celebrations, fEAsting

A week of celebrations…

What a lot of catching up to do when you have been away, I notice that everyone in blogland has been busy writing and posting profusely and it will take me some time to visit you all and catch up on the news – I feel quite out of touch.

I have so much happening at the moment that I couldn’t possibly write about it all but the most pressing thing is our office move tomorrow.

A different room on a different floor with a different view.  Change is always challenging and for us it will mark the end of an era after 7 years in the same place and we are not sure whether we should have a leaving do or a ‘room’ warming in the new place, whichever we decide on we have already got ourselves a stash of chocolate goodies to get us through the day.

Of course there is always one person who decides to be difficult and through her own very selfish actions has made the move a bit of a nightmare.  What a shame the management wouldn’t give her an office space of her own (which we believe to be the reason for the awkwardness) as we also would have welcomed it rather than have to work with someone who is going to complain and be obnoxious all the time like she has been for the last few weeks.

But less of the moaning it is not all doom and gloom as I will continue to share an adjoining desk space with my colleague, who does the same job as me and is a really good work mate, and we will get through this together just as we have weathered everything else over the last 12 years.  They don’t call us Hinge and Bracket for nothing!  We have become inseparable and really have fun working together.

On the brighter side I have managed to fit in quite a bit of partying over the last few days.  Last Thursday night we went to my friend’s daughters 18th birthday celebration, a gathering of close friends and family and it was so nice to relax and chat over a little wine, a few nibbles and some gorgeous cake on a week night.

Birthday Goodies

This was repeated again on Sunday when we attended my Russian niece’s babies 1st Birthday party in Pooh Bear style.  It was a lovely time for all our family to get together, have a good natter and catch up – and just like Tiggers it is what we do best!

Cake Pops

These were the delightful Honey Bee cake pops she had made using yellow chocolate – I didn’t even know you could buy yellow chocolate!  Don’t you just love those wonky grins!  We came away with goodie bags full of jelly beans, dolly mixtures and flying saucers – much more fun than the grown ups parties and I am still humming and singing all those Pooh Bear songs at work this week.

Have a great Wednesday.

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being thrifty, fEAsting, food shopping, meal planning, trEAsure

When is a bargain not a bargain?

This week I have been most careful with the cash and shopping.  I had to buy a few extra groceries to get us through the week which cost me £17.76 – this was extra cheese and milk and a few veg.  Feeding four adults is quite costly and I did not have the time to make Nutloaf so instead we had –

  • Chickpea curry and brown rice
  • Mushroom and spinach omelette and salad
  • A pasta meal
  • A homemade pizza
  • Cauliflower and Broccoli bake.

I also made a different version of the Apple and Sultana Cupcakes that I made a while back but this time I adapted the recipe to make Chocolate and Pear which we had as a pudding with Creme Fraiche – yummy – but needed a bit more pear.

Tonight I will be doing some kind of bean stew or casserole to use up any left over vegetables and at the weekend I will definitely make a Nutloaf and use up the nuts in the cupboard.

During the week I had to buy two birthday cards for friends at work and being in my ‘money saving mode’ I went into The Works where they have a selection of cards 2 for a pound, which I thought was a good saver, however, I got sidetracked and ended up with one or two must haves – but in my defence they were very cheap (I know cheap is still spending money!).

The first item a book on Baking that is presented step by step in photo pictures.  I like this because I can see what the mixture is supposed to look like at the different stages then I am able to figure out where I might be going wrong if a recipe doesn’t work out!  Of course there are some nice recipes too and I can’t wait to try some out – Cost £3.99

The second items are a matching metal Seed Tin and Garden Twine Dispenser – Cost £1.99 each (but they are so cute and I just couldn’t resist).  Much better than the old plastic ice-cream tub that I had at the cottage.

So if you have done the math you will have worked out that the two bargain birthday cards of only 50p each actually cost me £4.48 each!!  I could have bought one of the dearest in Clinton’s cards for that – but not as much fun.

I promise myself to do better next week and may even leave my debit card at home and only take a little cash with me to cover any unforeseen expenses such as extra food shopping or even worse those dreaded brown envelopes that are passed around at work – you know the ones I mean – they come round asking for a £1 for the Birthday Club or Bonus Ball, then another for a leaving present and yet another for a donation to someones preschooler who has done a hop, skip and jump to raise funds for their playgroup!!  Like magic they always appear just after a  visit to the card cash machine and before you know it you find yourself back at the dispenser again!

Now my bank balances are all up to date I am beginning to make a note of my daily spending again.  I usually withdraw £20 a week to cover any day to day expenses but have no idea if this is considered normal or over the top.  If anyone out there has any suggestions they are always welcome.