Monday 11 February 2019

Paradise Wildlife Park, Family reivew #AD

We were invited to spend the day at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne. it’s one of the most popular  in Hertfordshire, and Europe’s leading zoo,  

Bodhi being an only child asked if he could invite a friend to join us and they were both very excited to check it all out, most of all the soft play and the World of Dinosaurs. Myself and Daddy also were looking forward to this as when we visited back in 2016 this wasn't open and we were all keen to see how the park had changed from our last visit. 

we were really looking forward to our visit, We are very lucky that we have both  Whipsnade zoo and Woburn safari park on our door step, but like all good things if you do them too often they don't seen as special. The journey only took around 45  for us by car.  The park is  situated in Broxbourne Woods, There is plenty of car parking space and parking is free ( paying for parking when paying to visit a venue is a pet peeve of mine so thumbs up for free parking ) 

If you’re getting the train to Broxbourne, there is a pick-up service which costs £3 per person (free for under twos) – they’ll also bring you back. There is a number to call at the station.

The park is split into two, with most of the animals on one side, and the adventure playgrounds and World of Dinosaurs soft play , splash park and restaurants on the other. ( the only down side of this is your drive down the middle of both sides for the car park and can very clearly see all of the outside playgrounds so this is then ALL the boys wanted to do) 

We came up with a plan for the day and mapped out our time to fit around the talks and shows ( these chance depending on what time of year you visit but can be found on the maps ) some of the areas are closed of the off season winter months such as the splash park and the mini golf, The mini golf is an extra add on cost so isn't something we would have done unless the boys really wanted to have ago, the splash park would be lovely in the summer tho and i can imagine that most of the local family will make the most of the year passes for this and the play side alone.

Annual Membership ( family costs for x2 adults and x2 children £300 ) with your passes you will also get all of these benefits , i think this is a really good deal if you would visit often. more details can be found on the website
  • One Free Ride on the Rex Express Train per visit
  • One Free Round of On Safari Golf per visit
  • Free Monthly E-News (ZOO NEWS)
  • Discounts on Animal Adoptions
  • Complimentary ZSH Calendar (One per household)
  • 20% Discount on Animal Experiences, Animal Tours & Certain Events
  • Half price entry to selected attractions

Another thing that the park offers is animal experiences getting up and close with the animals for an extra cost for this you need to be over certain age for example over the age of 10 to meet the red panda and the cost of this experience would be £99 this also covers your entry into the park. more information can be found on the website. i visited the park for my 21 birthday and fed the ring tailed lemurs and it is something i was always remember.

We set off to the animal side of the park first as we had arrived when the park opened and it was lovely to get such clear views of all of the animals before the park got busy and we also had to keep an eye on the weather, The main draw of the park for myself and Chris is all of the big cats. The park is very well designed so you can see into the enclosures from all different angels but also still giving the animals privacy. ( we think the leopards may well have some cubs on the way after what we saw today!! )

All of the animals looked happy and lots of workers around cleaning out and feeding. They are also making some improvements to the big cats area and we all said we will have to go back to see how it looks once finished.  We listen to the otter talk and the zoo keeper gave us lots of information and took his time after wards talking with us all about the animals, I wanted to listen to more of the animal talks but both of the boys wanted to visit the petting farm, so off we went. 

This was a huge hit with us all and you could buy bags of farm food to feed the goats, pigs and sheep. The goats soon learnt who had food and who didn't and they all enjoyed the fuss the boys gave them. After we had feed the animals it was getting close to lunch time so we headed across the road to safari Sam's Diner to get something hot to eat for lunch. The park offers lots of places to eat a packed lunch but as it was a rather chilly January day we all agreed that we needed a hot lunch.

The boys both had the children hotdog meal this came with a drink , side and chips for £4.60 i thought this was great value and i also had a children meal of jacket potato , Chris went for a burger meal this also came with a drink , side and chips for £7.50. We all enjoyed the food and as we went early ( just after 12 ) we found a table no problem, while we was eating tho the restaurant filled up and people needed to wait for tables. 

After lunch we let the boys have a run around and play in the outdoors play areas and then we walked around the woodland animal walk, from the animal walk you could see the dinosaurs so we made our way over to see what it was all about. 

world of dinosaurs is one of the UK’s biggest and most spectacular animatronic dinosaur attractions, set in acres of natural woodland. It features 30 life-size, moving and roaring dinosaurs the boys loved this, as it seemed did all the other visitors in the park. its a great idea to add something else within the animals, If the park only had the animal side we would have been finished by lunch time but the other side of the park kept us until closing time.

After seeing the dinosaurs the boys asked to go back to play on the slide and park within the animal side so off we went and we also walked up to visit the birds, when we visited the lorikeet walk way was closed due to the risk of bird flu. we let the boys have 1/2 hour to play in the park while chris and i both enjoyed a sit down and a hot drink. 

as it was close to the end of the day we braved the soft play and told the boys they could have 1/2 hour then we could pop into the gift shop before we left, again Chris and i enjoyed a sit down! the boys both enjoyed the soft play and were keen to check out the gift shop. I was pleased to see lots of pocket money type toys for them to pick along side soft toys, key rings and other gift shop items. they both picked out a wolf claw grabber they only cost £3 each so i was fine with that! we had a visit to the toilets before we left ( one draw back only one block of toilets on the animal side of the park ) and then back into the car for the journey home. 

we all really enjoyed the day and all said we would love to come back in the summer time to enjoy the splash park and bring a picnic lunch with us. 

The tickets were kindly gifted to us in return for this honest review. Thank you Paradise park for having us. 

Sunday 23 December 2018

festive family games ( ‘When in Rome’ Alexa is Gamemaster )

So its that time of the year once again time when once all of the gifts have been opened and the turkey and stuffing has been eaten you can watch the queens speech or you could play a game ( to be fair you could do both! ) 

The travel trivia game where real people ask the questions! Visit twenty cities, meet the locals and make new friends... without ever leaving home. Alexa is your game show host, teaching you how to play, asking questions, introducing you to locals in each city and keeping score.

You can buy your own copy of the game via Amazon 

When In Rome is now fully compatible with Echo Buttons. Go head to head with your opponents using Buttons for even more drama and excitement!

Try the game for free with the When In Rome Question of the Day. Travel to a new city and meet a new local each week and answer a new question every day. Just ask "Alexa, open When In Rome"!

*** Full game requires "When in Rome" board game (£24.99) to play. Out now on ***

*** Toy of the Year Finalist & Parents Choice Award Winner 2019! ***

At first i was a little worried as most go the time our Alexa will say " hmm i don't know " when i ask her a question ! and to be honest we use her mostly for a radio, So i was very pleased at just how easy it was to set up the game and to play. 

Not only is the game app free , Alexa will keep score and this stops anyone from cheating ( something my family is known for! ) She is also game master so no need to pick a player to always read out the questions. 

We all found the game really fun and the children ( and i ) learnt a lot from our quizmaster Alexa . The aim of the game is to travel around the world making friends with the locals and picking up souvenirs along the way, the  questions  come in a range of categories (from slang and language to food and drink, and even random and strange)! Answering questions correctly will reward players with valuable souvenirs and earn them Explorer Points. 
 (Smart speaker not included)

The game is targeted at over 13 but i think if under 13 year olds are paired with adults they will do fine and also enjoy this game, its definitely impressive alone with the fact that your speaker can become quizmaster i enjoyed this game and i can see us playing it lots over the christmas period, This game would also make a great gift for a travel fan or as an add on gift if you have brought an Alexa product for an loved one this year, 

( I received a review copy of When in Rome, all opinions are my own.)

festive family games 2018 ( Frenetic )

So its that time of the year once again time when once all of the gifts have been opened and the turkey and stuffing has been eaten you can watch the queens speech or you could play a game ( to be fair you could do both! ) 

So its that time of year when families and friends get together and the board games come out, This game Frenetic is a fast paced word game race to the finish line, all you will need is two or more people ( suggested age is 8 plus and i feel this is right as my six year old did struggle and ended up joining me and we made a little team ) You don't take turns everyone plays at once this made it much more fun when playing in a large group as sometime people can get fed up while waiting for a turn. within the game box you will find letter tiles, pencils, timer, board and paper pads. 

FReNeTiC combines skills, strategy and a little bit of luck. Now i was a little bit skeptical when we first played as i thought the game looked really hard , it’s really easy to play tho. The board is actually the Periodic table and you have to make words using the letters within the chemical element symbols.

For example : Ba Na Na = Banana = 78 points! Amazingly there are over 10,000 words that can be created using combinations of the element symbols of the FReNeTiC game board.

We played for oven an hour and i can tell this will become a family favourite  within our house hold, the game is fairly priced at £22.99 via john lewis the game would also make the perfect gift for for any game lover or science wiz ! FReNeTic will definitely be coming out on christmas day for some festive family fun. 

I was sent a cope of the game in exchange for a honest review. 

Tuesday 4 December 2018

#MyAquaphor Challenge

"This post is an entry for the BritMums #MyAquaphor Challenge, sponsored by Eucerin. Discover the benefits of Eucerin" 

I have to be so careful with my skin due to having Eczema , the skin on my hands in the winter can become very dry and sore if I don't look after them. But I don't really have much of a skincare routine or any kind of go to products. I started testing out the Aquaphor soothing skin balm with a pretty open mind, I found the balm was better for my to use before going to bed as I didn't have time in the mornings to let the balm soak into my skin, it's a very thick balm and it has no smell at all but this for me is a plus point. I have been using the product for nearly two weeks now and I have noticed that my hands feel softer and I havnt had any kind of reaction to the balm. It's been really nice to get myself into a very basic skin care bedtime routine, I keep my balm next to the sink in the bathroom and once I've brushed my teeth and gotten into my pjs I use the product. You only need a very small blob of balm as like I said it's very thick. 

This is a product I would use again and I would also recommend it to friends and family with sensitive skin like myself. 

The balm can also be used on nails, lips, face and even on new born babies skin. It only had x7 ingredients, Aquaphor is gentle enough to be used on highly sensitive skin, irritated skin and also nappy area on the wee ones. Eucerins Aquaphor soothing skin balm protects the skin by creating a breathable protective barrier, this allows oxygen and water vapour to circulate to and from the skin, allowing the skin to 'breathe' and strengthen its natural barrier function. 

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Gross science - Zombie hand kit by John Adams * test & Review *

My son Bodhi LOVES anything a little gross and grim, He also loves science at very nearly 7 years old this is a passion i really want to encourage, When given the chance to test out a kit from John Adam's gross science range i knew that i had to pick the zombie hand kit, i kept it for doing over the October half term and the whole family got involved with the project.

The only down side of the kit is i didn't know until Bodhi was reading the instructions that one we needed lip balm ( most home would have this tho ) and also the hand needs to be placed in the freezer over night ! I did have to do a super quick freezer rearrange so we could fit it in. This really wasn't an issue tho and it made the project last longer and Bodhi really looked forward to carrying on with the kit the next day. 

All of the items are clearly labelled and the instructions are clears and simple to follow , the kit is aimed at ages 7 plus i definitely think this is the right age range group for these kits, Bodhi clipped all of the hand bones together and we added the gel to the hand mould and into the freezer for its over night stay! 

Fast forward to the next evening and this was the part Bodhi had been looking forward too the most, Making the green zombie skin! Again he could read the step by step instructions and told me and dad what we needed to do next to help him out.

The template within the instructions was really handy ( get it handy! ) and let Bodhi do the part he really wanted to do without any grown up help, He did need some help in placing the green zombie skin onto the zombie hand! He zombie hand once out of the freezer starts to defrost pretty fast so you can't hang around with it ! 

John Adams is a house hold known brand and one i would would by again and again ! these would make perfect gifts ideas for harder to by for children and i know that Bodhi will be adding a few more Gross Science kits onto his Christmas list. you can check out the rest of the range on the John Adams website

This blog post was written in exchange for the product all photos & views are real and honest. 

Monday 25 June 2018

Family games night in with Hedbanz by spinmaster

Family time is really important to our house as i would image it is in most homes? So we try to once a week to either play a new game , do a puzzle or have family movie night. This week we had a brand new game to try out thanks to Spinmaster the game is Hedbanz and we all LOVED it ! The game its self its based off the old classic post it note stuck to the forehead game but this family addition is way better, Not only do you get x6 headbands the cards come with images along side the word perfect to help younger players without them having to ask for help on what the word says. 

Headbanz is for 2-6 players and is aimed at ages 7 and over, ( Bodhi is 6 and he did just fine )   In the box you get 72 different cards with various objects on them from food and drink to vehicles and animals, You also get easy and harder words to suit the ages of your players. You get 24 scoring chips, 6 headbands and a timer. The rules are pretty simple, start with 3 scoring chips each and the idea is to get rid of your chips by the end of the game.  After picking a card from the pack and placing it in your headband you start asking the other players only yes or no questions about your card to help you try to guess the object. ( this part Bodhi did struggle with a little )  If you manage to guess your object within the time then you give up one of your chips but if you don’t manage to guess then you take an extra chip from the bank.  The winner is the person with the least chips at the end of 5 rounds.

Over all this game is a winner and i love how it could suit a whole range of ages not just the children, We are off on holiday in august with 9 family members and i will be packing Hedbanz in the suitcase as i know everyone will enjoy playing it ( maybe once the children are into bed it could be turned into  a drinking game take a shot every time you don't guess who you are in time ?? ) just for fun mind ! 

You can pick the game up online via the normal places like amazon and argos , smythstoys have it in stock for only £9.99 this would also be a great birthday party gift or a Christmas present for gifting to a family with a few children. 

we would like to thank spin master for sending us out a cope of the game to test out, This was done in exchange for the review. 

Saturday 9 June 2018

Fathers day gift ideas , thinking out of the box

Fathers day is just around the corner and i for one do feel that the dads get a little bit left out ! I mean when it comes to mothers day the shops are full of gift ideas, but with dads? its pretty much socks, chocolates smellies or a hobby that just doesn't fit your dad ( Fishing / golf ? ) so i thought i would ask around with some PR contacts to see what amazing items they could offer for fathers day ideas! and boy did they impress me! my dad also has his birthday on the 9th of June so the week before UK fathers day, so i find it even hard to spoil my dad. this year tho i am pretty sure he will be very pleased with his gifts , so shall we begin ? 

Alcohol - My dad isn't a huge sprit drinker he is more of a beer or wine kind of guy, These bottles of Wine from kingsland-wines the willow stone in rose and white wine are the perfect gift to give this fathers day, fingers crossed on some lovely sunny weather. Willow and Stone Rosé British Wine is refreshing and easy drinking, bursting with delicious flavours of ripe strawberry and raspberry. Enjoy well-chilled. you can pick up a bottle in your local Co-op for only £4.99 to me this would also be a great item for making up a fathers day hamper full of items you know your dad loves. 

Moose hair products - Australis's number one hair care range Mosse has a product to suit all hair types and they all smell lush, I think this could be a great gift idea paired with a hair cut voucher as we all know that some men need a little push sometimes when it comes to hair care. You can buy Moose products via waitrose with your weekly shop or even on amazon with a RRP of £5 a tub and with a little going a long way with these products you can't really go wrong. ( unless your dad is bald!! ) 

Epson TW650 - The TW650 is the perfect projector for gathering friends and family to enjoy the big screen, whether it’s to watch films or sporting events! imaging gifting this to your dad so he can watch the world cup in style , all you need is a blank wall or you could buy a screen, this is an amazing bit of kit and you would definitively be number one off spring if you gifted this to your dad 

  • Enjoy the big screen experience: Super size your favourite films, games and sporting events at home
  • Easy to set up: Keystone correction, built-in Wi-Fi and iProjection app
  • Long-lasting solution: Watch a film every day for 11 years1
  • Affordable, high-tech equipment: Enjoy this Full HD 1080p projector
  • Impressive, bright display: Equally high White and Colour Light Output of 3,100 lumen's

Watch - now my dad is more your DIY then golfing kind of dad but one of his hobbies is collecting watches and its something i have always wanted to gift to him, This watch from krug-baumen is perfect for my dad's taste they have a huge range on the website to suit all styles, I love how you can see the workings of this watch and it is just beautiful, you can find this watch on the Website A item like this is at the top end of the budget but it would be a fathers day gift to remember. 

Gillette - I always think that a really great gift idea for fathers day or any male gifting is to buy health and beauty items for them, they don't tend to buy them themselves so why not treat them this fathers day to a new razor? Fusion5 Pro Glide men's razor fits all Fusion5 blade refills. Gillette razors, formerly called Fusion Pro Glide. You can buy via

Features and benefits:

  • Men's razor with Flex Ball technology that responds to contours and gets virtually every hair
  • Gillette razors for men with 5 Anti-Friction Blades; a shave you barely feel
  • Precision Trimmer on back, great for edging tough areas (nose and sideburns)
  • Enhanced Lubrastrip with more lubricants (vs. Fusion5)
  • 1 razor blade refill equals up to one month of shaves
  • Fits all Fusion5 and Fusion5 Power blade refills
  • Premium Chrome effect handle

Sugru - Rebel tech kit, My dad loves Sugru he was the one that 1st told me about it, This stuff is pretty cool they can be brought in kit form via the website online you will find lots of how to guides and tips and ideas on what to use the product for, my person favourite has got to be fixing my for ever splitting phone charger lead! sugru is mouldable, flexible , waterproof ,durable and comes in a range of colours. 

Seba med - Back to health and beauty this time with skin care, what i love about the seba med products is that they combine hair and body wash while still being for sensitive skin. at £6.49 for 200ml that's a pretty good deal to me , paired with the after shave balm ( new product )  at  £5.95 you have got yet another item perfect for a hamper or stand alone gift. To find out more visit the website they also have baby and other skin care products. 

Wilkinson sword - Now hold on.. didn't i already talk about a razor? yes yes i did ... but isn't it great to have options? Wilkinson sword is the razor brand i grew up seeing in my dads bathroom cupboard ( I remember using it to shave my legs with when i was 12 and my dad going nuts at me !! ) they have stepped up the game with the the new Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5 Sense, the razor will do the thinking for dad thanks to shock-absorb technology which auto-adjusts the amount of pressure it is putting on his face. Giving him the ultimate customised shave. check it out in more detail along with the rest of the hydro range on the website

Jewellery - I fell in love with this personalised leather bracelet from Giftpup, the stylish men's brown leather bracelet features two rows of braiding with a personalised metal clasp. High-quality with a versatile smart-casual appeal which makes it suitable for all occasions.Comes complete with a fantastic presentation gift box, the personalisation can be up too 9 letters long i went with a special date for my choice , I love the over all look of this item. you can find a wide range of gift ideas via the website

Fair trade - my last item i wanted to talk about buying fair trade, I am and ill admit it a lover of a bargain and throw away items, but over the last few months i have been trying to re-use and recycle more so when i was told about buying fair trade products to give as gifts i thought it was a great idea, and its surprising what you can buy, from chocolates , coffee , clothing and much more! With Fairtrade you can support more farmers and workers in supporting their families. Fairtrade guarantees they will be paid at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price plus an additional Fairtrade Premium which will help change their lives, communities and future. Fairtrade gives fathers the opportunity to head their homes with dignity, hope and purpose. Visit fair-trade website for more information , Keep an eye out for the logo when buying gifts. 

Once again a huge thank you to all of the brands that have sent items to be placed within this father day blog post, The exchange has been for the products and my options are that of my own.