A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan – Vouchers

Last week we started with a party, this week we started with a take out. It wasn’t too bad as we had already cooked the kid’s dinner but then the adults didn’t want anything that was on offer so I ordered Chinese take out.

We also ate out a couple of times last week too, just with the younger kids, but at least we got out of the house. On Thursday we took them to Mc Donalds, I had a sharp realisation that my kids are growing up as not one them wanted a Happy Meals…it’s the end of an era, Happy Meal days are over! On Friday we were out by 9am and come lunch time the kid’s were starving. Okay, they were starving by 11.30 am I guess that’s what fresh air does for you. I’d considered taking a picnic but I wasn’t sure the weather was going to hold out, so we opted for the cafe instead. As it happened we had a lovely sunny day and the rain only arrived thirty minutes after we got home.

This Weeks Meal Plan with Vouchers

I’ve reigned in the spending this week with some great vouchers. On Friday I received a voucher in the post for Amazon Prime Now. They deliver food from Morrisons in around 2 hours. I generally do a weekend shop at Morrison’s anyway so why not give it a try. Especially as they were giving me a £10 voucher off a £50 spend. I ordered at 4pm and my shopping arrived at 6pm!

I also had some vouchers in the post from Sainsburys, offering me £15 off a £100 spend for the next four weeks. (Well it started last week but I’d not received the letter in the post then. I always check my available vouchers though and was surprised at finding £15 off on there.

So, saving a total of £25, my shopping this week has come to £146.

This weeks meal plan with vouchers
  • Saturday – Take Out
  • Sunday – breaded chicken fillets with pasta
  • Monday – burgers and fries
  • Tuesday – fajita
  • Wednesday – pork noodle ramen
  • Thursday – pizza
  • Friday – curry

I won’t be doing a Meal Planning post next week as we are off on holiday. I’ll still have to shop for the big kids who will be staying home. But I’m thinking it’s not going to cost too much for just the two of them? (She says hopefully)

Linking up with Katy’s meal planning linky.

Katykicker
A Place to Read

What I’ve been Reading Lately in July – The Bone Clocks

Confession time – I’ve only read one book this month, The Bone Clocks!! Although I did start a new book last week, it’s not finished yet.

The Bone Clocks – By David Mitchell

The bone clocks by David Mitchell, front cover featuring a pocket watch and golden apple
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (18 Jun. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340921625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340921623
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 4.2 x 19.8 cm

The Bone Clocks can be bought in paperback on Amazon for £7.99 or hardback for £15.99 or on Kindle for £5.99 or Audible for one credit or £27.28

The Blurb

Run away, one drowsy summer’s afternoon, with Holly Sykes: wayward teenager, broken-hearted rebel and unwitting pawn in a titanic, hidden conflict.

Over six decades, the consequences of a moment’s impulse unfold, drawing an ordinary woman into a world far beyond her imagining. And as life in the near future turns perilous, the pledge she made to a stranger may become the key to her family’s survival . . .

My Review of The Bone Clocks

So, just one book this month, but to be fair, The Bone Clocks is actually six novellas in one book. I listened on Audible and the listening length is over 24 hours. Usually the books I listen to are around 6 to 9 hours.

It’s not a book to everyone’s taste. In fact there were parts where I was confused as to what on earth was going on. But it all makes sense in the end. It’s just that the end is a long time coming.

Part One

Starting with a young runaway teen, Holly, in 1982 ( she’s the same age as me 🙂 ) We follow her journey as she argues with her Mum, finds her boyfriend with someone else and runs off, finding help from someone she knows from school. On her journey she has a couple of strange experiences. As a child she’d experienced some kind of supernatural happenings, but had apparently been cured. When she runs away she meets an old lady who offers her a drink in return for Asylum. Holly has no idea what the old lady means but she takes the drink anyway. I found the first part of the book really quite thrilling, if a little strange. Then we are left on a huge cliffhanger while we go on to the next story.

Each seperate part of the book is narrated by a different narrator for each character in the book. Holly is there throughout, because it is actually her story, but for huge parts of the book we are focusing on the other characters.

Part Two

The second character was completely unlikable, but when he meets Holly he falls in love and we can see that this has a huge affect on his character. But again, his story is left as a cliffhanger.

Part Three

The Third was Holly’s husband. Yes, years have past and the young boy who helped Holly in the first chapter has returned and become her husband. We hear all about what has happened to him and why he’s changed so much from his original character. He encourages Holly to write about her childhood supernatural experiences.

Part Four

This brings us on to the fourth character, a writer. Only, he’s fading in popularity and meets Holly at a book signing in which her book seems to be doing a lot better than his. They become friends and over many years share a lot together. He’s there for her, and although he’s not altogether a nice character, his friendship and love for Holly is apparent. You feel almost sorry for him at the end of his part.

Part Five

The Fifth chapter is where things get a little crazy. All through the book we are briefly introduced to supernatural beings from two different backgrounds and they are at war. In each chapter until now we are only given glimpses of what they are capable of, but in this chapter which is all about one of these supernatural beings we finally get what has been going on and exactly what Holly’s part in all of this has been. We also get a conclusion to the cliffhangers that were left in the first two chapters.

Part Six

The sixth and final chapter is the one that surprised me. I really thought the ending of the book would have been perfect with the previous chapter, and I always get a little frustrated with ‘what happened next’ kind of chapters. I prefer to make up my own mind. However, this chapter is set in the future. Throughout the book we’ved moved from 1982 right up to 2043. The story sent a chilll down my spine. It’s not overly futuristic, the things described could very easily become our reality in the next 24 years or so. When I got to the end I felt satisfied, sad, thoughtful, remorseful, happy, ok, all the emotions. It was worth the effort getting to the end.

My Thoughts on The Bone Clocks

There were parts in this book when I honestly thought what’s the point of all this? Other parts when I thought, this is really confusing. There were points when I wanted to shout, just get on with it. But overall, I loved how it all came together. Yes, it could have been half the size, but then you wouldn’t have had full understanding of how things happened. The book is spread out over a very long time and I don’t think I’d have enjoyed it so much had it been rushed.

I loved David Mitchell’s story telling, he brings you right into the story then spits you out at the last minute, leaving you hanging and wondering what the hell is going on. But the conclusion is exciting and precise leaving you with no doubt.

It won’t be for everyone, it’s not a love story, it’s not even a proper sci-fi story. It’s a lifetime of pure fantasy with an emotional roller coaster slipped in.

bookworms monthly linky badge

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon and Audible.

A Place to Read

Book Worms Monthly

Hello, Welcome to Book Worms Monthly.

Reading is my passion and I love to write about what I’ve read. I’m a real book worm and I have been since the day I could read.

I decided to start this linky so that other book worms could Share. I’m starting monthly for now, so you have a whole month to link up your posts. You can link up to four posts, so that’s one a week. Or if you like you can link up some of your older posts.

Let’s share what we read and give other’s ideas what to read next. Tell me your reviews, you book reading lists, your author interviews, kids book favourites, Young Adult books, and even posts about your favourite authors. Anything book related is allowed and I can’t wait to read them all. I want to find all the book worms out there.

Here is last months linky to give you some idea of what it’s about. It’s a new linky so I’m trying to reach out to all the book worms out there to come and join me with their posts monthly.

Book worms Monthly will be posted every four weeks, and you can join in at any time. I will share anyone who links over on my Social Media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Mix (formerly Stumbleupon.) I’ll also come along and read and comment on your post. Please do share this link up with your friends.

Here’s a badge to share. No code, just copy and paste it on your blog and link the photo back to mine if you wish. Or please mention my blog 
https://athomealot.com/ with a link instead. That we we can encourage more to join in and share.

Bookworms monthly, a badge showing a pile of books with a pair of reading glasses on top

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
A Place to Enjoy

Paint By Numbers – Winnie’s Picks

Today I want to tell you about Winnie’s Picks. A few years ago adult colouring books became very popular. I have a few myself and they are great for a little time for yourself. They are a good way of practicing mindfulness and letting out your creativity.

Now, I’m pretty good at colouring in, even if I do say so myself. But, I’ve never been good at painting. Then I heard of a new site, Winnie’s Picks and found that you can do paint by numbers. Going back many years I can remember my Mum used to love paint by numbers, but the pictures available at the time were all very similar.

At Winnie’s picks you have a plethora of pictures to choose from to paint, and everything is included in the kit. You can see their bestelling collection here.

Winnie's picks packaging
Each pach has the picture, the paint, paintbrushes and a picture to show how it should look.

What I Like About Winnie’s Picks

Not only are there so many pictures to choose from, and everything you need to paint them, I also love that you can send them a photograph to be turned into a paint by numbers. You can make it really personal. I love that you can customise your painting in this way.

I also like the pricing, you can buy from around £16 and even the most expensive pictures won’t break the bank. They would make fantastic gifts. Imagine sending someone a painting to do of their pet.

I’m planning on getting one of these for myself very soon. I’ll let you know how I get on. Then I’m pretty sure I know a couple of people who will be getting one as a Christmas present. Grandma will get one of her beloved dog, and my Sister-in-law one of her precious daughters. Not only will it give them something to do, they will have something precious to keep afterwards.

What do you think? Would you like to have a go at paint by numbers?

paint by numbers painting of a girl picking shells on a beach.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan and a Party

Last weeks meal plan went fairly well, just a few changes and one take out! This week started with a party meal for my daughter’s 12th birthday.

I was supposed have been in hospital on Monday but I had to delay my treatment until Thursday. The pizzas we had planned because of the appointment were still eaten though. And because my treatment was at a later time and I didn’t get home until after 6pm we decided to get a chip shop meal. At least it was a little cheaper than our usual Chinese meal or Dominoes. (Why are Dominoes so expensive, our local pizza shop does lovely pizzas but the family insist on Dominoes, generally I get them to pay for it though so I can’t complain.)

This weeks shopping came to less than £200 including lunches.

This weeks Meal Plan

  • Saturday – Boo’s Party meal
  • Sunday – pie and mash
  • Monday – lasagna
  • Tuesday – fish/chicken and chips
  • Wednesday – pasta bake
  • Thursday – Paella
  • Friday – curry, rice and poppadoms

The Peri Peri Chicken meal we had in the degustabox was very tasty. The Chicken was coated with a little pot of glaze which went all sticky when cooked in the oven and it was just the right amount of spiciness. The wedges were delicious, so tasty, but also a little spicy. I think that’s why the sweetcorn aioli was the part which would have added the coolness but as I’m the only person who likes sweetcorn I didn’t bother making it. I wish I had just for me though.

The kit costs £1.50 and it just contains the spice mix, you need to add the main ingredients like chicken and potatoes (and sweetcorn and mayonnaise if you make the aioli.) It’s probably worth it for the convenience, but I’m sure I’d be able to make it from scratch anyway, especially as I already have a huge spice cupboard. Anyway, they don’t sell it in my supermarket.

The Party!

I’ll leave you with a little photo of the kids enjoying the party food on Saturday.

party food
Katykicker
A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan

Last Weeks Plan and what was Eaten

Last weeks meal plan went okay although we may have swapped the days around. Thats not a problem though, so long as the meals get eaten and I don’t have to fork out on Take Outs…Yay, we managed no take out’s last week. With our holiday looming closer I’m looking to saving as much as possible and take outs for 7 are not cheap!

This week I have to budget in kids lunches, we’ve had a talk about this and some of the things we have come up with are, chicken dippers, fish fingers, pasta, noodles, enchiladas and savoury pancakes. Not a bad start, I’ll see how we get on. I’m treating them to a chip shop lunch tomorrow as I will be in hospital all day and their Dad is taking them to visit his mum. Our evening meal will have to be quick and easy because I can’t do much when I get home from hospital, so it’s probably going to be pizza.

This Weeks Meal Plan

  • Saturday – Curry, rice and poppadoms
  • Sunday – Meatballs and spaghetti
  • Monday – Pizza
  • Tuesday – Peri Peri Chicken (from a kit in our Degustabox)
  • Wednesday – Tacos
  • Thursday – pasta bake
  • Friday – Fish and Chips

The Peri Peri Chicken is a 3 stage cooking kit from Simply Cook which we had in last weeks Degustabox. It looks quite interesting but I doubt I would buy it again unless it became available in my regular supermarkets. I guess we’ll see how it goes. I do like the Nando’s peri per sauce though.

I’m not sure what kind of pasta bake I will do yet. I need to finish my shopping first so I’ll be looking for inspiration.

Next Saturday is Boo’s birthday and she’s having some friends over for a tea party. I’m hoping to extend the food into something we can all have for dinner. My older kid’s complain about party food, just like they do about BBQs saying it’s not enough and doesn’t feel like a real meal! I believe we eat twice as much as we normally would. I mean when would you ever dish up a burger meal with more than two burgers, a hot dog, a kebab stick, corn on the cob and salad? (which is the average amount eaten by them at a BBQ)

I can’t wait to read what everyone else is cooking this week on Katy’s link up.

Katykicker
A Place to Enjoy, Shopping

How to Make the Most of Amazon Prime Day

It’s Amazon Prime Day

Time to make use of all those wonderful bargains but how do you get the most out of

Amazon Prime Day

First of all you would need to become a Prime Member. I am already a member and I pay monthly at £7.99. It saves me a ton of money each year, but if you wanted to save some more during Prime Day you can switch your membership to yearly for just £59 instead of £79. You can even do this if you are already a member and paying monthly.

Yearly Plan Offer

Prime Day has already started, it’s on 15th and 16th July, so be quick to grab the bargains.

Here are some tips:

On Prime Day you will get a preview of many deals. If you see something you like then you can click the watch button. If you have the Amazon App on your phone you will get a push message when the deal goes live.

Check for specific deals by searching for what you want on Amazon and seeing if it has a Prime Day Deal Badge on it.

For example, this Garmin Forerunner Watch has a special offer for Amazon Prime members

Check for Prime Day Launches with special deals just for Prime Members

Prime Day Launches

For example, this weather proof outdoor security camera for just £43.99. It’s not yet available for non prime members.

security camera

Prime Day Launche Deal

Save up to 75% on Electric Toothbrushes

Prime exclusive deal on this toothbrush is £54.99, it’s £92.95 for non Prime Members!

Amazon Devices

Save up to 50% on Amazon Devices

Like this Fire TV Stick With Alexa for just £19.99

Amazon tv stick

There are so many deals on Amazon Prime Day, don’t miss out!

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Associate and this post contains affiliate links

A Place to Enjoy, Shopping

My New Venture – I’m an Avon Representative

I was an Avon representative in my old area. I loved it. I would take the kids out with my books packed in a bag on the bag of the Little Man’s pram and the girls would happily help me post my books. I had a lovely set of customers that I visited regularly.

Then we moved house and I didn’t take my business with me, I just gave up on it. My new home was in a building site and I didn’t think it was the right place to start canvassing.

Starting Again

The other day a lady knocked on my door and I decided to sign up with Avon again. What was I thinking, I can’t even walk now and I don’t get very far visiting houses in my wheelchair without help. But: you can now take orders online from any area and the good can be posted direct to the customer.

So, I have my very own Avon Website with an online shop.

Please do take a look if you have a moment, it would make me really happy if you placed an order. Delivery to your home is £3.50 and free if you order over £30…but look out for special offers too. At the moment, if you order before 18th July you can get your delivery for free when you spend just £20. Also, if you buy 3 Skin So Soft Dry Oil items you can get free delivery with the code DRYOIL.

Facebook

I also have my own Facebook Page which anyone can join. Please do as I hope to bring you lots of interesting tips and ideas as well as competitions and giveaways!

It’s so great that you can take orders from absolutely anywhere in the UK now. When I was a representative before I could only take orders from people I could deliver too physically. Of course if you are local I can still do that, and I will be. The neighbours all have brochures through their door that my husband will collect for me.

Avon.

Of course, I wouldn’t be working for Avon if I didn’t believe in their products. I’m not a great make-up user but the little make up I have is from Avon and I’m really please with it. I do try to look after my skin, so moisturers and masks are a favourite of mine. I love the Skin So Soft Dry Oil collection and it has so many benefits. The perfumes are pretty special too. I can get samples of perfumes if anyone wants to smell before they buy. (If you would like a sample then please let me know in a message on my Facebook Page.)

They also do a great selection of hairbrushes. We have had ours for years and it’s time for some new ones. They also do vegan make-up brushes!

The shower gels are amazing, and as cheap or cheaper than the other brands. They also do some nice bubble bath.

shower gel and bubble bath from Avon

You can also buy things for the home like storage boxes, diffusers, candles and even lunch boxes to name just a few.

Avon home, candle, diffuser, storage boxes and lunch box and cup

Avon also sell clothing and have some great ranges to suit anyone, including shoes and pyjamas.

If accessorising is your thing then Avon also do a jewellery range and selection bags and scarfs and sunglasses.

collage of Avon accessories, sunglasses, necklace, bag and watches

With Summer upon us, don’t forget to stock up on your suncream and after sun lotion.

How Can You Help?

I’d love some support with my new venture, maybe you’d like to order something, or even just sign up to my Facebook Page. Or, share my page with your friends. I’d be most grateful as I’d really like this to work. Thank you in advance x

“Reflections
A Place to Eat

This Weeks Meal Plan

Last weeks meal plan went okay, we had to swap the pork meatballs and spaghetti because they didn’t arrive in the shopping, so we had another lasagna.

On Friday we had the carpet fitted and although I’d pre-prepared dinner, the kitchen was a mess. A lot of the stuff from the living had been stored in the kitchen during the day and it was just too untidy to do any cooking. I could have cleaned it up I guess but Graham was out taking his brother home who’d come to help to move furniture, and I was completely out of spoons. So we had a take out instead.

This Weeks Meal Plan

  • Saturday – Peri peri Pork strips with lime and chilli rice and ratatouille
  • Sunday – Pie and mash
  • Monday – fish/ chicken and chips
  • Tuesday- pasta bake (either chicken or sausages)
  • Wednesday – fajitas
  • Thursday – Paella
  • Friday – curry

As I’m writing this on Sunday, I can already show you pic of Saturday’s meal. It was really yummy, although eldest daughter didn’t enjoy it.

Peri Peri Pork Strips with Ratatouille, lime and chilli rice and a side salad

Peri Peri Pork strips on a plate with rice salad and ratatouille

It was so simple to make. I bought the pork in boneless steaks and cut them in strips. Then I marinaded them in a bought sauce; Nando’s Peri Peri sauce. I left them overnight for extra flavour. The rice was also a cheat, a packet of microwave chilli and lime rice that we’d had in a degustabox a couple of months ago and not used. The ratatouile was a selection of chopped vegetables, I put in courgettes, aubergine and green peppers. Then I covered it with a slightly spicy tomato sauce from a packet which had also arrived in a degustabox. I popped them in the oven to bake until soft. The Pork I grilled until just cooked, the rice I popped in the microwave, and the salad was just lettuce, cucumber and grated carrot. Those of the family that are not keen on rice had straight to wok noodles with soy sauce.

I’m not a pork lover but I did pork as my eldest daughter doesn’t each chicken. She hated the meal anyway, so next time I will do it with chicken 🙂

The kids break up on Friday so I best get checking out some simple lunch ideas for them. They love to cook their own lunch at weekends so I’m going to be researching some real easy recipes for them to cook themselves. We are also going to do some taste testing, trying new tastes each week. Fingers crossed they will be eating more than chicken nuggets by the end of the holidays. I can only hope.

Katykicker
A Place to Eat

This Weeks Meal Plan – Food for Thought

I missed last week’s meal plan post. I was far too busy with other thing and the food kind of suffered too. We ate out on Sunday Night for my Daughter’s birthday (bang went the budget £150 for 3 of us!!) I have just winged the rest of the week which has not been good. Last night we had a take out!! (Another £40, am I made of money.)

We had a BBQ, thankfully we already had a lot of burgers and sausages in the freezer. I’d seen some kebabs in the supermarket which were £4.50 for 4. So I put them back and made my own. I spent about £10, but made about 18 so much better value, probably nicer too because I could choose the veg and flavouring for each one, and we had a mixture of chicken and pork.

We did manage the slow cooker lamb curry which was delicious, but my daughter complained about the house smelling of curry all day. Then I realised that’s why I don’t use my slow cooker so much, I have three children with sensory issues and the smell of cooking all day bothers them. I guess I could use it on school days but then the holidays are coming up! Argh! At least they like the smell of bread cooking so maybe I’ll make more bread instead and we can try some different kind of sandwiches.

I managed to defrost my freezer!! The husband helped by removing a lot of the ice. When I get my new freezer I’m going to make sure it’s self defrosting like our other one. We haven’t had to defrost that one in 8 years.

This weeks Food

This week I really need to be more frugal, and I’m dreading the kids being off school in a couple of weeks. I’m going to have to search out some lunch time ideas for them. I might try introducing them to some new foods each week, maybe a fruit or vegetable?

  • Saturday – Chicken and chorizo paella
  • Sunday – Chicken Roast dinner (it’s gone a little cooler!)
  • Monday – meatballs and spaghetti
  • Tuesday – Pizza and garlic bread
  • Wednesday – Steak for the boys, kiev for the girls
  • Thursday – quiche and salad (maybe a few fries)
  • Friday – fish and chips (chicken for Graham)

So that’s this weeks list. The shopping is done £182, including lunches for my daughter who is working three days next week. Of course I have to buy other essentials besides food, like washing liquid, cat food, deodorant etc. The meals will probably be mixed around but I am absolutely not buying any take outs or eating out this week!

I’m Linking up to Katy Kicker for her Meal Planning Linky.

Katykicker

My last meal plan can be found here