Sunday, November 30, 2008

MealPlan Monday - SarahP

This week...

Factors to note:
- Wednesday we're going to the Wiggles during the day. I expect I will be exhausted after that!
- We need a day to put up the Christmas tree and probably have family over that night to do so.
- DH's birthday on Wednesday
- Birthday party on Saturday
- Sagittarius Birthday party picnic on Sunday

So, onto the meal plan!

Tuesday - Beef Stirfry with english spinach, spring onions, broad beans
Wednesday - Special Dinner... hmmm...
Thursday - Spaghetti and Meatballs
Friday - Bulgogi (missed that last week, and I still have all the ingredients)
Saturday - DH's birthday party
Sunday - Hopefully left overs from party which can be transported
Monday - Tunabake

Friday, November 28, 2008

Monthly Household Duties

I hate shopping. I hate it with a passion. I hate spending money on useless crap that gathers dust but you can't chuck it out because you only just bought it. Ugh. I also hate shopping for food. I resent the fact that someone has to do it. I don't mind someone else doing it. I don't resent my family,or my DH or anything, I resent our society in which the SAHP ends up doing all the menial crap as well as raising the children.

Ok, so the short explanation is: shopping makes me whiney.

To have less whiney days of me wandering around shopping markets making god-awful faces at things, I shop monthly, and for months when I really, really, can not stomach the idea of shopping, or else when everything has gone to pot and I can't devote a few hours to the basic necessities, I get someone else to do it. It costs - and often your product or brand isn't there, but sometimes I feel like I need it. Cost versus convenience. Cost versus sanity. Cost versus time likely to actually get to a shop... I am sure we all get the idea.

Today counted as the beginning of the new month because the credit card is now paid out. We have one credit card as part of the house loan, and a couple of accounts with nothing in them, and the mortgage. So, flush with money for a couple of days, I like to do my monthly shop.

Today went pretty well. I am loving the list on the front of the freezer, wrote up a few more meals that can be whipped up using the ingredients there, checked out the pantry and did the same, and then looked through the refrigerator. From this I crafted a rough list of meals, a rough list of missing things, and then checked the toiletries for refreshing as well. It didn't take me long, but I think I should do a Master List again.

I've been doing monthly shopping now for a few years, and the biggest problem we have is planning. Sometimes things happen you can't plan around, but often I just find I don't have the mental energy to think ahead. So, the inevitable trip down the supermarket comes up, and the inevitable $30 bunch of spaghetti issue arises, and we lose money hand over fist. I need to lock down on that, have a few things for instant meals. I've been really good with milk, but since DS1 is now onto milk, we're going through about 12 litres a week. That's a lot of milk! Especially when milk can be as expensive as $2 a litre! Or more! DS1 is probably teething too, so we're using more than we will later, but it does mean that we have to go to Woollies more often than I would prefer.

So, I am going to try a different method of tallying my supermarket expenses. We'll see if it makes any difference, but mostly I just have to work harder at being more organized. With DS3 cutting down to one day of daycare a week next year, I won't have his spare days to recoup any misses I make. I have to get it all right the first time. It's an awesome responsibility, sometimes, making sure that every one gets fed, and every one gets milk, and the bills get paid and everything words in a solid and reliable fashion. God it's exhausting!

So... Monthly Duties...
I like to prepay some bills.
- Electrickery
- Water
- Mobile Phone (this one is new. I figure if I just prepay, then I won't get behind, and I don't trust them to debit my CC in a timely and acceptable fashion)

Meal Plan for the Month
- Rough ideas mostly
- Monthly Shocking List
- Monthly Shocking (Meat and Groceries)
- Print Monthly Meal Plan and attach to Fridge

Transport Costs
- Fill vehicles
- Top up trains cards if possible.

Banking (Automatic)
- Rates Payment
- Mortgage Payment

I have started to use Google Calendars to keep track of when things come out of the credit card. The different colours lets me know instantly if there is a regular bill coming out of the card, and in theory I should be able to budget all the other expenses to fit within the monthly payment. Unfortunately, it never quite seems to work that way.

Anyway, I have a few monetary goals I want to attain over the next few years. The mortgage keeps getting pushed back further and further, but we're happy here with me being a SAHM, and don't feel the need for me to be working for reasons other than mental health. This means it's time for me to start watching even more closely, or rather to do so in a successful manner rather than a hopeful manner! Lots of food for thought coming this way!

Anyway, hugs and kisses for now,

Sarah P

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Meal Plan--SarahX

Okay, so Monday's is the day we submit our meal plans for the week (by which I mean I will start from today and join SarahP in her meal planning habit).

Considerations for this week:
  • Only cooking for 2 most of this week;
  • MonkeyMoo has been sick lately so we are going to be quite strict with the low salicylate/amine/glutamate and zero wheat/dairy thing. Actually this is a good thing for me too, my ears are currently ringing the special ring of having had too many salicylates. We are going to stick to a very basic low chemical diet for the rest of the year and start more trials after moving house in January.

Here's my plan:
  • Monday--Tuna, green beans, shallots, and celery on rice (omg I have the best organic celery at the moment--it is so full of flavour it tastes like that celery salt you can get, omg I can't believe I found celery so good that I am raving about celery!);
  • Tuesday--Lentil, cashew and vegetable stew on rice (lentils and cashews will be activated, but cooked);
  • Wednesday--Lamb chops, potatoes, beans, carrot and a little bit of corn;
  • Thursday--Salmon cottage pie;
  • Friday--Omelets, most likely stuffed with leftovers;
  • Saturday--Fish and oven cooked wedges;
  • Sunday--Slow cooked roast beef with sweet potatoes, potatoes and beans.
Need to aquire salmon before Thursday and fresh fish on Saturday (or before and freeze). Everything else is on hand, including the lentils and cashews which are already soaking in preperation.

Birthday Cake for J, November 2008

My little boy turned one! ONE! Gosh! Kids are like a calendar - you see every day passing in front of your eyes, and you can't turn it backwards. They show me how fast time is passing. I can't believe it's been a year since Sarah X was here, that we had almost all of our huge family unit all squished into one house... and the wonderful entrance of J into our world.

Wow again.

MealPlan Monday by Sarah P


* going out during the day on Tuesday and after dinner Tuesday night
* Going out Thursday night after dinner too
* DH going out after dinner on Wednesday Night
* I think I will skip the regular Friday night thing because I will hardly be home at all this week!
* I am working very hard on my current creative project
* What's in the freezer and fridge!
- 1 x mince
- 1 x big fat chicken
- a fair amount of steaks.
- tinned tuna
- lettuces, hamburger makings, tomato, avocado, onions...

Meal Plan:

Monday - Leftovers from Jack's Birthday, so hamburgers, possibly also hot dogs.
Tuesday - Steak and Salad and potatoes
Wednesday - Asian Chicken Experiment Begins!
Thursday - Chicken Curry
Friday - Beef Bulgogi
Saturday - Mexican
Sunday - Tuna Bake

Friday, November 21, 2008

Monster Moo



Monster hat and mask by Ikea; tunic by Nanna; Nickabockers by SarahX; Monster attitude models own.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Birthday Cake for L, November 2008

This is a buttercream base with plastic icing rug. The rug was a bit of an experiment. I was initially using a technique of just imprinting the heart shapes into the rug, but Chesh and I were fooling around and using the opportunity to explore a little, and I ended up with a bunch of tiny hearts, and with a little bit of a press, a bunch of tiny heart shaped holes. A match made in heaven!

The colour is Lilac and comes from the local cake shop, which is called The Sugar Smith and is in Maddington. They have a nice range of stuff, and Chesh and I did our cake decorating course there some years ago. So, we can now make our own wedding cake if we want - but the most valuable thing I learnt is confidence. We came out a lot more confident about cake decorating, and with Alton Brown's theory that cake is just a conveying mechanism for icing, we seem to do pretty well.

The flowers I bought premade from the Sugar Smith, and that's also where I grabbed the other goodies such as the wax teddybears, ladybugs, butterflies, wires for butterflies. I made the bowls from icing, and the fruits are lollies (little bananas, strawberries and grapes.) And I just thought the picnic chairs were cute.