Category Archives: Blog posts

Aldi Roast Dinner – British Pork, Yorkshire Pudding, Roasties and Veg




Aldi Roast Dinner – British Outdoor Bred Pork, Yorkshire Pudding, Roasties and Vegetables

My Aldi food post this week is a classic. Aldi roast dinner – Sunday roast dinner with the family. Most Sundays we will knock up a roast dinner. It’s such a lovely family thing to do to sit down with a plate of healthy food and have a chat (read that as convincing the children to eat their vegetables;-))

The great thing about an Aldi roast dinner is that it’s not going to break the bank. I shopped for the meat and vegetables on Sat 22nd April and here is what I bought. This will serve 5 of us, the boys love a roast dinner and eat a lot!

aldi roast dinner

  • Specially selected Outdoor British Bred Pork Crackling Joint. 1.038kg for £4.87
  • 5kg of Maris Piper of which I have used ½ the packet £1.49 = £0.75
  • 500g carrots again used ½ the packet £0.31= £0.16
  • Roasted pre-trimmed sprouts – £0.99
  • Butternut squash, I got it in the special 6 offer a couple of weeks back (still looks fine!) £0.45
  • Tender Stem Broccoli    – £1.35
  • 3 eggs for Yorkshire puddings (£1.75 for 12)  – £0.44
  • Plain Flour same quantity as eggs – £0.10
  • Semi skimmed milk same quantity as eggs – £0.05
  • Gravy granules  – £0.20

This lots comes to £9.36 or £1.88 per person. Plus, I know there will be leftovers for maybe a vegetable soup for tomorrow lunch. It just goes to show when you break it down like this how little an Aldi roast dinner can cost for a meal that is good for the body and the soul.




I am really surprised by the price of the pork. It was more than enough to serve the 5 of us and it was super tasty. Hubby was ever so surprised when I told him it was British outdoor bred. And he looked at me in shock when I told him the whole dinner cost less than a tenner.

I wanted to talk through the timings and methods that will maybe give you some ideas on doing things a bit differently. And I must share hubby’s Yorkshire pudding method as he makes the best Yorkshire puddings I have ever tasted, even better than my mum used to cook.

The meat

2pm The meat goes into the oven, simple sprinkle of salt over the skin to make the crackling extra crispy. It’s in for 1 hr 35 mins at 190 in the fan oven.

Prepare the vegetables and potatoes

Next it’s time to prepare the potatoes, peel them and then cut them into similar sized chunks, not too big and not too small. Carrots are peeled and cut into battons, butternut squashed peeled and cut into chunks, broccoli into the steamer, brussel sprouts halved.

 

Yorkshire puddings

I have taken some pictures here to show the method as hubby wouldn’t let me record a video! Firstly, decide how many to make. We went for 12. Get a smallish cup to measure out all the ingredients. Hubby always likes to use this small tea cup.




Crack 3 eggs into the cup and measure where the eggs came to in the cup. Hubby always measures it with a bit of paper hanging over the edge. Put into mixing bowl. Wash and dry the cup.

Next plain flour up to the same measure line. Add flour to eggs and whisk together. Next semi-skimmed milk, again up to the measure line. Add half to the mixture, whisk together, then add the other half and whisk again. Transfer to a Pyrex jug and leave for 15 mins or so to get up to room temperature.

Timings for everything else

2:15pm Parboil the potatoes for 12 minutes. When done drain and leave to air dry on a cooling rack.

2:45 Preheat the oil for the roast potatoes

2:50 Add potatoes to oil, coat in oil and pop in same oven as meat.




3:05 Yorkshire tray goes into oven to heat the oil

3:08 Yorkshire pudding mix into tray and start cooking in the same oven as potatoes and meat.

3:15 Turn the roast potatoes

3:15 Coat butternut squash in oil and put into oven for roasting. I like to use rapeseed oil for roasting vegetables. We put these into our top oven as had run out of space in bottom oven!

3:25 Add the brussel sprouts to butternut squash for roasting, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

3:30 Broccoli and carrots into steamer

3:35 Meat out and leave to rest for 10 mins

3:35 Start making gravy with juices from meat (not the fat) and a couple of tablespoons of gravy granules

3:40 Carrots and broccoli ready serve up

3:45 Potatoes and Yorkshire puddings ready serve up

3:45 Butter nut squash and brussels ready onto the table

3:45 Gravy into gravy boat. Done

And there you have it dinner served to 5 hungry people and 5 plates cleared. No meat, potatoes or Yorkshires were left at the end. But there were as predicted a few vegetables which I know will make a yummy lunch tomorrow.

 

This is a collaborative post where I received vouchers to cover my shopping.




wilbury in letchworth

The Wilbury in Letchworth – Pizza & carvery restaurant review




The Wilbury in Letchworth

One of my favourite review job for my site is restaurant reviews. We love eating out as a family and it’s something that is difficult to do when you are on a budget. I was rather happy to hear from the PR team behind the restaurant group Stonehouse. They have 70 Pizza and Carvery restaurants in the UK, and they were keen for the family and I to try out the Wilbury in Letchworth, a 20 minute drive from us.

On route back from Cambridge football on Sunday we stopped off for a spot of late lunch. wilbury in letchworthThe restaurant group has a new menu that its keen to get people to try and it was perfect for families. There was something on the menu to keep everyone happy.

Food is ordered

wilbury in letchworthWe were greeted when we walked in by the restaurant manager who showed us to our table which was situated near the carvery area and pizza oven. She explained that we were to go to the bar to order our drinks and our food. Immediate plus points as there was slush puppy/slushy as an option for the children. We decided to go for the carvery for hubby and I. Hubby went for a large carvery which included a giant Yorkshire pudding and a sausage(!) and I went for a regular carvery.

Josh went for a kid’s carvery, Dylan went for a margarita pizza and Jack went for a ham and mushroom pizza. I also ordered dough balls and portion of macaroni cheese bites. We ate at 2pm in the afternoon and it was fairly quiet. Maybe because it was a hot day or maybe because we were eating between lunch and dinner? This meant that there was no queue for the carvery a huge bonus when you are eating with a family of 3 hungry boys!

wilbury in letchworth

Hubbys large carvery

wilbury in letchworth

My regular carvery.

 




Hubby is a meat fan and didn’t go for much veg, as you can see from the huge plate of carbs and protein. Apparently, there is some cauliflower cheese there! My dinner is a bit more balanced with peas and carrots! There was a choice of lots of different meat, there was carvery turkey, beef, pork and gammon/ Or you could have half a chicken or some pie. You could then help yourself to as much veg, stuffing and potato that you could fit on your plate.

wilbury in letchworth

Dylans pizza lunch

wilbury in letchworthWe all really enjoyed our food and it was all eaten. Josh finished his plate of carvery very quickly, it’s a good move to offer mashed potato as well as roasties. He has already requested to go back again! Hubby and I enjoyed our food as well, maybe the meat could have been carved a bit more generously and maybe the vegetables could have been a bit more adventurous that carrots and peas. But apart from that it was decent pub grub and most importantly the children all loved their food and ate it all. Parents, you know this is a winner!

The pizzas were really good, freshly made dough topped and cooked in the pizza oven to order. The doughballs were also freshly made, and a big hit with Dylan who managed to eat 8 of them!

 

 

Dessert Time

Once you have finished your main meal the waiters take everything away and take the orders for the desserts which of course the boys were most keen to have, even after finishing all their main meals.

We opted for the again freshly made and cooked cookies topped with ice-cream, we ordered a child’s portion and an adults portion. We ended up ordering another adults portion as the boys loved it so much. Jack went for the ice-cream factory where he chose his own sauces and toppings.

wilbury in letchworth wilbury in letchworthwilbury in letchworth

The service was friendly and quick. There were a few different people who served us and they were all friendly and helpful.

The price

It was a great value dinner. We received our food free of charge in return for the review but our meal would have cost us £61. The drinks were £11 (including 1 lager shandy, 1 diet Pepsi, 1 slushy, 1 J20 and 1 fruit shoot. The large adult carvery was £9.99 and the traditional carvery was £8.49. The children’s food was £3.49 for the mains which is a fantastic price. The desserts were an extra £1.49 for the kid’s cookie and ice-cream and £2.49 for the bottomless sundae. The adult’s dessert was £3.49 for the cookies and ice-cream.

I think this is good value for a family of 5 to well fed with 2 courses and a drink.



The Wilbury is on the outskirts of Letchworth and Hitchin, so not far from Stotfold and surrounding villages. Why not check out their website to see where your nearest Stonehouse Pizza and carvery restaurant is and give it a try.

This is a review post where we received our meal free of charge, this review remains impartial.

Introducing Edie & Rona Beautiful Stationery Business – COMPETITION

Introducing Edie & Rona Beautiful Stationery Business – COMPETITION

I love a bold step taken by a friend to start their own business, so when I spied my friend Julie Brian from EE had changed her job title on LinkedIn I was intrigued to see what she was up to. Julie has launched a beautiful stationery business Edie & Rona.

My love for stationery

I have a huge weakness for stationery. As regular readers will know I am meant to be on a budget currently but I have still managed to spend around £50 this year on new stationery. A new planner and some sharpies earlier in the year.

Edie & Rona

If there was ever a business I could happily go into it would be stationery and Julie has done it. In a matter of months, she has set up the most beautiful website which is incredibly simple to find the perfect product and then buy it. She has set up brilliant relationships with exclusive stationery brands and has a real eye for products that are a little bit different and very cool. She has run several stationery events and has appeared in House beautiful magazine. Quite an achievement to get all this done in just 5 months.

We met up back in February and discussed how it felt to leave the EE corporate world. We talked about the things that are so much better about having our own businesses and then what was maybe more of a challenge! We talked about things we were proud of and things that we have learnt.

I really wanted to share this brand with you readers of my website and social channels as I know you will love it. I have picked out my favourite products for you which I have pictures below and told you why I love them. PLUS, I have a fabulous giveaway from Edie & Rona that you will be ever so keen to get your hands on!

Mrs Mummypenny’s Favourite Edie and Rona products

  • These Katie Loxton pouches are stunning. There are several colours available (gold, silver, bronze, pink) with different inspiring statements. I love this ‘Good as Gold Pouch’. Rather multi-functional, I could use it as a pencil case, handbag or travel documents holder.

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  • I have so many notebooks and planners. It is the staple stationery item that everyone should have in their handbag. And I love to have one that is a bit different that might get noticed in a meeting or that I love carrying around with me! Here is a beautiful one, you are capable of amazing things. And this one is included in the prize bundle.

 

  • I have a thing about magnets! I have a rather large American style fridge freezer, covered in pictures and certificates with magnets. I have to buy one whenever I go on holiday, got a few a few Las Vegas magnets. I love these hearts, so pretty.

  • I maybe sound like I am talking like a strange obsessive about stationery but I also love pens. Getting a pen from wherever I am in the world is a challenge of mine, so I have pens from hotels, restaurants, even London Zoo! I am loving these Caroline Gardner pens. I would try really hard to not lose these beautiful pens

  • I love things that are a little bit different and these paperclips are very cool. These are the butterfly design but there are also stars and hearts. This is actually a great tool for me as I have piles of paper everywhere that need to clipped together for organisation.

 

Competition Time

Win this set of beautiful stationery from Edie and Rona. All you need to do is click on the gleam icon below for loads of different way to enter the competition. Good Luck!!

The bundle includes

  • Capable of Amazing Things A5 notebook
  • Flamingo cleaning cloth
  • Things I like trinket tray
  • Spotted box pencil set

Enter the competition here

Click here to add your email address to Mrs Mummypenny for competition entry
Edie & Rona Stationery Giveaway

 

Terms & Conditions

Competition is open from Tues 11th April to Sun 30th April 2017

One winner will be chosen at random and contacted via their means of entry week commencing 1st May 2017

If the winner fails to reply within 7 days I will contact the next person on the list and so on.

The prize bundle will be posted to the winner by Edie & Rona

Entry via the gleam icon, by visiting both Edie & Rona and Mrs Mummypenny Facebook and Instagram pages. Also, bonus entry by adding your email to Mrs Mummypenny email list and sharing with your friends.

This competition is being run by Mrs Mummypenny in collaboration with Edie & Rona

This competition is in no way affiliated to Facebook or Instagram.

Open to UK residents, aged 18 and over

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky
Mummy in a Tutu

The importance of flexibility and control in my life with Powershop

The importance of flexibility and control in my life

From the age of 22 to 37 I worked in the corporate world. I worked my way up the ladder in a variety of finance jobs and worked for several big blue chip companies. These jobs provided me with security and a great salary, but they were all very inflexible. They were all long hours, office based and full time roles.

After having my third child I returned to work full time and it never felt right. I was working hard in a very stressful job that I wasn’t enjoying and I was paying out more than £1000 per month in childcare costs. The final straw was when my company relocated from near my home to central London and the commute became a huge issue. Life was becoming more and more of a challenge so it had to change. I was losing control and had no flexibility in the corporate life I had chosen.

The opportunity of redundancy came along with the relocation which I grabbed with both hands and used the money to launch my blog Mrs Mummypenny. I have never looked back.

Control

I always had issues with control whilst employed and was only at my happiest when I had a manager who would let me get on with my job without interfering. One of the most wonderful things about my world now is that I control everything. I decide when I work, how much I do, what work I take on. I have control of my income and expenses. Of course, I have deadlines and requirements from clients, these are never issues provided I am organised with my time and upfront agreements. There might be a time when I am working until midnight to hit a deadline, but that my prerogative, it was something I agreed after all! For me, control is so important especially in my work life and home life.

I am fanatical about the bills and have a strict budget that must be adhered to. Anything not in the budget, unexpected surprises, maybe like a bill owed to an electricity company after months of direct debit underpayments is an issue as the unexpected costs are not accounted for. I want to have comfort that what I pay each month covers the bills.

Switching to Powershop will give me that control over my bills, there will be no expected surprises as I will only pay for what I use. I love the fact that all usage and spending can be tracked via the online account and on the app. Control is literally at your fingertips.

Flexibility

The life of a busy mum with three young children requires flexibility. I want to do the school run every morning and be there for sports days, parent’s evenings and sports matches. In my corporate life, I had missed several sports days or school open days. We have many football commitments which we simply wouldn’t have been able to meet if I was doing my old corporate job.

I love the fact that my job as a blogger gives me that ultimate flexibility. I get to do all things with the boys and I get to spend invaluable time with my youngest before he starts school in Sept. How hard is it to find an employed job that would allow you to have a day like this?

A day of Flexibility for Mrs Mummypenny

On this Thursday where I filmed my day it went a bit like this.

8:30 I walked down to school for the school run.

9:30 I was back at my desk (the breakfast bar) to work on a blog post.

10:30 I headed over to see a friend to meet her new baby. Then I did a quick grocery shop and petrol fill up.

14:00 I was back home and spent the rest of the afternoon filming a YouTube vlog, editing and uploading to client. I wrote a second blog post for a fellow bloggers website, collaboration rules in the blogging world. I also fitted in a quick call with a client to agree on some work for the following week. Phew a busy 3 hours.

17:00 Picked up the boys and spent time doing homework, chatting about their day, feeding them again (they never stop eating), bedtime routine.

20:00 Back onto Mrs Mummypenny work. Evening was then spent catching up on my ever-growing social media accounts. Had a conversation about work projects with my co-author and further work. And caught up on my accounts. By 10pm I was reading to switch off.

6 hours worked in small chunks over the day!

Flexibility of Powershop

Just like my life Powershop allows you to have complete flexibility with your electricity bills. You can pay daily, weekly or monthly. You can pay for just what you use or can pay in advance of usage. Reviewing your usage on the desktop or mobile app allows you flexibility to control your usage going forward. We all want services that provide us with control and flexibility and Powershop really gives you that.

For more information on Powershop and to switch your electricity over to them check out their website or give them a call on.

This is a collaborative post.

5 frugal things post 24

5 Frugal things post 24 – Easter Holidays are here




5 Frugal Things post 24

Its been a beautiful Easter holiday so far with the sun out most days. It inspires confidence and happiness when the sun is out. I didn’t quite properly plan for the Easter holidays although I did write a post that I published on Monday about Easter holiday money saving ideas which has given me lots of ideas for next week.

I am now 1 week into being 40. It doesn’t feel much different to being in my 30’s to be honest. Although with the clocks changing I have a new found motivation and drive to really work magic on my business and revolutionise it. I have had a goal to earn £5k per month for a while now..and I really want to smash it. In March I agreed work with clients worth £4k so it’s getting ever closer.

Football Fun Week

Dylan and Josh have been at football/multi sports camp this week, so actually this week has been relatively easy childcare wise. This a fantastic sports camps that has cost me £80 for 2 children for 4 days with 6 hours each day of activities and fun. This is amazing value for money and works out at £1.67 per hour for the boys. And the best things is that they get to play sport for 6 hours with their friends rather than me having to entertain them every day. All I need to do is equip them with a packed lunch and off they go. The camp is run by Future Sports so if you live locally to Knebworth check them out for next half term/summer holidays.

Spaghetti Bolognese

I love a spag bol. I always make a double portion to make sure we have enough meat for 2 meals worth. So, I use 2 packets of minced beef and 2 tins of chopped tomatoes to bulk it up. And I add a random mix of flavours from the larder cupboard to make it really tasty. Yesterday I used Oregano, Basil, Parsley, ground cumin, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and beef stock. I also added a large onion and garlic also. If there are any other items hanging around in the fridge I will add them too, maybe a carrot or a pepper. This makes a huge pot of food to feed my hungry boys and leave enough for a pot to be frozen for a spag bol or maybe an Italian cottage pie in a weeks’ time.5 frugal things post 24



Blogger drinks in London

On Tuesday I headed into London to meet a few lovely blogger friends for drinks and food. I met up with Emma and Lotty first in a bar in London that had happy hour going on so we saved £10 on a bottle of prosecco. We then moved onto a bar on Dean Street to meet up with about 10 of us London based UK money bloggers. It’s always amazing to meet up with fellow bloggers face to face and discuss ideas. I left full of ideas for a website refresh, business ideas for hubby and big plans for 2017 to blog my way to riches (see what I did there!! Buy the book here!!)

Hubby’s plan

I mentioned my hubby there, who has last week left his job. He has been wanting to leave for a while and the opportunity arose to leave with a takeover by a new company and a relocation. I got him to read The Secret, the best book all about the law of attraction. To give him confidence and self-belief that new opportunities will arise so much better than what he was doing before.

I am going to re-read the book myself as well but I wanted to mention law of attraction for its power of enabling you to get what you want. I practised it properly around 3 years ago, as we had fallen into some debt after our house extension. After a few weeks, a cheque arrived in the post for £25k. Yes £25k that I wasn’t expecting. It was a very delayed (20 years) inheritance. The debt was paid off and we continued life with much less stress. I am practising it again is going to bring in money now.

Decluttering Mission

As hubby is at home at the moment he has been put to work. He is going through everything in the house, literally everything. He is working through what we can 1) sell, 2) dump 3) charity donate 4) keep. I am expecting to have a really huge haul to sell on eBay and Facebook shortly. I will be using the advice that Emma Drew gave me when we filmed this YouTube video together.

Thanks for reading my 5 Frugal Things, come back again next week, I post it every week.

I am linking up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five Fabulously Frugal things I have done this week linky.



tena lady discreet

Burlesque Dancing & Champagne with Tena Lady Discreet

The Tena Lady Discreet

The day before my 40th birthday I was invited along to the most fabulous event, it was the kind of event that you simply cannot say no to. We were to head to Soho hotel for a champagne reception, a burlesque dancing class and then nibbles. We were to discover a fabulous new product from Tena lady that will literally give you the freedom to do whatever you want and have no issues with bladder weakness.

Now there are certain topics that I want to write about. Taboo subjects that many people are uncomfortable talking about, I am more than happy to discuss. When there is a product that helps with a problem like bladder weakness then I want to share it with the masses.

Back to the Event

tena lady discreetThe Soho Hotel is beautiful. I have lived in or around London for 22 years now and I cannot believe I have never been to this place. As you walk in you are greeted by a giant cat and you are surround by colour tena lady discreet and beauty. The chairs are stunning, the flowers are adorable. It even smelt good, I always think that’s the sign of a good hotel.

 

I met my wonderful friend Emma of Emma and 3 website in the reception and we took a few photos, of course we are bloggers! We were escorted downstairs to the burlesque room to meet Hannah and Camden from the PR agency. It was everything you imagined from a burlesque room there were feather, balloons, flowers, mirrors, great lighting and champagne.

tena lady discreet

We began with some strawberries dipped in chocolate and a glass of sparkles and chatted amongst ourselves. There were a few bloggers there, from fitness to lifestyle and parenting, all of us up for trying something new and getting involved.

We listened to a presentation about the new Tena lady discreet product. This is a fabulous new product that has been designed to be 20% thinner than existing Tena lady products. The thinness makes the pads more like the menstrual pads ladies will be used to using. And they really are thin. They offer Triple Protection against leaks, odour and moisture for complete comfort, security and reassurance. This feels like a huge step change for these products and will make them more accessible to the estimated ¼ of women over 40 who suffer from bladder weakness.

Freebie Alert

For free samples of the Tena Lady Discreet range visit here

The Burlesque lesson

tena lady discreetOur burlesque dancing lesson kicked off. We had feather boas and feather for our hair to get us in the mood. A couple us changed into heels, you need heels for burlesque dancing yes? We started with a warm up and then learnt some the classic burlesque moves from the Dita Von Teese and other burlesque dancers who’s name now escape me! We had to think of our own burlesque names, I chose Emerald Beattie. Apparently, a good burlesque choice is a gem stone and your maiden name..who knew?

We then put a whole burlesque routine together as a group to music. It was tena lady discreethilarious we laughed so much and such a great time. The routine was practised a few times and then recorded it on video, I look forward to seeing that. We took lots and lots of pictures and had a right laugh about trying something new and different.

We ‘retired’ to a dining room and ate the most amazing crab cakes, spring rolls and fish and chips. Followed by chocolate brownie and macaroons. We had a great chat over nibbles about our blogs.

This really was an amazing way to spend the last afternoon of my 30’s. And don’t forget to order your freebie trial of Tena Lady discreet.

Disclaimer – I attended this event free of charge.

Powershop – A New Electricity Provider Arrives in the UK

Powershop – A New Electricity Provider Arrives in the UK

I have just received my latest bill from my electricity company. I get an email every month with an estimate (of course) of what we have used and then an amount relating to that estimated usage. It’s just so frustrating! In these current technological times, why do I still have a big monthly bill calculated using a random estimate?

I know that I pay £66 per month for our gas and electricity, this is the direct debit set up with the company when I transferred over last July. Rather worryingly when I look at my bills they have calculated rather different amounts for my usage. I have incurred charges of the following, charged £110 for January, £76 for February and £97 for March usage. Do I need to be worried about this? The charges are in effect made up, based on an estimate of usage. But what if they are right and we are building up a big debt problem? The problem being my lower direct debit of £66 is what’s leaving my bank account.

Put your hands up if you have had an over payment or under payment on your electricity bill? I know I have had both over my bill paying years. I once had a huge bill of £300 after 18 months of estimates and insufficient direct debits. I have also had money back as a credit, but I don’t want an energy company sitting on a nice balance of my money earning interest, I want it in my pocket!

I just want control

I JUST WANT TO PAY for what I use, when I use it. And if I get a week where charges are high I want to be able to change the behaviour that caused the bills to skyrocket. I want to be able to look back and think okay it was cold and we did a lot of tumble drying. We used the oven every day and I was working from home every day, hence the high spending week. This week I am going to wear lots of layers, not use the heating and put the wet clothes on the washing line to dry. I could even get the kids to obey the 5-minute shower timer. I just want to have control of our spending!

You can see my problem and it’s not just my problem. Its shared by many people in the country. Too many of us are paying too much for a bill that is estimated. Alas there is a solution.

Powershop

Powershop is a new electricity provider arriving in the UK. And you know what…they are going to give us customers flexibility and control. How I hear you cry! They are flipping the energy model on its head and get this, you will be able to buy you energy before you use it, revolutionary. Think of it like petrol, when your petrol tank is empty you buy some more and it’s up to you how much you buy, you could fill the tank or just buy enough to keep you going for a week.

powershop

With Powershop you will able to buy a pack of electricity at a great value price that will cover you for as long as you want. You can even take advantage of special offer bundles and buy electricity for a later date at a special price. This is ultimate flexibility, you can even pay for electricity on a daily basis if you want to.
It feels like a pay as you go model where you can choose how much to top up when you want and you pay for exactly what you use.

Technology

There is a great hub of information available in the Powershop online account. You can get into the nitty-gritty of your usage and spending by day, week and month. And you can easily buy your power packs. Here is demo of a desktop Powershop account.

There is also a simple and easy to use app available on IOS and Android with similar information to the desktop. It enable you to buy your electricity on the go.

Customer Service

I have been known to moan about the customer service of Energy companies on my blog, they don’t have the best reputation for giving clear guidance and advice. Powershop take a huge amount of pride in their customer service, wanting to become known for their strong customer service skills. This is so important in an industry where it’s common to have problems so I feel reassured by this.

Ready to Switch?

Are you feeling ready for a change, ready to move your electricity provider to something new and different? Are you wanting value, control and flexibility? Well now is the time, go the Powershop website and start the switching process. You won’t regret it.

This is a collaborative post with Powershop

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Aldi hot cross buns

Aldi Hot Cross Buns – Taste testing variety of toppings

Aldi Hot Cross Buns

A few weeks ago, I shared a post about an Aldi Easter Event that I attended. We got a first sight of the amazing new Easter products and got to taste the yummy food, chocolate and wine. There was a whole stand dedicated to Aldi hot cross buns which were rather tasty and I got bring home a sample. Josh came up with the best idea on how to show the case the Hot Cross Buns in a vlog. Josh is my middle son on the right in the video.





He wanted to select a range of toppings, different to regular butter and taste test them to see if it was a nice topping or not so nice. We filmed it yesterday and here is the result. It such a cute and funny video. Obviously biased but my boys are super stars, they know how to work a YouTube video.

 

We used the Mixed Fruit Specially Selected Hot Cross buns that cost 99p for 4.

The topping we used were

  • Strawberries, sliced thinly, used 2 strawberries
  • Avocado, sliced thinly ¼ of one
  • Peanut butter, we used smooth.
  • Syrup
  • Chocolate Spread
  • Scrambled Egg
  • Melted Cheese and ham
  • Squeezed lemon juice

All of these are available from Aldi, here is what they looked like toasted and ready for tasting.

Aldi hot cross buns

Jack’s favourite

Jack wasn’t so keen on trying everything but he did love the chocolate spread, of course. And the melted cheese and ham.

Josh’s favourite

Josh was a fan of Syrup, Squeezed lemon and strawberry. Quite a bizarre choice of a favourite three!

My favourite

I loved the savoury ones, so melted cheese and ham was lovely.

Pop into your local Aldi and grab those yummy hot cross buns, you can find a few different flavours. There is mixed fruit, Brioche, Chocolate & Toffee and Cranberry and Orange.

Disclaimer I received vouchers from Aldi to pay for my Hot Cross Buns and Toppings. I doubt that influenced my children though!



Goal setting to achieve success and your dreams with Zurich

Goal setting to achieve success and your dreams with Zurich

Goal setting to achieve success has always been extremely important in my life. It has helped shape my direction in life, my motivation and my desire to achieve. I remember as far back as the age of 10 when I opened my first bank account and started saving up to buy a computer, I have always had a goal in mind and worked hard to achieve it. I have picked out a few key goal setting moments from my life to share the goals and the achievements.

Getting the best job after leaving university

Financial security has always been very important to me. In my teens, my parents passed away. I was provided for until my education ended but then I was on my own. It was up to me to find the best job possible to provide financial security.

I had chosen a great university and was studying maths so was in a good place to secure that fabulous job. Whilst at university I did a sandwich degree which gave me the best experience for the graduation job process.

I worked hard at university and secured my 2:1. With all my experience and results from university I was perfectly placed to secure my first graduate job with HSBC in London. It was also a job where I would be studying for an accountancy qualification so progression and more financial security was always on my mind. So first big life goal was achieved at the age of 22.

Owning the Perfect house

A goal for many years was to own our perfect house, with everything as we wanted it, but also by creating value and an asset. It was a long journey to owning the perfect house – it took time, planning and the building of money to get there. I bought my first house when I was 25 with a partner, this house was sold when that relationship broke up and a bit of profit was put into a small 2-bedroom house in Knebworth that I owned by myself.

I met my now husband, 2 babies arrived and suddenly the two-bedroom house wasn’t big enough for our family of 4. We chose wisely and moved to a three-bedroom house in the same village with room to extend. Baby number three arrived and a bigger house of our design was now essential and my second big life goal was put into plan.

Our goal was to have a four-bedroom house with two bathrooms and a nice outside space for our three boys. We drew up plans for our dream home and then planned the finances. We released some equity from the house and cashed in a stocks and shares ISA that I had been invested in every month for 12 years. I was so pleased that I had made that decision with my first months’ pay to open that ISA.

The shell and roof is complete

By Spring 2003 we had almost a brand-new house after it was extended, redecorated, refloored, new bathrooms, new kitchen, new astro-turfed garden. We had achieved a huge life goal and had the perfect house that was exactly what we needed with our family of five.

 

Owning my Own Successful Business and Future Goals

My big life goal now is to make a success of my business Mrs Mummypenny. I have a five-year plan of which I am two years into. I want to have turnover of £1m by my fifth year of trading. This sounds ambitious, but I really think with goals you should dream big and work hard to achieve them. Hey if I reach £500k rather than £1m then I have done amazingly!!

My Mummypenny was born as a business in September 2015, so I am half way through year 2 and it’s going so well. Starting my own business was a recent goal. Life with three children and a full-time employed job in London was proving difficult and I wanted freedom, flexibility and control and the dream soon transpired that running my own business was the only way to achieve this.

How will I reach my business goals? Well looking at current trajectory I am doing good, it’s looking like my year 2 turnover will be maybe seven times higher than year 1. Year three should again see a jump of 2-3 times my year 2 turnover. The path to success is looking bright.

How am I going to reach this goal? Firstly, it’s all about taking that big goal of £1m and breaking it down into smaller more achievable chunks. I will set quarterly goals and also weekly and daily goals. For Q1 this year my aim was to make £100 per day. I agreed this goal and shared it with friends and I regularly give updates particularly to other trusted bloggers on how I am doing.

There will be some days where I make nothing but then other days where I might make £500, but the target and goal for the week is always there to make £500. An interesting thought process is this, if I reach £500 by say Tuesday I don’t give up. There is a part of my mind that feels more relaxed but I keep on going for more work. The feeling when you end a week smashing your target is the best feeling ever.

My advice is take a big goal and break is down into smaller more achievable chunks. Make your goals SMART, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. Tell people your goals who can hold you accountable. They can celebrate your success when you smash your goals and help to generate ideas if said plans are not going your way.

What are your life goals? What goals have you achieved in life that you are super proud of?

Zurich’s Future You Competition

Zurich is helping people to achieve their life goals by running a fabulous competition.

The #shareyourgoal competition will reward four winners with £5,000 to put towards their life goal, a bespoke life-goal experience and a financial assessment. To enter you must share a description, photo, or video of your life goal using #shareyourgoal as part of your post or tweet, or comment on the Zurich Facebook page..

All competition winners will be announced by April 17. Full competition terms and conditions are available on the Zurich website.

This is a collaborative post with Zurich.

online exercise classes

Online Exercise classes from home with Flex – Social Home Fitness

 

Online Exercise classes help with feeling Angry!

I woke up today feeling angry. Not a good place to be starting the day. The children were quiet and good this morning which helped, they obviously detected the anger. We did the school run without incidence or shouting (I only felt like crying on one occasion). Once the last child was dropped at school I needed to dispel the anger. The school run is a 1.5 mile walk but I extended it by doing a bit of power walking and I had managed to get in 5000 steps by 9:30. I came home wrote an email of everything I was angry about and sent to my friend of 30 years and life coach Becky. That helped to get the anger out of head.

Then I did an online exercise class with Lucia on Flex, the class was called ‘experience the light of yoga’. It was a lovely 30-minute session live with Lucia where we did some empowering yoga, some beautiful salutations (my favourite) and ended with a meditation session focusing on the self and acceptance. This class was absolutely what I needed to put pay to the anger and continue with my day in calm and peaceful way.

Flex Trial

I have been trialling the Flex online exercise classes for 5 weeks now. In January I made the decision to stop my Pilates classes that I attended. Despite being a fantastic class that was doing a lot of good it was costing quite a bit of money, £40 a month, plus I had childcare issues as well. My class was on a Monday morning which I loved from a ‘getting set up for the week’ point of view but it was also a time when Jack wasn’t in school so childcare was an extra stress I didn’t need.

The new exercise regime I chose was to use Flex. Flex is an online fitness subscription where you can view live classes at any point in time with access to a huge variety of classes. There is everything from relaxation yoga to strengthening to high impact training to dance & barre. There is also a fab section for pre-natal and post-natal classes.

You simply find the class you want to try, there has been one starting within 30 mins whenever I have looked. The class will pop up on screen live with the instructor. You can watch it on the laptop or on a smart internet enabled TV. I have been using my laptop.

Flexibility & Variety

The thing I love about is that you can try new online exercise classes that you might have heard about, like ‘Mash it Up’ which I tried on Tuesday in the privacy of your own home. Mash it up, by the way, is a dance class of African origin where you jump around to African inspired dance music. You can see if you enjoy it and if it has the desired impact that you wanted. So far, I have tried traditional Pilates (I stuck to what I knew to start off with!), I then tried some Pi-Yo a high impact combination of Pilates and yoga. I tried Mash It Up dance class and today I tried a yoga class.

Variety is so important in exercise so I love how you can do three classes in a week and mix it up. Or maybe Thursday just doesn’t feel like a strength and toning day and you want some relaxing yoga. You can choose whatever class you want.

Social Aspects

Flex are trying to encourage groups of friends to join up together and do classes at the same time, so there is a strong social presence on the website where you can share your planned classes on social media with your friends so they know what you are up to. You can invite your friends to join in with the same class. You can also chat to the instructor during the class or afterwards. I just sent Lucia a message to say thank you for the yoga class, and got a speedy reply.

Perfect for busy, time poor people

This is a perfect solution in our busy lives to fit in exercise and well-being. We all know that we need to exercise to keep ourselves healthy and this makes it so convenient for you. Just switch on the laptop, find a class, do the class and you are done. No getting the gym or village hall. You can try so many different classes that you are never going to get bored as you might do with a fitness DVD.

Free 1 month Trial offer

The first month of Flex is FREE, hurrah. There is commitment free trial where you don’t even have to put in your credit card details. This will give you a great chance to explore and work out what you want to do and when. They have a program to help you plan your classes as well where you put in your exercise preferences and time preferences, this will give you a suggested exercise plan. After the first month, your trial will end and you can opt to sign up for the subscription which is just £9.99 per month.

Sign up here now for your free trial.

I received a years subscription of Flex in return for this post.