Hello! I cannot believe that this is my first post in 2016! Today was the first day that I put an offering into my sealed pot too for December. Better late than never I suppose!
Travel Plans 2016
We’ll use the €230 we collected from last year’s pot for flights to Portugal, Greece or back to Majorca for a week’s break in September. We really enjoyed our week’s mostly-self-catering break in Majorca last year and stayed in this Air B&B which we can highly recommend.
This year we’ll drive over and holiday in Ireland in April and part of May to take in a family wedding and a 21st birthday. That will be the bulk of our holiday days for the year moved up. We’ve also planned a week just for the two of us down South in Co. Kerry where we have booked a trip to the Skellig Islands, a whale-watching trip in Baltimore on our way back to Rosslare Harbour to catch our ferry. We’re also going to spluuuurrrrge and have a night at the 5 star Park Hotel in Kenmare. I also hope to go horse-riding at some point.
We’ll also spend Easter in Denmark, hoping the weather will be good for some outdoorsy coastal-hiking near the town of Ribe.
We will also return to Ireland in October probably, for a weekend for my parent’s 60th birthday. For Christmas this year we’ve decided we won’t go to Ireland for so long, perhaps just 3 or 4 days . My boyfriend had a rather negative-experience Christmas last year and I too have had some problems since, meaning our holiday for this year may not be so … relaxing for us. Which I’m trying my best not to think about and just to plan nice things for ourselves to do as well as a BIG holiday next year. We’re also starting to consider relocating since we’re both changing jobs. So everything is up in the air right now and I’m just sticking to my routines, taking care of myself, planning ahead a little and trying to enjoy each day as much as I can.
Saving Plan 1- Menu Planning
Another thing I’m doing differently is getting serious about menu planning and since January I’ve been using an app called “Meal Maker”to plan for breakfast lunch and dinner. This has been working out really great for making sure I have enough food for lunches and not buying sandwiches. The menu plan is also good to have an overview that you’re not eating too much junk.
For example, I normally base mine on that Monday is usually leftovers from Sunday’s roast, Tuesday is something Asian-inspired (stir-fry or stew), Wednesday can be pasta, Thursday is usually something more junk-y like burgers or ribs, friday we eat out after work, Saturday is fresh fish from the market and Sunday – a roast.
Things started off fairly calmly in my new job but have since ramped up and am now back doing 10 hour days it seems. So I did make time yesterday and today to get prepared for the week with batch cooking of soup for lunches. I made curried parsnip and korean-style oxtail in my slow cooker (which was very loosely based on this recipe). My new colleagues rarely eat out for lunch so I’m hoping I’m going to save some money while I work there!
A great little time-saver has also been starting back on my milk kefir made into make-ahead fruit parfaits. I strain the kefir, add frozen berries and muesli or granola and leave in the fridge for the fastest breakfast ever. This gives me a few extra minutes for “weekly home blessing hour” on Monday and Wednesday mornings.
I had been having a hankering for scones so perhaps I will have a go at making a few and throw a few of those frozen raspberries in too. I found a quick and authentic-looking recipe video for the Irish kind of tea-scone on youtube. I’m also observing lent this year – and rather strictly – no chocolate, coffee or alcohol until Easter for me AND I’m making an extra effort to take care of me. This means going to yoga on Saturdays, drinking 2 litres of water during the day, making sure I’m eating lots of vegetables, getting a pedicure or massage, talking kindly to myself… all that sort of thing.
Saving Plan 2- The Side Hustle
I’ve also been making an effort to declutter our apartment and I have actually made a few euro for our sealed pot with selling unwanted clothing using both Kleiderkreisel and ebay classifieds. I was thinking of having a go at making some paintings to sell as prints too…
Do you have a side-hustle? I’d love to get some ideas!