Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Me & Mine February

The shortest month of the year felt like the longest this time around.
It's been a busy month, with lots of ups and downs but as the month is closing we are finally back on a somewhat even keel. 

February saw new jobs, mid terms, much needed family time, re evaluating some things...we are adulting hard this month! However as always things always work out for the best, as I say everything happens for a reason.

We are really looking forward to March being a much more settled month on every level.

Pictures this month were a little rushed but we have one of the 3 of us in the same spot of the house at this time of the year for the last 3 years so it's nice to keep this tradition going.

Here is our family portrait for March:



This month Luke loves:

Having his baby cousin Eliot come on a sleep over
Going to Fota Gardens with his friends to ride his bike
Watching Kung Fu Panda

This month Dad loves:

Starting a new job
Having some much needed family bonding time
Going out with his friends

This month Mum loves:

Looking after my handsome godson
Going to see a medium
Finally starting a new book



The Me and Mine Project

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

January Round Up


January - You could have been a bit nicer but you could have also been a whole lot worse.
I feel like the month passed by in much the same way as 2016 on a whole did, highs and lows. No sooner had we ourselves sorted then we suffered another set back. 
I did decide this year that I wouldn't be focusing on a the whole "new year new start" straight away because I always feel like that's a bit unrealistic, the aftermath of Christmas tends to linger, I celebrate my birthday and just generally getting ourselves back on an even keel takes a bit of time so with that mindset January went quite ok.

We made some adult decisions, mortgage discussing no less, all very grown up and scary and exciting! 

We had a child free trip to Belfast which we really enjoyed, there was lots of shopping and eating taking in some of the infamous sights.

A date night out for dinner with the OH, uninterrupted meal time is a novelty!

A girly catch up over dinner where we laughed a lot about our younger days. I actually hadn't laughed that much in a long time, it was definitely needed.

The OH's car suffered a freak accident by rolling from outside our house and bashing into another car which we had to pay for.

My car suffered a hiccup 2 days later.

My insurance renewal came in with another increase after almost doubling last year, seriously it infuriates me! Cars are a bottomless pit of money.

We had my godson for his first sleep over, best baby ever! He was an absolute delight to have and Luke loves having him around.

Even though we have finally shifted all of the Winter sickness I'm still being wiped out by migraines, they leave me exhausted.

We haven't got out in as much fresh air as I'd like but our first visit of the year to the farm to see "the baby cows" made me realise that I most definitely need to invest in a pair of wellies! 

I do feel like I have been more productive already this year by beginning to organise the house room by room, making the most of all the things we already have and reducing the buying, particularly where food is concerned, you read more about that here. 

I've also picked up my camera properly for the first time in ages, I had neglected it for much of last year but looking forward to getting into my love of photography again and editing pictures.

Here's a small recap in pictures of the month that was January:


While picking up the camera I was also editing some older pictures form last year and really like the way these 2 below turned out. I'm really looking forward to getting out and about on some picture taking adventures in February.
Belvelly Castle, Cobh, Co Cork

Belvelly, Cobh, Co Cork
We are ending the month with a few things up ion the air that need to be sorted out but I'm hoping that February will see everything fall into place, we'll have to just keep positive!

ow was January for you? I hope it was kind to all.

Friday, 3 February 2017

#ClearOutAndEat Week 3



So week 2 of #ClearOutAndEat was another success.

We had a bit of a crap day on Saturday which resulted in the adults having a frozen pizza at 9 that night! No waste though as we had the dinner planned for Saturday on Sunday instead and I've added the roast pork to this weeks menu.

The pepperoni and mozzarella stuffed chicken on Sunday went down a treat, it was delicious. I also added some homemade spicy tomato sauce to it which gave it a nice kick. That was new dish and happy it turned out so well.

The curry on Monday was a bit too spicy for me but the boys devoured it. I'm surprised the boy child did seeing as it was extra spicy but he's becoming more like his Dad on the food front.

The chicken and chorizo pasta was well received except for the chorizo left on the side by the boy child which I ate because I'd eat all the chorizo, I love it!

We ran out of bread and milk on Wednesday so had to get a top up before the big shop on Thursday, again these are items that we would never run out of usually but I really think it's down to making a conscious effort to use what's already in the house so more bringing sandwiches to work or college instead of buying them each day, trying to get through the various packets of cereal in the kitchen for breakfasts instead of maybe grabbing something in the shop on the way to work / college and just trying to come up with different versions of meals and snacks using what's there. We still have a mountain of crackers of different varieties to get through so we'll probably make a dent in them this week.
I've also found restricting choice for the boy child helps. I'm all for letting him have his own mind and all that but when it comes to food he was getting too much say in his meals and we were wasting a lot. He's responded quite well to a more strict approach to food and his eating habits have really improved and he's been pretty much clearing his dinner plate this week.

We baked some lemon and white choc chip cupcakes as our treat this week. I have a cupboard full for baking ingredients so really need to start using them up.

As we enter into Week 3 of #ClearOutAndEat I can already see so much more space in the cupboards and freezer and we haven't had any food waste in the last 2 weeks.

Here's how the meal plan for Week 3 is looking:


Next week is bit all over the place because I'm not sure of the OH's hours at work and that plays a big factor in meals because he does the cooking on nights he's at home before me so I've managed to put together meals that are quick and easy or can be prepared the night before.

Homemade chips are a staple in our house mainly because for ages it was the only form of potato the boy child would eat. I just slice up a potato, sometimes with the skin other times without and shake them up in a bag with a bit of olive oil and different spices. Paprika and chilli is a popular combination here. They are then cooked in the halogen oven so they crisp up quite well. 

The Shepards Pie will probably be prepared the night before and we'll just add the veg once we're home. 

Freezer food on Thursday will hopefully see the freezer freed up of the stray bits of food like some pies, fish fillets, chicken goujans etc

We were under budget this week at €38.10. I got a deal on 2 packets of beef mince for €5.00 too so that'll cover 2 dinners which will more than likely have leftovers for a lunch or 2.

A pretty easy menu this week and again a majority of those ingredients are already in the house.

Have you got a meal plan for the week? I'd love for you to share.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Freeing Up February

Keeping with my productive streak of late I have decided to give February a theme so I am calling it - 

#FreeingUpFebruary


We have so much stuff in our house, we are only 3 people and a dog we don't need half the stuff we have, I don't even know what some of it is. I feel like we need a good clear out of our belongings so that we can see what we really need and get rid of what we don't.

I want rid of all the clutter, things that I keep moving form one room to another.

I plan on taking it room by room and organising each room that bit better. I hate having to look for something, I'd rather know exactly where I can find something and have it to hand. I feel much calmer and less stressed when the house is neat and organised. 

The spare room is probably the the worst, there is so much stuff crammed in there right now, stuff I've probably forgotten I have so it'll be like getting something new all over again once I go through the room.

We are waiting on Luke's new bed to be delivered to that's the perfect excuse to clear out his room and make it more 3.5 year old friendly, it's still very much a baby room.

The kitchen is driving me mad at the moment, we are short of storage space so my Dad is making me a cupboard for an awkward space in the kitchen and I can't wait to free up some counter space and the table. There's nothing more annoying than the kitchen table becoming a storage space -  a big pile of clutter!

I'm hoping to be able to pass most of the things we don't want on to charities, we usually donate to our local SVP shop. I'm also looking forward to making use of things that we already have.

I'll be on a "Buying Ban" for the month of February, not through choice mind, my wages are being changed to monthly pay and I need to get used to that, also there's no wages until the end of the month, hopefully I survive!! It'll be good for me though...

I'm really looking forward to freeing up some space in the house and seeing what forgotten items I find. I'll report back throughout the month.

If you have any good hints or tips or some organising methods to maximise the space in your house be sure to share, I'd love to hear!