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.