This Week – Food, Photos and Thoughts

As with a lot of my posts, the common theme is food!! So I’ll start off with what we have been eating this week.

I roasted a large chicken on Sunday for lunch. There was plenty leftover to get another two meals out of it. So, on Monday I made a chicken and leek stew with dumplings. Tuesday I used the last of the chicken to make a risotto, I added spinach, peas and parsley to it. I had a tiger baguette in the freezer and used half of it to make a garlic bread. I mixed a little parsley, garlic puree and butter together and spread this in grooves I sliced into the baguette. This was then baked.

This week I also cooked sausages with veg, a simple jacket potato dinner and tonight I made a lentil lasagne. The lasagne was delicious, we were all quite hungry tonight so I didn’t get round to taking a photo of it! I just made up a veggie filling that consisted of red lentils, carrots, yellow pepper and tomatoes. I seasoned it with oregano and black pepper. I made my usual cheese sauce and layered up the lasagne in the dish with the lentil fling, pasta sheets and cheese sauce.

I also made a broccoli quiche to have for lunches as it’s nice to be able to have a bit of variety instead of sandwiches! I have managed to make a few pictures out of my children’s lunches for a bit of fun! Today I made butterflies!!

The sweet treats this week we’re chocolate chip muffins and a simple sponge cake. As a family, we all really enjoy home cooked foods and I enjoy being in the kitchen cooking and baking.

I have kept up my daily walks, yesterday was very rainy and I discovered that my boots are not waterproof!! Other than that it was an enjoyable refreshing walk in the rain. I am really happy to be getting outside every day for a walk.

The cross stitch that I started at the beginning of the week is now completed. I know it’s a Christmas cross stitch but I found it in my craft things and thought it would be a nice small piece to get me back into cross stitching. I really enjoyed it so will definitely be doing more cross-stitching in the future.

I have been trying to keep organised and have been ticking things off of my to do lists so have felt quite productive this week. The days are long and I know we are all trying to do the best we can to keep ourselves occupied and also stay safe.

I hope you have had a good week

Katie

5 Personal Goals

This year I want to try to be a more productive and better version of myself. To achieve this I have set out a few goals.

1. Go out for a walk every day, rain or shine
It’s early days but I have been out every day so far and have felt much better for getting fresh air and excercise on a daily basis. It’s a change of scenery and is now part of my daily routine. I feel so refreshed when so get home from a walk and it’s also lovely scenery and the seascape looks different every day.

2. Use a Planner
As mentioned in a previous post, I bought myself a planner. It has calendar pages, weekly view pages, plenty of space for writing in and focusses on goals, achievements and personal growth. At the moment there aren’t many dates for my diary due to the pandemic but I am enjoying using it to plan daily tasks and think about personal goals.

3. Make time to do the things I enjoy
I am guilty of just sitting and watching telly most evenings and not using my time wisely. After a long day with two young children it’s definitely the easy option. There is nothing wrong with relaxing and resting but I realised how much of my time could be spent better. Last week I spent one evening painting a beach picture and this week I have started a small cross stitch(this one can be done whilst watching telly)! It is lovely getting back to the hobbies I enjoy.

4. Daily Bible Reading
I recently downloaded The Bible YouVersion app. I have a few plans on there that I try to do daily so that I can understand and find out more about God and the scripture. When my husband and I lived in our first house we became members of the Church there and it was a really great community, our daughter had a blessing there and myself so my husband went on to be baptised. After a few moves and now a pandemic, I am missing going to Church and really hope to get back into that when we are able to. My daughter is really interested in her children’s Bible so we read that a lot together. It is lovely for us to grow in faith as a family.

5. Keep Blogging
The last post I wrote was my 100th post. I actually started this blog in 2016 so 100 posts doesn’t seem like a lot! I took quite a big break from blogging when I had my daughter in October 2017 and only properly started blogging again in October 2020! My blog started out as the life as a housewife blog which documented my daily life – cleaning, cooking and home renovations. Things have changed a little since then but I am still happily married and I am now a stay at home Mum to my daughter and son. This blog covers a bit of all sorts really – food, home life, crafts, family, thoughts, personal interests. I enjoy blogging, it’s lovely to share things with others and great to know that other people enjoy the content of my blog posts.

Thanks for reading.

Katie

A Cold and Frosty Morning

This morning we were greeted by a stunning white frost that carpeted all of the ground around us.

It was a beautiful morning, we decided we would prepare our Sunday roast and then go out for a walk whilst the chicken was roasting.

My daughter was so excited to see all the frost, we ventured to the beach and walked along the frosty pebbles and looked down onto the sea which was glistening in the sun. Such a picturesque winter’s morning. The sky was white to match the frost.

Our home smelt lovely when we arrived back, the delicious smell of chicken, potatoes and parsnips roasting in the oven. Whilst dinner was cooking, I prepared some Bramley apples and made a sweet pastry to make an apple pie.

We all enjoyed a tasty roast dinner followed by homemade apple pie and custard.

We spent the afternoon resting and relaxing. A true day of rest.

Hope you have all had a good Sunday.

Katie

A Sunny Walk and Focaccia Bread

I have made it this year’s goal to get out for a walk every day. This may not seem like a difficult task but in the past I have struggled with motivation so I want to make a habit out of getting outside for fresh air and excercise.

It tends to be the winter that is more of an issue for me but I have been out every day this week and feel much better for it. I want to make sure that my children see the importance of getting regular excercise.

We moved at the end of October and now live on the South coast. The scenery is beautiful which is a real incentive to get out for a walk. The beach is just a short walk over the road which is really ideal.

I have taken some lovely photos of the beach and look forward to seeing the sea each day. It was particularly sunny yesterday and it’s always amazing to see the sun glistening on the sea.

After a 50 minute walk we arrived home and got straight to work on making a focaccia bread dough. I decided to make focaccia as earlier in the week my daughter helped me make pizza dough and was making holes in the dough with her fingers. I said to her that she would enjoy making focaccia as that has lots of little holes in it.

So, that’s how we got on to making focaccia. I followed a basic dough recipe and then when it was time to bake (after we had put holes into the dough) I topped it with parsley, chopped garlic and oil. The bread turned out really well and was delicious with our dinner. My 3 year old daughter was very impressed with her focaccia bread!

What We’ve Been Eating This Week

My husband does the food shopping at the weekend and we roughly plan what we will be eating in the week beforehand. On a Monday I will then plan out what we will be eating on each day so I know what I will be cooking each evening. I write this on a chalk board in the kitchen. We have chosen to have all meat free meals this week.

On Monday I made a leek and potato filo pie. This was a new recipe, it took a bit of effort and concentration to make but it was worth it. The pie was really tasty, I served it with green beans and broccoli. There was enough left the next day to have cold for lunch which we had with a salad.

On Tuesday I cooked a lentil and sweet potato shepherd’s pie. This has become a favourite in our household. It’s a real comfort food dish. It is based on a recipe that I have adapted slightly. The filling is made up of carrots, tinned tomatoes and red lentils and is topped with sweet potato mash. I served this with savoy cabbage.

On Wednesday we ate homemade pizza. I made up a basic bread dough in the afternoon and then rolled it out and topped with passata, peppers, sweetcorn, broccoli, spinach and mozzarella cheese. We ate this with chips and baked beans.

Thursday saw me cooking a Mexican bean and cornbread bake. This is something I have made up myself. I made it a few weeks ago and we really enjoyed it. I think it is something that will become a frequently cooked meal for us. This is made up of a casserole type base made from peppers, tomatoes, sweetcorn and mixed beans in a spicy sauce. I then made up a cornmeal savoury cake batter and topped this on the casserole and baked in the oven until the cornbread was cooked through. The result is a tasty bean casserole topped with fluffy cornbread. The first time I made this I topped it with cheese which is really tasty too.

For a sweet treat I made flapjacks. I followed a basic recipe and then added the ingredients of my choice. I added chopped hazelnuts, dark chocolate, sliced apple and sultanas.

That’s what we have been eating this week!

Katie

Rainbow

I wanted to share this lovely rainbow with you. It’s our first day of lockdown 3 and seeing this beautiful rainbow in the sky gave me a vision of hope.

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
Genesis 9:13 NIVUK

I am hoping to do more Bible study this year, firstly starting out with reading a passage from the Bible each day and following a few plans on the Bible app. Seeing the rainbow today was a true reminder of the beauty of God’s creation.

I have made it my goal to get out every day for a walk. I sometimes struggle with motivation especially during the winter when it is cold and wet and often dull outside. However, I have been enjoying my walks with my two children, my daughter often goes on her scooter and my son is nice and cosy in his puschair! I often take photos of the view over the sea as it looks different each day. It is so lovely to be able to go for walks along the seafront.

That’s all from me today, hope you are keeping safe and well. I shall leave you with a few more rainbow photos.

Katie

Sticky Buns and a Walk in the Rain

I didn’t do any baking over the festive period so have been keen to get back to it!

I really enjoy making sticky buns, so I found a recipe that I had and adapted it to the ingredients I had in. The dough was flavoured with mixed spice and clementine zest. For the filling I used butter, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, grated apple and sultanas.

Once the dough had been rolled out, filled, rolled and cut into buns I went out for a walk with my two children. I didn’t realise it was raining until we stepped outside. My daughter was pleased as she got to use her new umbrella. We like to walk towards the seafront and have started playing a guessing game of whether we think the sea will be calm or rough. Today it was calm. We had a short walk as it was cold and rainy, but good to get out for fresh air and excercise.

When I got back I put the buns in the oven to bake. When baked I glazed with cranberry sauce. Myself, my husband and my daughter didn’t wait too long before eating one! They are best eaten fresh!

Plans for 2021

New year ahead, new plans! I know it is such a cliché to make resolutions and fresh starts, but this year I am really geared up for change.

One of the things I would like is to be more organised and to make time to do the things I really enjoy doing. I bought myself a planner which I am really excited to start using. It is a Clever Fox Planner and has all sorts inside to help with achieving goals and dreams and how to be more productive. I feel this will really help me to realise what I really want in life and help with personal growth.

I am wanting to get back into being more creative and making time for that. I started doing paintings a couple of years ago which I enjoyed but I have found that parenting young children does make hobbies harder to carry out. This year I am hoping to set out times to do these activities.

A couple of paintings I did in 2018

I got a sewing machine earlier this year and would like to start putting that to use also! So hopefully 2021 will see a few new creative creations!

We don’t currently have a garden but do have a small patio. Our names are on the waiting list for allotments but it could be a 2 year wait! I am planning to grow as much as I can on the patio and be as inventive as possible. My husband gifted me with a subscription of Kitchen Garden magazine in the spring which has lots of great advice and also comes with 3 packets of seed with each addition. I have been collecting these and look forward to being able to use them.

This calendar came with one of my magazines. I am going to start jotting down birthdays so that I am organised.

In the kitchen I hope to learn more new recipes and make better packed lunches for my husband to take to work.

I mentioned in a previous post about trying to be more minimalist. This is something I definitely want to carry on with and I hope to regularly assess my possessions and decide if they are truly needed. Myself and my husband had quite a minimalist Christmas in terms of gifts as we only received a few presents, much of which were of benefit to us and obviously we are very grateful for any gift we receive.

Another of 2021’s plans is to live more environmentally friendly and in particular we want to reduce our use of plastic. The plan is to build up on storage jars and start using the local zero waste food shop.

Also I want to be able to create good experiences for my children this year and continue trying to be the best Mum that I can for my daughter and son. Another focus will be my husband, making sure that we spend quality time together and hopefully we’ll be able to have a few meals out and theatre trips later in the year.

I have lots more plans and ideas but will save those for other posts! And also I would like to be able to blog more frequently with exciting blog content. I wish all my readers a Happy New Year.

Katie

Thoughts on Christmas 2020

It was my first Christmas as a family of 4. My 9 month old got to experience Christmas for the first time and my 3 year old daughter enjoyed her 4th Christmas.

The highlights for the day were spending time together in our family unit, enjoying good food and seeing the children open their presents.

We didn’t go overboard on gifts – ‘Father Christmas’ brought some practical items such as soap, toothpaste, plasters and baby grows! He also brought some small toys, games and books. The children had a gift under the tree from us and then several other gifts from family members. It is very kind of people to give gifts no matter how big or small and whether they are handmade or shop bought.

It is nice to give gifts but I think too much focus is about presents at Christmas. It is definitely exciting for children to get presents. However, I realised today that I perhaps need to change the way I get across the message of Christmas to my children.

In the lead up to Christmas we listened to carols, read Bible stories and acted out the Nativity. I felt that when it got to Christmas day that the true meaning was lost underneath all of the presents. Next year we hope to be able to go to Church on Christmas morning.

Next Christmas I hope to focus more on the Christmas story and the true meaning of Christmas. I am also not going to ask my children what they want for Christmas and try not to focus so much on presents and whether there is enough etc. Often less is more and I would like my children to appreciate that and learn to be grateful for what they do have. I am not against giving gifts at all, I just don’t want it to be the main thing at Christmas!

Food was one of the main aspects of today. We enjoyed roast duck, vegetables, roast potatoes and parsnips, chestnuts, stuffing and pigs in blankets. Dessert was a chocolate sponge and thick cream. I didn’t make anything from scratch today as I didn’t want to be in the kitchen all day and wanted to spend time with my husband and children. As my children get older I do want to make more Christmas foods from scratch such as Christmas pudding, cake and other festive foods.

Today was spent relaxing with my family and I really enjoyed having a quiet Christmas. We watched some telly, played with toys and games, had video calls and phone calls with family members and ate lovely food.

I enjoyed being surrounded by handmade decorations and liked the minimal effect of having few decorations.

Overall I think it is lovely being able to celebrate Christmas. I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas. Mine was definitely a thought provoking one which has made me think about Christmases to come.

This Year’s Christmas Decorations

This year there is quite a homemade theme for the Christmas decorations. There are lots of handmade crafts on display.

Last year I made a Nativity set from some air dry clay and then painted it with acrylic paints. I made them up myself and wanted them to have a fun and child friendly appealing look to them. I created Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, 3 wise men, 2 shepherds and a sheep. I have displayed these on some crocheted mats which I inherited – they were made by my Grandma.

The Christmas cards are displayed on the sideboard behind the Nativity and also on the bookcase. It is lovely being able to display cards from family and friends.

The Christmas tree, which I have previously written about is a real potted tree on a small table which has been decorated with handmade baubles and also a few special baubles that we have collected or been gifted.

I hope you enjoy looking through the photos of my modest Christmas decorations and handmade creations.