Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Getting Organised:- DIY magnetic meal planning.

Becoming more organised is a topic that is never far from my mind.  It's that thing I know I need to do but for some unknown reason I just can not seem to manage.  I sometimes think I expect too much too soon and set myself unobtainable goals ultimately setting myself up for failure.

One of the key areas I know I need to work on is putting together and maintaining a weekly meal plan.  On the occasions I do get my act together I have found that

  1. We save money on our weekly food bill
  2. We cut the amount of food we waste
  3. I don't end up scratching around at the last minute racking my brains on what we are going to eat.
  4. It's easier to maintain a more balanced diet
  5. We have a more enjoyable week with fun after school activities without me being stressed out about dinner.
However I have found it can be time consuming and often I will end up with a mental block. Hence I put it off until we hit Monday morning when the whole saga of the school week starts over.  Ultimately we end up with a handful of meals which are my regular go to's.

So I created a series of our regular meals and made them into magnets which are now stuck to the front of the fridge, combined with a weekly planner I can now quickly meal plan for the week and on those days where things change or don't go to plan I have a bank of meals I can quickly choose from.

You can download my regular meal set here.

To make your own you will need.

  • Printer
  • 1 sheet of magnetic paper
  • You can either create your own meals in something like word or publisher or you can download my meal sheet here
  • Spray Lacquer
  • Scissors
  • Weekly Planner.

  • Download and print off the meal sheet onto the magnetic paper being careful not to handle it too much to prevent smudges
  • I found that the ink didn't dry properly so once it was touch dry I gave it a quick coat of spray lacquer to set the designs firmly in place.
  • Cut them out and voila a set of magnetic meals for easy meal planning.
I hope you find these as helpful as I do.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

A healthier outlook and a new me.

Since January I have been on a healthy eating journey.  I had over the years developed a poor relationship with food.  I constantly felt sluggish and tired.  I would wake up tired and literally fall into bed exhausted.  I'm convinced a lot of it stemmed back to my childhood, where we were forced to sit at the table until we had eaten everything. Subsequently I became a very fussy eater.  It was a hideous experience and one I vowed never to repeat with my own children.

Once I left home in my early twenties and started cooking for myself I discovered food could be an enjoyable experience.  The problem then became I couldn't stop eating - that combined with way too much alcohol on a far too regular basis meant I literally piled on the pounds.  I would regularly eat double my husbands portion having already polished off the kids remainders or not know what to cook and just plow my way through mountains of pasta.  Breakfast if I could be bothered would consist tonnes of toast with lashings of butter and lunch was a cheese and crisp sandwich.  In hindsight it's no wonder I felt rubbish.

Prior to having my girls I used to go to the gym which helped keep my weight in check however I really struggled to get rid of my baby weight.  I became depressed, none of my clothes fitted, I felt fat frumpy and horrid, but I was in a vicious cycle.  I attempted various diets.  Weight Watchers - where I constantly felt starved and became points obsessed, Slimming World - I just found confusing, red days green days, anything goes days, the GI diet, Calorie counting you name it I tried it and each time it failed I felt more and more like a frumpy failure.

This January I topped the scales at 11stone 9lb's (116lb) I was mortified.  Amelie who was five at the time had started picking up on comments about how chubby I was and it was then that I knew I needed to do something about it for good.

Armed with the my fittness pal app a fitness tracker and the 5:2 diet I embarked on developing a healthier way of living.  In the first week I was amazed at three things.

  1. Just how many calories I was actually consuming through all the junk and rubbish I was eating. 
  2. How distorted my view of what was "good" for you actually was.
  3. How much if you are careful you can eat on 500 calories a day.  
Quite quickly I started to feel better, I had more energy.  Gradually since Christmas whilst no longer strictly following the 5:2 diet I have implemented a lot of techniques I learnt from it into my everyday life.  Then by chance one day at the start of February I discovered Deliciouslly Ella.  In the beginning I started making some of the recipes from her website and then I brought her book.

Deliciously Ella

Gone is the toast with butter for breakfast.  Replaced with porridge made with water and almond milk, fruit and seeds.  I was a bit dubious to start with but it is simply amazing and now I wouldn't make it any other way.

Lunches now consist of homemade soups like this turmeric and lentil recipe from Deliciously Ella. 

or one of my homemade recipes such as this roast tomato, red pepper soup with lentils.

The bowls of pasta have been replaced with spiralized courgette pasta.

In addition to Deliciously Ella I have read Eat Nourish Glow by Amelia Freer and discovered the blog and cookbook of Oh She Glows.  I absolutely love it and have been raving about it to anyone who will listen.  It is jam packed full of amazing recipes.  I have literally turned my diet upside down.  

I now rarely eat bread any more (unless I have made it myself) and have pretty much cut out dairy although I am not yet ready to give up my tea and two cups of coffee a day.  In addition I have cut right back on the wine front and now rarely eat meat.  Gone are the biscuits, crisps and sugary snacks, the hiddeous amounts of butter has been replaced with almond butter.  Gradually I am developing a much more healthy relationship with food.  A realistic outlook, a diet which is sustainable and makes me feel so much better.  I cut myself some slack and never withhold anything.  However I am noticing that I no longer crave the sugary snacks, biscuits and the crisps like I used to and would much rather dig into a tub of home made hummus.  Slowly my husband is starting to come on board and even commented on how good the Oh She Glows Classic glo bar granola bars are.

Since January I have dropped from 11st 9lb to 10st 8.  Initially I lost a lot of weight quite quickly more recently it has slowed down but I can definitely see the difference.  I am loving my new healthier outlook and would definitely recommend it.


Thursday, 11 June 2015

It's a stripey thing.

There is something about a British summer that doesn't feel complete without a few stripes.  It evokes clear blue skies, sunkissed hair days on the beach and fish & chips suppers still in their wrappers.

These are just a few of my favourite finds.  Roll on those warm summer evenings in the garden or on the beach.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Interior Love Affair #14

This weeks Interior Love Affair has been inspired by my brother.  Recently he turned 30.  The thing is he is really tricky to buy for.  He has a well paid job so he can afford to buy most things he wants.  When I asked him what he would like he said something sentimental but not an ornament.  Having spent a few days thinking about it I have finally settled on buying him a clock for his new flat.
This week all of my selections have come from Etsy.  I find that if you hunt about on Etsy you can find some great original bits.

Top Left to Right
My brother is always on time but I quite like this clock anyway so I thought I would include it in my selections.Humorous Clock - Whatever I'm Late Anyway Zest Strategy Design £31.80
Middle Left to Right
Bottom Left to Right 

You can check out last weeks Interior Love Affair Post here 

Saturday, 6 June 2015

All things Green

This week I thought I would take a look at the colour green.  Partly inspired by Oh She Glows and her Green Monster Smoothies.

I like the idea of a smoothie to start the day but I don't know if I can get my head around drinking kale and spinach.  But it looks good.

Since the start of the year I have been taking a good look at my diet and have slowly been trying to implement some changes.  Basically I had piled on the pounds and my diet sucked.  It was full of complete junk and I felt exhausted and S***!!!  One of my favourite go to places for healthy inspiration is Green Kitchen Stories.  It is jam packed with the most gorgeous photography and delicious healthy recipes.
Here are some of my favourite green finds for the week.

If you missed last weeks colour installment you can check it out here.  You can follow me over on pinterest.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

DIY Fathers Day Gift

I always struggle with ideas for Fathers Day.  Then I saw something the other day and having told Amelie about it we decided to make our own SUPERDAD sock packaging.

You will need:

One pair of superhero socks - we brought ours in Sainsburys for £3
A4 printer
A4 sheet of paper
A small amount of glue, sellotape or double sided tape.

  • First of all you need to download my Fathers Day Sock Template from here and print it off
  • Carefully cut out the template
  • Remove the original packaging from the socks.  I carefully removed the cardboard packaging but left the little plastic tags holding the socks together
  • Carefully fold the new sock wrapper around the center of the socks and glue or stick it in place.
Amelie was really pleased with her finished Fathers Day gift.


Monday, 1 June 2015

Print your own Thank You Notelets.

A few weeks back it was Amelie's birthday.  She was so excited she could hardly sleep for about a week leading up to it.  I really wanted to get some photos of her opening her presents on the morning of her birthday but she slipped down stairs at the crack of dawn and appeared having opened the majority of her gifts.  I was a bit upset because I felt like I had missed a key moment, but then I thought about it and in the big scheme of things it really didn't matter.  In fact in amoungst all the craziness of her birthday I now realise that we have very few photos of Amelie on her birthday.  Everybody was very generous and she was totally spoilt and had an amazing time.  

Something I am trying to teach my girls is that they should say thank you for the gifts they receive.  Finding the time to sit down with Amelie and write her Thank You notes has been on my mind for a few days now. Originally I was just going to buy some Thank You notelets for her to write but then I came across some great downloads on the internet and decided to make my own..

Here are some of my favourite finds: