When my family joined the rest of the country in getting Freeview, when I was a teenager, me and my dad were amazed by the fact we had more than five channels.
So, we used to amuse ourselves by sitting and watching QVC.
While my dad knew when to end the joke, I would find myself watching the channel when I was supposed to be revising for my exams, and falling into a trance.
My brain was convinced it needed that face cream/necklace/mop and I’d find my hand slowly reaching for the phone, in a stupor.
QVC sells all sorts of bits and bobs, from beauty to fashion to… Read the full story
Why do we get so hung up on tasting notes for wine? Why do they have so much hold over how we taste?
We should treat them (especially those written on the back of a wine bottle) with a big pinch of salt, like we do tasting notes on the back of a packet of cheese.How to tell if your glass of wine is any good (and other things I learnt drinking in the dark)
Half the time you won’t read it – and even if you do,… Read the full story
You guys. I’ve got something exciting to tell you.
It was pretty light in my bedroom when my alarm went off at 6am this morning. It seems like spring is coming.
Which – after last week’s horrendous Narnia-esque conditions – was something I never thought would happen.
Do you know what we do to celebrate the arrival of a new season? We welcome new foods into our fridge freezers, that’s what we do.
Thai Aromatic Bites, Quorn, £2.25
Do you remember when you were a kid and your family made you wear your best clothes and go to a musty little photographic studio in town to get a portrait taken?
Your mum had probably paid in advance for a voucher, which got her a discounted session, which was basically 1997’s version of Groupon.
The voucher entitled your ma to some discounted prints too (which were actually still hideously expensive) which she would distribute proudly around the family.
My family has one of these photos framed in our dining room, right above the table, and it’s a constant reminder every time I… Read the full story
With dishes as bright and breezy as the azure blue coastline and flavoured with all the promise of the East – rose water, pomegranates and sensational spices – it’s no wonder London has fallen under the spell of Levantine food.
We are spoilt for choice, with fabulous restaurants offering incredible food from Turkey to Tel Aviv, and everywhere in between.
From the mighty meze to succulent seafood and dreamy desserts, here are the 10 best Eastern Mediterranean dishes for you to try in London right now.
Labneh at Morito – £7
Last week we had a lovely trip down memory lane by remembering all of the Jacqueline Wilson books we once enjoyed.
That big ole’ nostalgia trip got us thinking about other books that we really enjoyed. Who can forget the Animal Ark series?
Pigs in the Pantry. Kittens in the Kitchen. Dolphins in the doorway. Beetles in the bidet.*
*not all of these are published Animal Ark stories.
Anyway, every little girl’s eight birthday and Christmas were made complete by a couple of Animal Ark stories and their happy animal based high jinx. They followed the life of a little girl named Mandy whose parents were vets (hence all the animals) and… Read the full story
If there’s one thing we love about weekends, it’s Bloody Marys.
They go with brunch foods, roast dinners, and are even great alone, thanks to the fact they fill you up a little bit with the thick tomato juice.
The little kick of alcohol is also a welcome twist.
Topically, they are also the star of the show at a period poverty brunch – the Bloody Big Brunch – that’s happening tomorrow (Saturday 10 March) in Glasgow.
Brunch fans are required to pay for their Bloody Marys with a box of tampons or sanitary towels, and all items donated will be given to the Trussell Trust, to distribute… Read the full story
We are a nation of takeaway coffee lovers if most shopping centres are anything to go by.
In the small city centre where I live we have two Starbucks, three Costa Coffees, a Caffé Nero and a Pret alone along with countless independent coffee shops.
You are never more than a few steps away from a caffeine fix.
And probably never more than a few steps away from a bin crammed full of used cups and lids.
It absolutely goes without saying that the environmental impact of the amount of takeaway coffees sold each day is huge.Fortnite is addictive – but it’s not… Read the full story
On my daily peruse of Mumsnet (no, I don’t have kids, yes I’m a Mumsnetter) and interesting question caught my attention.
A user had taken to the ‘am I being unreasonable?’ board (where the answer is almost always yes) to ask about the ins and outs of renting a home within the catchment area of a really good school. They write: ‘We live on the catchment boundary of a really good primary school and my DD [darling daughter] is due to start reception in September 2019.
‘We are currently looking at houses and hoping to move a couple of miles to get into the catchment completely but there’s nothing… Read the full story
You might make it a rule to never cry over spilt milk, but what about a stale egg?
When you’ve decided to make yourself eggs for breakfast or do a bit of baking, discovering too late that your eggs aren’t fresh is seriously annoying.
Luckily, there are a few ways to check they’re good.
Of course, keep to the use-by date on the box, but if it’s just a best-before date you can use the following methods to see how fresh the eggs are.
I’m not the sort of person who thinks about their appearance much.
After all, it’s not like I have to look at myself all day, and in between encounters with mirrors I just sort of forget what I look like.12 alternative bridal bouquets if you don’t want fresh flowers
The people around me probably have a stronger opinion on my appearance than I do.
But recently I’ve been thinking – and writing – about my appearance a lot, because I’m getting married in six months.
Sharing a home with a load of randoms is a rite of passage.10 things you need to know about searching for a flatmate
If you have never spent 70 hours a week scouring SpareRoom; if you’ve never been interviewed for the position of being yourself; if you’ve never got drunk, naked or scabies alongside someone you barely know, you just haven’t lived.
Sometimes flat shares work out just peachy and you rub along in domestic bliss for years before becoming life-long mates.
Sometimes, however, the roomie rite is closer… Read the full story
Decades ago most wedding cakes were made from dried fruit with white icing.
Designs have moved on a lot and now there are not only different types of cake but a whole load of colours, effects and icing techniques.Why you seriously need to consider blush hues for your wedding dress
Some are so spectacular they are almost entire works of art. Think intricate sugar flowers, sculpted buttercream and even icing that resembles torn paper.
Wedding cakes and the latest trends in… Read the full story
With all the talk right now about what Megan Markle’s wedding dress will be like, I am wondering whether she would ever consider choosing vintage?
Vintage wedding dresses are still very popular with creative brides who want to wear something unique, nostalgic and also ethical, but many worry that they will end up looking old fashioned.10 questions to ask when you’re choosing your wedding florist
While there are dresses… Read the full story
Don’t shoot the messenger, but you’re now officially too late for most methods of delivery when it comes to mother’s day presents.
Never fear, though. We’ve compiled a list of the best last-minute gifts you can get that won’t look completely thoughtless.
There are even plenty in there which you don’t even need to leave the house for and we promise your mum will love. You can thank us later.
There are some things that no child should have to do.
Visiting a parent in a psychiatric hospital is one of them.
You’ll never know quite how guilty I feel about putting you, my beloved son and daughter, through that experience, and through the experience of growing up in the shadow of my mental health problems.
Guilt is a prominent feature of recurrent depressive disorder, the illness that I’m diagnosed with, and nothing makes me feel more guilty than thinking about the impact my condition has had on your childhood.
You’ve been separated from me for weeks on end while I was an inpatient, seeing me for just half… Read the full story
Tomorrow is mother’s day.
If you’ve only just realised there’s hardly any time left, it might be wise to have a look at our last-minute mother’s day gift guide.
Either way, though, card shops should have you covered so you won’t be totally in hot water.
It might be a nice exotic twist to say happy mother’s day in another language this year, or there might be a mother figure in your life who’d really appreciate you wishing them well in their home language.
We’ve got you covered with 20 different ways to give your mum the best on their special day.
I used to be a beautiful little drinker.
Quite impressive tolerance for one so short.When texts and emails go wrong: 5 people reveal their worst mistakes
Could get through very many Jack Daniels and cokes, and never really got into too much trouble.
Some regrettable encounters, of course, and the time I made a man cry because he was going to pay for my taxi with coins. But nothing too memorable.
I haven’t got into any drunken trouble for ages.
But on Monday, white-wine-drunk-on-an-empty-stomach me spotted my radio boss in a pub, went over to him, interrupted his meeting, and asked if he liked my hair.
I then hugged and kissed him about three times.
Jesus f***ing Cristal.
In an attempt to make myself feel better, I asked my friends to share their ‘I was drunk’ horror stories.
You might need a drink for these.
Hannah, 23, from… Read the full story
There is nothing wrong with a box of chocolates, bunch of flowers or a mug with ‘World’s best mum’ on it.
They are perfectly decent presents for a mum or mother figure to receive on Mothering Sunday – along with breakfast in bed of course.
But, some years, there are gifts that mums receive that blow their socks off.
They’re not always the gifts that cost the earth – or cost anything at all – but they are the gifts that mean the most.
Here seven mums tell us the best Mother’s Day gift they have ever received.