Friday, 17 November 2017

An Apology to Mcdonald's

Dear McDonald's,

Id like to apologise for thinking unkindly of you for quite some time, I fear I judged you harshly. Im a bg enough girl to admit my mistake and so I'm sorry, my thougts that your food was low quality, service rubbish and that you must be an awful place to work were very far from the truth.......



I won't lie I've not been a huge fan of McDonald's until recently. It all started many moons ago when I was just old enough to go to McDonald's with my mates, I was a veggie, at the time McDonald's offered a veggie choice as a special SOMETIMES! Now obviously I'm a big grudge bearer (this is very untrue), and so McDonald's became bottom of my fast food list.

So imagine my surprise and intrigue when they asked me to come take a look at the ways in which they are working to improve the Mcdonald's experience for everyone!

Of course I said yes and went along with an open mind.

Man alive I had such a great afternoon! Bill is the Franchisee of Tyneside retail Park Bill ( and 5 other branches) he was so open and friendly when talking about his decision to become a franchisee (the 4th ever in this country!) He has his family involved in the business (his Daughter Sarah is about to become a Franchisee too) and they really believe in the brand, they are passionate and enthusiastic and they really showed us loads about the restaurants and business that I liked A LOT

Order Up!

My finished (and first ever eaten) Bic Mac

Ready for action!





Efficiency

Their food order systems, their stock ordeing system, the cookers and heaters and even the layout of the kitchen is all set up to be the most efficient it can be. Orders are fed directly to the kitchen via screen, the food prep line is staffed by peope with specific tasks and they know where everthing is because ALL of the kitchens in the restaurants are set our the same. That same comuter system predicts demand and cooking reuirements based on previous sales patterns, so there is almost no food waste which brings me to my next point

All you need to know to build a burger properly

The 'line' which runs like clockwork

Look at the neat and tidy pure organisation of the prep area, this is reflected everywhere across the restauarants



Waste

I think its easy to thin badly of huge corporations and believe they aren't doing all they can for the environment but McDonald's are committed to reducing, in fact eliminating their landfill contributions. 
They aim to be a zero waste company by 2020 and THEY ARE ON TRACK! They recycle everything they can  and when they get a delivery that same lorry takes away waste cooking oils to be transformed to bio diesel to power their delivery vans! My inner hippy loves this!

UK Food


All of their food is produced in the UK, All of it, their chips are made by UK company McCain, and everything else comes from British suppliers, meaning they reduce the impact of transport on the environment,


Food Quality

A senence I really didnt beeive until I saw for myself! Mcdonalds food is made using free range enggs, organic milk and only ever breast or flank meat . They only order enough for the coming few days so everything is fresh. All the food prep and storage is changed and cleaned every four hours and burgers are only kept for 20 minutes bu they are hardly ever wasted because they hardly ever make to much because of the super duper systems

Cleanliness

Cleanliness and hygeine are paramount, the restaurants are continuosly checked, employees wash their hands every 30 minutes, protective clothing is worn for the 'dirty jobs'. Hair nets are everywhere so noone has a rason not to be wearing a clean new one.

Family Friendly


So most kids love McDonald's right? But its not exactly a relaxing place... well actually its getting better, places to charge your phone, family focused ordering on the new computer ordering self serve screens. (more in a minute) family friendly wifi filters on their free to use tablets to keep the kids entertained and safe, AND table service!!! It's like they started this for me!! Sarah explained 'its not always easy to juggle kids, prams, bags etc while ordering and then carry your food, find a table get settled, so we can bring your food to your table'

I mean honestly simultaneously ordering food, checking allergens, having 'eyes on' 3 kids, and finding a seat in a busy restaurant gives me the heeby jeebies sometimes! No longer shall I fret! Touch screen ordering, select table service, sit down and relax. Its just a thumbs up from me!

Ordering


So a while ago we went to Portugal, it rained, we were stuck miles from the hotel and McDonald's was shining in the gloom. The kids were overjoyed (remember I wasn't a fan) but we were in a really non touristy spot and so English wasn't widely spoken, explaining allergies was starting to make me sweat when I noticed the order screens. Available in many languages and the great thing is you can customise each part of your order. I loved it and I'm so happy these screens are here now.

Basically you just use the touch screen, order what you want, customise it, no pickle (sacrilege), no ice in your drink, no lettuce etc.

Choose your drinks and extras, choose to collect or have table service and you are done. The screens show dietary information and you can adjust display hieght on  them so the info is at a lower level, so the right height for a wheel chair user or at child height. And I loved this, when ordering a happy meal the drinks with least sugar are shown first, so water milk and fruit juice on the first option screen, then you have to click 'more options to see the pops and milkshakes!


Staffing

McDonald's are a huge local employer, a huge global employer in fact but they really are doing something right. the manager of the store we visited has been there more than 20 years, McDonald's put him through university and he seemed genuinely happy in his work. They offer great benefits, free food, loads of incentives and a really good training or graduate programme. With 500 staff in the North East they are contributing massively to our local economy and they have to be doing something right to keep that many people on board for so long. And as if I needed proof of this (I didn't) I made a comment on Facebook about researching McDonald's and discovering their Trainee Manager starting salary was 5 grand higher than my salary in Theatre Management. I was overwhelmed with positive comments from friend who'd done the training progrmme and felt it set them up with fabulous life skills and transferable professional experience, friend who knew of people who'd worked there over 2 decades and considered them amazing employers

Honestly I can't tell you haw eye opening my visit was and whilst I don't think its great to eat there every day, its all about balance isn't it? My kids are overjoyed that Mammy has taken McDonald's off her veto list!




Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Mi-Mic Microphone and Speaker



OH MY DAYS

Mi-Mic Microphone and Speaker could be the most fun £14.99 you spend this Christmas! This awesome toy (its not a toy its a genius piece of entertainment) connects to blue tooth so plays your songs, so you can sing along and it lights up too. Its DISCOTASTIC!




Check out our video



I can't lie, when we unboxed this I was way too excited! The sound quality is canny, the bluetooth capability is awesome and it's just such a lot of fun. I mean I can't sing for toffee but we've had a blast playing with it.

You can use your own music via SD card, its rechargeable and it really is an awesome gift at a fab price. You can get yours from Smyths (also available in black) and you can connect with Mi-Mic (no bluetooth pun intended) on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter



*We were sent this to review and this post contains affiliate links

Singing with Jo Jo Siwa

We were recently sent a Bodalicious Bow and Jo Jo Light Up Microphone






Both are available from most high Street toy shops. The microphone retails at around £14.99 and the the bow retails at £9 99

So what did we think?
Well peanut loves all things JoJo so the bow went down a treat. My personal opinion is that at £9.99 it's a little bit expensive for a hair accessory but she really enjoyed using it. Its like a normal bow but with the addition of a rainbow coloured hair extension attached.




The microphone was really good fun it works exactly as it was supposed to it has a lot of sayings from Jojo it also ticks all the glittery sparkly boxes for peanut. Check out our video here


Overall if you have a Jo Jo fan in your house these will be a welcome addition to your collection. I love that the mic can be used as a mic and a speaker and that it plays the whole of Boomerang so the kids can still listen to a 'proper song' even if they arent connected to a MP3 player

*we were sent these items free of charge, all thought are our own


Monday, 13 November 2017

How To Make A Jo Jo Bow

*We were sent these items FOC and this post contains affiliate links

Its actually not that hard to learn how to make a Jo Jo Bow if you have a Deluxe Jo Jo Bow Maker 

I'm not even joking this kit is awesome and once you have the knack its easy peasy, you could be making your own bows for parties and gifts before you know it!

We show you how in this video

COMING SOON

But first of all what is a Jo Jo Bow? Oh you can't have missed the Jo Jo Bow craze, even if you aren't a dance mam' They are huge hair bows as worn by Dance Moms Jo Jo Siwa (Jo Jo is the child not the Mom) are you following? Lots of school age children are wearing them and they hit the headlines this year when some schools banned them as a distraction!

Anyway this is a jo jo bow


Not unlike  a Fergie bow, if like me you are a child of the 80's/90's


The deluxe bow maker retails at £19.99 in most toy shops The box contains all you need to make lots of bows plus extras like, diamante's and key rings


Bow maker 


There's even a bow holder



To start its best to have a few practice runs before you commit to chopping any ribbon !






It feels like the bow isnt going to turn out right but I promise if you just follow the instructions you will be left with a beautiful JO JO, just like this 




So what did we think? Well peanut is age 8 (nearly 9) and needed some help with the finishing, just to get the tie of the cotton and ribbon tight enough, but she has real pride in the fact that this is a home made bow and she was instrumental in most of its creation! 

Is it worth the money? I have to say yes, there is plenty enough to make 4 big bows plus small ones  more and you can easily buy extra gross grain ribbon to keep making them once this supply has gone. considering a pack of two bought in the sale would set you back around £8 and you have all the extras in this I do think its good value for money

Peanut is loving Jo jo right now and  has spotted loads of Jo Jo roducts. Shes going to e really pleased with this brolly , and as much as I hate following the crowd I like Jo Jo's encouragement to be true to yourself and be kind

You can read about the Bodalicious Bow and Jo jo Microphone in our other review here







Sunday, 12 November 2017

Pretend to Bee Children's Costume Review

We love a bit of role play at Monkeyfeet HQ so when 'Pretend to Bee' asked if we would like to try one of their role play outfits I said a definite yes! Termite is all about playing Doctors and Vets at the Moment and I know her reception class will be having a Doctor theme role play area soon so we chose this Medic outfit




Now termite is in age 5-6 clothes from most stores so we chose the size 5-7 for this outfit and as you can see its a generous fit so we will get lots of wear out of it, it even fits The Golden Child who is in 7-8 years normally

The medic outfit is priced at £15.95 and having seen the quality I'd be happy to say its good value for money and I'd definitely buy from them in the future. The material is sturdy and the outfit is well made. You all know what I'm talking about when I say some kids dressing up is just awful, cheap flimsy fabric and awful stitching that will come loose at the slightest tug ? Well this outfit is thankfully not like that at all.




Termite played Doctor to her (genuinely poorly) sick sister and her (not so genuinely poorly) sick Brother. She even went to get her Doctors bag and took a history!

Pretend to bee have a huge range out role play outfits including some great career outfits and Nativity Costumes , you know its the season for getting your kids in awesome dress up though right?

I think Pretend to Bee are a fab resource for primary schools and parents alike. They offer free delivery on orders over £25 and next day delivery on orders placed before 3pm Monday  to Thursday

You can connect with Pretend to Bee on Facebook and Twitter and you can order on their website 

Also check out these Santa JimJams for little littles that come in a jam jar! On sale right now at only a fiver!!


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