Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Do You Want Some Freebies?

If you have came across this post then the chances are you are looking for some Freebies. Everyone loves a good freebie and I spend a lot of time looking for freebies and discounts. It seems lately that it has been more difficult to find a good freebie that doesn't require signing your life away.

I have been using the website Gratisfaction. The website is really simple to use and as well as featuring freebies it also has a section with voucher codes and bargains.

The website is mobile friendly which has been great as I often like to just use my phone and I've found that there are still a number of websites that aren't mobile friendly. I like to look for anyway that I can save a few quid and even more so at this time of the year so being able to just look on here whilst I'm sat in the car on the school run is really handy, plus I can show the other mum's and dad's.

Below is a little list of my favourite freebies and bargains that I have found on the website.

Free Hugo Boss Perfume with Christmas coming up free perfume is a win.

Himalayan Salt Lamp I love these lamps and this is a great saving.
Dog Food you request a free sample and just pay P&P which is £2.50.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Lapland Mailroom: Review

When it comes to Christmas I like to get things sorted sooner rather than later. One thing for me that is it a must do ASAP is the Letter From Santa I panic that if I leave it too late then it won't arrive in time or the order books will be so full that they can't fit me in. Another issue is, choosing which Santa will write the letter. This year I'm working with Lapland Mailroom to create a magical letter for my children.

The Lapland Mailroom offers a great selection of personalised letters starting at just £8.95 and comes with a free good child certificate signed by the jolly man himself you can upgrade the package and opt for the one that comes with a Christmas activity pack priced at £9.95. Once you have chosen your package you can then choose from three different letter styles each one of them you can make more personal by adding location, saying what they left out last year and of course what they are hoping Santa will bring them. There is even an option on whether you use Santa Claus or Father Christmas.

The process is really easy and is full of opportunities to read what your letter says to make sure you are happy with it before purchasing it. If you are ordering more than one letter there is an option when you come to the payment section that says 'Add Another' there is also an option for express delivery which costs just 75p and the letter will be posted out to you in the next 48hrs.

I can't wait until the children's letter's arrive and to see the excitement on their face's. It has been such a pleasure to use this company for our Christmas letter's as the process was just so straight forward and easy to use we will definitely be using them in the future.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Fingerlings Hugs

Last year all Jared wanted was a Fingerling monkey, his cousin had one and he spent hours playing with it when we were visiting. Luckily Santa brought him two last year one being a Boris and the other a Sloth. The problem with this was that his sister also wanted one but being as little as she was I didn't think it would be wise to get her one. Cue tantrum's and tears. A little while back we were sent an email introducing us to the new Fingerling Hug's which are available in Blue (Boris) or Pink (Bella) and even a Sloth. We were sent the Blue one which is Boris, in cuddle form. As soon as Eryn saw what it was she was trying to cuddle him.

For fan's of the Fingerlings these super sized cuddly buddies are a must. Very much like the smaller Fingerlings they are interactive with over 40 different sounds. Eryn's favourite seems to be the kissing sound which it makes when you give it a kiss. You can rock him to sleep or even record a message. The Fingerlings Hugs have arms that can wrap around and give you a cuddle or swing around in the tree's there is Velcro on the hands so they can clasp together.

Eryn really enjoys playing with Mun-Keh (Boris) most of the time he is wrapped around her as she pushes her baby in the pram and then sits him down on the Rody horse. I have found that having Boris around has increased her imagination, although he has sounds she has also given him a voice. I watched her play with him while Jared had his Fingerlings and they had some kind of game going on which was lovely to watch.

The Fingerlings Hugs says that it is suitable for ages 3+, Eryn is two and has been fine with Mun-Keh however she has been supervised whilst playing. That being said she often plays with her brothers toys which are for older children. I personally think that as long as your child is supervised it's fine (don't shoot me down PP's).

Boris and Bella and Sloth are battery operated and they come with test batteries you can purchase them at The Entertainer, Smyths Toys, Argos and retail at £29.99. 

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Bear Grylls Adventure

Have you ever fancied testing your nerve? Facing your fears, and experiencing once in a life time opportunities? Well recently we had an opportunity to do just that by working with the awesome guys at Bear Grylls Adventure land in Birmingham. It was Liam's birthday the day before we went so I let him choose the main activity we did, for this reason Liam will be writing this post.

Bear Grylls Adventure was opened in the summer of 2018 and all the activities have been designed and signed off by the man himself. You have the opportunity to do 4 base camp activities which include a maze, room escape, marines assault course and archery. You can do these with any other main activity. The main activities are, Rock climbing, High Rope Climbing, indoor sky diving and snorkelling or scuba diving. All the activities are carried out in groups, led by a member of Bear's team. 

As it was a little birthday treat I chose to go scuba diving. It is something I have always wanted to do and when I found out that the diving would include sharks, sting rays and hundreds of fish, I knew my mind was made up. I was like a kid on Christmas eve during the build up to the journey down. I was stupidly excited and I ended up telling everyone I worked with about what I was going to do. 

The place is extremely easy to find, although there is no parking on site, there is a car park about 5 minutes away and with you parking ticket validation at Bear Grylls Adventure, the parking is pretty reasonable. We were there for just over 6 hours and parking came to £7.

Walking up to the building you hear music which add to the atmosphere of adventure and survival. With the high ropes to your right hand side you walk up a winding path and met with a helicopter hanging out of the building over the front door with a zip wire running to the ground leading to the high ropes. Walking through the door you are greeted by staff who show you to a locker and give you a wrist band to lock & unlock the locker. They also tell you what time your base camp starts and then you can explore. We had around half an hour to explore before our base camp started so we took this as an opportunity to look at the pool we would be diving into. The pool was a huge array of different colours and species of fish. Sting rays were swooping round the tank effortlessly, but, most impressively, huge black tip reef sharks were swimming around dominating the pool. I got talking to a worker there who explained that all the sharks they have, have been rescued. The centrepiece of the room is a giant tree with a plane stuck in it, which carried some significance later on in your base camp activities.

It was time to start the base camp activities, first up was the survival maze. I won't go into too much detail as I do not want to ruin the experience for anyone, however if you really want to know then feel free to interact with me on social media and I will divulge all. The maze is designed to test your nerve and make you face your fears. I personally did not think it would be too bad, it is just for entertainment right? While it is for entertainment it is the fear of the unknown that is the hardest to overcome. At the end of the maze you also have to undertake a bush tucker trial "I'm A Celebrity Style" As I've said, I won't go into too much detail as I don't want to ruin it so I will sum the maze up in a few words... Dark.... Wet... Small.... Meal Worms.

After this it was onto the room escape games, this is where the plane in the tree comes into the equation. You have to find the pilot on a map and the coordinates are you code to freedom. This game takes team work and communication, which sadly our team lacked as we were locked into the room. You have to decode instructions and also listen to information coming through on the radio for clues. After the first room you go down an escape shoot which is honestly, the most brutal slide I have ever been down. Coming out of the slide you reach another room and another puzzle, now I wish I could offer you help on this one but I was stumped There were flags with numbers on, a map and knots. Make of that what you will. The staff said that no many people escape the room and it has been designed to be extremely difficult.

After we left the escape room area it was onto the marines assault course. This is based loosely on a real marines training course but is obviously toned down. You start by doing a warm up and then set off in pairs... being competitive I made it my aim to finish first, I don't think the people in front of me knew they were in a race. You start by hopping between steps then climbing over and ducking under wooden beams. Crawling under netting you find your self having to climb up a steep(ish) hill with the aid of a rope to get onto the higher levels. The rest of the course is a mix of walls to climb over, poles to slide across and everyone's favourite punishment... monkey bars. Then there is a final sprint to the finish to do a fireman's pole. As you get down the staff ask how you found it and if you'd ever want to do it again... it seems I was the only person in my group who really enjoyed it and would of loved to go again. 

Last base camp activity was the archery. Jade had never done archery before so she was really excited, she is pretty good at things that require technique and skill. I have already tried archery in the past so I knew my skill was non existent. I'd have like to have spent longer doing this but we only really got to shoot 10 or so arrows each. The archery is done with traditional old wooden bow's which add to the outdoor's survival feel of the place which I thought was a great touch.

We then had about an hours break before we went scuba diving. We decided to check out the cafe as we both needed a drink. The prices were a little steep but the quality of the products look as though it could easily warrant the price being paid. The pizza's were £6 per pizza but they were cooked fresh in a wood fired oven so they were traditional pizza's unlike some other places that just buy frozen bases and put some cheese and tomato sauce on them.

Onto scuba diving, we had to go upstairs for this activity and we were greeting to a old rusted ship door which we passed through and into the briefing room. We were given a thorough talk from a qualified diver who explained what techniques were need to do in the practice pool before we were allowed into the open pool. These included, removing water from the mask, taking the mouth piece out under water and also dropping the mouth piece behind you and recovering it under water. Once the briefing was done we were over to the changing room to get into out scuba gear. Now, for those who haven't ever worn a wet suit before... they are literally the hardest things to get on ever. Once we were all changed and ready it was into the training pool. I could see Jade was panicking at this point, she's not a fan of feeling trapped or enclosed, and with how tight the suit was coupled with the mask blocking you from breathing out your nose it was not an ideal situation for her. We both got in the water and we were suited up. We took our first dip under the water and our first breaths as a scuba diver. Jade shortly after this had to leave the pool as she could feel her breathing going out of control. She was devastated that should could not do it, however it meant she could go back down stairs and grab some pretty cool photos. I won't pretend that scuba diving is easy, or that I wasn't nervous. All your life you've been told that you cannot breath underwater then all of a sudden you have to breath underwater. You become conscious of breathing and you have to think about how to breath. It took me a few attempts to get down into the pool, one because I could not get my breathing to a point where i felt comfortable and two because I could not get my ears to pop. The pool is around 4 metres deep but you can feel the difference in the pressure. The diving instructors take you round the pool and you can an experience the marine life up close, rays rubbing themselves against you, fish swimming between your feet and sharks swimming over head. It is a whole different world down there, all you can hear is the noise you your respirator and you breath in and out. Walking around feels like your in zero gravity and everything is just so peaceful. At points throughout the adventure you can just kneel on the bottom of the tank and really take in how beautiful the world around you is and something I took away was how we, as humans are killing marine life by over fishing and polluting and how we, as humans are solely responsible for the conservation of these beautiful creatures and underwater worlds. At the end of the dive you are taken back to the briefing room for a final speech, you obtain a PADI certificate which is your first step towards being a fully qualified diver and also you can be put in touch with local diving clubs if you enjoyed your experience.

At the end of our day I expected to be tired but it was the exact opposite, I will on a huge adrenaline buzz that lasted for hours. I still get the same excitement when I talk about it to people now. All the instructors we had were outstanding, patient and knowledgeable. I am already looking to plan my next trip where I would be more that willing to pay the maximum price and do all the activities in one day.

If you want to know more about my experience or the maze then get in touch 
Twitter & Instagram @LiamBurton92

Monday, 1 October 2018

10 Great Reason To Get A Reusable Advent Calendar

With Christmas around the corner I have started to look at the usual things we buy that help us feel that warm fuzzy excited feeling which ultimately makes Christmas feel like Christmas. The first thing the kids want to buy is an advent calendar, no surprise there! Each year they get a chocolate filled one and additional one, last year Jared had a Lego Star Wars. Of course they also have chocolate or sweet filled ones at the Grandparents houses.

I worked out that we spent just under £50 last year on advent calendars, crazy right?! So this year
I will be getting a reusable one for them to share, each draw will have two treats and they will take
it in turns to open the draws. Below I have wrote a few great reasons on why I think people should
switch from disposable to reusable.

1.It's better for the environment, although the cardboard part of the calender's can be recycled the
plastic trays can't be and often spend years on a landfill site. Making them Eco-friendly

2.Re-useable advent calendar's are great for people who have allergies. If you have a child who has an allergy then I'm sure you will agree that they tend to priced a lot higher and often don't look thatgreat.

3.If your vegan this is a calendar that you will love. You can pop in some vegan choc or even something different like wax melts. One thing is guaranteed it will be super vegan friendly. 

4.If you have more than one child then a re-usable advent calendar can save you some money. With each pocket or draw you can pop twice the amount of goodies in and just let the kids take it in turns at getting the treats out. It promotes sharing as well so that is a added bonus.  

5. They are cost effective. Each year we all get a calendar and the cost is around £5 plus per calendar with a re-usable one I pay once and I have it for years only shelling out for the price of the treats inside. 

6. If you are sick of seeing Peppa Pig or Transformers build snowmen then defiantly invest in one of these. You can find some great designs that will fit with your decor and many places will custom make them to match your colour scheme. 

7. As well as being able to get them to match your colour scheme you can also get them personalised with names. You could opt for a family one that just had your family name on or you could get the kids names on. 

8. Not everyone wants a chocolate a day making these great as you could fill them with whatever you want, alcohol mini's, wax melts, stationary or even mix it up and put a bit of everything in.  

9. Having a re-usable advent calendar can create a family tradition as it will become one of those items that comes out every year. If looked after it could even be passed down in years to come.

10. There are many places you can buy these types of advent calendar's but for me another plus is that so many small businesses sell these and custom make them, so not only do I get a unique advent but I'm also supporting a small business.  

Do you have a reusable advent calendar? Or are you now thinking of switching? For me I really do
love the freedom of being able to fill them with what I want which I know will be appreciated so much
more than a small plastic tasting bit of choccy. It’s a bonus that they are eco-friendly as well.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Top 5 Things To Do: Skegness

During the six weeks holidays we went on our first family holiday which was very much needed. You can read about our campsite here. We took the kids to Skegness for the week after grinding what I think was a pretty good deal through Hoseason's. Below is our Top 5 things to do in Skegness.

1. Visit Fantasy Island and the market
Anyone who knows of Skegness will have heard of Fantasy Island it is like a smaller Blackpool pleasure beach that you DON'T have to pay to just walk around. As well as all the rides there is a market where you can buy a bit of everything our bargain buy was a JLS (yes JLS) hoodie for Eryn at £2 after she threw up all over her coat. You can read our full review here.

2. Collect Shells
For most this seems like something you can do at most beaches but in fact it's not and it's been a while since I could walk along the beach and collect such a variety of shells.

3.Skegness Stadium
If you're looking for evening entertainment then this is a must. We went twice during our holiday and both nights we enjoyed it. We were concerned Eryn wouldn't enjoy it what with her only being two but to our surprise she loved it and decided she loves bikes.

4. Boat Rides
In Skegness itself there is a lake where you can hire a little electric boat. The drive down is nice and life jackets are provided for the kids. We had an eventful ride as during our ride back up I had a face off with a wasp neither of us won the wasp got hit by Eryn's bag and Eryn's juice bottle went in the water. All was good as we were a rescue boat so Liam successfully did a 3 point turn and I retrieved the bottle.

5. Eat Everything Sweet
One good thing about any seaside town is the sweet treats. Skegness/Ingoldmells seems to have a great selection of ice cream shops that aren't crazy prices we found a few ice cream shops offer concoctions I'd never even dreamed of. As well as ice cream there are donuts, I was drooling like homer at the smell. Again there are some great prices for these in comparison to other places we have visited.

I found that overall this is a great family friendly budget friendly place to go on holiday.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Giveaway To Win Temple Spa Mini's

We have now reached Autumn and while I love this time of year my skin can often go a little dry. Now I know the weather takes it's toll on a lot of people so I have a little giveaway with some great products that my skin loves.

I first heard of Temple Spa when my son joined school and one of the mum's was (and still is) a rep. I loved the products even though my bank balance didn't so I joined the team as a rep, I had seen the incomes that these gals were getting and I was convinced I would be great at it. However that was not the case. I spent so much time trying to get people to have the classes and offering incentives to hosts but all anyway was interested in was the freebies and when I explained about how getting the free Temple Spa products worked they soon lost interest. I did have one success but after deducting my petrol costs plus time I was about £60 pound out of pocket.

So what I have hear for you is some left over products that were never used and have been sitting in my attic. They are all mini's which you usually get in a nice box with lots of other mini's when you are host and have managed to get your mates to spend their money. The products are:

  • Exhalt
  • AHHH!
  • Be Gone
  • BeCalm
  • Toner
To enter just fill in the Gleam form below. 

Jade's Journey

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Hape Pocket Swing Review

Towards the end of the school holidays, when the money has been well and truly stretched we were asked if we would like to review Hape's Pocket Swing. Of course I jumped at the chance as that meant I had at least one more activity that I could do with the kids.

When the swing arrived I was really surprised with just how small it was, pocket means pocket. We went to Newmiller Dam where I knew we would find the perfect tree spot to test out the swing. The swing needs two tree's with a distant of 1.5-2 meters apart to set it up. Whilst following a Gnome trail at Newmiller Dam we came across the perfect spot. It was really simple to put the swing together, it took us about 5 minutes. The straps thread through the swing and wrap around a tree to clip back through one of the loops. Easy to follow instructions come with the swing.

The swing was really simple to unpack and pack back up again which makes it super easy to take anywhere and everywhere. 
Once the swing was set up Jared tried it out first. He found it a little tricky to get into by himself but once in he loved it and was happily swinging. Eryn soon wanted a go so we sat her in with her brother and they had swing together. There is a weight limit on the swing (242lbs) luckily the limit is high enough so that us parent could have a quick go. 
There are so many great reasons to have this swing and so far I have told everyone I know about this who go camping. It is perfect for camping and means if there is no park on site then you don't really need to worry. We have started to go for more walks as a family but with each walk come a complaint but now we use the swing as a way of getting them to walk for longer with the promise of have a break on the swing at a halfway point and at the end. I think this is also great to just have at home in the garden. if you have the trees, as they can swing or just use it to chill out in. 

The swing would be a welcomed gift to anyone who camps, hikes and takes children on outdoor activities. 

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Lincolnshire Wildlife Park

During our holiday to Skegness we had arranged to meet one of my friends who lives
in Norfolk so we don’t get to see each other as often as we would like. We had spoken
about what we could do when we met up and after a while we decided on going to the
Lincolnshire Wildlife Park. We had both looked at the website and it seemed like a nice
place where the kids could play and also see some animals.

We arrived for when the park was due to open as we had assumed we would be there
all day. As soon as we got out of the car I had noticed several wasps flying around, now
for me this is a nightmare as I have a huge phobia and I do not react well if I get stung.
I put it down to the weather being so nice and that once inside we would hopefully not see
as many. When we joined the line to enter that is when I noticed the sign stated that they
were aware of a wasp problem. Great!

As we entered we were greeted by some Macaw parrots. Eryn was fascinated and I think
she could of climbed and sat on the branch with them then she would of. Meanwhile I was
a nervous wreck flapping away at wasps doing my best impersonation of kung fu noises.The
first section was full of Parrots, so many and this shed some light on why there was a wasp
problem. Apples, sliced apples in large quantities in every bird cage. We rushed through the
first section of birds due to the wasps and came across an Emu. Next to the Emu there was
an Avery part where you could walk in and pray they didn’t poo on you, thankfully we got out
poo free. As you can see the birds were really friendly and despite Liam’s look of horror he
actually enjoyed having the little bird on his shoulder.
We took a walk towards the Tigers and along the way we met some Reindeer's who were
just running around like loonies, our children decided to run alongside them. The walk to the
Tigers was nice and was classed as a nature walk but I’m not sure if we were on the nature
trail if I’m honest. We saw yet more birds, the kids at this point had become bored of birds and
wanted to see some different animals. We reached the Tigers and one was very close to the
glass which was great to see I had started to film and the Tiger put on a show by having a wee.
The kids loved seeing the Tigers and wanted to see more so we ventured outside to see some
more, we got to heard them roar and watch one nearly fall into the water.
At this point we were feeling a bit happier and to finally see something other than birds. Meerkat's
were our next stop but again we were faced with so many wasps due to apples that we had to
rush through it and head for the Panther. The Panther laid on top of a platform so was hard to
spot at first but we all got to see the Panther and the Panther I think saw us too. We were still
hopeful that we were going to have a great day but as we went through the door to explore more
we had found ourselves back at the entrance.
It had taken us an hour to get round the whole park. The kids were disappointed and so were
we. I felt like everything we had read about the place had been elaborated and made to sound
a lot better then it was. We had thought there would be more animals then there was and overall
I feel like it was total waste of our time and money. As a way to cheer the kids up we went into
the gift shop which also ended up being a let down with items overpriced for what they were.
We went back to the car with the kids upset about the day being over so soon.

It is very rare that I write anything negative about places we have been as often even if we have
had a bad experience that has been out weighed by good experiences. I have wrote this review
in hopes that people will take notice that this is not an all day family outing and also to highlight to
the park that maybe they should address the wasp issue in the warmer months and possibly rethink
and have a name change to something that will better reflect what they are as a wildlife park is a
very misleading title.

The price of entry is: Adult £10.95 Child £9.50 and under 3's are free.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Fantasy Island Ingoldmells

If you have my previous posts you will know that we recently went on holiday to Chapel St Leonards. From our caravan we could see the roller coasters at Fantasy Island. On the Monday we took a visit to Fantasy Island and they could kindly gifted us some wristbands so we could enjoy the park.

I hadn't been to Fantasy Island for many years I think I last went when I was about 15 so I was looking forward to see how much it had changed. We took the bus from near to our campsite over to Fantasy Island which was really reasonably priced but there is parking available which is £6 for the day. One good thing to know is that Fantasy Island has a huge market that runs around the outside and under many of the roller coasters so if you're not a fan of rides then it's great just to have a walk around.

As soon as we had a wristbands on it was time for us to decide which we ride we were going to go on first, the Carousel. I thought this would be a nice one to start with and something that  Eryn could go on as she isn't a fan of being in her pushchair. There wasn't really much of a queue as soon as the ride stopped we were straight on the first time we went on this ride I sat in the rocker with Eryn, Jared went on a horse and later on Eryn went on a horse.

Opposite the Carousel was rollercoaster for children. Unfortunately Jared didn't go on it as he was a bit scared he was happy to go on it until he was told that his dad couldn't come on with him. Jared has only just started to go to theme parks and experience rides so he is at the stage where he is unsure and does need some encouragement, Eryn on the other hand was upset she couldn't go on it. 

We took a walk around inside to have a look for some more rides our next ride was, Toucan Tours. This was a nice ride as we got a bird's eye view of some of the arcade and other rides, we went on this a few times each time changing our seat position. Eryn got a little upset when entering the darker tunnel part of the ride but eventually she got used to it. When asked if she liked it she did say yeah. Toucan Tours is located on the second floor which is also home to the Balloon ride which sadly wasn't working during our visit, Liam went back to check several times. Also located here was the food court where we stopped for some lunch, the kids had a lunchbox each which were great value, Liam opted for the Pizza where as I had a cheese and ham baguette. The food was nice and fairly priced for the area and the service was good considering how busy this part was. 

After lunch we went on a few more rides. Which were outside there were rides that me and Liam wanted to go on but because of the kids we didn't get a chance to, next time we will take another adult. I find that no matter what theme park you go to you will always have this issue if you have kids with you. Outside the kids enjoyed going on The Jets, The Elephants, The Caterpillar and Jared even went on the monkey jump, a big achievement for him.

So I could get a good look at the roller coasters we took a walk around the market. The market is pretty awesome and you can buy pretty much anything, we got Eryn a JLS jumper for £2. There were squishems on every other stall, slime, a man selling his painting, perfume, shoes and even guns well BB guns. There is also a few different tattoo shops dotted around which are really cheap and I was nearly tempted to get a tattoo, a shell. Although I resisted Jared did get a tattoo a glittery Sonic tattoo. 

Back inside Jared went on the mini dodgems while Eryn discovered the fun of the little machine rides. We bought a card so she could go on them (all) then used the remaining balance in the arcade where she won a pink fluffy ball. The wristbands include all rides except the small ride on toys but they do include the mini golf so we gave it a go. 

Now let me tell you this, if you think mini golf with a 2 year old is a good idea think again. We did have a good time playing but my god it was hard work she hit the ball fine with the putter but she just kept picking the ball up and had no idea what was going on. We let a few people go ahead of us and lost score of who was winning, no hole in ones though. 

We had such a great time and although us big kids didn't get to go on the big rides we still enjoyed ourselves. We spent the whole day there and we plan on going back hopefully next year, if you are planning a visit then I would recommend the wristbands rather than the top up cards but please be aware that the wristbands don't work on the small ride on's or in the arcade so you would need a top up card for them.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Review Of Ion8 Water Bottle

Just before we went away on holiday we were sent some water bottles to try out. Which was great as Liam is running more now and he needed one to take with him, I usually drive him to the racecourse. I had never heard of these bottles before but they mentioned being leak proof which I wanted to see for myself as previous bottles boasting of having leak proof features turned out to be wrong.

As well as the Ion8 Ultimate water bottle being leak proof it also had some other qualities that make it more appealing than other available bottles such as, being BPA and pahthalate free plus non-toxic. Which being a drinks bottle is pretty much needed. The bottle is made from Tritan which I have no idea what that is but it feels good and is strong which was tested by my toddler during a tantrum. It survived being launched onto the path.

Some features that Liam found really useful whilst running were the concave sides which had a band round it which prevented it from slipping from his sweaty palms. The bottle has an easy one hand open system for using this feature it is best to make sure that the safety lock is not on as otherwise you will be fumbling about.

We were sent two bottles and Liam claimed one Jared claimed the other as the bottle doesn't just have to be for sports use. In fact the bottle could even be used to take a nice cuppa with you on the school as it is suitable to hold liquid as hot as 96C or if you'd rather fill it with an ice cold beverage (vodka on the rocks maybe) then that's fine too as it can have liquids as cold as -10C.

I'm really impressed with the bottle for the fact it can be used for multiple uses other than just for sports. With it surviving it's first week on the playground at school it gets bonus points and other kids have said his water bottle is cool, apparently the flip lid and lock is awesome.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Dancewear Central Giveaway

Ever since Eryn could move she has loved to dance, she would wiggle her body along to music she hear on TV adverts or on TV shows. When in the car she would dance along to the songs being played on the radio, so I knew that when the time was right it would be great to get her into some form of dance club.

When Eryn was just learning how to stand we joined a baby dance group which she enjoyed for a while but every class we did the same nursery rhymes and games and there wasn't as much dancing as we had hoped. We decided to leave the group and search for something else. 

Eryn will be joining baby ballet in as soon as her class times have been confirmed, I was unsure about ballet at first as the image I have is of graceful moves and Eryn is more energetic. I have um and ahhed about it for so long now and only took the plunge because I won't know if it's for her until she has tried it, plus it teaches them so much about movement. An added incentive was that she looks adorable in tutu's. 

If you are a parent of a dancer whether it is ballet, tap or ballroom then I'm sure you will of heard of Dancewear Central. They currently have a giveaway running where you could win a back to dance bundle to have a look at the giveaway and to enter just visit them here  the giveaway is on until the 26th September. Good Luck. D

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Celebrating World Letter Day With Viking

I love writing letters, a bit of snail mail can cheer you up and make your day brighter. On September 1st it was national letter writing day and Viking Direct challenged me and other bloggers to take part in an international exchange of letters with a PenPal. I couldn't miss this opportunity as I also love to have Penpals, I have about two at the moment who are a little different to the norm.

To help us with our challenge we were sent a fab kit of writing essentials which included my very own initial wax stamp kit. Along with that I also received an alphabet stamp ink set, feathered pen with ink, an assortment of pens, envelopes and my very own logo headed paper. When I received my items I was like a giddy school girl and couldn't wait to try it all out and the wax stamp set instantly became my favourite item.When it came to writing my letter I found it difficult to start it off, but I always find it difficult to start off a letter to someone I have never met. As I have wrote to many different people from all over the world I do have certain go to questions and short paragraphs about myself. Here are a few great questions to ask when writing to someone you don't know:

  • In your spare time do you have any hobbies that you like to do? 
  • What is the town like where you live? Is it noisy or peaceful?
  • What is your favourite TV show?
  • If you could spend the day with any celebrity who would it be and what would you do?
  • Are you a fan of Marmite?
I find it is important to ask some questions that aren't as serious for many reasons. Some people aren't to comfortable telling all to a total stranger so if you just ask questions about their work, family and hobbies you may only get a short response and struggle to find a flow of conversations between letters. I have had a couple of prison penpals so I have to be careful with what I ask them and also what I share with them, I always make it clear that there will be no money given and no relationship other than a friendship through being a penpal.

As I mentioned I often find it difficult to know how to start a letter, I want the person who is reading it to not be totally bored and have to read a letter of me giving every detail of day to day life. A few examples of how to start a letter that I use are: 
  • Hey, I hope this letter finds you and the stamp hasn't fallen off. Let me introduce myself, I'm Jade a 28 year old living in England. I can tell you yes I have met the Queen it was very brief and I was a little girl. 
  • Hello, My name is Jade I'm a 28 year old born in April my star sign is Aries, if your into that kind of thing. I'm a stay at home mum with to two children a son and a daughter. I live in West Yorkshire in England which isn't such a bad place, like most places it has it's good bits and bad bits. I'm sure your town is the same?
Once you are in the flow of writing I think it can become easy to get carried away with writing about yourself. Of course you want your penpal to know who it is they are writing to but do if you say too much it can be a little bit too much and make it difficult for the recipient to ask questions and thus makes conversation difficult. As well as making your letter interesting it can also me nice to include a photo which cuts out having to describe how you look which I'm pretty sure nobody enjoys writing and if you are anything like me it would look like this I have brown wavy to curly hair and blue eyes it doesn't really describe me and could literally be anyone with brown hair and blue eyes. 

Some people like to decorate their the paper they are writing on with washi tape and drawings. This isn't something I would do straight away and I have never used coloured or patterned tape. As most of my penpals have been in prisons I didn't think they would pass the checks if they had tape over them as it could be seen as a way to smuggle contraband (yep it can be down by tiny bits of tape) or used to cover up messages that you didn't want the officers to see. I have included drawings but this was after several letter exchanges and was of a cartoon character that they had never seen before. 

I'm still waiting for a response from my international penpal and will continue to write to prison penpals. You may find that strange but it is a hobby that I really enjoy and all my prison penpals are in the USA usually serving really long sentences as I tend to be drawn to those who have done really bad crimes such as murder, it is extremely interesting writing to these people and although I in noway condone their actions they are people many of which have no family of friends and loneliness is awful. I will be writing about my prison penpals in a post to come so look out for that.    


Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Strictly Briks Review

The Brik Tower is one of the sets available from Strictly Briks, the set contains four baseplates and thirty stackers. Strictly Briks are compatible with the big named brands such as Lego and Megablocks but also with other shops own brands which is great for building.

The tower can be used as a platform for imagination or you could use the baseplates to create two cases to show off your latest build. We used the Strictly Briks Brik Tower to showcase our imagination, ok well mainly mine but it was for Jared and he sort of told me what he wanted.

As you can see from the picture there are four levels each held with two stackers in each corner, this did make it a little wobbly and I maybe should of but stackers in the middle to just make it that more sturdy. So on to level one this is the booking level complete with two cells and bad guys, if you look at Officer Judy you will see she is bringing in a man who has just stolen a diamond. 

Level two is where the officers can get to work and solve some cases, you can see them hard at work with their laptops out putting together the clues they have gathered. It was at this point that I figured out it would be easier to create the levels and then stack them up. The Strictly Briks stackers aren't solid and I think that is what causes the structure to wobble a bit and when you are trying to put things on the baseplate while it's stacked it seemed to fall.

Level three a room I had to create without any bricks, we had used all our spare bricks. I decided to make this the evidence room which actually looks pretty good as I found some tiles with numbers on. We have a lot of police character figures so I could set the scenes up really well with officers doing the jobs on the floor. Lastly we have the roof which just had to be the helipad, we lack a helicopter because it got broken and bits were used for other builds.

We really like the Strictly Briks Brik Tower and would recommend this to anyone who loves to build. This is just one example of what we have created but we have so much more to make, flats, school and a gym just to name a few. You can buy  the Brik Tower for £19.99 and you can also choose the colour we had the multicoloured one but you can choose an all pink, green, blue and many more as there are 28 colours altogether.

** We were sent the Strictly Briks Brik Tower for the purpose of this review. All opinions and ideas are our own this is an honest review of what we feel and think and the product.