Interests and Hobbies · Days out · Life · Live, love, laugh

The Energetic Summer

The summer holidays will be upon us before you know it, the time speeding by at an alarming rate. With that in mind, it’s probably a good time to start thinking about what this summer will bring for you and your kids.

For most of us, there is an element of summer that is quite sedentary. Sometimes, that’s forced upon us by the weather. No one wants to be charging around, sweating up a storm, when it’s hot and balmy outside.

The UK has a notoriously “wet heat” which feels quite different to the dry heat of favoured holiday destinations. It can make the humidity feel cloying and completely sap your energy.

However, while there is always room for a bit of sunshine and doing nothing, it’s preferable for it not to be the sole focus for your kids this summer.

Keeping things energetic can be difficult, but it’s definitely worth it. Not only will you all be fitter and healthier, but you’ll always make better memories than “sat in the garden complaining about the heat” could ever create!

Stuck for ideas on how to keep things energetic? The options are endless, but let’s try and nail them down to some inspiration for making this summer one of boundless enthusiasm.

Make Use Of The Cooler Hours


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The saying goes that it’s always darkest before the dawn, but it’s also true that it’s always coolest before the sun is properly risen. The coolest hours of the day tend to be very early in the morning. If you can get yourself up for 6am, you have a couple of hours to do with as you please without having to worry about risking heatstroke.

What you do with these hours is largely up to you and what your children like. You could go for a bike ride, head into the garden, or just go for a walk around the neighbourhood. If your children love animals, then get in touch with a local shelter and see if they need dog walkers.

Big Plans For Cooler Days 


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If you keep an eye on the forecast, then you should be able to scout days when it’s going to be cooler. Make the most of these, packing them with activities and ideas that none of you will fancy doing when the mercury begins to rise.

Paintballing, for example, is often seen as a pursuit for adults, but it’s actually great for kids. It’s messy and exciting, and it doesn’t matter if the weather isn’t beautiful. If, as a family, you’ve never done it before, then read up on a few tips to be a pro at paintball and then head out for a day you won’t forget.

Another great idea is hiking. There are many choices for the UK, with most of us living within a couple of hours drive of either a National Park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If walking sounds too arduous, most parks will have a cycle hire or even offer horse riding – giving you plenty to focus on when the sun is hiding behind clouds.

*collaborative post

Competition · Days out · Life · Live, love, laugh

Competition | Win a family ticket to Aldingbourne Country Centre 

✨✨Giveaway✨✨

Following my blog post on Aldingbourne Day Out, Aldingbourne Trust was so generous to sponsored us a giveaway family ticket. 

We have a complimentary ticket for a family of 4 to Aldingbourne Country Centre to giveaway to one lucky follower, to enter all you need to do is:
Like our Facebook page U.K. Bargain Deals, Product Reviews & Lifestyle Blog

Like Aldingbourne Trust

Like and comment on the post

stating which part of Aldingbourne Country centre your children would enjoy most?!
You must complete all steps to be entered into a random draw, giveaway closes at midnight on the 22th May 2017. 

Giveaway is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Facebook. 
✨sharing not required, but feel the love guys!✨ ✨tagging your friends not required, but go ahead and tell them about the competition!

Days out · Fashion · Gift guide · hot picks · Interests and Hobbies · Life · Live, love, laugh · Ocassion · Style

What You Need When You’re Going To A Festival


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Summer really is the best time of the year. If you are a student, you can take some time off and not worry about essays and deadlines for a while. It also gives you a chance to start reading for your next year’s modules. If you have already become ensnared in the world of work, it is the time that you look forward to every single day. When you get up on those cold winter mornings and have to scrape the ice off your windshield, the long, sultry summer evenings are something that you dream of. Whether you just want to kick back and relax at home or you’re planning a trip abroad, you will want to prepare properly.

However, one of the defining experiences of a British summer (despite it likely lasting only a few weeks in which it will rain a couple of times anyway) is going to a festival. While the Glastonbury festival is the biggest event of the year (and certainly the only one that is broadcast on television), there are a lot to choose from. Irrespective of which you choose, from a small, intimate gathering of hardcore fans to being one of an estimated 153,000, there are some things that you will always need.

Here is a list of festival essentials to help you ensure that you are as prepared as possible:

The first part of any festival experience is actually getting to the site. Depending on where you’re going, that may mean getting a coach or driving there yourself. It may be that you’re travelling quite far and you should, therefore, consider investing in something to distract you. An iPod is always good, but since you are going to be partying for at least a couple of days, you should probably think about getting some rest.

Taking a neck pillow is never a bad idea. While it may sound rather dull to just settle down and conserve your energy, one of the things that you’ll find is that travelling to a festival on a coach is not as hectic and loud as you’d expect. While there will likely be a lot of young people with you, they will probably be quite sedate.

You could even think about taking a book but you have to consider that it may potentially get damaged once you get to the festival.


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Once you arrive, you will not be heading straight to a stage to see your favourite acts, but going to the campsite to find a good spot to sleep. You will obviously want to take a tent. Opinion is divided on whether you should take a good one though.

Many people invest in a cheap tent and then when they leave the festival, they just leave the tent at the site. However, this is not all that considerate since someone will have to clear it up. While you should leave the place as you found it, you also want to live in reasonable comfort while you are there. You are going to be sleeping on the ground so it will never be as good as your bed at home, but making sure that your tent is good enough to withstand the sometimes capricious British weather is a must.

You should also pick out a good sleeping bag. You may be tempted to get a more modest one, but remember that it will be the only thing keeping you warm and you do not want to get sick and have your weekend spoiled. On the topic of being ill, if you are susceptible, you should double check that you’ve got tablets for hayfever and other allergies.

Not being able to see your favourite musicians because your eyes are watering so much is never a good look.

Once you’ve got everything set up and you know where you’re going to be sleeping, you can start exploring.

However, since there are going to be lots of people walking all over the place, the ground can quickly become rather muddy. Invest in a good pair of wellington boots. It may not pour down with rain the whole time though so you should also get some hiking boots too. They may not seem like the most glamourous, but they are practical.

Going to a festival in shoes that you’d wear on a night out is not going to work because you’ll soon find that you’re rather sore. You need something that will support your feet because you’re going to be spending a lot of time on them.

One of the reasons that a lot of people cannot stand the idea of going to a festival is that you do not have a lot of the comforts on which you usually rely. These may include access to a shower. At bigger festivals, you have to wait for a long time to get into the cubicle, and once you’re there, you may be disappointed to find that since thousands of people have used it before you, it may not be all that clean.

This is why some people choose to take matters into their own hands and wash as effectively as they can with a facecloth in their tent, or use wet wipes. It may not sound appealing but it is the reality of going to a festival. It is better to prepare for it now than be surprised later on. Incidentally, there are often long queues for toilets too so get used to waiting. You’ll be doing it a lot.

For all of the practical considerations that you have to be aware of, festivals are all about having fun. Take a camera so that you can capture what will likely be the best weekend you’ll have all year as well as comfortable clothes that you can dance in until the early hours of the morning.

Since you are at a festival, you cannot go down to the shops if you want something to eat, so take some extra cash to get something there. If you drink, you should also think about taking some of your own since it can be quite expensive.

The most important thing though is to enjoy it. It is a rite of passage at this point and you do not want to miss out.

Days out · Interests and Hobbies · Life · Live, love, laugh

Brighton’s Sea Life ‘Claws’ Press Launch 

We were invited to attend the Brighton’s Sea Life Claws press launch yesterday which will be an added attraction when it opens on April 22, 2017!

It was our first time in Brighton’s Sea Life and I was thrilled about the event as they  were going to unveil its latest installation, the ‘Claws’.

Please check out our video over our YouTube channel 

At the entrance, a staff member kindly asked us to sit and act as if we were beneath a giant crab for the family photo as a souvenir. Please note a price for the photo maybe charged.


As we approached the ‘Claws’ entrance, my children were given goody bags, each contained a crab plushie and complimentary voucher tickets and a cookie shaped in a crab….how fitting! Each ticket is valid for 1 adult to see the aquarium; colouring papers, pencils and information about ‘Claws’ were also provided. My kids were very happy with their goody bag!



As we entered the ‘Claws’, a member of staff welcomed us and shared knowledge about the crab species found at Sealife.

​It was a new experience for the kids and they have enjoyed every moment of it! The stars of the show were the 2 japanese spider crabs. The largest of the crabs, which were previously located at Sea Life Helsinki, had a leg span of a whopping 1.3 metres and can grow to the size of the car.



Image courtesy of Brighton’s sea life

We also got to see the peacock mantis shrimp, one of the most brightly coloured animals in the world.


We enjoyed viewing all the tanks which showcased the sea creatures such as velvet crabs, starfish and green urchins. There were also tropical cray fish and large land hermit crabs.

The brand new installation ‘Claws’ at Sealife, Brighton is definitely worth seeing for the whole family. Witness its beauty and have the chance to see the spectacular shellfish and crabs. A must see for everyone that will surely not to dissapoint.


When we finished the ‘Claws’ we also had a scenic view at the aquariums and marine world. It was refreshing treat for the kids as  their imagination glow.

We were captivated by the beautiful view of the ocean tunnel aquarium.  We got to see the animals up close at different perspectives and angles.


There was a lot for the kids to explore, such as sharks, turtles, stingrays and many more!

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Sea Life Brighton was definitely one of our best family day outs and educational for our children. They discovered sea creatures and  expressed their imagination. Like them correlating it from Disney’s Finding Nemo when they saw the clownfish and Pacific blue tang.

The staff at the Brighton sea life were lovely. They were able to provide us another complimentary photo as the first one has our son’s face a bit covered.

It’s good to know that refreshments are available at their cafe with free WIFI!

Sea Life Brighton is open from 10am every day apart from Christmas Day. Visitors can save more than 40% by booking in advance online. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.visitsealife.com/brighton

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Days out · Holiday

Orlando, Florida; where to visit which isn’t Disney/Universal theme parks?!?

It is my 10th wedding anniversary this year and my husband and I decided to take a trip to America, without the children! Our first proper holiday without them since our honeymoon!

We have booked 10 days staying in the Hilton Double Tree, International Drive, Orlando (I will be reviewing this hotel after our trip so check back!). We are taking the children to Disney next year so I am not interested in going there this time and as much as I love Harry Potter I have decided the cost of Universal Studios outweights my need to see Diagon Alley and Hogsmead. So, I asked some of my blogging friends where they suggest and the results were:

  • Discovery Cove; we have booked this for the day of our anniversary. Swimming with dolphins, tropical fish, fresh water animals…an all day water experience. As recommended by Samantha  


Photo from Laura  

  • Gatorland, get upclose to gators and has loads of amazing photo opportunities. As suggested by Nicola  

Photo supplied by Tracey

We also had suggestions of some restaurants to visit:

  • Laura also recommended we make sure we go to Cheesecake Factory and also have the cookie skillet dessert at the outback steak house as it’s amazing!!! 
  • Jon suggests we go to The Village Inn opposite the Hilton Doubletree. BEST PIES IN ALL OF AMERICA!!
  • Raglan Road in downtown Disney is great fun. Dinner at the Ritz Carleton near Seaworld is amazing. Ask for the terrace. Suggested by Kate of http://www.modernmum.net/

Does any one have any further suggestions we need to visit?!?

Days out · Holiday · Interests and Hobbies · Life · Live, love, laugh

Avoid These Family Summer Holiday Disasters

Holiday are important, right? We save up for them and look forward to them all year. They get us through that awful day in the office when we have so much work we can’t even think about getting home on time. Or when the kids are up at 3 am and won’t stop crying. That is why we need to do the best we can to avoid any holiday disasters. Nobody wants that special vacation time ruined.

So read on to find out the sort of thing that can sabotage your break, and how to avoid them.

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Lost luggage

How long does it take for you to pack the suitcases for all the family, including all the shopping, ironing and washing that need to be done? Ages probably, that is why when your cases go missing between checking in at the airport and boarding the plane, it can be nothing short of a disaster. Especially if you have very young children that need special items like milk formula and nappies.

But what can you do to avoid this?
Well, first of all, a lot of this issue is out of your hands as it’s the airline that misplaces your bags. But you can make it easier for them by labelling your luggage very clearly with your name, address and the location that you are flying too.

Then at least you have a fighting chance of someone seeing it if it ends up on the wrong conveyor belt.

It’s also a great idea to pack essential items like, medications, baby stuff, and anything else that you cannot do without into your hand luggage, which you keep with you at all times. Then at least if the rest goes walkies you will have the bear basics to survive.

Kids are bored 

Another disaster you can have on holiday is that you get there and love it, but the kids are bored out of their minds. This never bodes well, as you are unlikely to get the rest you have been looking forward to and deserve if you are constantly having to come up with new ways of entertaining your brood.

So before you book, check out what is on offer at the location you are considering in terms of activities and day trips. Remember the perfect break is something like these summer adventures for kids, rather than a trial of patience for you!

Hotel isn’t as expected

Something else that can be a real holiday disaster is when you arrive at your destination, and your accommodation is nothing like you expected. Maybe your room is sub par, or the whole resort is more like a building site that a relaxing oasis that you were promised?

But what can you do? Well, first of all, don’t be afraid of complaining. Complain to your hotel and get them to change your room. Then make an appointment to see your holiday rep the next day and insist they do something about this.

You can also mostly prevent the issues of this nature by checking independent reviews on sites like Trip Advisor before you book. To see what thing are like before you part with your money.

 

Days out · Easter · Interests and Hobbies · Life · Live, love, laugh

A Great Family Day Out At The Aldingbourne Country Centre. | #KCACOLS

Easter adventure at The Aldingbourne Country Centre with my kids. A great day out!

My kids and I went to Aldingbourne Trust on Easter egg hunt with bonnet parade.
Entrance fee is affordable at prices: child £3, adult £4 and family / group of 4 is only £14. That would not break the bank and plus you are giving to charity. They welcome guest from 10:00 am to 4:00pm (gates close at 5:00pm).

Check out the video of our day out over on our YouTube channel. 


There is a lot of activities for the kids. My children enjoyed the animal sanctuary where you find some farm animals like goats, pigs, birds and more. The animals can be approached as they are tamed. And it’s good to know that there are staffs to supervise.


The woodland walk explores a mini forest and where the Easter egg hunting took place. Which cost an additional £3.00 a child but its worth it as kids are guaranteed to have gift to take home and spending time with the mascot “Easter bunny”. My boys had enjoyed more of the egg hunting as the Easter bunny added colour to the event.


The kids had found quite a few and so chocolate galore!


The tractor play area is a treat! My boys loved it and had spent lots of time here.


They have a delightful cafe which offers a variety of foods and drinks at affordable price.  Kids meals are only under £5.00 and you will not pay more than £7.00 for an adult. My kids enjoyed their order of sausage and chips! They also offer a platter of chicken dips, fried mushrooms, scampi, chips and salad for just under £7.00. Please note that the price stated is at a time when we visited the place (price may vary).


On the back of the cafe is a spacious playground where you can also have a sit down while the kids play. The little golf area is also worth experiencing for the kids to explore their imagination. Or do some arts at the barn.There is also a gift shop for souvenirs and discover the Aldingbourne Trust’s artwork. A variety of plants for sale can be found at their theming nursery.

The Easter bonnet parade with its added activities sums up the day. A whole lot of fun for the family to enjoy all in one day! With friendly staffs, lots of activities for the kids, a cafe for your tea; the Aldingbourne Country Centre is the place to be for your family. So why not come and visit for a day of fun and discover the great work of the Aldingbourne Trust.


We had a lovely day out and really enjoyed it. My kids absolutely loved it. I would definitely recommend them, and we will surely go back there in the future. I’m impress with their prices, cleanliness of the area and lovely friendly staff who work there. My kids were entertained and happy with our day out experience at the Aldingbourne Country centre.

We have a free family of 4 voucher for Aldingbourne Country Centre Chichester West Sussex to giveaway. Entry is open to uk residents only and you will have to find your own way there, tickets will be sent out to you directly. No cash alternative. To enter you will need to:

✨✨Giveaway✨✨
We have a complimentary ticket for a family of 4 to Aldingbourne Country Centre to giveaway to one lucky follower, to enter all you need to do is:
Like our Facebook page U.K. Bargain Deals, Product Reviews & Lifestyle Blog

Like Aldingbourne Trust

Like and comment on the post 

stating which part of Aldingbourne Country centre your children would enjoy most?!
You must complete all steps to be entered into a random draw, giveaway closes at midnight on the 22th May 2017. 

Giveaway is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Facebook. 
✨sharing not required, but feel the love guys!✨ ✨tagging your friends not required, but go ahead and tell them about the competition!
*note: my tickets were provided free for the purpose of a review, this did not affect my opinion and all words are my own.

Some of the photographs were taken by my daughter, Divine, who captured them on the Nikon D5100.

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The Places We Will Go