Boring Lunchboxes?

We've got easy ideas that take seconds to make!

Looking for some Summer Fun?

We've got lots of ideas!

Thinking about Summer?

Why not kick back and relax?

Having a Family Movie Night?

Why not take a look at what we've been reviewing and what we thought?

Don't know what to cook?

Why not take a look at what we've been eating?

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Strand Bands Designer Set #Review

Last night whilst browsing Facebook, I saw an image someone had shared that said something along the lines of "I didn't think my daughter had any of my traits, then she fell over her own feet and I was like Oh! There I am!". Luckily I no longer trip up over my own feet and even more lucky, Top Ender doesn't seem to have inherited that particular trait from me but she has inherited a love of crafting and not actually being that good at it... So when we were asked to review Strand Bands I said yes! Forgetting that we'd be rubbish at it and just thinking that maybe, just maybe we'd finally find a craft we could do.

Strand Bands Designer Set #Review

The idea of the set is to make bracelets, anklets, keychains or even rings using elastic-y bands in fun fashion colours. It is of course going to be huge this Christmas and with an age range of eight plus it's not just the Teen market that is going to be clamouring for it.

The first thing Top Ender and I did was to unwind one of the bands, she had picked a turquoise type colour (it's her favourite colour at the moment, just like mine was when I was her age) and to try to work out what the instructions were saying. Yup, yet again I couldn't understand the instructions.

Instructions for Strand Bands Designer Set

The main problem was, when you unwind the band you are after you end up with a very long band. Are you supposed to cut this? The packaging says that you can make up to 15 bracelets, with five colours that means each band needs to be cut into three... but it doesn't say anything about cutting the bands or making them wrist sized or anything. So, we took to youtube and eventually found a couple of tutorials that we decided to copy. They seemed to have had smaller bands, so we risked it and cut the long band into thirds and then ended up cutting one of the thirds in half. I have no idea if this is right, but this is what we did.

Tops then followed the instructions on how to make a bracelet using a sort of under through over knot type thing. It was confusing, but I think that's just because Tops only has two hands and not four and I think that's how many you really need!

Strand Bands Designer Set in Action

Eventually Tops got into a rhythm and even added some bead embellishments. She was concentrating so hard that I almost forgot to take a picture, but we staged one as she didn't want you to see her biting her lip and looking pensive!

Top Ender using the Strand Bands Designer Set

So, Top Ender finished her bracelet and because we hadn't followed the instructions on the piece of paper we basically bodged a knot for it on the underside of Top Enders wrist. Don't ask to see it, it looks terrible and Top Ender is under strict instructions not to show anyone because it looks so bad.

Top Ender wearing her bracelet

I had a go afterwards, I still didn't understand the whole thing, but I did find it much easier to do than Top Ender had and quickly made a simple bracelet, but again I've had to bodge the slip knot part of it as again I didn't follow the instructions!

The set we had, Strands Bands Designer Set, has a RRP of £19.99 and despite Top Ender and I being utterly rubbish at it is actually pretty fun.

We were sent the set to review. Tops and I were rubbish at it, but there are some great tutorials on youtube to make some really pretty things and I'm sure once we can hire an eight year old to teach us what to do we'll be great at it.
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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Maybe The Only Reason I Want A Fire Pit - Wordless Wednesday #Linky

A Toasty Marshmallow

When we went Camping, one of the best things was having a Fire Pit. It may be the only reason I want one, but don't let my Husband know that. As far as he's concerned it's because we'll be able to use it to keep warm on Cooler evenings.

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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A Visit To Monkey World #Review

When we camping in Dorset, we decided to go to Monkey World. I'd heard of Monkey World a few times in the past, thanks to the TV shows that have featured the Primate residents and the Staff and I thought we'd spend a couple of hours in the sanctuary, before heading back to Camp and then off to the Beach. Actually, I was a little worried before arriving at the sanctuary that we'd even be able to spend an hour there, we ended up spending just over five!

Top Ender and Big Boy at Monkey World

Upon arriving at the site, we were directed to park the car with all the other early morning visitors. The parking was good, it was dry so we didn't have to worry that it was a grass field rather than a tarmac surface, which I normally hate driving on. One warning, there were no markers telling you where you were parked, so some people had issues when they were leaving the park as they couldn't remember where they had left their car. Just try to remember the general direction you went towards the entrance gate and head back in that direction!

Prices at Monkey World

We were soon in the park after having purchased a single Parent Family Ticket (one Parent, two Children) although look out for offers, for example this Bank Holiday weekend a child taking a Banana for the Primates gets free entry. The price of the ticket for the three of us was £26 and I also got a guide book for £1, the guide book was really great full of lots of interesting articles and the Children enjoyed reading it as much as I did.

As we entered the park, I decided that we should try to head to the back of the park, where a large play park for over eights is situated as quickly as possible. This was strategic, I'm the sort of person who walks an Amusement Park backwards or turns left instead of right and also I thought that if the Children got to do something they wanted they might be more open to the walking I knew they were going to be doing for the rest of the day.

Big Boy showing his Creeper to a Golden Cheeked Gibbon

On the way to the Park, we went past several of the habitats for the Primates and by several I mean almost all of them. We then played at the park, before heading back to the start... and it was at this point we realised how busy the Sanctuary had become. The park was so busy, one person claimed to have been queuing for ice-creams and teas for an hour and a half. I have to be honest, the Ice-Cream was good, so I might have queued the same amount of time too. Talking of queues, we popped into the Gift shop, the tills weren't that busy but the shop was HEAVING. Luckily the children are small and able to squeeze in and out of small gaps and Top Ender and Big Boy both soon picked a cuddly toy. The prices did seem really high on several items, but there were a few bits here and there that were acceptable to my budget.

The time we spent at Monkey World was brilliant fun. We learnt a lot about different Primates, we had a good giggle and got to eat some really, really, really good ice-cream!

Would I recommend you go? Actually, yes. Make sure you have some Ice-Cream, try to get there for opening and I'd take a picnic rather than buying from the restaurants on site (everything looked fried and again I thought it was a little expensive for what it was). Remember you can get your hand stamped in the gift shop to return back to the park if you need to pick up your picnic from the car.

I didn't receive a free ticket, I wasn't asked to provide this review and err that's about it!
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Saturday, 22 August 2015

What We Are Eating This Week - W/C 22 August

Hello Everyone! It feels like I've been away for so long, which is so stupid because as you all know I was only away from home for one whole day really but I think so much happened in the three days that we were away (like you know driving and exploring and putting up and taking down a tent) that it just seemed like we were away for longer!

So, here's this weeks meal plan!

Saturday - Nachos and Popcorn

Big Boy and I were chatting this week about what we'd like as our Saturday meal. BB decided that what he really wanted was Nachos! So, that's what we're having tonight. The popcorn was because we were planning on watching a film, but BB has said that he no longer wants to! I shall have to find a way to persuade him to join us.

Sunday - Chicken Roast

I can't wait for our Roast this week, as I'm going to get a Chicken and ensure that Daddy has the right ingredients for his Gluten Free stuffing, as we haven't had it for AGES. Might even get some Chipolatas and Bacon as an additional extra too, especially as BB isn't that keen on Chicken!

Chicken Roast

Monday - Frittata

The other night, BB had the highest blood sugars overnight. It was ridiculous, we just couldn't get his sugars down and so we've decided to go a few evening meals with low or next to no carbs. Our higher carb meals will be either breakfast or lunch, as that way BB has a good few hours to get those complex carbs broken down and used up.

At least that's the plan.

Tuesday  - Vegetable Spaghetti and Bolognese

I'm not sure if I'll do Carrot Spaghetti or Courgette Spaghetti, but either way it'll be fun trying to get the Children to eat it! I think that I'll tell them that it is coloured Spaghetti and see if that works and failing that I think that if I just tell them that if they don't eat it that I'll ban them from playing on the consoles until the end of the Summer!

Wednesday  - Ikea

We're off out with my Mum today, well saying that it might be yesterday and so today we'll have what we were supposed to have yesterday... Are you confused yet? I am too, but that means nothing really.

Thursday - Gammon Steaks

Whilst we were away Daddy had Gammon Steaks for his evening meal one night, he sent me a picture and well, I was jealous to put it bluntly. So we have it this week, so that we can all share in the meal and hopefully I won't be jealous any more!

Friday - Fish Pie with Cauliflower Cheese Topping

I was always told that if you wanted to have a meal that looked good it should have a variety of colour, which is why my original idea of Cauliflower Cheese with Chicken breasts was scratched off the menu and I've added Salmon and some other Fish as the protein and and a Cauliflower cheese as the topping and I'll probably serve it with some peas too.

So that is what we are eating, what are you planning on eating this coming week?
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Big Days: Small Feet – Big Steps Whilst Camping!

Whilst we were away, I figured it was the perfect time for the Children to try out their new Gore-Tex shoes. We've been asked to be an Ambassador family, and the Children are really excited about it and the idea of going on lots of trips together so they can give their shoes a good work out! We figured on day two of Camping holiday, that as we were going to be on our feet for a fair few hours that some comfy shoes were going to be important, the last thing you want when on holiday is sore feet!

Big Boy and Top Ender love their Goretex Shoes

The lace up shoes Top Ender had been sent reminded me of Bowling Shoes and they weren't the pair I'd pick if I'm honest, but Top Ender loved them. She thought that they were retro looking, she also loved that they were light and sturdy whilst she was walking over uneven ground, or rather climbing over trees in the Woods. Big Boy's shoes were super cute and exactly what I would pick for him. He loved that they were so easy to slip on and off, that they were again super light and sturdy for the same tree climbing as Top Ender and BB also loved the shoe box with it's printed measurer inside!

So we headed off to Monkey World, the Children were troopers, especially as my fitbit registered that we'd taken 10,000 steps before Noon and the Children didn't complain once about either the heat or the amount of walking that we'd been doing. 

Big Boy and Top Ender love their Shoes!

After we'd been to Monkey World, we headed off to the beach at Swanage, but the Children soon kicked off their shoes in favour of bare feet on the sand. Of course this gave me more than enough time to take photographs of the shoes without the Children's feet in them!

Gore-Tex Big Days Out Shoe Review

I really loved the shoes, despite having been worn whilst the Children had been clambering around in the woods that morning, all around Monkey World where the Children walked and played on various pieces of playground equipment, ran over that bark that some parks have, plenty of grassy areas and of course a short walk across a semi crowded beach, the shoes were still clean.

The children love the shoes, and we can't wait to put them through their paces again over the Summer... what would you like to see us do to test them out?

Big Days: Small Feet - Big Steps 2015 Logo

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