It’s Fathers Day tomorrow, a time to appreciate the men in your life and maybe spoil them a little if you can. That doesn’t have mean spending a fortune or crazy amounts of time and effort. After all, it’s the thought that counts.

Here are some simple ways to make Dad smile this Father’s Day.

Let him have a lie in

It’s a simple one but I assure you, it’ll be well received. In our house, the little man likes to get up with Daddy so he very rarely gets a lie in. I’d usually treat him on Fathers Day but unfortunately ( for him) I’m at work and will be leaving the house at 6am, so no lie in this year!

Cook him something to eat

It doesn’t have to be a 7 course banquet, something as simple as a tasty bacon sandwich can do the trick. Start the day with something delicious and you’ll have a very happy Daddy.

A bacon sandwich needs that one secret ingredient though doesn’t it? HP sauce! What’s a bacon sandwich without a big dollop of the brown stuff!? HP is a uniquely distinctive sauce, created using the highest quality ingredients and using a closely guarded secret recipe.

HP Sauce is every dad’s favourite brown sauce! The little mans Daddy wont even entertain a bacon sandwich unless it’s slathered in the stuff and it seems he’s not the only fan.

Around since 1899, HP Sauce is the UK’s number 1 brown sauce and a staggering 28 million bottles are consumed every year.  If the bottles were stacked on top of each other, they would reach the same height as 6,189 Houses of Parliament!

Spend some time together

Let Dad chose the activity. Whether that’s listening to stories of his own childhood or giving up your afternoon to help him dig his allotment, spend some time together. Even if it’s not your usual cup of tea, make the effort and enjoy it. You never know, you might discover a new love of fishing or gardening.

Make something for him

It’s handmade all the way in this house. We much prefer sitting down and making unique gifts. Not only do them feel a bit more special, it gives an excuse to get the craft boxes out and use out imagination. The card above is the one we’ve made for Father’s Day this year. I think it’s perfect for the little mans Daddy who is completely dinosaur obsessed.

Take a trip together

You don’t need to book a week long spa break and spend hundreds of pounds. Get the tent out and go camping for a couple of nights. You could even put the tent up in the garden and create your own little campsite at home.

What will you be doing this Fathers Day?

 

* Collaborative post

 

 

 

 

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After our amazing time at Geronimo Festival 2016 we were super excited to be invited to review the 2017 festival at Arley House in Northwich. 

This years Geronimo Festival included the option to camp in the beautiful Arley House Grounds for an additional £60 for a tent or £90 for a caravan on your ticket price. Parking costs were also a further £10.

Tickets this year were again released in tiers, the early they were bought the cheaper they were.

Location

This years festival was held in the grounds of Arley Hall, a large country house in Northwich, I can’t comment about the Hall itself or the grounds as all we saw was the festival and the camping field.

The grounds seemed much larger than Tatton Park but probably not as well suited for the festival. The stage wasn’t in the best location, and instead of being towards the centre where there was an incline, it was placed on a flat area which made it quite difficult for children to see. It was also very close to the campsite entrance/exit so there was a constant stream of people passing by as the performers were on the stages.

Camping

Having never camped with the little man before Geronimo Festival I wasn’t too sure what to expect.  Surprisingly, we actually had a great time. Once we’d parked up in the field near the entrance we pack up some of our belongings and the tent into our fab festival wagon which was the absolutely weekend saviour. We used it for transporting our tent and other camping gear down into the camping field, lugging our essentials around the festival field and it was also great for toddlers with tired legs.

Guests could also wait for a member of camp site staff the transport camping equipment down to the site but at £10 a journey we didn’t think it was worthwhile.

Our tent as you can see was far too small. I think hubby and I still thought we were in our early 20’s and off to Leeds Festival with a bunch of mates. We soon realised how easily a toddlers ‘stuff’ fills a tent. Since returning home we’ve bought a fab new 6 man tent for our next camping experience.

The walk from where we parked our car to where we camped was probably around 7 minutes. We decided to pitch up closer to the event field than the car park. We arrived late in the day due to a nightmare with traffic which in a way was good, we were able to choose where to pitch our tent without worrying too much than someone would pitch up 2 cms away.

The camp site could have done with another couple of sets of Portaloos and some more drinking water taps dotted around the site but all in all it was pretty good. There was a row of hot showers which were free to use and kept pretty clean. Outside there was also a water trough with taps which was used for both washing dishes and brushing teeth. Port A Loo’s are never a very pleasant affair but the ones on the campsite were emptied at least once a day – just not necessarily the nicest place to visit first thing on a morning.

There was a very small, very expensive camp site shop in the camping area, this was run by one of the burger vans. £2 for a pint of milk! It did have nappies and toilet paper at a high price if you’d run out.

Activities

It was great to see some of our favourite activities from last year with the addition of some great new ones. There were plenty of things to do for children of all ages and because there was so much choice, the queues were minimal.

We managed to catch some of the main acts over the weekend, our favourite was definitely Andy Day. The little man was super impressed with his dinosaur rapping.

We loved posing for silly photos in the back of Birdie, the photobooth campervan.

The Strider obstacle course was another favourite. The little man loved riding round on on the balance bikes, practicing his ‘stunts’.

Another place he’d have happily stayed all day was the Pop Up Play cardboard box city. It was an absolute dream for toddlers, literally just piles and piles of cardboard boxes, scissors and other craft items. Kids could make anything they liked and all appeared to enjoy themselves.

We all enjoyed spending time with the people from Feathery Folk which is a family run birds of prey company. The little man was able to hold one of the birds, make a cool owl mask and help dissecting an owl pellet.

 

This year the rides were chargeable, unless you bought tier one tickets. I have seen quite a lot of complaints on social media after Geronimo about the ride costs. Tier one ticket holders were each entitled to 5 free rides each which were included with their wrist bands, everyone else was supposed to pay for their rides.

However, we didn’t pay for any of the rides the little man went on as apparently some of the rides ( or at least the smaller ones that the little man went on) had been told that weekend ticket holders were entitled to free rides all weekend. We saw people who knew about this and others who were still paying for rides so it clearly wasn’t broadcast among all visitors which I think is a little disappointing.

In all honesty, the little man probably rode about 6 rides all weekend, he preferred joining in with the other activities.

The Manchester City Football Club area seemed to be a huge hit for the football fans even Hubby who is an avid Manchester United fan. The little man loved playing on the raised football pitch and watching the older kids play football. The Man City staff were lovely with the little people too and really friendly.

The Ape Project which was located in the centre of the Adrenalin Zone was a huge hit for us. The little man was in his element. He thoroughly enjoyed painting everything in sight and helping to ‘fix’ things.

There were various craft tents dotted round the festuval where kids could join in with a range of this. We made clay animals, decorated plastic ducks, Plasticine Peppa Pig characters and various other things. There were so many things to make, the majority of which were free.

There were plenty of performers and acts on over the weekend, from fire stunts to large theatrical animals and characters walking through the crowds.

Another huge hit for the little man was Samsam Bubbleman who is a 10 x Guinness World Record and self proclaimed Bubbleologist! He was amazing and did a great performance for the children when most of the crowds had gone home for the day. The little man loved the fact the Bubbleman blew a huge bubble round him ( check out our YouTube video below) and the smoke bubbles were a huge bit for all the kids who loved running round trying to stamp on them.

Facilities

There was a decent amount port-a-loos dotted around the site which were clean and emptied regularly over the weekend. The majority seemed to be well stocked with toilet paper and hand sanitising gel. The Adrenaline Zone seemed quite short on loos though, with a good walk down to the nearest ones which wasn’t ideal when visiting that area with younger children.

I know there were also baby changing tents dotted around the site but we didn’t actually see them, though we weren’t looking out for them.

Food and Drink

There was a great range of food and drink options available at Geronimo Festival this year. I was pleased to see healthier options like jacket potatoes and wraps as well as your more traditional festival food such as crepes, candy floss and burgers ( they were organic gourmet burgers though!).

Prices as expected were pretty high. It was around the £7 mark for a burger and jacket potatoes were slightly cheaper at £5.50. Baring in mind we’d camped and didn’t have any fridge facilities, food was the biggest spend we made over the weekend. For the three of us, every time we ate it was around £20. A larger family would cost substantially more.

The food was thoughtasty, the choices available were good and portion sizes weren’t too bad.

Overall, we really enjoyed Geronimo, particularly the addition of camping this year. The activities were really good, there were plenty of things for children of all ages to do and enough to keep them entertained for the full weekend. We loved that all of the staff, volunteers, activity coordinators and even the food vendors that we had any interaction with, were friendly, chatty and very helpful.

I do think signage could have been better and the map did really need more detail as we changed upon a lot of activities rather than finding out about them on the map. The layout this year didn’t work as well as last year in my opinion and the stage was definitely situated in the wrong place.

* Our weekend tickets and camping passes were complimentary but my review and opinions are my own.

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I love crafting and making things but I don’t often have the time for anything too complicated. I’ve mentioned before about my love for Stampin’ Up! before after reviewing their Watercolour Wishes kit.

I was recently asked if I’d like to try out another of their kits, the Oh Happy Day Card Kit, an all-inclusive card making kit which makes 20 unique cards for a range of occasions. It even comes with a step by step instruction guide to follow if you need it.

The kits is filled to the brim with pretty coloured card making goodies. I was pleased to see lots of different coloured card, embellishments and a good selection of stamps.

In full, the kit includes –

* Set of 13 photopolymer stamps
* 20 card bases and coordinating envelopes
* Giftable kraft box
* Die-cut glittered chipboard shapes
* Embossed sheets
* Printed die-cut images
* Die-cut gold foil sheet
* Die-cut white sheets
* Basic Black Archival Stampin’ Spot
* Printed colour doilies
* Baker’s Twine
* Glittered dots
* Stampin’ Dimensionals
* Acrylic stamp block

I liked the inclusion of a step by step guide to follow. It means if you’re lacking inspiration, you can still craft and make beautiful cards. I followed some of the guides, but for some of the cards I went a bit maverick and just made up the designs as I went along. I don’t think they looked any less impressive than the ones I followed the guides for.

The cards look great, very easily. They’re as complicated to make as you make them. You can add as much or as little to each one as you like and as there are 13 different photopolymer stamps you have a good range of text options for your cards.

I love to receive homemade cards as I’m sure, do many others. The Oh Happy Day Card Kit will keep me entertained for a good few hours and hopefully bring pleasure to those who receive the cards too.

I really like the kit and don’t have anything negative to say about it. It’s ideal for those of us who love to make things but just don’t have the time to take on a massive project.

The kit retails at £31.50 and you can buy it directly from the Stampin Up! website.

* I was sent the card making kit in return for an honest review. Opinions are my own.

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The little man would live in Wellies if he could, he wears them for Forest School, for playing in the garden and for most of our woodland walks. He sometimes wears them for the supermarket too.

As unpredictable as the UK weather is, having a pair of good wellies is a necessity.

The little man was recently sent a pair of Bogs Durham Wellies from Jakes Shoes, an independent, family run business. They were established in 1975 and sell a great range of ladies, mens and kids shoes.A step away from his character wellies, the Bogs Durham wellies look much more grown up and I love the navy colour. We decided to take the little man and his new wellies down to the local woods. There’s plenty of mud and a river so it gave him plenty of opportunity to put them to the test. The Bogs wellies are 100% waterproof and offer great protection for little feet. They’re comfort rated for temperate to -30°F and constructed with 7mm waterproof Neo-Tech™ insulation. Inside they feature a aegis antimicrobial odor protection insole to prevent smells and unwanted odours. The material around the calf feels much more flexible and comfortable in comparison to traditional rubber wellies which means they grip his leg without digging in. The tread on the bottom of the boots is thick and grips slippy surfaces well. They’re perfect for jumping across mossy stones!

 

 

 

 

 

The little man loves that he can put then one and remove them himself. The handles on the side means they’re easily pulled on or off. Despite the fact they have cut outs on the side for the handles, they’re still high enough up the leg to ensure they don’t let in any water. 

The Bogs Durham wellies cost £42.99 which may seem a little pricey, but you really do get what you pay for. The quality is fab and I really think they’ll last … well until his feet grow again!

Jakes Shoes offer 10% discount on your first order if you sign up to their mailing list. They also offer free next day delivery on orders over £40 and a price match promise where they’ll happily match the price of any shoes you find cheaper.

* We were sent the wellies in return for a review. Opinions are my own.

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So, the day has finally come and you’re about to move into your new home. While there is sure to be a lot of excitement about this new chapter in your life, you‘ll also have a list of tasks to do as long as your arm. You can help take out the stress of moving day with high-grade splashbacks stockist The Plastic People’s run-down of the five things to do when moving into your new home — everything else can wait until you’re settled.

1. Change the locks

Can you really be sure that a stranger hasn’t got a set of keys to your home? It’s best to err on the side of caution and change the locks for every exterior door for your peace of mind.

Therefore, contact a locksmith to come to your new home on moving day so that you can get the place secured as soon as possible. They will also be able to get keys cut for everyone who needs them, sorting out that task too.

2. Get those utilities running

Electricity, gas and running water are all important utilities that you want to get up and running in your new home as soon as you can. You should have arranged to have these main house utilities connected ahead of moving in.

While we are on the topic of utilities, it also a good idea to get acquainted with your home’s circuit breaker box so that you know which fuse controls which part of the home in case something goes off unexpectedly. Find the main water valve too, so that you can quickly get to it to turn it off should you ever encounter a plumbing emergency.

3. Clean

Cleaning your new home when the rooms are bare will be a lot easier than doing so once you’ve set up all the furniture. Plus, it allows you to get off to a fresh start.

You should also look to extend your cleaning into your garden if you have one. We aren’t saying that you should work up a sweat turning your garden into an outdoor sanctuary immediately — pulling out the weeds, giving the lawn a cut and installing some lawn edging will be enough to make it look smart while you’re still getting moved in.

4. Unpack the essentials

As you’re going to be carrying everything you own when you move into your new home, unpacking everything at once isn’t going to be practical and, if anything, will just leave you more stressed.

Instead, put all of the essentials in one or two boxes when packing up to move — think bedding, towels, toiletries, a few kitchen items, some clothes, food, drink and your children’s and pets’ favourite toys — and clearly label these so you know to unpack them first. Every other box can be left packed and stored in a spare room or garage until you’re settled.

5. Get to know your new neighbourhood

Don’t think that you need to be holed up in your new home for the entire first day of moving in.

When you begin to tire from all the unpacking and essential chores, take some time away from the work by enjoying a relaxing walk around your neighbourhood. This leisurely stroll will give you the

opportunity to see the shops and other businesses that are on your doorstep, as well as hopefully allowing you to introduce yourself to a few neighbours.

Before you know it, your new house and neighbourhood will begin to truly feel like home.

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