30 Days Wild ~ Days 27-30. Borage Lemonade and Peacocks.

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As #30dayswild draws to a close, here is what I got up to in the last few days.

Day 27 ~ Paddle In a Stream. I had been putting off getting my feet wet all through the challenge….but day 27 seemed like the perfect day to dip my toes in. Hugo encouraged me to paddle in Mearley Brook with him whilst he played his favourite game of catching stones and splashing around like a maniac. It was freezing!

Day 28 ~  Make Borage flavoured Lemonade.  The Borage plant that I bought at the beginning of the month has started flowering so I looked for Borage recipes. It had to be easy of course ( I’m a terrible cook! ) and this one let me use the pretty blue flowers as well. To make Borage Lemonade all you need is:

Quarter a cup of lemon juice.
2 cups water.
2/3 tablespoons sugar.
3/4 borage leaves.

And then simply whizz all together in a blender. Decorate with the flowers. This drink was very refreshing and healthy looking. Tasted good too!

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Day 29 ~ Met a few Peacocks. We had to go down the tip this evening, which was ok by me as I got to see the resident Peacocks. I’m not sure what a collective group of peacocks is called…but there are a whole family of them living at the local tip. They are noisy, beautiful and serene. It was a pleasure to see them. 🙂

Male Peacock.
Male Peacock.

Female Peacock.
Female Peacock.

Day 30 ~ Hot Hot Hot. Wow today is so hot out there. Below is the view I see every day when I’m taking Hugo down the fields. It’s quite a hazy summer’s day. My walk has made me want to paddle in the brook again and drink borage lemonade. Ha ha. 🙂

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During the time it took to walk Hugo this afternoon this flower in my back yard bloomed….and got chomped. Talk about speedy!

#30dayswild this June has been a great experience..and made me notice different aspects of nature more, such as scents and sounds and textures. I will apply this to my future sightings. Just being outdoors is truly a beautiful thing. 🙂

June Photo Scavenger Hunt.

I do love a good scavenger hunt so  I’m joining in with this one by Made With Love again. If you fancy having a go in July check out the link here. . Its pretty straight forward, just pick up your camera and go on a quest to find the items on her list. This month many of my pics are taken on our camping trip in the Yorkshire Dales. And some are closer to home!

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J Is For? ~  a clattering of Jackdaws. The name of a group of Jackdaws apparently. These were enjoying a natter on a gate in the Yorkshire countryside.

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Rust ~  Also in the Dales, this rusty farm shed roof. Quite like the change of colour actually.

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Smooth ~  In the interests of blogging 😉 , I tried this deliciously smoooooth White Russian cocktail when out celebrating a friends birthday.:)

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Imagination ~  With a little imagination this cow I came across on a walk near Pendle Hill could almost be mistaken for ‘Gene Simmons’ from Kiss. What do you think?

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Classic ~ classic airstream van at ‘Masons Campsite’ in the Yorkshire Dales next to a cute shed painted in the style of a classic vw camper.

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Similar ~  Two cute ducklings with very similar reflections. 🙂

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Parallel ~ Bridge with Parallel lines over a brook in the Yorkshire Dales.

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Socks ~  ~ Just chillin in stripey socks with my cat Slinky. ~^^~

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Bread ~  or toast with one of my fave toast toppings peeking out there.;-)

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Mugs ~  Our camping mugs with very welcome brews.It can get a bit nippy as you can imagine!

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Post ~ A bright red Pillar box.

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Whatever you want ~ Just Hugo because he is soooo cute. 🙂

Since writing the post I have realised my bread shot should be a pic of Bead or Beads. Whoops!

30 Days Wild ~ Days 22-26. Wild Flowers and Bird Art.

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Day 22 ~ After taking my Ladybird Nature book ‘ What to look for in Summer’ with me on my walk last week , I remembered we have another ‘Tunnicliffe’ illustrated book in the bookshelf. His bird art publication ‘Sketches of Birdlife’ is packed full of  drawings of various birds of the British Isles. The illustrations are really beautiful and cover birds in all aspects of their life including flying, courtship and display,feeding etc. So this evening I had a browse through the book and gazed in awe at his incredible talent.

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Day 23 ~ This evening I went for a walk in one of Clitheroes two Nature Reserves. ‘Salthill Quarry’ is a limestone and grassland area renowned for its geology and also rare Bee Orchids. It seemed to be to early in the season for the orchids but here are a few of the flowers I came across.

Ox Eye Daisies. And lots of them.
Ox Eye Daisies. And lots of them.

Yellow Flag Iris.
Yellow Flag Iris.

Red clover.
Red clover.

Wild strawberry. Lots of these too.
Wild strawberry. Lots of these too.

Some kind of Heather I think.
Some kind of Heather I think.

A pretty grass.
A pretty grass.

Hawk weed.
Hawk weed.

Foxglove.
Foxglove.

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Day 24 ~ Relaxing in the park with Hugo. Sometimes its just nice to lay back and take in your surroundings. 🙂

Goldfinch.
Goldfinch.

Grey Squirrel.
Grey Squirrel.

I also went back to the park when Hugo was having a snooze. He’s not the best companion to have when looking for wildlife. He tries to catch birds and he chases squirrels up trees. I was thrilled to get a picture of a Goldfinch. 🙂

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Day 25 ~ I haven’t seen many butterflies here in the North West yet but yesterday and today I saw lots of these speckled browns in the park. I love the gorgeous patterns on their wings. Could I have a dress in the same design! 

Only a few more days to go of the challenge. I’m afraid on the 26th my day was such a rush that I didn’t take any photos. My outside time consisted of watching Hugo and his doggy pals chase around the Castle field. See you soon for my final update. X

June Jottings.

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Reading ~ H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Oh dear I’ve stalled again on the book front.Started this tale of falconry and family ties a couple of weeks ago …yet now it languishes by my bedside. Hope to take it with me camping (again) next week. It looks the kind of story worthy of reading outdoors.And the cover is beautiful. 🙂

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Watching ~ After being completely hooked and traumatised by the latest season of Game of Thrones ( Jon Snow!!!!!) I looked to ‘Lovefilm’ to send me something in the post to cheer me up( yes I’m still postal) and Orange Is The New Black crashed onto the doormat. Yep I’m late to the party as usual but hey I am now completely absorbed in the incarcerated lives of Piper, Alex, Red and even Crazy Eyes etc. Are you a fan?

Have not watched many films recently but I did quite enjoy little known rom-com drama Barefoot ( 2014) starring Evan Rachel Wood and Scott Speedman. Wood plays Daisy,a ditzy psychiatric patient who is taken under the wing by Jay ( Speedman) or at least taken by Jay, to be his plus one at a family wedding.Jay is a bit of a selfish ass and black sheep of the family to boot…but Daisy’s quirkiness and innocence soon captivates even him.This movie is a bit of a guilty pleasure.It got terrible reviews on Rottentomatoes but hey don’t let that put you off….

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Barefoot.

Holidaying ~  Summer is here. Really! This year our breaks away are going to be mainly camping …and maybe even some Glamping.Watch this space.. .. In June we took the tent to Masons Campsite in Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales. Its a gorgeous little site in idyllic scenery ,by a river with free roaming chickens and hair dryers in the shower block.Best of both worlds really. 🙂 You can read about our stay here. 🙂

Masons Farm Campsite.
Masons Farm Campsite.

Loving Orla Kiely.~ Although I’m still a ‘Cath Kidston’kind of girl , i’m a teeny bit in love with Orla at the mo.Find myself yearning for cushions like these….
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The Irish designer famous for her stem, pear & flower designs in bold retro prints has collaberated with Douwe Egberts coffee. You can still find the pretty jars in supermarkets , so i’ve started off my Orla Kiely collection. Expect an Orla inspired post soon.:)

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The Douwe Egberts coffee canisters make cute vases, storage jars etc.

Going Wild ~ This month I participated in The Wildlife Trusts #30dayswild challenge. I’ve been learning to appreciate nature and wildlife every day in June, just by taking more notice of things around me really. There are still a few days left actually so keep checking back on my progress. I’ve yet to get paddling in a stream!

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Park Life ~ June.

I’ve hardly picked up my camera in the park this month, so today I thought I would make the most of the sunshine for an hour. Good job too, as the heavens opened shortly after I got home. Although I didn’t see a great variety of wildlife ,I did follow a Speckled brown butterfly on its journey and I managed to photograph a Goldfinch. Charmed, I’m sure. 🙂

The Castle Keep.
The Castle Keep.

Even Squirrels sunbathe.
Even Squirrels sunbathe.

Wild Rose.
Wild Rose.

Speckled Brown. I have not seen many butterflies  this summer yet.
Speckled Brown. I have not seen many butterflies this summer yet.

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These pretty flowers attracted a lot of bees.
These pretty flowers attracted a lot of bees.

Goldfinch.
Goldfinch.

Goldfinch.
Goldfinch.

Clitheroe Castle in the clouds.
Clitheroe Castle in the clouds.

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What is your favourite park wildlife?

30 Days Wild ~ Days 16-21. Daisy Chains and Ladybird Nature Books.

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Day 16 ~ Listening to Birdsong. Whilst out and about this eve I made sure I listened out for the birds. I have downloaded a bird ID app on my phone to help me out identifying birdsong.Calling all Bird Nerds. 🙂 Its called Isoperla and cost £2.99 on my android phone. Its a great app actually that lets you record which birds you have spotted, helps you identify them through their appearance and a snippet of song. Looking forward to using it more! Above is a tiny wren which has a BIG voice for such a little bird. 🙂

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Day 17 ~ Read a Nature Magazine. Ok ‘the Simple things’ is not actually a nature magazine but it does tend to concentrate on simple pleasures such as beautiful home style,recipes,vintage,travel and the outside world. In the June edition there are features on Wild cocktails, wildflower meadows,summer berries,campsites with campfires,nature books,garden swings, the twilight garden and homemade lotions and potions to name but a few. I enjoyed a quick glance through with my coffee this morning.

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Day 18 ~  Make a Daisy Chain. Speaking of simple pleasures, I fashioned Hugo a daisy chain on our walk this evening. Trying to get a good picture of him however proved difficult! Plus all he wanted to do was eat the daisies. 🙂

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Day 19 ~ Buy some Faith in Nature products. I saw these in my local ‘Oxfam’ so thought I would give them a try. Faith In Nature products are made with natural ingredients and they smell wonderful. I found that they are quite watery compared to other shampoos and conditioners I have used but the end result left my hair feeling healthy and shiny.

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Day 20, 21 ~ Ladybird Nature Book.  This weekend I took my What To Look For In Summer Ladybird Nature book out and about with me. The book was published in 1960 and I have its companions, Autumn and Winter too. Still looking out for Spring.  Delightful descriptions of what wildlife and wild flowers you may spot at this time of year are accompanied by beautiful illustrations by artist C. F. Tunnicliffe. As the books are over 50 years old now, it’s interesting to see how our country lanes, meadows, woodlands and rivers have evolved over the years. And quite reassuring that some things never change!

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I was happy to see that many of the wild flowers especially, mirror those in the books. Yellow Irises, Campions,Foxgloves and Cow Parsley all adorn our countryside just like they did back in the 1960s. 🙂

Do you have any Ladybird Nature books?

Thirty days Wild ~ Days 11-15. Yorkshire Dales Wildlife.

Hi there progress is continuing on the #30dayswild challenge. Half way through now! Some days are proving more difficult than others but I had the perfect excuse to connect with nature this weekend gone as we went camping in the Yorkshire Dales. The Campsite was located right next to the River Wharfe which is a haven for all sorts of wildlife especially birds and wild flowers. This might become a rather picture heavy post!

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Day Eleven ~ Bees on Lavender. This year my lavender plant seems to have recovered all its purple glory ( it didn’t look to good last summer) and the bees are loving it. This morning I enjoyed a quick brew in the back yard accompanied by the buzzing of happy bees. 🙂

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Day Twelve ~ Do you like Butter? . This was taken on a walk from the campsite to the nearby village of Burnsall. We pitched the tent and enjoyed a stroll along the river. Buttercups seemed to adorn many a meadow so I had to check whether I still liked butter. The golden reflection on my chin proves I do. Obviously. 🙂

Day Thirteen ~ Wharfe Wildlife. Today our walk to the Bolton Abbey estate passed through meadows and woods as well as a long the banks of the river Wharfe. I saw and heard so many different birds and unfortunately I couldn’t photograph them all. Black Caps in Strid Wood were one of the highlights but I didn’t manage to capture any. 😦 Kingfishers too were very camera shy, streaking by in a gleam of turquoise. We heard a cuckoo ( the first time I have listened to one in years) and also the call of lapwings and curlews. But here is what I did photograph. I may need some identification help with a few if any of you nature buffs can help? 🙂

Cute ducklings. :)
Cute ducklings. 🙂

Bugles and Buttercups.
Bugles and Buttercups.

Female Goosander.
Female Goosander.

Wild garlic.
Wild garlic.

A bedraggled looking Dipper...I think.
A bedraggled looking Dipper…I think.

Water Avens.
Water Avens.

Rabbit.
Rabbit.

Anyone have any ideas?
Anyone have any ideas?

Ox Eye Daisies.
Ox Eye Daisies.

A type of Cranesbill maybe?
A type of Cranesbill maybe?

Greylag Geese.
Greylag Geese.

Saw two of these Mandarin ducks.
Saw two of these Mandarin ducks.

A female pheasant....I think.
A female pheasant….I think.

Pretty yellow flower on the riverside. Any ideas?
Pretty yellow flower on the riverside. Any ideas?

Pied Wagtail.
Pied Wagtail.

Mistle Thrush.
Mistle Thrush.

Scented stocks I think.Loads of bunches of these beautiful garden escapes along the river.
Scented stocks I think.Loads of bunches of these beautiful garden escapes along the river.

Oystercatcher.
Oystercatcher.

Mallard in a tree?
Mallard in a tree?

A few of these birds and flowers I could not identify even with the help of my Collins Gem guide books so any help would be appreciated.

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Day Fourteen ~ Hug a tree. A-hem so here I am hugging a tree. I’m not sure if it was the most affectionate big old hug but I guess It made me feel giddily cheerful. 😛

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Day Fifteen ~Smell the Roses.. The Wild roses in the hedgerows smell gorgeous. I made sure I inhaled their sweet scent on my walk on day 15. What is your favourite wild flower scent?

Camping Trip ~ Yorkshire Dales.

June  means dusting down the tent and heading off into the Yorkshire dales for the weekend. 🙂  We picked Masons Farm at Appletreewick as it is a site we’ve visited before, enjoying its close proximity to the river Wharfe….and  a couple of good real ale pubs.

Masons Farm is a friendly family run site with all the facilities you could possibly need, including shower blocks with hairdryers, a small shop/reception in a retro airstream van and a mobile bakery/coffee van that proves very popular on weekend mornings.

The shop/reception.
The shop/reception.

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The entrance to Masons Farm.

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Chickens and ducks roam freely.

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Appletree Van serves coffee and homemade sausage rolls and cakes.

The River Wharfe flows past the bottom of the site and is a haven for wildlife such as Herons, Kingfisher and Goosander, more of which in my next #30dayswild update! As soon as we had pitched the tent on Friday we headed out along the river to the nearby village of Burnsall with its attractive stone cottages,pub, shop and tea rooms. 🙂

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River Wharfe.

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Hugo outside the pub.

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Enjoying a summer fruit cider outside The Red Lion.

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And back to camp for a bbq.

On the Saturday we turned left at the bottom of the site and walked the two hour gentle trek along the river, through Strid Wood and to the grounds of Bolton Abbey.We had lunch at the Pavilion cafe there and Hugo our black lab made the most of lots of dips in the river. 🙂 In the evening we strolled to one of the two pubs in Appletreewick for tea. Both the Craven Arms and the New Inn serve food and are dog friendly.

Hugo making a splash.
Hugo making a splash.

Wood carvers shack in Strid Wood.
Wood carvers shack in Strid Wood.

Heritage beetroot and goat's cheese tart with  salad and new potatoes. My delicious tea at the Craven Arms.
Heritage beetroot and goat’s cheese tart with salad and new potatoes. My delicious tea at the Craven Arms.

Real Ales are popular here. :)
Real Ales are popular here. 🙂

On Sunday morning it was time to pack up the tent and leave Mason’s Farm. We had a fab stay and I wouldn’t hesitate to book again. It was a perfect riverside camping experience. 🙂 oooh and the campsite is all geared up for glamping too, renting out an Airstream , vw campers and bell tents. Something to think about! On the way home we decided to call in at Bolton Abbey again and take a few photos of the romantic ruins of the old priory. The Bolton Abbey estate has beautiful grounds, riverside,tea rooms, gift shop, kids welly walk, picnic spots and hiking trails. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Bolton Abbey and stepping stones.I  was too scaredy to cross them.
Bolton Abbey and stepping stones.I was too scaredy to cross them.

Abbey steps.
Abbey steps.

Another Air stream at Masons Farm.
Another Air stream at Masons Farm.

Do you go camping and if so what sites do you recommend?

30 days Wild ~ Days 6 to 10. Dandelion clocks and Wilderness.

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Day6 ~ Barefoot in the grass. On the way to Slaidburn in the car to visit a friend , we parked up on ‘ Waddington Fell’ for lunch.It was the ideal place, I thought, to kick off my shoes and wriggle my toes in the grass.Aside from some funny looks from some passers by and it being very breezy up there, I quite enjoyed it.:)

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Day7~ Hill Walk. Today we took our black lab Hugo for a good walk up ‘Pendle Hill’. The breezy conditions meant we saw people flying kites, model aeroplanes and paragliding. Wildlife was out in force too.Spied two kestrels, many a tuneful sky lark and hundreds of white cotton bud grasses blowing in the wind.

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Day8 ~ Dandelion Folklore. If it takes only one blow to scatter all the seeds of a fluffy dandelion seed head, your true love will love you forever. Hmmm it took me about eight! I could maybe have used it as a clock instead. The number of puffs to disperse the seeds is meant to tell you what time it is. It was 1pm. The fluffy seed heads are also said to be accurate barometers. If the seed heads remain open the sun will shine all day. 🙂

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Day9 ~ Coffee alfresco.
Today was a sad day as it was my Uncle Tommys funeral.It was also a happy day as the family got together to celebrate his life.Uncle Tommy had a wild life! Up until recently he went out into the countryside on his bicycle every day.For his 90th birthday he rode a zipwire at Go Ape! Today I travelled and remenised so there wasn’t much time for nature. I did manage to drink an alfresco brew in my Mum’s garden mind you.Does that count….

Day10 ~ A patch of wilderness. Theres a tiny piece of overgrown wasteland behind an old disused outbuilding, that I pass most days when I’m out with the dog. Today I thought I would take a closer look.
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The usual suspects grew over the walls, Herb robert and Grandma’s bonnet. Nettles seemed to thrive there unfortunately. Yes you’ve guessed it, I got stung. Luckily where there are nettles, there are usually dock leaves. 🙂
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Thanks for buzzing by. 🙂

Afternoon tea at the Bentley Hotel, Kensington.

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Another Afternoon tea ( you can never have too many I find 🙂 ) B and I tried out in London was a traditional afternoon tea at the The Bentley Hotel .This refined hotel is tucked away in a quiet residental area of Kensington and didn’t take us to long to find.

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Afternoon tea was served in elegant and quite feminine surroundings.I loved the tables and chairs with their pretty floral upholstery. We were seated and looked after by the attentive yet unobtrusive staff. Champagne was brought as we waited in anticipation. How posh.

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Delicious finger sandwiches were served separately from the cute cakes and desserts that arrived on a silver cake stand. The shiny teapots looked like they had had a good old polish. 🙂 And of course there were scones too with clotted cream and organic jam.

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B had purchased Afternoon Tea vouchers from Groupon , which is an excellent idea if you are looking for a luxury meal at a more reasonable price. 🙂