trips, resaurants, holidays and more

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The Grand Hotel & Spa: York’s 5 star family friendly luxury

Published August 21, 2017 by Bizzimummy

The words five star hotel combined with children or even families don’t always mix well. Many people (singletons especially) may not like the idea of paying a grand price for luxury, only to find children running amok in the hotel corridors. Many hotels in the five star group are therefore not so welcoming when it comes to families and children.

 However I was very very fortunate to recently stay in one hotel that certainly is “Family Friendly”

The Grand hotel and Spa is conveniently located within walking distance from York train station. The place oozes with luxury, set in the iconic former headquarters of the North Eastern rail company.

From the moment we arrived we got the celebrity treatment; after all it’s not everyday we get helped out of taxis, bags carried and even umbrellas held over our heads on entrance. Real red carpet treatment at this place. 

The porters and door men are lovely, extremely friendly, helpful, chatty and approachable. 

We arrived fairly early before the 3pm check in time but were able to leave our large bags whilst we went off sightseeing around York. A taxi was ordered for us too and fresh fruit and lollipops are there to help ourselves too at reception. Izebella being delighted at the prospect of lollipops.

The reception staff are also warm and friendly and even offered to ring me once my room was available. We had a lot to go around York so I told them this was not required and we arrived back to check in just after 3pm.

 Check in was quick. I was asked to leave a credit card incase I wished to charge anything to my room. Was told dinner times and asked about spa treatments etc. Then we were escorted to our room wit the bags following up a few minutes later. 

The decor inside is beautiful. Extremely clean and pristine. Long hallways, high ceilings, winding staircases. The hotel is fairly new, but the inside has been created to look much older, vintage, almost to the style of its Edwardian aged building; yet luxurious and grand and Izebella said – Fit for a princess.


Our room! Well wow, what more can I say. It was bigger than my whole upstairs floor. The bed was the biggest I have slept in. Large television, huge storage cupboards, seating area etc.


Our room had everything we needed and so much more – hairdryer, iron, iron board, needle and thread repair kit, towel robes, Molten Brown toiletries, tea, coffee, biscuits, a fridge stocked with glass bottled water, menus, even complimentary chocolates and a welcome card.

Of  course none of this is particularly child friendly. This is more Mummy friendly isn’t it. Well Izebella got a lovely surprise to find that, not only did she have her own special smaller bed, but also her very own towels, mini gown, slippers, toiletries and an activity book and crayons waiting just for her. 


We were both fascinated by the size of the room and just how grand and amazing it was. It was almost like a dream that we were even there. 

After a lovely cup of tea and biscuits we went out again to explore York, returning for dinner at 6pm. Dinner is served in the new Rise restaurant and bar

The Rise restaurant, terrace and bar offers modern cuisine across a new ‘small plate’ concept. It’s a little like “Tapas” type dishes but obviously more gourmet, and it’s recommended 3/4 per guest.


I chose three dishes from this fabulous looking menu.


I had the lamb, the chicken and the Tiger prawn dish followed by a delicious pana cota dessert. They have a children’s menu too which is much simpler than the adults menu. The children’s dishes are full dishes rather than the small dish experience. 

The dining staff could not do enough for us, including helping Izebella on her chair. We were served drinks and bottled water and Izebella was given more activity books and ice cream. The food tasted amazing.

Once our grand dinner had settled, Izebella was eager to have an evening dip in the swimming pool. The pool is located on the lower ground floor along with the spa and gym. Many spa treatments can be booked, I didn’t book any treatments as it was just me and Izebella there and it wasn’t fair to her to make her wait whilst I got pampered. There was no way I was missing the pool and I am so glad I bought my costume. I mean who would say no to an evening dip in this? 


This is like something one would find in an oriental palace. It is the cleanest and most luxurious pool I have ever had the pleasure to swim in. The evening lighting is so ambient, it’s a perfect temperature and so tranquil.


The changing rooms are pristine, providing towels, spa gowns, hair dryer and hair straightening irons, fully heated and not a speck of grime or dirt in sight. 

I did manage a quick dip in the Jacuuzi too. This is for adults only but Izebella was fine sitting at the side for a few minutes. 


The hotel also boasts a sauna, steam room, gym and relaxation lounge. 

My big bed was amazingly comfortable. Izebella started in her own smaller bed but ended up in mine eventually. We slept like princesses (minus the pea) after a lovely bath with the Molten Brown toiletries. 


Breakfast at the grand was also a lovely experience. The choice of food is overwhelming. There is the hot buffet with egg, bacon, sausage, hash brown, beans, mushroom and tomatoes. 


And also a choice of cereal, toast with butter, jam, Nutella etc. 



Then the more continental choices with fresh croissants, a selection of meats, smoked salmon, olives etc. Also my favourite a great selection of fresh fruits, yoghurts, actimel and breakfast bars. 


With so much breakfast choice we just had to sample a bit of everything. And if none of this is suited to ones pallets then there is an optional menu serving other more extravagant breakfast dishes, kippers, poached egg type of foods. Both hot and cold drinks were available. Tea served in pots and a selection of fresh juices. Breakfast at the grand is certainly an unforgettable morning experience for all the right reasons.

We did not want to leave but sadly 11am arrived. Again we were helped with our bags and given fresh bottled water and fruit for our journey home. 

We will never forget our amazing stay at the Grand Hotel York and hope to one day return to this amazing five star family friendly place.

Prices to stay at the Grand Hotel vary depending on room, party size, dates and extras. 

“The Grand Hotel & Spa, York – Yorkshire’s only AA 5-star hotel – has appointed 14-year-old Sam as its very own ‘Director Of Fun & Families’ and will lead a campaign to help children get the most out of their visits to York.

 Sam’s first job as Director Of Fun & Families has been to produce a series of six video blogs revealing his top tips for children to do in York, including family-friendly places to eat, things to do for free, as well as historic York.

 Sam will be a kid consultant for the hotel, helping with everything from menus and recipes, in-room entertainment and seasonal city guides, through to suggesting family-friendly activities and promotions.”

Sam’s video blogs can be viewed here.

Twitter party invite Cars 3

Published July 20, 2017 by Bizzimummy

In line with the launch of Disney Cars 3 in cinemas across the U.K.; Jumbo games have chosen a few select bloggers to host a twitter party. Jumbo games have recently bought out lots of new puzzles and games all based around the new movie.

So join in the fun today 20/07/2017 4-5pm.

You could win a big bundle of Cars 3 products as in the picture below.

A fantastic weekend at Haven 

Published July 12, 2017 by Bizzimummy

We took a much needed long weekend break to Presthaven sands over weekend. 

I have been to Presthaven a few times. The most memorable one being when I was 15 years old. A lot has changed at Presthaven sands since then and it seems to have had a very recent overhaul and redo as everything was extremely clean and updated. The one thing I vaguely remember from my teenage holiday which has not changed much is the sand dunes and the long path leading to the beach. 

I don’t drive so rely on trains to get us to places. Prestatyn is the closest station to Presthaven and a taxi from the station takes about 10 minutes and cost just £7.00 each way.

I had booked the weekend break a few months ago, I paid just over £250 and was extremely lucky to get a nice last minute upgrade to one of their new model prestige caravans. These are the more expensive caravans to stay in but come with added extras like a dishwasher, large television, blu tooth surround speakers, full size fridge freezer, en suite toilet room in main bedroom and our beds made up on arrival. Our caravan was just lovely, I can’t be 100% sure but it looked completely brand new to me. Sparkling kitchen area, absolutely spotless and even wrappers on the toilet seats! 

Prestige also allows a 2pm check in instead of the usual 4pm. This meant we got our keys before the queues arrived.

Presthaven sands is huge. Finding our caravan was a bit tricky even with clear instructions from reception. We found the location but were unable to find our number. We located one of the lovely cleaning ladies who kindly escorted us to the correct one. Navigating the park is easy as everything is next to each other. The arcade just past reception with 2 entertainment rooms (live lounge and carousel bar)  connected to the arcade. The sports hall/activity zone and pool is literally opposite withe park areas in between. Behind the reception area is the mini mart shop with the outdoor activity area at the side. Access to the beach is via a path near the shop.


There is so much to do at Presthaven sands. Some of which is included in the initial booking price and some activities require activity passes which are best pre booked or booked on the day of arrival because the activities seem to get full very fast. 

The inclusive activities include the play parks, an indoor fun soft play type area and the pool area. 


Our break away was made all the more perfect by the glorious hot sunny weather, this allowed us to take many nice strolls around the park as well as the children being able to go on the play parks and kick a ball about outside the caravan. The hot weather also kept our time in the arcade to a minimum. The arcade is great, lots of machines and a few £1 a go ride on’s for the little ones but if not careful we can spend way too much in them so arcade time was limited to evenings, prior to going in the clubs.

The swimming pool facilities at Presthaven were particularly impressive. We counted a total of 4 pools. Two indoor, one of which has a big flume water slide. An outdoor heated pool with smaller slides which is literally hidden from view, it can only be accessed via the main pool. And the final one being the lazy river. This is a fast moving winding pool which pushes you round and there’s a small pool area in the middle too. Obviously taking photographs in the pool is forbidden or limited and I wouldn’t want to risk wetting my phone anyway. So here are a few pics of the pool area that I managed to find on the Haven websites. 


My children absolutely loved the pools. Again the sunny weather made it all the more better, allowing us to make full use of both indoor and outdoor pool areas. The main outdoor pool even has sun loungers and tables incase you fancy a sun bathe instead and there is also a sauna indoors too. I did not use this as it is only for adults and I could not really leave my kids alone in a pool area.

I am always slightly apprehensive when deciding whether to fork out extra cash for extra paid park activities as I have no idea whether my children will enjoy them and find them fun. I was given many activity passes as part of my upgrade and I was very grateful to be given the opportunity to try out most of the activities. I did not partake in any of them myself but left it to my children to take part in them all weekend. It was non stop from 8.30 am onwards both Saturday and Sunday.

The activities vary in price. Activity passes can be purchased in bundles or separate but each activity requires a different amount of passes. The activities include many sports and also new “Nature Rockz”

The Nature rockz activities are all about outdoor exploration and seem similar to activities that are completed at cub scouts or brownies. The nature rockz activities which we took part in included – shelter building, firelighting and bug hunting.

There are probably too many other activities to mention but some we took part in included – fencing, archery, roller skating, rock climbing, kayaking, turbo jets, pool parties, & aerial adventure. The latter being a huge zip wire obstacle course which both Ryan and Jordanna did several times. I wouldn’t of minded a go of it misled but unfortunately Izebella is just too young. Have a look at our adventures video to see my children taking part. 


The majority of the activities on offer are for older children (mainly 8+). They do have a few sports activities for younger children of Izebellas age too and she was able to do both mini archery and mini fencing with foam swords. Some of the water activities also start from 4 years like turbo paddlers but Izebella is not yet confident enough in the water on her own (without me by her side) but maybe next holiday she will be. Nature rockz are also more for slightly older children but Izebella was able to go on the bug hunt walk with myself and join in with the shelter building at the end. When the older two were busy doing something we went on the parks of the soft play instead.


Presthaven sands does not offer any sort of food board basis. It would be great if it did, the Mini mart shop is not too expensive. We stocked up on bread and sandwich items mainly. They also sell microwave burgers and a few frozen/fresh food bits. They have a hot shelf too and the bacon barms are lovely for breakfast and only cost £1.40 each (they have sausage barms and sausage rolls too). There is a Burger King, papa John pizza and a chip shop all on site so plenty to choose from if hungry. We did not buy from the pizza place but got a meal for all 4 of us for £15 from Burger King and chips with gravy for supper one night. 

There main restaurant is Mash & Barrel. We are there on the Sunday as we had a complimentary voucher. The food there was great, although perhaps slightly on the expensive side for larger families. I certainly could not afford to eat there more than one night. 


I had the double chicken fillet burger (minus the cheese) it was delicious and really filling. Me and the girls still managed a big sharing desert too. 

As for night times! We had a choice of two clubs to go in, both with constant entertainment on. Party dances and fun shows for children, followed by singers and then more dancing. 

Lots if opportunities to meet the Haven characters including the loveable Anxious the elephant and Bradley bear.


The clubs were also open at various times during the day for photo meet and greet character sessions along with other free games and activities. For those who love bingo, it’s on most nights in one of the clubs and those who hate it can just sit in the other bar. 

I don’t drink alcohol when away with just my children so I can’t comment on prices. A large jug of juice for kids cost £1.50. Popcorn and crisp snacks can be purchased too at pretty reasonable prices and of course plenty of those flashing toys to buy from the club toy shop.


The music is always loud especially if sat close to the stage. The clubs fill up really quickly and I imagine it will be difficult to get a seat during busy school holiday times so it’s best to try and arrive as early as possible.


Yes those old party dances we boogied away too at Haven when kids are stlll going strong! 

The beach is a short walk up a sandy path, over the sand dunes, surrounded by greenery and nature. There is a protected area sealed off on the beach path containing a protected species of toad. We got told about this area on the bug hunt. The beach is okay, very clean but there are warning signs for sinking sand and a big puddle when we went so it’s a case of finding a safe dry area.


Haven grounds are also good to walk around in the sun. Always clean and with a few palm trees scattered around and flowers it almost felt like we were abroad. 


I need to give a mention to Ant and Dec too. Izebella absolutely loved these guys and especially so Dec in particular! No I’m not talking about the guys on celebrity jungle but I am on about animals of some sort!


Yeah Ant and Dec are two donkeys and for just £3.00 will take youngsters on a short ride around. As you can see Dec made Izebella one happy little girl. 

And finally how could we forget the big deck chair! It has to be the main park feature as you just cannot miss it and everyone just has to sit inside it.


The staff, entertainers, cleaners and managers all seem to work incredibly hard to keep the thousands of guests entertained.  They are lovely and chatty and always really approachable. I found the activity leaders especially friendly and seemed to go that extra mile to keep my kids safe and happy. 

We had an absolute ball, possibly the best weekend in a long time. Real family moments and memories spent at Presthaven sands. This place has to be the best holiday park in the U.K. we have visited so far (and we have been to a fair few) it was absolutely amazing from the accommodation to activities and entertainment, all helped by the nice weather and amazing staff. We did not want to come home. A long weekend just was not long enough and we cannot wait to go back again one day soon.

Thank you Presthaven sands! 

Blackpool pleasure beach 

Published June 14, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Over the two long half term weeks, we did an overnight trip to Blackpool. One of the days there, we got to visit the pleasure beach. We have been before but this was really Izebellas first proper visit where she was able to go on the rides and enjoy it. 

It’s hard to believe but the Pleasure beach has been open for over a hundred years. The first rides were there back in 1896 meaning it has also survived both World Wars.

Blackpool pleasure beach is conveniently located on Blackpool’s South Shore and accessible via the promenade. The biggest ride; known as the Big One is a massive 213ft high and can be seen from miles away. 

 

There are 41 rides in total at the Pleasure Beach spanning a 42 acre area, 10 of which are roller coasters. The rides seem to change often with old rides closing and new rides being built. I still remember going on Noah’s Ark when I was a child. I loved that ride! There are a few rides that are still going strong after many many years including the Grand national, River caves, Alice in Wonderland and the Ghost train. These are rides which I went on as a child and now my children enjoy them too. 


Nickelodeon land is a fairly new addition. It opened in 2011 and consists of many rides for younger children, or those not brave enough for the bigger rides. There is a watershoot type ride along with the Spongebob splash bash which I got absolutely soaked on. It’s a moving ride with water guns. Good job it was a hot day. 

We all enjoyed the Wallace and Gromit thrillomatic ride. It’s like something in between Alice in Wonderland and Valhalla. It’s a rollercoaster in the dark with Wallace and Gromit scenes but without the speed and big drops (or water), so younger children can ride with parents. 


Valhalla of course is one of the newer white knuckle type rides which has height and age restrictions so younger children cannot go on this one. It’s a huge boat type veichle which takes you for a ride in the dark, sometimes pitch black. There are biggish drops, speed, fire, wind, chills and water; lots of water. They even sell ponchos because most people end up soaked. It is one of my favourite rides.


For the thrill seekers there are many other fast rides and rollercoaster including the Revolution, Big One, Infusion, Ice blast, and avalanche. Ryan won’t go on any of these and of course Izebella is far too young. Jordanna and myself love them. Obviously I was unable to go on many fast rides with being on my own with Izebella but; Jordanna seemed very eager to go on the Grand National ride. This happens to be one of Blackpool oldest rides and has been there since 1935, with a few facelifts over the years. It is an old style wooden rickety bumpy rollercoaster and is one of the first rides to come across as you enter the attraction. 


We were in luck, as the queues were not huge despite it being half term and a hot day. Ryan took Izebella for me and we only waited about 10/15 minutes. Taking Jordanna on was probably a big mistake as she was crying and feeling sick from the first dip. Poor girl! 

Their wild mouse rollercoaster, also another old traditional ride is one of only two in existence today. Many have been replaced with the more modern metal type coasters and the only other one is in Australia. I have been on this, it is very scary and especially so at the top. The cars are small and they shake and bump and jerk all over. The track is thin and when the cars turn corners it feels like the agile thing is going to come tumbling off. Certainly not for the faint hearted. 

The Big one is also extremely scary. For me it’s more the height than the speed. The first  dip does a very strange angled twist as it drops you and from then on it’s not as bad, just fast. 

For a modern day funhouse type experience there is Impossible. 

Impossible is a walk through attraction with an optional ride at the end. It has many optical illusion and magic type things to view and children of all ages will like it. 

As well as all the rides, The pleasure beach also has many places for food & drink, arcades, gift shops, prize stalls and lots of features for photo opportunities. 


If visiting for a long day or stopping over in a hotel there, then it’s a good idea to take advantage of the lockers which are located inside and just outside the venue. These cost just a few pound and available in big and large and saved us carrying bags with us on a hot day. Also with all the recent terrible attacks, Pleasure beach is very strict with security. They have metal detectors and bag search everyone. 

A family ticket to the Pleasure beach can work out expensive. For me to buy wristbands online for myself and 3 children; the cost is about £90. That’s just for one day visit. Booking online is slightly cheaper but it is best to look out for offers and discounts which they do regularly and it is usually advertised on tv when they do. A lot of places often offer discounts on wristbands throughout the year including newspapers and websites. People visiting the park, who do not wish to go on any rides still need to pay a small fee to gain entrance. 

Own food is not permitted in the park. Visitors can go to the area outside to consume own food and re-enter the park when finished. There are many restaurants and places for food. We found Burger King and got 2 adult & 2 child meals for just over £18. 

Blackpool Pleasure beach has its own designated train station behind the park. Trains run hourly towards Preston. 

We had a lovely visit. All of us enjoyed it and came home very tired. 

See more and book tickets at the Blackpool Pleasure beach website. 

Blackpool tower visit 

Published June 7, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Last week we made one of our yearly visits to Blackpool tower. I say yearly because we have been going there at least once a year since starting this blog. 

We chose a perfect day to go to Blackpool too (Wednesday), the sun was scorching and the day was just lovely. We set off early at 9am and got to the tower for 10.30am just after it opened.

As we were spending the night in Blackpool this time, we managed to get round all seven attractions connected to the tower – Tower eye & 4D cinema, Jungle Jims, Dungeon, ballroom, Sealife, Madam Tussauds and the circus and all in that order too. 

Our first stop was the tower eye and Izebellas first time at the top of the tower. This was also my first experience of the 4D cinema which I have not been able to visit previously due to time or Izebella being too young. Unlike other 4D cinemas you stand up in this one and lean against a bar. It doesn’t last too long and the effects are really good. Then it’s onto the lift and up to the glass floor. 

This can be a daunting experience as it does feel like your going to fall through it. However the glass is really thick and safe to walk or sit on. The views were amazing and especially so with the nice weather that day. 

The lift does not go to the very top of the tower. It stops at the glass floor level. There are another 3 staircases to climb to the maximum public height which is very close to the very top. These are spiral metal staircases and very narrow and it did make us tired climbing all the way up, but we made it. 

Then down to Jungle Jims for an hours play. This place is probably older than me. Tho it’s been revamped and redone many times over the years. 


After a quick lunch break it was back to the tower, round the back entrance and straight in the dungeon. We had been to the dungeon a few times before so knew what to expect but I did notice a few more scares and people jumping out had been added. Unfortunately no pictures or videos are allowed in the dungeon so no actual pictures by myself from this part. It is worth a visit, nothing too scary, odd few jumps but it’s more of a tour through the dark ages with some great acting. Jordanna was scared, Izebella was brave and poor Ryan got picked out but the judge to go on trial. 


As both my girls love dancing; a brief visit to the tower ballroom was in order. The tower ballroom has also been an attraction at the tower for many decades and still retains its original features. 


The dance floor is huge but gets filled quickly and they often have various shows and entertainment on along with the organist and free ballroom dancing. 

A short walk from the tower is Sealife which is part of the tower attractions. My kids love this place. It’s a great opportunity to see different species of fish and marine life and they are always adding new things to it. There are opportunities to touch star fish, crabs and even giant snails. Walk through a shark tunnel with sharks and huge fish swimming above and around, see jellyfish, seahorse and other amazing creatures and even stand and crawl through marine tunnels. 


And a few minutes from sealife is Madam Tussauds, the famous wax works. My kids were really excited by this place and spotted a few new celebrity additions. As well as a few old favourites such as this guy. 


Bear Grylls even got me a rare nice photo of all my children together.


Some of these figures look so real and alive that you half expect them to jump out at you. There are many sections of Tussauds to see and it’s easily an hour all round in there. 

At 7pm we went back to the tower for the 2 hour circus show. Again just like the dungeon photography and videos are forbidden. It’s a great show with trapeze artists and acrobatics and Mooky the clown and Boo are still going strong making everyone laugh. 


The circus does need booking on arrival with 2/3 sessions per day and is a 2 hour long show with a break.

We had an amazing but tiring day at all the tower attractions. We took a lot of photographs but far too many to show here individually. So instead I’ve made this video slide. 

Blackpool tower have many ticket options including the “Big ticket” which gets you into all seven attractions. These cost £45.00 per adult and £32.50 for a child over 3 years. There are other ticket options if you only want certain attractions. Booking online is cheaper than paying on the day and tickets can be booked directly on the Blackpool tower website.

A day at Blackpool zoo

Published April 21, 2017 by Bizzimummy

On Wednesday we took a family day out to Blackpool zoo. We have been before but Izebella was very little then so probably doesn’t remember much from her first trip.

Blackpool zoo is located close to Stanley park and costs about £6.00 by taxi from the centre of Blackpool. I believe there are also a few buses that take you straight there. There are signposts throughout Blackpool directing drivers towards the zoo too.

The first thing we saw when we got into the zoo was a big dinosaur area. Of course these creatures died millions of years ago but they are really big and lifelike. Once past the dinosaurs it’s time to meet some very much alive creatures like this gorgeous guy. 

Many of you may know that I absolutely love tortoises and even have one myself, tho he is much much smaller than this giant species. I would absolutely love one of these in my garden. 

Blackpool zoo has so many animal species including big and little mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and even a few bugs. Here’s just a few I managed to snap.


I found the big cats fascinating, being so close to them and only separated by a wall of glass. 

There are lots of monkey type species including gorillas, these are kept far away for obvious reasons but can still be easily viewed. There is an orang-u-tan enclosure where we could watch them  high up and Amazonia where small monkeys are in the trees all around us and often jump down right in front of us along with tropical birds flying around. 

There are lots of really interesting and unusual animals too such as Tapirs and other animals rarely seen. 

The small farm area is great for kids. It’s located in a barn and contains pigs, sheep, goats, llamas, donkeys, rabbits and a few other more well known farm friends. They even let you hold and touch smaller animals at certain times of the day and feed them.

We spent a good 4 hours at the zoo, walking around, seeing the animals, farm visit, sea lion show and dinner at the restaurant. A family meal deal consists of 2 adult meals and 2 kids with drinks for £18.00. It is similar to McDonalds with choices of burgers and nuggets so not too bad a price. 

There are toilets located all around the zoo, gift shops, and a park area too. 

Adult tickets start from £13.99 depending on date and child tickets are slightly discounted. It is cheaper to book online prior to arriving and discounts are given on family tickets too. 

Find out more at Blackpool zoo.

Bouncing fun at Jump Xtreme Bolton

Published April 18, 2017 by Bizzimummy

On Saturday I took Ryan, Izebella and their friends to Jump Xtreme in Bolton. Jump Xtreme is a big trampoline centre. Inside are 95 interconnected trampolines which from a distance looks like one huge one. The main trampoline arena also has Jump boxes, blocks and angled jump pads for the more daring bouncers. 

As well as the main trampoline arena there is also a dodgeball arena, and slam dunk basketball on trampolines which is quite fun and makes it a little easier to get the ball in the nets. 

And if that wasn’t enough bouncy fun then there is also a large Xtreme stunt bag area. This has 4 trampoline platforms of varying height and run up to jump off into a huge soft air bag. 

One of these platforms is really heigh and only for the bravest among us. Izebella really seemed to like the airbag jump even tho she sometimes got a little stuck getting off it.

The air bag jump does seem a little dangerous as people are jumping into the same air bag from four platforms side by side. There was always a staff member there who directed when each jumper should go but the worry is that some idiot may not listen and jump at the wrong time resulting in a nasty people crash. However all seemed pretty safe when we went. 

I had not done any sort of trampolining for many years and I found I could bounce pretty high on the ones at Jump Xtreme. 

It was great fun and good exercise but also quite tiring after an hours session. Both Izebella and Ryan had a really great time trying all the areas and generally bouncing away for an hour.

An hours free jump session is £10 each and everyone jumping also needs special trampoline socks which can be purchased and kept for £2.00.  Under 4s cannot go on the main trampoline areas and instead have a smaller toddler area with a few trampolines and toys. Younger children ages 4-8 years can use any area but need to be supervised at all times. Children over 8 years are free to use all areas alone. 

As well as free jump sessions, Jump Xtreme also offers family sessions, teen nights, tots only, fitness sessions and birthday parties and they have centres in Bolton and Tamworth. Booking can be done online or pay at the centre. Visit the Jump Xtreme website for more information. 

Bidvine 

Published April 10, 2017 by Bizzimummy

In our busy lives, we often need the services of professionals to help us out now and again. Be it something needs fixing, or learning a new skill, hobby or help with a wedding, birthday or other occasion. For all these services and many more we often browse multiple internet pages or look through the adverts of local newspapers. Then it’s usually a case of ringing multiple people to get the best quote. Well just imagine if you could access all the services you need in just one place!

And now you can with an online service called Bidvine.

 Bidvine is a local services tech startup, connecting customers with the right service providers all over the UK. 


It can be used online or via an app. It is very very easy to use, and seems designed for everyone, even those who are hopeless on computers.

The first screen you see is really basic. It asks two questions – the service required and a postcode. So I have my sons birthday coming up very soon. If I wanted some help planning a party this is what I would do. 

I would type Party planning and my postcode into the first screen. I would then see various screens with questions to help find the best people for me, like this. 


The questions for party planning go on to ask the age of the person having the party, any themes, how many guests, services and things I need and even venues. Once all the questions are answered it’s time to create an account. This can be done by email or facebok and then the request gets sent to service providers registered on bidvine.

The service providers will then send offers and basically bid to be chosen by the user. 

There are literally hundreds of services available on bidvine, however these may not be available in every area. 

I have been browsing and playing around with the service and found a few fairly strange services such as Paranormal investigation, well at least I’ll know where to look when things go bump in the night. 


There are 800 U.K. services on bidvine which include decorators, electricians, repair men, Portraits, parties, CV writing, pet care, gardening and so much more.

I would recommend this service to pretty much anyone who is struggling to find a certain professional service in their area. It’s very easy to use. 

Easter Day trip ideas: RAF Museum London

Published April 4, 2017 by Bizzimummy

The RAF museum is in a central location in London. Close to main train stations and tubes its very easy to get to. The RAF museum has many actual planes and air veichles to see along with a 4D cinema, and a WW1 exhibition.

We have not been here yet but this museum is just the sort of place my son would love to visit. I am very much hoping to visit there one day soon.

Watch this video to find out a bit more. 

Greggs: Caffeine fueled taste test

Published March 11, 2017 by Bizzimummy

The fair trade fortnight began February 27th and ends this Sunday (March 12th). Fairtrade Fortnight is a fun-filled highlight of the year, when campaigners, businesses, schools and places of worship show their support for the farmers and workers who grow our food in developing countries.

I was asked to take part in a coffee taste challenge by Greggs, who are probably better known for their pies and cakes. The challenge involved being sent vouchers to buy coffee from Greggs and other well known coffee outlets and comparing them all, rating and seeing which I liked best.

I could choose any type of coffee I wanted and chose Latte at Greggs and three other coffee shops – Costa, Starbucks and Cafe Nero. Latte being my favourite coffee as it’s quite mild, and creamy. 

Starting with Greggs: I found a Greggs in my local town centre with a “sit in” option rather than taking it away. Greggs Latte costs £1.80 and contains 111 calories. There is an option of vanilla syrup for a small charge (which I had) 

Greggs Latte looks like a regular latte, creamy on top mixed with steamed coffee. It comes served in a throw away cup which is no doubt down to the fact that Greggs is more of a take away venues rather than eat in. Unfortunately this does let the drink down a little on the whole visual appearance. The aroma was fairly strong for a latte and I do drink a fair few of them. Now for taste – I did find this Latte a little on the strong side for my personal taste. I am sure that if you prefer a stronger coffee then this will be fine but I found I had to add extra sugar just to sweeten it up a little, even with the vanilla syrup. 

I thought the coffee was good value and seems reasonably priced at £1.80.

Each coffee bean from Greggs is 100% fair trade. The information van be found easily on their web page.


Costa – Caramel Latte. A while after Greggs I went to Costa and got myself one of their caramel lattes. 

Costa have both sit in and take away options. If you sit in, you get a latte glass and take away a cup like this! 

Yes I had one for the bus home too. Costa latte costs slightly more than Greggs. They do 3 sizes and for a medium latte which is a similar size to Greggs its £2.85. There are a few other flavour options here including amaretto and hazelnut. 

The latte does vary in appearance depending on whether you stay in or take it out but I did notice that the milk did not look quite as frothy as Greggs. 

The aroma was also fairly weak. The taste was much milder than Greggs and no sugar was needed but I thought it was perhaps a little too weak and flat for a proper latte.

Costa coffee is Rainforest alliance certified. Costa has its own independent charity – Costa foundation which aims to relieve poverty in coffee growing countries. Again this information was easy to find.


Cafe Nero – At cafe Nero I ordered their salted caramel latte. This cost £2.95 for a regular (stay in) cup. 

I really liked the whole appearance of this one. Although not in a tall latte glass, I do think this resembles how a proper Italian style latte should look. Very creamy with swirls of coffee on top and the creamy texture stays until the bottom. 

The aroma was fairly strong but the whole of Cafe Nero does have an overall coffee aroma in the air. 

Taste – I was slightly let down by the taste of this one. It was not awful and quite sweet whilst being a bit stronger than Costa. However it seemed to have an almost burnt type flavour and I’m not sure if this is down to the salted caramel flavour or not. 

I managed to find that Cafe Nero also works with Rainforst alliance but there does not seem to be much other information about their coffee.



Starbucks – Here I ordered one of their medium size burnt caramel lattes. 

Starbucks was the most expensive, costing £3.55. They also gave me the option of whipped cream on top which none of the other venues did. The coffee came served in a take away type cup, even tho I did state staying in so maybe this is just the norm.

The visual appeal of this one is extremely tempting, it looks very upmarket and even a little festive. 

Aroma – I could smell a lot of cream and caramel. The coffee aroma seemed mild.

Taste – I cannot fault this one at all. Perfect latte taste for me, not too strong and not too mild and the cream adds an extra layer of sweetness on top of the already sweet flavour. 

I really enjoyed this one but at £3.55 a go, it’s a dear do for one a day and also loaded with sweetness and sugar. 

Starbucks coffee is ethically sourced and accredited by Conservation International Their coffee is also accredited by Fairtrade and the information is easily found on the internet. 


Overall coffee ratings!

I am marking each coffee out of 5. 5 being the highest score (superb) and 1 being the lowest (poor).

Greggs – 3

Costa – 2

Cafe Nero – 3

Starbucks – 4

Therefore in my coffee taste challenge Starbucks wins it for me and would have been given a 5, had it not been the most expensive one. The coffee from Greggs was just a little too strong for my palate but I’m sure strong coffee lovers will enjoy it and it is the least expensive one. 


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The Adventures Of An Allergy Mummy.

Family, Food, Fun And Everything In Between.

Eye Will Not Cry

"Eye Fly High"

Six degrees of harmony

Tales about a family of 6 with teens, a tween & a toddler

BeejuBoxes.Com

Subscription Box Reviews, Active Directory, Spoilers, New Box Releases, Coupons and Lots of Nonsense.

Carmen Fox, Author

Welcome to the Fox's den. Musings by Carmen Fox.

Lil' Nibblet's Nook

A childhood Experience.

Aussie Criminals and Crooks

Australian criminals and their Crimes. Con artists, scum bags, murderers, corrupt cops, pollies, rapists and paedophiles will find themselves in this blog. It was expanded to also cover those that ought to be charged for their idiotic disgusting behaviour. Usually high-profile people who think they are above the law

Lake Michigan-Upon-Thames

A Gale of two cities . . .

Rock Salt

Seasoning while rocking out since 1983

Mummy Shambles

Losing it, One Marble At A Time

Just Say Know: The Truth About Drugs

Drug expert Mary Microgram answers your burning questions.

Netmums Blog

For real parents everywhere

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A lifestyle blog by Julia Bryson

Threads

Life, Leisure, Luxury

whitakerssalmanack

Just another WordPress.com site

Ryan's universe

Let the universe guide you through.

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