Very birthday girl needs Bunch O Balloons!

My little girl has just turned 6 years old. How did that happen? She’s a joy to be around, she also thinks she rules the roast and has a fire cracker personality that is loved by everyone who knows her.

pink balloons and birthday cake

What does every 6 year old girl want, other than a mobile phone….. which she is NOT getting until she turns 11! Well Unicorns and makeup of course. I have to say that make up wasn’t something I planned on buying my 6 year old daughter however, it saves her attacking my makeup. She has developed the taste of my pricey Charlotte Tilbury items not the cheapy items I have, oh not she goes straight for the Tilbury. So I caved in a bought her her own set of make up! Oh the poor carpet…..

bunch o balloons gift box

To help me out this year with the unicorn items, Zuru sent me some items to help celebrate her 6th birthday! Within the parcel was their brand me Bunch O Balloons and Party Pump, also with a Pets Alive Magical Unicorn and 12 5 Surprise Unicorns.

Bunch O Balloons Review

When I opened up our gift box from Zuru, I was intrigued to see what the lasts party must haves really were and how they worked.

bunch o balloons how to use

Opening up the Bunch O Balloons pump box, I was pleased to see the instructions were on the back of the box and even more pleased to see how simple it is to use. You just don’t need something complicated to use when setting up a child’s birthday party. I mean its always a stress getting everything ready so finding something as simple to use as Bunch O Balloons is really going to speed up the whole process.

Inflating Bunch O Balloons

I read the instructions and I thought I would have a try blowing up just one bunch of balloons to start with, just to make sure I knew what I was doing…. haha!

bunch o balloons instructions

I really didn’t need to worry, its a very simple process. Pugging in the pump, twisted the top round so the one bunch was over the inflate here sticker, added the stem for the bunch. Just make sure you have the stem in correctly so it’s nice and tight, so when the pump switches on it doesn’t come away.

bunch o balloons inflating

Once in correctly just switch it on and watch your balloons start to inflate. So simple! Within a few seconds you have a bunch of 8 balloons ready for the party. You can add up to 5 stems at one time which is 40 balloons.

After they are inflated, you switch off the pump and remove them stem. They self seal so you have no worries about them deflating. You can then leave it bunch together or slowly pull them apart so you have 8 separate balloons, on long flexible tubes that you can tie to chairs or hang from the ceiling, whatever you want really.

bunch o balloon pump and attachments

The pump that comes with your start up kit also has various other adapters so you could use helium if you wanted to. Or your could use it for the paddling pool for the summer, camp bed or anything else you need to pump up. I have now stored it in the dresser so it’s accessible rather than in the loft with the electric pump.

5 surprise unicorn squad

As the balloons come apart it means you can give them out to children at the end of the party, a lovely little addition to the 5 Surprise Unicorn goodie bag I added to paper party bags for the girlies.

Happiness is Balloons and Unicorns!

bunch o balloons inflated

I’m really impressed with the Bunch O Balloons and I was surprised to see the re-fill packs on offer for only £4.99, which makes then super affordable for everyone.

Thank you so much Zuru for sending out Bunch O Balls, Alive Pets Unicorn and the 5 surprise balls to help make my daughters birthday one to remember.

 

Heading into Autumn with Lighthouse Clothing

I love the Autumn, it’s my favourite time of the year. The slightly colder days, the changes in the trees, conker picking with the children, hot chocolate, the log burner, Sunday afternoon snuggling on the sofa watching a film not forgetting long walks in the woods with the dogs.

Heading out for family walks is something we all love, even though we don’t get out together as often as we should do. My Hubby is the main dog walkers he heads out for miles over the fields and I take them for a quick walk around the village between working and collecting the children from school.

Autumn at the moment is all about the rain! I mean it’s rained everyday for the last couple of weeks. It’s been awful, you look out of the window to find bright skies then 5 minutes later the heavens have opened and we have black skies and heavy rain.

Lighthouse Clothing Review

Luckily the lovely Lighthouse Clothing offered to send me out a coat, scarf and hat to help me through the rainy Autumn into the Winter. I looked that their large collection of lovely coats and quickly found the gorgeous Alanna coat in the Night Sky shade, which is a lovely rich navy colour.

My gorgeous coat

navy alanna coat from lighthouse clothing

I just loved the Alanna because of it’s length. I like a longer coat, I don’t like waste length because I’m quite curvy and heavy on the hips so I like longer coats to cover my bum. The other thing that really appealed to me is the hidden pull cord to help create a waist line within the coat. So it sits just how I like it.

Of course its fully waterproof Teflon, which is just perfect for the weather that we are currently having. It has a super soft lining, hidden pockets and pockets on the outside perfect for dog treats and poo bags. I took my coat on a weekend away in Hull, good job I had it with me as it rained just about the whole time we were there.

The hood on my Alanna coat is also detachable, which is a great addition, but I don’t think I will remove it. I quite like the added hood.

I have warn this coat lots over the last couple of weeks it’s honestly been perfect for all of the rain we have been having. It has kept me dry on the dog walks and also on the school run. I’ve also had to wash it as the muddy dogs jumped up, but it wasn’t a problem because it washed beautifully and dried quickly.

All of the pockets have proven very useful and it look fabulous on. I’ve had a few nice comments on the school run.

Hat and Scarfs

lighthouse clothing hat and scarf

Not only is the coat gorgeous but the hat and scarf I also got to go with it are just lovely. I chose the Hannah Bobble Hat in stone and the Merino Scarf in Lilac Dusk Blue Stripe. Choosing the scarf took me longer than choosing the coat. As yet I haven’t really needed to wear the hat and scarf as the weather hasn’t been quite cold enough yet. But I cannot wait for the temperature to drop a bit more so I can get lots of wear out of them.

lighthouse clothing scarf label

I’m so pleased with the coat from Lighthouse Clothing that I have been looking the different styles for the children. I will be using Lighthouse Clothing again, the quality of the coat is fabulous and I really feel that their items are good value for money. It really pays to spend a little more on coats so they last you.

Thank you Lighthouse clothing for sending me my lovely new coat, hat and scarf to help keep me warm and dry over through the Autumn and into the winter.

 

Visiting Hull, my weekend away!

(Ad) Last weekend I was invited along with some other lovely bloggers to spend the weekend in Hull with the Visit Hull tourist Board. I know what you are thinking, why would you want to for a weekend to Hull?? Well I was pleasantly surprised with the city, so let me tell you all about my weekend visiting Hull.

Visiting Hull

Visiting Hull information pack

Sight Seeing Tour

Our weekend started with a sight seeing tour around the city of culture. Over the last few years Hull has been re-generated into the city of culture. Paul our tour guide took us to various different locations all over the city.

smallest window in England

Paul clearly loves his pubs and there are some of the oldest pubs in the country located in Hull, mentioning the various different pubs as we passed them. Also pointing out the smallest window in England, it was also located at a pub!

Fish Tour Hull

During our 1.5 hour tour we walked all over the city, we spotted lots of fish. It was the famous Hull Fish Tour which is an A-Z of fish around the Old Town. You can get a free trail sheet, you then follow it around the city spotting all of the fish. Once complete you can pop to the Hull Tourist Information Centre to get your certificate. Along our walking tour we spotted lots of different fish on the pavements, although we didn’t do the whole tour, it would make for a fun day with the children.

During our tour we went to Zebedee’s Yard, which during the day is used for parking but in the evenings and weekends it turns into an events venue. At the back of the yard is ‘The Last Trip’ memorial, which is a lasting memory of those lost at sea, it’s quite a moving this to see hidden away in Hull.

Queen Victoria Hull

We walked into the Queen Victoria square to see Queen Victoria’s statue looking over the city. I love to see our historical monarchs as statues, it’s great to see Queen Victoria in Hull. She looked stunning against the blue skies we had when visiting Hull.

Museum Quarter Hull

Paul showed us the Museum Quarter which is actually a collection of four different museums. Hull & East Riding Museum, Arctic Corsair, Street Life Museum and Wilberforce Museum. Each of which are completely free to get into, set in lovely grounds, we popped into one of them to see what was on offer. The free museums were really what made me think, Hull would be a great place to visit with the children.

We wondered through the Hepworth Arcade, home to the very first Marks and Spencer Store and Dinesdales joke shop, more independent businesses and apparently a few resident ghosts. Hepworth Arcade is also home to Hothams Gin School and Distillery, which we had a visit planned for later.

Paul took us through the Arcade into Trinity indoor Market, out to see the beauty that is Hull Minster. Our tour ended here at the Minster, before Paul headed off to meet his next group. We headed back into the Trinity Indoor Market to eat.

Trinity Indoor Market

trinity indoor market vegetable stall

Trinity Indoor market is home to a large selection of different food and drink independent retailers. There is a a very varied selection of food vendors to choose from. Greek food, pie and pasties, asian, indian, falafel, pizza cones, coffee and cakes, deli, fruit and veg stalls, sweet, micro brewery and an amazing chocolate shop. So many different things to choose from, it took me a while to make my mind up.

In the end I went with the Asian food, after a bit of wondering round and drawling over the different options. I chatted to the lovely lady at Cheng and Chen about the different food they have on offer and what I should go with. In the end I decided on fried rice, crispy five spice chicken with chilli lime mayo, vegetable spring rolls and prawn crackers. Sounds like so much, but as the prices were reasonable I didn’t think the portions would be anywhere near the size that they were, such amazing value for money. I think the whole group either had Cheng and Chen or Greko.

Asian food

It all looked amazing, I love greek food as well so it was between greek and asian for me. I am pleased I went with Cheng and Chen and it was delicious. I really enjoyed it, the only thing was we should have shared a portion of spring rolls between us all as there was so many for the small price of £3.

Everyone really enjoyed their meals and I also think everyone had some left over as it was very generous sizes.

chocolates trinity indoor market Hull

After we had eaten our lunch we tried a selection of chocolate brownies from Cocoa chocolatier and bakery, which were simply amazing. You didn’t need a whole slice as it was such a rich item, but I probably would have eaten it all…. but I love chocolate!

I have to say I never really eat from ‘street food’ stands. Normally when we visit places we head to a restaurant for food or a bar for a drink. However, visiting the Trinity food hall I really enjoyed it and would happily look at something like this again.

Hull Minster

After lunch we headed into Hull Minster to see their Sistine Chapel exhibition. The Minster is a beautiful building towering over the city, built in the 17th century is England’s largest parish church.

Sistine Chapel exhibition Hull

The Sistine Chapel exhibition is displaying Michelangelo’s art work on large boards both on easels or floor displays. The exhibition allows you to spend time looking at the wonderful artwork in it’s full beauty and also up close. The show stopper from the exhibition is a 6m x 6m of the the Last Judgement and it really is the wow factor, I haven’t visited the Sistine Chapel in Italy but my Hubby has was impressed with the photographs of the exhibition.

If you are heading to Hull then a visit to Hull Minster is worth a visit.

Hotham’s Gin School

Gin School in Hull

Hotham’s Gin School is located in the Hepworth Arcade, I have to say I couldn’t wait to get there and make some gin. Hotham’s Gin School offer various gin school experiences, they do sell out quickly, so if you are thinking about fitting it in during a trip to Hull then make sure you book before you go.

gin school Hull

Our distillery lesson involved drinking gin and tonics, while learning more about the history of gin and the different botanicals you add in to make the different flavours.

I partnered up with the lovely Vicki from Tippytupps, we soon came up with inspiration for our gin, Summer Meadow. We both loved the floral summery tastes and smells so we choose the more floral botanicals and started the distilling process. It was fascinating going through the whole process from start to finish. Our gin went through various different stages, from really strong alcohol levels and changing flavours until our gin was fully distilled and ready for bottling. Sometimes it really didn’t smell or taste that great.

Once finished we had filled a bottle with our Summer Meadow gin and even sealed them up using wax. Labels were added to the bottles, which Vicki kindly wrote as she has beautiful writing. We now just have to wait for two weeks for our gin to be ready for drinking. If the gin tastes as good we hope it will, then we can order another bottle of it, as Hotham’s will brew up another batch specially.

I loved spending time at Hotham’s Gin School and I highly recommend anyone who is a gin lover to book in for a lesson.

Dinner at Ambiente

After the Gin School and feeling slight tipsy we headed for Tapas at Ambiente, in the Fruit Market area of the city. I love Tapas food and I had really high hopes or it.

We were treated to the Luio Chef’s Selection, which was served as a selection of sharing platters. I love sharing platters when you are with close friends or family, however we were sharing with 9 other people that had only met earlier in the day. So you have to be a more aware of how much you are popping on your plate.

The Luio Chef’s Selection has a varied selection of tapas items, bread and dipping oil, rump steak, chicken and seafood paella, tiger prawns, rump steak, pork, sea bream, hallouim and watermelon skewers, bravas (sliced potato). This menu is only available for parties of over 8 people.

I did enjoy the food, for me I couldn’t eat the steak it was cooked rare and I do not eat any rare meat. So that meant the whole dish was out for me. Although there was a lot of paella it was sat at the other end of the table, we had to get up from our seats to go to the other end of the table to get some. It was very nice just not thought out enough. It might have been better serviced in 3 smaller plates rather than 2 larger ones.

Overall I enjoyed my meal at Ambiente’s and I would go back. I probably wouldn’t have the set menu again as I didn’t think it was great value for money. But I do love Tapas food.

Staying over

We stayed at the Double Tree Hilton, which only opened in July this year. You could tell, the interior was fabulous, the designer they used has great taste. The bar area was nice and inviting also not massively over priced as you find in most hotels. I really like Hilton Hotels and they are my go to for overnight stays.

We met at the hotel at 10am, ready for our walking tour of the city. We tried to check in, however we were not able to because check in time was 3pm. Not an issue we handed over our luggage and went on with our day. However one lady in the group was able to check in, but we didn’t think to much more about it.

We didn’t arrive back at our hotel until almost 10.30pm, and we found that there was not enough rooms for us all. Very annoying! The lady on reception was rude and unhelpful. Laura who organised our trip away was able to sort things easily as she offered to share with one of the other girls who she knows well. However if Laura hadn’t be able too, I have no idea what they would have done.

double tree hilton bedroom

The hotel has a night club on the roof, which was very noisey! As I exited the lift I was surprised by the volume of the music, it was as though I had walked into the night club. I got to my room 521 and although I couldn’t sing along to the music I could hear and feel the thud of the music until about 1pm when it either stopped or I managed to fall to sleep! Luckily it was only me in the room, had I had my children with me I would have been even more annoyed than I already was about not having enough rooms and a rude receptionist!

The lady on reception was honestly enough for me not to ever want to return. However the rooms were great, the bathroom was large and well stocked with items to use. The breakfast was good and the company for the stay really was fabulous. So maybe I would go back and hope she wasn’t working!

The Deep

On Sunday morning after breakfast we headed to the Deep. I love The Deep!! Simple as that.

fish at the deep Hull

I have visited a couple of times before with the children and I have always loved going. It’s the perfect place for a rainy day trip, they offer so much for children to see. I love the variety of fish and marine life they have to see. It’s a fascinating place to visit, I actually enjoyed looking around at my own pace but I know how much the children would have loved to be there with me.

Penguins at the deep Hull

Although I don’t really think you would be there for the whole day, but you can spend a good 3 hours wondering around looking at all of the fish and sea life. I actually spent ages watching the penguins playing silly games in and out of the water.

shark at the Deep Hull

I will go back to the Deep again and take the children with me, I really do love it.

The Lion and Key

The Lion and Key Pub in Hull

After our trip to the Deep we headed to The Lion and Key for lunch, which was only a 6 minute walk aways. The Lion and Key was serving pints in 1817 and over the years has gone through some changes it is now back to being a pub and it well known around Hull for it’s great food and ales. Not only is it known for it’s food and drink but also for the ceilings covered in beer mats, along with the walls coverings of various different memorabilia.

Food at the Lion and Key

I was impressed by the selection of food on offer, I choose the battered king prawns and chips. Wow, what a plate full. It was really good. I couldn’t finish it all but the prawns were lovely and the batter was light. Laura who was with us is dairy free and was over the moon to find out she could have the batter. Natalie our vegetarian was more than happy with her chilli.

Everyone’s meals looked good, and they were thoroughly enjoyed. I thought that the prices of the food were reasonable and I would happily go back.

Would I go to Hull again?

In a simple answer yes I would. In fact I have chatted to my hubby about going for the day or even over night with the children. There is just so much to see and do, they would love another visit to the Deep and I would really like to take them to the museum quarter which looked fun and educational. Plus I would love to eat at Greko and I know my Hubby would love too as well.

The other lovelies who I went with have written their reviews if you would like to have a read:-

Hollie – ThirftyMum

Rachel – Out and About Mummy

Nicola – Mummy to Dex

Natalie – Hello Cuppies

Vicki – Tippytupps

Gemma – Family on the go

Mandy – Mandy Charlton Photography

Joanne – Kids Days Out Reviews

 

*This was a paid press trip by Visit Hull, thank you for having me on the trip. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*