Saturday, 29 June 2013

Thank you xxx

Hi everyone!

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments - Loo, Jane, Taaleedee, Trsh (Trish?), Lors and Sara. I didn't expect that reaction! Just to clarify though - Daisy' mummy did live with us until Christmas, for the first four months of Daisy's life. She does visit us and we have taken Daisy to visit her. She has wanted Daisy to live with her for the past couple of months but has not had suitable living conditions for a baby. We said no and it caused a huge amount of upset. She gets the keys to her new house on Friday and Daisy will move in gradually (when she is happy to) when the house is ready for a baby. We will look after Daisy at the weekends even then. It's going to be hard letting go and I will worry about her constantly, but it has to happen at some point.

Thank you for your words of kindness and support, you have repeated what we expect will happen, but she needs to find that out for herself. We all know just how hard it is bringing up children and the sacrifices that need to be made. She's young and thinks she knows it all!

Sara - I hope you don't get too bored reading from the start! I will be back on track on Monday posting up my meals and recipes (I don't normally switch on my laptop over the weekend).

Thursday's tea was cheese salad and new potatoes. I used lettuce from my 'living' lettuce planted out in the garden.

Friday's tea was jacket potatoes, cheese and beans.

Tonight I had chicken kiev and a few wedges, hubby had an omelette and Daisy had pasta. It's so tempting to get a takeaway, but that certainly wouldn't fit in with the challenge! Tomorrow is a roast.

This morning Daisy, Charlotte and I went carbooting, as we do most Saturday mornings now. I will post what I got later. Charlotte has a you tube channel and does haul videos of what we get, so the stuff is in her room where she films videos and I'm sat in bed!

Thank you for reading,

Mandy x

Friday, 28 June 2013

My 100th post...reply to lovely comments.

Hi everyone!

This post is number 100 and because of the wonderful Frugal Queen, there are readers now! I am so grateful to her because it has inspired me to write more and think about my money saving ways. I hope to be able to share with you what I have learnt so far and how I save money where possible. My blog posts will need a bit of planning first now!

I have had quite a few comments over the past couple of days and I thought it would be easier to reply to them all in one go (while Daisy is having a nap) in a post.

  • Rainbowchild - I have been saving things just-in-case too for far too long! If I had somewhere to store it all out of the way, then I would continue, but our house is full of baby stuff so it had to happen. Old habits are hard to break though.
  • Sunnybec - I will have a look at your blog and the post on your handmade handbag. Thank you for sharing that with me.
  • lifeathollycottage - Thank you Nikki!
  • Tania @ Out Back - Thank you! Good luck to you too x
  • Taaleedee - Glad you enjoyed reading. I recognise you from comments on Shirley's blog! There are some really good grandma's out there.
  • Anonymous - You did a great thing too for your family. Thank you for your kind words x
  • Welsh Poppy - Thank you for your kind words x I hope you can learn something from me!
  • A Cheshire Girl In Yorkshire - I've got books and books of recipes I have written down over the years. I am happy to share them with you, let me know what type you would like to see (sweet, savoury, meals or baking???)
  • J x - My hobbies have taken a back seat since Christmas when I started looking after Daisy 24 hours a day. If you start a blog - I will follow!!!
  • Jane - I did get your comments! It seems that we have a lot in common. Our daughter has caused us heartache and worry since she was about 12. She moved out when she was just 16 and came home pregnant! She stayed with us throughout the pregnancy (very ill with morning sickness then pre-eclampsia) because she was ill. We bought everything for her difficult pregnancy and everything for the baby. We spent all of our savings (from when I worked) and my husband worked every Saturday to save up for her Silver Cross pram and car seat etc. All of her boyfriends have been bad and she started seeing someone in November. By Christmas, she was spending most of her time with him and left Daisy with us. Daisy is 10 months old on Monday and now she has decided she wants her back! She is renting a house and has everything paid for her in benefits (she has never given us any money for Daisy, although she has bought her a few bits and bobs) and hopes to move in next week. Daisy's little life with us here is about to be turned upside down...
I'm 42 and my husband is 37. I had my first baby at 19, then 20, then 24. I had hyperemesis (severe morning sickness) and spent so much time in hospital, it wasn't fair to have anymore children, so I thought I'd finished! It's actually the youngest that has given us a grandchild and so it all started again. I'm older now and the sleepless nights are harder! Daisy is very small. She didn't grow very well in the womb and was born a month early. Her growth is steady for her, but she is tiny (wearing 3-6 month clothes) and has a tiny tummy, so needs feeding several times a day (even with solids). Last night I fed her at 10.30 then 3.30 and she was up at 7am. This was a good night! It has been every 2 hours last week.

I love looking after her and my life will be incomplete without her now. However, we did have plans which have been put on hold for now.


Thank you to all of my readers, commenters and followers xxx

I have done my freezer audit which is a bit boring, so I'll post it up on it's own.

Mandy xxx

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Welcome to my new followers and a big THANK YOU for reading!

Hi everyone!!!

I have been writing my little old blog for a while now, with a few followers, a few readers and the odd comment here and there.

Since the lovely Froogs put a link on her blog post yesterday, I have more followers, I have a lot more readers and I had comments from lovely people.

I am also extremely happy that Foster Mummy is following me! Foster Mummy I read your blog everyday.

I am off to look at my new followers' blogs too.

I am feeling pretty low at the moment and this has been a huge boost to me as I turned on my laptop this morning. I can now begin my day on a positive note - THANK YOU xxx

I've talked about lacking motivation - well now I am motivated to write because someone is interested and is reading.



Mandy xxx

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Here's part 2 of my audit - the fridges

Hi everyone!

I didn't have time to do a freezer audit yesterday, but will try harder today!

I have two large fridges which are always full. I have:

  • butter x 2 large packs
  • Daisy's sunflower marg
  • clover marg x 2
  • dripping
  • cooking marg - large tub
  • cheddar x 2
  • soft cheese
  • Daisy's lactofree cheese x 2
  • primula tube
  • mozzarella
  • few slices of ham
  • coleslaw
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers x 2
  • spring onion
  • red onions
  • brown onions
  • celery
  • courgettes x 3
  • lemons x4
  • few mushrooms
  • strawberries x 2 punnets
  • cress
  • pate x 2
  • lettuce
  • mayo
  • single cream x 2
  • double cream x 2
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • new potatoes
  • old potatoes
  • baking potatoes
  • swede
  • parsnips
  • half white cabbage
  • half red cabbage
  • milk
  • orange juice x 2
  • beetroot
  • cauliflower
Obviously I will need to shop for fresh things, but I need to ensure that there is no waste!!! I need to get into the habit of going through the fridges and check what needs using up before it's too late. Anything that I'm not able to use for us does go to the chickens - they love lettuce.

I will post up my freezer contents tomorrow.

Yesterday's tea was a quick one - a fry up!
We had sausage, bacon, hash browns, plum tomatoes/beans, mushrooms, egg and toast. Daisy had her cheesy veg. Tonight we are having fresh beef burgers, wedges, homemade coleslaw and salad.

Mandy x

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

I'm becoming motivated!...Here's part 1 of my audit - the cupboards.

Hi everyone!

Just recently I have completely lacked motivation to do anything. Obviously I have fed my family and cared for Daisy-May as well as I always do, but the house is a mess and I'm getting by just doing what I have to. Daisy has been teething and normally she is fine, but the last two teeth have caused her a lot of distress and sleepless nights. She has eight teeth now and I think there may be more on the way. She wakes every two hours throughout the night and then wants to be fed. We are all tired and struggling to function. She is grumpy in the day and just wants me to spend time with her playing. This would be lovely, but the jobs still need doing. She will only have three twenty minute sleeps during the day unless I cuddle her to sleep - then she will easily sleep for an hour at a time.

I have just managed to audit my cupboards so far, and hope to do the two fridges and freezers by the end of the day.

My Approved Food order arrived yesterday. I had a saving of £71.50!!! I basically use AF to buy treats that we wouldn't normally buy in the supermarket, cooking sauces to give me a back-up if I have a bad day and can't cook from scratch, anything that we normally buy but is well discounted and cake and bread mixes so I can batch bake while saving money on ingredients. We are not a family that enjoys processed food, but it's all about saving money now where we can (Daisy only has fresh ingredients and quite often I cook separately for her).

This bit is boring so you can skip it, but I need to record on my blog to keep me motivated!

Store Cupboard Audit


3 x onion bhjai mixes
5 x mugshots
7 x simmer soups
1 x beef in ale mix
1 x parsley sauce mix
3 x dumpling mixes
1 x box of suet
4 x stuffing
2 x chicken noodles
2 x instant potato
3 x savoury chinese rice
12 x sachets of carrot and coriander cup-a-soups
5 x cartons of pasatta
1 x bag polenta
1 x bag rice
8 x boil-in-the-bag rice
1 x bag pasta quills
1 x lasagne sheets
2 x spaghetti


8 x beans
4 x soup
2 x spaghetti
1 x spaghetti and sausages
2 x ravioli
4 x beans and sausages
3 x chopped tomatoes
3 x plum tomatoes
3 x sweetcorn
1 x chicken in white sauce
1 x minced beef


2 x stout and mushroom sauce
2 x chicken chasseur sauce
2 x hoi sin sauce
1 x tomato and sweet chilli sauce


1 x lemon madeira cake
1 x angel cake
2 x walnut cake
1 x malt loaf
chocolate bars


1 x cheesecake mix
2 x sponge cake mixes
1 x lemon meringue pie mix
24 trifle sponges
3 x blancmange sachets
2 x dream topping
3 x instant custard
1 x large bag instant custard mix
1 x tub custard powder
1 x box semolina
1 x box ground rice
6 x chocolate rice pudding
2 x strawberry dessert
1 x chocolate dessert
2 x packs of shortbread fingers


3 x hovis granary mix
22 x yeast sachets
1 x bread flour
6 x self-raising flour
2 x plain flour
4 x caster sugar
3 x soft brown sugar
2 x icing sugar
4 x tubs of cocoa
1 x bicarb
1 x baking powder
1 x camp coffee
1 x bag mixed fruit
1 x marshmallows
2 x peanuts
3 x jelly tots
3 x orange and lemon slices
1 x choc chips
3 x dark choc
3 x milk choc
2 x white choc
1 x 3kg bag choc drops
4 x choc chip cookie mixes
1 x oat biscuit mix
8 x madeira cake mixes
3 x triple choc muffin kits
2 x fairy cake mixes
1 x cadburys choc brownie mix


There are various sauces and condiments open.
There are herbs and spices open.
There are oils and vinegars open.
There are gravy granules and stock cubes.
2 x UHT milk cartons
We have enough tea, coffee, water, squash.
We have enough cereal for breakfast.
1 x dozen eggs plus what our own hens lay.
We have spreads like jam, lemon curd, marmite, syrup, honey, marmalade.
We have pickled onions and beetroot.

I just have the fridges and freezers to check.

Breakfasts will be cereal, toast or eggs.
Lovely husband and daughter take a packed lunch of sandwiches, crisps, cake and fruit.
Daisy has a cooked lunch and I have a sandwich and cake or a tin of something.

I will erase what we have used and record what evening meals we have eaten.
Yesterday we had pork chops (Charlotte had sausaqges), baby baked potatoes, carrots and broccoli, stuffing and gravy. None of this meal came out of the audit here.

I have a lot of food, but it needs to last as long as possible!

Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with my fresh and frozen audits.

Forgot to say - yesterday I planted out my living lettuces (40p yellow sticker) and some coriander seeds on the windowsill.

Thanks for reading

Mandy x

Monday, 24 June 2013

I've taken up Frugal Queen's challenge...

Hi everyone!

I have decided to take up Frugal Queen's challenge. She plans to 'Just do with what I have July', where she will be using up what is in her stores, cupboards and freezer. She is only buying what is absolutely necessary and this includes fresh food. Please go over to her blog and take a look. You can find her on my sidebar (blogs I follow) or go to hhtp://

I feel like a bit of a cheat, because I only went shopping yesterday and I have an approved food order coming today! So my cupboards, fridges and freezers are full!

My plan is to see how long I can make this last. I want to use up all leftovers, have no food waste and create some exciting meals for my family out of cheap ingredients I already have. I want to use my breadmaker (haven't for ages), get into baking again and generally motivate myself to be more organised in the home.

The first job is to make an audit of my fridges, freezers and cupboards. Then I can start planning our meals for the weeks ahead.

Could you take up Frugal Queen's challenge of 'Just do with what I have July'?

I know it's still June, but I'm starting now and then we will shop again in a fortnight. Hopefully I will only need fresh fruit, veg, salad and baby stuff for Daisy-May.

Wish me luck :)

Mandy xxx

Thursday, 20 June 2013

A message for Frugal Wife...

Hi and welcome to my blog!

I am so happy that I have a new follower - you have made my day :)

I hope you're feeling better now.

Thank you xxx


Monday, 17 June 2013

Follow me with bloglovin!

I have joined bloglovin!

Hopefully I will get some followers???

Mandy x

Friday, 7 June 2013

The decluttering continues... the fabric stash

Hi everyone!

Well I've been so busy spending time with and caring for my beautiful baby grandaughter, that I haven't found time to blog.

I do have a little decluttering update to record:

50.  a large carrier bag of fabric scraps.

Yay!!! I have made it to 50!

When I no longer have a use for any textiles - clothes, towels, tea-towels, curtains (anything fabric), I reuse or recycle them like this:

  • towels are cut up to make dog towels
  • tea-towels make rags for cleaning
  • curtains and bedding etc will be reused to make new items (I recently made two dog beds out of old duvets and duvet covers
  • clothes are either sold on ebay or carbooting, or cut up to make patchwork.
  • buttons are removed to be used for repairs or for craft projects
  • ribbon, bows or ties are saved for crafting/homemade gifts
I have a habit of not throwing anything away because it may come in handy some day. My house was full of stuff that wasn't coming in handy! Slowly I am working my way through each area of the house, parting with stuff, and it feels good!

So, the fabric is still there (now cut up, colour categorised and ready to be used), but a lot less of it. Some bits I had kept were too small to do anything with, so they've gone now and it all looks neat and tidy.

Does anyone else recycle their fabric like this, or is it just me?

Mandy x