My Mummy's World

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Five Places To Visit with Kids in Bristol | Our Shortlist.

We have reached that time of year where I'm trying to plan what to do with the kids over the summer, I've been trying to think of places we haven't been to explore which have plenty on offer to entertain us all. One of the places I've considered is Bristol, now we've been to Bristol on a few occasions but never to explore. Whilst considering destinations I have looked for discounts around days out on places such as Groupon. 

When having a look at places Bristol stood out as it's not too far away from us, just a short journey down the motorway, we've been further for day trips. So I've made a short list of 5 places I'd love to visit with the children in Bristol. 

Bristol Zoo. 
I love animals and the children seem to have inherited that, when I was younger I set myself a challenge that I wanted to visit all of the UK zoos and safari parks, when Jack came along I decided he needed to visit them all, then along came Isla. However, Bristol Zoo is one we've never visited so of course, it makes the shortlist. The zoo seems to have a real focus on conservation which is always something that is nice to hear. 

We The Curious. 
Jack is a very curious 6 year old, I mean what 6 year old isn't, but We The Curious seems just the place for him, formerly known as At-Bristol Science Centre, I think it would be a lovely hands-on place for him to visit and to curiously explore. There are over 300 exhibits at the centre to explore so I feel it would keep us busy for a while. 

Clifton Suspension Bridge and Observatory
There seems to be something about the photos and the views from the Clifton Bridge that drew my attention to it, not only that but see the point above about Jack being curious. Whenever we've travelled across suspension bridges or hes seen one in the distance he is always full of questions so what better way to learn about them then to visit one. 

Bristol Aquarium.
As well as loving animals, the children seem to love everything in water too and whenever we visit aquariums are always in amazement at what they can see around them. So although it seems like a small aquarium in comparison it still seems like the ideal place for us to visit for a few hours. 

Blaise Castle. 
You cannot beat a look around a beautiful home with wonderful grounds, so this would also be on our list to visit. I'm thankful the children don't mind exploring a little history and learning along the way, however, there are also playgrounds outside with zip wires to explore which would allow them to burn off some steam throughout the day too.

When it comes to time to book the journey or look into the adventures we will have I will be sure to look for savings on things to do in Bristol. There are many other places that look interesting but these are just the five which have made my shortlist to visit. Hopefully if we manage a trip for a longer stay we will be able to fit in some other places to visit too, or visit a few over a period of time. 

This is a collaborative post. 

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The Pilot at Aldersley a Sizzling Pubs Review

We love to enjoy family meals together, being able to get together and not have to worry about cooking or cleaning up afterwards. This weekend we were invited to a local Sizzling Pubs brand in Aldersley called The Pilot. It was just a short 20 minutes drive from home and a restaurant we hadn't visited before or even known was local. It has been recently refurbished so it was lovely to attend and see how the resturant was as it's always nice to find local places. 

Upon arrival, we headed to the bar as a table had been reserved for us, however generally this would be a find a table and sit down restaurant. We were given a lovely warm welcome before being shown to our table. We attended on a hot Sunday lunchtime, when we arrived it wasn't overly busy which was nice, however, as it got nearer to us leaving it was started to get busier. 

We set to get looking at the menu, sifting through our options and choosing what we would want. There were a wide choice of meals available from classic pub meals, burgers and steaks to the sizzling skillets on offer. 

I opted for the chicken and ribs combo with curly fries, Ashley opted for a salad with a hoisin duck add on whilst my mum opted for the Sunday roast choosing the roast beef. 

One thing which really caught my eye was the kids' menu, obviously with a family its something we always take into consideration, there was an under 5's menu and an over 5's menu which had similar choices just a bigger portion. For Isla, we opted for the under 5's chicken nuggets which consisted of 3 nuggets which was perfect for her, with this choice she chose chips and beans. Jack opted for the build your own chicken wrap. 

Whilst we were awaiting our food, one of the staff members came over and told us where we could find the colouring sheets and crayons along with some children's magazines, she also informed us of 'The Animal Lady' they had visiting that day outside. So whilst we were awaiting our food, the children went outside to look at the various animals and did a spot of reading when they were back inside. 

Shortly after the meals came out, all served piping hot and full of flavour. Each of us enjoyed our meals. 

After our meals, we decided it would be rude not to try there dessert menu too, so Jack and Isla had one from the children's menu, Jack opting for make your own sundae and Isla having a bowl of ice cream. 

Us adults, however, opted for other choices, I decided on the mint aero sundae, Ashley opted for one of the brownies while my mum had the treacle sponge with custard. These all came out really quickly and were perfectly sized. 

After spending a couple of hours in The Pilot, Aldersley we all had a lovely time and felt relaxed. It was a meal we all thoroughly enjoyed and would definitely visit again. It was kind on the purse too, with all of our food and a drink each, one of which was alcoholic, it came in just under £50. 

This is certainly a restaurant I would recommend to others, the staff were friendly and helpful and the environment was warm and welcoming with a lovely large outdoor space and lots of light airy spaces. 

Please Note: We received a £50 voucher in exchange for an honest review, however all words and opinions are our own and not influenced in any way. 

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Meeting Marmalade and making cookies with intu Merry Hill

If you are local you may have seen the recent mysterious happenings over at intu Merry Hill. Initially, a crushed car was found in the car park with the only evidence being large footprints and tufts of orange fur. Then something was spotted on the CCTV of the centre, what could it have been?

Well, all was revealed on Saturday when intu Merry Hill revealed their new mascot Marmalade the Mammoth. 

intu Merry Hill, Meeting Marmalade and making cookies

To celebrate Marmalade, there are lots of fun activities happening at the centre, from today until Sunday you can take part in Marmalade Cookie classes where you can make your own sweet treats with Marmalades favourite treat. 

Today, we headed along to intu Merry Hill to not only meet Marmalade himself but to also attend the Marmalade's Factory and make some cookies. 

intu Merry Hill, Meeting Marmalade and making cookies

We headed there early so we could meet Marmalade before our session began and to grab a bite to eat and wonder around the shops. At midday Marmalade was out stomping around the centre for all to meet, he enjoys nothing more than cuddles and tickles. 
Initially, Jack was a little nervous about going near to Marmalade, but he soon overcome that and before leaving the centre we met him another twice. Isla still wasn't unsure, until we got home where she declared she wanted to go and give him a cuddle, too late now!

intu Merry Hill, Meeting Marmalade and making cookies

At our time slot, we headed along to Marmalade's Factory which is located just in front of customer services on the lower mall and got ourselves ready to make some cookies. 

intu Merry Hill, Meeting Marmalade and making cookies

All of the ingredients were weighed and measured for us and lay out ready for us to use. Once hands were washed and everyone was ready, as a group everyone individually made their cookies following the lead of the hosts. There were plenty of learning opportunities throughout and we even learnt how marmalade was made.

intu Merry Hill, Meeting Marmalade and making cookies

intu Merry Hill, Meeting Marmalade and making cookies

intu Merry Hill, Meeting Marmalade and making cookies

 Once our cookies were complete we put them to one side so they could be placed in the oven and cooled down and we were to come back after 30 minutes. 

intu Merry Hill, Meeting Marmalade and making cookies

Enough time for us to scoot around some more shops, and for us, a trip to intu Merry Hill wouldn't be complete without going into the Disney Store so that was our final call. Of course, we picked up some treats before heading back to collect our cookies before heading home. 

intu Merry Hill, Meeting Marmalade and making cookies

We have all had a fantastic day at intu Merry Hill, meeting Marmalade and getting to make some cookies. It was certainly a fun day during the holidays. 

There is still chance for you to meet Marmalade and make some cookies until Sunday. 
Marmalade will be stomping through the centre at various times throughout the day which can be found here. If you want to have a go at making some cookies of your own, then you can book in advance to secure your slot here.  

Why you're over on the intu Merry Hill site, why not join the family club? It's a new scheme recently started where you can pick up some exclusive discounts within a variety of the stores and also pick up a special treat for your little one. The family club is available at all intu centres, not just Merry Hill so if you are local to one of the others, you can join there too. 

Please Note: This post is in collaboration with intu Merry Hill. 

Open University Year One Complete

Just like that year one is officially complete, well for me its actually been completed for a couple of weeks now as I submitted early but today is officially the final day for submissions for my modules I've taken this year, and I think many other of the Open University modules too. 

When I began this journey back in October this day seemed all so far away, it has indeed flown by and quickly come around, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not yet. 

When I first signed up, I was eager to start I brought lots of stationary and eagerly awaited my books and the module website opening. Then the books arrived and I spent ages searching through them, then the module website opened and I got myself a little headstart. Then I hit a little block, I'm not sure what it was but I really struggled with studying and well just life in general. 

My one module, I had a tutor who wasn't the most helpful, thankfully the students also on the module were which helped but I think that contributed to the way I was feeling towards studying. 

This first year I've studied two modules, so basically studying full time which the Open University don't particularly recommend but I've managed. Yes it was pretty hard going at times but now I'm at the end of the year, it's certainly been worthwhile. 

My one module I have definitely passed although I am awaiting the score of my final assignment. My other module I have so far passed, but now it's awaiting the results for the End of Module Assignment (EMA) which can take until the middle of July, I need at least 40% to get a pass so I'm keeping everything crossed for that one. 

So whilst I await my results in July, I've already signed up to next years modules and yet again I'm studying two modules, this time at Level 2 so they will go towards my final grades. I'm looking forward to that beginning but for now, I'll enjoy my time without the studies, well that's when I finish the additional course I am studying alongside, that ends in July though too. 

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Treads School Shoes | A Review

I am really not sure what Jack manages to do with his school shoes, but somehow they get all scuffed within a day or two and we've been known to have to buy at least three pairs a year, one of these reasons due to growth, other due to the fact he destroys them.
I always recall his first day at nursery, his first ever pair of school shoes, lovely and polished and looking very smart. Jack manages to leave his first morning session with both of the fronts scuffed with the one taking off the top layer of leather. Thankfully, as he's got older he has been able to look after them a little better but still not enough for them to last until he outgrows them.

Recently, we came across a brand called Treads, as a brand they believe they have created the ultimate school shoe which is indestructible. They truly believe this putting a 12-month guarantee on all of their shoes, so if through normal wear any part falls apart they will replace the shoe free of charge. Impressive huh? To me, this sounded too good to be true so I was keen to try them out with Jack.

Treads are an online brand, currently with a range of 8 styles of boys school shoes ranging in sizes from size junior 13 to size 11. As Treads are an online brand, you need to measure your children's feet beforehand, however, this is really simple to do with Treads even having a section on the website to help you out.

So, on we went with choosing a pair of shoes, for Jacks smaller feet size there was a choice of two styles, the Madrid and the Sydney - we opted for the Sydney although both were similar to his normal shoe choice. They have velcro straps to fasten and are an overall smart design, they are priced at £45 but currently just £35 which is an absolute bargain!

This traditional moccasin toe design has been built for active boys. A padded heel collar and cushioned foam footbed offers all day comfort. The touch fasten rip tape allows easy on-off access and that made to measure feel. Hand crafted using the finest of components. Made with permair leather that is soft enough to allow easy flexible movement offering unrivalled comfort and engineered to cope with the rigors of an school yard. The sole is tough and strong but also flexible and lightweight. Teamed with durable ‘dual fit’ technology and subtle stitching finishes off the look.

The shoes are fitted with a 'dual fit' technology which means there is padding within the insoles which can be removed if a wider fit is required for the shoe. Which I think is a fantastic idea, I've found that each time Jack's feet are measured the width can change considerably and even at different seasons his feet can swell. 

The shoes look very smart on whilst also looking sturdy and durable too. Jack has found them to be comfortable throughout the school day and living up to his busy school lifestyle too. 

We have had these shoes for a month now and they have had plenty of use day-to-day at school and so far with regular polishing, they are looking as lovely as when we received them. They have lasted really well with Jacks busy playground antics and school activities if I am able to get him to last the final half term with them looking great that will be a bonus on normal wear and if I can get them to last anywhere near a year I will be really impressed. So far they have lived up to the claims they make although it has only been a month, Jack has normally destroyed shoes by now. 

Please Note: We received these shoes in exchange for an honest and open review, all words and opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. 

5 Tips To Save Money On A Luxury Dress

Need a special dress for a special occasion? It’s easy to spend a fortune on a stunning dress that you may only ever wear once. Here are some tips for grabbing yourself a designer dress at a discount.   

Know your size

The worst thing you can do is buy a dress in a size too small in the hope that you’ll one day slim down enough to wear it. You should buy clothing for the size you are now so that you’re guaranteed to get some use out of it rather than letting it gather dust on a hanger. Don’t feel that you’re restricted to frumpy dress designs – sites like show some of stylish plus size dresses available and how they can bring out the best of your figure. There are many sites across the web wear you can buy affordable plus size clothing.

Shop second-hand

Second-hand luxury dresses are likely to be a fraction of the price of brand new dresses. You may get lucky and find something in a charity shop or flea market, but your best bet is most likely a consignment store. There are also various online second-hand sites that specialise in pre-owned luxury dresses such as Pandora Dress Agency. Take care when buying online from private sellers on sites like Gumtree – not only will you not be able to try the dress on, you may not be able to return the item. A good selection of photos can help you to get a good idea of the condition so that you know exactly what you’re buying.

Look for clearance sales

You’ll find clothing sales all year round, however, you may not necessarily find great discounts on luxury clothing in these sales. Clearance sales may be the only time when retailers slash the price of designer dresses – this could be a store trying to sell all it’s stock in time for the new season or it could even be a store closure sale in which you’re likely to find some of the best deals. You can search for these closing down sales online.

Consider hiring a dress

Rather than physically owning the dress, you could always hire it for a fraction of the price. Sites like Rent The Runway exist for this purpose and can allow you to choose from a wide range of top of the range dresses to hire that you’d usually pay a fortune for were you to buy them outright. Just make sure that the dress doesn’t get damaged, otherwise you could end up paying for a replacement!

Swap with a friend

If you know a friend who is the same size as you, a great money-saving option could be to try organising a clothes swap. You can trade one of your designer dresses with one of theirs and this way both of you get to wear new snazzy dresses.

This is a collaborative post. 

Monday, 21 May 2018

Buying Gifts Doesn't Have To Be A Struggle

We've all been in this position: You're trying to buy a gift for someone and you’re just stumped. You have no idea what to get them. You want to get a great gift, but you’re coming up empty every time. So what do you do? For a lot of people, the next step is simple: panic! They start furiously looking around for anything that would make a remotely acceptable gift. If that sounds familiar to you then don't worry, here are some quick and easy gift ideas that aren’t going to be too expensive and that are guaranteed to be a hit, no matter what.

Something personal

If you want to take a pretty basic and turn it into a gift that someone will treasure forever? Make it personal to them. Even something as simple as a piece of stationary but having it monogrammed with that person's name can make a huge difference to how they feel about it. Or maybe something that connects to something they already have like dolls house accessories for kids, or a cooking utensil for would-be chefs. It shows them that you're willing and interested enough to go that one step further in order to find them a gift that they're going to really enjoy.

Something tasty

One thing that you can guarantee is that just about everyone enjoys a tasty treat. Why not get them a box of high-class chocolates? You could even take them back to their childhood with a jar of vintage sweets, not only is that a great and unique gift idea but it also gives them a part of the gift that they can re-use once they've eaten all of the sweets. If they don't have much of a sweet tooth then why not get them a bottle of something fancy. There are few classier gift ideas than a nice bottle of wine. Of course, it's a good idea to make sure that you’re not going to cause some kind of allergic reaction!

Something useful

If you want to make sure that someone is going to enjoy the gift that you give them for a long time, then give them something that they're going to be able to use. It's great when gifts are something unique or interesting, but a lot of the time people love just getting something that's actually useful to them. Are they the type of person who loves to spend their time out in the garden then give them some gardening tools. Not only is it something that they're going to get a lot of use out of over the years but it also shows that you've made an effort to think about something that they would genuinely enjoy. By paying attention to the little details about someone you'll often find that you have more gift ideas than you initially thought.

The most important thing is that you put time and effort into your gift. Even if it’s not quite perfect, if you’ve really thought about the other person, that’s going to show through and really make a difference to how much they appreciate it.

This is a collaborative post.