March 04, 2016

kaity hall
kaity hall


Hints & Tips ›

Mother's Day Gift Inspiration

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That all too easily forgotten date (March 6th... You can thank us later) is edging ever closer, and the tendency to repeatedly put off finding a great gift is all too easy to fall into. Your Mum deserves better so we have compiled a list especially to get you feeling a bit more inspired about the potential of Mother's Day 2016!

1. Afternoon Tea... At Home

It might not be as decadent and refined as hitting a hotel or restaurant for afternoon tea but it will have a personal touch which can make all the difference when it comes to present giving! Stock up on you and your Mum's favourite cakes, biscuits and sandwiches. If you really want to go all out, check out this lovely Debenhams cake stand and teapot for a bit of added luxury.  

2. Lush Pamper Hamper

You can't go wrong with a hamper of bath/shower products, especially if they're Lush products. Filled with eight bright products that smell good enough to eat (don't, though) your Mum will get a present that will relax and rejuvenate!

3. A Notebook

This is a great choice for a Mum with a real penchant for organisation, stationary and list-making. Paperchase have some irresistibly gorgeous luxury notebooks that would bring a smile to her face every time she reaches for it from her handbag.

4. Chocolate... Gin?

Yes, chocolate gin. You read it correctly. A tipple and chocolate combined. What could be a more perfect combo for your Mum on Mother's Day? You can find Cocoa Gin at Hotel Chocolat.

5. A Cute Etsy Print

A great place to find unique and unusual gifts, Etsy has lots of gorgeous prints. From artwork to inspirational quotes and “scrabble” wall art, there's bound to be something to suit even the pickiest of Mums.

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6. A Book

It's difficult to go wrong with a book as they're something that many don't have the time to buy for themselves. And isn't that what presents should be all about, getting someone a treat they wouldn't usually get for themselves? Mary Berry's bestselling Foolproof has over 120 recipes and is sure to be a great choice for any Mums who couldn't take their eyes off the Great British Bake Off! For Mums less inclined for baking and cooking, why not try bestselling fiction titles The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton or Brooklyn by Colm Toibin?


March 02, 2016

kaity hall
kaity hall


News ›

Lighthouse - Our New Upcoming Brand

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Have you heard about Lighthouse, our new upcoming brand? It's launching this month and we couldn't be more excited about it!

Launching just in time for the Spring/Summer 2016 season, we have a nautical inspired range for ladies, men's and kids encompassing raincoats, jackets and leisurewear. Retaining all the great waterproof and breathable features you have come to rely on with Target Dry, we've expanded our vision on to a completely new, exciting brand and style.

The Lighthouse philosophy is all about inspiring the inner wanderer and adventurer in us all. It celebrates the special connection we feel with the outdoors and beloved locations through crafting clothing that allows you to feel completely in tune with these surroundings and the new ones we discover in our journeys.  

The launch of Lighthouse is edging ever closer, but in the meantime you can sign up for early access at

Find Lighthouse on -

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |Pinterest |Google+


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March 01, 2016

Avril Keys
Avril Keys


Hints & Tips ›

Happy Healthy Meal Planning

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I've only just started using a family meal planner and I can't believe it's taken me until now to fully embrace it. I guess I've always had a rough idea of what we would have on maybe 3 of the nights in the week but it was still flexible and frequently, I'd realise too late that I'd not got the right ingredients - nothing more frustrating! 

But now we work from a menu of about 5 multi-purpose dishes that I rotate regularly. Hands up, it's not extensive and it's not particularly adventurous but it's all largely made from scratch with a good helping of vegetables (hidden and visible) and my kids eat it all. Can't complain about that! So on this blog post, I'm going to share a few of my reliable recipes, along with some killer freezer tips for busy families.

Ragu that becomes Spag Bol & Lasagne

 I'll start with my children's favourite - ragu. I've used a version of Delia's recipe for ragu for over a year now and once a week, I make a massive pot of it. It's SO easy to make and can be tweaked and changed if you don't have exactly everything on the list. It's best made in advance and slow cooked so I sometimes do it at the weekend or in the evening after the kids are in bed.


750g pack of beef mince

500g pack of pork mince

1 pack of pancetta or streaky bacon (optional)

2 onions

2/3 big cloves of garlic

Half a head of celery (optional)

1 jar of sun-dried tomato paste (not a problem if you don't have this - just use lots of tomato puree)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 carton of passata (tinned tomatoes can be substituted here)

Beef Stock Cube

Water/wine - either - a glass full

Handful of chopped fresh basil (dried works just as well)

Salt & Pepper

Cook off both your minces in a separate frying pan and drain off the fat in a sieve. While doing this, fry your onions, celery and garlic in a large casserole with a lid, then add the pancetta (if using) and colour. Add the cooked and drained minced beef and pork.

Add all the other ingredients and mix, bringing back up to a bubbling heat. Add additional water or wine to make sure there is sufficient liquid to keep the dish from drying out during the slow cooking.

Bung in the oven for 2 or 3 hours. I often put it on for 2 and then leave it in the (cooling) oven overnight before putting it in the fridge the next day until I prep for dinner.


This can be used to make 2-4 dishes (depending on how big your family is). I always get 2 generous dinners for 6 - a spaghetti bolognaise on one day using the ragu as it is and just heating up as much as I need and serving with wholewheat spaghetti. With the remaining ragu, I layer it in a large lasagne dish with dry lasagne sheets. Pour over a jar of white sauce (or you can make your own using flour, butter and milk). Sprinkle cheese (parmesan or cheddar) on top and pre-cook it for 30 minutes, ensuring it doesn't get too coloured on top (use foil if necessary). Then it goes in the fridge until we need it, at which time, I cook it for another 30-40 minutes with foil over it. The double cooking is the secret to AMAZING lasagne.


Soup that turns into Curry Sauce

My next double up recipe is a red pepper and sweet potato soup, which makes an amazing chicken curry. We usually eat the soup as lunch at the weekend but I always make a double quantity. The soup is really easy - just 4 ingredients & season to taste. 


4 Red Peppers - cut into chunks

2 Onions chopped

4 Sweet Potatoes - cut into chunks 

1.5 litres of Veg or Chicken Stock & .5 litre of boiling water.


Fry off the onions for a couple of minutes, throw in the peppers for a bit, then the sweet potatoes (no need to peel - just cut off any rough bits). Then add the hot stock and simmer until all the veg is soft. Add more water/stock as required. Blitz with a blender and serve with crusty bread (see freezer tip below).


I keep a tub of any leftover soup then and a few days later, I fry off some chicken in a large wok, add a couple of dessert spoonfuls of Korma paste then as much soup as necessary to make a nice consistency. The EASIEST curry ever and it's chock full of vegetable goodness!


Leftover Rice 

 The last dish that features every week is our leftover rice. It's basically a paella style recipe that uses up anything that's left in the fridge - chicken, sausages, chorizo, prawns - and it's one of the few dinners that I can whip up when there's literally nothing left as it's a proper store cupboard & freezer dish.


2 x Peppers (any colour)


2 cups of Brown Rice 

4 cups of Stock

Tomato Pureee

Leftover cooked meat or a bag of frozen prawns

Frozen Peas and/or Corn

Fry off the peppers and celery and/or onions with some olive oil. Add the rice, stir in the tomato puree and then immediately add the hot stock. Reduce the temperature and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Stir the dish and add more stock if necessary. Add the frozen peas, prawns, chicken etc. heat through and serve. This is great with some sweet chill sauce or for the older members of the family, good old Tabasco.


Family Freezer Tips 

 I'm finishing with a few freezer tips to help make the weekly dinner dilemma even easier. Your freezer is your friend when it comes to feeding the family:

- buy chopped frozen onions, peppers, herbs and garlic. They're not that much much more expensive than fresh, never go off and make prepping dinner even faster.

- always have a bag of frozen prawns at the ready. Add pesto, cooked pasta & toasted pine nuts for another quick dinner.

- Iceland have the most amazing range of frozen breads that can be baked for 10-15 minutes. Best of the range are the crusty round rolls and the ciabatta loaf.

- freeze any leftover dinners in single portions. Then once every few weeks, you can have a mix and match dinner where everyone choses their favourite dinner from the leftover portions. These single portions are also great for nights when not everyone is home for dinner.

- if you've a bag of potatoes about to go off, don't let them! Simply peel, quarter, parboil, toss in oil and freeze in a bag. They will make perfect roasties, cooked from frozen for about 40 minutes until crispy. 

- Nothing to do with dinner but keep a bag of marshmallows in your freezer - they make an AMAZING ice pack with the bonus of being a yummy treat to make whomever's been injured feel better :)


Happy healthy meal planning!

February 29, 2016

kaity hall
kaity hall


News ›

Monthly Round Up - February

Welcome to your monthly round up from HQ! Keeping you in the loop with what's happening throughout the company.

With winter finally on its last legs, there's lots to look forward to besides a bit more sunshine (hopefully!) and chocolate eggs!

We've been kept super busy with the upcoming launch of our new brand Lighthouse (psst... It's happening next month). It's a really exciting time in the company.

Intrigued? Sign up now to gain early access to Lighthouse at

Lighthouse will be launching just in time for the Spring/Summer 2016 season but we're also way ahead of the game - Our Autumn/Winter 2016 shoot happened this month. Here's a couple of behind the scenes sneak peeks of what's to come...

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Our designers have also been working tirelessly on the Spring/Summer 2017 range too!

That's just the tip of the ice-berg. We're also launching the new Mac in a Sac website next month with our brand new, exciting Mac in a Sac range.

The Mac in a Sac clearance sale kicked off last week and we have big reductions (up to 35%) off some of our bestselling, popular products. Snap yourself up a bargain quick as the stock is limited!

And finally, last but not least, there's a new item in the Xtreme Series Range coming for Spring/Summer2016 - Kinetic. Highly waterproof and breathable, its specialised, practical features will have you equipped to tackle April showers and beyond with ease.

Keep up to date with all our exciting developments as they happen on our social media channels!


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Mac in a Sac

Twitter | Facebook | Google+

February 23, 2016

kaity hall
kaity hall


Activities › Hints & Tips ›

5 Reasons to Get Excited About Spring

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After more storms with their own names brought such an array of unpredictable weather, there's no doubt that most of us are glad to see the end of February looming.

The beginning of Spring is so close you can almost feel it in the air. Well, maybe if the pesky frost stopped making its appearance in the morning.

Nonetheless, to get you through the last of February we've put together this list of reminders about why you should get excited for Spring!

1. Longer Evenings, Brighter Mornings

Quite simply, more daylight. Yes, after a long winter of dark mornings and dark evenings, a bit more daylight is more than welcome in our books. You've probably started to notice it already.

Getting up in the morning with a hint more light in the sky that definitely wasn't there yesterday and wondering if you really even need your headlights on for your drive home from work (you probably still do though, sorry).

The days of leaving work when it's dark and returning home in the dark are on their way out and we are on the home stretch towards summer!

2. Chocolate Eggs

Mini eggs, creme eggs, Lindt bunnies... We've all been eyeing them up in the supermarkets and whether they make you fear for your fitness and nutrition regime or not, they definitely aren't going anywhere... for a while yet anyway.

Just one creme egg surely couldn't hurt? Chocolate has endorphins that make you feel good after all...

3. Spring Fashion Trends

It might still be cold outside (unfortunately) but that's no reason to stop you from donning some of Spring 2017's trends. 

Bright colours, statement stripes and of course, florals, are all on the cards for Spring style. So while you might not be able to leave your waterproof coat behind just yet you can start to get creative by injecting a bit of SS17 into your in-between seasons look! 

4. Snowdrops and Daffodils

Seeing flowers and growth again generally will be nice but is there a more welcome sight after a long winter than the heads of snowdrops and daffodils bobbing in the breeze? They serve as a firm reminder that the end of winter is in sight and warmer days (hopefully!) lie ahead.

5. Baby Animals

Everyone knows that Spring is baby animal season. However, do you actually get to see baby animals in Spring? Unless you live in a rural area probably not.

So why not make a point of venturing on a countryside walk and seeing if you can spot some cute lambs? Or heading to an open farm? Guaranteed it will improve your day. Maybe even your week.