Boots from BOGS!

Since getting our Sprocker Spaniel Daisy back in May I thought it would be a good idea to get decent wellies for the monkeys and I to wear when walking her. Daddy doesn't do wellies, so he opted out! Now, usually I'm not a great fan myself as I find them clumpy to walk in and often uncomfortable too but that was before we tried boots sent to us from BOGS

Waterproof footwear for all the family. BOGS footwear kindly sent me the Amanda Plush boot and both the monkeys a pair of Kids Arcata Wool Stripe boots. They are suitable for temperatures below -40 (and will be taken with us when we go to Lapland at Christmas!)
The Amanda Plush in Olive were ordered in a size UK 5 for me and are mid calf. They are 100% waterproof with handles either side for ease of putting on and pulling off and come with a lush faux-fur lining for extra warmth and comfort. Suitable for wear in temperatures of -25. Of course when the boots first arrived we had zero rain for about two months! Just typical. However, they have now been tested in the rain, in long wet grass and leaves on dog walks and on at least one 4 mile 'hike' whilst walking the dog. I can honestly say they are super comfy, kept my feet both warm and dry and did not squeak like some wellies do, or feel clumpy and awkward to walk in. I think the laces at the front really help to secure them comfortably, making them fully adjustable to the wearer. I really like them!
The monkeys have worn their boots to watch football being played in the rain and on dog walks also. They have not complained of cold wet feet and their socks were bone dry! Something they are not when often wearing trainers when it rains. True to size, they fit comfortably. Super durable, hard wearing, insulated and suitable for temperatures of -40, they are also super easy to get on and off with the side handles. Of course they have no idea we are off to Lapland but I fully intend for them to wear these there! Both monkeys have them in navy, with red and grey wool stripes and contrasting faux-fur lining. The laces are fastened with a woggle, making them so much easier for kids to secure.
We can highly recommends these boots from BOGS. Both types have dura-fresh technology eliminating odours. BOGS offer free UK shipping on orders over £75. The Amanda Plush are £100 on the website.
Thanks BOGS, we really do rate the boots. I shall be wearing them from now on on dog walks, when wet and soggy under foot. We look forward to testing the monkeys ones out in a much colder climate later in the year! Shh..........................I shall update on the monkeys ones when we come back from the Artic Circle!


Exploring Malaga!

Often wondered where to go for a family City Break? How about Malaga, Spain? The second highest populated City in Andalusia, it's a Mediterranean seaport on the Costa del Sol. Did you know it's the birthplace of Picasso? To be honest, I had no idea!

The best time to visit is in May-June and in September. Definitely somewhere we would consider taking the boys to one day. I've never actually been to mainland Spain and have always wanted to. 

Flights are reasonably cheap and under four hours flying time from London Airports. Why not hire a car at the airport and explore the City and surrounding area whilst there?

Of course, if the family are travelling too, you do need to check whether the car hire company provide car seats (if required) or whether you need to provide your own. Some companies provide cars to collect at the airport and others will send courtesy buses to get you to your car collection point. Then of course, once you have the car, you are free to explore as you wish.

First stop I assume would be your hotel or base for the duration of your stay. Hopefully, you'll have checked on parking! There are loads of places to stay that's for sure.

Whilst touring Malaga and it's surrounding areas there are plenty of places to see! The parks for one. Parque de Malaga is one not to miss.

If culture and history are more your thing, why not take in Alcazaba? An historic castle dating back to 1057. How about Malaga Cathedral?

Photo credit: http://over40andamumtoone.com/

You can even travel further afield, ditching the car for the day and taking a day trip to Morocco, or sightseeing trip to Gibraltar. Excursions can be booked directly or through your travel company.

Of course, whilst in Spain you have to have tapas, there will be many Tapas bars to choose from. Book a Tapas and Wine tour, if travelling without the kids! 

With plenty of places to eat, Malaga has cuisine to offer anyone.
With 320 sunny days a year, Malaga has many beaches to explore. Many have bathrooms, children's play areas and places to eat also.

Whilst in Spain, shopping is a must! Many shopping centres have cinemas, theatres, restaurants, bars, and bowling alleys similar to those found back in the UK. The Atarazanas - Malaga Central Market is a great place to get local produce, used daily by locals and tourists alike.

So, you see, there's lots to keep the family entertained, not least the hotel pool! I'd say Malaga would be the perfect place to stay for just a short break or longer. Versatile and full of diversity and culture. What's not to love! 

Photo credit: http://over40andamumtoone.com/

I once worked with a couple of lovely ladies from Spain who always said we should visit. They were the most amazing cooks....their food to die for! I will get there one day and I will taste the gorgeous Mediterranean cuisine again! Now, where's my passport! 

*Collaborative post


Visiting Orlando!

One of the places I'd like to take the boys one day is Orlando, Florida! I've had the good fortune of going twice in the past and I think they would love it! 

The first time I went was with school, many moons ago. I was 12. It was my first time away from home. What a place to go! We stayed with host families and visited all the usual places (that were there at the time). Epcot hadn't even been open that long. Now there are even more parks than before! You can get your park tickets online now but not back then! I remember we went to Disney World, Epcot (which at the time was my favourite), Wet n Wild, The Kennedy Space Centre and also Sea World.
I'm pretty sure Universal Studios Orlando Resort and MGM (now Disney's Hollywood Studios) were not open then. Now you can get multi park tickets, for the duration of your stay. There are numerous Orlando Combination ticket packages, with 6 Disney Parks now. Not to mention all the others! WOW! Did you know there's even a Legoland Florida? I only found that out myself recently. Boy, I bet the place has changed so much.

I next went to Disney, Orlando as an adult with friends and their family. We stayed in a Villa and rented a car to visit the parks, eat out on International Drive (which was so much bigger than the time before) and to visit the shopping malls. We're going back 13 years. I remember it being just as magical as the time when I went with school and being an adult I was probably more excited to be honest! So, really there is no ideal age! Young or old, we're all still big kids at heart! 
I really think the boys would love Universal Studios Orlando Resort the most! I think they would relate to the film themed shows and rides more than the typical Disney ones! (personally I love them all). My plan would be for us to stay in a rented Villa with Pool and hire a car. That way, you can be more flexible with meals, chill out at the villa (as lets face it visiting Orlando isn't a rest) and come and go as you please! As much as we would like to stay in one of the Disney hotels, I also think hiring a villa is more affordable! 

Best time of year to go? For us it would have to be Easter! Still warm and sunny but not super hot, like in the school summer holidays out there and hopefully less packed too. I've been at Easter and in July, both great, but with a hubby who cannot cope with it being too hot and the boys, I think for us Easter is best. 
You'd have to go for at least two weeks wouldn't you! I don't think anything shorter would be long enough. Three weeks would be better, but I'm not sure we could afford the time to do that. I'm super excited to see if we ever get there as a family. I really hope so! Even if we all go when they are young adults. 

It's certainly on the bucket list! Have you been? Want to go?

*Collaborative post


Back to School with Treads!

The boys last pair of school shoes from a well known kids shoe shop lasted well (especially seeing as both boys feet hadn't grown from Aug 17 to April 18. They did, however after two terms of wear, really need replacing. One pair had been super glued and the other just looked tatty.  

Where to find in the region of £90 though? 

I did some searching online and came across Treads, who kindly sent us a pair of their boys school shoes for each boy. Grateful, I sent the boys back to school after Easter in their new shoes and since then they've put them to the test! 

With a 12 month indestructible guarantee, they've not had them long enough to see if this is true but so far, I'm impressed to say, they still look as good as new! 

Both boys have the Madrid style shoe. Big monkey had been sent the Toyko lace up shoe but really didn't like them and insisted he wouldn't wear them (being to lazy to wear shoes with laces), so very kindly Treads allowed me to return them and sent him a pair he would be happy with.
Touch fasten leather upper shoes with scuff resistant toes, these shoes are sturdy and very durable. They have a dual fit system, meaning you can adjust the width to suit the wearer. Just leave in the dual fit system or remove the orange insole, as desired.
I've been using either a damp cloth to wipe the shoes clean (as they were getting very dusty on the dry school field) or a liquid sponge polish. Both giving good results!
These school shoes really are hard wearing and robust. Both boys run around at playtime at school, they've received no scuffs! Big monkey even plays football on the school field in his and they still look as good as new.
Neither boy will be getting a new pair for back to school in September. They won't need them (unless they have a massive growth spurt)! Ordering online was easy, we had been to get the boys feet measured, so just ordered in that size!
For Boys aged 6-16, they are currently only £35 a pair, saving £10 on the RRP. Totally worth every penny and with free delivery and free hassle free returns too, there really is no reason not to try them. With several different styles available I know we will be ordering from Treads again, when the time comes. There are even grown up styles to suit big monkey, when he starts secondary school next year!
Thanks treads, they get a huge thumbs up from us! Happy holidays all, see you on the other side! 


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