Monday, 29 April 2013

Where there is love, there is life!



 Looking at a dented, faded, scuffed piece of furniture can make you feel 3 different ways. You either A. love each dent & scrape, after all your child has most likely had fun making them & some people love the distressed look. Then there is B. you want to reach for the sand paper, paint and varnish or C. take it to you local skip, now option C should never be done to a Stokke Tripp Trapp, not when it is still a very solid chair. Where there is love, there is life, with each sanding, each layer of paint & each coating of varnish you can bring it back to its glory days. 

I started a hunt for a pre-loved Tripp Trapp & my luck was in, I managed to bag myself a bargain for just £21. I didn't care that it had seen better days, I knew that I could make it look just like new.


I began by dismantling my Tripp Trapp, all the screws and bars should be stored away in a safe place. I began sanding it all down with a rough sand paper, I did do mine by hand but if you have an electric sander then use it(your muscles will be grateful). Start with a rough stand paper, gradually moving onto finer sand paper when you come close to the bare wood. It is important that you do go onto a finer grade paper to sand out any scratch marks that the rougher paper will leave. You can also strip it by using a paint & varnish stripper, take care if you are stripping it this way because you could easily scrape into the wood which would ruin the finished effect. 
Once you have sanded it down, I recommend coating it with a primer. I used a kitchen cupboard white primer paint that can be bought from large diy stores. I gave mine 2 coats of the primer, make sure that the screw holes do not become clogged up with paint. I wanted a perfect finish with no brush marks so used a gloss roller to apply the primer. Leave to dry fully before moving it.
Now for the exciting part, I recommend using a face mask & maybe covering your hair for this part. Choose a well ventilated area, outdoors is recommended for this job & cover any area that you don't want to spray the same colour as your Tripp Trapp.

I gave my can of painters touch spray paint a good shake & began to spray(I needed 2 tins of painters touch spray paint). When you spray, lighter layers are much better than one thick layer. Move your can side to side never stopping the flow of the spray till the whole piece is lightly covered. I would recommend that you don't make the sides where your pieces slot together too thick. Leave the time it says on the tin between coats. Once you have fully coated it with colour allow to fully dry, I left mine 24 hours before starting on the other side. If you turn your piece over to spray before the paint is dry you will ruin the finish. I gave mine 3 thin coats of pink spray.
Once fully dry give it 2 coats of varnish the same way you applied the paint, taking care not to go too thick on the pieces that slot together & making sure your screw holes do not become clogged. Again leave them to fully dry before assembling your Tripp Trapp.






I recommend that you wait till your warranty has ran out on your Tripp Trapp before painting because painting it will void any warranty you do have.

If a pre-loved Tripp Trapp is not for you, fear not, Stokke have a full range of colourful Tripp Trapps to choose from. 































Memory Monday 17/2013


This week I finally got round to giving our Tripp Trapp some tlc & a makeover. It was a fun project, so much fun that I am on the hunt for another Tripp Trapp that needs a little love. 




To join in with Memory Monday click on the
 image below to find out more.

Knit & Stitch Baby Special


Regular readers of my blog will know I love to knit, it a skill my mum taught me when I was quite young and have gone on to learn much more knitting skills. I have been sent the Baby Special issue of the Knit & Stitch collection. In this issue you will find some wonderful patterns that are easy to follow which make some really beautiful knitted items. 
In this special issue you also get free gifts, you get everything you need to complete the striped cardigan for either a boy or a girl. I liked the quality of the Bergere De France caline yarn & when knitted using the knitting needles that come with this issue it gives you a nice neat finish. This pattern is so easy to follow and the results are beautiful, there is no complicated stitches so  even a novice could make a beautiful cardigan.


In this issue you also get plenty of patterns to keep you busy for a while, I love the fur trimmed hat & jacket which I plan to make for my nephew for autumn. I also plan to make the dress for my daughter but sadly will have to leave out the beautiful shoes now she is walking. You also get a pattern for criss cross bootees that look rather cute, they are also really easy to make.

I love this hand & foot print sleeping bag, it is so adorable I just wish my daughter was small enough to go into it. I love knitting items of clothing for my children, I love seeing them in something I have made for them. If you are a novice don't be afraid of making something for your child, practice makes perfect. If you are a pro knitter you will also love the patterns in this issue.

The Baby Special of Knit & Stitch can be found in shops & will soon be available on the EagleMoss website





Adidas Ladies AdiSTAR ride 4 running shoes review

Sportsshoes.com sent me a lovely pair of running shoes to review for them. After browsing their website looking at their extensive range of running shoes I settled on the Adidas Ladies AdiSTAR ride 4 running shoes. There were 2 reasons I chose this pair of running shoes, 1 because they have GEOFIT+ which uses FitFoam that moulds to your foot giving you a nice comfortable fit & the 2nd reason was they matched a light weight jacket I have. 
When I was younger I did a lot of competitive cross country running so I know how important having the right running shoes are.  




What Sportsshoes.com says about them

  • *** NEW *** Continental Rubber Outsole - For superb grip, more durable and longer lasting mileage.
  • *** NEW *** miCoach SPEED CELL™ compatible - For keeping track on record of your running distance, pace and many more.
  • *** NEW *** PUREMOTION™ Tooling - which is inspired by the original Feet You Wear series, to handles impact protection and reduces shock impact on your feet giving you a smoother ride.
  • adiPRENE+ - for protection from harmful impact forces and great cushioning.
  • adiPRENE® - Located under the heel for superior cushioning at impact.
  • FORMOTION™ - adapts to the ground to ensure the smoothest, most comfortable run possible
  • GEOFIT™+ construction - Uses FitFoam™ to mould the shoe to shape of the foot for anatomical fit, reduces irritation and guarantees a comfortable and secure fit.
  • Torsion System - gives midfoot integrity and with full forefoot adiprene plus maintains effective propulsion
  • Air mesh lining - An air mesh lining which provide great breathability providing good air flow.
  • Molded respoEVA sockliner - for anatomical fit and great step-in comfort
  • Reflective Detail - A reflective stripes on the shoe to help keeping you visible in low light conditions.
  • adiWEAR® outsole - Offers the ultimate in high-wear durability, helps to extend the life of the trainers.
  • Soft and Durable synthetic Lining - This soft material gives you excellent comfort, so you don't get blisters after or during a training.
  • Blown Rubber - Located on the outsole promote an efficient stride while boosting cushioning.
What I say about them 

The soles really do give you a good grip on your running surface, together with the adiPRENE+ placed in just the right places to absorb any shocks on impact these running shoes are the most comfortable I have ever worn.
The airmesh lining allows your feet to breathe, I loved that my feet stayed cool & I didn't need to take them off as soon as possible to allow my feet to cool.
They come with reflective detailing that allows you to be more visible in low light conditions, this is really important for where I live as many of the running routes are actually on the road due to me living in a village. 
They feel like they hug your feet & offer great support around the ankle.

The Adidas Ladies AdiSTAR ride 4 running shoes are priced at £84.99 and can come in UK sizes 4-9. I would recommend them to family and friends & I am pleased with my choice of running shoe. Visit Sportshoe.com to find out if they have a running shoe that is suitable for you, I am sure they have. They also stock a wide range of mens & children's shoes.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Falling

I am just 9 years old,
I walk through the kissing gate onto the damp grass.
The sweet smell of morning dew is all around me,
the sound of the river brings a sense of calm over me.
I walk 10 meters through the damp grass,
my jeans become damp to the knees from the morning dew.
I steadily walk down the steep hill beside the tunnel, 
the tunnel that I had walked through many times.
The sound of the water is loud as it rushes by,
it drowns out the sound of the traffic.
All you can hear is the sound of the river,
surrounded by the noise of the birds in the trees.

A yapping noise startles me,
I look to where the noise was coming from.
Across the river is 3 golden Labrador puppies,
standing over them is an old lady.
The old lady bent down to play with the puppies,
her focus never averted from them.

I slowly cross the river,
my trainers slowly flooded with the river water.
The old lady noticed I was there,
she stood & smiled, a friendly smile.
Her skin was pale, her cheeks was rosy,
her dark grey hair was pinned back.
She wore a multi-coloured cardigan with a black skirt,
she was wearing black knee length boots & clutching a purse.

Suddenly one of the puppies jumps up excitedly,
he pulls the purse out of the old ladies hand.
He runs off, the other pups follow,
the old lady throws her hands up to her mouth.
She calls for the puppies to come back,
they keep on running, 
running faster than the old lady ever could.
I start to run in the direction the puppies ran,
my damp jeans tight around my legs,
my trainers heavy from the river water.

I can hear the puppies just ahead,
I run past a huge bush and just catch sight of the puppies.
I run faster, my heart pounding,
just as I am a few feet away I lose my footing.
I suddenly start to fall down a huge sand hill,
falling around 40ft, I close my eyes.
I hit the river below me with a huge thud,
landing on my back, on the hard stones of the river bed
I can't move, I can hardly breathe.
The water from the water rushes over me,
Just as I take my last breath.

I wake up, sweating & my heart is racing!

It was all a dream, a scary dream, a dream that was so real.
It was a dream that kept recurring.
Not all of it was just a dream, as a child I did fall down the same  sand hill & into the river below. I lay winded, lucky for me the water was shallow & friends helped me up. Since this happened I kept having this dream, for about 10 years I would have this dream at least 4 times a year till I started dreaming a new dream.

I was being chased by bears!





Friday, 26 April 2013

Teething Bling goody bag give away

We have a great give away for you from Teething Bling UK, every parent knows how hard it can be when your precious baby is going through cutting a tooth & Teething Bling UK also know how hard the teething stage can be so they have put together a lovely goody bag for one of you lucky readers to win. I have been using Teething Bling for around 19 months now, I get to wear pretty pendants & bangles & my daughter gets something that is safe for her to chew on to help bring those pesky teeth through the gum. 


They stock a wide range of colours so you can accessorize like you would with any other jewellery. I love that they have been rigorously safety tested & carry the CE trademark. Many mums & dads that I have shown my collection to have been surprised at how  it feels, they always say "I thought it was solid but it is just like a babies teething toy". They ask why a baby would want a pendant & that is when I tell them Teething Bling is for the parent to wear & should never be given to your baby to wear. It all then makes perfect sense to them.

So if you think this goody bag will make the teething stage a little easier for you or you just want that pretty beaded pendant, try your luck & enter our give away.

The winner will receive a goody bag that consists of:
1 x cupcake beaded pendant 
1 x bangle
1 box of Nelsons teething granules 

1 x I love Teething Bling shopping bag

1 x I love Teething Bling coaster 
1 x pen


The give away is open to UK residents only
The give away opens on 26/4/2013 12am & closes 24/5/2013 at 12am
The winner will be chosen using rafflecopter from all of the valid entries & will be notified by email & announced on this post within 24 hours of the give away ended.





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Peter Pan wall mural


For a whole year now my son has been staring at 4 plain white walls in his bedroom, when we first moved in I knew I wanted to do a wall mural on his wall but I was not quite sure what I wanted on them. My daughter would be moving into his room for a while so what ever I chose it had to be unisex. Finding a unisex theme was quite tricky but we all finally settled on Peter Pan. I had started to sketch what I would draw on the walls on a pad when I was offered the chance to review some paint from NaturePaint, it was fate. 
Knowing I could not now laze about and do it all in slow mode I got straight to work.

Captain hook wall mural

The first wall I started on was the wall that features Captain Hook, my husband insisted that if Captain Hook was going on the wall then so were Tick Tock Croc, Smee & the boat. I have never drawn a boat before & couldn't quite get a good image of the boat to go off. I managed to find one picture so that is how I came about with the style. I took a trip to our local diy store and bought plenty of little tester pots to add to the colours given to me of the NaturePaint. 
Captain Hook
The gent that served me gave me a rather strange look when I turned up with about 20 different coloured pots, my husband chirped in that I was struggling to choose what colour I liked, the cashier gave my husband a sympathetic look. I could have poured the paint over the pair of them right then and there! I got my NaturePaint and my other array of colours and set about painting, when wall 1 was complete I set about painting wall 2.

Peter Pan kids bedroomFor the second wall I had planned to keep it simple, Peter Pan above my sons bed & Tinkerbell above my daughters, a nice easy job. My husband had other plans, he thought I was cheating by doing this and suggested I did a full wall. I really did not want to spend another 2 weeks of my spare time stuck in a room painting lots of detail. After much humming and hawing I knew & my husband knew that eventually I would regret not doing a full wall, thus drawing and painting a flying scene of Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Wendy Michael & John. My sons only request was that I put in a big clock like Big Ben. I added the quote "All you need is faith, trust and a little bit of pixie dust" below Tink and lots of glittery pixie dust.

Peter Pan Wall Mural



















My daughter has not watched any of the Peter Pan films so for her it is just painting on the walls. My son however has watched the film plenty of times and loves it. I asked him what he thought of his new walls when I had almost finished and he said it was delightful! I guess he likes it.
Drawing and painting was very time consuming but so worth it in the end. Now all that is left to do is find accessories fit for a pirate/Peter Pan room.

NaturePaint Review

I was in the process of deciding what to do on my sons bedroom wall when NaturePaint offered me some of their paint to review. I told them that I was planning on doing a wall mural so they offered me 2, 1kg tubs in one colour & offered to send me some tester packets in a range of other colours.
My paint arrived quickly and well packed. NaturePaint comes in powder form so you will have to mix the paint with water yourself at home which I found simple enough to do. I dug out my paint mixing pots and set about mixing away, I found that mixing a larger quantity was easier than mixing the tester pots. Once fully mixed I left it for 20 minutes to set fully before using it.
NaturePaint is made in Cornwall using natural and local materials. It is free from carcinogens, petrochemicals, synthetic ingredients and VOCs. VOCs(volatile organic compounds) are carbon based chemicals found in conventional paints. Being free from all of the above means it is much safer for your home & family. You do not get the usual smell from other paint meaning as soon as the paint is dry you can happily sit in the room without feeling dizzy or getting a head ache.  
Below is my finished wall murals, the blue, greens & skin tones are all painted using NaturePaint, on average I applied 3 thin coats to the wall to give it full coverage. I even mixed the colours together to give me different colours of blue. The finish of the paint is matt.
Once mixed the paint is ok for approximately 2-3 days in a sealed container but I would recommend you use up the paint in 24 hours. NaturePaint dries fully within 3-4 hours(touch dry 45 mins) making it much easier to complete a room in one day.




The pro's of Nature Paint are:
VOCs free
Breathable 
Washable
No nasty odour

For me there are no cons to this paint, I found it easy enough to follow the instructions, to mix, & easy enough to get a nice even colour on my walls. A 1kg pack will make 2.5l of paint and is priced at £19.95. A tester pack that will make 200ml is priced at £3.95 so for getting a paint that does not set off my sons asthma or gives me a headache I think the price is fair.
I would recommend NaturePaint to family & friends and will use them again.

If you would like to see more images of my wall mural they can be found on my Peter Pan wall mural blog post.

I received the paint for the purpose of the review.




Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Get fit go cycling

The title really should be get fit, go cycling & kill your muscles.
 For quite some time now I have wanted a bike with a child seat on the back so I could take one of my youngest 2 children out to explore the beautiful countryside that Wales has to offer. My husband kept trying to put me off saying I wouldn't use it after the novelty has worn off so I am determined to not allow the bike just turn into a rusty garden ornament. 



My daughter who is 22 months loves it, she loved it so much that after taking it for a test drive with me she refused to get off! I lovingly prised her tiny hands off the safety belt so I could get her out. After much screaming & tantrum throwing she gave in and accepted that we would not allow her to stay on the bike forever. 
I am hoping that in time she will happily accept that my fitness levels are not that of an athlete(yet) & I can only do short distances for now. 
My son saw how much fun it looked & asked me to pick him up from school on the shiny new bike, I should have prepared and not done that trip for one of my 1st rides in over 13 years. Down to the school it is all mainly a down hill, easy, hardly any pedalling, not killing muscles ride. Coming back however with a 5 year old, albeit small 5 year old killed my muscles. I am not sure if it was the weight of him on the back or the fact that the whole way back you have to pedal that made my thigh muscles feel like they were doing a hulk on me, throbbing so much I swear they were ready to break out of my jeans. My lungs & heart did not know what had hit them, my lungs were screaming for an oxygen tank and my heart was pumping so fast it could have given up right there! I am so unfit it is unreal, walking just does not cut it when trying to keep fit! 
No sooner had I got through the door walking slightly oddly my darling son asked if I would take him on a bike ride tomorrow. I wonder if I can get away with going up and down the nice flat street a few times & tell him it is a bike ride?.
I know he will want to ride much more often, as will my little lady so I am determined to exercise more,  I normally avoid exercise because it burns too many calories(yes you read right) I struggle badly with my weight and find it impossible to gain weight so I quite like my calories and don't want them to be burned off. I will do it though, if it means my children can go on fun filled bike ride whilst at the same time it improves my fitness levels it has got to be worth it.

By the time I next post about our cycling adventures I might be able to make it to his school and back without needing oxygen and feeling a bit like the hulk.


Leek & sausage tortilla recipe

 When I received the latest email from Brit Mums I noticed that they are in search of egg recipes in exchange for a chance to receive a great prize, not only that but the first 100 qualified entries receive a copy of the classic cook book Eggs by Michel Roux & boy do I need that recipe book. Keeping 4 chickens means I have plenty of eggs & my children are  bored of just getting egg soldiers, they do however enjoy the yummy cakes I bake so this recipe book would give me plenty of ideas to use up the 28 eggs a week I get.

 Below is my entry for #eggmainsinminutes Linky on BritMums

Leek & Sausage Torilla

I am not the greatest cook, baking is more my thing so this is a nice and easy recipe that will serve 2 people.


Preparation time 5 mins
 cooking time 15 minutes.

Ingredients

 6 medium eggs

half of a red pepper

6oz/115g chorizo sausage

tbsp olive oil
3 leeks
salt and pepper




Preparation
Wash then thinly slice your leeks & place in a bowl.
Chop your red pepper in half, de-seed & chop just half of it, again put into a small bowl.
Slice the sausage, I sliced mine to approx 5mm thick and place in a bowl.
Beat the eggs in a bowl, you can now season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Cooking 
Add the olive oil to your frying pan and heat on a medium heat. Put the leeks into the frying pan and cook for around 4-5 minutes until soft, stir occasionally whilst they cook. 
Add the sausage and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes, again stirring occasionally.
Pour in the beaten eggs & cook until the underneath has set, during this time carefully scrape back the cooked egg from around the edge of the frying pan allowing the uncooked egg to go underneath to cook. 
Now it is time to flip your tortilla over, the easiest way to do this is to take the frying pan off the heat and place a plate over the tortilla taking care not to burn your hands & carefully flip the plate and the frying pan upside down so the tortilla is then cooked side up on the plate. Carefully slide it back into the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes. 
Slide the tortilla onto a plate, slice then serve, I add some cherry tomatoes to my plate because they taste lovely with the leek and sausage tortilla. 



I love the taste, the leek and chorizo work really well together to make a delicious, easy meal for 2. If you are cooking for children then it will be enough for 3/4 small children. 




Monday, 22 April 2013

Memory Monday 16/2013


My memory for this week is wall 2 of my youngest 2 children's Peter Pan wall mural, it seems to have taken me forever to get to this stage but all that is left to do is the Big Ben detailing and clouds. I have spent ever spare moment in their room, the end is in sight.

To join in with Memory Monday click on the
 image below to find out more.


Monday, 15 April 2013

Memory Monday 15/2013

It is memory Monday time again. My memory for this week is quite an exciting one. I love pushchairs, I think I am a little of a pram addict to be fair and if money & my husband was no issue I could quite happily collect pushchairs like they were shoes. 
Last Tuesday I found myself at home with a poorly M rather than doing the weekly shop, I was browsing facebook when I saw an announcement on the Bugaboo facebook page that their buffalo hunt competition would start in 10 minutes, intrigued I went to check it out. 
The competition was to follow their clues to find the location of the hidden Bugaboo Buffalo on a world map, I sat and thought to myself that it would be like searching for a needle in a haystack but as I had nothing but sipping coffee to do I would give it a go. After about 18 minutes of searching, eyes going square, I found it, I found the prized buffalo. I clicked on it and a message popped up, it said well done! winners will be announced at the end of hunt 1. Having no clue of the rules & no clue when the hunt ended I encouraged others to keep searching. Two hours into the hunt 5 lucky people had found the buffalo, I was one of them!. Not only was I one of them I was the first person to find it. How I found it was sheer luck, no skill at all. The next hunt begins on the 22nd April so get your eyes in their best shape to go buffalo hunting.
I have knitted a blanket to go with it till I manage to buy a footmuff for it, I am so thrilled to have won and I can not wait to have a play. I am sure I will share my buffalo adventure with you all.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Haba Moo and Baa game



Haba are celebrating their 75th Anniversary & we were successfully chosen to review 3 of their products to celebrate. We first reviewed the Haba Mermaid & Pirate water glass, then for our second review it was the Haba Terra kids pencils. For our Third and final review we have the Haba Moo & Baa game.

The Haba Moo & Baa game is a fun game that is also educational. A child absorbs so much information at an early age, they also learn easily through play. The Moo and Baa game can be played in 2 different ways & is suitable for 2-4 players. Game one is suitable for children ages 3-8 years and it is a game of bingo. There is no skill needed at all so all ages have an equal chance of winning. Whilst playing your child can learn their colours, to count and to also shape match. This was a fun game to play for my family and I can see it becoming a firm favourite. What child wouldn't have fun when they get to make cow and sheep noises if they win!.

Game two is very similar but involves a little bit of skill, your child will need to remember which bag their coloured animals are stored in after another player pulls them from the bag until it is their turn so they can try and pluck out their matching colour. Both game modes teach your child to take turns and both are equally enjoyable.


I would recommend Haba Moo & Baa game to family and friends & I am sure we will be playing this game again very soon.

I received this product for the purpose of the review only, all opinions and wording are my own. 



Monday, 8 April 2013

Memory Monday 14/2013

I have been away on holiday so have a huge collection of images and memories I would love to share, this week as I have been absent I'm sharing 3 memories.

Memory one
 Whilst at the beach at Perranporth after a day full of fun, we were all relaxing eating some sandwiches before heading back to the caravan. The tide was in so I took the opportunity to capture some snaps whilst the kids were all quiet(thanks to the sandwiches). I took quite a lot of pictures(including a man who decided to skinny dip but that is not one for the internet) and never noticed whilst taking the pictures that the rocks to the left seems to be shaped like the side of a face. In this image it looks like it is blowing away the waves. I like to think of it as an angel in the rocks, protecting Perranporth from the huge tidal waves. Others will like to think I am nuts, I shall let you to decide which one fits best.
Perranporth beach

Memory Two
It is not often we manage to get a family photo, mainly because I am normally the one hiding behind the camera. On our travels around Cornwall, Lands End is a place we all wanted to visit and I am so pleased that we did. The views are amazing and there is plenty to do in the area. We had our picture taken at the famous sign, a few days after returning off holiday our pictures arrived in the post. A family memory that we will all treasure.
Lands End

Memory Three
My boy turned 5 years old, time certainly goes too quickly. It seems like only yesterday that we were bringing him home to meet the rest of the family. He was very excited to be turning 5, he woke the house up singing "Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, happy birthday to me" over and over. 


To join in with Memory Monday click on the image below to find out more.

Haba Terra Kids Pencils review

Haba are celebrating their 75th Anniversary & we were successfully chosen to review 3 of their products to celebrate. We first reviewed the Haba Mermaid & Pirate water glass & for our second review it is the Haba Terra kids pencils

There are 5 different Terra kids pencils to collect, on each end is a different top. A compass, an eraser, a magnifying glass, a kaleidoscope and a Celsius thermometer. My children particularly enjoyed the pencil with the kaleidoscope top, they enjoyed viewing their surroundings through it. Each pencil has a ruler on the side of it from 0-15cm, however you will lose mm with each pencil sharpen. Having the tops on do make the pencil top heavy so I wouldn't recommend this pencil for when your children are practising their handwriting. All of my children have enjoyed drawing with these though, they have all chosen them over a normal pencil each time so I would recommend them to family and friends.

I received these products for the purpose of the review only, all opinions and wording are my own. 

Friday, 5 April 2013

Haba Pirate & Mermaid water glass

Haba are celebrating their 75th Anniversary & we were successfully chosen to review 3 of their products to celebrate. First up for review is the Pirate & Mermaid water glass.


The Pirate water glass is made of polycarbonate & it is colourfully decorated around the edge. On it is a friendly looking pirate sat in a boat & lighthouse all sat on top of the blue sea. Inside, at the bottom of the glass is a compass so your little boy can use it to find their way to any hidden treasure. The diameter of the glass is 7.5cm. My son loves this glass and keeps asking to have his drink in it, he insisted that we took it with us on our Easter Holidays. It is also easy for small hands to hold.


The Mermaid glass again is made of polycarbonate and is 7.5cm in diameter. On the outside of the cup it is decorated with an under the sea theme complete with a Mermaid happily perched on a swing, a cute yellow seahorse, a snail and 2 fishes. At the bottom of the glass is where your daughter will be able to see her treasure in the kaleidoscope, diamonds!, and they do say they are a girls best friend. My little girl loves to see them at the bottom of her glass, finishing off her drink quickly so she cam see the clear, blue & pink diamonds.

I would recommend both of the glasses to family and friends.

I received both of these products for the purpose of the review only, all opinions and wording are my own. 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Haven, Perran Sands

We decided to change up our annual Easter Haven holiday for this year and try a new park as we kept returning to Devon Cliffs, this year my husband wanted to go to Cornwall so out of the 2 camps we chose Perran Sands. 
We arrived early and all were pretty exhausted after driving through the night to avoid the heavy snow that were forecast for North Wales. We had a little drive around the park which looked deserted, I imagine all the visitors were hiding out indoors because of the weather but we liked the look of the park. We headed over to the surf bay for a much need cup of coffee(I quite frankly needed it on a drip). We were quickly seated near the VW camper van that sits inside(we were told one side of the Surf bar had a leak and was cold), the kids loved being able to check out the camper van and climb inside. The staff were all really friendly & had time to chat to us and the kids which made a refreshing change.
A while later the rest of our party arrived and after they grabbed themselves a bite to eat we headed over to see if we could check in around 1pm. We stayed in a prestige caravan so could check in at 2pm, occasionally you are able to get your keys early but sadly we nor my brother who also booked into prestige accommodation could this time. Many people who could not check in till 4pm however got their keys nice and early which didn't help my grumpy tired mood much. We were thankful, very thankful for Luke off the bar in that hour. He got the kids up teaching them how to juggle which gave our ears a rest from our 5 excited children.
2pm came and our keys were ready, we were located at the very far end of the park in Ocean breeze which meant it was very quiet but a good walk from the main complex area. Our accommodation was lovely, clean, modern and large. My husband pointed out a gap in the window frame and the door but as we had heating I wasn't that fussed so didn't complain. I think the caravan might not be level because one of the toilet doors would not lock and some of the other doors seemed to be slightly off. Other than that our caravan was perfect, I could even fit our travel cot into the double room which is much better than having to sleep in the lounge. 
The beach was nice and clean & I imagine on a warm day this would be full of people. There are lots of caves and rock pools to explore and the beach was really big so even in the hot weather I am sure you could find a good spot. The walk down is great as it is all down hill but the walk back up is quite steep and sure to give you a good work out. If you are walking your dog in this area please keep them on a leash as we sadly witnessed a dog falling down the cliff and he looked pretty hurt as he couldn't get up. Thankfully after tracking down the owner in the live lounge one night towards the end of our holiday I found out that he just had a cut chin and paw which makes him one lucky dog. 
The entertainment staff were all really friendly & fully of energy, Scott was a pretty awesome dancer and I could happily watch him dance. The kids loved watching the character shows in the evening and we were all surprised to see lots of Rory, on all the other haven parks we have stayed on Rory hardly made an appearance. Entertainment for the adults was great on some nights but not so great on others which is the same for most parks to be fair. On our last night(Sunday 31st March) they had a live band on who were brilliant, my son rocked the night away and they played a good variety of music.
On the day we chose to go swimming they were fixing the fire doors at the back, the leisure staff said it would be too cold for babies so we could not swim that day. This was not a one off either, the whole 10 days we were there the pool temp was 26C at its best which was freezing when you went in the water. We attempted to swim one day and even with neoprene swim wear on we were left shivering, even my water baby who will spend hours in the sea didn't spend much time in the pool which really left us disappointed. Whilst there a gentleman had a nose bleed which left a trail of blood up one side of the pool area which they did not clean until I went and asked the life guard to get someone to clean it up. We left after this an never returned to the pool but did ask daily what the temperature was and it got no warmer. We were not warned of this on check in and despite complaining it got shrugged off as we are aware of it and doing all we can, but that does not make no difference to us when we expect to be able to swim on our holiday as it is one of our main activities. If you advertise a heated pool then I expect to get a heated pool.
Instead of swimming the kids took part in a bug hunt with Matt & Andy(I think that is their names) they all enjoyed this activity and we found lots of bugs to put in our jars to take back and draw(no bugs were harmed in this activity and all were returned back into the wild). All who took part received an activity book and pencil. Despite the freezing weather and being battered by the wind the kids loved taking part especially big T who is a big fan of all things creepy crawly.
The arcades had plenty to do lots of 2p machines, pool tables and bandits. The arcade is where the toilets are located, the whole time we were there the water was freezing as were the toilets themselves. We witnessed many guest not washing their hands due to how cold the water was which I found disgusting and is most likely one of the reasons a few of us in our group got a sick bug. We went into reception to ask why the water in the toilets were freezing and they had no clue about it, I tweeted to have a moan and was asked to speak to Nick at reception but he was not there.The lady who I reported it to radioed through to someone to check if the boiler had been lit and that was the end of that(it was still freezing on our last day). You also have to change your babies in these freezing toilets which left both my daughter and 3 month old nephew dithering on each nappy change, if our caravan would've been closer I would've taken then back to the caravan to change them as they were much warmer.
We all went out for a meal for my mother in laws birthday at the Surf bay, the food was delicious, the service was great and the price was fair too. They had a good variety to choose from to suit most tastes. We all said it was the best meal we have ever had on a Haven holiday.
On our last day we decided to treat the kids to a character breakfast at the Surf bay, when we arrived(9:50am) one of the characters was on the opposite side to where we were seated, we ordered our drinks then noticed the character had gone. When the waiter came with our drinks we asked if there would be more characters coming out and he said they pop in and out throughout the breakfast. We ordered our food and waited for it to arrive along with the characters. Our food arrived, it wasn't as hot as we like but still enjoyable, we also noticed that the children's breakfast came with no potato waffles as described so we had to request these which came after they had finished their meal. 10:30am arrived and we had not seen no other characters, now I know they were out at this time as my brother met greedy whilst eating his breakfast on his last day at 10:30 so we sat and waited some more. At 11:06am we still had seen or met any characters so I paid my £46.90 for the character breakfast that had no characters and went off to complain. I was apologized to and told that the entertainments manager would call me on Tuesday 2nd April, what he would be able to do I don't know because it was our last day and no chance of them having another character breakfast. As of 13:37 on Wednesday 3rd April I am still waiting for that call. I shall update when/if I receive this call.
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Update
The entertainments manager did contact me via twitter & promised to send me a letter explaining his findings along with a little something for the children. Sadly I never received this letter.


Would I return to Perran Sands? at the minute I am unsure, I know the cold pool, freezing water and characterless breakfast can all be changed and improved, these are the only things that were really disappointing during our stay. The park is a perfect location to visit all of Cornwall, the scenery and beaches are beautiful, the staff are really friendly, the park is huge and was always clean and for these reasons alone would make me consider returning.
I do think that they should advertise that the pool will be really cold and not suitable for small children if the weather is cold and that they have no heating or hot water in the toilets. I also think that they should state an end time to the character breakfast as this was not stipulated anywhere.
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Update
We have decided that we will indeed return to Perran Sands next Easter 
because despite the problems we did enjoy ourselves. I have since learnt that many pools(not just haven) struggled with the temperature!
I am crossing everything goes smoothly next time because I would love to keep on returning as it is a perfect location for us as a family.

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Update
The entertainment manager has been in touch and explained what they have done to stop the problems we had from happening again & we are pleased with the outcome, we were also sent lanyards and character pins for the children.