Side Street Style

Side Street Style

Side Street Style

A family travel and lifestyle blog

14/08/2017

Food and so much more at The Big Welsh Bite



 
Earlier this month was the The Big Welsh Bite, an annual Welsh Food festival held in Pontypridd Park each year and while we of course expected loads of great food there was also a whole lot more on offer. So my eldest and I set off with our bikes on the Taff Trail to Ynysangharad Park to find out more and of course tastes a few local delights.

The last time we went to the Big Welsh Bite was when my eldest was a toddler and the new lido had yet to be built so I didn't really know what to expect this time around. Despite the on and off heavy showers in between moments of warm sunshine, it was wonderful to see such a good turn out for an event that helps showcase local and independent food and homemade goods.




As we had planned our day to arrive around lunchtime so our first thought was to find a bite to eat, after having perused what was on offer we started out with a Vegan Oreo milkshake made with almond ice-cream and it was amazing! We followed this up with a wood fired pizza from Ffwrnes and topped it off with some locally baked Welsh Cakes, fairly indulgent I must say but one must try things at a food festival.




Feeling a little fuller we decided to go and see what else was on offer and of course the first thing that caught my son's eye was the small farm animals on display including a very cheeky little Shetland pony who loved being fed apples, as well as some friendly sheep who seemed to enjoy all the attention from the children. There were also an array of chickens, ducks and even a turkey as well as rabbits and guinea pigs for children to gently hold.





Just a few meters away were birds of prey on display which we both found fascinating, there is something very interesting about seeing owls and hawks so close up and throughout the day they did falconry talks and displays. Dotted around the site were small fun fair rides for children as well as games, we enjoyed throwing rope hoops over the cut out farm animals and my son like racing through the mud on the go carts. Both the play park and Lido were also open making it a very family friendly event with loads for children of all ages to do.


On the other end of the festival was the wellness tent as well as information stands of local businesses and charities and there was a really great sense of community with lots of activities for children to do undercover when the rain would come in. We also had a chance to see some very impressive model planes, some of which were pretty big and I never knew there was a local group that builds and flies them.





As the day went on I went in search of coffee and was delighted to see Outpost had a small stall, one of my favorite independent coffee shops from Cardiff. Before heading off we decided to stay and watch the Lamas agility display which was fascinating because I really never knew Llamas could jump so high and it ea interesting learning all about them and their adopted home in North Wales. We easily spent a few hours here and both my son and I really enjoyed it, there was so much to see and do, the organisation was really good and it's great to see small towns put on such fantastic free events like The Big Welsh Bite, cannot wait for next year.

13/08/2017

Moving? Here are some budget saving tips

property





Moving at the best of times can become quite expensive, especially if you are moving to a new part of the country. Having done a fair amount of moves myself, including moving fro Edinburgh to Cornwall in my pre-child days I have learnt a few things a long the way. The good news is that you don't have to settle for the originally calculated price tag. There are many ways to reduce the cost of your move by using substitutes, doing price comparisons or doing some of the work on your own.

Lighten the Load

For many people, just the thought of emptying their house can bring on an feeling of anxiety as it's simply such a big task. If you've lived in your house for a number of years chances are good that you've acquired a lot of items along the way. In order to get a written estimate from movers that's as accurate as possible you need to decide what you want to keep and what you're willing to part with.

If your new home is in a different style or era to your current one you may need to to consider leaving behind or selling some of your furniture and purchasing new pieces when you arrive at your new place. Start by removing everything from your storage areas such as the basement, attic, and garage, as they are likely to be the places where unneeded items are stored. Then go room by room to see what you really want and don't really need. Once you have them sorted out then you can remove them from the inventory list you'll provide the movers and think about getting rid of them. You could even list unwanted goods on sites such as Gumtree and Ebay and use some of the profits towards the move, as well as decluttering in the process, a win win all round.


simplicity





Hiring movers

Not all movers offer the same rates, so it's very important to shop around. Make sure that they have a good reputation and find as may reviews about their company as possible. It's also important to note that there are times throughout the year where the rates can climb by up to 25%. This generally takes place during the summer months from May through September when it's peak time for moving. If you are able to schedule your move prior to or after these months you can save a fair bit of money. If you have no choice but to move during the peak season, then at least schedule the move for the first few weeks of the month and on a weekday. Cross country movers will provide you with an estimated cost of doing the move. Just remember that if you decide to increase the number of items you are taking, that the cost will go up.

Stay on top of the move

Hopefully, you have a month or at least several weeks before you have to move. This will give you enough time to get your things organised. In order to make the unpacking at the other end easy, you'll want to do one room at a time and label each box with a black permanent marker. This way when you arrive all you need to do place the boxes into the appropriate room and unpack them. This tip is really key in keeping a move as stress-free as possible

Save money on supplies

Moving companies sometimes offer to sell you boxes and even offer to pack the items up for you. Instead, do the packing and purchasing on your own. If you have the luxury of a months' notice before your move, you have plenty of time to contact local retailers and acquire boxes from them for free. In addition to saving on boxes you can also save by wrapping your collectibles and fragile items up with towels, newspaper even coffee filters, instead of having to purchase bubble wrap and brown paper. The two categories together can drastically reduce the expense of your packing.


fresh flowers


Sell unwanted goods

As I mentioned earlier any unwanted items try and sell to help save you even more money. It's so easy to do this online but you could also do a car boot market, just remember to price items for a quick sale so you take as little back home as possible. Anything that doesn't sell you can donate, give way or schedule with your garbage company for an extra pickup.

Moving can become very emotional for you, your spouse and your children. By taking a lot of the stress out of the move due to careful planning, you'll have time to talk with your family and get them excited about all the new places they will see and the new people they will meet. Just make sure you do your research and hire reputable movers and are willing to do some of the labor on your own, then the rest will all come together.



Associated Post 

11/08/2017

Creative Meal Planning with HelloFresh


Flavour Generator


Let’s talk family friendly meals for a moment, I know it’s exhausting right, getting the balance of quick, creative and tasty meals the kids will actually eat as well as hit the spot for adults as well. As the cooking lies completely on my shoulders it can be quite hard putting together a meal plan that fits into my busy life of juggling looking after the kids, working from home, trying to get the house ready to sell and provide nutrient packed meals for my boys.

I love to cook but lately I have been time pressured more than ever but I refuse to opt for ready meals which means I need to be as organised as possible when it comes to supper time and have meals that are quick to prepare. I’m really grateful that my children in most respects eat a well balance diet, they love broccoli, carrots, olives, hummus and are happy to dig into a big bowl of stir-fry, regardless there are some weeks were I just draw a blank with what to cook.



ripe avocado


Never fear however because HelloFresh, the people behind those wonderful healthy meal boxes have put together the Flavour Generator and its’ perfect for those days when you have an idea of what feel like but lack inspiration. We are big fans of Mexican food in our house as it’s a great way to sneak in more veggies in for your kids and often have wraps and quesadillas but would like to try something else. So I opened up the app and it gives you a variety of choices for what you feel like, I opted for Mexican and felt like something a little tangy. I clicked the generator and up popped two of my favourite ingredients - lime and chilli and three different recipes, all equally mouth watering but I decided to go with the quickest one which was Sweetcorn Fritters with Avocado, Tomato & Feta salad - bliss.



lime and sweetcorn


With one quick click the easy to follow recipe was downloaded and I folded this up into my weekly shopping list, what I loved was that it used normal ingredients, nothing hard to find or too expensive. The instructions were really straightforward and I actually had the meal ready in just under the 25mins it said it would take which was a big win for me as I am all about quick recipes which two hangry children running around the house this summer.





fresh salad


Of course you can also modify the recipes slightly, for example I left out the coriander from my fitters only because I know my eldest doesn't like coriander and it really didn't impact on the overall taste too much. I also liked the different flavour combinations from the lime in the fitters to the honey drizzle on the salad, which worked really well.

We all had a lot of fun planning around with the Flavour Generator and seeing what would come up on each foodie whim we had, its certainly been useful when I have lacked ideas for the weekly shop and it’s so easy and straightforward I am hoping John might even have a go making a meal, well I can dream anyway.






sweetcorn

In collaboration with HelloFresh, thoughts and opinions 100% my own
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