Tag Archives: Winter

Essential Items to Keep in your Car

Essential Items to Keep in your Car this Winter

Essential Items to Keep in your Car

(and how to organise them)

Extremely cold weather is forecast and it won’t be long before de-icing the car will become part of the morning routine. So now’s the perfect time to ensure that you have all the essentials you need in your car.

It’s important to be prepared for inclement weather but also family outings can be so much easier if you’re prepared.

Rather than packing everything every
time you leave the house, have a think
about what you use on a regular basis
and keep it in the car.

Obviously there’s no point loading the car up with loads of useless clutter that weighs it down and increases your fuel consumption, but some useful bits and bobs can make life much easier!

Here’s what (and how) I pack in my car to make family life run a little more smoothly.

In the glovebox

  • Purse containing coins for car parks
  • Torch
  • Details of breakdown service and insurance (make sure you also have a copy at home)
  • Pen
  • Notebook
  • Glasses/sunglasses
  • Phone charger
  • Lipbalm

In the door/seat pockets

  • Hand sanitiser (essential post-petrol stop)
  • Ice scraper
  • Window cloth
  • Road map (if you’re retro like me and prefer it to satnav)
  • Small activity book per child
  • Ziploc Bags (for storing all sorts of bits and bobs or in case someone feels unwell)
  • Wet wipes
  • Tissues

In the boot

  • Warning triangle
  • Fluorescent vests
  • Spare tyre or equivalent
  • First aid kit
  • Re-usable shopping bags
  • Umbrella
  • Suncream
  • Towel
  • Woolly hat, gloves and pack-a-mac
  • Roll of tin foil (this may seem bizarre but tin foil can be used to wrap leftover picnics, keep you warm in a crisis, and create a temporary blackout-blind at a holiday property)
  • Picnic rug (for picnics – obviously – and also to keep little ones warm)
  • Scissors and tape
  • Hair ties, clips and hairbrush

I have found the best way of storing everything in the boot is in a sturdy basket as it doesn’t fall over or roll around when I’m driving.

I don’t keep any tools or jump leads etc. in my car as I would have no idea how to use them! In the event of a breakdown, I would always ring for roadside assistance.

Stay safe this winter.



#drivesafe #snow #ice #family

Be warm and toasty on Bonfire Night!

Bonfire Night recipes


It’s a glorious morning this morning, with the sun and frost making everything sparkle.

It will be a cold Bonfire Night tonight and so we had better wrap up warm!

Of course, eating something hot
and scrumptious is essential too.

On Saturday night we headed to our local Bonfire evening with much enthusiasm. The fireworks were terrific, but the catering left much to desire and I’m afraid to say that my five-year-old and I resorted to sharing a tub of pic n’ mix sweets and a hot chocolate as everything else looked so unappetising!

Tonight will be different though as we will be watching those unfailingly comical home-lit fireworks and consuming our own grub. This is my selection of goodies for tonight – all from the Dairy Diary of course! I can’t wait!

Have fun everyone and stay safe.

Broccoli & Apple Soup

Fruit n’ Nut Fapjacks

Hot Mocha Choc

Beat the winter blues

This week’s Dairy Diary recipe is Slow Beef Curry, which is just perfect for the time of year.

Over the last week we have had such awful weather – with winds playing havoc all over the UK – I think that we all deserve some warming, comfort food.

January is a difficult month. Many of us think we need to cut back and live on salad after the excesses of Christmas but in reality we all feel like tucking in to something hot and wholesome.

My answer to this is to do lots of zumba and make lots of soup!

In fact, I am currently contemplating a soup maker. Does anyone have one? Are they worth the investment or will it just end up gathering dust like my slow cooker and bread maker?!

I guess you just can’t beat a good old saucepan and stick blender. What time saving devices do you have and are they useful? I would love to know.

Slow Beef Curry recipe from Dairy Diary 2012

Slow Beef Curry
Warming, comfort food for winter days.

Dairy Diary recipe.


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Seasonal Garden Ideas to add beauty to your garden

The big news this week is the launch of Seasonal Garden Ideas: a new gardening book that will inspire both novice and experienced gardeners this spring.

Seasonal Garden IdeasSeasonal Garden Ideas is a beautiful book featuring easy half-day projects to add beauty to any garden throughout the year.

Each of the 77 projects is presented like a RECIPE; with ingredients, step-by-step instructions, hints and tips, time required, when to start and aftercare. Now doesn’t that sound simple?

When you turn to a project you will be delighted with how the information is clearly laid out to make the task so straightforward. Each project is illustrated with a beautiful colour photograph.

Excellent value at just £9.75.
Order it from your milkman or online while stocks last.

Celebrate St David’s day with a fantastic Welsh lamb dish

I love Welsh lamb and this Minty Lamb Pattie is the perfect excuse to support Welsh farmers and enjoy one of the best ‘burgers’ you’ll ever taste. Sounds naughty, but this is a nicely balanced meal. Try it and I think you’ll add it to your ‘favourites’.

Save £4 when you buy Around Britain Dairy Cookbook

Minty Lamb Pattie is taken from the popular Around Britain Dairy Cookbook which is available for a short period at the incredible price of just £2.99 while stocks last.

A Winter Wonderland

Wow, what a beautiful drive to work this morning. The alarm clock may have been something of a shock, as was the need to get dressed within an hour rather than four, but it was worth it for the view alone.

Winter WonderlandI only wish I had pulled over to take a photograph – it would have made a perfect Christmas card for later on this year (that still sounds strange!) A sugared almond backdrop of milky pink and lilac with the bare trees and plants heavily crusted in frost, sparkling in the sunshine.

Missed out on the Dairy Dairy at Christmas?
The Dairy Diary office has been in a blur all day with us trying to get on top of all the phone calls, emails and letters we have received today and over the holiday. There are always people who expect a Dairy Diary Christmas gift and receive something else yet they don’t want to miss out on their diary! To all who are wondering, yes they are still available and can be purchased at www.dairydiary.co.uk or by calling 0845 0948128.

Of course, New Year’s resolutions are front of mind at the moment, and after the excesses of Christmas my other half and I have decided to opt for a soup diet for the next few nights’ dinner. First on the menu is Spaghetti soup – wholesome, healthy and delicious. I will be scouring all our cookbooks and diaries for more inspiration over the coming evenings. We have also decided to abandon the depressingly bad evening television for more happy entertainment, such as reading, board games and painting – I wonder how long that resolution will last!

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