Monday, 25 January 2016

Meal Planning Monday - the nearly February edition!

As you may have guessed, I don't much like January and this one has been particularly long, due to a payroll error. My meal plans have been as thrifty as possible as a result. When I'm short, I always revert to Aldi because it is so much cheaper, even than Asda which is my regular haunt. It's lovely to stock up with a few things, have a trolleyful and still feel like I've not been extravagant.

Payday is this week but the shopping was done yesterday so I'm still being careful. Today' meal is made from leftover from Sunday roast. Wednesday is going to be a trial for a few weeks; the children already have swimming lessons after school, but until the middle of March, they also have to be at indoor cricket nets 15 mins away at 6.30 when Monkey's lesson finishes at 6! I have therefore decided we are just having pizza, and I can if necessary reheat some of it when we get home if they want more.

So here's our week in meals.

Monday - Twice baked potatoes filled with chicken
Tuesday - Mushroom rogan josh
Wednesday - Pizza
Thursday - Corned beef and beans
Friday - Fish and chips (oven baked)
Saturday - Haggis, neeps and tatties
Sunday - Chicken pie and mash

Don't forget to visit Mrs M to see more marvellous meal plans!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Meal Planning Monday - the dull mid-January edition!

Not much to say about this week - just another week marking off to January payday.

The plan has a lot of stuff I've already got in to keep food costs down.

Monday - Chicken, ham and mushroom pasta bake (based loosely on that dish)
Tuesday - Burgers
Wednesday - Roast parsnip and parmesan soup
Thursday- Cauliflower cheese
Friday - Gnocchi and sausage bake
Saturday - Quiche lorraine
Sunday - Roast or pie, whatever is on offer at the supermarket later.

Short and sweet this week. Don't forget to join in at Mrs M's

Monday, 4 January 2016

Meal Planning Monday - the starting 2016 edition!



Let's not even talk about how long it is since I wrote one of these. Honestly, I started doing them to get into the habit of meal planning. That habit is well-embedded as I cannot function without a plan before I do a food order (thanks to Asda delivery pass, I only pop in supermarkets to do top up shops - or buy the things Asda couldn't supply!). But the writing of this post is not.

This week is back to school and work for all - two weeks for the kids and me, and husband has now been off for a total of 10 days over that time. And it's my birthday, so Wednesday is blank as I don't intend cooking, whatever we do. (Still not sorted). Apart from that, it's nothing special as weeks go.

I'm making use of my new toys, as I ask husband to buy me this for Christmas and it's been in almost constant use since. It can slow cook, roast, bake, saute or steam - so far, I've used the slow cooker function, the roasting and baked a potato. The main difference is the heat source is at the bottom so you do have to watch it although it comes with a little rack to raise things up. Still finding my feet with it but I. Love. It! It's definitely going to get lots of use, especially as thanks to an error with my pay, I'm a bit brassic this month.

So here's my plan. Everything is already here as my food delivery was booked for Sunday afternoon.

Monday - Pulled pork buns (done in slow cooker with leftover roast pork)
Tuesday - Baked potatoes
Wednesday - not cooking, yo.
Thursday - grilled cheese sandwiches (one of my new favourite easy meals)
Friday - Corned beef and beans pie
Saturday - Cheat's cassoulet
Sunday - Roast chicken

What are you having this week? Don't forget to check out At Home with Mrs M for more delicious meal plans. And I will try to blog my meal plan a little more regularly!

Sunday, 18 October 2015

51 things I learned from breaking my arm

So, I broke my left humerus on 1 August. This is what I learned.

1. Breaking a limb can be done in a split second. I was putting things in my car for a run to the tip, turned to go home, tripped, crashed into a wall, put my hand done and it was done. I still don't know what I tripped on.

2. Breaking arms hurts. Like, really bloody hurts. In fact, it hurt so much, poor husband could not get me up and had to call an ambulance. I've given birth twice and I'd do that again not to endure the pain I felt.

3. Gas and air is marvellous stuff. They gave me some in the ambulance and I remembered why I loved it so much when I was giving birth. I was GUTTED when they took it off me at A&E and wouldn't give me any more.

4. When you break an arm, they put a slab on your arm for the first few days. (I knew this anyway). It's a rough plaster on one side covered in bandages. Putting it on was the MOST painful thing and the plaster technician said I went white when it was done. I remember saying "please finish soon".

5. Putting a slab on can make things a lot more comfortable but not for every type of fracture. Nope, not mine.

6. Getting into a car right after you've been strapped up to the nines is bloody uncomfortable. Well, it is when you're getting into an Aygo.

7. Any movement at all after breaking an arm is torture. Standing was painful, sitting was painful. Lying back was painful. Bending over was painful.

8. It does gradually get better though. Although movement can still be painful, the overall pain (for me) went away about a week after. I haven't taken strong painkillers since that point, and I was only ever on dihydrocodeine. I didn't feel the need for morphine based pain relief and didn't want to have side effects when left alone with children.

9. Sleeping is a nightmare. If you can't lie back with broken arm, you either have to sleep propped up or in a recliner. I took the recliner option for about 6 weeks.

10. Sleeping in one position most of the night causes other problems like pinched nerves in your legs that set off shooting pains and numbness. Lovely.

11. Fractures of the humerus can be treated with a brace. This is like a plastic cast. Mine was custom made for me by the marvellous occupational therapist at Chorley Hospital. It took a whole hour. It's made of plastic mesh, lined with fluffy stuff and secured with velcro straps. It's removable but not in the early stages.

12. The first two weeks are the worst. Around that week, things will start to feel better, even if your next fracture clinic appointment, they are not sure if it's healing and you might after all have to have surgery.

13. Upper arm (humeral) braces are usually checked weekly by the occupational therapist, relined and they wash your arm. Occasionally, they remould it.

14. Ah, washing. The brace not being removable means you can't shower properly. Someone has to help you shower and then it's cursory. Say hello to greasy hair.

15. When you're first braced up, you feel extremely vulnerable when you are walking outside. I was and am still terrified of falling again.

16. A boil water notice just five days after you've broken your arm is a royal pain in the you know where. Especially when it lasts 3 weeks.

17. Breaking your arm in school holidays is not ideal for fun, but at least when your children are 10 and 9, they can help you a bit.

18. Frozen chopped onions, frozen garlic and frozen mash are bloody useful when you only have one arm to cook. I may never go back to normal onions.

19. Not all fractures take the same amount of time to heal. Mine is in a "tricky position" (I am sick of that phrase - apparently quite distal, which means it's low down) which means it's prone to not healing. But it is healing. Slowly.

20. Not being able to drive when you have a broken limb is very boring but also isolating. If you know someone with the same predicament, do pop round, offer to do things or take them places. They will love you for it.

21. Working part time from home in a flexible pattern makes it easier to keep working. Typing one-handed initially makes it very sloooow.

22. Being able to take your brace off for the first time is liberating and having a consultant tell you you can shower is exhilarating. The arm snow shower you start by taking it off is not.

23. And only more exhilarating is that first shower - even if you can only wash your hair with one hand.

24. It takes at least 3 of those showers to finally rid yourself of that underarm sweaty smell. Even though it's been washed weekly by the lovely ladies of the occupational therapy department. Poor ladies.

25. When your arm has been in the same position for 10 weeks, you will need physio to get back your strength and range of movement. I start this week.

26. Getting your hand and wrist moving hurts but only stems from stiffness so the pain can be endured. Prepare to start each day feeling like the stiffness has returned.

27. Taking your brace off part-time is quite scary. Even though your children think you look "normal" again.

28. When you take your brace off, your arm feels solid. And weird to the touch. And that's not the dead skin.

29. With your brace on, some people will think you look like a stormtrooper.

30. People assume you were under the influence of alcohol when you broke your arm. This really pisses me off. I probably would either not have hurt myself had I been drunk or worse, caused myself a head injury.

31. It's easier to put clothes on when you've got your brace off. Except for doing up bras.

32. Non- wired bras are best when wearing a brace. Wired ones are rubbish when you cannot move your arm properly. You men are lucky.

33. When wearing wired ones again, having to undo it because your husband has gone to bed an hour before you is a challenge of Crystal Maze proportions. (See 31).

34.Your iPad will keep you sane. And so will late night sport when you're sleeping in a recliner and can't sleep. (Or is that just me? Anyway, thank you US Open tennis, USPGA, world athletics and world swimming championships).

35. Eating with one hand is messy. You will change clothes daily because of this. Even now with movement in my left hand, I can't fully get my left hand to my mouth but my weird brain, favouring my left, keeps making me put my fork in my left hand, so I have to swop to my right to shove it in. And loaded burgers are interesting.

36. When you break your arm, you become super-aware of others doing the same. Or maybe there is an outbreak of broken arms - I know 2 children with broken arms at present, and an adult with brace that holds his elbow joint in position. When we were on holiday in Devon, we saw two other women both with broken arms within half an hour at the same place.

37. Online supermarket deliveries are your saviour. Except when they introduce the carrier bag charge and don't supply it with carrier bags. Usually I wouldn't mind but I can't carry those big trays by myself. A bag full of stuff I can carry.

38 You realise how much packaging is bloody impossible with people who have problems with their hand and wrist. Ring pull tins are the worst. I can manage the can opener now.

39. Never ever take your arms for granted. 10 weeks down and although I can now use both hands, it is not perfect, I can't sleep in my preferred position (yep, lying on my left side), turning over in bed has to be done awake, and the break is not fully healed.

40. Yes, you can take a brace off before it's fully healed. Reading up on it shows you can get your arm moving and what the xray doesn't show is what is going on inside.

41. The highlight of your week(end) is a trip to the coffee shop, usually on the way home from hospital for the umpteenth time.

42. I'm better at frothing milk for a cappuccino with only one good arm. Weird, eh?

43. Fracture clinic can be the most frustrating and slow experience. Only once have people been seen to time. My first trip to fracture clinic took 4 hours, although an hour of that was having my brace fitted.

44. My children have hidden reserves of patience I didn't know they had. (See 43). They have mostly been stars except for the time Monkey said being asked to tie my shoelaces was "depressing".

45. The letters the consultant or registrar writes to your GP are hilarious. One of them refers to me as a "pleasant lady". My occupational therapist told me she was once referred to as "comfortably padded". I got off lightly.

46. Our local fracture clinic has a Costa attached to it. Useful although you can't hear them call your name.

47. Fracture clinic admin can be frustrating. They promise to ring you with an appointment time and then send a letter to confirm it. With a new appointment card every time.

48. Checking you in on arrival takes a lot longer than it should do and involve approximately 487 clicks and keystrokes. This may be an over-exaggeration.

49. People park in the drop off points at hospital. The clue is in the name, people. Jeeeez.

50. People on trains are very helpful when you've got this massive thing on your arm. Apart from the woman next to me who insisted on taking up so much space to send important emails and make confidential calls that my arm was right up against the side of the window.

51. You find out who your friends are when you are when something like this happens. Some have been nothing short of bloody marvellous. (You know who you are). Others have been conspicuous by their silence and absence. They too know who they are. Let's hope it never happens to them, eh?

Monday, 30 March 2015

Meal Planning Monday - the Easter holidays edition!

Nickie checked in with me on Saturday to see if I was OK as I hadn't blogged since January. Oops. Life just got in the way really - I'm working extra hours, the children have things most days and I keep forgetting on Sunday to blog a meal plan. Monkey turned 10 (heck!), I hurt my back (it's better now) and I went on a school trip to the Manchester Arena to take part in a Young Voices concert with Missy Woo.

So, my plan is done for the week and as I don't have work this week, I'm making myself write a blog. I generally plan on a Sunday so I can shop on a Monday but since discovering Asda's midweek delivery pass is £2 a month, I've been shopping online and getting a Tuesday delivery. That doesn't stop me planning on a weekend - it's actually better to do it on the weekend so I can get the slot I want.

As I'm off this week, as is the husband and the children, you will notice that there are a lot of easy meals. I make no apologies. I need a break too! I could make pizzas for The Voice final next weekend, but hell, I can't be bothered.

So, this is what my plan looks like this week.

Monday - Thai pork and peanut curry (made with leftover roast pork from yesterday)
Tuesday - Chorizo and butternut squash chilli
Wednesday - Chicken kievs
Thursday - Burgers and fries
Friday - Salmon and butterbean mash
Saturday - Pizza!
Sunday - Steak pie, mash and veg

Obviously, there are two weeks of school holidays over Easter. However, next week, the children are going away with their grandparents staying in a caravan for 4 days so I am planning that we might eat out a few times, so if I don't blog a plan next week, that'll be why. It may also be to do with the fact that April is year end deadline month for me at work and I get very, VERY busy!

Don't forget that Mrs M hosts the Meal Planning Monday linky here.

See you next week (maybe!)

Monday, 19 January 2015

Meal Planning Monday - the mid-January edition!

Er, yep, I'm late.

This week is busy - kids now have activities after school every night except Friday but thankfully, two days are after school activities so I don't have to pick them up til later. Cricket nets start again this week and I'm off to London Wednesday for the day. And at the weekend, assuming the weather is OK, we've been invited to a party in Huddersfield

So this is this week.

Monday - Sausage and mash
Tuesday - Slow cooker mac n cheese
Wednesday - Beans on toast
Thursday - Curried parsnip and pear soup
Friday - Chilli con carne
Saturday - Chicken chow mein
Sunday - Out out.

And although I missed blogging last week's plan, I just had to share this recipe with you. It's awesome (and no chicken!).

Don't forget Mrs M has the Meal Planning Monday linky over on her blog so do take a look.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Meal Planning Monday - the into 2015 edition!

Er, yes, I do have a blog. Yada yada, I've been off, Christmas happened. I meal planned but it didn't make it here.

So, this week, the kids are off and so am I. Husband is not - he's working every day except Thursday. We've (mostly) got rid of the Christmas leftovers after I made an awesome soup on Sunday with leftover veggies. This week is reasonably back to normal but we are continuing the tradition we started last year with having a fondue at New Year. This time, we're doing it New Year's Eve.

The rest of the week is fairly normal for a week of school holiday - nothing to dash to, a few trips to the gym. No fancy day trips or anything. And you won't find me shopping, the thought of all the traffic and stuff sends me cold.

Monday - Slow cooker chicken with cashews and noodles
Tuesday - Savoury bread and butter pudding (again in slow cooker)
Wednesday - Swiss fondue
Thursday - Slow cooker casserole and dumplings
Friday - Lamb baked sweet potato
Saturday - Vegetarian chilli
Sunday - Steak and chips

Don't forget to go visit Mrs M for more Meal Planning loveliness. Assuming I remember to link up, I'll be there too.

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