Thursday, 29 November 2018

Coral Reef Water World with Zoggs

Earlier this month we were invited down to the newly refurbished Coral Reef Water World in Bracknell to celebrate the launch of the new DC Super Heroes collection from Zoggs. The new range of swimwear and accessories features all the favourite DC heroes including  Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Superman. The best bit is these aren’t just for kids, there are products for men and women too.


It was a great chance for us all to dress up in some superhero themed Zoggs gear and enjoy a couple of hours family time while trying out the facilities! We were all kitted out in some great Zoggs swimwear, I had my first try of a maternity swimsuit which was so comfortable and really flattering. Mason was over the moon with his Batman hip racer shorts from the kids (0-6 years) range.


Zoggs were founded in Australia back in 1992 and are now a leading swim brand with products available in over 50 countries around the world. They think the best way to fall in love with swimming is to make sure you have fun

Their swimsuits, goggles, learning aids and training accessories are made to stand up to the Australian sun, sea and swimming pools. Their view is if they make the grade in Australia, they’re sure they’ll do the same anywhere else in the world. 


Mason is a big fan of superheroes and loves swimming, he couldn’t wait to get in the pool! We headed straight for the  the 'Coralina' pirate ship which I remember loving when I was little. Mason enjoyed the slide and shooting the water-filled cannons. 

The under 5’s are well catered for with the the Little Corals water slides  and fountains in the children area right next to the ship.  Watch out for the buckets of water tipping on you, although it provides much amusement for the little ones to see you caught off guard -I found out the hard way!


It was such a nice change from our usual family swim, with their water spouting snakes, cascading waterfall, and pool jacuzzi with the lazy river around the outside.


Throughout our swim an alarm would sound and the erupting volcano would shoot water out which created such a great atmosphere - everyone got involved!

For over 18s there’s also the Coral Spa Jacuzzi, three saunas, steam room, cool pool and the heated loungers available. Of course the main attraction is the the interactive giant waterslides!


Being 7 months pregnant I gave the slides miss and left them to the boys. They tried out the Storm Chaser first. You ave to be over 1.2m to ride this one alone but anyone under 1.2m can ride with an adult in a double rubber ring. The greatest thing about this is that the ride is customisable, you can choose your own special lighting/sound effects before you head down. With exciting options such as rainbow, pink sparkle, blue run, circle light, disco, halloween, yellow snake and flash light it would be rude not to have a few goes and try as many out as possible. 


The next side was Aqua Splash which is a gentler ride with some more customisable sounds and lights. This one has a great game to play on the way down as you hit coloured pads as you pass them - the more you hit, the more points you get at the end. You can compare this to the best score of the day - the boys got rather competitive!

Any thrill seekers need to head for The Cannon. This one shoots you down the 67m chute like a...well, cannon! The sensors in the ride record how long it takes you to get to the bottom and the results are displayed on the board at the end along with the top score of the day. You must be over 1.2m and over 8 years old to have a go on this one - we left this for Sam and he spent a great deal of time trying to beat his top speed score. 


At it’s deepest, the pool reaches 1.35m so it’s easy to stand in throughout. There's no treading water needed here - you’ll need that energy saved for the steps to the slides! Believe me, we all felt like our thighs had had a workout! 


We had such a great evening trying everything out. Even the little things like decent sized lockers, large family changing rooms and hair driers that really work all help to make a family day (or in our case, evening) run smoothly.  Mason is still talking about his trip to Coral Reef to everyone he meets and loves showing off his Batman shorts at his swimming lessons.

For more information on Coral Reef Waterworld visit the Everyone Active website. And you’ll find the Zogg products for sale online, on the high street and in sports and leisure centres.


Friday, 16 November 2018

Our day at the St Nicholas Shopping Centre

Recently I was invited down to the St Nicholas Shopping Centre in Sutton which has recently welcomed new facilities, including a Sweat gym and the Games Garden. Never a stranger to a shopping centre, I was excited to try out the leisure facilities and have a little wander around their stores.


First I headed to Debenhams for a masterclass with Urban Decay. Playing around with make-up is one of my favourite things to do with my spare time so I was in my element trying out the new Cherry Palette and adding a load of the old favourites to my Christmas list! The girls there taught us how to do a gorgeous halo eye using the palette which looked perfect for the party season.

The boys headed downstairs to the new Games Garden - this is something we all loved as gaming is very much part of our lives at the moment with the launch of the PACVAN earlier in the year. 

Located on the ground floor it’s a great place for kids (and big kids!) to enjoy some games of pool, table tennis, air hockey and even some Mario Kart, Lego Avengers and Fifa. It meant I had a bit of time to pop into Next and New Look while they played.


Mason can barely be torn away from his Nintendo Switch so he got settled right down on a bean bag for a game of Mario Kart. The place looks great, all brightly decorated in green astro turf and recycled wooden pallets and it’s free to use til 5pm. It’s perfect for anyone with kids who don’t like wandering around the shops for long. 


 Also new to the centre is the Sweat! Gym. They use the latest technology to take their group classes  to the next step. Their group exercises  focus on working together and having fun while you get fit. They have spin theatres with great big screens to keep up the momentum and keep you on your toes (at times, literally!).

Their BOX! 360 class sounds great fun and it’s exclusive to Sutton. It uses aqua bags, kettlebells, speed ropes and ab rollers for  a 3-dimantional fun workout. Right now I have to roll sideways off the bed instead of using my abs to sit up so I’ll have to wait til the baby is here to give this a go! 

There’s a whopping 150 classes a week so you’re bound to find something to suit you. Whats more, members get 2 hours of free parking so there’s no excuse! 

There’s a selection of street food on the top floor. We all sampled some rather incredible desserts and milkshakes from Sugar and Spice.


Now maybe I’m getting old, maybe it’s due to the baby on my bladder ensuring I make at least one visit but finding clean decent toilets always pleases me. The St Nicholas Centre has revamped not only their toilets but there’s a lovely family feeding room with nappies and wipes supplied for those little emergencies. It’s nice to see unisex baby changing so it’s not always left down to us ladies and perfect for days where Sam takes the kids out. The comfortable seating outside is a really nice touch too.


We were given tickets to the Empire Cinema so Sam and I headed back a week later to see Bohemian Rhapsody. The cinema looks great, I haven’t actually visited since I saw Titanic here in '97 so needless to say it’s changed a fair bit! 

Walking in you can’t help but notice the revamp, it looks modern and fresh. I really love the wall of old movie posters before you go to the screens. 


I've only seen 14 of the films you can see in this picture!

The thing that really makes a trip to this cinema stand out is the choice of seating. From Monday to Thursday a standard seat is a really reasonable £7.45 and is a pound more over the busier weekend days. You can pay a couple of quid extra for a lovely soft sofa or even a recliner. 

Armed with a Cherry Tango Ice Blast to fuel my ice craving I headed to the screen to watch one of the best films of the year. I loved every moment, I resisted singing along and it really was made all the more special sat in such a comfortable reclining chair which I could manoeuvre into the perfect position. I’ve recommended this place to everyone!

If you really fancy a treat some showings have the option of D-Box seats which vibrate and move around for a real immersive experience! At only £10.50 per adult and £7.50 per child this definitely sounds like something I’ll be checking out!

Top Tip- remember to validate your parking ticket and you get 3 hours free parking while you’re there! 

At the end of the year there’s a brand new soft play coming to level 3 which will provide hours of fun for children up to 7 years old. It seems like this centre is really catering for everyone and it’s great! 


Monday, 5 November 2018

Last minute photo gifts

It's that time of year again, Halloween is over (though didn't it seem to go on forever this year?!) And as I type the fireworks are all fizzing out. X Factor is on Tv and it's the countdown to Christmas, which of course means we need to start Christmas shopping. 

 Whenever I'm stuck for a gift idea I always turn to something personalised. You just can't go wrong with something personal, it will mean more to the person receiving it and it always feels like a worthwhile gift. 


This is made so simple now that there are more options on the market. Gone are the days where you would just have to stick a photo to a bit of folded card and write inside or put a picture in a frame - to quote Eddie Izzard from the recycling advert - the possibilities are endless!
*wonders how many people will actually get that reference....

Holidays are well and truly coming and I know a lot of you are already wracking your brains over what gift to get that person that has everything. I feel like as we get older we end up treating ourselves to things more and actually don't really know what we want for Christmas. I certainly can't write a long list like I used to. 

I like to be surprised with a gift with some thought put in. I really like giving gifts like this too. I have a sense of satisfaction when I give something that I've thought up on my own and the person receiving it really loves. 
However, this can leave me fretting over what to get and I end up in a last minute panic. Luckily I have a great option at my local Tesco!


Tesco Photo have a great range of same-day delivery gifts available so you can buy an extra special last minute gift for a loved one. You just use their 
express service to get products the same day. Most same day gifts can be collected in store after 3pm if an order is placed by noon.

There's a great selection of products not just perfect for Christmas but  for an anniversary, birthday or just to add something extra to your rooms.

Along with your usual personalised mugs and mousemats there's a range of canvas prints and posters in a range of sizes to brighten up any wall and you can really get creative with them by making a collage if you like. 
I received  this gorgeous picture of Mason and me from a few years ago which I admit I'd forgotten all about. I really love how it looks and every time I see it it reminds me of a lovely day in London we had with our friends and their daughter.


There's an option to order a photo in a frame so the hard work is completely done for you for about £10. There's no hunting around stores with a picture trying to find a frame to suit it. So simple!

Photo blocks are a perfect contemporary addition on any table or mantelpiece. I got these for Sam's birthday to have on his desk. They look really great and they're something a little different. You can order these from postcard size, 8X6" or 10X8" and they can have a black or a white trim. They can also be wall mounted if you prefer.


You can also print out your photos to collect that same day -something  really need to do more of instead of leaving them sitting on my computer or phone. 

What's more, the website is really easy to use; you choose the product you're after and simply upload a photo. You can use their tools to position it how you like to make sure it's perfect. 

Everything is packaged really well in bubble wrap and cardboard so there's no worry of there being any damage in transit. 

You would think that a personalised product would mean there's a long wait and you should have ordered something back in October but thankfully that's not the case. Just order by noon and you can have your order with you by 3pm so you can  pick it up when you do your food shop. If you have enough time to wait a little longer you can have the order delivered to your house which takes about a week.

I think these are a really great idea for Christmas and I'd definitely recommend them.

*these products were kindly sent to me but as always all thoughts are 100% my own