Sunday, 1 February 2015

A New Day, A New Month

I have to apologise again for yesterday's self-indulgent ramblings, but I must thank every one for taking the time to write to me. I am overwhelmed by all your kindness and understanding and today is a new day and I am feeling better.

Before joining Slimming World I'd have cheered myself up with an afternoon of cake making, but that isn't an option nowadays as I have absolutely zero self control when it comes to my own baking. So I really am going to have to find other ways to keep myself occupied since me and housework don't go together. I know for some people cleaning is cathartic but doing all that dusting and scrubbing etc. and knowing it will need doing all over again in just a few days just makes me even more depressed. I love the nice bits, the cooking and budgeting and shopping, and I don't mind doing laundry and pushing the vacuum around, but I gave up doing all but the most essential of everything else when I had post natal depression after DD2 was born and I had to choose between a perfect house and sanity. 

I'm sure that menopause hasn't helped with my moods, or that for the past 4-5 years everyone else has been having breakdowns/eating disorders/depression and I've been the one keeping strong and holding everything together while they all unloaded on me, or that whenever I think about getting help for myself something crops up like my MIL being ill and then passing away last  November just after I'd gone to the docs about my problem. And now DS1 is finally getting an adult assessment for autism that will mean a long-winded visit to Sevenoaks and hours of questions and trying to recall details of his childhood etc. I do really want him to have this done and to support him, just saying that as usual it's me supporting someone else. Oh, I sound so self-centred.

Anyway, this month hasn't been all bad by any means. I was doing quite well with the old mood swing thing until last week, and I have actually fulfilled my resolve that each month I'll make something for charity and something towards next Christmas. I have 8 syringe driver bags ready for the hospice and one and half pairs of socks knitted for Xmas pressies. I'm feeling a bit more positive again today and trying to think of others again and not myself. With this in mind I've borrowed my pinking shears back from DD2 (who has had them for months) and I'm all set to make some basic unlined tote bags for the hospice staff to use when returning patients' belongings to their relatives. I know that keeping myself busy goes a long way towards helping with my moods, but when I'm on a downer it's such a struggle to do anything at all.

Okay, let's move on. 

Yesterday's cheap and easy curry dinner was lovely and there was enough left over for DH and I to have with a jacket spud each for lunch and for DS2 to finish off with the leftover rice.

Tonight's dinner was meatballs in tomato sauce with pasta. 

Frozen Meatballs - £2.50 (4 packs for £10 from Farm Foods)
Carton of Passata -  35p (Aldi)
Onion - 10p, 
1/4 pack Frozen Peppers - 22p (89p per 500g pack from Asda), 
1/4 pack Frozen Sliced Mushrooms - 20p (79p for 750g Farm Foods), 
2 Tbsp Tomato Puree - 5p,
Garlic - 5p
Stock Cube - 5p, 
1/4 pint Red Wine - approx 50p, 
Italian Herbs - 5p, 
Salt, Pepper - 2p, 
500g Dried Pasta - 25p 
100g Grated Extra Mature Cheddar - 50p (Aldi £1.75 for 350g)

I browned the meatballs in the hologen oven and drained off all the excess fat. Everything else was bunged in the slowcooker and left to bubble gently for a few hours. The browned meatballs were added to the slow cooker about 2 hours before serving to absorb the flavours of the sauce. The pasta was also cooked in the halogen. Served the meatballs and sauce over the cooked pasta and then sprinkled each serving with grated cheddar.

Total Cost for 4 large servings - £4.84
Approx cost per serving -  £1.21

I have things planned to keep me busy tomorrow, including taking a beginning of the month freezer inventory using Elaine's printable form ( I usually just make a list, but think that this form will help me to better see what I've used and what remains. I used less than half the meat from the freezer during January and have stocked up on frozen veg this past week, so I'm hoping to get through to the end of February without having to spend much except for fresh veg, fruit and dairy.

Other plans for February are to make the other half of that pair of socks, plus a third pair, and to make more syringe driver bags and tote bags. Tomorrow I'll be cutting out the fabric for the bags. I also have a valentine's card to make for DH and I have saved enough in bits and bobs of money left over from my weekly housekeeping for us to have lunch out on Valentine's day. 

Now, if I can just keep motivated enough...

That's all for now folks, except to once again thank you all for your support. 

Love you all, Helen xxx


  1. Spring and summer WILL get here. You WILL feel better! Positive vibes being sent.
    Take care

    1. Thank you so much. I am feeling more positive today and the weather's been cold but lovely and bright and sunny. Love, Helen xx