My Family

My Family

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.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Staying Cool - A Sky High Apartment for Two with a Beautiful View #Review

Staying Cool - A Sky High Apartment
 for Two with a Beautiful View.

I had the pleasure of spending the night in one of the most beautiful apartments in the heart of Birmingham, my home town this weekend. Everything felt very VIP from the moment I arrived in their grand foyer filled with beautiful ceiling lights to the fresh oranges left in my fridge ready to be squeezed into fresh orange juice. Everyone in Birmingham knows the famous Rotunda building, we knew it as the Coca Cola building when we were growing up. It was the tall round building in the very center of town, sat right on the Bullrings doorstep.

Staying Cool offer beautiful apartments blended with boutique hotel comfort so you get top hotel standards but with the space and freedom of an apartment. I got to stay in style at the top of the Rotunda on the 18th floor, just one floor below the top which had amazing views.

There are several choices of apartment, I stayed in their Mini Studio apartment which is small but perfectly formed, as they say. The apartment is spaciously laid out so that everything just flows. From the grand hallway entrance to the King Size bed in the bedroom. The comfortable open plan living room, to the fully equipped kitchen. They've thought of everything so that you don't have to. The apartment is packed full of little luxuries, your king size bed has a pocket sprung mattress and memory foam which is super firm and comfy. There's a table and swivel chairs to eat or work at and a sofa for two to relax on. The TV comes with Sky TV and a Blu-Ray DVD player as well as a speaker dock for extra fun.

Talking of little touches: there was a carton of milk in the fridge and tea, coffee and hot chocolate on the side. There was a nice selection of healthy cereals for use too. Another thing that I enjoyed were the fresh oranges hidden in the fridge ready for you to make into freshly squeezed orange juice with the help of the in house electric juicer provided. 

 This weekend was Birmingham Pride Weekend so Birmingham was full of noise and colour and fun. The apartment has amazing slide open windows that let you see right out over the city. I could see all the fun of the fair and hear all the music, it was great. With the windows open I could hear it all as I stood watching over the city feeling a little like Wonder Woman would maybe. That breeze blowing through my hair as I stood looking out over the city was enough to make me feel very special. Just like a VIP. You'll be glad to know that once the windows are shut you cannot hear much of the outside world, it's quite peaceful inside.

My favourite things about my stay:

The fast free WiFi - The WiFi was really fast and connected easily.

The comfortable bed - I had such a great nights sleep.
The Shower - Wow, who doesn't love a rain forest shower head.
The Bathrobes - The bathrobes were pure luxury, I wore mine all day.
The views - the views of my beloved city were amazing, see for yourself.

 This weekend has been so wonderful, one that won't be forgotten for a long time to come.

 It's not very often that you get to stay in such luxury. Everything was perfect, the staff were so friendly and helpful and the room was so spotless and spacious. It was everything I'd hoped it would be and so much more. The people at Staying Cool really go above and beyond to make sure that every stay in enjoyable, relaxing and comfortable. If I could stay there every weekend, I really would. It was a wonderful experience, I loved every minute.

The Mini Studio Apartment that I stayed in is available from  £95 per night.

 Thank you Staying Cool for such a wonderful stay.
 I hope to come back and stay again one day. 

Disclosure: I stayed in the Mini Studio Apartment complimentary for the purpose of this review. All the opinions and photography are 100% my own and entirely honest.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Get your Feet Flip Flop Ready with Superdrug this Summer #Review

Get your Feet Flip Flop Ready 
with Superdrug this Summer.

Summer is finally on it's way and we all want to get Flip Flop Ready or at least I know I do. Superdrug has a huge range of products made to do just that and I've been lucky enough to receive a few of them in the post to try out this week. Superdrug has a fantastic range of foot care products from the Rapid Pedi to buff away that tough, dry Winter skin… to cracked heel repair creams which ensure your skin stays supple and smooth all year round! 

Summer's warm temperatures mean we tend to wear no shoes more often which can often end up picking up some unwanted bacteria in the form of Verruca's which can spread really easily. Superdrug has a remover, treatment plasters and a repair cream which would all come in very useful in the unfortunate events that you do pick one up around the pool.

My two favourite products from the box were the Soothing Foot Lotion and the Exfoliating Foot Scrub. Both of which I will be using lots over the next few weeks. The soothing foot lotion is lovely, t's non greasy and soaks into your skin really quickly leaving you free to get on with other things. It leaves your skin feeling nice and soft and all fresh and summery. I do love a good skin exfoliation and this foot one is no different, it's a great way to get rid of the rough patches without any pain or uncomfortable scrubbing. I really liked both of these products. There's also a Super Absorbent Foot Powder which is great for after the bath.

Last not least there was some useful Nail Files and some party shoe accessories. No one likes sore feet when they wear heels so these Sore Spot Invisible Gel patches and Ball of Foot Cushions were the perfect way to avoid that. I've used these cushions for many years now as I'm a bit of a light weight when it comes to wearing heels on a Girl's Night Out.

There's some really lovely products now at Superdrug to help get your feet Summer ready. 

With a little help, You'll be ready for those flip flops in no time!

Disclosure: I received my Superdrug samples in return for an honest review.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Close Encounters at the West Midlands Safari Park #Review

Close Encounters at the West Midlands Safari Park

This weekend has been pretty darn awesome., one that we won't forget for a long time.
We set off on Saturday on a rather cloudy day feeling quite gloomy but returned home several hours later full or happiness and warmth. It's been several years since our last visit to the West Midlands Safari Park. Over 3 years in fact as adorable baby Sutton wasn't born on our last visit and now he's 3 years old after celebrating his birthday last week.

As a huge animal loving family we were all so excited for our day out. Getting to see all the beautiful animals up close and personal, nothing quite beats that amazing feeling. Most of the animals are free to walk around, among the cars. Only the Lions and Tigers are behind fences but that's probably for the best as it's scary enough being that close to them even though they are incredible to watch. I wouldn't want to get too close to them though - eek.

The West Midlands Safari Park opened back in 1973 and is home to around 140 different species of animal. It's four mile long drive through safari is something quite spectacular. We drove around as soon as we arrived, buying 4 boxes of food on entry (£3.50 a box) to feed some of the more gentle animals, like the Zebra, Giraffes and the Deer (Ryan's favorite).

It's amazing seeing these beautiful creatures so close up, they literally pop their heads through your car window to say hello or eat dinner more likely but I like to think it was the previous. I had 2 super excited children and 1 rather nervous one who sat hid in the middle away from the windows. You can get as close or as far away as you like, you don't have to open your windows but we loved it. Feeding the animals was magical, just take a look.

The safari is split into African and Asian areas, full of sign boards with interesting facts and stunning animals running free in groups just going about their day. We stopped by to see baby Sutton who's not so much a baby any more but still an absolute joy to watch. We must have stopped there just watching for a good 10 minutes. Seeing him playing with fallen tree branches and bonding with the adult Elephants around him. He was such a sweetie.

 We loved seeing the animals so much that we actually drove around the whole safari twice. Once when we arrived at 10.30 am and again a bit later around 3 pm just before we left. The second time was much quieter but both times were just as enjoyable. Ryan wanted to go round again but sadly it was getting late by that time and we finally left around 5 pm. 

There's so many animals to see, I could show you my photographs all day long but there are just too many so I've picked out just a few to give you a taster of what we saw.

The drive through safari is amazing but it's just apart of what's to do at the West Midlands Safari Park. There's also an exciting theme park full of rides for all the family but we didn't go on these as they did cost a little extra, not too much but we were happy just spending our day with the animals this time. There's a Discovery Trail with animal exhibits and shows. A Penguin cove where the coolest Penguins hung out and a Sea Aquarium full of pretty fish.

The Twilight Cave is pretty awesome as you get to walk through a cave where bats fly freely around you, Lily was a little scared but the rest of it loved it. It's not for you if you're scared of bats. It's very dark, so be prepared to jump out of your skin like I did when they fly past.

One thing you must see is the beautiful Rainbow Parakeet's in the Lorikeet Landing. It's not open all the time but does open several times a day so do try and time it right. You get to see the Rainbow Parakeets up close as you get to walk through their home. You can purchase little pots of food for them (we bought 4) as feeding them was so much fun. I'd never had a bird on my hand before let alone on my head, my back and my arm. Again if you don't like Birds, it's not for you but for us, this was the highlight of our entire visit.

There's so much to see and do at the West Midlands Safari Park. We had an amazing day and can't wait to go back real soon. The animals are incredible, they're all so beautiful and special in their own way. Some may be bigger and scarier than others but we loved them all.

There's loads more to do but we simply ran out of time to do it all. One thing Ryan wanted to do was visit the Land of The Living Dinosaurs which lets you step back in time to come face to face with some of the largest, most unusual and fearsome animals to ever have roamed the Earth. There's over 40 life sized, animatronic Dinosaurs. The roars and movements are very realistic so be prepared to jump once or twice, it was fun and enjoyable to walk around.

There's some nice little photo opportunity points along the way too.

 Admission prices include a free return which is lovely as you get to do it all over again.

If you've never been before, you really should, especially if you're animal lovers like us.

Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review.