Saving Money – Month 2

Have still been whittling away a few pennies here and there and my savings account is now up to £252.27 which means I’ve saved £125.49 through coin sweeping in February.

Have a few expensive items coming up including the service for the car (£140.00!) and the gas and electric bill (£170.00!) plus I put a £500.00 item on my credit card which will need to be paid off before April.

Food bill has come down by £20.00 this month which is great and I will see if I can bring it down any further. God love Lidl! I am preparing a meal plan every Monday and shopping with this in mind.

Yikes! So I will continue with the coin sweeping and will keep unnecessary spending to a minimum again!

February Favourites


…book: I only read one book this month and it most definitely wasn’t a favourite but feel free to read the review of There is No Light in Darkness by Claire Contreras.

…drink: Really enjoying my Sparkling Spring Water from Lidl, it’s flavoured so is just like pop but a damn sight better than my usual Pepsi!


…recipe: my curried sweet potato soup was so good this month, can’t believe I only made four portions!


…picture: after going de-caff again I discovered our local tea room does decaff coffee! I was overly excited when they put a Monument on the cappuccino with chocolate!


…beauty: my vaseline lip therapy in blush has been getting used a lot this month


…moment: when my darling 3 year old charge brought me a single red rose!


The List

52lbs – Month 2

I really ought to give up on this diet, I’ve been terrible again this month. In my defense I started off really well, especially as it was AF week but towards the middle, I started eating crap again and regained a couple of the pounds I lost. But this week went a bit better so fingers crossed for Month 3.

Week 1 – XStone4lbs

Week 2 – XStone1lbs

Week 3 – XStone5lbs

Week 4 – XStone2lbs!

So I’m getting there… probably a couple of pounds behind but still 7lbs down since January 1st! Come on March!

Batch Cooking: Curried Sweet Potato Soup


I had a bag of sweet potatoes that needed using up and because they’re sweet like parsnips I wondered if I could add a curry powder to “warm” the soup up and it worked out really well.

500g Sweet Potatoes (skinless weight) £1.00
1 litre of stock (I use 1 chicken cube and 1 vegetable cube)
1 Red Onion £0.25
1 Leek £0.33
2 teaspoons of curry powder of choice (I used tikka)
1 tablespoon of cream cheese £0.11
2 teaspoons of Sunflower Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Calories per portion: 187
Cost: £1.69

– Sweat the onions and leek in some sunflower oil
– Prepare your stock, I find it easier to add my cream cheese and curry powder to the stock at this point
– Add the chopped up sweet potatoes and let them get coated in the oil residue then add the stock
– Simmer until the potatoes are soft and you can whizz it up with a hand blender

It’s so warming, and I could have stood to add more curry powder without making it too hot!

Witty Hoots Frugal Family Linky

Tried & Tested: Toucan Box

I found out about this box from Emma at A Blissful Life and used her referral code to get a free box to try out.

I ordered it with C the 3.2 year old in mind and used it when she came for a playdate to my house last week.

The activity featured a jellyfish and it had everything you needed to be able to create two jellyfish.


For this activity you didn’t need any glue which was a bonus and it sets out each step perfectly and with illustrations.





Sorry there’s no completed picture, C stole the jellyfish away before I had chance!

I really loved the idea and if I had a child of my own I’d sign up properly to receive a box every fortnight, but I couldn’t justify spending the money on my work children, however did pass on the details to my boss in case she was interested!

I received this box free as part of a referral program but generally it costs from £3.95 per box. See their website for more details.

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

Family Fever

Meal Plan Monday – 23rd Feb ’15

Last week went terribly terribly wrong, I barely stuck to the plan as felt over the place with work and babysitting. But I’m feeling more settled now and am hopeful for this week. I visited our local butchers and picked up some delicious flavoured sausages and also found something new, a mince pinwheel. Looks so good!

But I did enjoy my Curried Sweet Potato Soup, of which the recipe is coming this week!


Monday: Lamb & Mint Pinwheel with mixed vegetables.
Tuesday: Veggie Curry with egg fried rice
Wednesday: Lentil Tandoori Curry with plain couscous
Thursday: Spicy Meatballs with egg fried rice
Friday: Babysitting
Saturday: Sausage & Lentil Casserole with plain couscous
Sunday: Mince pinwheel with vegetables

Last week at babysitting I had a cheeseburger happy meal (I felt it was much better than a Large Big Mac Meal!) It’ll probably be the same again this week so will aim to have something better than a happy meal!

Bero Sticky Blobs

I first posted this recipe back in 2012 but I was very keen to join in Gym Bunny Mummy‘s new linky; Sunday Sweets so here it is again!

Bero Sticky Blobs


225g (8oz) Self Raising Flour
100g (4oz) Butter/Margarine
100g (4oz) Caster Sugar
1 Medium Egg
pinch of salt
milk to mix

1. Heat oven to 200C and grease a baking tray
2. Mix the flour of the salt, rub in fat and stir in the sugar
3. Mix to a stiff dough with the egg and the milk
4. Roll into small balls and press your thumb into them to create a dip
5. Fill with jam or as we did below honey!
6. Bake for approx. 15 minutes until golden brown

One of my favourite things to bake because it’s so easy!



Book Review: There is No Light in Darkness by Claire Contreras


Goodreads: There is No Light in Darkness (Darkness #1) by Claire Contreras

This book started off really well, it seemed to have an intriguing story-line, with a bit of crime going on and I thought it was something that was going somewhere, but half way through it turned into poor erotica not dissimilar to a fan-fiction. I can appreciate a good sex scene, but I’m more for quality than quantity and it felt like they were all over each other every other page.

The underlying crime story was interesting and I wish there had been more about that than the present relationship between Cole & Blake. He seemed overly controlling and it was off-putting at times.

As it’s part of a series I don’t know what happens next but will definitely give the second book a go.

Rating out of five:

Weekend Book Club

The List: My Top Ten Programmes on Netflix

I subscribed to netflix about a year ago now and have devoured so many shows that I don’t know what I did without it!

Here are my top ten programmes that I’ve binge-watched in the past 12 months (in no particular order):

1: Pretty Little Liars; a great programme if not a bit confusing at times. It follows four teenage girls who lost a friend a year ago and they don’t know if she was murdered or what.

2: Gossip Girl; totally team Blair/Chuck! Also wishes I lived in the Upper East Side of New York and could sit and drink Cristal all day long.

3: Once Upon a Time; haven’t quite caught up on this yet but am loving how it features every character ever thought up by Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm

4: Prison Break; Wentworth Miller had me questioning my sexuality in this programme and the story is amazing, so well thought out.

5: Bates Motel; who’d have thought little Charlie Bucket would go so far! A great prequel to the well known Psycho movie.

6: Orange is the New Black; love this programme so much but hate having to wait a year to binge-watch the next 13 episodes. Who doesn’t love a prison drama?

7: The L Word; a bunch of gorgeous lesbians in LA, ’nuff said.

8: The Tudors; my favourite period in history and this tv show really did it justice!

9: 24; who doesn’t love Jack Bauer and his relentlessly exhausting life!

10: House; Hugh Laurie is ridiculously acerbic but hilarious, absolutely love him. Have also learnt a lot about medical things!

Praying some more oldie shows get added (Bad Girls anyone?) but for now I’m very happy with the selection I’ve watched and have so many more that I need to get round to watching.

The List