Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Leicester City Stay

If there’s one city that’s pretty damn popular at the moment, it’s got to be Leicester. With the triumphant win of the premier League a few weeks back, Leicester is sure to be visited by lots of fans coming from near and far! Leicester is around 40 minutes away from us so it’s not too far but it’s just a little too far for it to be classed as our ‘local’ city, so when we took a little over night stay, I thought I’d share with what you where we stayed and how it can work for you if you’re thinking of planning a trip! 

We stayed at the Leicester Marriott Hotel which is around 10/15 minutes out of the main city centre but is directly opposite Fosse park - an ever-growing shopping complex that also has a selection of great restaurants too! The location of the hotel is perfect if you don’t like to be around the hustle and bustle of the city centre - a little like us as we took Millie with us and we like to know that the hotel is going to be quiet. Arriving at the hotel, the car park is secure which is reassuring when you’re leaving your car in a carpark overnight or for the weekend. 

Marriott Leicester

Check in was simple and straight forward, no long winded questions, no forms to fill out, simply give them your name, sign the sheet and get your keys! There is also a mobile check in option but we decided to speak to humans and not to the robot! The lobby is HUGE, with a concierge desk, an in-house Starbucks, a Bar and a restaurant with lifts and stairs leading to the rooms and also the Leisure facilities off to the back of the hotel. We were in a Business King room which also had a pull out bed in for Millie (looking at around £119 a night for a Friday night stay Room only). The room was perfect, a good size so Millie had space to play, the bed could fit us all with room to spare, the bathroom was a really good size and there were tea/coffee making facilities too! 

We went into the city for dinner on Friday night and headed to Las Iguanas to try their new menu out (blog post to come soon!) and it took us around 15 minutes to get there as we hit a bit of Friday night traffic but it was simple to follow the signs into the city centre from the hotel and simply come off the ring road, past the Football and Rugby ground and into the centre. Saying this, if you wanted to visit the Football ground, it’s about a 10 minute drive from the hotel! 

Saturday morning we woke after a sound night sleep and I headed down to the gym. I had a super quick work out using the Treadmill and Cross trainer and then jumped on a couple of resistance machines working on my arms as I’m desperately trying to get rid of my bingo wings! The gym and pool are available to guests during their stay with early opening and late closing times and it was nice and quiet too! You get a towel for both the gym and pool (including a sauna and steam room) and there are lockers for your belongings. All of the facilities were clean and tidy - the family changing room was a good shout as we were both able to get dressed and get Millie dressed with plenty of room! 

Marriott Leicester Gym

We’d definitely return if we ever had any functions or events to attend in Leicester with super comfy rooms and beds and being so convenient to the city centre - it beats driving back so late at night and also means that we haven’t got to debate about who is driving and who can have a cheeky drink! You can look at availability for the hotel here or call and book a room. 

(Thank you to Marriott Hotel for allowing us to stay with them and use their facilities)

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Toddler Fashion: Summer Dresses

Summer is (hopefully) on its way and so we’ve started to get some holiday clothes sorted and Millie is loving wearing Dresses at the moment! Everywhere we go, she wants a new dress and it’s fair to say she’s very specific and knows exactly what she wants. Gone are the days that Mummy or Daddy chooses what she wears - she picked pretty much every single one of her dresses and I thought I’d show a few of them off as they’re such brilliant value for money! 

Pineapple Hat - TU at Sainsburys £5.00
Pink striped Dress - Next £6.00 or 2 for £10.00
Trainers - New Balance

Blue striped Dress - H&M £2.99 

Cat print Dress - Primark £3.00 
Gold Hi-Top trainers - H&M £5.99

Butterfly Dress - H&M £3.99

We’re massive lovers of H&M clothes, especially for Millie as they’re such good quality, clean well and don’t shrink and they seem to last ages as the sizes come up a little bigger than other shops. We’ve got another bag full of dresses but these were Millie’s favourite picks so we may be having another fashion show soon to show off the other dresses we got! 

Where do you shop for your little one’s clothes? Do you have a favourite store?

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Wendy House Review

Dare I say it? Is the Summer here now?! I hope so!! We finally have a garden we can enjoy the sunshine in and Millie also has somewhere safe she can play outside too! She got a few garden toys such as a slide, trampoline and balls etc for her birthday and loves playing out on them and now, she also has a beautiful Wendy house to play in too! 

The aim was to get her a playhouse for her birthday back in April but because the weather has been so bad, we’ve not been able to put it up for weeks - last weekend graced us with glorious sunshine and now, its up!! We got the ‘BillyOh Mad Dash 300 Bunny Playhouse’ from Garden Buildings Direct which was around £194.99* and it comes with a super cute picket fence! You can also customise it to a colour of your choosing and I believe choose alternative flooring - all super easy to change on the checkout screen! Delivery was also really quick, within days it was hand delivered and the driver unloaded the van himself and took photos to prove that he had delivered to the right address. He called about an hour before he arrived just to check we were in too - how convenient!?

So it arrived in quite a few bits, it looked a little daunting thinking ‘oh my, I can’t assemble that!!’ but, Adam was the one to build it and he did it all on his own within about 4 hours! He said the instructions were really easy to follow (he’s rubbish at reading instructions!) and the swearing was minimal... It now sits perfectly at the bottom of the garden and Millie loves it! 

We got all of the little cutie accessories from B&M just to make it a little more homely and special for Millie. The lights are solar too so you haven’t got to worry about leads and wires everywhere! She has a cute little rug inside too but it was hard to show you so when we’ve popped some pictures up and got her a table, i’ll show you the inside! 

It’s definitely a favourite and she’s loved playing with it - I definitely think that if you’ve got a child (boy or girl) who loves to play outside, it’s a huge investment and you won’t regret it! 

Take a look at what other playhouses Garden Buildings Direct have too as they have some AMAZING multi-storey playhouses with slides and all sorts of attachments!! 

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Caprera Food Hampers

The folks over at Caprera Foods are extremely passionate about good food, a little like me! Give me any cured meats, tasty cheese and good wine and I'm well away! The owner, Jeremy, has inherited the idea of the website - that of Artisan foods - from his Father who believe that food was an experience, something that everyone should be open to and change every once in a while. Try something new just as you would doing something new. By using independent producers that make and deliver amazingly tasty, home-grown food and drink they want to make sure that the taste of food is not forgotten and is easily accessible to all.

In the sample box I received 4 items:
- Chocoterie Chocolate Coated Ginger Biscuits (£4.00 per pack) which were amazing! I never usually like Ginger but these were so light - imagine an Aero chocolate bar but a biscuit! As you bite into it, it’s full of bubbles that make it super light and crunchy!
- Wrights Original Dark Ginger Beverage (£2.20 per bottle) As I said, I’m not a fan of Ginger so I haven’t tried this yet but Adam is looking forward to drinking it!
- CNWC Sweet Onion Crackers (£2.99 per pack) These crackers are super yummy and go perfect with some tasty cheeses and a pint of Cider!
- Capsicana Brazilian Chilli and Coconut Sauce (£2.29) We made a tasty dish with this sauce by simply using an onion, a pepper and some chunks of Chicken - let it simmer for around 15 minutes and served with Rice! It was super tasty and extremely affordable too!

The website has some pretty nifty features too, being able to purchase curated selections of food and simply order the ingredients needed is a simple way to get the best of everything! You can shop for individual items and bulk them together in a super convenient little package - even if you've bought from various independent distributors.
From sauces, jams, wines and cheese, there is literally something to make a meal from and put together the perfect Artisan inspired dish, and don't worry - if you're stuck for ideas you can access the online magazine for meal ideas direct from your phone or laptop! Or if you're looking for something with a little more umpgh, you can order one of the 4 hampers which have everything in for the ultimate foodie!