Christmas Hits Clapham With Winterville

It’s not often my children consider me a cool Mum but they were pretty impressed with me the other day when we had a mad dash after the school run to attend the launch night at Winterville on Clapham Common.

Winterville has been billed as London’s alternative festival and it certainly lived up to its name.

As we entered through the neon lit walkway we were greeted with the smell of roasted chestnuts, the sound of familiar christmas hits and a mixture of traditional decorated trees and super cool lighting from the many food stands.

The kids didn’t take long to spot the rides and headed straight off for an adrenaline rush.

The older two headed for the bigger rides of which there were plenty, the good old fashion Waltzer was the favourite while the younger two stuck to the smaller rides…not that they were happy about it!

After the thrills and spills of all the rides we headed over to take to the ice. I took a sigh of relief when they told me Oscar was to young to join in as ice skating is not my forte to say the least.

We sat on the sidelines enjoying a delicious hot chocolate and a gorgeously gooey chocolate brownie while the others thoroughly enjoyed skating around with the beautiful backdrop of the hustle and bustle of Winterville.

By now they had all worked up an appetite and we headed over to Street Feast where there was an amazing selection of street food from juicy burgers to crispy breaded chicken, sumptuous wood-fired pizzas to sticky ribs and so much more.

It is a great place to get out of the cold as well as filling your bellies!

We only scrapped the surface of what Winterville has to offer and I would love to go back to have a round of golf with Plonk golf, see if my skills are better on four wheels in the roller disco, and maybe take in a show.

It would also make a fantastic child free night out as sampling the delicious looking mulled wine and tipsy hot chocolates in the Spiegeltent.

I loved the urban vibe mixed with the traditional Christmas and I wholeheartedly agree that Winterville brings an alternative edge to your usual Christmas festival type attractions and is definitly worth checking out for yourself.

* We were asked along to the launch night for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Home Of Black Friday Pop-Up Experience With Amazon

Christmas is well on the way now and for many of us the worry of being able to get everyone their much longed for gifts is something that is hard to deal with.

Christmas is a truly magical time of year but the pressures of financing everything can make this happy time dampened by the pressure.

There are however ways around this with Black Friday being one of the best ways to save a fortune in the run up to Christmas.

Amazon are streets ahead when it comes to Black Friday and have taken things a step further this year with a super quirky pop-up experience in the heart of Soho Square to celebrate.

I was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch last night where we got the chance to see what is going to be on offer and listen to the thoughts behind Black Friday from retail expert – Clare Bailey.

Claire was explaining that for most of us over the years we have realised that giving money is a better option of gifting as the January sales start the minute Christmas finishes and all those gifts we have spend our hard earned money on are dramatically reduced.

However there is no thought or love behind gifting people with cash so being able to make huge savings before christmas is a great way to allow people to enjoy giving an actual gift.

The pop-up shop is a way of showcasing over 100 curated Black Friday deals with the addition of being able to try out games in their super cool games room, take part in games for your chance to win some great prizes and partake in workshops from Amazon Handmade Artisans, YouTube stars and TV chefs.

I had a wonderful evening meeting talented sellers from Amazon Marketplace such as the lovely Lavinia the owner of Lavolio who makes delicious and beautifully packaged handmade chocolates. And the guys behind Cozy Glow candles that would certainly give that well know candle male a run for their money!

They have such passion for their brand which makes their products so much more appealing.

One room in the shop was set up like a beauty salon where I was treated to a hair makeover from GHD and tried out some fabulously vibrant Max Factor lipstick that lasts for an amazing 24 hours.

The shop is open from 12.30-7.30 from Tuesday 21st November until Friday 24th November and is certainly worth a trip for a fantastically interactive shopping experience and some fantastic bargains.

WWE Smackdown Live At The O2

I have to admit I wasn’t filled with excitement when an email popped up in my inbox asking me along to the O2 to watch WWE Smackdown Live.

However after seeing the face of my usually unexcitable teenage boy light up at the thought of it I knew that is was going to be an event that he was going to very much enjoy.

In fact it wasn’t only Archie that was full of excitement, my husband and my five year old Frankie are also massive fans which would make it a trip for all ages.

We arrived at the O2 and set off for some pre drinks where we got the chance to see some of the infamous belts and get up close to Dolph Ziegler and Becky Lynch. Sadly we didn’t manage to get a photo but it was still great to meet them in person.

We made our way to our seats kitted out in all the fantastic merchandise and I was astounded by the atmosphere that was filling the packed out arena.


People of all ages were sining, chanting and cheering as the spectacular ring entrances that were taking place and were completely immersed in the thrill of the fight scenes. Many of which were dressed as their favourite characters such as The Undertaker and Randy Orton.

Even I got drawn into the atmosphere and thoroughly enjoyed the three hour long performance that for me was a cross between a rock concert and a boxing match.

The boys sat there glued to the stage, joining in with the chants and getting super excited with each throw and slam dunk they saw.

This show really was an eye opener for me and it goes to show that you sometimes the things you think you will have little interest in can actually be a really enjoyable experience.

We all came out buzzing from a fantastic event and I would highly recommend taking a trip next time they are in a town near you.

 

40th Birthday Planning For The Mr

I actually can’t believe I am thinking about my husband Turning 40 this year!

Sadly in our own heads we are still spring  chickens and more often than not act like we are still twenty one; but the reality is he has made his way up to the top of the hill and this needs celebrating.

At the moment I have a nice blank note book all ready to be filled with guest lists, themes, venues and dates but to be honest I’m finding this harder than planning for than my wedding day.

Most of us ladies have had ideas and aspirations for our wedding day since we were little so I remember being able to scribble down pages upon pages of ideas that I knew would make my day as special as I had always imagined.

When it comes to my husband’s birthday however I have all the pressure to make this into a day to remember as well as the expectation that I should know exactly want he wants for his day…even when in reality I have no idea!

Our nights out have changed dramatically since we were first together and wehave traded bozzy nights out for tea and chocolate in front of the TV, but then the odd night out we do get to let our hair down it is always such a welcome change.

The only parties that I have hosted over the past few years have mainly consisted of pass the parcel, superheroes and stodgy party food so I think if I want this to be a success I will have to pass the baton onto the professionals and get a some advice from events management companies.

They will be able to help me source that perfect venue that I may never have considered before, get menus together that will be something to remember rather than a sea of beige offering of bread, sausage rolls and sandwiches that are never massively appealing but are always an easy option of it is down to you to organise.

Those welcome drinks will be down to someone else to prepare and hand out while we can both sit down and enjoy and most importantly no cleaning up! 

How have you all celebrated your 40th birthdays? 

*collaborated post

The Teletubbies Turn 20!

Teletubbies
It must have been around this time of year twenty years ago when I was going in elbows first to get my hands on the sell out Teletubbies soft toy at my local Woolworths store for my newborn, that had absolutely no idea when an impact these four cute and cuddly characters were having on a nation of preschoolers.

It’s hard to believe that they have graced our screen for such a long time and although they have had a few changes over the years they have kept the ability to capture the hearts of over a billion children spanning over a hundred countries.

All of my children have fallen for their charms and you can imagine the delight on my youngest ones faces when I told them we were going along to celebrate their twentieth birthday and take a sneak peek at the new series that is set to hit our screens on the 13th March, with a special birthday show on the 31st March.

I arrived at The Riverfront on The Southbank on the Sunday morning with two super excited boys just itching to meet their favourites!

Before the screening we were treated to a yummy brunch whist the children ran wild in the soft play area, created masterpieces, got their faces painted and watched in awe as a magician covered children in a humongous bubble.

Teletubbies Teletubbies The Riverfront, Southbank   

Sufficiently full and a little worn out we headed to the cinema where a hub of excited children were donning their party hats in anticipation of the arrival of the ‘real’ Teletubbies!

Teletubbies Teletubbies  

Chris from Cebebbies took to the stage to introduce the larger than I expected characters and there were gasps and cheers from the entire crowd.

Teletubbies
After joining in with the new ‘Big Hugs’ song that includes a lot of bottom bumping…a big hit with my potty minded children the Teletubbies left the stage for a rest and we were treated to a viewing of the new series.

David Walliams and Rohelle Humes have been addded to the already star studded cast and it’s not just the voiceovers that have had new additions.

The Teletubbies have been treated to a brand new play area called the Hidey Hub that homes the Tubby Bounce, Tubby Slidey, Tubby Uppy Downy and Tubby Spinny.

It’s a great new area that was a big hit with my two, especially the Tubby Slidey which is a seemingly never ending slide…what child wouldn’t love that!

The changes don’t stop there as we can also welcome the Tubby Car that sees them all driving around in their super sweet car that cleverly has a steering wheel for each of them.

The Tiddly Tubbies also play a big part in the new series and I have to say I love them as much as the children do.

Unbelievable a cinema packed with under five’s was left in silence.

This is a hard audience to crack and the Teletubbies did it with no problem at all which just goes to show that the magic that was created with them twenty years ago is a winning combination and is a real testament to the writers they Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po are still going strong today.

I would love for you to tune in on Monday 13th and let me know what you think.

Teletubbies

Project Mc2 Preview Afternoon

During the summer holidays we were invited along to a super secret spy premiere party to celebrate the new series of Project Mc2 that has been released on Netflix.

‘Smart is the new cool’ is the tag line for the four super cool best friends that are trying to get across that learning is fun and doesn’t always have to be boring and uncool.

They combine their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, art and maths to solve their undercover missions.


With this as a theme for the day the children were set on a super spy mission with the great actors from Sharky and George events and set to trying out all sorts of sorted and wonderful science experiments with Mad Science East London who really opened up number three’s eyes to a completely new and fun way of learning.

A great series such as this wouldn’t be complete with some supercool merchandise to go alongside it and we were all really impressed with what they had to offer.

The girls themselves are dressed is trendy outfits and each ones interest is shown though the addition of the little extras such as making your own glitter globe and making your own light up bracelet.


There is also a secret spy kit to try and solve your own missions and and by far the favourite with number four was the H2O RC car with working lights and the addition of water that makes steam from the exhaust.

All the children were really taken with the first episode and loved all the merchandise, but what really won it over for me was the whole ethos behind the show and how they have turned the stereotypical superheroes and girl gangs on their heads and have come up with something completely different.

It was a hit for boys and girls alike and has definitely bought a new thirst for knowledge to my little ones.

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.