Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing OK under the circumstances. It’s hard to know what to say about everything at the moment, I’m finding everything that is going on to be very divisive. So many differing opinions to it all, so I won’t go into any of that. Simply, we are carrying on doing what we are supposed to be doing. Being sensible, staying at home as much as possible, washing hands, keeping the kids occupied and trying to stay positive. We do choose to take our daily exercise and get the kids running about and Fred and I take it in turns to go for a run/power walk or we do a family walk.
Our oasis of calm
On that note, over the last 7 weeks we have been very lucky in our area as a local golf club near us opened its doors to the public as a place to get some space, fresh air and head space. It’s been the most incredible treat for so many people and a real beauty spot. There have been new ducklings on the pond to check in on, familiar faces to smile and wave at and the abundance of green from the fairways to take in.
I’m told it was partly to help the golf course keep the crows from destroying the course but whatever the reason we are very grateful they let us in. Like all good things though it has had to come to an end now that golf has been given the green light to re-start (with restrictions) so they have closed the gates to the public. It was wonderful while it lasted we took our last walk there on Sunday as we had a feeling it would be our last chance.
And she’s off!
Something else that has got us outside was the determination to use lockdown as an opportunity to get Tilda riding a bike without stabilisers. It’s been one of those parenting goals that we have needed to tick off for a long time. We have tried all the recommendations like balance bikes etc but they didn’t work for her and due to a few other factors we hadn’t managed to get her on two wheels yet.
Time being one thing but also when we tried it before Tilda got quite distressed about it all so we shelved it until she was ready and concentrated on other goals like getting her to a great level of swimming for example. She is now like a little fish in the water. This time however, boy was she ready. The stabilisers came off and in literally two tries she was off!! It’s such a momentous moment when you see your children achieve a goal like that.
The first time they walk, cycle or nail that cartwheel is a real shout, clap and whoop moment! We have a bike shop at the end of our road that is open, with social distancing measures, so we were able to get her onto a bike that’s perfect for her size and now there’s no stopping her! Now, just a small matter of getting Ivy going……..different challenge altogether!!
We have been cracking on with home schooling which is going OK. Tilda has Google Classroom to get through each day with at least 4 assignments that she has to complete. We concentrate on that in the morning and try and get Ivy doing some reception level worksheets or some colouring in to keep her happy. In the afternoons we let them play, craft, do Lego or we delve into our box of science experiments.
I ordered it at the beginning of home schooling so that we had something else to try other than school work. The girls love it, making slime etc. This week we did the Skittles experiment which is super simple. All you need is a packet of sweets, a shallow plate and some warm water. Apparently you can do it with milk too! You place the skittles around the edge of the plate and then carefully pour on the warm water, you then sit back and watch the rainbow creep across the water. Yes the girls still ate the sweets even after the colour had come off them all!
Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have seen this happen at the weekend as I streamed it live. Fred finally let me cut his hair and take off the beard!! He was starting to resemble Tom hanks in Castaway. The beard was out of control and I hardly recognised him anymore. I have never cut hair before other than trimming a little of my own, so I was a little nervous but ready to wing it. We didn’t have any clippers but we did have a beard trimmer which we figured would do. I couldn’t find our comb either so I had to use a toy dolls comb!!! We managed it though and even Ivy had a go.
For the neatening up around the neck area I used the Hollywood Browzer to razor off all the fluffy bits and it’s so easy and safe to use, in stock now at QVC. You can see me do that on the video. So if you are up for a laugh and watching Fred go from mountain man to looking ten years younger then click here as I saved the live onto my IGTV. You’ll also see the moment I nearly took his lip off…..whoops.
I am so looking forward to the Bibi Bijoux show tonight (Friday) at 11pm on QVC. Maxine will be joining me in the studio and Kate Thornton will be streaming from home to tell us about all the latest pieces to the collection. The eagle eyes amongst you may have spotted me wearing some of these pieces this week. I have particularly loved the double star necklace which features one large crystal star and one smaller star further along. We have a sliver tone and gold tone and both pieces stand out as they are nice and chunky.
This collection is of course designed with Kate Thornton who loves to bring her style which is very much inspired by stars, lightning bolts, crosses and sun bursts. You’ll even find rainbow colours and swallows in this latest collection. Set the reminders to tune in tonight.
In the kitchen – Harrisa Chicken
I posted some pictures on my Instagram stories this week of a chicken dish I was pulling together for dinner and a number of people messaged for the recipe. So I have done my best to write it down for you. As you may know I often wing it in the kitchen by throwing things in by instinct so this is a rough guide to this dish. The easy thing about this dish is a lot can come from the freezer and it’s all done in one dish.
I used –
4 Chicken Breasts
Frozen sliced peppers, use fresh if you have them.
1 red onion
4 teaspoons of Harissa paste (easily found in small jars at the supermarket and online)
Lemon juice (half lemon)
Chopped fresh tomatoes (I had about 5 cherry tomatoes to use up)
Pop the chicken in a decent size oven proof dish. I then put a teaspoon of Harrissa paste onto each chicken breast (make sure to drop it on so you don’t touch the chicken and put it back into the jar!) I then smeared it all over the chicken. I then decided to add a drizzle of runny honey onto each piece, followed by a squeeze of lemon juice all over and a drizzle of olive oil. Salt and pepper and then I mixed it all up a little so it was all coated.
Cover and leave this for a few hours to marinate in the fridge. You can then get on and prep the other ingredients so you can throw it all together just before you cook.
If using fresh peppers then slice them up into strips. I would recommend at least two different colours of peppers. The supermarket pack of frozen I had contained three colours ready sliced. Chop up a red onion into slices rather than small pieces. Chop up tomatoes, whatever you have, vine, cherry, classic doesn’t matter. I only had 5 cherry tomatoes left!
When you are ready to cook it, remove the chicken from the fridge and then sprinkle the onion, peppers, tomatoes all over. Pop into the oven for about 40 mins at 180 degrees. When that was done I removed from the oven (with oven gloves) and crumbled feta cheese all over.
I then put it back in the oven for another 5 mins to lets the cheese get a little melty. Done! I checked my chicken in the middle with a knife to make sure it was all cooked through which I would recommend due to different ovens and also different sized dishes etc that can make a difference.
I served it with new potatoes. I also made up a yoghurt dressing. I took a few tablespoons of natural Greek style yoghurt, I added a squeeze of garlic paste and lemon juice to this and mixed. Fresh chopped mint would also be great in this.
Variations on the chicken recipe – olives would work really well in this if you like them so would aubergines. Goat’s cheese could also be good instead of feta. You could try chopped tinned tomatoes to make it more saucy.
On the side it would be great with Cous Cous. You can get bags of frozen sliced red onion too so pretty much everything in this recipe can come from the freezer or the store cupboard. Let me know if you give this dish a try!
Before I go, I want to give you a heads up on an offer that is coming up next week on Saturday 23rd. It’s the Nokia 7.2 Android 6.3 SIM Free 64GB Smartphone. I know a lot of people are having to upgrade their phones due to working more from home so this might be a good choice for many of you.
Some of the info for it is as follows –
Enjoy a super sharp viewing experience with PureDisplay, available only on Nokia smartphones. All videos you watch are transformed – in real-time, to high dynamic range (HDR) for clarity. Plus, you can sit back, relax and enjoy them from a bright 6.3” Full HD+ screen.
The powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor combined with the latest Android 9 Pie operating system means you can go without charging for up to two days. The Nokia 7.2 also features AI-assisted Adaptive Battery which prioritizes battery life to the apps you use the most.
Inspired by Finnish design, Nokia 7.2 combines craftsmanship and quality materials in perfect harmony. A truly timeless design that isn’t just built to look good, but to last.
A phone that keeps getting better with time. Thanks to the latest Android 9 Pie experience you can look forward to 2 years of Android upgrades and 3 years of security updates.
Keep up with your fast-paced life thanks to the Google Assistant Button. Ask questions, see your schedule or even dim the lights. Your Assistant learns and adapts with every use – so, you can do more with your life by doing less with your phone.
It will be available in –
Set the reminders as it’s going to be a great price and of course with our 60-day money back guarantee it’s a good opportunity to try it out.
So that’s it from me this week. I truly hope you are all doing OK and managing to navigate these times in whatever way works for you. Remember it’s OK to have good days and bad days. Be kind to yourselves and stay safe.
Lots of love