Wednesday, June 13, 2021

Summer Birthday Ideas

 

Child's Birthday Party

Birthday Fun

 

Great summer birthday ideas for kids

If your little darling is celebrating their birthday this summer, you’re probably unsure of what kind of party they’d like. Maybe they’re a bit too young for bouncy castles, or they’re still a bit too small to travel abroad to visit relatives. If you’re trying to save some cash whilst giving them a birthday to remember, here are some ideas to get you started…

 

 

There’s something about combining a birthday and a holiday that makes both extra-special, and there are plenty of British Holiday Parks that will enable you to afford a lovely break with your family, celebrate a birthday, and enjoy a well-earned break. What could be nicer than stuffing a picnic hamper full of delectable goodies, and heading off to the beach for lunch, followed by a game of frisbee with your loved ones? Plus, there’s always the chance to pack a birthday cake, and enjoy a slice as the afternoon winds down. This is great for younger kids who can’t keep still, and who crave nothing more than the chance to play all day – plus, you avoid all the hassle of airports, flights and foreign food (parents with fussy eaters will be nodding at this.) Perfect.

 

 

Another brilliant idea for smaller kids is a treasure hunt party. This will take you a while to set up, but it’s worth it. Separate the afternoon with four separate hunts in your garden, and whilst you’re setting up each hunt, enlist your spouse to entertain the kids in your lounge. You will probably need some help coming up with the clues and practicing each individual treasure hunt, but it’ll keep the kids entertained – just remember to give them some ace prizes, so the enthusiasm for the next hunt doesn’t die down!

 

 

If another child is celebrating their birthday at the same time, why not share the stress (and cost!) and arrange a party at a local church hall? This is far more economical than ferrying ten fidgety kids to the cinema, and if you can find a family friend to DJ, a mini-disco will work extremely well. You can make this even cheaper by making your own food (and birthday cake), and mums that have children that react badly with e-numbers will thank you for not filling their kids full of chemically-laden snacks. Remember to always make sure that anyone who has an allergy is catered for, and that you’ve got contact numbers for everyone.

 

 

It’s always worth looking to see if a local zoo or farm offer group discounts if you don’t fancy entertaining a bunch of fun-seeking kids, as there’s nothing like the sight of wildlife to ensure children are mercifully distracted (and interested). Lots of farms have playparks for the wild at heart, and many offer group activities such as tractor rides, which round off the day nicely. The only added extras here are a) the gift shop. Avoid! and b) lunchtime. It’s always worth bringing your own packed lunch for yourself and your guests, as a sugar-and-fat-laden lunch in the farm canteen can be horrendously expensive. It goes without saying that all children should be washing their hands pretty much every half hour whilst at a farm, and especially before eating.

 

 

Finally, if your child is a little older, how about a camping party? This will only work if you have a fairly big garden, but if you can stand the thought of 20 pre-teens giggling all night, this is for you. Kids can arrive about 6ish with their parents, set their tents up, then get on with it! You can bring out their dinners later on, and even set up some garden lights so they can carry on chatting into the night. It’s also worth setting up some sleeping bags and pillows in the lounge so those who get a bit chilly can come indoors, and always leave the kitchen fully-stocked – you never know who’ll develop a killer appetite late at night!

 

 

Wednesday, June 13, 2021

The Experts Guide to Planning a Delicious Picnic

Lets Have a Picnic

Lets Have a Picnic

 

Experts Guide to Planning a Delicious Picnic

 

While we all can’t all claim to be Martha Stewart when it comes to planning, there are some ways to spice up events that can make them extra special – and this includes putting together a delicious summer picnic.

Certainly the first order of business in accomplishing this task is to plan your menu. Here, in addition to coming up with some scrumptious goodies, though, you will need to determine which dishes will travel well so that they both look and taste great when you get there.

Some tips to keep in mind include:

Items that can be prepared in advance

Dishes that can be served at room temperature

Foods that don’t require lots of additional sauce or other types of ingredients that may make them soggy.

Items that don’t require any cutting or slicing upon arrival

Food that can be eaten by hand or by using only a fork

Appetizers & Snacks

Upon your arrival at the picnic location, you will want to be sure to have appetizers or other types of snacks that can be eaten prior to the main meal. Here, too, remember to pack items that do not require heating up or cooling down – as well as those that can be easily transported in small bags or containers. For example, bringing nuts may make more sense that taking potato chips as the chips run the risk of being crushed when packed in with other items.

Salads

As most picnics take place in warmer weather, you may consider putting salad on your menu of food items. If so, however, be sure that you use ingredients for the salad that will hold up well and that you avoid foods such as tender lettuce as it tends to fade in the heat.

Main Meal

For your main picnic meal, you will want to determine that fine line between being tasty and delicious and easy to eat. If you decide to bring along sandwiches, for example, you should opt for a more hardy type of bread such as a baguette.

It is also best to bring all of the sandwich makings packed in separate containers and ensure that they are adequately cooled. In this case, you may also do better to wait until meal time to cut the tomato slices and to separate the lettuce leaves.

If you are also including condiments such as mustard or mayo, these items will need to be kept cool and out of the direct sunlight. This goes for after meal times as well – so make sure that they get placed back into your cooler as soon as possible after you enjoy your meal.

While there are a number of drinks today that are available in individual cans or bottles, it may be more convenient – as well as more cost effective – to simply bring along large bottles of soda, tea, or lemonade. Also, don’t forget to include water – especially if it is a hot day.

Transporting Your Goodies

Once you have decided on the food to be served, it is important to also determine the proper containers as well as the method of transport to get items safely to your picnic location. One tip here is to be mindful of using lightweight serving bowls and environmentally friendly tins as versus plastic or other types of throwaway containers.

This also goes for your plates and utensils. Using enamelware and break-resistant cutlery, glasses, and plates will help your picnic guests to avoid spills and other food related messes – while also cutting back on waste.

When it’s time to head out to your location, be sure to pack accordingly. This means placing all of your room-temperature foods in one canvas bag while placing items that must be kept cool in either an insulated bag or adequately sized cooler.

If you are packing several “layers” of food items, one way to avoid crushes is to place a small cutting board into your cooler or bag that will lie directly above the items on the bottom. The board can act as a shelf for the next layer of foods and it can also help to prevent food containers from toppling over.

Also remember to pack a large plastic bag in which to place dirty dishes and utensils after you’ve had your meal. This makes it easier to simply unload everything into the sink or dishwasher upon your arrival back home.

Other miscellaneous items that should be brought along for any successful picnic include salt and pepper, napkins, and a table cloth. Also, remember to include games such as volleyball or badminton equipment as well as a camera so that you can view photos or videos of your special event at a later time.

Janet Lynch is a health and culinary blogger. She is also a huge advocate of diet delivery and credits much of her healthy habits to simple and affordable meal solutions.

 

 

 

 

 
Printable games. Instant fun! Just add paper
 

Wednesday, June 13, 2021

10 Meals That are Ten Dollars or Less

Mac &Cheese

Mac & Cheese

 

10 Meals $10.00 or Less

Culinary perfect is something that every culture can relate to. We all love a tasty treat that hits the spot, and doesn’t put such a huge dent in your wallet. Nowadyas there are plenty of options of cheap food you should choose from. There are value meals, 5 dollar deals, breakfast specials and much more. None of those can match a home cooked meal. Sometimes a grocery trip can run up a pretty large bill. When you want a homecooked meal, and want to keep some extra money, try one of these ten tasty meals!

 

 

#10 Spaghetti Carbonara

This dish sounds very fancy, but there really isn’t much to it. You need some spaghetti noodles, eggs, bacon, and some parmesan cheese. I like to add a touch of basil but that is entirely up to you. The average cost for a meal like this is around 10 dollars, but when items go on sale you can feed up to four people with just around 8 dollars.

 

 

#9 Homemade Mac and Cheese

This one is a classic favorite. Most people sadly enough have never made mac and cheese by themselves. Don’t assume that all mac and cheese is meant to taste like craft. Get yourself some elbow noodles, and then find yourself a nice cheddar cheese along with some cream. Bake with high heat, and even add some bread crumbs for a crunchy top layer. You can make this meal for only around 8 bucks!

 

#8 Cheeseburgers for Four

This one is a no brainer. Everyone loves a good cheeseburger. All you need is one point of ground beef, a little cheese and top with the condiments you already have. Don’t forget the buns! No one wants to have a bread burger. This makes 4 quarter pound cheeseburgers for around 7 dollars.

 

#7 Ratatouille

This meal has classically been known as a peasant dish and suddenly gained popularity with a Disney Classic. This meal is simple, healthy, and hearty. Grab your favorite veggies including onions, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, nasal, and a little tomato sauce. Depending on your quantity, and whether you shop at Whole Foods, you can whip this meal up for around 6 dollars.

 
#6 Bacon and Eggs

Bacon and eggs is an american favorite. Inexpensive, surprisingly health, and the perfect meal when waking up. You can choose your favorite style of eggs, and go from there. Even a little buttered toast won’t be that much more expensive. Bacon and eggs will run you around 7 dollars.

 

 

#5 Chili

Chili is a great meal that fills you up and tastes great. This meal is easy on the wallet and easy on the cook. Add some ground beef, beans, tomato sauce, and spice it up with a little cheese on top if you have it. A solid chili meal will cost you 8 dollars.

 

 

#4 Pizza Bagels

Pizza bagels are a great appetizer, but don’t count them out as a meal either. All you need is some bagels, pizza sauce, mozzarella, and some pepperoni. Very cheap, and very tasty. Eight bucks max!

 

 

#3 Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup

This meal is easy to make and easy to bring smiles to hungry eaters. Very quick and inexpensive, you only need three ingredients. Bread, cheese, and a large can of tomato soup. This one might just bring you back to your childhood. You can fix this up for around 5 bucks!

 

 

#2  Roasted Chicken

A roast chicken is a delicious feast. The good news is you can buy a whole chicken for around 6.99, and all you need is an over or a rotisserie. Perfect to surround with your favorite vegetables and feed the family. A full meal roast chicken with vegetables can be purchased for right around 10 dollars.

 

 

#1 Fish and Chips

 

Fish and chips is a classic meal. The Irish made this dish particular popular and everyone seems to love it these days. A few good filets along with a few nice potatoes can make a great family meal. Fish can be a little bit pricey at times, but potatoes are cheap! You can make this meal for around 10 dollars.

 

 

This article was written by Jet Russell who blogs for StorageMart Chicago – a self storage company. In his spare time he enjoys guest blogging.