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out and about

Posted on April 16, 2013

Go Wild with Next

Event/ out and about

A couple of weeks ago we got to attend the Go Wild with Next event at ZSL London Zoo! I had never been to London Zoo before and decided that I would brave it on my own with the two little ones.
10 Next treated us to a preview of their new range, a lovely play area for the kids, a meerkat viewing and a lovely lunch as well as some fab goodie bags! It was a really lovely day and I am so pleased I made the effort and took the kids! The journey on the train was just over 1.5 hours each way and then we got a cab straight to the Zoo so it wasnt too stressful!

We also got to chat to the designers behind the children’s wear who were very lovely and open to our suggestions!

The event room before the kids hit it...

The event room before the kids hit it…

Next's Summer 2013 Childrenswear Range

Next’s Summer 2013 Children’s wear Range

There are so many gorgeous clothes in the range… I picked out just a few of our favourites to show you!

Bugs will look adorable in the Zebra Sun Safe Suit £12-£13

Bugs will look adorable in the Zebra Sun Safe Suit £12-£13

Bugs adored this Kermit T-shirt, £9-£10

Bugs adored this Kermit T-shirt, £9-£10

Boo would look beautiful in this Elephant Appliqué Dress, £24-£26

Boo would look beautiful in this Elephant Appliqué Dress, £24-£26

The Next photographer took some gorgeous photos of my kids… which I just LOVE!




We all got to take home a goody bag; the kids got new sunglasses and sun hats which they love and wore all they way home on the train 😉

Photo 03-04-2013 21 55 41

We had a lovely time walking around the Zoo for a couple of hours after the event before we went to get the train! It was a fabulous day and so nice to see so many familiar faces! A huge thank you to Next for treating us to a lovely day out once again! :)

Posted on July 24, 2012

Disney Live! presents Mickey’s Magic Show!

out and about/ Review

Last Friday we were lucky enough to get to go and watch Mickey’s Magic Show at Capital Fm Arena in Nottingham. I’ve never been to any of the Disney shows before apart from the ones at Disneyland Paris so I was really unsure what to expect; but had a very good feeling as Disney usually produce quality!

Mickey, Minnie and a host of Disney friends come together in their very own magic show live on stage!

Witness the magic from legendary Disney films performed right before your eyes. See the Fairy Godmother transform Cinderella’s rags into a beautiful ball gown; the spectacular levitation of Aladdin’s Princess Jasmine; and the enchanted dancing brooms of Fantasia.

Join Donald and Goofy, Alice and the Mad Hatter, the Disney Princesses, plus many more for a one-of-a-kind stage show you’ll never forget – when Disney Magic takes on a whole new meaning!

We took Boo & her little friend from school and they are both 5 – I would say they are the perfect age for the show, I’m sure if they had been younger they wouldn’t have understood the magic or had the patience for it and would have been fidgeting! The girls really really enjoyed the show especially the part where they “magic-ed” on the Disney Princesses! The levitation of Princess Jasmine was brilliant and the girls were completely AMAZED!

The show was really fantastic and there was great audience interaction and participation throughout! I do wish we has been closer to the front; it is really hard to feel part of it when you are so far from the stage so I would say it is definitely worth paying a bit extra to get a better seat! The Arena is huge and probably not the best place for a stage show such as this but it was brilliant anyway!

Thankfully I took some sweets for the girls to enjoy throughout the show, I really would advise anyone going to watch it to do the same, the cost of food, drink and products is very expensive!  Popcorn costs £7 and a brochure costs £8. I really don’t see the need for such high costs when tickets are £18+ each! I bought the girls a Minnie Mouse helium balloon each as we went out, they were £5 each which is pretty standard for a balloon nowadays; unfortunately Boo let hers go so it was a total waste of money! If you buy a balloon tie it to their wrist or you will have a very distraught child on your hands 😉

The tour dates are as follows –

UK Tour 2012

AECC P&J Arena, Aberdeen

Friday 6th – Sunday 8th July 2012

Braehead Arena, Glasgow
Wednesday 11th – Sunday 15th July 2012

Capital FM Arena, Nottingham
Friday 20th – Sunday 22nd July 2012

The NIA, Birmingham
Wednesday 25th – Sunday 29th July 2012

The Lowry Theatre, Salford
Wednesday 1st August – Sunday 5th August 2012 

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
Wednesday 8th – Saturday 11th August 2012

Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield
Tuesday 14th & Wednesday 15th August 2012

Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
Friday 17th – Sunday 19th August 2012

The Brighton Centre
Thursday 23rd  – Sunday 26th August 2012

Echo Arena, Liverpool
Wednesday 29th August – Sunday 2nd September 2012

The star of the show was by far Donald Duck! he was very funny and the girls loved him!!! Bravo Disney! A really great performance :)

* We were given tickets by Disney to go and watch the show in exchange for this review

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Posted on July 12, 2012

Sand Le Mere Holiday Park Review

Adventures/ out and about/ Review/ trip review

A while ago I was asked if we would like to review a short break at Sand Le Mere Holiday Village on the East Yorkshire Coast; obviously I said yes and cheekily asked if we would be able to stay in one of their 3 bedroom Luxury Lodges. At the time I thought Lero would be coming with us so I knew if we stayed in a caravan that we would be getting under each others feet. I was over the moon  when he came back and said yes we could :)

The kids enjoying Trunki races :)

So off we went up to Sand le Mere – it’s just under a 2 hour drive from Nottingham so it’s not a bad journey; the kids kept themselves entertained in the back with the iPad whilst my job as always is to navigate (pretend to navigate and play on twitter instead and get us lost) – anyway we arrived at Sand Le Mere at about 2pm; our letter said not to arrive on park until 3pm but I thought I’d go and see if our accommodation was ready anyway! It was thankfully and we all excitedly went to our lodge! The Lodge was gorgeous; everything we could have hoped for and More! There was a even dishwasher!!! 😉 I have some videos which I am just preparing from our lodge – so you’ll get a better idea of how fab it was soon!

Relaxing ;)

Sand le Mere have just invested over 4 million in brand new facilities and they had only just opened when we went. The facilities are brilliant and they really appeal to me as they are all shiny, clean and new 😉 The new swimming pool is fab and we spent lots of time in here. Boo & Bugs especially loved the children’s splash area with slide whilst Mummy & Daddy preferred to go and sit in the Sauna & Steam room. The pool is free if you are staying at Sand le Mere; although they do have slots during the day set aside for certain activities such as aqua jets, inflatable, water polo etc and these are available at extra cost. Our two little ones were a bit young to enjoy any of these other activities so we didn’t get to go to any of those but they’d be great for older kids and teens. The changing facilities are brilliant – all spotless, lots of single cubicles and some family ones too! There is also a really good gym that James enjoyed a couple of time; personally I went on holiday for a rest 😉

Beautiful fountain & lake

The holiday village is very pretty and serene and we all really enjoyed our time there! There is a beautiful fishing lake on the park which is a really lovely place to walk round; James would have loved to have gone fishing there if he had chance! Although we were only there for 4 nights we really did relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. We had no phone signal, wifi or 3g while we were on site and it was really lovely to just switch off from technology and enjoy the kids!

The kids loved feeding the ducks :)

We got to sit out most evenings while we were there; the lodge had patio doors onto the decked area with patio furniture – it was wonderful just to sit out and enjoy a glass of wine while the kids sped up and down on their trunki’s. Each night we headed down to the brand new show lounge which had Bingo at 8pm and then a children’s disco or games at 8.30pm. I would have prefered this to have been at 7.30pm as my kids were exhausted by 8.30pm! The staff were all really lovely and great with the kids!

Enjoying a beer.

The site has a really well stocked shop but I was put off from buying anything as probably 90% off the items were not priced! Instead we nipped to the local Tesco which was about 10 minute drive.  I think we would have been lost if we had not had a car as the activities on site could not have kept us entertained for the time we were there. If you’re looking for a peaceful holiday village with lovely facilities then I would definitely consider Sand Le Mere but do a bit of research first to see what is out there for you to do! You may find this website to be of some help :)

Boo at Sand Le Mere Fishing Lake

Whilst at Sand le Mere we took two day trips. One day we went to Hull and to The Deep which is good; overpriced but good! We spent about 2 hours there; I think the kids could have done with being a bit older to fully appreciate it but they loved the aquarium :) On the other day we went to Bridlington; which is a lovely day out – unfortunately it rained when we went but we still got to enjoy the sea front :)

Tunstall Beach

We had a really lovely time at Sand le Mere and would definitely go again :)

Posted on April 27, 2012

Frankie & Benny’s Review

eating out/ local review/ out and about/ Review

When Lero was here a couple of weeks ago I took him to Frankie & Benny’s for a special Mum/Son meal! I let him choose what ever he wanted off the menu (a teenage boy’s dream!) We arrived about 6.30pm to the Lenton restaurant in Nottingham. It wasn’t very busy, there were a few families in so I wasn’t concerned about how the service would be. I thought we’d be done in time to catch a movie! We were showed to our table straight away and given the menu and asked if we would like drinks while we decide. The menu is huge and there is so much choice it took us a while to decide, we eventually decided and our waitress took our order. the waitress was polite but not particularly friendly. After about 15 minutes I asked if would be OK if we could move tables as I was freezing and every time the door opened I got a draft, this seemed to annoy the waitress a little; I’m not sure why as there were many other empty table in the restaurant. Anyway she moved us and it was still a little chilly but much better than where we were. 

After 45 minutes we were brought our starters, yes 45 minutes is quite a while for a starter isn’t it! Especially when I had been watching the waitresses walk past them on the counter for the last 20 minutes! Needless to say my Bruschetta as lovely looking as it was; was actually stone cold! Thankfully after letting our waitress know she brought another over in under 5 minutes! 

My Bruschetta was served stone cold! The second one however was delicious!
Lero had no complaints about his Large Chicken Wings

Thankfully the rest of the evening the service got better; I wish I could say the same for the food! Lero opted for a *special* Oven Baked Chicken Parmigiana I’m really not sure what was special about it to be quite honest. The sweetcorn was completely overdone and so dry; the spaghetti was dry and stuck to the plate. Lero compared the taste to tinned Ravioli, definitely not worth  £13.95. My main course was Chicken Club Triple Decker it was supposed to be served on wholemeal bread but they didn’t have any left so I go ciabatta instead. It was served with chips and coleslaw. Not a bad meal but you can’t really go wrong with a chicken sandwich!! 

Oven Baked Chicken Parmigiana – not so special!
My Chicken Club Triple Decker

For our desserts we chose from the lighter options because 1 we were stuffed and 2 I didn’t want to go over the £50 voucher which we had been given to review their new menu. I had Chocolate Pancakes at £2.95 they were simply dreadful – I was given a spoon to eat them but what I actually needed was a steak knife; they were so dry and tough. I had a couple of mouthfuls and left them. Lero had Lemon Sorbet which he said was lovely but still I begrudge paying £2.95 for two tiny scoops!! 

Chocolate Pancake – awful dry, tough pancakes!
Two scoops of Lemon Sorbet – can’t get that wrong!
So overall I wasn’t particularly happy with our Frankie & Benny’s experience, Thankfully we didn’t have to pay for it. The bill came to £53 and the waitress knocked off my starter which brought it to £48 so the voucher covered it. 

Would I go again? No.

Oh and we never did get to catch that film… 
Posted on April 20, 2012

Out & About – Gullivers Kingdom at Matlock Bath

Adventures/ day out/ out and about/ Review/ trip review
Gulliver’s Kingdom is a family run theme park set on a hill side in Matlock Bath, Derbyshire. I was recently invited to Gulliver’s on a press event but have been a few times before when Lero and Boo were smaller. Gulliver’s really is a great family day out with over 65 rides, attractions and shows to see each day. Boo is at a perfect age for Gulliver’s and could go on every ride she wanted to, even Bugs and I went on a lot of rides so we really did get our money’s worth! 
The one thing about Gulliver’s that I always forget is that it is set on a really steep hillside! I always forget just how steep it is until I get there! If you have a pushchair it is HARD work! But don’t let it put you off as you will have a really good day and if you’re cheeky like I am then you can just get one of the nice young staff to help you out! ;O) Since my last visit Gulliver’s have installed a travelator to the top half of the park so this makes things a lot easier; they are looking in to getting more installed but they also have a chair lift so fear not… it really is worth going 😉 
Gulliver’s has a good selection of places to eat, all reasonably priced. there are toilets and baby-changing on every level which are all clean. It is also worth mentioning that over 50% of their rides and attractions are undercover so if it does happen to rain on your day out, your visit will not be ruined! 
Gulliver’s have lots of special event’s throughout the year such as a Pirates & Princesses weekend in May, a Teddy Bear’s Picnic weekend in June and many more. They also do great kids birthday parties! The entry price to Gulliver’s is £13.95 this I feel is very reasonable and well worth the money.

For more information go to 

Posted on September 10, 2011

A Trip to West Midlands Safari Park

Adventures/ day out/ out and about
This post is quite photo heavy so please be patient – hope you like the pics x

A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to go to West Midlands Safari Park thanks to Hyundai. We got to test drive the new Hyundai i40 Tourer around the park! WHICH WAS AMAZING!! James who drove the car was totally impressed! I just fell in love with the heated seats LOL The kids were very comfy in the back – all three of them! They are used to beeing squashed up in the Audi or Golf so they were mega impressed that they had room to strech out! Especially Lero who is 6ft 1in LOL!

Anyway here are a few piccies from our trip! We had a fab day and would really recommend a trip to WMSP if you are close by!! xxx

Boo, Lero & Bugs in the i40 – about to go on Safari 😉


Someone feeding an animal they shouldn’t!!
Mr or Mrs ?? Rhino

Amazing Animals!!!

Sleepy :O)

Bugs couldn’t take the excitement ;O)

Boo & Lero when they weren’t fighting ;O)

Daddy showing Boo what would happen if she stuck her arm out the window hehe!

Self portrait of me & the kids :O)

Yes I was that crazy woman with my window down! Sorry!!!

Not sure what they’d seen!! thinki it was the naughty boy in the car in front!

I love the Elephants!

The Giraffes were AMAZING!! We were so close to them!!

Love this!!

Photo Point! You just have to ;O)

Boo and I enjoying the rides :O)

Goodness it’s a good job my battery ran out else i’d be here all day LOL
Thumbs up to West Mids Safari Park & Hyundai xxx
Posted on August 14, 2011

A Trip to Chester Zoo…

Adventures/ day out/ out and about/ Review/ trip review
This post is quite photo heavy so please be patient – hope you like the pics x
On Friday we all got in the car & drove 2 hours to Chester Zoo for the day. We last went to Chester Zoo in 2005 so I was really looking forward to seeing if it had changed or been developed. We arrived at 9:55am and opening was 10am, the car park was filling up and there was a short queue to pay. As we had pre-paid tickets we were able to go straight to the fast track entrance and got straight in.
Tsavo Black Rhino
Chester Zoo is set in 110 Acres of fabulous gardens and has 7,000 animals! Many of which are exotic and endangered! As we walked around I noticed how HUGE the place is. The animals have wonderful, clean, large enclosures and seem really well looked after!
Boo & Bugs stop & pose for a snap!

On entry you are given a map with suggested routes and the distance each route is – as always we didn’t follow any route and just ambled our way around making sure we visited all the animals :)

Chester Zoo has great facilities, everywhere seemed very clean, I visited the loos & baby changing several times throughout the day and each time they were very clean and no queues either which was such a relief! There seemed to be lots of places to eat and get snacks, ice cream, drinks etc – we took a picnic and easily found a lovely table for us to sit and enjoy it (except for the damn wasps!!!) I did get a latte from a little hut on the way round the zoo and that was gorgeous! I always dread getting coffee when I’m out but I’m really pleased I risked it! Boo & Lero had ice cream’s which they said were delicious! So they were happy too!
Cheetahs chilling in the sun.
We really enjoyed seeing all the animals! My personal favourites were the Bush Dogs, they were adorable! They just kept walking around their enclosure in a line – it was so funny to watch!
Boo loved the Butterfly journey and went on an adventure to see how many she could see! There were some really beautiful butterflies as you can see from the photos below!
Gorgeous butterfly in the Butterfly Journey!

Gorgeous butterfly in the Butterfly Journey!

The dinosaur exhibition was incredible! Boo was a little scared and couldn’t walk through it quick enough but it really was amazing!! Lero really enjoyed that as did my OH! 

The dinosaurs were FANTASTIC!

So cute!

Very Scary!

Just before we went home we got the monorail from Jubilee Square to Monkey Island Station. We all really enjoyed this especially Boo who was so excited to go on it! It wasn’t too busy either and we only had to queue for about 10 minutes before we boarded! It was great to see the zoo from a different perspective!

The Monorail.
All in all we had a brilliant day at Chester Zoo and would definitely go again and be happy to pay the full entry price :O)
Boo with the map!

Boo & Lero see how they compare!

Boo waiting to go on the monorail!
Boo & Lero on The Monorail.

Me, Bugs and my OH on the Monorail :)
You can find out more about Chester in the Chester Guide & if you are looking for more attractions then Chester Zoo Short Breaks will help you out immensely :)
We were provided with a free family ticket to Chester Zoo by Superbreak in exchange for a blog post of our visit. All photos and thoughts are my own :O)
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