The Evolution of School Lunches

B&M Stores have created this great infographic featuring the evolution of school lunches.

The visual takes you back to 1906 when breakfast and lunches were introduced into schools (porridge to start the day and bread and butter for lunch). It shows us the full ‘evolution’. From spam, fish and chips to Jamie Oliver’s creamy coconut fish and mexican beach wraps.

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Posted on in Family.

Ready for the latest wedding trend?

While brides and grooms are counting costs for catering, drinks, reception venues and dresses and suits, there’s a new trend on the horizon that could take up a sizeable chunk of the budget – the gifting lounge.


Treating your guests to a choice of gifts is the latest wedding ‘in’ thing to do, according to Etsy, who revealed the biggest wedding trends of 2017.

Gifting lounges are rooms that guests at a wedding reception can enter. Inside is a selection of gifts that the guests are free to choose from.

Gone are the days of a bag of sugared almonds plonked in the middle of the wedding table.

Wedding favours have been the thing to do for the last decade or so. These are an import from the States and see each guest treated to a small gift at their table setting. These would vary from some sweets to mix tapes and mini hangover kits.

However, these favours have been overshadowed by the gifting table – where brides and grooms, ranging from portrait sketches to personalised presents.

‘Upon arrival at the couple’s hotel, a welcome party, or even at the reception itself, guests can grab a personalised tote or other container and help themselves to a curated spread of memorable goodies,’ according to Etsy’s reveal of the biggest wedding trends of 2017.

Items like local produce from the area and customised chocolate or sweet gifts are recommended – or even trinkets that complement the newly weds’ journey

Some couples are also going as far as hiring in calligraphers, portrait artists and caricaturists to impress guests on the big day.

On the topic of ever expanding budgets, it seems that couples are minimising their guest lists in order to offer a ‘more elevated and bespoke experience’ for the select guests that make the cut.

Other trends include choosing dresses outside of the customary white or ivory colour scheme. Brighter hues – baby pinks, champagne or pale sage are the most lusted after non-whites that brides have been parading around wedding dress shops across the UK.




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Posted on in Weddings.

Free things to do with the kids this summer

If you have kids wrapping up for school this summer, you’ll no doubt be approaching the end of July with slight trepidation and fear.

Six weeks of juggling work, summer clubs and finding cheap ways to entertain them.

For kids, it feels like a never ending summer of fun. For parents, it feels never ending for all the wrong reasons.

With the average summer holidays costing parents around £2,000 (source: Daily Mail), we’ve decided to help parents across the UK by offering some great ways to entertain children for absolutely FREE.

  1.    Check out ParkLives.com

ParkLives is a collaboration with Coca Cola and local authorities to provide group-based activities in parks across the country.

Sessions vary from family fishing to kid-friendly zumba to den building and orienteering.

Visit ParkLives.com, type in your postcode and see what the nearest activities are to you.

  1.    Go on an expedition – in your own garden

Whether you have a camping trip planned this summer or not, setting up a tent in the garden is a really fun way to prepare for a night under the stars.

Preparations can begin in the afternoon, where you plan dinner (traditional bean stew for the proper camping experience!), pitching the tent and deciding what toys to camp with. For a proper treat, toast marshmallows on a chiminea and set up a mini cinema in the tent with an ipad and lots of cushions.

  1.    See what’s on at the local museum

Throughout the summer, museums will be holding special events to encourage young minds through their doors.

Some museums are doing space exhibitions where you visit spacecraft that Tim Peake travelled into the International Space Station, walk through the late Cretaceous period with dinosaurs, and enjoy outdoor circuses.

  1.    Fiesta!

This summer is packed with free festivals, whether it’s Edinburgh art festival, the Notting Hill carnival, Angel Canal Festival in Islington and Festwich, the biggest free tribute festival which has activities for kids all day.

  1.    Day at the beach

A cheap day out – and also one of the best ways to spend time with your family. Pack a picnic, bring the buckets and spades and a big blanket and you’re good to go. Visit thebeachguide.co.uk to find out where the best bit of coastline is near you.

  1.    Get back to nature

Visit the woodlandtrust.org and see the range of great printouts for children of all ages. Choose from over 100 downloadable guides on anything from how to build a giant nest, making flower crowns, going on a bird hunt and making cheesy pine cone bird feeders. Then head off to your local woods and enjoy!

  1.    Pokemon Go

Yes, it was the craze that swept the UK last year, but there’s nothing to stop you from downloading the app again and getting the kids involved. After all, if it encourages kids to get outside, walk (and run!) around and visit points of local interest, it can’t be a bad thing, can it?

  1.    Free tennis coaching

Visit tennisforfree.com to find out more about this community sports charity. Working with local authorities, tennis clubs and coaches, this organisation provides free weekly coach led family oriented tennis sessions to local communities in the UK. You could have a potential Johanna Konta or Andy Murray in your midst!

  1.    Free Lego builds

Every Thursday, Lego stores offer kids the opportunity to take part in free Lego builds where they can take their own mini models home for free. See the Lego site for details.

  1. Free craft sessions at Hobbycraft

Hobbycraft are offering its customer the chance to take part in free craft workshops and demos at some of its 81 stores across the UK.

Sessions will vary from store to store, but all materials will be supplied and children of all ages are welcome.

Click here to see if your nearest store is participating.

 

Posted on in Family.

Are YOU a Bridezilla?

Weddings are high-pressure events. Even the simplest ceremonies take some planning, so it’s easy to want to take charge of the most important day of your life. However, it can affect people in differently.

While the standard advice is to get help where possible and try not to be too precious about the day – (there are so many variables that have the potential to go wrong) – many people approach the Big Day in different ways.

While Bridezillas seem to be a modern phenomenon, they have always existed in some form or other. Weddings are traditionally driven by the bride, and as it’s a day most have dreamed of since they were little girls, so there tends to be a “set” plan for how the day unfolds.

However, with bigger budgets (the average cost of a wedding in the UK is £38,000 in London and £27,000 outside of the capital), more elaborate ceremonies and more outrageous hen parties, there’s an incredible amount of pressure on brides to have the “perfect” wedding. But does the perfect wedding exist?

For most brides, the most important aspects of a wedding is the dress, the food and drink and the vows that actually seal the marriage ceremony. The buttonholes and centrepieces should really be an afterthought.

So how do YOU measure on the Bridezilla scale? If wedding plans have taken over your life, caused arguments, rifts and an increase in budget – you may want to step back and put things into perspective.

On the other hand, there are many brides-to-be out there so disinterested in their wedding that it could be a sign that their hearts might not be into making those vows of eternal love.

Take part in our quiz and find out if you’re turning into Bridezilla or if you need a wedding review… Let’s go!

Quiz main image credit

Our Top Money Saving Apps

Thanks to the rise of smartphones, there is a plethora of moneysaving apps available to download. Each app promises a new way of handling money, saving and reducing the amount of superfluous spending on things like clothing and takeaway coffees.

Load your smartphone up with these handy apps, and see how they can help your saving and spending on a day to day basis!Continue Reading…