Photo 365: Be positive

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Be positive by haniani on Flickr.

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Be positive

I’ve struggled with this prompt, but as I’ve sat on my bed this evening mulling it over I thought about just being positive. I have a very comfortable, warm bed which gives me a good chance of a decent night of sleep. I’m very fortunate, and very grateful.

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What a week!

We didn’t quite have the week we’d planned this week.

We’d hoped for a lovely family Mothering Sunday followed by a nice last week of term an birthday for me. God had other plans…

B, M and I have all had a form of flu. M started on Monday, gave it to me as a birthday present on Tuesday and B started it on Wednesday. We all had a temperature of over 39 degrees as well as aches and a cough. It’s been nasty. M is still exhausted despite taking 2 days off work and doing half days on Tuesday and Friday. Rather than a weekend of getting the garden more organised by preparation for selling the house later in the year our weekend is going to consist of chilling on the sofa with dvds and doing the minimum amount of housework to keep things ticking over.

Amazingly R has avoided the virus. She hasn’t coped very well with the rest of us being out of sorts and not reacting to things in the same way we would normally.

B has fallen asleep on me snuggled on the sofa twice; lovely in a way, but a sure sign he’s not well.

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The only good thing about this virus is the effect it had on my appetite for a few days… My clothes definitely fit better than they did at the start of the week! Sadly, it has had the same effect on M and has left his BMI down at 18.1! He doesn’t need any help keeping his BMI down!

Hopefully we’re all past the worst now, we want to be able to enjoy our Easter break and have some family fun.

Trying to spend less on food

I’ve been reading a lot of thrifty living blogs lately and I have been inspired by some of the ideas I read.

Cooking an evening meal from scratch for us all doesn’t work in the week in our house. The husband doesn’t get home from work until a similar time to the children’s bedtime so a meal for all four of us doesn’t work. I prefer not to cook from scratch twice in the evening and have come up with a solution that helps my husband and I eat healthily, reduces the amount I spend on food and is also really easy.

Whenever I see a really good offer on meat (chopped beef, lamb or chicken breasts) I will buy some and then create something in the slowcooker either with a cheap jar of curry sauce, a tin of soup, or a carton of chopped tomatoes as a sauce base. I’ll add lots of vegetables and extra garlic or spices depending what I’m aiming for.

So far I’ve created:

  • chicken dopiaza (a jarred sauce with added peppers, onions and a carton of tomatoes)
  • beef madras (another jarred sauce with added peppers and onions)
  • chicken korma (a jarred sauce with added mushrooms, spinach and sultanas)
  • creamy chicken, leek and carrot (using a can of condensed cream of chicken sauce as a base and a little bit of smoked bacon and garlic for extra flavour)
  • a rich chilli, tomato and bacon pasta sauce (4 cartons of chopped tomatoes, lots of garlic, chilli and basil and a box of Sainsbury’s basics smoked, chopped cooking bacon)
  • garlicky chicken and mushrooms (a can of condensed mushroom soup, half a bag of frozen mushrooms, a couple of rashers of smoked bacon and 5 cloves of garlic) – this didn’t look appetising as the sauce separated a bit but it was gorgeous, very garlicky and lovely with some frozen spinach and a little grated italian hard cheese stirred though a portion
  • paprika beef (this came from a large box of reduced chopped steak late on a Sunday afternoon and was cooked with chopped tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers, carrots, a beef stockpot and a lot of paprika) – it smelt amazing, but sadly due to the number of peppers put in it I couldn’t eat it 😦

These have all been boxed in individual portion foil trays (just like you get from a takeaway – but I bought mine on Amazon), clearly labelled with the date and contents and then frozen. They can be defrosted in a pan with a little water as the rice/pasta/potatoes are being cooked. The trays may not seem a cheap option, but I kept dropping plastic boxes out of the freezer and breaking them. The trays I bought worked out at ~12 pence each, which doesn’t seem cheap, but even including that cost I have been spending less on evening meals for my husband and I than I was.

My husband and I can have easy, healthy food on the table within 30 minutes of him getting home (or us getting the children into bed). We’re eating more vegetables (no bad thing!) and getting to sleep sooner due to eating earlier (which is definitely a good thing!).

Decisions, decisions…

I’ve not made a great start to posting two or three times a week… but to be fair to myself it’s not been the easiest of weeks.

I’m still battling the after effects of last weeks flu. I’m easily tired, and when l get too tired my IBS kicks off, which in turn makes me more tired. l was so tired this afternoon that I fell asleep on the monkeyboy’s bed at about 2 o’clock when trying to get him to nap. l didn’t wakeup until 3:30… I was due to pick the monkeygirl up from school at 3:15! The monkeyboy had crept out of the room and was merrily playing in the living room.  When  I arrived at school the monkeygirl was being entertained by her class teacher the head and the year 5 teacher. The staff were very good about it, maybe being a governor and hence being well known by the staff has its benefits!

The monkeyfather and l sat down this morning and made some decisions about the house and moving. We’re going to stay here for a bit longer and use an unexpected inheritance to do some improvements to make the house more saleable/ rentable.The monkeyfather’s office move won’t be happening for another year or more so there’s less of a rush to do anything.

That is definitely a bit of a weight off my mind. The uncertainty was really not helping my depression. I need stability and a clear path ahead rather than something else to worry about. I’m very grateful that we have sorted this before the Christmas break, we really need a proper rest then and not to worry about too many things.

Sleep makes things better

Well, that and a lot of rest!

Aside from a stinking headache this morning I’ve felt a lot better today. I’ve not been as sniffly or achey just easily tired. I was asked if I was ok by one of the school mums today as apparently I looked really tired and run down. I’m going to try to keep taking it fairly easy over the next week or so, hopefully that’ll help me stay a bit more positive as well as healthier.

Rested

Well, I’m not sure whether it’s the virus easing or the fact I’ve spent much of the day lying on the sofa bed with a fleece blanket but I’m feeling a little more alert. I still have a huge headache but I’m vaguely thinking straight now. It’s still not going to be a long post though as I’m very tired and hoping for a reasonably early night.

My appetite has been odd today, a strange mix of ravenous at odd times and not wanting any food or drink at others. I know my eating won’t be helping me, both now when I’m poorly, and with my depression. When I do want to eat it’s not healthy food I’m craving, though I did fancy a jacket potato for dinner (so I had that) and I had soup for lunch simply because I had an open carton in the fridge that needed finishing.

There are things I want to post about over the next few days, I’ve been working on organisation and thinking about depression more so I intend to write on both of those soon. Hopefuuly another reasonable night of sleep tonight and more rest tomorrow morning will give me the strength to do more.