A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan – Shopping

Shopping – or the lack of it!

I’m slacking again! I usually have plenty of free time on Saturday to write up my meal plan and then do the shopping on Sunday. But last Saturday I was recovering from a night out on Friday. No, I didn’t get plastered, any kind of activity, like leaving the house, leaves me too shattered to do anything, even pick up the laptop and think about shopping.

Anyway, here I am a bit late., having just finished the online shop for delivery for tomorrow. But I’ll let you know what we ate the weekend.

This Weeks Plan


  • Saturday – pasta bake
  • Sunday – curry (sweet and sour for me and eldest son)
  • Monday – Take out
  • Tuesday – Chicken kiev
  • Wednesday – Mapo Curry
  • Thursday – fish and chips (or chicken)
  • Friday – crispy pork and noodles

I’m afraid it’s take out on Monday because I didn’t get around to doing the shopping online in time for a Monday delivery. But, I should actually be in hospital today so we tend to have take out on hospital days anyway. I’m taking a 3 month break from my treatment, unless I go downhill rapidly then I’ll be straight back in.

Last week my eldest daughter and I tried this recipe, Japanese style mackerel rice bowl, which we really enjoyed. So it will probably be something we try again.

Meal Planning

I was looking for something to write on the other day while in my bedroom and came across around six notebooks. Every single one had some sort of meal plan inside. It looked like I was obsessed with food!

When you look at my bookshelves, you will find at least 15 cookery books (ok I haven’t counted them but there is probably more.) My Kindle even has cookery books on it. I seem to be always on the look out for food that pleases at least half of my family. Also, we get bored of meals pretty quickly. When I was growing up we knew exactly what we having on every day of the week. Mum’s shopping was the same every single week. Online shopping was not an option back then and Mum would go from supermarket to supermarket to get the best deals. Those were the days that you could find at least three small supermarkets on the high street.

Online recipes are great, I love how you can just type in a few ingredients and there will be a recipe somewhere. I guess that’s why my bookshelf is gathering dust.

Katykicker
A Place to Read

I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith, review

I can’t believe I’ve never read ‘I Capture The Castle’ before. The author, Dodie Smith, also wrote one of my favourite childhood books, ‘One Hundred and One Dalmations.’ I still remember reading a part out loud in class at school.

I wasn’t sure it was the type of book I would enjoy, but after reading it, I know it’s the type of book I would like to write. It’s full of innocence, humour and humility and it’s so like the words of a naive 17 yr old’s journal.

Journalling

I kept a journal from a very young age. I doubt my life would have been interesting to anyone else, but I liked keeping all my memories jotted down and now it’s quite amazing to read back on them, especially the earlier ones. Sadly, my journalling stopped when I started blogging. Why write things down when I can blog about them instead. Of course my earlier blogs follow on in a very similar style to my journals, but maybe not so personal.

Mabye in the future someone will take my journals and turn them into a novel. Or maybe not…most days are a *yawn*

I Capture The Castle

This novel is written in journal form, not diary entries but story telling from the view of the main character, Cassandra. And what a character she is, how could you not fall in love with her, she’s just perfect. Even when she shuns the boy who adores her and falls in love with her sisters fiance, you just can’t feel anything but sympathy and endearance. Such a likeable character I don’t think I’ve ever met.

Cassandra sets out to capture the castle in her words. She brings you into her weird and wonderful life by bringing it to life in her journal. Her family is rather eccentric and they live, penniless in a rented castle (on which they no longer pay rent because the landlord has died.) Then the heirs come along, an ‘exotic’ American family who stir up all sorts of commotion and emotion.

Beautifully written with an unexpected twist.

Who hasn’t wrote those last words in their journal at some point. I know I have.

You can also listen to I capture the Castle on Audible, narrated by Jenny Agutter. Click the link to listen to the sample. You can join Audible for just £1 and download your first audio book. If it’s not for you then cancel your subscription, if you like it (I Love it) you can continue your membership for £7 a month which includes a credit to any book of your choice each month. At the moment I’m taking part in extra commission for everyone who signs up to Audible using my link, so thanks in advance if you decide to give it a go.

A Place to Read

Bookworms Monthly October

Hello, Welcome to Book Worms Monthly October. As the weather turns colder I find reading becomes more of a cosy down on the settee

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.

Join Us This October!

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.

Link up your October book posts below.

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.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

I listen to many of my books on Audible, it means I can go on listening while I crochet, cook, make a coffee, or even in bed without worrying about light or my glasses. You can take a £1 trial for 30 days of audible, and then if you decide it’s for you a subscription is only £7 a month for credit towards any audible recording of your choice no matter what the price. There are always plenty of real bargains for when your credit is spent too. I will receive a small comission from anyone who signs up to Audible using the banner below, although it will cost you not a penny more. So thank you in advance.

Book worms monthly September

A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan – Sweet and Sour

I think sweet and sour sums up last week too. I was so bored of the same meals that I wrote my meal plan with the idea what I already had in the cupboards, fridge and freezer. We did stick to most of it, and my shopping bill was only £130. Also, I didn’t spend much during the week either. So, I might have been bored of food but it was cheap. The only meal I swapped was on the Wednesday, I’d put fish or pork, and we ended up having toad-in-the-hole.

This weeks Meal Plan

I’m doing a sweet and sour this week as my son has been asking for months. I love it made in the slow cooker, it’s so easy, just through it all in and let it cook. Then make some rice to go with it. I’m thinking about making some battered quorn or tofu and straining off some of the sauce for my daughter. She likes the sauce but won’t eat chicken or most of the vegetables.

Let’s get on to this weeks meal plan

  • Saturday – Take out
  • Sunday – Stir Fry
  • Monday – Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • Tuesday – Sausage ragu (or sausage pasta bake)
  • Wednesday – pies and mash or chips
  • Thursday – quiche / salmon parcels.
  • Friday – pasta with spinich and stilton.

We are already on Sunday and we started with a Take Out because Graham went out and I didn’t feel like cooking, plus we had kind of ate everything we had.

Today, Sunday, we are having a stir fry because I really fancy it. I cook the chicken, noodles and vegetables and keep everything seperate. Then everyone can choose what they actually want in their stir fry and it takes a minute to fry it up with their chosen seasoning or sauce. Star doesn’t eat noodles so I’ll make her a little mash and she can have chicken and vegetables with mash instead.

I’m a bit worried about the sausage ragu, but we’ve had sausage pasta bake before so I’ll just make sure it’s got ingredients that will please everyone. I’ll add the pasta last, so Star can have mash again.

The sweet and sour can be served with rice, or noodles or even chips (star doesn’t eat rice either!)

I’m actually beginning to look forward to food again and I love all the inspiration I get from reading the other weekly meal plans in Katy’s meal planning linky.

Katykicker
A Place To Earn

Setting up Your Avon Store Online

I previously wrote an post Five Tips for Working Avon Online. I’m going to work through each of these tips in details and the first one was to open your Avon Store Online.

Step One -Open your Store

First you need to log on to your Avon online account.

Click the representative log on/registration. If it’s your first time you will need your Avon business number and decide on a password.

Once you have logged on you will see your welcome page. You can choose manage your business to check and place your orders, but today we are going to open your Online Store, so click on the box on the right.

Update Store Settings and Profile

When you log on you will see a menue on the left on side as in the picture above. The same menu will also appear in taps across the top of the page.

Start at the beginning and click Update Store Settings and Details

Set your online store name


the beginning of the site will be the same www.avon.uk.com/store…..
you choose the name of your store. I chose AnneSweet

so my url is www.avon.uk.com/store/annesweet

Then you fill in your contact details so people who visit your store know how to get in touch. You can put your e-mail and telephone number and then set the times that you are available for people to contact you. i.e. your hours of working for Avon.

You then choose your delivery area, where you are prepared to deliver brochures and orders.

Then its time for the personal touches like a photo of yourself and a personal message for people visiting your shop. Adding a personal touch makes your site more appealing to customers.

The next setting is Find a Representative.

This enables you to appear in ‘Find a Representative’ when customers are looking for a rep. in their area.

This should bring you more local custom so I’d advise to fill it in.

Make your Store Status ‘open’
Select show or hide

If you want to opt in to appear in ‘Find a Representative’ search you will need to click New Customers. If you only want to serve your customers that you are already familiar with then click ‘customers who know you’

I would strongly advise to click the New Customers if you wish to do a lot of work online.

The final option is to Hide from ‘Find a Representative’ Search. This will stop you from showing up if someone in your area is looking for someone to buy from.

Delivery settings

YOu can choose whether to offer personal rep deliveray and direct delivery, or direct delivery only.

Decide whether you will receive parcels for local people and take it to them. Or only accept people who are willing to have their deliveries direct from Avon.

If you are working online only you will prefer for your customers to have direct delivery. However, a lot of customers prefer a personal service and if you can get out locally, it would be a good idea to offer this.

Automated Payment Option

If someone buys from your online shop and choose direct delivery it will show as a credit on your account.
You can choose to be paid your commission through bank transfer or through automated payment through your mobile number linked to your bank account.

Once you have completed these steps you can click the next tab, Update My Store.

Update Avon Store Content

Here you can choose which departments you want to feature on the front page of your Avon Store. You can change these as often as you like.

Once you are happy you can save your changes and click the next tab.

Promote Your Online Store.

The Next Step is to promote your store through social media

If you don’t have social media accounts you will need to set them up. Make separate pages from the ones you already use. I’ll go into more detail about social media later, but you will need to create a Facebook page especially for your avon, you will also need twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

You will need your store link and use it as often as you can.

You also get the options to email customers who have already signed up.

I will tell you how to get subscribers in a later post.

Holidays plus Tips and Advice

The final tab tells you how to keep selling while you are on holiday, but it’s important to make sure that local customers know you will not be delivering while you are away.

It also has some good tips and advice for you to read.

These are all really important so do read them and click through the links to make sure you have everything set up ready to go.

Now it’s time to get selling!

Watch out for my next blog posts!

My Avon

My Avon Store

My Avon Facebook Page

My Avon Instagram

My Avon Pinterest Board

How to set up your Avon Online Store, a step by step guide
A Place to Read

What I read in September – Matt Haig and Margaret Atwood

This month I’ve been reading Matt Haig and Margaret Atwood.

Back to my current Matt Haig addiction I finished Reasons to Stay Alive. I listened to it on Audible, read by Matt himself which I really liked. But it is definitely something that needs to be kept in a paper copy, particularly by your side at all times so you can remind yourself why it’s worth living at all times. It is about half the size of his regular books though.

I will be buying myself a ‘hard copy’ as I’m certain I will read it again.

How to Stop Time – Matt Haig

On to my fourth Matt Haig book. I didn’t read it straight after Reasons to Stay Alive, but I guess it needed to be written about next. There was definitely some cross over.

If you can bear with me for some personal opions, I have often thought about how long you could actually want to go on living. There has to be a point when you get fed up of it all and feel comfortable with it being the end of your life.

In this story the main character is over 400 years old. He’s lived many lifetimes and aged slowly. He has loved then forbidden himself to love again and over the years he has lost the reason to being alive. He has stopped feeling alive.

I love how the story intertwines the present day with his history. One minute he’s teaching his class in a London school and the next we are transported back to a different century while he reminices on the most significant events of his life.

The reason he has stayed alive is because he knows that he has a daughter, who is also blessed, or cursed with a long, long life. He’s lost her and he’s desperate to find her again and that’s what keeps him going.

But then it’s all turned on it’s head when he meets a lady that he has feelings for. He has stopped feeling for such a long time.

The ending feels a little rushed and unbelievable. But then that’s not the point of the story. Is it believeable that someone could live for hundreds of years? The story is to help him understand why he should live. Again, reasons to stay alive but in a different format.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

I’ve not seen the television series or the film, but I did get drawn into the story and decided to buy myself a paperback of this classic tale by Margaret Atwood. Straight away I was drawn into the story and the life of the main character Offred. It’s certainly a strange tale, and has so many more questions than answers. I do enjoy stories that look into a future though, whether they are utopian or dystopian, and this tale is definitely dystopian.

Offred tells of her current situation in a matter of fact way while having flashbacks of a different life before Gilead became about. This different life is the one we would be used to now.

I found a lot of the story quite harrowing and the repression was stifling. The whole concept of the story is pretty terrifying. I decided I would like to watch the television series after reading the book but was dismayed to find that to watch it I had to pay Virgin an extra £19.99 to watch just the first series, and the other two were even more expensive!

I will console myself with the new Margaret Atwood book, I’m not sure whether to get the book or the audible copy. At least I won’t have waited as long as those who read The Handmaid’s Tale when it was first published.

The Testaments audible copy

I’m already started on my next book, I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. This is a paperback which I bought second hand. The problem with books is that I cannot crochet and read at the same time.

See My other Book Reviews.

This post contains affiliate links, thanks for your support

A Place To Earn

Five Tips for Working Avon online

I have worked with Avon in the past but since re-starting my Avon business I’ve noticed a lot of changes. I am disabled and unable to go from door to door, so apart from a few neighbours most of my Avon work will be done online.

I’ve decided to write this post to help you understand how you can work or improve your business using the online resources. I may be new to Avon, but I have a lot of experience in online networking.

How Avon Works Online

Here are some tips for getting your Avon Business off the ground working online.

  1. Use your shop URL. When you log on to the Avon Website you are given the option to set up your online store…do that straight away and use the URL on everything you post online, and any brochures or leaflets you post. Check out my post Setting Up Your Avon Store Online.
  2. Facebook. Open a page especially for all your Avon Posts. Give it a name that reflects that it will be about Avon/beauty/shopping so that people know exactly what they are getting. Invite your current facebook friends and ask them to add anyone who may be interested. Then you will need to create content, ask questions, answer quieries, find out what your page viewers want to see, work out the things that get the most interaction. It takes time but if you work at it you can get lots of interaction on your page and the more interaction you can get the more sales you are likely to make.
  3. Hold a Facebook Party. You have probably heard of parties where the host provides items for people to try out and hopefully buy. You can do the same on Facebook. Create an event, work out some games, do a little give away or two. I’ll write more about this later with some good ideas.
  4. Open an Avon Instagram Account. Beauty related posts do good on Instagram and you may find your viewers grow quite quickly when you start posting great pictures. Using pictures from Avon is great, but don’t forget to add a few of your own. Take some photos of the products you recieve.
  5. Tips and advice. Everyone loves tips and advice so collect as many as you can to share on your social media.

I will create five further posts going into each of these points in more detail. When they are online I will create links.

Setting Up Your Avon Store Online.

If you have any questions please let me know in the comments.

My Avon

My Avon Store

My Avon Facebook Page

My Avon Instagram

My Avon Pinterest Board

A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan -bored!

Last weeks meal plan didn’t go too badly, but I have to admit I am so bored of food. It doesn’t help that I have no appetite, I could quite happily live on snacks every now and then. But I don’t have that privilage, I have a family to feed. So, how can I mix it up without everyone refusing to eat? It’s not an easy feat with a family of seven.

Let’s look at last week first. It didn’t go too badly, we even skipped the take out as I managed to cook on hospital day. One minute I was fast asleep on the settee (it makes me really tired) then suddenly I woke, went to the kitchen and cooked everyone chicken and chips. My eldest son was a bit amused by this. But it saved me a small fortune. We didn’t have the lasagna, I went out with my daughter, so the others had more stuff from the freezer and I had a risotto with vegetables.

This weeks Meal Plan

  • Saturday – Curry and naan
  • Sunday – lasagna
  • Monday – pizza
  • Tuesday – chicken and chips
  • Wednesday – fish or pork
  • Thursday – fajitas
  • Friday – quiche and salad

Bored

I’m not happy with this weeks menu but I’ll keep it up for now. I did say I was bored! I’m hoping that later in the week I can get to the supermarket and maybe buy something different. So far my bill is only £130 and that includes all the basics, so If I can get a couple of extra meals for £30 then I’ll be happy. I’ll let you know how I get on next week.

Also, I think I need to hit those cook books!

Linking up with Katy’s Meal Planning Linky (also a good place for meal inspiration)

Katykicker
A Place to Read

Great Offers on Books from Lonely Planet

This post contains affiliate links for Lonely Planet. They will cost you nothing to click but may earn me some money if you purchase anything, so many thanks in advance if you do.

Travel from Lonely Planet

I’ve never been much of a traveller, I’ve had no desire to go around the world. I think I am actually afraid of how huge our planet is and of wandering around too far from home. Lately thought I have felt a desire to know more about this world so books can help me imagine what it’s like.

I have also decided that if I am to go abroad before it’s too late it will have to be soon. So, I am in the process of ordering my very first passport and I hope to be travelling further afield for the first time next year.

Books

I was thrilled to learn that the Lonely Planet book shop was having a flash sale this weekend.

You can buy one and get one free on everything. I have a collection of books already from Lonely Planet. Books about the UK for me and lots of fascinating books for the kids. You can see some of my kid’s books and games reviews over on my other blog.

I’m going to show you just a short collection of fabulous books you could be choosing from. And the buy one get one free even applies to the books on sale already…extra bargain!!

Normandy and D Day Beaches.

Now, if I’m going abroad for the first time I’m not wanting to go to far. One place that both myself and my husband would love to visit is Normandy.

Quiz Book

But everyone knows that Lonely Planet sell travel guides, you can buy for practically anywhere in the world. But they do other books too, like this fabulous quiz book.

Pit your worldly wits against family and friends, or just challenge yourself, with this ultimate travel trivia book. With head-scratching questions on everything from geography and culture to history, wildlife and transport, it’s a fun and challenging test for all ages – and the perfect addition to any trip.
Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel Quiz Book is split into three sections: Easy, Medium and Hard, with 100 quizzes in total, each featuring 20+ questions that will confound adults and kids alike. Perfect for social get-togethers, rainy days and family trips, this fun and illustrated book also makes a great gift!

Learning a Language

Whether you want to learn a new language or just want to pick up a few phrases, you can get a book to help you from Lonely Planet.

Kids Books

I love the Lonely Planet kids books, the offer the whole world to your kids in words and pictures. As I’ve already said, I’ve review quite a few of them with my kids.

If you were asked to tell someone on the other side of the world about yourself, where would you start?
Perhaps you’d mention your favourite hobbies, the pranks you play on your family, or what you want to be when you grow up. Would you include a selfie or a family photo? A cute snap of your puppy or that awesome shot of you playing your favourite sport?
In this fascinating and fun collection, 84 children from incredibly diverse backgrounds share their stories and photos of what’s unique about their lives – from weather, local festivals and hobbies to their favourite sports and food. These personal portraits also reveal the many things children have in common, no matter where they’re from.
Discover what it’s like to live in an orphanage in Zambezi, by a remote fjord in Greenland, on a cattle ranch in Australia, high up in the Himalaya mountains in Nepal, at an eco-lodge in Costa Rica, and much more.

World’s Strangest Creepy Crawlies

I love the diversity of the books you can get for children. Take this one for instance.

Enter the weird and wonderful world of creepy-crawlies. Our animal experts have unearthed 40 of the planet’s most bizarre species and ranked them in order of their oddness! With jaw-dropping facts and amazing photos, we reveal each creature’s seriously strange characteristics and the unusual ways they hunt, eat or defend themselves.
They’re sometimes hard to spot, but there are a mind-boggling 10 billion billion bugs on the planet. Inside World’s Strangest Creepy-Crawlies, kids will discover the tiny terror that blows itself up to save its friends, a creature so well disguised even its own species can’t see it, and a giant spider the size of a dinner plate. And with our ‘strange-o-meter’, they can compare each animal based on its creepiness, fight factor and superpowers!

These books make fabulous Christmas or birthday presents too. (Just saying!)

Twin Mummy and Daddy
A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan – Mapo Curry Recipe

I’ve not written a meal plan for a couple of weeks, but this week I’m back with a recipe too. Mapo Curry is a Japanese dish that is popular in china! This recipe is my daughter’s version which we find delicious.

Mapo Curry

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g minced pork
  • 350g firm tofu
  • 250 ml of chicken stock
  • 1 tbs Red Miso paste
  • 1 tbs Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tsp of harissa paste
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • boiled rice to serve

METHOD:

Prepare the sauce by mixing the cornflour soy sauce, harissa paste, oyster sauce, miso paste, chicken stock in a bowl.

Prepare the tofu by slicing into 1 inch squares

put the sesame oil in the pan and gently fry the garlic and ginger for about 1 minute then add the mince, stirring until brown.

Add the sauce and mix well, bringing to the boil. 

Turn down the heat and add the tofu, stirring gently to coat without breaking it up.

Serve with boiled rice and sprinkle with the spring onion pieces.

Mapo Tofu curry
The Japanese version of the Sichuan classic pork and tofu dish.

I know the ingredient list sounds long, but most of it can be used more than once. It’s been one of our favourite dishes for a long time. My husband is allergic to sea food so the oyster sauce is replaced with plum sauce and we make his up seperately. All ingredients can be found in most supermarkets. I always buy from Sainsburys.

The curry can be cooked in the time it takes to boil the rice, so remember to get that on first 🙂

We had Mapo Curry last week, so it’s not on our menu this week.

Weekly Meal Plan

weekly meal plan image
  • Saturday – Quiche and salad
  • Sunday – Pies and mash
  • Monday – I’m in hospital so it will probably be a take out
  • Tuesday – Lasagne
  • Wednesday – Paella
  • Thursday – curry (From a jar)
  • Friday – Fish and chips

See my last weekly meal plan here.

Katykicker