27 March 2020

Review: All New Super Wings Toys & Magazines!

0 comments
Now that the kids are at home a lot more I've been searching for toys and activities to keep them busy, especially Harlow who is only 5 and has the attention span of a flea! We've been really lucky recently and the lovely Super Wings team sent us some of their new toys and fabulous magazines to try out.


For those that don't know Super Wings is a top flight preschool animation, available to watch on TinyPop and Cartoonito. It's a firm favourite cartoon at home and when we go abroad. Each episode follows Jett, the adorable plane who travels the globe delivering packages to children in different counties. On every delivery Jett encounters a new problem that he and his friends must work together to solve.


The Super Wings aren't just regular aeroplanes either: They have the ability to transform into amazing heroes who can run, climb, lift, dig and even dive deep under the sea! Super Wings is a fun show which is full of positive messages (I know it's for younger children but even Logan has a quick glance now and again) – from problem solving and teamwork to educational highlights and cultural diversity, Super Wings is a great way to get little ones’ to work together and think about the world we live in. The new series (series 4) of Super Wings launched on 2nd March 2020 so it'll be available to watch now. Perfect for those home learning moments when the adults need a little break.


So what toys did Harlow get sent? Well we received the lovely new Rescue Riders Playset (RRP £29.99) and one of the new Series 3 Transforming Vehicles (RRP: £9.99). Ours was yellow and called Donnie. The Rescue Riders Playset is from the latest Super Wings product range and coincides with Series 3 of Super Wings Mission Teams called the Rescue Riders. The playset is based on Sparky the Fire Truck and includes; lights and sounds, detachable ladder which can swivel 180 degrees, side mounted ‘water hose’ which can be taken out and attached to the front of the ladder, front hook which can be pulled to assist any rescues, plus pull the side leaver to release Zoe, an exclusive Super Wings character that comes with the playset. It's also compatible with the transforming vehicles, such as the Donnie we received, so Harlow has been having tons of fun putting these all together and rescuing her toy babies.


As for the Series 3 Transforming Vehicles they can transform from plane to robot in 10 easy steps. This was a favourite of Harlow's because it was simple and easy to do and held lots of pretend play potential. Super Wings fans can re-enact and master the transformation of their favourite characters from the popular TV show or create their own new adventures with their imagination. They make for great birthday presents and little gifts. A good alternative to Easter chocolate. There are over 20 characters to collect and some of the new ones are; Build-It Jett, Police Jett, Build-It Donnie, Rescue Dizzy, Astra, Scoop and Kim. All of these toys including the playset can be purchased from Smyths Toys.



As well as these awesome toys Super Wings have also brought out some magazines! Harlow loves a magazine and they're always full of fun educational activities so I quite like them too. They definitely keep her busy. The Super Wings magazine is based on the adventures of Jett and the team and is published by Signature Publishing. The first issue launched in January but you'll be able to pick up the 3rd issue now since we're in March. Every issue of the magazine comes with an exclusive bespoke toy and the magazine is packed with stories, puzzles, colouring activities and much more to keep youngsters entertained. The magazine is available at all good supermarkets and newsagents nationwide so should be easy enough to pick up on your next trip.


Harlow has really enjoyed all of her Super Wings goodies and they've been getting played with regularly and the magazines have been keeping her busy and learning at the same time. I'll definitely be buying the next issue!

These items where gifted in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

15 March 2020

Review: Dreamimals - Dream Pillow & Keychain

0 comments
Every child at some stage will go through a phase of not wanting to go to bed or making a massive fuss at bed time because they're scared of the dark or don't want to have bad dreams. That's where Dreamimals comes to the rescue. The fabulous dreamimals dream pillow helps to create a comfort zone around bedtime allowing for a calming ritual type routine to help settle your child. It's a cute fluffy pillow complete with accompanying cloud notepad where you write down the good dreams you want to have and then put them inside the pillow before going to bed.


Dreamimals are a great idea and allows your child to take control by writing or drawing their thoughts and dreams that they wish to have. If anything it will definitely help improve and promote positive thinking and visualisation techniques which are great coping strategies when we feel a little worried. The comforting cuddle cushion comes in 4 different styles; Original, Sharkie, Lamby and Pinkie, and it's sure to offer soothing emotional support to whoever needs it.

Harlow received Pinkie to try out, who is a super cute sleeping Koala, and she loves it! Pinkie is of course pink but also fluffy and amazingly super soft. Inside the dreamimals box is not only your chosen pillow friend but a set of instructions, storybook and 60 dream wishes (the cloud notepad). It's simple to use as I've explained above but have your child write their thoughts or good dreams they'd like to have that evening on a dream wishes cloud, take it off and put it inside the cuddle cushion and hey presto! Good sweet dreams will come their way.


I found it an easy concept to grasp and so did Harlow. When I showed her the box and explained what Pinkie was for she got on board straight away and couldn't wait to try it out. We've had Pinkie with us for a month now and it's a firm fixture at bedtime for miss madam. Pinkie even has a special place on her bed during the day when she's at school so that's always a good sign. Harlow recently had some bad dreams and has been worrying a lot about people passing away (I'm sure they all go through a phase of this) but I feel the dream pillow has really helped alleviate some of that anxiety and steered her towards concentrating on having good dreams and happy thoughts.

Dreamimals dream pillows are excellent for cuddling into and I think kids of all ages will love them. I even had a sneaky shot when Harlow wasn't looking, so comfy! They'd make a great travel companion for road trips and plane journeys and I'll definitely be packing Pinkie for our next trip.It would be rude not to. These dreamimals dream pillows retail from £15.99 which is a great price for something that's going to last. And if you like these there's also the day dreamimals keychain (RRP £8.95).


The dreamimals keychains are lovely little mini versions of the bigger pillows and can be clipped to school bags and rucksacks and taken with you wherever you go to promote good positive day dreaming. It uses the same concept as the dream pillows but for day time instead of night time. Excellent for maybe more worried or nervous children who need a comforting boost to add to their day. Harlow loves hers as she can take it to school and show her friends. It also reminds her of happy thinking if she's ever feeling sad.

I would highly recommend both the dream pillow and keychain to anyone looking to give their kids the best chance at a great nights sleep. If you're having problems with your child getting to sleep then this is definitely worth a shot. Harlow struggles at times and I feel this is really helping. We've tried so many things but this is just something really different and so fun.


Both products have been gifted for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. 

5 March 2020

World Book Day - Books Aren't Just For Reading

1 comments
World Book Day is always a favourite celebration of ours. We're a house full of book worms and love getting lost in a world of imagination and magical tales. But have you thought about what you can do with a book after you've read it? We often of course re read our books but books aren't just for reading! There's a whole host of amazing and fun things you can do to give life back to an old book. One of those ingenious was is to repurpose a book as craft material. The lovely people from Viking sent us lots of supplies to get us started on crafting with books so I'm going to show you how we got on.


So what was in our craft box? Well we received some stamping ink, ink pad, A4 paper, sharpie pen, paper punch, A4 gold frame, old book paper, an alphabet stamp kit and a special booked called Book Art by Clare Youngs. All of these items were going to help us get arty and create something beautiful out of old books.


My daughter absolutely loves crafting of any form and her one complaint about starting primary school is that they don't do enough crafts ha ha. So to keep her happy we often pull the craft box out at home and get busy. You can imagine her face was full of delight when she received this lovely box of goodies and she wanted to get stuck in straight away.


There are lots of different ideas inside the Book Art book by Clare Youngs to get you inspired for creating some beautiful pieces. There's ideas for making gorgeous buttons or birdcage cards or what about a cute stand-up lion or some pop up flowers. So many ideas to keep the crafting hands busy. Harlow decided to take some inspo from one of her favourite bedtime stories - Alien's Love Underpants - and we set about creating a masterpiece of art befitting of our home.


Harlow started out by drawing underpants on the old book pages so we could cut them out and use for our aliens. We then stuck the underpants to come colour A4 paper and drew the aliens around them. They looked really good and Harlow was so pleased with the outcome. We needed a background piece of paper for our work so Harlow chose a dark blue to compliment the Alien's Love Underpants story book. It worked really well and when we stuck the aliens down they really popped with their cool underpants.


Next up Harlow was desperate to get stuck into the ink and alphabet stamp kit. She chose some letter and randomly stamped them around the dark blue paper so it kind of resembled stars. She also used the little paper punches and put a piece of white paper at the back to add a bit of contrast to the piece. We also thought it would be best to include a planet of some sort and an alien space ship which we covered in some old book pages to tie in with the alien's underpants. It really was all coming together and considering Harlow is only 5 she had some great ideas.


Before we finished up and framed our piece Harlow decided she needed to put some finger prints on one of the aliens and some love hearts on the other from the stamp kit. I feel this really brought the aliens to life. So fabulous and arty. Last but not least, like any good artist, Harlow signed her work and framed it. She was so so pleased with herself and I think it's pretty fabulous. It now has pride of place in our living room for all to see.


Although this might not be conventional crafting it's definitely great to get little ones involved and when they pop off to Granny's or even have a nap you can get stuck into the more trickier book art like fruit sculptures hanging decorations. It's a great way to use up old books and who knows it might even give you a little hobby on the way.


Harlow loved making her Alien's Love Underpants picture and we've a few supplies left which I'm sure will be getting used again soon. It's a relatively low cost activity which keeps the kids busy and gets them thinking of their favoruite books whilst using up old ones. Win win!

The stationery was gifted for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own.  

21 February 2020

Dinner with a View at The Lodge on Loch Lomond Hotel

1 comments
If the weather's starting to get you down and you just feel like you need a little break away from it all then I'd highly recommend a visit to the Lodge on Loch Lomond hotel. It's the perfect getaway for couples and families looking to have a relaxing luxury break.


You might have seen my last post reviewing our own relaxing stay at the Lodge on Loch Lomond Hotel but now I'm going to tell you all about the delicious meal we had in their Colquhoun’s Restaurant. So you might want to have some snacks handy as this will probably make you hungry!


Colquhoun's Restaurant is one of Scotland's ultimate waterfront dining experiences. The views across Loch Lomond in Luss are just breath taking. We popped in for dinner on our stay and managed to sit beside the windows and catch the sun setting. It was absolutely beautiful to watch. Even the kids seemed impressed with our views and Harlow was constantly looking for wildlife which was cute.


The restaurant itself is very big with plenty of space and magnificent floor to ceiling windows. Even though it has an impressive size it still manages to maintain it's warm intimate feel. I'm happy to report it is also very child friendly with decent children's menus. When we visited there were lots of families staying and dining out. The children's menu has a colouring in sheet printed on the back to help keep the kids occupied and crayons are provided. Harlow loves colouring in so this kept her very happy.


For us adults there was lots of tasty food choices to choose from on our menu. It took us a minute or two to decide what we really wanted to try but finally settled on our choices. Whilst we perused the menu we had very attentive staff take our drinks orders and answer any food related questions we had. They were all very helpful and polite.


So what did we go for then? Well for starters the hubby chose the delicious beef cheek which came with shallot puree, beer mustard and root vegetable crisps. I had a taste, of course for research purchases, and honestly it was to die for. So tender and juicy, and the presentation was beautiful. The hubby had it scoffed down in no time. I went for something different and chose the sweet potato and garden pea pakora which came with chilli sambal and crispy onions. Again great presentation and they were mouth watering, highly recommend. The kids had a choice of either soup or seasonal melon and strawberries. Since non liked the soup on offer and don't particularly eat melon the staff were happy to give them a big bowl of strawberries each which kept them happy. Strawberries are Logan's favourite fruit so he was delighted.


After devouring our starters we couldn't wait to see what the mains would be like. The hubby ordered the pork belly which came with truffle mash, roasted shallot and black pudding bon bons. I went for good old battered Atlantic haddock which came with chunky chips, tartare, pickled onions and mushy peas. Both dishes were very moreish, we couldn't fault them at all. Everything was perfectly cooked and the portion sizes were excellent as you can see from the photos. I was so impressed with the hubby's plate of pork belly that I'd have it myself if we ever went back. It just tasted so good. The fish was equally delicious with tasty chunky chips. Both the kids were happy with their mains too with Logan opting for fish and chips and Harlow going for macaroni and chips. They were good sized healthy portions too. I'm always wary about some children's menus as the portion sizes can be tiny. You've nothing to worry about here though, plenty to fill the kids bellies.


By this point we were all getting full but couldn't refuse a dessert to finish of a fantastic meal. The kids chose their favourite flavour of ice cream each. Strawberry for Logan and Chocolate for Harlow. They got 3 scoops each which was more than enough after a filling meal. The hubby went for the peanut butter parfait which came with banana ice cream and caramelised banana. I chose the sticky toffee pudding which came with tablet ice cream. We thoroughly enjoyed our yummy desserts and felt relaxed and chilled in the restaurants surroundings. The kids were happy which means we were happy, ha ha, and we were ready to retire to our lovely room for a sound sleep.


The Colquhoun's restaurant is open for dinner Monday to Sunday nights, and bookings are advised as it can get busy. They are a fully licenced venue with an extensive range of wine and whisky as well as some delicious cocktails. There's sure to be something to suit everyone. We all really enjoyed our food at the Lodge on Loch Lomond and even if you aren't staying the night it's worth booking into the restaurant for a great meal. Service was good, everyone was friendly, the food was amazing and timely, we couldn't have asked for more really. Highly recommend and I'm sure we'll be back or I might just go back myself for a rest!


This was a gifted meal in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

19 February 2020

Review: Funatic Foam - Good Clean Fun!

0 comments
Getting the kids to have a bath these days seems harder the older they are! I even wrote a post about it a few years ago as it was beyond frustrating and only a few things would work. So if you're struggling at times like me you'll be so pleased to hear there's another amazing tool you can add to the magic "how to get the kids in the bath" box. Introducing the fabulous Funatic Foam! It's the all new way to keep clean with instant foam in a can. Just the sort of thing to have the kids leaping into the bath.


I surprised my two with a bottle each at bath time the other night and you should have seen their happy little faces. They were super thrilled and couldn't get in the bath quick enough, just what I wanted. Even better, because the foam is actually soap, they wanted to wash themselves leaving me with spare time I never knew I'd get back. Win win!


So what's it all about then? It's basically gorgeously scented foam soap that can spray up to 3 meters. It comes in 3 different scents and colours which include; Blue Bubblegum, Green Apple and Pink Berry. Logan received the apple and Harlow received the berry. I can confirm they both smell amazing and the kids thought so too. The Funatic Foam bottle has an easy to use trigger nozzle allowing even the littlest hands to use it effectively. Harlow is 5 and controlled it no bother, she had so much fun trying to practice her numbers and letters. You'll be pleased to hear Funatic Foam has a no stain formula and I can vouch for this. The kids had it sprayed all up the tiles and over the bath.


Did you know Funatic Foam is great to use outside too. I think it would be awesome in the Summer months for foaming up a slippery slide, creating a cool bubble party or even an alternative to a water fight since it can spray up to 3 meters. Endless fun possibilities and the great thing is the kids will be so clean after it ha ha.


My kids both played with this in the bath for ages with Logan exclaiming it as "the best bath present yet!" so I class that as a winner and a definite purchase in future. At £5.99 a bottle it's a great price considering how much I spend on bath bombs for the kids which are only one use. I'd even buy this as an extra little gift present to go in with the kids friends for birthday parties.


As I mentioned Harlow really enjoyed practicing her letters and numbers with Funatic Foam but she also just enjoyed skooshing it around the bath and cleaning her babies. She loves making potions and this was perfect to aid her in the task of potion master. Boy does that girl love a potion! Logan really enjoyed making little islands on the bath water and he asked me to write his name. The foam fills out so well that Logan said it looked like an alien coming out of the wall. He really did love it. He's now hiding his bottle from his sisters grasp!


Overall I think this stuff is absolutely brilliant. It has a great price point, smells good, encourages the kids to get in the bath and clean themselves, and it's completely stain free. What more could you ask for? If you're interested in purchasing a bottle or two then you'll find it at your nearest Tesco store.


The Funactic Foam was gifted for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. 

What is ABA? And Can it Help Your Autistic Child?

0 comments

As a mum of an autistic child (and the wife of an autistic husband) I know a lot of parents really struggle when it comes to the behavioral aspects that present themselves through autism. Some behaviours such as stimming aren't really an issue for most, it certainly isn't for us as both my son and husband do this, however there's some undesirable behaviours such as aggression, obsessions with technology or lack of eating/trying new food which can sometimes cause issues.

I recently heard of ABA and desperately wanted to find out more about it and what it can offer to someone on the spectrum. So in short ABA is Applied Behaviour Analysis, it's the science of human behaviour which in turn has been used as a therapy to help certain learning and behaviour patterns. There's a longer and more complicated definition which states: "Applied Behaviour Analysis = the science in which tactics derived from the principles of behavior are applied systematically to improve socially significant behavior, and experimentation is used to identify the variables responsible for behavior change (Cooper, Heron and Heward 2007)." The goal is to increase behaviours that are helpful and decrease behaviours that are harmful or affect learning.

Hopefully that all makes sense so far to you as it does to me. It's probably something we use in our day to day lives but since autistic behaviors can be more extreme they are often harder to help (and oh how I've been there with both my son and husband) and that's where ABA therapy can come in and help in real life situations. The practice is used extensively in education, healthcare, animal training, and business management. It is particularly prominent in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), for which it is one of the only scientifically valid therapies available.

It's as simple as rewarding the good behaviour and trying to alter the unwanted behaviour without causing massive upset to the person involved. I can liken it to something we've been working on with my son. He is particularly obsessed with his PlayStation. He would play it for hours if we let him and a few years ago would have major meltdowns if he had to turn it off. We've worked really hard with him, giving him timers, warnings when to come off, reward incentives etc and it was super super hard to start with but we stuck to it and he's gradually got better and better. He now realises that he gets nothing if he presents bad behaviour but if he comes off without a fuss then he gets a reward. He isn't getting stressed, neither are us as parents and it's an all round winner. This was very difficult for us to do and stick to as the meltdowns aren't easy to deal with and I would have loved to have had the support and guidance from an expert who knew what they were doing. The NHS is great but sometimes for autism and mental health etc everything takes twice as long to get done. It's soul destroying for parents and really frustrating.

That's where Gemma from Keys for Learning comes in. She offers lots of different services and support from Therapy, Online/Distance Coaching, Parent Training Courses, Social Skills Club, Nursery School Training and Webinars. If I'd have known Gemma existed then I would have definitely been in touch when my son was younger. We've done everything from speech and language, parenting sessions and CAHMS and to be honest nothing has really worked for us apart from great support from the school and putting our sensible approaches into action. It's been tough so expert support would have been much appreciated.

So how can ABA help? It can; increase language and communication skills, improve attention & focus, social skills and academics and decrease problem behaviours. Behaviour analysis has been used and studied for decades. It has helped many kinds of learners gain different skills – from healthier lifestyles (e.g. smoking cessation and adhering to a healthy diet and exercise regime) to learning a new language. It's aimed at a wide variety of people but can also be used to help those on the spectrum.

How can ABA therapy work for someone who is autistic? ABA involves many techniques for understanding and changing behaviour. It can be tailored to meet the needs of each unique person. It can be used in many different locations e.g. at home, at school, and in the community to keep everything uniform. It teaches skills that are useful in everyday life i.e. coping strategies and it can be offered in a one-to-one setting or group instruction.

You might be thinking that all sounds great but how do I know someone working with my child is genuine and has had the proper training? ABA services can only be provided by a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA), a board certified assistant behaviour analyst (BCaBA), and a registered behaviour technician (RBT). To become a BCBA, the following is needed: earn a master’s degree or PhD in psychology or behaviour analysis and pass a national certification exam. ABA therapy programs can also involve therapists, parents, or teachers. These people are trained and supervised by the BCBA. They work directly with children and adults with autism to practice skills and work toward the individual goals written by the BCBA.

Typically developing children learn without intervention as the world around them provides the right conditions to learn language, play, and social skills. Children with autism learn less easily from the environment. They have the potential to learn, but it takes a very structured environment, one where conditions are optimised for acquiring the same skills typical children learn “naturally.” ABA provides the tools to structure the environment to enable children with autism to learn.

I really believe that early intervention can really help people with autism. It's a big scary place out there and providing our autistic loved ones with the skills they need to feel comfortable in their environment can really help. My husband didn't have any early intervention and wasn't diagnosed until after our son. His diagnosis played a big part in helping him come to terms with his behaviours and also making him feel more comfortable and empowered in his own skin.

Decades of research have validated treatments based on ABA to support its efficacy in teaching young children with autism and other related learning difficulties. ABA is the only scientifically validated treatment for ASD and is recommended by the U.S Surgeon General.  As with all educational fields it’s a dynamic field and continues to develop with the ever growing research.

If you feel like this is something that could benefit your child and your family then do get in touch with Gemma via the Keys for Learning website. She's super friendly, open minded and definitely does not judge. There's also no pressure what so ever so if you change your mind at any stage it's not an issue. She's there to help and set you on the right path. Gemma also has some fab new Parenting Courses which have literally just been released so please do check them out at Keys For Learning.

Here's some more info below for you to consider;

The Behaviour Academy: proven strategies to reduce challenging behaviours and fulfill your child’s potential

Living with a child who frequently engages in challenging behaviour isn't easy.  

Many of the parents I have worked with are utterly fed up with the lack of meaningful support available and are often at their wits end feeling:

overwhelmed
stressed
frustrated
exhausted


But, the good news is, it doesn't have to be this way!

Learn Strategies to Teach your Child with Autism New Skills and Reduce Challenging Behaviours without the overwhelm, stress and frustration.

**Feel empowered by upskilling yourself*

There is no one more motivated than a parent to teach their own child so let me train you how to become your child’s best teacher. 

I can guide you, step-by-step, to help you create and implement an effective plan to help your child experience REAL positive change; increase language and daily living skills whilst reducing problem behaviours. 

Feel confident and in control to fulfil your child's potential.

**What's it all about??**
This 12 week interactive course is an evidence based parent training curriculum that will teach you all of the necessary tools to reduce your child’s disruptive behaviours AND teach them new skills.

You will learn hands-on strategies that work and that you can start using immediately!

Each session introduces effective behaviour change strategies and includes:
• easy-to-use activity sheets,
• checklists,
• take-home activity sheets to help you apply what they have learned each week. 

The Behaviour Academy will…
1. Help you feel confident, empowered and in control.
2. Provide you with hands-on strategies that you can use immediately with your child.
3. Give you the knowledge to understand why your child behaves the way they are and how you can change their behaviour for the better.
5. Provide you with the support and guidance you need to learn and implement the content.

There are limited spaces available so that members can receive regular support and mentorship.

Open to professionals too


Still unsure or have some questions??? 
Let's have a chat on the phone to see if this course is the right fit for you.  Text Gemma to arrange a phone call on 07706892957


This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own. I understand that ABA is not for everyone but no one should have the choice taken away from them and their family.

10 February 2020

Review: Inflata Nation Glasgow

1 comments
The family and I were recently invited along to try out the fab Inflata Nation in Glasgow at the weekend there, and we were all very excited to visit. I can hear your brain ticking thinking "what is Inflata Nation?" so don't worry I'm going to dive right in and tell you all about it.


Most people have heard of soft plays and trampoline parks but Inflata Nation is a giant inflatable theme park! Think bouncy castle but on a monster scale! It's a brilliant idea and something the whole family can enjoy together. There are several different Inflata Nation theme parks up and down the country from Manchester, Newcastle etc but our closest here in Scotland is Glasgow.


We drove from Fife and it took us an hour to get there and we found the venue pretty easily. It's situated on Portman Street which isn't far from the SSE Hydro so really central. It's also in a sort of industrial area so lots of free parking around the streets. It can get busy but keep driving round and you'll find a space. We arrived for the 11am bounce slot and there was loads of parking up and down the side streets so no bother at all.


Inflata Nation Glasgow is open 10am to 7pm Mon,Wed, Fri and Sun, and 10am to 8pm on Tuesday and Thursday. On Saturday they are open from 9am to 7pm which is great if you have early risers like my kids. They're always up at the crack of dawn asking what we're doing or where we're going. It's also worth noting that Inflata Nation are open all year round, only closing on Christmas Day and New Years Day! It's the perfect place to entertain the kids whilst keeping warm and dry.


There's more to the theme park than just being a giant bouncy castle though with different cool areas all joined together for extra bouncing fun. There's Inflata Bubbles which are bounce loaded spheres that shoot you up in the air, there's Inflata Wall where you can test your climbing skills and still land on a soft bouncy area, there's Inflata Balls where you can leap from ball to ball and post to post to test your balance, there's also a massive ball pit, obstacle course, huge slides and an inflatable tots area for the younger children. Honestly so much to keep the kids busy and occupied.


The best and quickest way to book a trip and save yourself time is by going online to the Inflata Nation website. I did it this way and it was so quick. You just choose your bounce location, select how many people are in your party and click book. It'll take you to a page where you can select your preferred day and time slot then it'll take you through to pay. I also printed and filled in the waiver forms before going which meant we were literally at the reception desk for two minutes getting our wristbands. Kids under 4 cost £4.99 and anyone over 4 is £8.99.


A few minutes before your time slot (after you've got your wristbands) the staff call everyone over, depending on the colour of your wristband, so that you can have a safety briefing and watch a video on the do's and don'ts of the park. After that you're free to run wild and bounce! I had my bag and purse with me so I secured everything in one of their lockers which costs £2 for 90 minutes. This was fine with me and it was all electronic and no keys which I found handy. You just have to remember your chosen code and you're good to go.


My kids had an absolute ball bouncing around Inflata Nation. They were doing tricks, climbing the wall, trying the obstacle course and the big slides, and of course I had to do it all with them along with their Dad. Us adults were sweating buckets come the end, it's definitely a better work out than the gym anyway plus loads more fun.


Inflata Nation in Glasgow have some classes on throughout the year as well including; Adventure Tots, Disability Friendly and Grown Ups Only. Adventure Tots sessions are held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10am - 11am and 11am - 12pm. These are great for toddlers to explore the arenas' soft play activities, play and meet new friends. Disability Friendly sessions are held Tuesday at 10am - 11am and Saturday 9am - 10am. Grown Ups only sessions are held every Tuesday night at 7pm - 8pm (Students/Adults 70/80/90/00s) and Thursday night at 7pm - 8pm (Dodgeball) and are exclusively adults only, so you can let your inner child run free and unload the stress of the busy week. As well as classes you can book birthday parties too.


We all had a great time at Inflata Nation. It was a lovely treat for the kids and a nice way to spend a miserable weather day. The cafe was reasonable and clean and the kids were happy bouncing around and grabbing a drink of slushie when they needed it. I liked that I could practically see the kids most of the time if I was sitting down and you can also wear your own socks!! How fab is that. We'll definitely be back for another visit soon.


We received free entry in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

29 January 2020

Getting Ready for Valentine's Day

1 comments
There's only a few weeks left until Valentine's Day and if you're scouting around looking for ideas on what to do or what to get your other half then look no further! I have some lovely, and cheeky, ideas on the cards for you today so strap in.


Swizzels Love Hearts & Hampers
Nothing quite says I love you like a tube of Swizzels Love Hearts personalised with your name on it. Brand new for 2020 this fabulous love heart tube contains 25 mini rolls of the famous sweeties and costs just £9.99. If your other half is a fan of retro sweets like mine then they'll really appreciate this kind of gift, plus it's edible and doesn't take up space - win win! Swizzels also do some amazing retro sweet hampers from as little as £2.99, how fab is that. There's everything from letterbox friendly hampers, vegan friendly hampers and personalised hampers. If that doesn't take your fancy then why not order the exclusive 30 Limited Edition Valentines Love Hearts that say For You? Everything can be ordered directly from the Swizzels online store so definitely pop over and have a good nose around. You won't regret it.

LipQ Liquorice Balm
Sometimes you don't have to get your other half anything for Valentine's Day! There I said it... but you know what, you are all the gift they need. A bit of smooching and they're quite happy. So the last thing you want is an angry cold sore on your lips especially if you're prone to them. Not to fear, kiss cold sores goodbye this February with LipQ’s 100% natural Liquorice Balm. Recommended by the Herpes Viruses Association, LipQ Liquorice Balm can help to reduce the severity and frequency of a cold sore, and because it’s natural, can also be used as a nourishing lip balm. If anything this is a sneaky wee gift for yourself but it benefits your other half too. The balm costs £7.95 for 30g and smells amazing.

Kalme Undercoat Moisturiser
Keeping in line with the theme of you are the gift, if you're planning on doing any sort of waxing/shaving for Valentine's Day then you might want to treat yourself to this lovely Kalme Undercoat Moisturiser to keep your skin silky smooth and blemish free after shaving. It's just as suitable for men as it is women so if your man is a keen shaver then why not buy him a tube for his toiletry bag too. Kalme Undercoat basically helps to de-sensitise your skin and should be applied immediately after shaving as an ‘undercoat’ before any other skincare or aftershave products are applied. A 75ml tube costs £9.95 and worth every penny when it does the job.

A Night Away
If all else fails a good old night away just the two of you usual does the trick for Valetine's Day. In which case you might just need that balm and moisturiser ha ha! The Aberdeen Altens Hotel is lovely because it has great food, lovely leisure facilities and there's always tons to see and do in Aberdeen itself. The hotel have a fab Stay, Dine & Sparkle offer on for £99 which includes; Overnight accommodation, 3-course dinner, Full Scottish breakfast, Chocolate dipped strawberries, Bottle of Prosecco and Use of the leisure facilities. I think I might just have to book up for this myself!!

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own. 

10 January 2020

Road Trip Adventures in the Scottish Highlands

2 comments
As a family we absolutely love exploring our beautiful country. No matter how many times you visit the same place in Scotland, there’s always something new to see and discover. Last November we took our annual trip up to the fabulous Landmark Cottage in Berriedale, and as always we weren’t disappointed by the treasures it gifted. We arrived a little earlier than planned but luck was on our side. The lovely Judith had just finished cleaning the cottage for our arrival so we were free to unpack and get settled on.


Our first task, after offloading our bags, is to get a good fire going. We now take our own wood with us (kindly gifted from the other half’s uncle) as well as matches, fire lighters, kindling, long burn logs etc. It makes everything easier when you’re rubbish at lighting a fire like me. The other half is quite good at it though and the kids love helping out and getting involved. Even the dogs sit close by eagerly awaiting the fiery warmth from the flames. If you don’t want to take your own logs though then there are details of a local log supplier in the cottage handbook. Give them a call and they’ll sort you out, or if you’re in Wick then pop to the Tesco petrol station as they have wood to sell too.


After our fire is roaring we pop our wellies on to explore the pebbled beach. It’s right on the doorstep of this cottage or should I say the cottage is on the doorstep of the beach! There’s tons of interesting bits and bobs to be found and most magical of all are the seal pups! In November there’s quite a few female seals who visit this beach and give birth so make sure to give them lots of space, and please don’t let your dogs off the lead! This stresses the mother’s and pups so much. They are wild animals so be mindful and be respectful. The kids really enjoy watching the seals and their pups over the weekend of our visits. Sometimes the sea can be very unforgiving though and not all pups make it sadly. It’s an interesting life lesson for the kids though!


There’s plenty of oddly shaped pebbles and stones on the beach, perfect for building sculptures and playing balancing games. The mouth of the river connects to the sea at the side of the beach and sometimes if you’re lucky you’ll catch a seal having a quiet swim or fish jumping around. There’s rumours of otters too but we’ve yet to spot them. Probably because my kids make far too much noise! On our last trip we had a visit from a stoat. It was running around the big beach boulders and in and out of the grass and stone wall. Harlow was amazed and so was I. We’ve found mermaid’s purses before which was lovely and we’ve watched practice sea helicopter rescues amongst the huge waves. Where ever you look there’s something to take your interest.


We enjoy driving further North up the coast on our visits and often find ourselves in John o’ Groats. This time we popped into Stacks Bistro and it was amazing! We’ve visited John o’ Groats at least 10 times or more but never been into Stacks Bistro, what a mistake that was. The food is amazing and there’s a wide selection of tea, coffee and fancy drinks. The d├ęcor is brilliant and so eclectic, love it. We’ll make a point of stopping here again on our next visit.


Whilst at John o’ Groats we decided to take the road up towards Duncansby Head where the lighthouse is situated and there’s a nice walk to the stone stacks. It’s the most north-easterly part of the British Island so well worth a trip. Park your car in the spaces just before the light house and you’ll see a big stone with information on it. If you walk past the stone and keep going (there’s a wee track in the grass to follow) you’ll soon see the sea on the horizon and the stacks in the water. It’s a lovely walk and totally beautiful, even the kids enjoyed it. There’s loads of sheep running free so keep your dogs on a lead if you have any. When we finally reached the fence at the cliff edge we were treated to a brilliant view of a beach full of seals and their pups beside the stone stacks. I’m so glad we kept walking.


Other places we normally have a visit to when up North are the Whaligoe Steps. A lot of the hubby’s family are from up North and a few still stay around Wick so it’ll be no surprise to hear that his relatives helped to build the Whaligoe Steps all those years ago. There’s 365 steps in total which descend to a naturally formed harbour between the cliffs. I’ve been up and down the steps a few times and I tell you it never gets easier. I don’t know how they managed to lug buckets full of fish up them, I had a small child strapped to me one time and that was hard enough. The steps are currently being repaired but they are 100% worth visiting. It’s nothing like you’ve ever seen before and the views are worth every step and cramp in your legs. 


Each member of the family enjoy all our adventures when we stay at the lovely Landmark Trust Berriedale cottage, that’s why we’ve booked up again for this year!! Creatures of habit but we love it and it’s like coming home in a strange comforting way. Until next time!


 

The Breastest News Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved Baby Blog Designed by Ipietoon | All Image Presented by Online Journal