Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Degustabox Review - March 2015 Box

Well, the clocks went forward the other weekend; shops have had chocolate eggs on the shelves since December and a few days ago (as I write this introduction) March's Degustabox arrived on our doorstep - but let's not leave it there, let's bring it into the house and marvel at the delightful food inside! It usually takes us quite some time to write our review because we like to test and sample the all the items, plus I was away for a week over Easter too. 



First things first, the obligatory box shot! You can probably see that there does seem to be a bit of a theme to the box this month (don't know if that's intentional), and that looks to be one of snacks and sweets and treats! 

First things first though, Easter was knocking on our door, so we were not surprised to get some chocolate eggs in the box... 

Lindor assorted Mini Eggs - £2.00 per Pack




Now these are nice! (I know, I usually write a lot more but what else can you say? (apparently I could say more, so I'd better get on... shame... I was enjoying munching and writing eats into my egg tasting time)). 

I'm sure you've tried Lindor chocolate before, or at least found yourself watching one of the adverts on TV... but if you haven't, essentially you have a nice and firm chocolate shell with a creamy smooth chocolate filling, all curtesy of the Lindt master chocolatiers.

These eggs are delightful. The quality of chocolate is definitely high, whether it's the milk, dark or white. There is something incredibly indulgent about biting into one of these eggs. But it isn't the just the shell, it's the smooth and creamy texture of an equally tasty filling; simply wonderful. 

I can't recommend them at all though; because if everyone goes and gets them, there'll be none left for me!! 

Crabbie's fruits - £1.50 per bottle




Seeing a bottle (or two) of Crabbie's in the Degustabox always makes me smile - it is one of Neil's favourite things (he likes 'traditional drinks' and alcohol … which sounded much better in my head before I wrote it down... but you know what I mean). This month we were sent two flavours from the alcoholic fruit range - so no ginger in these! Our flavours were one Black Cherry and one Raspberry and Rhubarb. Neil's had the Black Cherry before, but the Raspberry and Rhubarb was a new one for him. He didn't really know what to expect, so it was the first to be sampled! 

Opening the bottle - you really got a great scent of fruit! Really - you wouldn't be surprised if you got a fruity smell like this from a fragrance or something! It smelt really nice! Taste-wise - the easiest way to describe it is to say, "You remember those Rhubarb and Custard hard-candy/boil sweets you used to have as a kid (and sometimes, as an adult)? Well this tastes JUST LIKE THAT!" Really sweet with a lovely, familiar flavour. Does not feel at all like an alcoholic drink (so be careful - each bottle is 1.3 units; almost half a woman's recommended daily intake). 

The Black Cherry is delicious. In my mind it tastes just how black cherry things should taste, with lots of flavour. I'd say it doesn't taste as sweet as the Raspberry and Rhubarb and while it smells alright, isn't anywhere near as fragrant either. That's not to be negative about it. If I had to pick a favourite, I'd have to chose the Black Cherry. 

Brioche Pasquier Baked Bread Bites, RRP £0.50 per bag




These baked bread bites look quite promising on the packet, although I approached these with a little trepidation. Bacon flavour! I'm sure everyone knows what I'm going to say next. Bacon flavour though, it's one of those ones that keeps repeating usually for hours (days?) after eating. Oh well, eating this food and then writing about it is a tough job, but someone has to do it :-) 

Opening the packet I was surprised. First things first, the bread bites are actually smaller than they look on the bag. I would describe them as "crouton-sized". This does make me think I could probably substitute these for croutons in soups and salads and it would work wonderfully. 

The little bread squares are crunchy and the bacon flavour is fairly subtle, which is nice. There is nothing overpowering and - having eaten a packet about an hour or two ago (as I write this) - there has been no obvious repeating on me yet. Bonus! 

You do get a little finger-recolouring from the flavouring (but not as bad as certain cheesy-flavoured corn snacks), but nothing long term - so less orange fingerprints with these. 

Considering each 20g bag is less than 90 calories and the bread bites are made from real bread with nothing artificial (and, like many meat-flavoured things, are suitable for vegetarians!). 

We enjoyed these and would be likely to pick them up again.

Kent's Kitchen Posh Noodles - RRP £1.75 per pot




In previous Degustaboxes we've experienced the Kent's Kitchen meal kits and have been impressed with their flavour and ease of use. This month we were sent Spicy Szechuan Posh Noodles. Like many noodles in pots, they just needed hot water and a little time (4-5 minutes) to be ready for eating.

Being lazy, and because they give a serving suggestion of "eat straight from the pot," I ate from the pot. The noodles were thin and long and had a good noodle taste, but the szechuan flavour didn't really come through until the end. This may be a consequence of eating from the small pot, it may also be a consequence of the thin noodles not holding the flavour. It might also be me not being patient and getting stuck in a little earlier than maybe I should have. 

Saying that, the sauce/soup the noodles in had really good flavour and was nice and I'd say it was a good level of spiciness - warm, but not fiery!


Jordans Lighter Granola - RRP £3.69




Back in September's Degustabox we were sent some Jordan's simply granola, which we liked a lot. This time around, for breakfast delights, we were sent some of the lighter granola. 

I'm always a bit suspicious when companies make "lighter" versions of their standard products, especially when there isn't that much difference in what the product contains. Granola is granola - how have they made it light? Are they cheating and giving a smaller serving size? (Although I don't know what a regular serving size is, so if they're cheating - I have no way of knowing!) 

The 550g bag contains approximately 12 servings; the suggested serving size being 45g. I decided to test how easy it was to get the correct serving size, my first couple of attempts being 20g over the size, but getting it right on the third attempt. (Saying that though, there was little visually to distinguish between my first 60+ g bowl and the third 45g one -- I have to assume that some of the clusters and dry fruit weigh significantly more than other things... or something. 

Anyway, enough of that - the taste is really good; it is full of flavour; the 45g serving (I know I keep mentioning serving sizes... it's like I'm a little obsessed or something; I might be, but I'm also aware so shhhhh) seems just the right amount to keep you going from breakfast to lunch. The flavour is great - a good mix of freeze dried fruit and oats and barley. It doesn't feel low fat or low calorie ( a serving is 180Kcal ). It tastes good. 

I think for those looking for a low fat, low calorie cereal it is a good choice and I'd recommend it. I would say that you have to be careful on the serving size though, it is so tasty and the recommended size is possibly smaller than you'd imagine, so it would be easy to accidently have two or more servings without realising it.


Natvia natural sweetener - RRP £2.00




To go with our lighter breakfast cereal, we were sent a sample pack of Natvia 100% natural sweetener which claims zero calories per serving (as well as claiming to be great in tea and coffee).

I'm not someone who usually uses sweeteners. I usually find that the common sweeteners contain aspartame or something similar that leaves you with a bit of an unpleasant (at least, to me) aftertaste. So, you can probably guess, I approached this with some trepidation. 

Long story short - this wasn't bad. The colour and texture of the sweetener is whiter than processed sugar. While it isn't as fine as icing sugar, there is something similar in the way it looks. I tried it, as they claimed, in both tea and sugar. Not knowing how effective it would be, I tried a spoonful's worth at a time and found it was pretty much the equivalent in sweetness to similar amounts of sugar. 

There wasn't any aftertaste. I think it's safe to say it did what it said on the packet. It does say it's good for baking (although there wasn't enough in the packet for us to try it out). I'd definitely recommend it as a sugar alternative to those looking to remove sugar from their diet. 

Sour Patch Kids - RRP £1.00




That's enough healthy stuff for the time being; so back, now to the sweeties. We were sent this month a 160g bag of Sour Patch Kids. Neil's had these before and liked these a lot, so I wasn't surprised when these disappeared rather quickly from the box (when my back was turned no less - tut!) 

For those who haven't had sour patch kids before, the way they work is you first get the sour taste (from the sugar-style coating I believe) and then you get a much sweeter, fruitier taste from the main body of the gummy sweets. 

The sour sugar coating is quite sour. If you put a handful of these in your mouth you'll probably expect 10 to 30 seconds of sourness; but as soon as that is gone you get the sweeter flavour which is really quite nice. All of the sweet, fruity flavours are well done and taste really nice. Definitely something I'd recommend for those who like a bit of sourness to their candies! 

TG Green Tea 




Those of who haven't encountered Degustabox before probably don't realise that the box comes in two varieties each month. One contains alcohol, one doesn't. In this months box the alcohol box had the Crabbie's fruits (mentioned earlier in this review) while the non-alcohol box contains this green tea drink. 

(Again, to counteract the high sugar content of some of the treats this month, this is another low calorie item with only 30 calories per 330ml bottle). We were sent the green tea with mandarin and ginseng, and you can tell; on opening the bottle you get a wonderfully fragrant burst of citrus and orange which is a beautiful aroma. The taste is what you'd expect from a fruity tea drink, it tastes light and refreshing and is really quite pleasant. 

It is a very natural taste and the bottle's label says there are no preservatives or artificial colours. 

I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a low calorie tea based drink

Bassetts Jelly Babies, Berry Mix - RRP £1.48




Jelly Babies, one of those classic sweets that seem to have been around since the year dot... or at least as round as I can remember. There is something about them, the familiar texture, the slightly floury powder finish and the fact that they're shaped like little humans (something which, over the years has gone from rough shapes to really quite detailed)… I mean, if I were to say "Jelly Baby," you'd probably picture and instantly remember all these qualities; not to mention other things, such as a favourite, classic time lord offering a paper bag of these delightful sweeties to all and sundry... 

So what's different here? These are simply just the berry mix, and we're talking the red fruits. Strawberry, Raspberry and Blackcurrant (okay, that last one is less of a red and more of a, well, black... but you know what I mean). These are all made with real fruit juice so natural flavours and, also, all natural colours. 

There isn't really much I can say. These are as delicious as you remember; although the berry flavours do mean you have a little less of a selection than you would usually get - not that that matters, these are delightful... and seemed to disappear far too quickly... who suggested we should share them eh? 

Juiceburst and Juiceburst Skinny - RRP £1.25 per bottle




Before I write this, I should tell you that me and Neil are already fans of Juiceburst and their flavours. We've tried them before and loved each of the flavours we had. This month, in our Degustabox though we were sent two flavours we hadn't tried before. A standard Juiceburst Cranberry and a Juiceburst Skinny Mango and Lime. 

Skinny? Okay, lets do a calorie comparison. The regular has 49 Kcal per 100ml, which for the 500ml bottle means it has approximately 245 calories per bottle. The Skinny has approximately 25 Kcal per 100ml, which for the 400ml bottle means around 100 calories per bottle. 

Tastewise, the cranberry tastes delicious. I mean, it tastes like cranberries. So if you have had a cranberry juice drink before, you should kind of know what to expect from this. If you haven't, um, I guess I'd describe it as a kind of dry but sweet fruit taste, with a bit of a tartness to it. You know, like a cranberry... 

The mango and lime tastes pretty good too. It's not a combination I would have necessarily put together, but you get the sweetness of the mango with a bit of a hit from the citrus sourness of the lime. I think it works. 

When you look at the ingredients though, you see some differences. The regular is mostly water, fruit and sugar, while the skinny is water, fruit (lots of different fruits - not just lime and mango), sugar, sweeteners and other stuff. The sweetener used is Stevoil, which I suspect is related to the Stevia used in the Natvia sweetener samples we were sent this month. To be honest, both taste good. The Skinny doesn't have any unpleasant aftertaste and I'd say doesn't taste like it has anything artificial in it. 

I guess it is one of those things that, simply reducing the size of the bottle isn't enough. You do need a little bit of scientific jiggery-pokery to keep the flavour and get the calories down. To be honest though, I don't think it matters - whether you have the skinny or the regular; it is much of a muchness and for the benefits vs calories; I think benefits outweigh a few extra calories. Especially if, like all things, it is consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. 

BBQue Barbecue sauce - RRP £3.99




Quite often we get sent sauces in the degustaboxes. Some of them, like the sweet chilli sauce sent a few months back, are a "Neil thing." This month I am happy to report that we have been sent something that is definitely an "Ellen thing." I love BBQ sauce. When the question comes, "red or brown?" I usually say "BBQ!" It is definitely my sauce of choice, particularly when it comes to dipping or to go with chips/fries. 

£3.99 seems a bit of a larger price for the sauce though, putting it towards the more luxury sauces than the "store's own brand flavour," so we were expecting something a little special. Especially the way the sauce is described as being a Bavarian delicacy with cranberries, beer, honey and apples. (There are other flavours available too). 

So, we did what we usually do. When we next had take out which involved pizza, fries, onion rings and all that incredibly unhealthy stuff - well - this was cracked open and squirted into one of our little pots for our dipping pleasure. 

Long story short: It was nice. It worked. It tasted good. 

Short story longer: There is a really good taste here, it has the right mix of - well - just about everything which makes it have a good flavour; like the right sort of mix of sweetness and sharpness. I think you can taste that this could be a better, more luxurious sauce than others you may have knocking about in the cupboard. I do have to say though, I don't know if there's that much of a flavour range when it comes to barbecue sauces. Say, with wine - you know that a cheap £3 wine isn't ever going to taste as nice as a more expensive £30 bottle. With these sauces, I don't know that there is that much of a difference to make it worth paying extra for. However, saying that, we only used this for dipping. We didn't marinade meat with it and slow cook or barbecue. If the nice whether we've been having in April continues we might be able to get outside and give that a try (and maybe compare against other barbecue sauces) and see how much better it might be than the competition. 

A second however; however, the design of the bottle is … I don't know, something a little posher and more stylish than your regular sauce bottle. I could see this looking a bit more welcome on the table at a dinner party or family get togethers than the regular, cheaper store-brand condiments we usually bring out. 

So there you have it. A nice mix of snacks, breakfast stuff, sweets and drinks this month. We always are happy to recommend the boxes as we feel they represent great value for money, and it is always fun to have a little surprise each month. This month, a lot of the items within were ones we were already familiar with - so not that much in the way of new faces, more, old friends; but that is part of what you get. You don't know what's coming and it is a mystery until the moment you cut the tape on the box and see inside. (We always look forward and it's always a welcome surprise, whatever's inside!) 

If you would like your own Degustabox, please go to their website. It costs £12.99 a box (including delivery) however Degustabox has given us a special offer code for our readers to get £3 off their first box. The code is:

JIX69


We are very happy to recommend the service and selection they provide.


Links: 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Competition: Win Wordsearch Junior Board Game

Last month I was lucky enough to win a selection of board games from Drumond Park. I won Logo Grab, Logo What Am I? and Wordsearch Junior.



I had great fun playing Logo Grab with my niece Lilly, sister Anna and brother-in-law Kev. It is a fast paced game but so much fun we had a big laugh at shouting out loud "KP Nuts". We are looking forward to playing Logo What Am I? next time I am down.

Playing Logo Grab 

I have many nieces and nephews who I enter for prizes for but having discussed with my family I have decided to give away the Wordsearch Junior game as it's a bit young for most of the children in our family.

Wordsearch Junior is great for children who are learning their letters. It's a great way for them to spot patterns of pictures and simple words. The board game is for ages 4+ and is for 2 - 4 players with three different levels:

The blue level lets younger players practice finding rows of simple items like strawberries or apples. When they find a row they cover it with their coloured see-through markers to score.

The red level the players must find a picture - say a dog - with the word spelled in a row beside it.

And finally the green level is a small grid of pure letters looking for simple words like hat, eye or ball.



To enter the competition to win Wordsearch Junior simply complete as many of the steps as you wish on the Rafflecopter form below. A winner will be chosen at random at the end of the competition. UK residents only. 

Good Luck.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Listed on Loquax
Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Bowleaze Cove and Weymouth

A few weeks ago I went on holiday with my mum, sister and niece to Haven Weymouth Bay. The weather was so lovely that we spent quite some time on the beaches of Bowleaze Cove and Weymouth. 

Bowleaze Cove

Bowleaze Cove

Just a short walk from the Haven park is Bowleaze Cove beach. We always go down to Bowleaze on the first or second day of our holiday to see the sea. One negative thing about living in the Midlands is that the nearest beach from us is Weston-Super-Mare and if you go there and actually see the sea then you are lucky. Bowleaze is mostly a shingled beach with sand nearer the shore. The first day I decided to walk down to the sea with no shoes on and it really hurt my feet so much that the next day I decided to buy some cheap fake crocs to wear instead. 

The sea at Bowleave Cove

The sea was so cold. I was actually hoping to go for a swim but it was just far too cold so I went in for a paddle too with my niece Lilly and sister Anna. 

Anna and Lilly in the sea at Bowleaze Cove

Me in the sea

There is nothing like a good paddle in the sea and breathing in the sea air. Of course whilst at the beach we decided to have and ice cream. Yummy! 

Mum, Anna and Lilly enjoying ice creams 

We also spent some time on the beach searching for fossils and shells...here comes the biggest fail story ever. Get ready to laugh. Whilst searching for fossils Lilly came across what looked like a brilliant fossil (I admit at quick glance it looked amazing). We ran over with the "fossil" to show Mum and Anna. My sister Anna looked at it and started laughing. What we had actually picked up was the bottom of a glass bottle and the "fossil" was just around the rim of the bottom of the bottle. We had such a laugh over it. 

Also at Bowleaze Cove they have a really lovely gift shop. I bought Neil some really random sticks of rock there like creme egg and marmite flavour rock. I also bought myself a lovely bookmark in the shape of a surf board. 

They also have arcades at Bowleaze Cove which we visited a couple of times for the grabbing machines. I won two prizes an Adventure Time plush and a Frankenstein's Monster plush. Lilly decided she wanted the Adventure Time one and I brought Franky back home with me. 

My first win at the arcades 
My second really random win 

On the Monday there was a car boot sale in Bowleaze Cove as well which we went to. I love a good car boot sale. I bought a pen and a phone case as mine was broken. We really do love Bowleaze cove. 

Weymouth


Weymouth

Weymouth is one of my favourite beaches in the UK. The beach is sandy and you can walk out in the sea for ages without it getting deep so is very good for children. 

We visited the beach a few times and on the Tuesday we went in to meet up with my Dad and our other sister Frankie and my niece and nephew. We went for fish and chips in a place where they give the kids the chips in a bucket with a spade which they then used on the beach.  We sat on the beach for a few hours whilst the kids went into the sea, played frisbee and made sandcastles. 

Cousins in the sea 

Building sandcastles 

Apart from the beach we also went shopping in Weymouth. I am amazed at how Weymouth has grown since I was down there as a teenager. They have all the beach shops and then they have a great shopping centre. I also managed to find the shop that sold Funko Pop's though I didn't buy any as they had the same ones as my local comic book shop has and were more expensive. I did however go to the t-shirt printing shop and get a new t-shirt with my twitter handle on which I love. 

My new t-shirt 

We had such an amazing holiday and we couldn't have been luckier with the weather. Roll on next year when we go back again. I love Weymouth it's like a second home for me having been going down there since my childhood. 


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Zazzle - Hoodie Review

What wonderful weather we've been having lately! It finally feels like summer is thinking about being here - and to be honest, it is more than overdue! Winter hung on for far too long in my opinion! Since getting back from Weymouth I have been a little busy not least because on the weekend it was my birthday which was fun. 

Last month I was sent a hoodie from Zazzle for review, and during the tail-end of winter and the tentative start to spring and summer I put it through its paces. I say, "put it through its paces," but essentially that boils down to, "I wore it a bit when it was chilly." 

I should start though with a bit of background. I know regular readers of my blog will know that I am a dog owner, and that my little dog has a special place in my heart. For those who aren't so regular, I'm the proud owner of a yorkie-poo. 

Shortie in the daffodils 

I've had Shortie in my life now for three years and it feels like he's always been a part of my family. I adopted him up from the Bath's Cats and Dogs home after he'd been brought in aged 9. After staying with me in Bath for a couple of years we both moved to the Midlands where I now live in Kidderminster. When I moved here I knew very few people, but owning Shortie meant that I bumped into people in the street and in the parks and started making friends. 

I know you might be thinking, "Why is she telling us that story?" but I assure you, it is relevant.

Shortie is a Yorkie-Poo, which is a Yorkshire Terrier/Poodle cross breed. Its not a breed you usually see things for; often people make signs and keyrings and so on for (it seems) every breed, but not Shortie's. 

I think while I was entering some competitions online I happened upon Zazzle's website. When I saw that they had t-shirts and things that mentioned Yorkie-Poos, I knew I had to have one. I went and started browsing the site; originally I was going to have a top that had "I HEART my Yorkie-poo!" on it, but then saw that they did hoodies with "I rescued a Yorkie-Poo and he returned the favor" on them, and that was it. (And that is why the story, because whilst I rescued him he also helped me to meet people and get out and about). 

Additionally Zazzle allow for some customization on the message (so you can do things like add the name of your dog - and so on) and choose the colour of the hoodie and text. I made my hoodie more special by adding Shortie's name to it underneath the slogan.

Using the website to find, select and customize the hoodie was fairly simple. Confession time: I did pick a man's hoodie - partly because of size, but partly because they didn't really have many hoodies in this style in the ladies' selection. Saying that though, hoodies are pretty much unisex so it's not that big of a thing.

My hoodie

The hoodie itself is wonderful. The printing is crisp, clear and smartly done. It looks lovely! The material is nice and soft on the outside (I'd say similar to T-Shirt material, like, good T-Shirt material) while inside the hoodie the material is really soft, fleecy and very warm. Just the thing during those tail-end-of-winter days. (And, those early spring/summer days where it's a little too warm to wear a coat, but a little too cold to just wear a T-Shirt). 

The fleecy lining inside 

The whole process from selecting the product, finding the right size (which was fairly easy with their guides for measuring and working out the correct size) and customizing the hoodie by choosing colours and adding Shortie's name was quick and painless. Once the order was placed, it wasn't long before it was delivered and I was wearing it. I have nothing but praise for their customer service. 

The hoodie has been washed a few time and still keeps its shape. The colours and printing are as good and as clear as ever.

I have been really happy with this, and I feel more than happy to recommend Zazzle to others looking for something a little special; be it for themselves, or for a custom present for a friend or relation.

I love my amazing hoodie! 

To get your own hoodie, t-shirt or other goodies check out Zazzle. They have such a huge range of products and designs to choose from there is something for everyone.


Links:
Zazzle UK
Zazzle UK on Facebook

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for the purposes of this post. All opinions are my own. 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Our Holiday at Haven Weymouth Bay

When I was a child we went to many camp sites and seaside resorts but when I was 13 years old we discovered Haven Weymouth Bay. As soon as we got there we loved it. Weymouth is such a lovely seaside town and it isn't too far from Bath (or Midsomer Norton where my family live now). We went to Haven Weymouth Bay for quite a few years. In fact one year we went four times in one season. When I got to about 18 years old we stopped going. Twenty years later we took my niece Lilly for her first visit and she loved it just as much as we did as kids. It was three years ago that I last visited Haven so we thought we would go back this Easter. 

So last Saturday we made our way to Weymouth. It was just us girls (Me, Mum, my sister Anna and my 9 year old niece, Lilly-Ana) which was lovely because we all have our separate lives now. It was nice to come together and spend some quality time together.


The sign as coming into the park

We arrived at Haven Weymouth Bay all excited as we usually do and we were not disappointed, in fact we think it's been one of the best holidays we have ever had. What we love about Haven Weymouth Bay is that it isn't a huge site. You can use the facilities at the Haven Seaview park up the road but we never do. There is one club house (though they do have a few events in the cafe bar too), a shop for bits and bobs and merchandise, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool and rapids (the lazy river), an arcade (which Lilly absolutely loved) and the beach of Bowleaze Cove is just a short walk away. Weymouth is a couple of miles down the road. You can walk along the beach from Bowleaze Cove or catch the bus or drive in easily. The only thing that wasn't great is that the internet didn't work on Vodafone on my phone which was as annoying. Anyone who knows me will know I am a bit of a social media addict so not being able to get online in the caravan was a little frustrating, especially as every other network worked fine. I could only connect to the internet at the cafe on site using their wifi or at the beach. 

We got into our caravan about 2pm which we privately rented and was lovely. It was in a great position too with only a short walk to the main facilities and to the path towards Bowleaze cove. We spend the first afternoon settling in and getting ready for the evening entertainment. There is always something going on at Haven for kids in the daytime with activities such as swimming, football, archery etc. We didn't really do any of the daytime activities because the weather was so lovely we wanted to go to the beach or for a nice walk. Lilly did however have a go at AquaJets in the lazy river rapids in the pool. AquaJets are machines you hold on to that pulls you along. Lilly absolutely loved it and would love to have a go again. 

When we went to Haven three years ago we met a lovely lady called Heather and her two children Lillie and Evie. They were down again this time with Heather's wife Shell. We sat with them every evening in the club and Lilly went for a sleep over with Lillie (two Lilly's - it get's a bit confusing at times). It was great to meet up again and we laughed so much. 

For us the evening entertainment is what we look forward to the most....so I am going to do a little run down of what we saw and enjoyed: 

Bingo


The evening's entertainment starts early at 5pm with bingo. We love bingo and went every evening to play. Starting at 5pm is a bit of an awkward time because we had lunch at around midday/1pm and come 4pm we didn't feel hungry enough to eat. Fear not though, for there is a Papa John's pizza shop at the back of the club so we had pizza and chicken for a few of the nights. There is also a shop at the back of the club that sell's merchandise and popcorn. We did get through a lot of popcorn. Love it! 

As I said we love bingo. My mum and sister plays bingo locally every week. I was so chuffed that I won £100 for a line on my second night which was amazing. The prizes were really good ie. £300 for a full house. The next night I won £50 for a line so I won a total of £150 which was awesome. Mum won a few nights ago too. She won £205 for a full house. Poor Anna didn't win anything but there is always next time. We always make sure we are there for bingo.   

My £100 winning ticket 

Seaside Squad



The Seaside Squad on stage



Next up is the Seaside Squad show which is with the Haven characters. There is Rory the Tiger, Bradley the bear, Greedy the gorilla, Anxious the elephant, DJ Ned and Polly. Lilly is a bit old for them now but I can totally see how the younger children love them all. The show usually has four of the characters on stage and then afterwards the children can have their pictures taken with the characters. We did manage to persuade Lilly to go up and have a picture with the squad one night.

Lilly and Lillie with the Seaside Squad

Whilst we are all a bit too old for the Seaside Squad we still bought some of the merchandise from the shops. I bought a Bradley bear pen (I love pens), Anna bought a Rory teddy for her car and a DJ Ned pen and Lilly bought a DJ Ned teddy. 

FunStars


The Weymouth Bay 2015 FunStars


The FunStars are the team of talented people who do all the entertainment during the daytime and evening. At Haven Weymouth Bay the team this year were lovely and brilliant. As always we had a few favourites.  

First up is Jonathan who is such a brilliant show man. We loved him as soon as we saw him singing on stage. He called us his Chiccas (not sure of the spelling) and even had us up on stage. More about that later in this post. 

Then our favourite girls: EmilyJ the fab presenter, so lovely, friendly and bubbly and Holly who was lovely too.

And then there was my favourite FunStar - little Kieran. I call him little because when I sit here and think about it I am almost old enough to be his mother (scary thought - I really am getting old - I will be 36 next week). Where do I start with Kieran? the moment I saw him my first thought was just WOW. If anyone knows me well you would know that looking wise he was so "my type". I couldn't stop looking at him because he is one of the most handsome men I have ever seen. He is just so gorgeous. I think seeing him kind of made me feel young again. When I was a teenager and used to go to Haven I had a favourite Haven Mate (my generations version of a FunStar) called Simon. I thought he was amazing and even wrote him a letter saying I thought he was lush when I got home *cringe*.  I looked at Kieran and I saw the teenage girls swooning over him and they reminded me of me when I was their age. It took me back to those years. During those teenage years I wanted to be a Haven Mate so much and idolised the other Haven Mates (especially Simon). Due to various illnesses including depression I never did become a Haven Mate. I think it was great to see Kieran, a young guy, really enjoying his job and achieving what I never did. He has amazing energy and is absolutely brilliant with the kids. For some reason I felt really shy to talk to Kieran and I didn't want to disturb him whilst he was working plus I didn't want to look like an idiot but on the last night I had a chance to chat to him for a little while and he is such a sweet heart, just a lovely chap. I really think he is a great FunStar and is going to go a long way in life.

Me with the lovely Kieran <3 

Lilly and Lillie with the FunStars
Me, Anna, Heather and Shell with the FunStars


FunStars Go Live


Each evening the FunStars have a time where they do their live show which features competitions and challenges for the kids and a few party dances including their signature song and dance which I still have going around my head now. We enjoyed watching these and on the first night Lilly went up on stage with Heather, Lillie and Evie to do a challenge to go around and collect as many items as possible beginning with certain letters. When it came to the letter M - I handed up my mobile phone and the FunStars EmilyJ and Kieran took a selfie with it. My sister Anna somehow managed to find a malteaser in her bag which had been in there for well over a month and poor Kieran was told to eat it. Ewww! Our team won and so Lilly got a certificate, sticker and car sticker.

The two Lillies, Evie, Heather and Kieran on stage

Lilly with her certificate

As part of FunStars Go Live you are put into teams  - either yellow or blue - if your age is an odd number like Lilly, who is 9 years old, then you are on the yellow team and if your age is an even number than you are on the blue team. Both have little chants they sing to the opposite team when they win. Lilly loved it so much she even had a t-shirt printed with the slogan "I just came to say yellow" on.  It's all so much fun. At the end of the show the FunStars do their signature dance which is just fab too. We love a good party dance. Speaking of party dances they do them throughout the week. It's funny because half of the retro party dances they do are not that retro to me. We didn't get to hear Wig Wam Bam all week which was a firm favourite of ours twenty years ago. Never mind there was other good ones including YMCA and Aga Doo. 

Lilly's yellow t-shirt

Go Win


Go win is the adults chance to win a prize by playing fun games on stage. Heather and Shell managed to win two bottles of champagne over the week by going on stage and playing the fun quizzes. We really enjoyed cheering them on and the prizes. 

Shell on stage guessing the film character


Live Shows  


Most evenings there were live acts on stage, including singers and comedians. There was also shows starring some of the FunStars which were brilliant. On Monday night FunStar Jonathan did a show singing songs we knew and love. Anna, Heather, Shell and I really joined in, singing and swaying and Jonathan called us his Chiccas. He invited us on stage to be Girls Aloud. I really didn't want to go on stage but when we got up there we had such a fun time. We basically danced like in the retro party dances...side step, side step, clap and turn. When he put the microphone in front of Anna to sing but she wouldn't, nor would Shell, I didn't because whilst I knew the song "Love Machine" I wasn't 100% sure on the words but Heather, well she owned it. She grabbed the microphone and really went for it. Jonathan gave us a bottle of champagne for taking part.

The Chiccas with Jonathan

The other shows by the FunStars was Girls On Film which was songs from the movies and Destination 90s which was music from the 90s which was our era so we really sang along and enjoyed it. They also did a show called MusiKids with children staying at the park who auditioned to be in the show. The songs was from shows such as Matilda, Oliver and Frozen. It was lovely to watch.

Destination 90's

We usually left the club between 10pm and 11pm because the kids started getting tired and had run out of money in the arcade which they loved and won lots of little prizes. We returned to our caravans and slept ready for the next day. I will be doing another post about our time in Weymouth and Bowleaze Cove shortly. 

If you are looking for a family holiday I would highly recommend Haven Weymouth Bay to anyone looking to have fun. I went to Haven with stomach pains and stressed out...I came home smiling, relaxed and happy. Thank you so much to everyone at Haven Weymouth Bay for making our holiday so enjoyable, we already miss you! We will be back next year for sure. 

I am going to end this post with a quote from my niece Lilly that she said as we left Haven: 
"I would rather go to Haven Weymouth Bay than to Disneyland!" - that says it all really!

Me and Lilly loving life at Weymouth Bay
Links:

Haven Weymouth Bay


Disclosure: I was in no way paid or compensated for this post. All views are my own. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Pop In A Box - February and March

If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that I am a huge fan of Pop In A Box. So what is Pop In A Box I hear you say? Pop In A Box is a subscription box service that you can subscribe to each month to receive random Funko Pop Vinyl's through the post. Up to 6 pops per month. I started with one Pop a month but now I get two per month. I collect Funko Pops and have 71 in my collection. I mostly collect Disney ones but also a few others that I like ie. Adventure Time. The great thing about the Pop In The Box service is that you can keep track of your collection on their website and "thumbs up" the ones you would love to receive in your mystery subscription box (and you might receive them) or "thumbs down" the ones you have no interest in, so you will never receive a Pop that you don't like.

So I received my February and March boxes around the same time so I thought I would combine the post this month. Lets start with what I received in February.

Here is my February Unboxing video:





So I received Russell from Up! and Gremlin. I love these two. I have Gizmo already so the nasty Gremlin goes nicely with him. I was surprised to get Russell as I don't have any other Pops from Up! but love him. 





So on to my March box. Here is my unboxing video:




I was really excited to get the Evil Queen who I had been eyeing up at the local comic shop for awhile and the lovely Nemo from Finding Nemo. I love the Disney Pops, they are so fab. Only problem with Nemo is when I got him out of the box he doesn't stand up so I had to stick a coaster underneath him.




I absolutely love collecting Pops and I would highly recommend the Pop In A Box service to anyone who collects them and likes receiving surprises in the post.

My blog will be quiet for a week or so as I am off on holiday to Weymouth with my Mum, Sister and Niece. Have a very Happy Easter everyone!


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