All The Pigs Winter Stew.

Because it’s simple, easy and hearty.

Ingredients:

  • 300g cooked gammon
  • 200g cooked herby sausages
  • 150g smoked sausages
  • random pork, we used some bacon rashers and I throw black pudding into mine
  • red, green and yellow bell peppers
  • a bunch of spring onions
  • 2 large courgettes
  • 500g cooked chickpeas
  • vegetable stock

Utensils:

  • chopping board and knife
  • large pot

Recipe:

  1. Roughly chop the meat and vegetables.
  2. Mix with chickpeas in the pot and half fill with water.
  3. Add stock and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Serve with bread and butter.

I have a feeling with Winter and the baby due any time between the start of December and the start of January, we’ll be having a lot more stews.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

You’re not “Nice”.

Everyone wants to be “nice”. Some people go as far as to say “I’m a nice person”, “be nice” and will affirm they are “nice” if you ask them whether they think they are. But it can be hard to pinpoint what they mean.

“Nice”, as per the dictionary, means “giving pleasure or satisfaction; pleasant or attractive”. There is no popular definition that denies this, there is no requirement to being “nice”, it is just “something pleasant”. This gives us a problem: you can’t decide whether you are nice. Only other people can decide whether or not you are nice.

If you call yourself “nice” you can mean only two things:

  1. You are pleasing to yourself, you approve of yourself. Which means nothing as all healthy humans, and many unhealthy ones, enjoy themselves and approve of their own behaviour.
  2. You seek to please others and be approved of, and believe your behaviour is pleasing and worthy of approval. Which means nothing as you don’t get to decide what other people enjoy.

And there are two motivations behind calling yourself “nice”, both of which can result in either of the two meanings.

  1. You are ignorant of what you are saying and responding to how you were educated. Your parents told you “be nice”, meaning “appease and please” and you did so. All you mean is “I want to make others happy” or “I’m doing what I think is right”.
  2. You know that niceness comes from others and you are demanding their approval or, in the case of “be nice”, that they should act as you want them to. What you mean is “you should agree with my morals” or “you should appreciate that I’m not actively hostile”.

Quite simply: you can aim to please others and garner approval, but you cannot make yourself “nice”. How nice you are is not up to you.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

As a side note, Twitter really has improved my succintness.

FitFriday, FatFriday XX. The weird middle place.

Baby.

Some days I’m really, really aware of the pregnancy. The symptoms pile up or I can’t do anything and it gets on top of me.

Other days I still forget I’m pregnant until I look down or get uncomfortably kicked.

I’m so near maternity leave and I don’t really want to any more. I’d rather keep working. But then there are days where all I want is to curl up on the sofa and sulk.

Diet.

Food has gone down again. Keeping calories up isn’t hard when I can handle fatty foods, though. Constantly snacking instead of meals, not that I’m complaining.

Weights.

Doing weights seems to really be invigorating me. As mentioned, I’m having some great days lately. Getting the garden more in order with the surplus energy. Added tricep work back in too.

Generally awesome.

How did your week in fitness go?

Sticky Spicy Coffee Cake.

Yes, coffee cake. Yes, sticky and spiced.

Not much more explaining needed.

Ingredients:

  • 500g flour and raising agents
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5tbsp honey
  • 3tbsp coffee granules
  • 1tbsp cocoa mix
  • 1tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • 1tsp ginger
  • 1tsp allspice

Utensils:

  • mixing bowl and fork
  • greased, lined or nonstick baking tray

Recipe:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients.
  3. Fold in the eggs, vanilla and honey.
  4. Add water and keep stirring until a mass is formed.
  5. Pour into the baking tray and bake until a skewer comes out with a few sticky, but firm, crumbs holding onto it.
  6. Cool fully.
  7. Serve with cream. Or butter, if you’re more like Jon and need the savoury edge.

20160313_230341

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Love is a Limited Resource.

It seems to be assumed by many that because we can feel love infinitely, we can also give love infinitely. In principle, the idea that love (the feeling) is infinite is not all that harmful. But love is not a feeling. Love is a verb, an action. You can claim to love someone even when you do not support it with your actions, and everyone will agree that is not love. Therefore, in reality, love is the act of loving, not the act of feeling love. And the act of loving is a limited resource.

This is evidenced by people who claim to love infinitely.

Parents of many children claim to love every child, but eventually hit a point where their children are suffering the compression of their homes and their days.

Radical vegans claim to love all animals and to wish harm on none, but will cause another human vast amounts of pain for not agreeing with them.

Animal hoarders claim to love every animal they own whilst simultaneously making all of them ill and even killing some of them.

Polygamous people claim to love many sexual and romantic partners “the same”, but will readily reduce their exposure to all their partners to accommodate a new love.

Hippie types claim to love all people, but will distance themselves from people who are violent, the very people who would most benefit from their world view.

Humans simply cannot love infinitely. Our love is a limited resource. Why? Because the ways in which we show love are physically restricted.

Time.

Our time is limited. If we have six hours a day to dedicate to socializing, then every person we add to that list reduces our ability to socialize with the others. There is a reason we value having a few close friends over hundreds of distant ones. It is simply easier to love and be loved by someone you see and talk to for an hour a day than by someone you see and talk to for an hour a month.

Resources.

We show our love also by sharing resources with others. Whether it’s taking someone out for a fancy meal or simply feeding our children the bare basics they need to survive, the more mouths we add to our list to feed, the less we can feed each of them. Whatever you offer someone as a token of love, every person you add breaks it in half.

Energy.

And we also only have so much energy to invest in people. Maybe we do have six hours a day to dedicate to socializing. But that also involves the energy expense of moving to see people, engaging in actions and, for introverts, just putting on our social faces. The more people you deal with, the less energy you have to deal with each of them. So you could theoretically throw a party every night and socialize with a hundred and fifty people per night. But it will drain you.

Quite simply, we have so much to give. And we need to be aware of that. Otherwise we end up in a family of fifty with nothing to eat, or hurting a friend to prove we love an animal, or adopting three cats into a deadly environment, or seeing our partners rarely to keep face with other partners, or pushing away people who need our help to encourage good feels.

Our resources are limited. We cannot love everyone. Instead, we need to allocate some of our love to everyone of value in our lives and prioritize who gets the most of what we have to give. Otherwise we end up with nothing left to give and nobody to give it to.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

FitFriday, FatFriday XIX. Getting tired of this.

Baby.

I’d been warned I’d get tired of pregnancy and I figured “fair enough, not like I’ll exactly enjoy all the side-effects”. I had seriously underestimated how fast your ability to function goes downhill. I’ve had a fairly easy pregnancy and in the last week or so I’m overtired, puffy, losing my appetite, not got a great sense of balance and am forgetting everything. So yeah, I could do with the next 5 weeks passing super quick. Got another scan in 2 weeks to make sure all is still well, but it seems to all be on track.

Diet.

It’s weird to think only a few weeks ago I was eating everything. Now I can’t fit any food in at all. Avoiding junk is the least of my worries.

Weights.

With all this complaining, I’m actually pleased to say I’m still doing a few weights sessions a week, keeping on top of the garden and doing calisthenics and yoga whenever I can. My balance may be shot, but keeping active keeps me sane. Can’t wait to get back to proper powerlifting again.

How did your week in fitness go?

How To… be better than your man.

Confused? Let me explain.

If we aim to be excellent homemakers, we are therefore aiming to improve ourselves. And in this improvement we should find that in some areas we begin to surpass our partner. After all, the breadwinner, even if they are also working on self-improvement, will be excelling in other areas. They may have been a great cook to begin with, but we aim to be an excellent cook. They have no interest in gardening or DIY but we are mastering them both. In short: in some aspects we will be better. And there is a right way to handle this. We will use budgeting as an example, as it is a personal one I have more knowledge on.

1: Acknowledge each other’s abilities.

Regardless of what your relationship dynamic, acknowledge and accept that even if you are great at budgeting, this does not make you superior as a human being. First of all, your superiority in this area does not mean they are no good at all at budgeting. And secondly, they are better in other areas which at other times may be more important.

Key here is also that they acknowledge your abilities. To say you are great at budgeting in no way takes away from the fact that they can handle their budgeting when they need to, nor does it cancel out their own abilities.

2: Acknowledge your own limitations.

Likewise, we need to accept our limitations. Just because we are better at budgeting does not make us absolute experts. There will be nuances they are more familiar with, or the situation may be one that you have not handled yet. It is impossible to know everything.

Again, your partner is likely aware of their personal limitations. They know that you have an edge in most areas and are unlikely to be being stubborn when they refuse your help. It is more likely that the nuances and your limitations concern them.

3: When a decision involves you both, talk about it first.

Regardless of how expert you are at budgeting, or whether or not your skills are superior, do not make decisions that involve them without talking about it. It is one thing to offer advice from experience or to make a final decision when it is up to you. It is another thing entirely to walk up to your partner and declare you’ve moved your life savings into a form of investment. Even if the end decision is exactly what you expected it to be: don’t assume, ask.

4: When they are struggling, offer help.

When the final decision is up to them, do not attempt to wrangle it from them or undermine them. Instead, offer your advice and let them listen to as much as they want or need to. If the decision affects you both, your partner will be willing to hear reasonable input. And if they are genuinely having a hard time, they may welcome some help. But the key is to offer, never to force.

5: Do your best, but know when to back down.

Sometimes your awareness of the specifics is not good enough to carry you through. Sometimes they are determined to make a certain decision even though you fear it. Know when it is not your place to try and control your partner and back down. If you need to, take action to safeguard yourself. But do not turn an offer of help into a “do what I say or else”.

Quite simply: don’t try and control your partner’s life just because you have more knowledge or skills in a highly specific area; but also do not let them make you act against your knowledge or best interests. Communicate, be kind, be humble.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.