Ensure Your Child’s Safety When Driving This Winter.

When driving, it’s a big responsibility transporting any passengers, and extra care and preparation is needed when younger children are in the car.

Are you really driving as safely as you can?

Keeping Your Car in Tip Top Condition

You need to make sure your care is road worthy, that tyres are in good condition, oil and water and screen wash is kept topped up, and that you have a battery charger for those cold winter days when it just won’t start. For the best equipment for your car, you can look at Best Buy Auto Equipment  who can also be a stockist for car parts if you find your car suffering from problems with the engine, clutch etc.

Distractions

Even taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds can be extremely hazardous. In a few seconds you’ll have travelled several yards, and in that time the situation in front of you can change rapidly.

Are you prone to, say, looking at the radio or heating controls instead of the road? Do you tend to look back to address people in the back seat? Try to curb these tendencies. You owe it to your passengers to maintain focus.

Preparation

Ensure you know the laws regarding child seats. Make sure young children are properly seated and secure. If you’re using child seats, are they still up to the job? Can you fix them securely?

Have you remembered to switch off the airbag if your child is seated in the front? Indeed, can you switch off the airbag in your model of car? If not, be careful of what size child sits in the front as an airbag going off could injure rather than protect them.

Why not re-acquaint yourself with the rules of the road? Your knowledge may be outdated, so check the Highway Code and try some of the questions asked in example driving theory tests.

Check that you have the correct car seat.

Check that you have the correct car seat.

Tiredness and being alert

Do you drive when tired or fatigued? If so, be aware that reduced reactions can have dire consequences. It’s important to take breaks or not even drive in the first place if you think you’re not 100% alert.

Using phones and other equipment

While against the law, do you still use your mobile hand-held while driving? As in ‘distractions’ above anything that takes some or all of your attention off the road is highly dangerous to you and your young passengers.

Use a hands-free Bluetooth device if your car doesn’t have it built in. Even then, protracted and in depth phone conversations on the move are not advisable.

The same applies to adjusting music devices such as iPods or stereos.

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Margins for error

While modern cars have many safety features designed to reduce the likelihood of accidents, don’t become complacent. For example, in wet conditions slow down rather than rely on your car’s anti-skid features such as stability control and anti lock brakes to get you out of trouble.

Safety equipment is there to help as a ‘back up’ but it can’t compensate for irresponsible driving.

Using sat nav

While sat navs make a big difference to finding the way in unfamiliar territory, be aware of your actions while following directions. When you’re told to turn or change lanes, don’t forget to take the usual precautions such as checking the mirror and indicating properly.

Set Sat Nav before you start driving, or stop to reset it.

Set Sat Nav before you start driving, or stop to reset it.

Safety first

Driving yourself and young family members about is a major responsibility, and there’s much you can do to be safe. A lot is common sense, but preparation and keeping your focus on the driving plays a major part. While you must focus on seats etc, remember that the vast majority of the things you can do to ensure your child’s safety involves your own performance as a safe, responsible driver.

 

Christmas Tree Pizza Canapes With Schwartz Herbs

Christmas is all about the food isn’t it. As well as the requisite Turkey and all the trimmings on Christmas day, and the copious amounts of alcohol that you are sure to be indulging in, there are also lots of buffets, often using up the rest of the turkey, and supplemented with lots of nibbles and canapes that you often find hard to resist.

Schwartz, the UK’s largest producer of food seasoning, herbs and spices have recently tasked me with a question – how could I use their food seasonings in my Christmas party cooking. Now, it has to be said that I am the world’s most useless cook, but we do often use the oregano from the brand in our pastas, which tend to be vegetable based and hot and spicy (lots of herbs, lots of garlic and far too much chilli). But with Christmas just around the corner, I decided to put my own twist on the humble pizza with a Christmas tree pizza canape which would be perfect or both adults and children.

Christmas Tree Pizza Canapes

The canapes are really easy to make. You make a simple christmas tree shape using bread, this can either be achieved with a really sharp knife, or a cookie cutter could do the job. Add tomato puree as a bottom layer, then you can add what you like as a second and third layer. I opted for Mozzarella and rocket leaves to give the tree some green. Next add a sprinkling of the Schwartz Oregano to give an authentic pizza flavour.  This is really easy to do due to the handy sprinkler lid on the herbs. Pop under the grill on a medium heat for a minute or two, and these are ready to enjoy.

The Verdict?

These pizzas are quick and easy to make, but look effective and taste delicious. The use of Mozzarella and Oregano give them an authentic taste, but you could also add lots of different toppings including different cheeses, ham, pineapple and tuna and olives. The beauty of them is that children enjoy them as much as adults, and if you were truly adventurous, you could create lots of different shapes using cookie cutters to give your table a real Christmas feel.

You can buy your Schwartz Oregano at Tesco by clicking here.

“Schwartz have sent me (this product) for review, but all views are my own”

Christmas At The Hollybush

I am very lucky to live within a few minutes of a place that, at Christmas, becomes a beautiful Winter wonderland. And, with the weekend almost upon us, I thought I would share some pictures of The Hollybush Garden Centre and Aquaria with you.

The Hollybush is a garden centre that does Christmas very well. It is one of the largest independent garden centres in the UK, and is a great place to source gift ideas from independents and small businesses. It has a lovely on site restaurant that has cakes to die for, and is always a busy, bustling destination but at Christmas it really goes to town with a massive range of decorations, beautifully adorned trees and gorgeous festive displays that are really worth seeing.

It is a bit of a family tradition for myself and Joe to pay a visit to The Hollybush before we put our decorations up in order to buy a few new things for our home. This year Joe found a decoration with his name on, and also got a snow globe to add to his Christmas collection. I got more baubles for the tree, they are quite hard to resist in all honesty and a scented candle. (There is a brilliant candle selection if candles are your thing.)

The Hollybush is a great place to find inspiration for your seasonal decorations. It has a range of trees that have been decorated on themes, from rustic styles to flamboyant pinks, there was even a tree very much inspired by Frozen 2 on our last visit. The baubles are arranged at the foot of the tree, so there is no need to be searching around the store for something that catches the eye. You can also purchase your tree at the same time, as the centre as a huge range of both artificial and real trees available on site.

At the weekend’s you can see Santa, so you can really enjoy a family day out. If you live in Staffordshire, and have no plans this weekend, The Hollybush is definitely worth a visit.