My Family

My Family

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Dinosaurs in the Wild - Our First Look Inside the £12 Million Adventure in Birmingham.

Dinosaurs in the Wild - Our First Look Inside the 
£12 Million Adventure in Birmingham. 

Last night we attended the Dinosaurs in the Wild celebrity launch at the NEC Birmingham.  
Alongside a whole host of lovely celebrities and their children we got to travel back 67 Million years in time in a real Time Machine to encounter Dinosaurs, like never seen before.

This highly immersive experience opens up to the public in Birmingham on 24 June 2017 and runs right up until 23 August 2017. We wasn't quite sure what to expect but have to see we all loved it and had an amazing night. My Boy is a huge Dinosaur fan who was in his element, he ran around soaking up all the sights and having a go at everything he could.

So, What is it? :

Dinosaurs in the Wild is a 70 minute experience of live action theatre fun, theme park and 3D. You're given a pair of Safety Glasses (3D Glasses) and go inside in small groups with a tour guide who talks you through the whole adventure. They take you back in time in a Time Machine and then take you through their incredible scientific research station that Chronotex Enterprises has established there at Time Base 67. You'll get to get up close and witness some extraordinary studies that their scientists are carrying out on the living dinosaurs and experience the mesmerising views, in 3D of the creatures that surround the Time Base. 

There's lots to see and do along the way and it's all very educational. You do get rushed through each stage quite quickly as you're on a strict time scale which means sadly we didn't get to have a go on everything we would have liked to which was a little disappointing but we loved all the activities that we did get to try. There's a lot of fun to be had there.

 Is it Scary for children?

Overall children will be completely fine and will love the whole experience but if you have children who are nervous or scare easily like my 10 year old Lily, I will warn you that it does get a little intense at one point (I won't spoil it for you though) which resulted in her crying alongside several other smaller children who were all very scared and panicked. The experience is so good that even us grown ups forgot that it wasn't real as everything is made to feel very real. After a few gentle reminders to the children, they were fine again.

 Our favourite parts:

Ryan loved the Dino Poop activity where he got to rummage through piles of dinosaurs poop to see what he could find in it. He found some teeth in one pile which was pretty grose but he loved it and wanted to do it over and over again. Lily loved watching the hatching eggs where she got to see the baby dinosaurs coming out of their eggs. I loved the Looking Point where we could see lots of exciting things happening outside of the windows. 

Would we recommend it?

YES! It's a fantastic experience suitable for the whole family which we really enjoyed. All 3 of my children and us adults alike had a great time and didn't want it to end. Everything feels so real and it's definatley an experience everyone should try at least once. It's amazing!

 If you would like Ticket Information, prices start from £26 for children aged between 3 and 15 years. Adult tickets cost £29.50. There are family tickets and group offers also available.

Disclosure: We were guests at the Dinosaurs in the Wild Event. All photography and opinions used and expressed are 100% honest and entirely my own.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Greville Arms in Solihull - Just Good Pub Grub! #Review

 Greville Arms in Solihull - Just Good Pub Grub!

You can't beat a good family pub that serves up good pub grub. This weekend we headed out to Solihull to the newly reopened Greveille Arms following it's extensive refurbishment.  It's got a whole new look and new menu to match. The Greville Arms is all about serving the people of Solihull and beyond, tasty dishes, freshly grilled at low prices that you'll love. 

We've not been before so it was all new to us but from the outside it's a very large building with it's own pay and display car park with lots of handy parking. There's lovely tables and benches outside for sunnier days and lots of open space around. It's just as lovely on the inside too, there's lots of small areas dotted about with dining table to eat at. There's some comfy booths one the one side and smaller tables for people wanting to chill out with a drink. It's a really large sized pub but it's made to feel quite homely and very comfortable.

The pub was very quiet when we arrived at 12:30pm but soon filled up around us. By 1pm the pub was full of happy people and one thing I noticed was that the bar staff knew most of their customers by their first names which is always the first sign of a good friendly pub.

We were seated at a lovely large round table for 6 in front of some beautiful bay windows. The Menu is large and filled with so many choices and offers and generally great deals. Being a Sizzling Pub & Grill, there's loads of grill options of yummy steaks and more.

There was an offer on the Starters, any 3 for £8 which we happily went with. We went for the Potato Skins in Pulled Pork and Bacon and Cheese and the Lamb Kofta Kebabs too. Each one was cooked very well and came out displayed very prettily on their plates. The kids went for the kids Garlic Bread Starters which were the perfect sized starters for them.

For our Mains we all went for something very different. I had the Chick-Tastic which was amazing and so big. It was delicious but sadly I didn't manage to eat it all as there was just too much. Daddy went for the Mega Mixed Grill which again he enjoyed. Chloe my eldest, who's 14 went for the BBQ Hunters Chicken with an added side of Mac and Cheese which she was super pleased with. The side of Mac and Cheese was only £2 which is much lower than most places but was a lovely sized dish full of yummy mac and cheese which she loved. The younger two ordered of the children's menu, Ryan had the Chicken Nuggets (what a surprise) chips and beans whilst Lily had the 2oz burger, chips and corn on the cob.

All the portion sizes were very good and the food was all cooked really well. Nothing was over cooked or burnt and the staff were lovely, they popped over a few times to check in on us throughout our meal. The kids meals were great value as you got their main, dessert and drink for just £4.50 and one thing that I really liked was the choice of children's drinks included a choice of lemonade or diet pepsi which most places don't. Normally it's just juice, water or milk so this was  lovey touch as both my youngest like a glass of fizzy pop.

All of the grown ups were full after dinner so didn't order any desserts although the Specials Board was very tempting. Lily and Ryan did have a dessert though and enjoyed it very much. Ryan went for the safe option of a Chocolate Chip Cookie and Lily went for something a little more fun with a Build Your Own Ice Cream Sundae which was lovely.

 The Greville Arms in Solihull offers great food at affordable prices in a comfortable, family friendly surroundings. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and had a great time when we visited.

Disclosure: We were invited for a complimentary meal in order to review the new menu. All the opinions expressed within this review are 100% honest and all my own.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Everdine - Healthy Meals Cooked & Frozen, then Delivered Straight to Your Door. #Review

Everdine - Healthy Meals Cooked & Frozen,
then Delivered Straight to Your Door.

Sometimes life can get in the way of a good 'healthy' meal, we're always too busy doing our day to day chores, to take time out to cook something great. So, when I came across Everdine, I was quite intrigued as they offer 'Clean & wholesome gourmet meals. Cooked & frozen and courier-delivered'. Most of their meals are ready to eat in around 10 minutes.

On their Classic Plan, which is what I used, you receive a total of 8 Classic Meals. It costs £55.20 for the box of 8 which works out at £6.90 per individual meal. It is quite a lot but I guess you're paying for the convenience of it all. With Everdine you don't have to prepare your meal or wash up after it. You simply pop your meal into the microwave and enjoy.

The meal choices seem to change every week but you can edit what you want too. I choose 8 meals that I thought Daddy would like as he's the one who these kind of meals suit best. He tends to eat chicken every day. His high protein, low fat diet tends to be very repetitive, bland and boring so I thought these would be the perfect 'healthy' alternative for him.

You can see all of the meals that we had in the picture above, there's a nice range of meals but Daddy did make one comment that too many of the meals have chili's in them which he wasn't too keen on. He doesn't mind chili but he found that it spoiled the overall taste of the meals because all you could taste was chili. I guess if you really love chili, then that would suit you but if you want to taste all the other wonderful ingredients then maybe not so much.

The meals are all portion controlled so you get a very low calorie meal. The flavours (apart from the chili factor already mentioned) were all very good and the textures and choices were all very enjoyable. My favourite out of the 8 we received was the Coconut Katsu Chicken which was delicious. Daddies favourite was the Lemon and Black Pepper Chicken. 

The meals are all very well presented and look just as good as they taste, have a look:

Did we enjoy them? Yes we did, very much so. They were great time saving meals which were perfect for after work. The looked lovely and tasted lovely too. They were a nice treat.

Would I buy them again? I'm afraid not. I do think they are a little on the expensive side and there was too much chili in most of the meals making them too spicy for not chili lovers.

I love the idea of the meals, they're prepared with love, created and cooked for you. They do make your life a little easier and save on the washing up. If you're looking for healthier meals without all the fuss of doing them all by yourself, then they're perfect for you.

If you would like to try Everdine for yourself, I have a fantastic Discount Code to give you £25 off your first order. Simply Click Here - this link will take you straight to the discount. 

Disclosure: We were invited to test Everdine's service thanks to a company called Tornado.
All the opinions expressed are 100% honest and entirely my own. 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Handmade Burger Co. and Their Brand New Junior Menu. #Review

Handmade Burger Co. 
and Their Brand New Junior Menu.

Yesterday we visited our local Handmade Burger Co. in Grand Central, Birmingham for a family lunch. When I say family, I mean myself, my parents and my youngest two children, which was lovely as I really can't remember the last time we all went out to eat together.

I've been to one of their other restaurants before as I do love a good burger but it's not some where I'd ever though I'd be able to bring my children, not because of the place itself but because they're just such fussy eaters. My little boy Ryan, who's 6 never eats a burger.

When I first heard about their brand new Junior Menu, I have to admit I wasn't so too sure but after checking out their Menu online, I was pleasantly surprised at the options available. My boy doesn't eat burgers and only eats chicken if it's in the form of chicken nuggets so when we saw the fish finger option we were over the moon. He loves fish fingers so he couldn't have been happier. Finally a burger place that we could all find something we liked in. I can't tell you the amount of times I've wanted to go out for a burger with the family but couldn't because there's never an option for my fussy boy, but that all changed yesterday.

The Junior Menu lets your child have any burger, a side, an ice cream desert and a drink which gets free refills, and all for the price of just £3.95 which I have to say is a pretty awesome price for what you're getting. Not only do you get a whole meal but you get a delicious meal at that. Everything was delicious, well cooked and well presented. Both Lily and Ryan were very happy with their meals and cleared their trays, not even a chip left.

At Handmade Burger Co. they are more than happy to swap and change things around to suit each child. Ryan had the Junior Fish Finger Classic without the mayo or the lettuce. Lily had the Junior Chicken Classic again without the mayo and lettuce. My two are a fussy lot, they love sauce but it has to be on the side and not on the food which was OK here as the lovely staff brought them over some lovely little pots of sauce to enjoy instead. BBQ sauce for Lily and Ketchup for Ryan. Ryan was so excited about his meal as it's the biggest fish finger he's ever seen apparently. It was pretty big. I've not seen him get that excited about a meal in a long time. That fish finger burger for me was the highlight as it made my boy so happy. I thought he's pick the fish finger off the bun but he didn't. He ate the whole thing.

Dessert was a lovely little bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with either chocolate or strawberry sauce. They were both pretty full from their meals but there's always room for a little ice cream. They're perfectly sized little bowls with just enough ice cream to fit in.

Mum, Dad and I all had different burgers but each one was looked and tasted delicious. Mum had the Handmade Burger Co. Cheese & Bacon burger which was a lot bigger than she'd expected it to be but that was OK as she managed to eat it all in the end and loved it.

Dad had the new Peri Peri chicken burger which was nice and spicy just the way he likes it.

I had the Cajun chicken burger minus the salad stuff, guess you can see where my little fussy eaters get that part from. My burger was amazing, that sauce and those two chicken breasts, wow. I didn't think I'd be able to eat it all but I managed after tasting how good it was. I do love a good chicken burger and this one was pretty good. Very good in fact.

The staff were very busy as it was 2pm which was probably right in the middle of their lunch time rush but they never made us feel like they were too busy for us. They were very talkative, happy and always smiling. The place had a really happy vibe about it. There was a real mixture of people in there, from families to singles to groups of students. I looked round for a while and was made to feel very relaxed. Everyone around me looked content and happy. Even my Dad commented on the vibe, he had a great time. Said it'd been one of the best family meals out we've had in a long time and I'd have to agree. We all had such a lovely time. Even though we were pretty full after our meals, we did squeeze in dessert.

The deserts menu is all ice cream and ice cream sundaes which was great for most of us but not for my little man Ryan who won't touch ice cream but again the lovely staff came to our rescue.  They do serve a Brownie and Waffle Sundae which Lily had and popped some Brownies into a bowl for Ryan as he loves chocolate brownies. He was one happy boy!

Dad had the Strawberry Cheesecake Sundae which was super sweet and lovely.  At first I wondered why all the deserts were ice cream but after stuffing ourselves with burgers we soon found out why. If there were 'heavier' deserts I don't think we' d have fit them in. Ice cream Sundaes were the perfect end to out meals, my Mum loved the Jam Jars they came in and Lily just loved the whole thing, so much so that I ended up with her ice cream and she ate all of mine. I didn't mind too much though, just look at how happy it made her.

Our visit was so enjoyable, the staff welcomed us and really made us feel welcome. They couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. The place had a great atmosphere and the food, well that was delicious and we all enjoyed every bite. I can honestly say, we will go back.

The Handmade Burger Co. has a great menu with something for everyone to enjoy. 

Their new Junior Menu is perfect with meals for children like mine who don't eat burgers. 

Disclosure: We received a complimentary meal in return for this review. 
All the opinions and photographs used are entirely my own and 100% honest.