A Mothers Ramblings: October 2018

Monday, 29 October 2018

All Meals W/C 29th October

As this week is half term, our meals are a lot more simple than normal. We've done this for a couple of reasons,

1 We get to save some cash by eating super cheap
2 The children can cook these simple meals
3 We really need to use up the stuff in the pantry and freezer
4 I'm having a week off
5 Did I mention this week is super cheap?

When I went shopping (with Dan Jon and Tops) we purchased a can of beans, a pack of gluten-free sausages, some items for the soup we're making for the Ward Trunk Or Treat, some treats (Dr P for me, Oasis for Tops, Oreos for Dan Jon and Pepsi for Flyfour), some bread and cat food. See, super simple and cheap!

Super Tasty Beans on Toast

Friday, 26 October 2018

14 Family Night In Ideas

Dan Jon and I were busy planning whilst Top Ender and Flyfour were away on their camping trip. We were planning for when our family nights are less outside Summer type things and more inside Autumn and Winter type things. Don't get us wrong, there will be plenty of walks, wrapped up in scarves and with flasks of Hot Chocolate and the odd Sausage Roll hidden in a thermos lunchbox, but Dan Jon was also aware that Top Ender is going to be getting up super early every weekday whilst she goes to Seminary and some evenings, Tops and I may just want to collapse on the sofa.

Dan Jon came up with a brilliant list of 14 things we could do as part of a Family Night in and I thought I'd share them in case anyone else is after some fun things to do as a family when the weather turns a bit cooler!

Winter Family Selfie

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Why Food Banks Don't Want Your Out Of Date Food

The School that Dan Jon goes to each Autumn asks the children to donate food items to a local Food Bank. Each class is assigned a different kind of food, there are ten different classes with around 30 children, so a lot can be donated. I remember a couple of years ago the chap who was sent to collect the items couldn't believe how much was being donated and was so grateful for the support from the School.

Last year, Dan Jon's class had Biscuits, I went out and purchased several boxes and individual packets, to donate. It was within my budget, but it wasn't something I had originally budgeted for if you see what I mean. This year Dan Jon's class has been assigned pasta in a can (like hoops or spaghetti), Dan Jon was eager to take in a can and so emptied my pantry of my stash of value Spaghetti Hoops, and over the weekend, I purchased several more. Not to stock up my supplies, but to pass on to the food bank.

My neat and tidy, and quite full Pantry

Some classes got dried pasta, or soup, or toiletries. Things that the Food Bank need, things that people who use the Food Bank need.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Flyfour and Dan Jon's Camping Trip 2018

Every Summer Flyfour goes camping one at a time with both Top Ender and Dan Jon Jr. We love this time because it means that we each get one on one time with each of our children and make special memories and just have time together. The children love it for the same reasons, one on one time, they are mostly in control of what we do, where we go and what we eat and of course, if they are at home with me they get a pass on bedtime and what time they have to wake up too!

Flyfour and Dan Jon headed off to Dorset, where they soon had the tent up in a field, which according to Flyfour was in the middle of nowhere. 

Dan Jon modelling the tent


Saturday, 20 October 2018

All We Are Eating W/C 20 October 2018

I explained a little while back that I was writing all our meals in one easy to go to place as I was trying to A Cut back a little on shopping, B Make it easier on me to remember (or know where to go) and C help me ensure we're eating a variety of things.

This week I've also gone through everything that is in the freezer and cupboards to ensure I've made the most of my budget, and actually don't have to buy much, just cat food, milk, a little fruit and of course the all-important snacks that the housekeeper tends to forget to buy each week and just leaves "ingredients" in the fridge and cupboards for us to make snacks from.

So inconsiderate.

A cake made with ingredients!


Wednesday, 17 October 2018

September's Holiday In A Weekend - Day Two

Dan Jon and I were the only ones who woke up early. Around 7am I woke up, and Dan Jon was already awake and getting bored of staring at the ceiling. Together we played on our phones, Dan Jon played a little on his DS and I did some knitting, as my suggestions of going for a walk along the seafront or seeing if we could find a park or something else he might find of interest were all dismissed.

Eventually, Top Ender and Flyfour woke up and so we dished out breakfast (cereal bars and crepes for all) before we got dressed, packed up and headed off for our second day of Holiday.

The A Mother's Ramblings Crew

Monday, 15 October 2018

All We Are Eating W/C 15th October

I'm not sure if I enjoy this whole keeping meals to under £1 per head. It means I have to actually think each week about what meals I'm making and I'm not allowed to buy my usual cheat ingredients... chopped onion being my favourite!

Anyway, I managed to get the meals this week for 73p per head, which I don't think is too bad. I've added on a tonne of tinned and frozen fruit this week, which the children will have after their evening meal, occasionally with Ice-Cream, occasionally baked into a cake or even just "plain" as I realised that they were wanting a little extra each night, because of the smaller portions and because 5 portions of fruit or veg a day is good, 6 or 7 is better right?

A large bowl of apples from our Apple Tree

Friday, 12 October 2018

September's Holiday In A Weekend - Day One

September's Holiday in a day was going to be a great surprise. Months ago Flyfour had suggested instead of going out for just one day that he would like to go away for the whole weekend... and he'd like to organise everything as a surprise for Tops, DJ and me. It would be a sort of Anniversary gift to us and a lot of fun would be planned.

So we said yes and left him to the planning.

The A Mother's Ramblings Family

It took great restraint on my behalf to not google things that were happening the last weekend of September and in the end, I managed to get one piece of information out of Flyfour with regards to the weekend. We'd need to leave at 6:30 am, as our first destination was a four-hour drive away. I worked out that this would mean we were heading to the North of the UK, and so knew to pack accordingly. Out came the fleece jumpers, scarves, hats and walking boots and away went any ideas of resting by a pool somewhere in Europe!


Wednesday, 10 October 2018

The Seminary Surprise

In the last post I talked about Seminary, The Seminary Challenge, I said that we were waiting on Sepli to get his revenge. Well, it turns out we didn't have to wait long.

The morning started like any other. We had our breakfast, we set off to pick up the lovely young woman whom we give a lift to each morning (she lives just around the corner from us, so it makes sense!) and headed off to the Chapel.

I unlocked the gate, leaving Tops and our friend in the car (it's cold early in the morning)! and drove into the deserted carpark.

The Chapel Car park before it is opened

Monday, 8 October 2018

A Social Media and Media Fast

Earlier this year, I went on a Social Media fast. It was a challenge aimed at the Youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and despite not being a Youth leader at the time or indeed a member of the youth, I decided to attempt it anyway. I mean a week away from social media wasn't going to kill me was it. Was it!?

Pippa is on a Social Media Fast Header

Well, it didn't. In fact, I learnt a fair bit about myself during that week. Like how when I'm bored, my first instinct is to check social media. Like how, when I can't "spy" on my friends, I actually message them to see what they are up to or if they want to hang out. I also discovered that whilst Pinterest is my go-to for when I want to get creative, it isn't always the solution and I came up with several ideas on my own, without the help of Pinterest or Google. I know, go me.

I'm pretty certain the Social Media fast was one of the reasons that I was called to be the Young Women's President, but then again it could also be because Heavenly Father just wanted me to start hanging out with the Teens of our ward. Either way, the fast helped!


Saturday, 6 October 2018

All Meals W/C 8th Oct 2018

So, the main meals that I made last week meant that the meal plan cost me just under £1 per day, which was a little bit of a cheat, as I had a few ingredients at home (frozen fish for example) that I used and so they didn't come into the price. However I also purchased some gluten-free plain flour and Olive oil, ready for a meal this week, so I think it sort of balances out!

A Balanced spinning Top

This week, I'm aiming for £1.50 per day for all three meals for Tops, Dan Jon and I as Flyfour takes care of himself for breakfast and lunch by making cereal and sandwiches at work during the week and guess what! It works out this week... so long as nobody adds anything else to the shopping basket when I go out later today to get it!


Wednesday, 3 October 2018

The Seminary Challenge

There are a few things that Top Ender and I don't like and being late for something is one of them. So with Seminary starting at 6:40 am, the plan is that we will get to the Chapel for 6:30 am each weekday. This means we need to leave our house at about 6:15 am, as even with no traffic it is still a fifteen-minute drive or so.

As it is so very early in the morning, I suggested and Top Ender eagerly agreed that in order to make this more pleasant I would cook breakfast for Dan Jon, Top Ender and myself each morning before we leave.

Top Ender eating Bean and Sausage Hash before Seminary

Dan Jon loves this because, as he is now waking up at 6 am with breakfast in bed, he is able to complete his morning scripture study, get ready for School and get at least a half hour in on one of the consoles! Plus BREAKFAST IN BED!


Monday, 1 October 2018

All Meals W/C 1st Oct 2018

The Meal plan is a little late this week, thanks to us having been away over the weekend. I also made a little bet with Flyfour, I'm going to see how cheap I can make the weeks meals for October... and try to keep it to below £1 per head per evening meal.

It came about as we were talking about different meals you can buy premade at around the 70p mark, and wondering if this was cheaper to buy than making a meal from scratch. I know obviously that if you make it from scratch it could be a lot healthier, but we were talking about living on an extreme budget (we'd been watching a documentary earlier in the week about a similar subject) and if it was still possible to eat filling meals (filling rather than healthy).

Anyway, we know I'm always up for a challenge!

Yummy Sausage Pie