Can we talk about unicorns?
+ a giveaway

Can we talk about unicorns for a moment? And just how spectacularly popular they are right now (with kids and grown-ups alike).

When I asked my daughter what she wanted for her 5th Birthday she simply replied ‘unicorn stuff’. (Not complaining, that made birthday present shopping pretty darn easy!)

I don’t remember unicorns being much of a thing when I was a child. Although, when I was around the age my daughter is now, I was all about Care Bears and Troll figures! It’s funny what becomes popular, isn’t it?

But my kiddo has really fallen in love with these magical, mythical creatures and can’t quite get enough of them! She trots into school each morning wearing her brightly coloured unicorn raincoat and unicorn backpack (she doesn’t need a backpack for school, she’s in reception, but begs to wear it to school anyway). And I can’t help but smile.

In a blink of an eye, it’ll no doubt be boyband merch and whatever coat she’s seen her fave female celeb wearing on Instagram (or whatever it is that comes after Instagram). So I’m quite happy to enjoy this craze for as long as it continues!


If you fancy winning yourself a pack of Unicorn Poo bath bombs (and why wouldn’t ya?) then you are in luck because the folks at WOW Freestuff are giving 50 of them away! Click here to enter the competition.

Terms & conditions:

By entering the competition you must agree to sign up to the WOW Freestuff Newsletter.

Entrants must be 18 or over and reside in the UK.

Competition closes on the 31st May 2019.

Are your children unicorn obsessed?
What childhood crazes were you into as kid?

Jenna xx

*I was gifted a pack of Unicorn Poo Bath Bombs for the purpose of this post.

Easter Holiday plans
+ Cadbury Chocolate Giveaway!

I love Spring – daffodils, cute fluffy lambs, blossom on the trees and if we’re really lucky, a bit of sunshine! With less than a week to go before J breaks up from school for the Easter holidays, I’ve been thinking about our plans for the two-week break and decided I’d share them here on my blog (in bucket list-style fashion of course)!

Celebrate Jasmine’s birthday

Insert cliched mum talk such as “how is my baby so grown up?” here.

But seriously, how do I have an almost-five-year-old?! Blows my mind, it really does. We’ll be kicking off the Easter break with J’s 5th birthday celebrations. She’ll be having her first proper birthday party (at a local soft play centre) and is excited to celebrate the occasion with her school friends.

Visit Whitehall Garden Centre

I LOVE me a garden centre and it’s about this time of year that I realise our back garden could do with some TLC, which is all hthe excuse I need to visit our local garden centres! The kids, though? They don’t share my love and get bored after about 2 minutes of wandering aimlessly among the shrubs. BUT I have a plan – throughout the holidays, Whitehall Garden Centre are hosting a free ‘meet the Easter Animals’ session most days. Baby chicks and bunnies – oh my – the girls will love it!

Visit Berkeley Castle

J has been learning about castles as part of a school project and subsequently talks about castles, knights, dragons, princes and princesses a lot at the moment! Berkeley Castle is a short drive away from us and yet we’ve never been to visit there as a family. We’re hoping to visit over Easter weekend and catch their ‘Dragon Extravaganza’.

Ashton Court Easter Wildlife Trail

We haven’t been to Ashton Court for ages but this Easter they are running a free Wildlife Trial down in the Rose Garden. By finding pictures of animals and insects and writing down their names, you can reveal the winning words and collect a small prize at the end! The Trail runs from 6th-22nd April and you can collect your trail sheets from the Courtyard Cafe.

Have an Easter Egg hunt in the garden!

Our Garden Easter Egg Hunt has become somewhat of an spring tradition. The girls absolutely love it and I always enjoy watching them squeal with delight when they find chocolate eggs hidden behind pot plants and garden ornaments. I’ve got my Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt Pack* at the ready (it contains 14 eggs, 3 bunnies and 3 bags of mini eggs) and I think I may even write some clues from the ‘Easter Bunny’ this year, too! ;)

If you fancy winning yourself a Cadbury Easter Egg hunt pack then you are in luck because the folks at WOW Freestuff are giving 50 of them away! Click here to enter the competition.

Terms & conditions:

By entering the competition you must agree to sign up to the WOW Freestuff Newsletter.

Entrants must be 18 or over and reside in the UK.

Competition closes on the 15th April 2019. (So be quick!)

Ant there we have it, that’s our rough plans for the Easter holidays – I’d love to hear yours?

Jenna xx

*I was gifted a Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt Pack for the purpose of this post.

Invite Your Guests To Stay Over

When was the last time you invited friends to stay for a night?

If you don’t remember, it means that it was probably too long ago. More often than not, friends and relatives meet for a meal or an afternoon tea in town. While this habit helps to keep in touch — besides it can be entertaining to spend an afternoon in town — it doesn’t provide the social environment necessary to develop your bond. Indeed, in a restaurant or coffee shop, you know that your time around the table is limited. Once you’ve consumed your meal or drink, the group separates, and each drives back home. As Britons spend between one and two hours in restaurants, the benefit of face-to-face conversations is almost non-existent. Most people today talk longer on the phone or via social media. Unfortunately, humans are social creatures who build connections through face-to-face discussions. In other words, the more you see your friends for a coffee in town, the less you get to know each other. It’s time to rediscover the pleasure of inviting people to spend a night at your home.

 

Why should you invite guests?

The habit to invite guests to stay over is dying out. More often than not, when friends or relatives come to visit, they only stay for a meal. As a result, your bond with distant relatives gradually disappears – even Facebook can’t replace face-to-face time! But when you have children, it’s important to build a solid social circle for your family. First of all, everybody needs to socialise. Since distance isn’t an obstacle anymore, you can invite people you lie but rarely see to come and visit. Additionally, from a family perspective, meeting a variety of people encourages your children to make friends in different places – they are less likely to feel isolated at school. Additionally, living far away isn’t an excuse anymore to stop being friend with someone!

 

Prepare the guest bedroom

If you’ve had to crash at someone’s house in the past, you’re probably familiar with the experience of sleeping on a hard sofa in the middle of the living room, or a mattress into the study. The reason why you want to create a guest bedroom is that making your guests feel at ease is a priority. Getting to bed should be a comfortable and pleasant experience, regardless of where you are. Consequently, a room that offers privacy, inspiring decor and relaxation invites your guests to sleep. You can have a look for ambiance lighting solutions too – too often, bedrooms use aggressive, white light, while you need a dim effect to relax.

 

Should they have an en-suite?

In a family house, it’s important to consider the needs and privacy of everyone. After all, you don’t want your guests to queue in front of the bathroom, but you don’t want either your partner to be late to work because your guests took too long to get ready in the morning. So, if you’re planning to use your guest bedroom a lot, it might be worth considering the addition of a small en-suite bathroom. The essentials in your en-suite will depend on how much room is available, as well as your budget. You may not want to add a new bathtub, for instance. But you can give your guests a private room with a vanity cabinet and a bathroom – Drench is an excellent address – as well as a toilet unit. If you get enough space, a shower can be a nice addition.

Get a guest closet

You’ll find it helpful to create a separate space in your closet for guests linen and towels. Indeed, if you have pets, it can be difficult to keep hair off your bed, for instance. Pet hair can remain entangled into the fibres even after washing. Out of consideration for guests who might suffer from allergies, it can be useful to have a guest closet. Additionally, this can let you establish a decor for your guests where elements complement each other.

 

Breakfast essentials

Last, but not least, you might want to invest in a few cupboard essentials to make sure your guests have something to eat in the morning. You can prepare a tray in the evening with everything they need to make a cup of tea or coffee and have a slice of toast. This can make your life easier if your guests get up before you! In the long term, having something ready can save you a lot of stress and trouble. As a rule of the thumb, tea or coffee, bread, butter and jam, milk and a pack of sugar-free cereals are all you need to satisfy most guests.

Renew with the habit of previous generations to invite friends and relatives to stay over! You’ll find that you can establish deeper and stronger bonds with the people who matter in your life when you see them more often.

 

This is a collaborative post.

Bjorn To Travel? Try Scandinavia!

Do you ever get bored with travelling to the same Balearic every year for your annual fix of sun, sea, and sand? While a package holiday is often the simplest and most convenient means of travel with a brood in tow, it is rarely the most exciting. More recently, parents are choosing to shun the traditional package holiday for something more authentic, if a little more tricky to organise. If you have plenty of time to do your research, enjoy making plans and want to immerse your little darlings into a culture rather than allowing them to see a hotel pool and holiday complex for a fortnight, then a jaunt to a lesser trodden land might be just what you’re looking for.

 

It is not set in stone that you need to take your annual vacation during the summer months. Instead, you could choose to take a winter break with your rabble. This can often allow you to secure cheaper prices for flights and accommodation when heading away off-season and you could face less tourist crowds. If you fancy hot-footing it abroad for a snow-filled holiday, take a look at why Scandinavia could be the ideal family holiday destination.

Geological Wonders For The Entire Family

 

When you think about Scandinavia, thoughts of Vikings, blizzards, Hans Christian Anderson, and Fjords may come into your mind. The joy of this northern region of Europe is the sheer variety of interest and activities it has to offer.

 

Take a jaunt to Iceland on your travels, and you could find yourself enjoying the vista of a geological spectacle every day of your trip. You might fancy whisking your brood away for a night time hunt for the Northern Lights. Many specialist tour companies know the best spots on the island from which to try and spy the natural phenomenon. Before you know it, you could be witnessing the solar flares lighting up the darkened skies with green and pink laser light shows.

 

During the day, you might want to explore the delights of a glacier or two. You could take your family on a snowshoeing trek across a glacier, or a hike up a dormant volcano or even a dog sled ride across the snow covered lunar landscape. The geysers and geothermal springs on the island mean you could take a bathing break in the spa-like Blue Lagoon or traverse Pingvellir National Park with its methane filled walkways while straddling two tectonic plates. If your little cherubs are curious and love the great outdoors, Iceland in the winter could be your perfect holiday destination.

Getting Back To Nature And Wildlife

 

It isn’t just Iceland that offers up some amazing opportunities to get closer to nature and explore the outdoors. Spending some of your winter in Finland would allow you to head to Ranua to feed a pack of elusive polar bears, head off on a whale watching tour to try and spot minke and humpback in their natural habitat or hot-foot it to a reserve to spend some quality time with a troupe of reindeer. If your kids adore animals, but you aren’t keen on the zoo, a trip to Finland could be a perfect way for your children to see conservation in action.

 

You might want to extend your trip with a jaunt to Norway to venture even further off the beaten track. The Lofoten Islands is the prime location from which to see killer whales and the Norwegian Svalbard offers the perfect vista in which to see walrus, arctic foxes, and lynx. Even if your kids aren’t into wildlife before a trip to Scandinavia, when they return home, they’ll be keen to make it as the next Sir David Attenborough.

Cosmopolitan Cities

It’s not all snow, ice-capped mountains, freezing temperatures and volcanic vistas. Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Denmark all have their fair share of cosmopolitan cities that are well worth a visit.

 

The beautiful city of Reykjavik is renowned for its friendliness and down to Earth ethos, stunning architecture and exquisite cuisine. You could while away your days sampling Skyr in the cafes near the harbour in the morning, experiencing the joys of pickled herring and fermented shark for dinner, and stop off at some achingly cool vegetarian eateries for a snack or two. With a full belly, you might be keen to explore the iconic Hallgrimskirkja, the incredible cathedral in the centre of the city. You can scale the tower to view the city vista from the stained glass windows. The outside is just as spectacular as the interior with a unique spaceship style architecture.

 

Oslo feels a tad more traditional, with Victorian red brick style buildings adorning the city. The most special thing about the Norwegian capital is the stunning inner city fjord. For the more active family, this offers up plenty of chances to have a go at kayaking, canoeing, fishing or sailing. For those who fancy a more relaxed pace for their holidays, a fjord beach might be more appealing.

 

If you fancy a more coastal capital, Helsinki might be more up your street. The kids could enjoy the beach, paddling in the sea and having a kickabout in one of the many green spaces throughout the city. The pastel hued buildings are picturesque, and the whole city has a very laid back, and hipster sort of vibe. If you do venture here in the winter, you may find yourself cross-country skiing with the locals when traversing the city. Finland natives commute to work on their skis and will often pick up their salopettes rather than their car keys making this a green, eco-friendly and special metropolis.

 

Forget the sun-filled balmy days reading the latest bestseller by the side of a kidney-shaped pool on a Costa. Instead, opt for something different for your annual vacation, embrace the snow, the ice and the colder conditions and venture a little off the beaten track. If you fancy a winter break for your next family holiday be sure not to overlook the joys of Scandinavia.

 

This is a collaborative post.

5 things for kids to do in Bristol this summer

The summer holidays are nigh! And whether the prospect of 6 weeks with the kids at home fills you with dread or excitement (or a strange mix of both), I’m sharing a few suggestions of things for the kiddos to do over the summer, in and around the Bristol area.

1 – Gromit Unleashed 2 Trail

It’s back – the ever-popular Gromit trail! This time with over 60 giant sculptures, designed by high-profile artists, featuring 3 of Nick Park’s characters; Gromit, Wallace and Feathers McGraw.  You’ll explore some of the city’s most iconic locations whilst you seek them all out!

To find out the locations of the sculptures, download the Detect-O-Gromit 2 app or, if you’d prefer, pick up a good ol’ fashioned paper map from the following locations:

The Mall at Cribbs Causeway (in the GU store), Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Bristol Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre, M Shed, Tourist Information Centre, Aerospace Bristol and the Gromit Unleashed HQ on Upper Maudlin Street.

Happy searching!

Visit https://www.grandappeal.org.uk/trails-exhibitions/gromit-unleashed/ for more info.

2 – Kids’ Club at Clifton College (for 3-13 Years Old)

This summer, Clifton College in Bristol are hosting their popular kids’ clubs, with a group suitable for all ages between 3-13 years of age. Each club includes a wide variety of activities all with the aim that your children enjoy themselves and learn different skills on the way. The Mini’s Kids’ Club (3-4) focuses on personal development and interaction with others, while the Junior Club (5-7) focuses on encouraging children to pursue their interests and develop their skills through their own choice of activity. The oldest club, the Kids’ Club (8-13) promotes self-expression, confidence building, offering complete flexibility and choice of involvement. Of course, all three groups offer FUN, with activities such as arts and crafts, outdoor play and even afternoon swim sessions (Kids’ Club and Junior’s Club). 

Price for all clubs start from £22 for half a day and £44 for a full day. The Mini’s Club starts from 6 July 2018 while the Kids’ Club and the Junior’s Club starts from 9 July 2018. For more information, please visit www.cliftoncollege.com

3 – Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2018 

The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta is Europe’s largest annual meeting of hot air balloons, attracting over 130 Hot Air Balloons from across the globe. Made possible last year by Bristol Energy, the Fiesta truly is a sight that can only be seen in Bristol. Held over four days in August at Ashton Court Estate, the event is completely free with charges made for parking on the event site. Alongside the fantastic site of hot air balloons filling the skies, there will be a large number of trade stands, fairground rides and entertainment.

For more information about the Fiesta visit: http://www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk/

4 – Visit Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

The cost of days out during the school holidays can soon add up, so why not check out some of Bristol’s free family attractions. Let your littles explore the collections of art, nature and history on display in a beautiful building. Find out about the last billion years of Earth’s history, explore the region’s natural wonders and discover more about peoples’ lives, past and present. You’ll not be disappointed!

For opening times visit: https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-museum-and-art-gallery/opening-times/

5 – Visit Bristol Zoo… at Twilight!

This summer you can experience Bristol Zoo as the sun sets with their Friday Twilights ticket entry (£5 per ticket or £4 for members).

You’ll be able to enjoy the following…

• Live music throughout the evening.

• Exclusive Friday Twilight animal talks.

• Explore the award-winning gardens.

• Enjoy a delicious treat at the immersive restaurant.

• Transform into an animal with our fantastic face painting!

Buy tickets online here: https://www.bristolzoo.org.uk/whats-on/friday-twilights (hurry – they’re selling out fast!)

Jenna xxx

This is a collaborative post.