Thursday, 18 April 2013

Two challenges...How many meals can I make from this amount of meat???...And weaning Daisy-May

Hi everyone,

On Saturday, my lovely husband went to the butchers in town and bought quite a lot of meat. We have two butchers in our village, but these are really expensive (probably worth it for the quality and service) and we cannot afford their prices now. This is what he came home with:

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 5lb minced beef
  • 15 sausages
  • 1lb diced pork
  • 2lb diced braising steak
  • 4 lamb pieces (for casseroles)
  • 45 rashers of back bacon

I divided these all up (into the freezer) to try to get as many meal opportunities as possible from them. The chicken will make 2 meals, mince - 10, sausages - 3, diced pork - 2, diced beef - 4, lamb - 2, and the bacon - 8. There are 3 adults to feed. In recent times, we would have eaten a chicken breast each but now we will eat half because I will stretch it in a curry or something. I only use half a pound of mince or diced meat for casseroles per meal now. I split the bacon so it could be either used for a fry-up or in a recipe. I have got lots of cheap and filling recipes that use very little bacon.

So far, we have eaten half a pound of mince - we had spag bol for tea last night and there was plenty. This meat will last over a month, but my challenge is to see just how many meals I can get from it. We have been eating far too much meat and I want to introduce more non- meat days. We are greedy and have too much on our plates! I intend to concentrate on filling the plate with vegetables or salad and reducing our meat intake.

Another issue is Daisy-May, she isn't keen on lumps or a thicker puree yet. I have been relying on jars too much lately because I have been ill and just too tired. This is not ideal for her health and development or our pocket!!! She needs protein and we want her to eat our meals. I have bought some baby stock cubes because oxo is way too salty for her, so now I can give her our meals just cooked without the little bits I add for flavour. I have made her spag bol before and it tasted bland, but not to Daisy, because she hasn't experienced all the flavours that are bad for us that I have! I read an interesting book last night, written by Gina Ford. It came free in a pregnancy magazine last year. I feel clearer now about why Daisy was waking up in the night for feeds (twice a night). The last 3 nights she has slept from 10.30 to 6.30 and that is fine by me! We had started to give her a protein tea and baby cereal for supper at about 8pm. Last night she fell asleep with her bottle at 7.30 after her bath and only had half a milk feed at 10.00. She did stir at 2am but went back to sleep with her lullaby. After reading this book, I'm convinced that she hasn't had enough filling food throughout the day until now. The book suggests a protein lunch and carbohydrate tea, so we will be carrying on with our new routine - it works!

Daisy-May is lactose intolerant (as was her mummy) so feeding her is a challenge in itself! She has wysoy milk but will only tolerate 4oz at a time, even though she is 7 months old! She was premature and apparently this is ok for her as she still has a little tummy. According to her milk powder tin, she weighs the same as a 4 month old, no surprise as she is wearing 3-6 month clothing and still some 0-3. She is our 'dinky Daisy' but she is growing and developing and very happy! She just needs to be fed all day.

Another challenge faced by me has been the laundry. The good drying weather (it's so windy here today) has meant that I am up-to-date with the washing, but created the hugest ironing pile! Yesterday I tackled it but in bits because obviously Daisy doesn't want to watch grandma iron all day. I may finish it later???

I'll be back soon...

Mandy x

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Finding things in the freezer I forgot I had...

Hi everyone,

Just lately I haven't found time to bake.

I have even bought cake from the supermarket!

This IS NOT good money saving!!!

Yesterday I went to my freezer to get a loaf out and came back with a coffee sponge and fruit cake. I batch baked some time ago (probably put photos on my blog) and these items had been buried under frozen veg. I was so happy to provide my husband and daughter with cake for their packed lunches.

You see I had thought ahead if things got too hectic to bake - I'm just so tired that I totally forgot I had been organised!

A lesson has been learned here - keep the freezer organised (which I normally do) by putting the new shopping away properly instead of piling it on top of what's already there.

I wonder what else I will find lurking at the bottom of my chest freezer???

Is your freezer perfectly organised so you can put your hand to whatever you need?

Mandy x

Saturday, 6 April 2013

The first carboot sale of the season...

Hi everyone,

This morning we were up and about early for our first carboot sale this season. Daisy woke up for a feed at 3.30 and again at 6.30 so we were awake and ready to go, despite me being full of cold :(

We go to Finmere which is just inside Buckinghamshire, not too far for us to travel really. So me, Charlotte, Daisy and Flo (Charlotte's bulldog) wrapped up warm and braved the cold. It was worth the journey because we picked up some bargains:

  • Charlotte bought a tripod for her camera (she is a youtuber)  -  £5.
  • Charlotte picked up 2 dvds from the Twilight series and the lady gave her another that she didn't ask for too- £2
  • Charlotte also bought a watch - £2
  • I treated Flo to 5 cuddly animals -  £1 (she was so good walking round)
  • I bought Daisy a cot mirror toy -  £1
  • I also got her a large playmat - £1
  • 2 maracas - £1
  • A daisy photoframe for in her nursery - 50p
  • A ladybird book on wildflowers (we collect them) - £1
  • A new washing-up bowl - £2
  • Finally, 2 new prs fluffy socks for me - £2.60

Flo needed the toys because she sniffs around Daisy's toys when she shouldn't! She knows she is allowed to chew these new cuddlies and already has them all around her while she has a snooze. Daisy has a beautiful playmat from mothercare that cost grampy £45 and another for her to roll about on (£25), so she probably doesn't need anymore! I need a larger mat for when she can sit up unaided so she can choose which toys to play with and as we have two dogs, this is an area that I can keep clean for her to play. Daisy is not keen on her new cot. It's a large cotbed and she is so small in it. I would like to put some activity toys in there for her to get used to it during the day. At night they will be removed and her normal wind-down routine will take place so she knows it is bedtime. Daisy loves to shake her rattles and she loves music, so we can shake the maracas together. I collect anything 'daisies' for her nursery. The socks are needed because mine are looking grotty and we have been searching for a round bowl for ages. The ladybird book was a necessity, but we have some of these books from childhood and they are on display in our house. Grampy reads the rhyming ones to Daisy and she enjoys them. I felt I should justify my purchases as I am trying to declutter at the moment! The baby stuff will all be used and so will the bowl. I will throw out 2 prs socks. If new stuff comes into the house, I will get rid of the same amount.

Today has been a thrifty day because the baby stuff would have been a lot more if new.

Mandy x

Friday, 5 April 2013

A failed challenge...

Hi everyone,

I've been away from my blog for a while because I'm so busy with baby Daisy and I'm so tired. She doesn't sleep very well and we've been trying to work out why. Daisy was born early with a dinky birthweight. We were told that her little tummy was smaller than a marble at birth and it doesn't seem to have grown much more now! She can only tolerate 4oz milk and she is 7 months old. She is on solids, but prefers to be fed little and often. We have established a routine and the solids have increased, but she just can't take a larger feed before bed. She is lactose intolerant and has Wysoy milk so I can't even give her the milk designed for hungry babies without the liquid volume. All day I am planning ahead to the next meal. It is time consuming, but she is growing! She has just gone into 3-6 months clothing and she was 7 months old last Monday. She will probably always be petite, but very cute with it!!!

We've only just bought her cot for her because she has only just outgrown her moses basket. She twists and turns in her cot all night long, so we've had to do away with the blankets and buy her a sleeping bag. I don't like them, but she will turn her head right round so she ends up upside down and I'm worried she will get her head under the blanket. She kicks about in the sleeping bag because she has always hated having covers or bulky clothing (she's not a huge fan of wearing tights) and feels restricted. Eventually she will settle with her lullaby light show, but will wake again several times during the night. Maybe she's just gonna be a baby who doesn't sleep well???

She rolled over for the first time yesterday (very late but she hates being on her tummy) and she can sit up in her pram. She is happy and bubbly and knows exactly what she wants. She has brought so much joy to our lives (it's just a shame her mummy can't share our enthusiasm), but I am 42 and not 19 like I was when I had my first baby and it is hard to keep on top of the housework etc. We now care for her full-time and her mummy visits from time to time. I have no time for the hobbies I had started to enjoy and I rarely bake a cake now. If I wasn't so tired all the time I could probably do better!

I have managed to throw a few bits and bobs out and I have sold a book on ebay. I intend to start sending stuff off to the charity shop (which my daughter will kindly do for me in her lunch hour). Less clutter will help with the tidying and cleaning.

45.   Cookery book sold on ebay.

So I failed my challenge for 100 items by Easter (not quite half way yet) but life took over as usual and I can continue without setting myself unrealistic goals. So my new challenge is to get to 100 whenever!

As fast as I declutter, I am buying new stuff for Daisy! So I am looking at it that everything in my house has to be useful and serve a purpose and that's how I will declutter from now on - where I only need one thing, the others can go. I have had my own home since I was 18 and have collected a lot of things over the years that are not needed anymore. Yes, our house has been overtaken by baby stuff, but it's stuff she needs and uses, so that's not the issue here. If things that I thought would come in handy have not as yet, then maybe it's time for them to go. I keep hold of stuff just-in-case. What I actually want is a clean and tidy managable home - simple!

From now on, I will continue to chart my decluttering success, but I intend on focussing on which areas of my home I have sorted once and for all. I'd better make a start! Charlotte - if you are reading this, you'll have to remind me that I have to actually get on with it now :)

A new beginning ...

Mandy x