Fun, Nottingham, Reviews, Wellbeing

    How many family problems can you solve at Poundworld Plus?


    Do you ever feel like life needs a great big shake up? Like it is one big long list of things to do? Got loads of niggly things that need sorting, but never get to do the stuff you really want to do or work out what you really want from life?  Kids are bored, or have been complaining about the same little problems for months? Or demanding playdates and you just haven’t found the time to sort it out? It is so easy for important things to get shoved on a back burner, because there is always way more urgent stuff that needs doing.

    We had a tough weekend of being ill, the kids were bored and hit meltdown, so Mr A and I decided to think up some new strategies to make family life a bit happier. The new Poundworld Plus store opened in Nottingham last week, and the team had challenged me to see how far I could make £50 go, so sorting out some of our family niggles in a thrifty fashion seemed like a great place to start.

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    My experience of the Air France Kids Solo Unaccompanied Minors Service

    Have your kids ever flown solo? I've been checking out the Air France Kids Solo Transit Lounges. Air France fly more unaccompanied children than any other airline, making them a company of reference for this service, raising a new generation of confident travellers.

    I know, I’m a little old to be considered an unaccompanied minor, I’ve certainly grown up since my first ever flight, flying solo in my early teens. Flying solo was an life shaping experience though, I’ve been hooked on travel ever since, and always felt confident flying, so when Air France recently invited me to fly to Paris to walk through their Kids Solo service at Charles De Gaulle Airport I couldn’t wait to find out more and to check out the fab new Kids Solo Transit Lounge. Air France fly more unaccompanied children than any other airline, making them a company of reference for this service, raising a new generation of confident travellers. Continue reading

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    Capturing Precious Moments with Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons

    Have you been making some precious shared memorise this summer, have you saved them anywhere yet? As we all know I love capturing our travel moments, but it turns out the everyday moments I am not as reliable at documenting!

    Do pop over to my You tube channel and check out this Memory Lane tool, and my latest videos, I’ve been having loads of fun relieving my media teaching days making them recently, and this one even has prizes to win! It’s been great fun working with Cadbury and Channel Mum on this 🙂

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    Camp Bestival 2016 you were OUT of this world

    Camp Bestival - 3

    Camp Bestival 2016. Our fourth one. Camp Bestival has become a punctuation mark in our years, a rite of passage, an exit from our suburban home world to an otherworldly place where anything goes, a yearly chance to transgress boundaries like bedtime, bathtime, to rave in a field, to take our kids through a little vortex into a glimmer of our youth.

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    10 things we loved about taking the Volvo XC90 to Camp Bestival

    Volvo kindly loaned us an XC90 to take the strain out of driving to Camp Bestival, it really did do exactly that.  Since its launch in 2015 the XC90 has won more than 70 awards, including Auto Express Car of the Year 2015, Business Insider 2015 Car of the Year and Sunday Times Top 100 Cars 2016: Top Large SUV and 4×4. Most interestingly to families, What Car awarded it Car of the Year Safety Award in 2016, the testers said it was the safest car they had ever tested. More on that to come…

    In our house Mr A does most the long distance driving, I’m a confident driver, but if there is a choice between napping and twiddling on my phone and being the driver I know which I will take. However, with a four hour drive to Dorset it’s only fair to share the load and having driven the XC90 the night before to go wild running in the forest, I was very keen to get back behind the wheel. Continue reading

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    Reasons to go see Swallows and Amazons


    My 7yo and I were lucky enough to see the world premiere of this week’s family film release Swallow and Amazons in Keswick (out of Friday 19th August). We’ve fallen head over heels in love with the world of the Walker children, created by Arthur Ransome in his books, would the film live up to our expectations? Continue reading


    How to Have An Epic Swallows And Amazons themed Lake District Adventure

    Swallows and Amazons - 12

    The film version of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons is released on Friday 19th August. At the start of the summer, 7yo Mr G and I were invited to the Lake District to see the film’s world premiere and have our own Swallows and Amazons themed adventures courtesy of Visit England. It was truly magical: canoes to a secret island, a boat trip to see Wild Cat Island where Ransome set the adventure, a stay at Waterhead, a luxury family friendly hotel on Lake Windermere, tea and cake and a walk to the place where the Walker children launched their boat.

    The Lake District is bursting with stuff to do as we discovered last year, but we packed in loads of new stuff in our 18 hours. I wasn’t sure if I was mad to travel all that way for a one night stay, but this will be etched on our minds forever. Continue reading

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    Back to School: A retrospective, with Marks and Spencer

    School Memories - 1

    My brother and me, aged about 4 and 6

    As my son G and I walked out of the infant school playground for the very last time last week, I remembered leaving primary school, something I did twice too. Both times my Mum made me look back to school, and say a goodbye to the building. My second primary was just like G’s, a Victorian red brick building with an old fashioned walled yard and railings. So, when I compare my school days to my children’s school days, so much has changed and yet everything feels strangely familiar.

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    Travel, Wellbeing

    Have you forgotten what a weekend is? A Darwin Forest Lodge in the Peak District

    In, out, in, out, shake it all about. Loved this lodge so much, kids happy playing in the forest, grown ups lazily moving from hot tub to deck to sofa. Enjoying the papers, the peace and the sunshine ❤️ haven't been this happy and relaxed in ages @darwin_forest

    In, out, in, out, shake it all about. Loved this lodge so much, kids happy playing in the forest, grown ups lazily moving from hot tub to deck to sofa. Enjoying the papers, the peace and the sunshine ❤️ haven’t been this happy and relaxed in ages @darwin_forest


    ‘You can tell when you absolutely love something from the heart from your instagrams,’ said my friend Becky ‘I know you always see the good in the places you go and choose places you think you will love, but when you completely, utterly feel at home somewhere I can always tell.’

    There is always subtext in the words we write, but I guess I hadn’t always realised how much. Becky was right, I fell headlong for Darwin Forest in the glorious Peak District, and had the most transformative, wonderful weekend. Long baths, lie ins, a hot tub, easy family meal times, walks in the forest, kids building dens, reading the paper, naps, films, chatter, pottering, lots of tea and cake. I would go so far as saying I had forgotten what a weekend can be, and this reminded and refuelled me. Sometimes you need a proper break, to do nothing, switch off and get some headspace, Darwin Forest was the perfect place for that. Here’s why. Continue reading