Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Review Personally Presented

As we have quite a large family we are often on the look-out for new and exciting ways to surprise people with gifts. Sometimes you get tired of the same old smellies and socks gifts and other times you want something that it is a little bit different, or something very special for an occasion or celebration. Personally Presented pretty much has got you covered for this!

First of all, I love the website and how easy it is to browse and check out the items. They have so many different types of gifts too - you really do have a lot of choice, and the items are not your usual run of the mill gifts that you would find locally. Theses presents have real class and finesse. From vases and candles, to posters and jewellery, Personally Presented has a gift for everyone.

I was very excited to be asked to review an item from their website. I chose the personalised 'to the moon' necklace and keepsake.  However, me being me, I did't actually want to choose an initial that was my own, so I chose 'R' for Rhiannon, which is a song written by Stevie Nicks, and I had the lyrics inscribed on the keepsake inside. It is absolutely stunning, as you can see for yourself.

I absolutely adore this necklace. It is such a thoughtful way to surprise someone, and of course you could just order their actual initial and have something special inscribed yourself. I find it so personal and special.

This necklace was £38.49 and that included the inscription on the keepsake and initial on the necklace If I received this as a gift I would be absolutely over the moon (so to speak). Do check out Personally Presented website - they have lots of personalised gifts to suit and it it would mean purchasing something that little bit different for that special person in your life.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Review: Disney on Ice, Liverpool

Our kids love Disney, and special days out with us as a family, so it was perfect that we were able to review Disney on Ice over the Easter half term at Liverpool Echo Arena. Disney On Ice Presents World of Enchantment  promised to be a fun-filled sing-along for all of the family to enjoy, and we were very excited to be going!

We were not disappointed with the show. Full of family favourites such as Woody and Buzz from Toy Story, Elsa and Anna from Frozen and Ariel and Ursula from The Little Mermaid, this show was a spectacular on-ice sing and dance-along with never a dull moment! The kids were absolutely made up with the whole thing.

The costumes, singing and dancing (not to mention some of the amazing moves on the ice) were absolutely a joy to watch. The kids were dancing and singing in their seats, as each of their well-known favourite characters appeared on the ice, swishing and jumping with boundless energy and enthusiasm.

We loved this show. The kids had such a good time. We would definitely recommend this show for something to do over Easter as a family - it is a real treat.

Tickets start from around £20 and can be purchased online here.  I hope if you go you have as much fun as we did!

Friday, 30 March 2018

Review: Cinderella at St Helens Theatre Royal

We love panto season. The kids get so excited about watching the show, and we always look forward to seeing them. One of our favourite theatres - St Helens Theatre Royal is currently showing Cinderella. With some amazing twists on the classic tale, this show was a rip-roaring adventure full of laughs and surprises along the way.

The cast were brilliant as always at St Helens Theatre Royal - we were treated to two 'dames' as the ugly sisters, who were hilarious and wore some pretty amazing outfits! This year the guest star is Lee Latchford from Steps. There were plenty of Stes references chucked in for good measure - myself and my husband were laughing but I suppose the kids would be too young to understand all that - maybe I need to play them some classic Steps!

The panto is funny, exciting and at times really romantic. During a scene with the Prince and Cinderella, Rosie turned to me and said "Mummy I have got some happy tears, have you?" The finale was fabulous, with a full-on Steps medley to sing and dance along too.

I would definitely recommend taking a trip to St Helens Theatre Royal this Easter with the family. It is such a fun two hours to spend - we absolutely loved it.

The panto runs until 15th April. A family ticket is £56 for two adults and two children which I think is great value.  You can book your tickets here. 

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Review: Feast of Fire, Liverpool

As a family we love to experience new things and enjoy them together. Sometimes it can seem that it is all work and it is hard to get together and do fun things - we're always on the lookout for something different to do. So we were excited to be asked to review Liverpool's Feast of Fire - an amazing art installation in the centre of the city, perfect for a family night out.

We went to the Feast of Fire on a Friday night - the kids and Warren met me after work and we had a wander down to St George's Gardens. We were met with some beautiful installations, fire, juggling, music and plenty of places to eat and drink. We love Liverpool and often spend time in St George's Gardens, so this was a special treat for us.

We had an amazing time. It must be said that the organisation of the event was impeccable. The installations are completely safe, on-site facilities were clean, and the whole event was just really well put together. I thought it was also really good value for money, withe family tickets starting from £24. Feast of Fire runs until 2nd April and is definitely worth checking out

To keep up to date check out Feast of Fire's social media

Facebook: facebook.com/pg/FeastofFireLiv
Instagra: instagram.com/feastoffireliv/
Snapchat: @FeastofFireLiv
Twitter:  twitter.com/FeastofFireLiv 

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Gadgets and Me

I must confess that I am a fan of my gadgets. Since I have been a student, I find that I need a Kindle, a phone, a laptop. I am not much of a gamer, so that is where it ends really. However, we do have other gadgets in the house like Playstations and MP3 players. It seems like technology is everywhere you look and I often here the phrase "kids were born with an iphone in their hand these days!"

One of the things that does concern me is safety. We need to protect our gadgets as, let's face it, it's not like they are cheap.

One of the ways that we can do this is by buying protective covers for phones and tablets. We like to buy cool ones that reflect our personalities. The kids have really thick rubber protective covers for their tablets, as we know only too well how clumsy kids can get! We have also had water spillages on our gadgets and this can be a nightmare - bowls of rice at the ready!

We are also concerned about insuring our products. Using something like switched on insurance could make it easier for you to claim if you do have damage to any of your gadgets. I think insurance for these types of products are a must. If they are damaged you will want to replace them and this can be very costly. Insurance is definitely something to bear  mind!

What type of gadgets do you use, and do you make sure that they are protected? I'd love to know, let me know in the comments!

Experience Days

As we are a family of 5, with numerous aunts and uncles and other family members with birthdays and anniversaries and Christmas-es - I am often on the look out for alternative gifts. We all know we love socks and smellies as gifts, but sometimes it is a good idea to try and look for something just a little bit different.

We are lucky that we do get to try out lots of different things. We are always at pantomimes, break-out rooms, shows and even sledging on fake snow!

I had read about hot air balloon experiences. These look really great and this is something that could be done as a family. I had also looked into spa days, which would also be great for when the kids are a little bit bigger. Some of my family members are real thrill-seekers and would love to do some kind of extreme sport or thrill-seeking experience, I know they have tried out sky-diving and hang-gliding - this is not for the feint hearted.

As for me, I'm a little bit old fashioned and like to keep things simple. Give me a book and some perfume any day as a present and I am more than happy! However, I am still thinking on cool presents for family members! I had thought about booking a driving experience, as I have heard that these can also be great fun.

What type of experience days are your favourite? It definitely is something worth looking in to!

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Review: Molly Brown Jewellery

We were very pleased to be asked to review some gorgeous jewellery from Molly Brown London. They have an absolutely gorgeous collection for gifts for that special child in your life. The jewellery they have is marked as 'Tiffany's for girls' and is definitely a luxurious and beautiful treat.

We were sent an absolutely stunning silver necklace decorated with stars. It is Rosie's birthday soon, and I thought that it would make a gorgeous present for her turning 5. I really do love to receive jewellery as a special gift. I love that jewellery is forever, and can be such a special gift. The packaging from Molly Brown is stunning. If you were gifting an item to someone special in your life then they would be seriously impressed with this.

Our neckclace came packaged in a Molly Brown gift back with pink tissue paper, and a beautiful Molly Brown gift box. When Rosie opened the package she was so surprised and said "wow it is beautiful!" I am sure that she will wear this necklace on special occasions!

The necklace itself is called 'stars by the inch,' and has small beautiful silver stars all the way around. At 16" long it is perfect for Rosie's neck and looks elegant. The price of this necklace is £48. which is a fair price for such a beautiful piece. I would definitely look to Molly Brown for a special present for a birthday or a christening for a child. It is such a special gift.

Disclosure: We were sent this necklace free of charge for the purpose of this review, all words and views are our own.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Preview: Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Enchantment

Our kids absolutely love shows and days out, and Disney on Ice is one that we never miss. The kids really do love Disney films and all-associated books and toys, so this show is definitely one we love!

From 11th - 15th April, Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Enchantment is coming to Liverpool at the Liverpool Echo Arena. We are looking forward to seeing some of our favourite Disney characters perform on the ice at such an amazing and entertaining show! Included are favourite characters from Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, Frozen and Cars!

The Little Mermaid

Lightning McQueen and the gang!

Ursula - what an amazing costume!
Last time we absolutely loved the show. The kids were dancing in their seats and laughing and singing along. We really can't wait to go again.

Also included this year is a pre-show Fit to Dance, so we will be sure to get there early to join in!

Tickets are now on sale for the show and start from £20.75 - £48 depending on where you like to sit. There are also family ticket options available. 

I hope you are as excited as our kids are to attend!

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Review: Bettybox

We were excited to review Bettybox  - a subscription service where you receive a box of goodies just before that time of the month. It can get a big miserable around that time of the month and the thought of receiving a few goodies along with any protection that you need sounds like a great idea to me.

Inside our Betty Box we found the following:

* Face wash
* Kiwi shaped eye masks
* Herbal teabag
* Luxury chocolate
* Scalp and hair mask
* Lipgloss
* Selection of sanitary products

The products were all high quality and the contents have a real "treat" feel to them.

We loved how everything in the box was packaged so beautifully and there was also some information about periods and that time of the month, which I thought was a really lovely touch, especially if you have teenagers in your life who might be feeling a bit worried or anxious.

I also loved the website. It contains a lot of advice relating to teenagers and some fun stuff too. I pointed my eldest in the direction of the website, as I think sometimes teens do not want to talk to their parents about some things it is much easier to read about them online such as body issues or problems with friends. I love that the cursor is actually a tampon too - I like the idea of completely normalising periods and paraphernalia, and a bit of humour goes a long way too!

The box is sent by subscription with the price starting from £12.99 per month with discounts if you subscribe for longer periods of time. I think this is good value. It is more than you would pay for your standard sanitary products, but I think if you bought a subscription for a teen in your life then they would absolutely love receiving this every month, and it would put a smile on their face at a time that can be awkward and sometimes difficult. 

Bettybox have also provided me with a really great discount code for new customers. To receive 20% off just enter bb20 at the checkout!

You can check out Bettybox subscription options here.

Disclosure: We were sent this product free of charge for the purpose of this review, all words and views are our own.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Working from Home

I've been working from home for about six months now. I keep a very messy desk.

I tend to spread all of my papers out across the dining table which converts to my working space for the day, and I just busy myself all day. On my desk you might find pens, pencils, memo pads, post-it notes, lists, note-pads and stacks and stacks of books. There will be library books, children's paintings, cups of coffee, plates and snack-wrappers.

Yes, I am that messy person when I work from home.

The thing is, although it can look like a big old mess - I know exactly where everything is and I know which messy pile my books are going to be found. I work well from home. I have a good routine - I'm up, I take the kids to school and then I sit in my own messy heaven for about 6 hours until I pick the kids up.

Once the kids are home from school, the dining table is then reverted back to the family table where we eat and chat about our days. Once the kids have settled in home, I might then sit with a book for an hour and mull over some ideas. As I am working from home, sometimes I find it hard to get in a routine and I find myself getting distracted by jobs that might need doing in the house. I am sure that most people who work from home get like this, but I try and allow myself around 45 minutes to eat my lunch, walk the dog and then potter about catching up with house jobs. The rest of the time I do try and concentrate on my work.

It has been a good start to my PhD. I am loving the way I work, I enjoy the flexibility of working from home. I can't see me getting any tidier in my ways - as the old saying goes, if it isn't broke don't fix it!

Friday, 16 February 2018

Half Term Day Out with Mersey Ferries

I have now lived here in Liverpool for about 10 years. I love living here and couldn't imagine living anywhere else. My husband has lived in Liverpool all his life, and believe it or not, despite having three kids and loving trying out new and exciting things to do with the kids - we have never actually been on the ferry!

As you can imagine, I was thrilled to be offered the chance to review the ferry crossing with Mersey Ferries, not only would we get the chance to cross the Mersey on the ferry, we would also be able to visit the Spaceport museum, included with our ticket.

We set off on a beautifully sunny (but slightly breezy) Friday from the Pier Head. I love the Pier Head. It's such a great place to walk, relax and the architecture is amazing. We do like to spend a lot of time in the town centre as a family and it is good to be out and about in all weather to blow off the cobwebs!

The ferry itself was wonderful. Beautifully coloured and designed by Sir Peter Blake, the ferry was comfortable with plenty of seating and a lovely little cafe on board. We found a table and got some hot drinks to warm us up and keep us going. As it wasn't too cold, we sat on the top and looked out onto the Mersey, taking in the views of our gorgeous city.

Once in the Spaceport we were treated to lots of really cool and interactive activities to teach us all about space. We learned how the seasons work on Earth ( it is because of the tilt of the Earth's axis,), the different gases in the Earth's atmosphere and the role of gravity in weightlessness. The girls were really interested and it was great to be able to talk to them about space and teach them something new. I was also keen that they knew that astronauts are not always men - Space Men and Space Women FTW!

We also sat and watched a show about space and astronauts in the planetarium with the information beamed onto the ceiling. This was so much fun - the kids loved it, and myself and Warren also learned some new things.
We also went on a roller-coaster ride through space on the simulator. The kids screamed all the way through it with excitement - it was so funny. There was also a Star Wars exhibition on - this was so interesting. Lots of figures from the film series and collectibles on display.

Time seemed to fly over and before we knew it we were back on the ferry for our return trip. Included in our ticket was also entry to the U-Boat Story, but unfortunately we had cut it fine with time and needed to get back. Maybe this is one for another time!

We absolutely loved our day out. It is so important to spend time with family and doing something a little bit different always makes it more memorable. Liverpool is a wonderful city and this is definitely one of the best things we have done in the city with the kids. We also thought that the family ticket, which was for two adults and three children, including the ferry crossing there and back, entry to the Spaceport and U-Boat Story was excellent value at £35 - it is literally a full day out for the family. Also, from Monday 19th February to Friday 23rd February, the Spaceport are also doing free Jedi training classes, which sounds like great fun!

For further information and ticket options see here.

You can also keep up to date with any Mersey ferry news on Twitter.

Disclosure: We were given a free family ticket for the purpose of this review. All words and views are our own.

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