Rydale clothing review

Rydale clothing review

Disclosure – I was sent these items for the purpose of this review, however all words, photos and opinions are my own.

 

One of the things I love most about Swansea is how it feels like we have the best of all worlds here.

From the city centre to the beaches to the woodlands and parks, we have all the bases of both urban and country living covered.

Being such a mix of things though, means you often need to find clothes that work just as well in the middle of town as they do in the middle of the woods.  And this is where brands like Rydale clothing really shine.

They’re a country clothing brand that have evolved to include great looking clothes that work in all these different environments.

So when they got in touch to ask if I’d be interested in reviewing a few pieces from them, I said yes straight away!

 

The first piece I was sent, which I have completely fallen in love with, is this gorgeous soft grey cross neck sweatshirt.

This sweatshirt is so beautifully soft and the fit is just right, so it’s lovely and comfy but looks great too, with a nice shape to it.

 

What I really love about this sweatshirt is all the little details that make it so much more than just a simple jumper.

The big, slouchy neck on it is so cosy, and I love the pop of the pink drawstrings against the grey of the sweatshirt.  There’s also subtle Rydale branding on the front and back of the top that I think looks great.

 

The sweatshirt also has textured elbow patches, in the same grey as the rest of the top, that I really like.  Like the logo details, the elbow patches are nice and subtle but add just that little bit of interest to what might otherwise be quite a plain sweatshirt.

 

The soft grey colour that I chose is great because it goes really well with so many other colours, so I should be able to wear it with pretty much all my jeans and joggers and jeggings.

It looks particularly good though with the blue denim skirt that I also chose from Rydale.

 

Rydale have got quite a big range of skirts to choose from on their site, most of which are smart, tweed options which would be great for anyone looking for a more formal skirt for work.

I wanted something a bit more casual though, and really loved the look of this denim skirt.

As soon as I tried it on I knew I’d made the right choice.  The denim is lovely and soft and has a nice amount of stretch to it, so it is incredibly comfy to wear.

I also really love the length of it.  I’m 5′ 4″ and it comes to just above my knee which is perfect for me.

And best of all?

It has pockets.

Lovely, big, fit-your-whole-hand-in-them pockets.

This might just be the perfect denim skirt!

 

The last piece that I chose was this blue and white striped dress.

It’s a really simple style which means it is incredibly easy to wear.  I chose the 3/4 length sleeve dress, but there’s also a short sleeve version that looks lovely too.

 

The dress is made from a stretch jersey fabric that is really comfortable to wear.

I was a bit worried that the jersey fabric might make it cling and look unflattering, so I was really happy when I tried it on and realised the cut of the dress means it actually skims over my stomach and the stretch to the fabric just makes it move nicely.

 

This is a great everyday dress, so easy to pull on in the morning and know it’ll look good.

The French blue and white stripes are a classic look and the A-line cut of the dress really is flattering.  The dress also has a low scoop back that I really love, it just adds that little bit of interest to a lovely simple piece.

 

All of the items that I chose from Rydale are lovely quality and feel like they’ll stand the test of time.

Which shouldn’t be a surprise after getting to know the company a bit better.

The Yorkshire-based company was built on the idea of creating country and outdoor clothing that was great quality, reliable and stylist.  Now they’ve expanded to be able to market to city-dwellers but have kept these ideals in mind.

So no matter who you are you can enjoy their hard-wearing and stylish clothing.

Fun at home Gazillion Bubbles

Fun at home with Gazillion Bubbles

Disclosure: we were given these toys for the purposes of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.

 

Is there a single person out there who doesn’t crack a smile when they see bubbles?!

I don’t really know what it is about them, but everyone from tiny babies to the biggest of kids seems to love them.  I know that seeing a load of shiny bubbles floating past always makes me feel really happy!

And the way things are at the moment we could all use an extra bit of fun and happiness while we keep safe at home.  So we were all thrilled when we were sent a bundle of goodies from Gazillion Bubbles to play with.

 

Gazillion Bubbles have got a great range of bubble-based toys to choose from, and they are all so much fun.  Perfect for keeping the children entertained at home, especially when the weather is this nice and we can all be out in the garden.

We were sent the Gazillion Bubbles tornado machine, the Megabubble blaster, the Incredibubble wand and 2l bottle of giant bubble solution.

The first thing we took out for a spin was the big bottle of bubble solution.

 

You can see quite how big this bottle is when Nerys is holding it!

It comes with a giant bubble wand that is amazing for creating plenty of bubbles.  Nerys had a go blowing through the wand, and then waving it in the air to see how many bubbles she could make.

 

It was lovely and sunny but also quite windy on the day we went out to take these photos, so waving the bubble wand in the air was definitely the best way to create a brilliant amount of bubbles.

They’re a lovely big size too, perfect for running after and trying to pop!

 

After the classic fun of the big bubble wand we stepped things up a bit by bringing out the Megabubble Blaster.

You need to put 3 AA batteries in (not included), then push the bottle of bubble mixture that’s provided into the bottom of the blaster, then you’re good to go.

 

Nerys had a go first and, as you can see from the photos, she took her job as tester quite seriously.  It took a few minutes for the mixture to start coming through properly, but before long we were off, with bubbles galore.

The bubbles that the blaster produces are also nice and big, and you can get them to come out in a nice steady stream once you get the hang of it.

I got to have a turn before too long and it was a great way to make lots of bubbles for Nerys to chase without having to keep dipping a wand into a bottle of solution.

 

When you really want to go all out though, and create tons and tons of bubbles, then the Gazillion Bubbles tornado machine is the answer.

 

The machine itself is actually smaller than I thought it might be, but it definitely lives up to its name, creating a shiny storm of bubbles when you turn it on.

It needs 4 AA batteries (not included) to power it, but doesn’t require much setting up once you’ve popped those in.

Once it gets going the tornado machine creates around 4500 bubbles a minute and it is so much fun watching them all appear and float around.  The bubbles from this machine are smaller than the others, more like the kinds of bubbles you’d normally get when you blow them yourself with a little wand.

 

If you want to go the other way and create some truly huge bubbles, then the Incredibubble wand is what you need.

This is really simple to use, just assemble the wand, pour the bubble solution into the dish, dip and wave the wand to create big bubbles.

 

We’ve been having so much fun with all these different toys from Gazillion bubbles.  With it looking like the children could be home from school for a fair while yet, I’m loving having them on hand to keep us all happy and entertained.

I hope that with things like this on hand we can create some fun memories for the children to have from this really bizarre time in their childhoods.

 

You can find all these toys from Gazillion Bubbles at Tesco when you go and do your food shopping, or you can pop them in your online basket if you’re able to get a delivery slot.

And you can keep the fun going by following Funrise Toys on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Shopkin Real Littles Icy Treats

Shopkins Real Littles – Review

Disclosure: we were sent these toys for the purpose of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.

 

Did you know that Shopkins have been around since 2014?!

I shouldn’t be surprised, knowing how hugely popular the toys are, but I didn’t realise they’d been around for that long.

A big factor in their popularity is the way new series and ranges are brought out, so there’s always something new and exciting to start collecting.

We were really kindly sent some toys from the Shopkins Real Littles Icy Treats collection to play with and review, and the children have been having so much fun helping me out by putting them to the test.

 

The Real Littles Icy Treats series of Shopkins are all figures based on things you’d find in the freezer aisle of the supermarket.  There’s a mix of brands we know and others that are new to us, which I think are American brands.

This of course makes them even cooler for my children who seem to love everything to do with America!

There are over 50 toys to collect from the new range and there are all sorts of playsets you can chose to start building your collection.

 

The first set that we opened up was the Stacey Cakes and Icy Treats Scooter set.  I really like the fact that you can see clearly what you get in this playset before you open it up.

This set comes with 2 Shopkins and 2 mini packs, along with the Stacey Cakes doll and scooter.  What Nerys and I really love about this set it the fact that it comes with the bigger sized toys, which add a whole new level of play to the Shopkins.

 

The Stacey Cakes doll is a great size for little hands to play with, and you can load her scooter up with the icy treat Shopkins and have so much fun driving them around.

 

The RRP for the Stacey Cakes playset is £29.99, which seems like quite a bit at first but actually seeing the play value that both my children have already had from the set I do think it’s worth it.

 

The scooter and the Stacey Cakes doll just open up so many options for different play scenarios, both on their own and together with the little Shopkins figures.

 

 

 

The second playset that we opened up was the Shopkins Lil’ Shopper Pack.

 

At first we thought the Fruit Pops and Giant Neapolitan packs you can see were toys, but they were actually just cardboard decorations, which did surprise us when we opened the packet up.

What we actually found inside were 2 Shopkins and a big Choco Taco package.

And that Choco Taco package is the key to what makes this set so great for anyone who loves a good blind bag.  Because once you open it up you find 8 blind bags, each one hiding a Shopkins Real Little toy.

 

What is so much fun about this set is that inside each blind bag is a mini replica of boxes of frozen goodies, from Eggo pancakes to Breyers ice cream.  And then inside those boxes are the cute little Shopkins figures.  So you think you’ve opened up the toy, then it opens up again to reveal the Shopkins character.

 

One of the things I look for in any toy or game that we get is the play value it gives the children.  I want them to have toys that get played with over and over again, that offer different ways to play and that don’t get tucked in the toy box when the initial novelty has worn off.

And I think you do get great play value from these Shopkins playsets.

With the shopper packs you get the initial fun of getting the two Shopkins that you can see when everything is still in the packaging.  Then you have the excitement of opening up all the blind bags, and the extra excitement of the blind bags within the blind bags!

And then you have the hours of fun you can have actually playing with the Shopkins.  With so many to open up in the one set you then immediately have a great start to your collection, and enough little characters to get creative and play with.

 

The last toy that we tested out was the smallest and the cheapest, and possibly the one the children were most excited about.

It’s a simple set of 2 new Shopkins Real Littles, that you unwrap in a really fun, unique way.

 

You keep the whole thing in its packaging, and swish it all in water until the pink part of the packaging magical dissolves.

 

 

It really was so much fun watching the packaging gradually melt away, and it added a real extra element of excitement to finding out what toys were inside.  The RRP for these is £3.99 which I think is a great price for the amount of fun you can have with them.

They’d make a great little gift for any Shopkins fan.

 

 

Nerys and Rhys have both had so much fun with all their new Shopkins toys, and are already nagging me about getting more to add to their collection!

I have to admit, these are the kinds of little toys I would’ve loved to collect and play with too when I was younger.

 

The Shopkins Real Littles Icy Treats toys are available to buy at Asda, Smyths, Tesco and The Entertainer.

You can also pop over to www.shopkinsreallittles.co.uk where you can find out more about the toys and get the chance to win some great Shopkins prizes.

Bluestone winter lights break review

Winter lights break at Bluestone – Review

Disclosure – we were given a mid-week winter lights break at Bluestone for the purpose of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.

A few weeks ago Steve and I did something that I’m not sure we’ll be able to top.

We were invited to go on a 4 night break to Bluestone, and we kept it a secret from the children.  So we picked them up together after school on the Monday, and kept them guessing as to why the car was jam packed full of our stuff.

It was only once we were halfway there that I told them that they weren’t going to school for the rest of the week.  And they then guessed almost straight away where we were going and oh my word I’ve never seen them so excited.

We’ve been to Bluestone twice before and it is somewhere we all absolutely love.  The first time we went was in May 2017 and we fell in love with the laid back atmosphere and the freerange philosophy.  Then we went for a Kingdom of the Elves break in 2018 which was such a different experience but in all the right ways.

Nerys has asked every month since then when could we go back for another holiday so she was thrilled to be surprised with a trip at the start of this year.

 

You can arrive at Bluestone any time after 11 am and use the facilities on site, and then you can check in to your lodge from either 3pm or 4.30pm depending on what type of lodge you’ll be staying in.  We drove over after picking the children up from school so didn’t get there until around 5.

If you can get there earlier it would be worth it, partly to make the most of your time there and partly to avoid the queues at the check in points that we were caught up in at 5 o’clock.

Once we got to the desk though it was plain sailing and the staff were just as friendly, welcoming, and helpful as we remembered.

We got our keys and welcome pack and then headed off to find our lodge.

Now, we did have a bit of fun trying to find our lodge in the dark, mainly because I have no sense of direction.  What we did find a big help over the course of our stay was the map on the Bluestone app.  You put your lodge details in and it then gives you directions from where you are back to your lodge, and it updates as you go using gps.

We were staying in a Tenby connect lodge in Castle Close, and we were excited to get in and check it out because we’d never stayed in one of those lodges before.

The Tenby lodge was lovely, with most of the living space downstairs and then the master bedroom and ensuite shower room up on a mezzanine floor.

It sleeps 6, between the master double bedroom and 2 twin bedrooms.  This particular lodge was a ‘connect’ one, which means it’s attached to another Tenby lodge and you can open a door between the two to make it sort of like one huge lodge.  This would be perfect if you were going with a big group.

We did find it a bit noisy having neighbours in the lodge attached to ours (the sound really does travel between the lodges) but it wasn’t really a problem.

 

We had 3 full days at Bluestone and didn’t leave the resort once.

There is so much to do on site that we really don’t feel the need to go anywhere else, but I know if we didn’t live by the sea at home we would probably want to get out and explore one of the nearby beaches at some point.

Our favourite thing to do at Bluestone is visit the Blue Lagoon so we spent a few hours each day of our holiday there.

The children are both quite confident in the water now and they really love the lazy river and the wave machine.  Nerys was big enough to go down the slides this time, but decided against it.  Rhys on the other hand couldn’t get enough of them and kept dragging Steve up for another go on them.

One of the great things about going to Bluestone in the winter is the surreal feeling of going outside in the lazy river into the cold and the rain.  It was actually hailing at one point when we were out there and it’s just such a bizarre experience!

 

When we weren’t at the pool we were either in the Adventure centre or the new Serendome.

The weather was really wet and windy most of our stay so it was brilliant to have these places to visit and let the children run wild out of the rain.

The Serendome was a brand new experience for us, it was still being built last time we were there, so we were really excited to go and check it out.

We were all really impressed with it.  Steve said a few times that it made the holiday for him, it was just a perfect finishing touch to the resort.

 

The Serendome is basically a big umbrella, so it’s open to the elements on the sides but the huge dome that covers it keeps out the rain on wet and wild days.

It’s a brilliant way to be outside without being out and exposed to the elements, although you do need to make sure you wrap up warm if you’re visiting in the winter months because it does pretty much feel as cold under the dome as it does outside.

 

There’s a fab mix of things to do in the Serendome. 

It’s free to get in and there’s a sand play area and water play area which are both so much fun and amazing for sparking creative play.

There’s also the imagination garden which my children both loved.  It has these big blue shapes and cogs and things that you can use to build basically anything you can imagine.

We also found a little play park area with swings and a little slide, and another space with garden games and giant lego blocks to build with.

If you get peckish while you’re there there are a few different places to grab a bite to eat and there’s even a bar which looked like it had a great selection of ales and cocktails on offer.

For children who are a bit more adventurous you can book a session on the go carts that whizz around the dome or a climbing session on the Sky Walk.  What’s really great about this is that there’s a mini skywalk option for younger children and those who don’t fancy going quite so high up in the sky, and there’s also a wheelchair friendly course so almost everyone can have a go if they fancy it.

The go carts and the Sky walk do cost extra though, and it’s often worth booking these kinds of activities in advance.

 

The thing I was most looking forward to on this break was seeing the winter lights, so I was gutted to find out that on the first few nights we were there they weren’t on as the weather was so bad.

We held out hope though and luckily on the Wednesday the wind died down and the rain cleared for long enough for the show to go on.

The winter lights trail starts at the entrance to the woodland walk down by the lake and, honestly, you can’t miss it.

When you’re in the village there’s a big notice projected on the side of one of the buildings pointing you in the right direction then as you get closer you can see the main path to the woodland walk lit up in rainbow colours.

Once you’re in the woods the magic really begins.

We went when it was properly dark outside and it was so beautiful to see all these different light displays leading through the woods.

There were giant butterflies and flowers up in the trees, fish with moving lights in an underwater themed display and of course the magical fairy houses.

 

 

We probably spent about half an hour making our way around the trail taking it all in.

Everywhere you looked there was something else to see, so even though there were quite a few other people there it never felt like you were waiting to have your turn to enjoy a part of it.

At the end of the trail there was a little area set up with fairground mirrors and a few games where you turned handles or pressed buttons to make things move on the screen which the children really enjoyed.

 

The last day of our trip we checked out of our lodge (you have to check out by 10am) and then parked the car up in the long stay car park.  The weather had really cleared through so it was dry and the wind had dropped down so we took advantage of the extra time on site to wander round the village and visit the lake.

The resort was so quiet, I think most people do tend to head for home straight away after checking out, so it felt like we almost had the place to ourselves.

We played in the park in the village for a bit, popped into Newton stores for a few treats and then walked down to the lake.

We’d brought Nerys’ walkie talkies with us so we split up and walked different ways around the lake, talking to each other.  The children had a great time and it was really nice to get some fresh air and stretch our legs before leaving.

 

We had such a wonderful holiday all in all, and I am thrilled that we actually got to see the winter lights; I’d heard all about them from friends who had been before and the whole thing absolutely lived up to my expectations.

This is one of the things I really love about Bluestone, no matter what time of year you go there is something different to experience that makes the trip extra special.

After our last trip I wrote about the perfect time of year to visit Bluestone and now, having visited during the winter lights festival, I’m still just as undecided about it as I was then!

It all depends what you want from your holiday I suppose, but honestly, I think any time of year is the perfect time to visit Bluestone.

PuroBasic headphones review

PuroBasic wired headphones review

Disclosure:  we were sent a pair of PuroBasic headphones for the purpose of this review but all words and opinions are my own.

 

Back in October last year we were sent a pair of Junior Jams headphones to review.  Nerys has claimed them as her own now, and still absolutely loves them.  They still look as good as new, are really easy for her to use and let her watch her videos in peace without me asking her to turn the volume down all the time!

The thing is, the old pair of headphones that Rhys had gave up a few months ago, so he was still having to put up with me commenting on the nonsense he likes to watch on YouTube.

So when we were asked if we’d like to review a pair of PuroBasic headphones I jumped at the chance for us all to have a bit of peace!

 

The PuroBasic headphones come in blue, green, pink and red and the shades are all really nice and vibrant.

We picked out the red pair for Rhys as it’s his favourite colour, and he was so happy when he opened the box.  The picture on the box was of a blue pair, so I think he expected the pair inside to be the same colour so he had a happy surprise when he opened it up.

 

The box itself is quite nice and compact, because the headphones are sort of folded down inside.

The ear cups fold down so the headphones don’t take up that much space which is great if you want to take them out and about with you.  There’s a little storage bag for them included in the box which is a nice touch.

Once you take the headphones out of the box you just pop the ear cups into place and then they feel nice and sturdy.

 

The PuroBasics are wired headphones which is great for Rhys, because he mainly uses them while sitting at the computer.

Nerys loves the fact that hers are wireless so she can get up and dance around to songs on the iPad without getting tangled, but that’s not so much an issue for Rhys.  He just loves to sit at the computer and watch the gamers he likes on YouTube and play his own music when he’s playing games, without being asked to turn the sound down all the time.

 

The PuroBasics do look a bit more, well, basic than the Junior Jams headphones but they are still a great quality pair of headphones.

The sound quality is great, it’s something that Puro Sounds really pride themselves on.  They don’t scrimp on the quality just because these are children’s headphones.  What they do do though, is help protect little ears by limiting how high you can turn the volume up, so you can trust that your children won’t harm their hearing while wearing these.

 

Rhys will quite happily wear these headphones for long stretches of time, which tells you something about how comfy they are.  You can adjust the sizing on them, and the ear cups are lovely and soft.

 

All in all we’re really happy with the PuroBasic headphones.

Rhys really loves the bright, vibrant red and the classic, simple design.  The cable to plug the headphones in feels like it will stand the test of time and is long enough for him to be comfortable using them plugged in to the computer.  They’re also compatible with our other devices which is great for when he does want to use the iPad or the laptop in peace.

Just like the Junior Jams, I can see these headphones getting a lot of use over the next few years!

 

You can find out more about these headphones and the others in the range on the Puro Sound Labs website.

Jooki music player review

Jooki smart player – Review

Disclosure: we were sent a Jooki for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts, words and opinions are my own

 

When I think back to my childhood and my teenage years, a lot of the memories are built around music.

I remember lying in bed falling asleep to the sound of my dad’s Bob Dylan records playing in the lounge.  I remember long car journeys to the south of France listening to John Denver on my walkman.  I remember recording songs from the top 40 on my stereo, waiting for the songs I wanted and hoping the dj woudn’t ruin them by talking over them.

So it makes me really happy that my children love listening to music too.  I hope there are already some songs that will bring back memories for them when they’re older.

The thing is, we don’t actually have a stereo in our house, we don’t even have a simple radio.  We play music in the car and they listen to the songs the love via YouTube when we’re at home.

So we were all really excited when we were sent a Jooki smart player to try out.

 

The Jooki is a screen-free smart player that lets the children play the music they love, without needing any help from us.  It’s a really simple but clever device that we have already fallen in love with.

When the Jooki arrived I was immediately impressed by the quality of the packaging.  I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but everything from the feel of the box to the images and fonts that they used gave me the impression that this would be a great quality piece of kit.

 

Inside the box you get:

  • The Jooki smart player
  • 5 character figurines that you load with playlists
  • A USB charger cable
  • A quick start up guide

The pieces are all really nice and secure in the box, but there aren’t any annoying cable ties or anything to undo to get everything out, which is great when you have excited children around who just want to get the Jooki out and start playing music on it!

 

The Jooki itself is basically a speaker with simple controls and a chunky rubber handle that is perfect for little hands to grab hold of.

It’s designed for children aged 3 and over, so it’s good and solid, and also splashproof which is good to know if you want to use it at bathtime or in the kitchen.

The blue and orange colour scheme is bright and fun, without being too childish, and would look good in a child’s bedroom and not completely out of place in the lounge.

 

The controls on the Jooki are really simple.  There’s the power button, left and right skip track buttons and a volume control button.

So, how does it actually work?

The hard part is done by the grown ups, and actually isn’t all that hard.  The quick startup guide that comes with the Jooki walks you through connecting your device to your home wifi and then you can use spotify or deezer to create playlists.

You then assign each playlist to a different character.

The recommendation seems to be that you use a premium/paid for subscription from Spotify or Deezer but you can actually use it just fine with a free account.

We have a free account with Spotify and have had no problems using that with our Jooki.  You are just a bit more limited in the songs you have access to and the fact that Spotify will play them on the ‘shuffle’ setting rather than you getting to pick the order that they play in.

What’s great is that there are clear instructions for all of these set up questions on the Jooki website.  The FAQ page gives concise answers to most of the questions you might have about using the Jooki.

 

There are 5 different characters that come with the Jooki which is great for saving arguments if you have more than one child.

You could assign them a character each and set up a playlist for each one.  Or you could use one character for an upbeat, morning playlist, another for a more calming, evening playlist and so on.

 

Once the playlists are set up and assigned to characters then you can let your children take over.

All they have to do to listen to their music is turn the Jooki on, pick a character and pop it on the circle on the top of the Jooki.

The songs will then start to play straight away.

 

The one limitation with the Jooki using Spotify and Deezer is that you need to be connected to your home wifi to be able to stream your music.  To get around this you can add your songs to a micro SD card and pop that in the back of the Jooki, then you can take it out and about with you.

And if you want some peace and quiet from your children’s music you can also plug headphones into it which also makes it great for car journeys.

 

The Jooki isn’t just for music either, it’s also a great way for children to listen to audiobooks.

We bought Rhys an mp3 player a while ago so he could listen to music at bedtime to help him relax, and my husband had the brilliant idea of downloading some audiobooks for him to listen to as he lay in bed.  He has been really loving them, and Nerys would love to be able to listen too.

So the next job for me is to get a few books like ‘the owl who was afraid of the dark’ added to the Jooki so that both the children can listen to it after having a story with me or Steve at bedtime.

 

We’ve been using our Jooki for about a month now and we all absolutely love it.

It looks great, and feels nice and robust too.  The character figurines are really cute and a fun way for the children to pick out what music they want to listen to.  I’m also really impressed with the sound quality and love the fact that it can be used normally as a speaker but you can also plug headphones in if not everyone in the house wants to listen to it.

If you’re looking for a fun, screen-free way for your children to enjoy music and audiobooks then the Jooki is a great option.  I can see it being something that we get a lot of use out of for years to come.

Boxclever family weekly planner review

Get organised with a Boxclever Press family calendar – Review

I was chatting with a friend in the school playground yesterday about how much there is to keep track of and remember when it comes to family life.

There are always letters to read and forms to sign from school.  You need to keep on top of what clubs are on what days and who needs what for which club.  Not to mention homework, swimming kit, PE kit, pound coins for charity, and various fancy dress/dress down days.

And all of this is just the children.  Once you start thinking about all the meetings, events, deadlines and so on that you have to remember for yourself it can all get way too much.

There is something really simple but so effective that can help though.  I’ve been using the family weekly planner from Boxclever Press for a few weeks now after I was sent one to review and it is so helpful for keeping on top of everything.

 

The first thing I noticed when my calendar arrived in the post was how substantial it is.

The 2020 Family Weekly Planner Calendar is a weekly planner rather than a typical monthly wall calendar so it, obviously, has a lot more pages and is heavier than the normal calendars I’m used to.  Despite that, it doesn’t feel overly bulky and sits really nicely when it’s hanging up on the wall.

I really love how sturdy the metal binding and hanging loop are too.  I get the feeling that this calendar will last the year nicely without showing much wear and tear.

 

One thing I really love about this calendar is that it’s a 16-month version, so you can get a head start on things by starting to use it at the end of the ‘old’ year instead of waiting to get organised in the new year.

Each page shows a week, with the dates clearly marked, and 6 columns for different members of the family.

I think it’s great that there are 6 columns available.  It makes this planner great for bigger families and also means people like me with smaller families have extra columns available for things like birthdays or even weekly meal plans.

Each weekly page also has a tear off to-do list and shopping list so you can easily keep on top of the things you need to get sorted and pick up at the shops.

 

I really love these little tear-off lists and think they make a great addition to the planner.

I’m always jotting down reminders to myself on random bits of paper, so I love that I can put them all on the planner now and then just tear them off when I need to.  No more searching my desk when I need to find out what it was I needed to remind myself about!

 

The Boxclever press weekly planner has a few other well thought out features that I really like.

There’s a page at the back for writing down phone numbers that you might need to keep handy, as well as a pocket for stashing important bits of paperwork.

It even comes with a set of brightly coloured, fun stickers that you can use to mark different occasions on the planner.  There are stickers for all sorts of things from days/nights out and birthdays to vet, dentist and optician appointments.

 

Possibly the most useful feature of the planner though is a simple sheet of plastic.

There is a clear sheet of plastic that fits onto the planner and acts as an overlay to put over the current week.  You use the pen that comes attached to the bottom of the planner to write in any recurring events, things like weekly swimming lessons and school clubs.  Then each week, when you change the calendar over, you move the overlay too so that the regular events are sitting in the right spot on the right day.

So simple, so clever, so useful to save writing the same things every single week.

 

We’ve been using our family weekly planner for a few weeks now and I absolutely love it.

It hangs really nicely on the wall, the pages are lovely and smooth to write on and the little extra features like the tear-off lists and reusable overlay are so handy.  I’m not saying this is the magic pill that will take away all the stress of juggling family life, but it is a huge helping hand to get me feeling more organised and on-top of things!

 

You can get this family weekly planner from the Boxclever Press website, as well as a selection of other calendars, diaries and organisers.

 

Disclosure: I was sent the family weekly planner for the purpose of this review but all words, thought and opinions are my own.