Getting In The Festival Spirit With BFLF And Camp Bestival On Tour

A whole year is a pretty long time to wait in between festivals so thankfully Camp Bestival and Big Fish Little Fish have got together this year to create a tour that allows everyone to experience the fun of  festival for a few hours before the summer and get ready for this years festival theme of ‘pop stars and rock stars’.

Last year we spend a lot of time next to the BFLF stage at Camp Bestival and the boys absolutely loved dancing around and jumping on and of the stage to all the great music they put on.

We were lucky enough to go along to the tour at Dreamland in Margate last week which is one of my favourite seaside attractions.

The cool, retro theme of Dreamland was the perfect setting for a children’s rave with lots of open space around the roller disco area that had been transformed into a super cool dance floor for the kids…well the adults too!


 The dance floor was packed with people dancing playing with the tents and tunnels that were set out and eagerly awaiting the bubble machine and glitter cannons to go off!

For the really tiny ones there were quieter areas set up away from the hustle and bustle of it all.

It wouldn’t have that festival feel without face painting and even though my guys weren’t interest there were some very impressive faces walking around.

The boys spent a lot of time over at the craft station getting tattoos, making superheroes masks and creating masterpieces with the play dough.

In addition to all this fun families had the opportunity to grab some ‘pop stars and rock stars’ themed props and take a photo at the booth that gave them the chance to win one of three family tickets to Camp Bestival 17 which would make for the most fantastic prize!

The next event is in Hackney on 23rd April and if is set to be another cracker if you can get along to it.

If not please take a look at everything Camp Bestival has to offer. I can’t put into words what a mind blowing experience we had last year and this years is set to top it! 

Family Friendly Shopping With Whitgift And Centrale Shopping Centres

I have had a love for shopping since before I can even remember. I loved trawling the shops with my Mum as a small child and spent every Saturday looking at the new clothes that were hitting the shelves as a teen.

As my family grew though my love for shopping dwindled.

The stress hits me as soon as we get in the car with the anticipation of how the children are going to behave.

They usual don’t disappoint and by the time we hit the first shop I have already had a toliet request, a need for imidiate food and the dreaded ‘how much longer’ question.

Last week we were asked along by Centrale and Whitgift shopping centres to see what they had to offer in the way of family shopping.

First port of call was Build A Bear which is always a winner with my children.

Children get the opportunity to select a bear of their choice from a huge selection, stuff them full of fluff using the super cool machine and dress them up in an outfit of choice.

This whole process is done with the help of the friendly staff that make it even more special by adding games and activities to do along the way.

Next stop was Zara which was always going to be a little trickier as it wasn’t going to be nearly as much fun as building your own bear.

Zara is my favourite high street shop as it covers something for the whole family, is bang on trend and is very reasonably priced. 

To take the boredom out of clothes shopping I let him have his own little catwalk show and have a hand in choosing an outfit for me too.

Kids need to feel included and I know how hard this can be but by giving them a little responsibility can go a long way.

The last treat was a trip to Weenies kids club in Whitgift Shopping Centre.

Right in the middle of the shopping complex was a whole area dedicated to littlies.

To join in with the activities you must be a member that is easy to subscribe to online and completly free. The sessions can then be booked within minutes by using the Centrale PLUS app.

Once they are signed up the have access to all the session that are put on during the holidays and on selected weekends throughout the year, plus discounts on a number of retail outlets for parents and children.

Frankie was able to get up close and personal with a huge array of animals from chicks to frogs, snakes to rabbits.

There were crafts to join in with, story competitions to complete and face painting fun.

I really was astounded by this event. The friendly staff keep the children engaged throughout the whole session and they got so much out of it and for absolutely no cost.

I came away from the day with a fresh new outlook on taking the kids shopping.

Whitgift and Centrale offer a complete package for families and with a little bit of forethought and planning it really doesn’t have to be the nightmare I always imagine it to be.

*collaborated post.

Chocolate Playdough Sweets For Valentine’s Day 

I am literally going stir crazy this weekend staying in with the children due to number five’s chicken pox!

The only thing for it was get crafting and with Valentine’s Day just round the corner I thought I would try something that would allow the kids to get involved in the celebrations too.

Mine always love playdough so I made an allergy friendly chocolate playdough that they could create chocolates from and wrap up to use in role play.

I used the same recipe that I use for my lavender playdough and just substituted the lavender for cocco powder.

It literally smelt good enough to eat and I had to stop the boys several times from doing so!


They had great fun rolling the balls to form the chocolates but had more fun creating poo!


When the balls were ready I popped them into the freezer for a while to harder up and then wrapped up in a square of cellophane and finished off with a piece of ribbon tied into a bow.


If this looks like something you fancy trying out yourself then take a look at this really simple recipe:

Chocolate Playdough

  • 150g gluten free plain flour
  • 50g salt
  • 2tbsps oil
  • 150g water
  • 4tbsps cocco powder
  1. Place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the oil and then slowly add the water until the playdough forms a ball.

Getting This Year Organised With Gel-a-Peel

All of my children are extremely unorganised…sadly a trait passed down from me and it’s something that I really don’t want them to take into adulthood.
I am always forgetting things, turning up to appointments at the wrong time or occasionally not at all!

I have made a really rubbish role model in this department and as well as getting myself organised this year I wanted the children to start taking more responsibility of their day to day life and get their days into order so I’m not running back and forth to different schools dropping off all their forgotten items.

This year we were challenged to create a personalised diary to start off the new year with Gel-a-Peel and I took this as the perfect opportunity to get number three a little more organised.

She is probably the scattiest of them all and will be starting secondary school in September which is going to be a whole new ball game with regards to the amount of responsibility that will be on her shoulders. So filling out a week long diary of the activities she has and what she needs for each of them will be a great start.

Last year we were lucky enough to be sent a set from Gel-a-Peel that number three had lots of fun creating bundles of jewellery for herself and her friends.

It is a great concept and allows them to use their imagination to get creative and using it to decorate a diary will give it a really individual feel.


She set to thinking of a design she wanted and used a variety of different coloured gels and tips sizes to create something that was individual to her.


Once she was happy with her diary she couldn’t resist some more jewellery making with the sixteen templates provided and the hair clips, bracelets and earrings that are also provided in the set.


Let’s hope the fact that she has been allowed free rein on the design of her diary it will help with the want for her to be more organised. Watch this space!

Elderflower Fields Are Getting Ready For Fun

We had our first taster of Elderflower Fields in 2015 when we visited for the day and had such a wonderful time we couldn’t wait to get back and enjoy a full weekend of fun.

Last year Elderflower Fields gave us our first experience of camping as a family…well we did cheat a little with a camper van! bur we loved every single moment of it!

The emphasis of this festival is to find new skills, take part in new activities and sample sumptuous food all in the beautiful surroundings of the great outdoors.

This year the festival will be coming to life from 26th-29th May in the stunning Pippingford Park, East Sussex.

It looks set to top lasts years with lots of familiar activities such as mountain boarding, arts camp, climbing walls, and pond dipping to name just a few and the exciting addition of a campfire cookout and the woodland tribe playground.

The list goes on with the activities that are on offer that are nearly all included in the extremely reasonable price of the weekend ticket.

If music is more your thing then the main stage is home to some fantastic performers that might not be well known artists but they are certainly not lacking in talent.


My tummy is always something I think our and the food here is second to none. The variety is huge and a good proportion of it is from local suppliers who’s passion for their products really shines through.

If you are looking for a relaxed family festival this year then this is the place to be.

I can promise a weekend they won’t break the bank but will leave you with some fabulous memories.

Take a look here to see what you could have to look forward to.

My Top Festive Days Out

I start planning for Christmas as soon as the children go back to school after the holidays in September!

Yes I know that is completely bonkers but it really is my favourite time of year and I like to squeeze as much as I can into the month of December as possible.

I have put together a list of some of my favourite days out that you might like to try for yourselves, and a couple that I am due to visit over the next few weeks so keep an eye out for what I think!

Father Christmas At Painshill


This is top of my list as it is the most magical Father Christmas I have ever seen.

You walk though the beautiful grounds of Painshill in Cobham, Surrey that is bought to life with pretty lights leading you to the crystal grotto to find Father Christmas himself.

You can enjoy a mince pie and a warm mulled wine while you wait to be taken in to the most stunning setting I’ve ever seen.

There are still a few spaces left for weekday visits but this is a must to book early.

Christmas Afternoon Tea At sketch


During the summer I had a trip to sketch to try out their afternoon tea and were blown away by the whole experience.

The food and surroundings were equally as wonderful and the quirkiness of it all was a big hit with the both of us.

Christmas has now got the restaurant in a big way and the entrance alone is something worth going to see. 

The Snowman


A couple of weeks ago we went to see the fabulous ballet of The Snowman. I will have a full post up on this very soon, but all I will say is if you want to introduce your children to the wonders of ballet of simply want to witness what I can only describe as the epitome of Christmas in a beautifully performed show then this needs to be seen.

Bocketts Farm


Bocketts is my favourite farm in Surrey and Christmas brings an extra sparkle to it.

You can still walk around feeding the animals, watching the pig races and taking a tractor ride but you also have the opportunity to visit Father Christmas in his hay barn and take part in fun extra activities the farm has put on for the festive season.

Southbank


It wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to Southbank for me.

The hustle and bustle of the London crowds mixed with Christmas markets, fairground rides and skating always gives me such a Christmassy feeling inside.


Hobbledown 


A couple of days ago I took number five along for lunch with Santa at Hobbledown where he got to meet Santa, decorate a gingerbread man and have his lunch.

This is unfortunately only on for a limited time and how now finished but there is still plenty going on and a trip to Santa who by the way always has a fabulous outfit would be a lovely day out. 

Chessington World Of Adventures

Winters Tail at Chessington is a really lovely day out that we have done many times.

A selection of rides are open to enjoy as well as the Sealife centre, Santa is there to visit and each year there are different activities to try.

If you want to make it a really special trip then an overnight stay in the hotel would make it a wonderful Christmas treat.

Priory Farm


Priory Farm is fabulous at anytime of year and at this time of year their famous discovery walk takes on a Christmas theme, there is a little train ride on the visit to Santa, the shop is stacked full of wonderful food, gifts and decorations and the cafe is a must stop for outstanding eats.

London Tranport Museum


Now this is a place that I would not associate Christmas with but we have been invited along this weekend to visit Santa as he finishes his journey on the Noth Pole Express. 

As well as this the children can take part in a quiz as you wander around the museum.

It sounds like something very different and a transport fans dream! I can’t wait to let you know how it goes.

Afternoon Tea On B-Bus


Imagine being able to eat a yummy afternoon tea sitting on an old routemaster bus whilst taking in the sights of London.

This is exactly what the B-Bus has to offer and I will be sampling this for myself soon. 

This really sounds like the most wonderful way to spend a Christmas afternoon.

I would love to know if you try any of these places out and what you think about them.

Getting Christmas Off To A Cracking Start With Poundland

Decorating the house for Christmas is a bit of a big deal for me and something I like to selfishly go at alone!

Don’t get me wrong I do let the children ‘think’ they have a hand in it, but ultimately it’s a job I love and want to get just as I like.

I have a loft full of different colour baubles, reams of sparkly ribbon and wreaths and swags coming out of my ears.

With my ever changing want for new colour schemes and a lover of a bargain somewhere that can give me good quality decorations at a good price is always something I’m on the look out for.

When I was asked to decorate my mantelpiece for Christmas using items from Poundland I was excited yet a little  apprehensive that it might be mission impossible.

As I said I’m a real bargain hunter and love to snap up great deals from Poundland on a regular basis.

When the children’s birthdays come around they are my first stop for party bag fillers but home decor is something I would never have associated with this store.

To my suprise they had a great range of Christmas decorations in a variety of colours and styles and plenty to go with my silver and white theme.

I wanted to mix fresh foliage with a selection of different decorations to create a really Christmassy feel.

I gathered some pretty glass baubles, sparkly tree toppers, silver string beads, scandi style wooden lights and wicker hearts, mantelpiece snow, glitzy stockings and some simple white candles.

Once the basic foliage was set up it was time to add the decor.

I didn’t use things in the conventional way and instead put the tree toppers onto sticks.


I wound wire round the baubles and added these too.


In the centre of the arrangement I placed a couple of candles and deconstructed the wicker hearts to make them individual.



I lastly sprayed some thin twigs with spray paint that I also got in store and draped the lights and silverbeads throughout the whole arrangement to finish it off.


I carried on the theme by adding some extra baubles, hearts and beads to my tree to match the arrangement.

This experience has really shown me that you can create Christmas arrangements from very little money that can still look beautiful and elegant without breaking the bank.


If this has inspired you to take a trip to Poundland then join in with the Twitter party I will be hosting on Friday for your  chance to win some vouchers to help towards your shopping.