Coffee review Cafedirect

Cafédirect coffee review

We love coffee in our house.  My husband and I both drink about 3 or 4 cups a day, although he drinks his black while I prefer mine with milk.

We’ve tried quite a few different types over the years and always enjoy tasting different beans and blends to see what we like the most.

So when Cafédirect got in touch to ask if we wanted to try out some of the coffee beans in their range we jumped at the chance.  Cafédirect are the UK’s largest Fairtrade hot drinks brand, so as well as making amazing coffee they’re doing amazing things to improve lives around the world.

 

Cafédirect have got a great range of coffees available on their website that you can order and have delivered right to your door, as well as a brilliant subscription service that means you’ll never have to do a mad dash to the shops for your coffee when you realise you’ve run out.

We were sent three different types of coffee from their range to try at home.

We spent a bit of time looking through the options on the Cafédirect website and were really keen to try the London Fields Honduras coffee, which sounded like a great everyday coffee.

The other two coffees were picked out by the people at Cafédirect, and were perfect for getting an idea of the range of coffees they have available.

 

London Fields Honduras coffee

The London Fields Honduras coffee is described on the packaging as being sweet and smooth, with a well-rounded body.

As soon as you open the bag the smell of the beans is amazing, and we couldn’t wait to grind some up and give it a taste.

 

The beans all come with these little information sheets, which I really love.

They tell you all about where the beans come from and how they’re responsible sourced.  They also include tasting notes to help you identify the different flavours in the coffee.

This Honduras coffee is described as, “well rounded body, soft mouthfeel with smooth notes of sweet molasses, caramel and praline” by one of Cafédirect’s coffee roasters.

It is a really lovely everyday coffee, very easy to drink either black or with a bit of milk.  The sweet molasses flavour definitely comes through and gives it that bit more of an interesting taste than some other everyday coffees.

This was the coffee we picked out, and it definitely met our expectations.

It can be a bit hit and miss sometimes when you order things like this online, but the detailed information and tasting notes on the product description on the website really help you pick out coffee that will suit your tastes.

 

London Fields Myanmar Ruby Hills

The next coffee that we tried was the London Fields Myanmar Ruby Hills beans.

This coffee was picked out for us by Cafédirect and we were both really curious to try it.

 

This coffee is described as bright and aromatic, with flavours of elderflower, raspberry and vanilla.

It smells just as amazing as the Honduras coffee beans when you open up the bag, but the difference in flavour once the coffee is brewed is incredible.  This coffee is much lighter, and has an almost floral taste to it.

The tasting notes that come with it describe it as having a, “Delicate aroma of vanilla and elderflower, followed with a juicy pop of raspberry and candied orange peel”.

 

London Fields Burundi Nyiagisguri

The last coffee that we tried was the London Fields Burundi Nyiagisguri, which was one of Cafédirect’s limited releases.

Along with their regular coffees on the website, Cafédirect offer limited edition coffees which, as you’d expect, change regularly which I really like.  It’s a great way to try out new coffees that you otherwise might not come across.

 

The Burundi Nyiagisguri coffee is another one that we might not normally have picked out as it has a lighter body than we would normally go for.  But the flavour profile sounded really interesting and we were both keen to try it.

It’s described as having notes of green apple and brown sugar, along with caramel flavours and these really do come through, making the coffee that bit more complex and giving it a bit of extra sweetness.

I really liked this one and think that when it’s made with milk it’s a really lovely coffee to drink at any time of the day, although Steve found it a bit too light-bodied for his tastes.

 

All in all we’re really impressed with the coffees and the service from Cafédirect.

The website is really easy to navigate, with nice clear descriptions of the different coffees they have available.  There’s a great choice of different coffees on offer, which is big enough to have a good variety of strengths and flavours but not so big that it’s overwhelming.

Along with the coffee beans you can also buy equipment like coffee grinders and cafetières so you can make the perfect cup of coffee at home.

 

If you’re a real coffee fan then they also offer a subscription service so you can have beans or freshly ground coffee delivered to your home.  You can choose from weekly, fortnightly, or monthly deliveries, and decide what sort of coffee you’d like to try, from bright and aromatic to rich and chocolatey.

 

The coffee is more expensive than the beans and ground coffee you can find in the supermarket but for real coffee fans, especially those who like exploring new blends and flavours, I do think it’s worth it.

It can be really easy to get stuck in a rut with things like the coffee you drink every day, and Cafédirect can help you break out of that rut and try some amazing new coffees, without even needing to leave the house.

You can’t really go wrong with that can you?!

 

Disclosure:  I was sent this coffee for the purpose of this review, but all words, opinions and photos are my own.

Water bottles Super Sparrow

Super Sparrow drinks bottle review

My family and I have been using reusable drinks bottles for years now, and we’ve been through a few different types with the children to find ones that are leak-proof, easy to drink from and easy to keep clean.

Some claim to be leak-proof but have a cap that can really easily be knocked open, resulting in soaking wet school bags.

Others have caps and spouts that are almost impossible to keep properly clean and hygienic.

So when Super Sparrow asked me if we wanted to test out some of the water bottles in their range I was really excited to see what they had to offer.  And I think we may have found a winner here in our search for the perfect reusable drinks bottles.

 

Super Sparrow have 4 different styles of drinks bottles to choose from, and we put 3 of them to the test.

We were sent a wide mouth stainless steel insulated bottle, a standard mouth stainless steel insulated bottle, and 2 Tritan sports bottles.  The range of bottles that Super Sparrow have is spot on in my opinion.  There are enough choices to suit pretty much any needs, but not so many that it’s impossible to make a decision.

The only trouble we had was with picking what colours we wanted, because there were lots of lovely options we could’ve gone for!

If you’re looking for new drinks bottles for your family, then here are our thoughts on the different types that Super Sparrow have to offer.

 

Super Sparrow wide mouth stainless steel insulated bottle

This is a lovely, classic drinks bottle which is perfect for so many different situations.

It’s available in 3 different sizes, 500ml, 750ml, and 1000ml and no matter which size you choose the opening is a really wide 66mm.

My husband chose the 750ml bottle and is really happy with it.  It is quite big in your hands and, obviously, holds that bit more water so it’s great for a day out or just to have on the table next to him to remind him to keep drinking through the day as he’s working.

One thing we were pleased with is that, even though it’s a pretty big bottle, it still fits in the stretchy pocket on the side of his backpack so it’s really convenient for when we’re out and about.  There’s also a great, sturdy handle on the cap which makes it comfortable to carry on its own.

The bottle uses stainless steel double-walled vacuum insulated technology (try saying that five times fast!) to keep hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours, and cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours, which is incredible.  On a hot day at the beach it’s so nice to be able to have a perfectly cold drink on hand to cool us all down.

The outside of this bottle (and the other stainless steel ones in the range) has a matte texture which makes it nice and grippy.  This along with the little arc in the middle of the body of the bottle make it really easy to hold onto and drink from.

 

Super Sparrow standard mouth stainless steel insulated bottle

This is the bottle that I picked out for myself and it has barely left my side since it arrived!

Like the wide mouth bottle it’s a pretty classic water bottle at first glance but there are some little details that really make it great.  It’s available in 5 different sizes, from 330ml which would be great for lunch boxes or short trips out, to 1000ml which is perfect for big days out or keeping you hydrated throughout the day without having to keep refilling.

I opted for the 750ml bottle which is perfect for getting me to drink more while I’m working at home, but still great for popping in my bag when we go out.

Like the wide mouth bottle that Steve picked, this one fits really nicely into the side pocket of my backpack so it’s always nice and accessible while we’re out at the beach or the park.

It also has the same stainless steel double-walled vacuum insulated technology as the wide mouth bottle so it keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold, as well as being completely leak-proof.

What I particularly like about this bottle though is the fact that it comes with 2 interchangeable caps.

One of them is a simple screw on cap that comes off completely to let you drink from the open mouth of the bottle.  The other cap is a sports cap with a straw that flips out so you can drink really easily on the go.

You also get a spare straw and a little straw-cleaning brush in the box too, which is really useful.

 

Super Sparrow Tritan sports bottles

These are the bottles that we chose for Rhys and Nerys and they’ve been a huge hit, with both them and me.

They love the bright colours, the handy carrying strap, and the fact that they’re really easy to drink from.

I love the fact that they’re completely leak-proof, really durable, and nice and easy to clean.

The Tritan sports bottles from in 3 sizes, 350ml, 500ml, and 1000ml and they’re perfect for school lunchboxes and for popping in a bag for a day out.  They would also be great to take to the gym to keep you hydrated as you work out.

They’re made from BPA free plastic so there’s no worries about anything nasty leeching out into the children’s drinks.  They’re not insulated like the steel bottles, so they don’t keep drinks hot or cold, but they’re still perfect for the children to take to school and on trips out to the park or the beach.

What I really love about these Titan bottles is how nice they are to drink from.  There’s no valve or anything, so once you’ve popped the top open the drinks flow freely so there’s no frustration from the kids when they’re really thirsty.

The caps themselves are great because they lock into place to keep them safely closed, but are still really easy to open.  You just have to flick the catch down and then press a button for the cap to open up.

 

We’ve been really impressed with all of the Super Sparrow water bottles that we’ve tested, and they’ve quickly replaced the other bottles we used before.

I love the fact that they’re all completely leak-proof so we can chuck them in our bags when we go out and not worry about them leaking everywhere.

I also love the smart little features like the carry handles, and the fact that they’ve clearly been designed to make drinking from them as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Whether you need a water bottle for your children to take to school, for family days out, or for taking with you to the gym, there’s something in the Super Sparrow range that would fit the bill perfectly.  And with a huge range of colours to choose from you’ll be able to find something to suit every member of the family!

 

All the drinks bottles are available from the Super Sparrow website and from Amazon.

 

Disclosure: We were sent these bottles for the purpose of this review but all thoughts, words, and images are my own.

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.