Budgets, Veggies and Housework!

The start of a new year always makes me want to get organised – there is no better feeling like a fresh start!

So today has been a day of planning… planning meals, planning budgets & planning a way i can manage my house! Since having Rowan my house is going to ruin, i just don’t seem to have any time to do anything! To be completely honest i wasn’t the best at housework before he arrived anyway, i guess i am a little lazy when it comes to that! But i want my house to be in order like a ‘well oiled ship!’ so i need to change my ways and what better time to start than at the start of a new year!

But first let me tell you about the lemon drizzle cake that i made yesterday to take to our little New Years Eve dinner – i love lemon drizzle cake and decided to make the one out of my River Cottage Everyday book;


Except Hugh calls it Lemon Trickle Cake! The recipe can be found on the River Cottage website of you can click the following link.

I didn’t take photos of every stage of the cake making process as time was a little against me but it was very easy to make, here is the finished product…

Once cooled the drizzle trickle crystallised and tasted sweet but tangy, the sponge was light as i whipped the mixture for a good 10 minutes and tasted almost creamy… delightful and refreshing as the main that our hosts made was a vegetable chilli.

Whilst the cake was cooling i actually had time to straighten my hair and put on a bit of make up… this used to be so easy but is a bit of a luxury now that i have Rowan… look how happy i get when this happens!

There was no point though because on the short 5 minute walk to our friends house the heavens opened and Ollie and I got soaked! Rowan was all cosy under his rain cover, i was tres jealous!

We have only known our friends that we spent NYE with for 4 months as we met at antenatal class, co-incidentally we went into labour on the same day and delivered our babies at the same hospital 1.5 hours apart! I will put photos of them on the blog soon but i want to ask their permission first! Will the father has been a vegetarian all his life so he whips up the most amazing vegetarian meals, so much flavour… no way will i ever think veggie food is bland! A couple of weeks ago he made us a veggie thai green curry and last night we had vegetable chilli – we did not miss the meat one bit. I had a teeny glass of Rose early in the evening and then a teeny glass of bubbly at midnight, i am breastfeeding Rowan so didn’t want to get him drunk!!

Saying that i think he parted too hard last night and after his 6:30am feed this morning i let him snuggle in bed with us…


… and boy did he sleep! Can you see his best friend that he is holding? That’s Snuggle Bum, you will see a lot of him on here as he doesn’t leave Rowan’s side!

Anyway back to getting organised, the hubby sat down and put together a budget for us to try and stick to as money is a little tight whilst i am on maternity leave, we are quite sensible with our money and did start saving lots when i found out i was pregnant but we really want to make the most of our money. I love budgets as i find them a bit of a challenge, it is also nice when after a couple of months you see your saving start to grow!

With that in mind i have a January Budget Challenge! to stick to, below are the 3 budgets i have to stick to or even better have some change at the end of the month!

  1. £20 a month for petrol (i currently stay quite local so this shouldn’t be too difficult!)
  2. £20 a week social money, this is for little treats like magazines, going for coffee, going swimming etc
  3. £50 a week for grocery shopping (food is getting so expensive this one will need some forward planning!)

Being presented with a grocery budget and after eating such amazing veggie food at our friends i dug out all my Vegetarian Cook books;

My husband (Ollie) and I are not planning on going vegetarian however over Christmas we had a lovely meal at my in-laws, my mother in law made a beef wellington and as we do not see each other that often she wanted to make it special and bought a good fillet of beef which cost £30!!! but oh boy could you tell, the meat melted in our mouths and had the most immense flavour. Ollie and I was chatting on the way home and we cringed at the quality of meat we have been eating compared to the lush filet we inhaled the night before & how much of our grocery bill goes towards said meat! We are no way in a position to be eating the best cuts of meat so why not leave out the naff meat we were buying and make glorious meals out of healthy, tasty vegetables and lentils instead? This will work out cheaper which means we will get more for our money on the budget (we hope)! I think we will still have a one or 2 meat meals a week but we’ll see…

Looking at the colourful recipes on each page of the veggie books was making my mouth water, oh how my body is calling out for fresh wholesome food – god damn you Quality Street i need you out of my house pronto! I can’t wait to put my new meal plan together for next week, this week is a ‘use up week’, which means eat everything up that is in the fridge first before spending more money on food!

So i’ve covered the budget planning/challenge, i’ve covered the grocery planning, finally i have been planning managing my house… and i think i may actually get somewhere with this with the help of a website called Fly Lady Net, i came across it today and it is amazing!

It asks whether your house is in CHAOS? (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome)! Eh yeah – that sounds about right! This website gives you lots of routines and checklists to follow each day, I’m not sure if i will be able to follow all routines as i have a 3 month old baby that needs cuddling, feeding & playing with everyday but at least it will help me break down the house into small bite size chunks and i won’t feel so overwhelmed – I’ll let you know how i am getting on with all this next Sunday.

Oh yeah, i am also starting my 1st day of the new year with a stinking cold, i have streaming eyes, nose and i am losing my voice (which Ollie seems happy about)! I can’t dose up as i am breastfeeding so it was early to bed where i have been chilling with the little man, blogging and watching this…


Rowan’s light show is so relaxing!!

Night all xxx


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