May 26, 2008

Website Now Live!!

Posted in General tagged at 8:55 am by vicii

It’s now live – the website – it may be a bit basic but I’m learning so it may change in design over the next week or so.  If you want to take a peek, click here


May 24, 2008

Max’s First Walk

Posted in General tagged , at 3:20 pm by vicii

We took Max out for his first walk today now that he is 12 weeks old.  He was actually quite well behaved as I had been told that some dogs just sit on their bottoms and wont budge!  I think with two of us going out it helped though because I walked in front and called him when he was busy sniffing the nettles.

We walked him a little way along the canal and even took a short dip with his front paws – it was nice to see that he wasn’t afraid.  I’m really looking forward to being able to give him longer walks though when he’s older.

May 21, 2008

Meal Planner – w/b 17 May

Posted in General, Meal Planning at 12:30 pm by vicii

As usual, a little bit of a delay but for this weeks list:

Sat – Chorizo and potato omelette (from Jamie at Home) – this was delicious

Sun – Roast chicken, roast potatoes, smashed carrots and swede and caulifower

Mon – Chicken curry (korma) from the left over chicken on Sunday

Tue – Macaroni cheese with pork and leek sausages

Wed – Tuna fishcakes and chips

Thu – Tortellini and a tomato sauce (shop bought fresh pasta and a homemade sauce made from a tin of tomatoes, port, ketchup, tomato puree, garlic, onions, oregano and basil – lovely!)

Fri – Bangers and mash

Some Exciting News…

Posted in General tagged at 12:22 pm by vicii

… Well for me at any rate! I’ve been thinking about it on and off for a while and have now finally taken the plunge. I have purchased my own domain so that I can create my own website as well as maintaining a blog.

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t written anything for a while and may wonder what I ‘ve been doing, well I will admit that I have been busy and not just ignoring my blog. Having said that I will admit to making the most of the sunshine (whilst we had it) and was sitting in the back garden either reading, gardening, playing with the dog or baby or painting the garden furniture!

For the last week of so though I have been sorting out the back bones of my new (and as yet un-published) website so that at least there is something to look at when it goes live. I also wanted to sort out some form of structure and play around with it so I know whether it will work or not in the future… hopefully it will.

At the moment I am just waiting on confirmation from my hosting service that everything is ready to go, and once that happened I will be able to publish the site…. the address is but I guess that was going to be kind of obvious.  As I said above, there isn’t anything there yet, but I’ll post again to say when it is live

April 22, 2008

Max Has Arrived

Posted in General at 2:01 pm by vicii

At long last, Max has arrived. We went to pick him up earlier today and now he’s busy investigating under the sofa – the spot he seems to have picked as his little den (he obviously doesn’t want his basket!) He loves being outside (it’s a beautiful day today) and is enjoying running around in the garden.

April 20, 2008

Food Ideas

Posted in General at 4:18 pm by vicii

Since giving birth to Izzy earlier this month money saving has all but gone out of the window – however for March I plan to get back onto the wagon and hence am planning my menus today for the next month. Inevitably this will alter towards the end of the month, but it gives me an idea of how much I should be spending during the month and definitely allows me to get shopping for the next month.
Another of my aims is to eat “5-a-day” of fruit and vegetables and therefore I need to factor this in to the plan whilst still trying to keep within my budget. Because months vary between 4- and 5-week months I budget to spend £80 in week 1 and then £40 for each following week, making my budget either £240 or £280 a month. [I plan for a big week 1 to buy all the pantry and freezer items and then just top up with bread, milk, veg etc in the subsequent weeks]. Ideally I’d like to get this down to £200 a month including all food, drink (including alcohol), cleaning products (vinegar, bicarb, etc) and toiletries, but I need to start growing my own veg and making my own wine and beer first.
I also want to try and reduce my food air-miles and buy in season veg – this will also help me to come up with recipes to make when I have my own veg to use, so I use up everything that I have instead of letting it go to waste. I have found this great website I’m in Season which I’m currently using to work out what veg I should buy this week, and also looking at the Tesco website to see what offers they have on to save money before I finalise my menu for this coming week.
I’ve also found another site Think Vegetables that gives help on the seasonality of vegetables – so between the two I’m sure I’ll be able to post my menu plans shortly

April 15, 2008

Fresh Air or Treadmill?

Posted in Baby, eating, running, treadmill at 8:23 am by vicii

So this afternoon I am due to do another 2 mile run after having a rest day yesterday. Having said that, it is much easier to find the time to run at the weekends than in the week. OK, so at the moment I am at home all the time since I am currently on maternity leave, however I do have a baby to look after and cannot just leave her at home whilst I take a run – or being her with me! Therefore I still need to wait until my partner gets home before I can have a run.

However by the time he gets home all he wants to do is have dinner – which is fair enough, I don’t blame him, after all he does get home around half 6 so we eat anytime between half six and seven. So then I need to leave at least half an hour before I go out running so the earliest I can go out is half seven and I have to admit I’m a little concerned about going out so late on my own…

Fortunately I have a backup plan: I have a fantastic treadmill that I bought a number of years ago after receiving a bonus from work so I think that during the week I will go on the treadmill, and then go out properly on the weekend, or in the week if I get chance (if someone will babysit for half an hour or so).

Hopefully at some point this afternoon Bella will be quite content to sit and watch me pound the treadmill for 20-30 mins or else just fall asleep for me so I can have a good workout without having to stop part way through to take care of her.

April 7, 2008

Declutter Week

Posted in General, Money Making, Simplicity tagged , at 11:24 am by vicii

Well after my quick post yesterday to let you all know about our new family member (he’s sooo cute!) I really need to puppy proof the house.  After moving at Christmas and having a new baby the house is reasonably clean and tidy – a quick 15 min sweep makes it presentably for visitors – but there are the “hidden” pockets of junk that still need sorting out, especially under the beds…

I know that there is lots of stuff that I just need to get rid of in some way either by eBaying or freecycling, I just need to bite the bullet and do something.  For example I packed up all my shoes before I moved into three binbags and gave them to my mum to look after (this was in December), it’s now April and out of these three big bags I have only set free two pairs of boots – one of which really needs to be thrown away since the heels are irrecoverable.  I know we haven’t hit summer yet so I have no need for sandals but I have about 50 pairs of shoes and in the last four months I have worn 2 pairs of shoes (for work black and brown), 3 pairs of boots (black, brown and beige), 1 pair of trainers and 1 pair of wellys (which I bought off eBay a month ago – oh and one pair of walking boots: thats 8 pairs in total that I actually use, ok if you bring summer into the equation add 2 more pairs of shoes (beige and green – trust me they are beautiful and I could not possibly part with them), 3 pairs of flip-flops (black, white and brown – great as they don’t takeup much space), 3 pairs of sandals (2 beige – high and low heel, black evening) and 1 pair of running shoes – my trainers are just for nipping to the shoes, running shoes are for exercsing and erm, running! Anyway, altogether that means I need approx 17 pairs, ok thats round that up to 20 pairs since I’m female …. that means that I have another 30 pairs that I don’t need (OMG that is a lot!)  All that space that they are taking up and I don’t even need them!

This just goes to prove that I have stuff around the house that I need to dispose of in some way which will serve two purposes:

  1. Decluttering and having less to tidy up
  2. Puppy-proofing the house so there are not things left around that he can chew (apart fro the things that he is allowed to!)

Why am I telling you all this, well I find that I switch on my computer in the morning with the intention of having a 15 minute browse whilst drinking a cup of tea and find myself still browsing an hour later when really I should be doing other things.  I also know what I’m like, I need to not log on at all it I am to get any work done and therefore I will not be posting any blogs this week since I will not be logging on! 

My plan for the week:

  • Monday AM:  Generally clean and tidy up.
  • Monday PM:  Get all the ironing done.  Great because I get to watch a film whilst doing the ironing so I don’t mind it so much.  I recorded Casino the other night so I might watch that… hope it doesn’t take too long to finish cleaning!
  • Tuesday AM:  Since my shoes take up quite a bit of space I will sort through these, decide which ones I’m keeping (limiting myself to 20 althogether), decide which are in great condition to be eBayed, which are in reasonable condition to be freecycled as a job lot and which are maybe too far gone – I can try these on freecycle but then donate if no interest.  Take photos of shoes and sort out to sell on eBay and donate on Freecycle.
  • Tuesday PM:  I need to take Izzy for her 8 week injections so can’t do too much in the afternoon
  • Wednesday AM:  Go through our clothes for selling or donating.  I sorted out a few of my Ash’s before Easter but I’ve left these in a pile in his room so I need to finish the job so he can tidy his room (he blames me that his room is a mess!)  I sorted my clothes out which I got them out of their suitcases (from moving) after having Izzy when I could wear normal clothes again, but I’m sure I will find some more.  And finally I need to go through my OH’s clothes, but he needs to be around so I’ll sort out what I think he should get rid of and them check with him.  My problem is that I feel that I need new clothes, so maybe when I’m sorting through them I can work out what I need and then check out eBay to see what I can get from there.
  • Wednesday PM:  Finish sorting the clothes out and finish taking photos of shoes if didn’t complete on Tuesday.  If any spare time do some ironing since there will be some!
  • Thursday AM:  take the clothes to be donated to the local charity shop, and whilst I’m out get any shopping I need.  Normally I shop on a Friday but if I intend to declutter I’ll need to get rid of the clothes ASAP since they take up so much space in bags and also look untidy, so instead of making an unnecessary trip on Friday I’ll shop one day earlier.
  • Thursday PM:  Sort out the sideboard in the dining room and the table in the lounge (both are filled with clutter and the stuff just need to be put in the proper place (wherever that may be!)
  • Friday AM:  Aargh, the worst job is to sort out underneath our bed, this is full of magazines, tools, cables, crap…. and also some stuff that I know can be sold on eBay so again I just need to do it.
  • Friday PM:  leaving the pleasant task for last I need to sort out my yarn stash and associated items (needles, etc) and find one place to leave it all which the dog can’t get at and then put my current projects in a suitable bag that I can leave in the lounge handy, which the dog also can’t get at!

This little lot will definitely keep my busy for the week, hopefully I can relax in the evenings with a bit of knitting and spending time with Izzy.  Hopefully Izzy will let me get this stuff done!!

Well, I’ve done upstairs, just need to finish downstairs and then the ironing…. see you next week!

April 6, 2008

Max the Puppy Dog

Posted in General tagged , at 2:33 pm by vicii

Yesterday after years of planning (well by my OH at least!)  we went out to put a deposit on a dog.  Hopefully we should be able to pick it up 21 April.  He is so cute – a black labrador puppy.  We are all so excited… our family is now practically complete…..

April 4, 2008

Tea Everywhere

Posted in Frugal, General, Simplicity tagged , , , , at 9:41 am by vicii

I love tea – I could quite easily drink about 10 mugs a day (it’s a good job you can’t overdose on it!).  I’ve been buying teabags like they’ve been going out of fashion since being on leave from work and then I realised that I had lots of boxes of herbal tea that I buy occasionally in an effort to be more healthly – but then never finish (or even open) them.

However in an effort to use what I have in my storecuboard I decided to start drinking the herbal tea and use all them up before I start on the “proper” tea again.


Storecupboard starting to get empty!

So far I have managed to get through 3 boxes since the weekend; camomile, blackcurrant and blackberry & nettle. I did have a number of headaches at the weekend due to withdrawal symptoms but they have gone now and I’m quite enjoying the different tastes – however I’m determined to empty the storecupboard before I buy anymore…

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