Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Review: Walkers Hoops & Crosses

Last week we came back from our weekend away to find a red card from the postman informing us they have tried to deliver a parcel.  When I got the chance to get down the sorting office, I was very excited to find a very interesting looking package.  I couldn't wait to open it up and was surprised to find this cheeky little monkey looking after a packet of Walkers Hoops and Crosses. 

Each bag of Hoops and Crosses only has 85 calories, making them good for those watching their weight and if your worried about feeding your child crisps, you can be assured that they are made from wholegrains and don't contain any artificial colours or preservatives.

I had planned on sharing the packet of crisps around the family, but Noah claimed them as his own as soon as he saw them!  Luckily, I did manage to steal a couple from him so that I could have a taste as well!  I'm not normally a fan of Roast Beef flavoured crisps, but the flavouring of these were not too strong, so I quite enjoyed them.  If I had them in a different flavour I'm sure I would love them even more.

Hoops & Crosses currently come in three flavours, Roast Beef, Prawn Cocktail and Salt & Vinegar.  All of the flavours are suitable for vegetarians.  I'm a fan of Salt & Vinegar and Prawn Cocktail crisps, but Aled is more of a Cheese/Cheese & Onion boy. 

I thought that the packaging is probably aimed more towards kids, but it's not so babyish that it would stop me from having them in my own lunch box, although at the age of 14, I think PJ would prefer more 'grown up' crisps in his.  Noah would have no fuss with these for his lunch or as a snack, but I do think the flavour options would put Aled off at the moment.  I may have to purchase a bag of the other flavours to see what his opinion of them would be.

All in all, I was pretty happy with these crisps and I would buy them again, although I would like to see more of a variety of flavours available.

Jackie. x

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but the views and opinions are my own.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Party Time!!

On Friday we celebrated my middle son's 5th birthday.  It's mad to think that it's been 5 whole years since he barged his way into the world 5 days before my planned c/section date!  Creating drama from the start with a prolapsed cord and being rushed into theatre for an emergency c/section, sometimes it feels like I haven't stopped with him.  Still, I wouldn't have him any other way!

On Friday my mum and sisters came round and we had a bit of a family tea party.  We bought Aled some games to go with the second hand Nintendo DS that my mother gave him.  We thought it would be funny to give him the games before the DS.  Along with the DS, my mum also gave Aled a little case to keep his games in and an embroidered t-shirt.  My sister Susan gave him a t-shirt she brought back from South Africa and my sister Helen gave him a Lego Darth Vader torch.

After some snacks, we brought out the cake.  Aled is really into the Lego Batman game at the moment, so I baked a rectangular and a round cake and hubby shaped and decorated it to look like the character Harley Quinn from the game.  Judging from Aled's face, I think hubby did a good job!!

Yesterday we had a birthday party with some of Aled's friends.  As the boys are huge fans of Lego and of Legoland, we decided to hold the party at the Legoland Hotel.  On booking, I checked what was included in the price and although at first glance, it appears quite pricey, I was surprised at just how much you get for your money.  We got 2 hours in the hotel restaurant, table decorations, a buffet for the children, party bags and the cake!  When you think about adding that all up for a standard party in a hall, you would be looking at roughly the same cost, so I thought this was fantastic value.

Having already been pleased with my choice of booking the party here, I didn't expect to be completely bowled over with what we received!!  We got up to the restaurant and was shown to our own cornered off section of the restaurant.  One of the most child friendly things that the restaurant has (other than the play area in the middle of it) is the tablecloths.  They are like a giant colouring in sheet and with crayons on the table, the kids got stuck in! 

We then let the kids head off into the play area.  They all had a great time running around and with Xbox's set up with Lego games, the boys were in their element!  Our host was always around making sure that we were happy with everything and even offered teas and coffees for the adults.  So often at children's parties the parents are forgotten, so this was a really nice touch. 

When I gave the nod, the food was brought out.  I have been to parties at soft play centres before and have never been that impressed with the spread, but this one was fantastic.  There was plenty there to eat for not just the kids, but also for the adults as well.  I had booked for 12 children but only 9 turned up, but even with 9 kids and 6 adults there was still loads left over!

After the kids had finished, we let them go back to play.  Hubby took some of them to the outside play area and they had a great time running around out there.  Before we knew it, it was time for the cake.  Our host came out with about 5 other members of staff and we all sung happy birthday to Aled.  The cake not only looked fantastic, but I can confirm that it also tasted wonderful as well!

The cake was then taken off to be cut up for the party bags, which were also provided as part of the package.  Inside the party bags, we had a Lego mini-figure and Legoland pencil, notebook and rubber.  We did add to it a little by putting in a bag of Haribo and box of raisins. 

I would like to say a huge thank you to Legoland for making my son's party such a fantastic one!  I would recommend them completely to anyone considering where to have a birthday party in the local area.  

Jackie. x

Saturday, 11 May 2013

30 years ago..... #SpecialK30 Linky Challenge

Last week I was sent a box of Special K to try out the new recipe.

After 30 years Kelloggs have changed the recipe to the ever popular Special K.  In using the wholegrain and adding an extra grain to the mix, Special K tastes even better than before.  

I'm always sceptical when I see brands release a 'better than ever' version of a product and tend to think 'yeah right', but this time I have to agree.  The new taste Special K does have a nicer taste to it and even better, it doesn't go soggy as quickly as the old recipe.  I would have liked to of tasted more the of the box I was sent, however it got hijacked by my 3 year old who wanted 'mummy's breakfast' every morning!  I'm guessing that gives it a toddlers stamp of approval as well!

In celebrating the new recipe, bloggers up and down the country have been asked how they have changed over the last 30 years as part of Britmums #SpecialK30 How You’ve Changed Linky.

Back in the 80's
Well, thirty years ago I was a toddler, just like my youngest now.  A sweet innocent 3 year old girl (yeah right!).  We had moved to the UK a year before from South Africa and was living in a small town called Carmarthen in Wales.  I'm going to be honest, I don't really remember much about being a 3 year old! 

My memories of the 80's are Kylie & Jason and Bros!  The first ever album I owned was a cassette of Kyle and I Should Be So Lucky was a favourite track.  I remember being with my friends in the playground re-enacting the songs of Grease and Dirty Dancing, all of us wanting to be Sandy or Baby. (nobody puts Baby in the corner!)

As a teenager in the nineties I loved Britpop and boy bands.  I went through various different fashion styles, sometimes all at once!  I loved watching Byker Grove, Saved by the Bell, Clarrisa Knows it All and Sister Sister.
2013 with my boys

These days it's more about Nick Jr rather than Nickelodeon with my boys.  Luckily my favourite boy band from the 90's are back...Take That and I have been able to relive my youth a few times by going to their concerts over the last few years!  

Nowadays though, I am a mum to 3 boisterous boys and life is all about computer games and Lego at the moment!  Instead of the big rollercoasters of Alton Towers or Thorpe Park, I get my thrills from the kiddie rides at Legoland!

Jackie. x

This post is an entry for the BritMums/Special K “How I’ve changed Linky challenge"

Friday, 10 May 2013

Bank Holiday Madness

Last weekend we took advantage of the long weekend and headed off home to Wales to spend some time with the in-laws.

As hubby was working late on Friday, we set off Saturday morning.  We had a pretty good journey there and made it down in good time.  The first thing that has changed since we last went was that they now take card at the toll bridge!  Whilst not a huge thing, for us it means no more making sure we have cash on us before setting off!  As I tend to use card for most purchases, this is one little hassle that I no longer have to worry about!  It's just a shame I didn't know that last weekend! lol. 

We spent most of Saturday in my sister-in-laws garden enjoying the sunshine while the boys used up their energy on the trampoline.  As we don't have a garden, they loved it!  Saturday night we headed off to a friends for dinner and drinks while my niece babysat the boys.

Hubby headed off back to the boys just before midnight, while me, my sister-in-law and friend stayed up chatting until nearly 4am!!

On Sunday we headed off in search of a cafe for a hangover breakfast.  My sister-in-law tells us about a great cafe and we head off towards the Mumbles.  As we get closer, hubby asks where the cafe is, to which sister-in-law tells us it's nowhere near where we are!! It turns out she thought we were heading down to the pier, then going for breakfast afterwards!  As we promised the boys some food by the beach, we
decide to head off down to Swansea Marina instead.  We find a fab little cafe and had some food.  The kids meal included an ice cream, to which I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was homemade!  We spent the rest of the afternoon mooching around the Swansea Waterfront Museum.  While the boys were bored fairly quickly, I could have spent hours in there.  They have a twitter quiz in which you get tweeted questions and have to find the answers in the museum.  I love this bit of interactivity at the museum and would love to go back. 

On Monday we headed off for a short walk alongside the beach and then to the LC2 for an afternoon of swimming.  As hubby had forgotten to pack his swimming trunks, he headed off to the town centre to find a birthday pressie for Aled.  This was the first time that I've ever really taken the boys swimming, so I was a bit nervous as to how they would be.  Aled was straight in and loved it, but Noah was a little bit nervous of the pool.  Once he was wet and in the pool though, Noah loved it and was soon running around and going down the kiddie slide.  

All to soon though, it was time to go home.  We had a lovely, fairly relaxed bank holiday weekend and even had some great weather to go with it!

Jackie. x

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

May Photo Challenge

During my last blog challenge, I came across a lovely group of bloggers based in the area that I live.  Today, while scrolling through Facebook, I came across this Photo Challenge set by one of my fellow Berkshire Bloggers for the month of May.

Being one who loves a bit of a challenge, I have decided to take part in this, but as I've already proven, I can be a bit rubbish at keeping up with blog challenges.  Therefore, I have decided to take part in this challenge over on Instagram with a weekly round up on here. 

So, keep an eye on Instagram and Twitter for #BBMPC to see mine and the other lovely ladies entries each day.  

I hope you enjoy it!

Jackie. x