Category Archives: Food and Drink

Our Holiday To Mexico & Stay At The Sensatori Resort Riviera Maya

I always get so excited when booking our Summer holiday, I love the Sun and exploring a new country! We have stayed at five Sensatori hotels now and on the whole have always been really happy and the rooms/service and food are always great. Last year we went to the one in Rhode’s which was my favourite so far. Instead of staying in Europe we wanted to go a bit further afield and explore somewhere new. I searched lots of destinations but we chose Mexico and luckily Oscar and Archie are great on flights, so the ten-hour flight time didn’t put us off. The only down side was you are advised to have Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhiod which cost around £380 for a family of four and you will need a booster in 6 months so they last for 10 years.

When picking a destination we always look at what there is to do locally as Greg goes mad sitting around a pool for two weeks. Also when flying across the World its nice to explore what different countries have to offer.

Hotel

So we booked the 5* TUI Sensatori Resort Riviera Maya which is situated only 25 minutes from Cancun airport and after a long flight a short transfer was great. The TUI Dreamliner also made the flight even easier, huge seats, plenty of leg room (even enough for Archie to stand up and play) 100’s of films to watch, games to play, activity packs and headphones for the kids and the meals were great too. The boys liked how the cabin had lights that changed different colours which apparently helps your body react to the time difference better. We flew from London Gatwick and I pre booked the Premium security lane which is only £5 each. You go to the designated area and we were through security in literally five minutes.

We booked a Luxury Suite with Limited Sea View, Balcony and Whirlpool Bath on an all-inclusive package. Our room was huge with two double beds in it, a Whirlpool Bath looking over the balcony and pool, large open planned bathroom and plenty of wardrobe space. Your mini bar in your room is included in your all-inclusive package so gets replenished every day when your room is cleaned. In an ideal World we would have opted for a room with a separate sleeping space for the boys but as we booked only 8 weeks before departure there wasn’t any Family Suites left. Also at this particular hotel they won’t let you book a swim up room if you have a child under 12 in your room. In Rhode’s last year we had a swim up room and the boys really enjoyed having it and if available I would recommend one of these rooms.

The staff at the hotel were amazing! They are super friendly and very attentive but be prepared and have Peso’s at the ready to tip everyone! Around the pools, there are four lagoon-like swimming pool and a small pool and sprayground for children. The children’s pool had sweet little miniature sunbeds for the kids, which was a nice touch. The hotel is also on a beach and to be honest the stretch right outside the hotel had a lot of seaweed in the sea and workers cleared what was on the beach throughout the day. We hired a Kayak on the beach which is again included in your package, you just have to pay $4 per adult for the whole of your holiday for sea tax. There are no jet skis or water sports near the hotel which was a bit disappointing as Oscar and Greg love to go on a jet ski. We walked further along the beach, about 100 metres and there are rock pools and the sea is clear and fish swim all around you. The beaches are the whitest sand I have ever seen.

One of the boys favourite things about the hotel is that there are Iguanas every where. After breakfast every morning whilst their sun cream was drying in we went on a lizard walk and would feed them bananas.

There are six restaurants within the hotel; Spoons which is your usual buffet style restaurant. We had breakfast there each morning and some lunches and dinner there when we didn’t have reservations at the other restaurants. The range of food was great for us and Oscar and Archie and they have themed evenings too. Tapaz is a Spanish restaurant that offers lite bites and tapas style food. We didn’t get to eat in here but people that did that we spoke to really loved it. Siena the Italian restaurant was our favourite and we ate there twice, the food was absolutely amazing and decorated beautifully.

We went to the Zocolo Mexican restaurant which is great fun. Lot’s of singing, dancing, sombrero hats and traditional Mexican food. We had a great evening here.

The BBQ Grill was our favourite lunch spot, tables on the beach looking over the sea and gorgeous salads and barbecued food. This only runs from 11-3. You can also get a fresh coconut to drink out of here too, this is $5 dollars. You can also get lunch at Pizza Dude’s, we didn’t actually eat there as it didn’t have any air conditioning and we didn’t fancy it in the heat.

Zavaz the Caribbean restaurant was also lovely and had lots to choose from on the menu as well as a fresh salad bar. You can also have breakfast in this restaurant too.

Le Chique is an adult only restaurant. You can book this and send children to an evening movie and book the 14 course taster meal which is included in your stay. You can pay extra for 22 courses. Each course is weird and wonderful and very creative. We didn’t book this as the boys have never been to a kids club on holiday.

There are other bars around the hotel and three swim up ones. There is also a Starbucks which you have to pay for.

There is a kids club that runs each day in the TUI Sensatori Playhouse. Our friend used the kids club and said it wasn’t very good. They had booked this hotel as they had been before and the kids club and children’s evening entertainment was fantastic. They had the Nickelodeon licence complete with all of the characters for the kids to meet. The evening entertainment compared to the other Sensatori’s is shockingly bad and after watching one ‘clown’ show didn’t bother going back. There are no kids disco’s or entertainment each night for them like the other hotels other leaving them to sit in front of a movie. What they had for children was pretty poor. The one glimmer was their fortnightly Beach Party which was fun with games, a disco and smores.

On our pool days we headed to the family lagoon pool as it had a shallower bit for Archie as well as a deeper part for Oscar. Oscar and Archie made lots of friends and played in the pool with then all day. Like I said above the pool had a swim up bar as well as waitress service who brought us drinks and snacks throughout the day.

There is a spa on site that offer a range of massages and treatments and a lovely air conditioned gym that Greg used. A 50 minute massage was around $140.

Each part of the hotel had its own concierge block and anything I asked for was always done immediately. You also book your dinner reservations here too which was simple and we always got the time and booking we wanted. I also used their laundry service to have some of our clothes cleaned as we extended our trip and flew to America instead of going home so I needed a few bits freshened up. The clothes were back hanging in our wardrobes the next morning. It wasn’t the cheapest and cost about £50 for 10 items and a few pairs of kids socks.

On one evening Archie felt unwell and I needed a specific medication. I went to the concierge and asked them if they could get it for me. It was 10pm at night so I expected to have to wait until the morning but for $60 it was delivered to our room within the hour. Such amazing service!

Overall we really enjoyed our stay here 5* TUI Sensatori Resort Riviera Maya and had an amazing holiday. The rooms are not as well decorated as some of the other Sensatori’s but are room was huge. The food at every restaurant was amazing and customer service top notch.

Excursions

Dolphin Discovery’s

Like I said before we didn’t want to travel 10 hours and not explore. I did a lot of research before we left and one thing I really wanted to do was swim with the Dolphin’s. With Archie being only four I had to look at which ones had age restrictions. One company that had a lot of great reviews online is Dolphin Discovery’s. Dolphin Discovery’s have locations in Italy, Argentina, America, The Caribbean and in Mexico and are rated the #1 Dolphin Company in the World. When I looked at their website it had a live chat option so I told the agent what package I wanted, location, date and time and it was all booked in ten minutes and they didn’t charge for Archie. For $250 we all swam with the Dolphins for 50 minutes, had lunch included, access to a beautiful beach club and were given all of our photos digitally and one each as a print. I paid $30 dollars on the day for a return transfer and $40 for all of Archie’s photos.

We had a really lovely experience and Oscar and Archie absolutely loved it. There are lockers on site to store your belongings whilst you are meeting the Dolphins, you will have to give a $5 deposit which you get back. I was really impressed with Dolphin Discovery’s and would definitely book with them again. Booking beforehand directly with Dolphin Discovery’s is absolutely worth it as another family that were there when we were had booked the same experience through an agent at their hotel and paid almost double what we did.

Coba Ruins

Through our Sensatori rep on site we booked a day trip to the Coba Ruins. It meant being picked up at 7am visiting the Coba Ruins in the Jungle, visiting a traditional Mayan Village having lunch then swimming in a cenote in the middle of the Jungle. It cost £322 for the four of us. When we arrived in the Jungle it is quite a walk to the main Coba Ruins but there are plenty of Tuc Tuc’s which cost $10 to go there and back and hold two people. Once we got to the ruins and saw it in the flesh it looks so unsafe to climb, especially for children. To be honest we couldn’t believe our rep had sold us this trip on the basis he knew the children are 4 and 9. I took the climb to the top and came back down on my bottom. We then looked around the rest of the ruins and learnt about their history.

The coach drove us to the traditional Mayan Village which was great to see. We then had a quick buffet style lunch and stopped at a gift shop with lots of Mayan souvenirs. We got into our swim wear and headed to the cenote.

We walked through the Jungle and when we got to the cenote I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. There are life jackets to use as it is quite deep and it actually made it easier to bob around. There are fishes swimming around you in the crystal clear waters. After being annoyed about the non child friendly Coba Ruins being at the cenote made me pleased we had come on this day trip.

Crococun Zoo

We drove past Crococun Zoo on the way to Coba and it is literally 5km from our hotel. Our friends had also told us about the zoo before we left as they had visited it on their trip to Mexico in May. It costs about $80 for the four of us and you get given a bag of animal feed and your own personal guide. He took us around all of the animals and we got to hold and feed parrots, snakes, crocodiles, hairless Mexican dogs, Monkeys and so much more.

Oscar and Archie were brave and held and fed all the animals and we also walked through an enclosure where the adult crocodiles are. Talk about adrenaline rush!

Swimming With Turtles

We booked this excursion ‘Underwater World’ with our Sensatori rep. This trip is only a half day trip and leaves at 7.45am. We were picked up in a mini bus by our guide for the day Valentin who was amazing. Firstly we went to the famous Akumal Beach and we snorkelled along the Caribbean reef. We were so unlucky that we didn’t get to see any of the giant turtles as the sea was quite choppy but Oscar saw a stingray and we saw hundreds of beautiful fishes during our 40 minute swim. Archie enjoyed it too and had a special ring he was in attached to the guide so was happy bobbing along in the water, using his snorkel to see beneath him. Afterwards we showered off, had a snack and drove into the Jungle to a cenote in an open cave.

To be honest I had no intention of going in the cave but when I saw that it was open above us I decided to give it a go and was so pleased that I did. The cave was beautiful with Cat fish swimming all around. Inside the cave you could see the roots from the trees above hanging from the roof. The water was super chilly and I am glad I made the boys wear their slip free water shoes which made it easier for them to stand on the sharp rocks. I loved this trip and it cost £248 for the four of us for the half day trip but we got 50% back as we didn’t see a turtle.

We absolutely loved our holiday in Mexico and it is such a beautiful country with so much history. We can’t wait to take the boys back when they are bit older as there are so many fantastic excursions for families with older children. Mexico is one of the best countries I have ever been to and in terns if exploring, the best yet!

 

 

 

Blogmas Day 9: Our Annual Visit To Harrod’s Christmas Grotto

Yesterday we drove into London to visit Father Christmas on our annual grotto visit to Harrods. It has become a tradition for us to go to the Harrods Grotto and we have been going since 2012. I booked our slot back in September. You have to have a Harrods reward card and depending on what you spend in store throughout the year you are then given a tier and the higher your tier, the earlier the email you get to book your slot. This year I had to pay £20 per child to book and every year previously it had been £10 per child and then you got the money back on your Harrods reward card to spend in store. We would usually let the Oscar and Archie pick a decoration each. This year though I asked when we arrived about the £40 going back on the card and I was told they had changed it and you didn’t get it back anymore. This surprised me but I thought maybe the gift would be different and maybe that is why you now have to pay double the amount per child and not get it back to spend in store anymore.

When we arrived we checked in and waited and then we were greeted by Robin the Elf who did a few magic tricks and jokes and then we went into the Fairy and Elf airport. The Elf’s taught the children some sign language which was nice, asked them what they wanted for Christmas and then all the children had to hunt for envelopes around the room and post them for them. Then we walked into a room with three giant swans in them. Each family sat in a swan and we watched a video on the walls of the room and time travelled to Christmas day and then back to December the 8th. The boys were then given a Fantastica grotto time pilot licence.

We then went in to see Father Christmas. The room didn’t look as Christmassy as usual but the boys didn’t notice. Father Christmas was really nice and chatty, asking the boys what they would like for Christmas and congratulating Oscar on learning to ride his bike this year and asked Archie about starting nursery. He then gave them a Harrods grotto gift bag with a 2018 teddy bear inside and a giant chocolate coin. We then had our photo taken with him. We went outside and chose our photo which cost £14.50 for a large photo and you get a download code so you can have it on your phone too.

To be honest I am not to sure why they decided to charge more as the gift was the same size as last year and the grotto itself was a lot smaller. Afterwards we headed to the toy department to have a look around then went for lunch at our favourite, Honest Burger. Overall Oscar and Archie had a lovely day and really enjoyed it. I thought it wasn’t as good as last year and over priced really. Would we go again, of course its a tradition for us now and I will book again next year so we can get our annual photo.

Blogmas Day 3: Christmas Dining Table Inspiration

I cannot wait for Christmas this year! Oscar is so excited and Archie understands all about Father Christmas this year properly for the first time, so its really magical. This Christmas as usual we have both sides of the family for lunch, there are 12 of us around the table for lunch. Christmas is my favourite time of the year and I love adding personal touches to make it as fabulous and as special as possible for everyone.

I have been searching on Google for Christmas table ideas over the last few months and found so many great ideas. I have decided to stick with my usual Gold colour theme to match our fabulous Pines and Needles Christmas Tree. This is our second year of having our gorgeous tree delivered and dressed and its a show stopper! I’ve picked up lots of little bits from Christmas fairs and garden centres and online as well and thought I would share a few ideas with you. We also went to the Ideal Home Show at Christmas where I brought some new decorations.

For the last few years I have used Gold chargers on the table that I brought from Next. This year I wanted to get some gold place mats instead and again brought them from Next, one side is a shimmered gold and the other is glitter gold. I prefer the shimmer but you could alternate each mat to jazz it up a bit. They come in a pack of four with the coasters for £20.

I also follow a lot of independent sellers on Instagram and Facebook and ordered some lovely personalised wooden Christmas tree place setters from Pretty Personalised who sell lots of personalised gifts.

Last year I had a beautiful centrepiece made by Love Flowers in Rickmansworth and it looked amazing and smelt divine! I think it was about £100 and I will definitely be getting another one this year.

Last year I also found these cute wooden personalised napkin rings and brought thick disposable napkins from Marks and Spencer to put inside them. They have similar ones available from Not On The High Street, a set of 12 is £48.

To go with my Gold theme I also have Gold Cutlery from Viners. The sets come in lovely display boxes and are £135 a set for four people. The only annoying thing is I can’t put them in the dishwasher so have to wash them up by hand.

I hope I have given you a few ideas. I would love to see your Christmas Dining tables and any great ideas you have, so make sure you share them with me!

Bassetts Omega 3+ Multivitamins

Every morning without fail Oscar and Archie have always had vitamins with their breakfast. As soon as they turned three they have had the chewy multivitamins. Giving them one that tastes good is always key as then they will willingly eat it.

Bassetts Vitamins have just launched new Omega 3 + Multivitamins Orange Flavour Pastilles for 3-6 year olds. I gave them to Archie and he ate it straight away and said they were yummy. Each pastille is soft and chewy, so easy for little ones to eat and they smell so fruity too.

Each pastille contains Vitamin B6 which supports normal psychological function and Vitamin B5 which contributes to mental performance, which is so important when Archie is constantly on the go all of the time and learning new things all the time.

One of the best things about the Bassetts Vitamins Omega 3 + Multivitamins Orange Flavour Pastilles for me is that they have no added sugar! Knowing Archie is getting a smart start to the day without any added sugar is great. They are made from natural flavours and colours and taste so orange and fruity.

We have been trying the new Bassetts Vitamins Omega 3 + Multivitamins Orange Flavour Pastilles for a couple of weeks now and they are just part of our daily routine. I would highly recommend these multivitamins to help support a smart start to the day which also taste good.

We have had great fun getting creative as Archie could demonstrate how he think the multivitamin tastes. After all, being healthy should be a way of life for children which enables them to have fun and make the most out of each and every day.

A packet of thirty multivitamins is only RRP £5.50 which is a small amount to pay to support Archies. There is a next stage that Oscar takes which is for children age 7-11. 

*Just a reminder, food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a healthy and balanced diet.

 

This post is in collaboration with Bassetts Vitamins.

Our Trip To Alton Towers & Stay At The Enchanted Village

Last Sunday after Oscar’s football match we got in the car and drove the two and a half hour drive to Alton Towers. The boys had no idea where we were going, we just told them we were going somewhere and staying away for the night. They were so constantly asking where we were going the whole way there and when we finally drove into the park and noticed the ‘Alton Towers’ sign they were so excited! We followed the signs to the Enchanted Village parking and headed to the reception to check in. Check in was really quick and then we walked to our Woodland Lodge.

The Woodland Lodges are really cute and the Enchanted Village really does look magical. Our Lodge had two bedrooms and a bathroom and everything you needed for a comfortable nights stay. We chucked our bags in to the lodge and headed to the Extraordinary mini golf course and played 9 holes. Oscar managed to get a hole in one on the first hole! It was great fun. We then walked to the monorail station and took the short ride to the theme park.

As it was already around 3pm we decided to head straight to CBeebies Land. Archie’s face was a picture when he saw the rides with all his favourite TV programmes on. We went on the Postman Pat ride, the In The Night Garden Magical Boat Ride and on the Get Set Go Tree Top Adventure. It started to rain so we walked back to the Monorail to head back to our lodge. As it was 5pm and the monorail is also used to get back to the car parks as well as the hotels the queue was massive. We had to wait around 45 minutes to catch the monorail. By the time we got to the other end it was tipping down, we ran the usual 5 minute walk back to the lodge and got absolutely soaked.

Back at the lodge we showered and got ready to go to dinner. I booked the Secret Garden restaurant a few days before our stay as the restaurants get booked up really quickly. We walked to the Alton Towers Main Hotel where the restaurant was. The food was really nice and the staff were really friendly. Oscar and Archie loved the ice cream factory where they got to make their own ice creams covered in sauce and sweets. Dinner for the four of us with drinks was around £50.

If you are staying on the resort there is entertainment in the evenings (check the entertainment board and your hotel reception for details). After dinner we caught ten minutes of the entertainment before getting an early night ready for a full day in the park the next day.

Day 2

We headed to the Crooked Spoon for breakfast at 8.45am, again I booked our breakfast before we arrived. The breakfast was really good and then we checked out and out the bags in the car and then walked to the monorail station as with our stay we have early access into the park. We got the monorail at 9.30am and again the queue was absolutely huge so we decided to walk to the park instead of wait. The walk took about 15 minutes. When we got to the park we headed to CBeebies land to finish off the rides. We went on the Go Jetters ride and the Octonauts rollercoaster. We found that as Archie is 0.9m he could go on a lot of rides in the park throughout the day.

We then walked to the Katanga Canyon and went on the Runaway Mine Train and the Congo River Rapids. Both of these Archie could go on too. He loved the the Runaway Mine Train it was really fast, I was so surprised as I thought he wouldn’t like it. Oscar loved the fast rides and was even tall enough to go on the Wicker Man but when he saw how big it was decided to save it until next time (phew!) We headed into the Haunted House instead which was an interactive game where you have to shoot the Zombies.

We headed to the Rollercoaster Restaurant for lunch as I left it too late to book it for dinner for the night before. It is an absolute must, the experience is great fun. You order your meal and drinks and they get delivered to your table on the rollercoaster. The boys loved it, it really is a great restaurant. For the four of us to eat it was about £60 but worth it just for the experience.

We took the Cable Car ride back to Mutiny Bay and went on the rides there and got soaked on the Battle Galleons. Then we went to Cloud Cuckoo Land. After grabbing a drink at one of the many Costa’s at about 3pm we got the monorail back to the car park and started our journey home.

We had a great stay at Alton Towers and would really recommend it. The Woodland Lodges are lovely and the restaurants were great too.

A stay at one of the Woodland Lodges which includes breakfast, 2 days in the Theme park, early access into the park on Day 2, free car parking, evening entertainment and 9 holes of the Extraordinary Golf costs around £277. You can also add a waterpark ticket at the Splash Landings hotel for a day who around £50 for four people.

Below our two videos I made of our days at Alton Towers…..

#Blogmas Day 6: The Perfect Christmas Lunch

Since Oscar was born I have always hosted Christmas Day. I love having all of the family over and we always have a house of around 14 people. I am super organised and start planning Christmas Day in November and start buying drinks and things on my weekly shop to spread the cost a bit. Up until now we have always rotated each side of the family for actual lunch and then the rest of the family would join us in the afternoon. This year as we are in the new house we have space to have everyone for lunch, 12 of us and I can’t wait!

I always order my Turkey from Waitrose and pick it up on Christmas Eve. This year as there are twelve of us for lunch I have ordered two turkeys; one large and one medium. Luckily I have two ovens now to cook them in in our new house. Any leftover goes into my Mother in laws Turkey soup for Boxing Day anyway. I make sure my Turkey is ordered and I have my desired collection slot in November as soon as I get the email from Waitrose saying the slots are available.

A couple of days before Christmas I go to Marks and Spencer and buy all of the vegetables, a couple of ready made carrot and suede mashes, yorkshire puddings, ready prepped parsnips, pigs in blankets and the sausage meat.

I have already booked my Tesco delivery slot for the 23rd. Having it delivered this day means if there is something out of stock I have time still to grab what I need from the shops. From Tesco I get all the drinks, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, goose fat, maris piper potatoes plus all the other essentials I need to get us through the Christmas period.

I always bake a chocolate cake and my Mother in law brings the Christmas pud. I also do mince pies and brandy butter and Christmas cake for desserts.

On Christmas morning I get up early and prep the Turkey. On my first time cooking at Christmas I googled ‘best way to cook a Turkey’ and followed a Jamie Oliver step by step guide. I have done the same with my Turkey every year since and it always tastes amazing. I remove the giblets, place a large cooking apple and a large orange inside the Turkey, carefully without tearing the skin put a fine layer of butter between the bird and the skin, the lay strips of bacon on top of the bird and cook for the amount of time calculated by the weight of your turkey.

I then write out on a piece of paper all of the timings, when things need to be cooked and how long for so everything is ready at the same time. It’s actually really easy if your organised.

I cook everything in disposable bacofoil trays so afterwards it can all go in the bin and then its only plates, knives and forks in the dishwasher. I also clear up/wash up as I go along so there is minimal mess.

Our finished Christmas Dinner always consists of; Turkey, pigs in blankets, sausage meat, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, yorkshire pudding, brussel sprouts, peas, carrots, white cabbage, carrot and suede mash and bread sauce and gravy. Its a good job we have big plates! As Oscar isn’t keen on Turkey yet I also cook a piece of gammon in a honey glaze for him.

Merry Christmas!

Enjoy A Splendifirous Summer With Mr Kipling & Roald Dahl

Image result for roald dahl mr kipling

 

Last week we were invited to the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, Aylesbury to celebrate the collaboration between Roald Dahl and the delicious Mr Kipling cakes who want you to Enjoy A Splendifirous Summer With Mr Kipling & Roald Dahl. Mr Kipling has added a touch of magic to their range of cakes with new limited edition Roald Dahl packaging that is exclusive to Tesco until September. With every pack you purchase there is a unique code inside that you enter onto the Mr Kipling website and see if you have one of many amazing prizes.


Mr Kipling and Roald Dahl know the importance of spending quality time together, especially over the Summer with the children on their holidays, which is why they are trying to make your Summer more splendifirous by winning amazing prices and sharing a packet of their delicious cakes. The wonderful prizes include tickets to see the wonderful West End stage show, Matilda the musical, a trip to Buckingham palace, a selection of Roald Dahl books, family tickets to the Roald Dahl Museum, a BFG jump squiffling giant jigsaw and lots lots more. Even a family trip to New York for two adults and two children! You can see the full list of prizes here.

The limited edition packaging can’t be missed as all the Mr Kipling cakes now have a Roald Dahl twist. There are fantastic french fancies, enormous crocodile croc-olate slices, gloriumptious cherry bakewells, delightful Viennese swirls, scrumptious mini battenbergs and Dory-Hunky angel slices. Also on the website is an ‘inspire’ page full of things to do for families over the Summer.


When we arrived at the Roald Dahl museum we went up to the Mr Kipling room for a cup of tea and some cake and was given a talk on the exciting new collaboration. We then went around the museum, I had never been before but Oscar visited with his school earlier on in the year when they were learning about chocolate. The museum is fantastic and as a fan of Roald Dahl as a child it was nice to share something I loved as a child with Oscar as he is now reading the books too. He is currently reading the Giraffe, the Pelly and me. We learnt lots of fascinating facts about Roald Dahl.


We then went on the village tour and I was fascinated at how many of Roald Dahl’s books are based around the small village of Great Missenden. From the library in Matilda, to the Tudor looking building he then envisaged as the orphanage in the BFG, the supermarket in Fantastic Mr Fox and the petrol pump station in Danny The Champion of the World. We also then walked up the hill to the village church where Roald Dahl’s grave is. It has the BFG’s giant footprints leading up to it and is set under a beautiful tree with a bench with his grandchildren’s name on it.


We then walked back to the museum for story time and then went and had a lovely afternoon tea with Mr Kipling. I hadn’t had a battenberg in ages and now I am totally addicted, I have had a fair few packets since last week.


We had a lovely time at the Roald Dahl Musuem thanks to Mr Kipling and will be going back very soon as it is so local to us.

The New Summer Piccolo Menu At Pizza Express

Yesterday we went to the Pizza Express in Watford for lunch. We had been to this particular Pizza Express countless times and have always had a great experience. We had been asked to see what we thought of the New Summer Piccolo Menu At Pizza Express, we knew it would be lovely as the boys love it there! When we arrived we were given a spacious table and the menus to browse through. They have a new Summer Piccolo Children’s menu and activity packs. Oscar is seven and always likes an activity pack in a restaurant with different puzzles, word searches and colouring on them and Archie being two loves drawing all over it and the activity packs keeps them both entertained until their lunch arrives.

The new Piccolo menu has lots of choice and you get three courses, a drink and a bambinoccino with the dessert for only £6.95. The starter is baked dough balls with cucumber and fresh, red baby plum tomatoes. For mains there are three different pasta dishes to choose from,  four different types of pizza and new on the Summer menu is a Pollo salad. For dessert as I mentioned a bambinoccino is included and there is four yummy desserts to choose from.


Oscar always has the same he loves the penne Bolognese and Archie had the Margherita pizza. The portions are perfectly sized, obviously Archie always leaves a bit as he is only two but Oscar as a growing seven year old finishes the bowl of Bolognese completely. I had my all time favourite a salad nicoise. I love the Pizza Express salad dressing, thankfully you can buy it at the supermarket and I use it all the time at home. They finished their lunch off with vanilla ice-cream with a cone and chocolate sauce which also comes with a Bambinoccino.

As well as the fun-filled activity packs, with each child getting their very own chef’s hat and stickers too, Pizza Express are encouraging children aged 6-12 to unleash their creativity and be as imaginative as possible in their Dough Ball Adventure writing competition. All they have to do is submit an exciting Dough Ball adventure story (up to 200 words) via the Pizza Express website for the chance to have their stories being made into animations, as well as win weekly adventure prize. Plus one lucky winner will win an adventure holiday. Such a fantastic competition and educational too! Oscar has already started writing his dough ball story about them going on holiday to visit their family in Italy.

The staff in the Watford branch were really lovely as always and even though they were super busy we didn’t have to wait for a table and our food came nice and quickly. We will be back many times over the Summer holidays! For a great priced, relaxing lunch head to Pizza Express with the kids this Summer! And don’t forget to enter the competition!


“I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.”

My C9 Forever Living 9 Day Cleanse

A friend of mine, Sophie is a Forever Living distributor and we were chatting and as I had made a new years resolution to myself to get fit and eat healthier I thought it would be a great idea to start off the year by completing My C9 Forever Living 9 Day Cleanse. I have done one before and loved the results. The aloe vera left me feeling amazing and I lost 8lbs in the nine days. This time around weight loss wasn’t a priority it was more giving my body a cleanse and starting the year as I mean to go on.

Image result for c9 forever living

The Clean 9 Pak contains everything you need for the Clean 9 program for the full 9 days. The instructions of what to do on each day is so easy to follow and before you start you record your weight in the booklet and using the tape measure provided and your body measurements too.

Day 1 and 2 are generally the hardest as you are starting off the cleanse and they are called the reset days and you don’t eat a meal on those days but to be honest I found these days really easy and the shakes, fibre drinks and the tablets and softgels contained more than enough calories to keep me going. I only found it a bit difficult when making the boys and Greg’s dinner, I had to contain myself from picking. There are a few free foods that you are allowed to eat if you need to have a little snack on the list in your booklet. You also need to drink lots of water, which I do anyway so that was easy to continue.


Day 3-9 as well as drinking the shakes, fibre drinks and tablets and soft gels I had a 500-600 calorie evening meal. In your C9 instruction booklet there are recipe ideas for healthy low calorie meals Most of my meals contained chicken as I upped my protein intake to help build muscle.


I chose the Vanilla flavour shake and it tastes really good. Since finishing the C9 I have brought extra bags of the forever lite ultra vanilla shake and have one for breakfast each morning and one after I exercise. I have also continued drinking one shot of 60ml aloe vera gel every morning too. Since drinking the gel I have noticed a difference in my skin and also I feel less tired in the morning after a broken nights sleep as always with Archie waking during the night.

“Summer bodies are made in Winter!”

Exercise

I exercised on Day 2 with a Metafit class and on Day 3 I did a Zumba class followed by a Pound Class. Day 4 I did a 28 minute Kayla Itsine’s Sweat workout from my app. Day 5 I went for a run and started doing a plank challenge of two one minute sessions a day and also started a squat challenge app. Day 6 and 7 I just did my planks and squats, Day 8 I did circuit training and Day 9 I did a Zumba class, followed by a Pound class, then a ab class.


My main goal throughout the C9 and going forward is to tone up and get back into shape, weight loss is not a priority to me as much as it was when I last did the C9 as It was about 8 months after I had given birth to Archie.

Since finishing my C9 I have continued my exercise regime, I try to do something everyday. I do four sessions a week with Carlie, who is just the best instructor/personal trainer. She is so motivational and encouraging! I then complete a couple of the 28 minute sweat workouts at home and do my planks and squats everyday. I am so determined to get back in shape!  Well they do say “Summer bodies are made in Winter!”

My Results

Day 1 I weighed myself and was 9 stone and jotted down my chest, bicep, waist, hips, thighs and calves measurements. On Day 9 I weighed 8st 9lbs so a total loss of 5lbs. Although it was the inch loss I was more interested in and in total I lost 11.5 inches in total off of the areas I mentioned above.

If you need any information on any of the Forever Living products and the C9 especially Sophie is on hand to chat through it with you and throughout the 9 days was really encouraging and on the end of the phone if I had any problems or queries. Sophie’s link is HERE.

Our Super Yummies Adventure & Competition

Last week Archie was sent some fabulous adventure goodies from The Super Yummies so we could go on an adventure of our own over the weekend. We had the ultimate discovery pack when keeping both Oscar and Archie entertained when out and about.

As well as The Super Yummies snacks we had a LittleLife rabbit rucksack and reins, a Hello Nature art book and a nature art activity book. Both the boys were thrilled, Archie loves his LittleLife rucksack and Oscar loves art and craft and thought the books were fantastic. His exact phrase was “epic”.


So on Saturday we went to the farm and had a fantastic day exploring and having fun. We stopped mid-morning for a snack and the Pear and Berries rice cakes went down a treat and are great for a quick and easy refuel snack and on when we went. The rice cakes are suitable for 12 months plus. They are the perfect size for little hands and taste really fruity and without sounding cliché are super yummy! Oscar pinched a few too and loved them. It is great when you find a snack that both boys will love and comes in convenient sized packs to always carry around with you!


Archie loves being out of the pushchair now and free to run around when we are out, although sometimes I lose count of how many times he runs around at a hundred miles an hour and falls over. Today he wore his adorable little rabbit LittleLife backpack and reins that carried his snacks and water beaker inside and then as we walked around I held onto the reins and he managed to stay on his feet. The backpacks are a fantastic idea, in fact years ago we had a shark one with Oscar. We took it everywhere with us as it easily fits under the pushchair or I used to attach it to my changing bag. It is really one of those ‘wow’ products that makes your life so much easier and you can’t live without. No more panicking that Archie is getting too close to the water when feeding the ducks and him refusing to hold my hand (he is Mr Independent). A lot of people also commented on how cute his backpack was with the little rabbit ears.


At lunch Archie had some of the tomato and herb breadsticks. I love that they are flat which is easier for him to hold and actually he manages to eat all of it rather than crumbling everywhere like breadsticks usually do. They also come in a resealable packet which is great, rather than having to put them in a bulky container in my bag to keep them fresh. Once again they are full of flavour and taste lovely, even Daddy liked them!


The fruit pouches are perfect for an after lunch treat/pudding and have rescrewable lids so can be eaten on the go. Archie loves to feed himself with these and sucks all the yumminess out. Archie loves yoghurts and often gets in a right mess when trying to use a spoon, although this is great fun at home it’s not ideal if you are out and about and the pouches just save the day!



The apple and orange rice cakes were definitely Archie’s favourite and by the time we left Willows Farm the packet was empty. He literally walked around with them eating one after the other. I managed to prise one off him so I could try it too but nobody else got a look in. They do taste really good, I can see myself eating them as a snack, just don’t tell Archie.

Here is the full Super Yummies range:

Breadsticks: spinach breadsticks, tomato & herb breadsticks which are 12 months +

Rice cakes: pear & berries rice cakes, apple & orange rice cakes which are 12 months +

Pouches:  apple & forest fruits yoghurt, strawberry, kiwi & banana squeeze, mixed berries & coconut squeeze which are 12 months +

Slices and pieces: beetroot & parsnip slices, strawberry & yoghurt pieces, banana & yoghurt pieces which Archie hasn’t tried yet as they are 36 months +

Both flavours of rice cakes, the two flavours of breadsticks, the fruit pouches and the slices and pieces follow The Super Yummies promise:

With our little discovery pack we also have a sheet full of fun mini adventure ideas. Check out my Instagram to see lots of The Super Yummies mini adventures over the Winter! I would love to see your photos too, so don’t forget to tag me in them.

The Super Yummies and LittleLife have kindly given me one discovery pack to give away to one lucky reader. So enter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: We were sent the above mentioned Super Yummies snacks and adventure kit for the purpose of this blog post. All opinions are honest and my own.