Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Kick leaves - a standard Autumn activity of course! - An Autumn Bucket List Update

Yesterday we started out half term holiday with a good couple of hours up in Heaton Park - the weather wasn't bad.  It was surprisingly mild when we went out but by the time we'd been out for a while we could feel the cold!!  Although it was overcast it remained dry which gave us chance to have a good old run about, kick (and throw) some leaves and generally enjoy the fresh air!  The park was full of beautiful Autumnal colours - plenty of leaves on the floor but also plenty still on the trees.

Autumn picnic
Snack stop!

throwing leaves
Watch out Mummy!

autumn leaf
Even Amy enjoyed exploring the leaves

stripy wellies
Welly twins!

big leaf

wrapped up warm

boys jumping
1, 2, 3, jump! 

It made for a lovely start to the holidays - hopefully the weather will be ok later in the week too so we can get out and about a bit more!  We need to make the most of the dry days!

Our Autum Bucket List so far:
  1. Watch Chloe start Nursery 03.09.14
  2. See Ben settle into his Year 1 class & new childcare arrangements  23.10.14
  3. Enjoy some Mummy & Amy time
  4. Family Day at York races (we missed it last year for the first time since Ben was born) 07.09.14
  5. Collect conkers - this was a massive fail last year so we need to try again!
  6. Move into the extension & host an extension warming party!
  7. Attend Harvest Festival at school 03.10.14
  8. Start Chloe's swimming lessons
  9. Start dance lessons for Ben
  10. Depending on the state of our garden I'd like to plant some bulbs for Spring!
  11. Kick leaves - a standard Autumn activity of course! 27.10.14
  12. Splash in puddles - obviously!
  13. Enjoy getting wrapped up in jumpers and hats
  14. Celebrate bonfire night
  15. Make soup
  16. Blow dragon breath
  17. Stop breastfeeding
  18. Get back to work two days a week
  19. Autumn crafts
  20. Celebrate Amy's 1st birthday (did I really just write that?)
  21. Keep going on that long hard "Wedding Weight" slog

Murdery Mystery evening!

In the middle of September I was let loose on a rare mid week night out with some of my favourite North West bloggers.  Of course it would have been decidedly more dangerous had I not had an early train to catch the following morning which led to a self imposed drinking ban.

The night we had been invited to attend was a Murder Mystery night hosted by BGO.  Now I've never been to a Murder Mystery night before but I was excited about having dinner out if nothing else!  Having met up with some familiar faces we all sat down to enjoy our meal together.  Our conversation was suddenly and dramatically interrupted by some criminal over acting . . . and a man collapsing dead on the floor in front of us.  The scene was set and we were to spend our evening figuring out exactly "who dunnit"! 

In simple terms we had to investigate the evidence we had and then ask questions to find out more - this might be to find out what someone had in their pocket or to ask them how they felt about one of the suspects.  One of the downsides of the large table we were sat at meant it was difficult to have any meaningful conversation across the table and if I'm honest I was lacking the concentration skills!  Luckily Laura took charge and led our investigations.  Karen and I were the naughty school girls of the table I'm afraid!

Even at the end of the night when the whole plot was explained I still didn't really understand what had gone on - goodness knows what I'd have been like had I actually been drinking!  

Thanks to Joe Blogs and BGO for a great night out! 

*Disclaimer - We were invited to attend the Murder Mystery event free of charge*

Tried & Tested Tuesday

Welcome to Tried & Tested Tuesday! It’s so lovely to see so many familiar faces and new ones linking up each week – we really enjoy seeing the range of products you have been trying out. We do our best to visit you all each week, but do bear with us – we are both busy mums, and this week is half term so we have lots of little people to entertain! Last week was another busy one with 82 link ups – thank you to every single one of you! If you’re new to this linky then welcome along! You can find out more about it and how to join in here. If you’re a regular then welcome to you too! Crack on, link up and share some commenty love – lets face it, that’s what makes linkys work. Each week, as you know, we like to feature two of our favourite reviews from the previous week. This week we loved: #TriedTested featured blogger Cosatto Giggle review from Make, Do & Push. It's a fantastic looking pushchair and it seems to have a lot of great features too.

  #TriedTested featured blogger

Asda wooden toy range review from The Life of Spicers. Great quality toys at a really good price - definitely some Christmas present ideas there! If you link up please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment as well as a couple of others if you can – I know that people really, really appreciate the feedback! We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out.  (Additional posts will be deleted out of fairness). We do our best to visit each post and leave a comment, as well as tweeting from @FamilyFever and @Lollinski. We would love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too!
We're going on an adventure

Monday, 27 October 2014

An Autumnal Picnic with Vita Coco

Now I love a picnic as much as the next woman, probably more.  One of my favourite wedding gifts was a beautiful picnic hamper (lined with navy stripes!) which I love to pack up full of tasty morsels to enjoy on a grassy hill somewhere in the Summer sunshine. 

However Vita Coco are keen to carry on that Summery picnic vibe and are encouraging us to get out and about this half term and find the best Autumn picnic spots across the UK . . . well I have to say I'm glad they sent us a lovely blanket to do that with as it really wasn't picnic weather in Manchester today!

 We took ourselves off to Heaton Park first thing this morning to meet friends and blow off some steam.  After a good run around the play area we were more than ready for a quick snack stop - we certainly weren't brave enough for a full on picnic but a drink and some crisps were a welcome treat.

Once we'd finished our "picnic" there was lots of fun to be had throwing leaves and generally chasing around the enormous grassy spaces that Heaton Park has to offer! 

Needless to say everyone went to sleep quickly tonight thanks to all that fresh air and fun!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

A day out at Flamingo Land with Kids Pass - Review

Ever on a mission to save a few pennies I was really interested to be introduced to the Kids Pass website - the idea being that once you've signed up as a member (which is free) you can save up to 50% off on fabulous days out for your family.  Like many families we're on a tight budget at the moment and days out can often fall by the wayside when we're trying to trim costs so I loved the idea of Kids Pass making it easier to find a bargain day out! 

Back in the summer we went to Cbeebies Land at Alton Towers and have talked since about taking Ben and Chloe to another theme park.  I was excited to find a "buy one get on free" promotion on the Kids Pass website for Flamingo Land (this offer has now expired).  I've not been to Flamingo Land since my late teens and Dave has never been.  The Kids Pass website is super easy to use.  Once I had chosen the promotion I wanted to take advantage of I clicked through and was given a voucher code to use on the Flamingo Land website which gave me a voucher to print out and use on the gate.  (Do make sure you check any expiry dates or other terms and conditions to avoid disappointment)

Standard "on the day" tickets for Flamingo Land are £35 a piece for age 4 and up.  As we didn't need a ticket for Chloe, the Kids Pass website saved us 1/3 of what it would have cost us had we just rocked up and bought tickets on the gate.  Although Flamingo Land do offer cheaper pre-booked tickets online, the Kids Pass offer still trumped this so it was a winner for us!

Chlo loved the tea cups!

The pink elephants were definitely her favourite!

Look at his little face!

Hippos - Mummy's favourite animal!

Cheeky boy!

Mummy hippo spotting!

This is her "I'm enjoying myself" face!

Thrill seeker! 

Just to prove she did smile once or twice during the day!


This was before the ride set off . . . 

Hands up Chloe!

Love my boys! 

And what of our day out at Flamingo Land?  Well we discovered several things: 
* Ben is very much the thrill seeker (just like his Daddy) and would go on any ride he was big enough for
* Chloe most certainly is not a thrill seeker and the tea cups were about her level 
* Flamingo Land a week before it closes for Winter is very quiet - which is great as it means no queues, but it also means lots of rides are shut, kiosks are shut and there is a distinct lack of atmosphere
* Late October is very cold for being outside all day!
* The zoo provides a welcome respite from the thrill of the rides - and with real life proper hippos Mummy was very happy!
* There's a good selection of rides ranging from little pink flying elephants (Chloe's favourite) to scream-inducing, adrenaline fueled rides for the more hardened roller coaster enthusiast (that would be Dave) including a previous Guinness World Record holding ride, Mumbo Jumbo, with the "steepest drop in the world" at 112 degrees!! 

Ben is definitely keen to go back when he's a bit taller but he did suggest we might not take Chloe next time!

*Disclaimer - Kids Pass contributed towards the cost of our day out in order for us to review their website however all thoughts and opinions remain my own*

Silent Sunday - 26.10.14

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