Free Swimming For Under 16’s


The school holidays are upon us and I’m sure as I I’m, your trying to think what you will fill the next 6 weeks with to keep the kids entertained.
It can be a real strain to fill everyday and a major pull on the bank balance.

If you could get out of the house, keep the kids entertained and get them some exercise for free I’m sure you would all jump at the chance!

Well until the 4th September Purley, Waddon, South Norwood, Thornton Heath and New Addington swimming pools are all offering free swimming for under 16’s.

All you need to do is fill out an application form and take along proof of name and address.  The only cost is ¬£2 for the membership card.

I have already signed number two up in a bid to get him of the Xbox and doing some exercise with his friends.

Celebrating The Town Of Purley


Pegasus Life have challenged me to come up with some highlights to life in Purley, to celebrate the new Carriages development coming to the town centre.
I have lived in Purley for the majority of my life and have seen it change and grow a great deal over the years to a town that is very different to when I was a child.

There are many reasons that I have stayed around this area and chosen to bring up my own family here. Here are a few of these reasons for you to take a look at:

Transport – Location has to be one of the main reasons I love Purley. A thirty minute train ride will get you into central London, a short drive and you are in some of the most beautiful countryside you could see and less than an hours drive will take you the the quirky seaside town of Brighton.

Restaurants And Cafe – I love spending time with the family over a coffee or a good meal and Purley has some lovely independent cafes to grab a drink at or a bite to eat and a few great restaurants from pizza to my favourite Spanish tapas.

Sport And Leisure – If staying active is your thing then there is a fab little leisure centre that has a gym and swimming pool offering free swimming for under 16’s and over 60’s that live in the area.

Purley and neighbouring Coulsdon also offers many tennis courts and bowls clubs if outdoor pursuits are more your thing.

Community Activities – Purley has a good community spirit and puts on lots of events during the year such a food festivals, summer celebrations showing of local talent and promoting small businesses plus Christmas events that all really help to pull people together as a community.

For me the leafy suburbs of Purley are a great place to live with plenty to offer from the very young to the very old. 

*collaborated post. 

Baking With Sweetpea Pantry’s Ginger Giggles Biscuit Mix

I’m normally one to avoid pre-packed cake and biscuit mixes in favour of just starting from scratch myself, but when I came across what Sweetpea Pantry had to offer with their healthy take on pre-packed baking I was intrigued and could wait to try them out!

Sweetpea Pantry offers a great range of nutritionally balanced mixes that are free from refined sugar, gluten free and packet with plenty of wholesome ingredients to keep little tummies full without the junk.

With the little ones busy playing in the garden number three got set to try out the wonderfully named Ginger Giggles Biscuit Mix.

The pack contains everything you need and a small list of store cupboard ingredients that needed to be added to.


The instructions were easy to read and follow and number five had a fantastic time mixing, rolling and having a sneaky taste as we prepared our biscuits.


We picked a gingerbread man shaped cutter to form our biscuit and added a few raisins as eyes once they were baked.


I will definitely be picking some more mixes from their range to put into my store cupboard as they are the perfect way to create a healthy treat for your little ones with no fuss and plenty of flavour!  

*we were given this biscuit mix for the purpose of the review and they are all my own honest opinions.

Our First Camping Trip At Elderflowerfields 

Last year we went along to Elderflowerfields to experience or first taste of festival life.  I feel in love with it more than I ever thought I would and knew from that experience festivals were going to be something I wanted our family to experience a lot more of.

Last year we only attended for the day so getting ready for a few nights of camping was going to be a challenge.

With my mud and rain fearing husband and the weather being a little unpredictable we decided to ease ourselves into the experience by taking a camper van instead of braving it under canvas!

VW campers are a bit of a passion of mine so having the opportunity to take the award winning Ladyboy from Honeys VW Camper was a dream come true.

We packed up the van with everything we needed and took a slow drive to Pippingford Park where we were guided towards our pitch by the enthusiastic volunteers and set up our  for the next few days.

We had a small tent to store all our bits and pieces in but soon realised we had a lot to learn regarding camping when we looked round at everyone else’s great set ups!

I couldn’t wait to get down to the fun so made our way down to the main field.

The music was echoing across the fields, the smell of beautiful food was wafting from the stalls and I knew that the next few days were going to be wonderful.
We always start with food in our family and the potato twists were a hit on more than one occasion.

That along with belly fulls of ice cream, burgers, veggies nibbles, fish and chips; well the list really is endless and I challenge anyone to not find something to take their fancy.


Number three went of and took part in the fabulous sports and craft workshops that are put on while we wandered round with the youngest two getting messy with the paints and exploring the woods.


all of the activities are included in your ticket price so the children are free to try anything out as often as they like.

There are way to many activities to name but rock climbing, scooting, slack lining, canoeing, pond dipping and mountain boarding are just a few things on offer.  Take a look here for the whole list of things you can get up to.

We made our way back to the van for a BBQ and to try out my chocolate cones and a little rest before joining in with the evening fun.

Being at the festival after dark is what the children were most excited about and they were not disappointed.  We listened to some super talented bands and grabbed a cocktail at the cocktail shack while the kids took to the stage!


With some very weary children we headed back and got a fantastic nights sleep which I really wasn’t expecting.

I got up nice and early to take a shower where I was plesently surprised with beautifully clean showers and no queue!

Once breakfast was wolfed down we headed down for day two of fun.  We did some more exploring and had fun with plenty more activities.


The biggest queue is always the facpaint but it was more than worth it.  The kids loved it and I couldn’t resist joining in.

 

Lunchtime came round and it was time to take part in the So Sussex Family Picnic.
I wasn’t entirely sure how this was going to work as you had to meet by the main stage and find people to get together with to make a group of twelve people.

Lunchtime with my lot is more like feeding time at the zoo so picnicking with strangers was a little worrying.  I needn’t have worried as I found two lovely families in the queue and spent a blissful afternoon getting acquainted whilst sampling some of the finest food all local sourced from in and around Sussex.
We ripped apart crusty, fresh bread to dip  in creamy pate, picked at flavourful olives and tender meats.  But the favourite part for me was the gooey, rich chocolate cake that I really wish I hadn’t had to share!

Our final evening was spent sipping hot chocolates, listening to more fabulous music and a huge hay fight that the children declared as the best part of the trip.

We sadly made our way back to what would be our last night at Elderflowerfields and I can honestly say we had the most magical introduction to camping.

The lack of technology, the open space and the atmosphere of the festival were just the perfect combination.

All my worries of losing the children or them getting bored were completely unfounded and this was mainly due to the  festival being run by a group highly passionate people that work tirelessly to create a wonderful experience for all who visit.

If you can’t wait for next year to get your tickets to joint in the fun then take a look at the Into The Trees event daytime event that is running on the 3rd and 4th September. I can’t wait to get there and would love to see some of your lovely faces!


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Ice Age Collision Course Meets Pizza Express

What more could children want than than scrumptious meal and a trip to the cinema!

This is exactly what I got up to with three of my little ones on Saturday when we hit a hustling and busting Soho to attend a special screening of the brand new Ice Age film Collision Course and to try out the great Ice Age themed children’s activities Pizza Express have to offer.

We arrived at the Dean Street branch of Pizza Express where we were shown to our table where the children dived straight into the colourful Ice Age themed sheets that had plenty for all ages to do from colouring to puzzles and of course the usual stickers that mine love to stick in any available space.


The highlight for number three was to get the opportunity to take part in a competition to win a family holiday to Hollywood!

She selected her favourite Ice Age character and pizza and got set on creating her masterpiece.  

This competition is running until the 5th of September so there is plenty of time to get yourselves in their over the summer holidays to take part.

Pizza Express is always a top choice for us as the family friendly approach is so appealing for our noisy brood and little allergy boy.  Number four is always easily catered for with a good selection for him to choose from.

The Piccolo children’s menu offers scaled down sized meals of some of the firm favourites from the main menu which allows the children to enjoy all three courses just like the adults.

Number three started with the famous dough balls as did number four with the gluten free option.

I went for the calamari that was coated in a delicious, crunchy batter and complimented perfectly with a tart ceasar dressing.

This was followed by mains of a gluten and cheese free pepperoni pizza for number four and a margarita for number  three.

I am more of a pasta fan so I opted for the pollo pesto which is a scrummy combination of chicken, mushroom and red onion in a super creamy bechamel and pesto sauce and a mixture of tasty cheeses.

Pudding couldn’t be left out and we just about managed to squeeze in a raspberry sorbet for number four and a goey gluten free brownie for number three.

I’m a sucker for the New York style vanilla cheese cake with its crunchy biscuit base and fruity raspberry coulis.

Number two who normally avoids these types of events was itching to get along to have a slice of his favourite honeycomb cream slice.

With full bellies we managed to unweld ourselves from our chairs and make our way round the corner to the Fox Studios HQ where we were greeted by the friendly faces of Sid and Scrat that were only to happy to pose for a quick photo!


Once inside the studio we grab some drinks from the bar and took to our seats were I was rather taken with the glitzy, Hollywood style curtains.


Popcorn in hand we settled in to watch the movie where the scatty Scrat begins to burry his acorn and in the process activating a long abandoned alien ship that sends him hurtling into space, catapulting asteroids towards plant Earth.

I won’t let on anymore about the film; instead I will let you add a trip to the movies to find out what happens to your list of things to do over the long summer holidays.  And of course this has to be finished off with a trip to Pizza Express grab some delicious food and to try you luck at winning that trip of a lifetime to Hollywood!
*this event was put on by pizza express and we were invited along by the lovely Ruth and Katy.  

Lunch With A View At The Greyhound Hotel

For year and years I have driven past the Greyhound Hotel in Carshalton and never taken the time to stop by to see what they  had to offer.
When I was asked to come along and check out the newly renovated restaurant I was more than happy to take a visit and see what I had been missing for all these years.With the youngest two and my Dad in tow we went along to sample some dishes from their new menu.  

I have to admit when we first entered the plush dining area with my two fidgety boys my heart sank a little and was really worried it was going to be a fraught experience but I couldn’t have been more wrong.I was welcomed warmly by the lovely owner who was genuinely more than happy to have little ones share the experience of dinning in his beautiful restaurant.


They soon settled in their seats and were more than happy to spot the ducks from the window that offered fabulous view of Carshalton Ponds.

The menu offered a good range of hearty ‘pub grub’ with a difference. There is a twist on the usual favourites with a few different dishes in there to which makes the menu that little bit special.

I chose the roasted garlic kiev with truffled mash, treacle bacon and summer greens whist my Dad opted for the signature Greyhound cheeseburger with ale onions, shredded lettuce, pickles and fries.

My chicken was beautifully moist and was complimented perfectly with the smooth truffle mash.

My Dad thoroughly enjoyed his juicy burger with lashing of flavour that had been added with the use of different pickles and sauces.

The boys chose sausage and chips and fish and chips from the children’s menu.

Their plates were completely cleared which is a rarity and number four was super impressed with his ‘snail’ shaped sausage!

Pudding was going to be struggle but it would have been rude not to try!

I opted for the sticky toffee pudding with ice cream which was everything you could want from a warm, indulgent pudding.

Number four always struggles with pudding as he has so many allergies, but the waitress was more than accommodating and he was very happy with his huge bowl of meringue and strawberries.

Our first visit was one to remember and the beautiful food and faultless service will certainly be bringing us back again in the near future.

*we were gifted this meal for the purpose of the review and they are all my own, honest opinions.