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A Tip Top Big Mac – Your New McDonalds

A Tip Top Big Mac – Your New McDonalds

A Tip Top Big Mac is what I made at McDonalds even if I do say so myself.

Your New McDonalds

Myself and some fellow bloggers were invited to take a look around one of Plymouths City Centre McDonalds where some pretty impressive changes have been made to improve the service that customers receive and streamline the whole McDonalds experience.

Your New McDonalds

What’s New

Self Service – If you’ve been into your local branch recently it may be one of over 50% of restaurants that have the touch screen self-service points in addition to the usual counter and drive through services.

You may have even already visited one of the restaurants that have table service on offer. Fear not as these services will be rolled out nationwide in the near future.

The self service points where you order and pay for your food are a really quick and convenient way to order food. It displays the whole menu with size options and meal deal options.

Using the screens couldn’t be simpler. All the food is displayed using pictures and gives you various options (including dips for meals that include this). The touch screens are so easy that you could let your children use the screens to pick choose and order their own food. The best thing about the screens is that the menu is visual and there are options on there that you may not even know is available.

Table Service – This has probably been a long awaited addition to the McDonalds restaurants and will make ordering so much easier for the vast majority of us.

As a parent, standing in the queue and ordering the food and then finding a table can be such a pain in the butt, and then you forget to get the straws or napkins.

These days are long gone. The self-service machine allows you to choose table service. They have plastic table number plaques which are Bluetooth enabled that you pick up which are all numbered (I’m sure they have an actual name). You tap this number in and once your order is placed the server will be able to find you via the number plaque. The server comes armed with a toolbelt loaded with napkins, straws and sauces so there’s no need for you to leave your seat.

Behind the Scenes

We got to have a nose around behind the scenes which was quite impressive.

We started off in the staff room where we were given our very own McDonalds apron, hat (plus hairnet) and name badge. I was totally sold by this point but I am quite easily pleased!

Your New McDonalds

The kitchen, whilst busy was very orderly and everybody was going about their work like a well oiled machine.

I’ve always been quite impressed by the number of staff that are working in any restaurant at any given time. There are approximately 40 staff on at any given time and more at peak times.

Your New McDonalds

We had a look at the walk-in fridges and freezers at all the fresh ingredients that are delivered almost daily and YES they do use fresh eggs!

Tablets

Some of the restaurants have a seating area where tablets are available. I always assumed that these were just for children, but as well as games available you can use the tablets to get news updates, check your emails and log-in to your social media sites.

Rest assured that the tablets have strict blocks so that unsavoury sites are not accessed by our kids.

You can also keep up to date with all news that is McDonalds including calorie content and community projects that McDonalds support.

The Best Bit

We got to make our very own Big Mac’s.

All of the burgers are made specific to McDonalds. There are clearly labelled charts above the work station to ensure that all burgers are made the same.

You can watch my video but this next bit is completely from my memory.

  1. Get your bun ready
  2. Pop it into the three sections of the special bun toaster
  3. Get your box ready
  4. Put the bun in box
  5. Shoot the Big Mac sauce gun at both parts of the bun
  6. Add lettuce
  7. A sprinkle of onion
  8. A slice of cheese on one side
  9. Two slices of gherkin on the other making sure that you separate so you get pickle in each bite
  10. Add a burger on each side
  11. Put the middle part of the bun on top of the bottom bun
  12. Shut the box
  13. BOOM the Big Mac is good to go

I totally aced my Big Mac making skills as you can see in my video.

Your New McDonalds

Cool McDonalds Facts

  • They use fresh ingredients. Contrary to what many people think where possible fresh ingredients are used and delivered to the restaurants daily.
  • No food is sat around – The burgers are freshly prepared to order
  • All waste is recycled. This was the biggest surprise for me. All food and packaging waste is separated and recycled including the oil used in the fryers
  • McDonalds aim to have a ‘Zero Waste Policy’ in all restaurants by 2020
  • To reduce the carbon footprint, delivery lorries deliver and pick-up at the same time so that no empty lorries are driving around
  • Since the introduction of the self-service touch screens more salads have been ordered. This maybe since the entire menu is visual on the screen it’s much easier to see what’s on offer
  • McDonalds work with local councils and volunteer for litter picking with the Love Where you Live campaign
  • McDonalds support local community projects and sports clubs

I bet you’re just a little bit impressed as was I. We like to take Isabelle to McDonalds for a treat and we allow her to choose her own meal whether it be a burger and fries or fish fingers and a fruit bag. It’s all about moderation!

As they say *whistles* ‘I’m Loving it!’

Lisa x

Your New McDonalds

 

 

Mila & Pheebs Kids Boxes

Mila & Pheebs Kids Box Review

One of the things that Isabelle and I like to do together is arts and crafts. There isn’t a day that goes by without Isabelle drawing a picture, colouring or making something.

Arts and crafts is our go to thing to do when we haven’t got anything planned or it’s pouring down with rain.

Mila & Pheebs Stationery & Activity Box Review

 

Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity Kids Box

Isabelle has inherited my love of stationery, and like me loves pens, notebooks, folders, clipboards and little pots of paperclips that we may never use.

When we were asked to review a Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity box we were very excited.

You can subscribe to Mila & Pheebs so that each month your child gets a surprise themed box through the post addressed to themselves with lots of lovely goodies inside. Even better, the box fits through the letterbox so theres no chance of missing the postie and having to collect it from somewhere.

One of the other things that Isabelle is obsessed with at the moment is kids Youtube videos. She usually watches surprise boxes being opened which are mostly American Girls opening ‘blind bags’ which contain all kinds of Disney Princesses, Shopkins or other such things.

Recently she’s started to talk in an American accent, and I’ve caught her loads of times pretending to make her own videos so I thought I’d give her a chance to have her 15 minutes of fave and let her introduce what came in the Mila & Pheebs box so over to Belle!

I’m a huge fan of kits like this which can easily be packed away to do on a journey, taken to Grandparents house or brought out for rainy days.

Each box is packed full of all you would need to complete the task and has several different things in the box to do.

We got:

  • A pencil with a donkey rubber topper
  • A really cute cow rubber which comes apart (including detachable nose)
  • Colouring-in sheets
  • A horse hand puppet kit
  • Animal shaped crayons (Isabelle called these rubbers in the video)
  • Farm Animal foam stickers
  • A maze and wordsearch sheet
  • A piggy notepad with pigs to colour in
  • Plain cards and envelopes
  • Sheep decoration kit
  • A felt chicken paperclip (might have pinched that)
  • Glittery farm animal stickers

So as you can see, you get a lot for your money.

Mila and Pheebs Review

You can subscribe to the boxes which you will receive each month, and each month has a different theme. You can also unsubscribe at any time for times when you may be away. There is also an option to buy a one off which would make a lovely gift.

We had great fun making the horse which we did on a day after school when the weather was a bit pants and Isabelle fancied something fun to do. I was quite intrigued watching her with her concentration face on, determined to do the sewing part from beginning to end.

Mila and Pheebs Review

 

Mila and Pheebs Review

The Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity Box gets the thumbs up from us!

AND if you like what you’ve seen/read then you can get 10% OFF your first subscription by adding ‘babynotincluded’ until 31st March – would make a fab Easter Egg alternative.

Lisa x

*We were sent a Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity box free of charge for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are 80% Isabelle’s and 20% mine.

Bidvine – Local Helping Hands!

Have you heard of Bidvine ?

•This is a collaborative post.

Bidvine is a great online service for finding professional help in all aspects of your life, from a plumber to a personal trainer.  There are over 800 services available covering the whole of the UK. 

Bidvine

The site which is also available as a mobile app is simple to use. When you first go to the site,  you simply put in the service that you are looking for along with your postcode. You are then asked some very simple questions so that you can be matched to the most relevant people in your area. 

So I gave it a go.

I thought that I would test this by searching for  Pet Boarding as we’re going away later in the year so will be looking for somebody to look after our lovely Charlie. 

These are the questions that we were asked. 

How many pets require boarding? 1 

What type of pets do you have?  Dog 

How long is the required boarding period? A week 

Do you require any related services?

Making sure they’re fed
Grooming services
Administering medication
I’m not sure
Other

Where can the service be delivered?

The service pro travels to me

I travel to the service pro up to: This is where you add in the miles that you are willing to travel for the services. 

When do you need Pet Boarding?

There is a drop down menu asking on the timescale which you can choose from being urgent to requesting a specific date which is what we would chose for Pet Boarding. 

Anything else the Pet Boarding Service Provider needs to know?

You can add in any additional details or requirements if needed. 

How would you like to receive bids? 

You can opt to have a phone call with offers or text messages

Then the request is submitted. 

This works on the basis that the Bidvine database will match you with  professionals offering all sorts of services matching  your requirements. You will then be contacted either by  phone call or text with offers which you can accept or reject. 

I was contacted within 20 minutes of submitting my request which I thought was amazingly quick.

What did I think?

This is really simple to do, and you can sign up for a Bidvine account by logging in with your Facebook or google account or by creating one using your email and a password. 

I’ve had a good old poke around the site, and there’s all sorts of services on there including Flat Pack Furniture Assembling to Stress Management Coaching. It’s really simple to do and using the app, can be used with ease as and when things crop up. 

What’s better is that most of us like to use people who have been recommended, so for any jobs that are completed you will be asked to review the services, and in turn you can read other peoples reviews which will help you make the right choice for whatever you choose. 

I’ve downloaded the App as it’s always handy to have in case of an emergency. I have a list of odd jobs as long (actually longer than) my arm which try as he might, Chris just isn’t Bob the Builder! 

Bidvine

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk 

#Serenz Allergy Relief Review

#Serenz Allergy Relief Review

*Sneeze*

*Sneeze*

*Sniff Sniff*

*Sneeze*

*Sniff*

 

#Serenz Allergy Relief

This is the sound to our life during allergy season.

I must confess that I don’t have much sympathy for Daddy’s plight with Hayfever, and get really annoyed with him with the constant sneezing and sniffing. Oh and don’t get me started on the moaning.

He’s just started a new job and has been to quite a few houses that have cats, which has only made things worse.

He’s tried tablets, sprays, eating local honey, homeopathic remedies, decongestants and probably a few other things that I can’t remember.

At my day job people drop like flies to hay fever so it causes quite a lot of disruption.

When we were asked to try #Serenz Allergy Relief I was really quite excited that we have a solution both to ease Daddy of this really annoying illness, but also to free the rest of us of this burden.

 

#serenz allergy relief

So how does #Serenz work?

#Serenz is a handheld device which you can keep easily in your bag which uses carbon dioxide to gently cleanse the nasal passages to relieve taller symptoms of nasal congestion, itchy, runny noses and sneezes.

When you first open the product you have to activate the device by using the blue key (which comes with it). Once this is done you can use the as and when you experience allergy symptoms.

It’s very simple to use by placing the nosepiece into the nose making sure there is a tight seal between your nose and the nosepiece so the gas does not escape.

You have to make sure that you either hold your breath or breathe through your nose during use which is 10 seconds per nostril, pushing the button during this time continuously.

What did we think?

The instructions were very clear and the product was very easy to use. When we read the instructions before using, we were slightly cautious as one of the precautions is that it is normal to experience a temporary nasal stinging or smarting sensation and/or watering eyes, but it did say that this was not harmful and would not last long. As most allergy sufferers would agree, it gets to the point where you would try anything to relieve the symptoms so on we went.

It’s a good size which would easily fit in your handbag and is very simple and easy to use. It can be a burden taking tablets every day so an alternative natural option is nice to have. Daddy did have stinging in his nose when  used, and had some improvement of his symptoms which was on parr with taking one a day tablet equivalents with a definite reduction in nose blowing!

The #Serenz Allergy Relief is £19.90 to buy and can be bought at Weldrick’s Pharmacy Online and provides 40, 10 second cleanses which is the equivalent of 20 cleanses for each nostril.

For more information and updates you can visit the Serenz Website

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk

 

• Please note that we were sent a #Serenz Allergy Relief free of charge for the purpose of this review.

 

It’s our 9th Birthday Today

It’s our 9th Birthday Today.

9th_birthday

It’s our 9th Birthday today!!

On one hand I’m super excited that I’ve racked up this many years and on the other hand I’m disappointed that my ‘lil biz’ has not quite reached the heights that I expected all those years ago when I had the big dream of taking on the world lol.

Laughing aside it’s been quite a journey of making the biggest mistakes (it’s true that you learn from your mistakes) to doing things that would never have been possible otherwise. I’ve (virtually) met some fantastic people and fellow business owners that have been along for the ride with me and love the ‘Biz Fam’ that I’ve gained over this time.

So to celebrate this milestone and to say Thank You for keeping us going I’m offering 15% Off Everything on Site until Tuesday 10th May. Just add Birthday9 in the Discount box at the checkout.

As an Independent Retailer we do rely on YOU guys to keep us going and so if you like what you see, share with your friends and family, leave us a review on the products that you’ve bought and engage with us on our Facebook Page.

We love to hear from you and hope that you enjoy your shopping experience with us.

One of my favourite jobs is buying new stock, but as we all know babies grow at an extortionate rate so we’ve popped a little vote type box so you can let us know what age your littles are at so that we can buy age appropriate stock next time round.

I’m going to stop talking now, but just to say Thank You again.

9th_birthday

As well as the discount we have some great competitions on the go:

Win a set of At the Seaside Flashcards

Win £20.00 to spend at www.babynotincluded.co.uk

Win a Soggs Socks Box Set

Win a Squidge & Pip Baby Sensory Teething Toy

Love you guys

Lisa x

Review – Hello Kitty My Nametags Name Labels

My Nametags Name Labels Hello Kitty Review

nametags_name_labels

My Nametags Name Labels Review. We’re still reeling from the realisation that Isabelle will be starting school in September. She’s out littlest so it’s a bit scary. Our biggest is starting College this September which is quite apt as he started secondary school the day that his little sister was born.

She missed out on the 2014 intake by a whole EIGHT days and we had initially thought that she was going to start on her 5th birthday, but it turns out that she will start the week before. She is more than ready for school and has been for some time being ‘Little Miss Independent’.

nametags_name_labels

As a second child going into education we are fully aware that the washing and ironing of school uniform will be the bane of our lives for the next few years. As will the constant loss of school uniform parts and the following trip to the lost property box.

We were really thrilled when we were asked to review the My Nametags School labels which will hopefully help Isabelle to identify her school uniform apart from other children’s easily with the help of Hello Kitty.

My Nametag Name Labels are brightly coloured labels with her name on which should be instantly recognisable, especially as hers have Hello Kitty on. Previously the attaching, both sewing and iron-on labels have been a bit of an endurance and only the sew-on ones seemed to stay put.

The name labels that we received are sticker labels so really easy to apply (even with the help of Isabelle) and can be applied to the washing labels of clothing, juice cups, bags, pencil cases and lunch boxes. In fact you could use them to label all your pens and pencils as well as you get 56 labels which go a long way.

To order the labels was extremely easy, just enter the name that you want (with or without a contact phone number), choose the design and instantly you see the results on your screen. There are loads to choose from including Hello Kitty (like us), teddy bears, crowns, flowers and more. You also get to choose the background colour as well making them as personalised as possible so that your child can easily identify there own items.

So having done part of our school uniform shopping (still have to endure the school shoe shopping trip) we had a bit of a ahhhhh moment when Isabelle tried on her pinafore for the first time. She looks so small but so big and grown-up all at the same time.

Then comes the labelling……..

nametags_name_labels

So as a fan of Stickers, Isabelle is in her element at the chance to put her name on anything and everything so this was a LOT of fun for her.

nametags_name_labels

We have labelled her pinafores, you literally just stick them to the labels, nothing more to it. We have labelled her polo shirts, school jumpers and fleece, her school coat and wellies and her lunch box. We will also label inside her shoes once we have got them.

nametags_name_labels

What did we think of them?

I think this will give her more confidence at starting school as she doesn’t always ask so will be able to easily identify her own things herself. They are also quite unique which will make it easier to find her own things. As they’re stickers these were extremely easy to use. A big thumbs up from us.

nametags_name_labels

To order yours for school or nursery, visit their site www. mynametags.com

Lisa x

*We were sent a set of My Nametag Hello Kitty Name labels for the purpose of review. All photographs and opinions are that of myself and Little Miss Isabelle x

Win a Colour-me Reversible Apron from Triplo Tique

Win a Colour-me Reversible Apron from Triplo Tique

Triplo Tique was set up by two mums who were inspired by three very active, energetic and never stopping kids. Their motivation was to look for unusual ways to keep their children occupied, interested and creative, especially on those rainy and miserable days when staying indoors.


Today Triplo Tique is a small but very creative and ambitious team working to present exclusive and luxury textile products to the UK market. All new products get tested by their own kids before they are presented to the public. Have a look at their eye-catching and innovative colour-me products for kids such as Colour-me Bedding

triplo_tique
Colour-me Bedding

Double sided colour-me blankets, quilts and playmats using custom designed fabrics for both boys and girls.

triplo_tique triplo_tique

Also in the range are gorgeous Colour-me aprons and drawstring bags which would definitely stand out as your child’s at Nursery or School.

ThePrizeFinder – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/win-colour-me-reversible-apon#sthash.9BQanmyX.dpuf

All of Triplo Tique products are made from 100% eco-friendly cotton that is certified according to OEKO-TEX Standard 100, CE.They also offer hemp and bamboo products for babies and kids ranging from nappies, clothing, bathrobes, towels, blankets and bedding along with colourful fabric blankets, quilts, scarves and go-swaddle baby blankets. For the full range and updates on new products you can visit them on Facebook and Ebay as well as following them on Pinterest and Google + or email triplotique@gmail.com.?For your chance to Win a Reversible Colour-me Apron fill in the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck.

Lisa x

 

ThePrizeFinder

Baby Comp Weekly 21.05.13

Baby Comp Weekly 21.05.13

Well isn’t it nice to finally have some nice weather. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been able to spend some quality time together outdoors which has made a lovely change. We even managed to have a drink in a local pub garden and left the house without a coat.

Here’s a few of the many competitions that we’ve happened across over the past week.

1. Win a Personalised Peppa Pig Book from All Baby Advice(Our daughter was given one of these for her 2nd birthday and it’s lovely) – Closes 11.06.13

2. Win a Pair of Cheeky Shoes from A New Addition Blog – Closes 31.05.13

3. Win some Baking Goodies from One Dad 3 Girls – Closes 07.06.13

4. Win a Three Month Supply of Ribena Plus from Kiddy Charts – Closes 27.05.13

5. Win a copy of Annabel Karmel’s Quick & Easy Toddler Recipes from Mummy Can I Have – Closes 20.06.13

6. Win a Copy of the Shining Girls from Emma in Bromley Blog – Closes 27.05.13

7. Win a Senses Organic Starter Kit from A Greener Life for Us – Closes 04.06.13

Don’t forget to add your own blog competitions so that everyone else can enjoy and enter them.

Keep an eye on the site as new products appear online, and of course there’s our weekly #whatwillyougivemewednesday auction on our Facebook page where all bidding starts at 1p (8pm – 10pm every Wednesday evening).

www.babynotincluded.co.uk – Funky Clothing for Babies and Toddlers.

Baby Comp Weekly 14.05.13

Baby Comp Weekly

My patience is at an all time low at the moment. Toothache started about a week ago, and after a visit to the dentist I have an infection and am in need of a root canal and crown which terrifies me, but worse still is that I have to wait until 7th June before I can have the treatment done. I’m currently taking antibiotics which are making me feel awful and am dosing up on painkillers without much help.

I thought I would change things slightly. I’m going to list maybe 10 – 15 competitions that catch my eye and also add a linky tool so that you can add your own.

1. Win a Visionary Soap Gift Set from Side Street Style – Closes 20.05.13

2. Win a copy of Sooty The Children’s Birthday Party DVD from Mummy Feaver – Closes 20.05.13

3. Win a Doodle Bag from Mumpreneur UK – Closes 17.05.13.

4. Win a Neal’s Yard Gift Set from The Life of Laurie – Closes 17.05.13.

5. Win a Personalised Set of Cufflinks perfect for Father’s Day from Mummy Alarm – Closes 16.05.13

6. Win a Royal Baby Gift Set from The Mum Blog – Closes 22.05.13

7. Win a Munchkin Spill Proof Cup from Boo, Roo and Tiger Too – Closes 02.06.13

8. Win a Merci Maman Personalised NEON Charm Bracelet from Love From Mummy – Closes 24.05.13

9. Win a Kiddy Evolution Pro Group 0+ Carseat from Mellow Mummy – Closes 31.05.13

10. Win an OXO Feeding and Weaning Set from A Mummy Too – Closes 31.05.13

11. Win a Bottle of Maternicare Stretchmark Cream from Lucy’s Mad House – Closes 31.05.13

12. Win a Toddle Bike with Coombe Mill – Closes 22.05.13

13. Win some Picpack Magnets from Snowing Indoors – Closes 16.05.13

 

If you have any competitions running and would like them to be added either tweet me @babynotincluded or send me a mail mailto:mail@babynotincluded.co.uk. Alternatively you could add them to the linky list below.

Good Luck x

If grabbing a bargain floats your boat then do pop over to our Facebook Page for our #whatwillyougivemewednesday auction. All bids start at 1p. It’s a lot of fun. Every Wednesday from 8pm – 10pm – Hope to see you there!

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk 

Advent Calendar – Door 24 – Closed

Advent Calendar – Door 24 – Closed

advent_calendar

Win a Baba+Boo Reusable Nappy Gift Set

advent_calendar

Winner – Becky Downey – Congratulations!

Well we’ve made it past the end of the world and this is the last of our Christmas Advent Calendar Competitions, and what a way to end it.

Just two years ago when Isabelle was born was made the decision to use cloth nappies. This received a variety of reactions, including disgust at the thought of having to wash the dirty nappies. However, once I started using them and friends and family saw how simple and like disposable nappies that cloth were they soon changed their minds. Since then at playgroups and baby groups there are more and more mums making the decision to use cloth.

I was told that I would become rather addicted to cloth which I dismissed until new ranges of colours and prints became available and I just wanted them all. Baba+Boo have a great range of reusable nappies in a variety of prints and colours to suit your needs. You can choose from the Classic range or the exclusive range which includes my favourite which is Master Frog.

Baba+Boo are so confident in their nappies that you can give a nappy a trial and if you’re not completely satisfied you can return the nappy and get 70% of the cost back.

As well as nappies they have a lovely range of nappy accessories, Bibs, Shoes, Hair Accessories and Hats. New to the brand are the Reusable Nappy Gift Sets which is a Reusable Nappy and matching Long Sleeve T-shirt. This is a fab New Baby Gift for a new mum embarking on their cloth journey.

Baba+Boo have just launched a great new idea to help mums who would like to work flexibly around their children. If you are a cloth user and are constantly recommended reusable nappies to friends and mums at playgroups then this is for you. You can become a Baba+Boo Clothee Break Agent which will give you the chance to earn some extra cash by chatting to Parents to be and New mums about the benefit of using reusable nappies.

So onto the competition. You have the chance to Win one of Baba+Boo’s Fab Reusable Nappy Gift Sets in the size and style of your choice. My favourite is definitely the Master Frog.

To enter fill in the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck and Have a Great Christmas x

Lisa x