Time out with my girl and eating in with my boy

7

Howdy everyone!

I hope you’re having a lovely week. Life does get very hectic at times and sometimes we can lose sight of what is important. Top of my ‘what’s important’ list are my wonderful children, Tom and Chrissie.

Time flies by in a flash, and before I know it I realise it’s been weeks (or even months with Chrissie as she lives in Bristol) since I had proper quality time with each of them.

I made some time and it was well worth it, as ever. Chrissie has been super busy with one thing and another all summer so I felt she deserved some pampering time.

I booked us in for a little spa break together for some girly time out. We each had a full body massage and some time in the pool and jacuzzi. Well, I had time in the pool and jacuzzi – Chrissie couldn’t because she had recently got a tattoo but she enjoyed a little lounge around the pool and a read of her book.

Both she and her brother are great bookworms. I’m more of a book butterfly! I’m good at buying new ones but flit from one to another without finishing one before starting the next. Eventually I go back, but I take the long way round!

My children are a source of great pride to me, and I love that they are caring and thoughtful people. They think deeply about the world they live in and, as they are both singer-songwriters, they’re great at putting those thoughts into lyrics and song.

The following words aren’t from either of them but we’re chosen by Chrissie for her latest tattoo: ‘À chaque oiseau son nid est beau’.

I had never heard them but they struck a chord with her. Below she explains why:

Been doing a lot of thinking and reading into how we treat our bodies and ourselves, especially as women… and whilst this proverb most probably wasn’t written as a body positive statement haha, it immediately spoke to me as a reminder to love ourselves and take care and nurture the bodies that we inhabit. 

In a world where the idea of beauty is marketed, commodified and capitalised on, it’s hard to unpick habits and views that have been so – seemingly irrevocably – engrained into us our entire lives. I still internally fight the voice in my head that says I can’t leave the house without make-up, or I can’t wear what I want because my body isn’t ‘right’.

But since trying to uncover why I feel this way, I’ve come to realise that the reason for this is simply because of the fear of what other people will think of the way I look, and nothing to do with my own opinion of myself. Without any external thoughts or opinions of others (that, firstly, I have no knowledge or control of), I know I am beautiful.

Secondly, even if I did have knowledge or control of others thoughts of me – would that make me any more beautiful?

I think we all like to think it would, but I believe that once we strip away what we’ve been told to believe about ourselves (‘buy this concealer to look prettier’, ‘buy this cream to look younger’, ‘buy these heels to look sexier’, ‘buy these unbelievably uncomfortable pants to look thinner’ etc.) we can finally start to perceive what our own ‘beauty’ really is. 

To me, I am beautiful. I don’t need to convince anyone of that, but if I did, I certainly don’t need to pay endless money into an industry that tells me I’m not good enough, in order to do so.

I’m by no means saying that beauty products should be boycotted, and that we’re not allowed to use them as a means of feeling good about ourselves, but for me, this is simply an acknowledgment that I don’t NEED them in order to feel great about myself.

We are more than just a lump of matter being valued on how well we fit a story created by other lumps of matter, capitalising on the ‘problems’ they’ve told us that we need to fix in order to be good enough.

Since we are the only species able to create, imagine and believe such stories, surely this is a clear cut sign that we are so much more than just our bodies, right?

To sum up, I got this tattoo to remind me that I don’t need others to tell me I’m beautiful in order to know it myself. I also got it to remind myself that each and every person is beautiful, but that my own thoughts hold no value on others’ beauty, or even the meaning of beauty itself. After all, really, it’s just a word. 

My body is my home

And it’s beautiful 🙂

Thanks for reading x

Be happy in your own skin. You’re beautiful. Own it. 

(And something about nests)

I can completely relate to this, myself. It inspired me to go make-up free to the spa with her. I very rarely go without make-up. Mainly, because I often feel as though I don’t look nice without it. I’m not about to give up my beauty products but, as I often say on air, the dark circles/age spots/double chins/missing brows/lines etc etc are all perfectly normal, natural and BEAUTIFUL!

They’re who we are. I think what I take from this is that I don’t need make-up for every situation. I don’t need it to go to the shops or take out the bins. If I want to wear it, I will, but if there are days when I just feel like not bothering, I’m going to look at myself in the mirror and try to be a bit kinder in my self-talk.

Beauty products, for me, are also about feeling good, though! I find that the act of pampering myself with skincare treats is an act of self care.

I’ve always had an artistic bent and I find it very therapeutic to apply make-up and nail polish. It’s like a little hobby. I actually enjoy it. So why not? Our faces can be like a canvas to create art upon. I suppose the real message is not to forget how beautiful the canvas is to begin with.

The same with our bodies… I’ve suffered very low esteem about parts of my body and have been on the borderline of eating disorders in years gone by.

That was quite some time ago but I do have to mindful of not being too harsh on myself for my stretch marks, cellulite and untoned flesh. Again, I often mention these on air to reiterate how normal it all is.

We are all beautiful and unique beings, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look our ‘best’, of course. That’s why I have a million and one pairs of shapewear pants and I choose clothes that emphasise my favourite bits and disguise bits I’m less keen on showing.

Let’s just not lose sight of the fact that every bit of us is ‘best’. Even if we have preferences about how we like to decorate the canvas, the canvas was always perfect to begin with.

Another love that I share with my children is cooking. We all enjoy making recipes up from scratch.  Sometimes it’s really interesting to see what you can make out of,  seemingly, ‘nothing’ in the cupboards!

I’m very fortunate that my son cooks a lot of the time for me. I know a lot you will probably be bored of hearing that I’m a vegan but I feel I have to when I show dishes like this because they don’t look vegan at all!

These days everyone knows someone who is vegan or vegetarian so it can also be useful to have recommendations if you’re catering for friends or family.

This dinner was gorgeous…good old bangers and mash. It’s such an easy meal and pretty filling, too. Tom made the ‘cheesy’ garlic mash with potatoes (probably obvious) with crushed garlic, oat milk, vegan olive spread and a couple of tablespoons of yeast flakes.

If you haven’t tried nutritional yeast and are looking for something with a bit of a cheesy flavour these are a must. Sometimes I sprinkle them on toast (with a little spread first). We buy the yeast flakes which have extra vitamin B12 in them.

I adore tenderstem broccoli so have loads of it with a hearty meal like this. The ‘sausages’ are Linda McCartney ones but I also think Sainsbury’s shroomdogs are really good, too.

When I posted this pic on social media I had a few comments about the gravy… essentially saying it was way too much, hee hee! Personally, I love it so I had lashings of it. Believe it or not it’s Bisto! Yes! Bisto original is vegan!

I’ve been quite surprised by how many ‘meaty’ or ‘creamy’ foods are actually vegan. Would you ever imagine Oreos and Frazzles were on that list?! They are! I just find it interesting… and I’ve always loved a frazzle. Not the healthiest, I know, but we’re all allowed a treat from time to time!

Onto the very indulgent chocolate brownies Tom made the other day! I had lots of you asking for the recipe so here it is. Tom used a Jamie Oliver recipe and just adapted it here and there.

Then we added some of my homemade chocolate orange frosting and chopped nuts to top it off! Delicious! I think this would make a lovely dessert with either Oatly cream or custard. Basically made from oat milk. Yum!

Here’s the slightly adapted Jamie Oliver recipe:

Brownies

  • 5 tablespoons of coconut oil , plus extra for greasing
  • 200g dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 170g self-raising flour
  • 3 heaped teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 180g caster sugar
  • Sea salt
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 230ml oat milk

Topping

Really you can use any non-dairy spread or you can use my recipe below. P.S. here’s the recipe for my vegan chocolate cake which is where the icing/topping came from.

  • 150g icing sugar
  • 25g cacao powder (or cocoa)
  • 75g dairy-free spread
  • 1.5 tbsp of water
  • 1/2 tbsp of orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)
  • A handful of chopped nuts to decorate

We love using our KitchenAid mixer. I bought this one years ago as a Today’s Special Value deal. I’ve heard of some families having them for several generations! If not for our 30 day money-back guarantee I’m not sure I’d have taken the plunge as there’s no denying it was a considerable investment but I’m so glad I did!

I just have another few tips to give you on some great offers at QVC this week before I go.

Our Big Deals are offers which last from Sunday until midnight of the following Sunday. These are a couple which caught my eye.

This is a set of two GX pillows 2nd generation, no less!

They were created for a very special young lady by her father. Her name is Georgina and she had to spend a lot of her time in bed due to illness and needed a more comfortable solution to help her get a proper rest.

I bought one off the shelf a few years ago and really like it. As it’s ‘Sleeptember’ this month on QVC we have a really special price on these but just for the week!

Another big deal is from It Works. As someone who has hard floors throughout her home a good mop is essential. I bought another mop which was recently on offer but when I saw this I thought it looked a great deal, too.

You get a lot thrown in for the price and it’s from a company who know their stuff when it comes to cleaning up!

You can check out all of this week’s big deals here.

Now onto a couple of Today’s Special Value offers. Remember a TSV is only available for just over a day with a sprinkling of exceptions where we let you buy a few days ahead. Always good to get in early so here’s your heads up on these stars…

Coming up at 9pm tonight, and available until midnight on Thursday, we have a superb deal from Soniclean.  It’s a toothbrush set which will help you keep your teeth and gums in pristine condition.

Before coming to QVC I was a dental nurse so oral hygiene is something I’m pretty passionate about. Sonic technology is a superb way to look after your dental health. It can often be extremely costly, however, so here’s an opportunity to get a really fantastic set at a cracking price. Where else can you try a toothbrush and send it back, used, if it’s not right for you?

Finally, this Bareminerals Make-up Collection.  If clean beauty is important to you then Bareminerals are a trusted brand and you’ll be pleased to learn we are launching a six-piece Today’s Special Value offer at 9pm on Saturday. There’ll be shows all day Sunday with live demonstrations on how to get the most out of the products.

That was rather a long read. If you made it this far I thank you! As ever, please accept my apologies if I don’t get time to comment back to you here, but do know that I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.

You are all fabulous! Have a great week and I’ll see you back here next Wednesday for another natter.

Love Catherine xx

7 Comments

  1. Pebbles September 18, 2019 at 4:50 pm -  Reply

    I see my face as a canvas and 99% of the time I won’t go out without make up on. I’m very pale and like to give colour to my face. I was an art student so I love working with colour in many different ways.
    PS that sausage and mash did would’ve fed me for two days!! Xxxx

  2. Carol Black September 18, 2019 at 5:13 pm -  Reply

    Great blog cherish your boy and girl and make an effort to see them as often as you can. I had 2boys but my eldest son died a few years ago he was soo young. Miss him soo much so you just cherish Tom And. Crissie. You are a great person

  3. Barbara Jones September 18, 2019 at 5:50 pm -  Reply

    The words that explain tattoo are absolutely beautiful- Made me review my thoughts a lot. We all spend too much time thinking about how others see us or feel about us. I am very glad I read this & hope to be more positive & just be me.

  4. Anne September 18, 2019 at 7:23 pm -  Reply

    Lovely food I am struggling with food intolerances so have to avoid dairy,yeast and eggs so vegan recipes are good for me. I do miss bread though!

  5. Hazel Snowden September 19, 2019 at 10:17 am -  Reply

    Whew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I got Brownie points for getting to the end!

  6. Brenda fiet September 24, 2019 at 10:31 pm -  Reply

    You are to hard on yourself stop being negative be thankful for what you have who you are Life inevitably size etc it’s people we all have issues to cope with enjoy life love yourself fami!y friends new making our life

  7. Christine October 8, 2019 at 8:00 am -  Reply

    Hi Catherine. I was so surprised to read what you had suffered with low esteem at time. I would never, ever thought that of you. You always come across really sure about things and loving being on tv. Its true what they say…….never judge a book by its cover. We all have hang ups about ourselves I suppose. Have a lovely day.

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