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Snacks and Lunch Bag Fillers From Jack's | AD

16 March 2021

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Disclosure - This is a paid collaboration with Jack's. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

We have successful completed the first week back at school and it went really well. I think we all had the same idea that it was time for our children to get back to some kind of normality and routine. Staying at home for a short period is okay but it is no good for our little ones long term as they need to be with children their own age and little J was ready to be back in his social circle. 

boy holding a pack lunch bag
I knew once little J was back to school he would adapt well to being up and out before 9am , however I was worried about how he would cope during the day just having a snack and his lunch. There has been lots of posts on socials from parents joking how will their kids survive during the day without their second breakfast, 52 snacks before lunch and it's true. While at home our children have definitely snacked more. Little J has a packed lunch at school so I need to make sure I provide him with a healthy but filling lunch each day whilst not denting the bank balance too much. 

At Christmas we headed to Jacks to shop festive treats on a budget so we decided to pop to our local Jacks again to stock up on lunch box fillers and snacks.

Jacks Supermarket
Jack's is a supermarket that was founded and named after Jack Cohen who is also the founder of Tesco. As well as Jack's own branded products you can also find a selection of Tesco and Britain's favourite brands in store. It's a go to supermarket that is very popular as you can shop quality products at outstanding value. 

As well as selling food and drink you can also browse the toys, games and homeware. 

sandwich, apple and crisps


Packed Lunch Ideas
Little J is a very fussy eater and is often unsure about trying anything new so his lunches each week are usually a variety of sandwiches, pasta and chicken. 

Packed lunch bag filled with food
Jacks Supermarket Sandwich fillers

Sandwich fillers are little J's favourite sandwich choice so we popped a choice of egg and tuna in our trolley. Each pack makes up to 4 sandwiches. I will usually use the Tuna filler on a sandwich one day and then add it to cold pasta the next day so it covers two different lunches. 

Lunchbox filled with food

Another lunch choice is another of little J's favourite chicken fillet and a small cheese block. I love that as well as Jack's own brand I can also shop brands that we also love too under one roof. 

Lunch box extras are usually one or two pieces of fruit. Jack's fruit is always really fresh with reasonable expiry dates. You can also shop their fresh five with offers on fruit and veg every two weeks. 

I will then add a packet or crisps or crackers, a small treat such as a biscuit and a drink. 

Where Can I Find A Jack's Store?
Jack's has twelve  stores in the UK and they can be found at St Helen's, Sheffield, Edge Hill, Barnsley, Immingham, Wakefield, Liverpool North, Walton, Rubery, Castle Bromwich, Chatteris and Middlewich. A full store locator is available on the Jack's website.

a variety of shopping from Jack's
As you may know from previous posts we do like to shop with a budget in mind so we don't get carried away whilst in store. Our break time snacks and lunch box fillers cost less than £20 and lasted us beyond the school week. Having the choice of Jack's and other brands all in one place allows you to add  a variety of items to suit your family tastes and budget. 

Michelle
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Shopping For Festive Food On A Budget at Jack's | AD

10 December 2020

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Disclosure - This is a paid collaboration with Jack's. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

Christmas is nearly here and I know most of you will be getting ready for the big day. Whilst this Christmas may be different in so many ways we can still make it special. Like most we will be spending most of our time at home and I want to make sure we have lots of festive treats to enjoy. We recently went to Jack's to stock up on goodies perfect for Christmas time and our budget too.

Decorate for Christmas Dining table


What Is Jack's Supermarket
Jack's is a supermarket that was founded and named after Jack Cohen who is also the founder of Tesco. As well as Jack's own branded products you can also find a selection of Tesco and Britain's favourite brands in store. It's a go to supermarket that is very popular as you can shop quality products at outstanding value. 

As well as selling food and drink you can also browse the toys, games and homeware. 

A selection of Jack's Foods


What Seasonal Treats Can You Look Forward To?
Jack's have special products in their festive range including mince pies, mini toad in the hole and a giant festive sausage roll! They also have a great veggie range of festive nibbles so can guarantee you will find something that the whole family will love!

The festive range can be found both in the chilled and frozen section. 

Jack's Toad In The Hole

Jack's Mince Pie

Jack's Mini vegetable spring rolls


We were in desperate need of a pick me up after a wet and cold week so enjoyed a festive movie night with a selection of party nibbles. The quality of Jack's own products has always been good and excellent value for money. 

Can I Buy Everything For Christmas Dinner At Jack's?
Absolutely. Jack's has everything you need for the perfect Christmas Dinner with 100% of Jack’s fresh turkey, chicken, beef and lamb being British. You can also find all your trimmings plus some special festive treats including mini toad in the holes and pigs in blankets. 

We all like a nice tipple on Christmas day and you will find a range of festive drinks to to make the day extra special.

Is It Good Value For Money?
Yes. We usually shop on a budget anyway however for this particular shop we had a budget of £40 in mind and we actually didn't spend it all and purchased enough food, treats and drinks for our plans. 

Where Can I Find A Jack's Store?
Jack's has twelve  stores in the UK and they can be found at St Helen's, Sheffield, Edge Hill, Barnsley, Immingham, Wakefield, Liverpool North, Walton, Rubery, Castle Bromwich, Chatteris and Middlewich. 

Table decorated for Christmas


We have been shopping at Jack's for quite some time now and I knew their festive range would not disappoint. When it comes to Christmas food we usually focus on a typical Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and then spend the rest of the time enjoying snacks and party food. It will mainly just be the four of us but we all have different tastes when it comes to food and I tend to sway towards more vegetarian options so we were pleased to find lots of vegetarian festive treats too. 

Michelle
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EasiYo Yogurt Maker Review

7 September 2020

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Disclosure - We were sent the products below for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our unless stated. This post contains affiliate links. 

A few years ago my friend gave me a pot of homemade yogurt and it was the tastiest yoghurt I have ever tried. At first I actually didn't believe her that she had made it and that it wasn't shop bought. I have never thought about making my own yoghurt before but we were recently sent an EasiYo Yogurt Maker and I was eager to give it a try and see if making our own yogurts was fun, easy to do and tastier than the shop bought yogurts we purchase every week.


EasiYo Yoghurt

The EasiYo Yogurt Maker is a very simple piece of equipment with just the yogurt maker and a plastic beaker to shake your yoghurt mix. 

Making the yogurt is very simple and requires just a few steps.

Step One
Half fill your yogurt plastic beaker with cool drinking water. Ideally the water should be between 15-20°C. Add the contents of the yogurt sachet, pop on the lid and give it a good shake. Add more water to the jar until it’s about 5mm from the top, pop on the lid and shake again.

Step Two
Push the red plastic insert into your yogurt maker as far as it can go. Next, pour boiling water up to the top of the plastic insert. Place your plastic beaker into the yogurt maker so it sits on top of the plastic insert, then put the lid on your yogurt maker.

Step Three
Now that your yogurt is inside the maker all you need to do is wait. Leave your yogurt maker on your kitchen surface the yogurt will set after 8 - 12 hours (a little longer for protein yogurt). Most people simply leave it overnight and wake up to fresh homemade yogurt in the morning. You’re nearly there before you dig in, chill it in the fridge for a few hours to complete the set.

EasiYo Yogurt Maker

Once you have followed all three steps you are ready to enjoy your yogurt. I was really impressed with the finished product. It was really tasty and it made enough for all of us to enjoy so worked out lots cheaper than buying from the shops. 

We are definitely looking forward to trying more flavours. To find out more about making your own yogurts visit EasiYo.

Michelle
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Restaurants Extending Eat Out To Help Out

1 September 2020

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Pizza Hut

We managed to take advantage of the recent Eat Out To Help Out Scheme at least once a week in August. Not only was it nice to be dining out again but receiving a 50% deduction on the bill at the end was a nice treat. I have seen so many posts on socials of people using the scheme and I had wondered whether it would be extended into September to help continue support the restaurants. Officially the Eat Out To Help Out scheme finished yesterday however there are a number of restaurants that are extending the offer in to September too. It seems the offer has been a success and a selection of restaurants would like to continue to welcome customers in September, offering them a discount.

Here is a list of the restaurants that are taking part and the discount they are offering to their customers.

*please note this list is correct at time of posting. Always check with your chosen restaurant that they are still taking part. 

Toby Carvery
Toby Carvery have confirmed they will be continuing the discount for two weeks in to September. Receive 50% off mains Mon-Weds from 1st until 9th September. All you need to do is download the app and save your voucher to your app wallet from 1st September. Valid for up to 6 people.

Harvester
Harvester will also extend its discounts into the first two weeks of September. Receive 50% off mains Mon-Weds from 1st until 9th September. All you need to do is download the app and save your voucher to your app wallet from 1st September. Valid for up to 6 people.

Sizzling Pubs
Sizzling Pubs is extending the deal for two weeks in to September. Receive 50% off mains Mon-Weds from 1st until 9th September. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other voucher, promotion or fixed price menu and is not valid on delivery, takeaway or click and collect.

Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut is changing the offer slightly offering customers two for one on main meals Monday to Wednesday from September 7 until the end of the month. To take part in the offer you must be signed up to its database.

Bills 
Bills restaurants will offer customers up to 50% discount throughout September. Choose one course or two course from a special 'We're Still Joining In' Menu.

Stonehouse Pizza 
Stonehouse Pizza is extending the deal for two weeks in to September. Receive 50% off mains Mon-Weds from 1st until 9th September. All you need to do is download the app and save your voucher to your app wallet from 1st September. Valid for up to 6 people.

Tesco Cafe
Tesco will continue the scheme until the end of September offering customers half price off all eat in and takeaway items.

Yard & Coop
Yard & Coop will continue to offer 50% off food and drink up to £10 per head but only on a Wednesday in September.

Deliveroo
Deliveroo will offer 100,000 customers of small, independent restaurants £5 off a £20 order delivered on the first three days of every week in September.

I can imagine as the week goes on more restaurants may opt in. Will you be Eating Out To Help Out in September?

Michelle
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Mandrakes - A Magical Experience

12 August 2020

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Mandrakes
Last week we celebrated John's birthday and as a special treat we booked afternoon tea at Mandrakes - A Magical Experience. Mandrakes is a small cafe based in Ormskirk that is loosely based on Harry Potter. After browsing the menu online we opted for Afternoon Tea. We completed the online booking enquiry form however after not hearing for a few days we just rang up and booked our table. 

When we arrived our table wasn't quite ready so we were shown to the Harry Potter gift shop which sells official Harry Potter Merchandise. As Harry Potter fans it was lovely to see all the products, some we already owned and some that were on our wish lists. 

Once our table was ready we were sat down and our Afternoon tea was explained to us. 

Afternoon Tea at Mandrakes
Starting from top to bottom we had 4 finger sandwiches, 2 ham and 2 Wensleydale cheese and cranberry. We asked for no salad on our sandwiches so they came plain. 

Afternoon Tea at Mandrakes
On the next tier we had the largest homemade scone I had ever seen with a portion of butter and a pot of strawberry jam. You can choose to have your scone warmed up and also with whipped cream if you prefer. 

Afternoon Tea at Mandrakes
On the top tier was a flute of jelly, custard and cream, a macaron, a small chocolate frog and a small plant pot with a chocolate brownie in. When you are ready to eat your brownie they take your pot away top it with mint ice cream, whipped cream and crushed Oreo pieces. 

The afternoon tea is served with unlimited tea however we were able to sub one of our teas for a coke. On the table was also plant pots full of crisps and half way through we also reached little pots of chocolate stars. 

Once we had finished our afternoon tea we were then asked to gather our belongings and we were then taken on a little tour. 

Mandrakes
First we were shown the flying mandrake and we then had the chance to take photographs, Next up we found some Mandrakes but we needed to put our earmuffs on first as they have quite a squeal on them. 

Mandrakes
Last but not least we visited the potions room. 

The whole experience including the afternoon tea and tour lasts 1hour and 15 minutes. They are quite strict on the times as there was another booking straight after ours. 

The afternoon tea costs £18.50 for adults and £12.50 for children. If afternoon tea isn't for you they do have a small menu available which you can view online. 

We all really enjoyed our visit. The afternoon tea was really nice and the setting is very magical and a   must for Harry Potter fans. Would we visit again? Absolutely and I would probably choose afternoon tea again as it's great value for money. 

Michelle
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Cranes Cider Gift Set | Review

6 March 2020

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Disclosure - We were sent the products below for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own unless stated. This post contains affiliate links - purchasing an item through an affiliate link adds no extra cost to you but might earn me a few pennies. 

Cranes cider in glass on table
Today has been the first day in a long time when we have had bright skies and no rain and it's  definitely put me in a good mood. Things always seem so much better when the sun is shining, it's still freezing cold out there but it's a start.  Is anyone else desperately waiting for warm evening so you can sit in the garden and enjoy a drink or two
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The Perfect Club Sandwich | AD

21 February 2020

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Disclosure - We were sent the product below for the purpose of this post. This is a paid collaboration however all thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own unless stated. 

Club Sandwich and French's Mustard
Due to bad weather and sickness we haven't left the house much this week. All our plans were cancelled but we have tried to make the most of it by trying something new everyday. The boys love helping out in the kitchen, making their own lunches and snacks. We have made lots of different lunches this week but today has been their favourite. We all decided to make our very own club sandwich. You will usually find a Club Sandwich on lunch menus in pubs and restaurants and I'm not exactly sure what the ingredients should be as they vary from place to place so we decided to create our own perfect club sandwich using Frenchs Mustard.

Making a Club Sandwich and French's Mustard
 Finding ingredients for your club sandwich is easy just head to your local supermarket.

Ingredients

3 pieces of seeded granary bread
Ham
Turkey
Lettuce
Tortilla Chips
Frenchs Mustard
Skewer (to hold the bread in place)

Making a Club Sandwich and French's Mustard
Making a Club Sandwich and French's Mustard
Instructions

1. Butter the 3 pieces of bread with low fat margarine, butter or light mayo, whatever works best for you.

2. Lay the bread out flat and on one piece of bread layer ham, turkey and lettuce.

3. Place the second piece of bread on top and repeat the layers of ham, turkey and lettuce.

4. Top with Frenchs Mustard.

5. Place the third piece of bread on top.

6. Cut diagonally. Cutting the bread in to triangles isn't necessary but I think it looks nicer.

7. Place a skewer through the sandwich to hold the bread and ingredients in place.

8. Enjoy with tortilla chips, skinny fries or just eat on its own.

Making a Club Sandwich and French's Mustard
Instead of lettuce the boys topped their sandwich with tortilla chips although John and I had the chips on the side and used the mustard as a dip. We haven't used mustard as a dip before but it was actually really tasty and gave the chips a little kick. Next time I think we will sprinkle in some paprika too.

What ingredients would you use in your perfect club sandwich?

Michelle
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Monthly Review Round Up | December

6 December 2019

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Disclosure - We received the products below for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post contains affiliate links - purchasing an item through an affiliate link adds no extra cost to you but might earn me a few pennies. 
monthly review round up
We love finding out about new products and this month we have received some tasty goodies to try. 

Whenever we go to the supermarket little J loves looking for snack ideas that he can take in to school to enjoy at snack time. Although he has a few favourites he is also keen to try out new foods. 

Made Good Bars
We first heard about MadeGood when they were available to try for free on a cash back app I use. We headed to ASDA and picked up a box and little J loved them. I did manage to try a bar myself before they disappeared and they were really tasty.

As they are totally allergen free they are safe for kids to take in to school and eat. It's always a worry when choosing snacks in case they get in to the wrong hands at school but with MadeGood there is no need to worry.

So not only are the allergy friendly they're a perfect healthy, tasty and nutritious snack choice.

Available in three flavours - Mixed Berry, Chocolate Chip and Chocolate & Banana, in ASDA stores


fruit bowl flakes
 One of little J's favourite snacks is Fruit Bowl Yogurt Flakes. I hadn't realised until recently that there is a wide range of Fruit Bowl snacks and treats.

The range of Fruit Bowl products include Peelers; School Bars; Fruit Flakes; Yogurt Flakes and Yogurt Coated Raisins. Each bag or bar is perfectly packaged for slipping into a school lunchbox or popping into a bag for parents on the go.

Peelers are 100% fruit, six-sticky-stranded snacks that are a delicious and fun way for children to eat fruit.

School Bars are bar-shaped snacks, also made with real fruit.  Each school bar is a super tasty, chewy snack, packed full of fruity flavour that contains only naturally occurring sugars.

Fruit Flakes are soft, chewy fruit pieces made from fruit purées.

Yogurt Flakes come in three flavours and are little fruit pieces created from puréed real fruit pieces, which are then covered in delicious yogurt.

With no added colours or flavours Fruit Bowl’s Yogurt Raisins are a great treat made from juicy raisins covered in tasty yogurt.

Fruit Bowl’s other Yogurt Coated Raisins come in two flavours: Zingy Raspberry and Moreish Mango, a great snack choice for the slightly more grown up little ones in our lives. Juicy raisins are coated in either raspberry or mango flavoured yogurt to give them an extra fruity kick that mum and dad will love too.

Fruit Bowl snacks are available at Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, The Co-Op, Asda, Waitrose and on Ocado.


nature's path envirokidz
Nature's Path Envirokidz have a range of three new kids’ cereals available - Gorilla Munch, Leapin’ Lemurs and Choco Chimps. Each of the cereals is gluten free, dairy free, organic and most importantly - tastes delicious.

The range use fun animal names, interesting facts and drawing activities on-pack to inspire children to care about the world they live in. In fact, 1% of sales are donated to support endangered species worldwide, with each animal featured on an Envirokidz pack representing an endangered or vulnerable species that Nature’s Path helps through its donations.


Metcalfes popcorn
I'm not a fan of popcorn but the boys love it. Metcalfe’s have created a new popcorn invention called Jumbles.

Available in two fabulous flavour combos, Toffee Apple and Eton Mess.

Metcalfe's Popcorn Jumbles Toffee Apple is toffee and caramel-coated popcorn jumbled up with slices of dried apple.

Eton Mess has strawberry pieces and crunchy meringue shells with strawberry-coated popcorn

The popcorn Jumbles are gluten-free, suitable for vegetarians, high in fibre and made without artificial flavours and colours.

Metcalfe’s Popcorn Jumbles Toffee Apple is just 107kcals per portion and Eton Mess 80kcals per portion.

Exclusively available now at Sainsbury’s

Nibble protein bites
Get in to the festive spirit and indulge with the high protein, low sugar Gingerbread Brownie Bites from Nibble Protein. Packed with goodness and just 1 gram of sugar per bite, these tasty treats will boost your protein and fibre intake to keep you feeling fuller for longer, as well as preventing any sugar highs and lows throughout the day, improving your mood and sustaining your energy levels

Nibble Protein Bites are available online at Amazon.


Michelle
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New Thorntons Liverpool One Store Unveiled | AD

13 November 2019

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Disclaimer - This is a paid collaboration. We were invited to Thorntons for the purpose of this post and we were gifted with chocolates to take home.

thorntons chocolates
We visit Liverpool One at least once every few weeks and almost every time we go, we will pop in to Thorntons for an ice cream or a chocolate treat. So, when we were invited to the opening of the newly refurbished store at Liverpool One, we were very excited to have a sneak peek before it opened to the public. It was such a lovely experience and definitely felt like a chocolate lovers dream as we had a tour of the new-look store and everything it offers.

thorntons crunchy praline chocolates
small box of thorntons chocolates
As we walked through the doors, we were greeted by a brilliant display of chocolates in the Thorntons Craftery. The Craftery is the perfect place to create your own personalised box of chocolates. You can decide how many chocolates you’d like and select your favourite flavours to have in your own box. The bespoke chocolate boxes come in three sizes and can contain either four, nine or twelve chocolates.  The chocolate maker at the Craftery will help you to select each individual chocolate and place them in a box which is then hand tied with gift ribbon. The larger boxes make the perfect presents and it's so nice to create a box that is personal to you, or to the person you are buying for, with all their favourite chocolates inside. 

Next we arrived at the ice cream counter which has a wide selection of flavours where you can create your own milkshakes or enjoy a hot chocolate to take away. 

Thorntons range
Thorntons range
Thorntons range
Thorntons range
If you are looking to purchase some Christmas treats this year then you will want to check out the Cheeky Elf range. The Cheeky Elf is a cute design which is perfect for not just little ones but all the family. You can now also purchase a personalised Cheeky Elf advent calendar, which is a great way to make the countdown to Christmas truly special!

Thorntons range
New for this year is the Thorntons Chocolate Block Library. You can select up to five of your favourite flavoured bars from a range of 12 flavours, which are then placed in a box and gift wrapped with ribbon. It's such a lovely idea and the presentation in the library style box makes it an ideal gift for your loved ones. 

Everyone has a favourite Thorntons chocolate and mine are the Viennese and Alpini. However, there are times when I like to try different flavours and the Classics range is perfect for these occasions. 

All of the Thorntons Classics flavours are found in this one box and you can choose from a Classic selection, Classic Milk or Classic Dark box, giving you a perfect way to explore the wider range and maybe even discover a new favourite!

Thorntons range
Thorntons range
Thorntons range
Once you have browsed the store and purchased your chocolate treats you can take them to be gift wrapped and this was my favourite part of the Thorntons experience. Watching the staff member wrap our chocolate box with such passion and skill was so inspiring. So much care was put into wrapping up our gifts and they looked beautiful afterwards. I can't wait to pass the love on and gift our box to a friend. 

Thorntons cafe
Thorntons cafe
If browsing the store and you need a break, then you can pop into the Thorntons Café towards the back of the store. Here you can enjoy a hot or cold drink, a choice of sandwiches or a delicious cake.

A new addition to the Thorntons Cafe is the Afternoon Tea for two. You will be served a tiered platter of sandwiches, cakes and of course Thorntons Chocolates with your choice of hot drink. I am sure the Afternoon Tea will be a popular choice at the Thorntons café, there’s no need to book in advance so if you are out in town and get the urge to enjoy an Afternoon Tea you can just pop in store.

Thorntons range
Thorntons range
outside Thorntons
The newly refurbished Thorntons store is bright, inviting and an amazing experience for chocolate lovers. We’ll definitely be returning soon!

Michelle
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