Just What Kind of Mother Are You? #weektoview

DSC02263Hope you had an amazing Easter break? Ours was great, although a huge challenge to juggle work and children. I really enjoyed just hanging out in Nottingham with the kids for once. It was a chance to reconnect, to recharge some flagging batteries and to rethink. Having worked hard on some travel blogging press trips as a family we kept our days out low key, and the photos too. Although we did go to one blogging event, Next’s Summer 14 for Kids day, more on that in another post. hello Continue reading

Will the Easter Rabbit come now that we have a greyhound?

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Happy Easter!

Two traditions I hate to miss at Easter. Firstly the kids waking up to find chocolate eggs hidden all round the house, or in recent years, the caravan. No mean feat in a small space with a greyhound, but the Easter Rabbit is clearly both able to access caravans and give greyhounds a run for their money.

The kids were amazed to find eggs everywhere (and that Max hadn’t eaten them).

In fact the only rabbit injured was the tiny Lindt gold one that fell in our bed in the night and got squashed. Uncharacteristically, rough, tough Mister G cried when he found it.

Secondly egg rolling is a family tradition. It was big in Lancashire where my mum grew up.

You hard boil your egg and decorate it, then head for a big hill. Or the garden. You take turns to roll and see who can go the furthest.

Like my Dad I’ve always fought to go the furthest, be in the longest and still eat my egg. This year Miss L and I were ‘in’ the longest. Mr A and Mister G like the satisfaction of smashing theirs against the garden wall.

This year though, nothing was wasted, having been denied Easter rabbit and chocolate, Max was around to pick up any leftovers.

Happy Easter!

How did you celebrate?

2014 – My year of the Great British Outdoors

2014 is going to be a year of getting outdoors more. That’s despite adopting the world’s biggest couch potato in the form of Mr Moo the retired greyhound (not his real name, but greyhounds require anonymity on social media too) . Greyhounds, its turns out, are seriously chilled out dogs. Adopting Moo was all part of my desire to get outdoors more, not that I need a dog to be my passport to that, but having a running and walking companion was one more on a long list of reasons to adopt a greyhound. Greyhounds don’t really need a lot of exercise, but they certainly enjoy a good walk and even a jog.

2014 kicks off with Team Honk’s Lands End to John O Groats blogger relay. I can see me doing a big stint of mileage here, and as always I am up for a challenge. I hope you are signed up? If not why not?

So, fitness, outdoors, dog walks, all we need now is to make sure we truly make the most of the caravan next year. I’ve promised myself this will be the year I get myself properly kitted out for the outdoors.

After an outdoor party for Mr G’s 5th birthday, at a farm, my friend told me how trendy my Dad was looking, he really does rock the outdoorsy look, whereas I tend to look like a jumble sale crossed with a snowman, and still feel the cold.

Jacksons of Old Arley are the largest stockists of camping, caravanning, outdoor clothing and spares and accessory equipment here in the Midlands. They are a family-run one-stop camping and caravanning shop, but you can also buy online. Here’s what I am lusting after for my new, even more outdoorsy life, from Jacksons of Old Arley, over on Polyvore.

Here’s to the great British Outdoors! What about you, what have you got lined up on the horizon for 2014?

We’re so excited!

Excitement is really mounting, rather like this 10 second snippet of L’s happy dance at last year’s Camp Bestival. Only a few sleeps to go and we’ve been lying on her bed tonight talking about all the things we want to do together while we are there.

I am now especially excited about the sing along Jungle Book screening and the paper plane world record breaking launch to celebrate Disney’s Planes. The prospect of sneaking some cocktails with some fellow bloggers in the Bollywood Bar is also very appealing. I can’t wait to see Ash and The Levellers. And that’s just me… Continue reading

My definitive #CampBestival Packing list

I think this year I might have cracked it. My definitive Camp Bestival Packing List. Last year I had lots of help and advice, which I have added on to last year’s list. It will keep growing I know, so keep hitting me with what I missed in the comments!

I’ve just reviewed  kattoos temporary phone number tattoos and ear defenders, the giveaway on those two has closed, but I have a fab melamine camping set to giveaway still. I’ve also just reviewed a Coleman cool box on wheels and double sleeping bag. I’m loving the Olpro range of tents, sleeping bags, windbreaks and melamine dinner set, for bringing a splash of colour and coordination to camp. We’ve also played with festival tents you can paint from Outwell.

Here’s my account of Camp Bestival last year which gives more background on some of the things on the list as well as our fab experience! If you’d rather see it there’s also a video here. Even queuing for the toilets is fun, not that we ever had to queue for long at all, in fact the toilets were pretty impressive. So, on to the Camp Bestival Packing List!
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Happy Campers: OLPro kit and melamine camping set giveaway CLOSED

OLPro have an exciting range of camping products perfect for injecting some fun and glamour into your camp. Let’s face it, camping gear can be a bit brown and green, so it is great to see some colour injected into the products. The red and turquoise colourway is really stylish and I love the co-ordination from tent through to plates. The tent comes in a range of sizes suitable for couples through to large families.

We’ve fallen in love with this camp themed Berrow Hill Melamine camping set from OLPro. I love the attention to detail in the pattern and it really cheered up our last camping trip. We even have a set to giveaway… Continue reading

Happy Campers: Coleman Kit tested

We tested some camping kit from Coleman this weekend, at the amazing wedding we camped at in Cornwall, at a vintage caravan park. I knew we’d be too busy with wedding stuff to take many photos of the gear, so we took some in the garden instead, but I am of course going to let you know how we got on with the gear at camp. Continue reading

Focus on Italy with Eurocamp

Lake Garda

Not booked a holiday yet? We haven’t either.

Eurocamp got in touch to tell me about a great holiday offer.  They pledged to back Andy Murray by offering a celebratory 30% discount on five of their top parcs which include tennis courts, if Andy Murray makes the Wimbledon Male singles final 2013. Well he did it, and here’s the discount offer, but what can you expect at a Eurocamp park? Continue reading

What we’re looking forward to at Camp Bestival 2013, comic book style

Excitement is mounting in the Alexander Residence. Last year was our first year, we fell in love with Camp Bestival and vowed we’d go every year, until the kids disown us. We’ve been invited back and we just can’t wait to experience the amazing family adventure that is CAMP BESTIVAL once more.

It was such amazing fun last year, with so much to do that the line up didn’t really matter, but we were all secretly bowled over by something in the Camp Bestival 2013 line up, as you can see. It’s a festival that caters beautifully for adults and grown ups.

If you’re looking for a run down on the festival, I’ve tried to answer most of the big questions about Camp Bestival I had in this review post. I made a Camp Bestival video here. There’s the Camp Bestival 2013 line up and here in Howard Marks style. My essential family festival packing list and some kit reviews are coming soon!

Find out more on the Camp Bestival 2013 website. August 1,2,3,4 Lulworth Castle, Dorset.

Battle Boxes – Great British Adventure Kits

There’s a knock on the caravan door…

Have you got a sheet? asks a small child

Another Knock

Have you got a tent pole? asks another small child

Another knock

We just need something, you know, to make a keep out sign says my daughter

Another knock

We need snacks for us to eat in our den and a rucksack and a flag and another blanket says my son, all in one breath. Continue reading

A Residence with The Camping and Caravanning Club, Hertford

I’ve been really looking forward to writing up this post. Our first camp of the year and what a wonderful back to nature, get away from it all, catch up with friends, let the kids roam free, wind down, destress, fun packed, star studded, frolick in the fields it was!

We had an amazing weekend in our caravan, as guests of the The Camping and Caravanning Club, joining in the celebrations for National Camping and Caravanning Week. We use club sites most the time, because they are always well run, have amazingly clean facilities and a friendly and helpful welcome. This time we bumped into club president David Bellamy!

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