New Year Health on a Budget

New Year Health on a Budget

January; the most popular month of the year for people to decide they want to lose weight, or to get a bit fitter and healthier. I certainly know that was the case for me a couple of years ago when I decided to join Slimming World; but, my main focus at that time was just to lose weight.

During my weight loss journey I haven’t really exercised; with the exception of taking up running for a few weeks and then life got in the way, and I haven’t really done any since. This year though, I want to focus on getting fitter. I pretty much have the healthy eating down to a tee now; most of the time, anyway! We all want need to let go once in a while, right?

New Year Health on a Budget

MyVoucherCodes have produced this rather cute little video; it contains a whole bunch of handy tips for your new year health on a budget!

I’m pretty happy that I actually carry out most of these already; except for cold showers right now, I certainly don’t fancy one of those in the winter – brr! One thing I am planning on getting my (still wobbly) bum into gear and doing soon, is some exercise and toning up. Everybody watches YouTube so much these days, that it’s one of the first places I will be heading to look for some videos. Since losing weight though, my fitness gear no longer fits me (!) so I need to buy some more. I will probably be visiting Sports Direct for this as I have some trainers from there which have lasted me a while, so I know they sell affordable but quality items.

Another vow I have made to myself for this year – which I am yet to start – is to try a new healthy but delicious meal or recipe every week. My friend Zara from Mojo Blogs has recently been posting some gorgeous looking meals from Hello Fresh on her Instagram; I am so tempted to order some for myself! I have actually just ordered a free trial of recipe kits from Simply Cook; so I am looking forward to trying these and sharing them with you.

You can also take a look here for more information from MyVoucherCodes on your new year health on a budget.

*PR collaboration

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Slow cooker smoky gammon stew | Recipe (Slimming World friendly)

Slow cooker smoky gammon stew

I do love my slow cooker but admittedly, I don’t use it as often as I mean to. One of my favourite dishes that I always make in the slow cooker is a stew. I’ve been fancying something a bit different to a beef and vegetable stew, so I bought a gammon joint, and then just randomly chucked loads of ingredients in to make this smoky gammon stew; it turned out lovely! Perfect for a cold winter day. It’s also completely syn free on Slimming World!

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Children’s healthy (and favourite) breakfasts

Children's healthy (and favourite) breakfasts

Anjanette Fraser is a Director of The Natural Alternative Health & Wellbeing Ltd educating companies and their employees on the importance of nutrition in health – both corporate and personal. Since the company inception over 10 years ago its national coverage has been hugely beneficial working with large and small organisations over multiple locations. Anjanette is currently studying a MSc in Nutritional Medicine ensuring the information clients receive is scientific, current, and user friendly. For more information please visit

Worryingly, children’s breakfasts contain at least half of their recommended daily sugar intake according to Public Health England; that’s before school has even started! Breakfast manufacturers use a combination of sugar and clever marketing to keep enticing children and parents back to their brands, and often under the illusion that their breakfast products are healthy. A survey found that 84% of parents thought they were giving their children a healthy start to the day.

Nearly 20% of children are obese by the time they leave primary school, and 25% of five year olds have tooth decay. A lot of this is due to sugar. A survey of 200 parents with children aged between four and 10 years old found kids were eating more than 11g sugar (3 sugar cubes) for breakfast. It’s not just cereals (some contain up to equivalent of two sugar cubes); chocolate spread (three sugar cubes) and fruit juices (five sugar cubes) are also culprits. Read more

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Easy banana ice cream | Recipe

Easy banana ice cream

I know it’s not really the weather for ice cream at the moment, but ice cream is completely fine any time of the year, right? When I saw the frozen function on the Panasonic Gourmet Processor I had just the recipe in mind; this easy banana “ice cream”. I say “ice cream” as it isn’t really ice cream, but it looks like it, feels like it, and almost tastes like it; but it uses just one ingredient – bananas!

I have added a couple of extras to this easy banana ice cream, but you could add whatever you fancied, really. It’s delicious with a drizzle of honey on the top, and it really does feel like a naughty treat. It takes just seconds to whizz up in the Panasonic Gourmet Processor; though there is a little preparation required first.
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Panasonic Gourmet Processor | First Impressions

Panasonic Precision Gourmet Processor - First Impressions

As part of my role as a Panasonic Kitchen ambassador, I have previously tried out the Steam Combi Oven and the High Power Blender; both of which I was absolutely amazed by and I think would be a great addition to any kitchen. Recently I was sent the third product to try out as part of my ambassadorship; the Gourmet Processor. I do already own a food processor, but just a bog standard one with a few different blade attachments; nothing like this one.

Introducing the Precision Gourmet Processor, the latest all-in-one convenience. Japanese glass touch programme interface technology offers easy and elegant operation when preparing food in a variety of ways, ensuring your fresh ingredients become spectacular meals, every time.

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New year, new…blog?

stacey in the Sticks. New year. new blog

You may or may not have noticed (if you didn’t know my blog title before, anyway), that the name of my blog has changed. There’s no “new year, new me” here, instead it’s “new year, new blog”; well kinda.

For the last few months I haven’t really had much motivation regarding the blog; I felt like I was just churning stuff out, and not really getting anywhere. The previous name – Nobody Said It Was Easy – was given when I started this blog baby six years ago, when we were struggling with trying for a real baby. I had infertility issues, which you can read about here, and the title seemed pretty apt at the time.

As the years went by, I had even more struggles with depression. And then I had a miscarriage, with the depression continuing and after Noah’s pregnancy; so the name just kind of stuck. But, in the last year or so, I haven’t really blogged about any of these things so the blog name just didn’t seem very fitting any more; hence me losing motivation.

A few months ago I decided it was time for a name change and re-brand; my lovely blogging friends came up with some great ideas – as I’m obviously incapable of choosing one myself… Anyway, Rachel at Coffee, Cake, Kids suggested Stacey in the Sticks and I thought it was absolutely perfect for our new (ish) life in the country. So, with the help of Kip at Three Fishes Design – here I am!

I’ve also decided to take a little step back from this blog; to be able to concentrate more on book reviews and the book blog I co-write. So, I’ve also decided to refine what I blog about. Instead of a little bit of everything, I will mostly be concentrating on recipes (still including Slimming World), food & kitchen reviews, and our country lifestyle & interiors. Kind of an easy-living style blog I suppose. I may throw a bit of the old random into the mix, if I have time or reason!

I really do appreciate all of my readers, and I hope the regular readers who have come to love my blog and been with me since the beginning, will continue to stick with me, out here in the sticks 🙂


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December Degustabox | Subscription Box Review

Review - December Degustabox

I was really looking forward to the December Degustabox; well, I look forward to them all! There’s just something about receiving surprise packages in December though. It was like an extra bundle of presents! There was some nice Christmassy products in there this month too, which was a nice addition to my stockpile…

  • Enjoy 10 to 15 surprise products, many are completely new to the market!
  • Receive your Degustabox every month filled with goodies.
  • All for much less than you would pay in the shops!

So what was inside the December Degustabox?

December Degustabox


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#ParcelPerfect – How do you wrap yours?

ParcelPerfect - How do you wrap yours

If there is one thing I always leave until the last minute at Christmas, it’s wrapping presents. I have been known to be sat wrapping at 10pm on Christmas Eve, finishing up; but obviously that’s only possible with gifts I am giving over the coming days. Over recent years I have taken part in Secret Santa exchanges with various online communities I am a part of, and this means my recipient is usually across the other side of the country. Hence, I need to send parcels via mail or courier.

Contact Numbers UK have launched their #ParcelPerfect campaign; aiming to ensure all parcels get to their destination, or any potential issues are sorted ASAP this Christmas. Contact Numbers UK have produced this comprehensive guide to posting Christmas presents. When wrapping presents and packing parcels, I definitely have my own meticulous way of doing so!

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Cinnamon honey shortbread | Recipe

Cinnamon honey shortbread

If there is one thing I love eating during the festive season, it’s shortbread. Though the shop bought stuff is tasty, I do love to make my own as it is so simple and fills the house with tempting smells; it’s hard not to eat it straight from the oven! I have to say, it doesn’t last long though; it’s just so moreish, isn’t it?

Leisure Cookers have asked me to put a Christmas twist on one of my favourite recipes, to coincide with the Tribe to Table foodie trends. Being a keen baker, I chose the sugar free baking trend; saying that, this recipe isn’t completely sugar free, but refined sugar free instead, as honey replaces the usual sugar.

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Our favourite five – November | Awards, fireworks, and lights

Our favourite five - November

I can’t quite believe it’s December already; this year has gone so quick! I started joining in with our favourite five back in May and the months just seem to have flown by. I’m surprised I have managed to join every month; but I think I do so because it’s nice to look back on our month and see that even if I’ve had bad days, there has been good too.

Anyway, I’m a little late with November’s favourites, for a reason you will discover when you read on… The beginning of November was fairly quiet, but towards the end seemed to be filled with preparing for the aforementioned, and for our advent and Christmas countdown!

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