Wednesday, 30 July 2014

It's Camp Bestival Time

Camp Bestival 2012


Roll up, roll up, the best circus this summer is in town! The car is packed, I'm not quite sure where the children will be sitting?! Early tomorrow morning we will be heading to Lulworth Castle in Dorset for Camp Bestival.  We are all very excited and I am sure there will be little sleep had tonight.  With so many things to see and do this weekend we have each chosen specific things we really want to do or bands/acts we want to see.  Personally I am looking forward to watching James on the Castle Stage on Friday night and of course De La Soul on Saturday night, reliving my sixth form and uni days.  A visit to Dingley Dell for activities with Project Wild Thing and The National Trust is a must and Kitty won't leave without seeing Ben & Holly.  I am also really excited to meet up with some of the other Camp Bestival bloggers and enjoy a drink, laugh and dance.

But for now I am off to get Lucys glasses fixed, one of the arms fell off this morning, then I may sneak in a cheeky cold beer in the garden before tea, well it is almost holiday time!

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

My Sister is Getting Married



A couple of nights ago I had an excited phone call from my sister to tell me she is getting married! I am so happy for her and her partner.  So now she has months of fun, planning a wedding and of course a hen do. Time for me to introduce her to Pinterest and send her the links to my favourite wedding blogs from my previous work as a wedding and party blogger.  Of course we are all very excited, thoughts of gorgeous dresses, new suits and shoes as we look forward to a winter wedding in 2015.  

Congratulations Fay & Matt, we look forward to celebrating with you very soon.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Ice Lolly Recipes

Even though the sky has clouded over here in Suffolk, being ever hopeful of a long, hot summer I thought I would round up my favourite ice lolly recipes.  I haven't as yet had time to try them all but as usual Pinterest has provided ample inspiration to tempt my taste buds.


Recipe from Jelanie


Recipe from Two Loves Studio


I hope some of these help cool you off this summer, be sure to share over on Instagram if you try any of the recipes.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo




Monday, 28 July 2014

Summer Sounds On The Go

There are times in our busy house that you just want a little space to listen to your music choices, not everyone elses, to watch just one more episode of Homeland or Frozen for the umpteenth time.  The solution of course has been headphones.  Giving everyone the chance to watch or listen to whatever their latest favourite may be, without the rest of the house being subjected to it again and again.  Plugging themselves into their phone or tablet has meant fewer arguments, especially in the last year or so.  So when Coloud asked if we would like to test their range of headphones we were delighted.  Personally I loved the bright colours, knowing that they would brighten up a run on a dull morning, when I didn't really want to head outside, but I was intrigued to see if they actually delivered a decent sound too.


The Pop

These neatly designed little headphones pop into you ears, with covers in three sizes to prevent them falling out, unlike other brands that aren't so snug.  Lucy regularly watches her favourite vloggers on You Tube and prefers in ear headphones, so she has willingly tested The Pop.  She loves that the wires don't get tangled due to the flat design but most importantly the sound quality is excellent.  Lucy has said there is little disturbance from external noise and whether she is watching a video or listening to her latest music choices these little headphones deliver fantastic sound.  Aswell as the excellent sound quality she was interested to see there were different colour combinations available, which is important to every fashion loving teen.



The Knock

These were our least favourite pair that we tested.  Lucy and Jack compared them to being similar to school headphones and found external noise was heard more with this pair.  However The Knock are a lightweight overhead design which both Kitty and Amber liked as they didn't feel heavy on their head.  Again the flat cord was a hit, meaning the headphones could be worn quickly without having to unscramble the cords first.



The Boom

The Boom had the majority vote as our family favourite.  The closed construction design meant interference from external noise was virtually non-existent.  Jack regularly watches movies and listens to music on his laptops and has tried various sets of headphones over the past few years.  He was very impressed with The Boom and was surprised when I told him the price (£20), as he thought they would be much more expensive considering the quality of sound produced.  Connor was equally impressed with these and they also get mine and Andys vote.  Similarly to the other two pairs The Boom has flat cables, which really impressed us all, yet Andy and I are interested to see how this lasts in the longterm, knowing that cables do work loose with time.


The Pop, The Knock and The Boom are all available from Coloud's website.  Each design is available in various colour choices, allowing you to personally style your perfect set of headphones.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Disclaimer - Coloud generously provided us with a pair of each headphone design, however as always all opinions are mine and my family's own.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Packing List For Camp Bestival

Camp Bestival 2012


Continuing from yesterdays post celebrating a good list, I thought I would share my list for top things to take to Camp Bestival.  With only nine days until we head to the beautiful Dorset coast, I am starting to check we have everything and that it's still in working order.  Batteries are top of my shopping list this week, torches and tent lights need them, also our phone charger needs some, aswell as the cameras.  So apart from plenty of batteries what else do I consider essential?

Loo Rolls - there are none provided, DO NOT forget these!

Hand Sanitiser and Baby Wipes - there aren't sinks in the porta loo's. Baby wipes also come in handy when ice creams get drippy and coke cans explode! (The toilets are cleaned regularly and we have never had a problem with them).

Sunscreen, sunhats, wellies and raincoats - this is England, be prepared.  Also wellies are handy for those early morning trips to the loo, across the dewy grass.

First Aid Kit - plasters, paracetamol - adults and childrens, insect bite cream or spray, antiseptic wipes.

Sleeping bags, warm PJ's, socks and a hat - the nights are chilly under canvas. Lucy brought her woolly hat last time to wear to bed, I wish I had as I slept with my hoodie on, hood up!

Jumpers - I always take a hoodie camping and a lightweight cardi.  First thing in the morning and later in the evening can be chilly and you will be glad of the extra layers.

Matches or a lighter - always handy for lighting your stove.

Teabags, Coffee, Hot Chocolate and UHT milk - that first cuppa of the day will be the best. Just remember no glass containers, so buy instant coffee in the refill bags.

Wine in a Box - again not glass - Helen of Knackered Mothers Wine Club shared some top choices in this blog last month, read them here.

Lots of Snacks - all that fresh air makes you hungry - for more food ideas read my post here.

Bubbles - of course I would prefer the fizzy champagne kind but children everywhere seem to have bottles of bubbles! There are stalls that sell them but taking some with you saves a little money.

Washing Up Bowl - this can double up as your sink for washing your face and brushing your teeth.

Water Bottles - there are ample taps around the campsites and in the festival too for you to fill up for free.  We take our camping water container and each have a water bottle to refill.

Air Beds and Pump- yes I know this a luxury, but a good nights sleep is essential to make the most of your time at the festival.  However my sons are a bit more hardcore and just have roll mats!

Picnic Blanket - we take a couple that can be used outside the tent and can be used in the festival too.

Bunting and Flags - there are hundreds of tents so personalise yours to make it easier to find.  We will have a flag and bunting, infact I've just found the circus bunting from Kitty's birthday party, perfect for this years circus theme.

Well I think that's the essentials.  One last thing is take some cash, there are cash points and some stall holders probably take cards but cash is king. Right I'm off to check all the sleeping bags zips are working and to find our flag pole!

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Disclosure - This year I am one of the official Camp Bestival bloggers, working with them to share my top tips and reviewing the festival.  They have kindly given us a family weekend ticket, however all opinions are my own.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Lists, lists and more lists

Notepad available from The Green Gables


The impending summer holidays mean I need to be organised.  With five children to feed and entertain life becomes even busier than normal. So this is the time of year I actually depend on lists. Oh I do love a good a list, just sitting quietly to write it is fun. Now I know I am not alone in this love of list making and like many still favour handwriting my lists.  Although I do have a memo app on my phone and am seriously planning on using One Note properly....let me just add that to my list of things to do this summer! 

Yesterday the girls and I popped out to buy new notebooks for them to create summer journals.  With another storm and a wet afternoon putting paid to plans of outdoor adventures, the three of them sat and each wrote a list of '25 things to do in the summer holidays'.  Obviously I wasn't sure what they would list and hoped it would not include extravagant and expensive adventures.  Thankfully their lists are realistically affordable, including a trip to a museum in London, days at the beach, lots of sewing, writing stories, learning a foreign language, baking, learning to play the guitar and camping sleepovers in the garden, to name a few.  

So hurry up the end of term, my daughters have memories to make and I need to write a list of what to take to take on holiday and of course that dreaded new uniform list.  But for now I need to think about making my own summer journal.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Friday, 18 July 2014

Three Hungry Teenagers at Camp Bestival



Yes that's right, we will be taking three hungry teenagers to Camp Bestival, nevermind Kitty (aged 7) who has the fastest metabolism I know and Amber who is teenager in training at eleven years!  So thinking about food and starting to buy supplies for Camp Bestival is taking some planning.  With just two weeks to go *excited squeal* I am giving food for the weekend some serious consideration.  Hungry children does not bode well, as we all know hungry children means grumpy children.  Therefore I am planning some easy camp stove meals, that do not rely on me having fridge access.  Ideas so far are pasta with stir in sauces, pasta and tuna, beans and hot dogs in tins.  Yes I know these are not my first choices when planning family meals but needs must and all that!  Whilst some may avoid bringing eggs camping I like to take risks, especially as they are great protein options for hungry teens and means I can rustle up some french toast crumpets (recipe can be found here) for breakfast.  As for snacks I will of course be bringing crisps, fruit, biscuits, rice cakes, breadsticks, bread and croissants and making several cakes, scones and flapjacks to bring with us.  Our plan is to eat breakfast at our tent, have lunch out at the many, many choices around the festival and then dinner will be back at the tent before returning for more festi-fun in the evening.

Hindsight is a very fortunate thing this time when planning food, with Connor, Jack and Lucy regularly checking the bags I am starting to fill with foodie purchases.  Have you started planning your meals for Camp Bestival yet? Any extra tips are always welcome! Also remember no glass is allowed on the site, so decant jam, choc spread, marmite, wine, Pimms, etc into plastic containers and bottles before you go.  

Have a wonderful weekend and until next time take care.
Zoe
xo

Disclosure - This year I am one of the official Camp Bestival bloggers, working with them to share my top tips and reviewing the festival.  They have kindly given us a family weekend ticket, however all opinions are my own.