Thursday 10th of June 2021

Ask Charlie: Meal Planning

We are delighted to welcome Charlie Gray, founder of Ask Charlie, the online resource for homegrown skills, as our resident expert to help smooth the chore of domestic life. In her first video for The Gaitpost, Charlie offers up her valuable tips for my current pet hate, meal planning.

Charlie is a real life domestic goddess. Her tips can be found on her Youtube channel and over on instagram. I discovered Charlie when I was completely flummoxed trying to clean some special carafes that I had lazily, and stupidly, shoved through the dishwasher and they had come out cloudy.

I had tried everything until I took to Instagram for advice and a kind follower recommended I check out Charlie’s videos. Low and behold, liquid silver polish cleaner was duly ordered and whilst the carafes aren’t crystal clear, so much of the salty cloud has disappeared and they were able to grace the table again.

Charlie is a passionate horse lover and her 3 children all ride. Following two terrible accidents, both trying new horses, Charlie now hunts on the wonk and hopes to find her forever horse soon.

Credit: Lucy Newson

Charlie, how did you get into riding?

My Grandparents lived in London and hunted with the Surrey Union and my mother learnt to ride in Hyde Park! I started riding when I was 4 years old and got my first pony when I was 8 called Pickles! He was a real Pickle! But didn’t put me off! My brother, equestrian commentator Ed Holloway, and I competed for many years.

You had two terrible falls, and were left in a wheelchair for a year. Are you mended and has it put you off?

Yes I had two nasty breaks 5 & 6 years ago! Both trying horses to buy! It did put me off but the children were still riding and slowly over time I got my confidence to get back on! But to be honest I am happier on a pony! Luckily I am petite!

Credit: Lucy Newson

How did Ask Charlie come about?

I dreamt up the idea of Ask Charlie after watching an episode of The Durrells! It was when Louisa, played by Keeley Hawes, was teaching two Italian girls practical skills (they had always had help in the home!) and we had had numerous au pair’s over the years to help with the children and animals and I was always surprised by their lack of domestic skills! It literally was a light bulb moment of this is what I am going to do!

What’s the strangest thing Ask Charlie has been asked?!

The strangest question I have had so far was how often should I change my pillows or should I wash them! But no question is a silly one, we all have to learn somehow!

It’s a tricky time for us all spending so much time together in Lockdown 3. What piece of advice can you give parents who are juggling home schooling, cooking, homework and trying to stay sane?

Planning ahead, organisation, fresh air and taking a moment for yourself! We have got into playing cards as a family in the evening, which is good fun! 

Watch Charlie’s first video for The Gaitpost as she gives her top tips for meal planning.

You can get your hands on Charlie’s sanity saving Meal Planner by clicking here and if you are keen to learn more from Charlie, why not enrol in her latest course, The Efficient Home. It’s a 3 week online course starting in March covering time management & home organisation, cleaning, laundry & home hacks, batch cooking & more on meal planning as well as access to a private Facebook Group filled with like-minded home-makers and so much more. Here’s the link to enrol on Charlie’s COURSE and use THEGAITPOST at checkout to get an exclusive discount. 

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