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UK spa break reivews

January really does seem to last forever, doesn’t it? The harsh hit of reality catches me off guard every year. The day after Boxing Day I’m always raring to take down the Christmas tree, make a fresh start and get going with the new year. But after the first week of January, the novelty wears off, the Christmas cake has been finished off, I realise I’m not in fact a New Me and everything just feels a bit depressing and monotonous. 

Once you kind of accept the fact that you have to live like a functioning adult again after a few weeks of lying down eating mince pies, January doesn’t have to be the dreary month of too much work that it’s become known as. The beginning of the year can actually be a great time to start filling in your calendar for the year ahead. Everyone knows life is ten times better when you have something nice to look forward to, whether it’s something small like lunch with a friend or something bigger like a holiday. It’s also really important to schedule in some self-care and self-reflection time as well, to check in with yourself throughout the year to make sure you’re actually doing okay.  View Post


wedding reception fun ideas

The wedding ceremony is an experience that cannot be understated, with the union of two individuals witnessed lovingly by their nearest and dearest in a location that best represents the couple’s style and story. Brings a tear to our eye just thinking about it. Now after the ceremony comes the reception, and that is where the fun really begins for you and your guests. If you thought that reception revelling just happened on its own, there is actually more planning and consideration than you might think. Here we have shared the top tips on how to bring some fun into your wedding reception.

Hire a photobooth

Admit it, you got excited simply by reading the word photobooth. We’re not surprised, as photobooth hire has always sat at the top of the wish list for engaged couples looking to bring an edge on their big day. What you might not know is that in 2020, photobooths look and operate in a more modern format, offering couples a classic or digital experience, the choice is yours. Take the time to understand all the different photobooh options and choose one that is going to cause the biggest splash on your special day. You can also customise your props and prints to commemorate your special day, making it so your guests never forget where those wonderful shots came from.

Consider an open mic

Speeches are always the perfect ice-breaker, and a great way to relax all guests into a fun evening with a few funny and heartwarming anecdotes. You can extend these moments by telling your guests that they are invited to the mic to tell a story or two about the bride and groom. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, we’re suggesting open mic speeches! This will certainly add a playful element to the evening, and it might bring a crowd together that may not know one another too well before the big day.

Cocktail carts

It’s assumed that you will have a bar at your reception, although a cocktail cart might be a pleasant surprise for your guests who’ll think they have seen it all. You can choose people to staff your cocktail cart, or you can make it a DIY experience with all the essential garnishes. This will add a truly boutique touch. Rather than having every different type of liquor, you can make it a gin cart or an espresso cart. If you don’t feel like you can trust your jovial guests with this perk, you can make this a virgin cocktail cart for your guests not drinking.

Ditch the classic wedding cake

No one is suggesting that the sweets are removed from the reception, far from you! But there is a way you can shake up the traditional expectations and offer a sweet and visually pleasing dessert that everyone will enjoy. Doughnut walls are a fantastic way to add a pop of colour, and the cost is relatively inexpensive compared to a professionally designed wedding cake. Couples who prefer savouries are also trading in vanilla cream with a cheesecake, where three or four wheels of cheese are stacked on one another that it looks just like a cake. You can garnish this cake with some fruits, pastes and delicious crackers.

Your wedding day is going to be one of the greatest parties of your life, and so your reception should be planned to perfection so you and your significant other remember it forever (well, remember as much as you can). It might also be a good idea to talk to your married friends about what worked or didn’t work at their reception, and what they would have done differently.


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It’s 5.30pm on a Sunday evening and I’m in an old church in Bristol. Long ropes dangle from the ceiling as I stand, 6 feet above the ground, on a trapeze. I lean forward, one leg extended behind me. I crouch slowly and sit down on the bar. I lean back and let go with one hand, twisting my body, my legs stretched out straight, toes pointed.

In that moment I feel powerful, alive, and only vaguely concerned about how sweaty my palm feels on the rope. In my mind I look like this and in lieu of photographic evidence I defy anyone to prove otherwise:

Trapeze artist

Last week, in our first session of a five week aerial skills course, we were on the hoop. With the hoop I felt about as graceful as a badly coordinated toddler trying to zip up a coat. On the trapeze though, (once the instructor has helped me get on), I am a goddess, full of energy and grace.

Now I’m not saying that two weeks of drinking Ensure Max Protein everyday has turned me into a world class circus acrobat, ready to fly through the air, confident in my strength and power, but it has made me a little less tired, given me a little more energy, and that can’t be a bad thing, not when according to research*, around 10.5 million of us in the UK feel exhausted from our ‘always on’ lives.

I don’t know if it’s age, or the midlife unravelling or what it is really, but a lot lately, (the last couple of years if I’m honest), I’ve just felt pretty tired. Worn out with having to DO everything, by myself, all the time. Tired of being always responsible, generating all my own work, having to remember to reply to my Instagram messages and get the car MOTed and have Belle’s eyes tested and, and, and…

*deep breaths* View Post


how to finance side project

Having multiple sources of income is ideal, which is why more and more people resort to part time work or freelance services, as well as other business ventures that they can do during their free time. If you are an individual who loves to work on small side projects, you may find it a challenge to ensure that you have ample finances to cover your project. 

Thus, here are some tips on how you can finance small side projects and generate revenue in the future instead of the other way around.

Create a budget plan

The first thing that you should keep in mind in terms of financing your small side project is to create a budget plan even before you start. This is because planning is essential for any business venture or freelance work. It will be best to list down the materials that you will need for your project as well as a timeline of the expected project completion. This will give you a good idea in knowing when your expenses will hit you because project expenses are not only on the upfront but there can be a maintenance costs that you need to settle in the middle of completing the project, as well as costs that will only be apparent when the project is nearing its completion. With a budget plan, you will also have an idea on the amount of contingency fund that you need to secure in order to ensure that your project will be delivered in its estimated completion date even if there are unexpected financial mishaps during the process of its completion. In parallel to this, it will also greatly help if you are able to resist the temptation to overspend early on the project and stick to your budget plan.

Require deposits

People who delve into making small side projects often fail to require their clients with a deposit before starting the project. While this can help build your relationship with the client, it can negatively impact your project in terms of the finances. This is because without a deposit, you need to secure funds to purchase the materials you need in another avenue. On the contrary, with ample deposit, you will be able to readily acquire the materials you need to get the project started on time. Apart from a deposit, you can also work with your client to come up with a payment schedule that is amenable for both of you such as paying an initial deposit, followed by 50% of the cost upon a certain project phase completion, and eventually a total and full payment of the balance upon delivery.

Be creative in cash flow management

Another tip in financing your small side project is to be creative in your cash flow management. This is especially helpful if you are using your credit card to purchase the materials you need for the project. You can work around with the billing cycle of your credit card in terms of when you will make the actual purchase and be able to end up having the need to settle your balance even months after you buy the things you need. For instance, if your billing cycle is from the 15th of the current month to the 14th of the succeeding month, your due date is usually the end of the succeeding month. Thereby, you can buy the materials you need on the 15th of the month, which is the start of your billing cycle, and pay for your purchase at the end of next month, giving you at least six weeks of padding before the due date.

Prepare your personal finances

For small side projects, there may be a need for you to prepare your personal finances for funding your venture. This means that there can be a possibility that using your savings to initially finance your project is necessary. In parallel to your personal finances, there is also the option for you to seek the help of your family and friends when it comes to having an ample budget to ensure project completion. More often than not, your family and friends will be willing to fund your project in support of your business venture, without asking for anything in return. However, you should also bear in mind that your personal finances, even when coupled with the money you borrow from your family and friends, may still be insufficient, depending on the needs of your project. Thus, there may still be a need for you to consider other financing options when it comes to funding your small side business.

Consider getting a loan

One very popular method of financing a small side project is applying for a loan. There are a wide variety of loan types that you can consider such as payday loans. Perfect Payday offers payday loans, which are considered as an instant or ‘no-credit-check’ loan, allowing you to have the funds you need the soonest. Payday loans are short-term loans that need to be settled once you are compensated by your employer or paid by your client, thus, the term payday loan. More often than not, the interest imposed by the loan is significantly outweighed by the revenue generated upon delivery of the project. Thus, it can be deemed that getting a loan to finance your small side project may actually be a smart move. However, there is a need for you to comprehensively understand your budget and cash flow before venturing out into loans and external financing. This is to ensure that you will be able to settle your dues on time and eliminate the possibility of having a bad credit, which will have a negative impact on your for side hustle

Small side projects that you do in parallel to your main source of income usually stem from your hobbies or the things that you are most passionate about. These small side projects may include artwork pieces or even a social entrepreneurship venture, which is also referred to as a business for a cause. Keep the tips mentioned above in mind whenever you find it quite challenging to finish your task at hand because of insufficient funding.


having children wasn't worth it

I absolutely love today’s anonymous contribution to Untold Stories. It’s told with such honesty and candour. ‘It feels so miserable though,’ the contributor said to me, ‘do you want me to make it funnier?’ A few people have asked me this already, as though they’re letting me down, but that’s the point of Untold Stories. Sometimes life doesn’t feel very funny, but we go about our days doing all the things we know we’re meant to do and telling everyone that everything’s fine. And probably it is fine, mostly, and sometimes it’s just enough to know that other people are miserable too. You can read more Untold Stories here.

Written by anon

We’ve all heard it said to the new mother, exhausted from sleepless nights, a traumatised body and feeding, feeding, feeding: “Oh, but it’s all worth it!”

After twenty years of parenting, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the biggest lie of all. But worst of all, it is the lie that we cannot speak out loud because the very people who we have created: our beloved children who we worship and live and breathe for, might overhear. And the biggest terror of all is that they might know that if you had your choices again, you might choose differently. You might not choose them.

Every school report described me as ‘full of potential’. After two decades of parenting, I feel I have squandered it all. It is a source of both shame and regret.

My best friend was childless by choice, but often gives my life sidelong glances of envy. Look at the lovely children, gathered around the table, laughing gaily: a real-life Ladybird book of The Family! But she looks mainly by social media, because I am too exhausted to visit her in London, too scared of the tasks piling up in my absence, too lacking in confidence around her highly-paid and highly-made-up friends to join in the way I used to. View Post


baby feet

Having a baby is one of the most life changing experiences that you’ll go through. With all of the excitement of waiting for your newborn, there’s also a lot that needs organizing.

The following tips should help you prepare for those first few weeks with a new baby, and make life less stressful.

Do Your Research

You might have spent lots of time researching pregnancy advice and tips, but now is also a great time to think about life after the birth of your baby! If this is your first baby, make sure you know all of the essentials: how to feed, dress, and put your baby to sleep safely. If you’ve been attending antenatal classes, you’ll probably already be well-versed in the essentials, so why not use this time to look more closely at something specific to you, like locally available childcare.

Use these precious last few weeks to make sure you’re as prepared as possible. You can find lots of parenting and pregnancy advice online – so make good use of it! Just make sure that any advice regarding medication and health is from a reputable source.

Spend Time with Family

Life with a newborn can be hectic, and changes things for everyone in your family. If you have older children, make sure you spend extra time with them now and show them how much you love them! Get them excited about the arrival of their new sibling too!

Also set aside time to spend with your partner in the build-up to your due date. It can be hard to find time for one another once in the first weeks after the baby arrives, so do something you both enjoy together now.

It’s also important to talk openly about your hopes and fears before the baby comes, as well as your expectations for how responsibilities will be divided. Being on the same page and approaching this together will make tackling life with a newborn much easier.

Meal Preparation

By cooking and freezing some of your favorite meals now, you’ll be able to eat well in those first few weeks without the need to do lots of cooking. Plus, it’s a great way to use up some time while you’re waiting for your new arrival in those last few weeks! Make it fun by inviting some friends over to cook with you, or spend time with your partner in the kitchen.

Prepare Your House

For some mums-to-be, a ‘nesting’ instinct kicks in. Others find the end of pregnancy totally exhausting. Whatever state you find yourself in, try do to as much as possible to organize your home before your baby comes. It could be getting through that pile of laundry, or having the windows professionally cleaned. Whatever you can do now will make life with a newborn much easier is worth it- and enlist help from friends, family, or your partner where you can!

Pack Your Hospital Bag

Your hospital bag should include everything you need for both yourself and your baby during labor and delivery. As your baby could come at any time after 37 weeks, you’ll need to have it ready in advance. Don’t forget to include your maternity notes and birth plan (if you have one), as well as appropriate clothes for during and after labor.

Your baby will need a few sleep suits, a hat, and something warm to go home in. Many mums recommend taking a snack bag, filled with your favorite goodies, as labor can be exhausting and it’s important to keep your energy levels up!

Aim to have your bag packed by the 37th week, and have it ready to grab when it’s time to go to the hospital or brith centre!

At the end of the day, pregnancy is an exciting but overwhelming journey. Do as much as you feel like doing in the build-up to your due date, and make sure you take some time to relax – you deserve it!


Gambling with life

Have you heard about the latest boom in online entertainment? Online casinos are not just a short term trendy phenomenon. They are a fad that’s here to stay. It appears that they have hit the sweet spot with modern players. 

What is so special about online casinos that make them so damn popular nowadays? Is it the convenience they offer? Or is it that they allow players to play some games for free such as online slots? Maybe we have fat signup bonuses and loyalty programs to blame? Let’s see.

What’s a modern online casino?

Simply put, modern online casinos are websites that serve as portals where players can engage in a variety of casino games. Fast internet connections and various modern technologies allowed developers to bring in the casinos to people’s homes, tablets, smartphones, desktops, laptops. 

Modern online casinos, such as the online casino on Mega Casino, deliver an authentic casino experience. There are no limits. Whether you want to play online slots, table games, online roulette, or dance with the lady luck in one of the live casino games, you all have it right there under your fingertips. 

To sum up – modern online casinos are specialized websites that feature a variety of casino games.

Learn about online slots trough Mega Moolah experience

Slots are among the most favorite games in land-based casinos. But are they available in the modern online casino package? Yes, they are! Online video slots are probably the most played games on in modern online casinos. They come in all shapes and sizes. More importantly, they are optimized for the latest platforms so that players can effortlessly play them on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. 

What’s even better, online slots don’t encompass only modern and fancy looking slots. Whether you want to experience the good old games once only reserved for players in brick and mortar casinos, or try new and engaging titles such as Mega Moolah, you can find it online. In Mega Moolah there is an online slot for everybody! And, let’s not mention the big fat rewards from slots jackpots, especially progressive jackpots.

Why did the popularity of online casinos skyrocket?

The popularity of online casinos is so huge that we have to address it. So, what makes them the favorite choice for many modern players?

Let’s start with the most apparent reason – they remove the travel factor from the playing equation. To play a game in a land-based casino, you have to plan it out. If there aren’t any in your vicinity, you have to organize a whole trip just to enjoy your favorite games. With online casinos, there is no hassle nor attached travel costs.

Let’s continue with the fat attractive bonuses. Online casinos offer great bonuses to new players, something that you can’t see in a land-based casino. Some casinos offer bonuses as a percentage of the player’s deposit, while others provide a small amount as a bonus totally free. In any case, it’s free money you can use to have fun and even earn more money. 

Then there is a question of variety. Gambling opportunities in online casinos are countless. Even if you stick with just one online casino, you would still have to spend a lot of time to get bored of all available games. 

Games at online casinos have faster gameplay. This roughly translates into more gaming time per hour. Plus, there are no lines, busy tables, and you don’t have to wait for someone to vacate the chair in front of your favorite slot game.

And finally, you can play online casino games wherever you are. As a matter of fact, you can play on the go as long as you have an internet connection.

Is there skill involved when it comes to playing?

If you know how to play games in land-based casinos, playing online casino games will come naturally to you. The only difference is that you are playing them on your favorite device. When it comes to the skill needed to play casino games, there are a lot of speculations. 

It all boils down to one conclusion – skill plays the role only to the extent of knowing the rules of the game. How successful you will be at playing online casino games depends on luck. If you are interested in luck vs. skill, you can find out more here. Luck is exactly the thing that makes casino games fun and engaging. 


If we consider all factors, online casinos are here to stay. The online casino industry is expanding. Online slots have never been more popular than today. Their popularity is paired with one of the other online casino games. Convenience, attractive bonuses, game variety, and easy access are the most dominant factors that are going to keep pushing online casinos up the ladder for quite a long time.


Gambling with life

There’s an unexplainable aura projected by casinos, which can be best described as thrilling with a side of endless possibilities. If you’re interested in the world of casino games, you’ve come to the right place. Contrary to what you might have heard, they aren’t as intense as portrayed. 

Unfortunately, because of geographical differences, economic limitations and other reasons, not everyone can enjoy an in-person casino experience. But thanks to a divine tool called the internet, you can play it all from the comforts of your home.

Don’t have the first clue about casino games? In this post, we’re sharing our top picks for easy casino games for beginners. Whether you’re flying to Vegas or playing online, try your luck at these.


  • Roulette


Roulette is an easy-to-learn slow casino game, which explains it’s popularity. When you see it in action for the first time, it can seem intimidating and complex. But trust us, it’s so straightforward. 

All you have to do is choose a number, colour, or evens and odds. And if the ball lands on your chosen number or colour, you win! The whole affair is as exhilarating as depicted in 1942’s classic movie Casablanca. For real-life inspiration, check out Youtuber David Dobrik enviable winning streak.

Now you know the rules, enjoy sites where you can play free roulette games through


  • Slots


The movie What Happens in Vegas perfectly encapsulates the process of slot machines. Ashton Kutcher’s character inserts a coin given to him by his Vegas-wife Cameron Diaz, and they end up winning three million dollars!

Slot machines can easily be considered the easiest casino game as there’s no skill involved. All you have to do is insert money, press a button and hope that the symbols align. There are no dealers or other players. It’s just you against a machine. 

Online slot machines aren’t much different either. At times, they might include an extra reel, but the concept remains the same.


  • Casino War


Have you ever watched Water War on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? Well, conceptually casino war is the same. 

In this game, you play against the dealer. Both of you will be given decks of cards and then the players decide how much they want to wager. Both will draw a card, and the player with the higher card wins.

In case of it’s a draw, then as the name suggests, the players go to war, casino war! The dealer discards the next three cards and deals the player and themselves one card each. Again, the player with the higher card wins the game.


  • Craps


At first glance, craps may appear to be complicated. It’s a fast-paced game with all kinds of terms you might not have heard before. However, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. 

In a simple craps game, all you have to do is place a bet on a number with your chips and the shooter will roll the dice. If the point number comes up, you win. The odds of winning at craps is virtually 50-50.


  • Keno


Playing keno is similar to buying a lottery ticket. You can choose 1 to 10 numbers out of a table of numbers going up to 80. Then the casino picks 20 numbers at random. The more matching numbers you get, the bigger your winnings will be. It’s seriously just that simple!

Keno is one of the most fun games to play online. All the graphics and animations make it quite entertaining.

Casino games aren’t an exclusive activity for a 21st birthday outing. You can and should enjoy them anywhere and anytime! 


buy ring online

Everything is sold online nowadays. You can find and buy almost everything and anything over the internet. You can buy groceries, cars, clothes, electronics, jewelry, and even real estate.

From brand new items to second-hand items, you can definitely find it online. You can even buy mystery boxes where you don’t know what you are buying and just get surprised by what you get.

The online retail industry is host to a lot of different items especially jewelry. In the jewelry market, especially in the market for precious stones, there has been a growing demand online. That is because some find the shopping experience for diamonds is better online with more options and less pressure from attendants. Visit this link to learn why you should buy diamonds online:

In the e-commerce business for jewels, one of the leading names is James Allen. James Allen, together with his wife, is one of the pioneers of diamond selling over the internet. They started their e-commerce business back in 1998 and have since become one of the leading online stores for this precious gem.


The best thing about this online business is the quality of its products and services. They make sure that you get the best price for the jewelry that you choose and that it gets delivered to you right away.

Aside from that, one of their main goals is to give customers good shopping experience. To do so, they made sure to take high quality pictures and videos of their diamonds so that buyers will be able to see clearly what they are buying even when it is just online. This way, customers will feel that the gems they are choosing from are right in front of them. Click here to learn why diamonds photos are important.

They have a large inventory of these precious gems and they make sure to take excellent quality pictures and videos of each to ensure a wonderful customer experience. They have an inventory of about 115,000 of these precious stones, some with different sizes, cuts, and clarity. A team in India takes pictures of the diamonds 24/7 to make sure the right pictures and videos are readily available anytime.

buy diamonds online


When you order from the James Allen website, your item will be shipped through FedEx. Your item will arrive at your doorstep the next day after you order it. When you open your package, you will notice that it is very well secured to make sure that your item does not get damaged along the way

Instead of using packing fillers to stop movement, a thick board box is found inside the FedEx outer brown box that fits perfectly to ensure that there is no unnecessary movement. On the red board box, is imbued with the beautiful James Allen logo with the butterfly.

Inside the red board box with the beautiful James Allen logo, there is a full-sized foam insert that protects the polished jewelry boxed in the center. Some important documents and papers can be found on the underside part of the box.  These papers include the invoice and certificates along with a polishing cloth too.

When you open the polished jewelry box, you will find the ring with the diamond or any rare stone on it. Since James Allen provides high-quality resolution pictures and videos of their products, you can be sure that what you see over the internet is what you will also get.

Other Jewellery

Aside from engagement rings, Allen James Diamonds offers an assortment of different jewelry. They offer bracelets and diamond necklaces depending on what you want. At first, they only sold engagement rings as that is their specialty but over the years, they have widened their focus to a lot more different Jewellery.

Because of their decades of experience with engagement rings, they are known to handle precious gems very well whatever the medium. They can set jewels anywhere from bracelets to necklaces.

If you are looking for a diamond engagement ring for your partner, then it is best to try looking online. You have more options and yet still sure that it is legitimate. Just make sure that you buy from reputable websites like Allen James Diamonds and Blue Nile Diamonds.


There’s a fierce competition going on among online bingo websites to attract players for their website or application. To cope up with this constant race of pulling traffic to their gaming website, the site owners offer competitive online bingo bonuses to not just new players but to their existing members as well.

These bingo bonuses have proven to be an effective way to entice the players and capture the right traffic online. New players are quickly drawn to sign up as most of them are in dire need of free money or bonus cash to try their luck in the game. With free bonus amount, it doesn’t matter whether or not the player is getting a 50% or 100% matching bonus. Only the thought of receiving some free money can lure the players in as it helps them in playing without any deposit from their pocket and also increase the possibility of them getting a huge prize. 

Bingo ‘No Deposit’ Bonuses

The sites with ‘no deposit bonus’ are the ones that offer rewards to get the players to play more. Most bingo players will opt for it over other types of bonuses. And why not that be, this reward allows them to play for real money without having to deposit real cash. 

Bonuses on various bingo sites have different variations of it to offer, ‘no deposit’ bonuses can be offered in the following ways:

  • Free Play: The player can win free credits, that can be used within a fixed time period.
  • Bonus Cash: The player can get a certain amount of cash to play the listed games on website or app.
  • Cashback: They can receive bonuses in RTP losses over a span of their play.
  • Free Spins: They can be awarded free spins to play some specific games. 

However, it’s essential to know that various casino websites and applications aren’t just giving out free cash or bonuses to their players for nothing in return. They exist online to earn money. And they obviously aren’t making any money or profit by giving out free cash to their players or members. Then why do these casino or bingo sites offer such bonuses? One of the answers to this is that the no deposit bonuses help them in enticing players to ‘sign up’. 

Once the player receives the free welcome bonus from the bingo website; they begin to play. So, for instance, if you get $100 as the reward, the money will be credited to your bonus funds. It certainly means that the amount cannot be withdrawn from it. However, you can use the reward to play numerous games on the platform until you have exhausted the bonus fund. Once you’ve consumed all amount, you still won’t be able to withdraw any of your winnings. You’ll first have to meet all the wagering requirements and make a deposit to withdraw them.  

When you make your deposit and comply with all the betting requirements, then only you’ll be able to withdraw all your winnings from the reward (only if you have any winnings left).


The ‘No Deposit Bonus’ is available so that players can enjoy playing bingo online without making any actual deposit. Owing to this, more and more players are being attracted to the game. And with the increased demand, we’re also seeing the rise of mobile bingo sites and apps, which are played via smart phones and tablets. 


brunch club

A couple of weekends ago I took Belle for brunch at Kitchen at Jordans Courtyard. We ate banana bread, we played cards, we secretly watched a little boy with an adorable bowl cut eat pizza – it was a good day.

I’m a big fan of the original Kitchen at The Wharf in Langport, not least because if I get lucky I can sit at my old kitchen table, which found a new home there after I realised I couldn’t open my back door properly with it in my own house. (It’s a round one with white painted legs and a bare wooden top, should you fancy visiting it.) To be honest I prefer the eclectic, mismatched decor and the cosy atmosphere of Kitchen in Langport, but Belle likes it when things are a bit more in order, and so she prefers the new version of Kitchen at Jordans Kitchen.

They’re essentially both nice though.

(Year 5 level review for you there. Honestly, I should consider writing for a living.)

What’s especially nice about them both is the food. Their menus change with the seasons and they source as much of their fresh produce as possible from local suppliers. They also run their own artisan bakery in Langport, so they really are all about quality ingredients and cooking from scratch.

I browsed the menu at Jordans Courtyard while Belle practiced shuffling cards. She was trying to master the thing where you split the pack and sort of flick the two halves together, whilst trying to look casual and cool. A well-shuffled pack is very important for a serious game of Go Fish.

It took me a long time to decide because basically I wanted everything. I was especially drawn to the toasted banana bread with granola and yogurt because that’s not something I’ve ever seen on a brunch menu before, but also I wanted the big breakfast because FRIED POTATO ROSTI. Any kind of fried potato item on a brunch menu is normally a clincher for me. I think it’s because fried potatoes always remind me of my Dad, being small and dipping bits of crispy potato in tomato ketchup. They’re such a treat aren’t they?

We decided to go with a bit of a joint effort and get the full breakfast to share, with homemade baked beans and sourdough toast, and then the banana bread as a joint pudding. The breakfast would actually have been enough between us as it was really filling. A split breakfast works well for us as I don’t really like bacon and Belle doesn’t like sausage or black pudding. (I bloody love black pudding.)

Brunch at Kitchen at Jordans Courtyard review View Post


Photo by Stijn te Strake on Unsplash

Have you noticed the number of advertisements stating their meat is “organic,” “free-range,” “grass-fed,” or “hormone-free?” Chances are you’ve noticed these labels and either choose to exclusively buy them or completely avoid them due to their relatively high cost compared to commercially-sourced alternatives. 

Believe it or not, these labels do have an effect on the quality of meat you’re buying which can adversely affect your family’s health far down the road. We’re going to look at how you should choose your meat, why you should care, and how it affects your family’s health. 

Keep reading for more information! 

Where Meat is Sourced

In an ideal world, all chickens, cows, pigs, goats, and other sources of meat would be free-range and able to eat according to their natural diets. Unfortunately, commercial farming has negatively impacted the way these animals are raised by altering their food intake, administering hormones and antibiotics, and generally giving livestock a poor quality of life. This results in low-quality meat that can potentially harm your family. On the other hand, an organic farm will allow animals to eat what they would in the wild, openly roam fields, and lead healthy lives without the use of unnatural additives and unnecessary hormones. These natural conditions allow for a much higher quality of meat which in turn is far healthier for you and your loved ones. 

To ensure your meat is coming from a healthy source, you will need to do a bit of digging and realize that high quality may mean a slightly higher price. Whether you choose to buy your meat locally or order it online, here are a few questions to consider before making your purchase: 

  • What is in your farm’s chicken feed?
    There can be a variety of proper answers for this question but it should likely include what they eat naturally: green plants, seeds, worms, corn, and legumes. If the answer is overly vague it probably means less nutritional, commercial feed is being used.
  • What do the pigs eat?
    Ideally, pigs will eat organically grown barley, grasses, legumes, and tree nuts. Peas and oats are great as well if they are also organically grown. The goal is to stay away from as many chemicals as possible! 
  • Are your cows grass-fed?
    The answer to this question should be a resounding yes! The majority of commercial farms have started feeding their cows grain because it is cheap and cows love it. However, a diet consisting of nothing but the grain will change the composition of the meat and ultimately lower the quality of beef. 
  • What happens to sick animals?
    The answer that you are looking here for has many variations but none of them include antibiotics. With proper farming techniques, animals shouldn’t be getting sick all that often. 
  • Where does the animals’ water come from?
    A farm’s water source is important: a shallow water source could mean that it is easily contaminated by chemicals or sewer runoff. In addition to asking where the water comes from, it is wise to ask if the farm tests the water regularly. 
  • When can you visit?
    This may sound like an odd question, but if an organic farm is truly being transparent they will actually encourage you to come by and even take a tour! 

Each of these questions can give you an idea of how healthy the farm’s animals are and whether or not you should spend the extra money buying their “organic” (or in many cases, not so organic) meat. When all of your questions are answered to your satisfaction, you can feel safe knowing that your meat is being sourced safely and ethically. 

Benefits of Choosing Organic Meat

benefits of organic meat

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

Many people choose to ignore whether or not their diet is organic. If you aren’t sure if spending the extra money on organic produce is worth it, you can be certain that organic meat is absolutely important for your health. 

Aside from tasting better, organic meat contains more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and Omega-3s. Although there is minimal research on the benefit of CLA in humans, there is evidence that it can reduce the risk of breast cancer

Additionally, the unsaturated fatty acids (Omega-3) is linked to a lower risk of diabetes, lower risk of heart attack or stroke, and an overall healthier body weight.

On the other side of the spectrum, meat that is commercially produced with hormones and antibiotics has been linked to higher rates of cancer. These hormones are also suspected to be responsible for children reaching puberty at younger ages. 

Though the link to hormones and early puberty has yet to be proven, many countries (including those in the European Union, Japan, Canada, and Australia) have banned all meats containing hormones. The United States has yet to follow suit so many commercial farms are still getting away with this practice. 

No Price on Health

The cost of organic, free-range, antibiotic/hormone-free meat may be higher than what you’re used to paying at any big-name grocery store. However, opting for these healthier choices can help save your family a bundle in healthcare costs in the long run. 

You might also find that once your diet consists of a healthy balance of fruit, vegetables, and organic meat that you have higher energy levels and may even lose a bit of weight. Overall, this simple change can help make you and your family healthier and happier – while only adding a relatively small cost to your grocery budget.