My Family

My Family

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Need Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day? Check Out My Gift Guide for Ideas. #GiftGuide

Need Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day?
Check Out My Gift Guide for Ideas.

Every Valentines Day's the same for me, I forget it's coming, I panic, and then I struggle to find the perfect gift at the last minute so this year I've found a few ideas to help us all out. 

Some of my Gift Ideas are a little 'different' but different is good sometimes. I've found some low budget sweet treats and chocolates, more traditional gifts like flowers, some food and drinks for the foodies and some extra little, higher budget treats for the Men in our lives.

For the Foodies I have a lovely selection of wines for you. Just feast your eyes on these:

From Left to Right we have: 

The Ned Pinot Grigio 2018, New Zealand from Majestic £10.99.
El Tesoro de las Montañas 2016, Argentina from Ocado £8.99.
La Boheme Act 4 Syrah Gamay 2017, Australia from Oxford Wine £14.99.
Canevel Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, Italy from Oakham Wines £17.95.
Tesco Finest Saint Mont 2016, France from Tesco £6.00.
The Ned Pinot Rosé 2017, New Zealand from Majestic £12.99.

For the Non Alcoholic drinkers this Valentine's Day, I have an alcohol-free brand called Botonique which is a unique British-made, natural, dry, sparkling non-alcoholic drink which is available in both an original and blush.Prices start from £15 for 2 x 750ml bottles. 

For the Sweetie lovers I have the HARIBO Heart Throbs Gift Box which come in two sizes, 140g and 380g's. Filled with pretty jelly and foam hearts, this cute gift box is the perfect present for the sweet lover in your life. How about some Heart Throbs for your Heart Throb?

For the food lovers, how about spicing your Valentine's Day up with a bottle of Encona’s Limited Edition Carolina Reaper Chilli Sauce - the perfect gift for fiery lovers. It's a sauce not the faint hearted as it's proper spicy stuff but if your partner loves spicy, then they'll love this. It's Encona's Hottest Sauce yet and has a warning on the bottle to 'Try at your own Risk'.

For the Meat Eaters in your life, I have something a little but quirky, The Man Box which is a cute little gift box full of delicious, British artisan snacks and a beer! It includes some chutney, pork crackling, salami and lager. Priced at £22 it's definitely something different. This is one my man would like as it's full of wonderful little treats for the V Day evening.

If you're looking for something special to wear, I have the Levis T Shirt and Boxers Set from Mainline menswear which have lots of other great Valentine's Day gift ideas too. This gift set costs £30 which is my most expensive gift in my guide but it's still not too expensive. You can't go wrong with a plain white T shift and classic Black Boxers really and with the Levi name attached, the guy in your life will feel really spoilt. It comes in a nice tin too.

For a more traditional gift, how about 12 Red & White Roses from Blossoming Gifts. Every lady loves flowers and these ones are beautiful. Prices start from £19.99 so they're reasonably priced for a nice gift this Valentine's Day and sure to bring a smile to anyone's face. I know I'd be happy if these were delivered to my door on the big day, they're stunning.

Last but not least I have the GioTeck TX Headsets for the Gamers or Music lovers in your life. Compatible with all major gaming and mobile devices, these headphones would make a really useful gift. Gioteck's new TX Range is built for a demanding new generation of gamers and music lovers. One year in research & development, all TX headsets deliver an impeccable blend of features, quality and design and best of all, they're affordable too.

From Left to Right we have:

The GioTeck TX-40 Headset in white/red is available now for £24.99 at Argos.
The GioTeck TX-30 Headset in red is available now for £19.99 at Argos.

I hope my Gift Guide inspires you and helps you find your perfect gift this year.

Disclosure: I received samples in return for honest reviews and inclusion in my Gift Guide but each gift has been hand picked and approved by me to only include the best.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Bar + Block Steakhouse Birmingham #Review

Bar + Block Steakhouse Birmingham

Last night Hubby and I went on our first monthly Date Night of 2019 and what a lovely Date Night is was too. We headed into the City Centre to the Bar + Block Steakhouse on Waterloo Street which looked great from the outside. It looked really fresh and modern and really stood out on the row. It's black and red theme was eye catching and the big glass windows were very inviting. We could see from the outside that it was quite busy inside, seeing as it was only just gone 6pm, which is always a good sign of a good place to go.

Aw we headed inside we were greeted by a friendly member of staff who swiftly showed us to our table which was a beautiful booth situated right in front of their open plan Kitchen so we could see everything that was going on. I almost felt like we'd been given the best seats in the house which made me feel very special. Our waiter brought us a bottle of water and a pot of their Beef Popcorn to share whilst we were browsing the Menu which was interesting.

I'm not quite sure what I thought of this really as it was a little bit of an odd combination. The first few pieces I tried, I didn't think I really liked it but as the evening went on, I found myself picking out a few more pieces and actually started to enjoy them. They're odd, but they seem to work. The Mr wasn't quite sure either but he ate a few pieces to give them a try.

The Menu was lovely, it offered a nice variety of steaks and cuts of meat. Their classic cuts come from British breeds of cattle reared across the Pampas in South America. These cuts are all aged for a minimum of 28 days and then hand cut on site, so you can have your steak as big as you want it - you only have to ask. I thought this was a really great idea as the biggest steak on the Menu is the 10oz but in the end we found that was big enough for us. After a quick deliberation we knew what we wanted to order. Check out our choices:

Starters: We went for the Grazing Plates:

I chose the Asian Crispy Beef (Crispy pulled beef tossed in hoisin, cucumber, spring onion, chilli and coriander) which was very nice. Plentiful in flavour, delicious in taste and more than enough in size. I was delighted with my choice and enjoyed every mouthful.

The Mr chose the Salt & Pepper Squid (Crispy salt and pepper squid mixed with chilli and garlic, served with lemon & garlic mayo and a wedge of lemon) which he enjoyed. The Squid was light and crispy and the Lemon and Garlic Mayo was the perfect addition. A clean bowl is a always a good sign that he enjoyed it so I'm happy to say that he really did.

For our Mains:

I went for one of their Speciality Cuts, the Spiral Cut Fillet 10oz, a unique dish created by spiral cutting the fillet and marinating it in garlic and parsley for 24 hours for tenderness and flavour. I asked for my Steak to be cooked 'Medium Well' and have to say, it was cooked perfectly. Slightly pink inside but not bloody, just the way I like it so I was very happy. Taste wise, the steak was delicious but I wasn't too keen on the dressing as it was a bit too oily for my liking. It was OK though as the waited brought me some Mayo which soon fixed that right up. For me the highlight was the Beef dripping triple cooked chunky chips which were yum! Crispy on the outside but so light and fluffy on the inside, they were so so moreish.

The Mr went for the Deconstructed Beef Wellington which was a 10oz sliced fillet served on layers of puff pastry filled with garlic spinach and creamy truffle flavour mushrooms, served with a rich Malbec sauce. When I saw his, I was kind of jealous that I hadn't ordered it for myself as it looked that good. He said it was delicious and ate every bite quite happily.

The food at Bar + Block was really good. Everything tasted good and the service was fab too. Our waiter paid us just the right amount of attention to be helpful but not annoying. He made jokes and smiled and talked us about life in general which was a nice touch. He also helped me choose some drinks to enjoy with our meal. Mr was driving so opted for soft drinks whilst I went for one of their show stopper cocktails, the Candy Floss Martini. Eeek!

Last but not least we had Desserts which again were lovely.

I had the Sticky Toffee Pudding, Served with salted caramel ice cream. It was delicious. This is always my favourite pudding to eat when I'm out and this one did not disappoint at all.

The Mr had the Lemon & Clementine Cheesecake, Drizzled with summer berries. He made lots of 'OOh' sounds as he gobbled it down and then said something like 'that was so good' once it was all gone. I think he ate it so fast as he was scared I was going to ask for a bite.

It did look very nice though. Next time I'll have to be quicker and I might get to try it.

We had a wonderful evening at Bar + Block Birmingham last night. We spent a total of 2 and a half hours enjoying our meal last night and didn't feel rushed at any point but we didn't feel like we'd had to wait in between course that long either which was great. There was a really relaxed atmosphere and everyone seemed to be generally having a good time which was nice to see. The restaurant was very busy by the time we left but busy in a productive not manice way. The staff seem to work really hard but always smiling which again was fab.

Would I go back? Hell Yes! I must go back real soon for more of their beautiful Candy Floss Martinis which were just so yummy. Normally for a review I would order several different drinks for you too see but this one was just so good that I actually just ordered more of them. So, Oops. Sorry about that but you really have no idea just how lovely it was. 

Date Night number One of 2019 was a huge success. We both had a fantastic night.

Disclosure: We were invited to dine at Bar + Block Birmingham as complimentary guests in return for an honest review. All opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own.

Monday, 14 January 2019

#Win a Valentine Treasure Box

Win a Valentine Treasure Box 

Welcome to my very first Blog giveaway of 2019. I hope you've all have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year. I know most of you may have had enough chocolate over Christmas to last you a lifetime but some of us, like me, has started to run out now.

Now that Christmas is over, it's time for the next event on our calendar to look forward too. Valentine's Day is heading our way and will be here before we know it so I thought I'd give away a little treat for all the lovers out there. Now you don't have to be in a relationship to celebrate Valentines as it's OK to simply Love yourself. Love for yourself is just as important as our Love for each other. Sometimes we forget about ourselves so here's a treat for YOU!

If you'd like to win a Valentine Treasure Box from Cadbury containing Milk Tray, Roses and more then you're in the right place. To WIN: Simply use the Rafflecopter Form below to complete as many or as few of the entries as you like. It's completely up to you but remember, the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win. 1 winner will be chosen at random using the Rafflecopter App on Monday February 10th 2019 - Good Luck.

Terms and Conditions: One winner will be drawn at random using the Rafflecopter App. 
This Giveaway is only open to the UK. The giveaways ends on Monday February 10th x

JAKKS Pacific - Pull My Finger Game #Review

JAKKS Pacific - Pull My Finger Game

This week we've been playing a game that sounds a little funny, in more ways than one. As soon as they saw the box, the kids couldn't help but giggle, snigger and laugh out loud. 

Pull My Finger is our newest game we're playing this week. I love the fact there's no batteries needed and it's really easy to set up and play. It's aimed at children aged 4 years+ and costs around £14.99 in most big toy stores. Inside the box there's the Monkey and a base which simply clicks onto the Monkey to make him stand up. There's his tail, which click into place and a Banana Spinner which you'll need to play the game. There's also two Monkey Bottom's which again, just click into place. There is two but one is a spare as you only need one to play. Having a spare is a great idea though as we don't know how long each one will last. We've been playing with our for over two weeks and we're still on the first bottom so they're not going to break too easily or quickly which is great news to know.

Once everything is clicked together, the game is so simple yet so funny to play. You take it in turns to spin the banana spinner, pull the Monkey’s finger the number of times you got on your go, and watch his bottom inflate with each pull! My kids couldn't stop laughing, they thought this was hilarious. How big will his bottom get? How long can he hold it in? 

The aim of the game is to avoid the Farts and win! We don't normally say the word 'Fart' in our house so the kids thought it was great that they could say it whilst playing this game.

It was really funny watching his bottom get bigger.


Until eventually it lets out a loud Fart noise and everyone bursts into laughter.

It does take quite a few finger pulls before he Farts but my kids quite liked that as it made the game last longer and really builds up the suspense and anticipation which is great.

The kids love this game, it makes them laugh every time. It silly and fun and just great. I can see this game being quite popular with them for a good while to come. I can't see them getting bored of watching the bottom grow and hearing the Monkey Fart any time soon.

 Disclosure: We received a complimentary game in return for this honest review.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Birmingham - Our Very First Visit.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Birmingham.
Our Very First Visit.

With two very excited children in tow, this morning, we headed into the City Centre to visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre which we've been dying to visit since it opened up last year. It's aimed at children aged between 3 and 10, making us, ideal aged visitors. OK, so Lily is 11 now but she's practically still 10 to us. Ryan, aged 8 and Lily both love LEGO.

We booked a spot for Midday and headed over to check it all out. We've not been to any of the Discovery Centres before so we had no idea what to expect. We'd checked out the website before our visit to see what was there and have to say we were looking forward to it.

Upon entry, we were greeted by lots of friendly staff and show toward an elevator which was the start of our adventure. The elevator took us down a level to the main areas of play. Our first stop was the Kingdom Quest Ride which was lots of fun. It's a ride along ride where you sit in a carriage and shoot your way through a sequence of challenges to save the LEGO characters. I never win at these kind of things but today I did it, today I won!! Whoop, go me.

Next up was MiniLand which was my favourite part of today. MiniLand is a room filled with LEGO creations of famous Birmingham buildings. We saw the Mailbox and the Bullring. Grand Central Station and the Birmingham Library which was really cool. The creations were amazing, so well built and realistic. There were lots of little features that worked too so the children could get involved and help move some of the pieces in the displays which was cool. We got to move the horses in a Warwickshire Castle horses duel and play a game of football at the Aston Villa football ground. It was us against the Blues, so of course we won!

One of the really cool parts of MiniLand is that every so often the whole room goes dark so all the buildings can light up just like they would in real life at night time. There was even a fireworks display which lit up the walls, that was really great to watch. The kids loved it.

Once out of the MiniLand room, we went into the main area which had everything else in. It's one big room with lots of little areas within it. There's lots of LEGO stations for you to build at, Daddy and Ryan had lots of fun building their own cars for the Build and Test Area. 

There's a Creative Workshop that runs every half hour or so where you can meet the Master Builders and even build something with them. There's a 4D cinema which shows 3 different movies every half hour too. We got to watch the NEXO KNIGHTS 4D Movie which was great fun, I don't want to spoil it for you but it does rain inside which gave us a little shock.

We had a great time today, spending a good two hours in total. If I'm honest, it's much smaller than I was expecting but overall we had a nice time. The kids enjoyed the soft play area, I think they disappeared into there for a good half hour so they must have been having a good time. The Merlin's Apprentice Ride was a flying kind of ride that was powered by you pedaling to make it go up. Lily and I had a go on this which was fun but it did make my legs ache a little as Lily wanted to fly as high as it would go the whole time it was moving, ouch.

Tickets for the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Birmingham cost £20 each on the door or £15 if you book in advance online which I would recommend that you do to save yourself some money. For a family of 5 like mine it will cost you £100 for a visit which is quite a lot really.

Please note: All adults and children aged 3 years and over will require a ticket. Adults aged 18 and over must be accompanied by a child aged 17 years or younger to gain entry.

I think we'll definitely go back again for another visit at some point in the year as there was lots to do that we didn't get around to doing today. I'm hoping they'll build some new amazing Birmingham Buildings for us to see in the future as they were the highlight of my day. Lily's best bit was the soft play area whilst Ryan loved racing cars with Daddy.

Watch this space to see what happens on our next visit.

Disclosure: We were invited to the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Birmingham as guests today for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are 100% honest and our own.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

2019 and Our Plans for the Year ahead.

2019 and Our Plans for the Year ahead.

Happy New Year everyone, it's now officially 2019. Looking forward to the year ahead, there's so much I'd like to happen for us, like a bigger home and the wedding I've been dreaming of since I was a little girl but most of that isn't realistically going to happen so I'm going to dream small and aim for some smaller things to look forward to this year instead.

Top of my 2019 List is: Travel

Travel is a must for me this year, I really want to take my not so little family of 5 which is such an awkward number when it comes to traveling as we all know, somewhere totally amazing, where memories can be made to last a lifetime. The kids are all growing up so fast so I'm determined to make the most of the Summer's we have together before they all grow up and don't want to come on holidays with me anymore. This Summer I'm going to work my butt off to get us somewhere great. Somewhere where it's warm and sunny with a beautiful beach, gorgeous swimming pool and a disco every night, with a bar too of course.

I want to make more glorious memories like this one.

Next on my 2019 List is: Going Out More

I know I said I was keeping my dreams small but travelling just makes me so happy and you can't really put a price on happiness. Whilst I'll be working away to pay for this holiday, I need to do smaller things to make me happy as I go. This year I want to add more excitement into my life. I want to go out dancing with friends. I want to go to the cinema more often and eat out too. I want more family days out and more trips to the park. I just want to get out more. I've gotten so lazy these past few years that going out has become something that we just don't do anymore and it's got to change. 2019 is going to be the year of going out. I could go to the Theatre or out for Afternoon Tea. I could go see a concert or have a picnic in the park. 

I could do all the things that I've simply forgotten I could do.

Last but not Least on my 2019 List is: Stop Stressing

Stop worrying and stressing about all the little things in our lives that I cannot change. I'm a real worrier and spend way too much time crying over things I can't change. It's time to let go a little and try to enjoy life a little more. It's time to stop stressing and start smiling. Time wasted on stress and worry is time lost and gone, you can't get it back so it's got to stop. 

2019 is going to be a good year for my family and I. Not because lots of amazing things are going to happen to us, although that would be nice, but because I'm going to appreciate and be thankful for the smaller things this year. Making whatever happens to us, a good year. 

Whatever you're planning for 2019 - I hope all your dreams, big and small, ALL come true x