VonShef stand mixer review and baking with children

When it comes to baking with children, there are two types of parents. Those who love it, and the rest of us. The problem is, it takes so long. They want to crack the eggs, so you spend 10 minutes picking eggshell out of a jug of gloop. They want to stir the mixture, so that’s 2 hours of your life you’ll never get back. Then of course, they want to lick the spoon. So another hour is lost to showering dough mix out of their hair and sponging it off the walls. Unfortunately for me, Libby has suddenly developed…

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Black Tower deliciously light low alcohol wine review

There’s often a difficult balance between a healthy body and a healthy mind. Social media tells us to live a little, treat ourselves every now and again. Drink the wine, eat the cake. Then we read about the obesity epidemic. The health complications caused by a high calorie diet and the need to watch what we eat and limit our alcohol consumption. The only solutions are compromise and balance. Smaller portions, drinking less frequently and finding a lighter, low alcohol alternative to a glass of wine. Black Tower low alcohol wines and low alcohol sparkling wine have just 129 calories…

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[AD] Planning for the future with Scottish Widows

Did you know that minimum contributions to workplace pensions are increasing from 5 to 8 per cent? That extra 3 per cent will be made up by HMRC and employers, but also by employees. With women already facing different financial difficulties to men, putting money into a pension is likely to be at the very bottom of our to-do list. Women often prioritise ‘now’ when saving. This can be for a new boiler, the car needing to be fixed or even to buy the new must-have gadget. However, it’s also worth thinking about your future and saving for the retirement…

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Thursday photo #256

I wouldn’t class myself as someone who has a problem with saying no. I prefer to think of it as taking opportunities as they arrive. In weeks like this though, I do sometimes wonder if I take on too much. For now though, the children seem to be enjoying their chaotic week. I’ve worked late a few nights, but I seem to be managing to fit everything in. The cross country run Last year, Libby took part in the school cross country run. She’s never been a particularly fast runner, but she has great stamina and can keep going for…

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Review of Madagascar the Musical at Malvern Theatres

How could a theatre show possibly live up to the iconic reputation of the Madagascar films? Fun, friendship, comedy and music packaged up with a side helping of cute, talking animals. What a weight of expectation to live up to. But Madagascar the Musical at Malvern Theatres delivered all that and more. About Madagascar the Musical Following the story of the film quite closely, Madagascar the Musical introduces us to an unusual group of friends. Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo all live at the New York Zoo. They’re all relatively content there,…

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Dog friendly family day out at Cannock Chase Forest

Family days out can be expensive. Entry fees, food, drinks, parking and paid activities all add up. Then there’s the added hassle of finding somewhere that allows dogs. Cannock Chase Forest in Staffordshire is not only family and dog friendly, but it’s also free. In fact, if you bring a picnic like we did then the only thing you need to pay for is parking. There are paid activities available, but it’s entirely possible to have a great day out without them. Mountain biking in Cannock Chase Forest Cannock Chase Forest is a brilliant place for mountain biking, much like…

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Thursday photo #255

Isn’t it a strange rule of life that everything happens at the same time? I can go months without socialising and then suddenly find myself a social butterfly for a week or two. This has been one of those weeks. A trip to London and a punch on the nose On Tuesday, I went to London to the Situp event for travel brands and influencers. It was a fascinating day. I caught up with friends I don’t see often enough, met new people and chatted to brands and tourist boards about some incredible destinations. I was a bit apprehensive before…

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