Thursday, 31 July 2014

Review: Peppa Pig World At Paultons Park

On Tuesday we went to Peppa Pig World at Paulton's Park on our way home from our amazing few days in the New Forest with our friends (more about that later!) We arrived just before opening time to try and beat the queues. We didn't have to queue for tickets but I was astounded that for the three of us it cost £78.50. All children over 1 metre tall, no matter how old are charged at £27 which I think is really over priced or £23.50 if you buy online in advance. Personally I think there should be a cheaper rate for going into Peppa Pig World itself as we didn't go on any rides in the Paulton's Park bit as Oscar was exhausted after a few hours going on the Peppa Pig rides and playing in the George's indoor spaceship play zone.





Peppa Pig World is made up of seven fun rides and is really well laid out and looks great. Oscar and Olivia were amazed by it and couldn't believe it all! All the characters and rides looked just like the cartoon. They also got to meet Peppa, George, Susie Sheep and Zoe Zebra. There is also a muddy puddle splash park, Mr Potato's play area and Daddy Pig's Big Tummy cafe and Miss Rabbits Ice cream parlour where you can grab a bite to eat.



It was really busy when we were there and some of the rides had 45 minute queues even though we were there when the park opened at 10am. Overall we had a great day and the kid's really enjoyed it, the only down side is I think it is massively over priced!







Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Review: Morrison's New Grocery Delivery Service

Last week I had my first ever grocery delivery from Morrison's and was absolutely over the moon with it! I was kindly sent £80 in vouchers to order a weekly shop and let you know how we got on...

Ordering
When I went on to the Morrison's website it only took two minutes to sign up and enter all my details. Ordering my shop couldn't have been any easier as all of the products were well categorised and easy to find and there were so many special offers available it was unbelievable, plus many items worked out cheaper from where I normally buy them from. In total from all of the special offers I saved a massive £20.64! In total ordering and having a nose around the website only took around 20 minutes and my favourites will be saved for next time. You can pick a one hour delivery slot which is so more convenient then sitting in waiting for two hours like some companies offer and the delivery costs start from just £1.




Delivery
My Morrison's delivery driver was lovely! He rang me 30 minutes before my allocated slot to say he was running early and was it ok to deliver. On arrival he explained how my receipt was laid out and what colour bag had cupboard, fridge or frozen shopping in. He brought it into my kitchen for me and even offered to put the heavy bits away. He also showed me the contact number if I was unhappy with anything. I also received a text message with a delivery time confirmation and vehicle registration number for my driver. Later on I received an email rating my driver and he got top marks. I also received a call the day after my delivery from a lady at Morrison's offices to check I was happy with the service and quality of my shopping which I thought was a nice touch. 




My Shopping
As Oscar and I unpacked the shopping he was ecstatic to find a complimentary Morrison's gingerbread man in the bag for him as a little welcome gift. Needless to say that was eaten in five minutes! As we have just come back from Turkey and Oscar is addicted to watermelon I brought the snack packs which were great value at 2 for £2.00 and really convenient as they are already cut up and ready to eat. Oscar loved these for breakfast and are ideal for picnics of packed lunches. I also brought for Oscar one of the Morrison's children's spaghetti bolognese ready meals to try out and at £1.65 was a real bargain saving me over £1 from the one I usually buy. The quality of the meal was great and Oscar loved it. I also got some ice creams as they had 50p off and some Shloer which was down to £1.25 instead of £2.25 and is my favourite.




For Greg and I, I brought 2 fillet steaks and you have the option when ordering to choose the thickness and weight you would like. The steaks were £9.67 for the two and again saved me money, this time a whooping £5 from what I usually buy. I cooked the steaks and we had them with Morrison's 'Market Street' salad chips and it was absolutely gorgeous, the steak was so soft the knife went through it like butter and there wasn't a single bit of fat on them. We also had chicken casserole with 'Market Street' vegetables and roast potatoes. The chicken was succulent, the vegetables tasted really fresh and again was a great tasty meal. For the two of us the casserole was around £3 a head and I had enough left over for Oscar's dinner the next day. Overall from the meals we had last week I was happy with all of them and would defiantly order a Morrison's grocery shop again.



I also ordered house hold bits and toiletries with the majority of my toiletries being half price! In my delivery was the free Morrison's magazine full of money saving recipe ideas, a guide to planning the perfect picnic, competitions, good reads and ready for school uniform bargains! This magazine is defiantly worth a read. 


Head over to the Morrison's website to check out all their amazing bargains and order your grocery delivery shopping today! 

Disclaimer: I was sent £80 of Morrison's vouchers to do a weekly shop to review. All opinions are honest and completely my own.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Review: Cybex Solution Q-Fix Group 2/3 Car Seat

We have been using the Cybex Solution Q-Fix group 2/3 car seat for the last four weeks and I absolutely cannot fault it. The car seat is solid and really well made, it looks great and comes in lots of different colour variations. We have it in grey and black. It is part of the Cybex platinum product range and the plush material is of really high quality and so comfortable. The seat has an isofix connection and I fitted the car seat into my car in literally twenty seconds, it is so easy to fit and has red and green colour indicators on the connectors so you know whether you have fitted the seat correctly. 


The seat has a reclining head and back rest to make sure it fits perfectly to your seat in your car and eleven height and width adjustment options so the seat can be tailored perfectly to each child. Having so many adjustments also means that the car seat itself will last for years! The seat also has an air ventilation system built in to it with a further building block in the comfort package of the Solution Q-fix is a mesh of ventilation channels that run through the backrest and seat components. Air can circulate through ventilation holes on the front of the seat and under the seat cover, and is channelled away from the child by additional openings in the backrest. This ensures a comfortable sitting temperature even on hot days. This makes travelling in the heat so much more comfortable for Oscar and especially over the last few days even if he has dosed off in the car I noticed in the heat sometimes his hair sweats on the material but in this car seat it doesn't.



The Cybex Solution Q-Fix is available for Mothercare and Mamas and Papas and retails at £190 it is suitable from 3-12 years old and features Cybex's innovative Linear side-impact protection plus system which reduces any side impact and your child's head is automatically directed into a secure position. Very clever if you ask me. 



When looking for a car seat for your child you always look for comfort and maximum protection and this seat completely ticks all the boxes and I cannot find a single thing that I don't like about it.




Disclaimer: We were sent this car seat in return for a review. All opinions are honest and completely my own.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Were Off To The New Forest!

Tomorrow morning we are off to the New Forest with Oscar's Godparents, Uncle Leo and Auntie Bianca and their gorgeous daughter Olivia who is two. We are going away for two nights to stay at the lovely Pig Hotel and explore the New Forest by hiring bikes and on Tuesday before we come home we will be visiting Peppa Pig World, much to Oscar and Olivia's delight! Oscar is so excited to spend three days with Olivia as with life flying by we don't get to see them as often as we would like to. 




I am also really excited to try out our new HP Pavillion x360 that we were sent to review by HP and let Oscar use all the great apps on it in the car to make the journey to the New Forest as quick and fun for him as possible. He has fun games to play, maps to draw on, things to spot on our journey as well as amazing print off colouring sheets from the Snapfish website to keep him busy that I have printed off our new HP Envy 4500 e-AiO printer. I have printed off some Princess ones for Olivia as well. We have only had our new gadgets one day but we absolutely love them! The printer is amazing with a wireless connection you can print off your photos or documents directly from your tablet or smartphone. I am totally guilty of not printing off my snaps and now I have no excuse as the HP Envy 4500 makes it so quick and convenient to do.



So have a lovely weekend and I look forward to filling you in on our weekend break, our HP goodies and our trip to Peppa Pig World next week!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Review: Pure Massage Deep Tissue Massage

A few weeks ago when Oscar was at school I went over to Beaconsfield to where Denise Paskov MCTha has the loveliest log cabin in her garden and offers different types of massage therapy at great prices. I had a 60 minute deep tissue massage and before hand my back had been aching and I had been told before when having Swedish massages that I had lots of knots and my back was very tense and advised to have a deep tissue massage to sort this out. Since having Oscar over four years ago I hadn't had a deep tissue massage to correct the effects that pregnancy and carrying a child around can have on your back. Throughout the hour Denise eliminated as many of these knots as possible and afterwards I my back felt less tense and my back pain had gone. 

Denise also spoke to me about posture and how sitting and standing correctly can prevent back aches and pains. Denise is full of great tips and information and is such a lovely lady and makes you feel completely comfortable and at home straight away. Below is a really useful guide by Denise on massage and posture for new Mothers. You can contact Denise to make an appointment by calling 07966262409 or emailing denise@pure-massage.org.uk. If you quote MUMMYSZONE when booking you can get 20% off your chosen treatment. 





A Guide to massage and posture for new mothers
By Denise Ann Paskov MCThA


Having children is one of the most amazing experiences you can have in your life. The unconditional love and joy being a parent brings is truly wonderful. However, it can also wreak havoc with your body; physically, mentally and emotionally, causing postural problems, tiredness and exhaustion and leaving you feeling less than your best.

As a mother and a massage therapist, I have seen both sides of the coin and understand how being a parent can affect you on all levels, but also how massage and postural awareness can be of tremendous benefit. If you feel relaxed and calm, it will help your child to feel the same.

Massage is an excellent way to restore balance to the rollercoaster of feelings and emotions being a new mum brings. Deep tissue techniques can help release restricted and tight muscle improving movement and eliminating pain and discomfort. Circulation and blood flow are also improved which aids repair and nourishment of the cells and speeds up the removal of toxins and waste products helping the body to function more efficiently. The power of touch through the long, more gentle strokes will aid relaxation, releasing stress and bringing a feeling of well-being, reminding you that you are very special and loved.

As well as massage, by incorporating the following advice into your daily routine as often as possible you will be able to help limit and/or prevent the amount of strain you put on your body, making motherhood an even happier experience.

Whether you are breast or bottle feeding, ensure that you sit with your back supported comfortably and have pillows or cushions under your supporting arm so that you are not taking the full weight of baby (make sure your arm is at a level where it is not too low, pulling the shoulder down or too high where the shoulder is unnaturally raised). This will help prevent tightness and discomfort in the neck and shoulder muscles. However tempting it is to plonk on the edge of the bed in the middle of the night to feed, please don’t as you will ultimately pay the price!

Carry car seats are a wonderful invention but some are quite heavy before you even put your baby in! Try to carry them only short distances and alternate your arms so as not to put the same side under constant pressure. 

There are a wonderful array of prams and pushchairs available which vary greatly in size and weight, bear this in mind when lifting in and out of the car to protect your back. Take care not to overload the pram, as pushing a heavy pram can also strain the muscles in your arms and wrists as well as putting strain on your back, neck and shoulders.

Carrying your baby is of course a necessity and there are a range of slings and carriers available which can make this easier and a lot more comfortable. However, there will inevitably be times when your baby is carried cradled in your arms; pacing up and down rocking them to sleep for example -sound familiar?

As your child grows carrying them on your hip seems to be a natural progression (don’t worry we all do it!) To help reduce the amount of strain on the back, hip, side and shoulder muscles aim to alternate the side you carry your child on and try to carry only for short distances/periods. Gentle side bending stretches can help the muscles recover from this abnormal position.

My name is Denise Ann Paskov and I have been a massage therapist since 2001. I am qualified in a range of massage therapies, but a great deal of my work is remedial and deep tissue massage used to rehabilitate injury and release tight muscle tissue caused by stress, overuse and repetitive movement.

Having treated and helped a number of new mothers I found the same issues were presenting each time and I hope by writing this article I can help many more as they embark on this wonderful new stage in their lives.

If you feel that you would benefit from a massage treatment or would like further advice or information on posture or stretching, please contact me and I will be happy to help. My therapy room is located within a one minute walk of Beaconsfield Children’s Centre in Beacon Close, Holtspur, HP9 1RJ.



Saturday, 19 July 2014

Review: Venosa Beach Resort and Spa, First Choice

On Thursday we got home from our two week Summer holiday in Didim, Turkey. At least we landed back into Gatwick with some sunshine instead of the usual rain! It was so hot in Turkey ranging from 30 to 35 degrees but as soon as it got to hot at least we could jump in the pool. I booked our holiday back in March through Thomson/First Choice and made a big saving as Oscar finished school on the 2nd July we could go away out of the state school holidays. We stayed at the Venosa Beach Resort and Spa and the hotel is only over a year old so is really modern and clean. We were upgraded to a duplex room so we had two bathrooms and Oscar had his own room off ours. The rooms were lovely and cleaned well every day. Our holiday was all inclusive which was great as we could drink and eat as much as we wanted. At breakfast, lunch and dinner there was a huge selection of food, something for everyone, you defiantly wouldn't go hungry. There are also four A la carte restaurants within the hotel, Turkish, Italian, Fish and Mexican and you can go to one of these once per week. We went to the Fish and Italian restaurants.
        

There are four pools and a private beach that you can use and on the beach there are various water sports you can do. We went on a Pedalo and Greg and Oscar went on a Jet Ski. The hotel location wasn't great and most excursions were between 1 and 3.5 hours away. We booked the First Choice dolphin show and it was cancelled due to not enough interest. Personally I think this should of been stated to me when I booked it with the rep that there could be a possibility of cancellation if not enough people booked it as then we wouldn't of told Oscar that we were going as he was so disappointed when we told him we couldn't go anymore. The is also an amazing spa in the hotel I had an aromatherapy massage and Greg had two traditional Bali massages and they were out of this world and really cheap too.



The Venosa hotel despite being advertised as one of First Choice family hotels isn't really geared towards children. There is one small children's pool and 3 large water slides that are only open 4 hours a day. Luckily Oscar is confident in the water so he played in the large pool. If you wanted to put your child into the mini club available there are no English reps and the children's reps didn't speak great English either. There is a mini disco at 9pm for twenty minutes and then the evening shows were straight after that. The evening shows were awful and there sense of humour is a bit warped. In the comedy show the sketches were very odd, one had a man being killed and another one was a woman being beaten by her husband. The Turkish guests found this hilarious, needless to say we did not and we left. The evening shows are defiantly not for children! So other than the above that is all there is for children to do.

You can jump on a little bus outside of the hotel and go into the town where there is lots of shops and caf├ęs which were nice and a large beach with beautiful clear water. We also got a cab to the Didim yacht club which was lovely and the only place Greg managed to get a nice cappuccino! The shops are full of toys and replica clothes and handbags. We went to an evening market and Oscar got four superhero toys for only £8! Everything is so cheap to buy.


The one thing I would recommend if staying in this hotel with children is do not stay in a room on a high floor as the balcony doors are so easy to open and not secure enough at all. Luckily we were on the ground floor but last Sunday evening we were sitting on the terrace and there was a loud bang and a little six year old girl had fallen off the balcony on the 11th floor and landed on the 3rd floor. She was taken to hospital with injuries but it was a miracle that she survived. We noticed a lot of children on their balconies pushing the plastic tables up to the glass and standing on them to look over when their parents weren't watching them, madness!!

Overall we had a lovely holiday together but felt there wasn't enough to do and two weeks at this hotel was a few days to long. Also if you are looking for somewhere for children to go into the mini club and have loads to do, this hotel isn't for you. I think it's more for couples and families with teenagers.


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Our Holiday At The Venosa Beach Hotel And Spa, Didim ☀️

As I am writing this I am sitting by the pool in Turkey and it's very hot, 37 degrees today! Oscar is loving it and has been playing in the pool all day long and eating his body weight in Ice cream! (so have I).

We booked our holiday back in March through Thompson/First Choice as we used them to book our holiday to Crete last year and were really pleased with it. We also got a great deal as Oscar finishes school earlier than the state schools we manage to save a whopping £1200!! 

We are staying at the Venosa beach hotel and spa in Didim and it's beautiful. Right on the beach and has several pools for Oscar to play in. We are on a all inclusive deal which is great as you can drink and eat as much as you like. This deal is especially great round the pool during the day as you can have unlimited bottles of water and in this heat you will need a lot.

For children there is also a mini club for ages 4-12 if you wanted to put your little ones in for a bit (I haven't used it myself, I personally wouldn't leave Oscar). There is also a childrens play ground put we have had more fun together in the pool. Oscar wears his Zoggs float discs that he uses at his swimming lessons and has so much confidence in the water, jumping in and out. Lot's of people have commented on how great he is in the water. I am so glad I took him to lessons from such an early age!

In the evening there is a mini disco that Oscar loves except he keeps saying he doesn't understand the songs as they are in Turkish, bless him so he trys to copy the other children as best as he can.


There will be more on our holiday and plenty of photos to follow when we get back! Hope the weather back home is good! Xxx