The Printworks is a great place to be in Manchester. I have memories of my 'up North' hen party taking place in a bar within The Printworks. With the bars and many restaurants inside and outside its a great night out, but what is it like for a family day out? We were invited along with the girlies to test it out.
Wednesday, 25 May 2016
Friday, 20 May 2016
Last weekend we were invited to stay with the YHA at the River Wye. The main purpose was to review the bell tent, which you can read about in my previous post here. We have never visited the area before so didn't really know what to expect, but wow! The scenery was amazing. Everywhere was so green.
The river Wye is located within the Forest of Dean, and the easiest way I can locate that in my head is to say its between Bristol and the Welsh border. (Geography is not my finest skill).
With two days to fill, three children to entertain and a card I didn't want to splash I headed over to the geocaching website. From this website I had planned that from the campsite we could stroll along the river Wye finding a few caches along the route and end up at a pub at Symond Yat for dinner, before strolling back again. (The geocaching website shows footpaths and hints at where a stunning location is with photos, generally the more caches in an area the more beautiful it is!) The second day was due to be spent at the local castle exploring before heading home.
Thursday, 19 May 2016
Have you ever been camping before? We took the girls camping for the first time a few years ago which went well but we cut it short due to the rain forecast and having to put the tent down, which isn't nice in the rain. We haven't been camping since as our planned trip last year fell in the week it didn't stop raining so we decided to stay put at home instead. However if the tent was already up in place it could have been a different story.
The YHA invited us along for a night in one of their bell tents which is already up in place on arrival and we could not wait.
Daddy M was due to work on the weekend we picked so we invited V and K2 from Mummy3+1Dog for a girly weekend away 'glamping'.
On arriving at the YHA Wye Valley we checked in and was given our allocated bell tent. There were 4 bell tents on our site in a field away from the youth hostel itself.
All the tents faced into the middle of the campsite with three clustered close together and a fourth situated away at the back of the site. Our tent was in the heart of the camp site.
Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Last summer I sat in the doctors surgery pleading for help. I couldn't cope. I was struggling to cope with my 3 year old. Nobody but Daddy M understood what I was going through. Daddy's way of coping was to shut himself away from it and do 1:1 more with J. I had had enough and needed help or support or both. When I seeked it from others I was told its normal behaviour for a 3 year old, and that J was a good child and I had it lucky. She is just a typical 3 year old. Then when we visited my parents my mum briefly planted a seed in my head, she had been observing her "unique" behaviour for a few days. (My parents are carers for adults with special needs) After an afternoon where she went through an entire bottle of hand sanitiser just rubbing her hands clean my mum asked could she be seeking sensory stimulation?
Thursday, 12 May 2016
J is 6.5 years old. Where has that time gone? She rarely actually "plays" these days. This is a sad occasion as she would rather listen to music singing at the top of her voice and play on her DS or write stories, draw and colour then actually play. However on the occasion her friends come over the dolls usually come out. We were offered to review the Bratz remix doll and I thought this would be an ideal doll for those occasions.
Monday, 9 May 2016
Who doesn't like a good party? Who doesn't like the snow? (when you don't have to drive in it?) Who doesn't like to have fun with friends? If you said yes to any of the previous questions, this post isn't for you!
J loves the snow, and I mean LOVES the snow. We were tempted to host her 6th birthday party at Chill Factore but didn't really know what we would get for our cash so when we got offered to try it out and review it we jumped at the chance. To bring the party atmosphere she was able to bring some friends along to make it a real party.
We hired the clothing which is a party add on (£6 per person) which includes warm waterproof ski trousers and a ski coat. M had his own ski wear so opted to wear his. We wrapped everyone up warm and popped the ski boots and helmets on (everyone receives these to hire for the party). And we were ready for the fun.
Monday, 2 May 2016
We were eagerly awaiting Geronimo 2016 after attending the launch last year in Manchester (you can read about it here). However, I'm due to run my half marathon the weekend it comes back to Manchester and with a planned child-free weekend it wasn't ideal. Therefore we decided to visit Geronimo at Harewood House and book a hotel the night before to enjoy the day without a long drive beforehand; that is how much we LOVED Geronimo last year. We ranted and raved about our experience and from that we have friends that have paid to visit when it returns to Manchester later in May.
This year, our experience was completely different. I'm not going to mention the difference in weather at this point as we were prepared for that with wellies and waterproofs. However, the experience before even reaching Geronimo put our backs up. After peeling off a main road 6 miles away we reached traffic jams. This would lead us all the way to the main gates taking an extra hour. Geronimo had at this point opened another gate allowing cars in from a different direction which I think helped the situation and we weren't charged to park the car like the website had previously mentioned. I am presuming they got rid of the parking charges to help alleviate the traffic in the surrounding roads. I really felt for the locals that were stuck in the queues.
When we were in the grounds we were greeted by the queue to get into the park. This left Daddy to say, "If we have to stand in that queue as well, we are going home!"
Monday, 25 April 2016
If you watch children's TV you would have probably heard of Fluffimals. My girls would scream "I want that" when the advert comes on and then an argument over which one would get it...whoah... where did that attitude come from? I think having two winter babies (October and January) and Christmas within a few months they forget the draught of new toys for spring and summer. Thankfully for them the kind people over at Mookie toys asked us if they would like to review the new Fluffimals with a teddy for each girl so there was no more arguments.
The main set for Fluffimals come with the machine to stuff the new teddies, tweezers personality cards and instructions, a teddy bear, coloured "personality" stuffing and plain stuffing, a magic heart and a brush.
Sunday, 3 April 2016
We have officially entered the 'collectors phase' with the girls. They are now officially collecting the new Num Noms. What are Num Noms do I hear you say? Well, Num Noms are super cute, colourful soft collectable and scented scoops of ice cream (obviously not real ice cream, a toy ice cream) . To start our collection we were gifted a motorised starter Nom set and two surprise packs.
Wednesday, 30 March 2016
The girls adore most animals which makes it very easy to LOVE the National Forest Adventure Farm in Staffordshire. We have been almost every season for the past year and know we will walk away having a great day out. Last years Easter visit can be seen here. This year they have made some changes and it is an even better day out for it. We visited Good Friday this year and it was VERY busy. The queue was half way around the car park!! Daddy doesn't do crowds and was tempted to go home before even going in, however the girls persuaded him to stay knowing what was inside the gates.
The staff managed to get the queue moving by letting people in the side entrance who had pre-booked, which included us too, yeay! Once inside the crowds quickly dispersed so it didn't feel over crowded. After all there is so much to do.
Our first port of call was to the animal barn for the lamb feeding. This is one of the areas they have invested in, add it has paid off. Its a first come first served basis now, compared to the push to the front to try and get a bottle. In the queue you are now given a number between 1-8, each number is given out 8-10(?) times and when the numbers have gone, its full. (They have many sessions throughout the day) They also provide seats. Two numbers are called at once and the children come and sit on hay bails. All the ones on one side, all the twos on the other. Its then a race to see what lamb drinks the milk the quickest. The bottle is still passed along the line but there is no pushing and shoving and every child gets a go.