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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Family Fun at LEGOLAND Windsor

Last weekend, we went to LEGOLAND Windsor, for a day of Family Fun. We set off rather early, but with a full change of clothes for the children, some towels and a rather large picnic tea, we knew that we'd have a great day. We started the day, having a quick look in the LEGO store at the entrance of the park and whilst we were there Big Boy discovered some Minecraft LEGO sets and Tops was able to have a good look round at all the other sets from the different themes that she loves. We did go back at the end of the day to purchase a couple of LEGO sets, and as the queues weren't as bad as we were expecting it wasn't doom and gloom adding to the end of a party atmosphere of a park full of people heading home.

LEGOLAND goodies to play with at home

I think our weekly Date Mornings have prepared us a bit better for going to a theme park with the children, as we were able to split up into pairs to avoid rides that Big Boy didn't want to go on, without Daddy or I missing out on too much of the fun and thrills and without guilt that we weren't spending the time together as a family. It's been a while since we'd been out as a family to an attraction and so I may have forgotten to pack a few essentials (like Suncream) and Daddy may have discovered the hard way that we should go out as a family more often so that I remember what all the essentials should be. The only benefit from him being the one that got sunburnt and not the children and I (they have my genes) is that with him staying near work during the week is that I don't have to hear him complain about how much it hurts him!

The sunshine may have caused some pain for Daddy, but it was also a benefit as with the sun beating down on us we soon dried out from all the water rides we went on that caused us to be drenched and make us look like we'd not made it to the bathroom in time.

A little wet after a water ride at LEGOLAND Windsor

I think the best part of the day for both the children was when they were able to drive real Electric LEGO cars around a large track. It was amazing being able to watch them confidently navigate road junctions, obey the laws of the road (stop signs and traffic lights) and avoid other road users. Daddy and I both said that we don't think that we have seen the children smile as widely as they did when they had finished driving round the track.

Big Boy driving at LEGOLAND WindsorTop Ender driving at LEGOLAND Windsor

The best part for us as a family was going on the Atlantis Submarine Voyage, it was AMAZING and I think that I'll never look at Sea Life the same way again, in fact I think that we will always need to view sea life through a glass-bottomed LEGO Submarine.

Big Boy has been planning a return visit to LEGOLAND since before we went, as he wants to stay in the Hotel, so I'd better start saving for our return visit either next Easter or in the Summer. If you're heading off to LEGOLAND before then, check out my tips for having Family Fun at LEGOLAND Windsor.

We were given tickets to visit the park and some LEGO loot to pay for lunch and souvenirs.
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Tips for Family Fun at LEGOLAND Windsor

We were asked if we'd like to pop down to LEGOLAND Windsor this past weekend to see the new Pirate Shores and Castaway Camp and to be one of the first families to experience the new attraction. Unfortunately the area wasn't quite ready for visitors so whilst I guess it will be a great new area for LEGOLAND explorers, don't hold me to it as I've not experienced it and so I can't say for sure! What I can say about LEGOLAND is based on our families visits that we've made in the past few years and of course this most recent visit.

Tips for Family Fun at LEGOLAND Windsor

LEGOLAND is one of those places, in my humble opinion, that you have to take your children to at least once. I say this because LEGOLAND is fantastic fun and as LEGO is a great toy for imagination play I don't think I have ever met a child who doesn't like to play with LEGO or DUPLO for a few minutes at least. The only downside I have about taking your family to the park, is the price of admission but there are normally discounts available for booking in advance and you can find vouchers for further admission discounts available in a variety of places, just google (or use your search engine of choice) to find out more.

The GREAT thing about the Park is that there are toilets and kiosks selling food and drink all over the place. This means that if you're just about to join the queue for a ride and your little one needs a wee you can just nip in, rather than letting your child wee through a wooden bridge, soaking the people queueing under the bridge (Yes, this really happened!). It also means that you could end up spending a lot of money on snacks and drinks, so maybe take a small bag of snacks in with you to intersperse with purchases of ice-creams (if the weather is good), and hot dogs.

We were lucky that on this most recent trip we were given special arm bands, which gave us an insight into how fantastic the Q-Bot Ultimate is. If you can afford it, getting a Q-Bot will help reduce the amount of time spent in queues and for some of the most popular rides this is a really good thing. Just be prepared for a few dirty looks from the people who haven't thought to use the Q-Bot, and consider which type of Q-Bot you'd like as there are different levels and of course they are pitched at different price levels too.

There are plenty of different rides, that means depending on what your family likes there are plenty of rides and attractions to keep them amused. We spent what seems a disproportionate amount of time being soaking wet after going on several of the water rides. Luckily for us, we'd gone on a sunny day and so we did dry off quite quickly, but do remember that if your family like water rides too then you should take a change of clothes or some change to use the family dryers, which are £2 and easily fit in a family of four.

I'm always really conscious when going to places aimed at children that I'm not going to fit in to the seats or be able to put the safety restraints around me. I didn't have any trouble at the park on any of the rides and the amount of walking that we did around the park means that I'm pretty sure that I lost some weight whilst walking round!

We had a lush time as a family, which you can read more about in my Family Fun at LEGOLAND Windsor post.

We were given access to the park, and some LEGO loot to pay for food or souvenirs.
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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Why Can't I Lose Weight Like That?

One of my guilty pleasures is watching weight loss shows. I'm not one of the people who watches whilst eating a huge bar of chocolate or a tub of Ice-cream (although I could be), I tend to watch them whilst working out myself (well Wii U Fit step aerobics) whilst watching them motivates me, watching them also annoys me. I'm one of the people that you'd normally find on these weight loss shows. I have a lot of weight to lose, roughly half my body weight if I go by the height and weight recommendations (but I'm pretty sure if I went down to that weight I'd look ill, but we'll see when I get there eh?) and I have tried on my own unsuccessfully several times.

And so when I do diet and exercise, I try my hardest. I take pictures of everything that I eat and drink (I read that's supposed to help you be more accountable and realise just how much you're actually consuming), I go for a walk everyday and I use the Wii U Fit game to exercise. I have a couple of work out videos that I follow, I dance around the living room, I run up and down the stairs and I walk to School several times a day.

And yet when I weigh myself I don't lose the weight at the same rate those contestants on the TV do. When I take my measurements, I've not lost inches like the contestants on the TV do. I don't have any dark secrets that I'm holding back, or hatred towards my parents like the contestants on the TV shows do. I don't have a trainer yelling at me to push harder, to work for longer, to reach for more. I don't have a personal chef creating me low calorie, tasty meals.

A lunchtime Salad

I guess it's the lack of weight loss that's demotivating really. I can handle that I don't lose big numbers of weight each week, I understand that isn't possible really for people at home like me to lose weight like the contestants on the TV Shows but it still makes me think Why can't I lose weight like that?!
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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Spring and Easter Crafting with Bostick

You remember how in February I said that I'm useless at crafting and then showed you how to make a Valentines wreath as part of the Bostick Family Craft Bloggers Network? Well, it's still true. Now, I understand what a good craft selection is all about, as do most people. We've all wandered round a craft selection and seen materials that inspired those of us who wish they were better at crafting. Look at this selection we were sent to make something with this Spring.

Selection of Craft Materials from Craft Merrily for Bostick Family Craft Network

Amazing right?

Well, after opening the box of craft items it dawned on me that I also know that good materials do not a good crafter make.  I've realised this last couple of months that, I'm Emmett from The Lego Movie. I need instructions, but the rest of the world seems to be filled with Master Builders or as we know them crafty people who know how to make something without instructions and make the rest of us feel bad. I'm now of the opinion that if you don't have the imagination, then it's okay to copy someone else... which is what Top Ender and I did, one Saturday morning on a at home Mummy/Daughter date.

Top Ender made this brilliant Daffodil, using a pipe cleaner, a bit of card and a cupcake case. That was inspired all by Top Ender, I have no idea where she gets her imagination from, as it's certainly not me!

Top Ender with her giant homemade daffodil

I started making a little Spring/Easter bunny bunting thing, which I guess is inspired by the Peeps you can get in the USA and are filling my Pinterest timeline. I was actually quite pleased with the little bunnies and have plans to make a HUGE one, I just need to actually sit down and do it.

Easter/Spring Peeps style Bunting

Where do you get inspiration for things you craft at home? Are you like me and copy things that you've seen on the internet (thank you Pinterest and Google Image Search) or can you look at a selection of craft items and know immediately how to create something fab?

Bostick Family Craft Bloggers Network Badge

I was sent the materials to craft with.
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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Walkers Have Half Price Fun! #SponsoredPost

Of course I'm not talking about a ramblers only kind of deal, but Walkers have partnered together with Merlin Entertainment to give away half price tickets to Chessington World of Adventures and 12 Sea Life aquariums around the UK, which is perfect if you're not sure what you can do this Easter Half Term. The tickets available are available by collecting tokens on multi-packs of Walkers Baked Stars, Walkers Mighty Lights or Walkers Hoops and Crosses, which if your house is anything like mine there are extra of in the house during Easter to feed those hungry children that roam the neighbourhood and always congregate in your living room! Just make sure that you've collected all the tokens you need before the 20th June, as that is when the vouchers are available until. As always though, check the offer out yourself as I might have misread the information.

Walkers Mighty Lights

We're actually hoping to get to Chessington soon, as with Zufari already being a family favourite the children are wanting to go on the new ride Scorpion Express as they are sure that this will be a train ride they'll remember.

Zufari at Chessington World of Adventures

Of course, you'll need to use the Chessington Tickets before the end of November but if you go for the tickets to the Sea Life attraction, you get up until the end of December. Which could be even handier as I'm the sort of useless parent who forgets the vouchers when buying tickets...

I'm pretty sure that there is a Sea Life Aquarium in Birmingham and so it would be great to be able to visit with Daddy and combine a visit to the Aquarium too. I love wandering around Aquariums, as whilst I know a few facts about the life of some sea creatures, there are so many things to learn the names of and facts about that it's perfect for the family to visit to have fun and to learn something new. Who knows maybe one day I'll be as smart as my children think I am!

This is a sponsored post, but we love the attractions that are mentioned and I think you'll agree that it is a good deal!
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