The List – Things That Made Me Smile

I’ve had a bit of a miserable week, hormones have been getting the better of me so I thought I’d create a list for things that have made me smile this week:

– at work we were changing “let it go” to other words that rhyme with go; L’s contribution was “let it blow” which made me laugh!
– a thread on mumsnet about punching a jam roly poly, made me laugh especially when the OP said “so I punched it in its big suety face”
– C thinking Gracey was called Tracey… perhaps Mia should be Sharon?!
– this pinterest pin about a cat
– a donation site was set up for a local disabled man who was mugged (initial sadness was made happy by the generosity of strangers!) and has reached £30,000!
– seeing a picture of my favourite cat (besides my own) on the Persian Cat Owners Brag Group on Facebook
– one of my best friends being there every day and listening to my rants
– getting new readers/comments to my blog
– having a much needed coffee and pasty from Greggs (it’s the simple things..!)
– watching Mia getting a good wash from Gracey, she’s turning out to be a lovely big cat-sister!
– discovering a blog called running with spoons the name alone made me giggle insanely!

This is my first time creating a list for YouBabyMeMummy’s Linky; the List!

The List

Love Your Home

Having just moved into this house a mere four months ago it’s still very much in a limbo of having my stamp placed upon it and having walls that haven’t seen a lick of paint in a decade.

So obviously, interior design is constantly on my mind and this week I’ve been thinking about my bedroom.

The walls are split in the middle with a horizontal dado rail, half-heartedly I painted the lower half of this white way back in August when it really needed lightening up (it was originally an apple green as you can see on the far wall!).

A few colour palettes have gone through my mind and have finally settled upon this one:


The curtains are much too long for the window but are perfect for the palette (there’s a second block of blue in a much darker shade tucked behind the radiator)

My throw – which had a little accident with a cat today so is in the wash – is a sparkly taupe colour and of course the woodwork is dark brown.

Ideally I want to remove the dado rail, add a dark blue feature wall to the far wall and paint the rest white or taupe.

Stay tuned for if my hopes come to fruition.

Love Chic Living and Love Your Home

Saving Money – Month 1

Earlier this month I posted about one way I was going to try and boost my savings which involved “coin sweeping” the process of moving the itty bits from your bank to your savings account. I.e. you have £253.25 you might move £3.25 to your savings!

I started off by doing too much, £10s here and there and realised whilst that was great, it was about not missing the little bits, so I cut back to keeping it below £10.00.

Now it’s nearly the end of the month I am pleased to say I’ve managed to save £126.78!

If I can save at least £100 per month that will be £1,200 by New Years! But I think £1,000 is a good and achievable goal!

Next month I will be continuing with the coin sweeping but moving my concentration to my food budget which whilst has improved on previous months is still out of control!

Witty Hoots Frugal Family Linky

Tried & Tested: LUSH Bath Bomb

I never used to like LUSH, thought it was all very lentil-weavery and stinky until two Christmases ago my sister-in-law bought me a gift set with bath bombs and I’m a total convert. What overgrown child doesn’t enjoy a red bath filled with glitter!

So after christmas last year my mum and I hit the January sales and whilst LUSH never hold sales so to speak, they had reduced the Christmas stock prices. I grabbed a few things including a children’s robot simply because it smelled of Lavender! My favourite scent.

I only have one bomb left and it is the Father Christmas bomb, with a terrifying sculpt of a Santa Claus. To me it smells very candy-like almost reminiscent of Parma Violets and is the same scent they use in their Snow Fairy range.

Upon putting it in the bath it gave off a brief red and white colouring before turning the bath a gorgeous sea-green. It doesn’t have glitter in this bomb (disappointingly) but has left my skin feeling very soft without being too oily. However do be careful getting out of the bath as it does make the water a bit slippy!

So Father Christmas usually retails for £3.50 but I was lucky to grab him for £1.75!

This is a review for the Family Fever Tried & Tested Linky.

Family Fever

Batch Cooking: Spicy Meatballs

500ml of Passata (£0.50)
10 Vegetarian Meatballs (£0.79)
1 Red Onion (£0.25)
1/2 Packet of Mushrooms (£0.39)
250g Swede & Carrot Diced (£0.25)
100g of Red Lentils (£0.24)
4 blocks of Frozen Spinach (£0.20)
1 Leek (£0.33)
2 tsp of Sunflower Oil
Chilli Powder
Garlic Salt
Garlic Clove
Mixed Herbs

Cost: £2.95

– put the meatballs into the oven to crisp up
– sweat the sliced onion, add the leeks, add the mushrooms and then add the chopped garlic
– in a bowl put 1-2 tsp of chilli powder, 1-2 tsp of garlic salt, 1 tsp of mixed herbs, the block of passata and a bit of water (to clean out the passata box)
– add the diced carrot & swede to the pan along with the passata mix and add the lentils
– when the meatballs look crispy put them into the pan and add four blocks of frozen spinach and allow it to melt into the mix
– leave it all for 30 minutes to allow the lentils to soften

Taste it and if you like add more chilli powder, also remember to salt and pepper to your liking

This serves four generous portions.

Calories: 216

Meal Plan Monday – 26/01/15

Last week I sort of stuck to the meal plan… only very nearly! But I’m hopeful for a better week this week!

Monday: Spicy Meatballs with plain Couscous
Tuesday: Sausage & Lentil Casserole with plain Couscous
Wednesday: Carrot & Parsnip Soup with Herb Cream Cheese on crackers
Thursday: Veggie Curry & plain Couscous
Friday: Lentil Curry & Couscous
Saturday: Baked Sweet Potato with Herb Cream Cheese & Salad
Sunday: Roast chicken breast, vegetables and stuffing

Mass amounts of couscous this week as it’s out of date and needs using! Whoops!

Once again doing Mrs M’s meal planning linky:

Batch Cooking: Sausage & Lentil Casserole

4 Vegetarian Sausages (£0.65)
300g Sweet Potato (£0.19)
250g Diced Carrot & Swede (Asda prepared veg) (£0.25)
50g Red Split Lentils (£0.12)
50g Yellow Split Peas (£0.07)
1 Red Onion (£0.25)
1 Leek (£0.33)
7 Mushrooms (quartered) (£0.39)
70g Lightest Philadelphia (£0.43p)
1 Chicken and 1 Veg Stock Cube made up to 1 litre
Mixed Herbs
2 tsp Sunflower Oil

Price: £2.68

– Bung the sausages in the oven to crisp up (follow packet instructions)
– Sweat the onion, add the leek, then the mushrooms then the garlic
– Steam the Carrot & Swede mix (or boil)
– Add one chicken stock cube, one vegetable stock cube, some garlic salt, some mixed herbs and 70g of philadelphia lightest and add a litre of hot water and mix
– Because I’m a fancy-pants, I used half of the sweet potato as wedges and cubed the rest
– Put everything except the sweet potato wedges into your casserole dish, snip the sausages into the mix (far easier than wrestling with hot sausages and a knife!)
– Stir well and add your lentils/peas
– Put the lid on and bung into the oven at about 200 for 30 – 40 minutes, stir regularly if you so wish!
– Then if you’re being wanky like me, place the sweet potato wedges onto the top and put back into oven with lid off so they can cook then crisp

This made five portions, which according to MyFitnessPal is 220calories, however I wouldn’t judge you if you made it for four portions as my portions did look a wee bit small :(

Of course if you’re vegetarian you can replace the chicken stock cube with another vegetable one.

Book Review: Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes

Goodreads: Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes

I read this book from 19th to 24th January 2015.

This book is probably described as chick-lit however it didn’t come across like the usual chick-lit I read (Sophie Kinsella).

It’s primarily set in Australia in a little seaside hamlet called Silver Bay, an area once famed for whale-watching however tourism is in the decline.

It centers around a rundown hotel where an elderly woman lives with her niece and great niece, when along comes a business man covertly seeking out an area for a brand new all-singing, all-dancing five star hotel to be situated.

The main theme throughout is the welfare of the whales and other sealife and how it’ll ruin everything for this big hotel to bool on in. There is romance, there are tears and there’s a precocious 11 year old, my least favourite thing in world!

I enjoyed the beginning getting into it, thought the middle was a bit of hard work but enjoyed it more towards the end when the excitement picked up.

Rating out of five: