Monday 19 February 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 8

My second full week of maternity leave and again I have a few appointments - I'd imagined it as weeks on end of sitting at home doing nothing, or rather going through the massive to do list of all the things I never get time to do (and almost certainly never will have time again) - but it's not been like that at all. I'm tired all the time so often have afternoon naps and either manage to get one thing done in the morning or have an appointment, then when my husband gets home from work I make dinner (he's still recovering from a leg injury which means he can't help much around the house) and then we are both too tired to do anything more than watch TV. I really do hope we get through everything we need to do specifically relating to preparing for the baby, if nothing else! Don't get me wrong, it's quite nice being at home all day and if my body needs the sleep then it's good that I've got the time to have naps - I'm just constantly surprised when I wake up and a few hours have gone by!

Breakfast something quick eg yogurt or toast as I have a growth scan at 9am
Lunch cheese sandwich as I was home late after hanging around at the hospital for ages waiting for a blood test
Dinner beef and macaroni cheese inspired by a Waitrose ready meal (will freeze any leftovers) - might follow this recipe

Breakfast yogurt or toast
Lunch cheese and ham sandwich or beef and horseradish on either Burgen brown bread or part bake rolls
Dinner cauliflower cheese and leek bake from this recipe with sausages for me, sausage and mash for him

Breakfast smoked salmon and poached eggs
Lunch mackerel pasta as I have some mackerel in the freezer to use up
Dinner My husband wants to try Sloppy Joes so I will make some based on this recipe

Breakfast  smoked salmon and poached eggs
Lunch fish paste on ryvita or leftover mackerel pasta
Dinner homemade chicken nuggets

Breakfast yogurt or toast - got someone coming to fix the radiators
Lunch fish paste on ryvita
Dinner possibly out with a friend for a belated birthday meal postponed from last week - not sure yet

Lunch soup and rolls
Dinner lamb chop with sweet potato wedges for me, beef grillsteak and potato wedges for him I was going to do last week but didn't

Lunch cheese on toast unless I can think of anything better
Dinner toad in the hole I was going to do recently but didn't

Shared your own meal plan? Link it up here!

Sunday 18 February 2018

Gardener's Spring Flowers Waterfall Card

Maternity leave so far seems to have been all work and no play - and a lot of naps as I’m so tired all the time. I thought I’d have plenty of time to do things like sort out photo albums, file about two year’s worth of important documents sitting in a drawer, and maybe read a book while enjoying a cup of tea. Instead I’m working my way through a massive list of things we need to do to prepare before the baby is born - everything from setting up the baby monitor to checking we’ve got enough sheets for the Moses basket to writing my birth plan, which I’d intended to have finished about a month ago and still haven’t done!

But at the same time all work and no play isn’t much fun, so one evening when my husband was doing something on the computer I decided to go up to my craft room - which is now the spare room as we’ve had to move the bed out of what is now the nursery - and do a bit of card making.

I was careful to only take out a couple of boxes from my craft cupboard and ones that were right at the front - getting everything back in when you’ve taken it all out is a bit tricky and I knew I wouldn’t have the time or energy to do that at eight months pregnant.

I found something I’d bought in a bulk purchase from a local seller who was getting rid of some of her stash - a waterfall card kit from Quick Cards that promised everything I needed in one small kit to make an unusual kind of card I hadn’t tried before.

Unfortunately it proved a lot trickier than it looked! There were no instructions in the pack at all so I’d hoped it would be fairly self explanatory but it wasn’t. I ended up going on you tube and watching this video from Dreaming about Rubber Stamps to understand what I needed to do.
Even then I found I needed extra things that weren’t in the pack like a couple of brads, and I had started to use a long strip saying ‘happy birthday’ until I realised it would go behind the ‘waterfall’ and you wouldn’t be able to read the words, so I switched it for a patterned piece of card.

The way a waterfall card works is this: you have three or four overlapping images in a line down the card, and a tab at the bottom. When you pull the tab the picture squares turn over to show the other side in a sort of waterfall effect, and when you push the tab back up, the pictures all turn back the right way up.

What I didn’t like with this kit was that the yellow flower images provided had nothing on the back so when they had flipped you were left with plain white squares. They also didn’t take up much of the card blank provided with a lot of white space around them, so I decided to customise the card.
I used the three spring flower images you can see below, and stuck them onto the piece of card on the right - aside from the 'happy birthday' / 'happy mothers' day' strips down the side which are separate, there was a long section of card already scored in the right places for the waterfall card folds.
But I found it far too plain as I said, so I used a piece of backing paper from the Born to Shop- Go Green range and mounted the waterfall cards on that, along with a 'happy birthday' sentiment from the Quick Cards pack. I used a 'with love' tag as the piece you pull, though the strip that holds the waterfall cards on was made from a scrap piece of card covered with another piece of the Born to Shop paper and secured by two brads as glue wasn't strong enough.

I also didn't like the fact that when the flower cards turned over there was nothing underneath; I think this sort of card would work much better with a 'reveal' of similar images or even a surprise greeting on the other side. For this one I used more of the same backing paper and a picture from the same Born to Shop Go Green set but next time I might plan something that's a bit more of a surprise!
Here's a video of the card showing what happens when you pull the tab! Please excuse the wobbliness, I was trying to hold the card and pull the tab and film at the same time!

 I'm sharing this with Crafting with Dragonflies where the theme this week is special folds.

Monday 12 February 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 7

Last week didn't go entirely to plan; my husband is still on crutches so he couldn't come on the hospital tour with me on Thursday - though it was a complete waste of time anyway, they stood us in a corridor and pointed out the entrances to the antenatal and post natal wards and showed us a room with a birthing pool (which I won't be using) and that was about it. I had hoped we'd go out for a celebratory lunch as it was my first day of maternity leave as well but my poor husband didn't feel up to it. So the whole day was a bit of a wash-out really!

This week I don't have any plans on Monday or Tuesday though I might go out to get fitted for a nursing bra (there's an awful lot of stuff like that to do!) then on Wednesday I have an NCT class in the morning, since I had to miss one due to an antenatal appointment at the hospital, I'm joining a session with the next group. The following day I have an infant feeding session which I think is mainly about colostrum harvesting (helpful if you have gestational diabetes) then on Friday it's a friend's birthday and we haven't finalised plans but I think I'm meeting her for dinner. So that will keep me busy for most of the week - I think my pre-baby maternity leave will fly past and be over before I know it! I just hope I get everything ticked off my 'to do' list that I need to do before then.

Here's this week's meal plan;

Breakfast smoked salmon and poached eggs
Lunch tuna melt on toast
Dinner butternut squash noodles for me, spaghetti for him, with bacon and mascarpone

Tuesday - shrove Tuesday
Breakfast probably just yogurt
Lunch smoked salmon and soft cheese on ryvita
Dinner Cajun chicken steaks from Waitrose
Pancakes for dessert as it's Shrove Tuesday. My husband would like one covered in chocolate and ice cream like these, and to be honest so would I but I don't think my gestational diabetes would allow that. Instead I'm going to try the ground almond pancakes from the Gestational Diabetes UK website and can top them with lemon and sweetener, or diabetic ice cream and Choc Shot.

Wednesday Valentine's Day
Breakfast pancakes as I expect there will be leftover mixture (unless I didn't like it!) - though I need to go out just before 9.30 for the NCT class
Lunch As I'll be in the local town centre (not exactly far, but I will have gone to the high street) I will get something from the bakery for lunch - they do various sandwich fillings which I should be able to tolerate GD-wise on brown bread.
Dinner My husband and I don't tend to eat out on Valentine's day anyway (too crowded, set menus with limited choice) and now I'm a few weeks from giving birth plus have GD and he's on crutches and a fussy eater it seems like a really bad idea! Instead I will make sure the house is nice and tidy and cook his favourite dinner of steak and chips (sweet potato fries for me) and chocolate mousse for dessert which is also from the Gestational Diabetes UK website.

Breakfast yogurt or toast with peanut butter
Lunch sandwich as I will need an early lunch or something I can take with me - annoyingly, the infant feeding session is at 12.45, about a half hour drive away, and will take a couple of hours, then I have a physio appointment right after.
Dinner butternut squash open ravioli for me from Waitrose (part of their Valentine's range), something like chicken kiev and chips for him

Breakfast yogurt or toast with peanut butter
Lunch rest of butternut squash open ravioli (serves 2 and my husband won't eat it)
Dinner out with a friend for her birthday

Breakfast yogurt or toast with peanut butter
Lunch breakfast burritos
Dinner lamb chop with sweet potato wedges for me, beef grillsteak and potato wedges for him

Breakfast yogurt or toast with peanut butter
Lunch bacon sandwich
Dinner tacos with minced beef and potato wedges

Link up your meal plan here:

Friday 9 February 2018

Jolly Nation Bathtime Decoupage Mothers' Day Card

Mothers' Day will be really special for me this year, as I'm actually going to be a mother. Just writing that seems strange even though it's going to become a reality in just a few weeks! I expect the day itself will pass in a sleep-deprived blur so if my husband has any sense he will buy me a Mothers' Day card now!
I made some cards at one point early last year with various things I'd come across in my craft stash including this sheet of decoupage paper from Jolly Nation. It has a hand drawn style showing a woman relaxing in a bath with a glass of wine which is the sort of treat I think mums deserve on Mothers' Day!

I used a pink and pale green printed paper for the backing as it reminded me a bit of the sort of wallpaper my mum used to have in her bedroom years ago, then layered the pieces of the decoupage picture on top. I added a small 'mothers' day' sticker I had on a sticker sheet from a long time ago in the top corner.

I'm sharing this with Daring Cardmakers where the theme is cosy home, Cardz 4 Galz where the theme is think pink and Watercooler Wednesday where the theme is feminine.

Wednesday 7 February 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 6

This is a big week for me - my last day at work for something like a year, I can't even begin to imagine what that will be like! My first two days of maternity leave are pretty busy - blood test, take the cat to the vet, tour of the hospital maternity ward, pedicure (can hardly reach my feet any more!) and new dishwasher being installed. Not having a working dishwasher for a couple of weeks has been a pain as I'm too tired in the evenings to do the washing up....

Why can't my husband do it, you ask? Well, last week he had a run in with a pothole in the pavement and we spent most of Friday in A&E.... the x-ray was inconclusive and he's waiting for an MRI scan this week to confirm if there's a fracture or not. In the meantime he's on crutches and in pain, obviously unable to do anything around the house to help and I am a bit worried about whether he will be in a position to take care of me and the baby in less than four weeks time! But he's improving by the day and I think we will be OK by then, it's just in the meantime when I was hoping to pass over to him all the household chores (including cooking dinner) I'm still having to do them myself. I hope he feels better soon as it's not nice seeing him suffer.

So what am I up to this week? Well....

Breakfast yogurt
Lunch sandwich
Dinner the invalid requested something with chips... I had a portion of lasagne from my batch cooking a few weeks ago

Tuesday working from home - antenatal appointment
Breakfast ryvita with cream cheese
Lunch sandwich - I will be at the hospital over lunchtime
Dinner prawn/ chicken fajitas

Wednesday - last day at work!
Breakfast yogurt
Lunch team lunch
Dinner chicken pie and mashed potato for him; mine will depend on what I have at lunch as we are eating out.

Thursday first day of maternity leave
Breakfast boiled egg and toast
Lunch was planning to go out for lunch with my husband, he took a day off as we are doing the hospital tour later, but not sure he will be able to do that now!
Dinner might need something fairly quick after the hospital visit - will find something in the freezer when I get home.

Breakfast boiled egg and toast
Lunch our dishwasher is being installed any time up to 1.30 so I need an easy lunch where I don't really need to get in the kitchen - maybe ryvita with cream cheese
Dinner sausage and mash for him, sausage and cauliflower cheese for me

Breakfast usually depends what time I get up
Lunch soup and bread rolls
Dinner chicken mini roast from Tesco I was going to do last week but didn't

Breakfast usually depends what time I get up
Lunch tortilla pizzas
Dinner going to have a go at a diabetic friendly toad in the hole

Link up your meal plan here!