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Out of Odour

pexels-photo-264870.jpegI ran out of my perfume this morning and when I went to hunt for another I found…nothing, nothing, NOTHING…eek!

Now I walk to and from work averaging an hour total or at least 10,000 steps a day, I shower/bath daily, I use deodorant (although currently not my favourite brand) and I’m sure I don’t smell. However not having a quick spray of perfume in the morning is just odd, it’s such a part of my routine that I really missed it this morning. (and I did keep sniffing myself all day, work probably think that I’m acting odder than usual)

The whole idea of Make Do March is to do just that – to make do – and so I won’t be buying myself a new perfume. I do walk past seven shops selling fragrances on my way to/from work* and amongst the brightly coloured adverts and enticing proclamations of SALE! Up to 50% off! I noticed that not one of the perfumes supposedly on sale were under £25. A quick online search shows that I can buy bottles of branded perfume for under £15 although I’m sure that postage will bump up the price.

I did hit jackpot in work and found a cheap body spray in my locker and a mini perfume in my gym bag meaning that I’m not entirely out of fragrances. They come firmly under the need to use them up regime so that I’m not producing needless waste, am saving money and am decluttering my many, many items as I go. It’s a win-win all round as far as I can sniff see.

I’m going to make a deal with myself. If I can go without perfume for a month then I can go without for a while longer and for my birthday I’m going to ask for, you guessed it – perfume!

*Seven! I never counted them before and I don’t even walk through the main high street.

Food

Baking bread is worth the bother

pexels-photo-263168.jpegFresh, warm, crunchy bread, doesn’t it just make your mouth water? That sound when the knifes cuts through and you slather it with butter, just to taste test it obviously. If it is as tasty as it looks, smells and sounds then I applaud you if you only eat the first slice… that’s some serious self-control you have right there!

But where there’s bread making there’s kneading and kneading is a skill that I don’t have or have the inclination at the present time to work at. In fact, the last time I tried to make bread by hand I got so sticky and there was so much flour involved it actually looked as though Dr Who had run through the kitchen in pursuit of a flour monster.

However I’ve recently found a no knead bread recipe which has become a firm favorite in the house. “Crunchy bread pleeeeease” ask the kids as it’s a dense, crunchy loaf that takes 5 minutes to make, an hour to prove and then…here’s the magic… 3 minutes in the microwave to cook!

It’s so easy! 1.tsp yeast dissolved into 150.g warm water plus 1.tsp salt and mix in 200.g bread flour. Either quick rise for an hour or overnight in the fridge and micro-zap for 3 minutes. I do like to crisp it up in the oven though and as I have silicone bowls I do all of this in them so the absolute minimum of faffing is required.

What have you made this weekend?

Financial Freedom · Food · Organising

Make Do March and A Quick Catch Up

jam-preparations-jars-fruit-48817.jpegMake Do March

The philosophy Mend and Make Do may bring to mind wartime rationing but looking through my house there’s an awful lot of stuff that just isn’t getting used. Who needs 5 deodorants? Lasagna sheets dating back to 2011? Scales with no batteries? 7 jars of jam?*

We’ve started from ground zero in regards to savings this month which gives me the chills but one consistence throughout financial freedom/independence blogs is the need to live below your means. Hell, it’s just good sense but over the past few years I’ve taken my eye off the ball. Cooking good food from scratch, using things that you already have rather than buying more and fixing what you can is good for everyone and something I feel we’ve lost.

I’ve decided that the simplest way to start is to simply use up the easy stuff first, the low-hanging fruit I heard it referred to the other day. So far Hubby has been asked to drink the random herbal teas I found and to use up the bubble bath that we have which happens to be a pink sparkly wand! I’m working my way through the deodorants that Santa always pops in my stocking despite them not being the brand I actually use and researching what you can use cornmeal for apart from cornbread since there’s a large bag in the back of a kitchen cupboard.

Can we make do in March with what we have or will that must have item lead us astray?**

A Quick Catch Up

Yes I know we’re in the second week of March already and I’m just coming up for air. Seven birthdays in one week together with the unexpected amount of snow we had is sure to scramble anyone’s brain but add an energy sucking virus into the mix and I’ve been concentrating on simply putting one foot in front of the other. Feel free to sing ‘Just keep swimming’ with me if you like, or shout ‘I’ve lost my Mojo’ Austin Powers style if that’s more up your street.

I do feel like I achieved Domestic Goddess status in February though as I made my first successful lasagna, baked bread and even made my own butter! I have lots of half written food articles/posts/whatever-you-want-to-call-them to finish and publish when the old grey matter gets up to speed again.

*It’s bloody good jam though. Blackberry Jam made by Mum and Apple Jam made by my fair-self.

**I’m joking, promise. Although I did see……

 

 

Uncategorized

Happy (Let The Kids Do Stuff To You) Mother’s Day!

IMG_20180311_093156262I was woken this morning to the sound of elephants with giggles outside my room. Then said elephants piled into my room with cuddles and cards and breakfast in bed.  Coffee and a croissant with jam in bed…yummy…I almost got to eat it all myself.

It was really heart warming to see the excitement on the kid’s faces and the effort that they had put into the cards. This is the first year that they’ve really paid attention to Mother’s day.

There was even a bath run for me with personal attendants who washed me* and kept me entertained with discussions about Minecraft and endless rubber duckies to play with. Plus play-dough soap, which is awesome.

Hubby took advantage of a quiet moment and taught me how to make paper tulips which is slightly addictive when you figure it out and I can see that they are going to be my favorite thing to make for friends and family. My Mum thought they were delightful, hopefully as delightful as I found her Sunday roast!

I hope that everyone has had a good day.

P.S. Obviously I still had to clean the kitchen, wipe down the bathroom and arrange clean clothes for the week ahead. There was a cut finger, a muddy walk and at least two strops to deal with. It was all in all, a normal day with an remarkably nice start.

 

*Being washed was odd. I quite enjoyed the buckets of water thrown over me though.

Food · Organising

Ugly, but Scrummy Freezer Food.

Some plates of food just make your mouth water by looking at them. And others do not, yet the taste and comfort of a bowl of rice and lentils is hard to beat.IMG_20180224_165549226

We’re having a cold snap at the moment where the days are bright and frosty. The kids and I venture outside wrapped up warm (today we went and played poohsticks) it’s too sunny to stay indoors and too cold to stay out for long.

So chilly and having built up an appetite we want something warm and comforting but quick to prepare and 10 minutes later there’s a bowl of beige goodness on table. It’s even vegan, one of the few vegan dishes that I can make without someone asking “where’s the meat?“*

Originally cooked for us by MIL from a recipe in Good Housekeeping I’ve cooked a variation of this cauliflower curry at least once every month. I often soak my own lentils to keep costs down, forget about the lime and coriander and double the ingredients because if you freeze it without the cauliflower then it reheats like a dream.

There’s really no need for rice as I can happily eat mild lentil curry by itself although hubby would protest. We ended up stuffing the pitta with the lentils as it was far more fun than eating with our forks!

The way I tend to make my lentil curry now is to:

  • Fry an onion
  • Add ginger, garlic and curry paste
  • Stir in cauliflower, green beans, lentils, coconut milk and stock
  • Simmer and add creamed coconut if it’s in the cupboard
  • Taste, season and maybe play with some spices like cumin and ground coriander, a spoonful of mango chutney is nice if you fancy some extra sweetness
  • Eat all the cauliflower the first day and freeze the rest.

What freezer foods have you eaten recently that warmed you up?

 

*I used to add chicken to the dish so the carnivores would be happy until one day I didn’t and nobody moaned.

Food

Best Chicken Ramen Ever!

Best Chicken Ramen ever!” say Hubby and the Boy.

Well label me super happy and while the monster was less vocal she ate an impressive amount. We have a habit of popping into Wagamama’s when we’ve faced the gauntlet of shoe shopping and their kids ramen always goes down a treat. But it’s pricey (after you add drinks, pudding and the sides*) and so after a particular request for “that noodle place” I went a-hunting for recipes.

Turns out Wagamama themselves share some recipes like their chili chicken ramen and I also found a kids chicken ramen recipe too from Truly Madly Kids. So I kinda combined the two with ingredients that I already had being:

  • Marinated chicken with garlic and ginger.
  • Chicken stock and added miso.
  • Egg noodles.
  • Spring onion, carrot and sweetcorn.

**The kids like it just as while I added chili sauce to mine and hubby added chili AND soy sauce. I actually feel like the kids ate a whole meal and there’s enough to reheat for lunch another day too.

 

 

*God, I love their crispy prawns and pork buns!

*I’m going to guess that you can figure out how to cook the ramen but if not give me a shout and I’ll add step by step instructions.