Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Gone Crabbing | Review

I absolutely love anything local to me. I'm quite proud of where I live, and although my address is 'Suffolk' I also have a real passion for Norfolk and probably spend more time in Norfolk than Suffolk.
One of my favourite shops in Southwold [Suffolk] is Gone Crabbing. I can't walk past without looking in and giggling and smiling at the various different products.

Gone Crabbing was launched in 2008 by Susie Mason. Inspired by both her home county and the many beautiful coastal resorts she has visited all over the UK.
Having spent many happy hours crabbing with her children on local quaysides in Norfolk, Susie chose the famous Cromer Crab as the basis for her colourful designs. Gone Crabbing's popular little crustacean (affectionately known as "Colin"), now features across Susie's distinctive brand.
Gone Crabbing is very much a family run business, and through the support of her stockists and local companies, Susie and her team hope that the popularity of her bright and contemporary designs will continue to grow and charm crabbing enthusiasts everywhere.

We were recently sent one of their most recent products. A beautiful pop up book titled 'Colin the Crab'.
Colin the Crab lives in a rock pool with his friends Mike the Mussel and Sally the Starfish.  One hot summer's day his friends are scooped up and put in a bucket leaving him all alone in his rock pool. 
The book is lovely to read with children not only because of the beautiful story about friendship but also because it is interactive due to the pop up pages. The boys loved taking it in turn to pull the tabs, or move them across the page to see how it changed the images.

We were also sent the Little Crab Mug which is so cute. I am one of those people who loves a special mug, one you won't let anyone else use, and this is definitely adding to that collection.
Along with this was the 'Totally Clawsome Soap'. Oh my goodness, it smells delicious. It's not an overpowering smell and due to the fresh smell would be perfect to be used by all of the family as the smell isn't overally masculine or feminine.
I know it's naughty to mention the C word this early but....the packaging and different scents mean these soaps would make perfect Christmas presents either as a stocking filler, or in a hamper.

Are you familiar with the Gone Crabbing range? What are your favourite products?


We were sent these items for the purpose of this review.

A Family Fiesta with Domino's

With my family visiting from Somerset last week we were constantly rushed and busy with various days out and evening plans too.
On their final night we decided to spend the evening at the bungalow they had rented for the week to relax and spend some quality time together.

Domino's contacted me to see if I would be interested in having a party, on them. They sent a voucher over as well as a party pack and I knew that the last evening with my family was the perfect opportunity to indulge in a pizza party.

Ordering was simple, although as we had a voucher we had to head into store so to make it easier I ordered online and selected to collect from store than to have the food delivered.
I selected 6 o clock as my collection time and the food was ready at exactly that time.

We ordered 3 pizzas, two of which are part of the new Carnivale South American inspired range.
  • Fiesta: chicken breast strips, red onions, green & red peppers, seasoned with a fajita spice with a drizzle of Mojito style dressing
  • Rio: Pulled Barbacoa Beef, punched up with a kick of chipotle sauce, red onions, green & red peppers 
Both of these new flavours were really tasty, but I think every ones favourite had to be the Fiesta. The Mojito style dressing was amazing.
Along with these I ordered a Pepperoni pizza. I left it to my own initiative when it came to the flavours of pizza, something which I think can be a risk as we all have our own different tastes but these three flavours all seemed to work well and everyone was happy with the choices I made.
There wasn't one pizza that wasn't eaten.

I also ordered some of the Nachos (without Jalapenos), garlic bread, plain wedges and the Fajita wedges.
The Nachos were really nice, as were the Fajita wedges. The plain wedges were probably too plain, whether or not this was because we also had the Fajita wedges, I'm not sure, but they definitely tasted like they needed some kind of seasoning.

I think our Family Fiesta Party went really well. It was perfect for us as we could just relax, chat and go and pick up some food as and when we wanted it. We kept all of the food in the Domino's boxes as it saved washing up...which is always a win...right?!

What's the best way to end a Fiesta Pizza Party? By wearing comedy stick on moustaches of course.

We were sent a party pack (including moustaches) and a voucher for the purpose of this post.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Teddy Bears Picnic with Waitrose

When having a day out we tend to go through that dilemma of 'should we grab something [overpriced] there or take a picnic?'.
This summer I have made a conscious effort to picnic more, I think maybe this is due to making Charles his lunchboxes for school and realising how cheap and easy it is to put together a lunch that doesn't need to be fussy and over the top.

Waitrose contacted me and asked if we would like to have a teddy bears picnic courtesy of them. We were sent a £60 voucher to buy some essentials for the picnic and we were also sent a copy of their teddy bears picnic game.
I have been into alphabet games with the boys for a long time now, but we usually write down the letters of the alphabet and then try to find items beginning with that letter. The Waitrose game is a lot more simple and was almost like a treasure hunt for the boys as they had specific items to look for.

With a busy few weeks visiting friends and having family visit us we didn't find time to have a teddy bears picnic, however the game is perfectly suitable for any day out so whilst we visited a steam museum with beautiful gardens we took this as the perfect opportunity to play the game.

The suggested age for the game is 4+ Harry really took to it and Charles looked on proudly as his brother managed to find some of the items.
The boys can tend to get bored just sitting around eating lunch so we used the game as a distraction and they ticked off as much as they could whilst we sat and eat, and then continued as we walked around the beautiful kept gardens.

Visiting Waitrose to pick up some picnic items was quite a treat for me. We don't have one nearby so I had to make a special trip and I was glad I did. 
I picked up a beautiful picnic blanket, which is something I have wanted for a long time, for £18. I was surprised at how big the blanket was once we had unrolled it and the quality of it is fantastic.
We also picked up some orange plates with matching cups and napkins (also the matching table cloth which we want to keep to use on the boat).
I was really impressed with the picnic range. There are a lot of items available and the colours all compliment each other so you can mix and match across the range.
I liked the variety of paper cups and plates available alongside more durable plastic cups and plates too.
One of my favourite finds was the little picnic storage pots. These came in a pack of four all in different colours. I used these to store our grapes, some nuts and crackers and the size is really quite deceiving, I was able to fit a lot more food into each pot than I thought. The pots feel really tough, and didn't break or split when I dropped one on our tiled kitchen floor.

I think for any future parties or family picnics I would definitely make a special trip to Waitrose. The classic styles, variety in the ranges and reasonable prices really attracted me, as well as the fruit which all looked so fresh I had to stop myself standing in the store and picking at it there and then!

We ignored the grey clouds rolling overhead and enjoyed sitting on our lovely new picnic blanket, picking at our Waitrose lunch and were able to relax whilst the boys took part in their challenge. The game will definitely be an essential item in our picnic hamper in the future now.


We were sent a £60 Waitrose voucher and a copy of the Teddy Bears Picnic game for the purpose of this post.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Our 42 Days of Summer

I can hold my hands up and admit that yes I can be a lazy mum.
Sometimes I would rather spend the day at home than to go out somewhere. And the next day I do the same, and the next, and the next.
When it comes to half term holidays I do the same "we'll go out tomorrow" promise every day, and then never stick to it.

I promised myself that I would make the most of this summer. I wanted to spend more days out than in, and make the boys kind of look forward to a restful day at home. I realised that already being halfway through the summer we have achieved a lot.
We've been to some amazing places, spend time with some special people, and mentally ticked off a lot of items from my summer experiences list.
I really feel that so far the boys have had a fabulous school holiday in terms of days out so I don't want to put too much pressure on myself for the rest of the holidays but still have a couple of things too add.
We've spent a week on the boat, visited friends and went fruit picking and to a beautiful ruin. We visited a steam museum with my family, a visit to the Sea Life Centre and Charles practised tricks on his bike and raced around whilst everyone watched him.

With the weather being nice we really made the most of being able to have picnics where ever we went. Even when it was slightly breezy we would find a sheltered area and enjoy our surroundings.
A food staple in all of our picnics this summer has been BN biscuits. I have been buying these snacks since I first saw them reintroduced into the supermarkets and I find them a real fun addition to a lunchbox or picnic.
Previously I've only bought the chocolate flavour but we were sent the raspberry flavour to try alongside the chocolate. I wasn't a fan but the boys absolutely loved them and surprised me by choosing them over the chocolate!


This post is an entry for 42 Days of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVitie’s BN. Learn more at http://bit.ly/1mRpMCL

Happy Sunday | Week Twenty Two

Whether or not you think Sunday is the end of the week, or the beginning of a new one, I thought it would be a nice idea to look back on the week that has just past and to look at the things that have made me happy and made me smile.
I think it can be easy to look back on a hard week and miss out on those things. A week of bad weather for example can really make it seem as though the whole week was a complete fail. But it probably wasn't. We must all smile at least once a day. I know I do, even if I forget it.

Things that made me happy this week:

Fiesta and Moustaches

My nanny and uncle were on holiday from Somerset last week and it was so so so amazing. On Friday, their last night, we all headed to the bungalow they were staying at and had a pizza party, courtesy of Dominoes Pizza.
We were trying out the new Carnivale menu and were sent these stick on moustaches to have some fun with.
The boys looked hilarious in theirs, and I couldn't help but to giggle when my mum joined in too.
Here is a sneak peek.


Solo Carousel

Up until last week Charles had always gone on a carousel with an adult, but with him now being 5 and "almost an adult" he went on a horse all by himself. We had a real laugh as we pretended to race each other, he shouted "faster, faster" and we waited to see if we would have the Mary Poppins Carousel experience...which sadly didn't happen.

Sisters

I have two aunties, one is younger than my mum and the other is older. The youngest one, Aunty Ann, came over on holiday this week and it was so lovely to see her. I don't know why but I love to see my mum with her sisters. Obviously I have a brother and have never felt the longing to have a sister but it's nice to see their relationship.
My mum doesn't have any family close by, other than me and the boys, so seeing her with her sister (and her mum) is comforting to me I think. It's nice to be surrounded by family and to know that there are others in her life who love her other than us.

A Week With Nanny

We've been really lucky to be able to spend every day with my mum this week. We've gone out every single day and my mum has had to do almost all of the driving as my car failed it's MOT and was getting fixed this week.
The boys adore my mum and she is so good with them. We either pair up with a boy each or she will take them for me and play with them so I have a break, which I appreciate so much.
Being around my own nanny this week and falling even more in love with her has made me realise just how important my mums relationship is with the boys.
I also want them to realise how lucky they are to have her and especially to have her so close.

A Reception

We were invited to one of my husbands now ex-collegues wedding reception on Saturday. I met him from work and we walked into Norwich to go for some dinner. I had forgotten to bring a lipstick and felt a bit naked without one, you know like when your outfit feels unfinished because you don't have something in particular on? Well, he took me into Superdrug and bought me a beautiful bright pink Barry M lipstick, which I thought was rather lovely. It matched my Joules boat dress perfectly too (the dress by the way was almost too tight when we first bought it last year, it was then slightly big at Britmums and is now rather huge but I still wore it anyway because I lurve it too much!)
We went to Yo Sushi for some dinner and then headed over to the wedding reception. The venue was stunning. I was quite nervous about meeting his work friends as a lot of them I haven't met, despite him working there for a long time. I was amazed at just how lovely everyone was. We spent a lot of time talking and joking with his boss who was hilarious. Come 11 o clock I was feeling a bit tired and wanted to get the drive home over and done with but I could have easily spent hours and hours with these people.

Tom Hanks

One of the things on my 101 things in 1001 days is to watch ten Tom Hanks films. I want to watch some of the films I haven't seen before rather than sticking to the ones I have seen before and headed to Amazon to see what there was available.
Some of them are so cheap so to start my collection I bought 'Road to Perdition', 'Philidelphia' and I also bought 'The Green Mile' as although I have seen it before, but a long time ago, my husband has never seen it so I'm really looking forward to watching that with him.

 

What made you happy this week?

Linking up to:
The Ordinary Moments: Mummy Daddy Me
My Week That Was: Make, Do and Push