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york minster

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When I was at primary school, I used to enjoy taking in a packed lunch every day and sitting and eating it with my friends.

Now, thanks to one school in South Yorkshire, some children have been told they’re not allowed to bring packed lunches into school and that they have to go onto school dinners instead.

Some parents have even pulled their children out over the new rules.

Good on them.

As a parent with two children on packed lunches, it riles me to think that parents are deemed too damn stupid to know what constitutes a healthy, balanced diet and instead they’re strong-arming us into eating their stuff instead.

Not content with being the Lunch Box Police and banning items like chocolate bars and juice (yep, it happens) some schools are taking it one step further and banning all food from home instead.

I don’t feed my kids crap. A typical packed lunch here would consist of a wholemeal tuna and cucumber roll, a mini cheese or yoghurt, a piece of fruit such as a banana/satsuma/apple, and maybe a flapjack or biscuit as well.

Once a week as a treat they’ll get a bag of crisps in there as well. (Shock, horror.)

You know what else really riles? The fact that you get “No Chocolate!” thrown into the rules and then they’ll have chocolate cake on the menu for those on school dinners.

I couldn’t give a flying if it’s healthy chocolate cake made out of organic ingredients hand crafted by fluttering angels, or if it’s really got beetroot hiding in there too.

Talk about double standards.

I suppose it’s all well and good if you get them free. You’ve got children under 7, or you’re on benefits, then no problem. Get the dinners free.

What if you’re one of those households suckers that work though? Shafted yet again. £1.75 might not sound a lot but over the month that’s £35 in dinners. If you’ve got two kids, double it so you’re forking out £70 a month on their dinners.

If you want to put them on dinners, fine. To be told that you HAVE to though? They can stick that up their chocolate cake and smoke it.

The headteacher is quoted as saying said no one was being ‘forced’ to participate as parents could take their children home for lunch if they chose.

Well, that’s big of her. What happens if you don’t live close enough to get back home, eat your dinner and get back to school before bell goes?

Are you expected to walk to pick your child up and sit on a bench outside the school grounds with a Tupperware box?!

I don’t think so.

Stop treating parents like children and realise that the majority are perfectly capable of feeding their own children perfectly healthily.

What do you think?

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blackberry smoothie

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I know I blogged recently about not having a clue what loom bands were, but that was before the small people caught the loom band bug and are now suitably OBSESSED with making them.

For those who have been living under a rock or on another planet and the craze has still passed them by, loom bands are small rubber type bands that can be woven together to make bracelets, either by using a loom board or your fingers.

So when we got the chance to try out some Rainbow Braid loom bands I jumped at the chance as we had exhausted our supply and they were itching to make some more.

They come in a variety of colours, and are latex and lead free. Whereas some bands can feel a bit flimsy, I did think these felt stronger and more hard wearing than some you can get.

loomband bags

With plenty of colours to choose from, they were spoilt for choice when it came to deciding what colour band to make first.

Should it be a cool black and green one, or a lighter pink and lilac one?!

Although we have a loom board, we’re still to really get the hang of that yet and prefer to do the finger bands. Loom boards are great if you want to do more intricate and complicated designs, so we really should get to grips with it and broaden our loom band experience.

The band delivery came at just the right time, as they spent an entire afternoon making bracelet after bracelet. Anything that keeps them quiet, occupied, and entertained for hours on end is a great activity in my eyes!

Everyone can enjoy making them too, not just the children. I even like making them myself. There’s something a bit therapeutic about winding bands around your fingers and creating bracelets, as you can just do it and let your mind wander!

These are just a few of the many bands we made.

loom band arm

If you’re yet to embrace the loom band craze, I highly suggest these and that it’s a great, crafty activity for children, and one that’s enjoyed by either gender.

Happy looming!

 

 

We were sent some Rainbow Loom bands in order to do this review. All thoughts and opinions strictly true and our own personal opinion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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woodland statue

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At first glance, if you were to look in and see me now, you might think “there she goes, sat farting about at the computer again.”

Just because I’m so called ‘sat’ at home all day, does that make the work of someone writing an invalid one?

It’s not a ‘proper’ job. I’m not going out of the house every day and squishing myself up against other people’s stinking armpits on packed trains like I used to, to crunch numbers at a bank pre kids.

I’ve recently started making money writing. Not a lot, admittedly, but not bad to say I only started a few months ago.

You know what? It doesn’t just fall at your feet. You don’t just wake up one morning and think “Hey, I know! I’m going to start writing, and people are going to throw money at me for my fab and witty articles.”It doesn’t work like that. Most of the time the tight wads don’t even bother paying as they say you’d love to work for them for the great exposure you’ll get for writing for their publication.

(Yes, because exposure pays the weekly bills in Asda. Cheers for that.)You have to work at it.Yes, it’s still work even if I haven’t set foot out of the house all day. Take them to school, go home, get the laptop on.

You want to write? You have to put yourself ‘out’ there.

notepad and pen

You want to know just a bit of what I do when “I’m on the computer again?”

Right. Here you go.

I try to post several times a week, across both my blogs. Yes, I have two of them and two Twitter feeds. Double the workload.

This is the other one, a family friendly days out review blog. Family Friendly Yorkshire

To write frequent blog posts, with original, relevant content each time, you need ideas.

Ideas which can stem from topical issues, or conversations/opinions.

All which can mean reading every single newspaper website and column going.

Once it’s written, it’s not just a case of sitting back and going to play Candy Crush.

You have to promote your posts so you actually get people reading them.

Which means being an active member of blog networks, and adding your blog.

Leaving comments on other blogs to make your blog more visible and well known.

Knowing how to work and promote yourself across the social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.

Creating Facebook pages/Twitter feeds and interacting with your followers so they might want to read your latest post.

You can’t just spam out links and nothing else. (Surefire way get yourself blocked for being a spammy pain in the bum.)

You need to create a following and engage with the community. All of which takes time.

I’ve heard “How have you got so many followers?” from people before. That will be because of all the bloody hard work that goes into my blog.

You take part in Twitter conversations, you start them yourself. You take part in Twitter parties.

(No that’s not a code for I’m sitting in my pants stuffing Doritos in my gob at the computer while listening to Agadoo like a sad sack with virtual mates.There’s more to it than that.)

Not to mention that it’s not just a case of publishing, promoting and sitting back.

I’ve single handledy figured out how to add code to the right hand side of my blog to make it turn into a pretty clickable badge. For example, the parenting network badges don’t just magically appear.

I put them there.

I also figured out all by myself how to hide links behind words like this: look here’s my Family Twitter page, whoop whoop!

as opposed to just the boring link https://twitter.com/

I’ve written articles for the Yorkshire Times and the Guardian (all the while sat at my laptop in my kitchen) but you’ll still get asked occasionally “so are you going to be looking for a job?”

Well, excuse me for thinking I was actually doing something apart from playing Bejewelled Blitz, and doing inane quizzes on Facebook.

You don’t suddenly get given the chance to make money, You have to put yourself out there.

Now excuse me, I’ve got some Candy Crush to play. Whatever.

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I’ve always enjoyed getting a bargain and spending peanuts on things, but on joining a Facebook frugal food group I’ve had my eyes opened to a whole new world.

I already do the check the reduced section of the local supermarket on a night, but always wondered why everyone seemed to come away with trolley loads of stuff and I come out with a paltry loaf of reduced bread and that’s my lot.

It all becomes clear on these sites. People post pictures of their haul and they’ve come away with the entire reduced aisle.

Leaving little old me, who,it seems is far too nice to bargain hunt properly.

I come away with a sorry loaf of bread and nothing else because I’m not sharpening my elbows enough.

In the local Asda the other day, was a crowd of  locusts people swarming around the reduced section.

There’s me waiting patiently behind everyone until they move, under some misguided notion that people will let you stand and have a look with a polite ‘excuse me.’

Nope. It’s each to their own.

Little old ladies with handbags as weapons, and families who are intent on wiping out the entire section with one fell swoop.

Tonight, I’ve decided no more.

I’ve just found myself stalking the lady with the yellow reduced sticker gun around the shop. Oh yes. It’s my turn.

(It helped that it was a little supermarket with not many people in. I wouldn’t have had a chance in the big gun shops. I’d have been trampled underfoot.)

So tonight I’ve got myself a haul of:

- prawns

- and sultana scones.

 

I did actually manage to get some turkey steaks and mince the other day too.

I just need to man up and start wearing crash helmets and taking battering rams to the big shops….

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