Get the kids cooking with Ben’s Beginners™

Baking a three course meal with the Tefal Cuisine Companion

The other evening as I cooked dinner I was simultaneously sending out instructions to my eldest, Lewis, who was cooking my version of sausage pasta for his friend (who’s a girl, so he was a tad nervous). Now he was, of course, trying to impress and had called me a couple of times in a hushed voice, just to double check that he was getting it right.

Turns out Lewis makes a mean sausage pasta, just like his mama taught him.

One of the things I’ve always made sure of is that my eldest two felt comfortable helping out in the kitchen and would be able to cook at least 4 basic meals, by themselves (even if they do have to call me to ask something!)

Being able to cook for yourself is obviously a very necessary life skill and research has shown that families that cook and eat together will enjoy significant health benefits. From experience, I’ve learnt that if you encourage children to help out in the preparation of meals they are far more likely to eat what’s put in front of them.

Baking a three course meal

Holly and Rose cooking together

In the run up to International Cook With Your Kids Day on Saturday 15th October, Uncle Ben’s have launched Ben’s Beginners™ a global initiative aimed at getting kids and families cooking together and having fun while developing that all important lifelong good relationship with food.

I remember my mum had a copy of Delia Smith’s ‘How To Cook’. In there were detailed instructions on simple things like how to boil an egg and I’ve never forgotten -Eggs came in pretty handy in my student days, let me tell you!- These are basic skills that I’m so glad I learnt and I’m pretty sure that having an interest in food and cooking when I was a child was what sparked a lifelong passion of cooking and baking.

I’ve passed down my cooking know-how to my own children and believe it’s never too early to get the kids started out in the kitchen.

Starting out in the kitchen guide from Ben’s Beginners

Ben’s Beginners™ Digital Hub

The Ben’s Beginners™ digital hub has fun interactive challenges so that kids can develop basic skills such as stirring, chopping, pouring, and peeling. Teaching kids to cook inspires them to eat healthier and it turns cooking time into family fun time.

As part of Ben’s Beginners families are being encouraged to set aside time to focus on working on these skills and putting them to the test by participating in International Cook With Your Kids Day on Saturday 15th October.

Getting started with Uncle Ben's

Getting involved with Ben’s beginners is easy, simply pop over to the digital hub, choose which lesson you want to take and follow the simple step-by -step instructions on the site. Once your lesson is complete you will earn a badge (which kids don’t love a badge?!) and then you can move onto the next lesson, acquiring skills (and all important badges) as you go.

Ben’s beginners recipes

  • Each lesson is made up of a combination of interactive learning activities and recipes
  • Families will earn badges for completing each lesson, making the experience interactive and fun for every level of family chef
  • Learning skills like stirring, chopping, pouring, peeling and measuring, families will be guided to cook recipes together like Black Bean and Rice Open-Faced Tacos, Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Casserole, Meatballs & Rice, Soy and Sweet Chilli Salmon, and Chicken Tikka Masala.

Why not get involved?

I’ll be blogging and vlogging a recipe on International Cook With Your Kids Day, Saturday 15th October. So join me by taking part in the worldwide celebration sharing a photo of your family cooking together using #LookWhatWeMade I can’t wait to see how you get on.

Let’s get the kids cooking!

The full Uncle Ben’s range of products can be viewed here which contains all ingredients and nutritional information.

*This is a commissioned post

A dressing room makeover with Valspar stir in glitter paint

A dressing room make over with Valspar paint

Since we moved into our house a year ago it feels like we’ve been non-stop renovating. The upstairs needed so much work done, including complete rewiring in the main bedroom, en-suite and adjoining room as well as the whole lot being replastered. We actually slept in our dining room for 6 long months whilst all this work was going on and I could not wait to get to the fun part of decorating and getting some paint on the walls.

Both Justin and I are fairly minimalist when it comes to decoration, we love the Scandinavian look of fresh white walls and so when Valspar got in touch via Mumsnet and offered us a room makeover I wanted to take the opportunity to add a bit of interest to my dressing room, and opted for bright white with just a hint of grown-up glitter.

We painted the room with Valspar paint and primer in one in a bright white mid sheen. We only needed one coat which is testament to Valspar’s brilliant coverage. I’ve never used a paint and primer in one so it was great to give it a try, when you have lots of walls to cover the fun of decorating can get old quite quickly but it really took the hard work and effort out of painting. The Valspar rollers and paintbrushes are really good too, I’m the sort of person that buys a new roller every time we decorate but the old saying ‘you buy cheap, you pay twice’ is really apt here. It is well worth spending a few extra pounds on quality tools to decorate with. Lesson well and truly learned!


Renovating a teen girl’s bedroom


Since moving into our forever home we’ve been slowly working our way around renovating, making good and decorating. We started with Rose’s bedroom in the hopes that a beautifully decorated space all of her own would encourage her to sleep in there as opposed to wedged in between myself and Justin. It partially worked, by the way, she now sleeps most of her time in her own bed…

Next up was the master suite complete with en-suite bathroom and adjoining bedroom that is used as a dressing room. I am so pleased with the way it’s turned out and will be sharing it in a vlog very soon. We’ve now begun the very slow process of stripping the wallpaper in the hallway stairs and landing and Holly’s room is next. Hooray! She’s been waiting very patiently for over a year and now she’s 16 and at college, I want to give her a space that she’s proud of, one that is functional and will encourage her to study but also a place of relaxation too.


The List #105

Profile pic holding a pen!

Welcome to The List-thank you so much to everyone who links up each week and makes this such an amazing linky to be part of. We salute you!

For those of you who don’t know,  ‘The List’ is run by Aby and I and is THE place to link up all your list posts :)

The idea of The List is super simple, link up any post that is in list/bullet point format (a couple of bullet points in a post is fine too!). I link up my weekly blog/life round-up and quite often a recipe or a how-to. Yours could be a ‘top ten’ list or anything else you fancy.

Posts can be old or new, and all are most welcome.


Bridget, New Borns and Baby Daddies

Bridget Jone’s Baby Infographic

Hands up who hasn’t heard about the new Bridget Jones film?

None of you? Good. BRIDGET JONES IS BACK PEOPLE and I hear the film is totally unmissable.

In the latest installment Bridget Jone’s Baby, Bridget’s focus on single life and her career is interrupted when she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch … she can only be fifty percent sure of the identity of her baby’s father.

I’m sharing this fun infographic from the lovely folk over at if you scroll to the bottom you’ll be able to see some of my musings on babies, growing up and the best part of being a mum.

(I am Team Darcey all the way FYI…)

Bridget Jones Infographic


Style Edit: Boden autumn wear

Yellow bode cardigan

I don’t know about you but I’m kind of done with summer and ready for autumn now. Don’t get me wrong I love that during the warmer months you can potter about in sandals and summer dresses but I do enjoy dressing for autumn and really look forward to this time of year.

I have a particular fondness for knitwear, especially cardigans and if they’re cashmere then even better! I actually have three from Boden. I’m not going to think too hard about how much cashmere that is in monetary terms but it ain’t cheap ladies, but a good cashmere cardigan is an investment and can just make or break an outfit. I’ve been buying one a year for the past three years and because Boden cashmere is such beautiful quality they are all as good as the day I bought them.