Friday, 25 November 2016

A good week

I don't mean a good week in being frugal and scoring yellow stickered items, although you can see I did well last night πŸ˜€

I mean I had a good week at work!  For the first time since I started this job it felt like everything was starting to come together and other people are noticing.

A visiting specialist colleague who supports a wee girl in my class with major communication difficulties, spent some time in my classroom to observe her with her peers.  I didn't have advance notice so I didn't prepare anything special! It was a Literacy lesson with various activities going on, some children working on their own, some in groups and some working with me.  At the end she commented that there was a lovely atmosphere in the room with all children busy and engaged in their learning.

I had another parents' evening where all the parents reported back to me that their children were happy and enjoying what we did each day.

I only taught for 3 days with the remaining 2 days being Staff Development.  Yesterday we had a visiting speaker to talk about Reflective Reading.  She was very inspiring and gave us lots of practical stuff about teaching reading in 'new' ways.  I was already doing some of the ideas she was suggesting so it was great to know I'm doing the 'right' thing in current thinking about reading.  Especially as it's now a whole school change in the way we approach it.  At my job interview I was asked about how I taught reading so the headteacher obviously knows what I do already.

Today at our morning meeting about our behaviour policy I made a suggestion that is going to be implemented starting on Monday!

And this afternoon we went to a course on Mentoring and at the end 2 of my younger colleagues said they wanted me to be their mentor  πŸ’œ

All these have added up to good week professionally.  I really really needed one!

Now I need to start planning and thinking about Christmas!! πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Still here

I'm still plodding away here, full of the latest round of winter bugs generously shared by my grotty kids!! On Friday I had one with projectile vomiting! I do hope I don't get that one! Now that the weather has turned colder my wee chickens are enjoying a daily morning serving of porridge.  They're so funny and end up with it all over their beaks and head!

Work is very demanding and time consuming.  I've had lots of meetings with colleagues for planning/tracking and had several parents' meetings.  And I have another one next week.  There's not much time left for anything else.  But on a lighter note, OH and I have worked out when we can retire. Only 5 and 1/2 years to go for us both πŸ’‘

My lovely new laptop has decided to store my uploaded photos somewhere I can't find them again!  I've been doing loads of meal prep which really saves me so much time every night I come home.  If I find the photos I'll post them!!

I found this photo on my wanderings.  Totally sums up my 3 boys!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Cheap proteins

I'm definitely shopping less ie physically going to shops but that means less opportunistic bargains.  Ah well, swings and roundabouts.  A quick pop in the other night with OH (he really needs to curb his food shopping!) resulted in some reduced chestnuts.  3 x 400g bags @ 40p each.  I had no idea how I was going to use them but chestnuts are low fat/high protein so it's a healthy bargain to boot.  I've not done anything with them yet but there's loads of ideas on Pinterest and they're not about to perish any time soon.

I've discovered that one of my colleagues regularly brings in staff sale foods from Marks and Spencer as her partner works there.  No idea what staff pay for these reduced items but she was offering it to her colleagues for free as she had too much for her own use.  Free is my favourite price! :-)  I couldn't eat some of the lovely pasta meals and bready things but I spotted these lentils and wild rice pouches.  Both dairy and gluten free.  Happy, happy!!

I had them with some of the turkey sausages I'd frozen from last week's meal prepping instead of the pasta I'd planned.  Very tasty indeed.  I must buy some green lentils next time I'm stocking up on pulses.  I like rice and beans type combinations.  Healthy and cheap!

Sunday, 30 October 2016

All work and no play...

... makes me a very dull, tired, grumpy and fed up girl!!  Although Emma doesn't seem to mind! All I seem to do atm is go to work, think about work and then do even more work at home.  There is no life/work balance.  I'm not enjoying teaching this class, they're very needy in lots of different ways.  I now have 30 (that's the legal max for this age group) and 12 of them are on Staged Intervention.  Plus at least 6 more with behaviour issues and one who barely speaks English (although she is a wee sweetheart). I have to admit that I am stressed.  So it's important that I try harder to do more fun things completely unrelated to school especially at weekends.

I scored some yellow stickered turkey sausages yesterday.  I've had them before (also reduced) so knew they're delicious.  I simmered them in some pear cider (bargain from Lidl) and prepped them for a couple of meals next week.

 I took one to my eldest son for his dinner tonight. 

I also made a chocolate cake

I finally got round to start painting my utility room cupboard doors.  My dishwasher door took 3 coats of emulsion then 3 coats of cupboard paint.  So I'm hoping to get them finished this week at some point,

I've also made a huge batch of lentil soup so that's lunches for work sorted for the week.  We get an hour for lunch and I usually work through it, having my soup at my desk while I mark jotters.  I know that's not healthy but when you've got 30 jotters from every curricular area covered that morning there's not much choice.  It's either done at lunchtime or at home *sighs*

Sunday, 16 October 2016

RIP Merida

Ginger (L) and Merida (R)

When I went out to open the coop this morning I found my favourite chicken Merida dead.  Totally unexpected as she was just over a year old.  Yesterday she was free ranging round the garden despite the pouring rain.  When I closed up last night all 3 were snuggled up together.  This morning she was curled up by the door.

I'm hoping it was just one of these things and the other 2 are ok.

RIP my brave wee Merida :-(

Saturday, 15 October 2016

End of the holiday

That was a quick week!  Although I did pack a lot in with a trip to Brighton at the start and then a couple of days in St Andrews in the campervan.  So this morning it was back to my normal weekend routine of shopping/cooking/housework.  After a trip to Sainsbury's it was a morning of roasting chicken and pumpkin, making chutney and putting a beef casserole in the slow cooker.  Sainsbury's had a lot of their frozen meat reduced, probably to make way for Christmas stuff.  So I got 2 x 500g bags of diced British beef for me and a pulled beef meal for my eldest son.  All at half price.  Worth checking out your supermaket freezers for good deals just now!

It looks tasty but contains gluten!

In the spirit of making good use of everything I had a go at roasting the pumpkin seeds from my pumpkin.  I followed this recipe where you boil the seeds first in salted water before roasting.

They're absolutely delicious!  Worth the fiddliness and they're free :-)

Tomorrow I need to do some prep for going back to school *sighs* and more housework chores.  It just makes life easier when I get in from work each night.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

A use it up day

I went to visit my parents yesterday.  My lovely mum had bought some low alcohol beer by mistake and offered it to me.  Sadly beer is one of the things I can't have as it has gluten but I knew I could use it up in something for my eldest son. He had given me some leftover cracked pepper beef sausages so I made him a sausage in beer casserole using up some of my onions and OH's potatoes.

  It smelled delicious so I hope it tastes delicious!

My lovely mum also gave me the remains of a bag of parsnips so I chopped them up with the sad carrots from the bottom of my fridge and some onions.  I sprinkled some ground cumin over the lot and roasted them for 45 mins.  I had half a wee carton of Alpro cream in the fridge so blitzed it all together with some veg stock and turned it all into Roast Root Soup.  That's 3 lunches for school next week sorted.

I pulled the last of the beetroot from the raised beds and baked them in the oven.  They're now sliced and marinating in spiced vinegar as per this Pickled beetroot recipe.  Yum!

Tomorrow will be another use it up day as I've got apples, plums and rhubarb from my lovely mum's garden that will need to be used.