social spark Aisling Beatha: April 2014

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Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy your stay, however short, and find something that interests and blesses you.

The tabs just below will take you to posts of particular topics. So if you are looking for my posts on food, fitness or creativity, you will find them there. You will also find my posts on thankfulness or other more contemplative posts, as well as a set of posts with traditional blessings from a number of different cultures.

You can find posts with labels not included in that list via the labels list over in the sidebar.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

LIVE BELOW THE LINE - Day 3

By the time this post is published I will be over half way through the 5 days of Live below the Line.
In latest news I used most of the 8 p I had left yesterday to buy a tiny chocolate from my son.  He had been given a box at work and we worked out that if he had bought them each chocolate would have been 7p.  So I bought one from him and thoroughly enjoyed it even if it was over rather quickly.

If you're still not sure what live below The Line is all about, here's the blurb from their official website:
Live Below the Line is an initiative of the Global Poverty Project, an education and campaigning organisation whose mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action against extreme poverty. Live Below the Line is our innovative campaign which challenges thousands of individuals across the world to live on £1 a day for 5 days, to deepen understanding of the challenges faced by individuals living in extreme poverty, and to raise vital funds for crucial anti-poverty initiatives.

We run Live Below the Line because we believe that to really fight poverty, we've got to better understand it. We're passionate about equipping people to make a real difference in fighting poverty, and so we focus on connecting people up to the organisations and issues that have the biggest impact.

We've teamed up with some of the best charities in the country whose work is vital in both making sure we fight extreme poverty through our actions in the UK, and that we support people to lift themselves out of extreme poverty in some of the world's poorest countries. In 2014, Live Below the Line is running in the UK, the USA and Canada simultaneously, with thousands of people spending 5 days living below the line in order to raise money for our partner organisations.

Across the world, thousands of people will join the movement to tackle extreme poverty - join us. - 

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If you would like to you can sponsor me, but even if you don't plan to do that, please check back later in the week to see how I get on.

Today's Menu

Breakfast - Budget range Lemon Curd on toast made from a budget range loaf.


Lunch - Rice with budget range Bolognese Sauce and budget range Grated Cheese
This is actually a Nigella Lawson recipe only she uses basmati rice, good quality sauce and parmesan for the cheese.  The trick is to keep an eye on it stirring it frequently and add more water whenever it starts to stick, until the rice is really well cooked.


Dinner - Home Made Mushroom Pizzas
I was really pleased with how the pizza base turned out.  It's not too warm here today so I boiled a cup of water in the microwave, then shoved it to the corner of the microwave and put the bowl of dough in there to rise.  It worked really well.  Hubby really liked this oven too.  If I was going to make it again though, I would use a thicker sauce and more cheese.




All in all it wasn't a bad day, but I have been feeling hungry on and off.  Tomorrow is the first time I have to be out of the house for anything.  25 minutes on the bus each way, and about 1 1/2 hours there talking to a bunch of kids in an after school club about Live Below the Line and getting them to price up what they think is ESSENTIAL and comparing it to this figure.

Costings

BREAKFAST -
2 slices of budget range bread at 3.6 pence per slice = 7.2p
25g budget range lemon curd at 22p per 400g jar = 1.35p
Total for breakfast = 8.55p

LUNCH -
75g dry weight budget range long grain white rice = 3p
1/2 jar budge range Pasta Sauce at 39p per jar = 19.5p
20g budget range Grated Cheese at 44.2p per 100g = 8.84p
Total for lunch = 31.34p

DINNER -
(I am making the main meals for my hubby too but the figures here are for my portion only)
1/2 tsp oil = 1.5p
100g Strong bread flour at 53.3p per kilo = 5.3p
2g yeast at 51p per 100g = 1p
20g budget range Grated Cheese at 44.2p per 100g = 8.84p
1/4 jar budget range Pasta Sauce at 39p per jar = 9.75p
1/2 medium onion at 17p each = 8.5p
90g mushrooms at £2.68 per kilo = 24.12p
Total for Dinner = 59.01p

Grand total for the day = 91.71 pence

Tomorrow I am back to cereal for breakfast and baked beans on toast for lunch.  Stir Fry rice for dinner and maybe a snack of something during the day.

You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

LIVE BELOW THE LINE - Day 2

If you don't know what Below the Line is all about check out my post from yesterday.

yesterday I told you that I had chosen to raise funds for the Salvation Army international Development Fund.  So today I will share a little bit about that organisation.



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The Salvation Army is a worldwide Christian church and charity. We put our beliefs into practice through a programme of practical action, serving our communities, supporting those in need and fighting for social justice. The Salvation Army International Development (UK) works to resource, empower and support developing communities to defeat poverty and injustice and enable them to build a better life and future. By Living Below the Line with us you could help a trafficked child to be a child again, or provide someone with clean water for life. You could give a widow the chance to set up her own business and support her family, or help a small farmer grow enough food to stop them going hungry.

On to today's menu and costings:
Today's Menu

Breakfast - Golden balls cereal.
We bought this a few weeks ago on a 3 boxes of cereal for £3 offer, so it actually works for this week.
It's OK although not all that filling, but at least I'm getting a bit of calcium from the milk.


Lunch - Beans on toast. 
1/2 a tin of budget range baked beans on 2 slices of budget range bread.


Dinner - Lentil Shepherd's Pie
I used tinned potatoes to keep the cost down and chopped them up for the topping, hoping that they would crisp up in the oven.  Hmmm, that didn't work.  Otherwise it was an OK meal and one I would happily eat again.


Snack - Rice Pudding with Lemon Curd



I was suffering with a headache this morning and afternoon (presumably caffeine withdrawal) and finally gave in and took painkillers.  If I was doing this for real that is a luxury I wouldn't have!  Otherwise it hasn't been a bad day.  I got busy in the craft room late morning and managed to distract myself from even thinking about lunch until 2:30pm, which then left me with less of a gap until dinner.  Dinner was good, I had the rice pudding for dessert and still have 8 pence left.

Hubby enjoyed tonight's dinner and we both agreed that with an alteration to proper mash, either normal potatoes or sweet potatoes, we would make this part of our regular diet.

Costings

BREAKFAST -
30g Golden Balls cereal at £1 for 375g = 8p
125ml Semi Skimmed milk at 44p per litre = 5.5p
Total for breakfast = 13.5p

LUNCH -
2 slices budget brand bread at 3.6p per slice = 7.2p
1/2 tin budget brand baked beans at 24p per tin = 12p
Total for lunch = 19.2p

DINNER -
(I am making the main meals for my hubby too but the figures here are for my portion only)
1/4 tin tomatoes at 31p per tin = 7.75p
1/2 tsp salt at 38p per kilo = 1p
1/2 tsp Garam Masala at £1 for 100g = 2.5p
1/2 tin Budget brand potatoes for the topping = 7p
100g budget brand frozen Mixed Vegetables at £1 per 1.3KG = 7.69p
1/2 tsp oil at 3p per tsp = 1.5p
3/8 onion (using the 3/4 of an onion left from yesterday for 2 of us) at 17p each = 6.37p
75g dry weight Brown Lentils (from a big pack we already have) at £2.99 for 2kg = 11.21p
1/2 chicken stock cube (1/2 of it for cooking the lentils, the other 1/2 for in the sauce) at 10p per cube = 5p
Total for Dinner = 50.02p

SNACK - 
1/2 tin Value Rice Pudding at 15p per tin = 7.5p
 25g Lemon Curd at 5.4p per 100g = 1.35p
Total for snack = 8.85p

Grand total for the day = 91.57p
Or 1 pence more than yesterday, making the total for the two days so far just over £1.82

If you would like to you can sponsor me, or think about joining in at a later date.  Although most people participate in Live below The Line on the official dates, you can participate at a later date if you need to.


You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Monday, April 28, 2014

LIVE BELOW THE LINE day 1

Did you know that 1.2 billion people around the world live in extreme poverty?  Extreme poverty means they have £1 or less per day for all their needs. That figure of £1 actually takes account of buying power, so it really is an accurate figure.

This week I am taking part in LIVE BELOW THE LINE to raise awareness of global poverty and raise funds to tackle it.  Live Below the Line challenges people around the world to spend less than £1 per day for 5 days on all their food and drink, to raise awareness of and funds for people living in extreme poverty.


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With Live Below the line you can choose to raise funds for a whole range of charities.  I have chosen the Salvation Army International Development Fund which is working to restore our world by resourcing, empowering and supporting developing communities to defeat poverty and injustice and to enable them to build a better life and future. One of their projects offers micro business loans to women faced with feeding their families while living in extreme poverty.

If you would like to you can sponsor me, but even if you don't plan to do that, please check back later in the week to see how I get on.

Today's Menu

Breakfast - Budget range Lemon Curd on toast made from a budget range loaf.
Well that didn't quite go according to plan - someone else ate the last 2 slices from that loaf of bread SIGH, at least there was another loaf in the freezer and my toaster has a "from frozen" button.  But if I was living this for real and someone else had eaten the last of something, I would have no choice but to make alternative arrangements.


Dinner - Chick Pea and Potato Curry with rice
Actually very tasty and I would happily eat this again.  And it was an amazingly adequate portion size considering the cost.


Overall there have been moments when I've felt a little hungry but nothing major so far.  I have had a headache but that will be caffeine withdrawal I should imagine.  Been drinking as much water as I can and have put a couple of bottles of it in the fridge so I can have cold water tomorrow.

Costings

BREAKFAST -
2 slices of budget range bread at 3.6 pence per slice = 7.2p
25g budget range lemon curd at 22p per 400g jar = 1.35p
Total for breakfast = 8.55p

LUNCH -
1 carrot = 9p
1/4 onion at 17p per onion = 4.25p
25g red split lentils (from a big pack we already have) = 4.48p
1 tbsp tomato puree at 40p per 200g tube = 3p
1 tsp oil (I'm using a good quality oil because it's what we already have and suffering the cost for it) = 3p
I gave in and added 1/4 tsp salt = 0.5p
Total for lunch = 24.23p

DINNER -
(I am making the main meals for my hubby too but the figures here are for my portion only)
1/2 tin of budget range potatoes = 7p
1/2 tin of chickpeas (bought on 2 for £1 offer with other tin of beans for later in the week) = 25p
1 tsp of ginger paste from a jar at 57p for 283g = 2p
1/2 tsp oil = 1.5p
75g dry weight budget range long grain white rice = 3p
1/2 Chicken stock cube = 5p
100g budget range frozen mixed vegetables at 1.3kg for £1= 7.69p
1 tsp curry powder = 4.6p
1 tsp crushed garlic from a jar at 57p per 283g = 2p
Total for Dinner = 57.79p

Grand total for the day = 90.57p

Hmmm, 1/2 a tin of budget range rice pudding with a spoon of lemon curd works out at less than 10p, so I could have had that as well.  Hhhhhmmmm, maybe tomorrow then.


You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Pinterest to Painting

Soul Food - Pinterest to Painting

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One of my favourite classes in Soul Food was Pinterest to Painting.  The idea was to actually DO something with all those inspiration images we save on Pinterest and combine some of them into 1 painting.

I used 3 images from Pinterest:




I admit that I did use tracedown paper for the adult figure.  You can see on the photo below, where I have drawn over it and adjusted the line of the shoulder.

Soul Food - Pinterest to Painting

But the other things, I drew in and painted without any tracing.

I'm disappointed with the way her skin tones turned out.  It's not water colour paper but I wanted to use watercolours, so I put a layer of gesso down, and it was as if the colour was sinking beneath the gesso to the paper below it.  Really odd.  That's why she's a bit blotchy.

But I am over the moon with the baby's face and scarf, and the sun.  All in all, I learnt some lessons and am pleased with the overall result.

Soul Food - Pinterest to Painting

Check back soon for more of my work from the Soul Food Lessons.


Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.
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