Ain’t No Party Like A Num Noms Party

Last Sunday we were up bright and early to catch the train into Shoreditch to celebrate the launch of Num Noms Series 4 at All Stars Lanes in Brick Lane.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Num Noms, they are basically a collection of super cool collectables that come in the shape of scented characters, lip glosses, nail varnishes and light up characters that can be stacked, raced and traded to your hearts content.

After trying out a collection of Series 3 Num Noms my guys were super excited to see what the new collection would have to offer!

We walked into the most spectacular party where there were literally Num Noms galore, from a whole play area dedicated to them, images of them all over the big screens and a creative area where the boys loved trying out the new nail polish maker.

This fab new toy allows you to make your own individual nail polish with scents such as strawberry and banana with a sprinkling of glitter if you fancy.

Im sure this is going to be on the top of many Christmas lists this year!

The fun didn’t stop there and we had after a game of bowling that was made pretty competitive by Izzy they tried their hand at icing some Num Nom inspired biscuits with the lovely people from Biscuitiers.

I was more than impressed with the level of concentration that was kept by my extremely active children and the results were pretty tasty too.

They then all headed off to get their faces painted while I got treated to a much needed manicure at the nail bar.

Suitabaly worn to from all the fun it was time for some lunch and a chat about what they had thought of the day.

They were on an absolute high from such a fantastic afternoon…probably a little to do with the pic’n’mix and yummy milkshakes too.

What I really love about Num Noms is the fact that even though they are branded more towards girls, my boys absolutely love playing with them alongside their sister who even after hitting high school this year is still very much a fan and has loved building her collection at home.

Do you have any Num Noms fans at home?

Mini Ninja At Yo Sushi – Boxpark

I am very lucky that all of my children bar one are open to try pretty much any food that they are introduced to.

This has opened them up to experiencing a wide variety of different cuisines with sushi coming pretty high up on their list of loves.

Trying to make it for ourselves though is something even I haven’t attempted so when we were asked along to Yo Sushi at Boxpark, Croydon I was as excited as the children!

On a Tuesday and Wednesday at 11am during the summer holidays Yo Sushi is running their Mini Ninja Sushi making masterclass aimed at children aged 5-12.

Being as unorganised as always I hadn’t looked at the recommended age range and in fact went along with Oscar(3) and Frankie(5) and Izzy(11).

Our super friendly Sushi maestro sat the children down and got them kitted out in their hats and gloves in preparation to get creating.

They were all given instructions sheets on how to make Maki, Salmon Nigi and Crab Handrolls.

These weren’t neeeded as the children were shown step by step how to make each piece and there was plenty of hands on help if neeeded.

Usually the attention span of my children is limited to cupcakes but amazingly they sat through the whole hour without a fidget or a moan.

Once their boxes were filled with yummy sushi made by their own fair hands there was a quick game of who could move the edamame beans the quickest which was great to burn off a bit of energy.

At the end of the session they were awarded a certificate for all their hard word and given a bag to take home their sushi and the rolling mats they used so they could have a go again at home.

My lot however couldn’t wait to get home to eat so we sat for a while eating there creations whilst I sampled some delightful pork buns that I will certainly be returning again for.

There is still time to get you litttle ones booked in at several different locations around the country and it has certainly come highly recommended from us!
 *Collaborated post 

An Afternoon Tea Fit For A Funky Princess At sketch

After catching sight of a dogs bottom on the side of a building and a hopscotch area greeting you in the hallway I knew we had arrived at sketch and were going to be in for something a little different to your usual West End afternoon tea.This treat was going to give me and number three some much needed me time and with the look on her little face when we walked into the profusion of pink in the Parlor it would be a trip to remember.

We were shown to our seats by one of the georgous ladies in their bang on trend pink, cold shoulder dresses that bought a funky, relaxed edge to the formal tea.

In fact every element of the traditional afternoon tea was there with a quirky edge to it from the eclectic range of sandwiches and pastries served on fine bone china embellished with zany wording to the delicate pink soft furnishings sitting proudly inside walls blanketed with cool artwork.

There is a choice of a your usual tea with a whole host to chose from, champagne or non-alcoholic Bellini while the children get a choice of different juices.

The towers of sandwiches and cakes were bought over and I indulged in different breads filled with  amazing fillings such as coronation chicken, smoked salmon and tarragon cream and green asparagus with cucumber and ricotta to name a few.


Number three enjoyed avocado and tomato, mozerella and pesto panini, and traditional ham.


We had a taste of each other’s to make sure we weren’t missing out on anything and a few more were ordered as they are more than happy for you to swap or refill anything as you go through the afternoon.

Cakes and pastries galore filled our plates for me, with my favourites being the apricot and pistachio gateaux and the blueberry and liquorice tart.


The children’s pastries provided a more hands on approach and they get to fill their own selection of choux buns with scrumptious fillings.


Warm fruity scones with served with lashings of clotted cream and sticky sweet jams.

When we were nearly fit to burst and thought we had come to an end the piece de resistance arrived in the form of two beauties served from the trolley – a poppy and red currant choux and a raspberry, chocolate and hibiscus flower cake.

Barely able to move with a few leftovers stashed away beside us a lovely little surprise was given to number three in the form of the cuddly sketch bear named Pat!


Aside from the splender of our surroundings and the sumptuous food one of the biggest highlights for number three, and actually me too were the toilets!

Yes this may come as a surprise but they need to be seen to be believed. Brilliant white walls and sweeping staircases that lead you into a room with an eye catching, multicoloured glass ceiling and space aged, egg shaped pods that make up the toliet a themselves.

I don’t think I have ever known number three to need the toliet so much!

If you are looking for an afternoon tea with a difference that will feed your eyes and mind as well as your tummy then this is the place to be.

It is the perfect place to excite the adults and the children alike and it will be a place we will be visiting again to explore everything else they have to offer.

*we were asked along to sketch for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions.

Retro Fun At Dreamland Margate

Dreamland in Margate was an amusment park that my Mum has very fond memories of from her summer holidays in the 1950’s/60’s.

Fun filled days of good old fashioned rides and fairground stalls, of which my grandparents favourite was ‘Spin A Disc’ where they won some beautiful cut glass that is still in the family to this day.

Many years have passed since then with Dreamland having a change of name for a few years and sadly a long period of closure.

Thankfully last year a regeneration program was started on the site and we went along to check out how much our little ones would enjoy this iconic amusment park.

Unfortunately we had a midweek trip which meant that the rides outside were not open for us to try out, but we will be back very soon to give them all a try.

There was still a whole host of activities to get involved in inside and we headed straight to the roller disco to see how we got on, on four wheels.


Luckily enough for me number five was to little to join in so I got to sit on the sidelines and watch my husband and number four slip and slide around the rink.

Let’s just say neither of them were naturals but they had a good try and enjoyed bopping along to the upbeat disco music whilst making their way round.

If you fancy watching instead of skating like me there is a run of great diner style booths along the edge of the rink where you can relax and grab a drink or something to eat while watching all the fun.


From here we made our way into the Octopus Garden which is a soft play with a real difference.


You have your usual ball pit, soft bricks to play with and areas to climb and slide down that all children love. 


But they have kept a seaside theme and added some great features such a several sandpits, a dressing up area, role play sections where they can do some shopping or get their hair done and a gallery that they can create their own chalk masterpiece in.


If all of this gets to much and a refreshment break is needed there is a great little cafe where you can grab hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, salads and lots more.

We filled our bellies with some really tasty chips whilst sitting in a really cool beach hut before heading out to the amusement arcade.

Slot machines are normally a pet hate for me!  Poring money into machines with the hope of getting something in return which rarely happens.

I have to say though I was very impressed with the machines that Dreamland have to offer.

There was a whole section of vintage machine that gave the children the opportunity to play with games that my Mum my have played with all those years ago.

They had all the other games you would expect to see in an arcade plus lots of machines that allowed the children to earn tickets that they could then exchange for something of their choice at the till.

While my husband and number four were busy earning tickets number five was keep amused by trying to pick up the money from this super cool floor!

We all had a wonderful, fun filled afternoon at Dreamland and have created some wonderful memories in a fabulously restored amusement park that is steeped in so much history that the restorers have managed to withhold perfectly.

We can’t wait to come back and try out the rides later in the year and tell you all about it!

*We were gifted tickets for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinion.

Point And Shoot:Magical Moments

It was number four’s birthday this week and probably the highlight of his day was the fact that his Dad took a whole day off for him.

My husband works long hours so when he is around the children relish every moment with his biggest fan being number four.

He got a wonderful new gokart for his birthday and we took it up to our local aerodrome to try it out.  Whist we were there my husband and son clambered on top of the disused air raid shelters and with some wonderful lighting I managed to capture a few shots that I have fallen in love with as much as I love these two.



  

Father Christmas In His Crystal Grotto

Up until today I thought I had covered most options when is came to visiting Father Christmas.  We have done department stores, farms, garden centres and theme parks but I didn’t realise that today was going to surpass all of those for me.

We love being outdoors so when a friend of mine suggested a trip to Father Christmas in a crystal grotto at Painshill Park I was more than intrigued.

We arrived at Painshill after a good journey and easily found a parking space.  From there we took a short walk to the entrance and collected our ticket.

We were early so we stopped for a coffee in their coffee shop which had a huge glass front giving you views out across the pretty grounds.

As you can imagine they were all champing at the bit to meet the man himself so we started our walk towards the grotto.  They had set out cute signposts for the children to follow and the whole area had pretty fairy lights in the trees and along the paths.  The magnificent trees were lit to show off their beauty.

It was about a 15 minute walk so we saved exploring the other stunning follies until after our visit.  I stupidly listened to my Dad and didn’t take the buggy which was a big mistake as the walk was to much for number five and I had to do a lot of carrying.  The pathways are well lit and smooth and fine to take your buggy along. Just before we got there we had a quick stop to see the ducks and if we went again we would take something along to feed them with.

We got to a beautiful wooden bridge from where the grotto was in sight.  We walked through the marque doors and were hit by the smell of mulled wine as a friendly elf told us to take a seat and wait to be guided into the grotto.


We had a quick drink and were then taken to visit Father Christmas.  The moment we stepped into the grotto I was astounded by how beautiful it was.


The crystals and walkways were adorned with pretty lights which made it even more magical.

Father Christmas gave us a really warm welcome and had a lovely chat with the children, well baring number five who was a little overwhelmed by it all.



They each got a gift to take home as we set off to do a little more exploring.


  
The gardens are vast and have something different around every corner.  One off my highlights was the gothic tower that once reached is simply breathtaking.


  
The ruined Abby overlooks the pond and is a real sight to see.


  
The picture really don’t do these magastic grounds justice, you really have to see it to believe it.  Our trip has doubled my Christmas spirit and we will be back next year for sure.
  

Monkey and Mouse