Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Premier League Writing Stars 2018

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Last year Premier League Writing Stars was launched and the competition was a huge success with over 25,000 entries so this year it is back and hoping to be just as (or hopefully even more) popular. This year the theme is diversity and primary school pupils are encouraged to get creative and write a poem on the subject of diversity and there are some great Premier League related prizes up for grabs for those taking part. 


The idea behind Premier League writing stars is to get primary school children interested in poetry and to have a go at writing their own poem. The fact that the campaign is backed by top Premier League football clubs that many young children support helps get some pupils interested, especially as they can win some amazing Premier League related prizes for their school by taking part in the poetry competition. Writing Stars is part of an educational program called Premier League Primary Stars, which is free for teachers to access and has lots of resources for key stage 1 and 2. 

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Saturday, 1 December 2018

L.O.L. Surprise Pop-Up Store Playset Review

My five-year-old daughter Sophia is L.O.L crazy, she has been collecting L.O.L dolls for the past year getting them for her birthday or spending any money she has on them, she even spent her holiday money on when we were in Majorca earlier in the year! So it is no surprise that even more L.O.L Surprise dolls are on her Christmas list this year. She loves the surprise element of them and all the fun accessories that you get with the dolls (and pets), however, as the dolls and accessories are so small she often ends up losing the shoes and outfits for them. 

The L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up store set up out the box

So when we were offered to review the new L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store Playset I thought that would be perfect for her to store all her L.O.L dolls and accessories in. I had previously seen this playset in a shop and wrongly thought it was just a display case for L.O.L dolls, however, I was wrong as not only is it a display and storage case but it also turns into a little playset and you can also use it for transporting dolls too. 

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Friday, 30 November 2018

Visiting Santa At Whitehouse Farm

On Saturday we had the most magical day at one of my favourite Christmas days out here in the North East, we were invited to Whitehouse Farm to see Santa. The children were so excited and chatted away excitedly in the car all the way there as they wondered if Santa would say they were on the naughty or nice list. Pulling up in the car park nice and early we wrapped up nice and warm and made our way into the farm to see what this years, all new Santa Experience was like and how it would compare to last years Winter Wonderland event. 

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Thursday, 29 November 2018

Win A 6 Month Xbox Game Pass Subscription

Christmas is coming and I am sure if you have older children game consoles or video games feature on their Christmas list this year. If your children have an Xbox or have asked for a one for Christmas this year then I have the perfect giveaway for you to win a 6 months subscription for Xbox Game Pass worth £48. Perfect for letting gamers play a variety of games online and see which ones they enjoy, it is sure to be popular with gamers young and old. 

So what is an Xbox Game Pass subscription? 

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Monday, 19 November 2018

Harry Potter Wizard Training Wands Review

This weekend Fantastic Beasts Two, The Crimes of Grindlewood hit the cinemas and my partner and teen were lucky enough to see it on Saturday (I was meant to go but was stuck at home with a poorly child). As JK Rowling fans will know Fantastic Beasts is a spin-off to the Harry Potter films, featuring magical creatures, spells and lots of spellbinding moments. So wizard fever has been at a high recently, with Harry Potter films recently being showing on TV and a whole new audience discovering the delights of Hogwarts and magic.

My five-year-old daughter Sophia has recently discovered Harry Potter and she absolutely adores it, She has watched all the films and she has asked for Harry Potter gifts this Christmas. I think she is secretly hoping for an owl like Hedwig or a letter inviting her to join Hogwarts and meet Hermoine but the chances of that happening are rather slim. Luckily she was sent the next best thing, Hermoine's wand! 


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Thursday, 15 November 2018

Poopsie Surprise Unicorn Toy Review

My little girl Sophia is five and like a lot of children her age she really likes Unicorns, rainbows and slime so hot new toy Poopsie Surprise Unicorn sounded right up her street. Tipped to be one of the must-have toys this Christmas it really does sound like a great idea, a surprise unicorn toy that is rainbow coloured and makes glittery slime. Her little face lit up last week when we were sent a one to review and she could not wait to get to work making slime with her new unicorn friend. 

Poopsie Surprise unicorn toy review
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Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring Home and Horizon

This week on Other Bloggers Family Lives I am featuring Lauretta who blogs at family lifestyle and travel blog Home and Horizon. Lauretta blogs about family life with two children, her home and travel and adventures her family have been on. So let's find out more about the family behind Home and Horizon. 

Home and Horizon blog logo


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Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Santa Experiences You Can Still Book Near Newcastle

Now that we are almost halfway through November it is safe to talk about Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year. My children are super excited and they have already posted their letters to Santa with gifts they really hope they will be lucky enough to receive. Fenwick's window has been revealed, the Christmas lights on Northumberland street have been switched on and the Christmas market is opening in a matter of days. Christmas has well and truly arrived in Newcastle, however, if you're a bit of a last minute planner like myself you might be wondering where you can go to see the Santa, as most of the Santa experiences and Grottos in the city centre sold out weeks ago.

Well, I have found five Santa experiences that still have availability near Newcastle this year. My lovely blogging friend Zena has also written about places you can see Santa in Nottinghamshire if live near there too. 

children meeting Santa at Whitehouse farm sitting in his grotto
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Monday, 12 November 2018

Harry Potter PJs For Adults

We are huge Harry Potter fans in our house, myself and my partner have the read books and watched all the films (multiple times), my teen loves the films and now even my 4 and 5-year-old enjoy watching too. My partner is so excited about the new Fantastic Beasts film coming out at the cinema at the weekend, he has already got tickets to go and see it next week. 

So I was delighted to find out that New Look has brought out a great range of sleepwear for us grown-up Harry Potter fans, with items for both men and women. Perfect for snuggling up on the colder winter nights and re-watching the films over the festive period - something we do every year in our household. I was lucky enough to be sent a few items from the new range to see what we think.

Harry Potter Pjs, Dressing gown and every flavour beans
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Saturday, 10 November 2018

October 2018

It is crazy to think it is now November, it honestly feels like it was only the start of the year just a few weeks ago and not eleven months ago. November is one of my favourite months, it is my birthday and the countdown to Christmas is well and truly underway, we have lots of lovely things to look forward to this month. October was an ok month for us as a family, it was my eldest birthday, we had a few nice days out and lots of family time over half-term which was very much needed. The reason I started this blog was to record our family life, hence the name of this blog so here is a little look at what October was like for us. 

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Thursday, 8 November 2018

Little Tikes RC Dozer Racer Remote Control Car Review

My little boy Jacob recently turned four and he is really into any kind of vehicle, planes, trains, lorries, cars and trucks fascinate him and he really enjoys playing with toy ones. So he was the perfect candidate to test out the RC Dozer Racer remote control car which Little Tikes recently sent him to review. Tearing apart the box as soon as he set eyes on it as he was so eager to play with the remote control car inside, he could not wait to see what the RC Dozer Racer could do. 

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Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring Daddilife

This week on Other Bloggers Family Lives I am joined by Han-Son who blogs at Daddilife and lives in London. So let's find out more about the family behind Daddilife.


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Thursday, 1 November 2018

Things I Loved October 2018

October was an ok month for us, the children have settled in well at school and we are slowly getting used to our new routine now all three children are at school and we were so ready for half-term. My eldest turned 16 this month, we did a lot of wedding planning and we are now on the countdown to Christmas. I love this time of year as I am such a homebody and love an excuse to stay home now the nights are darker, we have been watching the Harry Potter films with Sophia as she totally loves them and is adamant she will be off to Hogwarts when she is older. 

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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring A Rose Tinted World

This week on Other Bloggers Family Lives I am joined by Jo who blogs at A Rose Tinted World. Jo lives near Leeds with her partner and little girl and she blogs about being an older mother, stress busting, sewing and her family life. So let's find out more about the family behind A Rose Tinted World. 

Blogger A Rose Tinted World and her daughter

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Tuesday, 30 October 2018

A family Games Night With Little Tikes

Now that all three children are at school and the other half no longer works weekends we always make the most of the weekends and Saturday night is always family night. We often watch a film, enjoy some treats or a Saturday night take away and just enjoy spending time together. Now that the children are getting a bit older they have started to take an interest in games and they have a few board games they will often ask us to play with them, normally on a Saturday evening when they know we all be together. 

So when Little Tikes got in touch and asked if we would like to take part in a kids vs adults game challenge we thought this sounded perfect. We were sent two new Little tikes games to play, Crazy Toaster and Hot Hoops and the children could not wait to rip open the boxes and have some fun! 

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Saturday, 27 October 2018

Unique Christmas Party Venues

Guest Post

Unique Christmas Party Venues

Christmas is always so much fun, but there's one thing that can really bring things down and that's another boring festive party venue. So many people just seem to plump for anywhere that's available or that caters to the dietary needs of the whole group, but it doesn't take a lot of effort to find somewhere more exotic to ring in the jolliest season of the year. 

I've discovered some fantastically unusual and eclectic venues that offer private hire, throughout the UK, which will have everyone singing their favourite carols  before they know it!

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Friday, 26 October 2018

School Ready With Bassetts Vitamins

This September my only just turned four-year-old little boy started school, just like his two big sisters. Obviously, as he has only just turned four I am a little worried about how he is going to cope with full-time school, being one of the youngest children in his year group. Before he went, we had everything set for him starting school, the uniform has been bought, he has met his new teacher and visited his new classroom and luckily he will be in a class with lots of his friends from nursery school. We really hope he gets off to a good start and enjoys school as much as his two sisters have done. 

During the past week, I have been giving Jacob and his five-year-old sister recently launched Bassetts Vitamins Omega-3 + Multivitamins orange flavour pastels. Each soft and chewy vitamin contains Vitamin B6 which helps support normal psychological function and Vitamin B5 which contributes to mental performance, helping children feel ready for the new academic year.

child Bassett vitamin pastles

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Thursday, 25 October 2018

8 Months Until I Say I Do

It is now only 8 months until I get married, last month I was feeling very stressed about the whole thing and I still am a little bit, however, things are starting to come together nicely and we have had a busy month wedding wise this month. We also sat down and worked out what we have to pay, when it needs paying etc and worked out how we can pay for everything as we have gone massively over budget so far. The only thing we need to try and save for is my dress as I have spent most of the wedding dress fund -ooops, and we need to save for the evening food and stationery as I forgot to budget for those. 

At the start of the month we went to a wedding fayre at Newcastle racecourse, unfortunately, there were not many suppliers there as it was mostly venues, photographers and transport companies which we don't need as we already have all of that arranged. We did speak to a suit company, good old Slaters and I think the other half is going there for the suits in the new year. 

chocolate torte with cream pudding
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Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring Mom Of Two

Welcome back to this weeks instalment of Other Bloggers Family Lives, my guest post series to find out more about the blogger behind the blog. This week I am featuring Stacy who blogs at Mom of two and lives in the West Midlands with her husband and two young children, Stacy writes about her family life. So let's find out more about the family behind Mom of Two. 

Blogger Mom Of Two and her children

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Friday, 19 October 2018

Prestige Christmas Hamper Review

I love Christmas, its the most magical time of the year and as a family we get so excited for it. I have already started my Christmas shopping, the children have sent their letters to Santa, we have some festive activities planned and we have been thinking of what festive food to buy. Last year we were lucky enough to receive a Christmas hamper from Prestige and this year we were lucky enough to be sent another one to review. 

We were sent the Traditional Gift basket, which is exactly how you would imagine a Christmas hamper to be. A dark wicker basket with leather look handles and fastening makes this hamper look luxurious and oh so traditional, when the basket looks this good you know you're in for a treat before you even open it and discover the contents inside. 

tradition Christmas wicker hamper with treats inside
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Thursday, 18 October 2018

Learning To Drive In My Thirties Before My Teen Beats Me To It

Advertisement feature with Veygo.

At the grand old age of 34 years of age (very almost 35), I have decided to learn to drive, you are probably wondering why on earth I have never learnt to drive before now. It is quite rare for mums my age to not be able to drive and not being able to drive has been such a challenge these past few years. Juggling a toddler, baby and child on a bus if I wanted to go anywhere in the past was not fun, or all the times I had to miss days out as I simply couldn't get to where we wanted to go as I couldn't drive was not fun either. I have felt isolated and a bit left out not being able to drive, always having to rely on lifts or catch multiple buses or costly taxis to get to where I want to go.


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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring Actual Ar

Welcome to another week of my guest post series Other Bloggers Family Lives, this week I am featuring Actual Ar which is a North East based lifestyle blog. Featuring lifestyle post, writing tips, and creative writing stories and poems. So let's find out more about the family behind Actual Ar. 

Actual Ar blog logo

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Monday, 15 October 2018

A Family Lunch At Las Iguanas

Saturdays are family days in our house, now that all three children are in full-time school and the other half no longer works weekends, we really try and make the most of our weekends together and normally venture out somewhere on a Saturday. This Saturday we headed into Newcastle as we had some birthday shopping to do for my eldest birthday next week. We were also kindly invited along to Las Iguanas on Grey Street in Newcastle (just down from the Theatre Royal) to try out the new menu. 

main meal of chicken and chips at las igaunas newcastle
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Friday, 12 October 2018

Operation Escape Room - Review

Escape rooms are really popular at the moment and always remind me of the classic 90s game show The Crystal Maze - which I loved as a child and always wanted to take part in when I was younger. Well now children can have a taste of this with new game Spy Code - Operation: Escape Room . A nerve-racking and very fun game where you have to beat the clock and free your teammate by completing challenges before the time is up. 

Operation Escape Room is a game where one player is strapped into a timer strap, that they can't escape from, the other players have to complete three challenges to find the keys before the timer runs out so they can free their teammate.  

contents of operation escape room game
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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring Craft With Cartwright

Welcome back to another week of Other Bloggers Family Lives, my guest post series where I find out more about other bloggers. This week I am joined by Ruth who blogs at Craft with Cartwright a lifestyle blog featuring lots of crafts and recipes. Ruth lives with her husband and two sons in the West Midlands. 

So let's find out more about the family behind Craft with Cartwright. 

Craft with Cartwright blog logo
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Tuesday, 9 October 2018

National Citizen Service For 16-17 Year Old's This Autumn

My eldest daughter is turning sixteen in two weeks time, she is in her final year of secondary school (year 11) and will be taking her GCSE exams in the summer. After school she is still not entirely sure what she wants to do, she wants to head off to college to continue her education but every week she changes her mind on which subject she wants to take. One minute she wants to do A Levels in Art and History, the next she wants to do a digital marketing course and last week she wanted to be a physiotherapist. She honestly has no idea what she wants to do and I often worry she feels a bit overwhelmed and lost by it all. 

This is where National Citizen Service comes in, you may remember I wrote about NCS back in the spring, if you missed it you can read it here. NCS is a government back programme for 16-17 years olds to take part in that helps prepare teens for life after school, with team building exercises, a residential trip that will help teach life skills and a community action based project to help the teens of today become better citizens.

NCS outdoor activity
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Monday, 8 October 2018

10 Reasons To Visit Pirates Village Hotel In Majorca

Pirates Village is a family-friendly hotel based in Santa Ponsa, Majorca. If you are a regular reader you will know this is where we went on our family holiday back in May (which we paid for ourselves) and I have previously written a review of the hotel and a post all about the all-inclusive food and drink at the hotel as well as a more general holiday post and a bit about Santa Ponsa. We had such a wonderful holiday at Pirates Village and I would 100% recommend it to anyone with children aged 3-10 as it is ideal for children in this age group. 

pirates village pirate attack

So I thought that I would sum up ten reasons why we really liked Pirates Village and why you should visit for your family holiday. 
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Friday, 5 October 2018

10 Reasons Majorca Is The Perfect Family Holiday Destination

Majorca is one of my favourite holiday destinations, I have visited the island twice now and I am sure we will revisit again one day soon as it is the ideal destination for a family holiday. When we were deciding where to go for our first family holiday as a family of five we picked Majorca for a few different reasons and I was so glad we did, it was ideal for the little two's first holiday abroad. Majorca is not the cheapest family holiday destination but for us, it was worth every penny. So here are some of the reasons why I think Majorca is the perfect family holiday destination.

The beach at Santa Ponsa in Majorca

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Thursday, 4 October 2018

Disney On Ice Presents Dream Big Review

Disney on Ice is back in town with this years show Dream Big and we headed along to Metro Radio Arena to see the show for ourselves on opening night (on Tuesday). We are huge Disney on Ice fans in our house, I must have seen at least ten shows over the years as I used to take my eldest when she was younger and for the past four years, we have taken Sophia (aged 5). No matter how many times we have seen Disney on Ice we always enjoy the show and find it rather magical, this year was no exception - in fact, I think I would go as far as to say it was probably my favourite show to date! 

The show started at 6.30pm and Tinkerbell burst onto the stage closely followed by Mickey, Minnie and the gang to get the packed audience up on their feet and dancing for the warm-up. Sophia and her friend were mesmerised from the start as they looked on in wonder with pure joy written all over their little faces. 

Ariel on ice with sisters
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Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring The Life Of Spicers

Welcome back to my guest post series Other Bloggers Family Lives, I ran this series for two years before taking a bit of a break over the summer as I took a bit of a break from blogging to spend time with my son before he started school. I decided to bring this series back as it was always popular and I love finding out more about the bloggers behind the blogs I read. 

This week I am featuring Angela who blogs at The Life Of Spicers which is a family lifestyle and travel blog. It features family adventures with her husband and daughter and lots of Disney related posts. 

So let's find out a bit more about the family behind The Life Of Spicers. 

Blogger The Life Of Spicers family at Disney World Florida

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Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Things I Loved September 2018

September seems to have flown by so quickly, it really doesn't seem like the children have been back at school for a month already. September was a month of big change for us, as all three children are now in full-time school. It is taking some getting used but we are starting to find a new routine, although I am still finding it so strange not having any children at home during the day and having the house to myself. 

As the children were returning to school and we were adjusting to new routines we have not done a lot in September. The children are tired after school and have been preferring weekends at home in the warmth then days out on the weekends. This month seems so boring compared to last month, but here is a look at some of the things I loved in September. 

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Saturday, 29 September 2018

9 Months Until I Say I Do - Starting To Panic

It is now only nine months until I get married and I am starting to panic slightly! When we booked our wedding last summer we had two whole years to plan our wedding and for the first year, we pretty much did nothing as we thought we had ages of time. Earlier this year I booked all of our main suppliers such as the photographer, cake maker etc. Since then we have also booked the florist, videographer, sourced stationery and give notice of marriage at the registry office. 

But we still have so much to do and now it is only nine months away I am majorly starting to stress out! I still don't have a dress, rings or suits, we haven't had the menu tasting yet and we haven't written a guest list. I still have so many decor bits to source and arrange and we have so much saving to do too as we are paying for everything apart from the venu hire and cake, which were gifts from our parents. 

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Friday, 28 September 2018

The World Has Gone Cleaning Crazy

Unless you have been living under a rock lately than I am sure you have heard of Mrs Hinch, the Instagram cleaning sensation. She lives in a beautiful and super clean home and she shares cleaning tips on her Instagram stories earning her heaps of followers and stores are selling out of the products she uses. She really is just a normal woman sharing how she cleans her home each day but everyone is going crazy for her and she has inspired a whole new generation of women (and men) to get their clean on #HinchArmy style. She even appeared on This Morning recently, she is that popular.


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Thursday, 27 September 2018

Things To Do In Santa Ponsa Majorca With Children

Back In May, we went on holiday to Majorca, staying at the Pirates Village hotel in Santa Ponsa. The main reason we decided to visit Santa Ponsa was that we loved the look of the Pirates Village hotel, we had spent hours searching online for a small child-friendly hotel and the reviews for Pirates Village looked great so we booked back in June 2017. We had no idea what Santa Ponsa was like as we had never been before, although I have previously been to Alcudia in Majorca. Santa Ponsa is a smaller resort so I was a bit worried that there would be nothing for children to do, especially as it is fairly close to the party resort of Magaluf. However we found Santa Ponsa to be great for a family holiday, there was a real mix of people holidaying in the resort from stag and hen parties to couples and lots of families. 

my children walking along the beach in Santa Ponsa Majorca

We spent a week exploring the resort and we found it really family-friendly with plenty to keep children and adults entertained. So here are some things to do with children in Santa Ponsa, Majorca. My friend Sam from Travelling With Our Kids has a great post on 5 Things To Do In Majorca With Kids if you fancy exploring the island. 
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Monday, 24 September 2018

Pirates Village Hotel In Santa Ponsa Majorca Review

Back in May, we went on holiday to Majorca, staying at Pirates Village hotel which is located in Santa Ponsa. We booked a package deal online through Jet2 and paid £2450 for the five of for a week all-inclusive, this included one free child's place and we had paid extra for pre-booked seats on the flight and an extra £120 for a ground floor terrace room. I wrote about our holiday back in May and since writing about my holiday I have had six people contact both myself and my partner saying they have booked this hotel after seeing how much we enjoyed it, So I have been meaning to write this review of the hotel for a while. So eventually here is my review of the Pirates Village hotel in Majorca. 

Exterior of Pirates Village hotel in Majorca
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Friday, 21 September 2018

Flamingo Land Theme Park Review

In August my little boy turned four and to celebrate we decided to have a family day out at Flamingo Land theme park in North Yorkshire. This was the first time we had taken the little two (aged four and five) to a theme park before so we were unsure if they would like the rides or not and picked Flamingoland as it also has a zoo and other things to do as well as the rides. Flamingo Land is somewhere where both myself and my partner had both visited as children ourselves and is somewhere I have taken my eldest in the past. 

We visited on a Sunday during August and arrived at around 10.30am, it was a two and a half hour drive from our home in Tyneside. We were expecting it to be really busy as we were visiting during the summer holidays but it was not to bad and we were through the ticket barriers in no time at all, we had already purchased tickets in advance.

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Thursday, 20 September 2018

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Series 3 Review

My 5-year-old daughter loves Hatchimals, last Christmas she got the big twin Hatchimals and some of the little CollEGGtibles which she really likes. This Christmas she has added more of the CollEGGtibles to her Christmas list as she loves hatching the little eggs and seeing what Hatchimals she will find inside. Like most children, she loves the surprise element of opening these toys, thanks to YouTube videos. Hatchimals have a Series 3 collection out in time for Christmas with over 100 CollEGGtables to collect in this series. 

Sophia was lucky enough to be sent some Hatchimals CollEGGtibles series 3 to review from Spinmaster, she was so excited when the box arrived and could not wait to open them up and see which CollEGGtibles she would find to add to her collection. We were sent the one dozen egg carton which looks just like a box of dozen eggs, a four pack a two pack with a nest and a blind bag. 

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles series 3 collection on grass
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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

A Family Meal At Frankie & Benny's Metrocentre

As a family, we often dine out and one of our go-to places has always been Frankie & Benny's. When my eldest (now almost 16-years-old) was younger I always took her to Frankie & Benny's for breakfast or lunch during the school holidays and we have celebrated many of her past birthdays there too. My younger children have been visiting since they were toddlers and always think it is a treat when we visit for a meal as they love the food and laid back atmosphere, perfect for family dining. 

Frankie and Bennys chicken burger in bun with fries

Last weekend we were invited along to Frankie & Benny's in the Metrocentre to try out the new menu and to see what we thought of the restaurant after its recent refurb. Arriving at lunchtime on a Sunday the restaurant was fairly busy, we were showing to an upstairs table and managed to bag one of the coveted corner booths. The restaurant was bright and welcoming with a more modern look since we last visited. 
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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

A Pizza Party At The Astley Arms

Recently my little boy turned four and as part of his birthday celebrations, we headed to our local Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery pub The Astley Arms, in Seaton Sluice. Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery have recently launched Pizza Parties which are the perfect way to celebrate a child's birthday as it is something a bit different and lots of fun and we were asked if we like to go along and try them out - perfect timing.

the Astley Arms pub in Seaton Sluice

As a family, we often visit The Astley Arms for a carvery and my brother visits often for buffet breakfasts, it is a lovely pub opposite Seaton Sluice beach and play park. 
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Sunday, 9 September 2018

Disney On Ice presents Dream Big

Like a lot of families, Disney On Ice is something we look forward to each year. Every year the show tours UK arenas and it is once again heading to Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena this October. I have been taking my children to see Disney On Ice for over ten years now, I used to take my eldest when she was small and now I take my younger children who love it just as much as their big sister did. Each year the show is different and this year it sounds like it is going to be extra special as Disney On Ice presents Dream Big.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse on ice

This year Moana takes to the ice for her European debut and we are super excited, my children (like so many we know) are huge Moana fans. Taking to the ice alongside demigod Maui I am sure she will have the audience captivated and we can't wait to see how she manages to swap the ocean for the ice rink. It sounds like it will be spectacular and not only will the show be featuring Moana but it will also feature eight tales of courage and heart, including Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Tangled. 

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Friday, 7 September 2018

Things I Loved August 2018

September is a month of big change in our household as my youngest will be starting school, for the first time all three children will be in full-time school. I have mixed emotions about this as Jacob has only just turned four so will be one of the youngest in his year group, however, I think he is ready for full-time school and that he will hopefully enjoy it. He is doing two weeks of half days to settle in and get used to his new teachers and classroom and then he will start full-time. My eldest has also started year 11, her final year in school and her GCSE year so she also has a big year ahead of her and Sophia has gone into year 1. Hopefully, I will have more time to blog and keep the house tidy now the children will all be in school. 

Anyway, let's have a look at some of the things that I have loved from the month gone by.


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Thursday, 6 September 2018

Sorting Out Our Finances To Save For More Holidays

Recently we suffered an unexpected bereavement in my family and it has made me realise just how precious and short life can be. It has made me want to grab life with both hands, follow my dreams and stop waiting for the right time to do things, as that time may never come. As a family our dream is to travel, myself and my partner always said once the children were a little bit older and of school age, we would travel more as a family, we want to show our children the world. Now that our youngest has turned four and will be off to school in a matter of days we have realised now is the perfect time to start following our dreams. 

We took the children on their first holiday abroad back in May, only to Majorca to see how they would cope with a change of routine and with flying. They both loved it and adapted well and this only ignited our desire to travel more. Like a lot of families, money holds us back when it comes to travelling.

view of Majorca from jet2 plane window coming in to land

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Saturday, 1 September 2018

10 Months Until I Say I Do

It is now only ten months to go until my wedding date, I really can't believe how fast it is coming around! We booked our wedding with two years to go and naively thought that we had loads of time so didn't really do much and now I am majorly regretting that as we still have so much to save up for and I am panicking about losing weight to fit into a dress! 

This month we have done a little bit of wedding planning, we have booked the last of our suppliers which is a relief. I really wanted a videographer for the wedding and I finally talked the other half around into booking a one, yay! I spent hours looking online at videographers and eventually found a one that was in budget, that I liked the style of and where you actually got lots of footage of the day as some you only got a very short video from. So I have managed to get that sorted and booked and deposit is all paid, I think I will feel nervous being on camera all day but hopefully, I won't notice after a while as I think it will be nice to have a video of our big day to look back on. 

flowers
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Friday, 31 August 2018

Teen Talk With Gabby Logan

 My eldest turns 16 in just a few short weeks, she is entering her final year at school and will be sitting her GCSEs in the summer. Parenting a teen over the last few years has been a lot different from parenting a younger child, it is something that I am still learning about as we are constantly faced with new challenges. The latest challenge is to get her to spend some time at home (she is always out) and concentrate on her school work ready for her exams in the summer. Parenting a teen, like any kind of parenting has its good and bad days, luckily mostly good in our house.

I may not mention my teenager much on my blog, mainly because she is older and is always out with her friends so rarely comes on days out with us. However last year you may remember I wrote about Teen Talk with Gabby Logan, well Teen Talk is back again this year with #TheTeenTalk Guide. This includes tips and advice to help parents and children feel confident as they journey through puberty. The guide is free to download from the Boots website and is sponsored by well know P&G brands such as Gillette, Aussie, always, Tampax, head & shoulders and Oral B.


Gabby Logan is taking part in this campaign once again as she is Mum to teenage twins, Lois and Reuben. I was asked if I would like to interview Gabby as part of the campaign and here is what she had to say.
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Thursday, 30 August 2018

Kynren - An Epic Tale Of England Review

On Saturday night we were kindly invited along to Kynren - an epic tale of England, a live-action outdoor show performed here in the North East in Bishop Auckland, Durham. The show tells the story of England, spanning over 2,000 years of history, myth and legend, mostly based here in the North East. With a cast and crew of over 1,000 it really is a truly amazing show that is not like anything I have ever seen before.

Before seeing the show I had seen lots of advertising for Kynren and I had read a few blog posts and heard people recommend it, but I still did not really know what to expect. Seeing it for myself I was blown away, it is easy to see why it has so many 5* Tripadvisor reviews and is currently ranked among the top five must-see performances here in the UK. It exceeded my expectations and was so well organised. 

grey horse at Kynren
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Monday, 27 August 2018

Back To School With Jake Shoes

This year all three of my children will be in full-time school, my eldest will be in year 11, my 5-year-old will be in year one and my youngest will starting reception; as he has just turned four. All of the school uniforms have been bought and all we had left to buy were shoes. Like a lot of parents, I always put off buying school shoes until near the end of the school holidays as my children always seem to have growth spirts during the summer. However, I was not looking forward to heading into Newcastle city centre with three children to queue for hours to buy school shoes. 

So when Jake Shoes got in touch and asked if I would like to review some back-to-school shoes from their online shop I thought this would save us a lot of hassle. Jake Shoes are an independent shoe store based in Stockport & Manchester, as well as the physical stores they also have an online store that stocks shoes for men, women and children with a good selection of back-to-school shoes.

Lelli Kelly black patent leather school shoes

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Friday, 24 August 2018

Back To School Shopping At Silverlink Shopping Park

This September I have three lots of uniforms to buy as my youngest, Jacob has just turned four and will be starting reception school. Sophia will be in year one and my eldest, Chloe will be in her final year of school in year 11 and doing her GCSE's. I am normally so organised for back-school but this year I am not at all and had not even started buying anything, other than placing an order for school jumpers. I still had skirts, trousers, shirts, PE kits, stationery and everything else to buy for all three children. I really did not fancy a shopping trip into the city centre or to a busy shopping centre with three children in tow so I decided to head to Silverlink Shopping Park in North Tyneside instead. 

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Saturday, 18 August 2018

The Moscow State Circus Is In Newcastle

The iconic and much-loved Moscow State Circus is back on Newcastle's town moor this week with new show Gostinitsa and it is sure to delight fans both old and young. We were very kindly invited along to see the show yesterday afternoon and once again we were blown away with the stunts and performance and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. We visited with family aged between 60 (my dad) and my son who is 3 (very almost four) and every member of our group had a brilliant time, we were on the edge of our seats during the stunts to roaring with laughter at some of the slapstick humour. It really is a show that the whole family will enjoy. 

Located on Newcastle's Town Moor just outside of the city centre you can not miss the big red top circus tent, with plenty of free onsite parking and regular buses from the city centre stopping just outside it is easy to get too. The show is running from the 15th to Tuesday the 21st August 2018 with performances twice a day, Check the website www.moscowstatecircus.com for full details and ticket prices. 

Moscow State Circus cast
Image courtesy of Moscow State Circus
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Friday, 17 August 2018

Adventure Valley Durham

Last weekend my daughter was invited to Adventure Valley, Durham for a birthday party and we decided to take her little brother along for a day out too as it looked like lots of fun. Adventure Valley is located in Brasside, Durham close to Frankland prison and is well signposted, we managed to find it easily. This was our first time visiting and I did not know what to expect but we had such an amazing time that I am sure it won't be our last visit.

Adventure Valley is an indoor and outdoor play centre that is ideal for children aged three plus, although I am sure slightly younger children would also enjoy it too. There was so much to see and do and you could easily spend the whole day there exploring and having fun as it is huge. It costs £10.95 per person to visit or £9.95 per person if you pre-book tickets online, children under the age of two are free.

Adventure Valley Durham
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Monday, 13 August 2018

A Family Staycation With Jurys Inn

Last week we had a family staycation, here in Newcastle at the Jurys Inn hotel in the city centre. Staying in a hotel in the city we live in is something that I had never thought about doing before as we live just a fifteen-minute drive from Newcastle city centre. However, since staying in a hotel in my home city I can see why people do it as it is a great way to explore places you may not often visit and it is fun to be a tourist in your own city. 

The Jurys Inn hotel is a great base to explore Newcastle, it is just a few minutes walk from the train station and very close to the Metro radio arena, the nightlife and the city centre shops. When we were first invited to stay at the hotel as a family I was a bit worried that the hotel would be full of hen and stag parties as it is located so close to the train station and bars such as Power House and Boulevard. There were a few groups of friends staying at the hotel but there was also other families and couples staying too and we had a very peaceful stay, despite staying on a Saturday night in August. 

Jurys Inn Newcastle double bedroom
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