Follow me:

    Centre Parcs Survival Guide

    A Centre Parcs Survival Guide
    We recently went on a family holiday to Centre Parcs. It was my first ever experience of Centre Parcs. Everyone I spoke to said that I would love it and they weren’t wrong! So based on our recent experience of visiting Centre Parcs at Longleat, I give you my Centre Parcs Survival Guide!

    Car Parking

    Car Park Charging Point

    First of all let me tell you that the place is HUGE! I heard someone say it’s 4 times the size of other Centre Parcs. One big disadvantage is that you can’t park your car outside your lodge (unless you’re in one of the premium apartments or adapted lodges). On arrival/departure days you are allowed to take the car to the lodge to unload/pack up. However in between the car has to stay in the car park. Oh and there was a charging point for an electric car – and there was a gorgeous Tesla permanently parked there.

    Land Train

    The good news is that there is a land train that circles the park every 15 to 20 minutes. It takes 40 minutes to do the whole circle though so be prepared for that!

    Bikes

    Bikes at Centre Parcs

    If you’re a cyclist then I believe you can take bikes with you to the park. If not then you can hire them on site – hire includes locks. I think you can also hire the helmets but we had brought ours with us.
    One tip, unless you really intend on using the bikes, don’t hire them in advance. We had booked ours in advance but hadn’t realised how big the place was so travelled around on the land train instead. Also the park was very hilly and it had killer hills to cycle around! In one of the other parks, it might have been better as they are flatter I think.

    Groceries

    There is a shop on site but I found it to be expensive. So we brought some groceries in with us – but again, be prepared to carry them back to the lodge as you won’t be able to drive up to drop things off. Don’t do what we did, bought lots on Day 2 of the holidays and realised we had to take them back to the lodge….. hubby ended up walking the pram and goodies back whilst I took kiddiwinks on the land train. It was stressful!

    Eating Out/In

    Eating at Centre Parcs
    Another thing, don’t buy too many groceries! Dependant on how you want to do the holiday – if you want to go self catering then yes that’s possible as the lodge had a fully equipped kitchen (and BBQ). Or if alternatively you can eat out at one of the may restaurants on site. Or better yet, you can get food delivered to your door from one of the on site takeaway services – pier, oriental or Indian. Choice is yours!
    One thing we noted with the takeaway – portion sizes are decent so you may not need to order much. For example, we went for a Chinese banquet of beef in black bean sauce, sweet and sour chicken, vegetable chow mien and rice for two persons – fed three adults for one evening and leftovers for one for the second evening. So really, 2 person banquet fed 4 people!

    Swimming Pool

    The swimming pool is a MUST plus it’s FREE! It’s an amazing place! Getting into it is a bit of a puzzle though as the changing area is a bloody maze! Once you’re poolside then there’s plenty to do. The pool open 30 minutes earlier for the little ones but I wouldn’t bother with it unless you’re little ones have never been to a pool before. We went the first morning and all you could do was go to the mini pool area. You weren’t even allowed into the toddler play area. I suppose the main advantage of it is that you could get yourself changed and into the pool before main opening times.

    Activities

    Activities at Centre Parcs

    Don’t overbook your activities in advance! You’ll get overwhelmed with the range of activities as you can pretty much do ANYTHING there! We booked ourselves in for a Teddy Bear’s Picnic, 10 Pin Bowling and a balance bike session for the eldest (3.5years old at the time). We managed all expect the balance bike oh and littlest fell asleep for the Teddy Bears Picnic so that was a bit bust. Note to self…. pool fun means knackered baby!

    If I had more time (or if I didn’t have the kiddies) I think I’d have booked in for the geocaching sessions and the tree top adventure activity. Hubby would’ve loved to try the quad biking and the badminton court.

    I hope you enjoyed my Centre Parcs Survival Guide! Do you have anything you would add?

    Rebecca

    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

    Journey Down to Centre Parcs

    Journey Down To Centre Parcs
    On Sunday we started out journey down to Centre Parcs. Nain had printed all the itenaries for our journey down to Centre Parcs. She had included all the stops and layovers etc. The only problem we found by Sunday morning is that part of route the A49 in Leominster was closed for a 10 mile stretch and there was a 58 mile detour!

    Stage 1 – Shrewsbury

    Archery at Attingham Park

    Stage one of our journey to Centre Parcs was from home to Attingham Park near Shrewsbury. It was a 2 hour drive and we were running a bit early so we took a slight detour via Shrewsbury. OK let’s be honest, hubby wanted to go to Games Workshop so he popped into there.
    Shrewsbury looks like a nice place though and it’s been added to our weekend away list. Attingham Park is a National Trust site and we stopped there for lunch and a browse. I’ll post about this separately soon.

    Stage 2 – Chepstow

    Tintern Abbey

    From Shrewsbury we travelled down to Chepstow where we would stay the night. As mentioned, due to the fact that the A49 was closed we took some random backroads to avoid it. Not quite the 58 mile detour though. It was a bit unnerving every time we passed a “ROAD CLOSED” sign though!!
    En route we passed Tintern Abbey. That place is amazing! We didn’t stop but we will visit it at some point!
    At Chepstow we stayed at The Two Rivers (Marston’s pub/hotel). We had an evening meal and our table was right next to the kiddie play area. Genius! So girls could run around there whilst we ate.

    Stage 3 – Centre Parcs

    Centre Parcs Longleat

    On Monday morning we travelled the remaining hour or so down to Centre Parcs near Longleat. Exciting times was crossing the Severn Bridge.

    So that was our epic journey down to Centre Parcs! Have you ever been on epic car journeys?

    Rebecca

    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

    Happy Birthday Miss Mostyn

    Happy Birthday Miss MostynWell the littlest is 2 years old this week. Time is flying by and I can’t believe she’s now a little girl as opposed to a little baby. She’ll always be my baby though!

    So on Saturday we had a birthday party for friends and family. We had a get together in our house and it was really lovely. Most of our family and friends made it and it was really lovely getting everyone together. It doesn’t happen often enough.

    Food

    Happy Birthday Miss Mostyn

    We opted for a buffet so we had mixture of ham and chicken, cheeses, savoury rice, sausage rolls, bread rolls, lettuce, coleslaw, pickled onions, pizzas, garlic bread, and hot dogs for the kiddies. It was a decent spread and everyone seems to enjoy it even though we completely forgot the crisps!

    For pudding we had lots of homemade fairy cakes, homemade flapjacks homemade jelly and ice cream and we had a Peppa Pig cake for the “main event” as it were. The homemade cakes etc were made by Nain and Little Miss – they’d been busy on Friday!

    Oh and the best thing is that the food survived as the doggies had already gone to Aunty Jane at Glyddyn Kennels. We didn’t want a repeat of what happened last year!

    Weather

    Happy Birthday Miss Mostyn

    The weather was good –  a bit windy, not too hot but sunny! So the kiddies were all outside on the bouncy castle. IT was the one I bought ages ago from B&M Bargains for £16.99. It’s done well but didn’t survive yesterday! It wasn’t warm enough for the paddling pool though. (We didn’t get the hot tub this year although it would’ve been better weather for it!).

    Presents

    Happy Birthday Miss Mostyn

    Ah everyone was so kind with presents for Miss Mostyn. She had great fun opening them and was “helped” by Little Miss. I must remember to get her some presents as she doesn’t understand why Miss Mostyn was getting presents and she wasn’t. One of the most favourite things of the day was the My Little Pony racing tower. Although to be fair, she didn’t have much time to play with anything yet.

    It was a great day all in all! Thanks to everyone who came to the birthday party!

    What’s the best birthday party you remember?

    Rebecca

    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

    June Liked and Loved

    Liked and Loved June 2017

    Well that’s it we’re half way through 2017 already! Can’t believe it! June has been a good month of doing random stuff! So here’s what I liked and loved in June!

    Williams40 Celebrations

    Williams40 at Silverstone

    Williams Racing Team celebrated their 40 years in Formula 1! We managed to get tickets so on June 2nd Mam, her partner and I took a trip down to Silverstone. I loved it!

    On The Radio

    I was on the radio not once, but twice this month! I was on BBC Radio Cymru talking about electric cars. Also I was on Heart’s Music Minute this week with Rachael! Didn’t do too bad with 4 out of 6 correct. Actually it was pretty good since I was top of the leaderboard at the end of the week which means I’ve won tickets to the Electric Wave Festival! Such a shame I can’t go though! But thanks Heart Radio!

    Breakfast With Princesses

    Breakfast with Princesses

    Hickory’s Smokehouse in Rhos on Sea had a breakfast with Cinderella and Ariel. We managed to book a table (missed the last one as they were fully booked) and then had pancakes for breakfast. Little Miss was a bit star struck when she initially met the princesses but she soon got over her shyness and gave them lots of hugs. She was over the moon!

    Arriva Ride & Seek

    Arriva Buses

    At the beginning of the month Little Miss and I had a trip on the buses with Arriva’s Ride & Seek campaign. It was such a great day!

    Gardening & Father’s Day

    June is Father’s Day month in the UK and naturally this means out for Sunday lunch! We went to Fron Goch Garden Centre (always a good choice). Whilst there we picked up some flowers and vegetables which are now planted in the garden.

    Networking

    BAFTA

    Did some networking this month which was good and even managed to nab myself a BAFTA!

    What have you Liked and Loved in June?

    A Cornish Mum
    Rebecca

    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

    Top 5 Tom Hanks Films

    Tom Hanks Films

    On Friday, Inferno premiered on Sky Cinema. It’s a good film as Tom Hanks films always are. He is an amazing actor and seems like such good fun as well. So today I’m giving you my top 5 Tom Hanks films as voted for by me! These are not in order.

    Apollo 13

    This is my absolute favourite Tom Hanks film ever! In case you don’t know it’s based on the real life events of the NASA Apollo 13 mission. Various catastrophes hit the Apollo 13 spacecraft which sees 3 astronauts stranded in space. The film follows the attempts of NASA to bring them home. The film also stars Kevin Bacon and the late Bill Paxton.

    It’s a film I can watch over and over. I’m not sure why I love it but I do!

    Dragnet

    An oldie but a good-ie! Tom Hanks teams up with Dan Ackroyd for a remake of the movie version of the police TV series Dragnet. The two of them play a young hippie radical thinking cop (Hanks) and an old school by-the-book cop (Ackroyd) who try to solve the Pagan case.

    The Terminal

    This is such an underrated film! I hadn’t actually seen it until the husband made me watch to – I had written it off as a crappy film. How wrong was I? The film sees Victor Navosrky (Tom Hanks) become stuck in a NYC airport after his country becomes “ineligible” during his flight. By the time he reaches New York, the USA no longer recognise his home country and as such won’t allow him entry in to the US as he doesn’t have a valid passport.

    There are some big names in this film including Stanley Tucci, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Zoe Saldana and Diego Luna (Cassian in the Rogue One film).

     

    Turner and Hooch

    Another classic! This is Tom Hanks playing another cop but this time he plays the by-the-book type. However, when a friend is shot, he assumes ownership of hie friend’s dog being the only witness to the shooting. The dog (Hooch) is a slobbery mongrel which you (and Hanks!) can’t help but love!

    You’ve Got Mail

    This one is a very predictable but for me very enjoyable. A love story over internet chatting! It’s another rom-com with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan – sorta like a modern day Sleepless in Seattle. Predictable as hell but enjoyable. Our Tom Hanks charm!

    Other Tom Hanks Films

    Now yes there are some MAJOR films missing from this list including one of his best – Forrest Gump. It is a good film but not one I’d watch over and over. It’s a bit sad isn’t it? My husband’s list includes Saving Private Ryan and Angels and Demons – again good films but really, name me a Tom Hanks film that isn’t good?

    What’s your favourite Tom Hanks film?

    Rebecca

    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

    Williams40 at Silverstone

    Williams40 at Silverstone

    It’s been over a month since  I attended the Williams40 celebrations at Silverstone! My Mam actually managed to get tickets and we travelled the miles and miles from North Wales to Silverstone… lots of twisty turning roads!

    Past and Present Williams Drivers

    Williams40 at Silverstone

    After landing at the epic Silverstone we headed towards the International Pits Straight grandstand. From there we watched all the goings on. David Croft (or Crofty) was commentating but you couldn’t hear him too well over all the noise. First up there were interviews with past and present Williams drivers including Nico Rosberg and Keke Rosberg. They all lined up with two of the Williams cars and it made for an awesome photo. Mark Webber was also there but I didn’t see him *cries*!

    Fast Cars

    Williams40 at Silverstone

    After the driver line up the cars went out on track. There were some beauties there including Nigel Mansell’s 1992 Championship winning car. There was some noise from that beast I can tell you! Also there was Damon Hill’s car, and Pastor Maldonado’s car from 2012 – the last Williams car to win a Grand Prix (Barcelona 2012).

    Iconic Setting

    Williams40 at Silverstone

    (can you see the dent in the podium wall? Anca and I reckoned it was the champagne corks!)

    After listening to these cars race around the track – incredible noise – we had tickets for the evening Pit Walk. I’ll be honest and say I was hoping to see some of the F1 celebrities but they had all disappeared by then. Even so it was still exciting to be in such an iconic setting that is Silverstone. As you can see from the following photo I was a bit excited!

    Williams40 at Silverstone

    Also Anca and her husband was also at the celebrations and we met up for the pit walk. Anca’s lovely husband took a photo of us…. you can read all about Anca’s experience here.

    Have you ever been to Silverstone?

    Rebecca

    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

    Breakfast with Princesses

    Breakfast with Princesses

    It’s been over a week since our Breakfast with Princesses at Hickory’s Smokehouse. Time really does fly by! So yes on Sunday 25th June we went for breakfast with princesses – Cinderella and Ariel to be precise. My eldest loves her princesses and Cinderella is her absolute favourite!

    Hickory’s Smokehouse

    Hickory’s Smokehouse is an American style steakhouse in Rhos-On-Sea (there are others but this is our closest).On walking in the first thing you notice is that it’s all very American Country. Then you notice the sign saying it’s an “authentic American steakhouse” – clearly not quite a 100% authentic since we’re in Wales but you get the picture! The decor is all bulls horns, red and wood panelled walls with photos of old style American scenes. Very nice and yes very American steakhouse – a comment I’m allowed to make since I have been to a real steakhouse in America.

    Pancake Breakfast

    Breakfast with Princesses

     

    We were seated at a table which had some balloons and a happy birthday sign – they put it up as we’d mentioned Miss Mostyn’s birthday was coming up. Such a nice touch! We’ve been there before but this is the first time we attended a breakfast. It was an all you can eat pancake buffet – oh my heaven!

    The pancakes were the thin kind – my favourite! Husband was a bit disappointed that they weren’t the thick American style that he likes. Due to the high demand, you had to queue for your pancakes. But that was ok as the princesses were milling around.

    Beautiful Princesses

    Breakfast with Princesses

    It didn’t come as a surprise, but Little Miss was a bit overwhelmed when she saw Cinderella. I completely understand – she met her idol! She wouldn’t go to her and hid behind my legs. She soon got over her fear and gave them plenty of cuddles! The princesses were lovely! So perfect!

    There was face painting and films in the children’s playroom. Both the girls got their faces painted. They were so cute! It was a wonderful morning out – I really enjoyed it and I think the girls loved it as well.

    Have you ever had breakfast with princesses?

    Rebecca

    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

    Pros & Cons of Owning an Electric Car

    Pros and Cons of Owning an Electric Car

    I was recently on the radio discussing the pros and cons of owning an electric car. I was actually trying to convince the presenter who is a fellow F1 fan, that you don’t need petrol to be happy! So here is my rundown of the pros and cons of owning an electric car.

    Pros of Owning an Electric Car

    • No need to stop for fuel!
    • No emmissions, so you’re saving the environement
    • The drive is smooth and silent
    • Reduced running costs – electric is cheaper than petrol
    • Pickup is amazeballs*! Can beat any BMW off the line (or so I’m told)

    * Yes I did just use amazeballs because quite frankly, the pickup is better than amazing!

    Cons of Owning an Electric Car

    • If you forget to charge it, you might get stuck
    • You’re adding burden to the electricity grid
    • You can’t drive off in a huff! No point as there’s no noise!
    • More expensive to buy (however there are grants available)
    • Top speed is nowhere near as amazing as a BMW

    Our Electric Car

    The electric car we have is a Nissan Leaf. After looking for a new car in March 2016 we gave the Leaf a go. We borrowed it for two days or so and loved it! After speaking to the dealer we found that there was a government grant of up to £5000 available if bought before 31st March 2016. We had no equity left in our little Fiesta and thus the government grant gave us a form of equity in the new car. Or in other words, we didn’t have to find the cash for a deposit on the Leaf.

    Over 12 months on and I love it! Sure it’s quirky and somewhat resembles a frog but that just adds to the character of the car. Unfortunately I don’t get to drive the Leaf anymore so it’s now hubby’s car. Which makes me sad as I love that little car! Although we did have an “adventure” charging it…

    My Radio Spot

    So yes I was on the radio discussing it last week. Did I convince Geraint Lloyd or not? I’m thinking not but the electric car revolution will come my friend!

    What are your thoughts on owning an electric car?

    Rebecca

    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

    Home Improvement Wishlist

    Home Improvement Wishlist

    I don’t know if it’s the summer but this time of year seems to be the time I think about my home improvement wishlist. True, it’s a bit late now considering it’s pretty much July but here are the top 5 things on my home improvement wishlist *:

    (* this list is assuming I have all the money in the world and not what I can actually achieve!)

    1) Kitchen

    Top of the list is re-doing the kitchen. Current kitchen is still the original kitchen installed when the house was built back in 1990s. It’s dated and dingy in by opinion. I’ve previously posted what I would like to do and it still stands… white French country cottage style with an island. First job is to extend the kitchen out and make it a kitchen-diner-living area. Install big bi-folding doors opening directly into the garden. Effectively this would make it a patio area with a roof when the doors are open. Oh this would be lovely!

    (In my dream I’m envisaging sunny summer evenings and not the current crappy British summer we’re experiencing today! It’s miserable today!)

    2) Loft Conversion

    Another one I’ve previously posted about it a loft conversion. Convert the attic/loft into a master bedroom for us. Install massive Velux windows as from the attic I think we can see Snowdon. However we definitely need some blackout blinds and ideally some motorised blinds like these. Then we can be lazy and not even have to get up to open the blinds. #Winning!

    3) Hot Tub

    Never in a million years did I think a hot tub would make it onto my home improvement wishlist! But after hiring one last July, I think I could be persuaded. Imagine it, a evening in the hot tub with the husband after the kids have gone to sleep – he can read his Warhammer books and I’ll catch up on all the books I’ve bought but never read.

    (I’m ignoring the inconvenience of the British weather and the needing to clean it in my dream by the way.)

    4) Crafts Den

    Again I’ve briefly discussed this before and this is still on my home improvement wishlist. A nice cosy room for me to keep and work on all my crafts and hobbies such as cross stitching, bullet journalling etc. Ah happy days!

    What’s on your home improvement wishlist?

    (This is a collaborative post and includes some Amazon affiliate links)

    Rebecca

    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

    #F1Monday – Azerbaijan GP 2017

    Azerbaijan GP 2017

    (Before you get excited, we weren’t there – these are photos from when we went to Canada)

    I enjoyed the Azerbaijan GP so much that I couldn’t wait for Wednesday to post so we’re having an #F1Monday instead! WHAT A RACE!! Where do I begin? Some fierce battles out on track, collisions, safety cars and a red flag. I’m not discussing things in order that they happened….

    Vettel v Hamilton

    So this is THE controversy of the day! After one of the (many) safety car restarts, Hamilton [leading] “brake checks” and Vettel drives into the back of him. Damaged front wing in tow, Vettel pulls up alongside Hamilton on the strait and  after some hand gesturing, runs into the side of him! During the race, Vettel is given a 10 second stop and go penalty. Post race he’s been given three penalty points.

    However, Hamilton doesn’t think that’s enough and Vettel doesn’t consider he’s done anything wrong! This rivalry has just taken a nasty turn!

    Oh and my two pennies worth is that I’m not convinced Vettel did it deliberately, to me it looks like Vettel was so busy doing hand gestures that he lets the car drift into Hamilton. My opinion that’s all!

    Perez v Ocon

    The two Force Indias managed to bump into each other on lap 20 of the race. Not entirely sure how that happened but by lap 21 both cars were in the pits. Perez doesn’t manage to get back out and Ocon carries on. Well that is until the red flags. Perez manages to rejoin the race. Something I was glad of as he was on a 37 race finish streak – only 4 away from beating Nick Heidfeld’s record. Alas on lap 42 he retires thus ending his race finish streak.

    Ocon carries on and was running in 3rd place on lap 38 but he doesn’t manage a podium finish thanks to some overtaking moves from Vettel and Hamilton. He finishes P8.

    Lance Stroll

    Now this is the story of the day! Lance Stroll of Williams Martini Racing need the day on the podium! After all the chaos that happened he was running in P2 with around 10 laps left. Unfortunately Bottas was catching him fast and talk about a photo finish or what?!

    I don’t think Stroll was too bothered if he was P2 or P3 he was happy as larry! The youngest rookie to get a podium place. I’m so happy for Williams as well. So glad to see them getting podiums again! They were on to a double points finish with Massa in 4th but unfortunately he had to retire.

    Danny Ric’s Shoey!

    In an epic recovery, Daniel Ricciardo fought through the field from P17 to P1! Once he got into the lead he ran away with it! Seriously, that man has the biggest smile that you can see it radiating from under that helmet! Of course, a win for him means another shoey for him, and Lance Stroll! I’m sure that didn’t taste too fresh!

    Other Honrourable Mentions

    ALONSO FINISHED A RACE –  IN THE POINTS!! First points for the McLarens this year.

    Well that was my views of the Azerbaijan GP. I must admit, we loved the look of the place and quite fancy the Azerbaijan GP for next year!  Knowing our luck, it’ll be boring!!

    Did you watch the race? What did you think? Best one of 2017?

    Rebecca

    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest