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Furnish Your Home at The Ideal Home Show


I have been a fan of interior design since I was little. I used to love watching shows like Changing Rooms, Home Front and Ground Force to name a few.

Darcy and I have been in our new place for a few months now, and I'm still looking to make it feel more like home, which can be difficult when renting. Luckily, The Ideal Home Show is back at Olympia London to help inspire me.


From kitchens and bathrooms, to bedrooms and basements, fixtures and fittings to fine food, gardens and the latest high-tech gadgets, to fashion beauty and gifts, you'll find it all under one roof.



I found myself at the Furnish Your Home stand and, my oh my do they have some lovely stuff. If you are a fan of luxurious interiors,you will love them. From lighting to mirrors to dining sets they have styles to meet everyones tastes.

One thing that I love about the Ideal Home Show is the layout. You get to have a feel of what your rooms will look like once the are furnished. There are roomsetspulling ideas together, garden rooms


I love neutral shades with a touch of gold, so you can only imagine how much I feel for this set up of this room. From those velvet chairs to the gold and glass shelving unit it is just lush.

Not my usual taste, however,  I can just imagine chilling on this beautiful chaise lounge with a glass of wine, having someone feed me with peeled grapes. The grey walls really make the colour pop, again I would have not thought to put these colours together without seeing the room set, but it really works.




Another thing I love about going to the Ideal Home Show is the goodie bag, and this year I have to say it was rather disappointing. I also overheard a couple of people say the same, however I am definitely looking forward to trying the Califia Farm Barista Blend Almond milk and Goodness Knows cranberry and almond snack squares.

If you are looking for something to do over the weekend. The Ideal Home Show is the place to be. It is very child friendly, with children under the age of 15 going for free. There is also an Easter egg hunt competition for the kids to take part in. You can find more details here

And whilst you are there definitely make a beeline to Furnish Your Home who are at stand L710. Take a picture of their stand and share on social media with #FurnishYourHome for a chance to win £100 to spend on their site!

7 Life Changing Gadgets to Help Regain Independence at Home Thanks to The Ability Superstore*


One thing I haven't spoken about on the blog yet. Is the fact that I recently been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, after struggling for years with pain. I'm sure when I am more comfortable to talk about it I will blog about my journey to control the pain.

One issue I have are my hands, I get a lot of pain and I find it really difficult to grips items. Which make simple every day tasks like opening a jar or even using keys to open the door hard at times. 

Luckily there are lots of aides available now to help. If I am honest I was also resistant to using them, as I always saw these aids as something elderly people use. How silly have I been, as these aids have been a godsend for me.

Being a single parent, I have the responsibility of looking after my child most of the time. For every day tasks like cooking, this can be challenging if I cannot open jars.

The Ability Superstore recently got in touch to find out if I wanted to try out some of their aides. And of course I said Yes. The Ability Superstore sell over 12000 mobility and disability items from grab rails, walking aids and kitchen and dining aides.




Easy grip foam tubing are available in different sizes and colours. They are ideal for people with arthritis or people like myself with poor or weak grips. Foam tubing can be cut to any required length, are very versatile as they can be used for many items such as cutlery, paint brushes, pens and pencils by simply sliding the item into the tube.

One Pull Ring Pull Opener can be used to open any ring pull can with minimal effort. The handle is the perfect size to grip is securing and is ideally for every day use. No more using a knife to try and prise the can ring up. The pull opener is also ideal for people with long nails, who either find it hard to open cans or just don't want to break a nail!.


Oxo Good Grips Jar Opener is perfect for people who find it hard to grip jars. It makes light work of opening any jar. Slide the jar lip into the stainless steel teeth grip and simply twist open.

Ok, Ok yes I know you can't really see the Tap Head Turner very well. Your best seeing a picture here. However, Yale Knob or also known as a tap head turner, is a great addition to kitchen and bathrooms, and can also be used on door knobs. Ideal for people with poor grips, the flexible clear plastic material makes it much easier to turn taps and door knobs.


If you love gadgets you will love the T shaped knob aka Key Turner. This aid makes turning any kind of handle so much easier, due to the steel prongs which contours around gripping the item perfectly. A must have multi use item for sure.

I don't know about you but I find keys fiddly at the best of times, so imagine how hard I find it when I'm suffering from chronic pains in my hands. This 3 clever key turner has a locking lever which enables each key to be place seperately. Ideal for people who struggle to grip small items.


Every bookworm needs a Gimble Book Holder. It is a hand free adjustable book holder, small and compact it is perfect for visits to the hospital or the beach. It is available in four different colours and is useful for long reading sessions. Holding books for long periods of time tend to hurt my hands, also I have been known to fall asleep whilst reading. The way the book holder is design makes sure that if the book drops I will not lose my page.

Have a look at their website, they have aides for all circumstances

How to make the most of your spare time*



Perhaps your New Year’s resolution was to be more proactive this year, or to stop drinking and get motivated on the weekend? If so, what could you do with your new found spare time? The Waterfront Hotel, host of spa days in Bedfordshire, give us some suggestions:
 
How many hours are there in a weekend?
After a working week, how much time do you have to yourself on the weekend? Let’s say you wake up at 9am on the weekend (give yourself a lie-in), and go to bed at 11pm, that’s 14 hours a day that you have to play with. Take three hours each day off for meal time, and two hours per day for seeing family and friends and you’re left with 18 hours.
Become more cultured 

Challenge yourself and learn a new language. Benny Lewis, author of Fluent in 3 Months and fluent speaker of seven languages, estimates that it can take around 400-600 hours to be a proficient speaker at B2 level. This is where you can express yourself on a range of topics and would have the ability to show someone around an area and give detailed descriptions in the new language.
Say that it took you 500 hours to reach B2 level, how many weeks would this take? If you spent eight out of your free 14 hours perfecting the new skill (any more than this could be too intense). This would take you 62.5 weeks — are you up to the challenge?
 
Take driving lessons
There are many people that do not drive out of choice. But, being able to get behind the wheel can have some benefits. You can look for jobs further afield, venture on driving holidays and visit family and friends that don’t live close by. With a full-time job though, driving can be difficult. How long would it take if you used your weekends to pass your test? 

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), it takes around 45 hours to pass a driving test. With a non-intensive driving instructor, it’s likely that you’ll be able to take 2-hour lessons. The DVSA also advise that you should spend 20 hours revising for your theory test to ensure that you’re fully prepared. That’s 65 hours in total before you’re a fully-fledged driver!
Sign yourself up for four hours of lessons a week and you could be ready to take your practical test in 12 weeks! For ten of these weeks, you should spend an hour per weekend day revising for your theory.
 
Improve your physical fitness
If you enjoy running, why not challenge yourself and train for a half-marathon? Experts advise that you should be training at least three times a week. So, if you can fit a training session in mid-week, you could be well on your way! Runner’s World suggest that 15 weeks is sufficient to train for the 13.1-mile race — what’re you waiting for?
 
To get outdoors but partake in something less strenuous, try walking for long distances. It depends on your weight and distance of the walk on how many calories you burn. For a person who weighs 130 pounds (9.3 stone) an hour walk at a moderate pace burns 120-140 calories per hour. If you spent four of your 14 spare hours walking the dog or heading out to the countryside, you could burn 520 calories on your days off!
 
If you’re quite the adventurer, you could try your hand out at skiing. There are many dry slopes in the UK that offer ski lessons. UK indoor ski slope, The Snow Centre, say that to achieve a ‘good’ level of skiing (be able to venture down advanced steeps on the mountain) you need to complete five of their two-hour lessons and two of their two-hour coaching sessions. If you spend five weekends completing two-hour lessons and two weeks on the coaching sessions, you’ll be ready to hit the slopes after seven weeks! 

You can still burn some calories from doing something more relaxing too. If you have a swim and sauna session for an hour a day on the weekend you can still improve your fitness and wellbeing levels. One 30-minute sauna session can lead you to burn as much as 300 calories! And a 30-minute swim can burn 295 calories.
 
Get musical
Despite what you think, you’re never too old to learn an instrument. Not only can you impress your friends with your new ability, but you can use it as a way to de-stress and improve your concentration skills. Suppliers of guitar lessons, Hub Guitar, have suggested that it takes around 312.5 to play at beginner level. This is where you have ‘an expanded grasp of fundamentals, and can play several pieces, albeit imperfectly’. Spending eight of your free 14 hours per week could lead you to reach this level in 40 weeks.
 
Fancy something else?
There are a range of other things that you could take up on the weekend. You could learn to cook, take up photography or even write a novel! Start being proactive and make the most of your weekends.
 
Sources
https://www.fluentin3months.com/hours-to-learn-a-language/
https://www.ingenie.com/young-drivers-guide/10-tips-on-how-to-pass-your-theory-test
http://www.bbc.co.uk/consumer/27611093
https://www.runnersworld.com/getting-started/half-marathon-training-for-beginners
https://www.thesnowcentre.com/snowsure/news/howlongdoesittaketogetgoodatskiing
https://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/how-many-calories-does-swimming-burn


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. 


Sources 
https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/862653/Jamie-Oliver-Land-Rover-Discovery-custom 

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/07/jamie-oliver-and-jaguar-land-rover-partner-showcase-discoverys-potential-car-kitchen 

https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/why-jamie-oliver-partnered-jaguar-land-rover-car-kitchen-built/1447835

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 Gem

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.

Sources: 
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*

https://static.pexels.com/photos/591652/play-fun-blocks-block-591652.jpeg
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.

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!

Sources

https://bemindful.co.uk/evidence-research/

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?

Baby Secrets Review*


I thought there couldn't be another collectible series for Darcy to collect, boy was I wrong.


Today we are reviewing a brand new line of toys called BABY Secrets. These little babies are so cute. You can collect 50 different babies, that's 25 boys and 25 girls.

Each pack comes with a bath tub with a surprise mystery baby. Fill the tub with water, and watch the baby's nappy change colour when you put them in - pink for a girl and blue for a boy. Each pack comes with a collector's checklist to record your collection and there’s even a birth certificate for you to fill out your baby’s details!





The full range includes:
 


BABY SECRETS SINGLE PACK – RRP £2.99
The BABY Secrets Single Pack is the perfect way to start your collection, complete with one baby, one bath tub, birth certificate and collect’s guide. 


BABY SECRETS ACTIVITY PACKS – RRP £12.99
The BABY Secrets Activity Packs come in four different varieties:
• Pram Pack
• Bassinet Pack
• High Chair Pack
• Rocking Horse Pack

The packs come complete with two exclusive babies, one surprise baby, a bath tub, three birth certificates, collector’s guide and either a high chair, rocking horse, pram or moses basket.


Can you believe we found not one but three ultra rare BABY secrets. Darcy have fallen in love with them so much, that she has added another 9 to her growing collection.

BABY secrets can be found at Argos, Toys R Us and other most good retailers. To find out more about BABY secrets visit the BABY secrets HQ's website