Fitbit Alta HR Review

I know that it January and this is a month which a lot of people start to change their lives. Some manage to make it long term and see huge benefits others go back to their old ways. I have been motivated to go back to the gym after having a membership for 3 months. I have also dug out my Fitbit Alta HR which is something which I neglected for the past few months.

It became neglected it because I was sick of it moaning at me for not doing enough steps. I did not care if I was doing the recommended 10,000 steps a day because I was busy. Even though I was unhappy with how I looked I was focusing on eating better. I used my Fitbit constantly from around April to September when we moved house.

If you do not know what a Fitbit is it is an activity tracker it does not matter on your activity level. It adds everything you do up from walking around the house to running on a treadmill at the gym. If you are anything like me you like knowing how many steps you have done. I really at the moment hate it if I do not hit my 10k steps. I have been averaging around 15k a day. My phone tracks steps however, there will be times where I am not carrying it. So it makes it look like I have not done that much exercise. I also like to know how much I have done and find my phone not that accurate.

This is not a problem which I have with my fitbit because it is always strapped to my wrist. So if I go somewhere it comes with me too and can track my steps. I have noticed because of the fact that it is so small I sometimes forget that it is on. It is a very sleek piece of kit almost smaller than having a watch. It does have a build in clock which also removes the need to have a watch on as well.

You can also see how many calories you have burnt off that day which coild be very useful. I know you can use apps like myfitness pal to see how much food you have consumed and this would be an indicator if you are doing enough exercise to burn the calories you have had. Calorie counting is not something which I am actively doing however, I am enjoying seeing how many I have burnt. It also sometimes motivated me into having another piece of chocolate if I have worked hard enough that day.

Due to me having Fitbit Alta HR it does mean that it is always checking my heart rate. This is something which I find amazing looking at how it changes depending on what I am doing. Of course, this may not interest that many people and it may only me because of my sports science background. I love to be able to see my heart rate when I am out on one of my fitness walks because then it means that I can see if I am working hard enough. If this is something which would not really interest you then you would be better with a normal fitbit alta which are slightly cheaper.

I find the feature which I love the most apart from been able to see how many steps I have done. And comparing it to previous days when I think I have done the same amount of activity. Is the sleep tracker this is something which I love because I like to see if I actually had a good sleep when I think it was poor. It shows you the amount of time which you have spent in different stages of sleep. Sometimes it will even tell you that you have been awake and this is something which you can not remember. Another part for me which I enjoy is looking when I actually fell asleep compared to when I think I did.

I have never found the battery life to be an issue for me personally. I find that it lasts around a week with a full charge. Usually, what I will do is make sure that one evening a week I do not sleep with it and allow it to charge over night. Of course, if you do not want to lose out on a night of tracked sleep you can always charge in short burst when have time during the week.

The only problem which I have had in the 10 months of using my fitbit is the strap has broken. It has come away from the actually unit this is something which you can keep reconnecting. However, if you actually contact Fitbit themselves they will send you a replacement strap which is a huge bonus. I did not want to have to fork out for a new strap after having mine for less than a year. It also arrived free of charge and pretty fast which I also call a bonus.

Personally, the Fitbit Alta HR is a piece of technology which I would recommend. More so if you are looking at becoming a little bit more healthy in 2019. It helps motivate me because sometimes when I am in the zone for too long I will not move for hours and this reminds me to move. I have set it to remind me between 8-8 to move 250 steps an hour.

Currrently Argos, have the fitbit alta HR on offer for £79.99 which is cheaper than I think even I paid for mine. I would recommend taking up this offer if you are thinking about getting a fitbit because personally I do not think they will come any cheaper for a while.

Do you have a fitbit if so are you in love with yours?

Charlotte xxx

Book Review- The Guest List By Melissa Hill

The Guest List by Melissa Hill is one which has been on my book shelf for a while. I am unsure why I have not actually read this sooner because it sounds like my cup of tea. The guest list is a book which I knew was going to be an easy read. Sometimes this is the best kind when you just want to relax while you are reading. I read this book because I was not having the greatest time at all.

The Blur

When funny, kind and gorgeous Shane proposes, Cara is over the moon. And can’t wait to share the news of their engagement with all their friends and family.

Excitement, however, quickly turns to apprehension when it seems that everyone has a fixed idea of the perfect wedding and offers to ‘help’ with the planning. With tussles over the ceremony and the size of the guest list, sibling rivalry and insistent in-laws-to-be. Cara can see the vision she has of her big day being ripped to shreds.

So she and Shane determine to make a stand and do things their way. But when they announce their plans for a beach wedding on a beautiful Caribbean island, there is uproar. Threats are made, family secrets are revealed, and things turn decidedly stormy.

Will Cara and Shane manage to overcome all obstacles? Or will their dream wedding turn into a nightmare?

My Thoughts

This was a great read about the planning of a wedding in Ireland. I knew from reading the blurb that it was going to be a easy page turner. For sure I can imagine reading this book on a warm sunny beach instead of commute. 

Cara and Shane receive an invitation to a lavish wedding. By chance chatting to the groom they discover how unhappy he is with all the extravagence and at they are in debt because of it. They decide that when they get married they want a nice quiet wedding with just their closest family and friends. 

However, when they announce their holiday plans, both mothers turn into diva’s. The want to take over and organise one of the biggest weddings Ireland has ever seen. It seems like they have forgotten that the wedding is actually Cara and Shane’s rather than there own.  This is something which I can see readers been able to relate to. I am sure this is a very common issue.

They make their plans despite family opposition and it causes a lot of friction in every camp. There are lots of secrets being kept and astonishing proposals made.  As well as been a romantic book it does show you the family politics and how hard it can be to get everything right. For me it made me determined to do only what is right for us when we get married.

Of course, I was rooting for them to get the perfect wedding that they wanted. But like any book there is so many plot twists and the one at the end I for sure did not see coming. Usually I can see them coming as well so it was nice for a change not to see it.  I am sure if you have read it you would not have seen it coming either.

Overall

This is a book which I would recommend if you are looking for an easy read. For sure this was one of these books I managed to smash though this book as I wanted to know what was going to happen to Cara and Shane. I think I managed to read this within a couple of weeks.  I do have a couple of Melissa Hill books which I really want to read now because this has given me the bug. To read more Melissa Hill books because they are written so well and keep me engaged. 

Have you read the guest list if, so what did you think?

Charlotte xxxx

2018 – A Review Of The Year

How can it already be the end of the year and time to do a review of 2018. I think this must have been one of the quickest years recently. For sure this does seems to have gone past us in the blink of an eye. Today I am going to share with you a review of the year 2018. Sharing the ups and downs of the year and for sure there has been a fair few this year.

January

It seems so long ago now since it was January of course, this is a month where you do not seem to do a whole lot. Usually the reason is because you have over spent on Christmas and are watching the pennies for the first few months. This was not an overall thrilling month for us we had a second Christmas with the in laws on New Years. Of course this did mean that she got another stack of presents. There was a period of this month where I was solo parenting of course been a military family this is pretty standard. I cracked on even further with my dissertation and university work which meant I was not as stressed towards April. We managed a trip to Dalby Forest to blow the cobwebs away. Even thought we didn’t spend too much this month we had an amazing time. We even had one final trip to Toys R Us in York before it closed it’s doors for the final time.

February

This is one of my favourite months of the year and not because it’s valentines like you may all be thinking. The reason why I enjoy it so much is because the rugby season is back and this is a huge thing for a sports fan like me. Talking about valentine’s day we did manage to have a lovely meal out before at the three cups. February was a month where it was just me and Jess can you sense a theme yet?. I tried to start selling some of my possessions in order to ready to move house which we hoped to do later in the year. February was also the month where the we saw the first snow fall for 2018.

March

Talking about snow the beast from the east manage to hit in March. I do not think I have been as cold as this month. Commuting with a toddler an hour on the train when it was not getting above -1 was sure not fun at all. We managed to spend another couple of weeks solo parenting again this month I am sure I spent half of the year doing this. But March 2018 saw us back exploring something which we love to do as a family we made a return trip back to Eureka!. We also made our first trip of the year to the beach it may have been for a walk for not very long but it still counts. We might have had to wear our coats but that for sure does not put us off at all in this family. It seem’s like towards the end of the month the weather must have picked up again. I was still cracking on with my university work because the majority of it had to be completed by April.

April

April 2018 was another month where we seemed to be here there and everywhere in between. At the start of the month we took the grandparents to Twycross zoo for the first time. It was Easter Sunday and it was not that manic which usually makes a change for a zoo. Joe and I headed up to Newcastle as one of his gifts last Christmas had been to see Fast and Furious live. This was actually a show that I loves so much and Newcastle is a city which I know we will visit again in the future. I took the annual trip to the grand national I know this is going be controversial as some people do not like it. I go because I work there and it is a source of income for me which don’t we all need. The rest of the month when we was not travelling to some place was spent finishing my dissertation. There was a number of long hours spent wondering if it was going to be good enough. I am proud to tell you I do not know why I worried so much.

May

My brother turned 18 how the hell did he become that age I swear he was like 12 two minutes ago. Jess went to her first rugby game of the year and got mega bored because she hadn’t napped all day I think she just wanted to sleep poor girl. We made our first trip to a farm of the year when we visited Cannon Hall Farm. Before heading up again to Newcastle this time to celebrate my birthday and of course see a rugby game. I told you I would be back in Newcastle. May saw me do my final every university assignment. This is the month I realised that I was not going to do a masters this year and spend more time on me. I needed a break. May 2018 was also the month where we started actually viewing houses after having been looking for a long time on Zoopla. We actually bought the first house we did view however, we has seen a lot of properties since.

June

June was another month which was spent house hunting. I remember there been one weekend where we viewed 7 houses in one day. For sure this was a month of looking forward to the future. There was nothing we wanted than a family home. We did make an offer for the house in the month of June. So there was a lot of time spent speaking to banks and making sure everything was in place so we could purchase the house. I spend some of the month making the best use of the sunny weather and reading while sat near the river in York. I think I actually managed to read book in one day which I think may actually be a first for me. I got to work with a local company and review the Hull Open Top Bus Tour. We enjoyed the sun which was starting to shine this month who knew that 2018 was going to be first time in ages we was going to have tons of sun.

July

For me July was the month everything started going a little bit crazy. I kept applying for a few summer jobs just to make the money keep ticking. I didn’t get them but thanks to guys I managed to make money from my blog. Jess took her first trip to the cinema to go and see Thomas the Tank engine. I know she enjoyed it and for sure the cinema is somewhere which we will be visiting more over 2019. I continued to sell more things because at the end of the day it would mean less things to move when we moved house. I was also thankful of the extra money it allowed us to do more adventures. I spent a bit of time this month at my racecourse job and saw the most epic thunder storm. There was plenty of amazing BBQ’s and time spent at the park because the summer of 2018 was so boiling. Obviously like any sports fan I got swept up in the world cup fever there was nothing better than seeing the England Men’s Football team doing amazingly well.

August

August was a month which seems to be a waiting game we finally got our move in date. This meant the majority of August was spent boxing up our old rooms and making sure we had everything ready for the big move because of course we did not want to not have anything. Joe had the month off as summer leave which meant we as able to explore the UK a bit more we had amazing days out. These included York Maze, Chester Zoo, Lego discovery centre Manchester and of course seeing Paw Patrol Live. We also had our first festival experience at Gloworm festival for sure this is something which I would love to go back to next year. I also went indoor sky diving for the very first time I since have been back and I will be writing a blog post all about it very soon. For sure August was a busy month but I think it was one of my favourite months we never stopped but there was so many laughs which occurred. Jess said goodbye to her first nursery in York ready for the big move it was sad because she has been there since she was 1.

September

September was a month of two halves there first so stressful. I found myself commuting from York to the new house every day for two weeks on the train. I spent about 4-6 hours a day commuting just so that Jess could start her new childcare. We did not get the keys to the new house until the 13th which meant that we actually only had 2 days to move in and prepare for the first birthday in the house. Jess turned 3 I would like to say we did something amazing for it but truth we didn’t. We had a little family tea and that was all because we was all shattered and the house for sure was not a home at this stage. The rest of September was spend unpacking so we knew were everything was and if we needed to purchase anything for sure we could. Because for the next two months I was going to be solo parenting as work meant that Joe was going away.

October

This was the first month in our new house which I had to do some solo parenting for sure it was not easy. We only ended up with one minor injuries trip because Jess fell off her bike. We travelled back to Hull for a weekend in order to go to the fair because who could say no to that tradition. For sure Jess had a lot of fun it is so magical been able to see her face light up when you go to something like a fair with all the lights. The rest of October was very quiet for us we did not do anything crazy for Halloween in fact Jess only dressed up because she had a party at nursery. She still goes on about trick or treating so this is something which I think that we may have to do some of this next year. Oh October 2018 is when we started baking a lot more and this is when I realise that Jess has a passion for it. Since then we have not looked back and have made some tasty treats.

November

We knew at the end of this month we was going to have Daddy home for the rest of the year. I think this is one of the reasons is it was a busy month for us as well. We managed to go to a local pub and watch the fireworks for bonfire night it was magically watching a girl who is scared of fireworks be amazed by them. We also had my brother come to stay for a weekend which when he is Jess’ best friend meant so much to her and I think she loved it. We also made two trips to Manchester we went to Inflanation which was amazing this was so fun apart from the friction burn I sustained. We also went back to iFly because I have the indoor sky diving bug. Oh how could I forget in November 2018 I actually graduated it may have taken me 5 years. I got to have my best friend there and the girl who I did it all for I hope she is proud of me when she is old enough.

December

This was a time where we did not seem to stop we met some of the brands which we love at the mama market. We ran a santa run which I am sure this is going to be something which we do again it could become a new tradition. We went on a break before the madness of Christmas to Derbyshire to a log cabin. I will be doing a review of this very soon do not worry. We took a day out to White Post Farm as well which is somewhere which I have wanted to visit for a while. Of course, we celebrated our first Christmas as just a family of 3 with me cooking our Christmas lunch. We have had a lego filled period between Christmas and New Year which for sure has been fun who does not love Lego.

I hope that 2019 is as much fun as 2018. Hopefully we have as many laughs and exciting things. I am looking forward to been able to smash 2019.

What has your highlight of 2018 been?

Charlotte xxx

Days Out- Cannon Hall Farm

 

I realised that I had done a review of Cannon Hall Farm which we visited way back in May however, I had not actually got around to posting. So today I am going to share with you my thoughts and feelings about Cannon Hall Farm which is close to Barnsley so this meant that it was not too much of a trek for us. We decided that we was going to visit Cannon Hall because I had found out that Chase and Marshall from Paw Patrol were going to be there and Jess loved both Paw patrol and animals.

The first thing which pleased me about cannon hall was the fact that they did not charge extra as a result of having an event on. This is something which we have found does occur at other places so this is such a big thumbs up from us. The pups you could meet every hour and we did actually manage to get to meet both of them because Jess loves them so much, we did not choose the best place to wait though which meant that we did have to wait a whole hour nearly.

Something which I think may be unique or different to other farms which we have visited was the fact that cannon hall had sheep racing as well as ferret racing. Sheep racing is now something I know which occurs at York Maze as well but I am sure people are screaming at me saying other places that do these events. You could have a free bet on which animal was going to win at both the sheep and the ferret racing and you won a prize if your colour and raffle ticket number was called. I seem to remember the prize was something like being able to return to Cannon Hall for free. Both types of racing occur several times a day which means that there was plenty of opportunities to see these events.

You are able to purchase animal feed when you can actually purchase when you arrive. Bags are only around 50p I think this is so cheap because it does mean that you can feed the animals you are unable to hand feed the animals but you do put them down the shoots which do allow feed the animals. This is one thing I do not think that you are able to do at other farms so well done to cannon hall for making you feel more hands on. For sure I know this is an element which Jess loved to be able to do. I would recommend saving some feed thought and not giving it to all the cute sheep and goats because we regretted it after we ran out before visiting the cows. We managed to go when the lambs were still very cute as well which for me is always a bonus.

Around this area, there are also shetland ponies and goats which are very adorable. I think anything that is small is very cute apart from rats, to be honest. You can be very close to these animals if this is something which you like if you are like Jess your children will adore this. Sercetly I think she wanted to ride the pony but this is something which you are not able to do.

Talking of cute little animals there were some little piglets we saw some which were only one day old. Pigs are not something which you think that are going to be cute but there are. There were hundreds of little piggs spread over the three sheds which are home to the pigs I could not believe how small some of them compare to how big they actually become in the end. This was an area in which Jess seemed to enjoy she loved watching what they were doing something that all ways interests me as well. They were a couple who were due to have some babies any time so I am sure if you go now they may have some new arrivals as well.  The pigs are actually one of the animals which you can not actually feed if I remember correctly and do remember it is natural for the pigs do not have the best smell something which Jess dealt with really well when we as at cannon hall farm.

In the last barn, there was a lot of cows which you can watch been milked at various times of the year.  There is also some misc animals in there was well these do actually include the donkeys, a horse, and Llamas. These again you can pour the feed which you have purchased down the tubes in order to feed the animals.  This is why I would recommend saving some of the feed because these ones may be more interested in having some of the treats which you are giving them as fewer people feed them.

Cannon Hall also have a tractor ride which is free for you to go on there may be a long wait. I think in total we waited for around 30 minutes this is because of the fact that the there is only one tractor and then this does the whole tour. The ride is around 30 mintues and this does allow you to see all of the animals in the barns which are open and learn a little bit more about the farm. This is on top of being able to see the amazing views at cannon hall.

We did actually have food here as well because we did not have time to pack a lunch up before we left. This is something which I wished we had done because of the fact that there was a long queue for food and also a wait which occurs after, I think in total it took between an hour and an hour and a half for us to be able to eat. This is not always the greatest when you have a hungry toddler in tow.  The food was of high quality though and a reasonable price compared to other attractions which we have visited in the past.  I think that should I return may take my own food due to the fact that the wait can be that long.

Another bonus which we liked about cannon hall farm is the fact that it has a number of parks. Which allows your little ones to run off some of the steam which they have this is something which we took full benefit of Jess does love to be able to play in the park. There is a couple of them and we managed to spend a fair amount of time in them. This did mean that we did not get to go to the reptile house because it was closing as we were going to have a look around. This is something which if you are visiting I would recommend you check to avoid disappointment.

There is also a soft play area which is included in the price which is another way to make your kids tired which is always a sign of a good day out.  They do have an area which is designed for the under 5’s which is Jess spent the majority of her time. It has several layers which means that it is bigger than your average soft play.  This was something we only did towards the end of the day and it did mean that Jess was tired and was not happy when a child pushed her.

Overall

We enjoyed our day out at cannon hall farm and for sure it is a place were we may return next year. If Jess continues to love animals I do not see why it should not be a be place we return to there is always something new at the farm and it is not too far from our new house either, the price does not put me off returning either. With it only costing £9.95 for an adult and I seem to remember around £7.95 for a child but they regularly have offers which will save you money. One think to note though is that you do pay for parking which I did not really appreciate

If you have visited Cannon Hall farm what did you think?

Charlotte xx

 

 

 

Book Review- Faithful By Alice Hoffman

It is rare that I get to go and purchase a book in a book store at the moment due to the fact I have so many to be read on my pile at home. However, a few weeks ago I found that I had finished the book which I was reading and time which I could be reading in. So I decided that I was going to read Faithful by Alice Hoffman, this book is something different to which I would normally read to be honest but this is something which I did enjoy.

The Blurb

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion–from dark suffering to true happiness–a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls–including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

My Thoughts

Wow . . . talk about a punch to the gut! This is not something which I thought was going to happen. This story is an emotional journey, from the first few pages to the final few words, it was kind of draining, but so thrilling. Sometimes a sad and poignant read just hits the spot. And much like life, there is tough times and better times.

It’s so easy for anyone sitting on the outside of a situation to pass judgment and say what they would do differently in your life. This is what happened to Shelby’s life. After a horrific accident leaves her best friend in a comma (this is a little bit of an odd situation) surely they would have not let her  be in a coma for this long. Shelby is able to walk away virtually unharmed, Shelby has tremendous guilt. Guilt that makes her jump into a pool of extreme self-destruction and not come up for air – for quite some time.

“I think I lost my soul.” 

She lands in New York, with a guy from high school, but she’s just going through the motions. She knows deep down, she doesn’t love him the way she should and it’s impossible to escape the niggling feeling that she’s destined for so much more. But does she deserve it? Everyone needs to figure things out at their own pace though and that’s exactly what lent this story credibility. Shelby made a ton of mistakes and pushed people away; until she couldn’t ignore what was right in front of her face. It was little things, coming together at just the right moments, that gave her the strength to find her way to the surface and let go. To forgive herself. Well, and a combination of tough love, angsty teenagers, stolen dogs (if you’re an animal lover, you’re in for a treat), anonymous postcards and a diet of chinese food, sans the fortune cookies.

“What is behind you is gone, what is in front of you awaits.” 

My favorite part of the entire story was the postcards, of course. All with different messages urging her to do things like – say something, do something, be something, feel something, want something, save something, believe something, love something. Those little cards gave this heartbreaking story a touch of mystery. I was anxious to figure out who was behind the words. I would be lying if I said the love story junkie within me wasn’t completely smitten. I kind of thought things were headed in a different direction, but it just goes to show that things come along where or when you least expect them to. And might be even better than what you initially hoped for.

“Love is a mystery. It’s like an alien abduction. You think you’re on earth, and there you are among the stars.” 

Final Thoughts

This for sure is one of those books which I would recommend this is one which I would not have picked but for sure this is one which I have enjoy reading. I think I did actually manage to read this in a few days which is a sign which that it is one which I could not put down because at the moment time to read is something which I have been neglecting.

Have you read this book if so what did you think?

 

Charlotte xx

Day’s Out- Getting Lost In York Maze

York maze is a place which I have heard so much about and living at the moment in the city. I thought that there was not a better time to visit the maze and get lost than this summer. This year they have decided to do the maze in the theme of dinosaurs as it is 25 Years since the release of Jurassic Park. If I am honest the reason why we have not visited before this time is due to the fact that I thought it was expensive for a maze at £14.95 for adults. This visit has changed my mind on the York Maze.

We visited on a warm Sunday afternoon so I expected it to be busy with people wanting to make the most of the nice weather. We arrived at York Maze around 1pm and actually did not end up leaving till close to when it was closing at 6.30 and would have loved more time which is always a sign of a good day. There was plenty which we did not manage to get done including the The House of Cornfusion, The Pig Racing and the shows. These are something which I think we are going to have to go back and do one day.

Of course, we did manage to do a lot of things during the afternoon at the maze. We completed the whole maze without getting too lost in which is a bonus we went to every check point which there are 6 of in around an hour of been in the maze. I have been told by a member of staff it should take you around an hour and half with a map which is available when you buy your ticket  for £1.50 which has a map and compass so I am pretty proud we managed to do it without.  A couple of tips which I would give you before entering the maze is making sure that you have been to the toilet there is nothing worse than needing a wee half way around and also make sure you have enough water in order to stay hydrated you could be in there for a while.

There is plenty to do which does not include using the actual maze this is where we spent a lot of our time Jess as you may know loves spending a lot of time in the sand pit. Due to it been a very warm day we let her play in the water element of the sand pit and this did mean that she came back drenched but this is the sign that she did have a really good day out. Jess also decided that she wanted to do some building with bricks which she has basically to herself which she enjoyed they are like the foam bricks which you find at soft play centres and this for sure is somewhere which she could have spent a lot more time.

We spent some time in the different kinds of mazes as well including the mineshaft maze which makes you crawl through the maze like a mineshaft which is great fun for kids. However, as an adult it can really hurt your knees which is something which happened to me. Of course, if it is wet before you visit this is an area which your child may come back from super muddy but this is something which risk. I did notice as a result of this Jess had a number of bruises on her knees the next day as well the joys of having a toddler.

I think that my favourite part of the maze was actually the Crowmania ride this is something which you my have to que for however it is well worth the wait. We managed to get the last ride of the day which I am very glad about to be honest. The ride is around 30 minutes long and goes around the fields while your sat on a tractor which is always enjoyable. There is a story with it and there is so many fun jokes its very interactive and at times a bit like a pantomine. Beware you will get wet on this ride however, if it is a hot day like when we went you will actually love this.  I wanted to be even wet her which would have been even more amazing.

There is also a chance to hold some of the animals which the maze is home to which included the tortoise which we managed to stroke. This is something which I have never done before and I think was not what I expected. There was also a millipede out when we were around this section and of course Jess been the kind of child she is had to hold it. I personally found it super tickly and then we held a snake which I think it is the first time I have done this. I sure may do this again it even started to wrap itself around my arm I must have been warm.

As I said previously, there was elements which we did not do due to time, also there is bits we did not do because Jess is too young currently. This includes a climbing frame which you have to climb up a volcano and then you can travel down the slide. There is also a race which would be great if Jess was a lot older because I am competitive and would love to race against her, there was a long que when we had been visit and there is only two allowed on at a time so this is something to bare in mind.  For sure there is plenty to do for the children and you could easy spend all day the maze.

If you are like us who do not always take food out with us, you will be glad to hear that the food at the maze is actually a reasonably price and the food is actually really tasty as well. Drinks for coke is around £1.80 which is so cheap for a attraction. I think a meal for  3 of us including ice cream came to less than £30 so this is something to bare in mind you do not have to take a picnic with you if you do not want to.

York Maze is open till the 3rd September so plenty of time for a visit. Tickets are £15.75 for adults and £14.75 for children however, there are discounts for booking online. You can also get a family of 4 ticket for £59 something we would have done but Jess is under 3 and you do not pay for these. Despite the price I would recommend it there is so much for all of the family we went with Grandma who also enjoyed it, one tip is make sure you give your self enough a minimum of 3 hours if not all day if you want to experience the maze and all it has to offer.

Have you been to York Maze if so what were your thoughts?

Charlotte xxx

Making Trips So Much Easier With Micro Trike Review

Jess is like any two year old who is closer to three she wants to be able to walk however, this is not always possible.  Regular Jess will have a tantrum if we have to put her in the pram now she claims she wants to be a big girl. Recently we were lucky to be sent a micro trike to test out and promote.

Micro trike is something which we had so many questions about from people when we have been out and about with it.  I think this is because it is so much different from a normal toddler trike this does not have pedals like a standard trike would have.  Instead, it has a parent handle and you push your child like you would in a buggy and this is without the battle of them not wanting to go into the buggy. The Micro Trike is suitable from 18 months and up to a maximum weight of 20kg which is great. However, I know Jess is close to this weight so may only be able to use it for a few more months maximum a year.

The micro trike is something which we have taken on the nursery run when we want to get there fast. To be honest, we have been using it every day since we got it, Jess has been around outlets, shops and even Ikea on it.  One of the bonuses is that it is so light so if Jess wants to get off the micro trike she can and we can either continue to push it until she wants to get back on or carry it. It does fold flat which is always a bonus one less bulky thing to carry. Also, this is good for storage as space when you have children can be golden ours lives in either the footwell of the set we do not use in the car or in the boot depending on how full the boot is.

The trike is so simple to put up and down all you need to do is one movement to push the seat to flatten, in order for your child to be able to sit on it. Then you have to extend the one-handed push handle one of the benefits of this been one handed is you still have on arm free. We have found it actually makes me walk to nursery a lot quicker because I can swing my arms.  You could use the extra arm for carrying shopping bags or holding your child’s hand when they are not on it.

The push handle on the micro trike can be adjusted if you need it to be meaning different heights could push it.  The footrest for the child can also be adapted however, this is something which we have not yet had to do with Jess.

We now have tantrums is we do not use the trike it is so easy to push just glides.  It really is so easy to manoeuvre you just need to be careful if there are holes in the path not to get the small wheels caught. This has happened a couple of times to use and Jess has gone over the handlebars. I know I should really have the harness on but Jess wants to be a big girl and get on and off when she pleases.  I will warn you as well about going on and off the pavement this can be a bit of a hassle and something you need to take care of doing.

Micro Trike claim that this could replace your buggy, for us it has at the moment but I do not think I will be in any rush to sell the buggy. The reason behind this yes at the moment we have had a lot of nice weather, however, when it changes there is no protection from the elements for your child.  There is also the fact if your child does fall asleep a lot this is not really possible on this trike, we try and avoid using it when Jess is really tired.

Where can you purchase?

Micro Trikes can be purchased on Amazon for £80 and come in a range of 4 colours, Black , White, Pink, and Blue.  I would recommend them and can see them been very popular in the next couple of months to a year, if the amount of people who have asked me about it purchase one.

Do you have a micro trike if so what are your thoughts on it?

Charlotte xx

We were gifted this Micro Trike but I was not required to write about it, I just wanted to share our thoughts as we are really impressed.

Review: Hopster TV & Learning App

There is a time when Jess wants a little bit of time when she has quiet time. Sometimes she will use YouTube but that does mean that she can access anything because I do not have any parental control on the app. However, recently we were contacted by Hopster who is a learning and TV app for children who are between the ages of 2-5 years.

Screen time has allowed Jess to be able to learn a lot of her numbers and colours . It also gives me a break when maybe she has been a little bit full on and I do not want her to push me too much or the fact that I need to do something which means she needs to actually entertain herself.  Hopster is also a great app to download if you happen to be traveling this is something which Jess used so much when we used to commute.

We have been using Hopster for a couple of months now this has allowed us to form actual opinions.  We have used previous apps in the past, however, even when you have paid for them we have noticed that it has still had adverts.  This is something which you do not have on Hopster it is 100% advert free this does mean that Jess that on the app rather than actually getting on something else which causes her to get annoyed.

The app is far from basic they have so much on it including

  • Shows
  • Music
  • Books
  • Games
  • Create
  • Plus a themed area which changes regularly

The shows can be downloaded which means there is no need to use up your data when you out and about. This is something which I love because there is nothing worse than having no data left.  The choices of shows on there include Pingu, Ben and Holly, Thomas and also Fireman Sam.  I have actually downloaded some of them to my phone so that when Jess is losing her mind and needs to wait for something such as food I can give her this to ease the meltdown. I think there are around 800 shows which means that Jess should not get bored of the same episodes.

The books section is one which we love this is because Jess loves books and not always been at home means reading can be hard.  There are some of our favourite stories on the app including the tiger who came to tea which is one that I have loved since my own childhood.  There are also a number of books which I have not heard of on the app because it is always amazing to be able to find more books. Again there is such a good selection which means your child can not get bored with the books.

Painting is something which Jess adores but she is only able to do at nursery. This is because we do not have the space to be able to paint when we are at Daddy’s I can not wait till we can craft at the new house.  Jess for sure loves to be able to paint and create artwork on Hopster regular I find Jess has saved pictures onto my camera roll. She even has used it in the car when I do not want Jess to nap because the trip is not too far. I think that this is great should you not be able to do traditional arts and crafts.

I have had a lot of fun on the games with Jess. A couple of our favourites on Hopster include the app where you have to collect the flies and feed them to the frog. I know this is one which Jess enjoys playing on as well. I know that another game which Jess loves on the game is the alphabet hotel which is where you have find the same letter as your playing on, trace the letter and make words using the letter. This is something which Jess can spend hours playing on and I think this is the way she has learned a lot of the alphabet along with attending nursery. I am glad to see that over the time which we have been using Hopster Jess’s knowledge has increased and I do put this down to the fact that she has been playing games which are educational.

Hopster is available via a paid subscription for £3.99 a month, £19.99 for 6 months or £34.99 for 12 months. There is no contract and you can cancel the subscription at any point. You do get 1 month free trail which means that you can see if the app is for you before forking out anymore for it.  Personally I feel for the amount of quality content and the variety you get, the prices are great value for money. Once subscribed you can then access Hopster on multiple devices. This is something which I need to do but it on Joe’s phone so I do not always lose my phone to Jess.

Have you used Hopster with your child? If so what did you think?

 

Charlotte xxx

We were given a subscription to Hopster in exchange for review, however, all thoughts as my own.

Review: Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie

 

A couple of weekends ago now you may remember that we took Jess to the cinema for the first time. We actually went to see Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie. As a result of my blog and all you amazing people reading we was allowed to got to the preview of the film. This means that I can give you my thoughts on this film and tell you weather it is worth spending some time going to see Thomas & Friends.

Plot

When a mischievous little racing car called Ace passes through the isle of Sodor on his way around the world. Thomas is inspired to embark on his own ambitious trip. Travelling full steam ahead across five continents.  Thomas discovers magnificent new sights and experiences exciting places and cultures. Along the way, he makes friends with an inspiring and fun Kenyan engine called Nia. With so much for Thomas to learn about the world, will Nia be successful in teaching him a lesson about the true meaning of friendship? Featuring a world of wonder, curiosity and amazing animal friends, join Thomas on an epic adventure, fulfilling his dream of seeing the world!

My Thoughts

It was great to see Thomas explore another island apart from Sodor, for sure he does see a lot of the world. Which shows little people who are watching that if you put your mind to it when you are older you can explore the world. This means that you will experience new cultures just like you see within the film.

Thomas gets to visit 5 continents which you see some of the cultures from the countries which he does actually get to visit on his travels. The main one which we do get to see is Africa this is where Thomas does actually meet his friend Nia she does teach us some elements of the culture. We also do also see Asia a little bit with Thomas going to see China however, we do not see the cities like you might think you would we see the mountains which have snow on instead.  South America we see in lot of detail however, this is just typical Amazon however ,this may make some children want to help save the planet so we do not damage areas which we saw Thomas visit in the film.

One element which I think this film should have done better is make us see elements of different cultures from the continents which I think they did well in.  I think that they could have also made sure that they did more of North America because there was only a short period of time spent there as well as Europe which they did actually fly through. This may have helped other children to see the cultures which may be different to theirs through Thomas.

This film also has a nice message that you can not do everything on your own sometimes you do have to ask your friends for help. You should not be afraid to have to ask your friends for some help in order to be able to achieve something which you want. This is something which Thomas learns throughout the film and he also sees who is actually his friend.

Overall

I think this film was good and Jess did actually enjoy the film and since she has spoken to me about when she went to see Thomas at the cinema.  However, I do think that 80 minutes running time is a long time for children who this film is aimed at to sit.  This means that on top of the adverts and trailers could be way too long, I think this could be one of the reasons why the ending to me seemed very rushed

Will you be going to see Thomas this summer?

 

Charlotte xxx

We were gifted tickets to go and see Thomas

Book Review- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Recently a book I have heard a lot about is Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine this is one which I have seen in a number of people’s favourites. I saw it in my friend Hayley’s June favourites when Joe wanted me to order a book off amazon which I noticed was in the the 2 books for £7 offer I knew it was fate. I had to order this book and I can not say that this is something I regret I actually managed to complete this book in about 6 hours for sure it was a page turner.

Blurb

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

She leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself.

Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – whilst searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

Thoughts

Well as a I stated this is a book which I really could not put down due to the fact that I did manage to read it so quickly. It had me gripped I needed to know what happened to Eleanor this was not a typical book which I would read. Usually I read a lot of romance kind of stories however, this is a book to some element which I could actually relate to.

The main character of the story is Eleanor who is a 30 year old who has been working the same job since finishing university. She also speaks to Mummy on the phone once a week and drinks two liters of vodka every weekend.  We soon realise that she is awkward when it comes to social encounters and she has a reliance on alcohol because this is the way in which she buries her feelings and past grievances.. This book for sure highlights the fact that there are people who are struggling with loneliness, alcoholism and depression.

Eleanor does has never been loved we find out that she has received third degree burns as a child which has result in a scar on her face. Since the age of 10 years old she has been in the foster care system and society has kept her fed, clothed and educated but never fully loved.  Even the relationship which she has with her mum is hurtful and abusive.

This makes you think about the relationships in your life,it show you the highs, the bad and the medium. This story really makes you realise how valuable one friend can be. Eleanor had been stuck in ways she didn’t even have the eyes to see how abusive her mum was been to her let alone done anything about it.

For sure this is a book which I would recommend people reading this summer.I could not put it down and it is rare for me to actually be able to finish a book in the same day as I start reading it.  Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine is scheduled to come out as a film I can not wait to see how this book gets portrayed as a film.

 

Have you read this book? If so what did you think?

 

Charlotte xxx