Previous Posts: August 2016

Pregnancy Update 35 Weeks

Baby is the size of a … well as heavy as a Honeydew Melon (and don’t I know it!)

honeydew melon

Best moment this week? Had another great appointment with the midwife, I am healthy, baby is healthy so that is all good! We have managed to cross the last odds and ends off our list before Mini Smith arrives such as our freezer meal cooking extravaganza.
Two weekends ago we went to Ikea to purchase a cabinet for the playroom to keep all of Nathanael’s craft supplies and preschool items together. I had previously kept this upstairs in my office but it was getting such a pain to remember what I needed for the day, and the trudging up and  downstairs with it all that by the time I was set – Nate was over it!
After only a week of having this I am wishing we had done it sooner! Nate has never been into painting or colouring – he would rather build things with lego or dig outside but with some gentle encouragement he is getting more open to the idea – especially anything with gluing!

Miss anything? Still as decent nights sleep free from leg pain would be heavenly!

Movement? A Huge Yes!

Sleep? Very Hit and Miss – even I am sick of hearing me complain about it!

Food cravings? I could really do with a cheeseboard full of all the things they ban you from eating during pregnancy!

What makes you queasy/sick? All has been good in the sickness department thank goodness.

Gender? Check out our gender announcement here

Looking forward to? This week is scheduled to be a quiet week which I am really looking forward to!

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Pregnancy Update 34 Weeks

This pregnancy update is so late – crazy week at Camp Smith!

Baby is the size of a … Cantaloupe Melon

cantaloupe melon

Best moment this week? The best moment from this week has to be our Baby Sprinkle! I am not one for an event just for me so I wanted something where everyone – Dad’s too, could join in and my friends rose to the occasion!
We were beyond spoilt with thoughtful gifts, and great conversations. You know you have hit big time with friends when you can have something in your home but they are the ones offering you drinks and tidying up your kitchen!
Plus I got to sample the most heavenly Lemon drizzle cupcakes and will now be on a manhunt for the recipe!

Miss anything? A decent nights sleep free from leg pain would be heavenly!

Movement? A Huge Yes!

Sleep? The pain of sleeping on my side has increased and to turn over requires about 20 movements. I know that with a new born comes a lack of sleep, however it will be pain free!

Food cravings? Nothing I can think of but the Lemon Cupcakes I could seriously develop a thing for!

What makes you queasy/sick? All has been good in the sickness department thank goodness.

Gender? Check out our gender announcement here

Looking forward to? Despite having a consultant appointment this past week, we have a midwife appointment next week too, so looking forward to hearing Mini Smith again and seeing how we are getting on!

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Freezer Meal Ideas

Following on from my 7 Tips for Freezer Meal Success, I thought I would share some of the recipes I have been making for my family and how I have adapted them to be more health conscious.
The whole idea for cooking freezer meals for me is to have everything I would want to cook from scratch but lack the time at the moment, so we don’t use the dreaded jars or convenience food!

freezer meal ideas

I have pinned some of the recipes on a dedicated Pinterest Board  but I will explain how I have adapted them below.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Slimming World Chicken Tikka Masala – leave out the cinnamon (personal preference I can’t stand it)
Slimming World Chicken Korma – again leaving out the cinnamon
Chicken Potato Topped Pie – I have adapted Nigella Lawson’s recipe for this one but rather than the pastry, I top with thin slices of potato, I also leave out the masala.
Slimming World Pulled Chipotle Chicken
Pulled Pork
Chicken Donburi Yakatori
Chicken Parmesan Casserole – I have used this recipe more of a principal but ignored the method, I have used my own homemade pasta sauce (free from a ton of sugar!)
Chicken Taco Meat – I serve this with rice and salad – not with the actual tacos
Chicken Fajitas – again I serve this with rice and salad rather than the tortillas
Chicken Enchiladas
Sausage Casserole
Slimming World Cowboy Pie – I leave out the beans and I make it with Turkey mince because I don’t eat beef.
Lasagne
Turkey Chilli
Slimming World Pizza Topped Chicken – I simply make a huge batch of the topping to freeze and it will take moments to pull together for the oven when I need it.

I have done double sometimes quadruple batches of these meals ready to go and I hope this list will help you when you compile your freezer meal list!

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Pregnancy Update 33 Weeks

Baby is the size of a … well weighs the same as a Pineapple

Pineapple

Best moment this week? As most of the summer has been spent preparing for mini smith, whether that has been batch cooking or building the nursery or a fortnight of housebound activities for potty training Nathanael.
We took a whole day this weekend and spent it at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Nathanael had a great time seeing all the animals and trying to pronounce their names. He also loves anything outdoors, especially picnics so it was perfect for him!
I wouldn’t say this was the best moment but is quite momentous in that we applied for Nathanael’s nursery school place this week – it breaks my heart, he is still so little and no I am not of the opinion that some seem to espouse that “you will appreciate the break when there is two of them” errr no! I love everything that Nate and I get up to during the week and having mini smith just means more fun!

Miss anything? Antihistamines, sleeping on my stomach, sleep and my hips not cracking every time I move!

Movement? A Huge Yes!

Sleep? Same old same old, I am awake in the middle of the night but the countdown is well and truly on now so it is only going to get worse!

Food cravings? No cravings, just lots of water and ice.

What makes you queasy/sick? All has been good in the sickness department thank goodness.

Gender? Check out our gender announcement here

Looking forward to? I am looking forward to the weekend as we have lots of exciting things planned and we have an appointment at the hospital which should be good as well, always great to hear how mini smith is cooking!

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7 Tips for Freezer Meal Success

So I thought I would share how I have been preparing for a marathon of batch cooking to stock my freezer full of dinners.
There might be several reasons why you would want to stock your freezer, returning home from a holiday and no time to shop, a busy time at work, back to school or in my case the life changing event of having a new-born.
At first glance, especially when you watch YouTubers and their freezer meal ideas it all looks simple, just make an extra batch of what you plan to eat that week and the job is done.
This may work for some but I plan to do zero cooking for 6 weeks and I need a thorough plan so here are some helpful tips which can help you with your Freezer Meal Prep.

7 tips for freezer meal success

1. Favourite Meals: This sounds obvious, but pick your families favourite meals, you may be tempted to pick something that is quick and simple over a loved dish because that one may take longer and you have 20 other dinners to cook.
I would suggest picking the favourite, spend some extra time and you will be thanking yourself later when you choose that beloved dish over a takeaway meal that will take 40minutes for delivery!

2. Maintenance: Clear out your freezer, defrost it if you need to and be realistic is your freezer in good working order? You are about to invest time and money and oh yes, lots of time to cook a months worth of meals the last thing you need is your freezer to breakdown. It would also be wise to assess the space that you have in your freezer, it is all well and good planning for months and months of meals but you can only cook what your space will allow!

3. Equipment: Think easy to store and easy to clean! This ties into the space issue, it is no good using trays and dishes that you would normally use when cooking to store your meals in, these will take up far too much room.
Purchase plenty of Foil Trays with lids and good quality freezer bags I personally love the Ziploc bags which you can get at Costco. Not only will all this save on storage but it will save on washing up too!

4. Structure: After selecting your favourite meals it is time to collate ingredients together as well as similar cooking processes. Are you planning 2 curries? Make sure to cook those on the same day, the same as your pasta dishes, or perhaps your type of meat may determine the order of what you cook. However you plan to cook your meals make sure there is some logic behind it than cooking everything in sight or you will feel overwhelmed!

5. Be Realistic: I am very pregnant and there is no way I can last all day in a kitchen by myself cooking meal, after meal – I will become overwhelmed and quit half way through!
I have chosen meals that require zero cooking,  when I want them I  will be simply defrosting and putting them in the oven to heat up so I need to cook everything. My meals are not things in a bag, frozen to cook later. To keep up my motivation I have separated the meals over several weeks, you could do days whatever you prefer but be realistic to get yourself through it!

6. Cost: Think how much your extra freezer meals will cost you in your monthly food shop and budget accordingly. You may need to save for this expense the month prior or perhaps drop other things in your budget for the month.

7. Detailed Inventory: Make sure to keep a detailed inventory of what meals you have stored. Perhaps create a meal plan of when you intend to eat what – this should you help ensure you have a variety of meals – no one wants to eat pasta for six weeks even if they are different meals.
When storing your meals make sure to be detailed in your explanation of what is in there, the temperature you will need to cook, and what sides you will need. This will help keep everything simple when your busy with other things, remember you are investing time now so you don’t have to stress later!

I hope my 7 tips for Freezer Meal Prep will help you should you be preparing for a batch cooking session and keep an eye out next week for the Freezer Meals I plant to cook!

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