The Enchantment of Chester Zoo 

The Enchantment of Chester Zoo 

In the run up to Halloween Chester Zoo staged a special event ‘The Enchantment of Chester Zoo’ as members we were able to attend this event for free. 

The Zoo had been cast under the spell of an evil sorcerer and it was our job to help save it. The event started with an introduction by various characters to explain what had happened and how we could save the zoo. This was brilliant and so interactive. 

We had to visit 3 animals the tarantulas, aardvarks and the bats learning a fact at each animal in order to receive some potion. At the end all the potion was added to a big cauldron and we received a certificate to thank us for saving the zoo. 

Finn really enjoyed the day, even though he didn’t fully understand the tasks he loved all the characters and it was an opportunity for us to visit animals we wouldn’t normally go to. 

The Autumn & early winter (as well as spring) are definitely my favourite times to visit the zoo as it is quieter and looks beautiful with the changing seasons. I’d definitely recommend a visit at this time of year if you can. 

The Irish Fairy Door Company 

The Irish Fairy Door Company 

I was recently sent The Irish Fairy Door to review and for me and Finn to try out. I love this idea and can imagine as well as being fun it is an amazing way to keep your child’s imagination alive and explore the magic of childhood. 


We started by decorating the Fairy Door. I gave Finn total free reign of this ( despite having a design in my head ha). He loved it, he painted and coloured in the door with the provided paints & felt tips. He then stuck on all the decorations. 

The next step was to name & register our Fairy. We named him Bing (you are able to choose the sex). I registered him online and then downloaded the app. This way we can receive Fairy updates and inspiration for fun activities to do.

We then set up our door with the provided stepping stones & magic key, we left Bing a note welcoming him to our home. During the night Bing took the note & magic key so he is now able to enter when he likes. 

The suggestions given range from leaving your tooth for the Tooth fairy or leaving your fairy pictures or gifts. You can even leave your fairy your worries, a useful way for older children to learn to express their emotions. 


Whilst Finn is a little young to fully understand the concept it is definitely something we will continue to use over time. He still loved decorating and setting up the fairy door. It will make a lovely gift for any children in your life. 

Go Ahead’s Range of Snacks & Breakfast Bars 

Go Ahead’s Range of Snacks & Breakfast Bars 

As a busy working Mum who is constantly on the go I love this range of Go Ahead snacks & breakfast bars. I often find I go out armed with snacks for Finn but never things for me. This then inevitably leads to me eyeing up the cakes if we stop for a coffee. Since I have been putting a Go Ahead Bar in the changing bag I’ve been far less tempted and have enjoyed eating these instead. 


I have really enjoyed all the flavours but my particular favourite are the Totally Tropical yogurt breaks, the a-pealing apple crisp slices and the chocolate & orange cookie bites. 

I like to track my calories on my fitness pal so I love how all the calorie details are on the box. They are all low calorie without compromising on taste. 

I’d definitely recommend picking some up next time you are shopping. 

* Disclosure- I was sent these products to review but all opinions are my own. I loved all of these products. 

Autumn Walks 

Autumn Walks 

This Autumn/Winter I am making a resolution for us all to get outdoors more. I normally hate the cold weather and am definitely a sun lover. This year though I have a whole new appreciation as I am seeing it through Finn’s eyes. 

Finn loves puddle jumping, leaf stomping, collecting leaves, conkers & sticks, in fact he just loves the outdoors in general. He is happiest when he can run around and I love that he can burn off some of his endless energy and get some fresh air. 

So I have decided that we need to get outdoors as often as we can even if we wrap up and get outside for 10 minutes. I have discovered a lot more of our local area doing this. What are your favourite Autumn & Winter outdoor activities? I’d love some inspiration. 

Swan Hotel & The Lake District 

Swan Hotel & The Lake District 

This August Bank holiday weekend we headed to the Lakes to stay at The Swan Hotel in Newby Bridge near Lake Windemere.  We love this hotel and have visited a few times. I always leave feeling totally relaxed. this time we went with my parents.

 

Me and my Mum started the break with an Espa Intensive facial. This treatment was so relaxing and totally worth every penny. As a Beauty Therapist I don’t always enjoy treatments as I  often think how I would do them different or what I can add to my treatments  but I was able to totally switch off during my facial. The Pool is also a lovely place to relax with a sauna, steam room and hot tub.

One of my favourite things about the Hotel is the riverside location,it is so peaceful. We were lucky to have nice weather so we were able to enjoy a drink in the afternoon sat by the side of the river.

 

We stayed in a ground floor room called a ‘lovely room’ this had everything we needed including some lovely ESPA toiletries for us to use thoughout our stay. There was plenty of room to put Finn’s travel cot.

I love the different  lounges in The Swan and we made full use of the playroom, there was a TV, books and toys Finn loved it. Following the recent refurbishment there is now a pool table which is a lovely touch when staying as a family.


Every time we visit we always notice how warm and welcoming the staff are, every member of staff you pass will greet you and they always make time for conversation. If we ever have any requests I always feel like they go out of their way for you.

 

In the evening we ate at the Swan Inn and all of us really enjoyed our meals, I had the ‘on toasts’ to start which included various toppings like avocado, egg and capers. I then had the chicken and chorizo paella. Both were really tasty. Another thing I love about The Swan is the breakfast. There is a buffet with cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries etc.. then there is a selection of cooked food to pick from.

 


We took advantage of the lovely weather on the Bank Holiday Monday to visit some of the local area before we headed home. The first place we visited was Hawkshead a lovely pedestriansed village. There are plenty of shops,cafes and pubs to visit. We then headed to Coniston, the lake here is stunning, defintrly worth a visit. We could have happily spent a day by the lake if we didn’t have to get back as there was so much going on.

At luch time we headed to Chesters by the River an amazing cafe, deli and shop. we sat on the terrace which has beautiul views over the river. My parents had stumbled across this the last time they were in the area, it was a bit out of the way for us to visit but was defintely worth it.

The last stop on our trip was Kirkby Lonsdale, to see  the beautiful Ruskin’s view. this was well worth the drive and walk and I loved photographing such a stunning landscape.

 

I can’t wait for our next visit to the Lake District, which places do you love to visit when you are there?

 

Mattel Play, Liverpool 

Mattel Play, Liverpool 

We love Mattel Play, in Liverpool. We visited a few weeks ago for the second time and Finn had a brilliant time. 


It’s located on the Albert Dock and has Thomas the Tank, Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam themed play areas. We booked online and entry cost £19 for the 3 of us. Each session lasts 2 hours. 


Finn’s favourite is Thomas, there’s a ball pool, a pedal operated train, large models of the engines & plenty of other activities. He loved this section and was so excited to see the characters. 


We even got to meet Fireman Sam, he came out onto the stage area and danced to the theme tune. The children could then have their photo taken with him. Finn ran straight to the front. 


Bob the builder is ideal for older children as it has more activities they can get involved in like drawing, mega blocks and hand operated diggers. Finn still really enjoyed this section though. 


Fireman Sam is the last area you come to. This has a slide, a replica shop, a fireman’s pole, a model boat & fire engine. Finn loved sitting in the fire engine and pretending to drive. 


We spent about an hour and a half there but would have happily spent the full 2 hours if Finn wasn’t tired. We visited each section twice. It is definitely excellent value for money and we will be regular visitors. 

Camping in Llangollen 

Camping in Llangollen 

A few weeks ago we camped  in Llangollen for 3 nights. It is only 40 minutes away from us but it is a lovely town to visit to get away. 

We have stayed at the same campsite  Tower Farm quite a few times, it is basic but really peaceful. It is also a lovely 10 minute walk along the canal into town. 


The reason we stayed for the weekend was for the Day Out With Thomas event that was running at the station. We didn’t really enjoy the event or find it value for money so I won’t go into too much detail. Finn did really enjoy meeting Thomas though. 

We loved The Cornmill Pub located on the banks of the river. We ate there twice and both times the food was really good. The views were amazing as well. Finn loved the pasta. 

There was a lovely park , Riverside Park, located in town. There’s a play park, miniature golf and there was children paddling in the river. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. 

I really enjoyed seeing Finn playing with the other children on the campsite. I think the fact that all the children were playing on one big field gave him the confidence to approach them and join in with their game of football.