Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 37 – 2018)

#TriedTested badge

Welcome back to Tried & Tested Tuesday! How has the back to school routine been for you?  We’re still getting used to our new normal with Amy in full time school but everyone seems to be settling in ok!

In case you are new here – let us tell you what Tried & Tested is all about.  We all know how useful reviews can be.  Most bloggers do them – be it things they have bought themselves or have been asked to review.  They are a useful tool for people looking for honest and thorough reviews of products they need, things they are considering buying, or even to introduce people to exciting new products they have never even heard of.  You can find out more about how to join in here.

If you have linked up with us before – welcome back!  We love having you.  Please have a quick read through the points below to remind yourself how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day.

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you.

* If you’d like a Twitter reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop Kate a tweet and she’ll add you to the list.

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge!

#TriedTested Featured Blogger Mrs Shilts

Mrs Shilts recently stayed at Roomzzz, Stratford London with her family – we loved the idea of an aparthotel for a family night away – no more hiding in the bathroom waiting for the the kids go to sleep!

#TriedTested featured blogger Susan K Mann

There’s nothing more important to your sleep than a good mattress so we were really interested to read up on how Susan K Mann got on with her new Leesa Mattress.

That’s about it – it’s super simple to join in, so crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important

* Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up

* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people 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 or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)

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! 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.

We do our best during the course of the week to visit you all, leave a comment. If you’d like us to share your review on twitter please tweet @FamilyFever and @Lollinski using the #TriedTested hashtag and we will gladly retweet it for you. We would of course love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too!

We're going on an adventure



Fantastic services – Full House Clean & Carpet Steam Clean

Fantastic Services full house clean - main bathroom

Hands up who pretty much gave up on trying to keep their house clean and tidy over the summer holidays?  I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s not like my house was filthy, but tidying up & keeping everywhere clean when you have three kids at home for six weeks is like playing darts with spaghetti – it just feels completely pointless.  I reached a point where I decided I was better off just trying to keep on top of it as best I could but trying not to worry about it till September when I would have the space and time to give everywhere a proper going over.  I think possibly the biggest stroke of genius was booking the guys from Fantastic Services in for a full house clean the day after the kids went back to school and I would, without a shadow of a doubt, plan to do this again each September now!

Back to school September 2018 Read More »

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 36 – 2018)

Welcome back to Tried & Tested Tuesday!  We hope you had a lovely summer break and are settling back into the swing of things now!

In case you are new here – let us tell you what Tried & Tested is all about.  We all know how useful reviews can be.  Most bloggers do them – be it things they have bought themselves or have been asked to review.  They are a useful tool for people looking for honest and thorough reviews of products they need, things they are considering buying, or even to introduce people to exciting new products they have never even heard of.  You can find out more about how to join in here.

If you have linked up with us before – welcome back!  We love having you.  Please have a quick read through the points below to remind yourself how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day.

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you.

* If you’d like a Twitter reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop Kate a tweet and she’ll add you to the list.

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! *This will start again from next week* 

That’s about it – it’s super simple to join in, so crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important

Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up

* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people 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 or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)

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! 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.

We do our best during the course of the week to visit you all, leave a comment. If you’d like us to share your review on twitter please tweet @FamilyFever and @Lollinski using the #TriedTested hashtag and we will gladly retweet it for you. We would of course love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too!

We're going on an adventure



The last BBQ of the summer with Regina Blitz

Regina Blitz kitchen roll for wiping hands

This post was developed in collaboration with Regina

When it comes to making the most of the summer sun, I’m a big fan of alfresco dining, specifically BBQs!  I just don’t think you can beat sitting outside in the sunshine with a steady supply of burgers and bangers on the BBQ and a whole array of tasty sides.  Of course I’m less keen on the mess that comes with it – spillages, sticky fingers and the grill? Well that’s Dave’s job!  In a recent survey of British families commissioned by leading kitchen roll brand Regina, it was found that over a third of British parents have put off hosting a BBQ for fear of the mess.  And, when it takes the average UK parent almost 40 minutes to clean up after a BBQ, I can totally see why you’d just stick those burgers under the grill and be done with it – but then you’d be missing out wouldn’t you?  Nobody remembers the time Mum cooked tea in the kitchen and we all had a laugh do they . . .

We don’t get to BBQ much at home due to a lack of space in our garden but we take the opportunity whenever we can at my parents’ house and when we’re camping a BBQ tea is practically law.

In an effort to make the most of the last weekend of the school holidays, a whole group of us took ourselves off to a campsite near Morecambe.  We had a glorious day of outdoor fun – football on the field, exploring the nearby beach and the mums also took the chance to sneak off to the onsite cafe for an hour or so for a coffee and a catch up in peace!

Looking for crabs on the beach near Morecambe Read More »

Create Your Own Happy – Learn to Relax

Create your own Happy Book

Written by Penny Alexander and Becky Goddard-Hill, Create Your Own Happy is a beautifully illustrated activity book with a nod to self-help.  Aiming to empower children with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to boost not only their own happiness and self esteem but that of those around them as well.

Create your own happy book for 7-11 year olds

As the old saying goes,

“Tell me and I will forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”

It’s all well and good telling our kids what they can do to be happy or to improve their self esteem but Becky and Penny’s book gives them practical activities and solutions to encourage them to get out there and do it themselves, as well as telling them why it works, thus developing lifelong tools to support their own mental well-being. Read More »

Grumblies Interactive Toy – Giveaway

Grumblies

Grumblies live in secret, hiding from the eyes of mankind.  Short- tempered and full of mischief, bands of Grumblies roam the wild places of this earth, creating mysterious earthquakes, paranormal tsunamis and supernatural volcanoes.

Heck they sound a bit scary don’t they!  Grumblies are the latest interactive toy to hit the market and rather than being all cute and cuddly, these dudes are angry!  Poke, shake, tilt and roll them to wind them up (much like your siblings!) and when they finally reach their breaking point you will be rewarded with a full on meltdown of rage which only you can calm down.

Grumblies

With over 40 fuming reactions and custom sounds, each of the Grumblies has its own personality and design.

If you’d like to win your very own Grumblie (worth £19.99) to wind up and annoy, then just complete the Rafflecopter below, ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification!  Good luck!  (And if you don’t win, you can pop down to your local Smyths toy store to buy one!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And then there were none

Back to school September 2018

Today is the first day of a new academic year for my team and one which brings with it lots of change.

My littlest girl started full time school.

Back to school - first day in Reception

Amy has actually been in Nursery at school for the last year so seeing her in uniform this morning and dropping her off at school wasn’t quite the wrench it could have been, we did all that last year.  However, today she starts full time.  Our #MummyandBo time has come to an end.

Read More »

Summer 2018 – We survived!

Six weeks of summer holidays + a cheeky extra week off in Tenerife – in some ways I can’t believe the summer holidays are over but in others it feels like they’ve lasted forever.  I heard on the news today that 2018 has been a record breaking summer, matching that of 1976 for temperatures.  It definitely feels like the summer we’ll all remember in years to come!

Holiday Village Tenerife / Hotel Costa Los Gignantes - view from Balinese beds

When I was teaching full time I could never understand those parents who were desperate to send their kids back to school after the holidays, I used to think “for goodness sake, don’t you want to spend time with them?” but I get it now.  I so get it. Read More »

A day out with TraffordCity

Trafford City SEA LIFE centre - finding nemo

TraffordCity, Manchester is  a “city within a city” – a shopping and entertainment destination built up around the Trafford Centre (which incidentally is currently celebrating it’s 20th birthday . . . I couldn’t quite believe it when I read that recently but then realised that it’s over 15 years since I stopped working there myself!)  There’s so much to do at TraffordCity – from retail therapy and a whole host of dining options in the Trafford Centre itself to a variety of sports opportunities.  When it comes to entertaining the kids there’s something for everyone – from snow fun at Chill Factore to Legoland Discovery Centre or SEA LIFE.

This week, I set off up to Trafford City with the kids for a day out.  It was a fairly grey and miserable day in the summer holidays so I knew that TraffordCity had the potential to be quite busy.  I decided it was best to just get up and out meaning that we were at our first destination by 9.30am!

Dinofalls Adventure Golf

Dinofalls Adventure Golf is situated just off the M60 and is part of the Trafford Golf Centre.  Featuring 18 holes of dinosaur themed crazy golf, and costing £24 for a family ticket (2 adults, 2 childen) – Dinofalls Adventure Golf is good fun for all ages and my little gang were super excited to be able to finally go to “the dinosaur place” they had seen from the motorway every time we went to the Trafford Centre!

We arrived at Dinofallls Adventure Golf at 9.30am, knowing that it had been busy during the holidays and hoping that being there first thing would combat this.  (Now when I say first thing, Dinofalls golf is actually open from 7.30am . . . I’m not sure I would ever feel the need to play crazy golf before breakfast but you never know).  As it turned out, we timed it really well – we arrived at the first hole at the same time as another family but they were clearly much quicker than us as after the first hole we never really caught them up again meaning we were free to play at our own pace without waiting around.  By the time we had finished the course there was quite a queue behind us – I’d like to think this was more because Dinofalls was getting much busier as the day went on rather than that we were so rubbish that we were holding everyone up . . .

Trafford City - Dinofalls Adventure golf

Read More »