Thursday 28 December 2017

Games Night - Logo - What Am I?

Last week we played LOGO What Am I? on our Sunday night games night. 

LOGO What Am I? has the same core elements as the original LOGO board game but in place of the trivia, it challenges you in a number of different ways: Describe it! Guess it! Draw it!

The cards have a variety of random items listed like brands of food, high street shops and everyday household items and depending on which space on the board you land on you have to either describe the item by drawing it, describing it or only answering yes or no to the questions you are asked.

We enjoyed playing the game and even managed to guess some of Luke's drawings! 

Hair Straighteners

Harry Potter

Christmas Wreath

The Christmas wreath that I normally hang on my front door was looking very shabby so I decided that I needed a new one this year. I looked at the local garden centres and they were quite expensive so I decided I would have a go at making one. I bought a willow heart from a local discount shop and then armed with a pair of secateurs went down the field in search of holly and greenery.

There was plenty of holly but the birds had eaten most of the berries, I did find an odd branch with one berry on so I ended up picking the last of the rose hips to add a little bit of colour to the wreath.

I threaded the stems into the willow frame and I think it looked very effective and Christmassy. It cost a fraction of the price of the ones in the shops and I had the satisfaction of knowing I made it myself. Our front door is quite sheltered so it still looks nice after a couple of weeks and I can reuse the willow heart next year.

Friday 15 December 2017

Review - Level Preston

A What's Good to Do Review

On Tuesday evening we went to Preston’s latest entertainment venue - Level, a part of the Guild Hall Complex. The traffic was horrendous and we didn't think we would make it on time but as we know Preston we manged to do a few detours round the back streets and finding a convenient parking space close to the Guild Hall meant we made it on time! 

As its name suggests the venue is split over three levels offering a range of different activities. On Level 1 you can play Laser Tag, Crazy Golf, Arcade Games or sing in one of the Karaoke Booths. Level 3 hosts an assault course and Level 2 is the new 10 pin bowling alley which we had been invited to review. Level is the latest addition to the Preston Guild Hall complex which is the brainchild of local businessman Simon Rimmer. He has totally revamped the Guild Hall and returned it to its former glory. A good mix of restaurants and bars makes it a great place to spend an evening. For those who knew Preston many years ago, Level is where the old Morrisons used to be in the Guild Hall arcade. 

The venue hosts 8 lanes, 6 available to anybody with another two in the VIP private function area called “Spare Room.” This area is available to hire separately and has plenty of comfy looking sofas which would be perfect for larger groups of friends or parties.  The VIP area has waiter service and you even have your own choice of music to personalise your event! Unlike many other bowling alleys Level avoids the loud music and even louder colour schemes and goes for a much more sumptuous “Grown Up” decor. Whilst children are welcome I can see this becoming a popular part of Preston’s nightlife.

I was really impressed when we walked inside; there was plenty of seating as you entered with a nice looking bar area. As this is a new venue everything was lovely and shiny and the bowling lanes looked stunning. It was a really nice change to bowl in such lovely surroundings and be able to buy decent food rather than the normal burger and fries! The Mundo Street Kitchen offers a range of American, Mexican and Spanish dishes at reasonable prices. The menu has something for everyone with burgers, hot dogs and steaks and a good range of nibbles and side dishes.

The touch screen control panels were easy to use and you could choose to add the buffers at any point in the game. We started without them but after the first go when both his balls rolled down the gutter Luke decided that he might have more of a chance if he used them! We all enjoyed playing 10 pin bowls and found it was a much more pleasant environment with only having 8 lanes. Whilst we were there, 4 lanes were in use and there seemed to be the right amount of bowling balls to suit everyone, we only used the lighter balls but there were also plenty of the heavier ones still on the racks behind us.
In addition to the bowling lanes the second level also has the Brooklyn Sports Bar, and Pointers & Co, a games room that offers darts, pool and shuffleboard.

Off peak bowling which is Monday to Thursday 10-5pm costs £6 for adults and £4 for children and peak time (everyday 5pm-close and all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday) is £8 for adults and £6 for children.
We had a great night out and I’m sure it won’t be long before we return.

We received one game of bowling for the purpose of the review but all words and images are our own.

Sunday 10 December 2017

Sunday Night Game - Banagrams

This week we decided to play Banagrams, usually we play as two teams but as William was out we all played separately.  

The game starts with one player shouting "SPLIT" and everyone turns over their tiles and tries to make words in a crossword style, very similar to Scrabble but without a board. Everyone plays at the same time so there is no waiting for your turn. Whenever a player has used up all their tiles they shout "PEEL" and everyone collects another tile. You can re arrange your tiles as much as you like to use all the letters. If you have a handful of tricky letters like "Q" "X" or "Z" you can choose to swap them by saying "DUMP" and putting them back in the bunch - you have to take three tiles for each one you dump. I find this can be quite helpful at the start of the game.

When the bunch has fewer tiles than there are players when you put the last letter in your grid you say "BANANAS" instead of "PEEL." Your grid is checked by the other players and if any grids have misspelled words or unacceptable words then the others shout out "ROTTEN BANANA" and you are out of the game. The tiles are returned to the bunch and play continues until "BANANAS" is called again. The winner is the person who uses all their tiles first and has a grid full of acceptable words. 

Mark is notoriously bad at word games and rarely wins however he was on a lucky streak tonight and won the first game and third (after a slight dictionary adjustment!!)

Tuesday 5 December 2017

Prestige Flowers Review

I was recently asked by Prestige Flowers if I would like to review one of their Christmas bouquets. Of course I love flowers, (who doesn't?),  so I was thrilled when the beautiful Noel bouquet arrived. 

Prestige Flowers are an online florist who deliver flowers to every corner of the UK. They have a huge range of bouquets to choose from, and with Christmas bouquets starting from £19.99 there should be one to suit most budgets. They know how important it is that the recipient is delighted with their flower arrangement so all orders come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

The flowers were very well packaged in a sturdy cardboard box and came via royal Mail, I wasn't in when they were delivered so the postman left them next door. The flowers were well packed and there was a wet cloth around the flowers to keep them fresh whilst in transit. The flowers looked fresh and you wouldn't have guessed that they had come through the post.

The Noel bouquet costs £24.99 and comes with a free box of chocolates. You can also add extras to your order, a vase costs £5.99, Christmas candle £8.99 or even a cuddly bear for £5.99 making it the perfect Christmas gift for a friend or family member. The bouquet looks gorgeous with snow white roses, white chrysanthemums and blue eryngium together with silver pine cones and palm leaves. The addition of a couple of glittery purple stars and glistening purple berries gives it a real festive feel. 

There are 4 roses in the bouquet, they were all open when they arrived 6 days ago and I am quite impressed that three of them are still looking good after almost a week. One started drooping yesterday but all the other flowers in the bouquet still look great and I have received many compliments about my flowers.

The chocolates tasted amazing and were coated in thick chocolate. I wasn't expecting much as they were free with the bouquet but they were surprisingly good. There was a nice selection of flavours and they didn't last long in our house!

I would certainly use Prestige Flowers flowers again as I was very impressed with the delivery and the beautiful flowers, the flowers are in the lounge and I have enjoyed looking at them every day.   

I received these flowers in return for a review. All words and images are my own

Sunday 3 December 2017

Sunday Night Games Night - Upwords

This week for our family game night we played Upwords, the game is a bit like Scrabble but you can build words upwards, scoring more points. Luke proved to be quite adept at this game and put us all to shame! William was a well deserved second.

Friday 1 December 2017


Mum bought me this beautiful orchid about three weeks ago, it is absolutely full of flowers and looks amazing. 

Sunday 26 November 2017

Games Night

We enjoy playing board games and now the nights are cold and dark we have decided to start our Sunday night board games night again.

This week Luke chose Blockbusters, this is a game I had as a child based on the TV quiz show presented by Bob Holness that was popular in the 80's. The boys had never heard of it but that didn't matter.

We adapted the rules a little as the original game didn't have a question master. Mark took on the role of question master and we used our answer buzzers to make the game more like the TV show. We even suggested Luke got his teddy as the teams on TV always had a mascot! 

The boys were the blue team and I was the white. We played a few games and as my general knowledge was better than the boys I was the overall winner!

Sunday 19 November 2017 £5 Christmas Challenge

With Christmas only 5 weeks away I think I am reasonably organised for once and have a good idea what to buy everyone. One of my favourite parts of Christmas shopping is finding nice gifts for the boys stockings so when I was asked if I wanted to take part in the #SDFiverChallenge with and BritMums it was an easy decision but once I had accepted the challenge I then had the difficult task of choosing gifts for £5 or less from Sports Direct. I only say difficult because when I looked online there is such a huge range available that it was difficult only choosing a few! is not somewhere I had really considered for stocking fillers as we only tend to buy outdoor gear, walking shoes and footwear from them but having taken part in the challenge I will definitely be using them much more!

We are an active family and spend a lot of time outdoors so when I saw these Karrimor hiking socks I knew they would be perfect for William. I have always found Karrimor socks to be very good quality and 3 pairs for £4.50 was a real bargain. With our Snowdon trip planned for next year I think I will be placing another order for other family members. 

Luke keeps borrowing William's small dry bag so I thought the Karrimor XXS dry bag would be a good stocking filler for Luke. As you can see from the label the bag was half price and was perfect for the challenge

It was very easy to place an order and I was very impressed with the regular progress updates. I placed my order late on a Thursday night and the parcel was delivered first thing Saturday morning which was very fast! 

This post is an entry for BritMums Christmas #sdfiverchallenge, sponsored by Sportsdirect.com

We received a Sports Direct voucher in exchange for this post, however all opinions are my own.

Friday 27 October 2017

The sheep have arrived!

Luke was very excited on Tuesday night because when he came home from school he spotted the sheep in the field. We have overwintered sheep for many years now, these sheep have come from a farm on the fells and they usually arrive at the end of October and stay until March. Since Dad has been ill Luke has taken over looking after them and goes down the field on the quad to count them every other night. He also checks that they are all ok and none are stuck in the hedge. He really enjoys looking after them and we all like seeing them in the field.

Saturday 14 October 2017

Monster Island

Last weekend we looked after my younger niece and nephews whilst their Mum, Dad, sister and brother went to an early Halloween event. They all enjoy watching films so we decided to have a film night, normally they chose a film from our vast selection of DVD's but as I had just received a copy of Monster Island it seemed the perfect opportunity to watch it. 

Monster Island is an animated film about a boy called Lucas who finds out he’s not really a human and the news changes his whole world, especially since his first monster transformation happens in front of the most popular kids at school! After unreasonably blaming his dad for keeping his identity a secret, the angry and embarrassed Lucas runs away from home. His search for Monster Island and his real roots take him on a fabulously scary journey that puts him face-to-face with more tentacles, fangs and far-out situations than he can shake one of his new wings at. Ultimately Lucas learns that being a freak, isn’t freaky - it means you’re a member of a brand new type of family, you can proudly call your own.

All the children loved the film, they sat transfixed throughout and the only sound was their laughter which is always lovely to hear. It is a fun, entertaining film with a few good witty lines that is perfect for the whole family. 

With a PG rating, Monster Island is an animated film from the producer of Top Cat Begins, and the writer of box office hits Madagascar and The Jungle Book. The film features voice talent from Despicable Me and Khumba: A Zebra's Tale.

Half term and Halloween are fast approaching so if you are looking for activities to keep your children occupied in the school holidays why not make some popcorn and have your own film day with Monster Island which is available to buy on DVD from the 16 October 2017.

We received a copy of Monster Island for the purpose of this post.

Sunday 8 October 2017

#ChileanEasyPeelers Challenge with BritMums

When I was a child we always loved autumn because Mum started buying tangerines. We used to get through so many she ended up buying them by the box and they always kept well in our pantry, much better than they do these days where you can guarantee that at least one fruit in the bag will be mouldy after only a couple of days. I was quite impressed that none of the Chilean Easy Peelers went mouldy so I will certainly be looking out for these in the shops as I hate wasting food. These days tangerines are available all year round but I find they can be quite tasteless out of season so I only tend to buy them at this time of year. 

My children have always enjoyed eating fruit and vegetables and they both enjoyed eating the Chilean Easy Peelers. The demand for Chilean easy peelers is growing in the UK as the convenient, seedless fruits are sweet in flavor and a hydrating snack, perfect for families. With year on year growth of 32% in tonnes sold in the UK, the amount of Chilean mandarins sold last season reached over 2,000 tonnes. The predictions for this year’s crop are even greater. Available in supermarket shelves from September to November, the delicious fruits are the ideal snack for back to school season.

Both boys take a packed lunch and the Chilean Easy Peelers are great to include in their lunch boxes. Luke also had one with his breakfast so the box we were sent to try didn't last long! I find they are great to take to work and stop me reaching for the chocolate when I hit the mid afternoon munchies!

Chilean Easy Peelers are great for children for as well as being low in calories, fat and a good provider of vitamins and minerals they help to provide children with fibre, folate, vitamin C, potassium, calcium and magnesium. They are also a great source of water being  about 87 per cent water and eating foods with a high water content may help to keep them hydrated too. 

This post is an entry for the BritMums #ChileanEasyPeelers Challenge, sponsored by Chilean Citrus Committee

Saturday 9 September 2017

What's Growing in the Greenhouse?

As well as the usual tomatoes and cucumbers Mum likes to grow a few different fruits, she has been quite successful with pineapples over the last couple of years and we have had two this summer. She is also growing a couple of different types of melons, they are not ready yet so we could do with a bit more sun to help them grow!