Review: Bells & Whistles

I received recently from my neighbour, a pack of 4 berry and cashew cake slices, by Bells & Whistles.

I have never heard of these before, until my neighbour bought me them. They said they would buy me more later, knowing I liked them, as they seen other different varieties in this range.

The berry and cashew cake slices were very moreish and I would definitely have again. I won’t mind trying their other varieties when the opportunity arises.

The cakes are very small though. But they are very moreish. So don’t let the size deceive you. I let this pack last me 2 days, which will surprise my friends knowing I didn’t eat a pack of this size, in one.

They are diary-free, gluten free and ok for vegans too.

You can find out more about this product here: https://bells-whistles.co.uk/

Has anyone else tried these?


© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

Chit-chat July – Part 2 of 2

This is part 2 of 2, for Chit-chat July, to keep post short. Chit-chat July – Part 1 of 2 is here.

I have been to my mum’s bungalow a few times this month. Checking and removing some things, to mine, to sort later and I have been giving the  bungalow a quick tidy up. There are two rooms to do still. Kitchen I will do Saturday morning, then I will only have bedroom, when furniture is out.

I moved a couple of things around in my flat, to accommodate a couple of pieces of furniture that would go in there. One being a small dining table that I will use as a dining table and my white dining table, with it having a fold down table top, this is now to be used as a desk. One side kept folded down all the time which will go up nearest to the wall.
I would have liked to have done the other way round, but because of space and where it’s going, it makes sense to use my white table as a desk. Should I need temporary extra space for mum’s paperwork, I can always pull it out and but the table leaf up. But I plan to avoid that, because its not something I could leave up.

I needed to create this new space for when I go through mum’s paperwork anytime, knowing if I needed a break, I could walk away and come back to it later, without moving it. Covering it up with a covering, so away from prying eyes, if needed.
Also, when wanting to eat, or chat around the dining table, it would still happen. My dining table gets used a lot, since living in a flat.

And a solid pine ottoman, is going along a wall where I had a small side table and lamp originally.
That table has now gone in my bedroom, ready for when I have a date for furniture to come to mine. So my fold up chair was moved for that, to other side of the bedroom. It used to be mine, but I gave it mum. I always said I would have it back, if one day mum not needing it. The lamp will go back on top.

The small table is not in the way in my bedroom. But it will become a bit of a  dumping ground with a couple of mum’s boxes going in a space there, till I decide what to do with them. So I shall cover them with a sheet, to not feel like my bedroom being cluttered.

Dvd’s watched:

  • New Year’s Eve
  • End of days
  • The Assassin (2015) (I was disappointed with this film.)
  • Cirque Du Soleil – Journey Of Man
  • Cirque Du Soleil – Varekai
  • Cirque Du Soleil – Dralion

Read a book called, ‘The Lynmouth Flood Disaster,’ by Tim Prosser. A book a neighbour lent me.

I emailed where I usually volunteer once every fortnight, to let them know I wouldn’t be back to volunteering, when they open. Not just because of Coronavirus, which if it was that alone, then I would have temporarily stopped originally, until seeing how things go until next year. But because I plan to take on mum’s finances, looking after that, so I have decided to stop volunteering permanently, while I do this, as any break I have between this and work, I plan to do just my thing. I would though, when in the area, call in and see them, letting them know prior I will pop by.

I received a free handmade face mask.

Face mask. Rabbit a

This was from a neighbour from the other block of flats. Her sister makes them and, after admiring one she shown me and my two neighbours, while we all chatted, she’d said she get her sister to make me one and I said how much? She just shook her head and said nothing, I’ll get you one.
I soon received it. It’s not the same design, but I love this design even more. 🙂

From my neighbour downstairs, the one who I just do chats with outside the home and not in, after he became drunk that time, gave me one of his hats.
He brought so many hats out when, me, him and the other neighbour who looks out for me got chatting while we all drank tea and got me to try on his hats. It was another sunny day, like before when we were all out there and I got my cap on. He thought he get me to try on his hats and asked other neighbour, what you think?
The one I liked best, was the one the other neighbour thought I looked the best in.

Cream gents hat with feather

I kept it on because with the sun coming from the side and it was protecting my face from burning, compared to my cap.
When eventually we were going in for different reasons, me needing to have my lunch, I was about to give him his hat back I was wearing and he said keep it. So I shall treasure that hat and when I sit outside again, I will wear that. 🙂

Me wearing the cream gents hat with a feather in it

I have been baking my usual, shortbread biscuits, but with a twist. I made chocolate versions. Sorry, I don’t have a photo of that.

I have also been making some cakes today, which I shall be sharing with my two neighbours:

Watercake, which is dairy and egg free. My first time making.

The receipe says to not use fan oven and only conventional. Although I have a small conventional oven, I have only ever used the grill part and not the oven bit, so I don’t know what its like, so I used my fan oven at a lower temperature of 160 degree C. instead. For the time stated. Although the cake is fine, it may have been ready 3 or 5 minutes before.

This cake is lovely served with cream. In my case, dairy-free cream. 😋

Watercake

I was going to make shortbread, but my mind went elsewhere, so started off with the preparation wrong, meant I was now going to be making another cake. So I followed the sponge recipe for victoria sandwich, added mixed spice to it and put it all in one sandwich tin and baked. Turned out nice. So I have a mixed spice sponge cake.

Mixed spice sponge cake


© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

Do not shop online at Holland and Barrett

I love shopping at Holland and Barrett stores, but because I am not going into town, I shopped online.

The first time I ordered. No problems, so I thought, why not order a slightly bigger order next time?
Never again will I shop online at Holland and Barrett. Their customer service is nil. This is what has angered me. Not that it was late, but because they have not answered my emails. (As in answer my bloody questions.) So it’s through this that I will never place an order online again and I wouldn’t recommend to anyone to place an order online. Instead go to the shop.
As I am avoiding the town centre, means I will be one less customer, until I choose to go in town again. When I will go in town, due to circumstances, I shall avoid the crowd. So I am not in a rush, as I have blogged about before, where I am not in a rush to do a lot of things when things lift.

So, by tonight 4 emails have gone in total.

I ordered on the 3rd May.
My order was due 21st May.

When they deliver, they let you know when it’s coming.
Well this time they didn’t. Its a good job I was in.
At first I am thinking, bloody hell, this is quick. But I knew from size of box that not all my items were there.
Fair enough I thought, they’ll come at due date. But because I had an item in the box that I had not ordered and because I wasn’t informed of my delivery, I just sent a general query.
I did this on 7th May. It was 22nd May when someone replied from Holland and Barrett, apologising at the start of their email for delay.
Fair enough I am thinking while reading this email. I expected this due to what is happening at the moment.
But when I carried on reading my email thinking there will be an answer here to my questions somewhere. There wasn’t. This person was asking me if things had been resolved, if not, let them know and they would reply asap. I am thinking, is this a fucking joke?
I emailed back same day pointing out that nothing had been resolved because I have heard from no one until now, so please reply asap.
I sent another email to them on 26th May asking is someone going to answer my questions, or are you now going to keep me waiting even longer? Reminding them I had questions that had not been answered, that when they answered to me on 22nd May, they should have answered my questions then, because it’s obvious on their system no one has answered me. I am feeling annoyed at this point.

Today, I sent a fourth email this evening, after I got an email to review their products I bought. One of the products I have not received, so that confirmed one of my questions not answered. So this email is now an angry email. I have now said they can get replying back within the week and either give me a definite date for my remaining order not received, or otherwise I want a refund if £8.40.

If I hear nothing, I am going to Trading Standards.


© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

Staycation – Day 6 of 6

Day 6 of 6 of my Staycation is for 23rd May.

Originally, I would have kept this day free to go to Newark-on-Trent. But with you know what, that is affecting us all, there was no point arranging that.

So after breakfast, which I had weetabix, I chose to watch a dvd this morning. I watched ‘John Carpenter Presents Vampirs Los Muertos.’ So I will be squirming, while watching. This will be second time watching, but it’s going in charity bag after. 🙂

I am still reading my book, ‘My brilliant friend,’ by Elena Ferrante. But I will also be looking at another book today. ‘A Year At Stonehenge,’ by James O. Davies.

Cover of book a year at stonehenge

For lunch, it was finger food, cheese toastie, my remaining piece of nut roast that I nearly forgotten about, with a couple of tomatoes.

I watched another dvd, while having lunch and a mug of tea, before going back to my books. This time I watched, ‘Man of Steel.’ Another re-watch.

I found out the cause of the smoke last night. Land off a road which is 32 minutes walk away according to Google, as I had to look the road up, where there had been the fire, off there.
From reading about it, six appliances were there early hours of this morning. 200,000 sq meters of grassland, trees and undergrowth alight. So with the strong breeze we had yesterday, that is still here today, would have been enough to bring that smoke over. It now explains why the smoke was so bad.

Later in the afternoon, I took my chance to go to supermarket for a few things, hoping they be no queue. A couple of things I wanted for what I had plans for later today. There was a queue. But I was soon in and out.

Once back and put things away, wiping down and then washing my hands, it was time for baking. I wanted to make Tinned Pear Cake (vegan) that I found off Jack Monroe’s website. Unfortunately, there were no tinned  pears and I wasn’t going to go back and look at fresh fruit area.
There was still no self-raising flour, but luckily on a past shop, I was able to get a bag of plain flour, as that had been hard to get hold of too. So before I can do anything, its make my own self-raising flour, thanks to a blogger who gave me ratio of baking powder to plain flour.

At the time of me getting this recipe off her website and making it myself, the plant base milk you choose to use that she suggests, she forgot to mention in her instructions where to add this. So I added the milk when it came to the part where she tells you to measure the flour, bicarb, ginger or cinnamon and cocoa. It still gave the glossy cake batter that she mentions.
The mixture smelt good, even before it went in the oven. It was making me hungry.

I put a little less sugar in too, with me not being a sweet tooth to an extent as I once was. Just in case it would have been a bit sweet for me.

I found it was ready a bit before time. So keep an eye, in case your oven varies and it needs to come out a bit before.

I have to say, after trying some, I was very happy with my cake. Even if my version had to be peaches, instead of pears. But maybe when I get my hand on pears I will certainly bake this again. 😊

When it came to tasting my cake, it was already dinner time. Time has gone quick this afternoon.

For dinner, I had an egg sandwich and a second helping of cake.

I put another dvd on, this time Bon Jovi – The Crush Tour. I needed to party away.

And if you have read every Staycation post, I hope you enjoyed reading as I enjoyed sharing with you my week.

Thank you for following.


© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

Nut roast

This post I have created especially for Beckie, at Beckie’s Mental Mess, after our recent chat about nut roasts. 


If you have been a vegetarian or a vegan for some time, I imagine you will already know what a nut roast is. But if you are new on the journey of being a vegetarian, or a vegan, then you have probably just learned what a nut roast is now, or recently learnt and tried one.

My first nut roast was a pub meal, in my 20’s. So it was homemade, by them. I heard of a nut roast just a few months before, but I was clueless to what it was, until I tried it. I will never forget trying it for the first time with caution, because it was something new to me and with not knowing what to expect. But after that first taste, I was hooked. I found it moorish. And I still do.

I have not had another one in a pub since, because I have not had the opportunity. And I have never made my own and so I have always bought. But the ones I buy I love and find moorish too. I don’t have them regular, so when I do choose to buy one, I think that’s why I enjoy them as I do.

The ones I always buy, are ‘Artisan grains’ brand. Mostly I have their ‘Country Vegetable and Cashew Nut Roast.’ But I have had their Mediterranean Sundried Tomato Nut Roast too.

Nut roast
Artisan Country Vegetable and Cashew Nut Roast

Looking on the back of the empty cardboard box of my Country Vegetable and Cashew Nut Roast one, that I have been having since Sunday for my dinner, I see there is another variety; Cashew Nut and Cranberry Nut Roast. I would love to try that one, if I ever get my hands in it.

I buy these nut roasts from Holland and Barrett. It’s easy to make up, following the instructions on the box and then serving it how you want. I like mine with mixed vegetables, potatoes and gravy.

Do you eat nut roast? Do you buy, or do you make your own nut roast? 

 

Links:


© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

Setting myself a challenge

As I was reading this week in ‘Healthy’ magazine, you don’t need to be religious to give something up for lent. So for 40 days before Easter, I have decided I am going to set myself a challenge. I need a kick up the backside in the area I am focusing on and I think doing it around this time, is just what I need to get myself started.

My issue is that I have been eating a lot of sweet stuff, since from around last October I think, when I started doing it.

I have eaten sweets I normally would not touch, which is the sugar coated kind, regardless I find it too sweet and sickly.

Biscuits, I am eating more of than usual and the packs are not lasting like they normally would.
When it has come to eating the biscuits, I have ate more than I normally would in a sitting and I have ate them just for the sake of it.
I say to myself I won’t buy another pack so soon. But I do and they are gone before the week is out as well.

It’s obvious to me and my counsellor why I am doing this and I know I don’t need to explain it here, as most of you will know. (For new readers, just read some of last years posts of events that affected me.)

I need to sort this and only I can do it. I thought I had it under control. But I haven’t, because I am having a lot of moments eating sweet stuff unnecessarily. So I think doing the above I mention will be a good kick start for me.
Cutting back and eating like I used to before, rather than how it currently will benefit me obviously health-wise. But also the certain things my body experiences after excess sugar will help to reduce that too, which will not help anxiety.
Writing it here, I am sharing it with you and verbally putting it to show that this is what I am going to do for the 40 days before Easter.

So here is what I am not having for the 40 days before Easter:

  • No cake
  • No biscuits
  • No sugar-coated sweets, or any other sweets with exception of Jakemans sweets. But I will only have some of these if I come down with a cold, or sore throat.
  • No dairy-free chocolate (even though I hardly have it)
  • No apple pie, or equivalent.
  • No dairy-free ice-cream

So there it is. It’s not going to be easy, but I am aiming to do this.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

My dairy-free journey – Part 5

So since last dairy-free journey post, this post is more a reflection on new things I have tried, as well as a reminder on something I had as a kid but forgot I could have now, as someone on a dairy-free journey.

Although I continue to write my posts as dairy-free, there have been times I allowed a bit of dairy in.
Those regular reading will know it might have been a pie, which the pastry contained milk. Another time was when I have had a chicken roast dinner, as it contained a scoop of mash and a Yorkshire pudding on my plate. At these times was when I was eating out, so allowing it in then is not often. But at home, I don’t allow. Having those items did not affect me. The only thing I don’t have when eating out with me finding it did, was when I was at a cafe and I had a chicken and mushroom pie. The creamy sauce making me feel like I needed to keep clearing my throat later.

I learnt that having Cadbury’s Original drinking chocolate that says “swirl into hot milk” and Tesco’s Coco Powder is ok for me. (Cadbury’s Original was what I drank as a kid.) There’re also ok for vegans, I read on a vegan website. They don’t label them vegan though, due to being handled on the same site where there are other products containing dairy are also produced. So I am now enjoying hot chocolate, using soya milk. There’s nothing like a comforting hot chocolate on a winters day. Although I like to drink it at other times too.
Although I had both a Tesco and Cadbury’s ones, I will stick with Tesco’s from now on, due to less sugar. I add honey to sweeten.
I also learnt that a supermarket brand Bourbon biscuits do not contain milk. In fact this particular brand I had was suitable for vegans. Now this surprised me because I expected them containing milk. I thought I picked up a pack once where some contained milk. But maybe I am wrong on this. So it’s nice to know. Although when younger, I wasn’t a complete fan on them. Now, I like them, but again, I am not crazy about them. So at least they will last in my biscuit tin. 😁

Discovered I like avocado, as I have blogged about in earlier posts, after accidentally having a feeling there was some on my plate, when eating out. I forgot to mention about leaving it off on this ocassion, because I once tried some at home and I did not like it. But I thought I had nothing to lose, so I tried it. I discovered I liked it and told a staff member who served me this, because they know from before I would usually request to leave that off. This inspired me to get my own avocado’s again and I looked up how to tell when ripe and ways to use one. I had my own first avocado on toast.
Lessons learnt after trying again, I now know when I tried the first time, that you always add something of flavour to it, because it’s bland on it’s own.
I also learnt that when I first would have tried one, that it wouldn’t have been ripe.
I’ve now had quite a few since.

I like just a few little things when it comes to coconut. But I am not a fan.

I do not like coconut, which I have been like this since a child. Bounty was my first memory of not liking. But I could eat Nice biscuits.

I tried Koko dairy-free yogurt last year, which does have coconut milk in it. So with liking this and one time liking a Costa iced type drink that also contained coconut, I thought maybe my tastebuds had changed. So I tried a dairy-free milk that contained coconut on my cereals. I discovered I did not like it. So I am not a 100% fan when it comes to coconut. I won’t be trying anything else containing coconut, than having what I already know that I like. So I have found where my limits lie.

I have tried Polenta. I made as instructions on packet, until I had the consistency of how I wanted it. I mixed some dry mixed herbs into it, at the start of cooking.
Once cooked, I added a small knob of dairy-free butter to it, before serving it on my plate, adding mushrooms and sweetcorn on top. I also grated a bit of dairy-free cheese on top, but I felt that was a bit too much, which afterwards, when reading online about it, I was reading how it can be too rich having it like that: butter and cheese. It made a quick meal though. But once my pack has gone whether I will buy anymore, I don’t know.
Have you ever tried Polenta? If so, how did you have yours?

So as you can see and as I found, just by going dairy-free, it encouraged me to try new foods again. 

I will carry on doing what I am doing, cutting out a majority of dairy-free products and using alternatives in their place, like soya.
When I am eating out and the aim will be to cut out dairy, but at times like say having a chicken roast dinner, I am not going to worry about a scoop of mash on my plate and a yorkshire pudding, because this isn’t going to be a regular weekly event anyway.

I am going to make this my last dairy-free post, but I hope what I have shared in today’s and past posts, that it has helped you in some way.
If I ever chat about dairy-free again, it will more likely be mentioned in a chit-chat post, with it just being a chat, than a long post on the subject. 

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

Avocado: How do you eat yours?

So towards end of last year I talked about how I discovered I do like avocado’s after all, after trying some when eating breakfast out. After reading up how to tell when an avocado is ripe and, ways to eat it, whether cold, or cooked, I took the plunge and bought my own avocado’s. I chose to have avocado on toast. I added a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of garlic granules and mixed it in the mashed up avocado. I had this on toast, with some baby tomatoes and I enjoyed it.

What I learnt now, from before some years ago when I thought I did not like, is that avocado has to have other foods, herbs, spices etc… added to it, because otherwise, it is just bland.

I also learnt from a guide I printed off and laminated was how to tell it is ripe. I did not know about this, or the above, so through trying an avocado all those years ago, to giving it a go now, it was quite possible all those years ago it wasn’t ripe either.

I also added half an avocado to a banana and strawberry smoothie once. It’s true what I read, that it makes it silky smooth.

Do you eat avocado? How do you have yours?

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated.

My dairy-free journey – Part 4

November time, because of how I have been feeling, I wasn’t thinking when I chose a chicken roast dinner, whether anything on it would contain milk products, until the plate arrived in front of me. But I thought bugger this, I was looking forward to a roast dinner and I was just going to eat it. So the things I ate, that contained milk to some degree, was a small amount of mash potato and a Yorkshire pudding. I enjoyed it and it didn’t upset me.

Another time in November, I called into a cafe for a mid snack, so I asked for a fried egg on toast. The toast had butter on. I was fine with that. But having butter on, is not something I want to keep on regular doing.

And another occasion in the same month, I had a chicken and mushroom pie. That, I think did upset me a little, because as well as the pie containing a little milk, the sauce of the filling would have too. It would have been more likely the filling, than the pastry, I think to have upset me.

At home, I continued to have dairy-free. It was just when I was out, that I allowed it.

In future, when eating out, which I don’t do often, I may allow some milk products into my diet, like when I end up with a chicken roast dinner for example. (The mash was only equivalent if a small scoop, but had it been more, I would have left it.) But I will still avoid the obvious when eating out, like cheese and cream products and that chicken and mushroom pie. And I am not going to start having puddings, or cakes etc… containing milk.

Also, both at home and when out, I am not going to start drinking dairy milk, have yogurt, dairy chocolate, or have dairy icecream products because I know if I introduced them back in, I would start to have phlegm problems. The reason I started cutting out dairy in the first place. So I continue to stick with my alternatives when at home, or out, or I drink black and I only have dairy-free cheese and ice cream.

So although at this point I have allowed milk into my diet, I have still cut a majority of it out and I will continue to do that, or go back to completly cutting it out. I will never add more back in than that.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)