Sunday, 7 May 2017


I mentioned my new cleaning schedule last blog post and thought I would write a bit more about it today. Growing up my Mum seemed to spend a lot of her time cleaning or cooking and not enjoying herself, maybe she did enjoy cleaning but I know it's not top of my list of prefered activities!So I have always struggled with this whether I have worked full or part time there are so many distractions in life, wanting to spend time with my children, read a book, work on the various craft projects, the garden, the allotment, see friends and that's before we get to the distraction of blogs, facebook, pinterest to name a couple! Anyway I am digressing, a few years ago I decided I would do upstairs one day and downstairs another but still didn't work, so ended up dividing it into rooms, doing a room a day, this works well, for me, everyone knows what is needed to be done. So I made a list of rooms to be cleaned, the sort of jobs that would be needed to be done in them, so for the girls and their room it looks like this
  • sort any clothes that are on the floor
  • general room tidy
  • dust
  • strip and make beds
  • hoover
Simple really but breaking it down everyone can see what they have done and needs to be done, yes we have tick chart up covering the week. So I then think of what my working week is like, outside activities the children attend, on the quieter days we tackle the rooms, that take longer e.g. the kitchen, as that involves:-
  • general tidy
  • clean worktops
  • clean door fronts
  • clean sink
  • hoover floor
  • wash kitchen floor
  • sort fridge
  • menu plan
With my work I tend to hoover most days, this is quick hoover the space and then a more thorough hoover of the room it is that day to clean. O is old enough that he does his own room, he works shifts that vary every week, so leave him to sort out his own rota. For me this works well, doing a small amount each day means we tend to keep on top of things better than doing a once a week blitz, anyway the more I declutter, the easier the whole process is.
So weekly plan looks like this :-
Monday - hallway and landing
Tuesday- sitting/dining room
Wednesday - my bedroom
Thursday - girls' room
Friday - kitchen and back porch
Saturday - bathroom

Another area I like to plan and organise is our main meals, I do a weekly menu plan, I love to try new recipes, so it varies every week. I tend to bulk cook some meals, to make life easier, like tripling the shepherds pie base, so I have 2 in the freezer for another time. Meal planning is interesting as I am vegetarian, 2 of my children have a nut allergy and youngest is allergic to nuts, peanuts, dairy, soya eggs, legumes, sesame seeds and bananas, plus another is on the autistic spectrum with sensory insures which does affect what they will eat, this is improving with age though! So this weekend I made L a batch of her dairy and egg free yorkshires, they freeze and reheat well, ok they don't look like my egg based yorkshires but she loves them and it means I can make real yorkshires for the rest of us!

 Sorting through the freezer found a packet of quorn mince, so thought I would make up some veggie chilli for the freezer, ended up using pinto and kidney beans as I didn't have enough kidney beans!

Saturday we had butternut squash curry and also enough for the freezer.

Butternut Squash Curry
I onion finely chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
2 to 3 tbsp mild curry paste
600ml vegetable stock
160g red lentils
400g can tomatoes
  1. Heat oil and gently fry onion for 5 minutes until soft
  2. Add the butternut squash and fry for for 2 minutes
  3. Add the curry paste and mix well
  4. Add vegetable stock, tomatoes and lentils, bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until squash is soft.

Our menu plan for this week
Saturday - butternut squash curry plus enough to freeze some portions, meat and rice for L
Sunday - roast
Monday - left over meat, fresh pasta sauce and pasta, veggie option from the freezer
Tuesday - meat or veggie chilli
Wednesday - home made fish cakes, veg
Thursday - wraps, chicken or cheese choice of salad
Friday - Lentil and parsnip cottage pie and meat version for those that don't or can't eat lentils, which is in the freezer already.

On a gardening front, our peas are all coming up well, the brussels sprouts and broccoli look like they have been happily transplanted. In the greenhouse we have planted out tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, aubergines and a melon plant, the other 2 melon plants are under a poly tunnel in the garden.

L is doing really well with her planting and can be left to get on with planting with minimal supervision, she loves being independent and then sharing what she has done. She has planted out another rosemary plant, some sage and marigolds around the allotment with hope they will attract some friendly, beneficial insects.

Spotted lots of cherries on our cherry tree, hoping we get some lovely fruit this year.

Plenty of red and white currants too and one blueberry bush has lots of blossom on it, the other hasn't any!

 A small amount of sewing has been done, coat now has pockets and front and back of skirts are sewn together. Hoping tonight to get the outer bodice and skirt pinned and sewed together.

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  1. Thank you for the plan! And, your garden is beautiful! Those currents look so delicious!

  2. Hope the plan helps, love the garden this time of year, everything growing, flowering and fruit beginning to appear.

  3. Good ideas... and your garden looks like it is doing well. :)

    1. Thank you, Spring is wonderful time of year :)

  4. That is a really good idea about cleaning one room a week. I get so daunted sometimes about the time it will take, I don't start at all!!! Then I fantasise about getting a cleaner.... I might give that a try. I am not the most organised of people, so I wouldn't be great as a teacher/childminder as you really do need to be on top of things and have things planned. I love reading about being organised though and do fantasise about being it :-) The decluttering is helping as you mentioned too! I think meal planning is such a good idea. I totally fell out of love with cooking the last year or so as my girls are unadventurous with food and complain if its anything even vaguely adventurous, such as tomato based dishes, except for in pasta sauce, so no chillis, tanginess, currys or many of the lovely foods you mentioned. My husband used to be a chef and was the main cook until we had children. He is now starting to cook some tasty meals for us again which is a relief. The food I make is so uninspiring, I could never share it on a blog, hence only biscuits and sweet treats :-) We are all vegetarian - so might give your curry a go and see. Thanks for sharing! Such a good idea to freeze batches especially with all the different dietary needs. You are doing really well!

    1. I love reading about being organised decluttering and trying to do it. Cleaning the whole house is time consuming so breaking it down into smaller jobs certainly makes it more manageable, plus if you do miss a day, you still don't have loads to do.I too fell out of love with cooking, as L developed more and more allergies, it meant their wasn't a single meal I could cook for all of us as she is allergic to the main sources of protein for vegetarian but slowly found my way back, still get frustrated at times which is why the bulk cook helps. Hope the curry works, you could always do it with just one tablespoon of curry paste and see their is a hint of spiciness but not too much, good luck.

  5. Thanks Helen. I can imagine how frustrating it is not to be able to cook a meal for the whole family with your daughter having so many allergies. Poor her and tricky for you. Meal planning must feel like a necessity in this case so you know where you are. There are so many allergies around these days. What are we doing differently, I keep wondering? Have bought some curry paste :-)

    1. Meal planning is a necessity, helpful but sometimes frustrating but the upside is getting to explore lots of different recipes :) There are so many theories but no real answers yet as to why allergies increasing, one day maybe there will.

  6. Your weekly schedule makes sense! I used to do that when I had littles and was the only way I survived :) Thanks for sharing with us!

    1. Thank you for popping by, schedule does make life easier, finding if I write things down I am more likely to do it and if I then blog it, it's even more likely to be reality :)