My Family

My Family

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre #Review

 Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre 

Last night we went along to the press showing of Alice in Wonderland at The Old Rep Theatre.  A trip to The Old Rep Theatre at Christmas time has become a bit of a family tradition for us and it's always something that we look forward too. We've really missed not going these past two years because of the virus but we were really pleased to be back yesterday. We were back in the place that makes us happy, the place that we all love.

This adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale follows the story of Alice, who's now a mother, and her three curious daughters who follow a white rabbit down a rabbit hole and into Wonderland. It's such a lovely twist and fresh take on an old classic story that we all know and love. It was a little confusing at first but that only adds to the magic and excitement of it.

Even though the story is new, It's still the same fun tale of the strangest and most peculiar creatures you could ever wish to meet, including the enchanting Cheshire Cat and the wonderfully eccentric Mad Hatter. It's full of delightful songs old and new and there's a brand new script with a talented cast of 25 performers. Alice in Wonderland is a spectacular experience that the whole family will enjoy. It's bright and colourful and oh so much fun.

We loved how the characters interacted with the audience and really made the children feel like they were part of the show. The Mad Hatter in particular was so funny, pulling faces at the children in between songs. 'One Seat Round' is still one of my favourite songs in this show and this performance did not disappoint. It's a fun and crazy dance that all the kids enjoy.

We all absolutely loved the Queen of Hearts who was the loveable baddie. She was often shouting 'Off with Their Head' to the anyone in the audience who laughed who laughed out loud when it was quiet. The children found it all very funny and she wasn't scary at all.

We had a lovely time and enjoyed the show very much. It was just what we needed to help kick of our festive fun for this year. Christmas is now officially on it's way in our house.

There are 4 different casts for this production, we watched cast A - Spades, who were all absolutely brilliant. Well done to a very talented cast of young performers indeed.

Alice in Wonderland is running from Saturday 20 November 2021
right up until  Friday 17 December 2021. The Shows time is 1 hour and 40 minutes long but that includes a 20 minutes interval which is perfect for a quick toilet and snack break.

Tickets prices start from Standard £21.50 but concessions and Family tickets are available.

Disclosure: We were invited to the press showing. All opinions are are own.

Friday, 26 November 2021

Silverstone's Lap of Lights 2021 #Review

 Silverstone's Lap of Lights 2021 

Last night we attended the official opening of Silverstone's Lap of Lights 2021. We went along last year as we're huge F1 fans in this house and have to say that it was good last year but it's great now. Sadly we arrived a little late and missed the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 car's lap of lights around the track which would have been amazing to watch. So, we didn't get to see the lap itself but we did get to see the car which was a fantastic sight to see.

This year there was so much more to do at the circuit. Not only is there the lap of lights but there's also a wonderful Ice Trak which is a real ice, skating track inside the drivers Pit Lane.

For us, this was the absolute highlight of our night. Spending time as a family, having fun on the ice, it was priceless. The trak goes around in a big circle filled with pretty christmas trees, festive lights and F1 cars. My kids loved it so much, they didn't want to get off. It was ace!

As well as the Ice Trak there's also brand new Curling and Axe Throwing activities. Sadly we didn't manage to find them as we had so much fun that we ran out of time before our Lap of Lights. I saw my friends videos of them having fun though so maybe next time. Or if you're going along, definitely have a look for them as they look like great fun for the family.

The Lap of Lights was very pretty but after all the fun we'd had on the Ice Trak, we did feel a little underwhelmed by them. For some reason we seem to remember the lights being a lot better last year. We still enjoyed our lap but the novelty for us is just being able to drive around the actual F1 track at Silverstone. The actual track that Lewis Hamilton drives around.

Santa was there at the end to wave us off which was nice, even if my kids did shout out the window at him what they wanted for Christmas. He didn't seem to mind though, and I'm sure that my kids hadn't been the first car full of kids to have done that to him that night. 

New this year is the Lodge where you can go inside and get warm whilst you enjoy live music, festive treats and hot food and drinks. It's so lovely in there, a real cosy place to enjoy. It was real busy for most of the night though so if you are planning on eating, I'd allow plenty of time to make sure you get everything done. We arrived at 5:25pm and left just after 9pm and still didn't have time to see and do everything that was on offer. If the kids hadn't been in school we could have got there earlier. I'd recommend going on a Saturday or Sunday of you'd like more time to enjoy the whole afternoon or evening without having to rush like us.

There's also a Pizza place by the side of the Ice Trak which serves delicious pizza. 

The Lap of Lights is open from 26 November until 03 January 2022.

Ticket prices start from £30 per car but don't forget to add your Ice Skating tickets when you book your Lap of Lights. Tickets are selling fast so be quick if you would like to go.

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Mummy of 3 Diaries x

Disclosure: We attended the Media Opening of the Silverstone Lap of Lights last night for free but all the photographs, opinions and reviews are 100% honest and all our own.

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

9 to 5 The Musical at The Alexandra Birmingham #Review

 9 to 5 The Musical at The Alexandra Birmingham 

9 to 5 The Musical is in Birmingham for this week only at the Alexandra Theatre and here's why you should go and see it if you can. If you're looking for a laugh out loud, feel good, girl power show, then this is it! But you'll need to be quick as it;s only in town until Saturday 20th November. Ticket prices start from as little as £13.00 subject to a transaction fee of £3.65.

I went along tonight not knowing anything about the show or the story involved other than the words to the original Dolly Parton 9 to 5 song (those I do know but that's another story). 

9 to 5 the Musical tells the comical story of three female workmates pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss, who was played brilliantly tonight by Richard Taylor Woods. I won't spoil it too much for you but when they kidnap him and tie him up in a very unusual way, lets just say, you'll be laughing so hard and smiling from ear to ear. It's hilarious.  Will the women manage to reform their office or will the events unravel when the CEO pays an unexpected visit? You will have to watch the show for yourself to find out.

With an Oscar, Grammy and Tony award nominated score by the Queen of Country herself, Dolly Parton, and a book by the iconic movie’s original screenwriter Patricia Resnick, this hilarious new production is about teaming up, standing up and taking care of business!

9 to 5 The Musical is a proper Girl Power show and I loved every minute!

Starring Louise Redknapp, who was amazing as Violet Newstead absolutely wowed the audiences with her beautiful voice. I could have quite happily sat and watched this whole show all over again. Everyone was fantastic, from the stageing to the dancing, to the songs and the beautiful voices. Well done to a very talented cast indeed, the show was a blast.

Show times run for approximately 2 hours 30 minutes including the interval. That's a whole 2 hours and 30 minutes of feel good fun for you to enjoy. Age recommendation for this how is 12 years and over as this production contains comical sexual references, light drug use and the occasional curse word. Which is probably ALL of the reasons that I loved it so much.

Dolly Parton does not appear live in this production but you do get to see her on a screen which is pretty cool. She helps the story telling along in some parts and sings her song too. 

9 to 5 The Musical gets a well deserved 5 Stars from me - It's fantastic!

Tonight was also the launch of ATG’s Local Heroes. ATG Tickets proudly offers 25% OFF ticket prices to Local Heroes. To honour local heroes, they're offering teachers, social care workers, prison officers, armed forces and ‘blue light’ professionals 25% OFF the ticket price on a wide variety of shows from family favourites, hit musicals to great drama performances and jukebox shows. If we can make a night at the theatre more affordable for our heroes and their families, it’ll be their pleasure. For a full list of eligible professions, click here

Disclosure: I was invited to the Press Night showing. This review is all my own opinions.

Monday, 15 November 2021

Christmas Gift Guide 2021 - My Family Favourites.

 Christmas Gift Guide 2021 - My Family Favourites.

With Christmas just five weeks away now so our festivities are in full swing. I've done most of my Christmas shopping and actually wrapped it all too. I'm being super organised this year, plus my two are getting older so I've had to wrap as I buy to stop them snooping. They've discovered my terrible hiding place so I can't get away with not wrapping their presents.

My youngest is 11 years old now so we don't really buy too many toys in our house anymore. Mine are into the gaming and computers now, and jewellery and make up. The type of gifts we buy has changed so much. Life was much simpler when they just wanted toys.

My Gift Guide this year includes all my personal family favourites, so here goes:

I'm starting off with my favourite which is the Heart Personalised Gold Locket from LOVELOX lockets which is going to make the perfect gift for my 18 year old daughter. It's her first Christmas as a new mum so this locket is the ideal gift as inside, there are two beautiful photographs of her son. And on the outside, it's engraved with her son's name.

You can create your own locket and personalise it with a special message; initials; a memorable date or a place; and two happy photos. The locket and the chain is Solid 925 sterling silver plated in 18 carat gold. The adjustable solid silver chain length comes as standard in 16/18 inches; or you can upgrade to a longer 20/22/24 inches one. The Locket costs £79.00 and is 18mm in width at it's widest part, and 18mm in height. It's Engraved, Assembled and Packed with love, right here in the UK so fast turnaround times are available.

Next up is another beautiful necklace, a Swarovski Birthstone Heart Necklace from the Engravers Guild of London Personalised Necklaces Collection. This one is going to be a gift for my 14 year old daughter who loves birthstone jewellery so she's going to love this one. 

The Swarovski birthstone crystal on heart personalised necklace made in solid 925 sterling silver is a classic but contemporary piece from MYRI London which complements any style.

The silver drop heart engraved necklace hangs on an adjustable chain of either 16 or 18 inches and the pendant measures 15mm x 15mm. Simply choose your month of birth to get the correct birthstone for you and then you can add the name of your choice, in one of the three different Fonts that are available, so you can really make it personal to you. The cost is £39.95 which includes the cost of engraving and luxury gift box, which is fantastic.

Next up I have something for my boys, the  Aston Villa Football Club 2022 A3 Wall Calendar from Danilo is the perfect gift for an Aston Villa fan. Not only will it help him get more organised next year but it will also look fantastic on his bedroom wall. Costing just £9.99 this A3 calendar is going to put a huge smile on my boys face this Christmas Morning.

Other teams are available but they wouldn't be allowed in our house!

Also from Danilo I have something for the Friends fans too. This Friends 2022 A5 Diary is going to be the perfect little stocking filler for my teenage daughter who is Friends mad. Costing just under ten pounds at £9.99 it's a great little gift for a Friends lover like mine.

Music is a big thing in our house so that means Earbuds are a big thing too. These Soundcore by Anker Life P3 Noise Cancelling Earbuds are going to put a huge smile on my daughters face. The Life P3 noise cancelling earbuds come in 5 eye catching colors to pair with your own personal style. I chose the Sky Blue which are very pretty. They also have an ultra compact case that fits effortlessly into small bags or pockets. 

They have some pretty awesome features, including: 

Fueled By The Beat: Life P3 noise cancelling earbuds' thumping sound is produced by custom 11mm composite drivers. Activate BassUp mode in the app to further intensify bass.
Multi Mode Noise Cancelling: Sync the noise cancelling to your location for an optimized experience. Transport, Outdoor, and Indoor modes are each tailored to block out irritating background noises in each environment. 

Enhanced Call Performance: Life P3 noise cancelling earbuds have 6 microphones and an exclusive algorithm to tune out background noises. Your voice will be heard clearly on calls, video chats, live streams, and more.

They cost £79.99 and are available on Amazon.

Something for the Mummy's like Me, the HomeVac H11 is right up my street. You know you're getting older when a new vacuum makes you very happy. This cordless handheld Vacuum Cleaner is ultra lightweight weighing in at just 1.2lbs has a mighty 5500Pa Suction Power. It's packs quite a punch for something so little. It's charged with USB Charging and perfect for all those awkward home cleaning jobs that the normal vacuum can't reach.

I used this to clean my stairs, under the settee cushions and along the skirting boards and it worked wonderfully. Costing £49.99 for this one, it's a great gift for the Mum's like me.

Another gift for the Mummy's is this Glenashdale Grapefruit Hand Care Gift Set from ARRAN Sense of Scotland. Invigorate your senses with the energising zest of rasped lemons, oil of grapefruit, uplifted with the fresh, citrus notes of bergamot. This signature hand wash and hand cream set is the perfect gift for your loved one. It costs £30 and comes presented in a beautiful ARRAN Gift Box. This set is going to look lovely in my bathroom.

The set includes a 300ml hand wash and a 300m hand cream. They both smell so lovely.

This next one's for the cooks or the kitchen lovers. Take a look at these Christmas gifts at Sous Chef. The Puglia Red Splatter Pasta Bowl 29cm costs £16.99 and the Puglia Red Splatter Pitcher is £29.50. Both items are absolutely stunning, so eye catching to look at.

The Puglia Red Splatter Pitcher is handmade in Italy. When you’re not serving cocktails or fresh lemonade with it, you could use it to display your flowers. It's so pretty in real life.

The Puglia Red Splatter Pasta Bowl (29cm) is also handmade in Italy. Use it to serve your truffle tagliatelle, squash ravioli or the Roman classic, carbonara. It's very pretty in red.

Last but not least, I have a Christmas gift for the Doggies in your life from Sniffe & Likkit

I have two Mutt Crackers which are so cute. There's tree in total to choose from but the two I have are the Shampoo Grooming Duo (£7.50) and the Paw Kit Treat Biscuit Duo (£7.50) 

I also have love the Paw Kit Treat Tin (£10) which is a beautiful keepsake tin filled with tasty treats for you doddy. We always buy treat for our pets at Christmas so these are perfect.

Christmas is a time for giving but only give what you can afford to give. 

I really hope that you've enjoyed reading my Family Favourites Gift Guide this year and I hope it's given you some ideas on the type of gifts you'd like to buy this festive season. 

Merry Christmas Everyone xox

Sunday, 14 November 2021

A Night of MMA with Battle Arena in Brum! #Review

 A Night of MMA with Battle Arena in Brum!

Last night I attended my very first Mixed Martial Arts Fight Night with Battle Arena MMA
The husband and I went along for an Adults Only night out which is always a treat for us. I wasn't sure what to expect really but I'm so glad that we went along. The sport of MMA fighting made for a very entertaining night out. It wasn't gruesome or gory at all, the fights and fighters were all very professional.Battle Arena MMA put on a fantastic show for all who are involved. The crowds were having a great night, the electric atmosphere could be felt all night long. I loved how the crowd were cheering and chanting and shouting out, really joining in and getting involved. We had front row seats on a VIP table which had the best views.

There were 23 fights last night, staring at 3.20pm in the afternoon and running right up until 10.40pm at night. Standing ticket prices are £30 or you can buy a whole VIP table for 10 people for £500. Which ever you choose, you can get a good view of the fights as the room was laid out really well so that everyone could see. And, you had big screens to watch too. 

MMA is definitely something I'd like to watch live again. It was really exciting and entertaining and made for a fun night out. We enjoyed a few drinks and quite happily sat soaking up the atmosphere around us. Battle Arena run events all across the country throughout the year so if you'd like to attend one of their events, do keep an eye on their page for their next show.

Disclosure: I was invited along as a guest in return for an honest review.

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Grease Live at The Alexandra, Birmingham #Review

 Grease Live at The Alexandra, Birmingham

Last night I had the pleasure of watching Grease The Musical at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham. As a huge fan of the movie, I was really looking forward to a night getting lost in the familiar, sing a long songs, that I loved as a teenager and I'm so pleased to say that it didn't disappoint. The world’s best loved musical is back and it's grittier and more glamorous than ever! It's bursting with hits including Summer Nights, Greased Lightnin’, Hopelessly Devoted to You and You’re the One That I Want, but it also includes a whole host of new songs which I loved, watch out for the 'Mooning' song which is hilarious. There's a fresh young cast who bring all the energy to this ultimate musical classic. The Pink Ladies were all wonderful and the Burger Palace Boys were a bunch of horny boys but they were all so much fun to watch. I loved the new twist on the show as it really holds your attention and brought a new look to the show. It was great to watch as you never knew what was coming next.

Directed by Curve’s Artistic Director Nikolai Foster and starring very special guest artist Peter Andre as Teen Angel and Vince Fontaine. You'll be sure to reignite your passion of this show and get ready for an explosion of summer loving. I have to admit that Peter Andre did steal the show at times with his comedy antics, gorgeous voice and dazzling dance moves. The whole cast were superb and really did an amazing job of putting new life into this show. It was everything I'd had expected and more. I had a really lovely time and enjoyed every minute. 

Grease the Musical is only in town for one week so hurry up and grab yourself a ticket today as this one treat that you won't want to miss out on. The whole show is one non stop party from start to finish. I loved the party scenes where everyone was dancing, it was quite spectacular. The Choreography by Arlene Phillips was fantastic and so much fun. And the end there was a real treat too, as the whole cast joined Peter Andre on stage for a Grease sing along that the audience could join in with. Everyone was up on their feet singing along, which was amazing. My kids would have really loved it, maybe I'll have to take them now. 

Ticket prices start from just £13 and show times run for 2 hours 30 minutes incl. interval. The Shows are on Tue - Sat at 19:30 and Wed, Thu and Sat at 14:30 and 19:30.

My friend Cat and I had a fantastic time last night and would highly recommend going to see Grease if you're a fan of the show, the movie or Peter Andre. So, if you're looking for a fun show with music and dancing and comedy galore, this show is the one that you want.

Disclosure: I was invited to Press Night. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.