What I Eat In A Week (1)

Good morning!  As a mum and ostomate I look for healthy meals for the family which are stoma friendly.  I am a keen cook and enjoy  sharing recipes as you will see under my RECIPE section.

I thought sharing my meal plans with you may help both ostomates and parents alike.  All the meals I plan and post will be kid tested and using a range of different methods, ingredients and inspiration for diversity.  I will also pop up tips for ostomates on making these meals stoma friendly and hopefully avoiding the dreaded blockage!  I may not post every week but aim to do at least one of these posts every month so you can see what we have been eating and enjoying.

Why I Meal Plan

I like to meal plan as I think it is most useful when it comes to shopping.  As I like to try out new recipes, knowing what I am cooking for the week means I can write a shopping list with all the ingredients I need.  Nothing gets forgotten and I also keep to a budget much easier as I am not picking up bits here and there.  I find I have less waste too which is always good.  I also freeze any extra portions, especially when I am cooking for just myself.  These can be really handy for when I am really busy or not feeling too great.  I still have a home cooked meal which only needs defrosting and heating up.

My Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plan

Monday

Today I made Dublin Coddle for the first time.  I get a lot of cooking inspiration from Pinterest and then just fiddle with the recipes to suit me!

For this recipe you will need:

Packet of bacon lardons

8 sausages

2 bay leaves

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 onions, diced

4 tsps chopped parsley (use dried if you don’t have fresh)

Potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tbsp plain flour

Pepper

1 can Guiness

How To Make It
  1. In a large saucepan, cook the bacon until crisp (about 5 minutes)
  2. Remove onto kitchen towel to absorb the moisture
  3. Leave the oil from the bacon in the pan and brown the sausages.  Remove onto a chopping board and cut into chunks
  4. Reduce the heat to low and whisk the flour into the meat juices
  5. Cook for about two minutes, whisking constantly and then remove from the heat
  6. Whisk in the Guinness
  7. Add in the potatoes, onions, sausage chunks, bacon, herbs and a dash of pepper
  8. Leave on a low heat on the hob with a lid on for around 1 hour
  9. Serve with bread and butter

Ostomates – onion can affect some people’s stomas.  I dice my onions really finely to help avoid issues

Note – I added a tbsp of gravy granules to help thicken it up and add some flavour.  Use if needed/wanted

Note – If you would rather not use alcohol, swap the Guinness for the equivalent amount of stock (vegetable or meat)

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Tuesday

This morning I got some amazing news – I passed my degree module this year and am working at a 2.1 level.  We decided that a special breakfast of French Toast was in order – here’s the recipe!

You will need

These can be adapted depending on how much you want to make

8 slices of bread

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

250ml milk (use whichever type you normally would)

Sugar

What To Do
  1. Whisk the eggs
  2. Stir in the milk, cinnamon and vanilla extract
  3. Dip a slice of bread in the eggy mixture (coating both sides) and place in a hot frying pan (I use coconut spray oil but you can also use butter) on a medium heat
  4. Cook on both sides until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes)
  5. Serve sprinkled with some sugar.  You can also use syrup or honey and I always add fruit too!

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For tea I made another of our favourites – macaroni cheese.  I use the Asda fresh cheese sauce and mix it with pasta and some cut up hotsog dausages (or the Mattesson’s sausage).  I will also often add some peas or some chopped broccoli.

Wednesday

Tonight was another one of the boys favourites.  I have previously shared these on my social media but will pop it here for anyone interested!

You will need

Baked potatoes

Tomato puree

Tomato ketchup

Mixed herbs

Grated cheese

Pepperoni slices

What To Do

  1. Place a wooden spoon handle either side of the potato
  2. Make slices up to 5mm apart along the potato, as far down as the spoons.  Do not cut all the way through the potato
  3. In a bowl mix 2 tbsps puree, 2 tbsps ketchup and a sprinkle of mixed herbs
  4. Spread this mixture over the potato.  Put a slice of pepperoni in each cut of the potato
  5. Sprinkle with cheese
  6. Pop in the oven for around 30-40 minutes (until potato is cooked through)

Ostomates – Be wary of potato skins, I can not eat them and have to remove!

Thursday

We started the day with a treat breakfast again today – I made pancakes!  As with the French Toast I served this with some fruit so the boys were getting a good part of their 5 a day first thing!  We also bought some toffee sauce which finished them off perfectly!  I mix 300ml milk with 100g plain flour and 2 eggs in a jug which makes it easy to pour into the frying pan.

I haven’t had a chilli in a long while and so thought I would give it a go tonight and make a homemade one.  I am not able to share this recipe as I forgot to note down which spices I used (doh!) but it was delicious and I will definitely make another.  Meanwhile, enjoy the pics!

Friday

We went out for lumnch woth my Mum today so I decided that for tea the boys could make their own pixzza.  This is one of their favourite things to do as pizza is one of their favourites too.  Pizza Friday also holds special memmories for me as it isa something my Mum would do with me and my berihter when we were luttle.  It is great for using up leftovers and you can make it exactly how you want it.

I bought two of the basic cheese and tomato pizzas from Aldi.  Both boys added pepperoni which they love!  Leo also added some pineapple and cut up cocktail sausages.  Riley also added some cut up saisages and extra cheese.  They both enjoyed getting to cut the sausage themselves, obviously under my supervision but with a great, kid friendly knife I got from Pampered Chef a few years ago!

Saturday

Today was a busy one so I used this Dolmio sauce I picked up a while ago to try.  I spread it over the chicken breasts and a selection of veggies and put it in the oven – really simple.  I also made some roast potatoes to go with it.

The sauce was delicious and we really enjoyed it!

Sunday

I cannot claim credit for this meal – Ste made it and we invited my Mum and Dad over to share it with us.

Ste marinated the chicken and lamb in homemade sauces before masking kebabs, adding mushrooms, peppers and onions.  He also made flat breads which were delicious.  As there was some left over we popped them in the freezer.

Ostomates – Mushrooms, onions – chew really well!

I hope you have enjoyed my first instalment about what I eat in a week.I would love to hear if you try any of the recipes, let me know in the comments below if you do!  Please do leave a comment and let me know if you enjoy these kinds of posts, and anything you would like me to include in the future,

nat

 

Meal Planning & Saving Money

As it’s January and this year I really want to try and save money and pay off my debts, I’ve got back on the meal planning train. I used to always shop like this but the last few months have been a bit up and down as the boys aren’t here to cook for all the time and I have been back and forwards to Ste’s quite a bit. Hopefully everything will settle down a bit this year as we are in a good routine and I am getting back to something I love to do – cook!

Using a meal plan is a great way to try new foods and recipes, as well as save money. I thought I would go through the way I plan my meals and then shop, as if you are looking to do either of these things this year you might find a bit of motivation.

First, I get some inspiration for meals to try. I like looking online, Pinterest is amazing! I also check recipes from my friends (Stephie at Colitis To Ostomy does a great Meatless Monday post every week and Louise at Crohns Fighting has some fab Thai recipes on her blog). I love picking up the freebie supermarket magazines too as they often have some great recipes in. I then sit and ‘ostomy proof’ them, as well as perhaps changing up some of the ingredients or the method. I like to take a recipe and make it my own! You can also plan breakfast and lunches but I don’t always go this far. I make sure I have bread, toast and sandwich fillers, crackers, eggs, cereal, soup etc so I can all sorts of things for these meals depending on what I feel like.

From that I can then make a shopping list of what I need. Often my cupboards have a good supply of herbs, spices, stock etc so I make sure I’ve got all those types of things in already so I don’t repurchase unnecessarily. Then add in all the other necessities like toilet roll and washing up liquid.

A great tip from here for people like me who can’t always manage a supermarket shop, is to shop online. So easy to set up and most supermarkets cover most areas now so you can choose your favourite. Have your list by your side and only buy what you need. Not browsing the aisles cuts down alot on buying too many ‘goodies’ that you see on the shelves and just like the look of.

If I want to go out and shop I will make my first stop Aldi. Definitely the best and cheapest I’ve found and I really like it in there. It’s five minutes in the car from me, so local too. There are some things that you just won’t find there and some things (for example their crisps) which I just don’t like, so then I head to Asda.

I was very pleased with myself for heading around Asda and only buying what I needed from there yesterday. I had my list with the two things I couldn’t get in Aldi (tarragon and coconut milk) and I wanted crisps, cereal, Actimel and the dog’s food. I also checked out the whoops section, and managed to get some meat which had been reduced.

When I got home I added these bargains to my meal planning list so I now have a full list of meals. I don’t plan to have certain things certain nights (unless the boys are here or someone is round for tea) so just mark them off when I’ve made them. I always make a family sized meal and freeze the leftovers. This is great for when I’m not feeling too good and don’t want to be cooking. There’s plenty of meals in the freezer to defrost and heat up when I’m hungry.

Just for the nosey ones among you who want to see the list, here it is!

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My Meal List (January)

I hope to be able to share some of the recipes with you over the coming weeks too. I have no great photography skills and my food doesn’t always look great in the photos, but it’s always tasty and not too difficult to recreate.

So to round up my top five best money saving and meal planning tips are

1) Create a meal plan, then a shopping list from this so you only buy the food you need

2) Try Aldi! I am super impressed with their prices, the fresh fruit and veg and the meat is amazing

3) Shopping online isn’t the time saver it can be made out to be but it does save you money by helping you stick to your list and if you are disabled, it’s an invaluable service

4) Check out recipes from the internet. As I said above, Pinterest is brilliant and you can check out my recipes by clicking here. If there’s something in there you don’t like, swap it for something you do! Play around with different foods and techniques and make a recipe your own.

5) Freeze leftovers. Don’t throw away perfectly good food. Pop it in a freezer tub and it will be perfect for those days you are in a rush or not up to cooking

Do you have any other fab tips? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Lucy At Home

BlogMas Day Five – Christmas Tree, O’ Christmas Tree

I had planned to do a speed decorating video of me doing the tree but it didn’t quite work out what with the absolutely hectic end to last week so I thought I would share some pictures and tell you where I got some of our Christmas decorations from in a post instead!

I decided to go with a white and silver theme this year.  It is one I have wanted to do for a while and I really love how it has turned out! My tree is fake, it is from Tesco and is pre-lit.  This year I decided to not add any extra lights and I think just the simple white lights look perfect with the decorations I have added.

The boys received these silver name decorations as gifts (Riley has one too but for some reason the photo didn’t load).  Then I had to make sure their first Christmas ones were on there.  They both have baby Mickey decorations which came from Disneyland Paris.

I love these decorations and they were only £1 each from Wilko.  I had seen the same ones in another store for £3.99 each, the plastic was a little tougher on them but otherwise they looked exactly the same.  I thought these were super pretty though.

Asda did a huge set of white and silver baubles and it was only £4, such a bargain.  It had glitter, plain and other designs which were prefect additions to the tree.

These two were also from Asda and were £1 each.  I really love the silver one and it looks great on the tree, especially with the lights on!

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This silver unicorn was from Primark earlier this year.  It was in the home sale section and I grabbed it as I thought it would be perfect for the Christmas tree.

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These snowflakes were also from Asda.  It was a pack of eight and they were £!.  I didn’t add the strings, I just popped them in the tree and they stay stuck by themselves.

I visited one of those Christmas pop up shops in Derby City Centre a couple of weeks ago and got these decorations from there.  I really enjoyed getting lots of different textures of decoration for the tree this year.  With the simple silver and white colour scheme I think the textures make it look really special.  There are six of the jingle bells and they really do ring!

These baubles are part of a set of six, which are all in white and grey and feature a reindeer deign.  They were from B & M and I love that they are hung on ribbon too.

The silver stars were some that I got a few years ago, but I added the white ones as well this year which were from Asda.  I believe there were about five in the packet and I think they look lovely.

Aside from the tree I have a few other bits to show you.  These light were £1 each from a little shop which sells everything in Halifax.  They are actually from Tiger, which is a shop I have recently discovered in Derby and I love! I got three but need to replace the batteries as only one worked from the start and that has now given up too!  The bulbs flicker which give a nice candle like effect.  Our light box is now displaying festive messages and some of our Christmas teddies are also on display on the bookcase.

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I was super excited to get some mistletoe this year, and it was only £1 from Asda.  I have hung it in the doorway between the hallway and living room.  Lots of Christmas kisses this year!

Both of these (the vase and Potpourri) are from HomeSense.  The vase has housed an Autumn candle on our coffee table till now but I have added this Christmas scented potpourri which smells amazing!

The boys stockings are also up and I have added their Wilko Blox Calendar which you may have seen me post about on social media already.  Super fab and fun and it was only £8, so very impressed!  There are also some Christmas candles about the place.  I got some scented Christmas tree sticks and have a couple in the tree to make it smell lovely too.  I picked them up from Poundstretcher and there are about 8 in there so I can replace when the scent wears off.

So that is how our house looks so far with the decorations.  I hope you enjoyed this post and are enjoying Blogmas so far.  I am posting every day of December till Christmas and if you haven’t seen it already you can see day four here

My Desk Tour

As some of you will know, I recently started my Open University degree again.  I am studying part time and so far have completed 120 credits, just 240 to go till I am finished!  My module this year (for another 60 credits) is ‘Working With Children, Young People and Their Families and so far I am really enjoying it,  My first assignment is due in next week so I am hitting the books hard at the moment.

I have recently purchased some new things for my desk area and thought I would show you the bits I have got to make my work space somewhere I want to be spending time!  I hope you like them and maybe find a bit of inspiration if you are looking at revamping your desk space with some great and very affordable pieces.

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So this is where I spend alot of my time – doing my uni work and writing my blog posts!  I also co-host The IBD & Ostomy Support Show from this desk and you can catch me live every Thursday at 8pm, aswell as check out the previous shows on our YouTube page here.

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I picked up these bits from Asda a couple of weeks ago.  The lamp was great value and was only £6 or £8.  It is slightly too tall to fit under the shelves but I am planning to move those up higher once Ste is out of hospital and then it will fit much better!  It has a touch base and three levels of light, I have it on the brightest setting generally as I work.  The white pineapple is actually a wax candle burner too and I thought it might be handy to add something smelly that will keep me alert and working on late night study sessions!  It was only £4 and I didn’t really buy it as a wax burner, just because I liked it alongside the smaller, silver pineapple ornament which was £3.

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These are two candles which I love and just add some more ‘pretty’ to the area.  The pineapple one smells amazing and is from HomeSense, one of my favourite shops.  It was £6.99 and I love that even once the candle is used up I can keep the pineapple glass jar and put another candle in there.  The pink flamingos tealight holder was a bargain £1 sale purchase from Primark at the end of Summer.  I really like the homeware section in Primark, they have lots of brilliantly priced and lovely bits and often have a lot of the stuff that is currently in fashion in their stores.  This has been perfect for me as I love the tropical and flamingo stuff that has been so popular this Summer!

 

I keep printer paper, punched pockets and notepads in the drawer section of the desk.  I am a sucker for a cute notepad and Ste is always telling me I don’t need anymore but these two were too nice to pass up!  They were both from The Works and one says ‘If You Like Pina Coladas’ and the other ‘This Is Where I Keep My Imagination’.  They are both lined and fit in with my pineapple, flamingo and unicorn themed pieces on the desk.  You can never have too many notebooks though right?

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I absolutely love these wooden boxes and they were just £1 each from Poundland.  I have this one in grey with some stationary bits in and a white one on the top of my shelves where I keep mail that needs filing away.    The glitter, glass pen pot is one of my most recent favourite purchases and was £2 from a great new shop I have discovered in Intu Derby.  I can’t remember the name of it but if you really want to know it, please pop me a message and I will find out and get back to you!  I also have some unicorn themed stationary and post it notes which have come from The Works and Poundland, super pretty but super affordable too!

The grey pull out, plastic drawers you can see in the first photo are also fab for keeping bits like my stapler, paperclips and pencils all together and tidy too.  I bought them from Asda for £5 ages ago and there is a fourth drawer which I have taken off so it fits in the space.  Keeping the area looking nice and also being clutter free is definitely important for me.  The more cluttered my desk looks, the harder it is to write.

I hope you liked this little run through of my work space.  Now you know where I am sitting when I am writing all my posts for you and I hope I have inspired you if you are looking at updating your own desk.  There are some fantastic and really affordable pieces out there and it doesn’t cost a lot to makeover a small area like this at all.  HomeSense, The Works, Primark, Asda and Poundland are definitely great places to check out and I recommend them all at the moment!  I am really pleased with how it has all come together and it is definitely somewhere I feel like sitting and working.

Please share photos of your desk spaces below in the comments  and let me know your favourite ways to decorate them that inspire and motivate you!

 

Autumn Clothing Haul

Thought I would share some of my recent clothing purchases with you as I get ready for the Autumn and the drop in temperature! After first getting my ostomy, I opted for ‘safe’ outfits but over the last few months and as my confidence has grown, I’ve started to enjoy what I wear again and have tried out many different looks. Hope you enjoy having a peek at what I have purchased and it inspires you (ostomy or not) into dressing the way you want to, not just for comfort for example. I’m also on a pretty tight budget so all these purchases are from affordable, high street stores.

First up is this black jumper from Pep & Co with silver zip detail to both shoulders. I love that this looks a little smarter but is still casual, and it’s super soft. It’s also a nice length and over high waisted jeggings/jeans it covers a bulging bag comfortably.

Next up was a super bargain at just £1! I’ve been looking for a plain white t-shirt for ages and just haven’t found a style I liked. Popped into Primark and this little beauty was in the sale section which made me very happy!

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I needed some new basic, cotton underwear and nowhere does it better than Primark! Really liked these colours/patterns and they are really comfy. Unless I’m going out (and I pull out my Jasmine Stacey Collection underwear) I generally wear normal knickers, underneath my bag. There is always a fab range at great prices in Primark (these worked out at £1 per pair), and the styles are changed up pretty regularly too.

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I really loved this top from Pep & Co. It’s grey, thin jumper style material with a black leather look collar on it. The collar just makes it a little different and it’s nice while it’s getting cooler but isn’t freezing yet! I could easily pop a vest top underneath too for added warmth.

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Love this pink, chunky knit jumper from Primark. It’s super cosy, a lovely colour and perfect for this season!

PJs now! Anyone who knows me knows I love flamingos and I couldn’t resist this short set from Pep & Co. The fact is was in the sale section was just an added bonus! Next up are the unicorn leggings, these are really comfy and who can resist a unicorn?! And then finally, I picked up a Harry Potter set. Not only are these super soft but they are just so cool! Gorgeous checked bottoms with a grey top featuring the Harry Potter crest/logo. Both the unicorn leggings and the HP PJs were from Primark.

Next up I have this blue pair of jeggings from Primark. Jeggings are definitely the most comfy thing I’ve found to wear high waisted, over my bag. I also get a size 10 so they are a size bigger than I would have bought before but it gives me that bit of extra room and is more comfortable around my bag. I have a lighter and a darker blue pair but loved this brighter blue and have worn them quite a bit since I got them!

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I bought this long sleeved, high necked black top as I thought it would be perfect to go under my dungaree dresses and to wear tucked in to my burgundy, corduroy mini skirt I just bought. It’s super soft and comfortable and I found it in Primark!

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I got these super soft and stretchy skinny jeans in Asda. I loved the colour and I like the distressed effect. Purchased a size ten again as they are high waisted enough to be able to wear over my bag so I like having that bit of extra room and I can’t wait to wear them!

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Last but not least comes the accessories! I picked up the gloves from Primark and they are pretty basic, in grey with a little detail on them so they aren’t completely plain. The scarf I actually found in the men’s section in Primark but I love this green colour and think it will look great with the right outfits!

Well that’s all I had in this one but I post an #ootd (#outfitoftheday) over on my Instagram account most days which you can check out at http://www.instagram.com/thespooniemummy

I love searching Pinterest for outfit ideas, what do you like to look at for inspiration? What’s been your favourite purchase/outfit in Autumn so far? Let me know in the comments below!