My Family

My Family

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Days Out: Hatton Country World

 Hatton Country World

Yesterday we had an amazing day out at Hatton Country World in Warwickshire. We set off around 10:15 am and arrived at 11. It was a 45 minute drive for us from our home in Birmingham but one we were so much looking forward to doing for weeks.

Hatton Country World is hosting a huge Easter Eggstravaganza over the Easter Holidays from 12th - 29th April 2014 so we had to check it out. It's been a few years since our last visit so we were very excited to see all the the new activities and of course our old favourites too.

On arrival we were greeted by a Piggie Person who was waving at all the kids as they came in. With two very excited children jumping up and down it was going to be a very long day. Our first stop was a quick look inside at Snorty's Superslide Mania which was a huge indoor play area full of huge slides, rope courses, ball pools and so much more. It's also home to the Cafe but we were coming back later on in the day to enjoy this bit.

After a quick play inside we headed outside to the Guinea Pig Village where we got to see lots of cute and cuddly Guinea Pigs, rabbits, sheep and pigs too. The children and I were delighted that we got to hold and stroke the Guinea Pigs, they were so lovely and soft and mega cute. 

I loved seeing the baby animals, there was some new little lambs and some gorgeous new piglets. We got to feed the sheep and the goat with some pots of feed that we bought for just 50 pence which was lots of fun, the kids had a great time. I could have watched those sweet little piglets all day, they were so sweet and cute. Awwww!

Not far from the Guinea Pig Village was one of Hatton's newest attractions, their Scales & Tails. Now I'm not a fan of anything with scales so I was a little scared about this part but not my little man Ryan he was raring to go and couldn't wait to get up close and personal with all the animals in there. He loved seeing the snakes and the big spiders but loved being able to hold one of the lizards on his lap the best. I couldn't believe how brave he was, just 3 years old and holding a lizard on his lap happily giving it a loving stroke or two.

Next stop on our fun day out was the fairground rides and the bouncy castles and super slides. All of which are completely free to go one, with Hatton you pay to get in and then all the attractions inside are then free which is one part that this mummy loves.

The only thing that we did that wasn't free was the pony rides which were £2.50 a go and the Buckaroos Cow which was a machine and cost £1 a go.

After playing on the slides and bouncing around on the outdoor trampolines we had a go at looking for gold in the Gold Rush game. We dug through the sand and sieved out the water trying to find pieces of gold. When we gad collect 10 pieces of gold we could exchange them for a gold medal. It wasn't easy finding 10 pieces of gold but after about half an hour we managed it and took it over to the kiosk to claim our reward. Luckily we only needed one set of 10 pieces to collect a medal for all of us, well each of the kids anyway. I couldn't have one as I was a little old, boo hoo. I might borrow one of the kids when they are not looking.

Hatton has lots to do outside, there's a huge sandy volleyball pitch, Frisbee Golf and a huge adventure play area with ropes to climb and slides to slide down. There's even a set of old fashioned boat swings which the kids loved having a go on. 

Next up for us was the fantastic Easter Egg Hunt. These were held at 3 set times throughout the day and you could go along and join in any one that you wanted. We went along to the 1.30 pm hunt and had an amazing time. We were greeted by the Easter Bunny himself and taken to a huge field filled with cute Easter decorations and lots of hidden plastic eggs. We had to collect 5 different coloured plastic eggs to claim our prize which was 6 real chocolate mini eggs. We really enjoyed the hunt, there was 50 children at a time taking part but enough eggs for everyone. I loved the fact that every child got their 6 chocolate eggs whether they found all the plastic eggs or not which was great for the smaller children taking part.

After all that egg hunting we were pretty hungry so we headed back inside to the Cafe to eat. Most people tend to bring a picnic when they come to Hatton as the food can be a little pricey but today we were going to treat ourselves and give it a try. For those who do bring their own food you will be very pleased to know that Hatton has lots of outdoor picnic spots, tables and benches dotted all around the park for families to use and enjoy. 

We ordered chicken chunks, chips and beans for the kids and sausage and chips for Daddy and their special of the day, Pizza and chips for me. All of the food was delicious and went down a treat, yes it might be costly, our 4 meals and 4 drinks cost us a total of £28 but it was all delicious and very much enjoyed by all of us (Ignore Lily's grumpy face in the pic).

After dinner we were all ready to go back outside and have some more fun so this time we headed over to the JCB Track where there were lots of JCBs to ride on, pedal or push. Ryan and Lily loved this, they were playing here for almost an hour before we had to drag them away to try something else but that's the thing with Hatton. There's just so much to do, one day just isn't enough to do it all. We could quite happily go back to do some of the other stuff.

As well as the wonderful JCB Track there is also a big Tractor track too. You get to pedal or push your tractor (depending on which your child chooses) around a tyre set course which is always lots of fun. My two loved this, it was great fun to watch for me but not for Daddy who spend most of his time giving Ryan a push all the way around.

Hatton also has a huge sandpit area which is full of big digger and lots of buckets and spades for all the children to play with. On a gorgeous day like yesterday this is just perfect for summer fun. My two played here for over an hour just digging and playing in the sand whilst I got to relax on the grassy banks nearby just soaking up the sun. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Hatton really is a delightful place to be when the sun is shining!

Our day ended at 5.30 when the park was going to close but not before we had a quick visit to the gift shop on the way out. We really had an amazing day and did so much. We didn't get to do everything but we did what we wanted to do so we were all very happy. If you're planning a day out in the West Midlands this Easter or any day in fact, Hatton Country World is definitely one to try. It's one of my top 10 all time favourite places to visit! 

Adults cost £12.95, children cost £13.95 and under 2's are free. With so much to do and see at Hatton Country World it's worth every penny. We had an amazing time and can't wait to go again, they hold lots of amazing events all through the year so keep an eye out so you don't miss one that you might love. Hatton is beautiful in the summer but it's Pumpkin Picking in October is always lots of fun too, another one of our faves.

Thank you so much for Hatton Country World who kindly invited us and covered the cost of our trip this time - we had an amazing time. Thank you.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Draw Wipe and Draw again with Skribbies High Top Trainers #Review

Draw Wipe and Draw again with Skribbies 
High Top Trainers

Skribbies are super comfy kids trainers but that's not all. Designed in the UK, Skribbies have been developed with a special material and magic pens to allow your kids to create their own style, every day. When you buy a pair of Skribbies you not only a get your awesome shoes but you also get a pack of 6 pens, monster stickers and a wristband. You use the pens and stickers to customise your shoes and then use your wristband to wipe off the drawings. It also allows you to store a pen on it for customisation on the go!

Yesterday we went along to see them for ourselves at their Pop Up Shop in the Birmingham Bullring which is open to the public for the whole of this week. Inside the store they have a fantastic display full of colourful bears from their very own logo. There was Skribbies stacked high and low, looking very bright and colourful I must add.

I went along to see these Skribbies for myself with my two youngest children in tow. Lily had seen the adverts on TV and was really excited about getting a pair for herself. Inside the store they were showered with treats from biscuits and sweets to their very own pair of Skribbies.

Inside the box you get 6 brightly coloured pens and a pack of delightful stickers which can be reused time and time again. The kids loved being able to draw on their new trainers, normally this would be a big no no in our house as only paper is for drawing on. After a few seconds of hesitation they were off, doodling, scribbling and drawing away.

Ryan drew one picture at a time and then wiped it clean, I think he was testing them out too see where the pictures were going. He did manage to draw on the bottom of his trainers which I have to say does not wipe off, I don't think he was meant to draw there but it's ok as no one will be seeing the soles of his trainers too much. Lily on the other hand was looking more like a little sports model sporting her new cool wristband and wearing her Skribbies. 

Both my children and I loved their new Skribbies, they're lots of fun and really do work. You can stick stickers on them and draw all over them and then wipe them completely clean again. So depending on their moods they can customise them in any way they feel like doing.

They're available in three different colours and cost £39.99 a pair which isn't too bad really for the enjoyment they get out of them. If they had them in my size I think I'd quite like a pair too.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Postman Pat Showbiz Pat #Review

Postman Pat Showbiz Pat

To celebrate Postman Pat: The Movie which will be in cinemas nationwide on 23rd May  Character Options has released Showbiz Pat In it Pat is seduced by the bright lights of the big city and auditions for a X-Factor-style singing competition, but finds that in his absence the post does not run smoothly. 

Showbiz Pat grooves along to the music, you simply press Pat's hand and watch him dance as the music plays! He's aimed at children 3+ and requires 3AA batteries to work.

We've been playing with our very own Showbiz Pat all week and have to say he's a rather delightful little fellow. He plays 3 different songs when you press his hand, each is only short but when you're a mum listening to them over and over again, short is a good thing! 

His uniform is lovely, it's blue and glittery with a red postmans badge in the corner of the blazer. He has nice big feet which help him to balance making him stand up easily. In his hand he holds a grey microphone which I guess he uses to sing into. Showbiz Pat is a lovely toy, he's interactive and great to play with. My little man loves him and runs around singing too. 

If you have a Postman Pat fan in your house then they will love this. Showbiz Pat is lots of fun!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Quit Smoking with a Vype Electronic Cigarette #Review

Quit Smoking with a Vype Electronic Cigarette 

If you are a smoker looking for a truly satisfying alternative to cigarettes then Vype could be for you. Vype electronic cigarettes offer adult smokers the sensations of smoking, but they're completely tobacco-free. Their Electronic Cigarettes offer a more realistic smoking experience, when you draw air through your Vype, an electronic heating element is activated, which vaporizes the e-liquid for inhalation. They use ECOpure which is one of the most reliable e-liquids available. Classic variant ECOpure contains only three ingredients: nicotine, glycerol and purified water. For our Menthol variant, we add ethanol and menthol.

Vype products are available in disposable or rechargeable (reload) format. Deciding which one to buy depends on how you like to Vype. The Vype Reload costs £14.99 for the starter kit. With up to 250 puffs per reload cartridge and a USB recharging system, Vype reload offers you a smooth and satisfying experience on the go. And it's one of the smallest rechargeable e-cigarettes on the market. It's also available in 3 flavours; Classic Bold or Regular or Menthol.

I'm not a smoker but Daddy is, so he's been giving this a try over the past few weeks. He liked the packaging and the contents and found everything really easy to put together and use. He didn't really like the taste of it too much but for me that's a good things as then he wouldn't want to use it too much meaning he could quit much quicker. He's given up smoking before but is now looking for an easier way to quit again. He's always wanted to try one of these as a lot of his friends use them whilst they are out so he was more than happy to test them for me.

He liked the actual Electron Cigarette itself, the shape and size were very comfortable to hold and very much like a real cigarette. He didn't however like the taste too much so I'm guessing this one just isn't for him. He's so glad he got to finally try them though as at least he can now say that he tried. What one person doesn't like though another person will love. 

What did you use to help you stop smoking?

Disclosure: We were sent the Vype started kit for the purpose of this review but the opinions expressed are 100% honest and always my own.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Zumba Exhilarate 4 DVD Program #Review

Zumba Exhilarate 4 DVD Program

Shed the Pounds. Feel the Thrill. Are you ready to party yourself into shape? Move it, shake it and rock it out with red-hot dance steps and pulsating Latin and world rhythms. With the four-disc Exhilarate Body Shaping System, you won't want to stop. Crank up the music, torch the calories and turn your at-home workout into a rockin’ dance-fitness party!

Now you can own the Exhilarate Body Shaping System at its best value as a 4-DVD set plus Bonus! You'll get five exhilarating workouts with varying levels of intensity:

Step by Step - A Basic Guide to Break Down the Steps.
Activate - A 45-Minute, Easy-to-Follow Class to Get You Started.
Ripped: Zumba Toning - The Body-Sculpting Workout Featuring Exclusive Maraca-Like Zumba .Toning Sticks and Mix - A Rhythmic Journey Around the World.
Exhilarate - The Original Full-Length Fitness-Party Experience.

Plus, get a 5th DVD as a bonus:
Rush - A 20-minute workout to amp you up.

This set also includes:

One (1) pair of 1lb. Zumba Toning Sticks
Exhilarate Program Guide featuring a 10-day weight loss plan and more.

This Zumba Exhilarate 4 DVD Program would cost your around £49.99 which isn't that bad when you think of the cost of Zumba classes, with this set you get to do as many classes as you like from the privacy of your own home which I really did prefer. There's no feeling self conscience or feeling silly that others are watching you. It's just you and your TV screen.

If you like dancing like I do then this could be a fun way to get fitter this Summer. There's 5 different classed to do and each one has nice and easy to follow onscreen instructions. 

I've been trying this set out over the past few weeks and have to say that I'm actually quite enjoying it. It's been lots of fun, as well as a bit of hard work. Who knew that dancing could be so tiring, it's all been a great experience though. With me doing my own personal Zumba classes at home twice a week, I'm sure I will be a lot happier with my tum this summer.

Do you go to a Zumba class or would this be more your thing? I'd love to hear about your Zumba experiences. Comments are always welcome and very much appreciated.

Disclosure: I was sent my Zumba Exhilarate set for the purpose of this review but all the opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own.