Thursday 15 December 2022

Beauty And The Beast Pantomime At The Tyne Theatre Newcastle Review

 AD / Gifted Tickets 

Enchanted Entertainment are back at The Tyne Theatre and Opera House in Newcastle with this years panto Beauty and the Beast. Geordie panto favourites Charlie Richmond and Lewis Denny return alongside Union J's, JJ Hamblett and Sugarbabe Amelle Berrabah, to bring you a classic Geordie panto with a French twist this Christmas. 

Set in the village of Chateau Du Toilette you are whisked away on a tale as old as time with plenty of laughs, mishaps and panto silliness along the way. Charlie Richmond plays Daveed Granola and is his usual silly self, getting the audience laughing and on side from the get go. Lewis Denny stars as Dame Brenda Brexit and dazzles in some amazing costumes this year (loved the McDonald's one), the on stage chemistry between Lewis and Charlie is evident to see and it just makes the show so enjoyable as you can tell they are just having fun throughout the show. 

Beauty and the Beast panto Tyne Theatre


Wednesday 14 December 2022

Aladdin Panto At Whitley Bay Playhouse 2022 Review

 AD / Gifted Tickets 

It wouldn't be Christmas without a trip to the panto and one we look forward to every year is the one at Whitley Bay Playhouse in North Tyneside. Blue Genie Entertainment always put on such an amazing show and the Playhouse is such a great venue, it really is a show that the whole family will enjoy. We have been visiting this pantomime since 2016 when the children were just two and three years old and they love it just as much now as eight and nine year olds as they did then (so do us grown-ups). 



Aladdin panto whitley bay


Thursday 3 November 2022

Lunch At Umai Mi Newcastle With Kids


Looking for somewhere to head for lunch in Newcastle with the kids? Then  I would recommend Umai Mi in Eldon Square, Newcastle. I visited last week with the kids (aged 8 and 9) and they loved it! 

Umai Mi is located within Greys Quarter in the bustling Eldon Square shopping centre in the heart of the city. It is the perfect location for lunch as a family when shopping in Newcastle city centre. Umai Mi is a oriental kitchen serving up yummy dishes such as sushi, dim sum, poke bowls and noodle dishes to name just a few. They have a range of menus such as a main menu, lunchtime menu, kids menu and they also cater for vegans, veggies and have gluten free options available too. 

Umai Mi Newcastle

We visited on a weekday lunchtime during half-term so I dined off the lunch time menu which is £15 for two courses. Children's meals are a total bargain at £5.99 for a main and dessert. Children are provided with menus they can colour and complete activities on, which kept mine entertained whilst they waited for their meals to arrive. 


Friday 21 October 2022

Things To Do This Half-Term

 Collaborative Post

Looking for things to do with the kids this half-term holidays? Well look no further as I have a list of ideas of things to do this October half-term, some Halloween inspired and some without a pumpkin or ghoul in site. 

Halloween Events 

It wouldn't be October half-term without a few Halloween events so here are a few. 

pumpkin patch


Thinking About High School

Collaborative Post

Can you believe it is October already? This year had flown over - I say this all the time but I honestly think time speeds up when you have children. It feels like weeks ago that I was writing about my children being toddlers and starting nursery and now they are both in key stage two and the final few years at primary school! 

I have one in year four and one in year five and this time next year I will have to start applying for high-school places! I honestly don't even know where to begin when it comes to deciding which high school to send them too. When my 19 year old was younger she didn't get her first choice and ended up at the local secondary which wasn't the best, she ended up switching schools for her A-Levels. 


Monday 26 September 2022

Psychopath Event Review


Do you love a good scare? If so read on to find out all about Psychopath the North East's biggest scream park. If you like scary movies, horror, scares, thrills and want to experience something that will get your heart pounding then read on to find out what all the hype is about. 

What Is Psychopath?

Psychopath is an event held at Lintz Hall farm near Burnopfield in Durham, about a 30 minute drive from Newcastle. It is a Scream Park with several super scary attractions for you to explore that are filled with actors dressed in rather gruesome and frightful costumes. As well as the attractions there are also stage shows, fairground rides and food and drink stalls - meaning you can make a night of it. 

psychopath event review

It is outdoors and starts in the evening which adds to the scariness of the whole event. It is not for the faint hearted as it is designed to terrify you and people will jump out on you when you least expect it. But it is good fun and is ideal to visit with a group of friends for a scaretastic night out, it certainly beats sitting in a bar. 

Wednesday 31 August 2022

University Ready With Very


Are you ready for your teenager heading off to university for the start of term? My 19-year-old daughter is about to start her second year of a four year degree in education (she want's to be a primary school teacher). Her first year at university was a bit of a strange one as it was still mostly online due to the pandemic, so she lived at home and travelled to university one day per week. This year things are back to normal so she is planning to move out for the first time and we have been trying to get her prepared. 

back to university with very

If you have a child at uni then you will probably know that they don't actually get their student loan until after they have started their course. Meaning a lot of the stuff they will need to buy to move into student accommodation or to study will have to be bought beforehand. So we have had to buy a lot of things, stationary, laptops, text books and if they are moving out basic household items such as kettles and toasters. 


Wednesday 24 August 2022

Packing Tips For Family Adventures

 Guest Post

Adventures come in all shapes and sizes, from visiting foreign shores to exploring a new region in your own backyard. If you're doing something or going somewhere that's new to you then it can be classes as an adventure. 

Given that even day trips involve some form of packing, we've rounded up some top tips for what to put in your bag and how to arrange them - so you can just get on and enjoy the experience.

bear in suitcase


Wednesday 17 August 2022

Staycation or Foreign Travel?

In Collaboration 

Holiday's abroad are nice there is no denying it, guaranteed sunshine, splashing in the pool, lying on a beach and exploring new places with your family. However they can also be rather stressful - this year more so than ever! Passport delays, flight delays, holiday's being cancelled, sunbed wars and extra entry requirements and testing due to the pandemic and Brexit. There is not a day goes by without travel chaos being in the news recently. 

 This year we are not having a foreign holiday, in fact we haven't been abroad for a few years as they kept getting cancelled due to restrictions at the time. So we are having a few UK staycations instead and you know what the UK actually has a lot to offer. 

Amble harbour, Northumberland


Tuesday 16 August 2022

Northumberlandia - The Lady Of The North


Did you know that there is a giant lady landform sculpture that you can walk up in Northumberland? Located on the outskirts of Cramlington, you will find her and it is free to visit with free onsite parking too. Read on to find out more. 

What Is Northumberlandia?

Well Northumberlandia or the Lady Of The North as she is often referred to is a giant - I'm not kidding she is huge at 100 foot high at her tallest point and she has four miles of footpaths around her. She is set in 46 acres of public park which is lovely with forest areas, ponds and footpaths around or up her. 

northumberlandia sculpture

It is the world's largest landform sculpture and she has been there about 10 years now. If you see aerial photos of her then you will see she is a giant female, however as she is so big when you are walking around you will only be able to see certain features - her head is very noticeable for example. 

Monday 15 August 2022

Horse Riding Lessons At East Boldon Riding Centre


Ever wanted to learn to horse ride? or maybe you have a child who adores ponies and you think they would like riding lessons. If so read on to find out what we thought of riding lessons at East Boldon Riding Centre, located in Boldon Tyne and Wear. 

We were kindly invited to East Boldon Riding Centre to try out a riding lesson and see what we thought. My daughter Sophia (9) has been riding for a year at a different riding school and is pony crazy. Plus I was horse crazy as a child / teen and rode for 10 years up to a high level before giving up in my late teens - something I massively regret. So we do know a little bit about horses and it is actually something we are interested in. 

East Boldon Riding Centre review


Sunday 14 August 2022

Places To Eat In Newcastle This Summer


I love dining out during the summer in Newcastle, so many places have outdoor seating areas to enjoy an alfresco lunch. It also means I don't have to cook in this heat, plus Newcastle normally has great offers on during the summer months, from summer menu's, kids eat free or half price deals to the popular restaurant week where you can snap up some delicious meals for an incredible price. 

As a family we often dine out but I also enjoy meals out with my husband or lunch out with my grown-up daughter too. It is so nice to be out enjoying meals again after the pandemic and it is nice to see places busy and back to how they used to be. The great thing about Newcastle is that there is a huge range of amazing restaurants, cafes, street vendors and takeaways to choose from. Everything from afternoon tea, popular chains, family venues, romantic settings for date nights and themed restaurants. There are so many places opening that my list of places to try is huge!  

mussels from The Hustle Newcastle


Monday 8 August 2022

Beating Boredom This Summer With A Fun Seaside Game


Do you ever plan nice days out or holidays to the seaside with your children and they complain they are bored? Now my own children are getting older (they are 7 and 9) they get bored a lot easier then they used to and simple games like eye spy no longer appeal to them for long. One thing they do like though is games and challenges as they are very competitive! 

On a day out I don't want to be lugging toys and big games or electronics out with us, I need something small and lightweight that we can pop in a backpack and can be easily transported. So the perfect game is of course a deck of cards. Now my children are 7 and 9 years old and they don't understand traditional card games just yet, but matching pairs is a simple game they have enjoyed for years. 

aura print matching pairs seaside card game


Sunday 7 August 2022

Beauty and the Beast summer pantomime at Whitley Bay Playhouse


A pantomime in the summer? Oh yes there is! 

Once again Reece Sibbald productions is back at Whitley Bay Playhouse in North Tyneside with a summer panto. Now I know what your thinking pantos are for Christmas, well they are just as much fun in the summer and are definitely not just for Christmas. 

This years production was Beauty and the Beast staring popular regular cast members Reece Sibbald, Cal Halbert and Pippa Smith alongside Ryan Hill as the beast, Leah Cook as Belle and Phil Dixon as Dame Dotty. This year they had a special guest Jamie and Chuck from Britain's Got Talent. 

Summer pantomime whitley bay playhouse

The show was running from the 3rd to 7th of August 2022 so you have probably missed out on seeing it this year as today is the last day. Hopefully they will be doing another summer panto next year so you can grab some tickets as we have watched the summer panto a few times before. 


Monday 1 August 2022

The Big Northumberland Gear Change


Have you heard about The Big Northumberland Gear Change? It is a campaign from Northumberland council that aims to encourage us all to slow down, take stock and adopt more sustainable ways of moving around the county by walking and cycling. 

If you are local you will know just what a beautiful part of the country Northumberland is, with lots of countryside and coast to explore. So slowing down and taking the time to appreciate where we live and what we have right on our doorsteps really appeals to me, that is why I have signed up for The Big Northumberland Gear Change six week challenge. 

walltown northumberland


Monday 25 July 2022

The Hustle Newcastle Review


Heading into Newcastle this summer with the kids? If so then I know a great place to head for lunch and the food is rather delicious. The Hustle, it is definitely the place to be this summer. Located just outside of the Gate complex (where Tiger Tiger used to be) is The Hustle, somewhere that I would never have thought to take the kids too as it is well knowing as a cocktail bar serving bottomless brunches and tasty bar snacks. However during the day it is perfect for a family lunch in Newcastle city centre. 

The Hustle Newcastle

We visited at 12.30pm on a weekday for lunch with the kids, the bar was quiet with a few people sitting outdoors enjoying drinks or a meal and a few other people indoors. The interior was fun, stylish and very clean. Service was spot on, we were seated in a booth, handed menus and the server was really friendly and explained the menus to us and the children were giving colouring sheets and crayons. 


Monday 18 July 2022

Chummys Bakery Postal Brownie Delivery Review


Brownies are a little bit delicious and everyone in our house loves them, so when Chummys Bakery offered to send us a box in the post of course I agreed. Who could say no to a box of brownies? 

We were sent the postal box containing six of the best selling Brownies, flavours are Lotus Biscuit, Nutella, Salted caramel, Triple chocolate, Kinder Bueno and Ferrero Rocher. They also offer different brownie boxes where you can select your own flavours, cookies, blondies and rocky road bakes. 

chummys bakery brownies


Friday 15 July 2022

The Great North Museum - Hancock


Newcastle-upon-Tyne is home to some great museums, some of which are FREE to visit. One of these museums is the Great North Museum - or the Hancock museum as us locals may refer to it. Located close to the city centre just a few minutes walk from Haymarket bus and Metro station's and Northumberland street. Visiting the museum is free (however donations are very welcome), making it perfect for a low cost family day out in Newcastle. 

The Great North Museum has been in Newcastle for a long time and I remember visiting myself as a child on school trips and with my parents back in the 90's, when it was known as the Hancock Museum. About ten or so years ago it had a bit of a makeover and is now known as the Great North Museum: Hancock. 

Great North Hancock Museum review


Monday 11 July 2022

Lunch At Miller And Carter Gosforth

 We visited Miller and Carter Gosforth Park for the first time recently and I am already planning on revisiting as it was lush! I had wanted to visit for ages but wrongly thought that it was super expensive with it being a steak restaurant, yes there are some expensive things on the menu but there are also a lot of reasonable priced items too. They also do a good value lunchtime menu which was £15.95 for three courses, personally I think that is very good value. 

As it was our third wedding anniversary we decided to visit Miller and Carter to celebrate and the lunchtime menu was perfect, as like a lot of people we are watching the pennies at the moment but still wanted to visit somewhere nice. It also worked well as it meant we could visit when the children were at school and it is very local to where we live. 

Miller and carter gosforth


Friday 8 July 2022

Beach Box Jesmond Family Beach Camp

 AD - Invited 

Are you looking for something fun to do with the children this weekend? Well read on to see what we thought of Beach Box Jesmond. Beach Box is located in Jesmond, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, there is free onsite parking or it is just a short walk away from Haymarket in Newcastle city centre. It is a place to go for food and drinks during the summer and is popular with couples and groups of friends, however on a weekend they run a family Beach Camp which is great for a family outing. 


Thursday 7 July 2022

Why Do Adults In The North East Stay Closer To Home?

 Guest Post 

The cost of living has seen 87% of adults reporting an increase in their bills, combined with a housing market that is seeing record prices, many adults are struggling to make ends meet.

 A recent study by equity release specialists, key, found that around a third of people choose to live within 20 miles of where they grew up, that figure rises to 77% for those from the North East - but why? 

We'll look at the factors that are keeping grown kids close to home and how they compare with regions around the country. 


Friday 1 July 2022

Summer Days Out With The Kids

   Guest Post

Summer is here and that means that there are plenty of options for days out with the kids. With the sunny weather and the school holidays, you'll suddenly have many different opportunities. With more family time available, read on to find some of the best summer days out you can enjoy with the kids. 

flamingo land theme park


Thursday 30 June 2022

How To Save Money On Fuel

 guest post

Rising fuel costs have dominated the news headlines in the UK and beyond in recent months, government data shows average pump prices have risen consistently, with petrol prices reaching an average of 190.93 pence per litre on the 27th of June 2022, and diesel hitting 198.93 per litre. But you still need to get from A to B, there are ways to bring down your running costs. 

It still makes sense to buy used cars over new models, for example. Car sharing and driving less are effective choices too. But what about that pesky fuel that cars rely on so much? 


Monday 20 June 2022

A Family Day Out In Amble Northumberland

Living in the North East we are spoilt for choice with lovely coastal towns to explore, especially in Northumberland. So when the children had a extra day off school for the jubilee we decided to head to Amble in Northumberland for a family day out. Amble is located on the North East coast near Warkworth and Alnmouth and is a lovely harbour village filled with independent shops, places to eat and beautiful coastal views.

 It is about 30 miles north of Newcastle (about a 40 minute drive up the A1) or you can catch the bus from haymarket bus station in Newcastle city centre - the X18 or the X20 which takes about an hour and half (please check  the Arriva website for details). 

Amble harbour


Sunday 19 June 2022

How To Get The Family Car You Want At A Price You Can Afford

- Guest Post 

With the average price of petrol rocketing (set to hit £2 per litre) and the price of diesel reaching an all-time high, it's becoming increasingly expensive for families in the UK to run their vehicles. Despite the doom and gloom surrounding increased fuel and energy costs it is still possible to find your dream family car for an affordable price. Whatever your budget, there are affordable options available that could help you get on the road. 

What to consider when choosing a family car

Your dream family car could be more attainable than you think, but what are the key factors to take into account when choosing a new vehicle for you and your family? 

Friday 20 May 2022

Butlins Skegness Review

 A couple of weeks ago we headed to Butlins in Skegness for the ESF football tournament weekend with my son's football team. I had never been to Butlins before and I really didn't think it would be somewhere I would like, but we had the best weekend and it was nothing at all like I imagined it would be like. So what was it like? Well let me tell you. 

Getting There

We live just north of Newcastle and it took us about four hours to drive to Butlins Skegness,  with a short toilet stop for the kids on the way. You can also get the train but it requires three changes, Newcastle to Newark Northgate, Newark Northgate to Grantham then Grantham to Skegness and it takes 3 and a half hours, so a similar amount of time to driving. A quick look on Trainline has a family of four return at £150-£200 with a railcard. 

Butlins Skegness


Friday 18 February 2022

Hoover H-Free 500 Pet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Review

AD Review Product 

As a family of five with two dogs and a pet cat in the house, I feel like I am forever having to vacuum and sweep the floors and sofas for crumbs, hairs, and astroturf (if you have a child who plays football you will know what I'm talking about). We have a mix of wooden flooring, tiles and carpets in our home, and despite only being two years old our current vacuum cleaner is just not up to the job and I am always left feeling that the floors are never properly clean. 

So when I was offered to review the Hoover H-Free 500 Cordless Pet Vacuum Cleaner I obviously agreed. Hoover is such a well-known brand that people even use it when referring to other brands of vacuum cleaners, I bet we have all heard people saying "I'm just going to hoover the floors". My dad has a Hoover vacuum that he has had for about 20 years and it is still going strong now, which just proves what good quality products they are.  

Hoover H-Free 500 review The box

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