Daddy’s Easter Bonnet.

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And the most irritating thing to do on a bank holiday Monday is…

Forget to turn off your alarm for work!

I’ve been up since 5.55am and even 22month-old Lizzie is still asleep. Typical.

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Five exciting things to do with a toddler over the Easter weekend

1. Surprise a family member.
On Thursday evening on a whim, we decided to embark on the long drive to Dorset to see Grandad. After a 4am getup, we drove the length of the country, having conspired with brother-in-law, Pete, to meet Grandad as he descended from a hot air balloon ride we’d contributed to for his birthday. Ben and I hid and sent Lizzie out alone to meet him as he walked back to his car. The look on his face as he realised his 2 year old granddaughter had come to meet him – seemingly alone – was priceless!

2. Go to a park.
There is nothing quite so hilarious as watching 5 adults and a toddler attempt perfect balance on a seesaw. Side splitting good fun and totally free.

3. Visit a zoo.
Yesterday we witnessed the delights of Tropiquaria – monkeys, birds, reptiles, and endless indoor and outdoor play facilities. And the chance to handle snakes, lizards and a skunk. Lizzie showed us all up with her “no fear“ attitude to a boa constrictor – literally grabbing it with gusto as Uncle Dave subtly disappeared behind a shrub. image

4. Horse around in a field.
Completely free, this activity works best if you have a group of adults willing to look completely ridiculous in public. Lizzie was entertained for a good half hour by some fantastically flamboyant peacock impressions, and Grandad’s famous twizzies.

5. Egg hunt!
Get some chocolate eggs and place them around the room. Watch in amazement as your toddler a. sniffs them out with no trouble whatsoever or b. ignores them completely, leaving you to find them all yourself, later on in the day… or year.

Whatever you get up to this Easter, have a great day and don’t eat too much chocolate! 🙂

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What’s that hiding in my Aldi fake Quavers?

While the food I have tasted as part of my Aldi taste experiment has been overwhelmingly good – I was less than impressed by their Quaver-style crisps. Not just because the taste was incredibly salty but because we also found a stowaway which looks remarkably like a French Fry type of crispy treat. See the evidence below…

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But neither the taste nor the combination of different crisps in a single bag was enough to deter Lizzie in her mission to devour everything in her path, including Bockwurst and rolls – also from Aldi – which were truly scrumptious.

Lizzie eats everything

Ah well… I guess when you shop cheaply you have to let the bad in with the good. At least I know not to buy these not-so-cheesy, far-to-salty Quaver lookalikes next time.

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Planting in window boxes

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Spent the afternoon – on this gloriously sunny day – dressing up the windows.

These window troughs were from Poundstretcher extra and are exactly the same as the ones we saw in an expensive garden centre. A bargain for £5.99 each instead of £25.

The pretty little violas were from the newly reopened Worsley Garden Centre, who were relishing the unanticipated rush on their products from people making the most of this mad March summer.

All in all a lovely day. And just about to set off for a bbq at MaaMaa’s ‘ouse (Grandma’s house) at Lizzie’s request.

There was frost on my car at the beginning of the week!

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A review of Aldi fruit and fake Wotsits

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Today we’ll be looking at – and eating – Aldi fruit. Again, this is heck of a lot cheaper than most of the supermarkets (50p for a bag of apples I believe), but what does it taste like?

Well, the grapes were perfectly juicy – came in a little tub of half red and half green – and were fresh and tasty. Much like you would expect grapes to be.

The bananas are small but again, perfectly good quality.

I was a tad dubious about the apples (or bapples as Lizzie calls them). Some of them had big gouges dug out of them, so it took a bit of rummaging to find the best bag. Thinking about it, this rummaging may have been what caused the gouges… But the bapples were absolutely fine!

And then there’s the clementines – some of the segments of the one I sampled were a little shrivelled but again it tasted good.

And as for the cheesy baked snacks – they taste exactly the same as Wotsits. And, at £1 for a pack of 10, are half the price!

I really am feeling quite favourable towards Aldi at the moment. As my dear husband pointed out – if we can save £60 every week on shopping we’ll be rolling in it. Rolling in money that is… not rolling in Aldi.

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Aldi versus the world – first up Skips v Aldi Melts

It may be the fact that I have a toddler that eats like a Great Dane, or it could be the insatiable rise in the cost of well, absolutely everything, but whatever the reason, last week’s shopping bill from one of the major supermarkets (naming no names but it sounds like sounds a little like Borrisons) came to a whopping £95.07.

That’s £95.07 for a weekly shop that feeds two adults and a small child. And we’re not talking top of the range or fancy convenience foods. We’re looking at bog-standard veg, meat, fruit, bread, cheese, tinned tomatoes, packed-lunchy foods, and a couple of boxes of child-friendly, not-too-unhealthy fish finger type frozen products.

So we’ve gone on an economy drive.

Yesterday we did the weekly shop at Aldi and spent a very reasonable £35. Yes we skimped a little but still came away with standard veg, meat, fruit, bread, cheese, packed-lunchy foods, and tinned tomatoes. We didn’t need any fish finger type frozen products. But still – the savings were obvious.

So, over the next few days, inspired by Aldi’s own ad campaign (you know – the one where they talk about how people like their products as much as branded ones) I’m going to taste the difference and tell you all about my findings… what’s bargain-tastic – and what leaves you reaching for the mouthwash!

Aldi Melts versus Skips

Aldi Melts versus Skips

First for the tasting are Aldi prawn cocktail flavour melts which resemble the ever popular corn-based crispy treats – Skips.

Aldi’s melts look like Skips, smell like Skips, and even feel like Skips – and so does the yellow and pink bag, to the untrained eye. And their taste? Well its a lot like Skips – but maybe a little bit sweeter. They still melt in the mouth, and offer a taste an intriguing taste which is as unlike like prawn cocktail as their higher-brow counterparts. But truth be told I couldn’t really tell the difference.

So, starting with a success – I would certainly buy Aldi’s melts again. And cost-wise they’re much more budget-friendly. At £1 for a multipack of 10 bags, they’re half the price of Skips (£1.99 for 10).

Watch this space for more ever so exciting cheapy food reviews…

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