15

Not Another Grocery Haul

Today we went shopping! Grocery shopping! The monthly (ish) dash around Aldi to be precise. I love reading grocery haul posts on blogs, seeing the amazing and often colourful array of produce, along with the fab recipe ideas and meal plans, I also love watching grand designs….. And, in the same way there is no chance I will ever build a house from scratch and have Kevin Mcleod ’round for a cuppa in my reclaimed wood kitchen…. I’ll never quite manage those beautifully crafted grocery posts I so love reading. Here instead, is my version

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Before I go
Meal plans? Noo! I barely have time to plan my outfit… My leggings are really annoying me today, all twisted and loose at the crotch…. So I kinda just, you know look in the cupboards briefly to see what we need. Which if it’s grocery day is prob everything because I’ve worn down the contents over the last week (concoctions of beans and pasta cos I’ve been putting off the shop for days). Getting everyone out the house is like an episode of the Animals of Farthing Wood (remember that). In general we don’t tell the children where we are going, we just aim to leave within the hour…. And run back once they’re strapped in the car for the bags…. That way they can’t escape when they see the ‘bags for life’. Sometimes we forget these altogether and end up having to buy more. oooo you should see the array we have stashed around the house… Now that’s colourful grocery shopping!

Why Aldi?
We live in a tiny hamlet in the middle of the Devon countryside, we visit Tesco in the local town for a jolly regularly (too regularly) to pick up the fresh veg. (I mention Tesco a lot in my posts). Aldi is our Mecca (that and Ikea), every six weeks we visit to stock up on meat and fillers… It’s cheap! It’s also great quality and, because there is a smaller selection we get in and out in under half an hour…. It’s like supermarket sweep. A trolley each and go go go. Except today we forgot our pound tokens (we remembered the bags though) and felt asking the manager to unlock one trolley was embarrassing enough, let alone two… So I pushed, Scott carried, the children kinda put up with it and we dashed about in haste stopping only to readjust these bloody leggings.

Once home
Now I know this is where I’m meant to lay out all the items beautifully on the kitchen sides and photograph them in pretty wooden crates but well, I didn’t! I stuck on CBeebies and hastily scraped old crumbs out the cupboards and threw in the haul…. I gingerly walked over the decking in our garden to the shed to throw the meat into the chest freezer and bring back the washing from the tumble in the bags for life!

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What to cook?
With two jobs, a blog and three children I dont have time to cook from scratch; I can you know! Make sauces out of cornflour, herbs, sweat and tears etc… But I’d rather write about how I don’t  do it and shove pre-diced meat into the slow cooker with a jar of curry mix…. Then ding some rice… Because it’s so much easier and Thats how I roll! So here it is… Our grocery haul…. 8 hours later, already in the cupboards and some half eaten, but done! Done for another six weeks and only £150!

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Oh, a crème egg, how did that get there?

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19

‘Oh My Bags Are Packed

The big h! Not our daughter, she’s big girl h, let’s not get confused. I’m talking about holidays. If you’ve been with us from the start you’ll know we had a disastrous half term trip up north a few years ago, the trip itself, lovely, but the decision to take the scenic route home kinda ruined the experience, there’s children, car journeys and a story about poo, check it out if you have a chance and want a laugh,

My sister, who’s amazing and whose in no way slummy blog can be read here. Alerted me that Mark Warner were looking for their 2016 ambassadors . She encouraged me to apply and as part of that I’m required to blog about my ideal holiday. This is a big opportunity, the post I mean, I had planned to write a piece entitled, how not to blog about food, I even made a vegan chilli tonight and took some obligatory from above ingredients shots…. Now I don’t feel bad at all that I’m sat in bed with a child either side, a husband at the base snoring (it’s 8pm) and I’m eating a creme egg, washed down with a glass of coke….it’s a vegan creme egg…. It was laid by a vegan chicken, she had dreds, a henna tattoo and a nose ring!

Writing about my ideal holiday should be easy, Scott and I play this game every week when we mentally spend our lotto winnings before realising we haven’t won, have no chance of winning and screw up the ticket vowing never to play again. In my mind I’ve built a whole house, complete with pool and treehouse, playroom, library, games room and farmhouse style kitchen. I’ve even taken into account the plumbing system for the ensuites…. This has taken a considerable amount of time and brain power and it’s quite nice to progress beyond the house and imagine a Macdonald family holiday.

 

     As I’m a perfectionist, nothing will be spared in this imaginary foray, the journey itself will last about three hours, long enough for us to watch some inflight movies (a nice Disney) and for people to compliment us on our well behaved brood, smug smug! but not so long that we have to resort to I spy a cloud, the chair goes up the chair goes down and/or similar such desperate ‘please don’t let the children scream and get us chucked off the flight’ forms of self sacrificing entertainment. Maybe the airline will supply crayons? I remember colouring in pictures of Jimmy jet as a child and I think a similar character based book would help our lot also… Big girl h would go for pink and ask for glitter, Roo would stay in the lines merticuliously and Nergy noo would eat the crayons…. It would be like home from home, except in the sky… On a side note. The first time I went on a plane, I was four and, after colouring in Jimmy jet, I asked my mum where the dead bodies were…. Before you begin questioning hidden childhood issues, I’d like to point out that apparently I thought I was in heaven… Both sweet and creepy at the same time right? I wonder how the mini Macdonalds would react?

Bc (before children) we were champions of the city break…. A visit to Rome (obligatory when your husband is a lecturer in Classics) and Amsterdam (obligatory when you’re a new couple and trying to demonstrate that you’re a cool, aloof, adventurous and in no way threatened girlfriend). Because we are such a cool couple, we hired a camper for our honeymoon and toured the filming locations of poldark!! This is pre Aiden Turner Poldark…. Told you we were cool!!!! We kept all the national trust stumps and spent hours in empty campsite club houses perfecting our table tennis skills…. Rain and holidays are our aesthetic!SC (Since children), we have managed a break to see friends in the north, a failed trip to Scotland for Christmas where the, it’s so perfect it’s snowing, went too far and we had to cancel, lest we be trapped on the road with a Christmas tree, abnormally large Turkey and another five miles to reach the cottage we hired (it had a hot tub and everything) and more recently, a long weekend to Peppa Pig world, no hot tub, lots of rain and actually fun had by all.

  


Children are our main focus now, bet that’s a relief to hear….. We wouldn’t want childcare when away, mainly because that would also require a wet nurse for nergy noo but also because we quite like having them! So entertainment and exploration would be the core theme. Not ones to lazy about in the sun we quite fancy a giant tree house holiday with cycle paths, pottery and waterslides… A hot tub for the evening might help soothe some past hurts. Any holiday has to be combined with the teaching calendar so we haven’t actually been abroad since our hen and stag dos…. Woe be us. Lots of all inclusive food because holiday calories never count and because I’ve lost four stone this year and want to challenge myself to see how long it takes to put it all back on.

A real Brady bunch affair, where we say goodnight in singsong voices after hot chocolate and fun filled frolics of the day… Family picnics, running through the daisies…. Spilt drinks and cucumber sandwiches, you get the picture! It’s all about togetherness. 

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We are fairly quiet people, In fact when deciding on peppa pig world I had to remind my other half that a house in the countryside really wouldnt be a holiday as we currently live in a house, in the countryside. The rain of that long weekend meant there were no queues…and,as introverts we relished that there were not many people either, what a bonus!

 so, an ideal holiday for us has a shortish flight, crayons, a hot tub, lots of active and kid friendly activities, a hot tub, no other people, a hot tub, a tree house, lots of food, a hot tub, a wet nurse and possibly peppa pig (cos we know we can handle her! What do you think Mark Warner? Up to the Macdonald challenge?…..

Did I say I’d like a hot tub? Or course that is in the imaginary house that Emily build so Im quite happy to forgo that if youd like to supply a lotto ticket instead??? Now you did say you don’t need a replica of our dissertations for this blog post…. But just so you know, I got a first for my dissertation…… And my degree in fact….. Media and Creative Writing degree…… With a combined honours in ‘I’d be a wonderful holiday brand ambassador cos I’m funny and have a beautiful family’ if you’re not swayed…. Here an incentive…… It’s play money….but it’s bribed our way out the playroom and up to the dining table many times….. Only looking at it gives it away!!….. Oh I do have a SLR camera in the study charging…. Next to the passports