My Family

My Family

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Trying Something New - Secret Paris Colouring Book #Review

Trying Something New - Secret Paris Colouring Book 

Every January I struggle to give something up so this year I decided instead of giving something up that I would try something new and maybe start a new hobby whilst I was at it. Adult colouring books are something that I've been looking at for a few weeks now, there's just something about them that's caught me eye and attracted my attention. My three children love to colour and I often try to get in on the action but they never really want to share their books with me so my own book just seemed like the best solution. 

A few days a go I received this gorgeous colouring book and Scratch & Sniff Scented Pencils from Qwerkity which sell Unusual Gifts & Gadgets for Men and Women of All Ages. From the moment it arrived my children have been pestering me to play with it but, no chance! This is Mummies adult colouring book. It's special and just for grown ups, or at least that's what I told my children yesterday to get them to finally stop asking and go away.

The Secret Paris colouring book contains 96 pages in it's pretty hardback book. It's full of quirky and characterful sketches include picturesque streets, cafés and buildings, perfume bottles, birds, clothes, hair accessories, shoes, cakes and other Parisian delights.

The pictures are really lovely and the variety in it is great too. The pictures come in all shapes and sizes, big and small, detailed and easy. There's a nice mixture of sketches making this book suitable for everyone. From the nervous beginners like me right up to the pros who have been colouring forever. I really enjoyed taking some time out last night to colour a page from my book. I choose something easy to start with but think I did OK.

I choose this pretty flowery picture with a dark haired girl as it reminded me of myself in the summer. The details are lovely and the image itself is just so pretty, I loved it. It took me about an hour to complete but I'd taken my time to enjoy every moment of it. Relaxed and calm, quiet and still. Who knew colouring could be so chilled out, I really enjoyed it.

I think this new hobby of mine will stick, even if I only colour one page from my book a week. Taking one hour out from our crazy lives every now and then can only do us good.

I wonder what picture will take my fancy and get coloured next? Who knows.

Disclosure: I was sent my book and pencils for free in return for an honest review.

Rainy Days make Perfect Birmingham Sea Life Centre Days. #DaysOut #FamilyFun

Rainy Days make Perfect 
Birmingham Sea Life Centre Days.

Rainy days make perfect Sea Life Centre days. There's nothing worse than being stuck inside at home with three children using the 'I'm Bored' phrase over and over again. I hate those kind of days so we use our rainy Saturdays going out to places that are fun but inside.

We're very lucky to live close by to the Sea Life Centre Birmingham and love to visit them every few months. Their Gentoo Penguins are a personal highlight for us as we love seeing them every time we go. Watching them swim through the water is simply mesmerising.

The Sarlacc Jellyfish, Clownfish (Like Nemo) and Green Turtle are also favourites of ours. With so many different species of fish and underwater sea creatures there's lots to see. I love the fact there's lots of interactive features for the children to get up close of personal with their new friends. From underwater tunnels to hidden peep holes and more.

There's lots of things to see and do including: 
  • Creature Talks all day
  • Interactive Rockpool: Touch a Starfish and meet a Crab!
  • 1,000+ creatures including Seahorses, otters & rays and a Giant Turtle
  • 60+ displays including our million-litre underwater tropical tank, Nemo's Kingdom & Turtle Breeding
  • 4D Cinema
  • VIP Feeding Experiences: Go behind the scenes and feed our Penguins, Sharks and Giant Green Sea Turtle!

We spent a wonderful morning yesterday looking around and generally having lots of good clean, family fun. The current 4D movie was fantastic, the best we've seen so far. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea takes viewers on the journey of teenager Ned as he plunges into a world of adventure aboard the submarine Nautilus commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo. The thrilling 3D adventure ride features cues for popular 4D effects such as water splashes, wind blasts and bubbles. 3D fish swim out of the screen, bubbles fill the auditorium and viewers will feel the deck of the Nautilus jolt and shake when it is attacked by a giant squid. It was a lovely story featuring wonderful effects, we loved it!

It was nice to see some new features, their Breed, Rescue, Protect scheme was really interesting to learn all about and it was even nicer seeing all the new additions that have actually been bred and born within the Sea Life Centre itself which is wonderful. Birmingham specific conservations include; Otter conservation and Seahorse conservation.

Meet Tyler, Mia and Magnus. When you visit the Sea Life Centre Birmingham, Tyler the turtle and his friends will take you on a journey into their underwater world and help you learn how you can protect the oceans for years to come which is well worth knowing about.

There's been a few ticket price changes as there's now three ticket package options available when you book in advance online. You can buy a Basic Saver Ticket which includes entry into the attraction for your selected time slot from £12.50 per person. The Best Value Package which includes entry into the attraction for your selected time slot and a SEA LIFE Collectible from £14.50 per person and then there's the Ultimate Package which includes entry into the attraction for your selected time slot and a photo of your visit from £19.50 er person so there's lots more choice available depending on what you want.

Luckily for us we didn't have to pay to get in as we have Merlin Annual Passes which grant us free entry not only to the Sea Life Centre Birmingham but to an amazing 31 Attractions in total. This was our very first day out using our new passes but it won't be the last. 2016 is going to be an adventure packed year for us, there's so much for us to see and do.

 We'd like to thank Merlin Annual Pass for providing our year of family fun. As Merlin Annual Pass Ambassadors you'll be seeing much more from us as we visit  many more of the attractions throughout the year. 2016 is going to be a good year for, we can't wait!

#SilentSunday 24/01/2016

Silent Sunday 24/01/2016

Monday, 18 January 2016

Drayton Manor Theme Park is riding high after a record breaking 65th Anniversary season!

Drayton Manor Theme Park is riding high after a record breaking 65th Anniversary season!

Drayton Manor Theme Park is celebrating the end of a record breaking 65th anniversary season, with its biggest ever attendance numbers recorded for 2015.

The award winning attraction based in Tamworth, Staffordshire has seen more guests visit during 2015 than any other year, with a 10% increase on the previous season in 2014.

The action packed anniversary year kicked off with a £2.5 million expansion of Europe’s only Thomas Land back in April 2015. The park welcomed a whole host of new rides and attractions including Captain’s Sea Adventure, Flynn’s Fire Rescue and Toby’s Tram Express, which increased the overall rider capacity in Thomas Land to 5,130 people per hour. The exciting new Thomas Land also saw the arrival of the brand new two-storey Sodor Airport, in a traditional terminal style it has a top level balcony for VIP ‘travellers’ with fab views of Thomas Land and a ground level café for guests to relax during their visit.

Following a successful summer, the much loved family attraction hit a record attendance for its Fireworks Spectacular weekend, welcoming nearly 33,000 visitors over three days at the end of October. Set to the critically acclaimed soundtrack from The War of the Worlds, visitors were dazzled by a fantastic, colourful array of explosive rockets and lights.

To top it all off, the 65th anniversary season ended with another record breaking attendance during its Magical Christmas event with a 34% increase in guests from 2014.  On Sunday 20th December, the park welcomed 45% more people than on its previous biggest day in 2014, smashing its biggest selling Magical Christmas day six times over!  

Despite the park’s momentous success in 2015, it's looking forward to the coming year and there is plenty to keep existing and new visitors excited. In spring 2016, the Staffordshire based theme park will see the opening of its brand new Tamarin Trail. Guests will have the opportunity to walk through the beautiful planted gardens in the attraction, getting up close and personal with the cute and inquisitive monkeys. It will have eight new enclosures that will be housing a variety of tamarins and marmosets. There are five species so far. 

2016 will also mark the five year anniversary of the opening of the hugely popular onsite four-star Drayton Manor Hotel, which has featured Thomas & Friends themed rooms since its opening in 2011. The park’s onsite restaurant the Grill Inn will also celebrate its fifth anniversary this year. So, there's a whole lot going on in 2016.

 To book tickets, or for more information about the park, visit or call 0844 472 1950. Reduced prices are available for tickets bought in advance.

Disclosure, This post is brought to you as part of our Drayton Manor 2015 Ambassadorship.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Beat those January Blues. #Win a Cadbury Valentine's Treasure Box!

Beat those January Blues.
Win a Cadbury Valentine's Treasure Box.

January is not my favourite month of the year. It's cold, dull and oh so boring. So let's fast forward a few weeks and think about February which isn't actually that far away.

Seeing as Valentines Day is just one month away today, I thought I'd try to brighten up your day with a little giveaway. If you're on a New Years Diet, then sadly this may not be for you but if you're like me and don't really care for all that diet stuff then - waahoo! 

The prize is a Cadburys Valentine's Treasure Box which contains to mini boxes of Roses and a whole host of your favourite Cadburys Bars complete in a lovely gift box.

If you would like to win this lovely box of treats you can do so by using the RaffleCopter Form below. They'll make a nice gift for yourself or maybe the perfect gift for a loved one.

 Terms and Conditions: One winner will be drawn at random on Sunday February 6th. Open to the UK only. Winner will be contacted by email after the draw - Good Luck.

Monday, 11 January 2016

The #Teletubbies are Back with a Whole NEW Range of Toys! #Review

The #Teletubbies are Back with a 
Whole NEW Range of Toys! 

The Teletubbies are back and with the help of Character options there's a whole new range of exciting Teletubbies toys to go with them. We're so excited to reveal them to you today!

Last week we were sent with a secret selection of the brand new toys hidden inside. I wasn't able to show you what was in it then but today I can and I can't wait - Who's excited?

The picture above shows what the contents looked like before we unwrapped them and the one below shows what they looked like afterwards. I had three very excited kiddies by this point. They were so excited to see what was inside after having to wait so long to open it.

 We had seven (yes seven) brand new Teletubbies toys inside our box. There was something for everyone, each character was present in some form or another and there was a great selection covering a wide range of ages which was really great. We were happy.

From their World of Plastic range we received their Superdome Playset which is a lovely solid playset which replicates the Teletubbies home. Po and Noo Noo are included which makes play instant, it's always nice when playsets have characters already included. I love solid playsets, they're nice and solid and sturdy for play time. The Superdome playset went down really well with my youngest who loves playing with smaller characters in their own little worlds. Being 5 means he still uses his imagination when playing making this perfect.

From their Novelty Plastic range we received their La-La Tickle and Glow figure which was a nice little toy to play with. You simply tickle La-La's tummy with your finger to hear her laugh out loud. Again this is a nice solid toy so it's good for children who have a habit of breaking things apart easily as this shouldn't break easily at all. It's feels quite hard to touch but it's light weight making it suitable for little hands and their rough and tough play style. 

Also from their Novelty Plastic range we received the Tubby Phone which is a fab little toy. At first I thought it was a baby toy but after a quick play with it I soon realizes that it was much more than that. When it's switched off the phone is a mirror making this a fun thing to play with in itself, I mean what child doesn't like looking at them self in mirrors? Once switched on the toy mirror transforms into a screen which lights up with the different characters pictures on. There's lots of pretty flashing lights and musical sounds on it too. There's 4 buttons on the bottom of it, each one is in the shape of each Teletubbies coloured ariel on their head. Each one brings up a different character, it's a delightful little toy.

Again from their World of Plastic range we received their Dispy Collectable Figure who is a very sweet little figurine ready to be collected or played with, whichever you want to really. The figures would look great in a collection on your side or make great additions to your Teletubbies playsets as they are roughly the same size and would fit in quite nicely.

From their Plush range we received three lovely soft plushes. Po is a super soft collectable who's very soft and loveable. This one is quite small but great for giving hugs. My eldest daughter may be 13 but she loves Po and has claimed this one for herself. Po now sits next to her pillow in her bed just waiting for her to snuggle up at night. The two bigger plushes are talking ones, we have a talking La-La and a talking Tinky-Winky. Both are lovely and soft and come in nice sizes. They say lots of different phrases and sound just like their TV show characters.  La-La now belongs to my Lily whilst Tinky-Winky belongs to my boy.
All the plushes are lovely, they're bright and soft and super snuggly. I think the plushes are my favourite as they're just so cute and have so many uses. Each of my children now has a new friend to play with, talk to and best of all, sleep with. They're so lovely.

We have had a blast playing with our new Teletubbies toys and have to say that the overall quality of them is really high. They're reasonably priced and hard wearing making them great for all ages (Over 3). There is more new toys in their range but you'll have to go over to the website to take a look or you'll be able to see them all in the shops real soon.

From all of us here, the Teletubbies are back and we are so happy about that.

If you're as excited as we are then you'll be even more excited to hear that there's a Teletubbies Twitter Frenzy set to take place on Twitter on Wednesday 20th January at 1pm.
You can join in by following @UKMUMSTV on Twitter. There will be lots of prizes to be won and fun and games to join in with. We'll be there and I hope to see some of you too.

Disclosure: We received our Teletubbies toys as part of a Teletubbies campaign. Our review is an honest account of how we got on, all opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, 4 January 2016

The #Teletubbies are Coming .. Watch This Space!

The #Teletubbies are Coming .. Watch This Space! 

We are so excited here, the Teletubbies are making a come back and it's going to be BIG!

It may have been a few years since my eldest sat watching the show on our TV but they've never been far from our thoughts in this house. My eldest was a huge Teletubbies fan when she was little (she's now 13) and still has some of the soft toys from the show. She was a LaLa fan whilst my youngest who is a recently new fan likes Tinky Winky as his fave.

Last week we recieved a huge box filled with brand new Teletubbies toys from Character Options but I'm afraid I can't show them too you just yet. They're under strict secrecy instructions until Monday January 11th but once the date arrives I will be showing all. We will be reviewing lots of the new toys for the new range, we can't wait.

I may not be able to show you what's inside but I will show you the box they came in.

We're all very excited here, we can't wait to see what's inside. There's just 1 week to go! 

Be sure to check back next week on the 11th Jan for the BIG Reveal.

Friday, 1 January 2016

It's January 1st 2016 & The BIG New Year Merlin Annual Passes Sale starts Now! #MerlinAnnualPass #Merlinap

It's January 1st 2016 & The BIG New Year 
Merlin Annual Passes Sale starts Now!

Why not say goodbye to boring and hello to awesome! The 2016 Merlin Annual Pass sale starts today (January 1st) meaning you could make some HUGE savings of up to £60 per person, per pass but be quick as you've only got until midnight Monday 15th February.

With 12 incredible months and 32 magical worlds - where will you start?

From being up close and personal with underwater creatures at the SEA LIFE centres across the country from Scotland to Gweek, to posing with the Hollywood stars at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool and watching history come to life in re-enactments at Warwick Castle. A Merlin Annual Pass opens the door to 32 fascinating and wonderful worlds, so wherever you live, you’re guaranteed to have a passport to fun for the whole year. 

With a Merlin Annual Pass, holders can experience some of the UK’s biggest and best attractions, including the Coca-Cola London Eye, THORPE PARK Resort, Dream Works Tours Shrek’s Adventure! London, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Cbeebies Land at Alton Towers Resort, LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort, The National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham and more. Special benefits and discounts will also be unlocked. 

So, make your 2016 new year’s resolution one of laughter and bag the ultimate bargain.
52 weekends of family fun in the UK with a Merlin Annual Pass, which is currently priced from just £99 per person* in the special new year sale which is on now.

Premium Merlin Annual Pass holders get priority entry to all of Merlin Entertainments’ UK attractions as well as exclusive short break offers, three Share the Fun vouchers where a friend can join you for just £10, three Fastrack vouchers at Resort Theme Parks worth £5 each, money saving perks and to top it off, complimentary parking at Resort Theme Parks.

If a Merlin Annual Pass sounds like something you and your family would enjoy this year then be quick and head over to their website and check out the savings. Remember the sale is only on from today until Monday February 15th.

As very lucky Merlin Annual Pass Ambassadors, this year we will be visiting at least 6 of the 32 fun filled days out that are on offer and telling you all about them as we go. Thank you Merlin Annual Pass for setting us up for a magical year filled with new adventures and fun.