Monday, 30 May 2016
The Merlin Annual Pass Summer Sale Starts Today! Monday May 30Th
Merlin Annual Pass are having a summer sale that starts from today, Monday May 30Th until Thursday June 30Th. You can now have a summer which is full of fun and keep it going for a whole year with a Merlin Annual Pass, for less. They're currently priced from just £109 per person* during the special big summer SALE! If you were looking at buying one, now's the time to to do so. Be quick, as you only have one month to buy them at this reduced rate.
With a Merlin Annual Pass you can unlock magic adventures at 32 top attractions across the UK. Every attraction has something for someone making them perfect for families like mine. You can take your family away from the hustle and bustle of normal life and escape to Alton Towers, home to the world’s first rollercoaster totally dedicated to virtual reality– Galactica!
Or explore your wild side at the Chessington World of Adventures Resort, with the arrival of the new King of the Jungle, Kamal the Lion. Come face to fin with sharks and turtles at lots of SEA LIFE centres across the UK, from Scotland to Cornwall, Blackpool to Birmingham.
And new for 2016, prepare to experience the world's first psychological attraction at THORPE PARK Resort – Derren Brown’s Ghost Train. 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.
With 32 attraction son offer, your Summer is set for one filled with fun and adventure. As Merlin Annual Pass Ambassadors 2016, we're all set for a Summer full of antics.
Disclosure: This post is written is association with Merlin Annual Passes and their Merlin Annual Pass Ambassadorship 2016 programme.
Saturday, 21 May 2016
#Win a Pinypon Little House and 5 Pinypon Figures
Pinypon are a cute range of collectable and customisable dolls which hit the UK back in March. Pinypon dolls can be customised with the latest accessories and hair styles giving them a completely unique look every time. There's lots of different play sets and accessories to make up your very own Pinypon world. You can check out our review to see what we thought of them. Lily loved them and still plays with them now, two months later.
Being Pinypon fans ourselves we are excited to run a Pinypon giveaway. I have one rather cute Pinypon Little House and 5 assorted Pinypon Figures to give away to one of my lovely readers. You can win by using the Rafflecopter Form below to enter - Good Luck x
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 Sunday June 12th - Good Luck x
Thursday, 19 May 2016
Dubai for Families - Dreams Can Come True
Dream Big little ones, reach out and grab your dreams.
The world is full of Wonder, It's bursting at the seems.
So many places beautiful places, so much to see and do.
So many Family Adventures, Waiting for Me and You!
I've been dreaming of visiting Dubai for many, many years now but in my head it's always been one of those places that's just out of my reach. When I used to think of Dubai, I imagined wealthy people with lots of money to spare and those who already lived a life of luxury. I've never really see it as a place that I could afford, but that was until recently.
My dreams of Dubai are getting closer. So close in fact that I've moved Cape Verdi (the place I've always dreamed of going to) off the top spot to number two on my list of 'Places I want to visit before I turn 40'. Cape Verdi has always been my Dubai cheaper substitute.
I've seen several friends of mine heading off to Dubai over the past few years and have always been very envious of their amazing pictures. Some have been as couples only but more and more lately are going as family units which I am so happy to see. There is hope!
If my family were to go to Dubai, Oh how happy We would be.
When I say WE though - You do know I mean ME!
I'm sure they would be happy too although it's a Dream of mine.
Sun, Sea and Sand - All Beautiful and Sublime!
One day our dreams will be much more than just dreams.They will become reality, they WILL come true. Maybe not tomorrow or the next day but one day, some day.
When we go, (see what I did there, my if became a when) This is what we'll do:
We're going to spend a whole day at the Aquaventure Waterpark Atlantis, The Palm as my children love the water. I cannot think of anything better than an exciting day of water slides, private beaches and record breaking rides. For my younger two who are slightly braver than me there's a ride that plummets you through a tube and into a shark lagoon whilst for me there's a much calmer sounding waterway system. I've always been a fan of those lazy river type rides so this one's mine. If there's water involved, my two are more than happy.
Whilst we're already at Atlantis, The Palm our next stop would be to the amazing Dolphin Bay where our dreams of swimming with dolphins could come true. It's suitable for all ages making it the perfect treat for my nature loving family. I am so excited just thinking about this. Swimming with dolphins is something I have always wanted to do. Just Wow!
Every holiday needs a lesson in culture, we couldn't possibly go all that way and not check out how they live. A day in Al Shindagha we'd be able to learn all about Dubai's heritage at the Heritage and Diving Village which offers a fascinating insight into Dubai's pearl diving past and wider history. Their coin and stamp collections reveal much of the country's past and the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House sounds like an amazing lesson in traditional architecture. I'm not much of a sight seer but this is somewhere I would love to go and see.
Dubai can get pretty expensive when you add all these days out so I thought I'd best find something free to do too. Apart from spending time on the beautiful beaches, the The Dubai Fountain is a must see for me. This is no ordinary fountain, oh no. The Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system which shows jets up to 22,000 gallons of water reaching as high as 150 metres in the air. They say the beams of light shining upwards from the fountain can be seen from more than 30 kilometres away. That sounds pretty amazing to me. Here in the United Kingdom we don't have anything quite like that.
Last but not least we'd have to see the view from the top (As they call it). No trip to Dubai would be complete without a visit to the top of the world’s tallest building even if I am scared of heights. I'd have to do this no matter how scared I was even if just to get some photographs of the view. I've seen other people's photos and always wanted my own.
I used the very helpful Visit Dubai website to research our dream trip.
One day my dreams of Dubai will no longer be dreams when my family and I set out on our adventure to make them come true. We're going to get a taste of that luxuries life if only for a week. Life's too short not too reach out for what you want. If you believe, you can achieve.
Disclosure: This is my entry into the Tots100/Dubai Dreams blogger challenge.
Feel free to pop over and enter as one lucky family are going to win a family trip to Dubai.
x Good Luck x
Monday, 16 May 2016
Do Your Children have a Bedtime Routine?
There seems to be a lot of talk about children's bedtime routines popping up at the moment. I mean, I've just been watching my daily dose of Loose Women where the well known Super Nanny Jo Frost was talking about how the bedtime routine should always consist of a 'Bath, Book and Bed' but I'm afraid I have to disagree. My children have always had a strict bedtime routine but our is somewhat different to that. For one we don't have a bath every night as two of my children suffer from Eczema (one more so than the other) but having a bath every night for them would only dry out their skin even more so we don't.
I've often been looked upon like the 'Mean Mum' from local friends as my kids all have set bedtimes which some might see as 'too early' but I don't care because for us they work and all my children are in bed by 8pm and asleep by 8.30pm whether it's a school night or not!
Our bedtime routine consists of:
- Play stops at 6.30pm as it's time to relax - calm down.
- 6.30pm is fruit time. They all sit down to enjoy an apple or some fruit on the settee.
- 7pm Is bedtime for the youngest two aged 5 and 9. Both can read a book for half an hour but then it's lights out and sleep time. Both my children stay in their beds and are asleep before 8pm. We do have the odd bad day but 9 times out of 10 it goes to plan.
- 8pm is my eldest's bedtime. She is 13 and this is the one that causes the most controversy for me as lots of other parents allow their teenager to stay up much later but that's them.
My reasons for our times are simple. None of my children wake up really early and enjoy their sleep just like me. They have busy days with lots of exercises and fun in them. They are not lazy children, they do not have loads of screen time and are always encouraged to play outside in the fresh air. They live busy lives and need their sleep to grow.
If my children woke up really early then I would adjust our bedtimes accordingly to give them the sleep they need but as my children are often still asleep in the morning when it's time to get up around 7.30am - I'm happy that they are getting the right amount of sleep they need.
All three of my children including my eldest are doing well at school and are always there on time. They're always up on time and ready and never late. They're fit and healthy and full of beans throughout their day. As they get older our routine may change but for now our routine works and I'm not going to change it or mess with it for any one.
Our routine stands for every night throughout the whole year including school holidays. There are always a few exceptions for family occasions or nights out or for holidays away but otherwise our bedtime routine stands pretty firm. My children are happy and follow our routine really well. We don't have stressful bedtimes and everyone goes to bed happy making me happy and then giving me a few hours of quality Me Time before my bedtime.
You may not agree with my children's bedtime routine but that's OK as I may not agree with yours. Every child and family is different so we all have to do what works for us so that's what I do. At this point in our lives we'll continue as we are and sleep better for it.
Do Your Children have a Bedtime Routine?
Thursday, 12 May 2016
150 Cocktails to choose from.
Be At One Birmingham opens today!
Be At One Birmingham opens to the public tonight but I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak inside yesterday. Based in Birmingham's Piccadilly Arcade, it's right opposite New Street Station making it a great little location. From the outside it's just a door but on the inside it's a completely different story. Once down in the basement you enter an amazingly furnished, low lit room filled with a whole host of comfy booths and leather bar stools.
Candles light each table making the place feel really relaxed. The music playing is proper old school which I loved. I think we heard everything from Wham to modern day pop. The party atmosphere was very apparent. The bar staff were singing and dancing around the bar. Shaking shakers, throwing bottles to each other and generally putting on a show.
The staff last night were amazing! Everyone was so friendly and helpful, they just couldn't do enough for you. If you're unsure what to choose, they're more than happy to help suggest something for you and actually get the choice spot on for you. I was impressed!
With 150 cocktails to choose from, it's a pretty tough quest but one I was willing to take on.
The Menu's are great, they're very bright and colourful and every cocktail is fully explained with a picture, list of ingredients and even a heads up as to which glass it will be served in which I really loved. My first stop was a champagne cocktail called "Killing Monica" which was amazing but the star of the show for me was their "Pornstar Martini" which came with a Prosecco shot. This made my day, delicious passion fruit flavours in a gorgeous glass and a shot glass full of bubbly Prosecco, what's not to love. I was in cocktail heaven.
Their "Strawberry Daiquiri" which is my normal go to cocktail whenever I have a cocktail was sweet and fresh just like a good Daiquiri should be. Simple yet perfect served with a juicy strawberry on the side, yum. This was the fruit Daiquiri but they also serve them dry or straight up for an added twist. Next to the Daiquiri is a cocktail called "Candy Pants" which is an explosion of berry madness with it's delicious fresh strawberries and blackcurrant vodka.
Every cocktail is made with love, the staff are basically serving pure happiness in a glass.
There was quite a wait at the bar but that's to be expected when so much love and effort goes into each glass. There are plenty of bar staff ready to serve you and with the antics going on behind the bar I didn't actually mind waiting at all as I was enjoying the show.
Be At One is a classy cocktail bar with a real relaxed old school party vibe going on. The staff are well trained and seem to really love their job. Their smiles were genuine and they seemed to be having lots of fun behind the bar. The cocktails alone make Be At One well worth a visit. The prices range from £8.50 to £10.50 but you won't be disappointed.
I had a wonderful time last night. It was great to check out the new bar and try some of their amazing cocktails, I think I managed 5 different ones. Be At One's the ideal place to relax with family or friends in it's comfortable surroundings and enjoy a fancy cocktail or two.
Disclosure: I was invited to the Be At One VIP Pre-Opening party to check out the bar and try some of their cocktails. All the opinions in this post are 100% honest and my own.
Monday, 9 May 2016
Win a Surprise Prize this month!
The sun is shining and it's pretty hot out there so this month I'm going to shake things up a little bit. I'm taking away the chocolate and replacing it with a .. Nice Surprise!
The sun is shining and it's pretty hot out there so this month I'm going to shake things up a little bit. I'm taking away the chocolate and replacing it with a .. Nice Surprise!
The box above is not the actual box you will get but I promise you the prize is lovely. It could be anything from a voucher to a gift card, a toy or a book. A gift set or an Item of clothing. It really could be anything! I have build up quite a nice supply of prizes recently so I shall match the prize to the winner once they've been drawn so be careful what you wish for.
That doesn't mean I'm going to send you an Ipad or a Dream Holiday, although that would be lovely. To enter: you're going to tell me what you would like to win but please be realistic. If I can't give you the prize you ask for due to costs, I will give you something similar.
To Enter simply use the RaffleCopter Form below and Good Luck.
Terms and Conditions: Open to the UK only. Ends Tuesday May 31st. One lucky winner will be drawn at random from all the correctly made entries - Good Luck x
Cocktails & Facials with The Body Shop New St
Last Thursday I attended the Cocktails & Facials VIP event at The Body Shop New St - Birmingham. The event was being hosted by the lovely Bloggers Parlour who host events throughout the Midlands bringing Bloggers, Youtubers and Social Media Influencers together. Their events are fun and entertaining and this one was no different.
20 lovely ladies were invited along to the Body Shop store on New Street, Birmingham to check out their newly decorated store whilst enjoying cocktails and facials with their lovely staff. We played lots of games and talked a lot. There were snacks and even cake.
The games were very Social Media based like sharing pics on Instagram or Tweeting on Twitter so there was lots to do. One of the games was to pick four products we'd love and arrange them in a pretty fashion and share a picture of what we choose. Here's mine.
Not very artistic but I gave it a good shot, it was a little tricky finding the perfect space in the such a busy area but I think I did okay. I didn't win a prize for it but I did win a different one.
One of the games was to make our own cocktail and name it. I called mine the 'Body Boomer' after the Body Shop and won a VIP goody bag for my efforts, eek!
There were lots of games to play and a whole host of other bloggers to meet. I really enjoyed chatting to some new faces as well as catching up with some not so new but all were lovely. Everyone was really friendly and the atmosphere was very happy and chatty.
I loved the new layout of the store, everything looked so fresh and organised. It's been years since I've been inside a Body Shop store so I couldn't believe how much it had all changed. There was still some of my old favourite like their White Musk body spray but also lots of new stuff like their exciting Make Up range which I instantly fell in love with.
The staff were very friendly, helpful and insightful into the products. They really knew their stuff which was great as me being a newbie was pretty clueless. They were smiley and more than happy to help match colours to our skin tone and creams to our perfect smells.
Not only did I leave with my VIP goody bad prize but we also got a pretty cool goody bag for attending too. Want to see what was inside, yeah - of course you do.
How lovely was that, I can't wait to try the Body Butter, it smells so good.
I think I'll have to start visiting The Body Shop more often.
Disclosure: I attended this event through the Bloggers Parlour. This is not a sponsored post - I have written about the event because I enjoyed attending it. My post is my words.
Sunday, 8 May 2016
Family Days at the park now involve the Whole Family thanks to my new Adult Scooter from Skates #Review
Family Days at the park now involve the Whole Family thanks to my new Adult Scooter from Skates.
Family trips to the local park used to mean three kids scooting all over the place with Mummy (me) walking behind. I could never keep up with them, no matter how hard I tried.
I've been looking at getting an adult scooter for a long time now but never quite got the courage to buy myself one. I was worrying about looking silly or looking out of place but now I don't care about those things. Being able to join in with my kids on days out, having fun is what's more important. I mean, life's too short too care what other people think, right?
So a few weeks back when Skates (a pretty cool scooter and skates store) offered me the chance to review one of their scooters, I gladly jumped at the chance. I was so excited about finally getting my very own scooter. I just couldn't wait to try it out with the kids.
Check out the brand new Frenzy FR145 145mm Recreational Scooter which is perfect for anyone who wishes to make their commuting life easier or free time even more fun. Commuting from work or school has never been easier as they fold down flat for easy storage and also include a cool carry strap for easy transportation. I love it!
The Frenzy FR145 145mm Recreational Scooter has:
- Adjustable Bars and Easy Fold System
- Oversized Metal Fender Brake
- 145mm 82A Wheels
- ABEC 7 Bearings
- Carry Strap
- Kick Stand
- Maximum Rider Weight: 100kg
- Maximum Bar Height: 97.5cm
I love the size of it, it's not too big that you can't carry it around but then it's a good size to accommodate an adult. We've been to the park several times since my new scooter arrived and I have to say, I love it. I'm no longer the boring Mummy at the park walking behind her kids whilst they have all the fun. I'm now that cool Mummy who's joining in and having fun with her kids. Some people may think I look a little silly but I don't really care what they think. Having fun with my children and making memories that will last a lifetime is all that matters. My Lily thinks it's pretty cool as you can see from the photographs below.
The Frenzy 145mm Recreational Scooter will cost you just £69.95 and comes with free delivery which is a pretty cool price for what you're getting. It's much cheaper than some of the others I've seen online but just as good, if not better. I've loved using my new adult scooter over the past few weeks and when I'm not using it my 13 year old daughter is, alongside her brother and sister. School runs have never been so quick or fun and park adventures have never been so entertaining. If you're thinking about getting one for yourself then I would. There's a whole world of adult scooting fun just waiting for you.
Disclosure: I received my Adult Scooter sample in return for an honest review.
Thursday, 5 May 2016
Playing Pie Face for National Board Games Week!
So, last week was National Board Games Week and with the help from the Pork Farms Board Games Championships we got to join in by playing Pie Face for a night.
My three children have been asking for this game for so long but I've had my reservations about it due to the mess factor. I did try to get them a copy at Christmas but it was sold out so last week I surprised them with it for our very own family games night and they were delighted. My little man who's 5 was jumping up and down, he was that happy with it.
We do have lots of games that we could have chosen from but I thought something new would be much more exciting and it was. We had so much fun playing it. Yes we did get a bit messy but that was okay and it wasn't a bad mess. In fact it was quite a yummy mess.
Pie Face is a very exciting game filled with fun and suspense, and somebody’s going to get splatted! You just put some whipped cream from home or the wet sponge (If you don't want to bye cream) on the "hand" of the game unit and start turning the handles.
The hand could go off at any time, so keep your fingers crossed and hope you’re not the one who gets a splat in the face. The aim of the game is simple, you score a point for every time you turn the handle without getting a pie in the face and the one who scores 25 points first is the winner. It's a little scary turning that handle but it's very funny when you get splatted or at least it's very funny when it's someone else and not you, I should say.
We had a great time playing Pie Face for our games night treat. We've not plaid it again since but I'm sure its' only a matter of time before it makes a reappearance real soon.
Thank you Pork Farms and Hasbro for making our games night so much fun!
Disclosure: We received our Pie Face game as a sample in return for an honest review.
Monday, 2 May 2016
History lessons, Crazy Mazes and Kings of the Castle. Our Day at Warwick Castle.
Rainy days and Monday don't get us down, oh no. A few drops of rain and busy Bank Holidays won't keep us inside. We packed out coats and headed off to Warwick Castle for the day. It's been a long time since we last visited and so much has changed since then so today seemed like as perfect day as any for our long over due visit and with our new Merlin Annual Passes in hand, there really was no reason for us not to go now, was there.
There's lots to see, do and learn at Warwick Castle. The kids were so excited to be inside a real castle and loved being able to take a tour of the inside as well as being able to climb the stairs all the way to the top. I think the sign said there were over 500 steps in total around the castle so if you're looking for something on the flat, then the towers definatley aren't for you but we loved them and the views from the top were amazing. I'm so glad I had my camera with me to capture them. Warwick Castle is set in the most beautiful surroundings.
Warwick Castle is full of exciting adventures waiting to be had, stories waiting to be heard and history waiting to be learnt. The Time Trail was fun with big screens telling stories about the castle's history. We got to see characters from the Castle's past as they travelled through time on an adventure through Warwick Castle’s dark history of bloodshed, death, treachery & destruction. Warwick Castle’s unknown story was told in full for the first time
We got to visit the Princess Tower and check out the castle's awesome Interiors. The Great Hall was very pretty and the bedrooms were just beautiful. I did we lived in a house like this at times. High ceilings, grand rooms and hired help, what's not to dream about.
With 64 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens there's lots to discover like their topiary peacocks, Victorian rose garden and of course the Pageant Playground which is a great little playground perfect for your princes and princesses. It's designed as a mini-fortress with slides, walkways and swings. It was a bit wet for us to play in today but I'm sure we will get to play on our return, hopefully in the Summer when it's drier and warmer.
The kids favourite part of today was the Horrible Histories Maze which is brand new this year, it opened on March 19Th 2016. When you enter the maze you choose your path through time to unravel history in the world’s first Horrible Histories adventure maze!
There's lots of fun challenges once inside, like invading a Viking ship, surviving the trenches and uncovering evil plots. We were in there for a good half hour as we got lost several times. On your way in, you pick up a little card with five places to find and when you find them there's a cute stamping station to stamp your cards. Once you've found them all you return the card to the shop to exchange it for a little treat, which was a lovely incentive. Getting in was easy but getting out was a little bit trickier, or at least it is when you have three children all running in different directions and you're trying to round them all up most of the time. Eventually we did manage to find our way out just in time to head home.
We've had a wonderful day filled with step climbing, sight seeing, magical mazes and more.
My youngest (aged 5) loved being at the top of the castle and getting up there was all part of the fun. He was running up the steps like a little pro unlike his 13 year old sister who spend the afternoon loudly letting us know how much here legs were tired. It was just great to get her away from the TV and her phone for a few hours so I'm pretty pleased with that.
Warwick Castle is fun for all the family, young and old alike. We really enjoyed our visit today but didn't get to do everything we would have liked to so we will be going back real soon. We didn't get to go The Castle Dungeon today so that's now on our list for next time.
Our day wouldn't have been possible without our Merlin Annual Passes so thanks Merlin!
I wonder which of their 32 attractions we will be visiting next - I can't wait!
Disclosure: We are Merlin Annual Pass Ambassadors 2016 but our reviews are written in my own words, expressing my own opinions and 100% honest. They are not influenced.