My Family

My Family

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Finding Dory event at The National Sea Life Centre Birmingham #Review

Finding Dory event at The 
National Sea Life Centre Birmingham.


We've just got home from a lovely day out at our local Sea Life Centre in Birmingham. We were a little late to join the party but better late than never, I say. The Birmingham Sea Life Centre are hosting an exciting Finding Dory Summer event from July 16th to September 11th so there's still plenty of time for you to squeeze in a last minute visit to check it out.

We love our days out at the Sea Life Centre Birmingham as it's home to our beloved Penguin friends who never fail to entertain us and make us smile. They're always so full of fun and silliness which is what makes us love them so much, they're amazing to watch.


Today we went along with some friends to see if we could find Dory and her friends hiding around the centre. Not only did we have a Finding Dory letter hunt to complete but we also had our usual stamp trail activity to do too so there was lots to keep the children busy and entertained as we walked around. It was a little busy today so we did have to wait at each stamp station but it wasn't too bad. The children waited nicely and all took their turns.

There were  Finding Dory signs hidden in the tanks throughout the centre. Each one had a riddle on it to work out which Dory friend it was talking about and a letter for you to jot down onto your pad. It was great fun hunting them all down, the kids loved looking for them. Once you had found all 6 of the signs you mixed up the letters you had found to make up a word. I won't tell you what the word is so you can have fun finding out for yourselves when you go. 


Finding Dory and her friends was fun but getting a medal as a reward for finding them all was even more fun. The kids loved their medals, they were all very happy children. We had lots of fun today finding Dory and getting our picture taken in her pop up stand which you can see below. We got to see lots of funny looking fishes,crawled into several peek a boo hiding spots and even went under a running water fall which was great fun. The Sea Life Centre is always a pleasure to visit as my children love their Penguin friends and the 4D cinemas shows which you get to see too. Today we watched an Octanaughts show which all the children really enjoyed. They love watching the 15 minute feature film which involves bubbles, flashing lights, being squirted with water and vibrating seats.


We've had a wonderful day today Finding Dory with friends and really enjoyed our visit. The events change every few months to keep your visits exciting so if Finding Dory is something your children love then why not pop along and check out all the fun for yourself. It won't last for long, there's just over 3 weeks left of this event so be quick if you don't wanna miss out.

Disclosure: We were invited along to check out the Finding Dory event for free but this review is written using my own personal opinions which are 100% honest and mine.

Pen Pals and Back to School with Smiggle #backtosmiggle

Pen Pals and Back to School with Smiggle.


Over the past few weeks we have been busy here writing to our new Pen Pals thanks to Smiggle. Smiggle paired up the children with other bloggers children throughout the UK and beyond and ever since they've been sharing their news, jokes and general gossip with each other. All three of my children were paired up and very excited to find out all about their new friends. Smiggle sent us some lovely back to school goodies to help them on their way. 


With our novelty notebooks and gorgeous gel pens, we had everything we needed to write our letters. With so much to say and little space to write it in, they decided to keep their letters short but sweet. Lily wrote about her recent trip to Blackpool and how much fun she had whereas Ryan wrote about his favourite sport (football) and how much he loved it.



Writing to Pen Pals was lots of fun and a great way to get them to practice their writing skills whilst on their Summer holidays from school. Both children loved writing their letters and can't wait to get a reply back one day in the near future. It's very exciting now.

Smiggle products are lovely and always so much fun. Lily loves it when we visit our local store as everything is so bright and pretty. She always wants everything when we go in, on our last visit she got a fluffy animal pencil case and some super cute pencil erasers for when she returns to school. Back to school with Smiggle is always fun and exciting. Lily can't wait to show all her friends her newest Smiggle addictions as lots of her friends love Smiggle too.

My youngest two are looking forward to returning back to school in a few weeks time although they're also a little sad that their Summer is almost over but Pen Pals are for life, not just for Summer (hopefully) so who knows what friendships could form from this.

Thank you Smiggle for inviting us to join in your Summer Back to School Pen Pal activity. The children have really enjoyed themselves and had lots of fun on their journey.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Check out what we thought about The Nano Launchpad from HEXBUG & #Win your own!

Check out what we thought about The Nano Launchpad from HEXBUG & #Win your own!


We've been playing with the brand new Nano Launchpad from Hexbug this week and have to say we were very excited to get our hands on it. We love Hexbug here in our house and have owned lots of different ones over the past few years. Although we've owned many bugs, we've never had any of the tracks or playsets, not that that's stopped us having fun.

The nano V2 is a tiny micro robotic creature that scurries up through tubes to explore its environment. The quick little critter possesses an uncanny sense of balance, capable of crawling through tubes on its feet or on its back, and can pass another bug in a single tube to avoid a traffic jam! The nano V2 will even flip to its feet when landing on its back on an open flat surface.They're great fun to watch in action but now with the Launchpad, the fun just got a whole lot better and harder if I'm honest. If you like a challenge, you'll love this.

The Hexbug Nano V2 neon Launchpad channels kids' desire for a challenge. After assembling the set, which doesn't take very long as everything just clips together really easily. One done, you place the nano V2 at the centre point and rotate the base towards the target you want to reach. Hit the launch button with just the right amount of pressure, and watch as the Hexbug nano V2 soars through the air, into one of the targets, scurrying down through the neon tube, ready for another ride! It is quite tricky but very possible.


I had a few goes myself but my aim is pretty shocking. The kids were much better at it than I was. We were using it wrong for the first few hours, tapping the launchpad really gently, knocking the Hexbug onto one of the tracks and watching it travel up the tubes to the top. It wasn't long until we realised we had been doing it wrong though and started playing with it the right way. Although I do have to say, my way (the wrong way) was much easier.


The kids have been playing quite happily for hours, taking it in turns to have their go. They do get a little grumpy when they can't shoot it into the targets but that's nothing new. I'm sure they'll get the hang of it soon with a little extra practice and play time with it.

Overall Ryan is really enjoying playing with the Hexbug Nano Launchpad set as it's engaging and fun. He loves the challenge and has great fun watching the Hexbug scuttle about once it's reached it's target. Hexbug's are great fun with out without a playset but this Launchpad set is pretty cool and Ryan has loved trying to hit the targets when he's playing.


WIN YOUR OWN HEXBUG NANO LAUNCHPAD SET:

Seeing as we've had so much fun with ours, we wanted to share the fun by giving away the same set to one of you. One lucky reader will win their very own Hexbug Nano Launchpad set worth £29.99. To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter Form below (please allow a few seconds for it to load at busy times). There's only one required entry, to leave a comment answering the set question. The other entries are optional, please feel free to choose which ones you wish to do. Don't feel like you have to do them all, unless you want too.


Terms and Conditions: Open to the UK only. One winner will be drawn at random from all the correctly made entries on August 31st. Winner will be contacted by email provided.

Debenhams joins forces with Pudsey with their New Children in Need kids collection & It's Mega Cute!

Debenhams joins forces with Pudsey with their New Children in Need kids collection & It's Mega Cute!

Debenhams gears up for what they hope to be their biggest BBC Children in Need fundraising campaign to date . Since raising £500,000 for the cause last year, the Debenhams team is undertaking another summer of support for BBC Children in Need.

Stores are fundraising till the end of August and will also be supporting the charity with a range of limited edition merchandise. Exclusive BBC Children in Need products will be stocked in their Manchester store, with children’s t-shirts, leggings, dresses and onesies all available. Official merchandise, such as keyrings, Pudsey ears and wristbands, will also be available and all profits will be donated to BBC Children in Need. BBC Children in Need galvanises the UK to raise money for projects across the UK, which are working to change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in their communities.   
Sitting alongside Help for Heroes and Breast Cancer Now, BBC Children in Need is one of the official partners supported by the Debenhams Foundation in the UK. The 200 year old department store chose these charities following feedback from its customers and employees. The Debenhams Foundation is Debenhams’ own charity that was set up in 2012. Since its launch the Foundation has raised over £5 million for good causes.

Not only is this Children In Need Children's range all for a great cause but it's pretty darn cute too! Check out my youngest two modelling their new Pudsey Children In Need clothes.


 Lily is wearing their pretty BBC Children In Need girls' pink 'Pudsey' print onesie which costs £12. It's available in sizes ranging from 4 years to 12 years which is lovely. It's made from pure cotton for a super-soft finish with popper fastenings and features everyone's favourite mascot, Pudsey all over it. It's a really sweet onesie and Lily loves it.

Ryan is wearing their BBC Children In Need Children's black 'Pudsey' print t-shirt which costs £7. Ryan loves it, he's worn it several times since it arrived. Available for children aged  as young as 2 and as old as 14, there's a great range to include most aged children. Again, it's made from a super-soft cotton for increased comfort and is finished with everyone's favourite mascot, Pudsey, with his iconic polka dot bandage on his head. My favourite thing about this t-shirt is that you can see Pudesy's face on the front and then the back of his head on the reverse. It's a really clever idea and look so cute when being worn.

Both Ryan and Lily are loving their new Children In Need clothes and are happy to be supporting such a great cause. Children In Need is a well deserved cause and we're all happy to get behind it and help Debenhams get the word out about their clothing range.


Disclosure: We received our samples for free but this review is written of our own free will and all the opinions expressed within it are 100% honest and entirely our own.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Lunch for Two at Chi Kitchen Birmingham #Review

Lunch for Two at Chi Kitchen Birmingham 


Today we lunched for two, my Mum and I and boy what a treat we were in for. Neither of us had been to Chi Kitchen before so we had no idea what treats they'd have in store. Chi Kitchen Birmingham is situated on the third floor of the Bullring's Debenham's store. If you enter the Bullring on the 3rd floor next to TK Max you will see it on your right hand side.

It seems like only yesterday MasterChef contestant, Ping Coombes, won the popular television series after continuing to wow the judges with food inspired by her Malaysian heritage. Now, having taken on the role of Executive Consultant Chef for pan-Asian restaurant Chi Kitchen, Ping is bringing her authentic South-East Asian cuisine to the people of Birmingham and I for one was so excited to be trying it out today. Eeek!

We were greeted on entry by a rather lovely man, the Assistant Manager Farhan Muzzafar and given a choice of tables to sit at. There were dimly lit booths along one side and more formal tables over by the large windows with the view. We opted for the comfy booth and sat down. Our Waitress was lovely too, she laid the table and brought us a bowl of Prawn Crackers with a sweet chilli style dip which was lovely to start off with for our lunch.


The Menu's were very extensive, the clipboard style menu was very cute but came filled with so much choice in all shapes and sizes. We were struggling a little to choose what we wanted until Farhan kindly stepped in with some suggestions for us. He pointed out some of their 'Star' dishes and which he loved the most. In the end we decided on several of the smaller dishes so we'd get to taste a little bit of everything. We were very spoilt.

I need to point out that our portion sizes were smaller than the 'normal' portion size as we were trying so many dishes, the lovely chef made them a little more manageable for us. 


The Summer BBQ Sharing Platter was delightful to look at and eat.This is there special from now until August 31st. It's a fab sharing platter for two filled with all sorts of flavours and tastes. There was fish balls, sliced chicken thighs , BBQ wings, Sea Bass, Beef skewers and Prawns too. The Sea Bass was delicious but does have a bit of a chilli kick to it and the chicken thighs very juicy too. My Mum loved the prawns (I'm not a fab of prawns) and the BBQ chicken wings were a little spicy but full of brilliant flavours to enjoy.


The Aromatic Duck spring rolls were amazing. They were chunky and jam packed with delicious duck inside. I loved the fact that they only contained duck and no other vegetables or surprise as anyone who knows me, knows I don't like vegetables - oops. 

We got to try three different types of skewers. The first ones were their Chicken Satay which were covered in a lovely crunchy peanut sauce. Out of three, these were my favourites as the sauce was just perfect. The chicken was cooked really well so it was juicy and then the peanut sauce completed the taste and then textures that went along with that were superb.

The second ones were their Beef Kushiyaki which were cubes of marinated beef in a sweet soy sauce. My Mum loved these ones but I found them a little under cooked for my liking but then again I do tend to eat everything served 'well done' which spoils the taste a little.

The third ones we tried were the Chiken Yakitori which were pieces of chicken served in the same sweet soy sauce as the beef. They were lovely and cooked just right but they didn't really compare to the Chicken Satay ones as they stood out a mile as the best to me.

Last but not least in the picture above, my Mum tried some rather stunning looking King Prawns in a Peanut style sauce which she loved. I think these were the highlight of her lunch as she kept telling me how great they were every five minutes, bless her.


One of my highlights was their Lamb Curry which was amazing! The Malaysian style lamb curry came with potato, herbs and spices and tasted so good. Both my Mum and I really enjoyed this dish, it was a little spicy but not too much so. The flavours were so nice and I even ate all of the potato's that came in it which is a huge compliment as I rarely eat those.

The dish next to it shown above was supposed to be their Sambai Prawns but as I don't eat prawns the chef kindly replaced the prawns with chicken for me. This dish is filled with peppers and chilli's so it isn't one for the faint hearted as the heat was a little over whelming. Luckily I had a nice cold glass of water to help wash it down. It was very nice but a little too hot for me. My Mum agreed with me on this dish as it was a little too hot to enjoy.


My Mum and I had such a wonderful afternoon lunching at Chi Kitchen but there was one dish that really stood out for both of us and that was their amazing Sea Bass with Chilli and lime. I never ever order fish when I eat out, I tend to stick to the chicken dishes but today I decided to live on the wild side and try something new, and boy am I glad that I did. The Sea Bass was cooked to perfection, the flakes just fell apart in your mouth. The chilli and lime flavours were amazing too. They weren't too intense but just right, the combination of the two flavours just worked so well together and both my Mum and I really enjoyed it.

The atmosphere in Chi Kitchen is very relaxed, it's the perfect place to lunch whilst you shop. Nestled in the middle of the Bullring shopping centre the shops are right by your side. The staff are so friendly and cannot do enough for you, no problem is a problem to them.

The food looks fantastic and tastes great too. It's the prefect place for a light lunch with friends or a romantic treat for two. It was really exciting to watch our food being prepared in their lovely open plan kitchen. The Chefs work really hard but still have smiles on their faces. My Mum and I were made to feel very welcome and really were looked after this afternoon. My Mum enjoyed herself so much that she couldn't wait to tell my sister all about it hoping that she would take her back again one day. One of the little things that I also loved is that because we had some food left over, the waitress offered to put them in containers for us to take home with us. As the food was all freshly prepared, it was all suitable to be warmed up again later at home so nothing went to waste which was a lovely idea.


Thank you Chi Kitchen Birmingham for making my Mum so happy today and for looking after us so well. We had a wonderful time and will surely be back again real soon.

As well as their Birmingham restaurant, Chi Kitchen also have a London Oxford Street one. 

I would happily recommend Chi Kitchen to anyone and everyone that I meet.

Disclosure: We were invited to enjoy a complimentary meal for two at Chi Kitchen today. All the opinions expressed within this review are 100% honest and entirely my own.

New Competition! #Win a Cadbury Wini Eggs Chocolate Gift Box

New Competition! #Win a Cadbury 
Wini Eggs Chocolate Gift Box.


Summer may be in full swing but with all the rainy days we've been having, I thought this chocolatey treat might cheer you up. I'm going to treat one lucky reader to a delicious Cadbury Wini Eggs Chocolate Gift Box. The Cadbury Wini Eggs Chocolate gift box contains the brand NEW Wini Eggs Paralympic GB bag inside - Wini Eggs for the sporting season! 

If you would like to WIN this treat, It's really simple to enter. Using the Rafflecopter Widget below you can follow the instructions to get your entries in. I'll keep it short so it won't take you long. This prize is not sponsored or donated, I am paying for it - as I'm nice like that ;)


Terms and Conditions: This giveaway is open to the UK Only. One winner will be drawn at random from all the correctly made entries on August 31st and the winner will be contacted using the email attached to their log in. Thank you for joining in and Good Luck xox