29 July 2016

Decades at School with Marks and Spencer

Do you have any favourite memories of school? Milk in bottles with little straws, recorder lessons and the school dentist, getting your five meter swimming badge and one computer for the whole school, wheeled in and out of the rooms on a trolly.

Well, times have changed, milk comes in cartons and each class has a few computers and even iPads, but sending your children off to school for a new year will still be the same.  That pang of sadness at not getting to spend time with them even if they were causing you to tear your hair out at times, that dread of early mornings and lunch box making.

New uniforms, shoes, bags and lunch boxes and now it seems we need to add a pencil case to the mix and it got me thinking about what it was like for my parents when I was at school? What hopes, dreams and feelings did they have for me starting a new year?

I remember going to look for a new school uniform and new shoes with my mum, it was one of those defining moments of the school holidays and nothing got the excitement going more than a crisp new pair of shoes and school uniform. Trying them on when we got home and showing dad when he got in from work, just to get the approval.


28 July 2016

Following The Zebra Trail in Southampton

Since we were heading down to Southampton to visit the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas we decided to make a weekend of it and head down the day before, we've never been to Southampton before so we thought it would make a nice little weekend break.

I had seen about the Zebra trail on the Southampton Tourist Twitter page, so was looking forward to visiting them whilst we were there, there are many parks in Southampton city centre, so we decided to walk down through the parks and then on to the City Art Gallery before heading out for dinner.

To be able to walk through some wonderful park land, with plenty of space for a picnic, a huge park for the children and a little fair on for the summer, was a great way to entertain the children and as it was hot we stopped for an ice cream too.

The zebras were everywhere, we found one in the city centre and then they pretty much popped up everywhere we walked after that. This one was by the band stand and it wasn't until afterwards I noticed the delightful bit of rubbish standing with it.


22 July 2016

Intelligent Waste with the Totem 60 from Joseph Joseph - Review

When we moved into our new house our grubby old bins came with us, we'd had them for years and although they were cleaned, time had taken its toll on them. With two separate bins, one for rubbish and one for recycling we had to keep one in the garage and one in the kitchen, it wasn't an ideal situation.

So when Joseph Joseph asked me if I would like to review one of their Totem Intelligent Waste Systems I obviously said yes, anything that meant I didn't have to go through two doors and back to put something into the recycling bin!

The bin has a sleek design and being square, it fits more neatly into our kitchen than the old round one did. The Totom 60 is available in several different colours but since our floor and units are white, we went with the white and silver option.

jospeh jospeh totem 60


17 July 2016

Words and Poetry at Newstead Abbey

We've been to Newstead Abbey many times now, in the spring, summer, autumn and winter, each time it shows us something new, this time it was inside of the house, an important part of the Abbey that we have never seen before.

With either the sun shining or adventures to be had outside, the house has just never been on our radar. So when they had a day of fun, poetry and music with tours around the house, it sounded like a fantastic way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. With access to the house and gardens for just £10 per car this sort of event is the perfect opportunity to explore more of this wonderful piece of history.


11 July 2016

Exploring Hardwick Hall

Last weekend we were invited to Hardwick Hall, one of many beautiful National Trust properties , whose occupants over the years have played a huge part in shaping the history of the area. We visited Hardwick many years ago pre-children and although the house itself hasn't changed, there are now some new stories to learn about.

From Bess's troubled granddaughter and once heir to the thrown, Arbella, to the last Lady of Hardwick, these two new exhibitions give us even more insight into Hardwick Hall's past.


9 July 2016

Gin Explorer Box Review

We first saw the Gin Explorer Box at the Gin Festival in Nottingham earlier this year, they offer a monthly subscription, where you receive a box of four different gins to try, with a bottle of tonic and a little treat.

The box was delivered by Parcel Force and although I wasn't in to sign for it, it was taken back to the local post office the next day, so there is no waiting around for re-delivery or having to travel too far to pick it up.

Gin Explorer Box at the Gin Festival

6 July 2016

Saving Money with Klean Kanteen

How much do you spend on lunches, coffees on the go and food and drink on days out with the family?

We have been challenged by the people at Klean Kanteen to see how much we can save over the course of a month using their drinks bottles and food canisters for our lunches both for work, school and days out, as well as thinking about the environment and how much packaging we can cut down on.

My husband often has hot drinks on the go during his trips to London, I often buy lunches instead of taking something to work and although we always try to take some on our days out, drinks can get expensive whether hot or cold.

The bright drinks bottles are perfect for both kids and adults alike, and with double-wall vacuum insulation it keeps your drink warm for 12 hours or cold for 24 hours, leak proof caps and stainless steel meaning no flavours are absorbed. The food canisters keep stuff warm for 4 hours and cold for 12 hours, they are BPA free and food grade stainless steel.


3 July 2016

Mums Grown Up Party Fun

I always decorate our dining room table for birthdays, nothing excites everyone more than coming down and seeing what pretties I have put up. Streamers, banners and balloons and then homemade cakes mean we have a very jolly day.

For me though, the house is usually lacking in decoration on my birthday, last year was the first year I got some balloons with my presents, most exciting. So this year after speaking with the lovely people at Talking Tables I set out to create my own bright birthday table and mini party on our glamping trip at Lantern and Larks.


2 July 2016

Glamping at Lantern and Larks Rutland

Last weekend we were invited to spend the weekend with Lantern & Larks at their wonderful site in Rutland, Leicestershire. Sat in what I think would have been the walled garden of Exton Park, it is a wonderfully secluded spot surrounded by trees.

lantern and larks rutland

lantern and larks rutland