Evolution of McDonalds

For my family McDonalds is a firm favourite. When we go on a day out we usual end up popping into the nearest “Maccy D’s” because we know that the service is going to be good and there will be something that we all love on the menu.

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So you can understand my excitement and intrigue, when I was invited to check out the newly refurbished McDonalds restaurant at Briggate in Leeds City Centre, where I was given the chance to learn about how McDonalds is evolving and plans to improve the quality of their meals by making them fresher and the ordering process faster and easier.

During the event myself and other bloggers were shown around by senior members of staff and told all about how the restaurant. Which was refurbished last year and how it happened to coincided with the restaurants 30th Anniversary. Having been a patron of this franchise restaurant many times over the years, I was pleasantly surprised by the new lay out of and how impressive the new changes were.

The first thing I noticed was that the kitchen had been redesigned so that you could actually watch as your food is being made. The heating racks, where the premade burgers would sit until someone order them were now gone. Instead your food is freshly prepared to order, no more waiting under the heat lamps.

As you come through the doors you can now skip the whole process of waiting in line and instead order your food from one of the new digital Kiosks and then collect once your meal has been cooked.

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In certain restaurants they even offer table service. Which means all you have to do is order you meal at one of the kiosks and click which zone you will be sitting in, so once your food is prepare it is brought to you, at your table.

I honestly love the idea of these digital kiosks because I believe will help remove the congestion that you normally find in peak hours because people can order their food and go without waiting in line to be served.
I think they are prefect in a morning when you haven’t had your coffee yet and you don’t feel up to exchanging pleasantries with the staff behind the counter because you still feel like a sleepy zombie.

The manager also pointed out that they help show people the different ranges of food and drinks, you can order with your meals. As most people don’t know that you can order fruit bags, side salads and loads more instead of fries with a meal. You can also make alterations to your meals at the kiosks, so if you don’t want sauce or cheese you can remove just click to remove it.

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As well as the digital kiosks McDonalds has added tablets to the tables that means parents are able to sit their children down and they’re entertained, while they go order the food in peace. I honestly can’t wait to bring my kids along to try out the new tables at Briggate or any other newly refurbished restaurant. Although I think my real problem will be trying to get the kids to leave once we have finished our meal.

While we were there were given an exclusive tour of the restaurant’s kitchen and store rooms. It was while on the tour that we learned about how McDonalds are becoming more environmentally friendly by putting new Recycling Units in that restaurants and how they donate their old cooking oil to create Biodiesel, which fuel their food delivery trucks.

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Once we had finished the tour we all got our own McDonalds hat, apron and personalised name tag (even though mine was slightly wrong). It was then that we were shown how to wash our hands to McDonald standard before we were given the chance to make our very own signature Big Mac.

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I have to admit I was rather nervous about creating my own Big Mac because I didn’t want to do it wrong. But after watching the staff create one, I soon realised it was easy and even if I did do it wrong. It wouldn’t matter because it was only me who was going to be eating it.

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So this is my Big Mac and I will tell you it was delicious. Although when I was creating it I was tempted to trying and sneak a bottle of the secret Big Mac sauce, but I didn’t have anywhere I could hide it.

I really enjoyed learning about all the new improvement McDonalds as a company and I am sure once all the refurbishments are completed in 2018, everyone will be praising the new self-service kiosks.

I hope you go and check the new restaurants out for yourself.

x Nikki x

*This is a collaborative post

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#RoxyJrs at Roxy Lanes, Leeds

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Recently my family and I were invited to the Roxy Lanes bowling alley in Leeds city centre, to take part in the #RoxyJrs event.

The event was in honour of their new Under 18 Roxy juniors opening times, which is Sun- Fri 3pm to 6pm and Sat 10am while 3pm and costs only £5 pre game. It was also a chance for us to sample the new kids menu.

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My family and I love bowling, so this event was prefect for us. It also meant that I was able to meet and catch up with loads of new bloggers and bloggers I have known for a while.

I brought my Mum, P, E and LM to the event, although LM is too young to take part in the bowling because they advises that children taking part be 4 or over.

When you walk into the building you have to go upstairs or you can get in the lift, if you have a pram like we did. When the lift doors open you are greeted by a football table and you look straight down the lanes of the bowling alley.

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This bowling alley is small compared to the ones we normally go to. As it only had 4 bowling lanes but that just helped the experience seem more fun and would make it more fun to hire the venue out for parties because then you wouldn’t all be squeezed into one lane.

There are party packages available where you can get a kid’s meal, a regular soft drink and 1 game of bowling for £10. You have to pre book for parties though and that have to have a minimum of 6 children, which is a bargain.

There is a bar situated against the back wall and is separated from the lanes by a bar area and seating area for the restaurant, which is just past the reception area.

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The whole place is littered with wacky and fun bowling paraphernalia, glittering fairy lights and funky graffiti art all over the walls. Which made the whole place feel ultra cool and very hipster.

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The only thing negative I can think of about Roxy Lanes bowling alley is that I didn’t really like the layout of the bathrooms, as the toilets were unisex and I didn’t feel comfortable with letting the kids go to the toilet alone. Which meant the P got rather upset with having his mum take him to the loo.

But that didn’t spoil our fun and while we were there, we all enjoyed a non competitive game of bowling. Which wasn’t about winning but instead was all about fun. Every time P and E managed to get a strike or a spare we would cheer and high-five each other or better yet do a happy dance. Luckily no one seemed to mind how loud we were and instead joined in with the cheering and helped us egging each other one to try to get a strike.

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We really had a great time and the new kids menu was great. We loved eating pizza, which is one of the kids favourites. Sadly I wasn’t quick enough to snap a picture of the buffet but I did manage to snap a shot of the yummy cupcakes we got as an after meal treat.

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While we dove into the delicious cupcakes the kids were off playing a game of Beer Pong but instead of beer they won sweets. As you can guess, after all this sugar and fun the kids where wired and we all know that what goes up must come down, so is no time they all started sugar crashing, which meant that E fell asleep on the bus ride home.

We really did have a lot of fun though and I am considering if I want to hold T’s 12th birthday party there. I know the Hubby is wanting to go and decided if he likes it himself.

 

x Nikki x

*We were invited to this event to test out the venue and sample the menu. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

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I’m sorry, I can’t do life today

Some of you might have realised I haven’t been blogging as much. This is because life has got really hectic and LM has become a real pain in the butt. Which has left me feeling physically and mentally drained a lot of the time.

I will start by telling you that my diet and healthy eating plan when straight down the drain and I haven’t dared step on the scales for the fear they may break or worse tell me off in that special way the Wii fit does and then it asks why I have put on the weight and I have to admit to that you really just couldn’t be assed.

If only the Wii fit could understand that sometimes you have a hard day and phoning a takeout is just easier.

Like when you have had one on those horrendous day and you know once the kids have been fed, you can put them to bed and then curl up with a bottle of wine and try to destress after a day on nonstop arguing or where you have had to deal with an inconsolable toddler who has been crying constantly for an hour and who’s new favourite word is “NO!”

This is my life right now and I’m not going to lie, I am struggling.

I am finding the mornings the hardest and I am hoping that with the summer holidays fast approaching, that they will give me the time in which I need to figure out what the hell is going on with LM and why she gets so upset, because after a week of trying to figure it out I am completely at a loss.

Each morning this week she has spent an hour crying constantly. No matter what I do or try she just keeps on crying and then all of a sudden she just stops and she is back to being her lovely, full of beans self and I am left completely exhausted. All before 8 am.

She won’t even entertain the food we try to feed her, even though she loves most of them and she has even started shouting “No” and throwing her food on the floor.

But I guess I am just going to have to keep pushing on through and trying to figure out what is going on with my 2 year old and hope that this year the 6 weeks holidays are easier then pervious years.

If you have any ideas on what could be going on with LM please leave them in the comments. At the moment I am willing to try anything to have my happy bubbly little girl back.

Nikki x

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Our #WalkWithWynsors Adventure

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A few weekends ago, on a very miserable and wet day my family and I headed out to Bingley because we had been invited to go on an adventure walk along the Leeds to Liverpool Canal by Wynsors World of Shoes to celebrate their launch of their New Outdoor Range.

Sadly the weather wasn’t in our favour on the day as it couldn’t make its mine up. One minute there would be glorious sun shine and the next it would be chucking down buckets full. The kids weren’t  bothered about the rain, as I had made sure they had dress in their water proofs and wellies/walking boots.

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They were more bothered about who would carry the bug finder or when they were able to dig in the healthy snack we had been given. As we walked along the canal, they were on the look out to see what creatures they could find but because of the wet weather there weren’t very many insect to be seen. There were lots of other types on wild life though.

We had only been walking about the canal a few minutes when we were greeted by a very friendly swan that waddled out of its little home and swam across the canal, when it heard us coming.

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All the children quickly started rummaging through the bug finder, trying to grab the bag of oats we had been given to feed the ducks. While all the parents were trying to make sure they didn’t empty the full bag in the water for the first duck/swan they saw.

Did you know that it is actually really bad for animals like ducks and swan to be fed bread?
It doesn’t hold any nutritional value for them and it just makes them feel full so they don’t eat the foods their bodies need. That why you should feed them Oats, Corn or Frozen Peas and Sweetcorn plus loads more. All this info can be found on the Canal and River trust website.

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After feeding the wildlife we were taken down a path that led away from the canal and towards The North Bog and were told to keep an eye out for wild Heron’s. Sadly they must have been hiding from the mixed up weather, so instead the guide from Walkers are Welcome decided to entertain the kids and have them hop like frogs up the hill. Which I must say was genius of him because they all had loads of fun and didn’t really realise they were hopping up a rather steep incline and helped prevent the moans of “I’m tired”.

When we reached the top we joined the canal again and walked back towards where we started and towards the famous Bingley Five Rise Locks.

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The kids loved exploring the locks, even though P did keep giving me a heart attack as he kept climbing on everything and how close he kept getting to the edge of the lock itself. The fact that the lock was empty didn’t help much either because I just had vision of him falling down the massive drop into the bottom. As you can tell I was a little on edge.

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While we where there they started to fill the top lock and we all thought is was for a boat to go through. So the kids all sat down nicely and were filled with excitement to see the locks in action. 20 minutes later when the lock was filled and there was no boat to go through we decided to walk on as we had our dinner waiting for us.

I will say that even with the terrible weather and the fact that we didn’t really see much of the wild life on the walk or any boats going through the lock, we still had a lot of fun and I know I really enjoyed myself.

And I know that I will definitely be coming back to Bingley to walk along the canal and watch the boats go through the locks one day during Summer holidays because it was an amazing adventure.

x Nikki x

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I Confess! This is how I survive Summer.

The summer holiday are something every parent dreams about.

For some this dream is filled with fun days out, mornings with no alarms and great times spent as a family while you fly off on some amazing adventure together.

And for others the summer holidays approaching fills them with dread as they know the truth. The summer holidays are 6 weeks of utter hell!

Now don’t get me wrong, I once was one of those mother’s that believed that our summer holidays would be jam-packed full of fun. But 5 kids later and years of exhausting myself trying to keep my kids happy and entertained over the holidays have now been left me a bit bitter and unable to look upon this school break with the joy and excitement, I once did.

For me the summer holidays become a daily battle to keep my house clean, the children happy and somehow manage to keep what little sanity I possess.

Which isn’t much after dealing with the countless arguments, incessant nattering of “Can I?” or constantly being told “I’m Bored”.

Thankfully my many years of failing at being the prefect summer mum as helped me pick up some helpful tips on how to survive. Which I thought I would share.

  1. Don’t trying to keep every room of the house spotlessly clean. Focus on 1 room preferably the bathroom (you can lock the door) or your bedroom (the kids don’t really go in there) because then when you need to escape for a few minutes, you can hide somewhere and delude yourself that the rest of the house is as tidy as that one room.
  2. Buy bubble wands or pavement chalk from Poundland. DON’T GIVE THEM TO THE KIDS STRAIGHT AWAY, instead save them for when the kids are restless or you feel like you need 5 minutes peace. Then get them out let the kids go crazy in the garden while you stand in a quite house and maybe enjoy a hot drink.10731013_10153197023905743_1295425360608498664_n
  3. Day out with the kids are super expensive, so check what Free fun days or summer activities that your local council have going on during the summer holiday. I know that Bradford City council hold Free Fun Day with inflatable at all the major parks round Bradford. While Leeds hold Breeze On Tour events and all you need is a free breeze card to enter.
  4. Go outside. I try my best to make sure my garden is both secure and full of play equipment. That way my kids can run wild outside while I can watch them from the living room window or sit in the garden and try to read a book or write a blog post. If that doesn’t work then go for an adventure down the woods or to the local park and have a treasure hunt to find flowers, pine cones or see who can find the biggest twig. Its fun, its free and its exercise.
  5. Netflix is your friend. You can let you kids either all watch a program together or if like us you have multiple devices like laptop, iPad and phones. You can let them have one each to watch whatever they want from the Kids section and give them all earphones and enjoy the peace and quite.

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So that how I planned to survive the summer holidays. I am not at all ready for them even though I know they are fast approaching. I just keep telling myself  it will be fine and I know if all else fails, I can bribe them with sweets or better yet hide in my bedroom and eat them myself! Oh and I will have wine.

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Are you looking forward to the summer holidays or are you dreading them like me?

I would love to if you would tell me any tips or trick that you have that help get you through the summer in the comments.

Nikki x

*This post is an entry for BritMums Confessions of a Summer Parent Challenge, sponsored by Anchor

 

 

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