Budget family meal: BBQ pulled pork in Jacket Potatoes

I am typing this post as this meal currently cooks in my kitchen, it’s the first time I’ve made it before and I can already tell you it’s going to be a family favourite! I was running though the costs in me head as I was doing the food prep and I just can’t believe how cheap it is considering how tasty and fresh it is too!

Here is the cost break down:

The pork I’m using is the left over pork from a pork leg I cooked in the slow cooker for Sunday dinner it was £3.80 and I have already used 2 servings for Sunday dinner and 2 in sandwiches for lunch today. This meal is using up the last of it meaning it will have been used for 6 servings in total = £1.26

1/3 of a carton on mushrooms = £0.30
1 cup full of tomato juice = £0.10
4 table spoons of BBQ sauce = £0.35
Two Baking potatoes = £0.50

Total = £2.51 for two people

Total per person = £1.25

Amazing value!

In case you are wondering about my method. I have shredded the pork and then added it to a pan of cooking mushrooms that I’ve finely chopped. I then poured in the tomato juice and BBQ sauce and cooked it slowly until the sauce thickens a bit. This is them sloshed on top of a slow cooked crispy baked potato : )

It’s an extremely simple meal and is so easy to do but somehow has quite a special indulgent feel to it. I’m already thinking of ways I will used the BBQ pulled pork for future parties and BBQ’s as the value is just so great!

Tasty Tuesdays on HonestMum.com

My birth plan:

When We went in to give birth with Jake we didn’t really have much by way of a birth plan. I know that ultimately the baby decides what’s happening and I had no idea how I would cope with the pain etc. So my plan was to stay as natural as possible,e as long as possible, then using gas and air and the injection as pain relief if required. Due to my fear of needles and operations I didn’t want an epidural or a C-section. My caveat to this being I would always listen to and take the advice of the medical professionals to do what was best for me and the baby.

Typically I ended up having a traumatic birth ending in an emergency C-section. An experience I am still not fully emotionally recovered from.

This time round I as a result of my past experience I have been far more anxious about the prospect of giving birth so we have a much more thought out plan in order to try to help me stay as calm as possible. Here it is:

– As long as it is ok to do so I will stay at home as long as possible when labour starts. I feel calmer and safer in my home environment and think time will pass quicker with the distractions and comforts of life at home

– As with last time I aim to go as natural as possible for as long as possible, with the use of pain relief as and when required. Again with a preference not to have an epidural or C-section

– However – if things don’t look as though they are going to plan. I may elect to have a more “planned” C section before things really hit emergency levels again. Also if I go overdue a Planned C section has already been booked in for me. I still in no way want a C section, but if it comes down to it I’d rather have a calm planned one then a traumatic emergency one.

– I have a list of techniques I will be employing to help stay calm and focused during labour or if I become distressed these are:

1. Listening to music
2. Practicing deep breathing relaxation
3. Practicing muscle relaxation
4. Giving myself hand massages
5. Talking and distracting myself
6. Reading positive affirmations that I am calm and safe
7. Staying active by walking and using the birthing ball

Hopefully having a slightly more thought out plan will help me to remain calm and in control. At the least it is helping put my mind at rest before labour.

MaternityMondays

My blog 1 year on:

It’s really hard to believe that this blog is now one year old! The last year has gone by incredibly fast with our baby boy growing into a toddler and falling pregnant with baby no 2 that’s it’s no surprise that time seems to have flown by in such a blur.

I’m really proud that I have managed to keep blogging for a whole year, all be it with a mini break when I was in the early stages of pregnancy. I have found that I have had ups and downs with the blog, the main issue I’ve had is finding my place in the blogging world and working out how much of a priority the blog is for me, and accepting the answer to these questions.

At first I tried to keep pace with other blogs that I read in terms of the number of posts and I had hopes that perhaps in the future I could earn some pocket money from my blog. Both of these ideals put too much pressure on me and my enjoyment for the blog dwindled. Now that I have decided that the blog is not going to ever earn me any money, but is instead a little place for me to express myself, and feel part of a larger community for my enjoyment and relaxation. I am enjoying the belonging process much more.

I don’t hold myself to a schedule or timetable of when to blog. The blog fits into my life not the other way around. Some weeks I may do a number of blog posts some weeks I may not do any. This is ok, it doesn’t make me a bad blogger, just a real person with a hobby not a job.

I have enjoyed writing about a number of topics including days out and holidays, reviews, recipes, home decoration and all things baby and toddler related these tend to be the areas that I am most comfortable writing about, though in the future I may try to branch out a little further.

I still very much feel that the blog is still in its infancy and I know that I still have a lot to learn about blogging, using wordpress, writing and social media. As long as I go at my own pace I know I can gradually learn more and improve my skills. It will be interesting to see how the blog developed in the next year to come….

My monthly goals: January 2015

Wow it’s January already! Which means in a couple of weeks my blog is one year old! Writing down my monthly goals is something I’ve been down from the very beginning and I’m really glad I have as it’s nice to not only hold myself accountable to do things but also to be able to look back over the year and remind myself that I have actually achieved quite a few things.

Here are my goals for January:

1) Have a baby:

Baby no 2 is due on the 19th of Jan and I have a c section booked for the 29th if we do go that far over due, so either way we will be having a baby in January!

2) Make sure all baby items are ready:

This is more or les done already, but I know I’ll be going over and checking everything a few more times.

3) Do a couple more slow cooker meals:

I got a slow cooker for Christmas and want to build up an array of easy and cheap meals that I can just churn out as and when required without too much thought.

4) Keep on top of all housework:

I know this should be something I always do, but sometimes we do tend to fall behind and them it takes a “big clean” to get everything. Back to standard. My aim in life is to do my housework is small but often chunks getting things done everyday and I’m trying to get in the habit before baby no 2 arrives as I know my routines need to be firmly established in order to survive the new baby mayhem.

5) Start introducing Jake to the potty:

This is much sooner then planned. However Jake is constantly leaking through his nappy during the night and waking up very unhappy. The only solution we can see is to try to get him to have a wee on the potty before bed each night to help him stay dry.

That’s it for this month as I know having a baby is likely to turn our world upside down for a few weeks!

What’s in my hospital bag:

Well I have finally gotten around to packing my hospital bag ready for the arrival of baby no2 -it’s all starting to feel very real now!

So I thought I’d share with you what I packed. When I had Jake I had a long labour followed by a six day hospital stay, so believe me when I say I really know what I need this time around!

Things for me, during labour:

A long nightie/ T-shirt for giving birth in – keeps a bit of modesty when you are pacing around etc.

Slippers

Hair band / hair bobbles – there is nothing worst then having sweaty hair stuck to your face!

Baby wipes/ wet wipes – To keep you feeling fresh and alert.

iPod and mini speakers – We didn’t take these last time but I’m hoping that some background music might help the early hours go a bit quicker, and the later hours to feel slightly calmer.

Bottle of squash

Snacks: cereal bars, crisps, raisins – I wasn’t allowed to eat much when I was in labour last time, but this time I plan to lightly graze during the early labour stages to try to keep my energy (and moral) up.

Magazine

Phone and charger – vital if I am kept in overnight without Jamie

Things for me, post giving birth:

Two vests and PJ bottoms – post birth I found a vest much easier to wear when trying to breast feed then wearing a nightie

A thin cotton dressing gown – hospitals are unbearably hot so a fleecy dressing gown is a big no go to me, but I still want something to cover up in when we have visitors

Five pairs of knickers – you can never have too many clean knickers!

Maternity pads

Breast pads

Nipple cream

Mini toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, moisturiser, loofa.

Make up and toiletries

Large towel and small hand towel

Comfy clothes to travel home in – for me leggings and a hoodie

Things for hubby:

Snacks: large bottle of water, sandwich, crisps, cereal bar, chocolate. Our labour was so long last time and Jamie didn’t want to leave my side I started to get really worried that he would pass out for just not getting chance to eat all day. This time I plan to send him/ go with him to the canteen for a hot meal when we are in early labour, and then have plenty of snacks for him in the delivery room also. I know I’ll need all of his support and help giving birth, so think it’s really important that he is well fed and at his best throughout.

Clean tshirt/ Tooth brush / deodorant – when I had Jake, Jamie was with me in hospital from 7am until after Jake was born at 4 am the next day. By which time he was very hot, sticky and uncomfortable himself so having some things at hand for him to freshen up a bit would have been really helpful.

Camera

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Things for baby:

Vests x5
Sleep suit x 5
Fluffy suit for coming home
Hat x 2
Scratch mits
Baby blanket
Baby towel
Cotton wool
Nappy bags
Nappies x 15

MaternityMondays
Super Busy Mum