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Sunday, 5 December 2010

Menu Plan

Sunday HM Chicken pie, roasties, Yorkshire puds and vegetables
Monday Cottage pie, jacket potatoes, baked beans and vegetables
Tuesday Chilli and noodles
Wednesday Gammon, jacket potato and salad
Thursday Spaghetti and salad
Friday Toad in the hole, mash potatoes and vegetables
Saturday Homemade burgers, wedges and salad
Sunday Roast lamb/lamb chops, potato gratin and vegetables

Boogieing in Bingley

The 2nd festival of the year was a return to Bingley Music Festival.
I went with just one friend, we had hope that all four of us who went last year would go but sadly G had a really bad accident this year (it was touch and go for a while) and she wasn’t up to it and the other mate couldn’t afford it.
We stayed in the same pub and got a taxi to the festival. We managed to get there in time of go to the free Friday night as the Buzzocks were playing and T really wanted to see them.
On the Saturday we went to Saltaire in the morning and had a nice wander round the old mill there that is an art gallery and shops. There is a large park and canal. Then had a mooch round some of the other shops before hopping on the train to Bingley.
Sunday we drove to Haworth. I haven’t been there before and it is a very pretty village. We found a nice restaurant to have lunch, cottage pie “hangover food” for T and a goats cheese salad with HM bread and butter for me. Again had a lovely time just browsing in the shops. They do different events throughout the year and next year I hope to go back there.
Now for the music -
Example was great, really got the crowd going. Public Image Limited were also good. Not really my kinda music but John Lydon is a fantastic front man and was very entertaining. The highlight of the whole festival for me was James who I have never seen live before and they were amazing. You could see how much they enjoy performing and hearing them sing Sit Down live was just one of the best things. They got people from the crowd up on stage with them. On Sunday I just really wanted to see The Levellers. I have seen them before and they were good. They are touring next year and hopefully I will get to see them for my birthday. I missed Sea Sick Steve as was queuing up for food (which was yummy Caribbean curry – I couldn’t face chips again!) and also would have like to have seen Craig Charles and his funk band but there is always another time.
It was a great and relaxing weekend and hope I can get back for a 3rd year.

Back to the List

Well I got to 2 festivals this year.

The first was:




It was a bit hit and miss. The cloud over the whole event is that the mate I went with is not really a mate anymore. Not that we had a big falling out but I think we both realised that we are quite different and wanted different things from the festival. I don't drink that much anymore but for her a big part of her life is enjoying a drink and getting drunk. We did do our own thing a bit and I learnt that I’m ok with being on my own and am resourceful and independent.

I was surprised at how small the actual arena area was, the campsites were massive. I also thought the toilets would be worse – they weren’t the best - a big long drop. Also I felt sooo old, everyone was about 16. Was very pleased that they did have showers.

I enjoyed the camping and were lucky with good weather. On a night we had a campfire and had made friends with the people in the tents near us. We sat around chatting and having a drink.

We saw so many bands they did blur into each other a bit. I was a bit disappointed in Biffy Clyro (too rocky for me) and Mumford and Sons (couldn’t get into the tent to watch them and the sound quality outside was terrible).
My favourites were:
Dizzee Rascal – I had a bit of a dance to him – well more like jump up and down.
The Libertines – I’d heard a lot about the band, mainly the member’s drug addiction but hadn’t heard much of their music but they were fantastic. I felt that Carl Barat and Pete Doherty were just amazing.
One Night Only – A local band, they members went to the same school as me so I wanted to support them and had a great time. They were in one of the smaller tents and you could really feel the crowd were behind them.
Guns n Roses – Blew me away. Axel Rose might not have the strongest voice any more but he took me back to my youth. Listening to him singing November Rain was amazing.

Overall I would go to another festival either with DH or with a larger group. I would plan more so I got to see as many of the bands I wanted and to go to the other things they have going on like the comedians and silent disco. Even though it wasn’t the experience I hoped it would be I’m glad I went.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Days Off

I have got a long weekend with Friday and Monday off - yay :).

There are lots of things I want to achive on these four days. They are:

Decorate the Kitchen - Strip wallpaper off, prep walls (fill in holes), paint ceiling, paint wall
Do ALL ironing
Clean oven
Start sorting out spare room - At the moment you can't even set foot in it. I want to try and sort out what needs to be binned, freecycled, stuff to sell on ebay/car boot and charity shop
Put books on Amazon/Green Met
Batch cooking - Meat man delivering today so going to make shepherds pie, bolognese (for spag bol & lasagne) and curry to freeze
Tidy main bedroom
Type DH CV
Drop duvet off at laundrette (depends on weather)
Finalise budget for next year
Catch up on recorded tv

Hopefully will get it all done.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Things to Do

I haven't been around for a long time - more of which I will put on a later post.

Today is the first day of my week off work and I have loads I want to do this week. We are going to Dublin for a couple of days tomorrow but there are a few thing I'd like to get done today. Here is the list:

Take duvet to laundrette
Do washing and try and get it dried (its just started to rain here)
Pay visa bill
Tidy Kitchen
Clean Bathroom
Tidy lounge
Ironing (there is sooo much but I'd like to make a start)
Pack for Dublin

Right I'm off to work through the list.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Things are getting going.

A bit of an update:

Postcrossing
I send another couple of postcards. Postcrossing is a project where you can send and receive postcards to different places around the world. I love coming home to find a card from a random person, writing random things.

Fat Fighters
Well i finally singed up to Slimming World. I did the plan a few years ago and thought that this time it would be cheaper to just get the magazine and do it myself but the plan has changed and I didn't understand it so bit the bullet and signed up a few weeks ago. So far, so good, I've lost 16 and a half lbs (the half very important). I haven't felt hungry and I've only told one person at work as we take it in turns to bring lunch in for each other and bless her she has made things that I can eat.

Music Festival
After hours online and on the phone I managed to get weekend tickets for Leeds Festival. The line up is ok - I need to squat up on some of the bands but am looking forward to the whole festival experience. I've also spoken to the friends I went to Bingley with and they want to go again this year which is great.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Picture Perfect

Being the technophobe I am, I bit the bullet, got my digital camera, instructions and managed to figure out how to put picture onto my pc. I am still playing with it, setting up albums etc but at least my pictures are stored somewhere else. It was nice looking at them all and brought back good memories of places we have been and how lucky I’ve been to visit them.

Hot and Hairy


I went to see the Hairy Bikers on Friday with a friend. What a good night. We didn’t really know what to expect. Even though I love food the thought of watching someone cook for 3 hours was a bit boring, but they made the “show” so much fun. They chatted about their early lives, how they met and how much they have enjoyed making their TV programmes. Along with a bit of cooking. The cooking smells were lovely, made my tummy rubble and jealous of the people from the audience they had on stage tasting their dishes, except the poor man who ate a cricket! We brought the programme to share as they had put a load of recipes in it and I got my OH a “hot and hairy” mug. We both had a great night and laughed lots – my face aches the following day (along with my head but that might have something to do with the voddies )

Monday, 1 March 2010

Menu plan

This month I am trying to use all the food we have in the freezer so we don't have to do a big shop.
Tonight I have made mince to go in shepherds pie and froze 2 lots, in the slow cooker is beef curry which we are having fo dinner tomorrow night but there should be plenty left over to freeze. I also made carrot and coriander soup.
Monday:
Lunch: Sandwich from supermarket
Dinner: Mince and onions, vegetables

Tuesday
Lunch: HM Carrot and coriander soup
Dinner: HM Beef curry and rice

Wednesday
Lunch: Tuna Salad
Dinner: Pasta and Philly sauce, salad

Thursday
Lunch: Jacket potato and beans
Dinner: HM Chicken fajitas

Friday
Brunch: Bacon Buttie
Dinner: Out

Saturday
Lunch: Beans on toast
Dinner: HM potato wedges, spicy bean burger and salad

Sunday
Lunch: HM quiche and salad
Dinner: Sausages, mash, vegetables and onion gravy

Monday, 22 February 2010

Eating Out

The first restaurant we have been to is Michael's Brasserie (www.galtreslodgehotel.co.uk). I have passed this place so many times and the menu always looks great. My OH booked us a table for Valentines Day, such a romantic! There was lots of things on the menu that sounded good and I always think it is a good menu if you struggle to choose. I had deep fried goats cheese to start which came with a kind of jam/chutney and salad and OH had chicken and leek soup. I love goat’s cheese and this was so nice. For my main I had lobster themador and again it was lovely. OH had lamb shank which was a so tender and very large. Then the dessert, yummm was Eton Mess which not only had strawberries but lots of others berries, it came in a glass and if I could have could have got my head in it and licked it all up I would have! In the taxi going home OH said that he would go there again which shows he enjoyed it.

The second place we went to was Evil Eye bar (www.evileyelounge.com). We had heard they did a really good Thai curry and boy do they! I had prawns skewers to start which had been marinated in some spicy sauce on a really nice crunch salad. OH had chicken with lemongrass. Then OH had Thai green curry and I can’t remember the name but a kind of chicken curry and sticky rice for mains. The curries were both quite rich and the portions were massive, if we had known how large they were we wouldn’t have had a starter.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

COMPLETED/PENDING ITEMS

Re-connect with music
I have made a conscious decision not to turn the TV on and listen to more music. I would like a docking station for my ipod but need to save up. But love genius on itunes which I play on the pc while doing chores. Two bands I’m listening to at the moment are Snow Patrol, OH brought me their greatest hits for Christmas, and also Dove’s who we saw at the Bingley Music Festival last year.

Cook new recipes
The chicken pie (from leftover roast dinner) I made was something I’ve only done once before. I did cheat and used brought puff pastry but I don’t think that’s too bad!
I’m trying to do a menu plan each week and include a new recipe in that.

Coins
I took all the coins we had collected from our travels over the years to the RSPCA

Uggs
I had wanted a pair of Ugg boots but couldn’t justify the costs but found a pair of Ugg-like boots in TKMax for £45. They are so comfy and have kept my tootsies warm during all the snow and ice.

Local Events
I have booked to see the Hairy Bikers in March. I’m not sure what to expect but hope they will show some good recipes. I am going with a friend who I first met a few years ago at the busstop each morning on the way to work. Ended up chatting, as you do, and she has become a good friend. Even looked after our cat when we first got him and he was too young to go to the cattery while we where on holidays. Last year we both had a bit of a go growing our own vegetables and this year we are going to do more and have pooled resources, and ideas.

Beauty Products
While making a start on clearing out our spare room I found lots of shower gel, shampoos etc. I don’t want to buy any more until I have used all the stuff I have. The only things I will buy are creams etc for my eczema.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Update

New list is now up (once I figure out how to put it down the side of my blog!) still need one more challenge so have got my thinking cap on. Just to remind you that I had to change some of the items on the list due to money or lack of it.

I have set a monthly budget of £200 to include food, cleaning and laundry products, cat food and litter and toiletries. Things like eating out and takeaways come from a different pot. I have no idea if we will keep to this but have to start somewhere. I am cooking meals from scratch and even made bread which was very heavy and reminded me of the scene in the film “About a Boy” where he throws the bread to the ducks and it kills one. OH begged for some shop brought bread and have managed to get it all from the whoopiesd shelf so far.

I’m also trying to waste less too and use left overs. I got lots of meals from one medium chicken
It did: Roast chicken dinner x 3 portions
Chicken and leek pie x 4 portions
Chicken sandwich x 1
Chicken soup x 4 portions

I did a large online shop at the beginning of January with just buying fresh veg, fruit and milk plus any whoopies I come across, that I know we will use. I was thinking of getting an online shop each month but think I might try and go 6-8 weeks. The main things I get from online is cat food and litter and tinned food, as we don’t own a car these things can be heavy to carry.

I am also recording what we spend out money on to see if there is any pattern. When I did this a few years ago I found when we just popped to the local shops for one item such as milk we always came back with a few other things that we didn’t need. So hopefully doing this again may help us to make further cutbacks.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

New Year, New Start

I’ve revaluated the list over the last few days. Some of my challenges are quite costly and this year we are trying to be more frugal as we both might face redundancy. Also I need to break some of the items on the list down as I find things a bit daunting as know that is why I put things off. We had a tough couple of months at the end of 2009, losing my OH brother very suddenly, his aunty and an old school friend. My mum had a bump in the car which has shaken her up a bit more than I think she wants to admit. I haven’t been too well, after having a cold at the beginning of November that developed into a lung infection which has narrowed my airways. I am started to feel better but have realised how tired and general down I have been over the few months. Once I have re-jigged my list I’ll post it