Why do I find meal planning so hard? You would think after 17 and a half years of being a parent I would have got past sifting through the fridge at 5pm in a panic and not knowing what to to cook for the people who reside with me.

No such luck

In a bid to inject some organisation into our week and hopefully leave time for more of the “other stuff” I am trying. Really trying, to get on top of this part.

If I can nail this stupidly small and seemingly easy part of our family week then, I don’t know, maybe everything else will somehow fall into place. Moody teenagers will suddenly transform into pleasant and cooperative young adults. The Husband will shake off the fatigue of his day/week/month/year and become attentive to something other than Clash of sodding Clans and the 4 year old. Maybe he will stop declaring he hates a food that just 2 days earlier was all he would let pass his lips. I will of course be able to spend those extra few moments of my day doing something fabulous.

You can place your bets on how that will turn out.

We do definitely save money when we plan though. So there is that.

Our Dinners For The Week

Friday – Chicken Noodles with a homemade 2 syn Sweet and Sour style sauce

Saturday – Burgers with chips and slaw. I might make my chips with celeriac. I don’t know if that will taste a bit parsnippy though?

Sunday – roast chicken, mash, roast celeriac, carrots, sprouts.

Monday – pie for them. tandoori skewer and Slimming World aloo gobi for me. Nicer than it sounds.

Tuesday – rice, chicken, corn on cob, think Nandos without the price tag.

Wednesday – Sausages and mash. Did you know you can make your mash creamier by adding an egg? I am going to try it. If I end up with a scrambly egg mash, I will let you know.

Thursday – Spaghetti Bolognese. A smaller portion for me which I will bulk out with roasted red pepper and courgette.

 

Breakfast is usually porridge with fruit. Lunches I don’t tend to plan. It will be whatever I can grab that is Slimming World friendly or maybe if those other things fall into place then who knows. Maybe I will make a soup. We can but dream, right?

 

 

Katykicker

Valentines day is just around the corner and just in case the romance hasn’t died just yet, here are some great gift ideas. If like me you have been married for so long that the idea of having the energy to feel anything other than absolutely exhausted then you can head to my Valentines Self Care Tips. 

On to the gifts then!

Chocolate is a pretty safe bet when it comes to gift giving. Guylian is a firm favourite here and I love the heart shaped box (1990s grunge reference to me, romantic gesture to others). Priced at £5 this one is a no brainer.

 

Valentines gifts should be a little bit cheesy I think and I love these matching couples keyrings from TheBespokeWorks on Etsy. What’s even better is that you are helping to support an independent seller!

 

If like many people the object of your affection was a participant in Veganuary, maybe this would be a great gift to show your support. Lots of people who take part in Veganuary choose to stay vegan and a perfect gift for them might be this gift basket of goodies from The Goodness Project

Perfume has been a popular gift for hundreds of years for good reason. The Perfume Shop has a massive selection and are incredibly knowledgeable about how to select the perfect fragrance so don’t be afraid to ask!

As well as a massive range to choose from (I am a fan of a fancy looking bottle and musky/vanilla tones in case you were wondering) The Perfume Shop also offer a personalised engraving service to make your gift even more special!

Did you know that Aldi sell Fairtrade flowers? Also, they are a bargain in comparison to some other shops. I always find that they last ages – don’t be under any illusion that I married a romantic, I buy them for myself. Sigh.

Flowers are a staple of Valentines celebrations, she’ll love them and you will know that you have helped to support a great cause.

 

If you are wondering what a Living Arrow is then this post should bring you up to speed.

This week has been all about slimming world for me. I recently joined and you can read about it here. My children don’t appear to care that I am trying to improve our eating. They are still very much invested in eating all of the leftover Christmas chocolate. It’s a tough job…

The weather has turned really frosty this week so we have been mostly staying indoors. I am trying to plan things to do but it’s just far too cold out there right now.

Moose

Moose had his very best friend over to play after school. It was his first school friend playdate and I was a bit worried. Not because I thought they would be terrors but both boys are the youngest in their year and school completely wipes Moose out most days. I worried that if that was the case for J too, I might have 2 seriously tired 4 year olds on my hands and that could lead to disaster. It was absolutely fine though. Thankfully J’s Mum told me that J is just as difficult with food as Moose. That was a relief to be honest. They had so much fun playing together. I am definitely going to make it a regular thing!

 

Bess

I am cheating. Bess has been running around doing so much schoolwork and attending rehearsals for a show she is putting on this week at school that I have barely seen her! This photo is of her on her Birthday earlier in the month. It really does smack me in the feels sometimes just how quickly she is growing up – it seems to be accelerating? She chose the dress she is wearing and looks beautiful but far too grown up if you ask me.

 

Living Arrows

Last week I decided on a whim to start attending a weekly Slimming World group. Yesterday was my very first weigh in so I thought I would update you on how the first week went!

The group was really welcoming. I won’t deny I was nervous, mind you.

I came home after group with my new pack and I must admit that I did feel a little overwhelmed by all of the information I had been given.

Getting my head around it

It took some effort to read through the books I had been given but it was so worth it. I made a note of meal ideas for the first few days to make it a little easier to stay on plan.

I found it quite difficult to stop snacking. To be honest I hadn’t realised just how regularly I had been stuffing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Often would be an understatement. It’s a habit that I am trying to focus on breaking.

One of the things I was worried about was feeling hungry. I get awful heartburn and it seems to be worse when I feel hungry. To the point where the urge to vomit because of the acid taste has woken me in the night. I suspect it has a lot to do with my weight.

Meals

I thought I would share some of the meals I have been eating during my first week on plan.

One pan brunch.

This was so easy to make and very filling. Cheap too! I pan fried Slimming World sausages in spray oil and then added onion, edamame beans and a tin of tomatoes with a big pinch of mixed herbs. After a few minutes of simmering I cracked an egg into the pan and finished it under the grill.

Sea Bass

This was a really quick dinner to throw together. Pan fried Sea Bass with boiled broccoli and a bag of microwave rice from Aldi for 1 syn. Less than 10 minutes from fridge to plate.

Smoked Salmon Broghies

A quick lunch, but very satisfying. Broghies with low fat soft cheese, smoked salmon and cucumber and a small bunch of grapes. 4 syns but I think it was worth it.

Sunday Roast

One of my favourite meals of the week. Roast chicken (skin removed) with roasted squash. Roast onions and roast potatoes and all of the sprouts. 1.5 syns for Aldi gravy.

Fishcakes and Chips

Hands down my most filling meal of the week. In fact I couldn’t finish it. The fishcakes are 2 syns each from Morrisons and are very, very nice. I had mine with slimming world chips, mushy peas and pickles. MrG did not believe that this was a “diet meal”.

Spaghetti Bolognese

This is a weekly favourite. I just adapted it to make it plan friendly by swapping a jar of sauce for a homemade one. I used passata with basil from Aldi. That’s something I am really enjoying, about Slimming World. I can make the same for all of the family and know that we are all eating healthier. Except Moose obviously who is going through a phase of eating 2 bites of anything and proclaiming that he is full. Aren’t 4 year olds fun?

Did I lose anything?

YES! Even though I had a couple of blips. Namely falling foul of the chocolate calling my name and then asking Bess to fetch me a glass of Pepsi Max and her getting me the full sugar Pepsi by mistake. I wasn’t best pleased.

I LOST 3LBS! More importantly though I feel a lot more confident about my choices and better in myself. Just knowing that I am drinking lots of water and eating healthier meals is making such a difference already.

What are your favourite Slimming World dishes? I would love to hear about them in the comments below.

 

 

Week 2 of Living Arrows and for us this week has been all about getting back into a routine. If you are wondering what a Living Arrow is then this post should bring you up to speed.

The Christmas holidays always feels quite long to me (maybe because post Christmas my purse is usually pretty empty) and this one was no exception. That said, I loved having everyone at home, it was really more the children wanting to go back to see friends.

Moose

This photo was of Moose with his very first reading book from school! He was really keen to get stuck into reading and to show me what he could do. As soon as we got home he sat up to the table and asked me to listen to him read. Moose took his time and there were a lot of words he couldn’t quite get but quite a few that he recognised! He has obviously been trying hard and it is already starting to show.

Bess

Bess and I went to the cinema to see Fantastic Beasts 2 this week. I know that it has been out for ages but I managed to side step any spoilers thankfully. Bess loved it, she loves all things Potter anyway so it was a pretty safe bet. I really enjoyed the film too and it made me want to go back and do the Harry Potter Studios tour again.

Even though she is now a super cool teenager, Bess couldn’t resist having her photo taken in the cinema foyer when she saw this promo for the new Lego movie due out next month.

I feel another trip to the cinema coming on.

 

Living Arrows