Minnis Bay Brasserie & Gravity Review ~ Olivia-May’s Birthday Week

 

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated Olivia’s 4th Birthday-and boy, does that girl know how to drag out Birthday celebrations (goodness knows where she gets it from…..)

I’ll attach a vlog I put together over the week, at the end of this blog, but first I wanted to review a couple of places we visited during the celebrations. Continue reading “Minnis Bay Brasserie & Gravity Review ~ Olivia-May’s Birthday Week”

Introducing Cassie Cat-Brand New Trunki-Review & Giveaway

Cassie Cassie

Seriously guys-how cute is this little suitcase!

This is Cassie-the brand new suitcase from Trunki!

 

This awesome purple feline, and her pal Rocco the Racing Car-are now available for you to buy!Cassie

We were lucky enough to get hold of Cassie to have a little test of her, a couple of weeks ago! Continue reading “Introducing Cassie Cat-Brand New Trunki-Review & Giveaway”

Mokuru-Move Over Fidget Spinners-There’s A New Toy On The Block

Remember fidget spinners and bottle flipping?  Well there’s now a new toy in town-Mokuru!

Mokuru

What is a Mokuru?

Continue reading “Mokuru-Move Over Fidget Spinners-There’s A New Toy On The Block”

Diggerland Kent-Family Day Out-Review

Diggerland in Rochester, Kent-a fabulous fun day out for all the family!

We visited Diggerland on Saturday (13th May), and, after a really quick, easy journey, arrived at the park as the park was opening.

diggerlanddiggerlandGreeted by the parks mascots, Dotty and Duggy, the children had some cuddles, and we headed off to have a look at what was on offer to do.
Continue reading “Diggerland Kent-Family Day Out-Review”

Kent Life, Maidstone-Review

 

During school holidays and weekends, it’s so easy to get stuck indoors, because you’ve run out of things to do.  You’ve taken the children to everything you know of, and they’re now moaning that they’re bored.

Thankfully, there’s a day out waiting just for you!  Kent Life in Maidstone, is perfect for children of all ages, and for the whole family.

Located just off of the M20 on the outskirts of Maidstone, Kent Life sits in 28 acre grounds.  A real working farm, Kent Life showcases those farm animals, along with some cute fluffy friends in Cuddle Corner, the Big Top tent for shows throughout the day, indoor and outdoor play areas, gardens, a vintage village, food and drink establishments, train and tractor rides, and various events!

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There are picnic areas, which is where we started our day.  After arriving around 11, we decided to get the food out of the way, so we could focus on the rest of our afternoon.  From there we went to the Big Top tent, to watch BubbleJo’s Bubble Show.  The children were allowed out of their seats to play with the incredible amount of bubbles BubbleJo made, and a large amount of audience participation was included, when BubbleJo invited children onto the stage for help.

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From there we decided to take in the 28 acres on offer, and walked around the gardens and farm areas, getting the opportunity to feed some horses and goats.  The lamb feeding was next on our agenda, and, although the amount of people queuing, was larger than the amount of lambs needing feeding, we took great enjoyment in watching them be bottle fed. My children also fell in love with some baby goats, (and I think the feeling was mutual).

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We continued over to Cuddle Corner, where we were shown into a room, and allowed to pet a guinea pig and a rabbit.  The animals were well looked after throughout, and our animal expert guide was friendly and talkative.

 

 

 

 

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The children, after passing it several times throughout our afternoon, were then desperate to have a run about in the outdoors play park area.  With fun activities to do for all different ages, my son immediately threw himself down a slide, while my daughter sat quietly in the sand pit.  With plenty of seating areas for the grown ups, it’s easy to rest your legs while keeping an eye on your little ones.

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We were also excited to go on the Kent Life train, which takes you on a ten minute ride around the park.  After planning to go earlier in the afternoon, but missing the last ride at 1:30, we managed to get on the first one an hour later, and the children enjoyed the bumpy ride, taking in all that we’d done in the afternoon.

Before leaving, the children went back to the baby goat pen to say goodbye to their new little friends, and, as is always the way with children who have enjoyed themselves so much, they didn’t want to leave!

We made so many memories, and the children got to encounter animals we wouldn’t usually get to see.

An incredible day had by all-we will definitely be going back!

Tickets are affordable at £9.95 for adults, £7.95 for children (aged 3-15) and £8.95 for concessions.
There is also the option of a year long membership.  For just £95.00 for a family of two adults and two children-you can visit whenever you fancy an up close and personal day with the animals, and fun filled activities around the park.
For more information on other various membership options-visit the membership page on the Kent Life website here-http://kentlife.org.uk/plan-your-visit/membership/

Throughout the year, there are special events for your family to enjoy-to see more information on what’s coming up at Kent Life, visit the events page here-http://kentlife.org.uk/events/

For all other information, including opening times, and how to get to Kent Life, visit the website here-http://kentlife.org.uk/

 

I was sent a press pass enabling me to visit Kent Life with my family, in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are those of my own.

The Canterbury Tales-Medieval Story Telling-Review

On Saturday (8th April) myself  and Kye took a short train ride into the City of Canterbury.
As someone who is in the city each week for press nights at the Marlowe Theatre, I know the town well-but I’m ashamed to say I’ve never taken Kye to The Canterbury Tales.  I went as a child with the school I attended-but in all honesty, could only remember snippets of that.

So when we got the opportunity to visit on Saturday, and have the additional pleasure of attending the Medieval activities in the Canterbury Tales Gardens, we jumped at the chance.
For those that haven’t visited this attraction before, or, like  me, have visited so long ago that they’ve forgotten what it’s all about, here’s a little background information for you!

The Canterbury Tales, tell stories from Geoffrey Chaucer’s well known and loved tales from his book, of the same name, ‘The Canterbury Tales’. Canterbury
Journeying back in time to discover Chaucer’s famous tales, you get to join a costumed character, recreating the pilgrimage from London to Canterbury.
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Myself and Kye were then given hand held live audio guides, which differ if you have an adult’s one or a child’s one (the story is a little more “refined” for the little one’s ears).
The tour took around 40 minutes, all floors are level for easy access, and the next room you need to visit each time, lights up, making sure you don’t wander into the wrong place, when the costumed character leaves you with your audio guide.

The audio tours are available in multiple languages, and are narrated by famous voices, including Robert Powell and Prunella Scales!

Towards the end , you are joined by another costumed guide, who ends the tour at a reconstruction of the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.

There is also a  gift shop before you leave the attraction, with a variety of merchandise at a variety of prices.

The story is humorous; Kye found the whole tour hilarious, and had great fun pointing out each lit up character and their funny looks on the way round.

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Following our tour, we walked around the building to the gardens to take part in the Medieval Story Telling event.  We were met by a really lovely medieval guide, who firstly explained to Kye the activities he could take part in.
He began with Knight School, where he trained to be a knight.  Kitted up with a shield and sword, our guide taught him how to strike and defend, culminating on him being knighted as “Sir Kye” at the end.

 
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Following Knight School, he tried his hand at a little Herbology.  I, the patient, had to choose my medieval ailment from a basket, and Kye’s job was to find the correct herbs from the herb garden.
He had great fun reading out the various herb names, and eradicated my ‘Inability to Sleep’ with his Valerian and Chamomile herbal cures.

 

 

Finally we made our way to the Story Tent, where our guide read him ‘Tales of Beadle of the Bard’ (Harry Potter fans will know this one well), and two other (less serious) stories.Canterbury

There was also May Pole Dancing on offer, but Kye wasn’t keen on that idea, and, after the best part of an hour spent in the Medieval Garden, we thanked our guide (who was pretty awesome actually), and made our way out.

Kye couldn’t stop talking about the great time he’d had, the whole way home.   His favourite part was the Knight School (obviously).

When something like this attraction, with its educational and fun elements, is right on your doorstep, there really isn’t any reason not to give it a go!
Prices are affordable too-at only £9.95 for adults, £7.95 for children (aged 5-15), and £8.95 for concessions.

The Medieval Story Telling event, is still running, until this Friday (14th April) and is open from 11am-3pm each day.
If you can’t make this event, there will be a Mystical Beasts themed Medieval Story Garden on the 1st May (2017), and to coincide with the next half term, a Magical Patterns themed Event between Saturday 27th May and Sunday 4th June (again between 11am-3pm each day.

More information on these events and the Canterbury Tales tour, including opening times and how to find the attraction are available over at http://www.canterburytales.org.uk.

 

I was given free entry for myself and my son in exchange for an honest review.  Any thoughts and opinions are those of my own.

Half Term Fun at the RAF Museum!!

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Half term is upon us, and as usual parents everywhere are wondering where they can take their little ones for a fun (and cheap) day out!

You may recall, a little while ago, I posted a blog about the RAF museum in London.  Well, this half term they have so much for you and the children to do!

Before I continue, here’s a little video to show you more!

 

How much of an awesome day out does that look!

There are over 100 aircraft on the museums site, and these are all free to see.  There is no other museum or attraction in London that enables you to see so many historic and educational, aircraft and exhibitions, without paying an entrance fee!
Additionally, there are constantly free events and various educational exhibitions.  There is actually so much to do, you’re advised to plan to spend an entire day there, because of the amount there is to see!  How perfect it is to spend a full day here during the half term, for free!

Easily accessible by London trains and tube stations, there’s no travel stress to get there, and once there, a whole array of exhibits and activities await you!

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Bird of Prey flying displays will be shown across the Easter Holidays as well as a special screening of the Disney Pixar’s Planes on the 14th of April!

More information can be found over at the RAF Museum website http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/

So what are you waiting for-put a trip to the RAF Museum into your diary for a great day out for all the family!!!!

‘Peppa Pig-My First Cinema Experience’

On Saturday (25th March), myself and Olivia were invited to London, to Entertainment One’s event, ‘Peppa Pig-My 1st Cinema Experience’.

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At the tender age of three and a half, and living so far away from London, it was Olivia’s first trip to the big city, and knowing it was an hour and a half journey each way, plus tube trips and over two hours at the venue, I did have some concerns that she would be slightly overwhelmed by it all.

Oh how I love it when my children prove me wrong!

She was absolutely amazing-no breakdowns, no moaning, full of excitement and happiness throughout the entire day.  

We arrived at the Picturehouse in Piccadilly, and were shown straight into the thrall of activities.  With so much to do, Olivia found it difficult to choose-that was until she saw Peppa and George.

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Happy to queue for the best part of 20 minutes, she was so excited when her patience paid off, and she got to give Peppa a cuddle and pose for photos with both her and George.

From there we went to take our seats in the screen room, and shortly before the show started, we were blessed with a visit from Phil Davies and Mark Baker the producer and animator of Peppa Pig!
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Then, the lights went down and the happy, excited little voices of the audience, died down to silence.

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The interactive scenes that are shown between each Peppa Pig episode were amazing.  Several times, Olivia would turn to me, open mouthed, believing that her efforts had been noticed by the characters, and had an effect on the screen.

She sat, enthralled, watching every episode, joining in with every interactive moment and dancing and singing wherever she felt it necessary to do so.

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When the screening was over, and we left, while singing about jumping up and down in muddy puddles, we were greeted by lovely Peppa staff, laden with goody bags for the lucky viewers.  The goody bags, which we looked through on the tube back to our train station, contained the most incredible Peppa merchandise, and, before we left the venue, Olivia very kindly asked one of the ladies for a bag for her brother.-an act that had me in awe of her thoughts for her brother at home, and almost in tears at my selfless little girls actions.

‘Peppa Pig-My 1st Cinema Experience’ will be launched on April 7th across cinemas in the UK.  Definitely well worth a visit with your little Peppa fans.  The new episodes are funny and educational, and some star names voice some of the new characters!

Thanks Entertainment One for the invite and the amazing experience.  It’s one Olivia will always remember as her fist trip to London and the day she met Peppa and George.

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48 hours

Good Evening!!!

Today is my first day back to work since Christmas Eve, and to say I’m exhausted would be an understatement.

Let me take you back to the last blog I did here-Elf on the Shelf-Day 24, The Last Day!
As you can see, the last photo was of, what used to be my front room floor-but had turned into “attack of the presents”!  There were so many (as usual)!

12 hours later, and the madness began!  I say 12 hours, but I was awake at 4, 5, 6 and 7, before going and making the kids get out of bed myself.  They came to our room to open their stockings, and hurriedly opened them before begging us to go downstairs.

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They had LOADS, (not all were from us and Santa I’d like to add), and their excitement built with each present, culminating in my son nearly losing his voice when he opened his desperately wanted present!

My daughter had not said much else except for “Soggy Doggy” when asked by anyone what she’d like for Christmas, so her reaction to getting that was also pretty brilliant!

We tidied up a little (well as much as we could), following ‘present-gate’, and got ready for our trip to the in laws for more present fun and FOOD!

The children have a bedroom at their house too, so Santa had been there and left presents for them on their beds!
We opened our presents too, and then patiently waited 4 hours for dinner…….

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Yep-that was my dinner.  I’m not ashamed to say the only things left on my plate were a bit of meat and a potato!  I am also not ashamed to admit, I undid the button on my skinny jeans prior to even sitting at the table.

Our afternoon was spent playing games, eating chocolate, and drinking baileys-well, that was my afternoon anyway!

Favourite Presents

1) FitBit Flex; Yeeeessss, I’m aware there are better ones, I’m aware there are more expensive ones that do pretty much anything you want them to do-I literally just wanted one to see how many steps I take, doing housework/school runs (and nursery runs as from next week)/shopping etc.  The Flex is perfect for that.
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2) Family Cushion; My mother in law bought this cushion for us and I’m literally in love with it!!!!  The hubs was all “that’ll be nice in our bedroom”, and I put it straight on the sofa as soon as we got in, it needs to be seen!

 

 

 

3) I love London Cup; This is self explanatory-I love a cup, I love London.  Simples.

4) Yankee Candle Wax Burner; Ohhhh its just soooooo pretty!!!  My lovely cousin got it for me (and some London themed bits too), but it is just too nice not to mention!

In doing the ‘Favourite Present’ part of this, I’ve realised I could really have just listed all of my presents, as I really did get some lovely things this year!

I’ll pick some more favourites (as well as the ones above), at some point soon, and do a little mini review on them I think!

Anyhooooo……Christmas Day ended (after a large amount of sorting/tidying/organising the toy/clothes bombs that had gone off in my house), and, after being awake since 4am, I didn’t have much of an issue dropping off!
Boxing Day arrived sooner than my body was ready for, as I was up once again at 4am taking the meat out of my slow cookers (yep-plural, I own two), but we all got up (everyone else at 7am), shook the Christmas tiredness off, and tidied/sorted/organised some more!
My Dad, Step-Mum and Brother came round in the early afternoon, and, after saying I wouldn’t do too much food, this was the result (oops!)

IMG_8230 I actually couldn’t fit it all in the photo, there was more on the kitchen sides too!

 

Presents from my Dad are always fun, we don’t get to request things usually, he just comes up with ideas, and gets them!
This year, the hubs got a glass teapot and tea (he loves tea), and I got some adult colouring sets and pencils-because nothing says “I have an daughter who suffers from Anxiety” quite like travel adult colouring book sets!  In fairness, the pencils are so pretty, and I’ve already had a go at one of the pages-although I feel no more relaxed as yet…..

We played games with them, had some drink, stuffed our faces some more, and they left at 7pm, leaving me to attempt to get two sugar infused children, to bed, without kick-off (it didn’t work).

The hubs spent his evening using his teapot, and his choice of tea (which he usually only has one cup of), was “Sleepy Tea” as he calls it.  It’s a bedtime tea for aiding a relaxed body and mind ready for bed.  It never usually works, but after overdosing on it last night via the new teapot, he was pretty much comatose by 10!

So that’s that!  48 hours of complete madness, followed by tons of food, drink, and laughter!
Today, I’ve had proper food delivered, so we can have proper dinners and eat fruit!  Funny how all I now want is cheese and chocolate really!

Tomorrow, the hubs goes back to work, the children are off out in the morning with their Nanny and Grandad, so I’m off to the sales to get some things I didn’t get for Christmas.
I’m also  on the lookout for a work organiser, so if anyone knows of any good ones-let me know!

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas, and, if you’ve made it this far in today’s blog, you’re my favourite!
I shall leave you with a little slideshow from our festive couple of days!

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Xx

 

Elf on the Shelf-Day 23

Good Morning Elf Fans!

So today marks the penultimate day of our Elves mischief making!  Tonight they will leave all the things the children need for Christmas Eve, and a letter saying goodbye.
We’ve already had sad faces from Olivia when we explained they would need to go back to help Santa, so I’m unsure how tomorrow evening will go!

This morning however, the children woke to find the elves playing with finger puppets!!!

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They’ve had a lovely morning playing with them!  Kye does a very good impression of Santa!!!

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So!  That’s it from the “normal” antics!  Tomorrow’s will be a later blog post, because I’ll be adding the reaction video from the morning, plus a video of them leaving their things out for Santa, and saying goodbye to Jingles and Jangles.  I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be emotional!

Until tomorrow-lots of love Elf fans!