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

Ochil Fudge Pantry

I am mad about fudge, I love it but I am also very fussy in that I can’t stand the processed smooth stuff, that isn’t proper fudge, it has to be the proper crumbly fudge – that IS fudge!  So anyway I always have to have a taste when there are fudge samples available in the hope I might find ‘the good stuff.’  This stand was no different until I had a sample – yes, by jove they have got it, proper fudge!  I had to make sure by sampling some different flavours and there you have it, that’s how you make fudge, they have got it down to a fine art.  I bought six blocks of fudge for £10 which I didn’t think was too bad really as it is really good stuff and there is a good selection of flavours to suit everybody’s tastes.  So after probably 10 years of searching at several food shows a year I have finally found some proper fudge.  I only wish I had bought more!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Strider Bike Race Birmingham

Part of the reason for choosing the Strider Balance Bike was to join the Strider Community, it seemed that Strider really encourage the children to be active and hold events and races for the children to take part in.  They are huge in America and it looked like it could be really popular in this country also.  So we jumped at the chance to take part in the first Strider racing in Birmingham.

We checked in and all of the children received a number plate for their bike along with a little strider bell.  All children had to wear knee and elbow pads as well as a helmet for safety.  The races were split by ages, 2 year olds, 3 year olds etc.  The 2 year olds race was the first on however all of the children were allowed to practice first.  I personally felt this was a bit much as the track was quite narrow and for my not quite 2 year old she found it a bit scary with some of the older children who were flying round the track.  A better way to do it would have been to have 20mins / half an hour practice for each of the age groups before their races so that it doesn’t get quite as manic.

Macy didn’t end up racing as she found it too much – she struggled to get up the hills on the track, she hadn’t quite got the strength and the older children flying behind her and having to stop while she got up a hill really put her off and upset her. It was a shame as she looked fab in all her gear and hopefully next year when she is a bit bigger she can withstand the boisterousness of the older children.  The older children did have a whale of a time and it was a great atmosphere, I think all the children that took part got a medal.