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Mimi Rose and Me


Schleich Play with Eldrador® Creatures

There are so many benefits for creative and imaginative play from improving problem solving and cognitive skills, to boosting self-expression and critical thinking. But don’t limit creative play toy box to just arts and crafts. Toys are amazing for a child's imagination and encourage role play are just as good for creative development as a set of paints. And while there are plenty of creative toys out there, some lose their novelty value quickly. The best way for my daughter to unleash her creative imagination is with model figures, as these are something that she goes back to time and time again. That's why we love Schleich toys, not only do they look like real animals but they are sturdy and built to last too. Schleich already have an impressive collection such as Farm Life, Horse Club, Dinosaurs and even Elves and Fairies fairytale figures from Bayala range. As well as individual Schleich animal figures, you can also find play sets, starter sets and new products from the Smurfs™ and DC Comics™ and ranges.

We were lucky enough to be introduced to the four worlds of Eldrador®; a place where only one thing counts - the super weapon! No matter which world they come from lava, ice, stone or water all the creatures want to get hold of the super weapon. There are currently sixteen Eldrador Creatures to collect including a couple of different play sets. The Eldrador range, is aimed at older children of 7+ and now there are four new characters to add to the already impressive collection. The Armoured Turtle, Ice Spider, Fire Bull and Battle Crab. 

My daughter really like the look of the Armoured Turtle as he came with his own weapon. With everything we like to give toys names and so we had to give the fella a name and we named our new friend Rock as he is from the Stone world of Eldrador. However, don't be deceived in thinking that this armoured turtle is old or slow because he is a master of deception. Without warning, the armoured turtle will launch its devastating counterattack: spinning around lightning-fast and swinging its massive double-headed club at its enemies with incredible force. The turtle itself is pretty chunky and heavy so I know that this would be pretty robust whilst my daughter and nephew were playing battles with one another. I also like the fact that this turtle had arms that you were able to move and change his weapon in an instant. 

Our next Eladrador creature is this deadly Ice Spider who was aptly named Frozen. Now this is one spider you don't want to meet, as one bite from the spider is enough to put opponents on ice for a very long time. However if the ice spider ever finds itself surrounded it always keeps a cool head and with the help of her eight eyes she can keep an eye on several opponents at the same time and fend them off. I believe that this ice spider was my daughter's favourite, I have a sneaky suspicion this has something to do with Charlotte's Web, but she loved creating a little adventure for her new friend Frozen. So much so that she made her friend a house so she could rest and be ready to tackle any enemy that may get in her way in her quest for the super weapon. This Ice Spider felt a little different to the normal toys made my Schleich, this one had more of a rubber feel to it. I don't feel that this one would be as robust as some of the others in the range, as my daughter was playing we started to notice that some of the paint started to peel away or rub off which is a shame. But this didn't stop my daughter from having fun with her new friend. 

From the Lava world we had the Fire Bull and my daughter named him Frankie! Yep, I don't know either, but still Frankie the Fire Bull doesn't stick around too long. The fire bull doesn’t think twice before skewering opponents with his pointy, glowing-hot horns, which can pierce even the strongest of Armour. But even if they manage to dodge the horns they shouldn't be too happy as the fire bull has a second trick up his sleeve with his flaming tail. One swipe from this can completely annihilate an opponent. The fire bull certainly packs a punch with his horns and tail but enjoys an ice lolly or two to keep cool. This one is similar to the Armoured Turtle in terms of size and robust enough for little people and their action play. 

Lastly, we have the Battle Crab who comes with his own weapon. Any opponent would find it hard to escape this fighting crab with his weapon. I also think that the fact that this has a completely turnable upper body is pretty cool. Now with his six legs he is able to get around fact and even catch up with some of the fastest opponents. My daughter wasn't too fond of the Battle Crab as he looked a little scary, however my Nephew was more than happy to take the Battle Crab off my daughter's hands to head into battle against the Armoured Turtle. My only worry with this one is with the upper body at times it can catch and take some time to twist around, but it's probably going to take some time to wear in or something. 

Each of the Schleich Eldrador Creatures are totally different with unique features, these additions to the already impressive collection will slot into Eldrador play very well. And even though that my daughter wasn't too keen on the Battle Crab and thought he was a little scary, she's younger than the recommended age of 7 years and up. However, she loved playing with the other three with her cousin. If you wanted to go and see what Eldrador and all the toys available to help battle it out to get to the super weapon then head over to the Schleich website to see what's on offer.

We were kindly gifted a bundle from Smyth Toys for the purpose of this review. But as always my words and images are my own.

A Breakfast Shake Up with Shaken Udder

I don't know about you, but as a work from home mama to a four year old, life can get pretty crazy. When it comes to getting that four year old out the door for school isn't as smooth as I'd like. As a work from home mama my morning consist of running around the house making sure than my daughter has the correct uniform, her lunch is packed and she has everything she needs for her day at school. That's before starting work. So you can imagine that sitting down and actually managing to eat my breakfast can be somewhat of a task, when I come to think of having breakfast it's a bit of a luxury. The truth is, I don't really like breakfast. When I wake up, I’m not hungry. However, breakfast is important, right? Everybody knows, breakfast is the most important meal in the day.

However, trying to add things into my lifestyle to ensure that I eat something other than drinking copious amounts of tea before lunch have become pretty important lately. I have been trying these new Shaken Udder Milkshakes in the flavour 'Ooh La Latte' so I can get in some calcium and other vitamins to at least see me through to lunch time. So far, they have been keeping the hunger pangs at bay. Not only are these milkshakes great for drinking, you can also use them as part of a diet or used in your meals such as adding them into pancakes or porride. There are endless of flavours so you can always give your flavours a shake up from time to time. They are full of protein, full of vitamins and very nutritious to add in your diet.

The story behind Shaken Udder is quite an impressive one. The story began way back in 2003 at a festival, where a craving for a delicious fresh milkshake was just a dream. A kitchen, a blender and lots of different ingredients and Shaken Udder was born. Shaken Udder has grown from strength to strength with more flavours, and more products being put on the market. They have even gone to festival scene to truly make that craving for a fresh milkshake a reality.

Shaken Udder have an extensive range of flavours, sure to tickle everyone's taste buds. Personally, there are a few that are my favourites such as Chocolush and my daughter's favourite is the Strawberries and Clotted Cream and now this Ooh La Latte is going to be in the favourite list too, and let's face it us mamas need our coffee fix most days. These milkshakes are made from real fruit or Belgium chocolate with no artificial colours, preservatives or flavourings, making sure that Shaken Udder packs a punch in the milkshake world. These tasty milkshakes are also available in different sizes; 750ml, 330ml, and even 200ml cartons for the little ones. Over on the Shaken Udder website there are different size bottles and cases available for purchase or you can get yourself on their stock lists. 

Shaken Udder Milkshakes are a delicious and tasty milkshake drink that is made using some of the best ingredients to create authentic and great flavours. For me one of the best things that I have found with Shaken Udder is the percentage of milk that is used in these drinks, I can feel good to know that my daughter would getting some much goodness from each and every serving. I think that the packaging, size and range of flavours is excellent and these Shaken Udder milkshakes are something that we would buy again. We already have a couple of flavours in mind for our next weekly shop. So coffee fans rejoice, and try these amazing Ooh La Latte Milkshakes! They are super delicious and give you that coffee fix that so many of us need to see us through the day!

We were kindly gifted a bundle from Shaken Udder for the purpose of this review. But as always my words and images are my own.

Hollywood Bar and Diner

Being from Norfolk I have to say that I feel so lucky that we live so close to the beautiful coastline. Breathing in the fresh sea air of the tranquil coast, walk on unspoiled sand where my little girl can build sandcastles, paddle, have a picnic, you are certainly not short of a few ideas. Being only a few hours drive away from the Lincolnshire coastline makes our adventures the more exciting with miles and miles of gorgeous sandy beaches. You can choose from the bustling resorts like Skegness, Mablethorpe and Cleethorpes. A personal favourite has to be Skegness with rollercoaster rides and a seal sanctuary there’s also plenty for kids to enjoy, whether it’s the thrills of a ride or the joy of seeing seal pups on their way back to being reintroduced to the wild. Skegness has something for everyone.

A while back you may remember that we celebrated my husband's birthday and stayed at Grange Farm Park, and during our stay there were a couple of days where we decided to bundle ourselves in the car in the hopes to find adventure further afield, and we found ourselves at Skegness. You are certainly not short of a thing or two to do. We walked along the the beach, played in the amusements, pick up some sweet treats and ate at one of the most amazing restaurants; The Hollywood Bar and Diner just inside the Skegness Pier. 

We arrived in the afternoon and already the place had a great atmosphere with feel-good music in the background and the most amazing smell of food as you walked by. Well, personally I thought that this was a great start to our afternoon. We were welcomed by a lovely member of staff who was more than friendly explaining what was on offer and how we order food. The interior of the restaurant is very modern, with a American diner feel. I really loved the look of it. Inside the restaurant was a bowling alley and on the other side was a bar, something for everyone. 

The actual food menu as a whole is amazing, there is so much selection and something for everyone. I have visited American Style Diners before, but this was something else. We decided against appetizers since we wanted to demolish our burgers. When it comes to burgers I do love a good cheeseburger. I went for the Smokey Joe Burger that was beef burger covered with melted cheese, crispy smoky bacon, picked gherkin, beef tomato, caramelised onion all covered in a smoky barbecue sauce, coming in at £6.45. My husband on the other hand went for something with a little kick and decided to try the Spicy Chorizo Burger that was a 4oz beef burger, juicy chorizo, accompanied by onion rings, picked gherkin, beef tomato and a chill sauce on top coming in at £7.60. Every burger is served with a seeded bun with fries, curly fries or wedges and salad garnish, both my husband and I decided to get the fries. For the little one she decided on the Mississippi Goujons. These crispy chicken breast strips were coated in a southern fried chicken crispy batter and were pretty good. Considering that this was a child's portion, she got six sticks on her plate, normally she can only have two or three so the portions were really good. These Mississippi Goujons were served with skin on french fries, salad and a tomato relish, coming in at £3.95. 

If your mouth isn’t watering by now, then what’s wrong with you?! Just look at these plates. Our meals were superb, the burger meats were so so juicy and chunky which combined with the melted cheese and thick bacon was scrumptious.The fries were delicious too cooked to perfection. You can actually upgrade your fries or swap for curly fries or wedges. I really wanted to try the loaded fries, but decided on skin on fries. Our daughter gave her meal top marks too. However, she couldn't eat all the strips as we all left with rather full stomachs.

Overall our burgers were extremely tasty and I think that everyone to go and try Hollywood Bar and Diner. This little place was a big hit with the little lady as she was devouring her chicken sticks and chips. Personally, this place is so good if you're in the hunt for a good burger, it's hidden away inside the Skegness Pier so it's not easy to find. But it's a gem. We had a fantastic afternoon at The Hollywood Bar and Diner and we will certainly be back again soon. They always have deals and specials available on their food menus. I like this place because it had a bar and bowling alley ensuring that families are more than occupied during their time at The Hollywood Bar and Diner. A big winner!

Safety Tips for Single Mums Travelling From London to Disneyland Paris with Children

Are you a single Mum longing to take your children on holiday to Disneyland Paris? Are you worried about your safety whilst travelling alone? Well, don't worry there are ways to have a fun trip along with your children, all you need is a little bit of planning. So with that, I thought that I would share some safety tips to help you plan that holiday to Disneyland Paris that you and your family have been dreaming of. 

Safety in Numbers

The first thing you may wish to consider is the fact that there is safety in numbers. Did you know that single-parent families now comprise just about one-quarter of families in the UK? The latest statistics were mentioned on the Gingerbread website in September of 2018. It is quite revealing in that at least 67% of single parents work and that the majority of single parents don’t receive any kind of payments for child maintenance. Knowing that there are so many other single parent families out there, it would stand to reason that there are support groups out there you may wish to join. It would be nice to go in a group with other single mums because there really is safety in numbers. 

Safely Getting Around Paris

When arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport as a group, you could go on a group shuttle from CDG to Disneyland Paris where you’ve found a package deal on hotels. Book early and you can often get the best deals at hotels close enough to Disneyland that travelling back and forth each day is a quick trip to and from the park. Stay together as a group and you will be able to get around Paris to see other attractions as well. 

In fact, you can even book these day trips in advance as well with companies like that will take you to and from CDG, as well as being reserved for day trips around the city. Their private Paris transfers will enable you to have a safe and comfortable journey free of any worry. The drivers are also English speaking, so if you have any worries you can speak to them. It’s far safer to have pre-arranged transport because you mums won’t be exposed to as many strangers who could take advantage of you and/or the kids. Unfortunately, many criminals do target single women with kids because they are perceived as being more vulnerable.

Avoid Being a Target

Do you remember going around on day trips with your class at school? You would usually be assigned a mate to stay with during the day at the museum or another trip away from school. This is much the same. It’s more difficult to stray away from the pack if you shuttle or taxi from Charles de Gaulle to Disneyland Paris. Easy Go Shuttle can even have chauffeur driven taxis arrive at scheduled times to take you around Paris on any given days. Some would-be criminals also wait at airports to see which travellers are easy targets. Keep that in mind and you’ll understand the wisdom of taking a pre-booked taxi from Paris airport to Disneyland.

Whether you can travel in a group or not, the key is that you are most likely to be a target when spotted as a tourist. Most criminals think you are most vulnerable away from home, especially as a woman with kids. Pre-book everything from transport to accommodations and you will be as safe as humanly possible.

Grange Farm Park - Breeze Lodge

Sometimes you fancy a weekend away, somewhere to completely get away from it all, but without having to spend hours travelling. We recently found such a place that's only a couple of hours away from our home in Norfolk. With a five minute drive to the local town of Maplethorpe, surrounded by beautiful tranquil beaches we sure wouldn't be short of an adventure or two at Grange Farm Park. We enjoyed the beautiful beaches, the fabulous walks and revelled in the tranquility with the fishing lakes. It was one of the best weekends away. 

Accommodation at Grange Farm Park

At Grange Farm Park there are many different types of accommodation that you are able to stay in. There are 8 cottages on site together with 5 well-appointed caravans, catering for all budgets and party sizes. Two fishing lakes offer fabulous on-site fishing for overnight guests and the play area offers something for the younger guests. At Grange Farm Park the cottages, lodges, bed and breakfast and caravans are available throughout the year. Some of the cottages and lodges also include a private hot tub, that are cleaned on a daily basis during your stay. 

We stayed at Breeze Lodge and as soon as you walk inside you will be in complete awe of the interiors. The decor is a mixture of earthy woods, warm textures that are more than complimented with smooth metallics detailing. All around the lodge you will have find some of the quirkiest pieces of decor that really add a certain character to the lodge and are perfectly placed. Both my husband and I loved the style and decor of Breeze lodge, so much so it's given us plenty of inspiration for our own home. 

Breeze lodge has a beautifully open plan kitchen that has been fully equipped with anything you may need during your stay. The dove grey furnishings in the kitchen are simple but spacious with an abundance of integrated electrical appliances to add to the luxury. The contemporary interior design with an open plan style gives families and friends the opportunity to spend more time with one another whether that's cooking a meal together, having a glass of wine or spending the evening chatting on the sofa. The open plan design ensures you spend as much time as you can with everyone. The dining area is just to the left of the kitchen and includes a beautiful grey wooden table and chairs to enjoy as many family meals as you can, it also features a large window so you can look at the lakes as you eat. The living area is perfect for winding down in the evening that features a sofa, two arm chairs, television, dvd player and freesat and not forgetting the fire for the colder nights. 

There are two bedrooms at Breeze lodge that can sleep up to four people. The Master bedroom includes a king size bed with reading lights, a walk in wardrobe and spaciously en-suite shower room that has a lovely light purple theme throughout. The second bedroom has two full size single beds, double wardrobe with walled mirror and is further complemented by the stunning boutique family bathroom with spacious double bath. These bedrooms were the perfect size for the three of us. 

Breeze lodge also has a large decking surrounding which also lead into a small space complete with a table and chairs so you and your loved ones can overlook the tranquil fishing lakes every morning as you enjoy your coffee. One of the best features with Breeze Lodge was without a doubt the private hot tub and it was something that we enjoyed every morning and every evening. It was the perfect way to start and end the day. 

Grange Farm Park

Grange Farm Park is beautifully kept and centred around some of the most picturesque lakes that are full of fish, that is a must for any dedicated angler. The excellent fishing that Grange Farm Park has to offer guests and residents is completely complimentary. There are two large fully stocked lakes to choose from that are thriving with life, you won't be short of an afternoon or two to enjoy whilst fishing. All the staff at Grange Farm Park are very helpful and super friendly and nothing is too much for them.

The atmosphere here at the park is very welcoming and family focused, and if you're lucky enough you may even be able to spot some chickens running around or play fetch with the friendly sheepdogs at the park. Our lodge was perfectly situated with the fishing lake just on our door step. The views surrounding were something else, with many trees and an abundance of wildlife that simply oozed tranquility.

The Stables Bar and Restaurant

The Stables Bar and Restaurant incorporates a relaxed bar and outside terrace with lake views for guests wanting to drop in for an after-work beer or pre-dinner cocktail. The bar menu offers a wonderful selection of bottled beers, as well as house cocktails, Champagne and contemporary seasonal concoctions, alongside wines from around the world.

For those on the lookout for a quick bite, The Stables offer an affordable and express option for breakfast, lunch and afternoon treats, serving sandwiches, paninis, soups, pizzas and homemade treats, most ingredients have also been locally sourced. We ate at The Stables a couple of times during our stay, and it's definitely something that all guest must do during their stay. 

The Local Area Around Grange Farm Park

Grange Farm Park is situated in an idyllic location that is within easy walking distance of the local pub, fishing lakes and a 9-hole gold course so you definitely won't be short of an adventure with the family. However for the days you feel you need to explore and adventure. Grange Farm Park is surrounded by beautiful beaches of Mablethorpe and with Sutton-on-Sea only a car drive away, or if you wish to go further afield you could visit Great Yarmouth, Skegness Pier, Fantasy Island, or Ingoldmells. You will love spending some time here at Grange Farm Park it's in a really good location for those who are seeking adventures on foot, and great for those who fancy a little drive. We really enjoyed our stay at Grange Farm Park and it was one of the best weekends we have had in a while, we shall be back. 

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