Weekly meal plan #1

I love planning our meals.
Once a week I will sit down with all my favourite recipe books strewn around me and flicker through the pages trying the find the perfect meals for the following week.
A couple of those meals will be some good old favourites but I always try and find something new too.
Starting up slimming world has meant I've picked up a few new recipe books and my gosh some of the dishes look mouthwatering.
I don't necessarily stick to SW recipes, pretty much anything can be adjusted or ingredients can be swapped so it fits in with what I'm doing anyway.

I'm a bit late to posting our meal plan and some of these have already been consumed and enjoyed. I'll try and post a bit earlier next week.

Soy and ginger glazed salmon with stir fry vegetables and rice noodles

KFC style chicken nuggets with chips and corn on the cob

Chicken tikka with rice

Meatballs, greens, mashed potatoes

Surf and turf stir fry

Spaghetti Bolognese

Roast chicken with all the trimmings

What are you all eating this week, feel free to share, I'm always looking for inspiration.



Weekend Memories #2

I always look forward to Friday, the start of the weekend. By the time 3 o'clock  rolls around and I finish work I can literally feel myself relaxing. It had been one of those weeks where I really hadn't enjoyed work all that much so you can only image how happy I was to walk out that door.
The weekend, as always, went by way too fast, and no matter how long we try and hold on to that Sunday, Monday always comes. 
I gave the kitchen a bit of a spring clean on Saturday. I wish I had a bit more time during the week and I do try and fit some chores in every day, but clutter creeps up fast. I wiped, organised, polished and even cleaned the kitchen windows.

Aren't my orchids looking pretty?!
They bloom around this time every year and I always find they really brighten up the place.

I really like my little spice tray. It's not really meant to be one I guess, but as soon as I saw it in the shop I knew what I would use it for. I love finding little treasures like that.
The kids would spend their life behind their computer screens so we decided to take them out and go for a walk. It was a bit of a dreary day and the chill got to me when I got out of the car but it was so lovely to be out of the house and spend some time as a family. 

We decided to go to Samphire Hoe which is not all that far from us and perfect for blowing away the cobwebs. It's quite an amazing place really. It's reclaimed land created when they were digging the Eurotunnel. It consists of a seawall and nature reserve. We love going there in summer and usually tie it in with a beach visit. Saturday however was way too cold for the beach!


It really was a lovely afternoon out. Sometimes you just need a bit of fresh air.

Sunday came quicker than expected.
The morning was spend pottering around the house while Simon and Dylan were cutting back some bushes in the garden. Emily went out as well, to help with our beehive inspection. Simon and her have been keeping bees for nearly a year now and I'm so proud of how knowledgeable she is about it all.

In the afternoon we we went to Simon's brother as it was his birthday. It was nice to catch up with everyone and have some cake. Cake is always nice though isn't it. Even when you're on a diet.

I didn't end up taking any photos but I did take one of our dinner which was amazing!

Pulled pork made in the slow cooker. 
Definitely a recipe that will be repeated many if times in this household. 

It's Sunday evening now. I'm snuggled under a blanket on the sofa. I'm already in pyjamas and the kids are about to go to bed. I can't believe the worst day of the week is just a sleep away.

Hurry up again Friday!



Slimming World update #1

It's been a week since I've rejoined Slimming World and yesterday was my first weigh in. 

I always meet up with my colleague and I can't tell you how nice it is to have someone at work who is doing the same. You see, before Slimming World, when work got a bit boring, or the days were dragging it was so easy to nip to the corner shop and get a bar of chocolate or a bag of crisps, and it became quite a normal thing. 
Now we eat fruit, talk about various mug shot flavours, get excited about new HiFi bars and yoghurt flavours and when we do want to stray to an ever so nice looking biscuit we have each other for support.

I've never stayed to group before, not even when I did Slimming World before. I usually arrive a bit early, chat to some of the ladies, gossip with my colleague, stock up on some Hifi bars (and sometimes recipe books) and line up to get weighed. I would like to stay and see what happens in group though, maybe in the next few weeks.

When it was my turn to stand on that scale I got quite excited. I was hoping for a good loss and the result wasn't disappointing at all. My colleague and I actually had the same loss. What a coincidence!

That is 1.5 pounds closer to my target!
I couldn't be happier.

I haven't found this first week back hard at all. I've really enjoyed coming up with exciting recipes, eating healthier, choosing better options for snacks and I've most definitely had my five a day in fruit and veg.

We've had some really nice dinners actually. There's been pasta, stir fry, curry, bacon, chips and guess what? All of them were completely syn free!

I've made up a meal plan for this following week so do keep an eye on my Instagram page @daisyspratley should you be interested, I'll share it over the weekend.

I found that going back to basics and writing down everything I eat has really helped me stay on track this week.
Ive been using the food diary sheets that came in my welcome pack and knowing exactly what I've been eating, wether it was naughty or nice, has meant I've never gone over my daily syn allowance. Last time I did Slimming World I didn't do this and it's surprising how much you'll forget. Syns quickly add up and not keeping an eye on them can really hinder your weightloss.

I have had treats ofcourse. Anyone who knows me, knows I've got a huge sweet tooth.
This week my favourites have been the Rocky Road Hifi bars, some banana fritters I made and Options Strawberry hot chocolate. The hot chocolate has been an evening thing, it really satisfied my chocolate craving and at only two syns there really wasn't much to complain about! 

This comingweek I want to focus on my water intake and make my work lunches a bit more interesting. I tend to have the good old mugshot for lunch and while they are ok I'm afraid I'll end up in a mug shot rut. So switch it up I will! Variety is definitely the key.
Here's hoping for another good loss next Thursday. Wish me luck!


Rejoining Slimming World

Last  Thursday I decided to rejoin Slimming World. 
I originally joined back in April and managed to lose just over a stone which was amazing! But then we went on holiday, and I fully intended on enjoying our time away and not be too restricted by syns. We went on holiday to Austria which is not exactly the land of carrot sticks and cucumbers. Carb loaded dishes and pastries more likely. 
When we returned home I was actually quite surprised to find out I'd only put on two pounds, considering all the sweet treats I had consumed. Must have been all those mountain walks. Those apple strudel calories never stood a chance!
Putting on only two pounds did give me some sort of false hope though. I could eat and not gain all that much...great.
So slowly the pounds crept back on.
I kept telling myself I'd return in the new year, and that's exactly what I did.

Last Thursday was the day I returned. I felt a bit sheepish to be honest, thinking I would be judged but I shouldn't have worried at all. Everyone was just as welcoming as that first time I walked through those doors.

When you originally join Slimming World you get a welcome pack which contains all the information you could possibly need, along with a booklet in which your weekly losses/gains get recorded. I'm hoping for lots of losses this time around! 

Back in April I set a target weight and a club 10 weight. The club 10 weight is the weight you'll reach after losing 10% of your original body weight.
Our team leader gave me the choice of continuing on with my old booklet or starting over completely, which is what I decided on.
It's always nice to start afresh isn't it.

I set my new target and I'm raring to go.
I'm aiming on losing two stone this time around, which I think is quite achievable.
I'm lucky enough to have a colleague who's also a slimming world member, so there's plenty of encouragement at work.

Being member also gives you access to the slimming world app which is amazing. I use it on a daily basis for checking up on syns or meal ideas.

I also love the slimming world magazine which I've picked up and already got my eye on a few new recipe books. 

These first few days back on plan have been great. I haven't found it hard at all although I must admit I felt quite hungry the first day. I've gone from snacking throughout the day on biscuits and chocolates to snacking on much healthier options and my stomach was rebelling a bit. But as out leader said, fill up on the good stuff instead.
And that's just what I have been doing.

I've decided to share my weekly updates as I think it will give me an extra push and keep me more motivated to keep going.
You can follow daily updates over on my  Instagram page should you be interested, or even if you just wanted to come wish me luck.
Come and find me @daisyspratley
See you all soon
I'm of to make a chicken tikka for dinner, slimming world style.


Weekend memories #1

I can't believe Christmas is well and truly behind us now.
It's Monday and the kids went back to school today after nearly three weeks off (for them, sadly not for me) and it's amazing how quickly we adapted from lazy mornings to the crazyness school mornings can bring. Just like that we fell back into our routine.
We did still have a little bit of Christmas this first weekend of the year though.
You see we went to the pantomime.
We got up early on Saturday as we were meeting up with Simon's family outside the theatre. We were booked in to see the morning show and after treating the kids to some popcorn and a drink we went in to find our seats.
We didn't have to wait too long for the show to start and it was amazing!
We do love a good pantomime and this one didn't disappoint at all.
It had all the classic pantomime fun and jokes along with some amazing acrobats, fire, pop classics and visual effects. I kept looking sideways at the kids and although they are in that teen/pre-teen stage now where they do get easily embarrassed and taking part is seen as utterly uncool they did have fun and joined in, especially towards the end when Peter Pan came flying over the crowd!

We were lucky enough to meet two of the actors after the show and both were really lovely. It was so nice of them to take some time out to talk to us.
Samantha Dorrance played Wendy, you might recognise her from the Mr Tumble movie and Shaun Williamson (Barry from EastEnders) played Captain Hook. My little niece went all shy, bless her.

I was really happy when someone suggested we'd go to wagamama for lunch.
I ended up having the Katsu curry and it was so good! The kids both had their usual wagamama dish which is the cod cubes and Simon decided on the vegetarian Katsu curry which really surprised us all, he's not normally one for choosing the vegetarian option! 

After a quick dash around a few more shops we returned home and my little niece came with us. She wanted to spend some time with Emily which was so sweet of her.
The girls ended up baking the most delicious cookies.

The rest of the day just went by in a blur.
We were busy with everything and nothing at the same time and before we knew it it was time to go to bed.
Sunday started slowly, like Sunday's should, with coffee and breakfast.

I decided to blitz the kids bedrooms. This had been a job long overdue and something I just wanted to get over and done with. After Christmas with its new supply of games, trinkets and "clutter" there was no better time really. I ended up with four (FOUR!) bags for the skip. 
Even though their rooms are still fuller than an egg they somehow seem a lot more organised. Emily is the artist/creative brain of our family and she's forever creating new artwork and I'm sure I can run an art supply shop from her room alone! Needless to say all this creating does make a lot of mess and thousands of pieces of scrap paper.
Sunday was also the day of getting ready for school again.
Uniforms were ironed and bookbags were made ready. We decided to forgo the Sunday roast and settled on a delicious stir fry, slimming world friendly ofcourse, and the homemade crispy chicken pieces went down a treat.

The evening came quickly and Simon and I started watching a series on Netflix. It's one I've seen mentioned on Gogglebox quite a lot so we decided to give it a go.
Dr. Foster
Have you watched it?
We've seen two episodes so far and I'm really into it.

Can't wait to watch some more.

So that was our weekend in a nutshell. 
I'm counting down to Friday already



Here we go...again

Well hello there, it's been a while.
First of all let me wish you a happy year, I hope 2018 will be the year all your hopes and dreams come true.

Just like the rest of the world I've made some new year resolutions, and I'm really hoping I can stick to them and that I won't have forgotten about them by the time February rolls around.

One of those resolutions is to start this blog up again and really stick to it.
I know, I know, it's been over a year since I've shown my face around here (hangs head in shame), but I originally started this blog as a bit of a diary / memory bank for us to look back on and I can't believe I haven't documented the past year as we've done so many amazing things. I do love looking back on old posts and gushing over how little and cute the kids were. Not that they're not cute now....just teenagers!

I'm definitely planning on bringing back the weekend posts, they were always my favourite to write and look back on. Not that our weekends are all that exciting or anything. I mean we do have the occasional outing which always makes for exciting posts, but even weekends at home can be quite comforting and nice to look back on.

As a slimming world member I'll also be bringing you weekly updates. I haven't been to group for nearly two months now so when I go back on Thursday it'll feel like starting all over again! No doubt weight wise too. (Did I really eat THAT many chocolates and mince pies?)

Weekly menus, who doesn't like a nosey a what other people are eating. This will tie in nicely with Slimming World too so hopefully I can bring you some inspiration.

For now those will be the three main categories although no doubt there will be more things I'll want to share with you. Things that make me excited, travel, days out, crafts and so on. Some things I love, you may not and that's ok. I just hope that somewhere along the line I can inspire you and that you'll enjoy my ramblings, recipes, ideas and daily life. 
See you all soon 



Our weekend #6

  We've had such a lovely weekend!
I wish I could do it all over again!
Saturday morning started out as usual doing a few chores. Simon had to run some errands and we had planned to go out later that day so I kind of wanted to get most done.
When he got back we all got in the car and headed Canterbury way.
It's a twenty minute drive from us taking us on winding roads and past fairy tale houses and its a drive I always enjoy.
It was quite a windy day but luckily we were sheltered from the wind in the busy shopping street.
The boys decided to stop off at a Thai noodle stand while Emily and me walked on to go visit Cath Kidston and Lush.
I wanted to buy a new mug but then I remembered how cramped our kitchen cupboards already are..maybe later this year when we have moved. Look at that pink dotty one though.
Emily also fell in love with this shop and I don't think there's one (breakable) thing she didn't touch.
We passed a Hardy's sweetshop so naturally we had to go in.
It took Emily a good ten minutes to choose a small treat, constantly changing her mind. I also found this big selection of tea's in cute tins. It's funny really because over the Christmas break my family visited us and we were looking for some English tea in nice packaging they could take back home to Belgium.  Typical isn't it. At least now we know where to go.
 Lush was just as inviting as always. It's one of those shops I just have to visit, and if I'm honest it's the reason we went to Canterbury. Shhh.
  Simon always jokes we've been in there for hours, when really it's just ten minutes or so, hahaha.
Emily has become a real little Lush addict as well and we each picked out two new bath bombs/ melts. I chose the unicorn horn and my favourite rose jam. Emily chose the french kiss and big blue. She always chooses big blue as it reminds her of a funny moment from a few years ago. You see it's packed with small pieces of seaweed and I was in the bath having used this bomb and when Emily walked in, she took one look at the water and said "eww what's that, did you shave your legs?!" I had to reassure her it was seaweed and I was in fact not a gorilla!

Another place we always visit is Patisserie Valerie.
Their cakes are just heavenly.
Emily opted for a Belgian waffle with ice cream drizzled in chocolate sauce, Dylan really fancied the chocolate and blueberry ice cream and Simon and I both had a gateau slice.
With our tummies all full we decided to slowly head back.
Even on blustery cold winter days Canterbury still manages to look pretty.

Simon had to babysit our niece and nephew on Saturday night so we had our dinner quite early, a really tasty curry. The kids had a game night which meant I had the TV to myself but typically I couldn't find anything I wanted to watch. Instead I ordered a groceries delivery for Sunday afternoon.

Sunday was a fairly quiet day which started out with sunshine, a bit of a change from the previous day.
I pottered around the house for a bit doing some chores and then we headed out to do some shopping.
I needed a new collar for the cat and some fresh bread for our lunch.
Emily can't get enough of all the animals in the pet store, bunnies especially are on her "can we have one" list. I must say that little guy on top is quite a cutie.
In the afternoon my little niece came over to play with Emily. They always play so lovely together.
Dylan was x-boxing with some buddies and Simon went out to meet up with one of his friends.
I took the opportunity to read through my Sainsburys and Asda magazines. They always have the nicest recipes in them don't they!
Once my grocery delivery arrived and was put away I made some maltheser blondies. The kids were going to help me but in the end they were too "busy". Soon after baking it was time to start preparing dinner which was gammon with roast potatoes, red cabbage and leeks. It was rather nice, but dessert, dessert was epic! 

Right now Emily is reading her book (she's reading Harry Potter at the moment) and Dylan is in the shower. It will be their bedtime soon.
 For Simon and I the weekend will most probably end with a few episodes of Orange is the new black, which we have been watching for the past few weeks, and maybe another slice of maltheser blondies.
I'm so not ready for it to be Monday tomorrow.