Man, Oh Man

A Royal Daughter

Have you guys been participating in #PrayerDare this month?

I have.

I was sceptical first. You all know I'm in the first steps of my life-long walk with the Lord. Well add that and the fact we were praying for our husbands, which I don't have, and I got it in my head that I couldn't do this. Some how I wasn't allowed to join this community of women.

I was 200% wrong.

I started praying for my future husband  Yes, I left totally silly at first, but looking back on the last 28 days I can honestly say it's given me so much perspective.

Sitting everyday and asking God to provide my future partner with the traits and skills that are important to me, has allowed me for the first time in my life to know exactly what I want in a relationship.

I know what I want from a partner, and who I want them to be. I understand it is highly unlikely that I will never find that exact person, but I do know God has been listening to my prayers and he has picked out the perfect one for me.

Now I just wait.

How did #PrayerDare help you this month?
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Jump In!

The time has come when I beg you to sponsor me again :)
I'm begging because of this family. All monies I make from selling ad space are being donated to them this month; lets help bring their baby girl home!

You can all click right here to book yourself a spot.
I've even added a feature ad for only $10! You can sit just at the bottom of almost every. single. post. Its already booked for May and June, so if you want it, get clicking!
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Top Tips - Charity Shops

You should all know by now that I am the charity shop Queen.
I hate paying full price for anything, especially clothes. In fact as I sit here writing this my whole outfit is brought from a charity shop or handed down to me by friends.

Why would you pay full price for something that you can get for next to nothing? A quick wash and you wouldn't even notice the difference.
I do love to by shiny new clothes (on sale, of course) too, but when your budget won't stretch that far you have to get creative.

My tip top rule!
Don't buy things just because they're cheap. I do fall foul of this one quite a lot especially where books are concerned. I keep reminding myself; 'Helen, it may only be 50p, but can your shelf actually take the weight of another book?' They answer is inevitably and on my part unfortunately, no.

If you buy something you don't need, even if it is superly amazingly cheap, you're still wasting that money. Put it back in your purse and save it for next time when you really do see something you need.

Like anywhere, from designer to high street to charity shop you have to shop around. There are some chains that are more expensive than others, some you may just like better.
I always go into every charity shop on the street, you never know what you might find.

Don't be afraid to buy that man's shirt and alter it slightly to fit you. You don't even have to do the alterations yourself; ask around you might know someone who can give you a hand, or find a cheap alterations shop. When I am in need of fabric I head to the charity shops and buy duvet covers. You can find some really nice patterns and it is SO cheaper than buying the fabric from a specialised store.

Do you shop in charity shops or do they terrify you?
What's your best find?

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February Giveaway!

No-one loves their sponsors as much as this girl does. Seriously I LOVE them!
Look at all the goodies they are giving away.

Giveaway starts on Monday (25th) at 00:00am GMT, and finishes on Friday (1st) at 00:00am GMT.

The winner will be chosen on Friday the 1st and contacted via e-mail. You will have 48 hours to respond to claim your prizes.
This giveaway is international.

Good luck!
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Weekend Make - Edged Facecloths

Firstly you may have seen on Twitter I'm organising a #prayerdare themed G+ Hangout next week. If you'd like to be involved just contact me via social media or e-mail.

OK, before you start reading the rest of this post I'm just going to let you know you need a little bit of sewing know-how for this one, and a sewing machine.

If you're not a sewer then this one's probably not for you, but you can find previous makes here and here. You can always do my trick though and beg/plead/bribe someone to make them for you :)

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Tomato Baked Burgers

I LOVE burgers, especially if they are of the cheese and bacon variety. So good!

The thing I love most about burgers? The bun of course! I'm a bread lover, LOVER I tell you.

I eat WAY to much bread, and I must stop its no good for me or my attempting to shrink tummy.

Normally I hate cooking burgers without the bun, who wants just a pile of ground meat on their plate? Not me, that's who.

Then I created this recipe.

To say I was sceptical at first is a gross understatement, but I was pleasantly surprised  I can't believe I'm actually going to say this, but you really don't need the bun.

This recipe's low in calories too, and you get to munch on 2 burgers - bonus!

Tomato Baked Burgers
Printable Recipe

Serves - 4

Calories per serving (2 burgers) - 254

500g beef mince
2 onions, chopped
Garlic powder
500g passata
Italian seasoning

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6 and spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix the beef mince, onions, garlic powder, salt and pepper together well. Form into 8 patties.
Mix the passata with the Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place a thin layer of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with the 8 patties and cover smother them in the remaining sauce.
Cook for 15-20 minutes.

Make this tonight. I swear your family and your tummy will love you.

Another girl my tummy loves is Angela from Juggling Act Mama.

This Lady knows how to come up with some fantastic recipes. Heck, not just recipes, she's a crafter too. In fact I think she could possibly achieve anything she puts her hand too.

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Writing Gems

I'm a writer. Always have been, always will be.

I don't share this much on here. Sometimes I don't write for a year and other times I can't stop the pencil moving across the paper. Currently I'm in the not having written for a year stage.

A couple of nights ago I was clearing out my documents on my computer and I came across a folder entitled 'writings'. After opening it I spent the next few hours reading through countless words. Words written by me, by friends, by collaborations. All the words meant something to me at the moment they hit the page, and reading them several years later takes me straight back to those feelings.

Some of my best writing is unplanned. No plot needed.

Many of you know that I have spent the last couple of years struggling with debt.

I don't know what prompted me to write what I am going to share with you, and frankly some of my values have changed. I still recognise the girl who wrote this though, that fragile, sensitive, lost soul.

'I'm stood in my favourite store, and I know the answer is probably not; but before that little gem has popped into my brain I am carrying my new purchase, gorgeously wrapped in a Louboutin bag to an awaiting taxi.

The reality kicks in,

“Your card has been declined.”

This one phrase always seems to pop the sex in the city style bubble doesn't it?
Even in an economic crisis fashion, and woman’s desire for it will always thrive, and shoes are my poison.
Holding a new shoe is like eating that second cream cake; you know you shouldn't have it but it feels damn good!

I know you shouldn't be, but I am, I'm materialistic. I try not to be I really do, but for me a pair of 6-inch beauties can replace not having a sparkling wit, or not smiling at strangers in the street. Finding the right pair of shoes is like finding the right man. They have to fit; too small and they are going to hurt you, too big and your going to fall flat on your face. We are all striving for THAT pair of shoes, the perfect fit. When we put them on it feels like a cloud has cushioned our feet. When we wear them out everyone compliments us on our style. A man should be the same; he should fit into our lifestyle, make us feel comfortable and most importantly make all our friends insanely jealous.

Through many years of materialistic living and fashion related spending though I have ended up in debt, not bad debt, but still debt. Therefore I have decided to ditch my former mentality and see if I can survive without it for a week.
I am not allowed to buy anything fashion related, or in fact anything that is going to enhance the materialistic part of my life. I can only spend money on things that are going to make me a better person, and that does not include those shoes.
Wish me luck…

My journey of self-discovery has started well, and today has gone without a selfish buying hitch. I feel invigorated and since I have some spare cash, I have booked a get away with my best friend; girly times beat shoes any day! I'm going shopping with my Mum tomorrow, to the continental market no less, I can resist temptation, I can.

So the weekend was hellish. Don’t get my wrong I loved spending time with my Mum, but its like a little voice was inside my purse and calling me. I swear at one point it even opened itself, my Mum and the rest of the ‘sane’ public probably thought I’d gone mad when I told the piece of vibrant blue leather in my hand to be quiet. Then I had a ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ moment or C.S.M, now those who know me well swear this film is based on me and for those of you who don’t know me well, it is. A C.S.M moment is when whatever it is in the shop that you desperately want but can’t have starts talking to you, and it happened to me. It wasn't a Hermes scarf or an Italian handbag that called me though, no, it was a bottle of navy nail polish. Measly, but all essential nail polish. Well I caved, I mean come on I had to have it right, I needed it, it was essential, I'm between manicures…plus I had one of those £5 off voucher things, I saved that much, oh it’s a start. Bring on the week and this time research!

A Royal Daughter

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Grilled Mac 'n' Cheese Sammies

Grilled Cheese sandwich? Yes please!
Mac N Cheese? Yes please!
What an awesome combination to pass over your palette. Doesn't help the waistline though ... but eh who cares if it tastes good right?


Hello! I am Allana and my little piece of blog heaven is A Husband and A Dog. AHAAD can't be subjected to just one category - I talk about our mishaps in life, food, my lack of fashion/hair/makeup style, and of course my husband and our Corgi, Lincoln. Hope you stop by and introduce yourself because I just love meeting new people.

Ok Ok Ok back to the yummy goodness. With this recipe you can't really go wrong with the ingredients. Use leftovers if you have them. My favorite additions to the sandwich have been bacon (BACON!) and ham. Both give it that salty compliment to the rich and creamy cheese(s).

First up - make your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe. I like to use a variety of cheeses and typically I use cheese ends from the deli counter at the grocery store. Ask what they have and they are always happy to sell them to you. My favorties are: Provolone, Lacey Swiss, Mozzarella, and I get yellow American to add color. If you wanted to you could use Velveeta - always a hit in my book because I am no food snob. Make your Mac N Cheese on the thick and creamy side rather than milky. You want it to have a nice velvety texture when you are done - and CHEESY.  Add in your "extras" like bacon or ham. Be creative and use whatever comes to mind. Oh and don't forget to add crushed buttery crackers to the top for extra texture.

Spread the goodness out on to a cookie sheet that has been "greased" by using a light layer of your favorite light cooking spray. Next up, once it is thoroughly cooled cut into even squares. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Now is the time to assemble your sandwich. Choose a Challah or Sourdough bread. Butter just one side of each slice. Place your MnC square between the non-buttered sides. To make it extra gooey and oh-so-delish add a slice of your favorite cheese (or leftover cheese end) along with it. (YUM!) It will also help the MnC square from "falling apart" while cooking.

Place on a non-greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until you are satisfied with the amount of gooeyness.

Done! Serve with a piping hot bowl of tomato soup. Enjoy!

Hope you enjoyed this gluttonous recipe. If you try it please let me know what cheeses you like, what you would change, and if you liked it.
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Literary Junkies

I've been such a bad Literary Junkie this month. I've hardly read at all, well hardly read for me.
Its this book that is causing the problems.


I love it, I do, the plot is something that would normally draw me, and it is written well, but something keeps holding me back from really delving in. Personally I think its the epicness of it. I'm not a big big book reader and at 500 pages, it's massive!
Anyway I'm preserving and I hope to finish it soon.

On to this month's questions:

What are you reading right now? Tell us about it.
See above.
I'm reading 'The Map Of Time' by Felix J. Palma, and although I am enjoying it, I am also struggling with its epic status.
It about a man who wants use of a time machine so he can travel back in time and save the woman he loves. Sounds simple, but then you add in Jack the Ripper, H.G.Wells, prostitution, and a love that is attempting to span the classes things can get complicated.

Give us the recipe for a great book.
Interesting and emphatic characters.
Great storytelling.
A fantastic writing ability.

To be honest if you have all those things the overall plot is essentially secondary.

Tell us the things you've learned from a book recently.
After reading 'Tuesday's with Morrie' by Mitch Albom, I was once again stuck by the fact that life is short.
Like Morrie I'm not scared of death, it's going to happen no matter what I do to try and stop it. What I am scared of is being forgotten. In 200 years I want to be remembered, I don't want to be forgotten. If I'm forgotten then it's like I was never here. The fact that Morrie will be remembered for years and years to come as his story, told by Mitch, is passed down through generations brings me great comfort.

What was your favourite book as a child?
When I was really little it was 'The Tiger Who Came To Tea' by Judith Kerr.


When I was old enough to read for myself I was obsessed with Jacqueline Wilson.

Have you linked up this month? I'd love to read your answers.

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