Sunday, 30 January 2011

This weeks menu and other things.....

Monday: Chicken Casserole & potatoes
Tuesday: Pasta Bolognese & garlic bread
Wednesday: Mum in laws for tea!!!
Thursday: Prawn Stir-fry(Hubby and Me) - Fish, potatoes and vegetables(Children)
Friday: Homemade burgers, potato wedges
Saturday: Family buffet
Sunday: Roast Dinner

I have got quite a bit of the main parts of the meals for this week which means a minimal spend to top up what I have...slowly but surely bringing down the shopping bill without bringing down the taste and all that I cook is cooked as healthily as possible.

I have had a lovely week and today ended it rather nicely....the only down side is I have been brimming over with ideas and haven't had chance to put those ideas into actions...hopefully that will happen this week....fingers crossed.

Work was a mix of creativeness and fun, with arts and craft leaning towards St Valentines Day, which is all good.  I also bought a set of soup bowls/cups with saucers(5) for £2 from a charity shop, whilst I was in there keeping warm waiting for my daughter ;o)

I love them and as I am a big soup maker they are going to be used all the time!!! Marvellous!!!

Yesterday, the weather was sunny but cold and I ventured out into the garden and tidied up a bit, it won't be long and I will be back in to the swing of planting and growing....exciting times ahead.

I would like to thank all the blogs I follow as they all feed me in different ways, creatively, emotionally, mentally and spititually.....they inspire me to be who I know I want to be in the future...Cheesy but true ;oP

No work tomorrow....blitzing the house(how sad am I that I have to book a day off to tidy my house)!!

I wish everyone a lovely week ahead...enjoy


Photo Diary 30/1/11

30/1/11 - My Sunday Roast Lamb Dinner ;oP

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Photo Diary 25/1/11

25/1/11 - purchased these seed potatoes from Poundland!!!!!
They've got two chances!!!!!

Photo Diary 22-23-24/1/11

22/1/11 - From "Salt and Pepper" to "Morello Cherry" ;o)
23/1/11 - Nappy Cake, Wrapped Cava, Filled mug and filled buckets - All made by me
24/1/11 - "His and Hers" fruit salad.....Yum!!!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Menu Plan for this week....

My darling mother not only had my children over night but also cooked a delicious sunday roast dinner for 11 of us(My mum and dad, me and my family and my brother and his was wonderful!!!

So the meal plan for this week starts from today

Monday: chicken, rice and salad(Hubby, Princess N and Marvellous R) Cauliflower and brocolli cheese and jacket potato for Gorgeous Miss N and I - made from left over veg from yesterdays dinner by my mum and only N and I like it!!)
Tuesday: Beef Casserole, roast potatoes(healthy) and vegetables
Wednesday: Mum in laws for tea!!!
Thursday: Pork loin steaks, potato and vegetables
Friday: Chicken Fajitas
Saturday: curry and rice
Sunday: Roast Dinner

I have all the ingredients for these meals in the house so will only have to shop for staples such as milk, bread and fruit, oh and yoghurts for lunch boxes!!!

I will be posting my 2011 photo diary for the weekend asap!!!


Friday, 21 January 2011

Photo Diary - 21/1/11

21/1/11 - Gorgeous hubby surprised me with a bunch of flowers
as I was feeling a bit down last night!!!!  I'm a very lucky girl!!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Better late than never!!! This weeks menu plan!!

Sunday: Beef stew
Monday:Homemade Lasagne
Tuesday:Sausage, egg and chips(all healthily cooked I might add!!!)
Wednesday: Mum in laws for tea!!!!
Thursday: Turkey chili with tortilla chips
Friday: Chicken fajitas
Saturday: Homemade pizza, wedges and garlic bread.

I'm looking forward to not having to go shopping next week ;o)....ah the simple pleasures in life eh!

I have had a bit of a hectic week this week, buying a car, sorting out selling my current one, the rigours of everyday life of a mother, wife and part-time activities co-ordinator and Emergency 1st aid training tomorrow!!! Also my husband and I are going out with friends on Saturday - Date night!!! woo hoo!!! few and far between so savour every minute ;o))))) and my mum is having them over her house over night...Marvellous and she has also offered to do us roast dinner on Sunday...Brilliant!!!

I'm off to bed now.....nitey nite xxx

Photo Diary - 20/1/11

20/1/11 - My bargain from Do crafts - acrylic albumshey are normally £9.99 each!! and they will serve a dual purpose
as I will use them as templates to make card albums!!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

19/1/11 - photo diary 2011

Gorgeous N , lovely Princess N and their bro Marvellous R sandwiched between them!
Enjoying the Wii still.....;O) which has been ressurected to get us ALL back in shape!!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

17/1/2011 & 18/1/2011 Photo Diary

17/1/2011 - Look what I bought!!! It is very practical for me with 3 children and a 6st Labrador!

18/1/2011 - Princess N on the Wii (sorry about the quality!!)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

2011 - Day by Day photo diary

16/1/11 - I suffer from Rosaecia(not sure of spelling!!!) - I'm hoping this will help...

An Award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


A very big DIOLCH/THANK YOU to Bear footprints for nominating me for the Award above!!!  I am truly blessed!!!  It's nice too know that there are people out there out there is reading your blog and actually enjoying it!!!

Now I have the task of telling you 7 things you may not know about me...... ;o/


1.  I am obsessed with owls, I collect them, I wear them(necklace!!!) and soon I will be resting my head on one!!(Cushion)At the last count I have 51 of all different shapes and sizes..but after scanning Ebay last night my collection may be set to grow in the near future!!

2.   "Nellilou" comes from a nickname my dad had for me when I was a girl!

3.   I have two tattoos on my back.

4.  I find Gordon Ramsey strangely attractive....and I don't know why ;o)

5.  Dr Who, Sarah Jane Mysteries and Sherlock have all filmed part of their series in the city of Newport where I work and close to where I live.

6.  I love watching "Deadliest Catch", Kirtsie Allsopps....(Although by the end of the series I do want to scream at her to join us back in the real world!!), Hugh F-W in anything! and Saturday Kitchen....when I actually get time to watch the television!!

7.   I live in a terraced house in a town in Wales, not too far from the countryside, but my dream is to live a self sufficient green existence in the country...maybe one day.....

Now I have to nominate 15 more blogs for this award....drum roll please......

1.  All kinds of Everything
2. She was not at all domestic
3. Green and Country in the City
4.  Emma Bear Forever
5. Bear footprints
6. Blessed frugalness times two with twins
7. The Good Life
8. Dandelion
9. Lemon Tree Creations
10. The Felt Fairy
11. Scented Sweetpea
12. My Handmade Haven
13. .Ruby's Mamma Made It...
14. Pitter Putter Stitch
15. Dechreud Newydd(Note: My young daughter's little release valve ;o})
Please try and drop by the above blogs and hopefully you will enjoy them as much as I do!! Maybe you've learn't a bit more about me along the way....xx

All I have to do now is work out how to get the award over in the corner like all the clever people do!!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Old Mother Hubbard........

I have put off going shopping to try and use up the food etc I bought over Christmas and today I was officially "Old mother Hubbard..." well, ok, slight exaggeration but I didn't fancy, vegetarian meatballs, spinach and bread as a meal from the freezer and fruit wise I only had some slightly worse for wear Kiwi fruit in the bottom of my fridge that will make part of a smoothie tomorrow!!!

I went to the Co-operative and Asda to do my shopping as I had £10 worth of vouchers for the Co-op and a book of "healthy eating" vouchers for Asda.

I proceeded to spend £48 in the Co-op (so only spent £38) and £137 in Asda (but after discounts and vouchers I only spent £121).

I don't think I will need to go shopping for at least two weeks!!! (Marvellous)

I would like to point out that included in the money spent were 2 roasting tins, two trays for the oven, tonnes of Ecover products as they were all 1/2 price, a large 15kg bag of dog food, "healthy" lunch box staples, juices and cereals etc and a device to enable me not to mess up poaching an egg(sad I know!!!!) so I think I've done pretty good!!!

I am still pondering over the meal plan for next week, but rest assured, after weighing myself this morning I will be watching what I eat ;oO!!!!   

One things for sure...I am making a gorgeous Beef Stew for tomorrow!!!

Night night all xx

photo diary for 14 & 15 1/11

14/1/11 - R.I.P netbook :o((( - I Think!!

15/1/11 - JJ posing for a photo!!!!

Friday, 14 January 2011


P M T !!!!!

I feel down one minute, angry the next and I want to cry the next!!!!...It won't last too long....Thank God!!!

Oh the joys of being a woman!!!!!

Hopefully I will be more with it tomorrow


Thursday, 13 January 2011

13/1/11 - £10 dress from Sainsburys(was £20)

Tired, not much to say today, sorry!!!

Went to work today and then had to go back for a meeting this evening - My bed is shouting my name!!!

But once I'm on here I end up on here for hours.



Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Wonderful Wednesday

12/1/11 - Raffle Prize- Priceless

The photo above is of  prize my Dad won last night..A lipstick holder(with mirror) which he didn't really need ;o)  I gave it to my five year old daughter who was absolutely delighted with it and proceeded to hunt down her lip balm.  When the said lipbalm was deposited in it she then showed anyone who stood still long enough how it worked.....I love days like this!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Photo diary ----->
11/1/11 - Open Mic -Where I read one of my own poems and someone elses!!

Today was one of those days when you think...God, thank you for blessing me...I did some arts and crafts with some of the residents where I work and we made "cards for any occassion.  What was beautiful about today is that I worked with a blind lady and helped her make 3 cards...It was amazing describing the bits I was placing on the cards and I ensured that most things I used had some texture or dark colour to help her get an idea of what she was making, on the way back to her unit she kept telling me how much she had enjoyed herself :o)))  The other residents who also came down were very happy too. so a good day allround!!!

Then this evening I went to "Torfaen Open Mic with my dad and had a great evening of poetry, prose and music.....and a weak shandy!!!

I think I will need to start doing a menu plan etc from next week as the Christmas shop is finally dwindling away.  I am also going to start recycling my tetrapac from tomorrow and this will ensure I investigate where I can dispose of them...Cardboard my local council don't do either, even though they do food & garden, plastic, cans etc, glass, shoes and clothing when they do their kerbside collection :o( .  Also I'm waiting for there to be a few dry days for me to get the wood I have over to my dads so he can chain saw it into manageable pieces and start making my newspaper bricks for the chimenea and hopefully sometime in 2011 my WOODBURNING STOVE!!!!!!!(Very excited!!!!!!) - I have used them in the chimenea before and they were brill as they burn slowly and don't make a mess.  but you need dry days to make them and dry them out(but I may have to resort to the garage as I have a pile of papers that I have saved!  Oh the joys of trying to be a bit greener eh.

I have also done my usual trick of buying bananas and forgetting about them - So as they are now very, very, ripe I will make some low fat cakes with them.

Well thats all from me for to you all xxxx

Monday, 10 January 2011


For some reason I couldn't sleep last night and I am paying for it now!!  An early night is in order me thinks....

I am loving to take a picture each day as a photo diary of 2011....and I hope my enthusiasm for continues!

1/1/11 New Years Day...Just(!)

2/1/11 - My niece's 1st Birthday

3/1/11 Princess N getting to grips with my IPod!!

I waivered and then made a commitment on my blog on 5.1.11 that I would endeavour to take a photo every day

6/1/11 Some decorated jars and tiles I helped residents make ;o)

 7/1/11 - ne of those days that required Cider and chocolate

 8/1/11 - I was sent by my son to find some friends for this one! 

9/1/11 - My gorgeous family on the beach at Barry

10/1/11 - One of my charity shop purchases in 2010 but I think it is gorgeous!

I Think that is enough for today.....I was going to bed early but this photo transferring lark took longer than anticipated!!

Nitey nite xx

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Stupendous Sunday

I have the most delightful day today.

The whole family went to church this morning and it was lovely....David gave a great sermon that spoke to alot of people in the congregation then we decided the spur of the moment to go to "Barry Island".  The kids were very excited.  We got there and had a lovely walk along the beach and up onto the cliff, we then sat down for fish and chips in the best named shop in the world "The Codfather of Sole". We then took the children to the amusements(bad mamma!!) to let them spend so 2ps..and I pointed out that we would leave with out any money and that shoud be a lesson that gambling doesn't pay(good mamma!!!) I then went on a mini ferris wheel with my 5 year old, which I didn't like at all, which she found hysterical, then it was icecreams all round and home!!!

What a marvellous way to spend a Sunday afternoon...;o)))

Saturday, 8 January 2011

10 things I love.....

1. That 5-10 mins in the kitchen on my own before everybody gets up....:o)

2.  The smell of my children after they've had a bath

3.  Having the countryside just outside my backdoor

4.  Having a mountain as my view when I pull the blinds up every morning.

5.  Having a happy healthy family to share my life with.

6.  Still having my 91 year old Nanna to spend some quality time with.

7.  Having a gorgeous sexy husband that I love so deeply and he loves me the same right back!

8.  Friends who know me so well...

9.  Having  a job, and having a job that allows me to be creative and make someone's day a bit brighter.

10.  Being's not a bad gig and it's been fun, great and wonderful 40 years.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Thank Crunchie it's Friday......!!

1st week of 2011 is almost over and I have to admit it has gone very quickly....should I be happy.....I don't know...My life is speeding past me and I have got to start stopping to smell the flowers....As my previous posts have indicated I am taking photographs and writing a poem each day which I hope will be a sort of diary of what has happened in my life in 2011....I am also hoping to complete a Scrapbook of the 40 years I have been on this earth.

I need to start filling my life and my children's life with memories that they will charish for a lifetime and then try to do with their children!  For instance...when I was younger I led out in the garden with my brother and dad and waited for a meteor shower and last year I did the same with my husband and took me right back to when I was a child and it was lovely.  So hopefully 2011 will ba a year of making memories!  No a bad wish for the new year eh!

I'm still feeling sapped of energy which is annoying but not a major issue...but as the weeks go on I am sure it will come back.   A bit more exercise and a little less eating of chocolates and crisps might be put a spring back in my step!!!!  So I'm finishing a rather large box of maltesers off today ;oP 

Also I have had an enquiry about making a nappy cake!!!!! I am so excited and hope this might lead to something...but if it doesn't there is no big deal...nothing ventured nothing gained....I have only made one for my sister in law but the picture was on my facebook page!!

Not bad for a 1st attempt!!

So I will be scanning the internet for some ideas and bits and bobs!!!!

Anyway TTFN xx

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Has anyone seen my energy....I seem to have lost it!!!

I'm not sure whether it is having all those bank holidays over Christmas or having a lie in until 11 am over Christmas but I feel like the energy has been sapped out of me.  I am hoping that it is my body getting back in to a routine now that the children are back in school and that next week I will be re-united with some energy and forge forward with all the things I want to do with the rest of my life!!!

Since writing down all those things I want to do my head is full of loads of ideas which I think is great and makes me feel that 2011 should be a great year!!!

I am going to make February the month where I get organised...which will be a major feat for me because I am the most disorganised person alive....I have been scanning the blogs I follow and quite a few of them have ideas...pointers etc on how to ge organised so I am going to have a good look at all of them and devise a 28 day plan for February!!!

I am also going to devise an ideas board/book(havent decided) to attach all the things I want, desire and need to do in 2011 - once again...should be interesting!

I have taken a photo for today but it is on my I-pod and I haven't worked out how to get it over here...bear with me ;o)  I will be placing my poem on my other blog!!

Thats all folks


Felt Fairy Brilliant book Giveaway!!!!

Fab Book Giveaway! The Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less

This books is great fun to read as just oozes money saving tips!  To be in with a chance to win  one of two copies you need to be a follower as one book will be given to a name picked at random from my followers list. To be in the second draw just blog about the giveaway and mention it in a comment below. Draw closes on Sunday 9th of January. Draw takes place on 10th January. Good luck, it really is a fab book
Get over there and follow her and be in with a cance of winning!!!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Talk the then I must walk the walk :O)

I have been scanning through the blogs I am following to get some ideas for things I can do in 2011. Last year, as I was appoaching my 40th birthday I decided to so many things and then was disappointed when I didn't do all of them...I have, therefore, decided to give myself until my 41st birthday to fulfil the things I secretly listed(!!).  I am also going to put myself under some pressure and if I scream it from the rooftops on here then I have to do it...even though I only have two followers.(at the moment!!!)..It is on here, proof, therefore I have to do it!!

So in 2011 I am going to....

1. Make 52 objects, whether it be a card, some earrings, a lavender heart......!!!(put pictures on here)

2. From tomorrow try and do a random act of kindness each day....feed my soul!!!!(mention them on here)

3. Try to supplement my current wages by attempting to sell items I have made!!!

4. Do something to help my local community!!!

5. From tomorrow take a photograph and write a poem(Most likely haiku) a day to chart my 1st year in the naughty forties

6.  Write a homegrown/frugal/healthy recipe - gift ideas book

7.  Continue with the novel that I started yonks ago trying to do 250 words minimum a day!

8. Post something on my blog/s every day

9.  Learn how to "pretty up" my blogs

10. Enjoy every grateful for all I have and try, try, try not to be negative!! goes....I wish myself luck and will keep you posted!!!!!

Also posted it on FB to ensure I keep my 2011 to-do list11


Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Vegetables set for the composter make a delcious meal

i was sorting out my fridge and found some parsnips that had been bought for Christmas day cwtched up in the fridge!!!  The were feeling a bit sorry for themselves but were still hanging in there!!  I then decided that they needed to be turned into something delicious and this is what I made:-
Spicy Roasted Parsnip and Carrot Soup
3 decent sized Parsnips(cut into chunks, roasted for 20 mins, Gas 5)
4 decent sized carrots peeled and sliced
1 large Onion chopped
2 knorr Stock cubes(vegetable)
1 tsp of mild curry powder

Fry onions in a large saucepan, when soft add carrots and roasted parsnips and stir again. Add enough water to start the vegetables floating and bring to the boil. Add stock cubes and curry powder and stir until the stock cubes are dissolved. Simmer until carrots are sof and once cooled a bit liquidize( I like a baby food consistency but you can add water if that is too thick!. Enjoy xx
I have had a hectic day as the younger chidren went back to school today and my oldest goes back tomorrow...they were still in Christmas holiday mode which meant that they were still awake at midnight!!!  I wasn''t a happy mummy but I know they should be back in to a routine by the end of the week!!!  I am, therefore, extremely I will bid you farewell.  I should be in a much perkier and happier mood tomorrow!
Nitey nite xx

Monday, 3 January 2011


On the 4th of January VAT rises from 17.5% to 20%!!!  This is a first for me as as far as I can remember it has always been 17.5% in my adult life!!!

Along with other things brought in by the current government it appears that its gonna be tough for a while.  I just wish it looked like the richer people in this fine land were gonna feel it as much as I am or even worse people already finding it tough just existing at the moment.  It doesn't help that most of the members of the Government are millionaires!!!  I have a feeling they aren't going to feel the pinch like myself, my friends that are facing redundancy in the near future or the poor people who can just about feed and dress their kids!

Anyway enough of my rant!!!  I will get positives out of the coming year!!!!  I have dug out a book called" Natures Wild Harvest" which shows you the delights that are available to forage for free - I borrowed it off my dad and will be trying my hand at supplementing my larder/cupboards with some "nature freebies".  I would like to point out that the chapters are Spring, Early Summer, Late Summer and Autumn!!!!

I have discovered some parnsips and carrots that didn't get used at they've been in the fridge they are still fine so tomorrow I will be making a Spicy Roasted Parsnip and Carrot Soup....waste not want not!!  I also roasted a big piece of Gammon today which we had today and will be having tomorrow aswell.

I will start back doing my weekly menus and telling you how much I spent each week next week!!! I have money off vouchers for the Co-operative so I will be doing my first shop there, surprisingly!! ;o)

My two youngest children are back to schol tomorrow so I will bid you farewell as it is 11.30pm and they are still awake!!!  They are going to have a nasty surprise at 7.00am tomorrow!!!! 

TTFN - will tell you what the soup is like tomorrow!!!!! xx

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Just another day...

I still feel enthusiastic and positive when the television and papers are full of tales of doom and gloom for the year ahead....I filled up the cars with petrol as that has seemed to have gone up in price every day!!!! and is set to go up again on Tuesday!!!  But I look at this as a reason for me to not use the car so much...I can easily walk the children to school in the morning if I got up 10 minutes earlier.   I could walk the dog in the local area rather than drive to where I walk him or alternate!!!  So what is a negative in some ways will have a positive effect...hopefully ;o)   I have sorted out my ironing pile and found that 2 black bags full are too small, or will never be worn again so I will be donating them to charity and giving them to my relatives that are younger than my children!!  So on a positive ironing pile is getting smaller(also my mother has done the childrens ironing for me - for which I am eternally grateful!!!!!!).

I have cupboards and freezers full of food so I am going to see what can be conjured up from them and will not have to spend out too much on groceries this month.  I really want to grow more this year and will be looking at my gardening/allotment/vegetable books to try and get my timing right.  I have learnt from last year that....brocolli grows bigger than I thought.....hanging baskets look better hanging rather than balancing on a table! and gooseberries are gorgeous when you grew them yourself...and if you plant stuff in the greenhouse make sure your labrador cant get in there...The highlight of my year gardening wise was having a Sunday dinner which I had almost grown all myself!!!!  And with a hard year on the financial front being forecast...every little thing I can do has got to be a good thing.

As previously stated the getting fit and eatting healthy thing is soemthing that everyone does...however I am now 40 and I have developed arthiritis in my hip and problems with my foot and I am convinced that me being overweight isn't helping the situation so I am hoping this will "encourage" me to pull my finger out!!!  Only time will tell...

I will checking on the local council website for sites that recycle tetrapac and cardboard to make my household a bit greener which I promsed myself I would do but didn't get around to doing.

So I want 2011 to be the year of doing and not just saying!!!!! If I can talk the talk I must be brave enough to walk the walk!!

Health and Happiness xxx

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year - 2011

It is amazing how the beginning of another year fills you with hope, optimism and enthusiasm!  How long it will last is up to us!!!  I know that 2011 is going to be a hard year thanks to governments past and present so I am starting my year with my heart set on being as frugal in every way as I possibly can!  I need to lose weight, get fit and be as green as I possibly can too.  I want to bring a little bit of sunshine in to someone's life every day...which I seem to be doing in my job which is a beautiful and blessed part of working where I do!!..but I want to spread it further so a plan must be hatched ;o)

I am going to try to lose weight by myself..which basically means not joining a may be that I join together with like minded people and we work together and put money away for Christmas 2011 instead of paying a big company!!!!   I am hoping to gt fit by trying(!!!) to make use of my bike, and my legs(running).  My children also have a Wii fit so I will be making use of that in the near future too.  The only thing I want to be paying for is swimming as I love to swim and it is a good allround exercise!!

In 2010 I left a job I had done for nearly 20 years, the opportunity of redundancy came up and I saw it as an opportunity!  I was lucky enough to finish my job and start another, totally different and wonderful job within a week.  The only downside to this is that I earn less than half of what I was earning.  However I saw this as an opportunity to give myself a "kick up the backside" and start trying to sell the stuff I have been making as presents etc for people I know and love.  So the Creative Natalie will be attempting to spread her wings and jump off the ledge and seeing if she can actually fly!!!! This is a frightening but also exciting prospect.

So this year will be filled with being frugal, fit, healthy, happy and green..and if I discover anything that can help another person on this earth then I will pass it on!!!

Have an amazing 2011