Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Enjoying the sun!

Well this morning as I write this it's dull and raining, but we've all loved the glorious weather recently. The children have spent all day in the garden, enjoyed picnics and eating outside and lots of ice lollies! By the end of the day a good soak in the bath is needed!! 

The tuff spot is great fun and also welcomed by our hen Sandy chick chick...



I've been spring cleaning my kitchen and found some out of date pulses and cereal. I hate throwing anything out and these were perfect for the tuff spot. Hopefully nothing will have chance to go out of date in my cupboards now as I'm not food hoarding anymore!

I've been much better at using up the fresh food and not wasting any. The veg from our veg box was delicious! I roasted lots of them. I've also started composting again too. All the veg peelings or endy bits we don't eat either went in the compost bin or out for the chicken. I normally use the recycling box provided by the council and put them out weekly, but now I only put food scraps from our plates in there that I can't use or compost at home. We're trying to minimise this too. 

I saved loads of money on my grocery shop last week by only buying what we need plus a few treats. This week will be reduced further as I make those treats myself! As I turn eco warrior, I've made a few swaps in my cleaning and laundry products plus kitchen roll etc. These are more expensive but that's the choice I've made. I'm not ready to make my own yet (one step at a time!)

Sorry but when I'm dishing up I forget to photograph what I've made. These were remembered though :)


Apple crumble made using some softer eating apples that needed using up. Served with cream!


A second pudding because I don't like cooked fruit but I do like chocolate fudge pudding! This was magic. You put the cake mixture in first then pour over a cocoa, sugar and water mix. The cake rises through and leaves a rich chocolate sauce at the bottom. We had it with cream fresh out of the oven on Sunday then yesterday with chocolate custard. I did a roast on Sunday so I used up the leftover veg yesterday and made bubble and squeak served with the leftover cold meat.

Finally...

This is me!


Listening to music while the children were  out with Grampy. The photos on my blog are very outdated but I just haven't had time to change things yet.

Mandy x

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Update...

Back again after a break over the Easter holidays. I've been so busy! 

Lots of changes have been made in our home so I've been really busy with that. 

I have remembered to take a few photos to share with you though...

Easter goodies for the children...





Fun times with the children...





Baking...



Lots of home cooking and baking...








Vintage 







Finally, we had our first organic fruit and veg delivery!



Lots of positive changes going on that I can't wait to share with you :)

Mandy x

Monday, 26 March 2018

Meal plan Monday

My meal plan as promised...

Roast chicken, rice noodles and stir fried vegetables.

Steak pie, mash, kale, carrots, swede and gravy.

Jacket potatoes, cauliflower cheese or beans and cheese.

Sausage, mash, veg and onion gravy.

Homemade vegetable soup and crusty bread. Treacle sponge and custard.

Roast pork, roasties, stuffing, veg and gravy.

Egg, chips and beans.


These are in no particular order and we've already eaten two of the meals. I'd like more meat free days, but this is something I'm working on.

Each day we have a pudding, normally something simple like jelly, custard and sprinkles or ice cream. We eat fruit and yoghurts throughout the day so pudding isn't a healthy option! I used to make proper puddings but rarely have the time now. That's going to change...lots of fruity puddings in the week then treats at the weekend.

I've sorted out my recipes and am ready to meal plan using them next week. Food shouldn't be boring! 

Mandy x


Thursday, 22 March 2018

Less waste

Today's project is a linen bag gifted by a vintage seller friend on Instagram. It was in a sorry state but I know I can put life back into it! I hate things going to landfill and rarely buy anything brand new these days. 


It's been soaking in vanish all day. Look at the colour of that water!!! When it's clean I wil do a few little repairs then it can be used for storage. 

Each week I will tackle a new item (I have a pile of them) to restore and put to good use. Does anyone else take on projects like this or make do and mend?

Mandy x

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Trying out new things...

Thank you to Emma and Margaret for your ideas from yesterday :)

This morning I've been thinking about how I can organise myself to try out new things. I find it difficult to find time to do the things I love or try out new things. I want that to change. My aim is to add more routine to my evenings. Sometimes I'll do my online food shop or the ironing or other stuff that needs doing, but I'd love to make this time for me too. I have been collecting bits and bobs together to try new hobbies. I really believe it's important to have interests like that. 

Something else I love doing is testing out new recipes. I need to enjoy my huge collection of recipe books. Many of my books are vintage and the recipes are very simple, cheap and look delicious. 

So this is the plan...

I will try really hard to incorporate my normal evening chores into my day.

I will go to bed earlier and read my book. I'm currently reading 'The Darling Buds of May' I don't even manage a chapter at the moment because I'm so tired!

Each week I will try something new. This could be a baking recipe, a new knitting pattern, sewing, embroidery or cross stitch. I have many new interests. I will plan for this on a Tuesday evening and tell you all about it on the Wednesday. 

I need structure to keep me on track and hopefully this will free up time to be more creative. Do more of what you love! 

More plans tomorrow

Mandy x


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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Meal planning

I've been thinking about making small changes to help the day-to-day stuff run more smoothly. We already have routine, we have to now that Daisy is at school, but some things work for us and others don't. I love baking but easily get bored of cooking. I hate trying to decide what to cook, which is ridiculous because I have so many recipes to choose from! I end up cooking similar food each week and that's just boring for everyone. As I intend to get rid of my modern cook books, I'm turning my attention to my lovely vintage recipes. These tend to be meals that we prefer. Traditional food. 

At the moment I shop online and make my choices hoping to find things on offer. I then decide the night before (I'm hopeless at remembering to get meat out of the freezer) what we will have the next day. I'm trying to reduce food waste so often it's a concoction based on what needs using up. So lately I haven't bothered to meal plan. I find I work much more effectively with forward planning and have decided to start meal planning again. 

I'm looking at having some meat free days so would really appreciate your help on this. Any meat free meal ideas? We'd love to try them. I'm open to new ideas and have bought a bag of lentils to try. I have no idea how I'm going to use them yet but I'm sure I can find a recipe :)

I plan to bring back 'meal plan Mondays' as these commitments keep me motivated and organised. This will start next Monday.

I've got lots to do today so I'll leave you with yesterday's vintage find...

A beautiful (photo doesn't do it  justice) 70s green dress for Daisy. 

Mandy x


Monday, 19 March 2018

A lovely day

Yesterday was a lovely day (even though we had snow)! While the rest of the family ventured out to play, I got on with some chores...


I love my vintage Hoover! Jake is 16 now and had no intention of moving :)

I roasted a chicken for lunch and made pear and chocolate pudding. I made extra to do a tray of chocolate fairy cakes. The children enjoyed decorating them with sprinkles.

 We had visitors in the afternoon so Daisy made rock cakes...


The only help she needs now is weighing out the ingredients and using the oven obviously. She's such a good baker!

Thank you for your comments on my last post...

I hope you're feeling better Phyllis. 

I'm tackling the paperwork one bag at a time and only keeping what I really need.

I'm always trying to be better but time management has never been my strong point! Looking back over my blog it's obvious that writing does motivate me and routine keeps me on track. I also love a Monday, fresh new week and fresh start.

I'll leave you with a photo of my latest find for Henry. He loves the Mr Men books and these 1970s dungarees are perfect for playing in.

Mandy x