Boom25 – Shop Online & Win Your Order Back

When I am shopping online I am always looking to save money. Whether it be getting money off vouchers and been able to save that way. Or using cashback and getting money back from my purchases. Well this was until I was introduce to Boom25. This is a new cashback site hitting the UK with a twist you have a 1 in 25 chance of actually winning back your full purchase for your items.

Making sure I get the best deal on something is one of my passions I hate spending more money than I need. One of the best things which I have found about Boom25 is the fact that there no sign up fee. This does mean it is not costing you to earn money. You have a 1 in 25 chance of winning you whole shop back which means essential you getting things you need for free.

For me this is a fun experience while online shopping because let’s face it we all do everything online now. You have to be the 25th person to order from that retailer. They also have daily booms on which means that you may only have to be the 10th person. This mean that you have 1 in 10 chance of getting your purchase for free. As you can see today Groupon is a 1 in 15 chance of winning. Even if you do not manage to win you get a small bonus so when you do win you get even more money.

One thing which I have found when I have used cashback sites in the past is sometimes the lack of retailers on it. This is not a problem which Boom25 have there are over 900 stores to be earning from. These are from a range of different sectors as well. It also includes Ebay now you will know if you have been following me for a while this is something I use regular. I would love to win some of the purchases which I make back. Something which I think I am going to do is any purchase I do win put the money towards Christmas presents. You do not even have to share bank details or anything as you get your money through paypal. This does mean it is even more secure which I know for me is a huge bonus.

It is so simple to set up because who wants the hassle of lots of forms when they are wanting to do some shopping. Boom25 only need your email address a password and your name. This means that you can have your account set up in a couple of moments.

Once you have your account set up you can either click through the categories to find the one you want. There are hundreds of course, ranging from travel, sport and health and beauty. You can also keep scrolling down and find the popular area. This has the brands which people are using the most so currently companies such as Justeat, eBay and deliveroo. This makes it even easier for you to be able to get cashback on the companies you love the most.

You find out if you have been the lucky winner when Boom25 send a spin the wheel email out. This will show you who the lucky people are to have won there purchases. It its worth noting that when you win your purchase back you do not get the paypal fees which I seem to remember are 3.4% + 20p.

This is a good way to save money on your purchases. For me it is going to be a cashback site which I use regular. It may not replace the one which I use completely but it is a contender. For sure, I will be using it for sites which I can not get cashback on otherwise. The biggest win someone has had is £4.445 which is amazing I would not be complaining at that back.

Why not try Boom25 out for yourself and see if it can work for you. You may be able to get all of a purchase back rather than 1% which some other sites may offer you. It could be worth having a good it’s money you would never have had. That is the way I actually see it.

Have you tried Boom25? If so what where you thoughts.

 

Charlotte xxx

This is a collaboration post however, all words are my own.

Making Bath Time Special with Slimebaff

Bath time is an event which Jess looks forward to every single time. For sure she is an actually water baby. We are always looking for different products to make it even more fun and special. So when the lovely people at zimplikids contacted me and asked if I would like to review a range of their products I jumped at the chance. I have seen gellibaff advertised when it first came out however, I have never actually tried any of their products.

Slime is a product which I have not let Jess try at home for a couple of reasons. One I really can not stand the mess which it makes so I thought it would be perfect for her to do in the bath. For some reason, in my head, I thought it was going to be super hard to do. I have no reason why I thought this at all. It could not be more simple all you need to do is sprinkle the powder in the bath water . Then simply watch as the water magically turns into gooey slime. This is the same for the gellibaff version as well.

It is so simple to make however, it does take about 15 minutes to thicken so you may want to take this into account. For example if your child does not take long baths you might want to do it so when they get in it’s as thick. This is what I did for Jess and she still spent around 25/30 minutes in the slime bath. It did take her a while to get used to the feel she did keep screaming and saying it felt strange so this is something else to be aware of. You really need to keep an eye on your child while using this product. More than you normally would when they are in the bath I would say.

Jess adored it however, it can be very slippy and this is an element which she did end up struggling with. I had to keep picking her up and this did cause her to be a little bit stressful for her. The worst part of the slime baff for us was actually how slippy she was when she got out. She did have to shower which is something which she hates to do. This is something which you need to be aware of if your child hates the shower as well.

Unlike gellibaff slime baff does not actually need anything to disolve this. You only need to add about 30l of water I think it said to remove it from the bath. For us who only used half a packet and half the amount of water because Jess is not a fan of very deep baths still due to her age. It still look us around the half an hour mark to disolve this. This may put me off purchasing it in the future because it seems to take a lot time to have a bath even though Jess enjoyed it. It took around an hour to run the bath and remove it. If Jess asks to use it in the future I am not going to refuse and deny her.

If you are worried about it not been safe I know some people have problems with products like this. Gellibaff and Slime Baff are 100% safe. They can be purchased from a range of retailers including supermarkets, the entertainer and Amazon.

Have you tried Slime Baff if so what did you think?

Charlotte xx

We were sent this in order to give our thoughts on it however, all views are our own.

 

Bear Kitchen Wakefield Review

I know it is Monday which means that usually, I would be sharing with you a recipe. However, as I stated in my February Goals I have not been cooking as much and with Valentine’s day coming up today I thought I would share a place to eat which we love in Wakefield. It is called Bear Kitchen. I actually found out about the place when someone I follow on Instagram visit. I since have recommended to a couple of people and they have made visits.

Bear Kitchen is an amazing burger and fast food joint with a twist. Everything is locally and ethically sourced produce in environmentally friendly packaging. This is something which is rare to find and the price is not expensive for the quality of the food.

If you are familiar with Wakefield it is not far from Westgate train station going away from town. This does mean that it has no parking which is a shame if like us you have to go in the car. You can park at the retail park and walk and this does not take to long to get to Bear Kitchen. You will not be disappointed the food makes it worth the travel. Delivery is available but I am unsure how far the travel I know we are out of area. The Bear Kitchen is a small restaurant with around 3 tables which each seat 4. This does mean that you may have to wait when you arrive for a table. You can always take out if this does not bother you. This is something for us which is not ideal due to having a Jess.

At Bear Kitchen you do actually get to almost create your own burger. So you can have whatever you want. You choose either beef, chicken, mac n cheese or hot dogs. These are known as bear grills then you add the bear toppers which makes it your own. These make your burger your own so these include the likes of cheese, gucamole, pulled pork, chilli con carne. No matter what kind of burger you like you will be able to find it at the bear kitchen.

Joe and I decided to go for two completely different burgers I seem to remember he went for a beef grizzly which means it came with cheese, fried onions BBQ sauce and bacon. While I on the other hand opted for a chicken Gringo which had gucamole, pico salsa, sour cream, nachos and jalpeno jam. The burgers with one set of toppers which is what we choose is £7.50 or it was when we visited. You do not get fries with them these are a side which you need to order. We opted for Haloumi fries which where so tasty and we got them to share as there we two of us. It also works out better value for money if you do this.

There is also deli rolls and chicken boxes, alongside salads and kebearbs if you do not fancy a burger. If you choose to visit on a Sunday you could have a yorkshire pudding wrap which is something which has become so popular last year. As you can tell the bear kitchen do have a wide range of options. I think this is amazing seen as the fact that they do locally source everything.

Taking your children is not an issue either I know that sometimes you are unsure about these places. I took Jess and was amazed how well they were able to cater for children she actually got a small hot dog with any topping which she wanted a drink and fries for £5. She did have a choice of any of the burgers on the menu and they would have made them to her size.

We found the staff really helpful and they took us through the menu because it can be daunting when you go for the first time. This is something which you can not fault. I have noticed that there are now a ton of vegan and veggie options available. Which I think is amazing as sometimes you can be limited when you go to eat out if you have dietary needs. Due to it all been cooked to order you can be waiting for a short while for you food. Jess did not get bored and our wait was around 30-40 minutes which I did not think was too bad at all.

I would recommend trying out one of there shakes they are so worth the money. I had a chocolate brownie one and it did have chunks of homemade brownie in it. It was a little bit sickly you would not want to have more than one. They are very filling as well which combined when the burgers are so tasty and filling made me full. The portion sizes are something which are not skimpt on at all they are very large. As you can see from the pictures.

Overall

There are so many more pieces on the menu which I want to try so I know we are going to have to make another visit. The food is amazing for the price point that it is. It is worth noting that bear kitchen is open Wednesday- Sunday 12-9pm. So do not try and go on a Monday or Tuesday. I would say this is value for money and as some other people I have recommend it to can not believe how cheap it is for the quality. For sure this is going to be a place we go again during 2019. See as we live not too far from the bear kitchen.

Have you visited Bear Kitchen if so what did you think?

Charlotte xxx

50 Fantastic Ideas for Engaging Dads Review

We all know the feeling there is so much that we want to do this year with our children. We want to create memories with them which are going to last a life time. This time of year can be tight for money but you still want to have some amazing times. I know this is personally something which me and my family want to do. As you know Joe works away a lot which makes family time even more special . Jess loves spending time doing things with her Dad.

Just before Christmas, I was contacted to see if I would like to review a new book. Full of ideas for Dad’s to do with their children, of course, I said yes because we are always looking for ideas of new things to do with Jess. 50 fantastic ideas for engaging dads is it sounds it is a book which has 50 ideas of what do to with your children. All of the activities which are in the book are very engaging meaning that you have to be hands-on.

There is a range of activities some which we are going to have to wait till the weather becomes warmer. However, there are plenty of the activities that Jess has done already. Even though the book does say for Dad’s we all know Mum’s can do it as well. The reason it is aimed at Dad’s is because they can find it harder to think of ways to engage with their children. When it comes to a fun and educational side of play. There are some activities in the book which I would never have thought about doing. Such as discount shopper allowing your child to go into bargain stores with a budget and allowing them to purchase items. Another one is a door colour challenge find doors which are the colour you say.

The activities tell you what you are going to need don’t worry if you don’t have them all. We have improvised with some elements and still had as much fun. The book also tells you what the children get out of it apart from spending quality time with their parents. One part which I think is the great is the way that it tells you how to develop it to make it even harder. We all know that children can get bored when something becomes too easy for them. It has progressions some of them we are going to be using as Jess is finding some of the activities easy now.

We have been doing the read me a story activity most evenings before bed. This is something which has been part of our routine for a while now and we find it seems to settle Jess before drifting off to sleep. She also will speak about the book in the morning and sometimes for days after. We will let Jess point to things within the book for example where is the frog . This is helping her learn the different animals and also be interactive with the story. For sure, this is something which we can keep up because books is something we have a lot of .

Block tower is another one which we have been enjoying this is something which we can do as a family. We use megablocks which is something that Jess has owned for a while and we have a race to see how can build the highest tower. Then we will ask her to count how many bricks there is again enhancing her learning. This is something I love doing in fun ways where it is possible. Another way we have done this is that you can only use a certain colour to build your tower this incorporates Jess learning her colours. Of course this is also teaching her hand eye cordination fan which is vital for when she starts writing.

The final one which I am going to share with you is the den building. Of course, we have not been able to go outside and do this one yet as it may be a bit too cold and windy. However, we have been using our home to do it we have blankets often around in our house so we have been throwing them over the sofa and footstool. Jess usually demands that I crawl around and she giggles her head off. I think this is one of her favourites from the book because it is one she demands even after nursery. Daddy I am sure will get roped in to play when he is back as well.

I know that we are going to have so much fun doing more of the activities. Another thing which I love about this book is the fact that the ideas in this are not that expensive. A lot of the things which are required you will usually have if you have children. For sure this is a book which is going to get a lot of love in our house. It would be a great present for some who has a toddler as well.

The book is available on Amazon, for £9.99 and can be found here. 

What activities do you like doing which engage with your children?

Charlotte xx

This post contains a PR sample however, all views are my own.

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