Life

This Morning!

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Yes, I was on This Morning*does a little dance!

I was talking “Parent Hacks” – those things to save you time as you juggle your life and kids!  Having taken a step back from my career to raise my kids I’m just properly getting back into work now that Akira has started school, so this was the perfect strand for my This Morning debut.

The show was my company through those lonely newborn times so I have huge affection for it and was a bit excited to be on set!  (you’d never guess!)IMG_7484

*Thanks for the Twitter outfit love! Jeans – American Eagle, Boots – New Look, T-Shirt – H & M,  Biker Jacket – Mint Velvet, Necklace -Stella & Dot.

Trey has been in Cornwall filming all week with our new production company, so orchestrating a 6.30 pick up with two kids needing to go to school was no mean feat but I managed it.

After rehearsals, it was time to head into make-up for some magic by the wonderful Lisa – VERY amused by the name of one of the eyeshadows she used on me! *innocent face

makeup

And then I was on air, talking tips I’ve picked up along the way to make life as a parent a bit more streamlined.  I would never wish to imply I was any kind of expert but having dedicated the last few years to raising my family I do feel like I understand what most parents in the UK are going through on a daily basis.  Juggling parenting and a home and children can be overwhelming, so I love passing on any tips I’ve picked up that make this crazy parenting journey easier!   I had lots of fun with “Schofe” and Holly.

on air*Show Outfit: Top – New Look, Skirt – H & M, Boots – New Look  

I even bumped into the wonderful Laura Carmichael which was a bonus as I’m a bit of a fan of the series (*drops professional front).  OK, OK –  understatement of the year – I’m a MASSIVE fan and yes, I *might* have squealed a bit and said “I love you” to her face!  (it just came out!)  I literally wanted to sit her down and grill her on everything – story lines, outfits – where to begin?! And, “Downton Exclusive” – I can confirm that, under all those petticoats, Lady Edith has possibly the longest legs I’ve ever seen! Who knew?!

So – if you missed it – here are those tips:

COOK ONCE, EAT TWICE

This one is kind of a no brainer!  If you’re making something for the kids dinner, make double then stick one batch in the freezer for another day.  You’re making it anyway, so making double takes no more time.

ROAST CHICKEN…often on a “2-fer” offer in the supermarket, cook them in the same oven to save time and energy.

BOLOGNAISE SAUCE – ALWAYS a winner in my house – when I’m making it I make a huge batch and freeze portion sizes in bags.  The sauce can also be used in lasagne

CHILLI –  I make a big batch & bag up portion sizes for kids the kids and freeze, then add extra chilli and bag up for us since Trey and I like things spicy! (apparently!) 

LUNCHBOX LESSONS 

Thankfully for me, this term both my kids started having cooked lunches (happy days!) Akira’s are free, so paying for Kaya’s actually ends up cheaper than packed lunches.

But when it comes to packed lunches, it’s all about taking the heat out of those manic school mornings.

Sunday night, pre X Factor or Downton (hooray it’s back!) get your family into a sandwich production line around the kitchen table – one person butters the bread, the other adds cheese and ham or whatever, then put the sandwiches in individual bags (to be recycled at a future date) and – this bit will blow your mind – FREEZE!  I know – I didn’t realise you could freeze sandwiches either! Then your sandwiches are done for the week, and you just take out every night.  Simples!  Watching the programme is the reward!

You can also make a big bowl of pasta or rice with veg and freeze in portions.

And to cut down on packaging and cost, because so often you’re paying for the packaging so don’t bother with cheese sticks… just get a block of cheese, cut it up and keep it in some tupperware in the fridge and pre-cut crudités so they’re good to go. Yoghurt is cheaper if you buy a big pot and portion it into little pots.  Another yoghurt favourite in this house is to freeze yoghurt tubes which keep the lunchbox cool AND mean the yoghurt won’t go off by lunchtime.

TAKE IT SLOW! 

I’m relatively new to the slow cooker game, but I can already tell you the things are  EPIC! (as my kids would say!) and save on time & money.  Chuck everything in first thing in the morning and it’s good to go after school!  I took my own onto the show (which also makes a mean risotto) and did all my own food shopping for the item!

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The other bonus is that you can use slightly tougher (and cheaper) cuts of meat as the slow cooking makes them super tender.  PLUS the food will stay warm for a few hours after cooking so you can feed different people at different times in the evening. Genius!

I’m big on vegetarian food since I like to use free range or organic meat which can be a bit on the pricey side.  So I prefer to use good meat, but less often. Plus I’m a pescatarian! On the show, I made the following recipe:

Vegetable & Chickpea Curry (4 to 6 servings)

Ingredients
3 cups cauliflower florets
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen cut green beans
1 cup sliced carrots 
1/2 cup chopped onion (I use frozen to keep it easy!) 
1  vegetable stock cube (mixed)
2-3 teaspoons curry powder
1 can light coconut milk 
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
Cooked brown rice

Directions 
1. Put your cauliflower, chickpeas, green beans, carrots, and onion into your slow cooker and stir in the stock and curry powder. 
2. Cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours. 
3. Stir in the coconut milk and shredded basil leave and you’re DONE!  Serve over brown rice with a few cashew nuts thrown on top. Yum! 

GROCERY GEEK

I don’t understand anyone who doesn’t do their grocery shop online.  I started when my kids were babies … my shop is about 30% cheaper than when I go in store. You can also stock up on favourites when they’re on special offer, shop from past lists to save on time AND – the biggest bonus at this time of year – if you sign up for the regular deliveries you get first pick of the prime XMAS SLOTS which, as someone who had to head to a supermarket at 4am last Christmas Eve, is pretty appealing!

I do occasionally still go into store as I like the experience plus there’s always the clothes section which needs a cheeky once over!

“LIVE YOUR LIFE” LAUNDRY

When it comes to laundry, have a laundry bin in each bedroom and launder BY ROOM, including bedding. Then once it’s done, no sorting required, just straight back to the bedroom & hang up!

And this one’s gonna blow your mind – My  mate is the biggest domestic goddess I’ve ever met.  Seriously – she’s untouchable!  And she washes her clothes on cold!  So don’t bother sorting colours but put everything straight in the washing machine. As long as you’re washing in COLD the colours won’t run. It works!

STEP AWAY FROM THE IRON! 

Who has time for ironing?  NOT ME!  Seriously, between juggling my home, work and spending quality time with my children, ironing is WAY down my list of priorities!  Life’s too short!  As long as you get the bedding out the minute the drier finishes, or put it on the bed straight from the line without folding, you’re fine!

And the same with clothes. I hang them as soon as they come out of the drier or off the clothes line. Or, another tip – hang creased clothes in the bathroom while you take your shower, or pop them in the drier for 10 minutes with a damp cloth.

Actually – I DO iron uniform twice a year – first day of school and photo day!

“OUTFITS ASSEMBLE”!

Hang uniform good to go!  I’m talking uniform, underwear and socks on the same hanger. The kids just grab a hanger each morning!

So that’s it!

I’m all about supporting regular parents and letting everyone know it’s OK to “cheat” now and then!  Anything that gives you more quality time as a family is fine by me!  I’d LOVE to hear your parent hack suggestions if you have any?!  I felt totally humbled by the hundreds of supportive and thankful tweets I got after the show, which made the whole thing feel hugely worthwhile and I’m glad so many found the strand useful.  Here are some…

Huge love.. And happy hacking!

K x

TWEETS

55 Comments

  • Reply Katy Hill and Blogging!Katy Hills Blog June 18, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    […] has totally run away with me.  I’m now back at work so a combination of Heart Breakfast and This Morning duties, plus running a house and being wife to one and mum to two has left me exhausted. To prove […]

  • Reply Franglaise Mummy October 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    I totally missed this 🙁 But it sounds like you were amazing, and I love your tips – we’re crazy about our slow cooker too, and ironing is totally for losers! xx

    • Reply Katy October 21, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Ooh – and I need more slow cook recipes! xx

      • Reply Franglaise Mummy October 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm

        There are some great ones out there – my all time favourite is slow cooker pulled pork. We’ve got a few recipes on our Franglaise Cooking food blog – there’s a slow cooker button in the navigation bar at the top if you’re ever on the hunt…. xx

  • Reply Mardy Kerrie October 4, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    I am very jealous of your eyeshadow shade – there should be more innocent products with that type of name! Also, great tips – ironing is a ‘waste of life’ I think. SHAKE AND FOLD is my motto and anything that hangs gets a once-over . Washing per room is a great idea – as my girls get bigger and bigger unfortunately so do their clothes. 🙂

    • Reply Katy October 5, 2014 at 7:38 am

      Shake and fold – love that! X

  • Reply Heledd - Running in Lavender September 25, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    I saw your welcome return to TV land last week! Well done, you’re such a natural. Looking forward to seeing more of you on TV soon! Also, loved all the time saving tips and I NEVER IRON either. Never have and probably never will. Thankfully my hubby does all his shirts and I get him to do Lili’s uniform if I think they need a quick taz.

    • Reply Katy September 25, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Haha! LOVE that! Glad I’m not alone! 😉 x

  • Reply Melanie G Robinson September 24, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Katy, it was lovely seeing you on This Morning. Thanks for the brilliant time saving tips.x

    • Reply Katy September 24, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      Yay! Glad they were helpful xx

  • Reply amanda September 23, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Hi katy. Loved your top tips. Totally with you on the none ironing, dont know where my iron is ha ha.. Btw loved the gorg white shirt you had on during the VT would you be so kind as to tell me where it’s from..smiley face

    • Reply Katy September 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Thanks so much! It was River Island x

  • Reply Actually Mummy September 21, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    That frozen sandwich idea is genius! Is Schofe really as nice as he seems? He’s my new favourite celeb (after you of course…) since I saw him talk about his mum and his brother’s diabetes 🙂

    • Reply Katy September 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      Haha! He was lovely! (I didn’t mention to him that I fancied him in his Broom Cupboard days!) Although next in line to me, obvs! 😉 xx

  • Reply Amanda September 21, 2014 at 9:02 am

    wow, you ruddy marvel! Lots of life hacks for us busy Mums I’d not heard of. I am loving the laundry ones!!

    • Reply Katy September 21, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Woohoo! X

  • Reply Cass@frugalfamily September 21, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Some brilliant tips there Katy and it was great to see you on This Morning. This is the sort of thing I want to see when I turn on my TV on a morning – look forward to your next appearance x x

    • Reply Katy September 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Ah – thanks so much x

  • Reply Manneskjur September 21, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Looking good missus! It’s that time of the year where my mind turns to the slow cooker and stews! Bring out the chunky knitwear – I’m going into hibernation!

    • Reply Katy September 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Haha! See you on the other side! x

  • Reply Mum of One September 20, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    SO wanted to catch this but was at work…boo. You look so pretty! Am so glad you posted your tips, they are awesome. Good work lovely lady. Nice to see you back on our screens 🙂

    • Reply Katy September 20, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Ah – thanks so much xx

  • Reply My Blonde Reality September 20, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Hi Katy,
    I have to say, as a big fan of TM, you were a welcome addition to the team, so bright and breezy, loved your slot and loved your hacks. We might not have kids, but we commute, so I’m totally ‘stealing’ your freezing sandwiches idea and passing it off as wife of the year material to my husband! so thanks pretty lady!

    🙂

    • Reply Katy September 20, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      Thanks SO much! Enjoy those sandwiches! X

  • Reply Michelle Reeves (Bod for tea) September 20, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Eeek! Am I the only one who missed you on TM? #gutted

    Fab tips though – laundry by room; genius! And I’m with you on the online grocery shopping – I’m sure I save a small fortune only shopping off my favourites list. Plus I don’t get tempted by the cake counter! X

    • Reply Katy September 20, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Haha! So true! Although sometimes temptation is good! 😉 #just-sayin’

  • Reply Steph @ Sisterhood (and all that) September 20, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Well done lovely – I bet it feels good to be getting back in to it, especially if you can combine your pre- and post-kids life like this! Love the stripey skirt too. #comeback x

    • Reply Katy September 20, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Ah – thanks lovely lady! It was so much fun! x

  • Reply Ang September 19, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Loved you on This Morning; watched on catch up! Your outfit was super! Also can I ask which nail polish/ colour you wore, it was very pretty!

    • Reply Katy September 20, 2014 at 6:42 am

      Thanks so much. I loved it too. Had a ball! Nails were Revlon Nude! 😉 x

      • Reply Ang September 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm

        Thank you so much for replying Katy! Looks great with your tan!

  • Reply Emma September 19, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Didn’t catch you on the show, but I will try and find it! Thanks so much for the life hack tips though, just started back at full time work so I need all the help I can get! And yes, I couldn’t live without my slowcooker now! 🙂 xx

    • Reply Katy September 19, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      Ah – good luck with the transition xx

  • Reply Kate on thin ice September 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Seriously, loved seeing you on the show that certainly helped get me through the day pre this mad home-education journey.
    Glorious outfit and great tips which I sold to my OH last night as he does the laundry here most of the time.
    Would be really interested to see any other veggie recipes as trying to go down that route.

    • Reply Katy September 19, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      Yay! I’m quite new to the veggie thing, so we can compare notes! x

  • Reply Laura McGuinness September 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    I don’t iron either Katy, and i have always washed on a 30 (wonderful time savers!!!). I ADORE being a Mum so the more time spent with my little prince, the better !!!. xxx
    PS: Will SO be trying the frozen sandwiches 🙂

    • Reply Katy September 19, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      SO with you! All about the quality time baby! x

  • Reply maggy, red ted art September 19, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Ooh I am so going to try that chickpea curry!! Thanks.

    • Reply Katy September 19, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Enjoy! x

  • Reply Anni September 19, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    You were fabulous Katy! I really enjoyed your slot & hope you become a regular on This Morning! Completely love your energy, confidence & style plus your ideas! Huge thumbs up!!!

    • Reply Katy September 19, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      Thanks so much x

  • Reply Sarah September 19, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    As I type my ‘mixed’ load of washing is on a cold wash. First time for everything! 🙂

    • Reply Katy September 19, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      Good luck! X

  • Reply Clare Goldsack September 19, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Loved your This Morning piece especially the ironing part! It’s the biggest waste of time especially kids clothes which are creased within seconds of wearing! A good shake and a tumble dry and you’re good to go! 🙂

    • Reply Katy September 19, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      Right?! Life is TOO SHORT! x

  • Reply Kate/WitWitWoo September 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    I love your TV mouth open face! This looks like it was SO much fun! x

    • Reply Katy September 19, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      It WAS! LOVE Schofe since his Broom Cupboard days x

  • Reply Style At Every Age (@styleateveryage) September 19, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Always shop online but shall be ordering extra ham and cheese for the sandwiches! It will also save on bread waste and Teen Boy will have nice soft fresh bread every day! Genius Katy! x

    • Reply Katy September 19, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Woohoo! X

  • Reply Alison September 19, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Washing on the cold cycle ?? I’ll give it a go!

    • Reply Katy September 19, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Do it! 😉 x

  • Reply Cerys {mascara and mud} September 19, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    online food shop – I LOVE it, my husband LOATHES it. So guess where he is off to today on his day off?! yep…loser! Anyway, great tips and I also would be lost without my slow cooker!

    • Reply Katy September 19, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Haha! Love that! X

  • Reply Alison Perry September 19, 2014 at 11:54 am

    OH MY GOD I think you may just have changed my life. Wash clothes by ROOM. Of course. Why didn’t I think of doing this? *kisses Katy*

    • Reply Katy September 19, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      Ha! Think of all that extra time! 😉 x

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