Family walks and hearty home-cooked stew

4

What I’ve been doing

Last weekend we only had one day to be able to spend as a family as Fred was going to be away for work so we made sure to fill the day doing something nice. We headed to Moors Valley which is a country park on the border of Dorset and Hampshire. It’s loads of fun, filled with adventure trails where you can track characters from the Julia Donaldson books like the Gruffalo, or in this case Zog the dragon. I also got the chance this weekend to break out my new Rino & Pelle faux fur coat. Animal print is clearly here to stay!

The girls love it and they forget that they are walking pretty far as there is always something to keep them going to the next clue on the trail. They also have adventure climbing called Go Ape which is lots of zip slides and rope bridges up in the trees which we haven’t yet done but it’s on the list when the girls are just a little older. I won’t get Fred up in the trees though as he’s scared of heights!

We had a friend Rhiannon’s 40th Birthday to go to on the Friday night too so that was another reason to need to get into the fresh air! I remember in my 20s we could go out night after night till 3am and get up the next day like nothing had touched us. Now one night takes me a day to get myself in to the mood to go out and not just get into tracksuit bottoms and stay in watching Netflix. It then takes two days to recover! It’s always fun when you get out though and Rhiannon’s Birthday was so much fun. Great turn out, amazing spread of vegan food, which I have to say is not my usual go-to, and a fantastic venue called the OX 2. It was worth getting dolled up for and booking a babysitter. Happy 40th Rhiannon!

What I’ve been using in Beauty

I mentioned this on my Insta Stories last week but I wanted to let you guys know about it here as I know you are not all on Instagram and it’s too good not to share. It’s the newest palette in the Doll 10 family, the Pro Eyeshadow Palette 3.0 with brush. I have the previous one and it’s one of my most used. The colours in this one did not disappoint either. I have to admit that one of our lovely make-up artists, Roo from Make Up Junkies, did my make-up here so it looks extra good! I find the Doll 10 colours really easy to apply and blend. They are ‘poured’ in rather than pressed which helps to stop them dropping all down your face. The squares of colour are also much larger than most palettes so they last for ages!

What I’ve been wearing – One top five ways! The Dennis Basso Woven Tie Neck Blouse with Ruched Cuff.

I wanted to try something a little different this week and focus on one piece from QVC and show you lots of different ways that I have managed to style it. We are all becoming a lot more aware of our spending and what we are buying in the world of fast fashion so I wanted to pick a piece that will work really hard for us and be worth every penny you spend on it. I chose the Ivory but it also comes in Wine.

So here we go. Most of what I have styled it with is from QVC and I have also used some other high street pieces too. I shall list all of the items that are in stock in case you like them too.

1. Casual – I’ve gone for my trusty ripped Levis with this one, black neck tie undone. Silver boots from Emu. I would wear this for lunch out with friends or a casual night out at a pub.

2. Sassy – I have teamed this with my own faux leather skirt and added a pop of colour with these amazing Capollini Red Suede boots. Pilgrim Earrings and hair up. I would wear this look for a day time event, perhaps a family party. I would even wear this to some work events if it was particularly fashion forward.

3. Tux Style – I love this look! I have added my Ruth Langsford Blazer with Faux Leather trim and a pair of black sequin trousers. I have rolled back the sleeves to make sure that the ruffled cuffs on the shirt are on show as they are too pretty to cover up with the faux pearl buttons. This is definitely a party outfit. Birthdays or New Year’s Eve parties.

4. Elegant Animal Print – animal print is still big news and this Helene Berman skirt doesn’t disappoint. It works so well with this blouse! The pleated skirt is elasticated at the waist so really easy and comfortable.  I went for the knee high black leather Leska boots from Peter Kaiser for a more day time look but add strappy heels and this would make this a fantastic date night outfit for dinner out somewhere nice. If I wanted to make it more day time for a work environment I would add a thin jumper over the top like I have here. Again making sure the cuffs are on show.

5. Colour pop Casual – I wanted to make sure you saw the blouse untucked so you know every possibility! I went a little more casual with this as a loose shirt really demands it. I added my own bright pink trousers (high street) and the upcoming Marc Fisher Today’s Special Value (coming towards the end of the month). I would throw trainers on with this look too for a very laidback look.

One way I didn’t show was to wear this completely unbuttoned with a camisole top underneath but this blog would have gone on for weeks if I did every possibility. You see what I mean though, isn’t this blouse incredibly versatile!! I would love to know what you think of it.

What I’ve been cooking – Lazy Chicken Stew

It won’t be long before spring is here and we are thinking less about comfort food but while it’s still chilly I’m still cooking up those stews. This is one of my cheat meals because I don’t feel like I’ve really done any cooking! It’s pretty much all from the freezer. This can be done in a slow cooker but I used my large casserole dish.

I used:

Frozen Chicken Fillets – as many as you want depending on how many you are cooking for, you can batch freeze after too!
Frozen Bag of Casserole Vegetables (half bag)
Frozen chopped Onions – free pour the amount
Fresh Spinach
Chicken Stock
Vegetable Stock
Lazy Chopped Garlic
Salt
Pepper
French Mustard
Cream Cheese
Corn Flour

This is a judgement call recipe, I literally throw in the amount I want. I started by sautéing the onions with a spoon of lazy garlic. I then added about half the bag of frozen casserole veg. Followed but the frozen chicken fillets, I then pour in a big jug of dissolved chicken and vegetable stock (in hot water). Add Salt and Pepper, a spoon of French mustard and heaped teaspoon of corn flour to help thicken the sauce, a big spoon of cream cheese (you can leave this out though if you want to be good) I put the lid on and pop in the oven on a medium heat about 140 degrees and leave for a good hour and half.

Again it’s a judgement call, if you want the chicken to fall apart then cook slow, if you want to bring up the heat and cook for less time then do that. Towards the end when it’s nearly done, with oven gloves, take out from the oven and add a big bunch of fresh spinach. I used nearly a whole bag as it shrinks down so much. Stir it in and pop back in the oven.

This is a really hearty bowl of comfort food but it’s also pretty good for you, particularly if you leave out the cream cheese. You can even add Orzo pasta (a bit like rice) for the last half an hour of cooking time too. Or throw in chunks of sweet potato or lentils. It’s one of those stews that you will probably make slightly differently each time. Fred and I love it, Tilda does too. I can’t convince Ivy to try it though!!

What’s coming up

This weekend Ruth Lansgford will be bringing us a Today’s Special Value in the form of her New Straight leg Jean, this Saturday. It will come in three lengths and a choice of three colours Black, Light Indigo or Dark Indigo. Ruth’s Jeans have been incredibly popular, particularly because of the three leg lengths and I’m sure these ones will be too.

That’s it from me, I need to now go and tidy up my living room which has half my wardrobe slung over it from doing all these outfit pictures!!

Let me know what you’ve been getting up to below in the comments and stay in touch via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Lots of love
Katy x x

4 Comments

  1. Loraine Plumb February 14, 2019 at 3:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Katy we were at moors valley on the Sunday weather wasnt too bad and then went just down the road to the three legged cross pub for lunch.We live in Ringwood i think I’ve said to you before one day i may bump into you .Glad your feeling better we have had colds well my husband’s was flu so he felt awful . Love all your outfits you always look nice best wishes to you and your family love Loraine x

  2. Jean Daly February 19, 2019 at 10:44 am -  Reply

    Hi Katy I just love your sense of style you always look amazing. I also look forward to reading about you & your family & enjoy tremendously the recipes … will definitely be trying the lazy chicken stew …. keep the recipes coming. Glad to hear you’re feeling better. Love Jean x

  3. Jean Daly February 19, 2019 at 11:03 am -  Reply

    Hi Katy you might actually receive this reply twice, I’m not sure if I was successful in sending the first one. I just want to say how much I like your sense of style ….you always look amazing & how that I really enjoy reading your posts especially the recipes…so please keep them coming, I’m definitely going to try the Lazy chicken Stew.
    Keep up the good work Love Jean x

  4. Kathy February 22, 2019 at 2:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Katie, Moors Valley is about 4 miles from where i live, we havn’t been there for years, we must take the dogs there again . Watching the Pie Company show on Friday, did i hear you say you live in Poole….. well thats about 8 miles from where i live in Ferndown, apparently Ali K visited Ferndown a few weeks ago… We sometimes take the dogs down onto the beach in Southbourne for a run they love it so lovely living near the coast and with the New Forest the other way we are spoilt. … And Loraine in the first post i shop in Ringwood takes me 5 mins to drive there……. gosh we are all local. ! Love your shows … Enjoy your weekend.

    Kathy x

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