General post

Girly Day In London – Finding Dory

A girly day in London - Finding Dory

Girly Day In London – Finding Dory

A girly day in London – finding Dory was enjoyed not that long ago. We very often have our nieces come for a sleepover, when they do we always like to make sure we have something fun planned.

We had our youngest niece Lexi come and stay. Lexi has made good friends with Tilly from Being Tilly’s Mummy blog. We have met up before in the past and the girls get along brilliantly together and have become good friends. We planned to meet with Vicky and Tilly at Disney HQ and have a girly day, being a mum of three teen boy’s I really enjoyed having some girly time.

Girls day out

It was mine and Lexi’s first time at Disney HQ, admittedly I was rather excited, are you ever too old for Disney? We was there to have a private screening of this summers must-see kid’s movie – the new Finding Dory movie. Lexi is a huge fan of Dory so she was rather excited.

Specsavers – Finding Dory Frames

Whilst we waited to be seated for the movie Lexi enjoyed trying on Specsavers new kid’s frame range. They have introduced four new frames – Finding Dory frames. These frames are exclusive to Specsavers and will be launched in the £64 range.

Children’s eye care is very important, Bradley has had to wear glasses now for many years. At first he would refuse to wear his glasses but we soon found that if we let him choose a frame that he liked and wanted then he would happily wear them.

Finding Dory Frames

These new frames are available now in Specsavers stores perfect for children between three and eight years. Eye tests are free on the NHS for under 16s and all the glasses in the kid’s range include UV filter, a scratch resistant treatment, case and cloth. The range cater for different sized frames and fittings, catering for active children as well as the older child.

Finding Dory Frames

Children also get to choose a second pair in the kid’s get two pairs offer. With kid’s glasses it is always safer to have that spare pair handy, Bradley’s glasses was always getting misplaced or damaged when he was younger. Thankfully he has got much better at looking after his glasses now.

These lovely four new frames have the characters of Finding Dory on the arms with a choice of colours to suit every style.

Lexi had great fun trying on the different frames.

Finding Dory Frames

She loved seeing what her frames looked like on.

Finding Dory Frames

Finding Dory Frames

The movie itself…

Finding Dory Movie in 3D

Finding Dory movie

Once I managed to get Lexi to put the glasses back she had her arm painted before we was then seated to watch the Finding Dory movie in 3D.

Finding Dory Movie 3D

We enjoyed being taken back to the wonderful underwater world from Finding Nemo. We really enjoyed welcoming back our favorite, friendly-but-forgetful blue tang – Dory. Lexi was glued to watching Dory’s determination to return home to her forgotten parents, cheering her along her journey.

finding dory 3d movie

This animated sequel will have a wide audience glued, cheering Dory along on her journey to find her parents. This heartwarming movie is this summers must-see movie and is out now. Lexi couldn’t wait to return home herself to tell her older sisters and anyone who would listen about the movie.

We had a fantastic girly day. Every girl loves a new bag, look at the smile on this girls face.

Dory bag

 

health

Epilepsy – Taking Charge

Epilepsy - taking charge

Epilepsy – Taking charge

Life as a teenage boy can be hard, your noticing hormone changes and your also making important choices. You’ve life choices to make at school and you’re preparing and taking charge of your life with GCSE also taking place.

Lee was busy with all of this going on, he was happy and taking each day as it came, getting up and going to school meeting with friends along the way – after school doing any homework he had and then going out to play football with friends just like many other teenage boy’s.

This was soon to change….

One Sunday morning I had noticed Lee to be having a seizure, luckily with my job I’d had training in epilepsy awareness and noticed the signs. I took Lee straight to the hospital where they run some tests and it was confirmed Lee has had his first witnessed seizure.

Lee was referred to the epilepsy specialist where more test was run over a course of time, MRI, ECG, EEG, sleep deprived test and light tests. Lee was so brave especially with the MRI test as this really scared him, he hated the loud sounds and small space but with us in the room with him 2nd time round (we wasn’t allowed in first time) he was brave and braved it out, we couldn’t have been more prouder.

We awaited Lee’s results which was given at a follow-up consultants appointment where it was confirmed and Lee was diagnosed with Tonic-Clonic and Absence seizures.

Our poor boy…

When Lee was diagnosed he went withdrawn, we noticed a loss in his appetite and he hardly went out with friends anymore. He was put on medication (Lamotrigine) but he’d refuse to take them, he didn’t want anybody knowing about his diagnosis, he would close any conversation down quickly if we was to try and talk to him about his diagnosis, and we also noticed a change in his behavior at home and at school.

It was so upsetting to see our poor boy change before our eyes, we knew this was not Lee.

We set out to get him the help needed..

Lee found it really hard to open up so with specialist help from his epilepsy nurse we sat down with Lee and explained that he IS NOT the only teenager to be diagnosed with epilepsy and he IS NOT this alien he had pictured himself to be in his head.

Lee felt different, he felt embarrassed, he just wanted to hide away but at the same time not be on his own because he was scared. He wanted to talk about it but at the same time didn’t because he was scared and didn’t want to hear or accept the answers. He would look so drained and tired, it was so upsetting.

Lee finds it hard to accept…

Lee’s Tonic-Clonic Seizures would mainly happen at night while he was sleeping so in his eye’s he’s not seeing or witnessing anything because he’s not aware that they have happened, he just notices the side effects the next day – side effects being, loss of appetite, headache, feeling sick, aches and pains along with extreme tiredness and on some occasions unexplained bruising.

When Lee has had a seizure we would keep a close eye on him for a good few hours after, meaning we keep him home from school if it’s a school day (school being fully aware) as he needs to rest and sleep it off as it wears him out – plus for his own safety.

Putting a care plan in place…

We have had a care plan in place at his school informing his teacher’s of what to do if he was to have a seizure whilst at school. When Lee was at school it was noticed he was having absences on many occasions, this is where he blanks out for anything from a few seconds to a few minutes – side effects, headache, sudden tiredness, confusion, confusion to loss of time and to why people are asking him why is he not listening to them.

Lee has just finished his GCSES but whilst he was taking them his seizures got more frequent resulting in a visit to the hospital where we was informed stress can bring the seizures on more frequently. This put us in a very tricky situation as you can imagine. Lee was needing to take his exams but at the same time he was suffering, he did take his GCSES but we kept a very close eye on him and he would rest and unwind that bit more.

During his exams he was given extra time, this was to help with the pressure a bit, this really helped him, we worked very closely with the school and I must say the school have been fantastic with helping support Lee during his time with them.

Lee is still coming to terms with his diagnosis, he still finds some things hard to accept as changes have had to be made but he is more open and willing to talk about it now which is a huge help. He now takes his medication 150 mg twice daily with reminding but he does take them. It has been a very tough time for us all and still is but we are working through it together as a family. Lee is on the right path now to taking charge and not letting it beat him, we couldn’t be any more prouder of him.

epilepsy - taking charge

***Posted to help raise awareness***

Collaborative post

Making Your House Feel Cosy

making your house feel cosy

Making Your House Feel Cosy

 

Making your house feel cosy is the easiest and best way to make your property feel like home, whether your motivation is the winter months setting in, a new house or maybe just a desire to do something new to your decor.  To create a cosy and homely feel does not necessarily have to cost you too much or take up too much time, in fact you might find you already have everything you need to make your property just that little bit cosier than before. Here are some of the many ways you can revitalise your room with a cosy decor, which or how many of these you choose to use is completely up to you:

9 Ways Of Revitalising Your Home:

  1. Buy some throws and blankets and place these around your home, you could place them over the back of sofas or chairs or you could even hang them on display. If you do use this idea, think about the current fabric trends of 2016, we are seeing the return of tie dyed fabrics, textured fabrics and bold colours are also popular this year.
  2. Re-light your fire. Nothing is cosier than a nice warm fire with its soothing glow and comforting heat, most fires now can be turned on without actually heating up, creating the cosy feel without making you too hot, use this feature whenever you are home and want to cosy-up with the family.
  3. Re-paint walls to a darker colour, something like chocolate-brown or a charcoal grey would be perfect, use lighter colours such as white and cream to break-up the dark colours and lighten the room, otherwise it may be too dark.
  4. Add plenty of family photographs and portraits to the room, hang these on walls and add frames to mantle pieces, even consider adding some black and white or sepia effect photographs, i.e. pictures with an old feel.
  5. Add rugs, even consider putting rugs on top of rugs. Layering like this instantly creates a cosy feel, as does rolling a rug out onto the floor, this is especially perfect for anyone with hard-wood or laminated flooring.
  6. Plants and nature are always a good way to make a home feel cosier. Consider adding some potted plants or even fill some glass bowls with some soil and plants to create a ‘nature terrarium’.
  7. Transform one wall by covering it completely with a curtain instead of painting or wallpapering it, this will make the room instantly warmer and cosier. This works perfectly in bedrooms.
  8. Add a comfortable chair in the bedroom, this will bring the sitting room into the bedroom and tempt you to curl up in the chair and make the most of the room. For the icing on the cake, think of adding a warm and comfortable looking blanket over the back of the chair.
  9. Include hanging fairy lights into your interior design, even if it is not Christmas. These usually work the best in a bedroom however, if you place them right hanging fairy lights can be used all year round in any room to make it feel a little bit cosier.

You do not need to do all of these things, just start by implementing one and keep going until you feel like your house is finally as cosy as you’d like it to be.

 

*** This is a collaborative post ***

Collaborative post

7 Summer Party Ideas For Kids

7 summer party ideas

7 Summer Party Ideas For Kids

Summer – for all its joyous warmth and opportunities to finally get outside and make the most of being alive – presents something of a challenge for parents. With the kids off school for a significant chunk of the season, keeping them amused isn’t always that straightforward.

 

When the temperature rises, the desire to party increases, and this could actually be the key to keeping your kids busy and out of trouble this summer. Thankfully, there are a tonne of themes and ideas you can choose from.

 

In this post, we’ve picked out 7 brilliant summer party ideas for kids.

 

A great British bake-off

The UK is gripped with baking fever and what better way to take advantage of this than to host a bake-off themed party for the kids? They’ll love getting their hands dirty and by introducing a competitive element (best cupcake, tallest cookie tower, for example), you can keep them engaged with the promise of prizes.

There are plenty of recipes for kids to choose from online and in most baking books, so grab the ingredients and let them take over the kitchen!

 

Pirates!

No matter how many Playstation or iPad games they have to hand, kids still love good, old-fashioned party fun and there are few ways to get them more excited than by throwing a pirate bash.

Pirate hats, eye patches, plastic hooks and parrots can all be purchased relatively cheaply from costume shops and the addition of a scavenger hunt for sweets and other goodies will have them amused for hours.

 

Real-life Angry Birds

The incredibly popular Angry Birds game centres around the process of flinging small objects at large obstacles, breaking them down in stages. Kids love it on-screen, but we think you can go one further than that this summer.

You can hold your own Angry Birds-themed party by using mini bean bags as the birds (or Angry Birds toys, if you have them to hand) and old cardboard boxes, magazines and empty bottles for the obstacles. Kids will love playing a real-life version of their favourite video game.

 

Make a splash

If it gets particularly hot, a brilliant kids party theme involves two very simple ingredients: balloons and water.

Simply fill a bunch of balloons with water and tell the kids to take turns in bashing them with a plastic bat or cardboard tube, piñata-style. It’ll provide endless entertainment as they all desperately avoid trying to get soaked (even though we all know they’ll love it when it happens).

 

Painting party

Give your mini Picasso’s the opportunity to demonstrate their creative side by placing large canvases or sheets of paper in the back garden and giving them a bunch of colourful paints. Better still, introduce a summery theme to really get their creative juices flowing.

 

Tough little mudder

Kids love getting muddy, and when the weather is nice, there’s no better time to allow them to indulge in this messy past time. Better still, you can make an event out of it by setting up a muddy obstacle course at the local park.

A string maze, oversized cardboard boxes as tunnels and treasure hunt finale will tap into their primeval sense of fun.

 

Slip and slide

Another water-themed summer party idea bound to get the kids excited is a DIY slip and slide in the back garden. All you need is a long, heavy-duty drop cloth staked to the ground, a few buckets and plenty of water. You can then watch – and, probably join in – the slippery wet fun that unfolds.

 

We’ve attempted to keep the party ideas above low-cost (or free) and simple to set up, but, most importantly, they should be easy to clean up afterwards! Make the most of the summer this year by treating the kids to a few of these brilliant summer party ideas.

 

Do you have any fun summer party ideas that you would like to share?

 

 

 

***Collaborative post***

 

General post

Home Improvements

Home improvements

Home Improvements

Some of you may already be aware but we are currently on an exciting journey, that journey being a first time buyer’s journey. Lot’s of fun home improvements are to be made. You can read more about our journey so far on a guest post over on Being Tilly’s Mummy.  We have so many home improvements that we would love to make and get started on. We have some exciting plans but there are also areas where we are needing help and advice. Where better to head off to for this help and advice other than the Ideal Home Show.

Myself and Bradley headed off there for a day out together, we went there with a few ideas in mind but came away with so many more, some ideas we would never had thought of. Bradley came away with some new ideas for his bedroom and I must admit I love what he has in mind.

Whilst there we even had a chat with Martin Lewis.

Home improvements

 

On our day at the Ideal Home Show some fantastic renovation advice was given to us, we was told that planning as much as we can and keeping things simple is the key to any succesful project. Any rushed and unplanned projects will most probably end in mistakes being made. Plan as much as we can in as much detail as possible, get colour samples and always double-check measurements.

We found the Ideal Home Show so inspirational, there are so many ideas under one roof it was amazing, we had so much fun looking at the gadgets and trends. There are so many different sections such as food, technology, home furnishing, garden and so many more. We had such a fun day out and will defiantly be going again next time. Our exciting plans are going to be put into action very soon.

Have you ever visited the Ideal Home Show?

Slimming World

Slimming World Weight loss Continues

slimming world weight loss continues

Slimming World Weight loss Continues

It has been a while since we’ve had a Slimming World update, we can confirm our Slimming World weight loss continues. We are still attending Slimming World every week, we lost our way for a while but have slowly been getting back to where we was a while back.

Our weight has been going up and down by a few lbs, we would love to get fully back on track so we recently had a chat and have both decided to go back to basics. We have recently had a food shop and have stocked up with fruit and vegetables for healthy meals we have planned.

We are now meal planning and batch cooking in advance so when we’ve had long working days we’ve a nice healthy meal waiting for us on our return home. We have both admitted to skipping meals so this is also going to change. Healthy snacks are now ready for us to grab as we go so there are no excuses.

Our problems have been 1) skipping meals and not eating three meals a day, 2) on most days eating the wrong foods when we have been eating as we have not meal planned in advance. We both need to make sure three healthy meals are eaten every day along with topping up our water intake.

Fast forwarding a week or so and…..

The past few weeks have seen us both really getting back on track and getting back into the swing of it all again, weighing our food again, cutting/removing fat from our meat, drinking more water, meal planning and most of all enjoying three meals a day along with cutting down on sweet treats and alcohol……our weakness!

With both of us working full-time jobs we find that preparation is key to helping us a great deal.

We have also been topping all this up with exercise and have been enjoying the great outdoors by having fun family days out, walking in the countryside with Buddy. Exercise doesn’t have to be taken inside a gym, it can also be enjoyed outdoors.

We lost our way throughout the winter months but we are now slowly getting back on track and back on plan. The past few weeks weigh-ins have shown great results, one week showed a whooping -4.5lb and another -3lb loss which we’re more than happy with. We are looking forward to more fab losses to come.

We now hope our Slimming World weight loss continues.

 

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Luxury Kitchen Design

Luxury kitchen design

Luxury Kitchen Design

Many people believe that having a luxury kitchen design is out of their budget, but it doesn’t need to be expensive; with the right planning and execution you too can create a luxury space that the whole family can enjoy while adding value to your home in the process.

The kitchen design team at Mayfair Granite have put together their top considerations for planning and designing the perfect kitchen:

Luxury kitchen design

Kitchen Layout:

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house, a place where great food is prepared, a space for entertaining friends and family and somewhere to relax in at the end of a hard day, so creating a space that is both functional and comfortable is key.

The L-shaped kitchen is one of the most popular layouts for kitchens because of its adaptability, and when combined with an island can create a great space for entertaining. An island bench can create a dramatic focal point in the room whilst providing extra storage space and a social hub for the whole family to gather round.

Luxury kitchen design

An L-shaped kitchen design is a great option for open plan kitchens where the room opens out into a dining room or living room; it also maximise’s the floor space for families and couples to cook together without getting into each other’s way.

If space is an issue, try opting for a U-shaped kitchen design; this type of design can maximise the cabinet and work top space in the room without compromising on design or style. U-shaped kitchen designs usually feature integrated appliances which are great for keeping a uniform style, but standalone appliances can be used to provide a stand out feature or touch of colour to the design.

Material Choice:

With a vast array of exciting and exotic materials to choose from when designing a kitchen, it can be a bit daunting when planning the perfect space. The classic combination of natural stone and traditional timber cabinetry is still seen as the pinnacle of luxury by many, but with the advances in technology pushing the boundaries of design there is now a range of metallic materials to choose from including brass, copper and zinc to provide that extra wow factor.

For work tops, Mayfair Granite recommends traditional materials such as granite, quartz and marble, which provide a durable and low maintenance option that will last a lifetime. These materials can be cut into an array of shapes and sizes providing a perfect fit in any room.

Luxury kitchen design

Cabinetry is the most important investment in any kitchen design, so choosing the right materials is key to creating a kitchen that will stand the test of time. Luxury kitchen cabinets often feature high quality woods such as cherry, mahogany or walnut which are stained with rich, dark colours to bring out the natural beauty of the wood grain. However, specialty painted and glazed finishes can also make for a luxurious kitchen.

Appliances can make or break a kitchen so it is important that these are taken into consideration at the same time as the rest of the design. Choose products that match the style you are going for and always shop around for the best prices.

Lighting:

Lighting is also an important consideration for creating the right balance of ambience and function in the kitchen. Natural light makes the space look bigger and brings the outside in, but having large windows and doors isn’t suitable for every kitchen. However, if the kitchen lacks natural light there are lots of options out there.

Pendant lights can add that wow factor to the kitchen and can create a relaxing ambience, whereas under cabinet lighting is perfect for food preparation in low light situations. For something a bit different, LED light strips are a good choice for creating dynamic lighting effects in the kitchen.

Luxury kitchen design

Creating the perfect kitchen is all about planning, putting together a luxury kitchen design will really help, if done right you’ll have a functional and comfortable space that will last for many years and can also add thousands to the value of your home.

 

***Collaborative post***

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Fighting Bad Habit’s

fighting bad habit's

Fighting Bad Habit’s

Ian has been a smoker for many years now, he started smoking at a young age and it has been a part of his everyday life ever since. He has tried giving up smoking and fighting bad habit’s but sadly he is finding it very difficult.

He has tried patches, they did help but only for a short while. Ian found it hard when he was out socialising, he is used to heading off outside with everyone for a cigarette but the cigarettes was no longer there. Not having a cigarette to hold is what he found hard about giving up, all of a sudden the cigarette was no longer there.

When out shopping in our local town Ian came across a stall where e-cigarettes was being demonstrated and he was drawn in by them and was willing to give them a try. Ian liked the idea of giving up smoking but still being able to hold a cigarette and have the feeling of a real cigarette.

The e-cigarette still allows Ian to go out with everyone to the smokers area when out socialising, he is still able to have his old routine but without the cigarette and actually smoking. Going out for a cigarette has been part of Ian’s everyday life for many years and is more of a habit for him.

Fighting bad habits is something Ian is currently finding hard but is something he is working on. He has recently been looking at Vapelux to help him give up smoking. Giving up smoking has many good advantages, Ian is making a few self-help changes to help him resist any temptation he might have.

Ian’s self-help list to help with fighting bad habit’s

  1. Thinking positive – remembering from previous attempts to quit smoking and where the temptations was, trying his best to avoid those situations.
  2. Making a promise to himself – he has made the choice to try his best to quit and will be trying his hardest to stick with it.
  3. Thinking ahead – planning ahead to parties, days out etc where situations may prove difficult for him and preparing for them.
  4. Getting the right support – support is important, he will be explaining to people that he is wanting to quit and would like their support.    
  5. Keeping busy – Ian plans to keep busy so he doesn’t get the time to think about cigarettes and if he does then the cigarette will be replaced with an e-cigarette.       

 

                 ***Collaborative post***                                        

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Attending BritMums 2016

Attending BritMums 2016

Attending BritMums 2016

It is getting close to that time of year, that time of year for attending BritMums 2016. This is where many bloggers will be heading off to, it will be held at the Brewery in London on the 25th June.

For anyone who doesn’t know about BritMums, it is the Uk’s buzziest social media conference and blogger event. This year will be our second year attending and we are still rather nervous but not as half as nervous as we was last year, we are more relaxed this year.

We cant wait to introduce you to our lovely sponsor, are you a thrill-seeker? if so you will love our BritMums sponsor. Without further a-do our BritMums sponsor is, the lovely Thames Rockets. Thames Rockets offer sight-seeing adventures from the River Thames.

Attending BritMums 2016

If you love London and enjoy sight-seeing just like we do then we highly recommend Thames Rockets, they are always ready to welcome you on board for your fastest, funniest and craziest trip ever. They offer sight-seeing from the Thames and have very friendly guides on board who are more than happy to share their knowledge of London with everyone.

Thames Rockets can be found at the millennium Pier London and welcome guest from a young age. They are open 7 days a week. They are open come rain or shine as wet weather kits are provided, along with safety wear.

We have experienced The Ultimate London Adventure with Thames Rockets and had a blast, in Brads words “it was awesome”.

Would you love to speed down the iconic river and do some sight-seeing from a different angle?

Thames Rockets take you speeding through Canary Wharf listening to a medley of feel-good music whilst you’re waving goodbye to the other boats left bobbing on the Thames.

There is a choice of trips to choose from, you can choose family trips to a trip that includes a helicopter, yes a helicopter as they even offer sight-seeing by air.

Also rated number #1 on Tripadvisor.

Attending britmums 2016

General post

Exciting Times Throughout March

Exciting times throughout March

Exciting Times Throughout March

Looking back over our  exciting times throughout March we can safely say that we had a busy and fun month, a month full of fun and excitement. Here is a little of what we got up to.

Our month started off with a meeting, not just any meeting but a meeting to start a very exciting journey – Buying our first house. Eeek it is really happening….Exciting times!

A very relaxing mothers day took place, I was told to put my feet up and relax for the whole day so I did, it proved costly as this happened. A little shopping took place…Whoops.

Exciting times throughout march

A fun quiz took place, Lee really enjoys football so we tested his knowledge and had a fun family afternoon.

Exciting times throughout march

We had our youngest niece come and stay with us, she came along to watch Lee play in his football match – it looks like Lee has a little fan by what was caught on video….so cute.

Lee's little football fan. #cousinlove

A video posted by The House That Never Rests (@thehousethatneverrests) on

We had a fun and exciting stay at Chessington. We spent the night in the hotel and had a fantastic time.

Exciting times throughout march

Myself and Bradley attended the Ideal Home Show, Brad had been asking prior to our visit if we could teach him how to use our camera as he wants to learn more about photography. After a quick how-to-use talk he was our photographer for the day.

Exciting times throughout march

Good Friday was spent in the best place – That place being where we call our happy place – Clacton beach. This is why it is called our happy place.

                        Of course some beach rules had to be made – What do you think?

Seaside rules 👌

A photo posted by The House That Never Rests (@thehousethatneverrests) on

A lovely Easter cake was made, one even the Easter Bunny would agree on – Carrot cake.

Exciting times throughout march

How did you spend your Bank holiday Monday? ours went a little like this – wine, snacks, candles, duvet and movies…..Perfect!

Exciting times throughout march

 

This is a little of our exciting times throughout March, did you get up to much?

Collaborative post

Planning School Holidays Early

Home lifestyle

Planning School Holidays Early

As a full-time working mother to three children, every moment we spend together as a family is precious. So when half-term holidays come around and Ian manages to get some time off work too – we have to make the most of it. So with a good few weeks to go we have started planning school holidays early and drawing up the inevitable what to do list including another camping getaway or a repeat visit to Clacton, since the kids love the arcades, we love the penny casino and spread betting games and it’s been a long-standing family favourite.

So we jumped on the computer and with what we found, decided to draw up a list of the best ones we found so we could make a decision later. Last year was a bit manic around March/April with the kids doing different things and Bradley getting sunburned but this year we were determined to think of something to do that we could do as a family and here’s what we came up with:

1)  Another camping adventure like the one we are planning to do in Europe. While this has plenty of positives, the reason we had planned to do this in Summer was that it would give us more time to explore so this may not be the best option for now owing to the long drive.

2)  A theme park seems to be a common choice but since we have just been to Chessington and last Easter Lee went to Thorpe Park – this seems a bit repetitive

3)  Cinema seems to be a popular choice as well but that doesn’t really take up too much of our holidays and leaves a lot of extra time so maybe that’s good for a filler but not really an entire vacation

4)  London tends to be a popular choice for most and there are a quite a few suggestions as to what people can do over the half-term break when they’re there. A trip to the aquarium in the day followed by a visit to the Shard where Bradley can take some photos is on our list already and there’s plenty more to do should we go.

As you can tell from the list above we have a lot of thinking to do as while London seems like the most opportune one for now, there’s probably a ton more out there that the kids and us can come up with. Just keep checking back on our blog to find out what we’re actually going to go with and maybe offer some of your own suggestions if you have some good ones to share.

***Collaborative post***

Kid's corner

Learning Photography

learning photography

Learning Photography

***Kid’s corner post*** I currently attend a performing arts college and whilst there I get to use their camera, it is one just like mum & dad’s one. I have been enjoying being able to use it and have asked mum & dad to help me with learning photography.

Learning Photography

They have given me a quick how-to-use talk and let me lose with the camera, their camera is a Cannon EOS 700D and I’m sure this is the same as the one at college but I’m not 100% certain. When I went with mum to the Ideal home show she let me be the photographer for the day, I was a little nervous but I guess the quickest way of learning photography is to use the camera so I did.

Here are some of the photos I have taken so far.

Learning photography
Mum had her nails done at the Ideal Home Show
Learning photography
Mum chatted with Martin Lewis.

Mum helped me by explaining the different settings and talking me through what to press etc.

It took a little getting use to but I really enjoyed it. At performing Art College we have a film and TV lesson, during this time we all get to use the cameras and the video camera to take photos and videos, it is great fun and I really enjoy this lesson.

Learning photography
Another of my photos from the Ideal Home Show.

I started the day nervous but by the end of the day I found myself more confident and really enjoying myself. By using our camera at home this will help me when it comes to it being my turn to be the camera person at college again. I can’t wait to better myself using the camera, it is great fun and there is so much more to learn with the different lenses, lighting and so much more. I am really looking forward to learning photography it is something great fun to learn and most of all it is something I really want to learn.

Bradley

 

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Clacton

Clacton

Clacton

For many years now we have found ourselves heading off to Clacton a few times a year. We have grandparents who retired there 16 years ago so we regularly head there to visit them. Clacton seafront has a beautiful beach and we have had many of fun days there with the boys right from when they was a young age. We regularly visit and the boys still love to spend the day out on the pier enjoying the rides and heading off to the arcades, we enjoy a lovely stroll along the seafront with our grandparents whatever the weather, even enjoying a nice meal whilst down there, on our last visit we enjoyed a lovely meal in the Broadwalk bar & grill. As you can imagine Clacton is a special place for us to head as a family and always will be.

Clacton
Clacton-On-Sea

We’ve had celebrations in Clacton, we celebrated our grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary not so long ago and we’ve even seen the new year in with them there. Clacton is safe to say a very happy place for us to visit, creating new memories at each visit.

Clacton

We have always found something to fun to do. Clacton offers loads of indoor and outdoor fun, we’ve had fun on the beach, fun in the arcades, enjoyed the rides (indoor & out) been out on the pier. Did you know Clacton even has a SeaQuarium? It does, in there you will be able to see all marine life species found from in and around the shores up close and personal, so a trip to Clacton beach can even be educational, the boys love visiting to see what we can see in there.

ClactonIf the weather is bad we often head to the indoor rides or for a game of bowling, it makes a great competitive game and the teens do like to challenge us older ones.

clacton The arcades are where we more often than not find the boys, Clacton has a great family amusements arcade it offers a wide range of different machines to suit all ages even our young-at-heart grandparents. You will find driving games, shooting games, casino games for us oldies, 2p machines, novelty games, fruit machines and many more fun machines. We have spent many of fun hours in the arcades, hours of endless family fun, let’s face it no trip to the seaside is the same without having a trip to the arcades.

Or is that just us being big kids?

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Panasonic Favourites

panasonic favourites

Panasonic Favourites

Our teen has recently decorated his box room in to a teen-style bedroom and it is coming together nicely. Having a box room doesn’t mean you can’t still have all the things you love and enjoy in your room does it?

Our teen has been making a list of all the things he would like to have in his room, styling it with a stereo being the top of his list. He has been shopping around and searching the internet trying to find the ‘perfect’ one. Apparently he doesn’t want one that’s too big but yet he wants one that’s got a good sound quality plus a good bass to it.

On his search he has found Panasonic to have a good selection and the ones that have caught his eye these two but he’s now stuck for choice.

panasonic favourites

Our teen likes choice A, this is a Panasonic SC-PMX100BEB high-resolution Hi Fi system, with multi-room functionality. This would give him a choice of cd or DAB/FM radio too. Teen likes that it is small in size yet gives off the sound he’s looking for.

Or there is choice B

panasonic favourites

Our teen likes choice B, this is one of Panasonic wireless speakers SC-ALL2EB. This is a very clever device that can work from your smart device. You can stream your favourite online radio stations, it has bluetooth connectivity, has 6 preset buttons and one touch playback, it seamlessly connects to all players. It also works as a music alarm, digital music collection or subscription services straight from the smart device. This speaker system is stylish, powerful and convenient, you can even pair up two of these for stereo pairing.

Our teen is not sure which of his Panasonic favourites he likes the best, he is really stuck for choice. Which would you say?

 

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review.

Pandamonium Chessington

Pandamonium Chessington

Pandamonium Chessington 

Do we have any panda fans? fancy getting up close and personal to a panda then Pandamonium Chessington is the place to be. There is now a brand new show called Pandamonium which is new for 2016. Chessington have teamed up with Europe’s leading special effects and animatronics designers – Millennium FX to create the stars of the brand new show #pandamonium. This show features life-size and life-like animatronic pandas, the show will give you the chance to experience what it would be like to be up close and personal to a panda. If you would like to experience what it would be like to see pandas causing chaos on stage then Pandamonium Chessington is the place to head.

Just how cute is this panda!

pandamonium chessington

The show is located in a new area next to the revamped ‘Trial Of Kings’. The aim of the show is to educate and entertain the audience of all ages. There are four pandas who are the stars of the show and they are so cute and fascinating to watch, their movements and temperament look so real, they are just adorable and totally AMAZING!

The show does entail some audience participation, if you don’t know how to panda bow everyone will by the end of the show. This show will certainly grab everyone’s attention of all ages.

Pandamonium chessington

If you would like to meet these micheviouse and cheeky animatronic pandas then you will need to head to the Pandamonium Chessington. All younger children are encouraged to sit at the front so they get a good view of the pandas causing chaos on stage together.

pandamonium chessingtonAfter all the excitement of the show you can grab a bite to eat in the brand new Smokehouse BBQ restaurant, this is now open and situated in the market square. If you are a lover of pulled pork, ribs, beef brisket and chicken and enjoy food cooked in a wooden bbq pit then you will enjoy the dining experience at the smokehouse restaurant.

Trail of kings… After the show we went for a walk through the trail of kings area, this has recently been revamped. This is now a lovely open space area ready to accommodate the crowds. Here you will find the homes of Gorillas, Tigers and Lions, you can see them all clearly through the large windows, perfect for parents/carers with wheelchairs and buggies as everyone is able to see. Theres lots here to explore, plus lots to discover as well as a host of interactive features. There is also hidden treasure to find as you walk through the jungle giants.

pandamonium chessington

Still to come later in the year… How daring are you? would you like to try sleeping under canvas in the great outdoors? Chessington are offering just that from May 2016, situated next to Wild Asia will be a Glamping site. This will be somewhere themed, comfortable and exciting to sleep, not only that they offer this with heaters, flooring, power sockets, dining table and chairs, WiFi and proper bed’s too….yes proper beds!

How amazing is that?

This is something we would love to try with our boys, these look amazing. It would be so much fun and such a special experience to stay so close to the animals, how amazing would it be waking up to the sound of the wildlife in the morning.

It would be a great way to fully explore with our adventurers, it would give a two-day theme park entry along with after hours entertainment. Plenty to keep everyone entertained.

pandamonium chessington

And that’s not all….There is still more, are you afraid of heights? there’s an exciting way to find out. Go Ape are launching a high ropes adventure at Chessington to help swing even more fun into action and unleash your inner Tarzan. We really enjoyed our adventure at Trent park so we would love to see if it’s just as exciting.

pandamonium chessington

To help plan your day Chessington have launched a new and free mobile app for android and iPhone. The app has a built-in day planner that will allow you to plan out a personalised intinary. Once you have built you list it will automatically sort and suggest your next attraction so your day is not wasted queing at rides. Getting lost at Chessington is now a thing of the past, the app also has a built-in interactive map that will guide you where you want to go via sat-nav like directions which is easy to use with the in-park wifi.Pandamonium chessington

There is more than enough entertainment here, we spent the night in Azteca hotel, enjoyed a very tasty meal followed by a comfortable nights sleep. We fueled ourselves with a very tasty breakfast for a fun day ahead lead by the kids.

pandamonium chessington

Pandamonium chessington

Having a wild time on the rides, we even braved Dragons Fury and Rameses Revenge.

Pandamonium Chessington

 

Disclaimer: we was guests at Chessington, all thoughts and opinions are our own.