Sunday 31 July 2016

Drumond Park's Barbecue Party Game - Review & Giveaway!

We are a big fan of family games and Elliot is at the right age now where he understands rules and has the patience to play them!

We were recently sent Drumond Park's Barbecue Party (RRP £19.99) and Elliot couldn't wait to start playing!

Barbecue Party is a fun game for kids and big kids aged 4+ and for 2-4 players. It is very simple to set up (great for little ones with not a lot of patience!) and you can be ready to go within seconds.

Prior to playing for the first time you will need to stick the eyes on the vegetables but this was easy peasy and Elliot helped me with this.

To start, you need to make sure the grill is on the barbecue and have all the cards face down on the table. The youngest person starts by picking a card - the cards contains pictures of various barbecue items and that person has to place the corresponding food item on the barbecue using the tongs. If the food item is already on the grill then they can take it off and keep it. The first person to collect three food items wins.

Sounds simple but as always there's a catch! Put too much pressure on the barbecue and it will spring off!

We really enjoyed this game, it was fun to play and kept Elliot's attention the whole time we were playing. He loved the anticipation of whether he'd make the grill spring off and it reminded me of games from my childhood such as Pop up Pirate and Buckaroo!

The game doesn't need batteries so this is a big bonus, and it's so quick to set up - it also packs away really quickly so it's ideal for taking to the Grandparent's house! The pieces are sturdy and the whole game is well made. 

It was a big hit here and I'm sure it'll be a game Elliot comes back to again and again.

If you fancy winning yourself your very own Barbecue Party, please see below

Disclaimer: We received the products for the purpose of the honest review. All views are my own

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday 29 July 2016

Pregnancy Update ~ Second Baby (Weeks 9-11)

Week 9

Still knackered!! I definitely don't remember feeling this tired in my first pregnancy but this time round, I am just exhausted. I don't think it helps having a 3 year old to run round after, he certainly keeps me busy! Seem to be waking at least twice in the night for a wee, that'll only get worse though so better get used to that!

Apart from the tiredness, I'm feeling ok in general. Queasiness hasn't been too bad but I've been making sure I have breakfast everyday, a proper breakfast too and not just a quick cereal bar! My appetite seems to be all over the place. I seem to be hungry all the time but nothing really appeals except bread and butter! (Proper butter on a fresh tiger loaf is literally my idea of heaven right now)

I've still been attending my Slimming World meeting but to be honest I haven't been sticking to plan at all. Lots of healthy foods have lost their appeal - the thought of a salad makes me want to retch right now! I've also gone off Pepsi Max which is mad, I used to be addicted to the stuff and now the thought of it turns my stomach. I've been drinking lots and lots of sugar free squash though so that's got to be better for me!

Week 10

Had my booking appointment this week at the hospital. Met my midwife and she's really nice - I was a bit worried incase I had a mean one who'd pull me up on my high BMI! It was much the same as last time and it was lots of questions to answer about medical history. We also talked about Elliot's birth and whether I'd be having another c-section. (Yes I will be!). She took my blood pressure and that was fine and she wanted to take some blood - eek! I mentioned that last time they always struggled to find a vein so she got her colleague to do it, she eventually found a decent vein and it took a couple of seconds...and didn't hurt!

I was given my notes and lots of leaflets to read and I'd say it took just over an hour. I was glad to get out of the hospital as it was so hot in there!

Week 11

We spent the weekend at Bluestone, Wales and I was abit worried that I might feel sick on the 4 hour journey but I took a few snacks and I was fine. Elliot decided to get car sick though so at one point I had to catch his sick in a carrier bag and hold it til we pulled over on the hard shoulder - it took alot to block out the smell and not start retching!

Feeling ok in myself this week, not quite as tired which is good. Still pretty hungry all the time though! Haven't weighed myself for a couple of weeks but I'm sure the weekend away put on a few pounds...can't resist a Welsh cake!

My scan is next week and I can't wait - not just to see the baby but to be able to tell Elliot, he is going to be so excited!

Tuesday 26 July 2016

Pregnancy Update ~ Second Baby (Weeks 5-8)

So this is the first in my series of pregnancy updates. Blogging about pregnancy is all new to me as when I was expecting Elliot I didn't even read blogs, let alone write one! I enjoyed reading other pregnancy updates from bloggers such as Sabrina at The Mummy Stylist and Beth at Life as Mum so I thought I'd give it a go myself. I'm past the 12 week stage now but here's a look back at my early weeks :)

Week 5

So I found out this week that I am pregnant - eeek! I'd been feeling a bit out of sorts and quite tired, I'd originally put it down to my period being due but then that didn't happen so I thought I'd better take a test. I had an inkling that I might be pregnant and the test confirmed it - spent the rest of the day in a bit of a daze!

Rang my husband at work to tell him but he wasn't on his own so didn't mention it....but sent him a whatsapp message saying "can you please call me when you get a moment to yourself....there's a small chance we might be having another baby!". So of course he rang back straight away and I think he was totally shocked and surprised!

It was my birthday the following day so I told my parents who were very excited. To be honest, it still doesn't feel very real as apart from the tiredness, the early pregnancy symptoms haven't kicked in yet.

Week 6

Starting to feel slightly queasy in the mornings but if I make sure I have breakfast, I'm ok. Been feeling hungrier than normal but the thought of salad is not appealing which is bad news for my Slimming World diet! I do plan on sticking with SW for as long as I can throughout the pregnancy so I can minimise my weight gain. But not sure how this will pan out....

Blogging has taken a bit of a backseat, by the time I get to sit down at my laptop in the evenings I'm knackered and the lure of the comfy sofa is often too much to resist!

Week 7

Been struggling with tiredness this week - it really hits me in the afternoon and I have succumbed to a nap on a couple of occasions! Although that's not so easy with an excitable 3 year old bouncing around all over the place. We've been trying to catch up with Game of Thrones in the evenings but I can only manage one episode before I'm snoring - poor husband!

The morning queasiness continues and certain smells have been making me feel sick! I've been eating a bit better but feeling really bloated and my jeans are feeling a bit snug. Boobs are feeling bigger too.

Finding it really difficult not to tell people about the baby - I'm crap at keeping secrets!

Been reading lots of pregnancy blogs and really enjoyed this one from Lisa at Mummascribbles about the transition her son will go through from only child to sibling. It will be the same for Elliot so it was interesting to hear from her perspective. We haven't told Elliot the news yet but I think he will be really really excited about having a baby brother or sister!

Week 8

Tiredness is still my number one issue! I don't remember being this knackered in my last pregnancy but I guess I didn't have a lively 3 year old to chase around then.

Got the details of my booking in appointment with my midwife which will be happening at ten weeks. Last time the midwife came to my house but this time round I have to go to the maternity unit at the hospital which is a pain, the parking is rubbish there and it means I'll have to get my mum to look after Elliot whilst I'm there. Better get used to it, will be spending a fair amount of time there over the next 7 months!


Sunday 24 July 2016

A Long Weekend At Bluestone National Park Resort, Wales - Part 2

To find out what we got up to on our first day at Bluestone, see here but read on to see what else we did over our long weekend!

Day 2

We woke up to heavy rain and strong wind....not quite the Summer break we were hoping for! Fortunately I'd packed our raincoats so after breakfast we jumped in the golf buggy and headed up to the Adventure Centre for some indoor play fun. 

The Adventure Centre is a brilliant place for kids - there is mini golf, a bouncy castle, Lego wall, wooden climbing frames, soft play and even a high ropes course for the bigger ones! There is the Wildwood Cafe upstairs and plenty of comfy sofas and picnic tables so you can relax with a drink while the children play. Elliot couldn't wait to get going and headed straight for the climbing frames!

There is also a small arcade section and Elliot was quick to spot the grabber machines! We never win on these but today was our lucky day, my husband won an Angry Bird pig on his first attempt - Elliot was SO excited!! 

Our tummies were beginning to rumble after all the playing (well, Kindle reading in my case!) so we decided to brave the weather and head down to Camp Smokey. We never got round to visiting on our last trip and I'd heard really great things from other bloggers.

You aren't able to take the golf buggy down to the camp so we parked up the top and followed the path which wound it's way down and through the steep forest. I was concerned the path would be muddy and slippery but the entire path is a boardwalk which is easily accessible for buggies and wheelchairs. You could also use the faster route and take the ziplines down!

Camp Smokey is a wooden restaurant nestled in the woods and all the food is barbequed and rustic style. The menu isn't huge but the food is cooked as you wait and the smells - wow wow wow!! My husband had a chilli dog, I had chicken fajitas and Elliot had a kids hot dog - plus all the meals come with amazing roast potatoes that I'm still dreaming about now. I loved the atmosphere at Camp Smokey, it was so relaxed and it felt really cosy sitting under cover having our lunch while it was pouring down outside.

The best part though was the open fire where you can toast marshmallows - amazing!! Elliot loved this bit and actually consumed most of our surprise there ;)

Rather than head back up the zig zag path to our buggy we decided to follow the nature trail through the woods. It was a bit steep and a bit muddy at times but it was a really fun walk through the trees and it was so peaceful, we hardly saw another person. Fortunately the rain stopped too!

Our walk finished with a stroll around the beautiful lake where we saw lots of rabbits, ducks and various baby ducks - very cute!

We were itching to try out the ice creams in the village so we headed over to the cafe which has had a bit of a make over since our last visit. The ice creams didn't disappoint! (Although I did have to share mine with the husband....what's that about!)

We were going to head over the pub for a quick drink but we stumbled across a big marquee in the middle of the village which was offering free children's entertainment. Despite lots of people walking around the village, the entertainment tent was dead quiet and there were only a couple more kids in there. The children's entertainer was really sweet and really bubbly and enthusiastic with the children - they did some drawing, dancing, a treasure hunt and even pass the parcel! I had no idea that free entertainment was offered so I'd definitely recommend looking out for this if you're in the village. We were there an hour and Elliot really enjoyed it. He especially enjoyed winning pass the parcel!

We took a slow walk back up the hill to find our golf buggy and we made a quick tea back at the lodge. We were all quite tired after a busy day!

Day 3

We woke up to another rainy day but we had an exciting day planned at Folly Farm which is located just a few miles down the road from Bluestone. We first visited last year and it's somewhere Elliot always talks about! We knew we'd have a pretty busy weekend but we wanted to try and squeeze in a day at Folly Farm, it's such an amazing place and it's not like we're in the area very often to visit. And the weather scuppered our plans for a day out on the beach at Tenby so we really had no excuse but to visit Folly Farm!

We booked our tickets online the night before and were first in the queue when it opened at 10am...very keen ;) I won't write a big post about it but you can read my review from last year which contains lots of info and pics. Needless to say we had a brilliant day out and Elliot really enjoyed himself!

We got back to Bluestone around 5pm and were going to eat out in the village again but we were all tired again (must be all the fresh air!) so we tea back at the lodge. Cheese on toast - the tea of champions!

Day 4

Our last day :( Typically, the sun was shining when we woke up! Check out is 10am and so we had a bit of a mad rush getting everything packed. Why is it you always seem to go home with more than you came with?! Although you have to be out of your accommodation by 10am, you are able to use the facilities for the rest of the day so you can extend your holiday that little bit further. Elliot had a quick whizz around on his scooter but we decided to head on home as we had a 4 hour drive ahead of us. Pleased to report there were no vomiting instances on the way home - phew!

We had a such a brilliant weekend at Bluestone and really wish we were able to stay for another week. There is so much to do for families and we didn't even touch upon any of the paid activities such as messy play or archery. Hopefully we will get a chance to return next year!

*Disclaimer - We were given a 3 night break for the purpose of this honest review but all views are my own. We LOVED it!
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A Long Weekend At Bluestone National Park Resort, Wales - Part 1

One of my favourite places in the world is Wales - we have family there and spent a lot of our holidays there as children. There is so much to do, plus the scenery is beautiful and you can't beat the beaches!

Recently we travelled down to Pembrokeshire for a last minute long weekend at Bluestone National Park Resort, a place we visited last year and fell in love with. Our last visit was in Winter so I was excited to experience it in Summer....although we weren't too lucky with the weather, doh! I had planned on writing just one blog post about this but I've split it into two so not to bombard you with info :)

Day 1

Bluestone is a 4 hour journey from Dorset so we set off nice and early on the Friday and couldn't wait to start our mini break. We stopped for breakfast at White Row Farm in Frome which is a brilliant farm shop and cafe, the food is lovely there. Unfortunately Elliot was in a bit of a grump and said he wanted to go home and wouldn't eat anything! After a stop in the farm shop (and buying yummy things we didn't really need), and a quick play in the playground we were on our way.

Looks can be deceiving, he was grizzling 5 minutes before this!
Sadly, my fears of Elliot not feeling well were confirmed when he decided to be sick on the M4 - ahhhhhh!!! Luckily I managed to catch most of it in a carrier bag but we had to pull over on the hard shoulder to do a quick clean up....yuck yuck yuck!

On our way again and we stopped at a supermarket in Camarthen to get a few supplies for the weekend. There is a little village store at Bluestone which stocks the basics but we decided to stop anyway, it was a good excuse to stretch our legs!

We arrived at Bluestone around 3pm and joined the queue of cars at the check in gates. Within a few minutes we had our keycard for our holiday home and a map of the resort, it was so quick and straightforward.  We weren't able to check into our lodge until 4pm so we parked the car in the long stay car park and my husband went off to sort out a golf buggy for us. Golf buggy hire was £80 for the weekend which isn't cheap but if you have little ones or don't fancy the hills then it's a great idea to hire one. It's also great fun whizzing around!

As we had some time before check in we headed straight to the Blue Lagoon pool - this was a highlight from our last visit so we couldn't wait to go for a swim! Elliot was back to his perky self now too and he couldn't wait to get in the pool. It was a really good time to go because the pool was really quiet and there were plenty of family changing rooms available. And the water was SO warm, just like getting into a lovely bath!

photo credit - Bluestone 
There is plenty to do at the pool for little ones - there are two toddler areas with mini slides, inflatable balls and a pirate's shipwreck to explore. If flumes are your thing then there are several slides plus a really nice lazy river in which you can just bob round. It takes you outside and it was certainly a lot warmer than when we went in Winter last year! My personal favourite bit is the wave machine, and even Elliot loved this. He liked to dive through the waves!

Soon it was time to drag ourselves away from the pool (it was tough, could have stayed all day!) but we were excited to check out our lodge. Cars aren't allowed on site through the weekend but you are allowed to drop your luggage off on check in day so we nipped back to the carpark and swapped the golf buggy for the car.

We were staying in one of the Caldey Lodges on Barthomelew View which was a short walk from the lake and village area. With two large bedrooms and  lovely open plan kitchen/lounge it was everything we would need for the weekend. As with our previous visit, everything was spotless and the beds looked so comfy and inviting!

Not of my photos, mine were filled with the mess that a 3 year leaves so thought you might appreciate one of the official pics from the Bluestone website!!
We quickly unpacked and headed down to the village to seek out some dinner, it had been a long day and we were all pretty tired and hungry. Especially after the swimming! We booked a table in the Farmhouse Grill for 7pm and headed over the Knights Tafarn, Bluestone's family friendly pub for a drink.  The lure of the outside play area was too much for Elliot so he ran off for a quick play whilst we enjoyed our drinks in the evening sunshine.

The food at the Farmhouse Grill was really good - it has changed slightly since our last visit and they no longer have the kids buffet but I was really impressed with the kids menu. Elliot had gammon steak with chips, egg and veg and the not only was the portion huge but it was really really tasty!! My husband and I both had a complaints from us!

We couldn't squeeze in any pudding so we headed on back to our lodge and I for one couldn't wait to go to sleep!

A Long Weekend at Bluestone - Part 2

*Disclaimer - We were given a 3 night break for the purpose of this honest review but all views are my own. We LOVED it!

Friday 22 July 2016

Baby Number 2 - Pregnancy Announcement!

You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet here on the blog recently. Well, I have a little announcement....

I'm pregnant!

I had my 12 week scan this week so I've finally been able to tell people our exciting news - and we were finally able to tell Elliot! He was quite excited and has spent the last few days telling everyone we meet "We're having a baby!". He can't make up his mind if he wants a brother or sister but has been so sweet kissing my belly and asking when the baby is coming. I think he will be a brilliant big brother! 

Inspired by the lovely Sabrina at The Mummy Stylist, I will be posting regular updates throughout my pregnancy so I can't wait to share the ups and downs of baby number 2, due 27th January 2017 :)

A Cornish Mum

Friday 15 July 2016

Summer Crafts with Baker Ross

With the Summer Holidays nearly upon us, you might be looking for some activities to keep the children amused on those rainy days....and lets face it, there's bound to be more of them than sunny ones! 

Fortunately Baker Ross have lots of fun and exciting Summery crafts in their new range and we were sent a big box of goodies to try out. Elliot always gets really excited when we get a new Baker Ross delivery and he couldn't wait to tear into the box and see what we had! 

The first thing we spotted was the Seaside Sand Art Pictures (£2.96) . We have tried something similar out before and it was great fun so I knew it would be a big hit with Elliot. There are 8 different designs on the pictures and you peel the individual stickers off to reveal the sticky surface. All you do is tip a bit of sand on it, give it a little tap and shake off any excess. As long as you've given it a shake, the sand will stick to the picture and it shouldn't create anymore mess. To keep things neat (and the sand confined to one place!) we used trays to do the pictures on. This meant any loose sand could just be tipped away once we'd finished. 

We really enjoyed this activity although Elliot did need a bit of help peeling the stickers off as it was a little fiddly. My only critism is that the bags of sand didn't come in resealable packets - this would have been really useful! The sand was really bright and vibrant and the finished pictures look really cool I think. 

Two of Elliot's favourite Baker Ross activities are stickers and stampers so he was quite pleased to see both in the box! The stampers (£3.49 for 10) are really great for his age as they are nice and chunky and perfect for little hands, You can use them with ink pads or paint and Baker Ross have lots of different ones to choose from on their website. 

We were sent a nice big bag of dog stickers (£2.99) and Elliot spent ages sorting them out! Included in the Baker Ross box was a packet of bright rainbow paper so Elliot used this to put his stickers onto - an activity that he never gets bored of! 

As well as crafts, Baker Ross also stock a large range of small toys, the type you get in party bags, the kind kids love!  We were sent a selection of these and I think they will be really useful in the Summer holidays when Elliot has his friends round...anything for a bit of peace and quiet ;)

He immediately spotted the pull back snails (£2.25) and these were the surprise hit of the entire selection! Who doesn't love a racing snail ;)

For more ideas on entertaining your children in the Summer holidays, check out the Baker Ross website 

Disclaimer: We received the products for the purpose of the honest review. All views are my own

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