Monday, 27 January 2014

Meal Plan Monday

Here we are in the last week of January, it's been a long month and Christmas seems an age ago! My diet is going ok, not lost as much weight as I had hoped but that's ok. If you started a diet at New Year how is it going? Or has it been long forgotten about?

On this week's menu at Chez Denise is:

Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries & Veg

Prawn and Avocado Salad

At my Mum's

Garlic and Honey Chicken and Salad

Picking something up in Sainsburys

Chicken Fajitas with Salsa and Guacamole

Undecided as yet

I've linked up to Mrs M's blog for meal planning Monday, why not link up too and see what other people are eating this week? Or find us on Twitter #mealplanningmonday

Meal Planning Monday


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Homemade Salsa and Guacamole

I love Fajitas and they are more or less on my menu every week. I normally buy Guacamole and I either use the Salsa that will come in the fajita pack or I will buy a Salsa dip. As we don't end up eating it all it ends up in the bin, so I decided to try making my own. That way I can make as much as we will need and (hopefully) it tastes better than the shop bought one. These are the recipes that I used to make my own. They were very easy to make, require no cooking and taste delicious. They would be good for dips for your Tortilla chips too. These were enough for 2-3 people so you will need to adjust your recipe according to how many people you are catering for.


5 Pomodorino Tomatoes
Half a small onion finely chopped
Quarter of a mild Green or Red Chilli finely chopped
3 Sprigs of Coriander finely chopped
Salt to taste
Lime Juice to taste

Add above ingredients to a bowl and mix well


1 Ripe Avocado
1 Garlic clove minced
2 Pomodorino Tomatoes finely chopped
Half a small red onion finely chopped
Quarter of a mild green or red chilli finely chopped
Lime juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Few sprigs of Coriander finely chopped

Remove the flesh from the Avocado and mash using a fork.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well.


Monday, 20 January 2014

Meal Planning Monday

Wow here we are the third week into January already! Are you still sticking to the resolutions you made?  Or are you waivering? I'm finding it tough at times, I confess to having some chocolate over the past week but it's been some After Eights and I don't think they are too bad, are they?! On the whole I've been sticking to my high protein/low gi diet.

This week's meal plan is:

Baked Cod, Sweet Potato Fries and Veg

My friend is coming round so having Chicken Fajitas with Homemade Salsa & Guacamole

On my lonesome so will have more Fajitas to use up the leftovers

There is Chilli and Beef Bourgignon in the freezer that can be used

I will pick up something when I'm shopping

Pork Steaks, Baked Sweet Potato & Veg

Undecided as yet!

I've linked up to Mrs M's blog for meal planning Monday, why not link up too and see what other people are eating this week? Or find us on Twitter #mealplanningmonday

Meal Planning Monday

Thursday, 16 January 2014

What I Bought In The Sales - Shopping Haul

I've seen bloggers post about what they got for their Christmas and also what they bought in the sales, I'm a bit late to the party but I will show you what I have bought so far.

I got my first ever onesie for Christmas, it was red with white spots and a reindeer face and antlers on the hood.  I loved it! I put it on and noticed a big gaping hole in the seam on my right leg. I was so disappointed!  So I bought a new one in the Next sale, it was a cream coloured fleecy Bear number reduced from £36 to £18....bargain!  My Mum took my original onesie back to Next who gave her a refund of £16 (it was originally £30) and she managed to stitch up the seam so I now have two onesies.

Mr M is a Next account holder so we managed to get a VIP slot in their sale.  It was on the Sunday 22nd December and quite a lot of their stuff had already gone but I managed to get myself: a pair of bum lift Bootcut jeans £40 reduced to £18, a Silk dress for work £85 down to £40, a Tunic for work £26 now only £12.  For the home I managed to get 2 cushions for the bedroom, they are rectangular, silver sequinned cushions and I also bought new drinking glasses they are made of recycled glass and have a butterfly on them but they were not in the sale.

I bought a khaki bomber jacket with a fur trimmed hood from New Look, it was originally £39.99 reduced to £12! It is quite a thin jacket so not one for a very cold day but it looks good and that's the main thing.

I had my eye on a top from Oasis before Christmas, so when I went into town when their sale had started I was pleased to get it for £28. It is a black glittery jumper with kimono sleeves and goes well with my dark blue jeans.

From Lakeland I bought a My Organised Kitchen for £4.99 (was £9.99), it has different designed page markers where you can stick a tab to mark your favourite recipe, 2 magnets, a notepad and kitchen labels.

I still have some more money left over to buy some other things but haven't decided what I will spend my money on as been debating whether to have a facial or some other pampering session or to buy more clothes.....decisions, decisions!
What did you get in the sales?


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Skin Care - 2014 Blogger Challenge

The second topic for the Blogger Challenge is skin care, now I'm no beauty blogger so maybe there are better things on the market that I could be using so if there is then please let me know :)!

At this time of year my skin does get quite dry from the air conditioning at work, blasting the air con in my car and having the heating on at home so I do add a serum and change my moisturiser from a lotion to a cream to try and combat this. My morning skincare routine is:

Wiping my face and neck with cotton wool dampened with Clarins One Step Cleanser  and then using Clarins Hydraquench Moisturiser SPF15. I don't use the serum in the morning for fear of my make up sliding off my face as it will be too greasy! I then apply my make up if I am working or going out (dossing around in the house/doing housework does not warrant a face full of slap!!.

In the evening, I will either use my Clarins Cleansing Milk or Clarins Gel Cleansing Melt to remove my make up and other grot that will have accumulated over the day,then some Clarins Toning Lotion to remove last traces of "stuff", I will then massage in the Clarins Hydraquench Serum over my neck and face followed by my Clarins Hydraquench Night Cream. I then apply some Avon's Anew Derma-Filler to "iron" out any crow's feet and lines that are appearing on my face and some lip balm and that is my daily skin care regime.

Once a week I will exfoliate my neck and face using a gentle exfoliator (it's a St Ives one that I am currently using) and then use Clarins Hydraquench face mask. I used to go for monthly facials but over the past year and a half have only managed a couple due to earning less money :(. I used to love the relaxing experience of having a facial and the shoulder massage that went with it but its not really something you can recreate at home.

Although Clarins things seem pretty pricey, I find that most products last around 6 months so when you work it out as a cost per month it is not actually that bad. Also I have tried other products and a few months ago after running out of my moisturiser I picked up a L'Oreal one while I was shopping and it took me out in spots!! I shouldn't be having spots in my 30's!! That was quickly put in the bin and an emergency visit into town was made to purchase my Clarins Moisturiser. A few times per year Clarins (as do a lot of the other big name brands) put on a special offer where if you buy two or more products you get a few travel sized items free, I try and time it so I buy my things that I need at the offer time to try out their other products.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Pesto Chicken Pasta

This is a very quick and simple meal to make for two people but you can adjust it accordingly to however many people you are feeding.  All you need is:

2 Chicken breasts (cooked) cut into cubes or you could use Quorn Pieces
100g Pasta
Jar of Pesto Sauce
8 Cherry Tomatoes (halved)

Cook your chicken as directed or you could use leftovers from your Sunday Roast
Boil your pasta as directed on the packet. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and place back into the pan. Add the cherry tomato halves, chicken/Quorn and 1 heaped tablespoon of pesto and mix until they all thoroughly coated.

Season with black pepper and serve with a green salad. Yum!!


Monday, 6 January 2014

Meal Plan Monday 6/01/2014

This is my first meal plan Monday of the year (and also for a few weeks) and like so many other people I am trying to shift some of those post Christmas pounds.  I am doing a high protein, low GI diet with some exercise thrown in for good measure and hopefully say "bye bye" to those extra pounds.  Also I am trying to get into the habit of meal planning to cut down on the food we chuck out and hopefully reduce the shopping bill too.

Out for dinner with my friend (will choose a healthy-ish option)

Pesto Chicken Pasta and Salad

At my Mum's

Beef Bourguignon with Baked Sweet Potato

A ping meal from Sainsbury's


Chicken & Roasted Veg

I am linking up with Mrs M for #mealplanningmonday, you can join us on her blog or on Twitter.  Hopefully see you there!


Saturday, 4 January 2014

Christmas Decoration Organising

Now that Christmas and New Year are over, it is time to take down all the decorations and put them away until December rolls round again.  I always find taking down the decorations a chore as it is a lot less fun than when you are putting them up! In the past I would just take the decorations off the tree and put them in a bag, the lights would just get rolled up (and come next Christmas, get annoyed as the lights were all tangled!) but I would wrap my breakables in bubble wrap.

So this year in my attempt to become more organised it is going to be different, I am not going to get stressed next Christmas when I can't find where the Christmas tree lights start nor am I going to be rummaging through a bag looking for the tree decorations as I am prepared!!

For my tree decorations I bought an Ornament Organiser, it is a bag with dividers and holds 48 decorations, from Home Bargains (£3.99) before Christmas.  I managed to squeeze a few of the smaller decorations into the same compartment so I could contain all my decorations together instead of having to resort to a carrier bag.

There are other ways that you can store your tree decorations such as:

I have two sets of tree lights, a vintage lantern set and a white led set. I came across a brilliant idea on Pinterest on how to store them without them getting tangled.

Firstly get a piece of cardboard, after receiving loads of deliveries in the run up to Christmas, I had loads of cardboard boxes in the house.  Make small notches (about half an inch apart) all the way down on either side of the cardboard.

Wrap the lights around the cardboard making sure that the wire sits in the notches to stop the wires from slipping.

I sellotaped the start and the end of the lights to the cardboard for extra staying power!

Now that the tree is down and the decorations have been packed away doesn't the house look empty without them? Do you have any organising tips on Christmas decoration storage, if so I would love to hear them?


2014 - The Year I Will Become Organised

Pic courtesy of Google

I have been saying to myself for the last however many years that I need to become organised at home and in my life, although I have got slightly better there is definite room for improvement.  2014 will be the year that I will finally get organised - no excuses!!

My aims in being more organised this year will be to:

Declutter and re-organise a room a month starting with the kitchen.

Make up a blog planner as I've so many draft posts including a Christmas House Tour that has no photos (at least I can use it for this Christmas :)!) and make a proper schedule.

Take more photos (and try and use my camera rather than relying on the iPhone/iPad) and post on Instagram more as I rarely use it.

Do more baking (this will also help me get rid of the extra flour that I bought at Christmas time, forgetting that I had already ordered more online) and post the recipes on my blog.

Meal Plan properly as I really am not that organised at it and come dinner time I still rely on takeaways more than I should.  Not good for the diet or the bank balance!!

Make up a household binder to include cleaning schedules,house projects, etc (I will be like one of those proper American Housewives).

Are you already an organised person? Or like me, disorganised?  I'd love to hear your organised tips or if you are planning on becoming more organised what you are hoping to do.


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year Inspiration - 2014 Blogger Challenge

Happy New Year, readers!  Some of you may already read my blog and some of you may have found me through the 2014 Blogger Challenge, however you found yourself here I hope that 2014 brings you good health, love and happiness.

This is post one of the 2014 Blogger Challenge, where we were to post our New Year Inspiration.  Browsing through the internet there were loads that I came across, some funny, some were quite deep, some religious and others were.....well a bit crap!! When I saw this quote, I knew it was the one to post.

How often do we moan that we have had a bad day as someone has pissed us off, the shop that had the top that we really wanted didn't have our size, our bus was late, we are having a bad hair day?  I am guilty of having a moan about these things as well as many others when my day/life isn't going as planned but there is someone out there somewhere, going through cancer treatment, having life saving surgery, just been told that they are terminally ill and would give anything to only be able to complain about something as trivial as "having a bad day"!!   When you look at it that way we should be thankful for life, so what if we are having a bad hair day, a cancer patient lost theirs through chemotherapy, we waited over 30 minutes for a bus well someone has just been told they only have 6 months to live, our "bad day" just pales into comparison to what they are going through.

From now on if my day/life isn't going as I hoped then instead of complaining about "how it's not fair!", I will be thankful that I am healthy and alive as there will be someone out there that would love to trade places with me.

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