William’s Den – 14 Things We Loved

William’s Den, situated in a small village called North Cave near Hull in East Yorkshire, is an adventure play space with a difference.  The team at William’s Den were keen to create a space which was just that – a huge open space full of possibility and adventure.  They wanted to create a place where children could play whatever the weather, where they could enjoy the outdoors and experience the freedom that comes with it.  And yet, at the same time they have created a space where children are safe, where their parents can get stuck in or sit back and enjoy a coffee while they’re children roam to their heart’s content.

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Twenty Four Reasons Why My Child Needs the Toilet

“Have you wiped your bum properly?”

“Did you flush the toilet?”

“Have you washed your hands?”

Although we’ve been out of nappies for quite some time now and our children are more than capable of taking themselves off to the toilet when they need to, toilet habits still seem to feature fairly highly on our topics of conversation!

Bum wiping and poo seem to be Dave’s pet hate whereas mine is the kids needing to go for wee at the most awkward of times.  With that in mind I’ve written a list of 23 reasons why my child needs to go to the toilet . . .

little girl on the toilet - 20 reasons my child needs the toilet | We're going on an adventure

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Timber Festival 2018 – Family Festival Review

The Nightingale Stage, Timber Festival at sunset

This weekend saw the inaugural Timber Festival at Feanedock, the National Forest.

An extraordinary new camping festival exploring the transformative impact of forests. Celebrating woodland culture in all its forms, join us for an intoxicating experience where music, art, philosophy and sustainability weave together into an unforgettable, exhilarating weekend.

From the outset this festival bore all the hallmarks of a Wild Rumpus event, things which we have come to expect after a couple of years of attending Just So Festival; the attention to detail, familiar performers, super clean toilets and shower blocks, and a range of good quality food, but it also set itself apart as a festival in its own right.

The Nightingale Stage, Timber Festival at sunset

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BIC® KIDS Young Artist Awards

Whilst Ben has never really been a fan of putting pen to paper, Chloe is pretty much the exact opposite and can often be found writing or drawing – I can’t tell you how often she gets cross with me for picking her up from her after school club too early because she’s in the middle of creating a masterpiece!

Little girl drawing for Bic Kids Artists

This summer, BIC® KIDS are running their second Young Artist Awards – a competition (open to all 5-11 year olds and running till 5th August) which gives talented young artists the chance to have their drawings displayed on local billboards!

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Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 26 -2018)

#TriedTested badge

Welcome to another Tuesday, and another Tried & Tested.  Are you still enjoying the heatwave?  We’ve just got back from a wonderful weekend at Timber Festival – which I will obviously be writing about soon!

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! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

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.

Last week we loved:

#TriedTested

Bradford Literature Festival and Hotter shoes review from Yorkshire Tots to Teens. This looks like a fantastic FREE family day out, made even better with some fabulous shoes.

#TriedTested

Swimfin review from Nip it in the Bud. Such a clever product for keen little swimmers, keeping them safe and allowing them to explore the water without restriction.

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



Disney Store Summer of Adventure

It’s a little known fact that I worked for the Disney Store in my late teens and early twenties. Yes, I was the girl standing on the door welcoming you to the store and wishing you a nice day.  The girl who danced around the shop singing and being a bit silly with other cast members (also known as staff to those of you who aren’t in the know!) and generally loving her job!  It also meant that I was a fountain of random Disney facts – people used to actually ring us at work to check if Sebastian was a crab or a lobster or to find out what the first film Disney ever made was . . . clearly this was pre Google!! Nobody would ever need to do that now!

I remember getting so excited when it was time for the new season stock to arrive in store – to see which characters were going to be on them, to see what new twist had been added to the standard lines.  Opening a big parcel of summer goodies from The Disney Store earlier this month was like being back in store – except that I didn’t have to unpack it all and put it out on the shelves!!  Usually when I get blog deliveries I like to put them to one side and leave them until I can open them in peace without prying eyes and inquisitive fingers helping me out!  However, with “Disney Store” clearly emblazoned on the side of the box, there was no chance my girls were going to let me leave this one till later!

Sibings wearing Disney Store summer character t shirts

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Chateau de Lez Eaux campsite, Normandy

Travelling to Chateau de Lez Eaux by ferry from Dover to Calais

When it came to choosing a campsite for our Eurocamp Holiday, we were somewhat spoiled for choice and a little overwhelmed!  Eurocamp have somewhere in the region of 200 campsites across Europe, however we quickly decided that this time round we’d be looking for a French campsite (mainly as it meant we could avoid the expense of flying).  Initially we wanted to look at campsites in the South of France– in part as this was where my own first Eurocamp experience had been but also because we wanted to make sure we had the best chance of getting some proper sun.  A quick look at the map and some hasty calculations meant we soon realised that there would be far too much driving involved for a week’s holiday and that realistically we’d have to plan stop overs in France to break up the journey.  We wanted to spend as much time as possible relaxing and enjoying ourselves – not use up half of our break travelling.  On the recommendation of a friend who had camped at Chateau de Lez Eaux previously, we settled on our campsite and booked our trip.  (If you don’t happen to have a handy friend who has tried practically every campsite in France, then the team at Eurocamp are always happy to guide you in your decision!)

Chateau de Lez Eaux is a small site with just 229 pitches near the town of St Pair sur Mer and a short drive from Granville.  The nearest airport is Dinard and the recommended port is Cherbourg which is less than 2 hours drive away.  Having done a long ferry trip a few years ago and found it really hard work, we decided to take the shorter ferry ride from Dover to Calais and put in the hours behind the wheel instead.  What this also meant was that we could stop off with my Aunty & Uncle in Dover who conveniently live just ten minutes from the port.

Travelling to Chateau de Lez Eaux by ferry from Dover to Calais

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Filling up that cup

As the saying goes,

“You cannot pour from an empty cup”

And my cup is feeling pretty empty.  My cup of patience at any rate.

Last night I shared this post on my instagram:

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Eurocamp Accommodation – Espace (3 Bedroom)

We spent May half term in a 3 bed, 2 bath Eurocamp Espace at Chateau de Lez Eaux in Normandy, France.

Having not done a Eurocamp holiday myself since I was about 7 but with the ringing endorsements of family, friends and fellow bloggers, we were excited to see what Eurocamp had to offer us.  As a family of five, we often find ourselves gravitating towards self-catering holidays mainly due to the flexibility the separate bedrooms offer us as well as space for us grown ups to relax once the children have gone to bed.  Standard family hotel rooms don’t often cater for more than four people.

I’m going to be honest and say that our first impressions of our Eurocamp Espace were not great – it felt dark and cramped compared to the pictures I’d seen online and, with it being the start of the season, it smelt a bit musty.  I was also disappointed to see how shaded our Espace was by the surrounding trees, I felt like we were going to be missing out on what little sun was available to us!  However, the following morning, when I’d had a good night’s sleep and was in a better frame of mind, I felt much happier with our little holiday home.  This isn’t a fancy hotel, you are camping!  I started to see our Espace for what it was – sheer luxury in comparison to a tent.  It is, of course, all about your mindset.  The musty smell faded over the course of the week thanks to the air freshener we invested in at the local supermarket and us keeping the windows open as much as possible to air the property.  And, whilst I have been in other mobile homes of similar size with a better layout, the Espace suited our needs perfectly.

Eurocamp Espace review

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Learning Financial Lessons

At 38 years old, I feel like I’ve finally got a grip of my finances.  Dave and I budget religiously – we do a long term plan at the start of each year and then edit this ahead of each month according to what money we know we’ve got coming in and our commitments.  Dave has worked for the same company since he was 16 and earns a regular salary each month with the potential for a bonus each summer.  As I am self-employed, my income is more sporadic – we can have weeks where all the invoices seem to coming in at once and then other times where it feels like I’ve not been paid in ages.  Keeping a close eye on our budget and planning months in advance means we avoid the temptation to splurge when I get a big pay day.  (That said, we do try to assign the larger payments to specific things like a new dining room window, or finally getting our back garden sorted – both of these are things I’m hoping will happen in the next month or two).

It has taken both of us a really long time, some harsh lessons and significant support from my parents, to learn how to manage our money properly and feel like we know where we are at with everything.  With hindsight I guess that yes, there are things I might have done differently, but ultimately the way I’ve lived my life until now and the lessons I’ve learned as a result have brought me to this place and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

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