Loom Band Set - Hobbycraft

The world has gone loom band crazy and has not passed us by! Big monkey loves making up bracelets with the bands. He has several bracelets in different color combinations and keeps wanting to make more!
Recently we received a loom band bracelet set to review from Hobbycraft. The cra-Z-loom bracelet maker by cra-Z-art from Character comes complete with 600 latex free bands, a loom, a weaving hook, 35 S clips and instructions. The instructions come complete with patterns to place and pick the bands on the loom, making specific bracelets. Beads can be added to make more sparkly creations. These are sold separately. 
We've only mastered the fishtail and single loop bracelets so far but will keep trying to master the more difficult ones like the bridge style one. This is no reflection on the set at all, just our skills at loom band making! The set is suitable from age 6+, which is perfect for big monkey and a great excuse for him and I to sit quietly together working our loom band magic! The whole family have got involved. Even little monkey wears them! 
We will not be beat on the more difficult bracelets so please do keep an eye out for our creations on social media! 
Overall this set is great and ideal for someone starting out on their loom band obsession (which it will be!) Priced in Hobbycraft at £15 for the set, the loom is hard wearing and sturdy and the bands not flimsy like some cheaper ones on the market. I'm loving helping my big loom band loving monkey!

*We were sent this loom band making set for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are my own*

Time Away

Hubby and I have been saying for a long time that we should take a break and get away for a few days alone. Now of course, some would say it's wrong to want a break from the kids and others however, have lots of time apart from the children, but it was more a case of needing the time away! Like many couples, we rarely get time to ourselves (and rightly so, the monkeys come first), but we were needing time out, time to recharge our batteries and time to spend together without little people. So last Friday, whilst the monkeys were looked after for the weekend by my parents, we took ourselves off to Suffolk. Just for two nights. Two nights to catch up on sleep, have a meal out together, relax in our surroundings and just do what we wanted. 
We stayed in a B&B called Camomile Cottage that we had previously been to before the monkeys came along and had such a lovely time. Greeted with afternoon tea and cake in the garden on our arrival, we later chose the same room we had stayed in before. There are only two! The breakfast menu was left out for us to make our selection for the following mornings meal, and then our time was our own. It was nice to just sit and relax in the country garden without interruption!

Saturday was spent in Southwold, one of our favourite places to visit. We've taken the monkeys there several times. The weather was glorious! After our day, shopping, drinking and having afternoon tea there, we returned to the B&B to relax in the garden again. 

Sunday we reluctantly booked out with a promise to visit again soon and not to leave it seven years this time. On our way back home to the monkeys, who were having a fab time with Nanny and Grandad, we visited the Sausage and Beer Festival at Jimmy's Farm near Ipswich.
Originally we had planned to attend as a family but when the weekend away was booked, we decided the festival would be a perfect place to spend the day on our way back home. It was so well organised and so family orientated. A definite must for next year with the monkeys of course! Food stalls, beer and sausages were a plenty. The farm was still open as usual so of course the animals were there and there were cookery demonstrations, live music and so much more. A great day out and highly recommended.
We did miss the monkeys, especially on the Sunday at the farm, and they of course missed us too, but I think it did us good to have the break. Their faces were a picture when they saw we were home as they arrived back that night from a day out with Nanny and Grandad. It was really special to see them both again and have lots of kisses and cuddles.


Vita Coco Kids at LolliBop

The beach at Lollibop? Of course, thanks to Vita Coco Kids Beach Club! We love the beach, don't you?! 
Vita Coco Kids is inviting festival loving families at Lollibop 2014 to take part in some games on the sand at their pop up beach club.  Children and parents are invited to join in the fun at the hourly sandcastle building contests, or try their hand at the coconut shy for a chance to win some nutty prizes. I love a good sandcastle competition, so we'll definitely be popping by.
The Vita Coco Kids bike will also be on hand giving festival goers a helping hand with healthy hydration, for big and little monkeys alike. My two will be OK then! We've had a taste of Vita Coco Kids and are loving the taste as well as the monkey packaging it arrived in!
"Vita Coco Kids is made from young coconut water blended with natural fruit flavourings and spring water with no added colourings or preservatives, making it a natural source of hydration for children. With around 20 percent less sugar and less calories than other leading UK chilled kids’ drinks, it is the healthier beverage option for your children when you’re at a festival. Available in two mouth-watering flavours, classic Apple & Blackcurrant and tropical Mango & Pineapple, these little cartons of goodness are also bursting with naturally occurring potassium that helps keep your little ones energised and hydrated on hot summer days". 
It comes in two flavours, Apple & Blackcurrant and Mango & Pineapple.
Vita Coco Kids RRP is from £2.99 for a 4 x 180ml pack and is available in a 4x180ml multi-pack from Waitrose, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Amazon, Holland and Barrett, Tesco, Yo Sushi, Wholefoods Market, Planet Organic and leading independent retailers.

We'll be having a drink or two with Vita Coco at Lollibop and are hoping to join in the fun with the kids beach club! 

*We've not been paid to promote Vita Coco but were sent some sample cartons to try. All thoughts and opinions are my own*


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.


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