Thursday, 31 January 2013

A month in review: January 2013

To be honest, I've struggled this month. It's been hard starting a new job, which appears to be insanely busy every day with no let up whatsoever. It's been difficult battling through snow on a morning to get to work. But, January has also gone pretty quickly, because it's been so hectic.

My aims for January were:
- lose 4lbs
- over pay mortgage by £670
- make a new type of bread loaf!
- put at least £100 into the emergency fund

I have not lost 4lbs. In fact, I've not lost anything. My eating hasn't been a main priority this month, and to be honest, my snacking has crept up so this needs re-addressing this month. 

I have made overpayments of £670 this month, so target met! It could be slightly more, but we're keeping a small reserve in the current account at the moment, just in case things with the house crop up and need dealing with. 

I haven't made a new type of loaf - I haven't baked any bread at all this month. The oven we have now is hotter than the one I'm used to, so I'm trying to get used to the temperature of it before attempting something delicate like bread. 

I've managed to put £300 into the emergency fund, which I think is good going. The other reason why we haven't over paid more on the mortgage is because I also want to get our emergency fund building up quickly, so it's going to be a balancing act. 

So, overall hit and miss in terms of aims, though I'm pleased with the money ones. I'm going to have a ponder about my February aims overnight and will probably post them tomorrow. 

No picture today, as it's dark already. Roll on summer! 

Saturday, 26 January 2013

A little organisation.

It's snowed again over night. To be honest, I'm getting a bit fed up of the snow. It would be fine if I didn't have to drive anywhere, but I do! I feel like a "Bah Humbug" but the novelty quickly wears off. Now, if I could go sledging somewhere, that would be different. 

I've been food shopping today, so I'll post tomorrow what we're eating for the week. I made the mistake of going about 11am today, which meant that the supermarket was heaving with people. Lots of people. So, it took longer than it normally would, and left me a bit more stressed than normal. 

When we moved in just over a month ago, we were left with lots of keys in a pile. They've mainly stayed in that pile but they were beginning to annoy me. So, with an £20 Amazon voucher that me and DH got for Christmas, I made him order this:

This is now in our kitchen, in a place where it's not in view at first, and it doesn't look like it's name, more just a board. But inside....:

Are all of our keys, now nicely in one place! I ordered some tags to label all of the keys we have (apart from car keys) so we know which one is which! For example:

That's so much better. And organised. And the best part? The front of it is a mini blackboard, so I can write messages on it too! 

Friday, 25 January 2013

Thank goodness it's Friday!

Oh my goodness, this week has been long. My new job is good, but it's so tiring at the moment. I really am shattered by the end of each day - thank goodness it's Friday, and the weekend. 

The kittens are still really nervous, and don't come anywhere near us - but we're making progress. The first two days they wouldn't come out from underneath the sofa but now they will at least be in the same room as us. I wish I had been able to get a photo to post, as they are so cute. 

Tonight's tea is going to be a vegetable stir fry, followed by these (one each for me and DH):

Needs must. It is Friday, after all. 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Our week ahead, and some news!

Another weekend over. Another week planned for. 

Our meals for the week look like this:
today - sausages with sweet potato mash, peas and gravy
Monday - veg stir fry and noodles
Tuesday - spaghetti bol
Wednesday - pizza (dh) soup (me)
Thursday - spanish style chicken bake
Friday - garlic chicken with chips and salad

Spent £37 at Mr Ms for this week, which is good. I'm trying to focus on our food spends being around £40 a week. It's working so far.

I went to see Les Miserables with some friends last night and loved it. I cried too, but it was. I wasn't sure about Russell Crowe singing though, but I'm not the biggest fan of his. But, I'd definitely go and see it again.

Also, we've adopted two kittens/cats! (they're 9 months old, is that still classed as kittens, or not?) They arrived this afternoon, and are currently hiding away, which is sad, but I'm excited to have them here finally, and to make our home more of a home. Also, they're from the rescue centre so I'm glad we're able to give them a home. I'll try and get some pictures whenever they come out of hiding! 

We've had more snow. It's cold. 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Friday night.

Gosh, I'm so glad it's the weekend.

This week has been so strange and the weather hasn't helped. It hasn't snowed here today really, nothing has settled. There's still plenty of ice around though, so driving near our house is still a bit tricky.

Friday night normally means a slightly unhealthier tea than normal, and something that is straight forward. Tonight was no exception:

Gammon, pineapple, egg and chips. Just lovely. 

Have a good weekend, everyone. 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Snow is falling.

Yes, we've had quite a lot of snow, which has now frozen which makes driving to work quite tricky! Yesterday whilst I was driving, the trees looked so pretty with the snow on their branches, and a very pink sunrise behind them. I wish I'd had a camera on me, it was lovely!

I'm trying to avoid putting the heating on more, but if it doesn't get any warmer, I may have to. When I arrived to work this morning, it was -11.5 degrees! Brrr.

Tonight was a very simple but tasty dinner:

Mushroom stroganoff with rice. So tasty, very simple and comforting after a long day at work.

Followed by this [which is the worst photo, ever]:

Homemade christmas cake with a slice of cheese [which is how it's done in the North.]

Is it nearly the weekend?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Meals for the week ahead.

As it's Sunday, it means planning for the week ahead, meal-wise. I look at what I've got in, what needs using up sooner rather than later, and then make a list.

Our menu for this week is:
Monday - mushroom and pesto spaghetti 
Tuesday - chicken fajitas
Wednesday - pizza (dh) slim fast (me)
Thursday - mushroom stroganoff and rice
Friday - gammon, egg and chips

The pesto needs using up, so that'll be done tomorrow. I'm still working through the last tin of slim fast I bought before the wedding... so a little more shall disappear on Wednesday, and DH has requested gammon, which I've never cooked before(...!) so that's on Friday.

It's starting snowing here! 

Friday, 11 January 2013

I made it!

I've made it through my first week at my new job! I have enjoyed it, it's been really busy and hectic, so the week has gone quickly, and I've got lots of work to do over the weekend, but I think I'm going to like it there!

The plan for this evening is to have an easy tea, followed by relaxing on the sofa. I've got a bottle of alcoholic ginger beer with my name on chilling in the fridge, and I don't intend to move off the sofa!

Ahh, the weekend has begun. 

[I tried a new breakfast this morning, not sure if I am impressed....]

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Motivation, or lack of.

I've started my new job this week, and although very busy, it's been okay so far, and I've received support from my colleagues. I think I'm going to like it there! (Don't want to jinx it....)

But, I'll be honest, I'm absolutely shattered. I'm not sleeping too well, probably due to having a million and one things to remember. 

And motivation? Yeah, don't have any of that. All I want to do is every day when I get home, is sit on the sofa, drink tea and never move. Meals this week have been very quick and easy, purely because I just can't be bothered. 

Is 8PM too early to go to bed for an adult?

[This was my breakfast this morning. Nutella/peanut butter - not everything is bad.]

N xxx

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Meals for the week and a sweet treat.

So, yesterday I spent some time looking through the cupboards, making a note of things that needed eating up and then set about writing a menu for the week, then a shopping list. 

Our meals this week look like:
today - out at the in-laws
Monday - chicken, waffles and beans
Tuesday - summer-in-winter chicken
Wednesday - pizza (DH) slim fast (me)
Thursday - filled pasta and sauce
Friday - garlic chicken with chips (DH) and salad (me)

Lots of chicken this week, but not complaining :) quite a lot of this is from our freezer, and every meal this week is something easy and relatively quick to eat. I'm probably going to be pretty tired this week, so easy and quick is what is required. 

Our breakfasts are going to be toast/cereal/porridge/breakfast biscuits, and then lunches are sandwiches, with fruit. 

Now, my DH is very slim and does a lot of walking each day for his job, so he always needs more calories than me. I have a browse online, and decided to make some rocky road for him to take as part of his lunches this week. The only thing I had to buy was some value chocolate, and off I went!

Mmm. I am going to try and stay away from this! If you keep the base of milk chocolate/dark chocolate/golden syrup/butter, you can add pretty much what you want. I added ginger biscuits/digestives/marshmallows/pistachios/almonds/raisins and DH assures me it's very very tasty. Also, I got to use my new tin! We got a set of three as a wedding present, but I've not used any yet, until now! 

Here's to the week ahead. 

N xxx

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Planning for the week ahead.

This morning I have been so relaxed. I've eaten a (fairly) decandent breakfast, browsed online, wished for things, and then pondered others. 

I had this for breakfast

This is garlic mushrooms on toast. Mushrooms and garlic cooked in butter on toast. Lovely stuff.

I have been watching these all week, watching them turn colour:

Think they may have to be turned into something else soon. Banana loaf perhaps?

And, I've been having a cuppa and browsing through these, trying to decide what I want to make first...:

It's a hard life! 

In other news, the lighting in the kitchen in our new house is awful, as these pictures show. I'm having a hard time finding somewhere to photograph things so that they come out okay. I'm working on it, but they're pretty rubbish so far. It makes me want a nicer camera.... 

I will go and do some food shopping later, and decide on our weekly menu. Anything to take my mind off the fact that I'm starting a new job on Monday, and I'm starting to get quite nervous.... 

N xxx

Thursday, 3 January 2013

January 2013 aims.

I always try and make aims at the start of every month, so I thought, why not add them here for everyone to see? That way, I have to stick to them too....!

So, for January, my aims are:
- lose 4lbs
- over mortgage by £670
- make a new type of bread loaf!
- put at least £100 into the emergency fund

I am going to do a blog post about the mortgage/overpaying/general plans regarding that, just so I can remember more than anything. We also have some other plans in place as well, it's just trying to organise them in my mind so that everything works somehow. 

So, now that they're written down, I can't fail....!

[close up of the salad I munched earlier]

N xxx