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

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Meal Plan

Hi everyone

My shopping gets delivered today so we start a new meal plan...

Ploughmans...cheddar cheese, crusty bread, pickled onions, nice crisps, pickle, a small salad, pork pie and an apple.

Stew and dumplings...in the slow cooker.

Roast chicken...with roasties, stuffing, cabbage, carrots, green beans, broccoli and gravy.

Jacket potatoes...with cheese, beans and corn on the cob.

Sausages...with macaroni cheese and peas.

Home made quiche...with home made chips, peas and salad.

Pork chops...with mash, carrots, cabbage and gravy.

We will eat these in the order that suits us. I pay attention to what's going out of date to use up first and try to eat food as fresh as possible. 

I try to get a good balance of meat and non-meat days and potatoes/pasta/rice. 

We will have a pudding each day but it is normally something light. If we have a light tea like salad, then we may have a bigger pudding. I'm really craving chocolate pudding and chocolate custard at the moment! I love the autumn when the slow cooker comes out more often and there is more gravy dinners and custard puddings :)

My thoughts have already turned to planning for the autumn months...I've started to pick up warmer clothes for Daisy at the car boot sale for pennies. 

I really am getting back to my thrifty ways...my Hoover broke last week and my dishwasher broke this week :(
I have been sweeping floors and washing up...it's a pain but I'm getting used to it. We will buy another Hoover but I may well do without the dishwasher. I desperately need to cut back on our electricity consumption and I have a feeling the dishwasher may use a lot!

Mandy x

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Baking biscuits and using what we've got

Hi everyone

Daisy asked to bake biscuits this afternoon so we made a very simple recipe from her comic. These turned out to be the best biscuits we've ever made! 


Daisy loves icing and decorating. The bunny biscuits were her choice :)


Some of Daisy's finished biscuits...we love baking!

I thought I'd share this easy retro pudding we had yesterday...


Raspberry Angel Delight and tinned peaches! It was lovely. I'm using up some of the bits and bobs in my cupboards as they're getting full again and I'm trying to keep a sensible store cupboard, not an overflowing one! 

I've been useless in remembering to photograph my dinners before eating them! 


I had some veg that needed using up and I always try to use what's in the fridge before my shopping arrives on a Thursday. I chopped some peppers, red onions and spring onions, added a few sprays of oil ready to roast. I later added these to boiled rice. I bought some ribs when they were on offer and marinaded them...


This marinade was different to my usual one. I experimented with what I had in the cupboard and it gave the meat a lovely flavour. 

Sorry we ate it before I remembered to take a photo!

Mandy x

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Meal ideas

Hi everyone

If you've followed me for a while you'll know that I have a huge recipe collection. I have decluttered my recipe books but still have a few. Most of my collection is handwritten or magazine cuttings from over the years. Apart from recipes we may refer to, most of us have family favourites that don't require a recipe. I have loads of jottings of meal ideas and on Pinterest and in my head. Sometimes I fall into the same old, same old meals and this makes cooking tea a chore. 


I have this pretty little notebook that I haven't found a use for until now. This will be my meal ideas book. I hope to create a reference book with a huge bank of meal ideas to inspire my meal planning. I will include hot and cold dinners as well as puddings. This gives me the opportunity to keep things simple but to have different meals without searching for recipes. 

I'm not a naturally organised person, so hopefully this will put all my ideas in one place. 

I will be meal planning for next week later today as I do my online shop on Tuesday evenings. I will have a list and I will stick to it!

I will be on the lookout for cheap but nutritious meals, so feel free to share your family favourites in the comments! It would be lovely to recipe share :)

Mandy x

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Going back in time!

Hi everyone!

I thought I'd share my thoughts with you of how I love going back in time.

I have shown a keen interest in history since primary school when we studied the Victorians and World War Two. All of the books I read whether fiction or non-fiction are set in the past. I absolutely love living history programmes and record so many just in case I have time to sit and watch them! As I've got older, I have developed a huge interest in all things 1970s. I was born in 1971 so do remember a lot of that decade, although I was a teenager in the 1980s so there are loads of memories there too. My taste in home decor and household items is definitely 70s now...I'm actually embracing the brown and orange floral prints which I used to hate! Here's a few little purchases I've made over the past few months at the boot sale...








I suppose it's a bit of a hobby searching for bits and pieces and I never spend very much! I would love a vintage/retro house and will start with the kitchen. 

We actually eat very much like I did in my childhood. The 1970s are known for the processed food available, but I think a lot of families didn't eat the typical freezer to oven meals. A lot of women were still at home looking after the children (or only part time) and had time to cook from scratch. We had the odd thing like Angel Delight, but generally my diet was home cooked and full of fresh vegetables etc. this got me thinking and although I have lost weight by following a diet, I'm not happy with the amount of processed food. My tummy has not been happy either :(

My snack cupboard is full, so are the tins and packets cupboard...this is not how I want to eat or spend my husbands hard earned cash!! Don't even get me started on processed cheese! Low fat or not. 

So I am trying something different. I will go back traditional, with the added awareness of where I am clearly greedy. I will share photos of my meals to keep me on track too. 

So my blog writing is refreshed after my break and I'm inspired again. I will be taking a new direction but it is definitely thrifty.

I hope you will join me :)

Mandy xx

Monday, 10 August 2015

I'm going to try harder...

Hi to anyone still out there!

Sorry I've been away so long, but I am going to try harder :)

We now have a gorgeous and very precious grandson and Daisy is a big sister! 

I feel ready to blog again now.

In other news...I am trying to lose weight and be more healthy. This has not been a thrifty experience so far so I'm really looking at ways to lose weight without the shopping bill going through the roof! If there's any interest, I will share my thrifty meals and recipes with you. 

I hope you will join me as I get back into the swing of things...

Mandy xx