Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Project Life - The Beginning

This year I have a new craft project. Project Life is designed to be a quick scrapbooking method, to tell the story of everyday life and capture all those memories which would otherwise be forgotten. I was given a kit for Christmas (thanks Mum!) and the aim is to create a page every week for the whole of 2015. It's a significant year for my family - leaving aside the big 4-0 (which I'm still trying to ignore), both my parents are celebrating their 70th birthdays this year. Hopefully there will be plenty to enjoy as the year progresses - I'm definitely looking forward to it!

Today was the first day of Project Life. Armed with the photos I got printed from my phone this morning and my new kit, I sat down to create my pages for the first two weeks of the year.

I was very impressed by how quickly the pages came together - obviously it helps having a themed kit, and I'm not using too many embellishments other than a few buttons and some letters / washi tape / wooden birds from my craft stash - but I am really happy with the results.

Hopefully this is something that I can actually stick to. I am already realising that it would be amazing to have a whole year of photos and little memories to look back on, and then to start all over again next year too.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Two in a row!

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So it's Monday and I'm back with a second weekly meal plan for this year. Last week I did pretty well at sticking to plan. There was a little bit of re-shuffling due to my night out with the girls on Thursday, at which lots of wine was consumed, but I'm proud of myself for sticking to the Indian spiced lamb with butternut and rocket salad, and not feeding the hangover with a trip to the chippy like I usually do. Of course, the less said about the large baguette at lunchtime (and the pain au raisin on the way to work) to feed my post-wine carb cravings the better...

So, on to another week... I haven't online shopped yet (mainly because I haven't needed to) but will do a proper shop on Wednesday.

Tonight - Chorizo and chickpea stew with bulgar wheat (carried over from last week's plan)
Tomorrow - Pork and mushroom stir-fry with noodles
Wednesday - Lamb rogan josh and rice (cooking double to stock the freezer)
Thursday - Salmon traybake with green beans, cherry tomatoes and anchovies, probably served with mash
Friday - Chicken fajitas
Saturday - Creamy prawn risotto
Sunday - Not planned yet, but I'm thinking a roast of some kind

Of course, my not very adventurous children won't eat most of this, but our timings don't really work to eat together during the week anyway - they will definitely share in the Sunday roast but, for them, it will be the less adventurous rotation of sandwiches, fishfingers, pasta and pizza. At least I know those are things that they will eat!

I'm also planning to bake something this week - still to be decided exactly what though! 

Again,  I'm linking up with Mrs M's #Meal Planning Monday with this post.

Monday, 5 January 2015

The Return of the Meal Planning

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As part of my New Year's Resolutions, the plan is to sit down every week and put together a proper meal plan. No more popping to the shop for something 'quick and easy' on the way home from work, or ordering take-away because I can't be bothered to cook... 2015 will be all about being organised. Plus, believe it or not, I'm actually getting a bit bored of eating cake/chocolate/cheese/Christmas goodies all the time and my body is craving a bit of variety, if not actual 'healthy food'.

This week I sat down at the kitchen table on Saturday afternoon with my recipe books and came up with this plan.

Sunday - Thai-style chicken noodle soup (made with the leftovers of Saturday's roast)
Monday - Asian-style fish parcels with stir-fried vegetables
Tuesday - Meal at my parents as they are looking after the children
Wednesday - Chicken tagine with couscous
Thursday - Was supposed to be Indian-spiced lamb steaks with butternut squash and rocket salad, but have just remembered I'm out with the girls
Friday - Lemon, chilli and garlic prawn spaghetti
Saturday - Chorizo and Chickpea Stew with bulgar wheat

I'm going to have to check the dates on the perishable ingredients once my Ocado orders turns up, and shuffle things around a little bit to account for Thursday's night out now, but that's the basic plan. I think we'll probably end up having the lamb steaks on Friday and spaghetti on Saturday, with the stew pushed into next week's plan.

No baking on the agenda this week - we still have Christmas cake, leftover brownies and more chocolate/biscuits than I know what to do with.

And maybe, next week, I might even think about starting the diet.

I'm linking up with Mrs M's #Meal Planning Monday with this post.

New Year, New Me?

So, it's 2015. Otherwise known as "the year in which I turn 40", as Jedi Boy has taken to reminding me on a regular basis now that Christmas (and the threat of 'no presents') is safely out of the way. And, with the new year beginning, my thoughts have turned to goals and resolutions - what do I want to achieve in the year ahead?

In terms of resolutions, the big one is to become more organised. I know that I am not organised enough - I 'can' do it at work, when I need to, but at home it is all too easy to settle myself down with the iPad and ignore all the things that need to be done. Because of this, I've decided to set myself some goals to help me focus on achieving a greater state of organisation.

1. Meal Planning - I want to sit down at the weekend and plan the meals for the week ahead, and then do an online order for Monday delivery to ensure that I actually stick to it. This will help with both the diet (assuming I plan healthy enough meals) and the finances as I won't be wandering aimlessly round Sainsburys throwing things into the trolley at random.

2. Decluttering - This is my first step to a tidy house. I'm not going to pretend that it is suddenly going to attain show home levels of tidiness, as it's not, but if we can eliminate some of the clutter, it would be so much easier to keep it tidy. So, I've armed myself with the timer on my phone and am aiming to spend 15 minutes a day in January sorting out the problem areas.

3. Using the Calendar - Our brand new family planner is up on the kitchen wall and I am determined to actually write on it this year. All those school letters / party invites are going up on the calendar so I don't forget and end up relying on Facebook to remind me that the kids need to wear 'Victorian dress/Superhero Costumes/dress up for World Book Day/something red...' the next day and then run around in a panic. And, on top of this, I will make sure I have cash for breakfast club and pay the dinner money on time.

And then a few more personal goals...

Do something creative every week - I'm planning to do Project Life this year which should hopefully get me back into the scrapbooking habit but I feel much happier when I'm creative so I will be aimed to scrapbook, make cards, crochet and maybe even try out something new.

Run 100km before the end of February - To be honest, I think this one might be a bit over ambitious but I really need to get back into running regularly and, if I even get within 20km of this goal, I'll be happy.
Get back into blogging - I love writing and I'd really like to be a regular blogger. I've said this before and I can't guarantee it is going to happen, unless I can find a way to do it easily on the iPad, but I definitely want to give it a proper go.

So, that's it - hopefully the first steps to an organised and creative 2015. And, I'll just block that impending big birthday from my mind for just a bit longer... it's still 9.5 months away.