Jess Cantoni

Recipes, reviews & lifestyle

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Weekly Meal Plan (Tesco) | January 2018



I had such a good response the last time I did a meal plan post; It actually become one of my most viewed posts! 

Before following this meal plan, please read the following:

- I'm not a nutritional expert and this is NOT a diet plan
- All offers were available on January 14th 2018 (they might not be now)
- This shop was done at Tesco in Cheltenham
- I bought some extra bits such as beauty items and gifts
- I'm a food blogger therefore I bought ingredients for my recipes (outside of this meal plan)
- Any items I don't list a price next to means I already had them
- The total of the day's meals aren't completely accurate as you'll be able to use some of the ingredients again

Sub-total: £80.77
Reduced items due to expiry: 
Brand guarantee* savings: £1.30

Total to pay: £79.47

* This means that if the branded items could have been bought cheaper elsewhere, Tesco will take off the difference.

SCROLL DOWN FOR TESCO HAUL LINKED TO THIS MEAL PLAN & ROUGH PRICE OF ALL MEALS FOR TWO PEOPLE

WEEKLY MEAL PLAN FOR TWO

Please note: I also already had some ingredients at home, so this cut costs. However I did buy extra snacks and other non-food items which could be seen to make up for the price of these items. I will include the price in brackets of the items I bought in this shop.

Monday

BREAKFAST 

Cafe Latte (Lavazza coffee I already had. Milk we get from the milk man)

LUNCH 

Kale, Butternut Squash + Onion Bake (£2.50)

DINNER 

Chinese Pork Balls and Rice 
Recipe from my second blog >> Jess Eats and Travels

Ingredients

1kg of Pork Mince (I actually bought this at Morrisons as I forgot at Tesco! It cost £5.00)
Rock Salt 
Freshly ground pepper
50g of Breadcrumbs
3 tbsp of honey (£1.80)
1 tbsp of grated ginger
1 garlic clove (0.30p)
2 spring onions (0.55p)
1L of rapeseed oil
112g of cornflour (0.75p)
400ml of tropical juice (0.89p)
2 tbsp of Soy sauce (£2.69)
1 tsp of Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Sauce (£1.50)
5 tbsp of water

Thai jasmine rice (I used 3 cups) £2.00

Rough total meal cost: £15.48 - £7.74 per person (I had many of the ingredients) It has also covered two meals as I managed to freeze some of the balls.

Tuesday

BREAKFAST

Cafe Latte (Lavazza coffee I already had. Milk we get from the milk man)

LUNCH

Half of a baguette grilled (0.45p), tuna (£4.00 for a pack of 4) with chopped spring onion (0.55p), salt and pepper and a few baby spinach leaves (£1.50)

DINNER

Mac and Cheese (made by Fabio!)
Recipe from >> BBC GoodFood

Ingredients

50g of baguette (0.45p)
2 tbsp of butter
350g of short pasta
1 garlic clove (0.30p)
2 tsp English mustard powder
2 tbsp plain flour
500ml of whole milk (0.80p)
250g mature cheddar cheese (£1.16)
50g parmesan (£2.30)

Rough total meal cost: £5.01 - £2.50 per person (I had many of the ingredients) It did serve 3 though as I had the leftovers the following day.

Wednesday

BREAKFAST

Cafe Latte (Lavazza coffee I already had. Milk we get from the milk man)

LUNCH

Leftover Mac and Cheese from the night before.

DINNER

Sea Bass en papillote with steamed veg.
No recipe tonight - just ingredients thrown together! If you're wondering how to make it though, just wrap your fish in brown pepper, drizzle with olive oil, add a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper - bake in a oven heated at 150 degrees for 15 minutes.

Sea Bass (this was found in the reduced section in Tesco the week before. I froze it).
Vegetable pack (£2.00)

Rough total meal cost: £2.00 - £1 per person (I already had many of the 
ingredients) 

Thursday

BREAKFAST

Cafe Latte (Lavazza coffee I already had. Milk we get from the milk man)

LUNCH

White muffin (already had these from a previous shop at Waitrose. They were reduced to 0.19p so I froze them) with tuna (£4.00 for pack of 4) and grated cheddar cheese (£1.16), grilled. 

DINNER

Roast Vegetable and Chickpea Stew
Recipe from >> Deliciously Ella

Ingredients

2 courgettes (0.69p)
1 aubergine (0.70p)
1 red onion (0.15p)
3 garlic gloves (0.30p)
400g can of chickpeas (0.50p)
2 400g of tinned tomatoes
2 tbsp of Tomato Puree (0.50p)
1 tbsp of honey (1.80)
Chilli flakes
Salt and pepper

Rough total meal cost: £4.64 - £2.32 per person (I already had many of the 
ingredients) 

Friday

BREAKFAST

Cafe Latte (Lavazza coffee I already had. Milk we get from the milk man)

LUNCH

White muffin (already had these from a previous shop at Waitrose. They were reduced to 0.19p so I froze them) with tuna (£4.00 for pack of 4) and grated cheddar cheese (£1.16), grilled. 

DINNER

Vegan Slow Cooker Chickpea Tikka Masala
Recipe from >> TheKitchn

Ingredients

1 pound of dried chickpeas 
2 tbsp of Coconut Oil (£3.00)
1 onion (0.09p)
4 garlic cloves (0.30p)
2 tbsp of fresh ginger 
1.5 tbsp mustard seeds (0.85p)
1 tsp ground turmeric (£1.50)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1 can of coconut milk (0.75p)
2 tsp of kosher salt
1 can of tomatoes 
5 cups of baby spinach leaves (£1.50)
Basmati rice (i'm using thai jasmine instead - £2.00)
1 tsp of cumin seeds (£1.50)
Chilli flakes

Rough total meal cost: £11.59 - £5.74 per person (I already had many of the 
ingredients) 

Rough weekly total meal cost: 38.72

The receipt >>


EXTRA ITEMS
  • Lurpak spread (£2.00)
  • Camembert - for the weekend (£2.25)
  • Cadbury's Tiffin - a gift (£2.00)
  • Caster sugar - for baking (£1.60)
  • Beef steak - Fabio made beef jerky (£3.14)
  • Chicken wrap - Fabio's lunch (£2.45)
  • Can of Ting - love this stuff (£0.38p)
  • Peppercorns - we ran out of pepper £2.30)
  • Vanilla pod - for baking (£2.50)
  • Fresh double cream (£2.50)
  • Dates x 2 - for baking (£4.00)
  • Peanut butter (£2.00)
  • Worcester sauce -for the jerky (0.85p)
  • Onion granules - for the jerky (0.85p)
  • Kale - going to make kale crisps (£1.00)
  • vine tomatoes (£2.00)
  • Deliciously Ella Chocolate oat bars (£2.00)
  • Freederm spot cream - how glamorous (£6.50)
See my Tesco grocery haul below



Other weekly meal plans


Weekly Meal Plan Feb 26th

Quick and Easy Weekly Meal Plan (Under £65 from Tesco)


Hijacked By Twins

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

My Anxiety Handbook | BOOK REVIEW


An easy-to-read handbook full of pictures and clear descriptions, aimed at young people who suffer with anxiety.

My Anxiety Handbook by Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher and Phoebe McEwen.

I loved this book. Okay not in that way because quite frankly, I wish we didn't need this books in the first place!

Aimed at young adults aged 12-18 and differing from all other YA books with mental health themes running through it, this one actually HELPS. And by saying that, I don't mean all the others don't help, I mean it's an actual guide to anxiety. For example, it includes chapters on:

- Understanding where my anxiety comes from
- Tackling worries
- School, college and exam stress

These are just a few but each one is written in a clear, friendly way. All the scientific bits are written in a way that any young person could understand. 

There's no negativity in this guide. It's all about doing what you got to do to get through the day. No-one is blamed (not even the parents); it's not the that type of book.

I think anyone who has suffered from anxiety, including adults, would find this book useful. It's the type of book you could easily dip in and out, using the chapters you need the most. That's how I read it actually. I usually don't do this but I skipped forward to the chapters I was interested in and then went back and read it properly, since I was reviewing it I thought i'd better!

I really wish there were books like this around when I was younger, as I'd loved to have had a copy, not only because I was a bit of a book worm but also because I think back then, Anxiety wasn't really known to kids. It was a word you'd only seen in medical books. 
Now it's a word you see all over the internet and that's GREAT! Any book promoting and helping overcome mental health problems is a good book in my eyes.

It will be available to buy from the 18th January 2018. If you're interested in giving this a read yourself or buying it for your child, check out Jessica Kingsley Publishers to grab a copy for £12.99.

Is this a book you would consider buying for your child? Let me know in the comments and we shall discuss! 

*I received this book from Jessica Kingsley Publishers via Netgalley. All reviews by myself are honest and unbiased.







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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Something Changed by Matthew Williams | BOOK REVIEW


We've all been there; we've all felt a little bit, what do they call it? Down in the dumps? But sometimes it's hard to realise when that 'down in the dumps' moment is a more serious issue. 
Mental Health has certainly become less of a taboo, with people opening up freely on their blogs and on Twitter, as well as celebrities and journalists talking about their own struggles. 

I was on Twitter one day, scrolling through, looking for blogger opportunities, when I noticed that Matthew Williams was offering bloggers the chance to review his book, Something Changed. When I saw what he had written about, I thought yes, this book needs recognition and I need to help spread the word. I know my little blog doesn't have a massive following but all it takes is one person to notice that you're not feeling ok; to ask you if you're alright in order to make a difference to your mental health, which hopefully leads you to then make the necessary steps to recovery. That's what this books does; it helps. It understands. If you're someone who has been depressed (me included) then you'll find this book like a comfort blanket; a little 'ahhhh yes' moment when you realise you're not alone. 


Matthew's book is split into what I want to say are like 'mini stories'. No chapter is longer than 4-5 pages; it's a great book to dip in and out of. You can also skip chapters if you're not interested in certain topics. Matthew talks a lot about his divorce and also his trials and tribulations with dating. Throughout the chapters Matthew has also included poems he has written. These poems are beautifully written, some of which can create quite an impact (in a good way!). I'm sure a lot of you will be able to relate to them!

I highly suggest you all go and check out Somethings Changed over on Amazon. I'll leave the link here*.

If you do happen to buy it (recommend you do!) please go and leave a link on the Amazon page. Matthew would highly appreciate it.

Have you read any books that help spread the word about mental health? I'd love to know your suggestions. 



*This link is an Affiliate link which means I'll receive a small profit if you buy from it. Every little helps! 

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Friday, 5 January 2018

A Jelly Belly Valentine's


Jelly Belly have pulled out all the corks on this one (get it....)
I was recently given the chance to review some of their new sparkling wine Jelly Belly jelly beans. I know you might be thinking... sparkling wine flavoured jelly beans? A teeny part of me was thinking the same. Sparkling wine is not my usual go-to drink but these jelly beans are worth trying! 

These tiny little jewels of non-alcoholic magic are sweet, like all jelly beans but also fruity; they don't taste like you might think a prosecco jelly bean would taste; they are actually really nice! I ate them all after shooting these photos..

It's a perfect quirky gift for a valentine who perhaps doesn't drink (as a laugh) but also to a prosecco-lover (you might want to buy a real bottle too, just so you don't look tight!) You could also use them as favours at a wedding or as little gifts at party you're throwing. 


All Jelly Belly beans are certified OU Kosher; vegetarian (free from gelatine) and gluten, fat and dairy-free. 

You can buy your bottle of sparkling jelly beans for £3 over at: https://www.jellybelly.co.uk/sparkling-wine-bubbly-bottle-42g


This product was sent for review but all opinions stated are my own. 

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The Sunshine Blogger Award


I logged on to Twitter a couple of nights ago to discover that a fellow blogger had nominated me for this wonderful award! The Sunshine Blogger Award goes to someone who is 'inspirational through their positivity and creativity in the blogging community'. 
I'm very happy that I've been seen to be creating some positivity, what when there's a lot of negativity around. 

I am so pleased to have been nominated by Madison Heise from Tiger Lily Diary. Her blog is wonderful; you should definitely all go and check it out. 

So if you have now have been nominated by me, here are the rules to follow:

SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD RULES

  1. Say thank you in your blog post to the blogger who has nominated you, and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Here are my answers to the questions I was asked by Madison:

1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Eek! What a difficult first question. I love so many things about blogging, it's hard to choose! I would say the main thing is to be able to write about the things I love; my passions (food, travel etc). I also love that it reflects who you are as a person, and when you look back at old posts you're able to see how much you've changed, be it as a person or your skills (photography). 

2. Why did you start blogging?

I first started blogging back in 2009; on my old blog which no longer exists! I think I abandoned it before I begun uni. I then re-started blogging in 2012 on a blog named Foodie Bible. I wanted an outlet to share my enthusiasm for cooking, so blogging was perfect. That blog also no longer exists but I think some of the posts made its way onto this blog. I've been blogging on and off since then. I personally think i've always gone back to blogging because I just love sharing my enthusiasm for things; be it food, books, travel. That's always been the main reason, oh and the fact I love writing too. 

3. What is your favourite way to relax?

When I relax, which surprisingly even though i'm home all day, is hardly ever; I like to watch things on Youtube. I have a channel myself and often like to keep up with what's going on in the community there, such as commenting on videos etc, so I use my downtime to do that (technically still working but anyway, I enjoy it).

4. What inspires/motivates you?

My motivation and inspiration comes from all around me but especially other bloggers. I also find Twitter to be a good source of inspiration because you often see people sharing posts from people you don't currently follow, so then you get more inspiration for posts to do yourself. Since I blog about food a lot, I use recipe books, magazines and TV shows to get inspiration for what to cook/bake next.

5. If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go?

The Caribbean via somewhere in the US. I've been to Bermuda (technically not the Caribbean but close enough) and loved island life so i'd like to explore more around there whilst tying it in to a trip to somewhere in the US (anywhere as i want to eventually visit all the states!)

6. What’s your favourite music?

Another difficult question! I listen to all types of music on Spotify, so I really can't say. I'd say I generally listen mostly to  a lot of indie and pop.

7. Top 3 Favourite Bloggers?

Ahhh so hard to choose as love you all! I'd say in terms of inspiration for myself as the bloggers I'd look up to, they'd have to be (I'm going to choose 4 instead!)

A Mummy Too (Food and lifestyle for busy parents)
Charlottes Lively Kitchen (Healthy recipes for the family)
Janes Patisserie (The most amazing bakes)
Easy Peasy Foodie (Quick and easy weekly meals)

8. Where are you from?

I'm originally from Cornwall but have also lived in Oxford, Canterbury and now Cheltenham.

9. Whats your biggest passion?

Blogging of course! Oh and baking and travelling (and blogging it!)

10. What are you most excited for in 2018?

I'm really excited for the launch of my new website which is going to be focusing purely on food and travel. I'm also looking forward to going to more blogging events and trying to engage in more opportunities. 

11. Whats your dream job?

I already love what I'm doing but I guess i'd love to travel the world for free and write about it (as do most people!)

Here are my nominees (in no particular order)


And here are my questions to you all!

1. What 3 things do you enjoy most about the blogging community?
2. When you're not blogging, what are you doing instead?
3. Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
4. Favourite place to blog?
5. Have you owned any blogs before your current one?
6. Which 3 bloggers do you look up to for inspiration?
7. Do you have a preferred snack when blogging?
8. Full-time or part-time blogger?
9. Do you listen to music whilst your blogging? If so, what?
10. How do you deal with lighting issues when taking photographs?
11. How far in advance do you plan your posts?

I can't wait to read all of your answers! Tweet them to me and I'll retweet/comment on all. 









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Tuesday, 2 January 2018

My Blog Goals Jan - April 2018 + Stats


I've never written one of these posts before. I think it's because this is the first time I've become really serious about blogging, and it's also the beginning of the year. Last January I wasn't too bothered! 

In this post i'm going to detail my main goals for this blog but also for my social media accounts (including my current stats). I'm also going to talk about some other plans I have for the near and far future. 

THIS BLOG

1. Consistent content being posted weekly
2. Create a schedule and stick to it! I've just ordered a beautiful planner from dotcreates.com - this is going to help me! 

You're thinking, only two goals? Well yes, I have other goals but they're a little bit harder to list since I haven't really laid my ideas down on paper yet. However, I'm planning on - 

1. Being more creative with my recipe posts (more recipe development from my part)
2. Improving my photography skills (better flat lays + use of props)
3. Including a book review section 

OTHER PLANS

I'm planning on creating a second blog. It has been on my mind for a while now. I currently host this blog on Blogger however I'd like to move over to Wordpress. Now, I don't really want the hassle of moving content over, so since I currently blog about three topics (recipes, lifestyle and travel), I thought the best idea would be to create a separate blog about travel using wordpress. Feel free to leave your opinions below! 

RE-DEVELOPING OLD CONTENT

In terms of my current blog, it's going to be more personal about me and consist of mainly food and lifestyle posts. I would still like to change the theme of this blog as I do think the recipes could be found easier in a different format. I'd also like to re-develop my old content, such as taking better photos. Who knows, maybe I'll link this into the travel site and just leave this one as purely personal. Too many choices and ideas to handle at the moment! I just don't like the thought of losing this blog as its sorta my baby.

SOCIAL MEDIA STATS

Goals to reach before next review in April 2018

Twitter (@fessjarmer)
Current followers: 1,109
My goal: 2,000

Instagram (jess_cantoni)
Current followers: 596
My goal: 1,000

Youtube (Jess Cantoni)
Current followers: 141
My Goal: 400

GOOGLE ANALYTIC STATS

In the last 90 days...

Users: 443 (up by 7%)
Sessions: 665 (up by 20.5%)
Session duration: 1 min 13 secs (down by 16.3%)
Time of day for highest amount of users: 12pm on a Wednesday (22 users)
Most popular country visiting site: UK (55.3%)
Second most popular: USA (17.9%) 
Most popular device my blog is view on: Mobile (48.4%)

Audience stats

1st Dec - 1st Jan

Sessions: 403
Users: 237
Page views: 760
Pages per session: 1.89
Session duration: 1 min 6 secs
Bounce rate: 63. 28%
New visitors: 55.8%
Returning visitors: 44.2%

I wanted to make my goals realistic so i've tried to not be too ambitious. I'll review these again in April to see how I've done!

Let me know your goals for 2018 or if you've done a similar post. I love reading them, so link them below and i'll leave a comment!








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Saturday, 23 December 2017

Music I loved in 2017 | BLOGMAS DAY 23


I thought it'd be fun to compile a list of all the music I loved the most in 2017. I'm not just including new music; the music on list is simply the songs I played the most this year.

For me, every song holds a memory. Some of these songs remind me of good times, but some of the bad. That doesn't mean I don't like some of the songs anymore, I just might not listen to them as much. I'm going to include them anyway. I'm also one of those people that only listen to certain songs depending on my mood, hence why they're so varied! You can probably tell what type of year i've had by looking at these songs!

Let me know if you loved some of the same and what your top tracks are! And if you haven't heard some of these tunes, give them a listen, they're all worth it!

So, here goes... (in now particular order)

1. 3WW by Alt 
2. Malibu by Miley Cyrus
3. Symphony by Clean Bandit
4. Closer by The Chainsmokers (R3hab remix)
5. The way we get by by Spoon
6. Closer by The Chainsmokers (I liked both versions and loved this song)
7. Shape of you by Ed Sheeran
8. No Cars Go by Arcade Fire
9. Deadcrush by Alt J
10. Strange and Beautiful by Aqualung
11. Young and menace by Fall Out Boy
12. Two Weeks by Grizzly Bear
13. I hate you, I love you feat. Olivia O'Brian) by Gnash
14. Blush by Wolf Alice
15. Battle Symphony by Linkin Park 
16. Taro by Alt J
17. One Dance by Drake, Wizkid and Kyla
18. Sweet Harmony by The Beloved
19. Irresistible by Fall Out Boy and Demi Lovato
20. Explore by Sundara Karma
21. Where are U now by Pentatonix
22. ...Ready For It? By Taylor Swift
23. Good Life by G-Eazy and Kehlani
24. Take it all back 2.0 by Judah and the Lion
25. In Cold Blood by Alt J
26. Rain City by Turin Brakes
27. Say something loving by The xx
28. Chasing Highs by ALMA
29. Unconditional by Nick Mulvey
30. Lust for Life by Lana Del Rey (Feat. The Weekend)
31. As long as you love me by Sleeping at Last
32. Honey and the Moon by Joseph Arthur
33. Immortals by Fall Out Boy
34.(I want to be your) Mirror by Temples
35. Shape of You (Stormy remix) by Ed Sheeran and Stormzy
36. Wonderwall by Oasis
37. Heavy (Feat. Kiiara) by Linkin Park and Kiiara
38. Home by Now by Bombay Bicycle Club
39. Going to Mars by Judah and the Lion
40. There for you by Martin Garrix and Troye Sivan
41. Don't Delete the Kisses by Wolf Alice
42. In my Mind by Maty Noyes
43. Breathe by Astrid S
44. Remember I told you by Nick Jonas
45. Like I would by Zayn
46. Half the World Away by Aurora
47. My songs know what you did in the dark by Fall Out Boy
48. Thinking about you by Ariana Grande
49. Collect Call by Metric
50. Junk Food Forever by The Amazons
51. Fire that Burns (Acoustic) by Circa Waves
52. Immortals (remix) by Fall Out Boy, Black thought and B Wheezy
53. Change your Life by Iggy Izalea and TI
54. Kerala by Bonobo
55. Let the Sun Shine by Labrinth
56. 1901 by Phoenix
57. Migration by Bonobo
58. Electric Feel by Henry Green
59. All Night by The Vamps and Matoma
60. Flame by Sundara Karma
61. Almost like this by Andrew Applepie
62. Emperor's New Clothes by Panic! At The Disco
63. Fever by Dance a la Place
64. Alone Together by Fall Out Boy
65. Nitrous by Nick Mulvey
66. California by Phantom Planet
67. Dusk til Dawn by Zayn and Sia
68. Feels by Calvin Harris, Pharrell William and Katy Perry
69. Issues by Julia Michaels
70. Unforgettable by French Montana and Swae Lee
71. Thunder by Imagine Dragons
72. I feel it coming by The Weekend and Daft Punk
73. Bad Together by Dua Lipa
74. Danza Kaduro from Fast Five by The Hollywood La Soundtrack Orchestra
75. Make my sun shine by Swim Deep
76. Keep on trying by Andrew Applepie
77. Now or Never by Halsey
78. Places by Martin Solveig
79. Lights out by Royal Blood
80. On my Mind by Disciples
81. Touch it by Ariana Grande
82. Water by Jack Garratt
83. Reggaeton Lento by CNCO
84. To the Wonder by Aqualung and Kina Grannis
85. To be Alone with You by Sufjan Stevens
86. Hold Me by The Sweeplings
87. 13 Beaches by Lana Del Rey
88. The Chain by Fleetwood Mac
89. Hallelujah by Panic! At The Disco
90. Be Alright by Ariana Grande
91. Goodbye Soleil by Phoenix
92. You got me all wrong by Dios
93. Trouble Sleeping by The Perishers
94. Cucurucu by Nick Mulvey
95. Mi Gente by J Balvin and Willy William
96. Despacito by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber
97. Way down we go by Kaleo
98. Meet me there by Nick Mulvey
99. Dreams by Gabrielle Aplin and Bastille
100. Power by Little Mix and Stormzy



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