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
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A Place to Read

What I’ve been reading in August, Matt Haig.

With the kids around I’ve not been able to read so much. That and the fact that I’ve been a teensy bit distracted by Netflix. I did manage some reading on holiday but not as much as I’d hoped. I thought I’d be spending time sitting on the beach reading, but sadly it wasn’t as hot and sunny as I’d have liked, so we spent more time visiting places than sitting around. Having time to read isn’t good but I have managed to indulge a little in a couple of books by Matt Haig.

Matt Haig

How to stop time, kiss. How to travel in time, read. How to escape time, music. How to feel time, write. How to release time, breathe. Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive.

In May, I read my first my Matt Haig book, The Humans.

I really enjoyed it, it certainly gave you a different perspective on human qualities good and bad. Since reading it I was determined to read more of Matt Haig, I loved his gentle story telling.

The Next Matt Haig book was a little different. I decided to read The Radleys.

The Blurb

Life with the Radleys: Radio 4, dinner parties with the Bishopthorpe neighbours and self-denial. Loads of self-denial. But all hell is about to break loose. When teenage daughter Clara gets attacked on the way home from a party, she and her brother Rowan finally discover why they can’t sleep, can’t eat a Thai salad without fear of asphyxiation and can’t go outside unless they’re smothered in Factor 50.

With a visit from their lethally louche uncle Will and an increasingly suspicious police force, life in Bishopthorpe is about to change. Drastically.

My Review

I’m a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy, which is probably why Matt Haig appeals to me. I’m also a fan of psychology and Matt Haig likes to take his characters apart and look at how they work. This family is a little unusual as they are Vampires. I know that’s a spoiler but you find out pretty soon in the book so it’s not a secret or twist in the plot.

Not only are they vampires, they are vampires trying to fit in with human society and are abstaining from drinking blood. I love that you get little snippets from the abstainers handbook, it took me right back to my Terry Pratchett’s Reformed Vampyre’s Diary from 2003. (I have all of Terry Pratchett’s Diary’s, even the one published after his demise, which is the only one I just couldn’t bring myself to write in.)

Matt Haig is a lovely story teller, he has such a gentle way of getting things across, even horrific things. His depth of character is what draws you in and you learn about the things that make humans human.

Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig

The next book I chose was Reasons to Stay Alive

The Blurb

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FEEL TRULY ALIVE?

Aged 24, Matt Haig’s world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again.

A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.

“I wrote this book because the oldest clichés remain the truest. Time heals. The bottom of the valley never provides the clearest view. The tunnel does have light at the end of it, even if we haven’t been able to see it . . . Words, just sometimes, really can set you free.”

My Review

First Confession, I’ve not finished reading this yet.

Second Confession, I really don’t normally go for memoirs.

I was keen to know a little more about Matt Haig though and what makes him write the way he does. I am listening to this book on Audible and it’s narrated by Matt himself. Already, I feel I know so much more about him.

Depression is such an awful illness, it’s so much more than just feeling sad. And mixed with anxiety it can be really debilitating and ruin your life. Overcoming depression is a huge achievement and I’m so glad that Matt is sharing his story.

Set in relatively short chapters, some are even just lists, the book is easy to digest…but the words will stay with you much longer.

I know that it’s only my family that keep me here. I know that I’m passive suicidal, personally I don’t care if I live or die. I’ve prepared for my death and I know it’s inevitable. It sounds morbid I know, and I know I battle depression. I wouldn’t commit suicide because of the damage it would cause my family. Sticking around is what I really need to do for them. Seeing them grow up is my greatest wish. I have my reasons to stay alive, but I need to have MY reasons to stay alive too.

This is not a self-help book, it’s a memoir and sometimes it’s pretty dark. But, if you read about someone getting through such an awful illness, you may be able to see your own ‘light at the end of the tunnel. ‘

EDIT: I have finished the book now and I know it’s one I will want to keep to hand. My first impression was that it wasn’t a self help book, but as it progresses it does give you lots of self-help strategies and, obviously, reasons for staying alive.

Final Words

I’m becoming a true fan of Matt Haig, and I may even stalk him a little on Social Media. I’m so glad that I have a few more of his books to digest. I may even go on to his children’s books and share them with my Little Man.

Click the link to see more of Matt Haig Books on Amazon.

 
 Amazon.co.uk Widgets

This post contains affiliate links which will not cost you anything more, but if you do click through and purchase something you will earn me a little money. Thank you x

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A Place to Read

Book Worms Monthly – September

Hello, Welcome to Book Worms Monthly. How did it come to be September already?

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!

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.

I do hope you will join us this September, remember the linky is open all month and you can join up as many times as you wish.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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A Place to Eat

Weekly Meal Plan – Eggy Bread &Cheese Recipe

Welcome to my meal plan for this week. I’m including one of my kid’s favourite lunch time recipes of Eggy Bread Cheese Sandwhiches too.

I haven’t done a meal plan for the last couple of weeks. We had a holiday that sort of went through two weeks messing things up a bit. You would have been proud of me this last week though. Before we went away I arranged for a shop to come on the day we got home and I only spent £125. We got home rather late so the kids had nuggets and chips (quick and easy) and the adults had a take out. BUT, I didn’t spend any more money all week!!

This Weeks Meal Plan

This week we are not going to be so frugal as it’s my Daughter’s birthday so we are starting with a meal out (Which I know is going to cost a bomb!) Thankfully, it’s the last birthday this summer.

  • Saturday – Pizza Hut for birthday meal
  • Sunday – Toad-in-the hole
  • Monday – Paella
  • Tuesday – Chicken and chips
  • Wednesday – Lasagne
  • Thursday Peri Peri pork strips with ratatouille
  • Friday – Fish or chicken meal

I found out on holiday that Boo likes Scampi! I love it too but no-one else is keen. It’s good to add an extra meal to the kids menu though.

I have to say, the kids have been fantastic at cooking their own lunch nearly every day during the school holidays. It’s been a big relief for me as I find it very tiring cooking. They look for what they feel like eating and cook it mostly themselves with me standing by. It’s not a lot, but they have made sausage sandwiches, pasta and sauce, turkey dinosaurs and oven fries, quesadillas, and eggy bread cheese sandwhiches.

Here’s a quick recipe for Eggy Bread Cheese Sandwhiches.

ingredients:

  • Enough bread and cheese to make a cheese sandwhich for each person.
  • eggs (1 per person)
  • a little cooking oil
  • First make your cheese sandwhiches and cut them into four squares. Then squash them so they are quite flat.
  • whisk up your eggs in a bowl
  • put the cooking oil in a frying pan and allow it to get hot.
  • when the oil is hot start dipping your sandwhiches into the egg mixture and put them straight into the pan. (tip: it’s best to cook one sandwhich at a time, so four squares.)
  • Turn them over to see if they are brown on one side, and leave to brown the other side. They should be golden brown when you take them out of the pan.
  • Leave one a piece of kitchen paper towel to dry off excess grease.

We like to eat ours either on their own or with a little ketchup or brown sauce.

Linking up with Katy Kickers Meal Planning Linky

Katykicker

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A Place to Enjoy, Disability

Holiday in a Wheelchair

I’ve not been around much lately, I’ve been on holiday to Cornwall and it was a much needed break. However, when you are generally housebound and relient on a wheelchair, going on holiday can be a daunting experience.

The first time I went on holiday in a wheelchair was back in 2016, not long after getting ill. We had a holiday booked and I didn’t want to dissapoint the kids. The holiday park we’d chosen was very hilly but a quick call to Haven and they changed parks for us. We ended up going to Blackpool where it was flatter.

The second issue came when we had no car. I was the only driver in the house at the time and without the use of my feet I couldn’t drive our car so we had to let it go. We ended up travelling by train to Blackpool with three kids, all our luggage and a wheelchair. It wasn’t the most enjoyable of journies but at least I’d learned beforehand that I had to book for assistance on each train.

I’m normally a shy, independent person, so having to accept help all the time was so difficult for me to get used to. I really didn’t enjoy the holiday. The kids had a great time but I was still getting used to my chair and not being able to do anything for myself.

Cornwall

This year we headed all the way to Cornwall for our holiday, generally a three to four hour car journey for us. I’d not been to Cornwall for 15 years and I really wanted to go again. Plus I wanted the kids to enjoy somewhere beautiful and relaxing rather than the hustle and bustle of busy sea fronts with crowded shops, restaurants and arcades.

Before the holiday I felt myself feeling stressed. I so wanted to go, but the journey was long and I was scared that I couldn’t cope. We decided to take it nice and easy, with a couple of stops on the way. The traffic was kind and we arrived in around four hours. We booked into the caravan, unpacked and went to get food. When I got into bed that night I just wanted to cry. I was in so much pain because of being cramped up in the car, I’d already bumped into almost every surface in the caravan because I wasn’t used to it. And then I had to sleep in an unfamiliar bed which was awkward to get into because of lack of space.

It Wasn’t So Bad

The next day, the kids woke up and made their own breakfast before I awoke. Then we all got ready and went to nearby St Ives. At first it was quite awful, the pavements were cobbled with high kerbs and people were walking in the road while cars were trying to get past…and it was hilly!

I managed to get from a parking place we were lucky to find, down to the sea front which was flatter and less crowded. It was much more relaxing. There is so much to think about while in a wheelchair, particularly an electric one. I can’t get up or down kerbs, uneven pavements are a nightmare, and I have to watch my battery power like a hawk.

We had lunch and the kids played on the beach while I watched from the promenade. It hurts that I can’t go down on the beach and play with them, but I’ve got used to that over the years.

A Beach Wheelchair.

The next day we went to a different beach where I knew they had beach wheelchairs. I was so excited to be able to get on the beach it didn’t seem to matter that it was dull and overcast, and very blustery. The beach wheelchair was so comfortable! My husband had to push me but it rolled across the sand pretty easy. I even went right down to the water’s edge. Hubby pushed me into the sea without warning…he could have at least given me the chance to take my shoes off!

Beach wheelchairs are amazing. In most places they are provided by charities so you don’t have to pay for them. All they ask is that you make a donation of what you can afford. The downside is, you have no independence in them. Once my husband had left me to go and explore I was well and truly stranded. I couldn’t even turn the chair around. They are also difficult to get out of! I did manage to get out and transfer myself to a nearby bench so I could get a different view.

Me in a wheelchair on the beach at Perranporth, Cornwall. The beach has people in the background. The beach wheelchair has big bouncy wheels ,
beach wheelchair

Quiet Places

Quiet places are the best when you are in a wheelchair, you don’t have to deal with other people, in particular those that are not looking where they are going, or walk in front of you thinking that you can stop instantly. Well, I can, but my reflexes are not so quick, so I run you over, I’m sorry but I can’t help it.

The park we chose in Cornwall was very quiet. I could even manouver around the shop without hitting anyone. The club house was good too, and we even managed to get a table to sit at each time we went. (In previous Haven camps we have had to venture out as soon as the club opened to get a spot.) I loved being able to get around withou running people over constantly.

Even when we were out and about there didn’t seem anywhere in Cornwall that was truly packed like other holiday destinations. Maybe it was because the weather wasn’t brilliant, but it wasn’t exactly awful either. (And it was great for surfing and body boarding if that’s your thing, like it was ours 15 years ago.)

Issues with the Wheelchair

The clubhouse and outdoor cafe where upstairs and the lift didn’t work! We had to catch someone to go and open the fire exit, then I had to drive my chair uphill to get in. The door even had a small step which I got stuck on a couple of times. Everyone was really helpful though and over the years I’ve learned to accept help more graciously. (not that I was rude before, just moody that I had to ask in the first place.)

The other issue was battery life. We charged my battery every night in the caravan and it did very well. Then we had a lovely day at Paradise Park which we all loved so much. The problem was we spent a lot of time there and I ended up running out my battery completely. My husband had to push me back to the exit and the kids were upset because they thought we were leaving. My chair is not made for pushing as there are no handles, so it’s a big strain on my husband’s back. When we got to the exit, however, we were told that they had electric scooters and I could have had one from the start!! Why do we forget to ask?

So my husband pushed the dead and empty wheelchair back to the car after I’d transferred into a lovely big scooter. It meant we could spend another hour in the park and got to see another fabulous bird show in the sunshine.

Rest

After the first night I felt so much better. I managed to work my way around the caravan without bumping into things. Even the bed was really quite comfortable once I’d actually got into it.

The kids were happy and the whole week was taken at a relaxed pace. There is something about Cornwall that makes you slow down and everywhere is so beautiful.

I didn’t get much pain, I think it was a mixture of the relaxed pace and lack of walking. I walk too much around my home. The kitchen is a couple of metres down the hallway from the living room. And I can only make one trip without having a rest. My kitchen itself is pretty big and I struggle to walk from one end to the other. Thankfully I have my chairs to sit on. Then I have to get up to walk down the hall to the toilet, or the door. At bedtime I have to pull myself up the stairs. I may spend a lot of time sitting around, but I do a lot of short bursts of walking too. And it’s hurting me. I’ve hurt so much since getting home. Maybe I need to go and live in a caravan?

Or maybe I need to face facts that my walking is not going to improve and get myself a wheelchair to use indoors.

Home

The journey back was much harder. It took over an hour longer to get back because of traffic. About halfway back my right leg spasmed and gave me pain for the rest of the journey.

I loved going to Cornwall, but I don’t love long journies.

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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
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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.

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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

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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.

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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
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