Category Archives: Review

Swimming With The Speedo Swim Squad

Last week we went on an underwater adventure with the Speedo Swim Squad. Hosted in the pool of Imperial College London, we were treated to an afternoon of splashingly good fun.

Showcasing their amazing range of Speedo Swim Squad products, the team were on hand in the pool to give us top tips for getting little ones to love the water (mainly make it fun and don’t worry/get stressed if your swim only last 5 minutes the first few times) and there were also one on one swimming lessons for the bigger children with Scarlett loved. I haven’t seen her swim in about 6 weeks (her swimming lessons are a strictly ‘no watching’ affair) and was hugely impressed with how much she had improved.

The Speedo Swim Squad is a vibrant, fun and playful range, perfect for enticing even the most reluctant of little ones into the water.

Scarlett, my water baby, loved the ‘big girl goggles’ she was given to use in her lesson and I was impressed with how, even after almost an hour of wearing them, she wasn’t left with marks on her face due to their child friendly design.

Speedo Swim Squad Range

Split into three levels, ranging from ‘start splashing’ to ‘get confident, the Speedo Swim Squad has something for every child.

Speedo Swim Squad

Both my girls loved the Swim Squad Squirty Toys. I think water toys are great for little ones, no matter what their age. If children are having fun then they forget any fears or apprehension they may have. Even O, a reluctant swimmer to say the least, enjoyed her time in the water when playing with these toys.

Speedo Swim Squad

O was given a Speedo Sea Squad Swim Vest to wear for her lesson. I loved how the vest came as a swimsuit so that was all she had to wear (less to remember when packing) and that I could add/remove the form inserts depending on how much buoyancy she needed. The Sea Squad Float Suit also looks great, I think this will be our next investment as her confidence grows to give her more freedom in the pool.

Speedo Swim Squad

Scarlett is the perfect age and skill level for stage three. The Speedo Swim Squad Mini Kick she used in her lesson was easy to grip and, as mentioned before, I was highly impressed with how gentle the Junior Sea Squad goggles were.

I think I may have to put a set of the Speedo Sea Squad Spinning Dive Toys on Scarlett’s Christmas list, they look like a great way to encourage her to start swimming underwater (plus I think i’d have lots of fun with them too).

I have to say a massive thank you to the Speedo Swim Squad team for inviting us down to the event during half term, we had a wonderful afternoon and cant wait to come visit you all again.

Speedo Swim Squad


We were invited to this event as guests of Speedo Swim Squad but all views expressed are our own.


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A Family Weekend With Milsons. Kesgrave Hall Review

Kesgrave Hall Review. Luxury for all the family.

If I could afford to live in any hotel it would certainly be one from the Milsoms group.  From the country house luxury of Masion Talbooth to the seaside charm of The Pier, Milsoms represents all that is great with British culture. Being invited to stay for a Kesgrave Hall review was just so exciting for us.

With one child in full-time school and the other soon to start nursery, time together as a family is more precious than ever. To celebrate Scarlett’s first full month as school, reconnect with each other, and have a weekend off from the madness that is family life, we decided a mini-break was in order.

Set in the Suffolk countryside, this boutique hotel on the outskirts of Ipswich, is full of warmth and charm. Family friendly, but not in a plastic play area and dinner in a box kind of way, Kesgrave Hall is 4 star luxury family travel at its best.

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Our suite was set in its own private cottage, meaning we weren’t disrupting other guests if the girls woke up early or got a little noisy with all the excitement going on. This really allowed the Essex Husband and I to relax and made our break even more enjoyable.  With the girls having their own room we all got some sleep, but it also allowed us some grown up time when they hit the sack. Nothing worse than lights out at 7pm when staying in a hotel because the children needed to go to bed.

The food, well where do I start. Dinner was an informal, yet stylish, affair. The children’s menu at Kesgrave Hall is always a hit with Scarlett due to the smoked salmon starter, and The Essex Husband always eats like a king with Milsons as the menu really does favor the carnivore palette. Even for me though, not really a meat lover, the food is always exquisite, as is the service. Friendly staff, swift service and great chefs – what more could you ask for?

Kesgrave Hall Review Kesgrave Hall Review

Kesgrave Hall Review

The grounds of Kesgrave Hall are perfect for families.  Large open space, footballs, goals, woods and (weather permitting) deck-chairs on the lawn.  You really do feel welcome as family here, no ‘children should be seen and not heard’ vibes at all.  Even fellow, child free, patrons appreciate that it is a family venue. I have never been so proud as when an elderly gentleman approached our table on the first night at dinner to tell us what well-behaved young ladies we have, I may have even shed a tear at the table once he returned to his meal.

Is their any greater compliment than one paid to your children?

Family days out are plentiful and within easy reach of Kesgarve Hall too, we had two wonderful adventures when staying with them at Jimmys Farm and BeWILDerwood.

If you are looking for a half term family break or a pre-Christmas treat, and are tempted by this Kesgrave Hall review, then take a look at the special offers on the Milsons website. They have a wonderful offer on at the moment specially for visitors to Kesgrave Hall.

 Autumn In Suffolk  

Hopefully the sunshine will continue throughout October and November. So we’ve put together a great overnight break at milsoms Kesgrave Hall to tempt you to indulge in a night away before the autumn.

What’s included?
• Three course dinner (free choice from the a la carte menu, so no hidden supplements)
• Overnight accommodation in the best available room when you book
• Full breakfast

£100 per person any day of the week from Tuesday1st – Friday 29th November 2013.
This offer is based on double occupancy and is subject to availability.

For full information and more offers please visit We simply cant wait to go back.

Kesgrave Hall Review

Disclaimer – we were treated to a complimentary two night stay at Kesgrave Hall to review their facilities however all views expressed are our own.



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BOB Sport Utility Stroller Review – BOB On Tour

We’ve been working with Brittax on a BOB Sport Utility Stroller review for a good few months now.  I have explained how it got its nickname The Beast, shared tips on exercising with the stroller and have praised it no end on Twitter and Facebook for the way it has slotted perfectly into our busy family life.

BOB Sport Utility Stroller review

You see this BOB Sport is more than just a running buggy, in fact i’d say only 30% of my use for it is exercise based, this had become my everyday, and most favorite ever, stroller.


BOB Sport Utility Stroller review

The beauty of it is its versatility, there is nowhere it can’t go. Sand? not a problem. Steep hill? easy peasy. Mud? child’s play.  It’s like an off-road, 4X4, beast that also looks sleek in the city.  The Ranger Rover of the buggy world if you will.

I have taken my BOB Sport Utility Stroller on tour with me this summer. It has been to Camp Bestival, Cornwall, countless National Trust places, days out at the beach, forest walks, farms, and goodness knows how many other places. I’m almost sad now that Baby Essex is a baby no more, O is wanting to walk everywhere now, I feel our days together with the BOB may be numbered.  I really will be sad to see it go, it has become a friend to me. A trusty sidekick, there to support me no matter the weather or terrain.

No adventure is too much for my BOB. He’s my best friend.

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If you have been tempted by this BOB Sport Utility Stroller review and would like more information please visit the BOBgear website.

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Camp Bestival 2013 Highlights

Last weekend saw Camp Bestival 2013 take over Dorset with a bang. 4 days jam packed with music and magic, set to the backdrop of the stunning Lulworth Castle and its Jurassic coastine location, it was just what this Essex family needed to throw them head first into the world of being a ‘family that festivals’

We came, we saw, we camped, we conquered.

We had a ball.

Camp Bestival 2013 Highlights

From the moment we arrived we were swept away into another world, like real life was left behind and we could be anybody we wanted to be. My children turned feral for the majority of the four days, spending their time barefoot and covered in mud whenever possible, and The Essex Husband and I spend most of our time pinching ourselves that things were going so well.

With two children under 5, spending 4 nights in a tent at a festival seamed like either a really good idea or a completely stupid one; we just didn’t know which. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the result.

From making fairy houses in the Dingley Dell to dancing like a crazy woman to DJ Fresh, embarrassing my girls with my desire to still be young and remembering how much fun The Essex Husband and I have when we go out together, Camp Besitval was perfect for our family.


Children were clearly at the top of the agenda when Camp Bestival was designed. Every turn we took revealed something new for them to see or do. The Upper Kids Garden was a pure wonderland of mini fun. Making pom-poms in the craft tent, practicing our circus skills on the green, playing the coconut shy, walking the tight rope and watching the most wonderful bedtime shows in theatre tent, we loved this little pocket of curiosity, and with its views over the sea it really was magical.Camp Bestival 2013 Highlights

The Castle Stage was graced by some real big names over the course of the 3 days, all of which got the crowd going and provided hours of entertainment, but for me it was the hidden, more ‘off-piste’ entertainment that was the true jewel in Camp Bestival’s crown. Never did I think I would be Maypole dancing with Modern Mummy and Katy Hill on a gloomy Sunday morning, that’s just what Camp Bestival does to you.

My top memory of Camp Bestival 2013? That’s tough one. There are so many Camp Bestival 2013 highlights for me.

Up there (and I’m slightly ashamed to admit this) is Mr Tumble’s Saturday morning performance on the Castle Stage. The pure enjoyment on the children’s faces completely made up for the fact that I was up early to watch a grown man have custard pies thrown at his face.

Also, sharing the whole experience with Modern Mummy and her brood made the weekend even more memorable for us. Her lovely daughters have become best buddies with my two, and the song they made up and sang about ‘poo lorries’ every time the portaloos were cleaned out (which was at least twice a day) will live with me forever.

My real Camp Bestival 2013 highlight though will be one that only a handful of people share with me.

About 6pm on Sunday evening we were having dinner outside the Young British Foodies tent (which is the best place to get food at Camp Bestival by miles by the way) when a guy walking past suddenly stopped and started singing to a family sitting on the grass.

‘What would you think if I sang out of tune……’

By the time he got to the end of the first line of the first line I noticed anther man walking towards him, joining in

‘Would you stand up and walk out on me…..’

When another couple of people joined them for the next line it was clear to see we were about to witness a flash mob.

Before we knew it there were over 30 people standing singing ‘I’ll get by with a little help from my friends’ to an audience of open-mouthed, mesmerised people, all pinching themselves with what they were lucky enough to have witnessed. The singers, who I later found out make up the Funky Little Choir from Chirstchich in Bornmouth, were sensational. I really didn’t want it to end.

It was the perfect way to end our weekend.

Camp Bestival 2013 blew me away. We saw and did so much, yet there was still so much we didn’t even get round to doing.

It’s a full on, tiring, weekend…….but my goodness it was so worth it. I cant wait to do it all over again next year.


I have to say a HUGE thank you to Camp Bestival for providing us with our weekend tickets and such great Camp Bestival 2013 highlights… have helped us make memories that will last a life time.

Have you blogged about Camp Besitval 2013? Why not join in my linky to show off your post??

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