LIFE WITH THE BYES: JAMES AND VICTORIA BYE

LIFE WITH THE BYES: JAMES AND VICTORIA BYE

“-WE JUST WANT THEM TO KNOW THAT THEY CAN BE ANYTHING THEY WANT TO BE, BUT THEY HAVE TO WORK HARD FOR IT.”

Parents of three, (soon to be four) Actor James, and Blogger Victoria Bye, have had a whirlwind few years, as their children came along at the same time as their careers started to soar. Having relocated from London to Cheshire just before they had their first child – Edward, James then got the part as Martin Fowler in one Britain’s best loved soaps – Eastenders. Consequently they made the decision to move back down south, so that James wouldn’t be separated from his family for the majority of the week. The couple have since welcomed another two boys to their brood over the years, and James took part in last year’s Strictly Come Dancing, and they are looking forward to welcoming their forth boy into their hectic lives this summer. We had the pleasure of chatting to the lovely couple, about how their lives have changed over the last few years, how they juggle everything and their ambitions for the future.  

James & Victoria Bye and their family

What did your careers and life look like before you had children?

 Victoria – “Well career wise James was a struggling Actor, we lived in London, but we used to spend a lot time heading to Edinburgh doing the festivals, as he did a lot of theatre. And in terms of our lifestyle it was soo different from what life is like now! [They laugh] We would spend our weekends having picnics in the park, leisurely drinking a bottle of wine. We used to spend a lot of time actually in London, enjoying the city and spending time in pubs and restaurants, but obviously that all changes when children come along!”

 

When did it all change both in terms of your career and becoming a family?

Victoria -”So Edward was only 6 months old when James got the part in Eastenders, we had actually moved up north to Cheshire at the time and we were very happy there. James had still been auditioning, and had a few small parts alongside his regular job, but obviously Eastender was a complete game changer!”

 James – “Yes, I still remember my agent calling me, he did a bit of a Simon Cowell, ‘It’s not good news, it’s bloody great news!’” [He laughs]

 Victoria – “It was amazing, but we knew James couldn’t commute to work and obviously with Edward being so young we didn’t want to be apart, so we moved back down south, not to the centre of London this time though, we decided on Buckinghamshire as we thought that would be better for us now we were a family.”

 What have you found to be the biggest challenge about juggling family life, alongside your career so far?

 James – “I think for any soap stars, who are in people’s living rooms most nights of the week you have those moments when you’re out and about and people can either say hi because they think they know you; or they watch the show, and instantly recognise you, and they will come over, and I think that can be a bit overwhelming for the kids at times. It’s part of my job and I’m used to it, and it’s fine, but for the kids it can be hard when people they don’t know are asking for selfies or for you to sign something. One thing that helps that though is that they haven’t known any difference as they have only ever known me on the show.”

 Victoria – “We just try and make sure everything is normal at home though, we don’t want them to be affected by anything, we just want them to enjoy all the ‘normal’ everyday things in life such as going to the park and shops. Them being grounded is really important to us.”

 James – “One of the biggest struggles for any working parent is time away from your kids. Sometimes at Eastenders we do really long days and so I always make sure to hop on FaceTime in between scenes. With Strictly, I knew it was going to be tough schedule wise, but I don’t think I realised how hard it was going to be! I missed the kids so much! Family means everything to me and I’m always excited to get home.”

 Victoria – “You always try to get back for story time don’t you? Because James does much better voices than I do when reading them a story!” [she laughs]

 Did you manage to find any balance at all then whilst James was on Strictly as well as filming Eastenders?

Victoria – “It was tough at times, there were some really long days so there was lot’s of solo parenting by me which wasn’t easy.. We relied quite heavily on family to help, especially as I was going to the show at weekends to support James too. Our weekends became quite crazy for a while.

We tried to keep certain things as normal as possible and one of the great things to come out of it was showing the boys that dancing is for boys too! They loved watching their Daddy!”

James – “It was a great experience but we’re glad to be back to normal now.”

Victoria – “Yeah, we had a family holiday in January that was very much needed and it was lovely just to spend lots of quality time together after such a crazy year!”

Cath Tyldesley talks BROOD Live Manchester

What are your dreams for both your careers and family life, going forward?

James – “I think for me moving forward it’s all about consistency and longevity in the workplace. We want the kids to understand a good work ethic that you do have to work hard, no one is going to give it to you on a plate. And if you do work hard you reap the rewards. But above all else, if youve a supportive family around you. Youve got everything you’ll ever need..”

Victoria -”Yes, we just want them to know that they can be anything they want to be but they have to work for it. That’s something they can see from James’ career path and hopefully his career will continue to flourish. Who knows it is an unpredictable industry to be in but we’re hoping it will be bright and as a family we have a new baby coming along this summer and I just want us to continue being there for each other and continuing to support each other, which as james said, is what it’s all about really. They are your ‘why’, the reason you go to work. We’re just trying to build a lovely life together. So we try to make time for special family times, whether that’s a walk, or a movie day or just making time to all sit down together for dinner, Just spending time together away from work, homework, anything like that is really important to us.

And personally for me career wise we’ve got our blog, Life with the Byes, which has been growing and I love doing that as I get to write which has always been a passion of mine. And I’m hoping going forward I can continue to write and see where that takes us!”

James – “It’s exciting times for you, you’re on your way up! I hope I can keep up with you!”

Victoria – “ You’re not doing too badly twinkle toes” (they both laugh)

What tips would you give to other parents who are juggling busy career schedules alongside bringing up their family?

James – “I think what really helps us during really busy times is we are very fortunate that we have a really amazing group of friends, and we all help each other out. I think you have to find the courage to reach out and ask for help, and once you start doing that, you can all work together. So, I definitely think that’s a really important tip – don’t be afraid to ask for help – especially reach out to those closest to you.

Victoria – “Yes, totally. And for me in terms of the family side of things, when you do get those moments together, to remember to put your work down, and be present. At the end of the day, work is just a job, it’s replaceable, family isn’t.”

Cath Tyldesley talks BROOD Live Manchester
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BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

Lucy Mecklenburgh, Ryan Thomas, Cath Tyldesley and Sarah Jayne Dunn join the party of working parents to celebrate the launch of BROOD Magazine.

A host of guests from the media and business world came together at Manchester’s landmark party venue Menagerie to celebrate the launch of the innovative BROOD Magazine’s first printed edition sponsored by JMW Solicitors.

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Improve your Mood with your Food

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SALLY LINDSAY: CHILDCARE CAN BE SEEN AS A ‘DIRTY WORD’, BUT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH IT

SALLY LINDSAY: CHILDCARE CAN BE SEEN AS A ‘DIRTY WORD’, BUT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH IT

Interview With Sally Lindsay

by Tom Pitfield & Lolo Stubbs

Sally Lindsay is one of Britain’s best loved actors and presenters, best known for her roles as Shelley Unwin in ITV’S Coronation Street, Lisa Johnson in Sky One’s comedy series Mount Pleasant, and as Kath Agnew in the BBC sitcom Still Open All Hours. As well as Sally’s impressive on screen career, she is also co-founder of the award winning production company – Saffron Cherry – and is responsible for creating and writing a number of hit shows such as Scott and Bailey and Madame Blanc Mysteries. Alongside her accomplished career, Sally is also a loving and dedicated mum of 4; Step Mum to her two step children – Kristabel and Curtis, and Mum to her twin boys – Victor and Louie, aged 12. We were lucky enough to chat to Sally, and we couldn’t wait to find out all about her journey, how she managed to juggle family life alongside such a successful career and what she has learnt along the way!  

Sally Lindsay front cover of Brood Magazine

You’ve had and still have such a successful career, how have you managed to juggle that alongside being a mum?

“Well, I’ve never not had kids really, ever since meeting my partner, Steve; he already had two children when we got together – my step children Kristabel and Curtis – they were 7 and 9 when I first met them, they are now 30 and 29 – which is crazy! And our boys, the twins, Victor and Louie, are 12 years old. 

When I physically had my babies, I couldn’t really work whilst I was pregnant – as no-one really wants to cast pregnant people! So, I didn’t really work for a while, but I did sign for Mount Pleasant when I was pregnant though. They were really good, and waited for me throughout my pregnancy, before they started filming, but then they couldn’t wait any longer, so I physically went back to work when the boys were just four and a half months old. It was very, very hard filming again after having the boys, because I was just exhausted! I didn’t have a night nanny or anything, so it was really tough – in fact the first two years were really tough. I did other things as well as Mount Pleasant, but that was my main job. Although it was hard, it was a very supportive environment and I was allowed to have the twins on set if I wanted to, although that didn’t really work for me. I tried it for the first couple of days and the nanny came along too, but it just devastated me. I just couldn’t focus on my work. I already felt like I had brain fog, because I was so tired, but having them there made it so much harder for me to concentrate, and I had a lead role, so it just didn’t work. I think people have to find their own path and their own way of doing things and for me I have to separate work and kids. I know other actors that can have their children on set and that works for them, but the best piece of advice I would give anyone is that if it doesn’t work for you it’s fine. You have to find what works for you.

Having said that, I’ve just been over to Malta to film Madame Blanc, and the kids came out whilst I was over there. It was lovely, but it was still hard, as even though they’re older, when they arrived it overlapped for four days of my filming, so there were a few days where they were hanging around waiting for me to finish work, and I was very aware of that.” 

What did you find was the best way to help you separate work and the kids?

“Childcare is obviously a massive aid to help you to separate the two, and I think sometimes childcare can be seen as a ‘dirty word’, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it! We have Lisa; who has been with me since the boys were 9 days old. I was down in London on my own after the boys were born and I needed help, that was when I was introduced to the concept of a doula and they are known as ‘Mother’s Helpers’. At the time I didn’t want someone to look after the children. I wanted someone to help me –  you know around the house etc, and that’s what Lisa did and she is still with me to this day. So, Lisa is like a second mum to the kids, so I can relax knowing they are with someone both they and I are comfortable with. For example last week I had a huge event in town, and then a photoshoot early the next day, and Steve had a recording, so she stayed overnight with the boys, and although it’s very unusual that will happen, (as we normally time everything so that at least one of us is there), it’s very reassuring to have that person that can just take over when things like that do happen. When we’re up in Manchester, it’s my mum that steps in, but when we’re in London it’s Lisa. I think it’s trying to get over the fact that having help with childcare is perfectly ok, or that you’re not a great parent if you hire a nanny. It’s just b*ll*cks, because you need that support!  I’ve got mates with different jobs, who only get to see their kids on Saturday and Sunday morning and that’s it, whereas I don’t have that. I have periods of intense filming, where I’m away and I might only get a chance to fly back for the odd weekend, but then when filming is done, I have lots of time at home with the boys and I can be very present. Then, whilst the boys are at school, I will go into my office and write, and run our production company, but as soon as they are home from school, I’m there for them – although when they get to 12, they start ignoring you anyway, [she laughs] but if they want me I’m there. And that’s how I juggle it.” 

Looking back, has there been a time you have missed out on something career wise because you were a parent?

“Well, I created Scott and Bailey, and it got commissioned the same week that Mount Pleasant got commissioned, which was also the same week that I found out I was pregnant! But because they could wait to start filming for Scott and Bailey, it had to go ahead and so I was taken off the job. Whereas with Mount Pleasant they waited to start filming and they were adamant they wanted me as their lead.  

We’ve also a got a new drama coming up with our production company, and that’s really exciting, but because I already film 10 weeks of the year in Malta for Madame Blanc, I cannot commit to this new job, because it would just mean that I would be away to much – and that is definitely that makes a difference in your career when you become a parent, because I simply cannot be away for that long. So whenever any jobs come in I have to find out where it’s going to be filmed, and for how long, before I can consider it.

But a job came in this last week that meant I would be away for November for 5 weeks, but I could manage that, but I do have to really question how long I’m going to be away each time a job comes up. Steve is extremely supportive of my career, in fact he does all the music on our productions, so it’s in his interest to develop the company too. But we’re at the start of a lot of growth with the production company and I’ve got to start making some decisions and deciding which of the shows I’m going to be in. That is purely down to me being a mum – both from a childcare point of view, and of course, me just not wanting be away that long from my boys. I don’t want to miss out on them growing up, I mean they’ll be adults before I know it!”

A lot of people talk about feeling guilty as a working parent; is that something you have dealt with and if so how have you learned to deal with that?

“When I look back, yes I have worked a lot, but most of the time I think we have gotten the balance right, because on the whole it’s myself and Steve that have brought our children up and I remember everything. We have had so many wonderful times together as a family. I think that’s the thing especially in our types of careers, yes, you do work a lot at times, but you also get chunks of time off. I found that the key really is to use those times wisely, so in a way it’s quality, not so much about quantity. I know everything about my children and I feel very close to them – even now as they approach the teenage years, and yes, of course they missed me whilst I was away, but they are very independent because of it as well and I think that’s a good thing. 

I think when they were babies it was a bit easier for them when I was filming, because they weren’t aware of where I was going or what it meant. The second year I did Mount Pleasant was really hard though, because they were 18 months old, and every time I left for work they would cry and scream for me at the window, and I used to cry all the way to work. I found it really difficult, then in the end Steve videoed them for me, to show me what they were like a minute I had left, and they were just crawling around playing with their toys or having their milk and they were absolutely fine. I remember thinking that’s just survival instincts from a child. They are programmed to cry if they see their Mum, or their caregiver leave. People used to say, ‘Oh, you must feel so guilty!’ and I’d say

Guilty for what? Providing my family with a future? Of course I miss them and that’s hard, but no I don’t feel guilty because I’ve got nothing to feel guilty for!’

Sally Lindsay and her family

Sally Lindsay and her family, for BROOD Magazine ©

Brood Live

Do you have any routines or staples that you do as a family to help to make sure you have that quality family time together?

“We’re really quite conscious when I’m at home about eating together, we always sit down and eat together every single night. If we’re at home, we make sure we all sit round that table! We might only have 20 minutes while they’re eating, but we get to talk to them about their day etc. And we also make sure we go out to eat somewhere every week, as that means we’ve got their attention for at least an hour and a half, and we can properly chat. We also make a big deal of Sundays – I’ll cook and their dad will take them to football in the morning with their Grandad, and then they come back and then we all eat together, so Sunday’s are really important for us. That’s something we’ve always done from day one and I find that really important, and even when I’m away the three of them will eat together and send me pictures. We also like to pick a box set series to watch together. And another thing we do like to do is walk the dog together at weekends, because myself or Steve will just do it during the week, but we all go together at weekends and it’s during that walking time that they ask the most random questions, and there are no phones to distract them, or us so that’s always nice. I always want my boys to be able to talk to us, no matter what they’ve done, or how bad it is, we always want them to know that they can tell us. It’s a funny period as a parent at the minute, as they are growing up there are new things every week that I have to learn to let go of, and as much as they are learning to manage things for themselves, it’s important for them to know that we’re still there whenever they need us.” 

What benefits do you think your children have gained from watching their parents have such successful careers?

“I think that because of our busy lives and the fact they have always been around that, and seen us working, it has given them a level-headedness and independence that I don’t think they would have had if we’d have always been around – hovering over them. I can see that more and more as they are getting older. Don’t get me wrong we’ve done plenty of taxiing for them and taking them to various after school clubs etc, [she laughs] but essentially the boys had to fit into our lives when they came along.”  

What is the one major tip that you would give any other parents who are juggling a career and bringing up their brood?

“Diary syncing is so important if you’re both busy parents. That’s what we do. We have a Friday diary check, where we sit down and forensically go through our diaries for the next week. And it’s surprising because even though we’ve been through it a million times, there is always something that we’ve forgotten. I think if we didn’t do that every week our entire lives would fall apart! [She laughs]”

Brood Magazine
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BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

Lucy Mecklenburgh, Ryan Thomas, Cath Tyldesley and Sarah Jayne Dunn join the party of working parents to celebrate the launch of BROOD Magazine.

A host of guests from the media and business world came together at Manchester’s landmark party venue Menagerie to celebrate the launch of the innovative BROOD Magazine’s first printed edition sponsored by JMW Solicitors.

Improve your Mood with your Food

Improve your Mood with your Food

October, the month of spookiness and seasonal changes. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve discussed the weather with clients over the past month. A strange sentence to begin with, I know, but bear with… There’s been a definite shift in temperature and autumnal days…

KATE DEVINE’S FRO-YO BERRY CUPCAKES AND CORONATION DESSERT FRUIT KEBABS

KATE DEVINE’S FRO-YO BERRY CUPCAKES AND CORONATION DESSERT FRUIT KEBABS

KATE DEVINE’S FROYO BERRY CUPCAKES AND CORONATION DESSERT FRUIT KEBABS

As I walked my kids to school this morning, I noticed many streets and houses decorated with buntings, balloons and the Union Jack Flag in preparation for the King’s Coronation. I love seeing the nation celebrate together; whether it’s a street party, house party or an entire school or community celebration! The idea of people coming together to witness and celebrate history and not the devastation of natural disasters or wars, makes for a very welcome and peaceful change.

And, it just wouldn’t be an English tradition if afternoon tea, shortbread biscuits and cucumber sandwiches weren’t served, but I thought we could make it colour themed as well as traditional with some super easy and super tasty red, white and blue sweet treats for you to enjoy while watching King Charles’ Coronation (or not, if you’re not a big royalist – these healthy treats go just was well with a Netflix series or as something to do with your family!).

FROYO BERRY CUPCAKES – makes 6 – double ingredients to make 12

You will need:

  • 6/12 cupcake muffin tray
  • Silicone cupcake liners – if you read my last article, we made egg/oat breakfast muffins so you can re-use or may have leftover parchment cupcake liners from that recipe
  • Measuring cups
  • A small & medium bowl for mixing

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons of honey/maple syrup
  • 5 cups of mixed berries – strawberries (chopped), raspberries and blueberries

Method:

  • Line the muffin tray with either the silicone or parchments cupcake liners
  • In a small bowl, stir together the ground almonds, coconut sugar and coconut oil and spoon a little into each muffin cup to cover the bottom
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the yoghurt and honey/maple syrup and spoon 2 tablespoons in each muffin cup making sure to totally cover the ground almonds at the bottom
  • Equally divide the berries into each muffin cup – chop a little if necessary
  • Place in the freezer until firm – around 6 hours
  • When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and and allow to set at room temperature for 8-10 minutes removing the muffin cups when defrosted a little
  • Enjoy immediately!

Brood Live
Brood Live
Brood Live

If you want to make something but haven’t got the time or just literally can’t be bothered, these fruit kebabs are the easiest and quickest Coronation chuck together and the kids will love getting involved too!

CORONATION DESSERT FRUIT KEBABS – make as many as you want!

You will need:

  • Wooden kebab sticks

Ingredients:

  • Strawberries (remove the green leaves) – Can use leftover berries from above recipe!
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Large white marshmallows

Method:

  • Slide the fruit onto each kebab stick in a red, white and blue fruit order – alternating the strawberries and raspberries
  • Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve!

Or, if you want to look like you’ve put tonnes of effort into your contribution to the street party (but really haven’t!), you can go for this Coronation Flag Dessert Board….

Coronation Flag Dessert Board

You will need:

  • A clean chopping or cheese board – depending on the size of the party!

Ingredients:

  • Plain Greek yoghurt – enough to spread on the entire dessert board
  • Large white marshmallows, halved lengthways – as above recipe – can use leftovers
  • 300-400g Strawberries – green leaves removed – cut flat on top
  • 300-400g Blueberries
  • 250g Raspberries

Method:

  • Spread a thick layer of the Greek yoghurt to the dessert board – as if you were spreading butter on bread – leave a small border around the edges
  • Using the strawberries, place them top side down so the wider part is in the yoghurt and the thinner part sticks up, to make the main cross of the flag – the yoghurt should help them stay in place
  • Using the raspberries, continue building the internal cross part of the flag in the same way as the strawberries
  • Then use the blueberries to fill in the four corners of the flag, making sure to leave space in-between the shape of the fruit in order to see the white of the yoghurt
  • Add the halved marshmallows along the white of the flag or where desired
  • Place in the fridge for a minimum of an hour or until ready to eat
  • Enjoy and bask in the glory of all your hard work (not) to make this magnificent masterpiece!

Now, I hear you ask – why the obsession with berries all of a sudden?! Well, that will be because they are coming into season very soon, which means they can be sourced locally and sustainably and taste absolutely amazing! Also, they have so many health benefits, it would be rude for me to not make you aware of these….

  • Beautiful Blueberries – they are an excellent source of flavonoids (antioxidants), especially anthocyanidins. These antioxidants compounds are responsible for their blue, red and purple pigments. They are also a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin E, insoluble and soluble fibre. manganese and riboflavin (vit B2).
  • Quick Fact – Due to their high levels of antioxidants, blueberries can help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

 

  • Radiant Raspberries – are an excellent source of fibre, manganese, vitamin C, flavonoids (as blueberries), and ellagic acid which is a cancer fighting compound. Raspberries are also a very good source of B vitamins, such as, B2, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6.
  • Quick Fact – While the post common type of raspberry is red-pink in colour, they actually come in a range of colours including black, purple, orange, yellow and white.
  • Scrumptious Strawberries – The most popular type of berry in the world! Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, K, dietary fibre and flavonoids. They are also a very good source of manganese, pantothenic acid, vitamin B1, folic acid, biotin, iodine and vitamin B6.
  • Quick Fact – Their unique flavonoid (antioxidant) content makes them a valuable protector against inflammation, heart disease and cancer.

I wish you all a wonderful, and hopefully sunny, May and makes sure to enjoy the many bank holiday weekends coming our way! Oh, and don’t forget to tag myself @katedevinenutript and @broodmagazine should you make any of my recipes! Thank you!

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IS GUILT A GIVEN WHEN YOU ARE A WORKING PARENT?

Is guilt a given when you are a working parent? 

 

I talk to so many parents about trying to manage the ever changing and ever growing guilt around trying to be all things to all people. It can often be a difficult and challenging juggle when you have a job to do, the house needs sorting and your children need taking care of 24/7. This doesn’t even include contemplating what your individual needs are, and that its important to have time and space for yourselves, whether that be to rest and reset or to spend time socialising and having fun with friends. 

 

It may feel familiar, as so many of us do this, that you put yourself at the bottom of that list, and then may actually find yourself occasionally resenting your life, wishing you could find more hours in a day, and wondering how other people and families seem to manage and have it all! Now when we do make the time and effort to put ourselves first occasionally, this is where it can lead to feeling guilty, as there is always something else we ‘could’ or ‘should’ be doing. I don’t think I have met a parent yet who doesn’t find themselves trying to manage everything as best they can and yet still feel guilty in and amongst everything else, its almost like we can’t win. 

 

A number of years ago I was able to understand guilt and see it for what it really is, and I want to share that with you now as it was a great relief for me. Guilt is a feeling just like any other, and feelings always come from our thinking, not our external circumstances, but our thoughts about our external circumstances. We can often be tricked into thinking that we feel guilt because its an indicator that we need to do better, that we are not enough, and we need to make some changes or improvements. However, guilt comes from our thoughts about ourselves and our situation, so the feelings of guilt come from thoughts such as, I need to do more, I should be spending more time with my kids, I am not on top of my work and so on. 

 

When I started to really see that my feelings of guilt came from the thoughts I had about myself, I started to see guilt as a wonderful alarm and indicator for me to actually lower my expectations of myself, relieve the pressure and be much more patient and compassionate with myself! It is simply and indicator that our thoughts have gone off in an unhelpful direction. When we see thoughts for what they are, thoughts and not facts, we can much more easily let them come and go, creating much more space for thoughts around how amazing we are at managing the juggle even when we lose sight of that. If you can do one thing for yourself today, remember you are only ever doing your best and that is more than good enough! 

 

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WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

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  The decision to invest in the buy-to-let property market is not one to be taken lightly. It's a significant financial commitment that requires careful consideration, and there is often debate about whether current market conditions should dictate this choice....

BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

Lucy Mecklenburgh, Ryan Thomas, Cath Tyldesley and Sarah Jayne Dunn join the party of working parents to celebrate the launch of BROOD Magazine.

A host of guests from the media and business world came together at Manchester’s landmark party venue Menagerie to celebrate the launch of the innovative BROOD Magazine’s first printed edition sponsored by JMW Solicitors.

Improve your Mood with your Food

Improve your Mood with your Food

October, the month of spookiness and seasonal changes. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve discussed the weather with clients over the past month. A strange sentence to begin with, I know, but bear with… There’s been a definite shift in temperature and autumnal days…

SPRINGTIME SALAD BY AUNTIE CATH

SPRINGTIME SALAD BY AUNTIE CATH

Catherine Tyldesley (or Auntie Cath as she’s often known!) is one of the UKs favourite actresses, but what some people may not know is that Cath’s other huge passion in life is Food! After studying nutrition whilst on maternity leave with her first child, Caths enthusiasm for food grew – especially for nutritious, budget friendly, tasty family meals…

“With a little tease of summer last week I thought I’d share one of my favourite salad recipes with you. This is my spring/summer go to – light and full of fresh ingredients. Feel free to tag me and BROOD into your dishes – ENJOY!” – Catherine Tyldesley

Brood Live

SPRINGTIME SALAD

INGREDIENTS

* 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
* 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
* Kosher salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 5 c. packed baby spinach (5 oz.)
* 2 rotisserie chicken breasts, cut into 1/2″ pieces
* 2 c. thinly sliced strawberries
* 3/4 c. chopped toasted pecans
* 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
* 5 oz. feta, crumbled

 

METHOD

* Step 1


In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the mustard. While whisking, slowly pour in the oil until the dressing is combined. Season with salt and pepper.

* Step 2


Add spinach, chicken, strawberries, ½ cup pecans, and onion to the bowl with the dressing and toss to combine.

* Step 3


Pile salad onto plates and top with the remaining pecans and a generous crumbling of feta.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

  The decision to invest in the buy-to-let property market is not one to be taken lightly. It's a significant financial commitment that requires careful consideration, and there is often debate about whether current market conditions should dictate this choice....

BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

Lucy Mecklenburgh, Ryan Thomas, Cath Tyldesley and Sarah Jayne Dunn join the party of working parents to celebrate the launch of BROOD Magazine.

A host of guests from the media and business world came together at Manchester’s landmark party venue Menagerie to celebrate the launch of the innovative BROOD Magazine’s first printed edition sponsored by JMW Solicitors.

Improve your Mood with your Food

Improve your Mood with your Food

October, the month of spookiness and seasonal changes. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve discussed the weather with clients over the past month. A strange sentence to begin with, I know, but bear with… There’s been a definite shift in temperature and autumnal days…

Leftover Easter Chocolate BARK Smash!

Leftover Easter Chocolate BARK Smash!

Leftover Easter Chocolate BARK Smash!

Kate’s Leftover Easter Chocolate Smash!

Hello lovely people, I hope you all had a wonderful chocolate bunny filled Easter and enjoyed a well deserved long weekend of rest and delicious food! 

I just wanted to share a little recipe that I’ve made with my kids, to get rid of the left over Easter egg chocolate that sits in the cupboard calling your name every time you walk past! It’s a chocolate bark smash full of lots of healthy ingredients that the kids will love to add along the way. 

 

Ingredients:

  • 200g of milk chocolate – or dark chocolate – at least 70% organic for a healthier snack alternative 
  • 30g of white chocolate for the topping
  • 50g of dried fruit of your choice e.g. raspberries/cherries/goji berries/cranberries
  • 20g of nuts – crushed in a pestle and mortar e.g. pistachio/walnuts/almonds – you can leave the nuts out if you prefer, just add a different dried fruit 

What you will need:

  • Medium saucepan
  • Glass bowl to rest on the top of the saucepan for melting the chocolate
  • Spatula/mixing spoon
  • Medium size baking tray
  • Parchment paper

Method:

  • Weigh out all ingredients before beginning the following process…
  • Place the chocolate in the bowl, grab the saucepan and fill with cold water approx 200ml 
  • Place the bowl of chocolate on top of the saucepan and heat on a medium to high heat
  • When you notice the chocolate begin to melt, stir continuously with a spatula until smooth 
  • In the meantime, cover the baking tray with parchment paper
  • Once the chocolate has fully melted, pour into the baking tray and spread evenly with a spatula approx half to 1cm thick
  • Add the fruit and nuts, spacing evenly. Push any larger piece into the chocolate so they set properly and place in the fridge for 10 mins
  • Meanwhile, melt the topping chocolate the same way as the milk chocolate 
  • When the 10 mins is up, remove from fridge and using a fork, flick the topping chocolate over the bark chocolate and fruit and nut pieces on the baking tray
  • Return back to the fridge for 30 mins or until fully set
  • When set, remove the parchment paper and smash with a rolling pin into snack size pieces
  • Share with family and friends and enjoy!

I also make this as a snack for myself but use dark chocolate (as mentioned above) and leave out the extra chocolate topping. Store these in an airtight container in the fridge and they will last up to a week, although I doubt they’ll be any left after a few days, they’re that delicious!

Ingredients Facts:

  • Chocolate Some research suggest there may be healthful nutrients belonging to chocolate, including improved immunity, greater longevity and quicker recovery from intense exercise. Dark chocolate without unhealthy additives and sugar have been shown to lower blood pressure, cancer and stroke risk as effectively as antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.
  • RaspberriesPacked with antioxidants, potential benefits in regulating metabolism and fighting diseases – contains the antioxidant compound, ellagic acid, which is cancer protective
  • Cherries – Rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and help in the treatment of gout. They also contain melatonin, which helps treat insomnia and encourage good sleep.
  • Cranberries Again, high in antioxidants, helps prevent infections from taking hold in the urinary tract, kidneys, and bladder. Aids digestion by helping to prevent stomach ulcers, helps alleviate heavy periods, stomach upsets, sore throats and laryngitis.
  • Goji BerriesThese berries belong to the nightshade family that includes chilli peppers and tomatoes and are rich in a combination of antioxidant nutrients that benefit cardiovascular health – they contain carotenoids known to boost metabolic processes and promote good sleep and memory.
  • AlmondsGood source of zinc, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, which supports the brain, cardiovascular and respiratory systems and are rich in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fatty acids and help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Pistachio NutsContain anti-inflammatory properties, high in beta-carotene, oleanolic acid and phytosterols, a type of anti-inflammatory plant hormone associated with improved immune function, lower levels of LDL cholesterol and reduced risk of cancer.
  • Walnuts – Rich source of Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and omega-3 fatty acid. ALA helps lower unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) levels and keeps arteries healthy. They contain antioxidants and tocopherols (Vit E complex), helping to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease and maintain skin and tissue health. They also contain serotonin, a brain chemical that can help lift depression. 

READ MORE FROM KATE HERE

easter egg leftovers
Nutritionist Kate Devine
Easter Eggs Leftover
KATE DEVINE IMAGES ©
written BY KATE DEVINE

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Improve your Mood with your Food

October, the month of spookiness and seasonal changes. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve discussed the weather with clients over the past month. A strange sentence to begin with, I know, but bear with… There’s been a definite shift in temperature and autumnal days…

read more
Spring Healthy Foods: getting the most out of the season’s natural produce.

Spring Healthy Foods: getting the most out of the season’s natural produce.

Spring Healthy Foods: getting the most out of the season’s natural produce.

Spring Healthy Foods: getting the most out of this season’s natural produce.

By Kate Devine

Spring has (nearly) sprung and that means a change in some foods that we should eat to keep us healthy throughout this new season. When foods are in season, obviously they taste better due to being richer in vitamins and minerals, but eating seasonal foods is also more sustainable as they are relevant to your geographical area and therefore require less travel, packaging and storing, while supporting small farmers and the local economy. Growing and consuming crops seasonally not only guarantees flavourful and nutritious produce, but promotes a varied diet and allows the environment to cycle through its natural resources and seasons like it would without human intervention.

I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard of the tomato shortage that’s swept the nation recently? Or as I noticed on a news app the other day, ‘Salad crisis to hit Britain!’. WOW, no wonder we all panic bought toilet rolls in the pandemic! Well, rest assure, it’s only due to the unexpected weather conditions abroad, therefore the fruit and veg that gets imported hasn’t grown as it should. I’ve read that things will return to ‘normal’ within 6-8 weeks so no need to panic people!

Here’s a list of some of the foods, and their amazing properties, that are in season during Spring:

Apple – help balance blood sugar levels, strengthen bones, lower cholesterol and provide relief from constipation and diarrhoea
Artichoke – help balance blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, aid the digestion of fat and has a mild laxative and diuretic
Asparagus – help strengthen the immune system, keeps blood vessels supple, removes energy-draining toxins and has a mild laxative action
Beetroot – Has a liver-cleaning action, lowers the risk of heart attack, improves blood oxygen uptake and has an anti-diabetic effect
Broccoli – promotes collagen synthesis, strengthens the immune system, promotes prostate health and protects eye health – make sure to eat the leaves as they contain the most beta-carotene
Cabbage – helps heal ulcers, supports healthy liver function, fights free-radical damage to skin
Carrots – help lower cholesterol, powerful antioxidant, aids digestion and feeling of fullness and helps maintain good eyesight
Chicory – promotes healthy digestive tract, removes toxins from the blood, natural sedative properties and has a mild diuretic action
Leeks – feed the good gut bacteria, helps lower cholesterol, powerful antibiotic action and have a gentle diuretic and laxative
Parsnip – helps lower cholesterol levels, contain anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, boosts your immune system and aids digestion
Purple Sprouting Broccoli – contains more antioxidants than green varieties but more prone to nutrient loss when cooking
Radishes – help lower blood pressure, supports healthy liver function, treats congestion and inflammation
Rhubarb – helps strengthen bones, protects against neurological-degeneration, lowers cholesterol and helps protect eye health
Spring Onions – feed the good gut bacteria, helps lower cholesterol, powerful antibiotic action and contains immunity-boosting sulphur compounds
Watercress – contains anti-cancer substances, aids digestion, promotes clear skin

Try to include these foods in your diet as much as possible over the next few months to ensure you and your family are getting the most out of this seasons natural produce.

written BY KATE DEVINE

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Improve your Mood with your Food

October, the month of spookiness and seasonal changes. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve discussed the weather with clients over the past month. A strange sentence to begin with, I know, but bear with… There’s been a definite shift in temperature and autumnal days…

read more
TASTY GARLIC AND HERB SALMON PASTA BY SIMON WOOD

TASTY GARLIC AND HERB SALMON PASTA BY SIMON WOOD

Simon Wood Brood Live

Looking for a quick, low-budget, yet delicious dish to cook for the family this weekend? Try this tasty Garlic and Herb Salmon Pasta by Master chef winner and Award-winning Wood Restaurants owner – Simon Wood.

Garlic and Herb Salmon Pasta

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1/2 Pack of Spaghetti or Tagliatelle
  • 1 Tub of garlic & herb soft cheese 
  • 1 Tin of Salmon

Optional Items are:

  • Dill and Parmesan Cheese, but they are not essential,

Method

1) Place a pan of salted water on to boil, once boiling add your spaghetti and cook for 11 minutes

2) Open your Salmon

3) In another saucepan, on a low heat, gently warm your soft cheese, add 4 tablespoons of pasta water and if you have some, black pepper.

4) Carefully drain the pasta and add it into the soft cheese, add the salmon, and stir, before serving.

Garlic and herb salmon pasta
WoodKraft Cheltenham
Simon Wood
Written by

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HOW TO MANAGE THE CLOCKS SPRINGING FORWARD

HOW TO MANAGE THE CLOCKS SPRINGING FORWARD

HOW TO MANAGE THE CLOCKS SPRINGING FORWARD THIS WEEKEND

Twice a year when the clocks change, we are inundated with questions and parents asking what they can do. Although the spring clock change can play havoc with our bodies (an increase in heart attacks and strokes the day after this happen) but it can really help you if you have a little one who likes waking before 5am!

If you happen to have an early riser just don’t take any action and stick to their current body clock – this means that the clocks change but their body clock wont and 5am magically became 6am!

If, however, your routine works for you we have a guide for how to mange the upcoming clock change, depending upon the age of your little one!

For all little ones (and us adults):

Bear in mind that the clock change also brings lighter evenings. This may nt be as much of an issue for us as adults but your little one may be going to bed when it is very light outside. With this in mind, we recommend you make your child’s bedroom as dark as possible to limit any sunlight coming into their room which could make it difficult for them to fall/stay asleep. Ideally a 10/10 for darkness until they become a toddler and may need a little night light if they are scared of the dark.

Using something like a blackout blind or even blackout card/material over the window can be really helpful to block any residual light.

Daylight is the best regulator of our circadian rhythms (body clock) so ensure your little one, and you, get outside to use the daylight to help your body clock adjust.

Overall, it can take about a week for children and babies to completely adjust to a new time, some children can take up to a month. Be patient and remain consistent and it will happen!

Older children:

For children who are no longer napping we would advise you ‘split the difference’ between the old time and the new time. You don’t have to do anything until Sunday morning (and pretend you have a lie in) so start on Sunday night (first night of the change). Put your child to bed 30 minutes ‘later’ than they would usually go to bed – as an example, if their usual bedtime was 7pm you would put them to bed at 7.30pm (new ‘springtime’) instead. Do this for 3 nights and then on the 4th night put them to bed at the normal time – 7pm.

It may take a week or so to adjust (our body clocks can take it’s own sweet time) but persevere and try not to get involved too much after you have put your little one to bed It may take a little longer for them to fall asleep but, if they are happy, just leave them to it and they will naturally adjust.

Toddlers (over 1 and older):

These little ones will still be taking naps but, again, you don’t need to do anything until Sunday nap time. If they have two naps, put them down for their first nap 30 minutes later than normal. For example, if they usually nap at 9.30am you would put them down at 10am instead and do the same for the afternoon nap.

At bedtime if you usually put them down at 7pm, move this by 30mins and put them down at 7.30pm. Do this for 3 nights after the time change and then on the 4th night put them to bed at the normal time of 7pm. You can then move nap times back to normal on day 5. Again, it may take a week or so to adjust but try not to get involved too much after you have put your little one into their cot. It may take a little longer for them to fall asleep but, if they are happy, just leave them to it and they will naturally adjust. 

Infants (between 4-12 months):

For little ones of this age, we can change their internal body clock a little more gradually. They will be having between 2-4 naps per day so we will move nap time by 15 minutes each day until they are on their ‘usual’ nap time by Thursday.

You would also do the same for bedtime, if their bedtime is normally 7pm then move bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach their normal time. So, on Sunday night you would put them down at 7.45pm (‘new springtime’), next night at 7.30pm and so on. By the fourth night you should be back to their ‘normal’ time of 7pm.

Newborns:

These little ones have not developed sleep cycles or melatonin so you will find their sleep is much less predictable. If you have a newborn you can simply just jump to the new time on Sunday night as if you were traveling to a new time zone. It may take your little one a little longer to fall asleep which is expected as they might not be as tired to start with but just allow them to fall asleep independently, as much as you can.

If you are having any trouble with any aspect of your child’s sleep please do get in touch with Little Dreams Consulting – we would love to help you all get a better night’s sleep.

About Little Dreams Consulting:

Established by Jenna Wilson, a former solicitor, in 2016, Little Dreams Consulting is an award-winning baby and child sleep consultancy based in Bristol. It works with tired parents around the UK to help everybody get a better night’s sleep.

Having proved the business is profitable and sustainable, Little Dreams launched their British Franchise Association accredited and award winning franchise in December 2021 and now has 4 franchisees working around the UK. If a new career you can be proud of, whilst changing the lives of sleep deprived families, is something you have been looking for get in touch with Jenna or download a prospectus here: (Franchise Your Own Sleep Consultant Business for Children (littledreamsconsulting.com)

 

CONFIDENCE

CONFIDENCE

CONFIDENCE

Confidence is a preference, as Damon Albon (Blur) once stated.

If confidence was indeed something we could choose, would we choose it?

I’m not sure that everyone would drink the magic potion even if it was that easy, as I think confidence can be associated or frankly confused with arrogance, it’s ugly second cousin.

In my opinion you can be confident but not arrogant, you can be proud but not a “show off” you can have self belief and not a “big ego”, but the key ultimately is to be yourself.

Confidence is a combination of your energy, passion and self belief.
Fear is the one to watch out for, it can tear down your confidence, it’s down to you as to how deal with fear.

Confidence is like magic, the secret ingredient, the wind in your sails, the powder beneath the snowboard or in my case the electric propelling the OneWheel forwards. No momentum without confidence.

What is it… Self-belief?
An affirming validation of our own worth.
If we all kept in mind everything we had achieved in our life so far we’d be oozing confidence daily and propelling forwards at an incredible rate. But we forget and somehow we need external validation to help remind ourselves of our strengths to build our confidence.

Oliver Dunn
Oliver Dunn for BROOD MAGAZINE © 

Clearly it fades, confidence needs nurture.
I think it’s important to remember this and respect it. It’s not like some qualification or trophy you can win and that’s it for life, you have to keep earning it, keep nurturing it. Surround yourself with people who fill your cup, who fuel your confidence and remind you of your worth.

We must all relate to a lack of self confidence at some point on our lives, perhaps from our childhood, school days, the feeling of not being enough or not being good enough at something which caused a lack of self belief and low confidence.

I’ve battled with that my whole life, but it’s silly really isn’t it, I mean we can’t be good at everything, okay so maybe some people are, but good for them, be inspired by that, not discouraged, bitter or disappointed by it, just be YOU. That’s all you can do. Be proud of the things you are good at and grateful for the things you enjoy. Stop comparing, stop judging yourself.

Fear kills confidence, but what is fear? Fake events appearing real?
Or a worry about other people’s opinions/ judgement?*
A worry that you’re not good enough?
Well fuck that, all of it, if something brings you joy, do it, keep doing it, that way you will continually get better at it, it’s a fact.
Then comes self belief, the perfect weapon to combat the fear, that’s what I’m prescribing here. I’ll say that again, if something brings you joy, do it and keep doing it!

*It’s important to recognise here that it’s not other people’s judgement that is the problem, it’s your opinion of other people’s judgment, which quite simply might not even be correct, this might simply be something we conjured ourselves in our little worried minds.

Remember “worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.“ (Baz Luhrmann Wear Sunscreen/ Class Of ‘99/ from original speech by Mary Schmich.

Repetition equals confidence just like practice makes perfect. Experience will bring you a strong sense of self belief which will naturally give you confidence.

Fashion.

I simply couldn’t write about confidence and not talk about fashion.
Going back to my school days I remember my confidence being higher when I had a new coat or pair of shoes, as I write this images of said coats flash into my mind along with the smell of a brand new pair of Kickers. Nostalgia.
That new leather smell, the smell of confidence, like a fresh new haircut.
What you wear speaks before you do. I am very mindful about what I wear and the priority is walking tall.

I always advise Kim “dress for you, not for anyone else, also dress for you and not for a place or environment where the expectation is that you either dress down or dress up, just dress for you” – to a certain extent of course.

I try my best to take my own advise and dress for me, to wear what inspires me, you never know who you’re going to see and potentially make an impression on, be memorable, wear what lights you up inside and makes you shine.

Inspiration is exactly how I shop for clothes, Kim always inspires me to try new styles I perhaps hadn’t considered. I might also be inspired by a place, a personality, an artist or a piece of music which has made me feel a certain way and inspired a vibe (it just flows, it’s cool, laid back and without judgement) that I wanted to express.
I love the LA vibe and I love to see what people wear there, it helps me feel connected to the energy of the place, so whether its the tie die Pete Davidson is wearing or the bright colours of Machine Gun Kelly, or even something wild worn by Miley Cyrus, I can take inspiration from everyone I see to be honest, fashion is expression and art, male/ female whatever catches my eye and inspires me, not necessarily the specific items of clothing but I will take inspiration from elements such as colours/ style/ fit.

Music has always played a huge part in what I wear, representing my inner vibe on the outside and therefore attracting likeminded people.

Shop for you, dress for you, dance to the beat of your own drum.

Task.

Write down 5 things (or 10 if you want) which you have achieved in the past year.
As you write them, feel the excitement and visualise your confidence being boosted, like some video game graphic, level up with the feeling. 📈
Feel the excitement for these like you felt when you achieved them.
Now write down 5 things you want to achieve in the next 12 months, feel the excitement you will feel once you have achieved them.
Remind yourself you are worthy and ready to achieve the next 5, ready to step out of your comfort zone and into your power.

Go after it, no one else is going to do it for you!

Peace, Love, Choc ‘n’ Roll.

Oliver Dunn aka Oli The Choc

“There is no life I know, to compare with pure imagination, living there you’ll be free, if you truly wish to be.”
Willy Wonka

Oli Choc massive easter egg
Written by

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Fletchers on the Farm EASTER WONDERLAND

Fletchers on the Farm EASTER WONDERLAND

FLETCHERS ON THE FARM EASTER WONDERLAND

Our friends over at Fletchers On The Farm – parents of 4, Kelvin and Liz Fletcher – are opening up their incredible farm for a special Easter Eggstravaganza! Incorporating all of the magic that springtime brings to the farm, and a funfilled  Easter trail, it’s sure to be an event that you and your brood will not want to miss! 

Enjoy a spring Easter trail with your family on the Fletcher Farm. Follow your map to find the farms’ animals, see their first lambs, and their cheeky pygmy goats, and you can even cheer on a game of pig football! Learn lots about nature as you navigate through the land and of course, collect the hidden eggs along the way. Alice and the Easter Bunny await you in their magical wonderland with a spectacular interactive show to wow the children before they exchange their eggs for real chocolate! You’ll be able to enjoy a hot drink, or a delicious treat as you take in the stunning views of the Peak District.

Be sure to book your slot now for this one-off 2-week event and enjoy the perfect fun-filled spring day out with all the family!

Don’t forget your wellies and your Easter basket!

Please note, unfortunately, this trail is unsuitable for prams or pushchairs.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Peak District Foundation.

Kelvin and Liz Fletcher - Front Cover of Brood Magazine
© BROOD MAGAZINE. KELVIN AND LIZ FLETCHER

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Veggie Egg Muffins & sweet oat muffins recipe by Kate Devine

Veggie Egg Muffins & sweet oat muffins recipe by Kate Devine

Veggie Egg Muffins & sweet oat muffins recipe by Kate Devine

Veggie Egg Muffins, sweet oat muffins and Spring Foods

By Kate Devine

Well, it’s been a while! I’ve missed writing my monthly articles for you lovely people! I’ve been a busy bee with lots of exciting work projects, celebrating Christmas and a BIG birthday for myself which obviously took over the whole month! But I’m back and armed with lost of information, advice and recipes for you to try.

March sees the return of Spring and of course, Mother’s Day on Sunday 19th. This day is portrayed as a day of togetherness, happiness and appreciation but can be difficult for some. From mothers who have lost children, children who have lost mothers, or those with struggling relationships around motherhood and with parents, the reality can be very different. We hear you, we see you and we support you.

I’ve put together a sweet and savoury, easy-to-make, breakfast recipe to enjoy on Mother’s Day morning (or any morning for that matter) made by whoever, for whatever reason you want!

Oven-baked breakfast muffins – sweet and savoury…

 

Veggie Egg Muffins

Veggie Egg Muffins

You will need:

Silicone baking cups x12 – optional
12 cup cake muffin tin
Spray oil to grease the muffin tin if not using baking cups – I use coconut oil
Shallow pan/skillet
Large mixing bowl and whisk

Ingredients:

10/12 eggs
Veggies of your choice -1/2 cup – I used red onion, red pepper, mushrooms, spinach – chopped into small pieces
1/3 cup crumbled feta or cheese of your choice
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp olive oil

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C (fan)/200C
Prep the muffin tin by either spraying each muffin mould with the coconut oil or place the silicone baking cups in each mould and add one spray of the oil inside each cup
Add the eggs to the mixing bowl, along with the salt and pepper and whisk together. Set aside
Heat the skillet pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil
Add the veggies of your choice for 5 mins or until they begin to soften
Add the veggies to the whisked eggs along with the feta and parsley and mix well
Transfer the mixture to a measuring jug and pour equal amounts into the individual baking cups – roughly 1/3 cup per muffin
Place in the oven and bake for 17-20mins, or until the muffin cups are no longer wobbly and an inserted toothpick comes out clean
Remove from the oven and allow to cool
Enjoy immediately.

Note – You can prep these ahead of time and store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to eat, pop them in the microwave for 40-60 seconds to reheat.

 

4-Way Sweet Oat Muffins

Optional Topping Choices: – quantities for 3 muffins in each flavour

Apple and Cinnamon – 2 tbsps finely diced apples and a pinch of cinnamon
Chocolate and Banana – 3 banana slices and 2 tsp mini chocolate chips
Strawberry and Coconut – 2 tbsp fresh, diced strawberries and 2 tsp unsweetened coconut flakes
Blueberry and Almond – 2 tbsp fresh blueberries and 2 tsp sliced almonds

You will need:

Silicone baking cups x12 – optional
12 cup cake muffin tin
Spray oil to grease the muffin tin if not using baking cups – I use coconut oil
X2 Large mixing bowls

Ingredients:

2 large bananas (overripe are best) mashed
2 large eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of your choice
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups jumbo rolled oats
1/2 cup oat flour – this can be bought in the supermarket or you can make your own by placing 1/2 cup of oats in a blender and blend until flour like consistency
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C (fan)/200C
Prep the muffin tin by either spraying each muffin mould with the coconut oil or place the silicone baking cups in each mould and add one spray of the oil inside each cup
In a large bowl, mash the banana and add the eggs, maple syrup, milk and vanilla. Mix to combine and set aside
In the other large bowl, mix together the oats, oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt
Slowly add the wet ingredient to the dry ingredients and mix until combined
Using a spoon, divide the mixture equally between the muffin cups until filled close to the top
Add the desired topping to the top of each cup, pressing in slightly so some of the ingredients reach the centre of the muffins
Bake for 20-25mins or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
Allow to cool for 15-20mins before removing from the muffin tin.

Note – You can prep these ahead of time and store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months. You can deforest them by placing in the fridge overnight to allow them to thaw but if you forget this step, you can still defrost from frozen by wrapping in a paper towel, placing in the microwave and heating for 30-60 seconds until warm throughout.

oat muffins
written BY KATE DEVINE

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THE 10 MINUTE MAKEOVER FOR BUSY MUM’S

THE 10 MINUTE MAKEOVER FOR BUSY MUM’S

Mornings can be the most chaotic and super rushy part of the day, what with getting the kids up, fed, dressed and ready for school. All kicking and screaming. Also bags packed with numerous fillings such as packed lunch, PE kits and unfinished homework!
Already your zen has been compromised by the fact that you have cursed more times than a stuttering monk chanting his morning “ohm shanti” mantra!!
All that being said and you still have to find that minuscule window to make yourself even the slightest bit presentable and somehow manage to do your makeup in the process.

Here is a step-by-step simple yet flawless 10-minute makeup routine that will have you feeling fabulous and ready to take on the day with confidence.

Make up for Busy Mum

THE 10 MIN MAKEOVER FOR BUSY MUM’S

NO.1

Start with a clean face and neck and prep with a spf tinted moisteriser like the Ultrasun SPF30+ face sun cream 

Suggested: Ultrasun 30 SPF Tinted Face Cream (50ml) – LOOKFANTASTIC

 

…and mix a couple of drops of BB cream to give your skin a healthier glow.

I use Clarins BB Skin Detox Fluid.

Suggested: CLARINS – Bb skin detox fluid spf25 | Selfridges.com

NO.2

Next frame your face by applying your brows, brush upwards and pencil in the gaps, defining your arch by using a brow pencil with a built in spoolie brush for ease.
My absolute favourite is the Laura Mercia eye brow pencil.

Suggested: Eye Brow Pencil | Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier Eye Brow Pencil

NO.3

Suck in those cheeks and swipe a contour stick into the hollows of your cheeks, across the forehead and jawline and blend out using your fingers or a fluffy brush, creating definition and that sun kissed look. I also grab some of the product on my finger and dab onto my eyelids, as bronzer is more forgiving than an eyeshadow and it can blend effortlessly into the eye socket.
I just love the Mini Matte Bronzer by Milk Makeup.

Suggested: MILK MAKEUP – Mini Matte bronzer 5.7g | Selfridges.com

milk-makeup-mini-matte-bronzer

NO.4

Add a pop of colour to your cheeks and lips using an easy to blend cream product and apply with your fingers for a quick and easy application.
Im loving the Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Lip & Cheek Glow, it gives such a youthful glow with its sheer texture and luminous finish.

Suggested: Colour Of Dreams – Pillow Talk Lip & Cheek Glow | Charlotte Tilbury

pillow-talk-lip-cheek-glow-dreams

NO.5

Last but not least make your eyes sparkle and look brighter by applying mascara for fuller looking lashes.
My go to is Benefit’s They’re Real Magnet Extreme Lengthening and Powerful Lifting Mascara. I find its super long lasting and makes my lashes look longer.

Suggested: They’re Real! Magnet Extreme Lengthening Mascara | Benefit Cosmetics

theyre-real-magnet-extreme-lengthening-mascara
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