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May…

Can you believe it is May already… Ever since the beginning of March I feel like I’ve blinked and totally missed both March and April! I usually love May, it’s my favorite month of the year if only it did not have my birthday in it (turning one year older is just no fun anymore)… I love the trees turning green, I love the warmer sunny days, I love the longer evenings of daylight and I just love the thought of the next few months of summer! This year is different… The trees around our house still look like it’s winter, the weather is not as sunny and warm as usual and I feel like if I blink May will be over too, it’s already the fifth of May and we are heading into our long weekend of celebrations in five days time… Wedding anniversary, has it really been 28 years, when I last checked we were celebrating our silver wedding
anniversary, Mother’s Day followed by yet another birthday!

The month of May is now all about Florrie for me these days… Despite other celebrations her birthday is all I can think about, planning her cake, planning her presents and making sure she has a wonderful day! Florence is a complete Frozen fan, or ‘Let it go’ as she calls it! From the moment she watched the movie she was hooked like so many other little girls, she watches endless YouTube videos of each song, she constantly sings the songs and wants to dress up in the costumes! Frozen came out in December, five months later the shelves are empty in places where Elsa and Anna should be… Really five months later… Is this a marketing ploy by Disney to keep us all interested, well really they did not need to do it, all these little girls are totally hooked!

As you may have guessed the theme for her Birthday this year is Frozen, not that we are having a party, as the day will be spent at various soccer games, but as it is on a Sunday we will be able to celebrate in the evening with nearly everyone home from work… As we could not get a dress up costume we headed to Jo Ann’s for the perfect fabric to turn my little Florrie into Queen Elsa, and yesterday after Dom did a little bit of research we managed to get an Elsa and Anna doll, very, very happy about this! I’m planning a very easy coconut cake with a frozen theme and of course you need a few balloons in icy colors to make a little three year old’s Birthday a Frozen Day!

Here are a couple of links to tutorials for Queen Elsa’s dress if you need a costume and don’t want to spend $150 and up…
Queen Elsa costume ideas
Queen Elsa cape… no sew
Frozen dress up costume

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Rambling on…

Is it me or does everything in the winter seem far worse than when Spring arrives… Is the corporate world taking advantage of it’s employees, is there real justification behind cutting salaries 2 years in a row and absolutely no pay rises in 6 years now, is all the bank bashing having detrimental effects on hard working individuals… In a world where everything has rising costs almost daily, companies feel it is ok to reduce incomes for hardworking individuals… In my book, it all seems wrong that in this day and age it’s not how hard you work, it seems to be if you are in favor with your boss, has all the fairness gone out of pay rises and bonuses, it seems to me some people do well year after year, whilst others suffer because of the unfairness created by corporate greed!

Moan over… Back to menu planning again, it’s been a while, but this time I’m planning a baking day, breakfast, lunch and dinner… My iron levels are still low, so I want to make my life easier by keeping everything easy and simple. My Ninja super cooker is the key to simplicity, pasta cooks perfectly in it, dinners can easily be switched from slow cook to oven for finishing off, it’s even great if you don’t have time or have forgotten to set your slowcooker, just add the ingredients as you would have to slow cook, set to stove top and cook in no time at all… I can honestly say I’m in love!

Here is my budget friendly menu plan and baking day recipes…

Breakfast

Yoghurt with fruit x2
Oatmeal x2
Eggs with toast x2

Lunches

Pasta salad x2
Soup x2
Grilled panini sandwiches

Dinner

Pasta bolognese
Chili with roasted veggies
Pasta with winter pesto and chicken
Cobb salad
Baked penne with ricotta
Meatball noodle soup

Leftover night

Baking day

Brownies

Coconut tea loaf

Chocolate chip muffins

Banana bread

Easy quick oatmeal breakfast bars

I feel I am missing something after watching Extreme Couponing… Wow how do they save so much money, on one episode I watched this week, one woman spent $2700 on groceries, after swiping her store card the total was $1700, then after using her many, many, MANY coupons the total was $187… Crazy! Granted I do not need 100 bottles of gatoraid, although I am sure my children would love them, and I do not want 100 bottles of coke, but I am sure I could incorporate this into my grocery shopping, so after a little bit of research, I kind of get how it works, you collect the manufacturers coupons, they are worth double in most grocery stores up to 99c, then you wait for that item to go on sale, there is a schedule by all accounts in each grocery store and they rotate the discounts, then you use your coupon, giving you not only the stores savings but double the manufacturers discount too, sometimes the item can be free or an extremely low price, you don’t just buy one item you buy enough to see you through until the next rotation of the sale… Very clever, so although you will never see me on the next episode of Extreme Couponing, I think I could give it a try on a much smaller scale… Why give your money to these over priced grocery stores when you could save just a little bit!

This is the link for a fabulous Coupon website that makes it easy to save on your shopping!

Like menu planning, I think couponing takes time to organize too, but in the end being smart and organized is the key to making your money work for you, and true happiness, it’s only taken me 46 years to realize any of this, but we only grow as people when we learn new things and change is good, so this year I plan on lots of change, living healthier, lots of exercise and being just a little bit cleverer with our finances, you cannot rely on companies to help you out, the only way forward is to make your money work for you, I honestly believe the key to true happiness lies behind true organization and the true love you hold within…

Happy Weekend to everyone, let’s hope all this freaky weather we all seem to be having goes away soon, leaving us with a happy, sunny Spring!

I will leave you with my little miracle, kicking and wiggling inside me this week at my amazing ultrasound…

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