Friday, 31 August 2012

guest post from Sainsbury's bank family blogger network

i have to say this guest post is rather apt after a rather extended drive up to the peak district last weekend {eight hours!!!!} we were rather well organised where the kiddos were concerned but failed to plan for us! oh well i'll remember for next time - back soon

Feeding your family on a car journey

Oh food, glorious food, hot sausage and… milkshakes spilt all over the car seats. Yes, indeed – it’s all very well packing something to quell the appetite on long car journeys, but there’s a knack to doing it the easy way.

Eating out
Stopping at a roadside diner or fast food restaurant does have some advantages, as many offer playrooms for children to burn off all that excess energy – and there’s also the adventure and fun associated with eating out.

However, the quality of food isn’t always the best, and high levels of fat, sugar and salt can leave children over-excited and a nightmare to share a journey with. There’s also the cost to think about, which tends to be excessive at motorway service stations.

A sensible alternative i to pack some healthier, homemade food for longer journeys. Invest in a cool bag and a sturdy picnic basket, which protects food from being crushed and comes pre-packed with all the eating utensils you’ll need. There’s also plenty of space for lots of food, which can be stored in Tupperware containers and flasks.

Also pack a small bag for the cabin, containing light snacks like fruit, flapjacks and some bottles of water or juice. Tell the younger children that you’ll be stopping for something to eat at a particular time and that you have a surprise picnic in the boot.

If the journey is fairly short then you probably won’t need the picnic basket. Instead, fill the cabin bag with something a little more filling, but fairly easy to eat on the move without making a mess.

Places to eat
Plan your journey before setting off and identify some nice places to stop along the way. Aim to take a break every two hours or so. It makes sense to stop at a place that the kids will enjoy, and that provides the opportunity to go to the toilet.

There are many fantastic picnic spots around the UK offering stunning views and, whether you’re sitting in the middle of the 4000-year-old Avebury circle in Wiltshire, or enjoying London’s Kew Gardens, the choices are plentiful. Just don’t forget to bring a nice rug to sit on, and check the weather forecast before you set off.

Food and drink on the move
Keeping the family hydrated during car journeys is important, so don’t forget the water. The secret is to drink enough but not too much, unless you want to stop every 20 minutes for toilet breaks!

As for food, here are some things your passengers can eat on the move:

  • Cleaned and sliced raw vegetables with a tasty dip.
  • Apples, oranges, bananas and grapes.
  • Snack-size dried fruit.
  • Bottles or tubes of easy-to-eat yogurt.
  • Rice cakes and healthier crisps.
  • Reduced fat biscuits.
  • Mini boxes of fruit juice.
  • Sandwiches – choose filling favourites like cheese and pickle, or try something new & give them exciting names for the kids, like the New Yorker or the Crunchy Muncher.

Author Bio:

Jules Anthony loves his motors and estimates he has owned more cars than he’s accumulated years. When not driving or tinkering with something mechanical, he writes for the Sainsbury’s Bank Money Matters blog on a range of topics from car mechanics to car insurance And he’s not revealing his age!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

happy days

i may have said this before but i truly love the summer holidays, we've really slowed right down this year, we've been doing things, going places but at our own pace, but i've also kept free time for the kids {& i} to just be, little O is a real home bird anyway & she's spent an awful lot of time in her sand pit over the holiday & those beautiful moments when they play so well together, despite the 3year gap between them {one of those moments is happening right now, they've turned the front room into a race track / garage, using the sofas as their race cars! - which is why i'm hiding upstairs with the dog!}
my sweet pea
devils punchbowl
although i can feel autumn in the air already & along with that comes the sewing in of the name tapes & visit to the shoe shop for new school shoes,

slow down august please & gift us with a few more days of sunshine yet - that would be just peachy

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

a granny for camp

oh dear - having updated this project on ravelry it seems this took me almost a year to get finished - oops i hadn't thought it was quite so long - oh well, it's done now & just perfect for it's intended job, a blanket to come on our camping trips, to snuggle up the little people with when chilly, to keep me snug when staying up a little too late {chatting with friends over a glass of wine round the campfire} to be dragged into their den of choice & by the look of it, a comfy bed when captain barnacles fancies a nap & thrown in the washing machine every now & then
the camping granny
the camping granny
the camping granny
just a giant granny square, crocheted with some cheapo acrylic from kemps, in some rather clashing bright colours, just perfect! ravelry details over here

Monday, 6 August 2012

another year

lake como
oh were to start {would probably just be easier to do an update on what we haven't been doing} the summer holidays started early for us, with the start of our family birthday month, i celebrated my birthday with breakfast in England & ended it with dinner in Italy, such a lovely trip to a beautiful place, i felt truly grateful, i was also given some beautiful gifts i shall use & treasure for years to come
birthday tea on the terrace
birthday girl
we've then celebrated birthday number two, which mostly involved football {presents, party & cake!} but all went generally smoothly - phew,
i'm on some crazy mission to redecorate/revamp the house on a budget, finding the time is  my biggest problem,  i've been busy with the yarn too - the camping granny is finished in time for the next camping holiday & the monster of a cardigan for my man is finally done! hooray, such a weight off my shoulders, but they both truly deserve a post all of their own! back soon,