Friday, 18 August 2017

Keeping The Boys Active This Summer

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At the beginning of the Summer I spoke to the boys about keeping active over the school holidays. I know that the Summer is time to relax and enjoy yourself without the pressure of having to get up early but I wanted to make sure that we didn't just laze around for 6 weeks. Not so much little J but big J would sit online on his Xbox all day if you let him so I had to have a plan. I asked the boys to go in the shed and choose all the things they could find that could help us stay active this Summer. Typical boys just dumped everything on the grass but then they did make a nice arrangement in the end.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Our Summer Days - Day 16, Walton Hall Gardens

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We spent a lovely day at Walton Hall Gardens on Day 16 of Our Summer Days. The weather wasn't great but it was dry so we made the most of no rain and headed out. Walton Hall Gardens is in Warrington so about 30 minutes from home. We haven't been for quite a few years now and I am pleased to say that it was so much better than I had expected thanks to a few enhancements. 

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Our Summer Days - Days 10-15

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This week hasn't been very good as we have had the builders back in to start on our kitchen so we haven't had the chance to go out and about. We had a few rainy days so there was plenty of time for playing inside, doing jigsaws and just lazing about.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Our #PeppaPlayDays Summer Bundle.

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To help us survive enjoy the school holiday's we have been sent a huge selection of Peppa Pig goodies to use this Summer. Little J absolutely loves Peppa and although I try to deny it I do have a soft spot for that pig. We received a huge box last week and I know we are going to enjoy playing with this bundle this August.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Our Summer Days, Day 8 - Thorpe Park

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I have mentioned it before on our blog that we are Merlin Pass Holders, and have been for as long as I can remember. Although we don't venture down South to the attractions very often we think it is still excellent value for money just for the amount of times we go to Alton Towers each year. This year we said that we would try and make an effort to go to Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures as we have never been before. Last weekend we finally made it down South and visited Thorpe Park and Legoland. 

Monday, 24 July 2017

Our Summer Days 1-4

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School is out for Summer which means that I have to now think of ways to keep the boys entertained for 6 weeks . . . eek! I actually love the Summer holidays and being with the boys. Whether it's days out or play days in we always have lots of fun. Here is an update our Our Summer Days 1-4.

Monday, 18 August 2014

#OurSummerDays Day 26 - The Warner Brothers Studio Tour - Harry Potter

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We are huge fans of Harry Potter and were really looking forward to making our way down South to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour - The making of Harry Potter
I had read all about the tour but I have to say now before I carry on, this really is a must see attraction and reading about it didn't really prepare me for how amazing it was.
When we arrived we were greeted by a car park attendant who checked our tickets and showed us to our car parking space.
Tickets are timed and we had a ticket for 12:30pm. The tour allows a certain number of guests in at the time on your ticket so it doesn't get too over crowded.
When you enter the huge building there are large photographs on the wall of all the characters. There is a cafe to your left and a large gift shop to your right. Straight ahead is the entrance to the tour. It is advised to arrive 20 minutes before the time on your ticket.
We joined the queue to enter and as we waited we spotted the cupboard under the stairs where Harry lived.
At the beginning of tour we gathered into a room, all the posters from the movies were on the wall. There was a member of staff inside the room who talked us through the posters and the different languages they were in. We watched a short film and then the doors opened and we entered another room which was similar to a cinema. 
We sat down and the short film started. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson appeared on the screen and talked about how this studio had been there 2nd home while they filmed all of the movies there. 
When the film had finished, the screen went up and behind was the entrance to The Great Hall. When we entered the great hall I was shocked and amazed at how big it was. I wasn't expecting it to be real but it was. It was an actual room, a big hall. It was just like it is on the film except for the enchanted ceiling. The tables were laid out and there was the models stood around wearing the uniform that represents their house colours.
At the end of the hall the models of the teachers were stood like in the films. Dumbledore, Hagrid, Snape and a few others.
You can spend as much or as little time in the great hall as you want, we took lots of photos and spent time looking at all the amazing detail on the tables and walls. 
Once we had finished we moved into the next part of the tour which was one big room which was broken down into various sections and sets. 
There are lots of props and I still couldn't believe just how real all the props and sets are. We visited the sets of Dumbledores Office, The Gryffindor Common Room, The Boys Bedroom and stumbled upon tons of props,
The cabinets had some of the films most precious props such as the goblet of fire, the tri wizard cup and the horcruxes.

The potions classroom is a huge set and has so much details with lots of potions bottles and cauldrons. There is also a model of Snape stood in the middle.

Big J joined in with a how to use a wand lesson. There was a selection of wands to choose from, he chose a DeathEaters wand.

He did really well and would make a great wizard.

Just before we got to the Ministry of Magic Section Big J took part in the green screen experience.

Here you get to fly a broom or ride in the Weasley car. There was a queue but it moved quite quickly. Big J wanted to fly a broom. He was given a robe which he wore and mounted the broomstic. No cameras were allowed in this section but you have the option to buy a DVD/USB and/or photos.

We chose to buy all the photos and the USB. The photos show big J in various locations on a broomstick, they are brilliant. The USB has a 3 minute film and a clip of big J flying through the air and it actually looks like he is flying.

The cost of the USB and the 4 photos was £40. You can buy them separately if you don't wish to buy all 4.

The Ministry of Magic section is next before you move into an outdoor area.

Umbridges office is here, plus the large Black family tree tapestry that is featured in The Order of Phoenix.

Luckily the rain had stopped and the sun was shining down when we stepped outside.

Big J was looking forward to trying a butterbeer all day and this is where you can purchase it. Unfortunately the hype didn't last very long because after one sip he said it was disgusting. haha. I told him I had read about it and people saying it is an acquired taste but he wanted to try it anyway. It was £2.95 for a small plastic cup and there were other options available including a butterbeer glass too. Daddy had a try and he wasn't fussed either but I managed to get both of them wearing a butterbeer moustache.

There are lots of huge sets outside including the Knight bus which is the size of an actual bus and Privet drive. Big J knocked at number 4 to see if the Dursleys were at home.

You may have noticed I haven't mentioned little J up till now. He was with us but he fell asleep as we entered the tour and only woke up as we stepped outside. Just in time for his bottle. No food or drink can be consumed inside so if you fancy a drink or bite to eat you will have to wait till you are outside.

The bridge is outside and you can walk along it. The Weasley Car is outside and you can sit inside and also Hagrids Motorbike.

Once you have finished outside its time to go into the final part of the tour.

There are lots of creature props and models of the characters. Big J loves Dobby so we snapped a photo. Dobby looks so small.

I never thought we would be able to walk along Diagon Alley but we did. Its a proper cobbled street with Gringotts and Olivanders. Flourish and Blotts with a photo of Gilderoy Lockhart in the window and the Weasleys Joke shop.

The best part of the tour for me was the GIGANTIC model of Hogwarts. You can see from the photo of Daddy above just how big the model is. Its so realistic and it took my breath away. It is amazing.

They saved the best for last and I honestly couldn't believe how big it was.

Once the tour finishes you walk through the gift shop which has so many souvenirs and gifts. Big J was allowed to choose a souvenir and after about 30 minutes of looking round he chose to buy an Elder Wand and a Chocolate frog.

I chose a time turner keyring and Daddy chose a marauders map mug.

Big J was lucky to also receive a goody bag from Warner Brothers with some lovely gifts inside

We took over 4 hours to complete the tour/gift shop and we loved every second and I would return tomorrow - it really is amazing.

*we received complimentary tickets to the tour - all thoughts above are our own*

Saturday, 16 August 2014

#OurSummerDays Day 24 at Butlins, Skegness - Out and About

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Out and About 

Skegness is just a 10 minute drive from Butlins.

It has a lovely pier, beach and outdoor fairground. It was really sunny when we arrived but it started to rain shortly after so our trip was cut short.

Parking is well signposted and we chose an all day for £4 which was just a five minute walk away from the front.

The pier is only short but there are benches along the way, telescopes and some stands selling beach goodies.

It was a shame it rained as we were going to go on more fairground rides, but we just went on the pirate ship.

To find out what else we got up to visit

#OurSummerDays Day 23 at Butlins, Skegness - What to do?

Friday, 15 August 2014

#OurSummerDays Day 23 at Butlins, Skegness - What to do?

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What to Do?

Butlins does have something for everyone and if you wanted to do everything available you would definitely need more than 4 nights.

The Skyline Pavilion is at the centre of the resort. This has lots of things to see and do.

Big J loves arcades and grab machines and there are plenty of these to keep you bust but you will definitely need to set a limit on how much you are willing to spend because it is very easy to get carried away.

We were very lucky on the grab machines - big J won a ball and a plants v zombies teddy and Daddy won a Edith (from despicable me 2) teddy, but we did try to win other teddies without any luck.

There is a prize bingo section and I love prize bingo. Its 20p a game so if you pop in a £1 you get 5 games which usually lasts 5 minutes maybe a little bit longer.

The bingo caller was the same as last year and he is really friendly and lets you know if there is a winner and tells everyone to press their claim button. This is great for the little ones who are playing  as they may have missed a number.

We won a few times on the prize bingo and you can exchange your tokens for prizes. They are only small and resemble items you can buy in the 99p stores but still fun.

We hadn't noticed it before but there is an indoor sports hall filled with snooker tables, dart boards and table tennis tables. We played Table Tennis and it was lots of fun. You have to put your name down and there is no limit to how long you can play so you could be in for a wait. we left it once because we had already waited for 30 minutes and there was still two names in front of us. You can also book outdoor tennis courts too.

There are lots more activities to do and you are given a what's on guide on arrival which lists everything, but like I said you would need two weeks to cram everything in.

To find out what else we got up to visit the links below

#OurSummerDays Day 24 at Butlins, Skegness - Out and About

Thursday, 14 August 2014

#OurSummerDays Day 22 at Butlins, Skegness - The Fairground

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The Fairground
We visited the fair every day. Big J loves one of the rides there called the Miami Wave and we went on it lots, every day. He enjoyed going on it over and over. Daddy and I both went on it although I couldn't go on it as often as big J because it does turn your stomach.

There is a little stars playground which is perfect for little J and he loved all the rides and went on them all every day too. There is also a little train ride in the main fair which is perfect for him too.

There was very rarely a queue for any of the rides so not much waiting involved to get on the rides. The rides are typical fairground rides, there is a carousel, dodgems, waltzers, a small pirate ship, an American hat type ride and the Miami wave. All these including the little stars playground are free of charge. There is a charge for the go karts which is £5 per go.

The rides are open late Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday till 9pm which is good if you don't want to go and see the shows that are on in the evening.

Like I said the fair is very typical and I would have liked to see some modern rides, one of them actually had graffiti on dated year 2000. Although very basic it did the job and my two monkeys did enjoy themselves.

To see what else we got up to visit one of the links below

#OurSummerDays Day 23 at Butlins, Skegness - What to do?
#OurSummerDays Day 24 at Butlins, Skegness - Out and About


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

#OurSummerDays Day 21 at Butlins, Skegness - The Beach

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The Beach

 The Beach
We didn't really have beach weather while we were away but we tried to make the most of it. The rain stayed away on the morning we strolled down to the sea, but it was very windy.

As we were heading down towards the sand, Big J and Little J both wore football kits. They are nice and cool and comfortable.

Little J wore his new Blue Brazil kit from Lamaloli and he looked so cute. The set actually comes with white shorts but we teamed it up with blue from another similar set which you can read the review on here

Just before you hit the beach you get to a man made large sand pit and it has oversized deckchairs and lilos etc. We played on the sand and big and little J climbed into the large bucket and rubber rings.
When it was time to go onto the proper beach, Little J fell asleep so he missed it. We had bought him special water shoes so he could paddle in the sea but he slept through it all.
Daddy and big J didn't miss out on swimming in the sea, even though the water was freezing they still went for a dunk. It looked so cold. I stayed on the sand and watched little J. There was no way I was going in there.
They both enjoyed themselves but unfortunately we didn't get to go down the beach again which was a shame as I would have liked little J to have a dip in the sea.
To see what else we got up to visit
#OurSummerDays Day 23 at Butlins, Skegness - What to do?
#OurSummerDays Day 24 at Butlins, Skegness - Out and About 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

#OurSummerDays Day 20 at Butlins, Skegness - Arrival and Splashworld

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This year we decided to visit Butlins, Skegness for our summer holiday. We had a few other trips planned so we decided to stick them all together and make it one big holiday.

We visited Skegness last year and we all had a great time. Little J was only months old so I was looking forward to him doing a lot more this year.

We had booked a silver apartment but we got upgraded to a Gold apartment with food court dining. This was great for us and if we ever returned to Butlins I would definitely include food in our package.

Its an all you can eat and includes breakfast and dinner. There is so much choice and was perfect for little J as he usually eats around 4:30 and it opens at this time and it was usually quiet around this time.

When we arrived check in was quick and easy and was done in the car. We had a drive through check
 in and we were given our keys to the apartment at 11am even though it said 3pm. When we went to the accommodation the door was already open and was being cleaned so we headed straight the indoor pool.

Splash Waterworld is on site, free for guests and is absolutely amazing. Big and little J loved it and we went swimming every day.

There is one main pool, a children's splash pool with slide, a whirl pool area, rapids and a lagoon type pool. There is also three slides and an outdoor rapids too. Big J loves the slides especially the red one which is fastest.

Once we had finished in the pool our room was ready. There was a travel cot provided for little J but no bedding at all, not even a blanket. When we asked at the Gold Reception we were told they do not supply a blanket and we searched on site and no where sold one either. We had to buy a Butlins towel to cover little J through the night. It was ridiculous that a family holiday site doesn't have blankets for cots?

The room itself was very spacious and included three bedrooms, a kitchen/dining room, lounge, bathroom with shower. There was  a heated towel rail in the bathroom which was perfect for drying the towels from the pool. The DVD player was also a nice bonus and you can rent dvds on site free of charge. You just need to give them a £10 refundable deposit.

I cant complain at all about the apartment. We had maid service every day, tea and coffee was replenished and one day they washed the cups too.

To find out what else we got up to whilst at Butlins see below

#OurSummerDays Day 23 at Butlins, Skegness - What to do?
#OurSummerDays Day 24 at Butlins, Skegness - Out and About
Have you been to Butlins?

Monday, 11 August 2014

#OurSummerDays Day 19

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DAY 19

Today was very wet and very windy so we needed to plan a day out that was indoors. We looked up Xscape and it was on the way to our holiday so we decided to go there.
We have never been to Xscape before, its huge with tons of things to do.
Daddy and big J went on a 6D experience, little J enjoyed the soft play area and we visited the arcade too.
We each had £2 to try and win a soft toy on the grab machines and we all won. I won Gru from Despicable Me 2, Big J won a purple Minion and Daddy won George from Peppa Pig.
It was a great day out, we only had a few hours there but there is so much more to see and do, so we will be planning another day out there soon.
23 days of fun left

Saturday, 9 August 2014

#OurSummerDays Day 17

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Day 17

Kiddicare again.

Big J was going to his friends today who lives close to Kiddicare so we decided to pop in as it is closing down :(

we managed to get the last Cosatto pram in the shop and it was bargain. We love Cosatto and I am thrilled with little J's new pram.

25 days of Summer left

Friday, 8 August 2014

#OurSummerDays Day 16

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DAY 16
Lazy Day.
Today was another day that was rain then sun, rain then sun so it was hard to plan anything. Little J had a bit more energy today but was still tired so he just enjoyed some time with his toys and his big brother.
Big J played out with his friends today and at one point they were wrestling on our front grass. Boys Eh!
26 days of fun left - can we have some sun please?

Thursday, 7 August 2014

#OurSummerDays Day 15

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DAY 15

Feeling Better!

For the first time in days little J started to look a little better and he was happy to play a little rather than just lie down.

At night he usually climbs the stairs and crawls into the bathroom ready for his bath and tonight he did this so he must be feeling better.

There are still 27 days for us to enjoy


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

#OurSummerDays Day 14

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DAY 14

Another Sickie

today was another sick day. So no fun really but hopefully it will pass

28 days left to have some fun.


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

#OurSummerDays Day 13

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 Day 13

Unlucky For Some

Most people believe 13 is an unlucky number well Day 13 was unlucky for us. Poor Little J was vomiting most of the day and night. When he wasn't vomiting he was sleeping.

Hoping tomorrow is a better day

29 days of fun left

Monday, 4 August 2014

#OurSummerDays Day 12

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DAY 12

Bargains and Football

Today we just nipped to the local retail park to pick up a few bits when we noticed a huge sign in Kiddicares window saying 'closing down - everything must go' If anyone has a kiddiecare close by you will know just how great they are. They have everything you need for a baby/toddler and at reasonable prices. I overheard someone saying Morrisons who must own them, had sold them? I'm not sure if that is true but I was quite sad. We went in for a look and most things average 20%-25% off with some of the clothes

We managed to get some bargains including a gorgeous Clair De Lune Bedding set and some Dribble Stop Tops.

After that Daddy and Big J went to see an Everton game. It was only a friendly against Porto FC and they drew 1-1

Little J and I went to Nana and Grandads and little J played some football of his own.

30 days of fun left.

Do you have a kiddicare near you? I'm gutted it's closing. Such a shame.

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