Meal Planning Monday

A bit late in the day with the meal planning, but we’ve been swimming, cake making and the kids have generally been running me ragged so the meal planning has taken a backseat until the youngest went to bed, which was actually on time tonight which makes a change!


Freezer meal – left over paella for me and a korma for the 10 year old


Chicken stuffed with mozarella and wrapped in bacon with roasted veg and cous cous


4th of July BBQ. In an effort to do something a bit different with my daughter for the 4th of July we’re having our own little bbq complete with bugers, kebabs, potato and pasta salads and even smores for dessert!


Steak with alioli and jacket potatoes


Mexican Chicken with rice


Tapas. Another one I’m getting the daughter involved in, she loves tapas and will no doubt get chorizo in red wine, croquettas de jamon, quesadillas, ensalada rusa and loads more on the table with a little bit of help from yours truly.


Roast dinner, although this is more summer style with roasted meat accompanied by roasted veg, salad and maybe sauteed potatoes or rice rather than roasties.

For more meal plans this week, head over to At Home With Mrs M to check them out!


Breastfeeding the second time around

Rewind ten years and I was a 20 year old girl desperate to do what was expected of me and prove that despite my youth I could be a good mum to my beautiful daughter. Part of that of course was breastfeeding my baby. After having cuddled this bruised, pink little bundle for a while I was asked how I wanted to feed her and the midwife helped her to latch on, or so I thought – 20 minutes later I had a huge black love bite on the outside of my nipple, no wonder it felt so painful!

Back on the ward we were visited by various midwives, all offering their own brand of advice on positioning, milk supply etc and it was only on the day we were going home that I finally managed to crack a feeding position that worked for us. Back at home we settled into feeding ok, I fed her when she was hungry, which seemed like all the time and although my nipples were sore I got through it as she did seem to have mastered latching on quite well. As for milk supply I appeared to have plenty, I soaked every top I ever put on, my breasts were swollen and full of painful hard lumps if I didn’t feed her every hour or so and I had to put protective covers on the bed at night as it was guaranteed that I’d soak the bed with milk. Despite this my daughter didn’t seem to be getting enough milk, or at least she was constantly hungry and was feeding all the time and utterly exhausting me. No one told me it could be like that, my mum had never breastfed, the health visitor just made me feel like I was a stupid little girl every time she turned up to interrogate me and I became very depressed very quickly because I felt that I was doing it wrong and of course not doing what was best for my baby. Gradually I introduced formula milk, until she was completely formula fed and she was satisfied for longer, making my life a lot easier even if I did find myself even more depressed for “letting her down” and “failing” to feed her myself like I thought I should. That depression lasted for two years thanks to the problems I had breastfeeding coupled with the fact that I was on my own looking after a baby at such a young age.

Ten years later and I was determined to do things my way, I would try breastfeeding again and if it didn’t work for me then I’d give the baby a bottle and I certainly wouldn’t let myself feel bad about it. There was so much during my pregnancy that stressed me out, yet another house move and inadequate health care to name a few, so I should have been a ball of worry by the time the baby was born. But in the end I almost adopted the mantra of “what will be will be”, if I couldn’t have control over things as I may have liked to, why not just go with the flow instead and see how things turned out. This proved to be a decision that has worked from that day until this.

My 15 day late (non induced) little (is 9lb 9oz little?) boy arrived on Christmas morning, he could hardly have picked a more inconvenient time, yet despite his rather painful (no pain relief, I must be mad!) entrance into the world he could not have been more chilled out or more clued up on what to do with Mummy’s boobies! I’ve always said he must have had some kind of instruction manual holed up in my uterus with him because from the moment he was handed to me and we’d had a cuddle and all of his checks were complete he just seemed to know what to do. I was laid on my side with him in my arms and he just latched on, like he’d always been doing it and from that day until he stopped feeding he never had any problems. That first feed was amazing, not fraught with anxiety, I didn’t feel a pressure to feed him myself and there was no fussing about trying to get him latched on. I just looked down at his beautiful little face and fell in love, it was everything that you imagine when you think of the dream breastfeeding scenario.

He carried on in the same vein, feeding whenever he wanted to, without any problems until he was 4 months old when he decided to stop. At a few days old I’d introduced a formula feed at night so my partner and daughter could join in with feeding him and it worked well, enabling me to cook dinner or grab a well deserved ten minutes to myself.

If I needed to feed him while we were out I’d take a bottle with me if I was with my partner, he wasn’t comfortable with me getting my boobs out infront of other people and that didn’t bother me, although I had no problem doing it when I was on my own. I fed him at the school bus stop on a busy main road which gave drivers quite an eye full when they drove past and I remember giving him a quick feed in my car when my friends husband walked over for a chat and didn’t even notice I was feeding. The only time I ever covered up was infront of my father in law when he came to visit two weeks after the baby was born incase I made him uncomfortable. Breastfeeding doesn’t make me uncomfortable, either in being in someone’s presence who is feeding her child or in doing it infront of other people, but I don’t think that people should be made to feel like ogres if they aren’t keen on seeing other people do it, like anything it’s a personal preference and what one person is comfortable with another might not be. Having said that there is no need for people to be rude to a breastfeeding mother or expect her to cover up or hide away like she is doing something wrong. Maybe that’s another thing to chalk up to my chilled out attitude this time around, you can’t please everyone after all!

At around 4 months he decided that he no longer fancied breastmilk, he started pulling away from my breast and refusing to feed when he was hungry and instead wanted formula milk. I continued to offer him breastmilk at every feed for two weeks until it was perfectly clear that he wasn’t going to take it. So I stopped, without feeling an ounce of guilt or worry. Feeding this time around has been a wonderful experience for both of us and I’m glad I attempted it again and found a way of incorporating it into our family that not only suited my little boy but that suited all of us too.


Do you look in the mirror and like what you see? Chances are there’s something you don’t like, whether it’s a double chin, bingo wings, or like me your “mum tum”.

6 months after having my son my stomach is huge. I would say still huge, but that isn’t true as after I had my son I lost 2 1/2 stone within 3 weeks and felt brilliant. I had confidence, I was fitting in clothes that were too small for me before getting pregnant and I felt really positive about continuing to lose weight and getting to a size that I was really happy with. Fast forward a little over 5 months and that confidence has gone and in it’s place a self loathing I just can’t seem to shake. I put 11lb back on over the last few months, all of which seems to have collected around my stomach and despite not exactly being skinny in the first place I can really see every single pound and it’s really getting me down.

Stop moaning and exercise I hear you say! Of course I could and I did start with good intentions, it’s just that with a baby who barely sleeps during the day and won’t sit still when he isn’t sleeping, nor will he sleep at night lately I don’t have time. Not when I have a thousand other things like cooking, cleaning and trying to spend some time with my daughter to do when he is actually asleep. I meal plan every week and manage to stick to it, not only from a diet point of view but also a budgetary one, but that only works for dinners. Breakfasts and lunches soon get forgotten when trying to hoover/iron/take my daughter to and from school/shop all while holding a baby in the other arm or stop him from destroying everything in his path in his walker (he’s like a little hurricaine since I bought him it last week and is in to EVERYTHING!) so I go without or end up bingeing on a load of chocolate or cakes, or something equally calorific.

I’ve been in quite a low mood recently, the knock to my confidence being one of the reasons for it, but I can feel the cloud gradually lifting so to speak. I need to find that spark that went missing a few months ago to get me back to that confident, happy new mum I was and get back on track with eating healthily, exercising and losing weight. If anyone can point me in it’s direction or has any tips to help me along the way I would really appreciate it right now.


6 months old

Six months ago today (on Christmas Day if you’re counting so that means you have exactly 6 months until the next one – sorry!) we welcomed this beautiful little bundle into our family and our hearts.

Six months of nappy changes, splashing in the bath, smiles, first words (dada), laughter and cuddles. This little boy has brought so much happiness into our lives and fitted in to our family like he has always been a part of it.

He seems to have changed by the day, that helpless baby disappeared what seems like a lifetime ago and in his place is a strong, funny, happy little boy who scoots about in his new walker chasing his big sister and laughing to himself as he goes. He has a smile that charms everyone he meets, no one can resist him and if you’re lucky he may even blow you a kiss!

I always worried I couldn’t love another child as much as I love my beautiful daughter, yet every time I look at him my heart just seems to ache with love for him. I wish, in a way he would stay at this age forever, discovering new things by the day yet still depending on me, but yet I can’t wait to see how he changes as he grows.

Here’s to another wonderful six months with my beautiful boy!

Weekly Lust Haves

I’d been planning on writing a weekly post to showcase some gorgeous items I’d found while browsing online. I hadn’t planned on starting until next week, until I stumbled upon a post on my Facebook timeline from Mia Tui introducing their amazing new coloured bags. I’m sure it was love at first sight!

These gorgeous bags are available in teal, purple, orange and pink in a range of styles and made from a luxurious suede feel fabric, perfect for brightening up any summer wardrobe, or for injecting a bit of much needed colour into those grey winter days (or is that the UK right now?).

My birthday is coming up and I never know what to ask for, I also have a poorly changing bag with a broken zip, which isn’t ideal as it usually houses my purse, phone etc too, so it looks like this little beauty will be making it onto my birthday list this year!

Isn’t it gorgeous? This is Amelie in Teal Blue from Mia Tui

Meal Planning Monday on a Sunday

Another week eating our way through the cupboards, so nothing particularly exciting unfortunately.


Chicken Balti




Quick chicken & chorizo paella


Pizza and salad


Mediterranean Chicken

Saturday & Sunday

To be decided

Pork in a creamy sherry sauce

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for quite some time but never got round to it, having been asked what it is in a comment on my Meal Planning Monday post yesterday though I thought I should pull my finger out. My variation on Nadia Sawalha’s “Posh Pork”


  • Pork chops, or any cut of pork you prefer, escalopes work well too
  • frylite
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into batons
  • 20 mushrooms, sliced
  • 50ml sherry (3 syns)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 4 tsp Dijon Mustard (2 syns)
  • 2 or 3 tbsp quark or low fat creme fraiche


  • Cook the pork, in the meantime heat the frylite in a pan and cook the onions, carrots and mushrooms until tender
  • Add the sherry and reduce by half
  • Add the stock, ginger and season
  • Reduce until the stock starts to thicken
  • Add the mustard and creme fraiche/quark and serve

This is delicious and you would never guess that it’s only just over 1 syn per serving, (fellow Slimming Worlders)  it tastes really luxurious and definitely one that’s in the family favourites list – and even popular with the fussy 10 year old too!