June Book Buddies Book - Review

The Fish with the Deep Sea Smile by Margaret Wise Brown landed on our doormat recently. A lovely looking picture book from Parragon Books I've not heard of before. We love being Parragon Book Buddies! 
"Join this energetic, fishy tale of one family's quest among all the fish in the sea to find the fish with the deep sea smile - but can they catch it? "
The book is beautifully illustrated by Henry Fisher and really compliments the story. We've been reading it with the monkeys who loved listening to the tale and looking at the pictures. Big monkey can read it too.
The fish with the deep sea smile......they fished and they fished.....a lovely lovely story which is available from Amazon here
What's our favourite children's story book?


Osea View - Cafe Bar

We are often looking for new places to go with the monkeys, so when I was approached about popping along to review a new Cafe Bar, overlooking the Blackwater Estuary near Maldon I was happy to accept. Osea View, is set right next to the waterfront at Osea Leisure Park near Maldon. 
"The View is a recently opened waterfront cafe based at Osea Leisure Park, near Maldon, nestled on the banks of the Blackwater Estuary. Visitors can enjoy an array of delicious dishes and refreshments at this stunning venue, whilst admiring the astounding views and passing boats.
Open from 9am - 5pm week days and 9am-6pm at weekends, visitors can start the day with a mouth-watering breakfast pastry, enjoy a hearty sandwich at lunchtime, or relax with a glass of wine amongst friends on warm summer afternoons. Tuesdays and Thursdays are now dedicated to, bring a friend and you get a hot drink for free.

Offering a select menu of Italian inspired barista coffees, appetising snacks and sandwiches, as well as a delectable array of cakes and pastries, The View has become the new social hub and eatery in the local area. The View is also licensed and offers a selection of high quality wines and beverages for visitors to sample and enjoy. In addition, a function room upstairs can be hired for birthday parties, christenings, business meetings and lunches".
The leisure park is lovely, well kept and in a fab position, as is this modern waterfront cafe the View. The View from the cafe bar is stunning. 
We arrived about 4pm on a Monday afternoon, so it was fairly quiet, except for a few people eating and drinking outside on the patio area. There is comfy seating on rattan and cushioned sofa's at the front of the cafe where folding doors open right across the front, to let the outside in. This part of the cafe is particularly light and airy. Nearer to the bar area at the back of the cafe is more closed in but still gives a sense of being airy due to the windows and decor. The decor is welcoming and in keeping with a coastal, nature, water theme. 
The monkeys chose ice lollies, whilst we had drinks, then we each had something from the food menu, found on a blackboard near the bar area. Our choices? Pizza for little monkey, a Cornish pasty for me and a Paninni for hubby. Apart from the fact my pasty could have been hotter inside, we found the food to be as you would expect. The service was welcoming, the cafe very clean and tidy. I think the position and the views are most stunning, and I can see many people stopping by for a quick bite to eat, or for a beverage. I would definitely go back. You can see more information here.

 *I was asked to review the View, but all thoughts and opinions are my own*


Top Trumps Came Up Trumps!

Just recently we had the most awesome invite to celebrate the launch of Top Trumps 'London 30 things to see pack' It involved a tour of some of London's Iconic sights on a Routemaster bus so I just knew with little monkey being such a huge bus fan, that we HAD to go!
Here's what Top Trumps have to say about their latest pack! 
"Explore Britain’s most iconic city with the new Top Trumps 30 Things To See In London pack!
Been there, Trumped that! How well do you really know the Nations’ Capital? Bringing together 30 of the biggest tourist attractions to be found across London, you can now play among your friends and family to find out who has what it takes to become the ultimate London Tour Guide!
Packed full of quirky facts and figures on a combination of well - known landmarks and off-the-beaten-track hidden gems, players in groups of 2-6 can learn and discover interesting background info on 30 places to see around London including details of travel times from specific tube stops and entry prices! From London Zoo to the Shard; Science Museum to HMS Belfast the pack leaves no London stone unturned in its journey to bring you the best of London in one handy playable set – perfect for your travels around the Capital! Many of the attractions featured in the pack will be handing out free Super Top Trumps bonus cards that can be played in conjunction with the main pack. See how many you can collect!"

The 30 Things To See In London pack is available from July RRP £4.99 for Top Trumps fans of all ages! Big monkey is really enjoying playing with the pack. There are lots of facts and figures even I had forgotten about!
So what did we get up to Sunday? I think the following photos will tell you a lot! 
We met the team from Norton and Co at the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden, where we were given a guided tour and the monkeys had a Tour guide sheet with facts and figures on, which they were asked to complete during our day.
Next we donned Top Trump tee.shirts and boarded a fab routemaster bus where we went on a tour, passing some of London's famous landmarks. On board we were joined by Moris (Boris), Pearl Gates and Tina Tarina for fun, laughs and party food! Cakes, biscuits, sandwiches, crisps and drinks were passed around for all to enjoy, until we reached our final destination.....The Shard.
Goodie bags and passes were handed out then we made up way up The Shard to the 69 floor! 33 floors in 23 seconds is pretty impressive. The views were awesome, and the champagne was pretty good too! 
We had a fantastic day thanks to Winning Moves & Top Trumps. The monkeys, as you can see loved it all.

About Winning Moves 
Winning Moves UK Ltd is an independently owned, London based, games company which owns and / or distributes a range of classic game brands such as Top Trumps, Regional MONOPOLY, Waddington’s Number One Playing Cards, PIT, Bananagrams and Pass the Pigs. Winning Moves is also the exclusive licensee in Europe, Middle East and Africa for limited editions of Hasbro games including MONOPOLY, Cluedo, RISK and Twister.  
www.winningmoves.co.uk www.toptrumps.com  

We were not asked to write this post but wished to share our amazing day out. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Our Teacher's Thank You Gift

As I write this I'm feeling quite emotional. For today big monkey finished in year one and we said farewell to his two teachers. He has had a brilliant year at school and both his teachers have been fantastic. I've no idea where the academic year has gone, but it seems a very short time since I was sat in his year one class last September meeting his teachers and hearing all about their plans for the class. Now, another year is over and he'll be returning to school in year two! I've huge admiration for his teachers, who have worked so hard with the class and helped him to come on in leaps and bounds.
We're very lucky as the children in his class all seem really lovely too and the teachers often comment that they are so lucky to have such a good class. The parents get on well too, so a couple of Mum's recently arranged a collection for the teachers and learning support assistants, to say a huge thank you for all their hard work. I like to do a little something myself though, so asked Daddy and Monkey if they would like to make the Rock Cakes, they seem so good at making. My input? Buying the tin to present them in! Here's how they got on.
They look yummy and I have it on good authority that they tasted good too! Of course we couldn't leave little monkey out, so he helped make them as well. Hubby loves making bits in the kitchen with the monkeys from time to time, and it was good to show our appreciation to his teachers. 
I hope they all have a well deserved rest before all the lesson planning and such goes on, ready for the Autumn term. Enjoy the summer holidays!

Aqua Pura Champions

As a family we like to be outside with the monkeys as much as possible, keeping active and making the most of the great outdoors. The monkeys love running around, playing football, riding their bikes and playing at the park! So we've signed up to be Aqua Pura Champions. Drinking water is vital to staying healthy and just a part of keeping fit and having fun. 
We'll be keeping in touch with Aqua Pura about our quest to be active, stay fit and drink water. To help they've supplied us with water and given us a great incentive to go out as a family for a fun filled action packed day! Keep you posted on that one!
Stay tuned! 


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