My Family

My Family

Sunday, 30 August 2020

It's Back to Hogwarts Time! #Review

It's Back to Hogwarts Time! 

The 1st of September is a momentous day in the wizarding world calendar: this is the day the Hogwarts students return for a new term. Catch the Hogwarts Express, while the first years discover the castle for the first time. Though this year may look a bit different than in the past, the time has arrived to pack your trunk, ready your school supplies and prepare to go Back to Hogwarts - virtually! You can enjoy their collection of features and activities to help make your celebrations as special as can be. It's all very exciting for Harry Potter fans.


We're all huge Harry Potter fans in this house. We've read all the books and watched all the movies, several times over. We have lots of the toys, wands and merchandise and love playing Magical make believe, so when we heard about going Back to Hogwarts, we just had to join in as we'll be going back to school ourselves next week. It's all very exciting, and a little scary too if we're honest but that's a whole different story for another time.

This week we've been checking out the Back to Hogwarts, Back to School range from Asda which is all so awesome! There's the cute Chibi print lunch bag featuring Harry, Hermione and Ron which also has a matching Water Bottle. They're both really cool, Ryan loves them!


And, then there's the gorgeous Harry Potter Shield logo backpacks which are available in all four houses. We have the Gryffindor backpack of course as that's our house team of choice.


Ryan loves the leather straps and the funky red colouring of his new bag. He's so excited and can't wait to show it off to all of his classmates next week. It is a really beautiful bag!

And last but not least, there's The Harry Potter Stationery Set which includes everything you need to get Back To Hogwarts: a pen, pencil, eraser, pencil sharpener and ruler – all with classic Harry Potter decoration. Nothing beats the feeling of getting brand new stationery. 


Inside our Magic Box of treats we found this awesome LEGO Harry Potter Hedwig which Ryan is looking forward to building soon. Harry Potter Gryffindor Robes for both adults and children which you can see Ryan wearing quite happily in the first picture. Also inside our box was the super exciting, Harry Potter Magic Capsules from YuMe Toys and Kap Toys.


You need to open the Hogwarts inspired crest and find the packages to discover the magic. Use colour coded, heat and water to reveal the clues you'll need to unlock the surprise within. There's 10 characters to collect in Series 1, including 1 rare character and 1 ultra rare. Each capsule contains, 1 Hogwarts Character, 1 Fantastic Beast pets, 1 wands and a surprise accessories. Ryan loves surprise element toys so he loved this. Mixing harry Potter with an unboxing style toy makes for a huge hit with my kids, they absolutely love them. 

Want to see what we found inside our Harry Potter Magical Capsule?

We got the very lovely and very talented, Hermione. And, she's so cute!


Ryan is super excited about going back to school next week just like all those brand new students heading Back To Hogwarts. He's going to wear his new bag, fll his lunchbox and water bottle, pack his pencil case full of treats and bound into the school, bursting with excitement. Like every new or returning student this September, it's an exciting time of year.

Disclosure: We received our Harry Potter Products in Return for an Honest Review.

Monday, 10 August 2020

Days Out: Go Ape Coventry #Review

Days Out: Go Ape Coventry Review


We are so excited to be finally going on local West Midlands, days out again, we've missed them so much. All work and no play makes for a really boring lifestyle and not one that we want to live in. We try to plan a family day out every month, even if it's just one as getting out and having some good old family fun is when all the important memories are made. 

After being closed for months due to current situation, we were so happy to hear that Go Ape was back open. We headed to our nearest centre which is Go Ape Coventry and signed up for their Treetop Adventure + course which is the highest one we could do with their height restrictions. Ryan is 10 years old but a little short for his age which often causes issues for us on our days out because he's often too small to ride or take part on everything.


The Treetop Adventure + course combines all the fun and excitement of their smaller Treetop Adventure course, with more extreme and tricky obstacles, perfect for families with older children. It's suitable for children over 1.2 meters and 6 years of age which was perfect for us as Ryan is currently 1.25 meters tall. Rock Walls, Prison Bars, and Tank Traps are just some of the extra crossings you’ll have to master, all culminating in an extra zip wire.


We had the most wonderful time on Sunday up in the trees, the weather was beautiful and the whole place was just so much fun. The staff were all kitted out in full face visors and the was hand sanitizer bottles everywhere so it all felt nice and safe throughout. There were cones on the floor to mark out their social distancing plans which again was all great stuff.

Days out like these are the highlights of our month. Just doing these activities together is a real treat. We all took part in the activities, although some did more than others but overall we all had a very enjoyable time. Lily and I did 2 of the 4 courses and then decided to sit the rest out as that was more than enough for us but Daddy and Ryan carried on and managed to complete all 4 of the courses within their set hour time slot. They made it look so easy.


The good thing about Go Ape is that there's a course suitable for all ages, as there's the Treetop Adventure Course for children of all ages over 1 meter tall which lasts for 1 hour. Then there's the Treetop Adventure + Course that we did for children aged over 6 and taller than 2 meters which was perfect for our family group. And last but not least, there's the Treetop Challenge which is for children and adults of all ages who are taller than 1.4 meters. This one lasts between 2 to 3 hours and isn't for the faint hearted as it's made up of adventurous zip wires and so much more. For the adults and everyone over 16, there's a rather awesome Axe Throwing activity available too, that did look pretty cool as we passed.

We all had so much fun on Sunday and would go back again in a heartbeat. Go Ape is definitely high up on our list of favourite days out as it's so adventurous, just like us!


Disclosure: We were gifted out tickets for free in return for an honest review.

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Smoby Aquaplay Superset #Review

Smoby Aquaplay Superset



Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day here in Birmingham which gave us the perfect opportunity to test out our newest toy from Smoby. My boy has always been a huge fan of water play so this one was perfect for him, even if he is a little older than the recommended age for it. You're never too old to play with water though. This fun Aquaplay Superset is packed with features designed to encourage play and learning. Kids will love moving the boat through the canals and letting the water lift the boat in the lock. They can use the crane to load the containers from the boat to the truck and back again too. It's really bright and colourful and so easy to set up, we literally had it all up and ready in about 10 minutes which was great. It was much easier to put together than I had thought it would be. This great value set is just one of many so it's extendable too. You can add all sorts of extensions, other playsets and accessories making your water play fun as big as you'd like it ot be.


 There's lots of lovely little features on this set to make their water play more fun. Ryan loved using the interchangeable locks to watch how the water moved from one space in the set to another, I don't think he'd seen anything like that before other than in books so he had great fun exploring the feature for himself. There was a water pump to play with and a ramp and movable crane too. Ryan played with this set for hours yesterday in the sunshine and didn't get bored at all. He loves water play, always has, but this set takes water play to a whole new level than we're used too. Who knew a playset could teach you so much about the movement of water and still be so much fun at the same time. Both Ryan and I really love this set and would happily recommend it to all our friends and family. It's quite a large set but it fits nicely into the back garden. Our garden is on a slight slope so our water was always running off downhill so  would recommend you try keep it on a flat surface for the best play. 

The Smoby Aquaplay Superset from Very costs £54.99.

Disclosure: We received our Smoby Aquaplay Superset in return for an honest review.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Childcare.co.uk - The Easy Way to Find Local Childcare

Childcare.co.uk
The Easy Way to Find Local Childcare 


Maybe you're looking for some extra childcare to help you out during the Summer Holidays or maybe you're looking for some extra help for when they return to school in September. It's been a crazy few months for all of us and the world is changing fast so who knows what kind of extra help we will need. I'm quite lucky that I have grandparents close by to help me out when I get stuck but I know a lot of others who are not so lucky and rely on local childcare to get them through the days. Juggling children with work can prove a real challenge sometimes so finding good, trustworthy, local child care can be a daunting task.

But that's where I may be able to help you today.

Childcare.co.uk is a platform which allows parents to search for and connect with local babysitters, childminders, nannies, nurseries, private tutors and schools and also allows childcare providers to advertise their services too. The site has more than 2 million users nationwide and is the largest online community for parents in the UK having launched in 2009. You simply enter your postcode and the kind of child care you need and click search.



You can create a free account in minutes and no payment details are required. You can see real reviews from people who have used the site and found just what they were looking for. 

Helping you to learn about the child care provider experience, qualifications, availability and fees. It's all right there in one place for you to search and see. If you find something suitable for you, you can use their safe and secure messaging system to communicate with carers.

Childcare.co.uk could make searching for your next child care provider so much quicker, simpler and easier, so what's not to love about it. We may have a lot of time on our hands right now but there's much better things we could be spending it on other than searching.


So, if you're currently looking for local childcare, I do hope this helps.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with Childcare.co.uk

Monday, 3 August 2020

Birmingham's Best Places to Eat out In August with 50% Off using the Gov Eat Out To Help Out Scheme

Birmingham's Best Places to Eat out In August with 
50% Off using the Gov Eat Out To Help Out Scheme.


Today's the first day of the Government's new Eat Out to Help Out scheme to get people back into local restaurants and eating out again. I am actually really excited about this and can't wait to take full advantage of the scheme to have as much fun as I can whilst saving as much money as I can. We've already got a few places booked in for our family to visit over the next few weeks but we will hopefully be visiting a few more surprise ones too.

Businesses using the new scheme will offer a 50% reduction on all it's food and soft drinks, up to a maximum of £10 per person every Monday to Wednesday throughout August. If you order to takeaway you will not be eligible for any discount. You must eat in to qualify for it.

You can use the Restaurant Finder by simply popping in your postcode and it will bring up a list of all the businesses that are offering the discount local to you. Please be aware that not everyone taking part is listed on here just yet but a top tip to remember is if you keep an eye on your favourite restaurants social media pages you may find a few more treats.

The Restaurants listed close to me in the Birmingham (Erdington) area are:

KFC

Ground Floor, 40-42 High Street, B23 6RH

A.S. Cafe & Diner

77-79, High Street, West Midlands, B23 6SA

OIKOS Café

58 High Street, Erdington, West Midlands, B23 6RH

York cafe

8 York Road, Erdington, West Midlands, B23 6TE

Pepe's Piri Piri

133 High Street, Erdington, West Midlands, B23 6SA

Birmingham Hall Food Limited T/A Sams Chicken

210 High Street, Erdington, West Midlands, B23 6SJ

ERBIL SHARWAMA & GRILL LIMITED

260-262, High Street, West Midlands, B23 6SN

SUBWAY

328-330 Marsh Lane, West Midlands, B23 6HP

Ebony & Ivory Elegant Room B&R Ltd

163 Reservoir Road, Erdington, West Midlands, B23 6DN

The Boldmere Tap

363 Boldmere Road, West Midlands, B73 5HE

1580 Contemporary Indian Dining

710 Chester Road, Erdington, West Midlands, B23 5TE

McDonald's

724 Chester Road, Erdington, West Midlands, B24 0EA

Sweet The Dessert Shop Limited

422 Birmingham Road, West Midlands, B72 1YJ

Windowbox Cafe

418 Birmingham Road, West Midlands, B72 1YJ

Atlantis Fish Bar

408 Birmingham Road, West Midlands, B72 1YJ

Juboraj Restaurant

161-163, Sutton Road, West Midlands, B23 5TN

Pepe’s Piri Piri

439 Birmingham Road, West Midlands, B72 1AX

Gavino's Restaurant

423 Birmingham Road, West Midlands, B72 1AX

Costa Coffee

21-22, The Lanes Shopping Centre Birmingham, West Midlands, B72 1YG

Come dine with me

New Oscott Village, 25 Fossway Drive, B23 5GD

THE GARDEN ROOM

213 Chester Road, West Midlands, B73 5BD

Sarin Spice Ltd

First Floor, 110-116 Boldmere Road, West Midlands, B73 5UB

los banditos boldmere limited

90 Boldmere Road, West Midlands, B73 5UB

McDonald's

College Road, West Midlands, B44 0AA

Communitea Cafe

76-78, Boldmere Road, West Midlands, B73 5TJ

AURA

72-74 Boldmere Road, West Midlands, B73 5TJ

Costa Coffee

57-59, Boldmere Road, West Midlands, B73 5XA

Mother India Cuisine Limited

60A Boldmere Road, West Midlands, B73 5TJ

The Deli Social

60b-60c, Boldmere Road, West Midlands, B73 5TJ

subway

37 Boldmere Road, West Midlands, B73 5UY

Shaban Ltd

46 Boldmere Road, West Midlands, B73 5TD

Boldmere Restaurant Limited

18 Boldmere Road, West Midlands, B73 5TD

Kingsbury cafe

988 Tyburn Road, West Midlands, B24 0TL

De Everest Dine

11 Kings Road, West Midlands, B73 5AB

Chutney

454 Chester Road North, West Midlands, B73 6RG

subway

985 Tyburn Road, West Midlands, B24 0TJ

Kababish

266 Jockey Road, West Midlands, B73 5XP

CAFE HOUSE

107 Hawthorn Road, West Midlands, B44 8QT

The Mount Tavern

136 Kings Road, Kingstanding, West Midlands, B44 0SH

Scallywags soft play

The Fort Shopping Park, 20 Fort Parkway, West Midlands, B24 9FP

Haute Dolci, Star City

Unit 18, Star City, Watson Road, West Midlands, B7 5SA

Pepe's Piri Piri

Unit 8, Star City, Watson Road, West Midlands, B7 5SA

Zauq Buffet

Unit 17, Star City, Watson Road, West Midlands, B7 5SA

Shere Khan Star City Birmingham

Unit 13, Star City, Watson Road, West Midlands, B7 5SA

Oodles n Oodles Birmingham

Unit 1b, Star City, Watson Road, West Midlands, B7 5SA

McDonald's

Mcdonalds, Star City, Watson Road, West Midlands, B7 5SA

McDonald's

Mcdonalds, Fort Shopping Park, 20 Fort Parkway, West Midlands, B24 9FP

FARIAN

12 Beeches Walk, West Midlands, B73 6HN

Sushido

4 Beeches Walk, West Midlands, B73 6HN

McDonald's

1151-1155, Chester Road, West Midlands, B24 0QY

PYPE HAYES GOLF COURSE & GYM

Eechelhurst Road, Pype Hayes, B76 1EP

Brittons at GKN Driveline

Chester Road, Erdington, West Midlands, B24 0RB

dough and bun

334-336 BROMFORD LANE, WASHWOOD HEATH, WEST MIDLANDS, B8 2SD

CHELO, PERSIAN KITCHEN & BAR

27 Maney Corner, West Midlands, B72 1QL

Eleon Greek Restaurant

2 Maney House, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B72 1QL

Perfect Subs Ltd t/a Subway

323 Aston Lane, Aston, West Midlands, B6 6QR

Panache

Maney House, Maney Corner, West Midlands, B72 1QL

BHAIJAANS RESTAURANTS LIMITED

46-48 Birmingham Road, Sutton Trinity, West Midlands, B72 1QQ

Pizza by Goli

49 Birmingham Road, West Midlands, B72 1QF

Brewhouse and Kitchen Sutton Coldfield

8 Birmingham Road, Sutton Trinity, West Midlands, B72 1QD

New Hall Hotel & Spa

Walmley Road, West Midlands, B76 1QX

Polar bear Media

5 Manor Road, West Midlands, B73 6EJ

Treatz Sutton Coldfield

113 Parade, West Midlands, B72 1PU

Costa Coffee

Costa Coffee,Wyndley Leisure Centre, Clifton Road, West Midlands, B73 6EB

Appetites Cafe Sutton Coldfield Market Village

65 South Parade, West Midlands, B72 1QU

Sutton fryer ltd

50 South Parade, West Midlands, B72 1QU

Ipho ltd

Unit 9, The Wing Yip Centre, 278 Thimble Mill Lane, West Midlands, B7 5HD

Veggie Master

273a, Beeches Road, West Midlands, B42 2QS

Halloumi Express

Unit 3, 2 Lower Parade, West Midlands, B72 1XX

McDonald's

1 Lower Parade, West Midlands, B72 1XX

Veri Peri

261 Walsall Road, Perry Barr, West Midlands, B42 1TY

Goodfillas Cafe

297 Walsall Road, Perry Barr, West Midlands, B42 1TY

Da Fabiano

605 Washwood Heath Road, West Midlands, B8 2HB

Asian Grill Ltd

91 Park Road, West Midlands, B73 6BT

Titanic restaurant

295 Birchfield Road, West Midlands, B20 3BX

Burger Town

283 Birchfield Road, West Midlands, B20 3DD

Deli

5 Lichfield Road, West Midlands, B6 5RW

Shanahans

129 Rocky Lane, Nechells, West Midlands, B7 5EP

THE THREE TUNS

19 High Street, West Midlands, B72 1XS

The Cheesecake Shop Birmingham

Unit 18, Fox & Goose Shopping Centre, West Midlands, B8 2EP

Little Dessert Shop

Unit 12 , Fox and Goose Shopping Centre, b8 2ep

The Townhouse

High Street, West Midlands, B72 1UD

Alum Rock Kebab House

48a, Alum Rock Road, West Midlands, B8 1JA

Ziryab Executive Buffet

35-41 Highfield road, b8 3qd

SHAMI TRADING LTD

4 Coleshill Road, West Midlands, B36 8AA

Clock Subway

Coleshill Road, West Midlands, B36 8BQ

SUBWAY

17 Hollyfield Road South, West Midlands, B76 1NY

Sajid Shahi

123-125, Alum Rock Road, West Midlands, B8 1ND

Pesto Sutton Coldfield

20 Hollyfield Road South, West Midlands, B76 1NX

CHAIIWALA ALUM ROCK

177 Alum Rock Road, B8 1NJ

Desi Dera

840 Alum Rock Road, West Midlands, B8 2TX

Bashundora Restaurant

Unit 3, The Guildhall, Lichfield Road, West Midlands, B74 2NJ

Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel

Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel , B36 9DE

AR BIRMINGHAM LTD

254-256 Alum Rock Rd, Alum Rock , West Midlands , B8 3BJ

Shahi Masala

8 Burney Lane, West Midlands, B8 2AH

Meshwiat

760 Alum Rock Road, West Midlands, B8 3PP

GINOS SQUARE PIZZA LTD

757 Alum Rock Road, West Midlands, B8 3PX

The Boat Inn

The Boat Inn , Old Kingsbury road , West Midlands , B76 9ae

With 100's of places to choose from, there really is a deal for everyone. There's a few places that are not on the list that I have already booked tables at for my family. Like Pizza Hut who have changed their Unlimited Buffet to an Unlimited Bluffet which is very similar with unlimited pizza but delivered to your table instead of self service and this is included in the 50% off offer too. We've booked a table at our local dine in restaurant, Star City. Also Kitty Cafe are doing a special deal of free entry with a main, side, dessert and a drink for just £10 a person which is a great deal. I've booked a table for 3 weeks time there too. Another one I have booked is Afternoon Tea for 2 at the Belfry which was reduced to 2 for £40 in August and is now 50% off that every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday making it now just £10 per person which is a real treat. There's some fantastic deals to be found!

Where ever you decide to eat out this August, I hope you have a lovely time.