A Place to Eat

It’s Nearly Easter, so What’s on the Meal Plan This Week?

Each week try to link up a post with my weekly meal plan. It helps me with my shopping list and I can refer to it during the week so I know what I meant to be cooking. We have a Mindful Chef delivery this week of two meals so I’m looking forward to that. And of course, it’s Easter Sunday so my meal plan includes a nice lamb roast.

Easter Week Meal Plan

weekly meal plan poster

Are you looking forward to Easter? Do you have any special meal plans this week.

It’s been good not having to do lunches for the kids, but the Little Man has started having packed lunches rather than school dinners, so I have to budget for that.

I’ve also bought a fair amount of chocolate eggs this week.

See More of my meal plans here.

A Place to Read

Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough. A book review.

I saw that Behind Her Eyes was a new series on Netflix and remembered that it was a book on my TBR (to be read) pile. So, before indulging myself in the television series I got into the book first.

I listened to Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinbourough on Audible. Links in my post are affiliate links and may earn me some money if you click through and buy, but they won’t cost you any extra so thank you for your support.

Behind Her Eyes, audiobook cover by Sarah Pinborough
By: Sarah Pinborough
Narrated by: Anna Bentinck, Josie Dunn, Bea Holland, Huw Parmenter
Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 26-01-17
Language: English
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Behind Her Eyes The Blurb

Exploring the dichotomy between one’s inner and outer self is central to Behind Her Eyes. When a vulnerable woman is drawn into the lives of an enigmatic couple, she finds it hard to differentiate between reality and what truly lies beneath a seemingly perfect exterior. 

Don’t trust this book, 

Don’t trust these people. 

Don’t trust yourself.

And whatever you do, don’t give away that ending…. 

Louise

 Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets…. 

David

 Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice, let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife…. 

Adele 

Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each in turn reach out to her. But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks…. Is David really the man she thought she knew, and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears? Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding, and how far will they go to keep them? 

My Review

As it says above…don’t give away the ending…so I’ll do my best not to.

A lot of people have said they were disappointed with the ending but those are the ones that have seen the television series. I’ve not seen it yet, so I don’t know how much of it is the same, or if it comes across the same.

Basically, if you are looking for a bunny boiler type novel, this isn’t it. If you are looking for a murder/thriller novel, this isn’t it. If you are looking for a book that will confuse and confound you then you may be on the right tracks. It’s focuses a lot on Lucid Dreaming and some people find this easy to believe, some difficult. I have experienced lucid dreaming but not in the sense that you can actually spy on people. In Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, one of his characters, Granny Weatherwax, is superb at lucid dreaming. She’s so good she has to wear a placard which says ‘I ainten’t Dead’ while she’s away from her body.

But I digress, whether you believe in lucid dreaming or not, this book has a strong storyline based on it. So don’t get into it if you are not prepared to believe the impossible (or possible, whichever way you look at it.)

The characters are all very different but likeable in their own ways. Even Adele, perceived as the baddie, will have you feeling sorry for her. David is just totally caught in the middle, he feels trapped by the woman he once loved but he doesn’t understand why she is so different to the girl he once loved so much. Louise is the most ‘normal’ character but even she is tinged with betrayal.

In the book the events all happen very quickly, in the space of just over a month, which doesn’t seem to tally with all the things that happen. The lives of the characters change drastically in such a short space of time. I guess we know deception of this degree can’t go on for so long, but I found the fact that Louise had given up smoking and slimmed down so much even more unbelievable than the fact that she could master lucid dreaming. Maybe it’s different in the television series?

The ending is a bit of a shocker, especially in the book. You kind of know Adele’s plans, but do you know what has really happened? I don’t want to give any more away.

If you are intrigued then I will say that I got through this book very quickly and I did enjoy it. The ending totally baffled me and I’m still not sure it actually worked as a story on the whole. But, suspend belief in normal things and you will enjoy this book.

Now, to watch the television series.

You can buy the book on Amazon

Or in My Bookshop

Raisie Bay's Book shop

A Place To Read – My Book Reviews

health

How to Manage Seasonal Allergies

Spring and summer are the highlights of many people’s year. Feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin and seeing the vibrant colours of newly blossoming flowers is guaranteed to lighten your mood and make you feel better. As well as being a favourite time of year for many people, the warmer seasons can have a downside, which is allergies. Seasonal allergies affect many people every year and can disrupt their enjoyment of spring and summer. 

tree trunk with flowers and sun in the background. The time that seasonal allergies begin.

Image Pixabay CC0 License

Allergic rhinitis, aka hay fever, is a seasonal allergy that is especially common in the UK. Research suggests that between 10% and 30% of adults suffer from hay fever, and the condition affects up to 40% of children. Many people rely on antihistamines to relieve their allergy symptoms, but there are some other ways that you can help to reduce the chances of hay fever ruining your spring and summer. Here we will look at some practical ways to reduce the severity of this often frustrating condition.

Create a Barrier

Unfortunately, pollen and other allergens are everywhere. It is not possible to avoid contact with all allergens completely, so the next best solution is to minimise your contact with them. There are a few ways that you can help reduce the likelihood of allergens causing you issues. Firstly, you can create a barrier by wearing sunglasses when you are outside, as this will prevent your eyes from being exposed to allergens. Some people find it helpful to dab some petroleum jelly or buy a specific hay fever pollen balm that helps to trap pollen before it is inhaled through your nostrils.

As well as protecting your eyes and nose from pollen, you may also want to try and prevent pollen from entering your home. Even gentle summer breezes can send pollen into your home through open windows and doors. Keeping your windows closed where possible should help to reduce the amount of pollen that enters your home.

Take Care of Your Skin

People that suffer from hay fever often experience other allergy-related conditions, such as eczema. If this is the case for you, you may find that your skin flares up during the summer due to the combination of pollen and heat aggravating it and causing irritation. It is vital to take care of your skin to prevent eczema from worsening and becoming more uncomfortable. Trying to avoid scratching at the skin is the first step, but you may also want to take extra care when choosing skincare products. Organic Body Washes for Sensitive Skin can provide the perfect solution to soothing your skin and preventing further irritation from occurring. Looking at the ingredients contained in your products before you buy them will ensure that you avoid any hidden nasties that could upset your skin. 

Finding the best ways to manage your seasonal allergies can help you get far more enjoyment from the warmer months. However, you may find that it takes a combination of the above methods to keep allergies under control.

Do you have allergies? How do you manage them?

*This is a collaborative post

health

6 Ways Your Oral Health Impacts Your Entire Body

In the West, we tend to compartmentalise our oral health, segmenting it from the rest of the body. But that approach is almost entirely artificial. There’s no real reason for doing it. Any child can tell you that the mouth is a part of the body.

a woman with a big smile, showing the beauty of oral health

Pexels – CC0 License

What’s interesting, though, is how what happens in your mouth affects the rest of your health. A toothache isn’t just something that affects your teeth and gums, but also your organs, mind and even heart. 

In this post, we explore some of the specific ways your oral health impacts your entire body. Check them out below. 

Diabetic Complications

You wouldn’t think that oral health would have an effect on diabetes, right? Well, it turns out that it does. Oral inflammation causes body-wide inflammation which, in turn, makes it more difficult to shuttle sugar into cells. And that can lead to a drop in insulin sensitivity that pushes you into the diabetic range. 

Respiratory Infections

Oral health issues can also cause respiratory infections. Bacteria from the teeth and gums can lead to infections in the lungs, including pneumonia. These conditions are not so serious when you are young. But if they strike when you’re older, they can create all kinds of havoc on your health. 

Heart Disease

It’s hard to believe that poor oral health could lead to heart disease, but it does. It turns out that bacteria from your mouth travel around the rest of your body. Eventually, they enter the blood vessels surrounding the heart and start to do damage. When they get here, they restrict blood flow, encourage the formation of plaques, and can even generate embolisms that cause strokes and heart attacks. 

Dementia

Dentists such as Bowral Street Dental Practice focus intently on issues such as gingivitis – or gum disease. The reason for this is simple: there is evidence that certain bacterial overgrowths can lead to cognitive decline in older age. Oral bacteria might have something to do with the development of Alzheimer’s disease since the risk is higher for people with periodontal disease. 

Arthritis

Pexels – CC0 License

There are two types of arthritis: rheumatoid and osteopathic. The rheumatoid version occurs when the body’s immune system begins mistakenly attacking tissues in the joints, causing them to decay. 

Under normal conditions, the immune system is relaxed and doesn’t attack the body’s own tissue. However, if you have chronic inflammation in your mouth, the risks of rheumatoid arthritis begin to rise. That’s because bacteria are constantly signalling to the immune system that it needs to be on alert. 

You can actually improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis by improving your oral health. Simple changes to your diet, lifestyle and brushing technique can eliminate bacteria from your mouth and set you on the path to health. 

Depression

Pexels – CC0 License

Lastly, poor oral health can lead to depression. For instance, oral health issues can make some people feel awkward in social situations and, therefore, unwilling to leave the house. Other times, inflammatory compounds can actually get into the brain, causing the person to feel anxious or tired. 

This is a collaborative Post.

A Place to Eat

This Weeks Menu and we have a Boring Food Alert

I hate boring food. I want to cook new recipes and enjoy new things, but my family are so stuck in their ways. I really look forward to our Mindful Chef boxes as I know it means we are going to try something new, but I can only afford them fortnightly and there is only me and my eldest son that are willing to try them. Last week we had a Madras fish curry which was a little too spicy for my liking. I guess having Madras in the title should have given me a hint. The other recipe, Chicken and quinoa with slaw was really nice though.

So here we are onto a non Mindful Chef week and it’s going to be boring.

This Weeks Menu Boring Food

weekly menu poster
  • Monday – Pizza and garlic bread (Monday Staple)
  • Tuesday – Apple and Pork sausages and mash
  • Wednesday – Lasagne
  • Thursday – Burgers (selection of vegetarian, chicken and fancy beef burgers)
  • Friday – Maybe chip shop dinner…or chicken and chips
  • Saturday – home made curry and rice with naan bread
  • Sunday – Roast Chicken dinner

Has anyone else noticed the spike in food shopping? I try to be frugal but even just buying the basics seems to cost so much. We may have to resort to beans on toast. I have cut down on take outs but we still end up having one a week. Chip shop is the cheapest closely followed by a party bucket from KFC, but they don’t do enough fries so we have to pop some oven chips in.

If you are looking to save money on your shopping you can check out Katy’s 7 Fantastic Tips to Help You Save Money on Your Food Shopping.

Next week I hope to have less boring food on our menu

Lunch Times

The kids are (supposedly) back at school this week. My Little Man has decided he wants packed lunches rather than school dinners. I asked him what he wanted and he said, sandwich, crisps and chocolate cake…ah yes, very healthy!! I have persuaded him to have a bread roll, Quavers, a banana or pear, and a fruit bar. I hope that’s a bit better for him. He doesn’t like yoghurts or fromage frais. He really wanted crisps so the Quavers are a compromise although I’m not sure how much healthier they are.

The girls will be having lunch at home for a few more weeks as they are not back full time yet.

See More of my Food Posts Here

Mindful Chef Ingredients

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A Place to Reflect, health

Self-Care is So Important During the Pandemic

You have to make sure you take steps to help you look after yourself during this global pandemic. There are a lot of things that play a part in this, and you have got to make sure you focus on doing your best to take things to the next level. There are so many options and tips you can use when it comes to improving self-care and looking after your health and well-being. 

The more you can do to take care of yourself, the better lockdown will be for you, and the healthier and happier you’ll feel. There are so many ideas you should be looking to make the most of right now when it comes to looking after yourself and trying to find ways of being healthier and more prioritizing self-care during this pandemic.

self care

Pixabay.com

Take Some Time for Yourself

One of the most important things that you need to make the most of when looking after your health and well-being. There are so many things that play a role in helping you improve your physical and mental health, and taking some time for yourself is one of the best ways of achieving this. You have to make time for yourself so you can unwind, relax, and do things that will help you to feel happier and healthier.  

Get Plenty of Rest

Getting plenty of rest is something that you need to get right if you are serious about improving health and wellness. Rest and sleeping is something you are going to need to try to improve upon and this is important for helping you to improve body and mind. You’re going to need to get as much rest as you possibly can in order to keep your metal health and well-being strong.

Use Supplements

Making use of supplements when it comes to helping you improve your fitness and self-care, and this is one of the key things that you are going to have to consider. Supplements are a key part of helping you improve self-care and health, and that’s why you should consider things like vitamins, supplements, and Bloom Farm Wellness tincture and CBD products. Try to make the right decisions that are going to help you improve this, and there are many apps out there that can help you make the most of this to help improve your self-care and wellness. 

Socialize

There are a lot of health projects to indulge in during this pandemic, and socializing is one of the key aspects of this. You need to have human contact and interaction, and this is particularly important during lockdown. Of course, social distancing makes it difficult to be able to meet in person with friends and family, but apps like Zoom and HouseParty allow for virtual socializing, and this is really important to get right. 

There are so many things that play a massive part in the process of self-care and being able to look after yourself. You need to focus on health and well-being, as well as coming up with ways of being able to improve the way you live. Make sure you do as much as possible to look after yourself when it comes to health and wellness. 

This is a collaborative post.

A Place to Enjoy, Shopping

Things To Save and Splurge On In Your Home

There are some things in your home that are worth spending the money on and some things that you should just buy as basic as they come. A good way of helping to save your money and spend it in the right places is knowing what items or areas of the home are worth it. Here are some things to save and splurge on in your home.

door mat with the word home on, things to save and splurge within your home

Image Source

Soft Furnishings – Save

Soft furnishings like your cushion covers, throws, and table napkins are all things that you can certainly save money on. They are things that are likely to be used every single day in some way or another but they are likely going to be cheap to buy regardless. It’s not so much about the quality that you’re paying for because either way, they’re likely to get worn down quickly because of the weak materials that are often used. 

These things that you buy for the home are often for decoration and so it’s ideal to spend more on the other parts of the home, leaving the accessories like soft furnishings, etc. as a budget buy. You don’t need to spend a huge amount on these things for your home. It’s better to buy it cheap than to spend too much.

Smart Technology – Splurge

Smart technology is something that can be a great addition to your home. It not only adds value to your property in some respects, but it also adds a lot of ease and functionality to the home too. There are so many different smart technology options available and so when it comes to buying it, it’s worth splurging on specific products. Things like a smart television, for example, will often be a good investment. 

There are plenty of appliances nowadays that have smart features and can connect to other electronic devices. These electronic devices are things like your phone, whereby you can control the appliance from a distance.

Storage – Save

Storage is a necessity for most homes and sometimes, you might not have enough to keep all the clutter in order. If you have floor space that’s being taken up by stuff, then it’s important to invest in storage to keep everything where it should be. However, you shouldn’t have to spend hundreds on storage. For example, you could stick with the basics that are plastic tubs that can fit underneath your bed or in a cupboard.

When buying storage trying to find things that are functional and stylish for your space. You may also want to consider buying furniture in the future that doubles up as a storage space too but only if it’s really needed. For the most part, storage of any sort can be fairly cheap to buy, so you don’t need to go overboard in this regard.

Cooking Utensils – Splurge

Cooking utensils are something you use every day and on some occasions, multiple times per day. So with that being said, you want something durable and that’s not going to break or fall apart within the first few months of owning it. Things like your pots and pans are going to be better if they’re made out of solid materials that can last a lifetime, or at least a decade or so. As much as it might be tempting to get it cheap, invest in the utensils that are going to be durable, whatever you cook or use them for around the kitchen.

These utensils are worth splurging on, especially as they contribute to prepping and cooking your meals as a household.

Furniture – A Bit Of Both

Furniture is a bit of both because there are some things that are good to have splurged on and others where it’s worth getting them cheaper. Your sofa and bed are two items of furniture that are worth splurging on because they offer a lot of comforts that you will need on a daily basis. Whether you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep or watching a movie, they’re both an important part of comfortable living. Whilst there might be other things like your television stand or side cabinets that don’t need so much spending on them, especially if they’re just there for decoration.

Knowing what to save and what to splurge on when it comes to your home is something that can help you to save money when it’s needed and to treat yourself in other cases. Use these tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of what you buy, regardless of what it is.

living room furniture

This is a collaborative post

A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan, Back in the Oven!

Guess what? We have our oven fixed…over two weeks without an oven and I can honestly say it’s not been good. I was so pleased when the technician turned up this morning and fixed it. I can finally start cooking things in my oven again.

Last week went okay. We didn’t get our toad-in-the-hole thanks to not having an oven. We did have our lamb roast but we had to cook the joint in the slow cooker.

This Weeks Meal Plan with an Oven

weekly meal plan

This is possibly the last week of doing the kids lunches for a while. I certainly won’t miss that. It’s not so bad when they are on holiday but when we are doing home school I have to get lunch done at a particular time.

  • chicken nuggets and fries
  • cheese or ham (or even cucumber) sandwiches
  • salad bar with soft tortillas
  • sausage rolls and cheese and crackers
  • toasted cheese sandwiches
  • fish cakes/ turkey dinosaurs and waffles
  • eggy bread cheese sandwiches
  • sausage sandwiches
  • sausage and beans and waffles
  • quesadillas
  • chicken burgers

Now we have the oven working again we can hopefully start thinking about some different foods. Possibly use up our load in the freezer. It’s amazing how much we’ve not been able to cook because it needs oven cooking.

Katykicker

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See more of my food blog posts here.