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

This post contains affiliate links which may earn me a little money if you click through and purchase, but will cost you no extra. Thank you for your support.

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

Mindful chef links are affiliate links which may earn me some money if you click through but will cost you no extra. Thank you for supporting my blog.

See more of my food blog posts here.

A Place to Enjoy

Spring is Here and so are the Flowers

I love to crochet, but you know that. One thing that is lovely to make is flowers. So, just because the sun is shining today, I’m bringing you a few lovely floral designs from Deramores. I’m an affiliate so if you do click through and purchase I may earn a little money. Thank you for your support.

Flowers Pot

I think this may be my project for this afternoon.

Mothers Day CAL Blanket

I really love this, if only my kids could crochet!

blue and pink blanket with flowers and heart and the word Mum
Mothers Day Cal Blanket, pattern £1.50, kit £25

Daisies

These three daisies look so cute in a vase and would last longer than real flowers.

flowers in a vase, crochet
Daisies, pattern 50p, pattern and wool £11.50

Orchid Cushion

How sweet is this cushion!

orchids on a cushion
Orchid Cushion pattern £1, pattern and wool £14.10, pattern wool and cushion insert £20.10

Baby Blooms Blanket

I am loving the delicate colours and beautiful design of this blanket. It’s definitely on my to do list.

baby blooms blanket
Baby blooms blanket, digital pattern £1, pattern and wool £18.50

Daisy Brooch

Such a simple yet effective brooch to bring a little flower to your lapel.

daisy brooch
Daisy brooch, pattern 25p, yarn and pattern £7

Happy Garden Flowers Throw and Cushion

A perfect gift for a gardener, or just to enjoy your garden on those cooler days.

cushion and throw covered with flowers
Pattern free, pattern and wool £29.56

Have you seen anything that catches your eye? I’d love to know if you make anything.

You can see some of my crochet here in my Etsy Shop.

More of my crochet posts can be found here on this blog.

Test

A Place to Read

The Familiars by Stacey Halls, A Gripping Historical Story

Here is a review of my latest Audible listen, the Familiars by Stacey Halls.

By: Stacey Halls
Narrated by: Katy Sobey
Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 07-02-19
Language: English
Publisher: Zaffre

This post may contain affiliate links.

The Familiars – The Blurb

To save her child, she will trust a stranger. To protect a secret, she must risk her life….Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir.

When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn’t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy. 

Then she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife. Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby and to prove the physician wrong. As Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her.

But is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Soon the two women’s lives will become inextricably bound together as the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood’s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake. 

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.

My Review

I listened to this book on Audible and was immediately drawn in. I’m not usually drawn to historical novels but I do find stories of witchcraft interesting. It’s hard to believe that such simple things that women did at those times were perceived as witchcraft, and that just simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time could get you into serious trouble.

I loved the main character, Fleetwood, as a young women she was strong and wilful. The author based her on a real person but knew nothing about her personality. I think the personality she created is what kept the story flowing.

Mixed with mystery, culture, fear and adventure, this makes for a really good read. I enjoyed every moment and the narrator took me straight back to the time and place. Reading other critics of the audible version it seems that some didn’t like the narrator, that’s why I think it’s a good idea to listen to the sample first. I found the narration perfectly enjoyable.

There is not much witchcraft in this book, so if you are looking for magic spells or evil doings then this is not the right story for you. What I enjoyed is a story about a strong young woman who stood up for herself and her friend. Whether it is believable or not doesn’t detract from the story for me. I doubt very much that during that time, that any women would have any say against those determined to be rid of witches.

I would definitely read more of Stacey Hills, her story telling is engaging.

You can find the book in my bookshop

Or on Amazon Kindle for £1.90 or hardback for £27

Read more of my book reviews here.

A Place to Eat

Back to Weekly Meal Plans because Cooking is a Chore.

I haven’t done a meal plan in a while. Cooking has become such a chore. It doesn’t help that we have been without a proper oven for over a week and don’t know when it will be fixed. (We are waiting for a part, I hope it’s not much longer.) The kids are at home all day and even lunch is a chore. When they are learning they need to eat at a specific time to fit in with online lessons.

I’m managing to get my shopping online each week which is good, but I’m getting to the point where I just don’t know what to put in the basket. I stopped Mindful Chef for a while, but we missed it. I love having every thing I need provided in a paper bag that I can just grab from the fridge, chop and cook. Most of the meals only take 1/2 hour and it gives us ideas for further meal choices. It makes cooking less of a chore. Not everyone likes them though.

So, I’m having another go at a weekly menu to see if I can get back on track.

This weeks Menu – Cooking Chore

weekly meal plan poster
  • Monday – Pizza and garlic bread
  • TuesdayDuck Breasts in Orange
  • Wednesday – stir fry
  • Thursday – Toad-in-the-hole
  • Friday – Fish/chicken and chips
  • Saturday – curry or jerk chicken
  • Sunday – lamb roast dinner

This will probably change, but at least I have an outline and all the food on this list. Fingers crossed we get the oven fixed soon. We can do the pizzas and the duck in the small oven and the roast lamb in the slow cooker, the toad-in-the-hole might end up being sausages and mash.

Of course the kid’s need lunches at home again so we are back to their old favourites which we rotate.

  • 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
Katykicker

More Meal Plans

A Place to Read

Latest Book Review, Playing Nice by JP Delaney

This is a review of my latest listen from Audible, Playing Nice by JP Delaney.

Playing Nice book cover
By: JP Delaney
Narrated by: Ben Elliot, Amelia Cormack, Peter Forbes
Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 28-07-20
Language: English
Publisher: Quercus

The Blurb

Pete Riley is a stay-at-home dad; his partner, Maddie, works in advertising. After Pete drops two-year-old Theo off at nursery one morning, he’s politely accosted by a man who looks just like Theo. 

The man, Miles Lambert, breaks the devastating news that Theo is in fact not Pete’s son, but his – the two babies got mixed up at hospital and Miles and his wife, Lucy, now have the Rileys’ son at home. They’ve already carried out DNA testing to prove it.

The two couples agree that, rather than swap the children back, they’ll try to involve each other in the children’s lives. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about just how the babies got mixed up. 

And when Theo is thrown out of nursery for hitting other children, Pete and Maddie have to ask themselves: how far do they want this arrangement to go? What are the secrets hidden behind the Lamberts’ smart front door? And how much can they trust the real parents of their child – or even each other?

My Review of Playing Nice

This is the first JP Delaney book that I’ve read, and from reading the reviews on Amazon it seems that it was not so well received as some of his other books. Without anything to judge it by I actually enjoyed Playing Nice.

As a parent it would be my worst nightmare to find that my baby was swapped at birth. This story follows what happens when these two families find out that they were bringing up the wrong children. It starts off quite amicable, the shock of the discovery of the swap doesn’t seem to throw anyone off completely. Then it takes a more sinister turn and you are bombarded with one bad thing after another.

The characters are not really likeable, except for the one Dad Pete. This makes it hard to relate to their pain as the story unfolds. But it doesn’t retract from the horror and the action. The ending was way over the top and utterly enjoyable. It was a definite page turner, I couldn’t wait to see how it was all going to work out.

The book touches on a fair bit of mental health issues which may be a difficult read for some.

This post contains affiliate links which if you click and go on to buy you may earn me a little money at no extra cost to yourself. Thank you for your support.

More Book Reviews

A Place to Reflect

Random Acts of Kindness Challenge and Special Offer

I’m a big fan of LSW Mind Cards and we use ours all the time. Today is Random Acts of Kindness day and LSW Mind Cards are presenting some lovely, simple ways you can take part. And for Today Only you can get 20% off all products on the LSW site with the code: KINDNESS

Random acts of kindness

Random Acts of Kindness Day

Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day so we are celebrating all things kind today and we have a challenge for you.

We’ve compiled a short list of random acts of kindness for you to look through and see if there is one you might be able to implement today. Give one a go and see what chain of kindness you can begin…

☆ Say hello when you pass strangers on your walk today

☆ Support a local independent business by writing a nice review online

☆ Hide a friendly note in a public place

☆ Compliment a colleague on their hard work

☆ Send a friend you haven’t seen recently a nice message to let them know you’re thinking of them

☆ Make a donation to a charity

☆ Offer to cook your partner or housemate dinner tonight

☆ Call an elderly relative to catch up


Have a go and see how it makes you feel. For our Random Act of Kindness we’re offering you 20% off all of our products today. Simply use the code ‘Kindness’ at checkout.

See you on Friday when we’ll be giving you a free guided meditation written and recorded by me, Lili, which I’ve written to help you experience and participate in more kindness moving forward.

Stay safe and have a lovely day!

Lili and the team x

So, what do you think? Can you share a little kindness today…or any day?

I am an affiliate for LSW Mind Cards so if you click through to the site and purchase anything, I may earn a little commission at no extra cost to you.

LSW Mind Cards review

A Place to Read

A Room With a View – Perfect for Valentines Day

We all prefer A Room with a View don’t we? The main character in this 1908 novel is travelling with her aunt when they swap their hotel rooms with two men in exchange for a better view. And so begins a love story.

Despite A Room with a View by E.M. Forster being a classic, I have never read it before. Neither have I seen the 1985 movie with Helena Bonham Carter and Julian Sands. But it’s on today, February 14th 2021 at 5pm on Film4 or 6pm at Film4+ I have it on record in case I don’t get to watch it.

A Room With a View on Audible

I listened to A room with a view on Audible, It showed up in one of their daily specials for just £1 and I was looking for something new.

A Room with a View

The Blurb

In this rich new audio production, acclaimed British American actress Rebecca Hall brings one of E. M. Forster’s most admired works to life in this classic tale of human struggle.

A charming young Englishwoman, Lucy Honeychurch, is wooed by both free-spirited George Emerson and wealthy Cecil Vyse while vacationing in Italy. Though attracted to George, Lucy becomes engaged to Cecil despite twice turning down his proposals. On hearing of the news, George confesses his love, leaving Lucy torn between marrying the more socially acceptable Cecil or George, the man she knows would bring her true happiness. Should Lucy choose social acceptance or true love?

It’s both the quintessential Edwardian love story and a classic piece of social comedy, in which Forster is concerned with one of his favourite themes: the “undeveloped heart” of the English middle classes, here represented by a group of tourists and expatriates in Florence. Forster’s disapproval of the era’s restrictive conventions is reflected through his strong observation of character and society.

A Room with a View was ranked 79th on the Modern Library’s list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. The 1985 film adaptation by James Ivory won three Oscars.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed the change of pace with this gentle romance. A little confusing at times because of the language and nuances of the Edwardian culture, but still easier to understand than a lot of classic novels.

Each character was perfectly defined and when I watch the film I’ll be looking to see if they match how I saw them while listening to the book.

Not many massive twists and turns, it’s quite obvious how the story is going to unfold. We have some dramatic moments thrown in like the fight in Italy and murder of a man in front of the main character Lucy. Then there is the usual confusion of emotions and Lucy deciding to ‘run away’ to Greece to escape her feelings. Of course the book is destined to have a happy ending.

The book already shows E.M Forster’s interests in philosophy and humanism, but he doesn’t lay it on thickly. He even points out how he feels women are mistreated as the ‘fairer sex’ and references how they could never become novelists.

I am an affiliate for Audible but I am also a big fan. I pay £7.99 a month for membership which gives me one credit towards a book of any value. Audible books can be expensive but you can look out for special offers, like this one which I paid just £1 for. There are also plenty of free listens including plays and podcasts. I always listen to a sample before making a choice.

Do you use Audible?

More of my Book Reviews