The future of food, technology and family life on the go*

Jaguar Land Rover have partnered up with chef, Jamie Oliver, to design and create a fully functioning kitchen inside an SUV. The Land Rover Discovery Kitchen is a truly bespoke model that highlights complete versatility of the Land Rover Discovery. Jamie Oliver worked alongside Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team to bring his vision of a kitchen on wheels to life – and they did it with style and innovation. 

Oliver had a big list of must-haves that he handed over to Land Rover – Lisa Tookey, chief revenue officer and head of commercial partnerships at Jamie Oliver Ltd, said: “Jamie is probably the most creative person I’ve ever met - he has a constant pipeline of brilliant ideas. Some of them are bonkers. If you let him run wild, this is what the outcome is."
She added: "We always want to deliver the unexpected and believe that this partnership does just that whilst showcasing the future of food, technology and family life on the go.” 

The Land Rover Discovery features a fully integrated kitchen, utilising every bit of space and technology available. Whilst Land Rover already have a reputation for integrating only the most state-of-the-art technology, this model features some of the best culinary gadgets. The centre console, usually home to the instrument panel, features a fully functioning two slice toaster, whilst the engine bay is home to a 4.7 litre slow cooker and the boot stores the fully equipped fold and slide out kitchen worktop with two gas hobs, a sink and a veneered finished surface. The worktop area is also fitted with an integrated slide out 40” flat screen TV with connectivity, and can be turned into a dining table to eat at. 

Both rear windows have been custom built with external access to the model’s very own herb garden on the right and 11-piece spice rack on the left. The herb garden can accommodate up to 8 living plants. The real first for anything in the motor industry was to develop technology that churned butter whilst you drove the vehicle – the Discovery is fitted with three 5 litre butter churners mounted onto the wheels. 

David Fairbairn, head of bespoke at SVO, commented: “As a team, we never imagined we would be asked to produce wheels that churn butter so it has been great fun working alongside Jamie to bring his vision to life. He really wanted to push the boundaries of what was possible with this versatile vehicle and the team fully embraced the challenge."
And, of course, it wouldn’t truly be a fully functioning kitchen on wheels without a dual folding BBQ mounted onto a metal table with grill rack and rotisserie that is powered by the Land Rover engine. With this model, Jamie Oliver and the Land Rover SVO team have completely broken the boundaries of family life on the go with the Land Rover Discovery Kitchen. The project demonstrated the extent of JLR’s specialist bespoke modifications. 
Land Rover said: “All of the modifications are fully functional, meaning that Jamie and his family can cook a meal from scratch using the Discovery.”

Jamie Oliver was impressed by the bespoke 4X4 kitchen on wheels too, commenting: “I gave Land Rover a massive challenge to create the ultimate kitchen on wheels. I dreamt big and asked for a lot… 

“I didn’t think they’d actually be able to put a slow-cooker next to the engine and an olive oil dispenser in the boot, but they did. The result is an amazing Discovery, tailored perfectly for me and the family – we love it. This unique creation means we can take our culinary adventures to the next level.” 

This is just an example of how vehicles can be modified to the requirements of customers. Although the Discovery Kitchen is designed as a one-off, it proves that specialist modifications are almost limitless today. The automotive industry is progressively introducing new innovative technologies to enhance the driving experience and make life easier. Jamie Oliver’s vision to prove that family life and food on the go is possible has been realised, and simply on the horizon in the future. From Jaguar Land Rover’s perspective, the project was an opportunity to demonstrate the talent and bespoke nature of its SVO team to a mass audience. 




My Favourite Holiday Moments*

Just as I thought spring was around the corner, the Mini Beast of the East has decided to make an appearance. All this horrid cold weather has really made me crave a holiday and made me think back to some of my favourite holidays.

Today I thought I would share some with you, starting with Marrakech. This was my first holiday aboard in years. It is such a beautiful colourful country. We had such a contrast holiday, we stayed in a rather tacky hotel, where everyone spoke English even when we made a effort to speak French or Arabic and did not serve any traditional dishes.

However, when we left the hotel each day we got to truly embraced the culture. We visited Souk, Jardin Majorelle, Altas moutains and Ait Ben Haddou which has been the settings for movies such as Gladiator.

I headed to Spain,for my next holiday.  A day before we left I found out that I was pregnant with Darcy. I spent the week struggling with morning sickness. However, it was such a chilled week, we took a day trip to Barcelona and visited the Dali museum, Camp Nou, did some shopping, ate tapas and walked along the pier.

It always brings back fond memories as it was my first official holiday with Darcy.

Talking of Darcy, I took her to Disneyland Paris for her third birthday, along with my Mum and Sister and I have to say we all had the best time ever. Darcy truly felt the Disney magic, meeting some of her favourite characters including Marie and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. 

I honestly cannot wait to go again in the future, as there was so much we were unable to do.

So those are my favourite holidays moments. If you want to make some holiday memories in Europe of your own, try Holiday Gems.

Touring caravans vs static caravans: which one’s better?*

Many people will begin to look at camping holidays as early as March, but is it better to enjoy these getaways in a touring caravan or a static caravan? Flogas, which can supply camping gas bottles to campsites and caravanners across the UK, weighs up the positives and negatives of each option: 

Advantages of touring caravans
If you like the freedom of the open road when going on holiday, you will love the independence that is afforded to you from touring caravans as they can be taken to a wide variety of caravan sites throughout the UK, Europe and beyond if you’re really looking to branch out. 

You don’t need to choose one destination and stick to it for the entire spring and summer either. Once you’re ready to see a new sight, simply pack up your gear and drive your caravan to a new campsite. 

Disadvantages of touring caravans

As touring caravans need to be mobile, one negative is that they tend to have substantially less space than static caravans. This is definitely something that you should bear in mind if you’re planning caravan holidays with families or large groups of friends.
You may also need to look into the car you drive if you opt for a touring caravan. After all, your vehicle will need to have an engine that is powerful enough to tow your caravan — especially up hills. This is an added expense that you may not have considered when first investing in your touring caravan, so you’ll want to bear it in mind to avoid an unpleasant surprise.
Due to you having to tow a caravan of a significant weight, it goes without saying that you’ll spend more on fuel taking a touring caravan from site to site as opposed to just driving your car to a campsite where your static caravan is already set up. 

Advantages of static caravans
Convenience is arguably the key selling point of static caravans. This is because once your home away from home has been driven to the holiday park of your choice, it will stay there for the rest of the spring and summer. When you’re at home and decide you want a quick getaway, all you’ll need to do is pack some clothes and essentials and enjoy the relaxing drive to your secure holiday home.
Static caravans are appealing in their designs too. Most have more space than touring caravans — in fact, some models can boast four bedrooms, fully fitted kitchens complete with integrated appliances, and the same kind of bathroom you’d expect to find in a hotel.
Know that you’re not going to be visiting your static caravan for a few weeks? Not to worry, as these can be rented out to other holidaymakers to enjoy as well. 

Disadvantages of static caravans
We mentioned earlier that static caravans offer plenty of convenience when they are in place at a holiday park. However, you will need to make sure you’re happy with your chosen location as moving a static caravan once it’s in place can be a difficult and often expensive procedure. 

Watch out for holidays parks which do not have a 12-month licence as well. If you happen to place your static caravan in one of these destinations, you’ll not be able to use them when the licence isn’t active — usually throughout the entire winter. 

Coming to that final decision
Personal preference should ultimately determine whether a static or touring caravan will be best for you. You’re likely going to be better off with a touring caravan if you like to explore multiple sights and have only a few people with you. If you only have your mind on one destination and will be often travelling with a few people each time you seek a quick getaway though, it’s probably better to opt for a static caravan.

https://www.seldonsgoldengate.co.uk/blog/pros-cons-touring-and-static-caravans/ http://www.leisurevehiclebuyers.com/news/static-caravan-or-touring-caravan/ https://www.aberdunant.com/blog/3/Static-Caravans-versus-Touring-caravans/ https://www.whitehouseleisurepark.com/difference-between-touring-and-static-caravans/ http://www.myholidaycaravan.co.uk/information-centre/buying/touring-vs-statics.aspx

The Best Collection of Educational and Environmentally Friendly Toys*

Kids can’t help but want more toys, and parents can’t afford to cross them by refusing their demand for toys. What suffers most in this scenario is often our environment. To delight kids and the environment, the best way out is to choose eco toys. Here we present a few DIY and commercial options for you to choose from.

Repurposed Toys
The core point is to utilise any discarded item that can be used as a toy available at home. Take a thorough look around your house, especially attic and stores:
● You can use old pots and pans as drums
● Tennis can be played with wooden spoons
● The old toys in usable condition can also be considered

Make Your Own Toys 
To allow the kid to explore his/her creative side, making your own toys is a great way. But it can fulfil the basic purpose if you can utilise the used stuff or waste material. It is also advised to avoid chemicals as much as possible to prevent toxic hazards.
If you prefer buying the toys, check out the following recommendations.
Recommended Educational and Environmentally Friendly Toys

You can pick a one or two from the following choices:

Fruit Crate
It is a little, fine-quality crate full of various wooden fruits. It is ideal for kids aged between 3 and 8 for role-play games.

Vegetable Crate
This vegetable crate is a perfect complement to the fruit crate mentioned above. It will allow your kids to enjoy a delicious role-play time.

Memory Match
‘Learn with fun’ is the core of purpose of educational toys. And this educational and environmentally friendly memory match toy game is just perfect for your kids. It is great to improve kid’s memory. In this box, you will get twelve pairs of furry animals to match.

Jumbo Puzzles
Joining a puzzle game also aims to educate the kids to enhance their hand and eye coordination. This dinosaur jumbo puzzle by Mudpuppy will be a great addition in your kid’s educational game collection.

Walker Wagon
It allows the little ones at your home play in a variety of ways. Its big disk can change its colour, which brings extreme joy to the kids. Its toothed wheel mechanism adds more excitement. It is suitable for kids aged 10 months.

Ball Track Klingeling
Kids love chasing after moving things and see things travel from one end to the other. This ball track is all the fun they need to add in their eco toy kit. The best thing is that it suits the kids aged between 2 and 8 years. 

These toys can certainly delight your kids while you will do a favour to the environment. You can purchase these and many more eco toys from sites like https://www.goodtoplay.com/.
Today, we have confined ourselves to our houses and try our best to keep them clean and maintained. Remember: our lifestyle reflects the effects on our environment. Thus, it is our responsibility to practice environmentally-friendly lifestyle and teach our kids to follow the same practice. 

To help this purpose, opting for the eco-friendly toys is a fun and effective initiative. When you give your children these toys, do tell them why you have preferred eco toys over other options. By and by, we can make a positive change to the environment.

Tips For Keeping Costs Down *

Sometimes we think with our hearts and not with our heads. I am not a fan of making New Year’s resolutions as they can sometimes be disastrous, with 80% of people failing by February and regretting it instantly. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to cut down on spending, and although this sounds achievable, if you don’t have a fully pledged strategy in place, the likeliness of failure spirals out of control. However I am proof that it can be done, it may have taken me a while to get comfortable with the idea of cutting my spending but my bank account is thanking me.

I can totally understand that people can be victim to an unexpected expense — whether this is a home appliance breaking or making that third trip on a bus with only a return ticket. It all adds up. For that reason, I’ve made some assessments on how those extra savings can come in handy if something like that was to occur.


Start off with something small, but something that will make huge changes when it comes to your bank account. Using a megarider ticket, you will be able to travel as much as you want and can tailor your own needs to the ticket type. Whether you’re in need of a weekly bus pass for your travels, or a monthly one — you will find yourself making a huge saving in comparison to buying a ticket every day.

Cut down on taking taxis, I know it’s quicker and more comfortable to order a Uber, however the costs will mount up in now time.

If you’re a driver, did you know that the average motorist in the UK will spend an astonishing £168,880 over their lifetime? With efficiency growing in public transport, there is no reason for you not to consider making the bold move that could help you fulfil your resolution this year and save you a fortune.

When it comes to payments across the year, petrol costs a driver £1,052.04. Servicing a vehicle costs can add up to £441 over a twelve-month period — which can change depending on the individual’s situation. MOTs can cost up to £168.46 annually. Cost of parking is on the rise, and with more vehicles on the roads, there seems to be a higher demand. Over the year, a motorist can find themselves paying £145.80 on parking. When it comes to insurance, this can sway dramatically as younger drivers will find themselves paying a higher cost to be on the road — on average, insurance costs an experience driver £436 every year. Tax can equate to £116.35 on a yearly basis. Car supplies can cost a driver £29.61 and if you were to go abroad and wished to drive, holiday rental cars can leave you £180 out of pocket. Speeding tickets equal £25.12 for the average driver here in the UK. This would cost a driver £2,594.38 in total where commuters find themselves paying considerably less for a significant service — imagine the saving you would make with a megarider ticket!

According to research carried out by MyVoucherCode, people in the UK visit coffee shops at least three times per week — although it has recently become unavoidable, as currently there are over 21,000 outlets around the country! This means that Brits visit coffee shops around 156 times a year with an average spend of £8.52 — with travel expenses, this could go up to £13.85. This creates an annual average spending of £2,600, a majority of which could be saved if you were to opt for taking your own coffee to work. After you start taking in your coffee for a while, it will be a shock to the system when you treat yourself to that almond milk caramel latte which costs £4!!

Branded coffee company, Douwe Egberts, has said that a 250g pack of ground coffee can make up to 30 cups. When looking to see how much a 1kg pack would cost, Amazon has priced the coffee at around £15, meaning that each cup of coffee would cost close to 13p. Try taking a flask to work and even purchasing an on-the-go coffee cup that will see you through your day.

If the rise in prices for cigarettes hasn’t already put you off, knowing that you could save a whopping £3,796 (if you smoke 20 a day) should be the driving mechanism for you to quit. MoneySupermarket.com has stated that non-smokers pay around £6,309 less for life insurance, which could be something worth investing in for the new year.

An alternative that many smokers are trying to save money is vaping. 10ml bottles of liquid cost around £5 on average — saving those who turn to vaping around £1,900.

Many of us find it easier to just buy lunch on the way to work — or popping out on our lunch breaks. But what if we told you that, on average, forking out for lunch every day could cost you £1,288 according to research carried out by VoucherCloud. Evidently, you could make a huge saving by preparing your lunch at home — whether this is making a quick sandwich or taking in a tin of microwavable soup to heat up. When we looked at the total working days in 2017, there was 252 — if we went by Poundland’s price of tomato soup, which is 50p, you would find yourself paying £126! A massive saving for anyone looking to cut down on costs.

Unexpected expenses

We’ve all been victim to an unexpected expense, with 54% of 2,000 people asked saying that they suffered from an unexpected expense within the household. On average, these costs totalled £248.70 — showing that any saving is beneficial for occurrences like these. 47% of these issues happened in the kitchen, a room which is essential to the day-to-day running of any home, and if you don’t have the money to pull out instantly, it could cause an everyday stress. Using the savings you would have made by taking your own lunch and coffee to work, quitting smoking, and travelling smarter — you will be able to make life easier. It was also found that 35% of people had to use a credit card to cover the costs of unexpected expenses. With 18% of them not being able to pay more than £100 on their own, 17% had to borrow from friends and family!

Thinking smarter for 2018 is a must, how will you be changing your ways to save money?


Empowered women and the rise of the self-love ring*

Happy international women's day to everyone! . We have come far but have so much more to do and become being of influence to society.
There is a new trend emerging for women and it’s all about self-appreciation and self-loving. It is the rise of the self-love ring; some women are even taking it as far as marrying themselves and others are in a relationship referred to as ‘sologamy’. Together with Angelic Diamonds, retailers of engagement rings, we take a closer look at the trend and how women are showing off their independence.

Where did it originate from?

The popularity of a self-love ring began to soar in 2016, as many women turned to jewellery stores to make a commitment to themselves. It’s not known exactly what drove the trend, as women have been preaching self-appreciation for many years! But it could be down to a combination of these things:
  • The rise of social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram has encouraged women to love themselves. Although seeing filtered beach bodies on our news feed isn’t always great, there have been many women who have posted photos of their natural selves too and persuaded others to do the same. For example, there was a trend which involved ‘No Make-up Selfies’ — a photo of yourself without make-up. Many celebrities participated in this and told women to love their natural selves! The selfie culture in general pushes women to appreciate their bodies, as they post photos of themselves and receive ‘likes’ and comments from their friends and family.
  • The influence of celebrities has encouraged women to love themselves too. Many famous figures have talked about their tough times growing up and how they’ve learnt to appreciate themselves. Others have encouraged magazines and photographers to not edit their photos so that women can see that their bodies are not in fact flawless.
  • There has also been a rise in participants of meditation and mindfulness — taking time out of the day to be present within yourself. Research has shown that it can reduce stress, depression and anxiety and experts encourage people to take time out of their day to focus on Meditation interlinks with self-love as it focuses on taking time out of the day to concentrate on yourself.

The self-love rings

Some people are referring to them as anti-engagement rings, but that’s not what they’re all about. They are meant to represent one’s commitment to oneself and a dedication that you’ll put yourself first and look after your own well-being. They are meant to be worn on your little finger — to represent a ‘pinky promise’ to yourself. Some jewellers offered specific ‘pinky’ rings but they can be bought as a smaller regular engagement ring.
Those who practise self-love have said that when you love yourself, you change the way that you act and this can positively affect your relationship as you no longer rely on your partner to make you happy.
Some females purchase a self-love ring with their best friends to focus on the importance of friendship and make a pledge that you’ll both love yourselves.

Marrying yourself

Some women have taken the concept even further, organising a ceremony of self-marriage. The first sologamous wedding was thought to be in 1993, when an American woman called Linda Barker married herself in front of her close friends.
Marrying yourself is not a legal process (you can’t divorce yourself, claim legal fees and your marital status won’t change), instead it is simply a celebration, although vows can be made. It appears as though it is more women who are taking part in this than men, possibly as a protest against the pressures that they often feel to be in a relationship.
When asked why women married themselves some comments were:
  • The ceremony was a deep act of self-acceptance, saying your commitments out loud in front of friends and family solidified them.
  • It was a celebration of the commitment to the health, well-being, and happiness of oneself.
It’s not just for the single woman either. Some women who have gone through the ceremony have partners and husbands, but this day was all about them! A company has been created on the back of these ceremonies called I Married Me — it offers wedding supplies to one-person ceremonies.
Demonstrating to yourself that you’re confident and empowered doesn’t have to come in the form of a ring. There’s other ways to show your love for yourself — treat yourself to some clothing that you’ve been wanting for a while, have a spa day or just invest some time into you!



14 Top Tips To Save Pounds Off Your Shopping Bill

Being a single parent, I'm always thinking of ways to save money and budget. One of the areas I have learnt to save money is our food shop. Today I thought I would share you some of the ways I reduce our food shop.

Shop around Mysupermarket is a great website to check what place is the cheapest on certain items. I sometimes shop at 3 shops at a time to make sure I keep my shopping bill as low as possible. 

Best before dates does not mean it needs to go in the bin! It simply means it will taste best before that date but still okay to eat after, if it looks fine and smells fine it provably is!

Freeze food Bulk buying can be cheap, separate portions of meat in individual bags and defrost when needed. Lots of things can be frozen! Grated frozen cheese is good and convenient for cooking. Frozen fruit can also be used in cooking and smoothies. I also make my own chips buy par boiling my potatoes and freezing them, then when I am ready I can chuck them into my Actifry and they turn out perfect.

Reduced food aka Yellow stickers due to date is a great way to save! I used to roll my eyes at my mum when she used to hunt around looking for yellow stickers. Now there's nothing I love more than finding a bargain and putting them straight in the freezer until needed

Take fruit and veg out of packaging to reduce sweating and prolong shelf life, if you do not want to take them out of their packaging place a sheet of kitchen towel into the packet to help soak up the moisture and keep them fresher for longer.

Save leftovers! As there is just the two of us, we do tend to have a lot of leftovers. I always make sure I put them in a Tupperware and use them over a few days.

Batch cook Same with freezing, you can batch cook things such as Shepards pies or Spaghetti Bolognese sauces and freeze them in containers to be defrosted when needed.

Branded items I used to be such a brand snob. Thanks to programmes like Eat Well For Less who do blind taste tests and prove that some times supermarket own brands taste better! I now try and buy as many own brand products as possible. However I put my hands up and admit there are certain things I have to get the branded items. This tend to be coffee and tea bags.

Create a list try and stick to your list , A bargain is only a bargain if you needed it in the first place! Also eat before shopping! This reduces the likelihood of impulse buying. 

Try and use everything in your fridge before shopping again. Most people end up flinging the remains of their fridge for new fresh products. Try using leftover veg into stir fry or soups.

Snack packs are convenient but always more pricey! If using them for packed lunches it's always cheaper to buy small reusable Tupperware boxes and separate your own snacks.

Shop less often I try to shop only once a month and only top up for small items. I keep frozen veg and tinned items such as tomatoes, veg, beans and potatoes so when my fridge is getting empty i have more options for meals. 

Meal plan planning meals in advance ensures that you make use of the things you already have.

Prep your own fruit and veg, I know it's not only boring but time consuming to peel and cut fruit and veg. But think how much money you can save if you did it yourself. Not only will you be helping reducing packaging waste you can also prep them the way you like them.

So those where some of my tips to save money on the food shop, how do you cut down your food bills?