Sea Life Centre Birmingham Review

We were kindly offered the chance to go along to Sealife Birmingham for the day by the lovely folks over at Superbreak.  We were supposed to go back in March, but unfortunately the night before we were due to go, it snowed really heavily so we ended up stuck at home with two very disappointment little ones. Re-booking our day was super simple so once we knew we were out of the snow danger zone (if there is ever such a time) we headed off to Birmingham for the day.

Mollys pre school theme was Under the Sea so the timing was perfect as she had been learning all about sea creatures and sea life at school, it was great for us to be able to tie that into something we were doing as a family and Molly really seemed to soak up all of the information on the day amazingly well.

When we arrived we were given a little quiz to complete at various stations around the centre which the kids loved, unfortunately, after answering all of them correctly (YAY!) we forgot to hand them in at the end and get our little reward, but we were impressed that we had managed to answer them all so we were not too disappointed!

The Sea Life centre is jam packed with things to see, it is hard really to know where to begin, the kids loved everything, but I think their favourite bit was watching the Manta Rays be fed, Alfie especially loved watching them splashing around the enclosure and he giggled his little head off the whole way through the demonstration, it was adorable!

Molly had talked about StarFish non stop the week before our trip so she was very excited to get to see one up close, however she would not take the opportunity to actually touch it, but she was very excited at seeing one all the same!

When we were originally booked to go to the Sea Life Molly was very excited as they had some very special guests visiting at the time, the Octonauts.  Molly and Alfie are big fans and Molly was really disappointed to learn when we arrived that they had left the weekend before and she didnt get to see them after all.  I was worried then that this might have spoilt the trip for her but her disappointment soon melted away when we headed into the 4D Cinema to watch the brand new Sponge Bob Square Pants film!

The film was great and the kids both loved it, they both ended up sitting on Mummy and Daddys lap though as I think the special effects frightened them a little.  But once they were sat with us they loved it and laughed and giggled their way through the show.

We did struggle a little with the pushchair, some of the displays were difficult for Alfie to see and trying to navigate around the centre with him in the pushchair was not easy at all.  We were lucky on the day we went that it was not particularly busy so it was not too bad, but on a busier day it could have been potentially very difficult to get around.

The SeaLife Centre is right in the centre of Birmingham so there are plenty of nice places to eat close by so we followed our visit with a lovely walk along the canal and had something to eat before heading home.  I would recommend the SeaLife centre to anyone looking for a family day out, with the weather being as unpredictable as it is at the moment it is the perfect opportunity to keep the kids entertained and warm and dry at the same time!

This post is my honest opinion of our day. I did not receive any financial reward for writing this post but we did receive tickets to the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham to complete this review. This is my own work and you are not permitted to copy any of the content within this post without my permission. 

This entry was posted in Reviews.

Getting Glamorous with Glotanz

GloTanz Review

Before I had my kids, I loved nothing more than getting all glamorous and pampered, I would not have left the house without a full face of make up and nice hair (oh how times have changed!).  I had a full make up box as well as a make up bag bursting at the seams and so many nice beauty products that I loved to pamper myself with.

Fast forward 4 years and my make up bag is now very empty and given the distinct lack of time I now have, I generally look rough with or without my make up on (the bags under my eyes have been there for so long that even the toughest of concealer cant cover them!) so I do sometimes wonder why I bother to be honest. I have put on what feels like a million stone in weight and have generally turned into the Frumpy Mummy I always swore that I would NEVER be.

So when I was invited along to spend they day at a gorgeous salon getting pampered and testing out a fantastic new Spray tanning product, of course I was never going to say no! It was a very rare and very lovely treat, so off I went with my lovely friend Stephanie for a child free girly day out.

We headed off to Towcester to the GloBeauty academy which is set in the most glorious countryside, I felt more relaxed just pulling into the car park! We headed in and my first treatment started, along with a nice cup of tea.  I went into the salon with horrible nails and came out with the prettiest nails I have had in a long time.  Before the children came along I had my nails done every few weeks, it was my little treat. Now my only treat is to get to drink a hot cup of tea once in blue moon.

How pretty do they look though?!

Next up was a Spray Tan.  Never before in my life have I had a spray tan, so I had no idea what to expect. This spray tan was not just any old spray tan though, it was a GloTanz Spray tan, and here is a little bit about what is so special about this fantastic product –

After nearly 20 years in the beauty industry and hundreds of spray tans conducted, Northampton College of Beauty Therapy director Julie Allen became fed up with the quality of tans on offer to use on clients. They were either loaded with alcohol which is damaging and ageing to the skin, smelt like a chemical plant or looked so abnormal in colour they were comical. And so in a bid to find the solution, Julie decided to create her own tan that would meet her expectations and wow her clients at the same time. She is now proud to launch the hugely popular Glotan™ range, included the winning formula ‘Tan in a Can’ which not only appears instantly when applied but also develops over time offering ten day-lasting colour. 

The Glotan™ tanning solution was developed when Julie wanted to created a solution that was not only ‘as organic as possible’ but that did not contain alcohol and was fragranced free, but also contained added natural moisturisers and Vitamin E. She wanted her clients to receive the best and not something that would be filled with artificial ingredients or watered down. It also offers other powerful benefits such as Vitamin E, one of nature’s most dynamic cellular renewal and healing ingredients. It also includes a high quality DHA made here in the UK to ensure that you can achieve a result that is even in application and professional.

The whole spray tan experience was a new one for me, I didnt know whether to laugh or cry when I saw the sexy paper pants if I am honest, but I do think the fetching hair net might just catch on? Who knows, but I thought I look totally great in it either way. If you have never had a spray tan before then be warned, they are quite cold, but very much worth it and 20 minutes later I stepped out of the tanning booth and looked more tanned than after 2 weeks in the Maldives on Honeymoon 7 years ago! Impressive stuff.

I was advised to leave the guide colour and not shower or bath for at least 8 hours after the treatment, and given a leaflet on aftercare and then me and the lovely Stephanie headed for home (stopping briefly at a gorgeous little cafe for lunch en route!).

I left the guide colour on over night and after washing it off I was really impressed with how I looked, I can totally see why people go back over and over again for spray tans, given half the chance, I really would! My skin did not dry out and the tan still looked great nearly a week after my treatment! Most impressive! These photos were taken on days 3 and 4.

If you are in the Northants area I would definitely recommend a trip over to the GloTan salon, it is a lovely place and in such a stunning setting.  The ladies are all so lovely and I left feeling pampered and very glamorous, something that this frumpy Mummy has not felt like in a very long time!

You can also see my lovely friend Stephs Vlog on her GloTanz experience here.

This entry was posted in Reviews.

Meal Planning Monday

It has been ages since I did any proper meal planning, as a result we have ended up with some very random dinners! So I am now going to make an effort again with my weekly meal plan, not only does it save me lots of pennies on my weekly shopping bill, but it makes life so much easier on a day-to-day basis.

Things are a bit upside down here now when it comes to meal times so my meal plan will reflect that.  Now my Husband is working on a later shift he now has his dinner at lunch times.  So I cook for me and the kids at tea time and he tends to have his heated up the next day before work.  It is quite restricting on what you can make if I am honest as not everything re heats that well, so I am trying to meal plan to make sure that what we are having is either easily reheated the next day or quick and simple to cook fresh again for my husband.

I am out three out of 5 nights this week doing Pampered Chef shows so this week is a  busy one, but having my meal plan in place means I can be super organised and it will be a breeze!

So here is this weeks meal plan –

Monday – Vegetable Risotto (I will share the recipe for this later in the week, it is made in the microwave in just 15 minutes and is super easy and super yummy!)

Tuesday – Toad in the hole

Wednesday – Roasted Vegetable Pasta Bake

Thursday – Salmon, roasted new potatoes and vegetables.

Friday – Chicken casserole

If you have your own meal plan then why not link it up, and dont forget to check out the other entries too, you can get some great inspiration for next weeks meal plan as well as finding some great new blogs to read!

Have a fantastic week!

This entry was posted in Meals.

Toblerone Cheesecake Recipe

Today I wanted to share with you this delicious no cook Toblerone Cheesecake recipe.  It is super easy to make, scrummy and only takes a few minutes to prepare!

For those of you that follow me over on Instagram, you might have noticed quite a few food pictures over the past couple of weeks.  I have always loved to cook, but never get the time I want to actually do a lot of cooking.  I could happily bake all day if I could! Unfortunately things like work and kids get in the way of this so my time in the kitchen is usually just to throw something together for dinner!

In my post earlier this week I mentioned that I had started my own little business and this has involved me getting back into the kitchen and creating some lovely recipes! I have become an Independent Consultant for The Pampered Chef.  I actually started last September so have been going a while now and it is going really well. So I have been testing out lots of lovely recipes to do at my parties and I have to say I am loving being back in the kitchen!

So to make this delicious Toblerone Cheesecake treat you will need the following –

Recipe

For the Base

300g Bourbon Biscuits

100g butter

For the Filling

400g cream cheese (must be full fat)

4 Table spoons Icing sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

240ml double cream

200g Toblerone either milk or dark (I used milk in the picture above!)

Some grated chocolate for the top or you can pop some Toblerone triangles on top if you have some left over!

Method:

  • Crush up biscuits in a food processor (or smash them up with a rolling-pin if you want to release some stress!) I did mine so they were still quite chunky.
  • Melt butter and stir into the crushed biscuits
  • Press mixture firmly into a round tin (one with a removable base is ideal really so you can release the cheesecake easily at the end!)
  • Break up the Toblerone and melt it in a bowl over some boiling water.
  • Soften the cream cheese in a mixing bowl and add in the sugar and vanilla extract, mix together well.
  • Whip up the double cream until it is nice and thick then add to the cream cheese mix.
  • Add the melted Toblerone and mix it together well.
  • Pop the mixture onto the cheesecake base and either grate some chocolate on top or finish it off with some Toblerone triangles.
  • Place back in fridge to chill.
  • Eat and enjoy!

If you love all things food related you can follow me on Facebook on my Pampered Chef page here and find out more about the great products I used to make this delicious Toblerone Cheesecake.

This entry was posted in Recipes.

Magic Moves Wand Review

I was so excited when I heard we had been chosen for this review, I knew that the kids  would LOVE it before it even arrived, it was a perfect toy for them to test.

The idea of the Magic Moves Electronic Wand is that it gets the kids moving, and it really does just that.  With 90 different physical commands and 26 tunes there is no room for being bored! The wand lights up too which Alfie loves!

One of the main things I love about it is that both kids are able to play with it either together or alone.  Alfie has great fun running round and round the living room to the music waving the wand around whilst Molly is out at pre school, and when she is back he happily copies her stomping like a dinosaur and growing like a flower (Mollys favourite one!) around the house.  The Magic Wand really has been a hit here, both kids adore it and it is certainly getting them moving!

If you head over to the Learning Resources Facebook page here you can enter a fantastic giveaway to win one of these wonderful toys for your little ones and I can guarantee it will give them hours of fun!

This entry was posted in Reviews.

Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker Review and Giveaway

Molly is Ballet mad at the moment! She is desperate to start dance lessons and I have promised that after Christmas we will go along and she can have a go. So when we were sent a copy of the fantastic Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker DVD Molly was over the moon.  Once she knew it was on its way she was running to the door on a daily basis to see if the Post Man was going to bring it that day! It was very sweet.

Prima Princess Presents The nut cracker

The DVD is great and Molly watches it several times a week at least! She watches the show with such concentration and tells me the story over and over again, both her and Alfie love perfecting their Ballet moves although I do feel sorry for my neighbours as between them they have all the grace of a herd of elephants so it can get quite noisy when it is on.  They both love it, but for Molly it has made her want to start her Ballet classes even more.

Prima Princessa Presents The Nutcracker is available on Amazon here and you can follow  Prima Princessa on Facebook too here 

I have one copy of the DVD to give away and to be in with a chance of winning I want you to leave me a comment below telling me what your little ones favourite Festive Film is.

For extra entries you can also do the following and leave me a comment to let me know you have done so to validate each extra entry –

 

Subscribe to my blog via email using the box on the right hand side of the page.

Good luck!

The competition is open to UK residents only and will close on the 12th December 2012 at 8pm. I will announce the winner who will be chosen at random here the following day, the prize will then be fulfilled by the PR company.

This entry was posted in Reviews.

Village Hotels Review

It has been ages since my Husband and I have spent any proper time together just the two of us. So it goes without saying that when we were invited along to The Village Hotel in Coventry for a spa break, it was a very much welcomed and needed break for us both.  We have not had a night away since having the kids so we were both looking forward to it very much.

We arrived at the hotel and we were able to leave our bags at reception until check in time whilst we checked out the facilities which included a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and a fully equipped gym.  We were very impressed at spending the afternoon lazing by the pool, it was sheer bliss!

We were both booked in for our treatments later in the afternoon, I was booked in for a Pedicure and Hubby was having a back massage. Unfortunately due to a mix up with the booking I ended up having to go for my pedicure the next day before we left, however I have to say the mix up worked very much in my favour I got to sit and relax with a lovely cup of coffee whilst my Husband had his massage. I cannot remember the last time I sat down for that long OR had a hot cup of coffee so this was a real treat and I loved it!

After Hubbys massage we headed off to check into our room and book a table for dinner.  We were a little disappointed that the latest sitting for dinner on a Sunday evening is 8pm and there was only a Carvery option available, we do prefer to eat later at the weekends, so were hoping to get a table for 8.30 to give us more time in the pool before dinner but this unfortunately was not an option.

Our room was lovely, inviting and comfortable and I was impressed at how spacious it was.

Dinner was a little disappointing, it was advertised as a 5 Course Carvery but the food had been out for a while and the selection was looking very untidy and not appetising at all by the time we arrived for our booking at 7.45pm. Most of the food was very dried out and was not what we had been expecting at all.  The staff were not particularly helpful and we felt quite rushed whilst we were in there as they were clearing up around us whilst we were eating which was very off putting.

After a great nights sleep I was a little worried about what Breakfast was going to be like the next day following our experience from the night before but it was like a totally different restaurant and breakfast was lovely, a great selection and the staff were all very helpful.

I then headed off for my pedicure and Hubby went and packed our stuff away in the room.  My treatment was lovely and very relaxing.  The spa itself was beautiful and very tranquil, ideal for anyone looking to get away for some time out.

We loved the hotel and had a very relaxing stay, however dinner was a disappointment and I think that is a real shame because the hotel itself is lovely and the evening meal really let it down.

Having said that we would go back as the facilities are brilliant and the rooms were spacious and comfortable! Overall we had a lovely stay!

We were invited to The Village Hotel Coventry and asked to review our visit.  We received an overnight stay for 2 with a meal, a bottle of wine and a spa package. This is my honest opinion on our experience. I did not receive any financial reward for writing this post.

This entry was posted in Reviews.

Hot Dots Game Review

We were asked to review some Hot Dots from Learning Resources, an educational toy that is a must have for anyone trying to help their little one learn about numbers. The pack consists of flash cards with pictures and numbers and a pen that you use to mark your answers as you go along. The pen marks your answers telling you good job and flashing a green light if you get it right and a red light if you get it wrong. The cards come in a great little box that is perfect for taking out and about with you.

I was surprised at how well Molly recognised her numbers and she flew through the first few cards with ease.  As you work through the pack they do become more challenging and Mollys number recognition has come on in leaps and bounds since playing with the Hot Dots.  I love the way it teaches her not only to recognise the numbers but also the written word which is great for word recognition too.

To be honest the hot dots never really go away, Molly plays with them all the time.  She is fast learning though that the best way to get peace is to shut herself on the stairs away from Alfie and play that way she can play in peace with no disruption from her little bro!!

Hot Dots would make a great Christmas gift for any little one, educational and fun they are a perfect stocking filler! There is a whole range of Hot Dots available and we will certainly be adding some to Mollys stocking this year! Why not visit them on Facebook here and keep up to date with the latest news and giveaways.

This entry was posted in Reviews.