Friday, 13 September 2019

Zippos Circus

After the hype of The Greatest Showman last year Mason started to show an interest in the circus. The idea of showing everything weird and wonderful is fascinating in a child’s eyes. You can’t deny there’s a real mystical feel that is unlike any other performance. 

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I remember going to the circus in my early 20's with a group of friends. It was a great night out and something a little bit different than our usual trips to the pub.

 When I was offered the chance to go visit this year I knew it would be a lot of fun to watch the show as a family. Mason has been so good since Mila’s arrival, he's been the perfect big brother and a great help to me, not just since she was born but throughout my pregnancy too. He deserves a treat with us and a little time with just Mum and Dad and this looks perfect.


 Zippos Circus is back on the road for with a nationwide Big Top 2019 tour – The
 Magnificent Top Hat. They’re celebrating 21 years since Ringmaster Norman
 Barrett MBE first appeared at Zippos Circus. Norman holds the Guinness World Record for the longest-serving Ringmaster and he’ll be presenting acts from all over the world. From astonishing acrobats and aerialists, amazing contortionists, clever comics and daredevil motorcyclists -they have it all! 

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With such a variety of acts there’s bound to be something for everyone. I’m really looking forward to seeing  3 foot 6 showman Paulo Dos Santos who is meant to be fantastically funny. And watching daring acts like knife throwers up close is going to be nail biting! 

They are currently in Twickenham until the 17th September, then on to Peckham Rye from 24th-29th September. They are coming to a couple of locations near me but the easiest for us to get to is Bannisters Field in Guildford at the beginning of October and they head on to Rochester, Finsbury Park and Hampstead Heath afterwards. 

zippos-circus-review

Tickets for the two hour show (with interval) start from just £9 for adults (15 years and over) and £7.50 for children. Kids under 2 go free if they don’t occupy a seat.

If you want to head down to see the show I have a discount code that will give you 30% off. Just use ZIP30 when you order. You can find the tour dates and locations  here: https://www.zippos.co.uk/tickets


I’ll be sharing our experience over on Instagram so keep an eye out at the beginning of next month and check out the #zipposcircus hashtag on instagram in the meantime! 






*I've been offered complimentary tickets to attend this event but all thoughts and views are my own


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Monday, 2 September 2019

Our Day at the Beach

I try not to get too bogged down with the competitive side of the Summer break. I say try because naturally I'm always doubting myself when it comes to the kids. The whole ‘you only have ‘X’ more summers with them’ comes with a lot of pressure to make sure you're out and about, making sure you all 'enjoy every moment'.  I don’t think that the child who goes on the most day trips has the best Summer. Never mind the cost of all those days out, it’s good to have some rest days not only for them but for us Mums too! Days just hanging out with family, a quick trip to the park on the way back from the food shop or even just a movie (that they almost never sit through!) day -It’s all fun for them. You don’t need to keep up with what you think the wonder mums are doing, they probably have secret boring days too and if they don’t I bet they’re bloody shattered! 

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During this summer break we've made sure we've mixed in some rest days along with some days out. On one of the more active days we  headed  down to Portsmouth to Kidz island South Pier.


I spent all of my childhood summers at the beach so I've got a real love for the British seaside. It has that old nostalgia and the smell in the air just makes me smile as it takes me back to being young and carefree.



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We live about an hour away from Portsmouth so it's easy for us to drive down for the day when the mood takes us. So one rather sunny day we managed to tear Mason from his Nintendo Switch for long enough to head down for a day at the beach.

 As you walk along the beach you see the traditional Helter Skelter ride on the end of the pier which gives it that authentic feel. Right away I heard the  familiar sound of beeps and songs from the arcade machines and the children's excitement. 

kidz-island-south-parade-pier-portsmouth-beach

We went straight to the ticket booth to get our £7.50 wristband which gave us access to all rides and could go on as many times as we wanted. If you are planning on spending the day here the wristband is your best option but you can choose to pay £2 per ride if you just want a couple of goes. 


There's a good selection of rides which suit under tens. Being 5 months old meant that Mila was a little too small for the rides but she enjoyed all the bright colours around her. The mini planes was a favourite of Mason's. Each plane had a different theme and his wristband meant he wasn't disappointed when the Pokemon plane was taken, it meant he could go on that one on his next go and opted for a different plane for his first go. We are all familiar with a child's mini breakdown when they don't get what they want so this was a massive plus in my eyes!

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He loved the chair swings and the caterpillar roller coaster with the great view out to sea. It looked really lovely on such a clear day. I really enjoyed going on this with him, it was so nice to see him enjoy the things I loved as a kid. It really felt like we had some proper family time.

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We all took it in turns to have a go on the Dogems. I'd forgotten how much fun they are and they really brought out the kids in Sam and I. I think a date to a fair is on the cards soon!

We couldn't walk past without having a go at 'hook a duck' - a prize every time just makes it worth it. Even Mila got a go! 

kidz-island-south-parade-pier-hook-a-duck

No trip to the seaside is complete without Fish and Chips so we treated ourselves in the restaurant and took the weight off our feet for a bit. We had an ice cream and a play in the arcade before we headed home. 

We visited on a sunny Friday afternoon and Mason walked straight on to every ride. On one occasion he got to go around again on the roller coaster which he loved. 

There is a selection of food stalls on the pier selling both hot and cold food and drink so there's something to keep your energy levels up. We had a paddle in the sea, ate ice cream, managed to keep the seagulls from stealing our chips and I got slightly pink shoulders, All in all a fabulous day at the beach which meant a couple of lazy days were well deserved! 




*We were kindly gifted wristbands for this trip but under no obligation to write review




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Monday, 22 July 2019

Summer Holiday Favourites


I've just returned from a lovely holiday away in Alicante wit the family, time went far too quickly and I'm already looking at booking another getaway. These holiday favourites are a regular occurrence on here but I find them useful when packing for a trip. Not only is it a way to find new things I might try but it’s also a helpful checklist. I’ve even looked back at my own list to remind myself of what I usually take away with me. There are some repeat products that are must-haves for me but I’ve got some new additions too. 

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As it’s battling the elements much more than if would be at home I make sure I'm taking care of my skin so I’ll start with my skincare products.

A no brainer is the SPF. I miss when suncream used to have a lovely coconut scent to it but maybe that stuff just wasn’t doing the job. I apply factor 50 and drop down to 30 if it feels like my skin can take it. The Garnier dry mist sprays are perfect for a quick application and are great for Mason too. I love that they're not sticky and cover quickly and easily. 

For my face I usually use La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-shine tinted sun cream gel SPF50  (£17 for 50ml). It doesn’t feel too heavy but gives me just enough coverage in the warmer evenings to feel comfortable but I know my skin is still protected. SPF which is specially for the face is a must to avoid clogging pores or making you look shiny. Another option is the 

Anthelios Shaka Fluid tinted spf 50 (£17) is water, sweat and sand resistant so it's perfect for wearing at the pool or beach. The easy-to-apply, ultra light fluid is non-greasy with a lightly-tinted finish for a unified look. The improved texture does not irritate or sting your eyes. This one is much more lightweight but still gives you a little glow.

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I keep a hat on to keep my face in the shade as much as possible but I know those UV rays creep in all over the place so you need to protect that fragile skin!

I use aloe vera gel on my body every evening, it's the only type of after sun that doesn't seem to attract bites. I've had gorgeous ones before that smell incredible but I just get eaten alive. I'm still using this on my body now and it dries almost instantly. I apply the L’Oreal Hydra Genius Aloe Water to my face which is lovely and light. Great for after being in the sun but also as my morning moisturiser too. The usual price is £ 9.99 for 70ml but I pick it up when it's on offer £6.66 which is a total bargain if you ask me. I have a full view on it here.

I don’t use wipes at home but on holiday it’s just easier than having bottles and cotton pads. I also don't have a lot of makeup to remove so my in shower cleanser tends to do most of the job for me. This year I tried out the L’Oreal Fine Flowers cleansing wipes, they were on offer for £1.99 instead of £3.99 and I’ve used some cleansers from the fine flowers range so I thought why not. They remove waterproof mascara well and take off the base layer of makeup before I properly cleanse. The 
extracts of rose and jasmine feel really soothing, I’m a big fan of rose oil as an ingredient which brings me onto the Neal’s Yard Rose  Facial Wash which is £17 for a 100ml full size bottle but I have a miniature bottle for travelling. It’s lovely to use in the morning and evening and is one of my favourite products. In fact Neal's Yard's  whole rose range is lovely.

The Origins  Drink Up intensive Over night mask is one of my favourite face masks. It has a gorgeous scent and applying it a couple of nights a week before bed gives me that extra bit of hydration my skin needs after being in the heat all day.

I repurchase the La Roche-Posay Serozinc Face Toner Mist 150ml £10 when ever it’s on offer. I’ve used it loads at home during the heatwave. It tightens pores and magnifies the skin. I absolutely love applying it, it just feels so fresh and soothing on the skin. I use it after cleansing in the morning and evening. It's great before applying make up or just when I want to freshen up. I love love love this stuff!

We did a fair bit of walking about and a good deodorant is a must when you're in a country with temperatures reaching 34 degrees. The Dove Maximum Protection Deodorant (£4.99) is my favourite and lasts all day. My top tip is to apply to your cleavage too cos sweaty boobs is one of the worst things about summer!

When it comes to make up I took my L’Oreal Unbelievabrow longwear brow gel as it was waterproof but I didn't actually use it as I had my hair highlighted before I left and this just made my brows look so dark it just didn't look right with my lighter hair. 

The Lancome Hypnose Mascara (£25.50)  is one of my favourites as waterproof mascaras go. I find a lot can make lashes look grumpy or spidery but this works just as well as any regular mascara. I meant I could splash a but with my kids in the pool which is what family holidays are all about! 


I always pack a couple of bottles of nail polish when ever I go away, I change the shade when I'm there when they inevitably get chipped from being in the pool or sea. I tend to go for a something bright, usually a coral or pink. I take Nail Polish Remover Pads so I don't  have to travel with a bottle of nail polish remover. Knowing my luck that will be the thing that spills all over everything (why do bad things happen to good people?!).


With legs on show 90% of the time I make sure I use my Venus Snap razor (£9.99 but almost always on offer for a fiver). It’s compact and has a case to keep it safe which is perfect for travelling. I think I've used one of these on every holiday since it was released. 


I don’t do anything too fancy when it comes to my hair on holiday, during the day it’s either tied up with a pop band (great for minimal kinks) or under a hat while I let my natural beauty waves do their thing. 

I wash as normal in the evening with what ever shampoo we’ve picked up to take with us, as long as it cleans and gets rid of chlorine, suncream, sand etc I’m happy. I use Macadamia Oil on the ends and apply Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist deep conditioner a couple of times to help with the daily exposure to so much heat. 


I wash my hair before going out for dinner and I pop my Sleep Rollers in after a shower and let my hair dry relatively naturally. My sister in law came to the rescue with her hair drier a couple of times as I wasn't giving myself enough time to get ready and my hair just wasn't drying quick enough on it's own (or with the air con on crazy high because of my annoying finance and his obsession with it!).



This year I had to think about all the bits and pieces I needed for Mila too. Packing for a 4 month old was very new to me but I think we did ok. I'll be posting about how her first holiday went very soon. 




*for clarity everything in this post was purchased myself. However I was originally sent the Macadamia Oil but have since repurchased it several times



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