Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Our Christmas...

Hi everyone, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

Here's a few snippets of our Christmas...

Daisy's offering for Father Christmas :)

Henry's first Christmas! 

My rather large prawn cocktail! I don't eat many carbs now so tried to fill up on prawns.

A Christmas Day treat

Charlotte treated me to a beautiful new dress

This beautiful daisy chain bunting was a gift from a friend, very cleverly created by her mum. It will look lovely in Daisy's new bedroom.

I personally don't like Christmas cake, but Daisy does!

Turkey risotto...using up what we have.

Tonight's tea was toad in the hole. Sadly I can't eat meals like this anymore but it's one of Daisy's favourites. As for was milk again!

That brings me up to date, so I'll be back in the New Year with my thoughts and plans for the future.

New Years Eve will be quiet as usual for us with two little ones in the house. I will be up into the early hours with the night feeds though! 

Mandy x

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year!

Thank you for all your kind comments xx

I'll leave you with a little Christmas baking...

Mandy x

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Thank you!

Thank you so much everyone


Was it something I said?

My followers pretty much stay the same. 

I checked in today to have a quick read and noticed how many I've lost in a week. I've never set out to be popular, but I do notice when people leave. 

Thank you to those of you that have stuck by me through my difficult times. I hope to be a better blogger in the new year when things are more settled but my precious grandchildren will always come first. 

Like I said before, I'm aiming for January when thriftiness will really have to kick in!

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful Christmas and will see you in the new year.

Mandy x

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Trying harder and a bit of Christmas baking...

Hi everyone 

On Sunday I didn't do a roast as Daisy requested toad-in-the-hole.

Too many carbs for me so I had sausages and cauliflower cheese and veg.

I decided to use the vegetable peelings to make stock. 

On to pudding...I quickly made a cake batter and divided it into two deep sandwich tins. One I topped with white icing and sprinkles, the other with jam and coconut. Obviously only a tiny slither for me as a Sunday treat.

I took the recipe from one of my favourite books...

Today we've finally made our Christmas cakes. One will stay with us and the other three will be given as presents.

At least I've made a start!


Saturday, 5 December 2015

Aiming for January!

Hi everyone, just a quick hello from me! Things have been very difficult here and I haven't been in the mood to blog. I'm hoping that life will get easier after Christmas and I can settle down back to some kind of normality with the children. 

We are busy with Christmas too and I will share some photos of my Christmas baking when I can. Daisy and I have been doing a little baking and cooking but I always forget to photograph it!

Rock cakes

Charlotte's birthday cake

Cornflake cakes

My easy cauliflower cheese...simply chop the cauliflower quite small, pour over a pot of double cream, a flick of parsley and black pepper, then some grated cheese on top. I bake it in the oven while the meat is cooking (covered with foil to begin with) and this one was with pork chops. I've found this to be an excellent substitution for mash. I actually feel full up. 


Daisy's advent calendar...dairy free :)

I hope all your Christmas preparations are going well. Please feel free to share any Christmas thrifty tips you have in the comments below. It's all about the children for us so I won't be doing a huge food shop as I normally would...just a few treats really.


Thursday, 5 November 2015

Fresh food grocery haul

Hi everyone

Thank you so much for your comments and advice on eating a low carb diet. I am eating more protein, particularly eggs but I'm still finding lunchtime difficult. As this is a lifestyle change, I've given up bread altogether. I have missed toast for breakfast but I'm finding lunchtime harder without a sandwich! I'm looking on Pinterest for salad inspiration as I easily get bored. I have the same dinner as my family but leave out the potatoes, pasta or rice.

Today my shopping was delivered. It was really expensive as I had to buy ink for the printer, and a few more bits that I wouldn't normally buy. 

One thing I have noticed is how much more fresh food I'm buying. I thought I'd do a little haul for you...

Cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, sprouts, mushrooms, swede and onions.

Peppers, red onions, spring onions, little gem and round lettuce and cucumber.

Out of these we will have salad, roasted veg and loads of extra veg piled on my plate!

I love fresh pineapple. I also got some apples and strawberries and we have pears and plums left over from the last shop.

I won't eat much of this apart from the beef and ham with my salads.

I actually hate milk (and yoghurt) but I do eat a lot of eggs!

There's mine and stewing beef for the slow cooker. Sausages and bacon and a whole chicken for meals in the week.

Not for me!

I'll try to remember to photograph my meals  this week.


Mandy x

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Low carb diet...any advice??

Hi everyone

Thank you for your lovely comments :)

I'm looking for advice today if anyone has been on a low carb diet before. I'm doing well but I'm finding it difficult to feel full. I'm not eating any bread or potatoes and only a tiny portion of pasta or rice occasionally. Carbs seem to be in everything so I'm removing the obvious ones and eating lots of fresh food.

Any tips or ideas would be gratefully can email me from the contact me page, or leave a comment.

Thank you xxx

Yesterday we had lasagne for tea, so I just removed the lasagne for me...not the same but I'm committed this time as a lifestyle not a diet. I don't want to cook separately everyday as I'm really short of time now.

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some tips on how to cut the grocery shop each week.

Mandy x

Monday, 2 November 2015

Major life changes...

Hi everyone

I'm so sorry I haven't been around for the last month. As the title says, we've had some major life changes. I'm not able to talk about them publicly but it's all good and everyone is fine. We have a lot of appointments and a lot of professionals visiting the house. It's all part of a process but it's been hard. Hopefully by Christmas I can say a little bit more. Until then please bear with me! I have very little time and very little sleep at the moment! We are getting into a new routine now so things should settle soon. There is also a huge amount of joy in our lives :)

Money saving is really important now! I will try to post little snippets as I can, but my day is so busy now that I can't promise much. The huge grocery bill is about to be reduced so much to accommodate the different things we need to buy now plus coping with Christmas. 

In other news...I am addressing my weight seriously and have already made good progress. I am eating a low carb diet and need to fit this into a smaller food budget. So many challenges!!

Thanks for being so patient xx

Mandy x

Monday, 28 September 2015

Sunny Sunday...

Hi everyone

Yesterday was so beautiful and sunny so we went for a long walk...

Jake had a lovely time wandering about and paddling in the stream, while Daisy collected some bits and bobs for some autumn crafting. It was good to get out in the fresh air and walk off our Sunday roast...

Daisy was in charge of making pudding...

This was peach flan with chantilly cream and sprinkles! I just snipped off the end of a disposable piping bag and let her be creative :) as Daisy is lactose intolerant, she also made a pudding just for herself...lemon jelly and dairy free ice cream. 

Today we've been crafting with all her treasures...

I'll show you the picture tomorrow.

We also bashed and squashed some blackberries to make paint...

We love you?

Mandy x

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Food hoarding

Hi everyone

Life is extremely hectic at the moment...big things are going on which take up a lot of time so I just haven't found the time to blog.

I am a food hoarder! I'm trying hard to stop buying more than we need. I am happy if the cupboards and freezer are full but we really don't need that much. So I have a plan...

The plan is not to plan! No meal planning for a couple of weeks and just going through what we've got. I hope to have tidier cupboards so I can see what we need at a glance. I also want to go back to trying out new recipes.

As I'm short of time, I think I will maybe just post up photos of our meals for now.

The slow cooker is my friend at the moment!

I love dumplings...

Are there any other food hoarders out there? Or is it just me?!!

Mandy x

Thursday, 3 September 2015

I love autumn :)

Hi everyone

I've been a bit busy but I thought I'd drop in to share a few things with you...

I really do love autumn (except for the pesky wasps!!) I can't wait to get using the slow cooker more and eating all those comforting foods...casseroles, dumplings, puddings with custard, porridge, hot chocolate! Plus autumn walks to burn it off! Yesterday I began my autumnal food with this...

A jug of chocolate custard. I mixed a shake of cocoa into a packet of cheap instant custard then added the boiling water...simple!

We had some little chocolate fairy cakes leftover from Daisy's birthday, so used them up.

Porridge! It has to be golden syrup :)

Since I wrote this, I've had the slow cooker going...spaghetti bolognese. 

There will be loads more autumn food to follow!

Mandy x

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

New books and a few little changes!

Hi everyone

Yesterday Charlotte helped me to change a few things on my blog. We've updated a couple of bits and added a contact page with my email address and Pinterest account username. I would love to hear from you...any requests for recipes etc. 

There's also an about me page if you're interested ;)

Yesterday I taught Daisy how to shell peas. Once she got the hang of it, she was really fast...although both of us had a few stray peas that popped across the room (to the dog's delight!) they were lovely with our roast dinner.

These are the books that I picked up from the carboot sale. One was 30p and the other two were 20p each...70p for three book and hours of entertainment for me...bargain! I love discovering different authors then I look out for other books they've written. 

This is my current book. I'm really into it and will be looking out for more Lizzie Lane paperbacks. Most of the books I read are set during wartime or the 1950s. 

Does anyone else love wartime stories?

We're making quiche this afternoon...wish me luck! Pastry is not always successful! I don't actually like shop bought short crust so we will have a go...practice makes perfect.

Mandy x

Monday, 24 August 2015

Carboot finds and a help yourself kind of tea...

Hi everyone

The sun was shining and we went car booting on Saturday. This was brave for me because there were so many wasps about and I have a phobia! One actually became entangled in Charlotte's hair!! I did find bargains though...

Some bits for the grandchildren :)
Total of £3

I remember these style of trays from my childhood and have been on the lookout for ages. Normally they are priced too high for me, but these were £1 each...already in use!

Four dresses for £4.50!
I'm so pleased with these...all are a size 14 except for the Laura Ashley butterfly one which is a 16. I used to wear an 18/20 top half and 16 bottom half. Now I can wear a 14 :) 

I also bought three books for 70p...bargain! I will photograph later. All wartime stories that I love.

One of our favourite teas is a help yourself tea (picky bits). Daisy loves helping me prepare these, setting the table beautifully...

This was a ploughmans lunch (tea). I've had to change the meal plan slightly due to the really hot weather...not a slow cooker stew kind of day! We've got our roast today...can't wait!

Mandy x