Lookers, Motability dealers, have created just what us busy parents are looking for. They have devised some fun and creative ideas to maximise magical memory-making during your car journey. I’m all for anything that makes family car journeys less stressful.

As a child, I am sure I always behaved well in the car. In fact, I remember being shocked at the behaviour of my friends in the car when I travelled with their parents to events. I just don’t see the need to be bouncing around. Perhaps I was a boring child or maybe my Dad as a former police officer had made it clear to me what could go wrong when drivers are distracted

With my own children sibling quarrels are the worst thing at home or in the car. Apart from that they are pretty good and especially now they are that bit older.

As technology is so big a part of our lives today, it always good to have some traditional alternatives at the ready for trips in the car. Perhaps the below may be of use for you to use throughout your next family journey/

Hungry child?

Nobody is happy when they’re hungry and a young tot can panic when those hunger pangs strike. To preventing a tantrum wrecking your day out, keep a cool box in the front seat and pack this with a range of delicious, potentially healthy snacks, with a mix of drinks and treats. This is always a good way to keep the kids happy and if you inject new treats for them, that is also a great distraction technique.

Pack Wisely.

A good way of keeping your children occupied, is by keeping a bag full of all of their favourite things. This may include a range of items, such as books, colouring in items, pens and cuddly toys. With endless possibilities, your children will be spoilt for choice of what they can do!

Fancy a good read?

An audio book can entertain children of different ages and yourself. We used to do this a lot and should get back to the habit. It’s an easy way to learn without realising it and to stimulate children’s imaginations.

Preparing games!

When driving, there are an endless range of games to play with your children… One of which could potentially be “Yellow car”, in which you find as many yellow cars as possible. Why not switch this up and do it with your favourite colour? ‘Back seat bingo’ is also a popular one, in which you draw a grid for each player before setting off, and fill the squares with sites that you must tick off. So if you have a big drive planned, do some research of retro games that have stood the test of time.

I hope I’ve given you some tips to beat boredom during drives with your children.

How do you currently entertain your children on car journeys?

Cuddle Fairy

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

 

They say relationship problems are often triggered by money issues. It certainly causes angst in my own marriage as my husband by his own admission is rubbish at managing money so all the sensible thinking and a lot of the income-generating  falls on my shoulders.

I recently read a survey from Shepherds Friendly Society who teamed up with psychologist and relationship expert, Dr Becky Spelman to find out more about how people think money should be handled in relationships. Does money really have the power to make or break a relationship?

The survey looked at different milestones in relationships when it comes to money. It covers things like who should pay the bill on a date night right down to whether people would split up with a partner if they became bankrupt.

There were some surprises to me in the survey findings. For example, one result was that more men than women feel men should pay on date night. This contrasted with another finding that more younger women than men felt the bill should be split.

I found it fascinating that money can make a person be more attractive to some people. I have never fancied anyone based on the size of their bank balance. In fact, my two long-term partners were unemployed when I met them. If I was to look for a new partner, I would want to ensure they had some financial security. It’s no fun constantly propping someone up who does not have money in the bank. It’s OK in the first stages of a relationship when love is still blind but it is not helpful when the bills arrive.

I was interested to see some different results for heterosexual couples compared with same sex couples. For example, same sex couples were more likely to keep their finances separate.

Check out the survey to find out more and to access sensible advice moving on in your romantic and financial lives.

How To Handle Money In Relationships

 



 

Twin Mummy and Daddy

For budding gardeners, your garden is your pride and joy and possibly your favourite location in the home. A private slice of green-space away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. You might spend every evening outside in your garden, host weekend events or use it as a growing space to grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs. So, making it look good and functional is going to be high on your priority list.

Oasis

Are you looking to start your garden from scratch or possibly make it easier to maintain? We look at ways to turn your garden into your own private oasis.

Make it Private

Have you got a garden that’s overlooked or nosy neighbours that like to peer over the fence? Consider adding a privacy wall using a trellis, divider screens and plants. Established climber plants look great and help block out visibility to anyone trying to peek in. Alternatively, if you’ve got a metal trellis, consider attaching potted plants and you’ll have more option for plant colour.

Break Out the Big Leaves

Tall, leafy foliage is great for invoking a sense of paradise, combine with some smaller, colourful flowers and you’ve got a striking display. Hardy palm trees and broad-leaf ferns are great for bringing various shades of green to your display and can be used to provide shade.

Structure Your Life

Installing garden structures is a great way to section off certain areas. For instance, using decking or slabs for an outside dining area. Pergolas are fantastic versatile structures, grow plants up the supports and through the upper beams or cover with a removable shade for those intense sunny days. Consider a “chill-out area” using a bench or hammock surrounded by leafy plants for an exotic atmosphere.

Light It Up

Adding lights to the garden can offer an instant transformation, from helpful path markers to atmospheric fairy lights in your parasol or across your pergola. Soft, white lights give a warm feeling and are great for areas you want to feel relaxed and comfortable. While multicoloured lights are great for creating a sense of fun.

Make It Easy to Maintain

While there are those that enjoy spending days in the garden pulling up weeds, planting and maintaining that lush, green look. Many of us would like to enjoy the garden without the hassle. Consider replacing your natural sod with artificial grass, it’s cost-effective, saving money on seed, tools and water and very low maintenance. Once installed, artificial grass only requires occasional brushing to keep the grass pile looking tidy.

Should you have a paved patio and are concerned about the costs of having slabs replaced with natural turf, artificial grass can be easily installed on concrete and instantly revitalises the area.

Make a Splash

Water features have long been a popular addition for gardens, from garden ponds to stand-alone fountains. Not only are water features visually pleasing but the sound of running water has an instant calming effect. While garden ponds require some maintenance to keep inhabitants happy, a pond-less water feature is a perfect way to introduce a focal point that requires little upkeep.

Warm, Fuzzy Feelings

While British Summers can bring us some glorious days, once the sun has set and the residual heat starts to dissipate, it can start to feel quite chilly. By adding a fire-pit or patio heater, you can extend the time you spend in your garden and can be perfect for entertaining guests. It also makes a nice focal point to gather round. The added bonus of installing a fire-pit is, of course, roasted marshmallows under the stars – is there a better way to spend the evening?

Oasis

 

Your garden is yours to design and decorate as much or as little as you like. Whether it’s low maintenance with artificial grass, a few plants and a nice break-out area or a full-on exotic jungle complete with water feature and outdoor dining area. Your only restriction is your imagination.

Turn Your Garden Into A Private Oasis

 

 

Confessions of a New Mummy

Budgeting involves sacrifices, and when it comes to saving money, we sometimes have to cut out the ‘nice to have’ items in place of those that we need to not only survive but to thrive. What might surprise you the most is not just how much money you can save by cutting out these items, but how indistinguishable the replacements can be.

 

In many cases, you’ll find that the difference is tiny, and your overall quality of life isn’t affected, while your finances can flourish. Therefore, cutting out these ‘nice to have’ items should be your first step towards a healthier financial future and your budgeting goals.

 

Starbucks Coffee

 

We all love coffee, it’s delicious and convenient, but paying three to five bucks for a cup from Starbucks or another chain is a waste of money. Presuming you drink one each day, which is less than many of us do, you’re spending up to $90 each month and nearly $1,100 each year on Starbucks coffee.

 

Sure, it’s a great treat once in a while, but to drink it every single day is overkill. Not only is it ruining your budget, but it’s a waste of money because you can create fantastic coffee yourself. If you’re obsessed with the Starbucks taste, you can even buy the beans yourself to make your favorite drink at home or in the office for a fraction of the cost.

 

Eating Out

 

If you take a detailed look at the money that you spend each month and then remove those items which are essential, most of us are left with a list of receipts from different restaurants and takeout spots. After a long hard day at work the last thing you want to do is cook food, and therefore you grab a pizza or a box of Chinese takeout to fill yourself up and put a smile on your face.

 

But what if I told you ladies that you could eat healthier and still not need to cook every evening? Bulk cooking on the weekend is a lifesaver. Meals like burritos, curry, Chinese food and even casseroles can be prepared in bulk and portioned out into containers that you can reheat at work or home, giving you no excuse to eat out.

 

Perhaps the worst offender is the lunchtime meal. Accompanied by your colleagues, it’s easy to spend ten or more dollars each day on lunch from Chipotle or a local restaurant that you love. According to Cornerstone Support, “Each year those lunchtime meals add up to thousands of dollars that could be better spent on essentials, paying down debt or investing.”

 

New Clothes

 

Us ladies like to look beautiful; it can make us more confident and empower us to seize the day. But that’s no excuse to blow your budget on new clothes. Rather than worrying about being seen in the same dress at a different event, think about all of the money you’ll save by accessorizing that same dress with a different pair of shoes and a jacket.

 

It’s easy for a quick trip to the mall to end with a few bags and multiple receipts, but if you’re committed to your budget, you can save thousands of dollars each year by skipping the mall. Most of your clothes will last far longer than you think and rather than throwing them out, try to stylize them with different pieces to create a new and more fashionable look.

 

Of course, if you need new clothes to replace ruined items then you should buy them, but most of us aren’t buying, for this reason, we purchase clothes because we want to keep up with trends.

 

Bars and Nightclubs

 

Perhaps an even bigger expense than any of the previous items, especially for younger or single women, bars and nightclubs can be incredibly expensive. Not only are drinks overpriced, but there is often a cover charge and the cost of transportation to think about.

 

Most of us know the pain of waking up the next morning not only with the uncomfortable throbbing in our heads but with the discomfort of knowing that we spend over a hundred dollars for the pleasure! Instead of drinking at a bar you can save a huge amount of money by having parties at your home.

 

Inviting your friends over and asking them to bring drinks and a piece of food each will leave you with a vast selection to choose from. You’ll save money, won’t have to deal with long queues and you even get to choose your music!