Souped Up: soup recipes for a healthy lunch.

After an Easter heavy on Mini Eggs, I am trying to eat more healthily. As is often the case when I embark upon one of these fads, soup is featuring heavily and here I share some of my favourite, easiest recipes.

Lunchbox friction. And dairy-free banana chocolate biscuits.

About to tackle the second week back at school and the Easter holidays seem like a distant memory, entangled as we are, once more, with Biff and Chip and PE kits and morning rush hours and after-school clubs and snack boxes. Packed lunches are a somewhat contentious issue in our house. The junior takes one…

Podcast obsession

I am mad on podcasts. My coolest friend introduced me to them a couple of years ago and I am totally obsessed with them. She is obvs much cooler than me now as a journalist living in Dublin; she goes to gigs on school nights and jets round the world at weekends, whilst I’m in…

Brilliant beauty buys.

The response I got from my post about beauty in the Aldi aisles confirmed that I am not alone in my love of a cosmetic bargain. I must reiterate here, that I am no glamorous minx, and on the surface, nobody you’d look to for advice in this field, but I DO love a good…

Fat Rascals. (A treat, not an insult.)

Five days into the school holiday – of which four were the long weekend, where double parental supervision was applied – and we have worked through pretty much everything in the programme of activities I suggested, and now we’re lapping ourselves. It seems hopeful that the dismal drizzle and frosty temperatures may improve as the…

11 steps to a brilliant night’s sleep.

I seem to have been somewhere on the continuum between moderately fatigued and totally exhausted since my firstborn came onto the scene in early 2009. Of course, nobody with a small baby can realistically expect to have a decent amount of sleep, but somehow, even though my children reliably make it through the night without…

Lemon cake and poor fine motor skills.

The Easter weekend was a busy one for us. As is my wont in the school holidays, I was stricken with the sort of horrible germs that left me with a banging head, throbbing ears, chesty cough and a husky voice. “Like Mariella Frostrup?” I asked, hopefully. “More Les Dawson,” my husband confirmed. There was…

Beauty in the Aldi aisles.

I really hate food shopping. The crush in the aisles. The stress of the checkout. The godawful unpacking once home. It truly is one of my least favourite things to do. I do much of my shopping in Aldi these days, and I don’t think this helps any of the problems aforementioned. Our town offers…

Staying sane in the hols.

School here has just broken up. I think parental emotions were mixed. Some seemed merely relieved to be avoiding the tyranny of 8:55 registration and acceptable packed lunches for two weeks, others focused on the 24/7 x 2 nature of the upcoming interaction with their progeny. Holidays without plans can  be hard-going. I am not…

Yorkshire Dales delight

My childhood holidays were numerous and wholesome, filled with blustery mountainsides and cycle paths and campsites, and now I find myself repeating the pattern with my own little badgers. This last weekend we had the most lovely stay in the Yorkshire Dales, where many a childhood half term was spent – I was reminded of…

Sustaining ginger nuts.

I was a very reluctant gym visitor this morning. I dressed appropriately, but my heart wasn’t really in it and I was rather hoping to bump into a friend on the way and be diverted to coffee. No such luck. After showing myself up with my inability to operate the vending machine (I was after…

Swimming hell. Spa heaven. And smoothies.

Swimming this morning was pretty much the least enjoyable way imaginable to spend a portion of the weekend. On any day, it is abysmal, with the cramped changing rooms, cold, trickling showers and the inevitability of a key item of clothing ending up in a puddle, but the perishing conditions outside meant that even the swimming…

Thwarted snow day. And spicy red pepper soup.

Oh my, this weather! It is days like this that has me texting my husband with links to properties in Miami. He’s not always delighted to receive this in the middle of a meeting, or whatever it is he does during those hours between 7 and 6, presuming that this is another fad. True, I’ve never been…

Faffathons and fish cakes.

The relentless culinary demands of feeding two tiny tyrants often leaves me wretched – here I’d like to share some shortcuts to snapping approved by some harsh critics.