Friday, 10 July 2015

Smoby Tefal Super Chef Kitchen

One part of Macy's birthday present was a play kitchen.  We saw one in Early Learning Centre with a really good discount and it started us thinking and looking!  We decided we didn't want to spend any more than £100 as it seemed a waste to spend any more than that.  Our other criteria was that it needed to look realistic, a bit more classy and modern - a lot of them are really 'toy' looking if you see what I mean.  We didn't want anything like that.
 So we came across the Smoby Tefal Super Chef kitchen.  We would have liked a kitchen with a proper fridge freezer, storage drawers, oven, hob etc but for under £100 we couldn't find anything that did tick all the boxes.  This ticked a good majority though and really it was the look of the kitchen that made our mind up, it just looks fab and Tefal is a 'real adult' kitchen brand so it really does look the part.  We came across it on the Argos website who had it on offer at £90something reduced from £129.99.  However after a bit of googling we found it on the Smoby website at £79.99.  Although it promised next day delivery and we didn't get it till 3 days later which was a bit disappointing!
Anyway putting it together wasn't too difficult as it didn't require any tools, just simply clicked together.  So it's easy enough and didn't take too long, it comes with various cutlery bits and pieces as well as pans, toaster and food so that kept Macy busy while we put it together!
Items in the fridge shown here aren't included with the kitchen
  • Comes with play food, pans, toaster, cutlery so you don't have to buy extra like you do with most other kitchens
  • Hooks for storing utensils
  • Good amount of worktop space for 'food preparation'
  • Toaster
  • Coffee machine
  • Oven, hob and grill pan
  • Fridge
  • One hob ring makes noises
  • Fridge door doesn't close very well, as it is curved it sort of bends as it shuts and even then doesn't close well
  • Sink and tap is a bit flimsy and ends up getting knocked out of place a lot - could do with being clipped in, I don't want to glue it as it is good to be able to remove for cleaning purposes
All items shown are included with the kitchen
So all in all it is a fab kitchen, Macy loves it, I don't know whether it is good enough quality to justify spending £129.99 on it as it is a little flimsy, but certainly the £79.99 we paid for it makes it a good buy :)  See our video review below:

Monday, 6 July 2015

Happy 2nd Birthday Macy!

This year I decided to use balloons spelling TWO for Macy's birthday photos.  I did think about doing another chalkboard but I think that just using it for her first birthday leaves it as something special.  The balloons, they were a nightmare and I don't know why I had the silly idea lol.  It was so windy they just kept flattening despite being helium filled.  So Mark ended up putting them into the wind and tying them back on themselves so they floated.  A real nightmare, Mark is always there to come up with a solution and sort it out for me, wouldn't be without him!


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

West Midlands Safari Park

It’s Macy’s 2nd birthday on Monday and as she will be at Nursery and us at work we thought we would take her out for her birthday treat today while the weather was nice.  It turned out to be the hottest July day on record, when we got back into the car at 4pm it was still reading a whopping 32 degrees C!  Anyway she loves animals, so what better way to spend a day than to go to West Midlands Safari Park.  Under 3s are free but adults are £19.99 each however it does include a free return so really it’s £10 a visit – we are only 40mins away so it’s local enough to return again.

I was grateful to be in an air conditioned car round the safari otherwise it would have been too hot!  We bought a box of food for the animals for £3 and started off on our safari feeding some sort of deer.  It would be nice to have the different animals listed in order by the map as not all of them are.  Macy thought it was funny having a deer put its head through the window!
Then onto some cheetahs who we caught a glimpse of as they were hiding in the shade.  Some buffalos were cooling down in the water and some rhinos were in the same enclosure.  We couldn’t find the lions, they must have been hiding somewhere but we saw the white lions and the white tigers.  We didn’t see the wild dogs either, again they must have been hiding in the shade somewhere. 
We drove through the Zebras which you could feed and they were lovely, put their heads right through the car window and Macy thought that was funny!
On to the Elephants and we were in for a treat as there was a baby elephant playing ball in a pool, it’s mum came up to it to make sure it was okay, so sweet.
Finally onto the giraffes and we had saved some food for them.  They didn’t seem overly comfortable eating from the window with their big long necks so I decided to open the sunroof for them!  Macy thought this was hilarious and it was brilliant!  Such a fantastic experience, we loved that and Macy will talk about it for ages.
We even had two giraffes through at one point, you can only just see the nose of the other one behind the one.  The one giraffe loved it and kept following us to poke his head in lol.
We finished the safari just in time for the sea lion show which was great but we were a bit disappointed that we didn’t get splashed as the screens are too high, would have been nice on a hot day but I guess we don’t have many hot days.  There also wasn’t anyway shaded to sit so Macy did get a bit hot and grumpy so I can't say she enjoyed it that much - quite a few people with children left as they must have had the same problem.

Finally we had a wander round the rides and there was a little area with rides for the younger ones, there were probably about 10 rides for 0.8m and above.  When they get to a metre there is a lot more choice as to be honest quite a lot of the toddler rides are the same sort of thing - just different variations of things to sit in going round in circles.  I don't know whether she will make a metre before we go back but it would be good if she does as it means she can go on a lot more such as the log flume and rapids.  I hate rides that go round in circles as it just makes me feel dizzy!  You also had to pay extra for the rides so it could work out an expensive day, we bought 4 rides for £6 and you can buy wristbands which probably works out cheaper when she is older.
I was a little disappointed in the food choices, there was a restaurant that did sit down meals but it wasn't air conditioned and although there were fans in there it was very hot so we ended up eating burgers outside.  It would be nice if they had somewhere doing paninis or something like that - something a bit healthier than greasy food.

Here's a little video of the giraffe!

Monday, 29 June 2015

The Bengal Cat!

So the spotty one got out and stuck on top of a storage container but I took the opportunity to get some piccies of her using my husband's iPhone 6.  She pulls some strange faces!  Spice is an awesome cat, she has such a great temperament, she has never once hissed or scratched – considering we have a 2 year old who can get a bit in her face, I am amazed at her sometimes.  She is so playful and completely round the bend, so she is great to have around.  She is very skinny though and I wish we could put some weight on her as is such a tiny thing, bengals don’t mature until they are 2 though so she has still got time yet.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Vtech Toot-Toot Drivers

For Macy's first birthday she had lots of Vtech TootToot Drivers.  When I was a child I used to love my car garage and cars so that's initially what I was looking for.  The Vtech garage looked the best as there is a ramp, a lift, a helipad, barriers to lift up and down and it is interactive.  It seemed to have the most features out of all the garages on the market.  Then I discovered the rest of the range and decided that was the way I wanted to go as it is nice that she can add things to it.
So we now have the garage, some track which connects up to a fire station, traffic lights, service station, deluxe crash launcher, play mat and transporter.  I love the smart points on the track such as when you run a car up to the traffic lights it says 'hello fire engine.'  When she first had the set she enjoyed running the cars up and down the garage ramp and in and out of the transporter.  Now she is a bit older she can put the track together and run the cars round the track.  The pieces fit together really easily and we have taught her colours as well with the track.  There are so many different vehicles available too - police cars, racing cars, helicopters, tractors and more.

They also do an animals range as well which looks just as good, this came out just after we had got Macy the drivers set so we haven't had any animals.  For more info on the range click here.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Shrewsbury Food Festival

The weather forecast was fabulous and Macy and I had a free day so we decided to visit Shrewsbury’s Annual Food Festival.  We both get bored being cooped up inside so it sounded like a great way to enjoy the outdoors too!

Their website advised to follow the park and ride signs which would take you ‘near’ the Quarry where the festival was being held.  As soon as we were off the M54 the park and ride signs were easy to follow and we ended up by Meole Brace Retail Park (by Toys R Us, Pets at Home, Sainsburys etc.)  As I got on the bus I checked we were going past the festival and the driver confirmed he was, we were dropped off at a stop which was only a short walk to the Quarry.

Entrance was £6 for adults and £1 for children, as we entered we were given a wristband for Macy for us to put an emergency contact number on which I thought was an excellent idea.  Programmes were free (something of a rarity at these sort of events!) and all the activities for the children once you were in were free.

 There was loads for the children which was great and unexpected.  There was a marquee with some animals in – cows, pigs and chickens.  Then there was a huge marquee full of children’s activities for all age ranges ranging from lego, drawing tables, floor puzzles to craft activities.  A pen outside had some ride on tractors etc and there was face painting as well as children’s cookery school.

The event was huge, probably the biggest I have been to and there were lots of tastings.  Also lots of different outlets for lunch which ensured the queues weren’t too horrendous.  So many of these food fayres don’t have a lot of places for lunch and you end up queueing for ages, but this wasn’t the case here.  The only thing they were lacking was ice cream, there were only two vans and as a result the queues were horrendous.  However I am glad they were as we ended up having some lovely strawberries with some caramel cream instead so it was a bit healthier than having ice cream!

We arrived at the festival shortly after they opened at about 10:15am and we didn’t leave until about 2:15 there was that much to see and do, it was fabulous and definitely a date in the diary for the next one!

We came home with some goodies!

Willo Game

Mark texted me to say he fancied a barbeque when I got back from the festival so it was my job to find some nice sausages.  I had come across some wild board sausages and some venison sausages on one stand but had felt the texture was a little lumpy so I had a look round for more.

I stumbled across Willo Game who has some venison merguez sausages for tasting – so venison is my favourite meat and when I have been to France I have always loved their merguez sausages so for me this was a match made in heaven.  The sausage was lovely and smooth so I decided to buy some.  It was three packs for £10 and there are about 8 sausages in a pack so this was a bargain, the other stand was the same price but there were less sausages in each pack.  I settled for venison merguez, Toulouse wild boar and wild boar, chilli and garlic. 
We barbequed the three types of sausages and none of them disappointed, they were all a lovely texture without any hard lumpy bits.  The merguez were the tastiest sausages ever, the chilli had a bit of a kick and the Toulouse were also really tasty.  Will be ordering meat from them in the future