10 ‘Basic’ musts for Autumn!


I adore Autumn… it is the season that makes my heart sing and is the gateway to the most wonderful time of the year. I don’t know what it is but whenever I picture my childhood, it is always enveloped in a crisp autumn day. Maybe its because I’m an autumn baby? Perhaps its because its filled with celebrations which conjure happy family memories for me.

Whatever the reason- I’m an autumn lover and proud! I love nothing more than the cosy outfits and steaming hot drinks!

Are you like me? Come on, I know you are really…. are you a basic autumn b*tch? (pardon the language!)

Well…. if you don your uggs with pride whilst sipping a red, hot PSL then read on and see how many of these autumnal MUSTS you will be ticking off this year…

  1. Make a beautiful autumn vegetable soup and curl up with a loaf of tiger bread and enjoy!
  2. Get those cosy bed socks on- you know you’ve been waiting all year to get them out or, if you’re honest, you’ve most probably been wearing them since August- I have!
  3. Sit in the garden with a steaming mug of tea and watch the leaves fall from the trees and listen to birds tweeting away to each other- breath it in!
  4. Get those wellies out!!!! It is now the season where it is acceptable to wear your Wellington boots as a fashion statement! Go forth and wear those wellies with pride!
  5. Celebrate the first ‘woolly hat day’ of the season! Get your padded jacket, Uggs and blanket scarf ready, pick out the perfect wooly hat and strut your stuff! For extra ‘Basic’ points, snap a selfie and Insta it!
  6. T’is the season of PSLs, Pumpkin Spice Lattes to those who have been living under a rock, so head to your local coffee shop of choice and grab yourself a mug of the hot nectar of the autumn Gods!
  7. Candles, candle and more candles! Oh, did I mention candles? Light ALL the candles! Fill your home with the sent of ‘conkers’ (WTAF????) and the glow of a thousand tea lights- snuggly, autumn nights rock!
  8. Buy a pumpkin! Ever since I grew up and realised that pumpkins were the way for Halloween lanterns and not turnips (!), I also began to follow the mantra ‘A pumpkin isn’t just for 1 night, its for a whole season!’
  9. Cinnamon it up!!!! Porridge for breakfast? Add a sprinkle of cinnamon! Apple pie for pudding? Add a sprinkle of cinnamon! Ice cream for a treat? Add…. you get the idea!
  10. Got those wellies or Uggs on? Now go forth and kick up some autumnal leaves!!! Who says jumping in leaves and puddles is just for kids? Autumn fun is for everyone!


I’ve already made a good start on the list- check out my Insta @confessionsofatryhard to keep up with progress and feel free to tag me in your autumnal Instagram snaps too!

I’ll try hard not to indulge in too many PSLs… is that even possible?

Until next time,

Mrs T Xx


Things that boil my blood (and eggs)


Grab a cuppa….we could be here a while!

I should tell you now that this post includes a recipe for some delicious baked eggs, if you would like to skip my moaning and jump straight to the food (I wouldn’t hold a grudge) then click here to go to the lovely Rachel Khoo’s original recipe.

Now, you know me, I’m not one to moan BUT….!

Having been on a rather long journey towards motherhood I’ve managed to tot up a disturbing number of gripes about the subject before, during and after my eggs have finished baking (tenuous food link!).

So, Mr T and I have been married for 8 years this May and have just welcomed our first little bundle of joy, Little Miss T joined us in October and (just FYI) was conceived completely naturally dispite the fact we have been a child-less, married couple for quite a few years.

This childlessness was partly by design and partly due to nature.

My mother passed away (you will know the details from previous posts) the same year that Mr T and I got married. This left us with a huge amount of healing to do but also with a house to sort (hoarder!) and sell on- it eventually took almost 5 years to get through (the house that is) and was such a tiring  process that the thought of going through it pregnant/ with a young baby was hard to contemplate and so we kept putting starting a family off until the house was sold despite half-heartedly trying from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, if it had happened for us during this time then we would have been over the moon but it just didn’t.

Even once this obstical was out of the way, making the final decsision to whole-hartedly commit to staring a family took us some time. We love holidays and socialising so we spent a while giving it a go and then when it didn’t happen we just went on holiday and thought ‘oh well, at least we can drink and spend whatever we want without a worry’.

This all changed New Year 2015. We were in Las Vegas living the highlife, sipping beer at 9am whilst popping dollars into the BlackJack machines and we both agreed, that whilst living said highlife was mucho fun, we both wanted more and so Little Miss T’s journey into this world began and my long list of annoying comments began to grow! Continue reading

Whole 30 and Me: 4 days in


Let me tell you- my meals have been yummy but it’s been a struggle at times!

I’m sure if you come from a mainly whole foods/ Paleo dietary background then the adjustment to Whole 30 eating wouldn’t be such a slog as it has for this pasta loving, toast munching, potato piling girl!! Today (day 4) is the first day that I haven’t felt hungry between meals and I think this is because I’ve listened to my body and I’ve tried hard to respond to it.

I’ve learnt a lot already –

  1. I need a filling breakfast
  2. Nuts are my friend
  3. I’m going to get sick of sweet potato pretty quickly
  4. I don’t miss milk that much
  5. This is actually going to be fun

Breakfast – my usual diet consisted of either a bowl of Fruit & Fiber or 2 rounds of toast with marmalade so switching to whole 30 has meant that I’ve seriously had to change my habits! I started day 1 with fruit which was yum but not filling enough so as the week has gone on, I’ve upped my breakfast intake and found this has curbed the 10 o’clock rumblings.

Nuts – In school we have morning break at 10:45 and our staffroom always has biscuits! Usually I’d grab one or 2 with a cup of milky tea…bring on the nuts! Firstly, they don’t go with tea so it means I don’t crave my morning cuppa and secondly, they give me something quick and easy to snack on whilst everyone else is munching a biscuit! Sorted!

Sweet potato – As you will see in my meal pics, I’ve eaten a couple of meals with them in. Now, I love sweet potatoes but if I carry on at this rate, they will become less of the yummy treat I currently see them as and more of a boring staple in my diet, something I don’t want to happen (any and all alternatives for bulking up evening meals are welcome!)

Milk – I’m not a big milk lover but I do rely on my milky cups of tea at 3 crucial points in the day- answer- drink Lady Grey tea! It has a yummy orange/citrus tang to it and you most certainly cannot add milk!

And now to the fun- thinking of yummy meals! Here are mine from my first 4 days- Hidden under all of the salad stuff are 2 slices of thick ham- simple but tasty! My evening meal was delicious – jerk chicken, sweet potato wedges and grilled pineapple. In the little green tub are a couple of slices of cucumber and a sprig of mint ready to add to my Tervis beaker of water. All meals were tasty on day 2! These bacon, spring onion and egg muffins were super easy and only took 15 mins in the oven (2 eggs with added water made 4 egg muffins) although I learnt that I need a little more to fill me. Lunch was scrummy- I made a basic French dressing with EVOO, balsamic vinegar and a dash of Dijon mustard (sugar-free) and it was the pop the dish needed! Tea was a cod filled cooked in a foil parcel with EVOO, lemon juice and fresh dill.  Whist planning my lunch (different from on my plan) I discovered that my avocado was a little too ripe! I googled and found a simple recipe to follow for a salad dressing and figured it would go well with a nicoise salad (of sorts!) for lunch. I added some to breakfast to dip my bacon and eggs (cold left overs from previous day) in- tasty! Tea was so simple but really tasty and filling- I simply roasted chicken drumsticks with a splash of EVOO, ground pepper, a few sprigs of lemon thyme and sliced lemon. I roasted some veggies mediterranean style and devoured the lot- I’d of loved some aubergine to bulk it out further but the shop was out! Breakfast speaks for its self and I forgot to take a pic of lunch (it was like day 1 but with added beetroot and mason jar fruit salad). Tea was amazing! Mr T was having vermicelli noodles and sweet chilli sauce with his and I was mega jealous so I whipped up a kind of lime and ginger dipping sauce (recipe will follow).

I’ve tried hard this week to stick to the plan and have enjoyed thinking of tasty food combos to keep me interested.

I’m thinking I am going to have to keep trying hard over the next week- it is Mr T’s birthday tomorrow and I just know he will be cracking open a bottle of beer (or 10!) and to top it off- I’m going on one of my dearest friend’s hen do next weekend with afternoon tea and drinks- weep!

How is your Whole 30 going?

Do you have any tips for me?

Next Friday I’ll bring you an overview of my week and recipes for some of the tastiest eats I’ve stumbled across.

Until then, I’ll keep trying hard if you will!

Mrs T Xx

Whole 30 and Me: Getting week 1 ready

Whole30wk1It’s getting closer! On Tuesday I start my first ever Whole 30 and I must say….I’m excited!

I’m nervous that I am going to slip up some where and, despite trying hard not to, I’ll put all of my hard work at jeopardy so, like all good Girl Guides, I’m going to be prepared.

I’ve scheduled a shopping trip in on Monday night and I’ve written my shopping list ready.

To help focus my mind I’ve made a menu for the first 4 days –


Everything on my menu is food I love and I’ve tried to make sure that each dish is flavourful and colourful. I’m very excited about my Jerk chicken meal as I love the flavours and sweet potato is one of my faves. The grilled pineapple will just add a bit of crunch, colour and zing to the dish.

Another dish I’m looking forward to is my beetroot salad – I love the crunch you get from romaine lettuce so will opt for this with all of my favourite salad veggies including sugar-snap peas to form a filling backdrop for my freshly sliced beetroot and roughly chopped walnuts drizzled lightly with balsamic vinegar – I would normally wolf this down with some goats cheese but I know I’ll still love this Whole 30 version just as much!

Mr T is totally on board and, whilst he isn’t going full Whole 30, he is going to eat the same evening meals as me and won’t be eating bread for the duration – bonus!

Can you spot any issues with my first 4 days?

Any and all help for this 30-firstie would be very much appreciated!

Check in next Friday for pictures, recipes and review of how my first 4 days have gone

Mrs T Xx

Whole 30 and Me!


It is Bank Holiday Monday, I am sat here watching Avengers Assemble having just polished of a beef chow mein and I’m about to put together an eating plan for my first week of Whole 30.

‘What is Whole 30?’ you might ask- well I am by no means an expert as this is all new to me too and I am hoping to learn more as I go along. If, as they say,  you would like to hear the answer straight from the horse’s mouth then click here and visit the official website.

However, here is my layman’s Whole 30 run down as far as I have gleaned-

It isn’t a diet or calorie counting eating plan or even a detox, what it is is a break. A break from processed, additive and sugar filled foods and a chance to figure out what types of food your body loves and what it does not. Basically, you eat WHOLE foods for 30 days- no sugar, no legumes or wheat, no alcohol, dairy products or added fats- JUST GOOD FOOD!

You are encouraged to eat 3 meals a day consisting of foods which will fuel you enough to sustain activity without snacking until the next meal. By all accounts, following the plan leaves you feeling full of energy, less sluggish or bloated and more in control of your food choices.

I am going to start on Tuesday 2nd June as I have prior engagements this coming weekend which will get in the way of my food plan but I have already begun preparing by researching recipes and ideas.

I am sure that many of the things I have come across will be delicious and I’m certain Mr T will love them too but I am a little stuck with breakfast. I’m not keen on eating lots of eggs a day and most breakfast ideas contain them but I know I need to eat more than just fruit so any and all ideas would be welcomed.

I will check-in here every weekend with reviews of meal ideas I have discovered or tried along with an honest overview of my week- highs, lows, tantrums- the LOT!

Here’s hoping I will make it to day 30 having enjoyed the challenge- I’ll certainly try hard to anyway!

Have you tried Whole 30?

Do you have any tips for a first-timer?

Until Sunday

Mrs T Xx

Waste Not, Want Not

The other night I indulged Mr T for an hour and sat through an episode of Karl Pilkington’s ‘The Moaning of Life’. Now, it’s not that I don’t like the man, he has an unabashed knack for stating the obvious and saying what everyone is thinking to a level I applaud, it’s just not my usual T.V. cup of tea!

Whilst I was half watching and half ‘pinning’ it struck me that this episode was well timed to coincide with the recent news article regarding TESCO’s admission that

..it generated almost 30,000 tonnes of food waste in the first six months of 2013.

To be honest, whilst I am horrified by the level of waste, I’m not surprised, those of you who have read my blog will have picked up that food wastage is a bug-bear of mine (click here to read more from me). We have become a throw away society where little attention is given to anything deemed ‘past it’ (read into this what you will)

The Guardian published an excellent report on the global issue earlier last week which you can read at your leisure by clicking here.

In a slightly less ‘highbrow’, yet equally enlightening, comment on the topic of food waste, Mr Pilkington takes time out of the daily grind to follow a guy who has ‘dropped-out’ of the preverbal rat race in order to lead a less stressful and more intrinsically happy life (something I can relate to after 5 hours of school work today, let me tell you!).

Whilst exploring the issue of just how one goes about living without money (lets face it, most of us ‘rat racers’ are also wondering just how to go about this at the moment thanks to the economy) Karl has his eyes opened to the issue of food wastage when they discover box upon box of perfectly fine and untouched takeaway pizzas in the bin.

How can we, as an apparently civilised society, justify this? Surely there are people out there who would give their right arm for a warm and filling meal? Food-banks are being heavily relied upon and emptied on a regular basis right here in the U.K.

I in no way mean to offer a solution here in this blog but it does prompt me to think and try harder to save and cut down on our households food wastage.

With this in mind my eyes fell upon the fruit bowl yesterday, where, a beautiful, bruised and browning bunch of bananas were living. Rather than chucking them in the bin I googled a banana bread recipe and set about baking! Image

Even if I do say so myself, the first slice was YUM, the second slice was even tastier and the slice for breakfast this morning was delish! The hubbie and I are rapidly approaching the point of banana bread overload but it is a recipe I shall make again for sure!

How will you try to reduce food waste?

Do you have an opinion on the issue you’d care to share? If so, please leave me a comment 🙂

Happy Sunday

Mrs T x