exciting up and coming brands in this area that I will feature in their own blog posts soon, so  do keep your eyes open for those going live over the coming weeks. The photograph below  is a sneak peak at an upcoming post.

cereal lovers

Don’t forget to subscribe if you want to see these fab foodie products. Prefer bloglovin? Don’t worry you can follow me there also.

Thanks for stopping by schoolrunbeauty.com.

Follow Friday – 5 Fab #30plusblogs

Something very exciting is happening in the blogging community, us ladies over a certain age are emerging from the shadows of our well represented younger counterparts. Who knew there were so many of us out there typing away and producing such great blogs?

Thanks to the hard work of Hayley Carr, author of London Beauty Queen,  us 30 plus ladies have the opportunity to be part of a new and exciting project, ‘The Thirty Plus blog collective’. With it’s very own shiny new website this is a place were we can share content and discover other bloggers who are creating content that is relevant to us.

In the interest of celebrating this I thought I would share some of the great blogs I have discovered thanks to become part of #30plusbloggers.

Tales of a Pale face is a primarily a beauty blog, written by Kat. Her photography is beautiful and her writing style is very witty.  Expect lots of beauty tips and make-up reviews .

Beauty Rocks Blog is written by Jamie, she covers topics such as beauty, fashion and lifestyle. I have serious style envy where this lady is concerned. Her OOTD posts are the sort of outfits I wish I could come up with myself.

Charlotte from Mummy Fever is lady I can relate to, this is a lady who blogs about beauty, fashion, cooking, health and lifestyle  with the added twist of someone who is a busy mummy. Basically I challenge anyone to not find at least one article on her blog that is relevant.

Now this blog I just love! Gill from Growing Old Disgracefully is so frigging glamorous! She gives you a wonderful insight into the exciting things happening in her life with a take on beauty that all us ladies can learn from.

Last but not least is Music and Eye-liner a beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog. Her blog is so pretty and has lots of interesting lifestyle features. One worth that is worth checking out.

So that is my  picks of some of the fab blogs that are part of this new venture. Well done Hayley for having such a great idea, I can’t wait to see what exciting things she has up her sleeve for the future.

 

Cajun Spiced Parnsip & Courgette Crisps

Who doesn’t love a packet of crisps? I hold my hand up, I’m an absolute bugger when it comes to salty fatty snacks. In search of a healthy alternative I came across how to make your own vegetable crisps. Oh and Guess what, they are easy and very moreish.

I have twigged the original recipie to suit my own personal taste, I like a bit of spice, especially with the parsnips.

To make these all you do is use a vegetable peeler to create thin slices of your chosen vegetable.

Lay your slices out on a baking tray. Here’s a little tip got you, these work better if they are flat and not overlapping.

Lightly brush each slice with olive oil and then sprinkle lightly with Cajun pepper and sea salt.

Pop in the oven at 120 degrees c for approx 1 1/2 – 2hrs. They are ready when the slices of vegetable have crisped and turned a golden colour.


These will last a couple of days in an airtight container, though ours didn’t make it that far, whoops!

Have you any suggestions for other seasonings? I’m thinking a bit of cider vinegar once cooked.

Diabetic friendly nutty cacao bites recipie 

Hi, guys! 

  I haven’t shared a food post on the blog for a little while,and to be honest with you was hesitant about sharing this one. There have been a fair few cocao ball posts out there and I didn’t want to be jumping on the band wagon. Having had a go out making our own version, with my diabetic son and to great success I decided that actually I am going to share our recipie as I thought it would be helpful to other parents. 

  

As the parent of a Type 1 Diabetic it can be very hard some times finding food that satisfy’s a child’s urge to eat sweet foods. Whislt it’s ok for a diabetic to have the odd naughty treat occasionally , it’s still handy to have a range of no added sugar treats up you sleeve. These little balls of goodness have done the job perfectly. 

This quantity made 12 balls, if you are a carb counter each ball has a carb content of 8. 

  Ingredients – 

100g ready to eat dates

25g banana chips

30g almonds 

30g hazelnuts

100g desiccated coconut

15g Cacao Powder 

30g pure coconut oil

In a blender/food processor combine all the ingredients except the coconut oil. Once this has broken down into a breadcrumb like texture knock out into a bowl. 

Melt your coconut oil in a microwave in 10 second bursts being careful not to burn it. Add this to your mixture and give it a good stir. You can then use your hands to shape it into 12 balls. 

  Pop them in the fridge to set slightly and enjoy. We had these as an after dinner pudding. 

As you can see Harrison was very pleased with his homemade treats, best of all there is no added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

My other kids, without Diabetes loved them too. 


Do you have any handy sugar free recipies? Do leave me your links to any you have. 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂 

 Kick starting my pre holiday exercise plan with Slendershake 

Hi guys! 

In a few weeks time I shall be heading off on a family summer holiday. I can’t wait to spend a week chilling out by the pool with no housework, cooking and all that usual malarkey. 

Trouble is along with that holiday comes a week wearing  mainly a bikini. Agggh crap, I’m so not prepared for that yet. 

Now before I get a load of abuse for worrying about my relatively slim body in a bikini, I do still have the same insecurities as any other women. 

At the start of last year I had reached a point where I had to admit that my relationship with food was not healthy. I used to exist on a slice of toast and a banana a day. My weight dropped drastically, I’m not sure how low it got but size 6 clothes were hanging off me. I looked awful, not that I was willing to admit at the time. I felt very unwell and couldn’t actually get myself through a normal working day.  

A year and a bit on I have addressed the issues surrounding my extreme weightless. I’m now what would be considered a healthy weight. I’m a size 8/10 now. Typically though the weight has distributed itself around my thighs and hips and is starting to resemble a combination of cellulite and muffin tops where my jeans are a tad to tight. 

Now I know I can do something about this, but in a healthy way, and  not by starving myself.

I have joined the gym and am exercising 4 times a week. I’m also trying to make better choices with what I eat. 

The lovely guys at slendertoxtea have also sent me a 14 day pack of their slender shake meal replacement. 

  This I intend to have for breakfast over the next 14 days as a kick start to my exercise program. A 28 day program is priced at £36.99. Combined with a healthy diet I hope to get myself a bit more toned and those too tight jeans fitting a bit better. 

Today I made up the shake with just water. The acacia berry and tropical flavour meant it tasted quite nice even if it did look a bit funky. The appearance is very different to what I was expecting, being named a shake I presumed it to resemble this in appearance. It’s actually more of a thick cordial type drink. 

  

You can mix it with yogurt and fruit according to your personal tastes. I intend to experiment with this tommorow. Today I want to see how full this leaves me feeling bearing in mind it is a meal replacement shake. 

As this is made from natural and organic ingredients I’m not concerned about putting anything harmful in my body. I’m looking forward to seeing if I benefit from some of the products claims.

  • Aids digestion 
  • kind to the skin
  • Increased energy 
  • Healthy weight loss. 

I’m not organised enough to be having a before picture yet, it will come though I promise. In two weeks time I shall let you know how I  got on. I’m considering an update half way though as I’m not planning on dropping loads of weight it may not be necessary. 

Have you tried either the slendertoxtea or slendertoxtea shake before? How did you get on? 

Q & A time – What my kids really think of their mum

Hi guys,

Today’s blog post again is something a little bit different. I spotted this Q & A on a friends Facebook page, and thought it was funny seeing the responses of her children. This is a list of 21 questions that ask the child their opinion of their mum. These responses must be unprompted and unedited.  So if you want to find out what’s going in in your child’s mind this may provide an interesting snapshot. Though meant to be a bit of fun some of the answers I received were very surprising.

So to kick of this Q & A feature is  my eldest Molly-Anne, she is at that awkward 13 year old point so I can never be sure of her reactions anyway, but here goes.

  


 1. What is something Mummy always says to you?

Can you make me a tea please?

2. What makes Mummy happy?

Tea

3. What makes Mummy Sad?

Not having a cup of tea. (I think my daughter feels I have a problem ha ha!)

4. How does Mummy make you laugh?

Er (long pause) when you do embarrassing things.

5.What was Mummy like as a child?

You played with your ‘My little Ponies’ (yup that’s true).

6. Hold old is Mummy?

32 (result I’ll take that, Im actually 33).

7. How tall is Mummy?

About 5ft maybe? (wow she’s just removed my entire head, I’m actually 5ft 7).

8. What is Mummy’s favourite thing to do?

Blogging or knitting (Ah she knows me so well).

9. What does Mummy do when you’re not here?

Watch what you want on the telly why you have the chance.

10. If Mummy becomes famous what will it be for?

Clothes (not quite sure in what context she means?).

11.What is Mummy really good at?

Cooking.

12. What is Mummy not very good at?

Stopping us kids from arguing.

13.What is Mummy’s Job?

Housewife.

14. What makes you proud of Mummy?

Hmmm, (another long pause), when you make my birthday cake the way I want it. 

 15. What is Mummy’s favourite food?

Tuna (Nope it cake, she’s way of there lol).

16. What do you and Mummy do together?

Shopping.

17. How are you and Mummy the same ? 

 We both drink lots of cups of tea (back to that again!)

18. If your Mummy was a cartoon character who would she be?

I actually don’t know?

19. How are you and Mummy different?

We have a different fashion sense.

20. How do you know Mummy loves you?

When she buys me things (Oh crap I need to re-address this one).

21. What does Mummy like best about Daddy?

When he’s not being a lazy Fart (sorry her words not mine).

22. Where is Mummy’s favourite place to go?

The Kitchen (Er, Not quite?)

23. How old was Mummy when she had you?

19.

So, some interesting responses. My daughter clearly thinks I’m a caffeine junky, that I think her dads lazy, which is soo not true, oh and that my favourite place is the kitchen.

The most eye opening response though was that her idea of me showing her that I love her, is through buying her things. Hmm I need to make an effort to do something about that, as I do not want her growing up thinking that this is how to show love. Maybe this is because as a society we are so consumer led, and this is what our kids are learning? Or am I making excuses? Either that or I’m just being a rubbish parent in that respect. Perhaps I’m reading to much into it, but sometimes those off handed remarks tell us much about feelings that go deeper.

So this was the response of child number 1, the teenager, I shall be sharing the responses of my other two kids over the coming week.

Would you be brave enough to try this Q&A out on your kids? Do you share your experience in the comment section if you do give it a go.

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

I hold my hands up, feminism confuses the hell out of me!

The very word Feminism confuses the hell out of me. I understand what it means, please don’t get me wrong. it’s the notion of being a feminist that confuses me. 

  I realise modern society expects me to be a feminist, but I shy away from it because of the more heavily covered extreme end of the feminist spectrum. 

Sometimes the mere thought of talking about it has me running and hiding for cover. It’s the reaction from that probably very small level of extremism, that scares me away from sharing my thoughts on the subject.

Alas, I’ve have gone and opened that can of worms now, so here we go. I’m ready to duck for cover if necessary. (Joke! I promise)

So here’s where I’m at.

If feminism means being treated equally on all levels of life, then yes I am a feminist. Of course I am glad I have the right to vote, be equally educated and say no to sex when I don’t want it. To me though that all forms part of basic human rights and something I probably have taken for granted. 

Fortunately in the UK we legally have all these things, though I’m not naive enough to not be aware that for some women this is still unfortunately not the case. This is where I feel feminism has it’s place. 

However If feminism means that I have to feel shame about the fact that I am a stay at home mum,  (note I don’t say full time mum as when I was working that term used to piss me right off),  heaven forbid reliant on my husband to bring home the bacon, then I’m going to say “thanks, but no thanks, not for me”.

You see, when I read the idealist view this is often how I’m made to feel. This isn’t my own inadequacy, I can assure you, I love my life. I tried the whole women can have it all thing, juggling work, kids, uni, all whilst trying to maintain a happy marriage, and guess what I dropped several of those balls. Quite spectacuarlly I might add, there was a very loud crash in my life. 

I was constantly stressed, miserable in fact, and I was taking it all out on my husband. Now I have less balls to juggle I’m far happier, so is my family life. It just means in terms of earning my keep,  I’m not equal. This particular feminist idioligy doesn’t fit with my current sittuation in life. I’m everything that women have fought against, to the outsider my sum of existence in life is all about minding the kids and our home. Oh and that other Elephant in the room? Yes I rely on my husband to provide for us.   

What isn’t evident for all to see though is I’m an Open University student, I have career dreams for the future, just not right now. I care as much about equal pay as women that do work. It’s scandalous that two people can be doing exactly the same job equally well, but because one has lady bits she is paid less than her male counterpart. 

Maybe it’s because my Husband has always treated me as an equal, that I’ve never had to give feminism much  of a thought. It was a joint descision when I stopped working because it would effect both of our lives. We have a joint bank account, have done for years way before I gave up work, it just means I don’t have to go running to him every time I need to go food shopping for example. He trusts me not to go blowing his wages. Household finances come first but we both have an even set amount of pocket money to spend as we wish. Do you see what I mean by being treated as equal? 

To me though this is just normal, it’s what happens when you form a partnership with that special someone and have children together. Someone becomes the chief child carer and the other the main breadwinner. Even when I was working I’ve barely earnt enough to cover what he is deducted in taxes, mine just wouldn’t have been a living wage. 

 He has often said if I was able to earn a higher wage than him he wouldn’t be troubled by a role reversal. It would just make financial sense, and that is as far as the subject would go. Mind you, by the time I have finished my degree, all of my kids will be in secondary school or college anyway so that’s kind of a mute point. 

Do you see why I am so confused about where feminism plays a role in my life? I know It does obviously, but I just don’t relate to some of what being a good feminist entails. 

What I do appriciate though is that because of feminist campaigners I have the choices that I am blessed with today. If life does go a bit tits up then I only have myself to blame, nobody has forced me into that situation. I don’t feel the need to blame my mishaps on the fact that I am a girl. 

What do you think? Do you get confused about what feminism is or where it fits into your life? Does it worry you voicing your thoughts on this subject? 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

May favourites!!

So I’m a wee bit late with this one, I think I need to get my act together. Life has been very busy lately and June seems to have crept up on me. Not that you would know it was June, it’s blowing a gale and pouring it down with rain right now. (Oh hang that’s normal in the UK!)  

 Any way ramble over, let’s get in with sharing my May favourites. 

Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze Gradual Tanner £5.99 

  

I love this stuff so much, I have raved about this many times over the pass month, on many a form of social media or just to anyone that will listen. Hence It couldn’t be left out of this favourites post. 

If you want to see a full review then check out this previous post here.

H20+ Spa Sea Salt skin smoother £20.

  As I’ve been using tanning products a lot lately it makes sense that I’ve been reaching for a body scrub regularly.  

This one I absolutely love, it has the right balance between scrubbiness and moisturising. 

I’m not going to lie, £20 is a bit steep for a bodyscrub. I didn’t actually pay that for it as It was part of an offer when they stocked it in Marks & Spencer. I can only find it on Amazon now though. I would actually repurchase this though and pay the full £20. Crazy I know, but it’s that good. 

The Bodyshop Banana conditioner £4.50

  This stuff smells AMAZING!! It also leaves my hair feeling super soft and tangle free. As you can see I’m running out of this now BOO! 

I will be purchasing this again in the future, I just need to use up some of my stash first. 

T.V 

Programmes I’m loving right now are Game of Thones and the ITV drama Home fires. 

Image source: ITV.com

Not so loving though the fact that I am up to date on both of these, so have to go all old school and wait patiently for next weeks episodes. 

Last nights Game of Thrones was pretty epic, next Monday seems such a long way away, the suspense is killing me.

Random Stuff

Instagram 

Oh Instagram I love you! Yup it’s becoming a bit of an addiction, whether it’s looking at other peoples pretty pics or adding my own. If you interested in taking a peek at my page my user name is KATY_STANDEN. 

Let’s get crafting knitting and Crochet Magazine £8.99 monthly. 

  If you are into knitting or crochet this magazine is pretty darn good. It comes with loads of patterns and the kit so you can make them. 

I’m a fidget bum, so rather than be playing with my phone in the evening, I do a bit of knitting. My husband much prefers this to me having my nose constantly in twitter.

I love this magazine so much I’m actually counting down the days till I can buy the next issue. (tiny bit geeky, ha ha) It’s 19th June FYI, just incase. 

 So that’s my round up of my favourite things in May. 

What so you think of my current favourites? 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

My latest thrift store find – getting over my snobbish attitude!

Hi guys, today I wanted to share with you a little treasure I picked up on a recent trip to a local charity shop. 

    I love having a little snoop around every now and again just to see what treasures I can find. Gone are the days when I used to only venture in if I needed a retro dressing up costume. Shamefully I would  spend ages looking around before entering just to make sure no one who new me could see me shopping in one. Yup, how stupid is that.  

Thankfully I’ve shaken of that awkwardness. I think it was because I used to think that people who shopped in thrift stores did so because they were poor, and had no other choice. How lame is that!

For a start it is so not the case. Thrifting for many a person is a smart life style choice, regardless of whether you have to watch your penny’s or not. When I look at other peoples blogs who are into thrifting it often amazes me the unique treasures they find. 

So yeah, confession time over, let me show you my latest find.

This is a cast iron plant stand I believe. It’s  friggen heavy anyway, I know that because I lugged it home in my back pack. Original use besides I have it say pride of place in my newly decorated bathroom storing all my LUSH goodies.  

 I think it looks fab, and goes perfectly with my outdoorsy industrial theme I have going on. 

What do you think of my latest find? Do you love or hate a thrift store? 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂

Getting back into the Gym, and beginning to rebuild my fitness.

Hi guys, 

Today is another one of those more personal posts. If you have been a reader of my blog for a little while then you may be aware that I have had some issues with my personal health and mobility. 

At the start of the year I couldn’t walk without a crutch, and was constantly in pain. This had gone on since I had collapsed and was taken to hospital in April last year. At the time I was discharged with a bag of pills and pair of crutches. Immediate thoughts from the doctors were that I had sciatica, and that it would go away in a couple of weeks.  

    Unfortunately it didn’t, and by christmas I was still unable to walk without a crutch. I even had to use them when I was a bridesmaid for my big sister. Sorry Michelle, they are so in many a wedding picture! 

  Basically I was experiencing some major upheaval  in my life. As I was no longer able to do my job I had to resign. My job involved me being on my feet all day, and allthough my employers were good about the amount of sick leave I had taken they couldn’t hold my job open indefinately. 

I was also getting used to not having the level of fitness and loss of independence I was used to having. I’ve always walked everywhere when possible, and not being able to do this was frustrating. As I couldn’t operate the clutch in my car either I couldn’t even drive myself to the places I needed to be. By this point I was beginning to fear the worst, what the hell was actually wrong with me? 

Thankfully several investigations later they did find out what actually was wrong. Though it was going to take me a while to get better, it was not as bad as my imagination had been running wild with. I had scholiosis, stemming from a twisted pelvis. This was trapping the nerve in the front of my left leg, causing constant pain and stopping my leg functioning properly. 

Thanks to  the support of my physiotherapist, and the patience of my husband as well I must add, those crutches are long gone and we are working on rebuilding my strength, and getting my fitness back.

  

The scholiosis has been corrected through physio, though it still pops out of place sometimes, trapping the nerve again. I have been taught to correct this through exercise myself now though. 

I’m pleased to say that I have moved into the rehabilitation stage of my recovery. The lack of mobility has meant I had a fair bit of muscle wastage so I’m working on rebuilding muscular strength. Two weeks ago I actually joined the gym again. Though it’s slow going and seems like I’m barely doing anything sometimes before I’m knackered, there is definately progress being made. For one thing, I’m less reliant on pain relief now I have leant some adjustment techniques. I’m beginning to feel like a normal human being again. 

So that is wher I’m at right now! If you have stuck with me on this fairly self indulgent ramble thank you. Sometimes it feels good to just get your thoughts out there. I’m thinking about doing progress updates, what do you think? 

Bye for now, Katy 🙂