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
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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

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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
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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
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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

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A Place to Read

Book Worms Monthly – brand new linky for book lovers

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’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.

book worms monthly

I will open each linky party on the first Saturday of the month and keep it open all month. Feel free to link up four book related posts and don’t forget to read some others and leave a comment or tweet the post. It’s only fair to share!

So, link away and have fun.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Mix It Up Linky
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A Place to Read

What I’ve been reading lately! June Edition

I like to keep a track of what I’ve been reading and maybe inspire someone else to read the same. So here are my list of books that I’ve read in June 2019.

What I’ve been Reading in June

Things in Jars – by Jess Kidd

The Blurb


London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.
As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may well prove the most remarkable spectacle London has ever seen.
Things in Jars is an enchanting Victorian detective novel that explores what it is to be human in inhumane times.

My Review

I’ve become a fan of Jess Kidd, I love her quirky stories that never fail to surprise. The main character is an anomaly in herself, a private investigator in Victorian times, but not only that..she’s a woman. Her housemade is a former freak show performer and immensely close to her employer.

The story revolves around a missing child, but what is the mystery about the child and why has she been kidnapped? But more than your general detective story, there is so much more to gleam from this book, in particular, how times have changed since then.

Jess Kidd has a fascination for the unusual, abnormal even creepy things that may or may not exist. If you want to read something different then I’d highly recommend this book.

Playgroups and Prosecco – Jo Middleton

The Blurb

January 3rd
Jaffa Cakes – 7. Times I was forced to watch a small child do a dance involving a dusty piece of ribbon found under the sofa – 4. Inappropriate thoughts about Zac Efron – undisclosed. 

Single mum Frankie’s whole life revolves around her kids. But when your toddler has a more active social life, something has to change. Forget ‘me-time’, Frankie would settle for some adult conversation, and watching something other than the Disney channel. 

The local playgroup may be ruled by Instagram mums with perfect husbands but Frankie accidentally forms a splinter group of single parents. After all, Mummy really needs a playdate of her own. (Now pass the prosecco.)

My Review

I reviewed this book in detail in a single post as I loved it so much. You can read the review here
https://athomealot.com/2019/06/21/playgroups-and-prosecco/

Normal People

The Blurb

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation – awkward but electrifying – something life-changing begins.

Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find they can’t.

My Review

I fell into the hype with this book (and the fact that it was on the two for one list on Audible.)

I don’t read a lot of romantic novels but this one was really not what I was expecting. The two main characters seemed anything but normal, both them had underlying relationship issues. But the bond was so strong it kept bringing them back together no matter where their lives took them. It’s not a long book and I read through it very quickly, but it was incredibly difficult to put down. You really do get drawn into the young lives of Connell and Marianne. The ending felt a little surprising, but on second thoughts, you know exactly what is going to happen with these two.

The book did jump around a lot which was confusing. You’d start a chapter and then jump back to find out how they got to the point at the beginning of the chapter. There were lots of issues that could have been addressed in more detail and I think a lot of the main points of the book where left open for the reader to make up their own mind.

There is one thing I know though, Normal People is not a book about Normal People.

This book has won a lot of awards and been nominated for even more. I have heard it on the grapevine that it is going to be made into a television series. I did enjoy the book, but I’m not sure I’d give it an award. A Television series would have to be padded out a lot more and the jumping around would be missing, so that would work better than reading it, I suppose.

Audible ‘Reading’

I read a lot of my books on Audible (Which means I actually listen, not read, but you get what I mean!)

If you would like to know more about Audible then I have a post that can has just won a prize that I would love you to look at. It’s over on my other blog here.

Also, I’d love to know what you have been reading too, so do let me know in the comments. If you have a book reading blog I’d be very interested in hearing about it.

Pin for later!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links but they will not make any difference to you if you click through and go ahead and purchase. If you do, you will be doing me a great favour though and for that I thank you in advance.

Twin Mummy and Daddy
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A Place to Eat

This Weeks Meal Plan

Last weeks meal plan went ok, again apart from the slow cooker lamb curry which as I speak is in the slow cooker! I also have some naan bread, although I didn’t make it, I’m being lazy again, but although I love making bread it can be time consuming and you can buy it ready made so cheaply.

Also we swapped our tacos for Chicken Souvlaki which were really tasty. I didn’t make my own pitta bread though, I bought some flat breads from Sainsburys. I have made pitta bread before though.

Instead of the curry we just had burgers and that’s why the curry is on the list today.

Bread

I’m keen to have a go at making some bread in my breadmaker. I bought it a while ago and as with most new kitchen gadgets it got used all the time at first, but now it’s gathering dust. I’m thinking of maybe a nice desert type of bread, chocolate and orange maybe? I’m off to look for a recipe now.

Oh, and the freezer is nearly empty so I’m hoping to defrost it tomorrow 🙂

This weeks Meal Plan

  • Saturday – Slow cooker lamb curry
  • Sunday – Lasagna
  • Monday – Tacos (because we didn’t have them last week)
  • Tuesday – chicken and chorizo paella
  • Wednesday – chicken and chips
  • Thursday – pizza
  • Friday – Toad-in-the-hole

I hope it goes well. I’m also hoping to do just one shop this week. Last week I did a shop at Sainsburys, but there were some things I could only get from Morrisons, so I split the shop between the two, taking forever to see which items were cheaper. I believe that Sainsburys is cheaper than Morrisons for so much more!

I still spent less than £200 though…and not one single take out. yippee!

We did go out for my brother’s birthday last Saturday and the bill for six of us was £55, which I think is amazing. We didn’t order desert because my brother had his birthday cake (Which I made.)

Katykicker

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Playgroups and Prosecco – book review

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction) (2 May 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1529103363
  • ISBN-13: 978-1529103366
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm

Playgroups and Prosecco by Jo Middleton

Jo Middleton is a lovely, funny blogger over on Slummy Single Mummy.

I’ve met her a couple of times now and she gifted me a copy of her book without any expectations of a review.

The book is available from many sources, including Amazon where you can get it in paperback, kindle and audiobook.

The Blurb

January 3rd
Jaffa Cakes – 7. Times I was forced to watch a small child do a dance involving a dusty piece of ribbon found under the sofa – 4. Inappropriate thoughts about Zac Efron – undisclosed.


Single mum Frankie’s whole life revolves around her kids. But when your toddler has a more active social life, something has to change. Forget ‘me-time’, Frankie would settle for some adult conversation, and watching something other than the Disney channel.
The local playgroup may be ruled by Instagram mums with perfect husbands but Frankie accidentally forms a splinter group of single parents. After all, Mummy really needs a playdate of her own. (Now pass the prosecco.)

My Review

I like to read a wide genre of books and sometimes after indulging in too many dark crime or horror novels I like to relax with something guaranteed to make me smile again. Playgroups and Prosecco is one of those books.

I could relate to the playgroups where you could feel left out sitting in the corner and wondering why your kids had more friends than you. I was so pleased that the main character of this book, Frankie, managed to make a couple of good friends at the group.

Following Frankie’s life throughout the year with diary type entries we can relate to so much of the stuff she goes through

The story is really well written (I wouldn’t expect any less) and flows nicely. I love what Frankie and her friends get up to and even had to check out @simple_dorset-life on Instagram. Jo captures perfectly the life of a mum with a teen and a toddler, I’ve been in the same situation myself so I could relate. I’ve also been a single Mum with a good relationship with the ex husband, so again, relatable. What I have missed in life is the good relationship Frankie has with her playgroup buddies and that’s what brings all the fun. I’m glad I didn’t get the ending I was expecting, that was refreshing. I really enjoyed this book and I so hope that Jo decides to write another, I’ll pre-order it, promise!

Post contains affiliate links

Twin Mummy and Daddy
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A Place to Eat

This Weeks Meal Plan

Last weeks meal plan went well, apart from the curry which I didn’t make because I wasn’t well. I will make it this week instead.

No take outs this week, but we did go out for a meal. It wasn’t my fault, it was my brother’s birthday. We all went apart from eldest daughter, and although we ate at around 3.30pm we ate enough to keep us full all day. If you are interested in what we ate, two kids had fish and chips, one had gammon. Graham had a big breakfast (which was HUGE) and my son had a big pizza. I went for the vegan menu and had a gorgeous red pepper and aubergine bake with tomato sauce, it came with salad and garlic bread. Then of course there was birthday cake for desert.

This weeks meal plan

  • Saturday – Eat out
  • Sunday – pies and mash
  • Monday – Pasta based dishes.
  • Tuesday – tacos
  • Wednesday – lamb curry
  • Thursday – pizza
  • Friday – Freezer raid*

On Friday I’m going to raid the freezer for things that need to be eaten to give us some extra space. These will probably be things like chicken dippers, fish fingers, fish cakes, chicken pieces etc. I’ll see what everyone fancies so I’ll probably end up cooking three or four different meals. When they are frozen meals though it’s not much bother. The aim is to empty one of the freezers as it needs defrosting. The other freezer is self defrosting.

Two fridge freezers are a pain but we do have a big family so they are necessary. My hope is to replace both of them with one big double America style freezer, but that would involve moving one of my kitchen cupboards. We’ve already had some great advice on what freezer to get so it’s just a matter of time and money.

What are you cooking this week? Find out what other’s are cooking over on Katy Kickers meal planning linky.

Katykicker

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