Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Winter Sun Wishlist

review post.

With the air growing colder by the day, dark and foggy mornings, and the seemingly relentless rain you wouldn't be blamed for daydreaming of getting away from it all and basking in the sunshine on far away islands. I will admit that it has crossed my mind more than once (a day...) and I am keeping my fingers crossed for a lottery win so I can whisk the family off to enjoy some Winter sun somewhere special over Christmas. A girl can dream!

My top ten picks for Winter sun destinations (in no particular order) would be Mexico, Sri Lanka, Cuba, Brazil, Thailand, Mauritius, the Canary Islands, St Lucia, the Maldives, and Australia. Relaxing on a white sandy beach with a cool drink in hand, shaded by palm trees, and listening to the waves lap the shore. I'm seconds away from packing a bag and setting off! (I wish). If you're lucky enough to be heading to sunnier climes this Winter then let me share a few of my favourite holiday must-haves.

- LifeProof Phone Case

For capturing those all important action shots during watersports and swimming without destroying your phone in the process. Lovely Lisa from took one when we went to Rhodes in September and I so wish I had taken one too, she caught some great moments. If we are fortunate enough to be able to take the kids away next year then I'll definitely be snapping one of these up for our trip to preserve our memories.

- FlopZ

I was sent a pair of FlopZ pearl flipflops (£35) to take on my visit to Rhodes, and after some initial uncertainty - Are they comfy? Or do they just feel weird? - I can say that I think they're fab. I'm a big flip flop lover & spend all Summer wearing them, but FlopZ are different in that the clear textured layer massages your feet as you walk. And it actually DOES. By the end of our break I didn't want to take them off but it was sadly not quite flip flop weather on our return to the UK, I'm looking forward to treating my feet to daily massages as soon as the Summer rolls around.

- TeckNet Power Bank

Trust me, you do not want to be without one of these on your next trip. I picked one up for just under £20 before my visit to Rhodes because I was going to be using my iPhone as my camera, and I would have been lost without it. It is essentially a compact, portable power pack that holds 4-5 full mobile charges, meaning that even if my phone was close to running out of juice, I knew I had a charger to hand and I wouldn't miss a single moment.

And of course - don't forget your sunnies!

Are you jetting off to enjoy the Winter sun this year? What are your holiday must-haves?

I received a complimentary pair of Flopz for review purposes. The views shared are my own personal & honest opinions and written in my own words.
All links are no-follow.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Paws for Thought for BEAR & WWF

We are big fans of BEAR, their no-added-nonsense preservative free range of food and snacks are lunch box and after-school staples in this house, especially their delicious pure fruit Paws, and recently BEAR teamed up with the WWF to work together to protect the paws of the world's most endangered species of bears.

Six of the eight bears of the world are threatened with extinction, and BEAR wanted to do something to help address this, so their 5th birthday seemed like a great time to do it. In a special partnership with WWF, they are working to protect these amazing bears and other wild species (and the habitats they rely on) with a donation from every pack sold of their BEAR pure fruit Paws snacks.

BEAR invited us to celebrate their birthday as well as raise awareness of their campaign by sending us a special surprise, the children were treated to tasty packs of fruit Paws and received their own little party bags with goodies inside, including fun birthday badges for them to make as well as a special map with lots of interesting bear facts and information.

For every pack of special WWF Paws purchased until November, BEAR will be donating 5p (single packs) and 25p (multipacks) respectively to WWF to help protect the world’s most endangered paws and other species . On the front of the packs, four of the world’s threatened bears will be making a special appearance; look out for Spectacled, Polar, Sloth and Panda bears appearing on the packs from September to November. As well as raising donations for WWF, the campaign sets out to help engage and educate kids about the world’s amazing creatures with a special map and stickers that highlights where they live and what makes them unique.

BEAR’s founder, Hayley Gait Golding, says: “BEAR started because we wanted to help people get back to nature - both in terms of the food that they were eating, but also in getting them really excited about the world around them. Working with a partner as special as WWF is a real privilege. Together we want to help get young children really engaged with these magical animals - about where they live and what makes them unique- and for them to feel excited that they have made a difference.”

Nicky Day Director of Corporate Partnerships at WWF-UK says: “WWF is really excited to be partnering with BEAR, a company that shares our values in respecting the natural world.  Through working with BEAR we will be able to engage with families and children about our work safeguarding the world’s most iconic and threatened species whilst raising vital funds for our conservation work around the world.”
BEAR fruit Paws are pure fruit shapes that take kids for a walk on the wild side. Made from gently baked fruit picked in season, and never from concentrates, they contain no added sugar, preservatives or stabilisers. They are available in four tasty flavours- ‘Dino’ Paws (strawberry & apple), ‘Jungle’ Paws (apple & blackcurrant), ‘Arctic’ paws (raspberry & blueberry) and ‘Safari’ paws (orange and strawberry). Each pack contains five paw prints from animals that live in that habitat.
While the campaign will soon be coming to an end, the work doesn't stop there. WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Please visit WWF-UK and find out what you can do to help.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Meal Plan Monday 171114

Mon 17th Nov - Sausages, chips & baked beans

Tues 18th Nov - 'Fakeaway' Home-made curry with rice & sundries (works out at just £2.30 per person for a korma, with naan, rice, poppadoms & samosas - made in the slow cooker for after clubs & swimming)

Weds 19th Nov - Southern fried chicken with mash & veggies

Thurs 20th Nov - Brinner*

Fri 21st Nov - Pasta bake

Sat 22nd Nov - It's H's birthday party today (his actual birthday is not until next week) so we'll be enjoying some celebratory party food!

Sun 23rd Nov - Roast pork

I've joined in with Mrs M's #mealplanningmonday linky with this post
*Brinner = Breakfast for dinner

Friday, 14 November 2014

A half term break in Cornwall

Earlier in the year we booked ourselves a long weekend break at Parkdean Mullion for the beginning of the October half term with The Sun's £9.50 holiday offer. As term ended on Wednesday for both the primary & senior schools, it meant that we had Thursday to finish packing our things and getting prepared for our half term getaway, and then the whole of Friday to load up, drive down and check in for 4pm. Mullion is a 4.5 hour drive from our house so we needed a good chunk of the day to make the journey down.
We made the decision to pay a little extra to upgrade our accommodation to the Traboe caravan, which is 3 bed & sleeps 6-8. The 2012 model is more modern and includes a washer-dryer, useful when the household has been suffering with a lingering sickness bug that has been working its way through the family! Always a joy. Luckily, nobody else came down with it until the way home when unfortunately the Mister began feeling unwell.

As we were only there for three nights, we wanted to make the most of it and the lovely Bradford on Avon Mum recommended Roskilly's Farm as a nice place to take the children, having been down that way herself over the August bank holiday. It was only a few minutes drive from our park so we headed off there one morning despite the whinging from children who 'didn't want to go'. We parked up in the car park and had a little wander around the goats and pigs before going across the road to where the cafe and shop are. After picking up a map in the shop, we strolled down to the ponds and began making our way around their beautiful nature trails, enjoying a nice peaceful walk. Despite their earlier protestations, the kids - all 5 of them - absolutely loved it & even asked if we could go back again the next day.

We stopped to have lunch in the cafe before we went back to our accommodation, choosing sausage sandwiches with some orange squash to quench our thirst after our walk, before indulging in a famous Roskilly's ice cream as a special treat afterwards. Delicious food, beautiful scenery and amazing ice cream. With animals for the kids to coo over, and free entry to the farm you really can't go wrong, Roskilly's is absolutely worth a visit.

On the Sunday we visited National Trust sites Kynance Cove, and Lizard Point (the most southerly tip of mainland UK) which are nothing short of breathtaking. The children were enthralled & couldn't wait to clamber down the rocky path to the beach at Kynance Cove for a good look around and to admire the pebble cairns that someone had left behind - they even had us scrambling up the cliff edge on the other side of the beach for a different perspective. It was a grey day but the light around the cove is simply amazing, we were all in awe of just how beautiful it is there, and for the price of parking and some refreshments in the Cafe it is definitely a must-see. You can walk along the coastal path from Kynance Cove to Lizard Point, but we chose to drive as we planned to stop off for something to eat and it would have been dark by the time we got back to the car.

On Saturday night we had driven down to Lizard to sample the local fish & chips after some reading some good reviews on Trip Advisor for a local chippy called The Smugglers. The chips were delicious though the portion sizes were perhaps a little smaller than I would have expected. My husband spoke highly of the fish, too, and the children all enjoyed their meals.

On the Sunday we stopped in Coast cafe/bar in Lizard, after our visit to the point. J and I both had toasted sandwiches while the others all had burgers & chips, and they were very accommodating of L's request for a plain burger which arrived exactly as he had asked for it. Not all places are understanding when you try and deviate from the menu (as we sadly often find when we eat out) and the staff were very lovely and happy to help. The food was divine, and it was clear plates all round. Maybe a tad on the pricey side, but in all fairness the food and service was worth it so I can't grumble too much.

Cornwall is a truly naturally beautiful place to visit and I am very much looking forward to visiting there again very soon. There is so much more for us to see and do and explore, and after spending most of our time there just enjoying our surroundings without any fancy expensive theme parks or attractions I know that we will be able to make the most of it whatever we choose to do. I hope to visit in the Summer time and enjoy the warmer weather on the beach, perhaps let the kids try surfing as well as just enjoying playing on the sand and in the water. I love the sea and could sit and watch the waves breaking on the shore for hours.

Have you visited Cornwall? Where is your favourite place? I'd love some recommendations for places to visit the next time we go.

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