More fun at Alice Holt

We’ve all been pretty exhausted since returning from our holiday a few weeks ago, and I’ve completely failed to catch up with work, school stuff and my revision meaning we’ve all generally been a bit grumpy and fed up, so last weekend headed to Alice Holt which always brings the best out in us all.

I love that we’re all outdoors together, the kids love been able to run free, climb trees and explore the forest. For four whole hours there were no arguments, only a few requests for food and lots and lots of smiles.

We usually start off with the Habitat Trail and work our way round to the big play area. The new tunnels were a huge hit with the kids, who spent ages running through and on top of them.

Alice Holt

 

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We left a bit hot, sweaty and grubby but much happier.

Is there anything better than a day in the forest?

I’m hoping we’ll manage a family bike ride over half term, we tried just after Christmas, but Hannah found it quite tough at the time on her little bike, I’m hopeful that now she’ll find it much easier. Wish us luck!

Alice holt

 

 

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A weekend of baking – Sponsored

I posted last week about World Baking Day and the World’s Happiest Cake, and today I actually made that cake for my little gymnasts who had a competition that they were both very nervous about.

I used Stork for the first time ever and it made for a gorgeous light, fluffy sponge, I’d definitely use it again over butter. The cake had a lovely sunny, happy feel to it, perfect for a beautiful Spring day.

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[Read more…]

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Sponsored Video – Save the Children – Den Day

Den building has been a favourite activity in our house for many years, whether it be a simple blanket draped between sofas or a more elaborate adventure in the garden or the woods we always have a great time creating something together. Den building is also fantastic for learning how to work as a team and stimulating little imaginations.

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Save the Children’s Den Day is a fantastic way to get children busy, creative and raising money for a great cause all at the same time. You can take part at home or school by following three simple steps. [Read more…]

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How to make a holiday easier

Before we had children I loved to travel, eight hours on a plane while not entirely pleasurable was an almost stress free experience filled with reading books, magazines and watching films. These days, while I love experiencing somewhere new with the children, the actual travelling part has become a bit of a chore, three tired children walking at different speeds and two parents wrestling with luggage for five while trying not to lose passports/children is not a good combination.

However, we have found a couple of ways to make the experience easier and a lot more fun for everyone.

Parking

Pre children we would choose the cheapest parking option, usually offsite, and think nothing of leaving extra early and boarding a bus with snowboards and huge suitcases, but having experienced Meet and Greet parking with APH recently. I’d choose that option every time, I’ve just done a quote to see the price difference and it seems to be about an extra £15, which is worth every penny in my opinion. We left the car with a chauffeur from APH at the entrance to the airport, it was complely hassle free. The staff from APH were waiting for us on arrival and our car was ready and waiting on our return. We’ll be using APH every time we travel from now on. We had such a good experience on our holiday to Florida that my husband booked the service again immediately for his business trip the next day.

Get a lounge

I have to admit that unless I had a huge amount of money to spare I wouldn’t pay the going rate for a lounge, but it’s worth checking if you can get in one for free or a discounted rate with your credit cards. Our lounge access with AMEX has been such a treat at the airport recently. I’d recommend checking your terminal has a lounge you can enter and booking ahead as they can get busy. [Read more…]

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Vanish Bed linen Challenge

I’m slightly ashamed to say that with three extremely messy children I just cannot be house proud. Guests generally have to take us as they find us, but I do always make sure they have clean bedding, even if it’s not ironed…who has time to iron a duvet, right?

However, this gorgeous set from The White Company is just too lovely not to press and display proudly for our guests, so, much to the shock of my husband our guest room has been looking much more inviting of late.

We’ve had a spate of guests over the last few weeks, so it’s been the perfect time to put Vanish Gold for Whites to the test. You can see in the photo below that my beautiful bedding is as white as can be. I’m so pleased!

Vanish gold Bed

[Read more…]

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A Cake for World Baking Day – Sponsored

Did you know the 17th of May is World Baking Day?

Do you like to bake? I do, but generally find it quite a stressful experience with three children pestering me, but if I had the time to bake slowly and carefully I’m sure it’d be a completely different experience, maybe even calming.

I always try and bake for school cake sales, just because it’s so much more satisfying taking in something you’ve baked yourself rather than something bought, even if they don’t always look as good, and the same with children’s birthday cakes. I just can’t ever bring myself to buy one.

Kids Birthday Cake

Emma Kenny, a registered psychological therapist, says “Baking is therapeutic, offering a space for creativity and the chance to be mindful.

I do get that, but again, only if you can bake in a peaceful environment, which my house most definitely isn’t. Emma also says that baking therapy is gaining support from therapists who believe it can boost mood.

I am planning on trying to bake myself happy and relieve some stresses this World Baking Day, by baking the World’s Happiest Cake for my two little gymnasts who have a competition that day either to cheer them up or celebrate ( fingers crossed it turns into a celebratory cake ).

[Read more…]

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Making a party extra special with Balloon Time

My little Zak turned 8 at the end of last March, I was completely unorganised with his party as his birthday was just before the Easter holidays and so his actual birthday party isn’t for another couple of weeks, but we did have a practice celebration with family and just a couple of friends as I couldn’t let his real birthday go unmarked. Zak has set me the challenge of a Harry Potter cake this year, this is my practice version, fingers crossed the birthday party version is a bit more polished, but you get the idea.

Harry Potter cake

I’ve been working on Harry Potter themed snacks too, what do you think of our cauldron cakes? These are just rocky road with a twizzler on top, very indulgent but very yummy! [Read more…]

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The one with the pretty dresses – Living Arrows – 18/52

I can’t give too much away, but here are my gorgeous girlies in the Bridesmaid dresses we didn’t choose. I have to say that Monsoon has the most adorable dresses and we were completely spoilt for choice.

Syd looks pretty happy here, but in our earlier modelling session she was very grumpy, it’ll be interesting to see the state of her dress once the big day is finished, I suspect it’ll be full of grass stains and dance floor skids, but isn’t that what being a bridesmaid is all about?

 

Monsoon bridesmaid Dress

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Teaching children to be responsible with money

Teaching my children how to be responsible with money is something that’s very important to me, but also quite difficult to do without lots of arguments and unhappy children. I’m still learning along the way, but these are my top tips for teaching children the value of money and how they should be sensible not wasteful.

  • Take packed lunches on day trips and explain the huge saving compared to buying lunch out. To cushion the disappointment  especially if we’re with friends who are buying lunch we compromise by buying an ice cream or other small treat.
  • Encourage children to save birthday and Christmas money, I always use myself as an example for this, as I saved enough during my childhood to buy my first car when I was 20. My children each have their own savings account and come with me to pay the money in. My 8 year old especially gets a lot of pleasure watching his savings grow.
  • If I buy something for myself or the children that’s not a birthday or Christmas present I always explain that I worked hard to able to buy it and thought carefully before spending money.

[Read more…]

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Grand Bahamas – Bahama Bay, Orlando

We’ve just returned from a wonderful but exhausting holiday in Florida. Orlando is not for the faint hearted. We literally didn’t stop from the moment we arrived, but the kids had a blast and our gorgeous James Villas apartment in the beautiful Bahama Bay Resort was the perfect place to relax in the evening and for the kids to cool off during the day.

Bahama Bay is only a 10 minute drive from Walt Disney World, but set across 70 acres on the shore of Lake Davenport is a welcome oasis of calm from the hustle and bustle of the tourist areas.

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Getting there

It took us about 45 minutes to drive from Orlando International Airport to Bahama Bay Resort, and that was in quite bad traffic. The instructions from James Villas were very easy to follow, making our journey to the resort almost stress free. Just make sure you have a few dollars for the toll roads along the way. [Read more…]

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