Friday, June 29, 2012

Blueberry Muffin Recipe




Ingredients

2 cups self raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
75g melted butter
3/4 cup milk
250g-300g frozen blueberries

Method

1. Sift the flour, add the baking powder, salt and sugar and give it a very quick whiz with an electric whisk to mix it all together and add a little air.
2. Beat the eggs, then add the butter and the milk and mix together.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingreadients and fold together (don't mix it too much!)
4. Fold in the blueberries straight from the freezer
5. Share the mix between 12 muffin cases and bake at 200ºC for about 20 mins or until golden


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Struck Down

So, it seems I tempted fate with my post that BB was more at risk from himself than from any disease! Within 24 hours of my last post we were back at the surgery as an emergency appointment.

It began in the morning really. BB was not his usual self when he got up at 5am. He had breakfast ok, but instead of getting down and amusing himself with his toys as he usually does first thing, he just wanted to hold Helen Monkey (his comforter) and cuddle Mummy. He was rubbing his eyes and yawning so I assumed he was still tired. He went back to bed at 6.30 (and so did I).

Here's Helen Monkey - she has worked hard in the last 24hrs!

It was 9.30 when he woke. He seemed hot so I checked his temperature. It was fine. He had a snack but still wasn't interested in his toys, so we cuddled up together for a while with a few episodes of Postman Pat. Then he fell asleep on me. Unusual. It didn't last long and he was irritable and wanted to go to bed. I was geting a bit worried now, but checked his temp again, (still ok) and took him to bed.

For an hour he slept soundly, then for the second hour he was wimpering. I was worried. Eventually he woke up. I cehcked his temp again and it was higher than before at 37.3ºC, but still not above 37.5º (what the internet told me was considered too high. We sat and cuddled. He was breathing really quickly and quite listless, just laying on my chest like a new born. I decided the he was acting like he had a fever and his temprature had risen, so I gave him some Calpol. He had some breast milk and fell asleep on me again.

I lay there with my phone, googling, trying to find out what I sould do to manage a fever. I came across the number for the NHS helpline and decided to give them a call. They asked me lots of questions and then got me to wake him and check a few things, like his responsiveness, look for rashes etc. I also took his temp again. 38ºC now. They said we should go straight to the doctor.

So we rang, it was 4.55 and surgery closed at 5 but they said to come down. We saw our usual Doctor who examined BB and determined that he now has tonsillitis. So, more antibiotics, sadly not banana flavour this time so he is not so keen as he was on his last lot. Still, with a considerable struggle on my part, he is getting them down him - so hopefully he will start to feel better soon.

To make the situation a little more challenging I am also sick. I was feeling off colour and tired on Tuesday and woke yesterday morning to a dodgy belly. I still have a dodgy belly! Looking after a clingy baby while you have a to make urgent dashes to the loo is not the best situation, but I am sure one that I will laugh at in the future. With waking up BB to get medication and fluids into him every 4 hours, the need to listen out that he was still breathing, and my own dashes to the loo, mean that I didn't sleep much last night! If at all! It is possible that the same bug is affecting us both in different ways

On a positive note, today is CD1. Our trip to DD's has been planned. I wont be posting details of that on my blog(!) but hard core chart stalkers can use the temporary link (under Links on the left) to follow our progess if desired.

Another positive, on discussion with our GP, I found out that BB's appointment is with a specialist in children's respiratory health anyway, but one who based in the General Paediatrics department.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This little monster is in far greater danger from himself, me thinks!

The little monster is in much greater danger from himself than any sickness I think.

Here he is today!






He must have done this at least ten times. With me grabbing him at various stages of his adventure across in front of the screen and him laughing. I tried saying NO in my best teacher voice, but that just made him laugh even more. To him it was a great game.

I tried distracting him with other things for a while, but he soon went back to the TV. I decided to remove all objects that might hurt if fallen upon and 'ignore' him. (Well, sort of ingnore him - obviously I was still watching, from behind the camera this time!). He got right to the end on this occasion and didn't know what to do. So I had to rescue him. More laughs!

A few moments later he is up there again - and then we have this!





A neat little commando roll off the cabinet onto the floor, a slight pause... and then

THIS


Mmm... so I'm guessing that didn't put him off!

Time to move that little table!


BB's Health Update

OK - for the update.

First we saw the child health nurse. My favourite one. She said that she thought BB was fine, and that it was just a standard procedure to mention all possibilities. She said that she would go ahead with the paediatrician appt. and if the Paed thought BB needed referring to the Respiratory Physiologist they would do that. She said she thought he could have a bit of asthma, but that there is a preference not to diagnose it early as babies often grow out of it.  I have thought the same myself as his cough sounds a bit like my cough when I used to get asthma.

Then we saw a Dr who examined him and said that his lungs were totally clear today so nothing to worry about there. His cold is probably just another cold (quite likely - every other child we know has one at the moment!) I asked him if we chould cancel our appointment and he said no. He said to follow our own GP's advice as he would have made the referral for a reason (from the notes that would seem to be recurring and persistent chest infections) If you remember our GP said to see the RP if possible.

So, very good news, but still the dilemma!

I am thinking that there is not near and present danger I might change the appointment and wait to see an RP. Thoughts welcome once again.




Monday, June 25, 2012

What would you do?

Hi all, I am writing this post for a bit of moral support and guidance... and if you happen to have a professional opinion (I know some of my readers may have) then that would be great.

BB has had a cold and a cough since April. A couple of times I have thought it has gone away, but then a few days later it is back. I am not quite sure if it is the same one, or multiple colds.

A couple of weeks ago his cough was really bad at night. I have been taking his temperature all along and it has remained normal, but that night the cough had me googling. Could it be croup? I also remembered a friend telling me that her son had pneumonia once without her realising... so after scaring myself with google and friends' tales, I decided to take him to the Doctor.

The Doctor examined BB and said that this would have started as a viral cold, but that he could now tell that it was bacterial as it was located in only the bottom half of his right lung (he could hear on his stethoscope - for those of you wondering!). Apparently if it was viral it would be all over both lungs. I was feeling very pleased with myself after our visit, as the Doctor congratulated me on my timing, saying that it had been long enough for it to heal itself if it was going to and hadn't yet become bronchitis or pneumonia, but it could if left untreated. He prescribed some antibiotics (Amoxicillin) and said that would clear it up.

A week later the cold symptoms had gone, but the cough and the crackly chest were still there. I made another appointment with the Doctor. He examined BB again and said that there had been no change in his lung. He said it was puzzling as the symptoms suggested a bacterial infection, but that the antibiotics would have cleared that up if it were the case. He said he didn't know what else could cause a patch on the lung like this and that he would refer us to a Respiratory Physiologist. We would get a letter in the mail about making an appointment.

I left, rather worried about the idea of a patch of anything on my baby's lung, and a little bit tearful. I did a bit of googling to see what I could find, but I didn't like what I saw and decided that it would be healthier for me to try not to look any further.

A few days later the letter came. It hit me quite hard really as it did mention the (I think remote) possibility of the C word, and it was hard to see that written down. It does however promise that if such a thing is suspected, things will get moving within 2 weeks.

I have to congratulate the NHS again as the process was really easy. We were sent a reference number and a password to go online and choose where we like to go for this referral. We had five choices at a total of three hospitals. Two of those choices were with Respiratory Physiologists as our GP had suggested, and 3 were for General Paediatricians. You just select which one you would like and check for the first available appointment.

But -then it got complicated. We can't see a Respiratory Physiologist until mid August! That seems way too long to wait. The earliest possible appointment is with a General Paediatrician on 9th July. I rang the advice line and was told that the Paediatrician should be able to tell us if the C thing is a possibility which means that we would be seeing the right people and getting the right treatment by 23rd July at the latest. This is four weeks before it would be if we wait to see an RP. I chose the 9th July option.

Now I am wondering if I am letting my fear of the unlikely get in the way of what is best for BB. The GP did say to see an RP if possible. He more likely has something wrong with his lungs that is not the C thing.

Also, my thoughts were that our GP should have prescribed more antibiotics... the cold had gone but the cough was lingering... could they have been working? 6 days after finishing the antibiotics, the cold is back too.

I have been trying to contact my GP to ask his advice re the hospital appointment, and also regarding having another course of Antibiotics in the meantime. I am yet to speak to him. Perhaps the only way is to actually make an appointment, but I don't want to waste his time if he is just going to tell us to wait. Should I try another GP? That seems a bit rude, particularly as we have a referral and an appointment already. Perhaps I should just wait patiently... but its hard.

Your thoughts please?

To end on a cheerier note - here is BB enjoying himself in the bath today - as you can see, he is his usual happy self!




Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mid Summer's Day

This post is mainly for my Aussie readers.

It was a nice day yesterday, honest! BUT, this is the view from my front and back doors today, Mid Summer's Day!



It's a shame my camera didn't manage to capture the torrential rain that is falling - but you get the idea. Remind me again why I'm here!

After the fast

So, my fast went well. I didn't 'forget' and eat. I did feel a bit tired, but on the whole it was much easier than I expected. I didn't drink any juice either, just lots of water and some nettle and dandelion tea.

BB had a late night the previous night so he was ready for bed earlier than usual, so I drank the salty solution early and got all that will over in time for some dinner (dahl and rice).

I don't think I blogged about it here, but I did spend ages of forums and websites trying to decide if this was OK to do when breastfeeding. As usual there were some very differing opinions, but I concluded the fasting was ok if it was only for 24 hours as breastmilk wouldn't be affected, and that as the solution goes straight through and flushes out toxins immediately there was little risk of either the salt or and mobilised toxins getting into my milk. Also, by taking the solution the moment BB went to bed, I knew had a minimum of 8 hours before he fed again, so my body would have dealt with it by then. All very rational.

However, I had major guilt/panic in the middle of the night. BB woke up about 3.30 and fed and then wouldn't go back to sleep. He was crying and didn't stop when I picked him up and brought him to my bed.  It's funny how circumstances addle your thinking - I was wondering what on earth was wrong, what did I do to him, had I poisoned my child? Finally I got up with him and took him to the lounge - he was super happy, full of beans, ready to play. He is often up at 4.30... I guess having gone to sleep an hour earlier he was ready to wake up an hour earlier - phew, why didn't I think of that before!

I felt really good the next day too. Fasting definitely gives me energy, I am going to do it again. I still don't plan on going more than 24 hours, so that means fasting from one evening meal to the next evening meal, so there will be no problem with the breast milk. Of course I am doing this to try and boost hGH, but if I manage to lose some weight in the process that would be a bonus! I think I will skip the flush from now on though!

Meanwhile, the other parts of my action plan for boosting my fertility are ticking along. I have managed to cut down my caffeine to just 2 cups of half strength coffee a day. I have vetoed alcohol rhubarb and peas. I haven't used the Wii as much as I had hoped but I did walk for over 10 km yesterday. I am taking my nutrients. I have also been monitoring this cycle with the fertility monitor (taking temps is too hard when you wake up in the night to feed) and it seems that everything is order. If DD and I can coordinate to be in the same place at the right time, we should be looking at mid July for our first attempt at creating BB2.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fasting

So, you may remember me saying in a recent post that I was planning on doing a couple of one day fasts in the next couple of weeks. Well, today is the day for the first one.

So far I have made my porridge, then remembered I am supposed to be fasting, then thought about starting after breakfast, then thought about doing it tomorrow instead... But, I pulled myself in check, reminded myself of my goal and fed the porridge to the chooks! Then I found myself getting stuff out of the freezer for tea! I put it back and planned some meals for BB to have on his own.

Although I used to fast frequently, this is the first time since getting pregnant with BB. There is an underlying feeling of panic - what will happen if I don't have food? I guess it comes from the fact that I have been nurturing a baby for so long, but really, is quite ridiculous. I have plenty of fat reserves!

I am going to do it though. As I haven't eaten since dinner last night I am already half way though. I am looking forward to the day being over, so that I can look back and see that it is possible. I am still having fluids of course, I already had my vital greens, and I have stocks of clear apple juice and cranberry juice if I need some energy, and I am planning on drinking lots of water. Once BB is in bed I will do the cleanse, and then after that, I plan to have a light snack and taking a relaxing bath before going to bed.

Meanwhile - I am sooo hungry right now! Must find some means of distraction - wake up BB!!!




Monday, June 18, 2012

The Blissful Farmer

Yesterday was Open Farm Sunday.

With farming genes on both sides, and a love of the outdoors it was a natural choice. We had a hugely busy weekend what with this, and spending Father's day with Gramps. The weather could have been nicer though - look how wrapped up we are, just 4 days from mid summers day!

It seems that Open Farm Sunday is now getting so popular that it starts on Saturday! We visited two farms nearby our house, one on each day. BB was particularly impressed by the lambs and the chickens. He was also very impressed that he could get out of his pushchair and take a look for himself!

With Auntie H




Saturday, June 16, 2012

First Words

BB has been saying Mum mum mum and Da Da for a while now, but without really knowing what they mean. They were just sounds he made. Muuuuuuuum usually being a distress signal, mumumumum meaning he wants milk, and da da when he's being all cute and playful.

I am still not sure if he knows that those sounds also refer to me and DD. Tonight we went through or usual routine of saying goodnight and waving to everything in the room (for the record -night night Mr Lion, night night 1,2,3,4,5 camels, night night 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 clouds, night night 1 bird, night night 1 elephant, one giraffe, one toucan and one monkey, night night BB, night night Mummy) he seemed as though he might know what Mummy meant, so I asked him where was Mummy and he patted me on the chest. So I'm still not sure -it could be me, or it could be the booby that he was referring to!

There is one sound that he has made for a while now that I think we can be sure he uses with meaning, so I think we can say that it is his first true word.

And the word is...

MORE!

He has been using it a lot in the last couple of weeks, often in association with banana's, but there are other things he likes more of too! It's kind of appropriate, he has always had a healthy appetite!

The last couple of days he has also been making a sequence of sounds which sound like "I didn't, Dad did" which is very cute, very funny, and the perfect scapegoat.

As we are talking of Dada and it is Father's day tomorrow - here are some photo's of BB with DD, taken when we caught up with him for lunch last weekend.






Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Challenges of Dual Nationality: Part 1 - The Vegemite/Marmite Issue



BB Bed Head at breakfast this morning - up for a challenge!


First let's look at packaging preference



Mmmm... inconclusive evidence. He seems to go for the Marmite first (or in this case the Jubilee Special Ma'amite!) but can't reach. Then he tries the Vegemite, the jar is bigger (like everything in Oz!) and he can reach - yay! An apparent win for Vegemite!

Now the taste test


First up, Marmite.

So, I think she tried to make me eat this before.

She has the camera out, so I'll give it a go 



There's only so much a boy can do though!
And so, onto the Vegemite

Mmm, something else... darker, maybe chocloate?

Oh, no! More of the same!

I can't believe she'd do that to me!



The evidence



A small bite for Marmite

 



Nothing for Vegemite

An apparent win for Marmite.

That's 1 all then!

No wait, there is a clear winner...


Finally - some Philadelphia


 
That's MUCH better
Very diplomatic!

Beefy Base


I personally don't like beef, so it isn't something that BB is likely to try when we eat together. In the spirit of Baby Led Weaning and the idea of introducing as many foods as possible, I do want to give him the chance to like it himself. I have tried him with a slice of beef from the deli counter a couple of times but he was not impressed, so I thought I would give him a chance with mince in a cottage pie style base.

This recipe makes enough to be able to freeze 4 - 6 portions, depending on how much your baby eats.

You can serve the beefy base with mashed potato, baked potato, pasta or rice.


Tonight he had it with pasta. As you can see, it was greeted with approval. Another win for mummy!



Ingredients

200g Beef mince (I used low fat steak mince because it was on offer, but any mince will do as long as you dry fry it first and drain off the excess fat).
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, grated
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup low salt vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp mixed herbs
small pinch chili flakes

Method

I a medium size pan,  heat the oil and gently fry the onion. Add the carrot and garlic and fry for a further few mins.
At the same time, in a separate saucepan or frying pan, dry fry the mince until it turns brown.
Then add the tomatoes, peas, vegetable stock, herbs chili and the cooked mince to your first pan. Mix and simmer for about 20 mins.



Monday, June 11, 2012

Something Blissful

We recently had a few days away visiting friends and family. BB had a lovely time as he got to meet 3 'big boys' (aged 4, 5, and 7).


Here is BB with Uncle J and cousin F.  





(Reposting due to issue with video link)






Saturday, June 9, 2012

Boosting your fertility when you're an old duck

So, I promised a post on boosting fertility over a year ago. Now that I am starting to plan for BB2 it is a good time for me to revisit what I learnt before.

I suppose I should write a disclaimer before I begin. I am not a doctor, I don't have scientific proof as to whether any of what I am about to write will boost fertility - these are just things I read about and tried. I have no proof of cause and effect - but I got pregnant on the second month of trying. It would be nice to do the same again.

I guess the journey really began in about 2003 when I was diagnosed with PCOS. I read some literature that a doctor recommended, learned a little about insulin resistance and looked at my diet. I had been vegetarian for about 25 years at this stage of my life so my animals fats were low, but I could see how I had been compensating for this in my diet with carbohydrates. So, I began to eat a better diet, lower in carbs.  Two books that really helped with this were The PCOS Diet  (I don't own a copy of this and I can't be sure which one of the many available on the market that I read), and a great recipe book, Turn Over an New Leaf , which I do own and still love!). 

I got results I think. I didn't get a second scan to show the cysts, but I did have other tests in 2007 that suggested I had normal fertility.

When I started seriously thinking about becoming a Choice Mum to the point where I thought I might give it a try, I bought Sarah Dobbyn's Fertility Diet. I would totally recommend this book to anyone trying to conceive. It kick started a lot of things for me. It tells you things to avoid - and yes there is the expected drinking alcohol and smoking, but Sarah has also researched into many foods - who would have thought that peas were a contraceptive!!! She also lists fertility foods and drinks too, and herbs...

Sarah's book was the first place where I read that growth hormone is linked to fertility, and that fasting is a way to boost growth hormone. She also talks about the need to detox and cleanse your body. As a result of this book, I called in at Samui Detox for a 10 day fasting detox on my way from Australia to the UK when I relocated. Samui Detox is a place I would highly recommend too. I came away from there feeling sooo much healthier. Few people to choose to take a holiday where they will fast and cleanse and detox, in fact to most people a holiday is about over indulging on everything, but if you want a truly rejuvenating break, try this! I liked it so much I went back for another week at Easter 2010 for a second detox, just 7 days this time, and also to focus on the SMC choice one more time just to be sure, this time with the knowledge that Donor Daddy was available.

Obviously, I decided to go for it.

I then looked in to herbs that Sarah recommended, and having read about them all with my own body in mind, I chose to take Dong Quai, Chasteberry and Wild Yam.

I also consulted a Chinese Doctor. My situation was a very new one to him, but he was supportive. Having looked at my tongue and taken my pulse, he said, "I give you good eggs." I didn't really understand what he was doing or what my potential problem could have been until much later, when I read of other people's infertility issues. Until I started with him I ovulated on day 9, meaning my eggs could have been immature. After two months my ovulation had moved to day 14, and then day 16. I guess he helped!

I got pregnant on that second cycle on which I ovulated on day 16.

So, that was last time. When I was young and free and single, and had some spare cash.  This time I am a single mum on a tight budget. So what can I do?

My action plan is to:

Avoid (or limit as much as possible)
Alcohol
Aspartame
Caffeine
Fried food
GM food
Junk food
Meat
Peas
Rhubarb
Soya
Sugar
Tonic Water

Fast
Carry out one or two short one day fasts at home. Evidence suggests that even a 24 hour fast can significantly boost hGH

Detox
Avoid things above, drink more water, nettle tea, and take my Vital Greens.
If I am brave enough, after a fasting day and lots of cleansing teas, a salt water flush and a liver flush

Exercise
I have been regularly working out for over 30 mins a day on my Wii. I plan to keep this up, improve if possible.

Lose weight
Losing between 5 and 10% of your body weight is also supposed to help. I am trying!

When will I begin?
Well, now I guess - but I'll ease myself in. I have started on the vital greens,  and I am about to have a cup of nettle tea, but there is an open bottle of wine in the fridge that I can't see wasted. I'd like to try a short fast in the next couple of weeks, if I can find a day when we have nothing on. I need to slowly wean myself off caffeine, and since having BB I eat more sugar than ever before, so I will be working on reducing that too. I might read Sarah Dobbyn's book again too if I get a chance, just to get me all inspired!

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

Image sourced from http://www.cravebyrandomhouse.ca

At first, I thought that soup and Baby Led Weaning sounded like a bad combination, but it's actually great. BB soon learned to dip his bread in the soup. It actually makes less mess than many meals we have tried. I also add a little baby pasta to left over soup for occasions when we will be eating out in places that are not so tolerant about mess. He is happy to be spoon fed this 'mixture' and eat it alongside 'clean' foods, like cucumber sticks.



Ingredients

1 tbsp oil for frying
1 medium onion
1 medium sweet potato (peeled and cubed)
1 small apple (peeled and sliced)
1 tsp medium curry powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground ginger
500ml low salt vegetable stock
60g red lentils
Small handful of fresh coriander leaves


Method

Finely chop the onion and fry gently in a large saucepan with the curry powder.
Add the vegetable stock.
Add the remaining ingredients, bring to the boil and then simmer until the sweet potato and lentils are cooked (about 20 mins)
Blend with a stick blender


Serve with toast fingers

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The New Look

So, you may notice some changes around here.

I have been wondering about where this blog is going for a while. You may have noticed this in the last few weeks as the format has changed and changed and changed. At times I have thought about promoting it further, and at other times I want to give it up. Sometimes I post freely and openly, at other times I'm feeling guarded.

I want to write the blog for many reasons. To share my life with my friends far away, to keep a record of life with my boy, and to share my choice mum story with other women considering a similar path. It also helps me focus, and process.

My concerns are mostly that I don't want to post anything that might have a negative impact on BB's life at some point in the future. That's why I write as Blissful Mama instead of the real me, and why I don't use BB's name. Also, I am still not entirely comfortable with the whole process of diarising online - even after 5 years, it continues to feel somewhat self indulgent.

However, after lots of thought and consultation with friends and fellow bloggers (thanks for listening and helping me work through this) I have decided to keep going. One fellow blogger pointed out that BB is less likely to face bullying due to his alternative parenting if more people like me blog about it. She makes a good point  and it was this that helped me make the final decision to keep going.



So, go for it I did do. The photos at the top should give readers a picture of my life and what I blog about, and Blissful Mama now has her own Twitter Account and a Facebook Page. Along with the new look I have also added links in the pages bar to two other blogs (Blissful Bites and Meal Ideas for Baby Led Weaning) that I write. At one point the plan was to migrate all 3 blogs to another place - but that would have been lots of work! SO then I thought about moving all those posts here... Finally, I decided that having separate search and label facilities for each of these is handy, so I decided to try just linking them as they are to see how it goes - hopefully I will now post more prolifically on both of these sites.

Anyway, that's all I have time for, the Blissful Boy is waking from his nap.

I hope you enjoy the new look - your feedback is most welcome.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Money Money Money

So, we have good news and bad.

Lets get the bad news over first - I still spent £243 more than I had money coming in. However, I am impressed with myself really.

Firstly, I had a few things to deal with.

Replacing BB's lunch bag and contents cost me £40.
Then my shower broke! Fortunately the part was provided free as there had been problems with it so I just had to find a friendly plumber £10
Then the window washer on my car went wrong £87

I also paid for my phone line rental up front for the year so as to get it at a cheaper price overall £129

All of that comes to £266, so I was actually £23 under budget if you were to exclude those things.

Of course, in reality you can't exclude those things. The money has to come from somewhere. What it has taught me is that I need to factor in money for unexpected costs each month. Hopefully I can do that.



I changed my energy supplier for a saving of £8 per month, my phone will of course be cheaper having paid the line rental already, I am going to change internet providers when my contract ends in October.

The weather has finally warmed up too, so I have planted lots of salad leaves, and tomatoes which should save me a little on shopping.

I also turned the temperature down on the hot water, more for BB's sake as he is increasingly interested in the taps when he is the bath, but there should be a knock on effect of saving on the gas bill too.

I was definitely smarter in the supermarket this month. On the most recent shop, right at the end of the month, I didn't buy a single thing at full price. I am also buying smaller amounts and shopping more frequently which means less waste. We also ate a lot more eggs than usual and gave less away than usual.

This month is going to be a challenge. I have to service, tax, and insure the car. Hopefully, with that aside, I will be on track with everything else.

Definitely feeling more confident that this is possible!