Meal Planning

It’s not everyones cup of tea to decide what you want for tea on Friday when it may only be Monday but Meal Planning can be an essential tool for cutting down your weekly shopping costs.

I love thinking about food. I love cooking and I really enjoy my food but gone is the luxury of time. I also now have to factor in additional weekly costs that I never used to think about such as baby milk and nappies. I’ve always planned my meals. There was a point in my life when I lived on my own and money was tight. If i didn’t plan how I was going to use up left overs or work out where I could spend my money I would not have survived.

Meal Planning can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. I have attached a simple weekly sheet that can be printed. My suggestion would be to work out the meals just before you do your weekly shop. Therefore only buying what you need for that week. This in theory should stop you spending more than what you need to. Buying extra food which could potentially be wasted.

My Meal Planning sheet allows you to make a note of what will be eaten for the main 3 meals of the day. Write down what you and the children are going to eat even if you have a baby thats currently weaning. Allow for the veg and fruit he/she may need for those finger foods and purees. Once you have planned what your going to eat, perhaps utilising what you have in the freezer/fridge already then write down what you need in the shopping list section. Simple.

It’s a bit hard to get use to at first but once you’re in the routine of planning you won’t go back. This also gets rid of the last minute teas or takeaways. Allowing you to be healthy and eat wholesome meals. Knowing what your going to have on any given day will allow you to prep for the cooking side. Be it you put together a lasagne in the morning ready for that nights tea. It allows you to be organised.

Meal Planning

This is a good way to get eating up left overs from big roast dinners. You could plan to have a roast chicken on a sunday then for the following weeks planning have a chicken curry on the monday using up the left over chicken.

Its all about investing a time at the beginning to save time during the week and to also save some pennies. Everyone loves to save money.

Do you already plan your meals? Has it saved you any money?

 

7 Things I wish SOMEONE had told me when I was pregnant.

If you are anything like me and finding out you was pregnant was a bit of a surprise then this is for you. Here are 7 things I wish someone had told or warned me about when I was expecting my first baby.

1. Hair … I was told that that I would develop thick healthy hair when I was pregnant.  But you really do develop absolutely gloriously glossy locks that feel volumised and full of life. Shiny and healthy. I absolutely loved my hair when I was pregnant but then once Baby L came along it disappeared. Why didn’t anyone tell me that my hair would fall out??? I don’t mean in clumps (although i did read some horror stories) but literally I would run my hands through it and strands would be coming out. I am now 7 months on and still my hairbrush gets filled with strands of hair. It just gets everywhere. You have been warned. Pregnancy gives you great hair days but your post-pregnancy body gives you many bad hair days 😦 I’m tempted to have another baby just to solve this issue.

2. Wobbly Belly …  I wasn’t naive enough to think that I would get a slim figure straight away but what is it with that wobbly belly after your baby has arrived? It is the strangest sensation. Especially when your midwife is checking to make sure things are going back in the right place. Again it’s took me around 6 months to get back to some form of normality. I tried to lose the weight healthily. But your tummy is never completely the same for some people. Meaning Me. 😦

3. Read … I thought I was pretty well researched when it came to my pregnancy. I knew what was going to happen, every little ache and pain, every sickness symptom. I read almost anything I could get my hands on about Labour and pregnancy but what I didn’t do was read about what to do when the baby arrives. Otherwise you’ll find yourself in the hospital on your first night “in charge” of this gorgeous little baby and wondering how to prepare milk. It’s quite embarrassing but I had no idea that a babies milk needed to be body temperature. I kept wondering why people kept placing his bottle in warm water. I quickly realised what to do when I tried to feed Baby L cold milk straight from the fridge. So embarrassing and now I have shared it with the world. You have to Laugh.

4. After effects … whether you were lucky enough for things to run the way you had planned or ended up with an emergency c-section be prepared for the after effects. There are various different symptoms for different types of births but the one thing I seem to have come across that’s united amongst all delivery methods is the bleeding after. No-one told me I would have to deal with a weeks worth of bleeding. (I apologise if you are reading this whilst eating or consuming a cup of tea) So there you go, by maternity pads, and lots of them. You have been warned 🙂

5. Cabbage … You might be wondering why I have added a vegetable to my list of things people don’t tell you but this was my secret weapon. Shared with me by my lovely midwife. If like me you couldn’t or didn’t want to breastfeed then you still have the period of time when you milk decides to make an arrival. Sore tender breasts that leak. Not the nicest things to have to deal with when it has no where to go. There are many pads you can buy but my little secret weapon, albeit a smelly one, was cabbage leaves. I popped them in the fridge or freezer for an ice cold blast and then placed them on the area inside my bra. Literally got rid of my milk within two days. They were two smelly days that The L’s Papa and myself had to contend with but well worth it. To be honest I thought this would be something I didn’t need to worry about, that my body would some how know the choice that was made but sometimes this is not the case. So this is just a little tip for you if you struggled with it like I did.

6. Sleep Deprivation … So everyone jokes with you about the sleepless nights and you expect them, but nothing quite prepares you for how you’re going to feel. I wish I’d have known that I would try putting baby milk in my tea or put a dirty bib in the bin instead of the washing machine. So I am putting this on my list. If I could give anyone any tip for getting through the sleepless nights it would be to prepare. You need your energy when you have a newborn to deal with so hydrate and eat. A way of preparing yourself would be to get one of the 2 Litre bottles and fill it up everyday with water and keep it close. Your aim would be to get through the bottle each day. I would also definitely recommend that you use your free time before the little one arrives and cook and freeze meals such as lasagne, chilli and pasta bakes. Anything you like. Something that you can pull out and pop in the oven or hob and warm up. It’s the best advice anyone can give you. Energy and hydration is the key.

7. Baby Blues … I was warned about this. But with the whole questionnaire you fill out with your Health Visitor and the conversations you have I certainly felt uncomfortable admitting I had cried or felt I couldn’t cope. What advice I want to pass on is it’s ok. To tell your nearest and dearest if you a feel a little low. It’s not always a post-natal depression sign and that’s what most mothers think. I certainly did. It’s normal to cry. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed. People don’t think any less of you because you’ve had a bad day. You’re sleep deprived and lacking energy, it’s bound to take effect. I honestly felt better after a good cry and a big hug. A hug is a powerful thing.

So I hope you enjoyed my little list of things and the little tips and advice I included. Do you have anything you wish someone had told you when you were pregnant?

The L’s Mum

 

Goodbye 2013…what a year!!!

Well its New Years Eve and as I started to think about things I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what has been a life changing year. 2013 saw the arrival of my gorgeous Baby boy. Baby L. He really changed my life. I wasn’t very maternal before I had him. When I first found I was having a baby I began to panic. How was I going to look after a baby, i barely knew how to change a nappy. But like everyone kept reminding me, you just know what to do. A mothers Instinct.

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On the 23rd of june this year The L’s papa proposed to me. I knew that this would happen at some point but I was still shocked when he did finally “pop the question”, it was an amazing feeling, it felt like we were united, part of a team and ready to take on the world. Baby L had been in our lives for 23 days by this point so was a great feeling of the next chapter of our lives had just begun, as a family.

I also got to spend more time with my stepson not just as family unit but over the summer holidays on my own with Baby L. It was lovely to spend some time with Little L and really get a feeling of family life.

2013 also saw us move into our a new home. A couple of months before Baby L arrived we moved house. Literally round the corner but it seemed like a massive task. As i was 7 months pregnant I wasn’t much help either. The L’s Papa did all the work and I am so grateful he did. We settled straight away and have enjoyed the majority of this year in a lovely home.

My parents emigrated this year to Australia which was a massive shock to my system. I knew I would miss them terribly but I didn’t realise how reliant I was on them till they left. Still can make me cry and we’re 10 months on.

I’ve had some lovely memories for this year, friends getting pregnant and having babies, making new friends and adjusting to my new life as a mum. I left work in April and have since started my own business and I haven’t really looked back to be honest. But there has been some difficult times to get over, not only was it hard and emotionally draining to have my parents emigrate but I didn’t have the best pregnancy and I had a very difficult birth. I plan to post lots about this over the coming months but lets just say that after a lot of pushing (when i shouldn’t have been) it turns out I can’t give birth naturally anyway.

So here’s to a new year, I plan to post lots about food, cooking, babies and life. Hope you enjoy and Happy New Year!!!

 

Veggie Side Dishes

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BRUSSEL SPROUTS

I did my brussel sprouts with streaky smoked bacon. I par boiled them until just about soft and then popped them in a frying pan with a a few cubes of butter and 4 rashers of streaky bacon. Tastes great and a nice alternative just boiled sprouts.

PARSNIPS

I peeled and sliced these lengthways and parboiled them. I then popped them in a roasting dish and drizzled them with honey and roasted until sticky and crispy. Gorgeous.

 

Gorgeous Roast Carrots

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CARROTS WITH ORANGE AND TYHME.

I was cooking for four people at christmas so decided to do this little carrot dish as one of my side dishes. The zest and juice of the orange really lifts the carrot flavour and the thyme just adds a bit of earthiness to the flavour. Great for any roast dinner 🙂 This recipe is based on four people as a small side dish option.

4 Large carrots Peeled and sliced into batons

A small handful of thyme leaves

25g of unsalted butter cubed

juice and zest of 1 large orange.

Season with salt and pepper

Preheated oven fan assisted 180c

Place the cut raw carrots in an ovenproof dish. Spread the cubed butter around the dish and sprinkle over the thyme. Grate the orange zest over the carrots and squeeze out the juice. Season the carrots with salt and pepper. Then get your hands into the carrots and massage all the flavours all over. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven. After 30 mins, remove the tin foiled, and give the carrots a stir. Put back in the oven for 20-30 minutes depending on how thinly sliced your carrots are. Serve with your meal. Enjoy!!

Our Christmas Day 2013

Christmas was last week. I am sat here on New years Eve getting myself all organised for the new year and having already posted about what I expected my christmas to be like I thought I would share with you how it turned out.

FOOD

So as an important factor of the day itself I had the lovely task of creating the christmas meal. We started with Pate which was bought from M&S and it was gorgeous. I absolutely adore pate. Was a lovely light start to the meal. Then the main meal itself was good old fashioned Turkey, Ham, Cauliflower Cheese, Carrots, Brussel Sprouts, Parsnips, Roast Potatoes and Yorkshire Pudding. It was tasty. I will be posting recipes for the Ham and the veggies as I decided to get a little creative with my cooking. For desert i made a very tasty chocolate roulade and a strawberry jelly, which was in the shape of a christmas tree but it got demolished before I had a chance to take a picture of it 🙂

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THE DAY

We had everyone arrive at our house early morning so that they could see the kids opening their presents. We also had FaceTime set up for the grandparents in oz. It was very full on and as there were so many presents to get through had we have took it in turns slowly we would probably still be unwrapping them now. But everyone got to see them open their presents and everyone had a lovely morning. After a few glasses of bucks fizz it was onto cooking the main meal. I was full of a cold unfortunately so it was a tough day but i got through it with the help of paracetamol. By the end of the day I fell asleep on the sofa. It was a very relaxed day and both Baby L and Little L were spoilt rotten.

How did your christmas day go? I hope you all had a wonderful day. Happy New Year!!

Hello…

Hi, and welcome to my blog page. I’m The L’s Mum.

So a little about me…

I am a first time mummy to Baby L who is currently 6 months old. Its amazing how time is flying by. I am also a first time Step Mum to a cheeky little 9 year old, Little L. I am 27 years old and now a full time stay at home mum with Baby L. Life has changed. I met the Love of my life in April 2012, The L’s Papa, and within a matter of months we were expecting our first child together. To say it was a bit of a whirlwind is an understatement. But here we are at the end of 2013 and my life has done a u-turn. Previously I worked in sales, worked long hours and enjoyed socialising on the weekends. Now I have my own business, I work from home and look after Baby L. I love nothing more than opening a bottle of wine and enjoying a good meal.

A little about this Blog…

I plan to share accounts from my daily life. Learning how to be a mummy, the Good and the Bad, adapting to being a step mum, Family life and Food. I love cooking. I don’t think I am that bad at it but sometimes I lack flavour or take on more than I should. I’m hoping to log my journey through my cookery books. I have a massive stack of them. I love looking at them, buying them and reading them and then they go on the shelf. I do refer back to them from time to time but I can’t say I have really moved on with the skills I have. So I have challenged myself. I’m going to be going through my cookbooks and cook, creating masterpieces (I Hope) and more importantly learning the skills and adding flavour to my food. I also want to eat healthy and have family meal times so this is going to encourage a new way of life. I’m also massively into saving a few pennies where I can, much to the dismay of The L’s Papa, so I will definitely be sharing deals, hints and tips in the spending tips section. But above all I hope you will enjoy reading what I have to say.

Finally…

Feel free to follow me on twitter @thelsmum and instagram thelsmum and above all ENJOY!!

The L’s Mum