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Afternoon Tea, Eating Out, Food, Home

A Wizard’s Themed Afternoon Tea in Essex

The Cardamon Tea Lounge

A couple of years ago we found The Cardamon Tea Lounge in Colchester, Essex. We happened to be walking by and spotted this quaint little tea room and decided to give it a try. Since then it has been one of our firm favourite tea rooms. We aren’t the only ones that like it, it won the Essex Life Food and Drink Awards 2017 for Best Coffee/Tea Shop. Now its quickly becoming a popular spot for wonderful and imaginative Themed Afternoon Tea in Essex.

My daughter fell in love with this place right away and refers to it as the ‘Alice Cafe’. As you step inside there are so many wonderful trinkets and handmade crafts, many Alice in Wonderland themed and available to buy. There are teapots and cups as lampshades hanging from the ceiling and spoons as door handles. Every time I visit I see something new. My daughters favourite part is the little cupboard under the stairs, a cosy spot for the little ones to play.

Shop front of The Cardamon Tea Lounge in Colchester. Themed Afternoon Tea in EssexSome Alice in wonderland crafts and decorations Themed Afternoon Tea in Essex.

A Wizard’s Themed Afternoon Tea in Essex

The Cardamon Tea Lounge create wonderful and imaginative food and children’s platters, each with your chosen theme. Everything is made on the premises with such attention to detail. I particularly love their Alice in wonderland creations. It’s so much fun having your salad served in a giant teacup!

More recently The Cardamon Tea Lounge have been creating other themed afternoon teas. Introducing for any true Harry Potter fan ‘a Wizard’s Themed Afternoon Tea’. Both Eden and I are huge Harry Potter fans so as soon as I saw this, I couldn’t wait to try it. Any Witch or Wizard would be delighted with this magical wizard’s themed afternoon tea in Essex.

The Food

Before our visit we picked 4 sandwich choices from the menu. There were some really interesting and tempting flavours available. We chose ham, brie and apple, it was simply delicious, we also went for egg mayo, cream cheese and cucumber and salmon. We opted for mixed bread and when our sandwiches arrived one side was white and the other brown! What a great idea! The sandwiches were freshly made and simply delicious. They came served in a wooden chest! Our Wizard’s themed afternoon tea was filled with so many magical and exciting delights. We were treated to our very own multicoloured potions (which tasted amazing), popcorn served in a cauldron, and we even had our own mandrake cake! The scones were pumpkin spiced and the white chocolate and almond cake was light as air. Alongside the Wizards afternoon tea you can choose from over 50 variations of tea. We opted for the Dragonfruit tea and it was fruity and refreshing, it complemented the Afternoon Tea perfectly.

Wizards themed afternoon tea in EssexSandwiches in chest Harry Potter afternoon teaWizards themed afternoon tea, potions and mandrake chocolate cakeAfternoon tea cakes Harry Potter Wizard themed Tea cup in front of the Wizards Themed Afternoon Tea

Children’s Afternoon Tea Platter

The Cardamon Tea Lounge offers lots of wonderfully themed platters for children and the Wizard’s platter is no exception. The sandwiches were accompanied by many magical treats, a pretzel broomstick, a cauldron of popcorn, veggie sticks, a cupcake, sweets and a drink. Great value for £6.50 and Eden was so excited when it arrived, I think she enjoyed every bite!

Any witch or wizard would have a truly magical and enchanting time working their way through this Wizards feast!


Children’s Wizards platter Eden wearing Harry Potter glasses Wizards themed afternoon tea in Essex

Each month The Cardamon Tea Lounge will be changing their themed afternoon tea… next up ‘A Tale as Old as Time. There are so many exciting afternoon themed afternoon teas to come.  All afternoon tea’s should be prebooked, please get in touch with The Cardamon Tea Lounge, 44 St John’s Street, Colchester, Essex CO2 7AD. Telephone number: 01206 504180.

To read more about our favourite afternoon teas in Essex click here.

Wizards themed afternoon tea in Essex Harry Potter

Thank you for reading ‘A Wizard’s Afternoon Tea’.

Written in collaboration with The Cardamon Tea Lounge, we were invited along to review their afternoon tea, please note that all views and opinions are my own.

Family Life, fitness, Home, Lifestyle

New Year’s Resolution, how to succeed!

New Year, New You!

I think most of us are guilty of setting a New Year’s Resolution to eat healthier, maybe lose some weight. Quite often forgotten about within just a few weeks.

After the Christmas celebrations I think most of us are wearing a few extra pounds (or stones!!!). Each year in January, I’m on a mission to lose some of that extra weight… ‘I would just like to lose this extra stone’ (sound familiar?)!

Last January I wanted to lose that extra bit of weight and set myself a super strict low carb diet, not only that I started at the gym too. After just a couple of months of such a restrictive diet I started to cheat more and more. Over the course of the past year, I never lost that extra stone but I did work hard at the gym and tried half heartedly with eating right. My downfall is that I like to eat socially… a lot! I love nothing more than an afternoon tea with my family or a huge yummy roast at the weekend!

Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on a plate

My weight

My weight stayed the same over the course of the year, fluctuated by a few pounds but on the whole remained pretty level. What did happen was my body shape completely changed. I developed muscle and toned and shaped my body. With muscle weighing more than fat, there was no surprise there was no change on the scales, so I tried not to get disheartened by the scales and kept going. I actually started to like what I saw in the mirror and stopped giving myself such a hard time.

What I discovered during this time was much more important… I finally realised after all these years, it wasn’t losing that stone that would make me happy… it was about finding my confidence again. No I didn’t weigh what I did when I was 25 but I was working hard at the gym and getting happier and falling back in love with my body. The number on the scales stopped mattering and instead I took photos to see my progress. This time last year I carried more weight around my bottom, waist, upper thighs and back. This year however I weigh the same but I now have a waist, a really strong core, my bottom has lifted and I’ve shed a load of back fat… I also stopped judging myself so harshly and started concentrating on what actually makes me happy.

I’ve come to realise that no one actually cares what you weigh, it’s actually all down to how you see your self. Quite often that pressure comes from you. You have to learn to not only like but love yourself and actually the only opinion that should matter about how you look should be yours, not that of a family member or old school friend! You need to stop judging yourself so harshly and be kinder to yourself.

My feet with gym in the background and kettlebell

Fitness balls and weight bags at david lloyd gym

My New Year’s Resolution

This year I’m continuing with all my hard work at the gym, building my confidence and trying to target those areas I’m still less than happy with… for me it’s my arms. I go to a David Lloyd gym and find there are a huge range of classes which means I can be flexible with my training. I like to challenge myself and try new classes and keep things fresh. I also take my daughter and she absolutely loves going to the DL kids club there. The children’s timetable is brilliant with so much for them to do and keep them active. To read more about why we love training as a family see here.

Mental Health

Over the last year I also discovered that I need to put at lot more effort not into my physical health but also my mental health. People can be so busy with their lives that their own mental health can be way down on their list of priorities. I had a particularly stressful time last year and I neglected my own mental health. The stresses of daily life took their toll. It made me realise just how important it is to look after yourself mentally as well as physically. At the gym I now book classes that are just as great for your mind as they are your body. David Lloyd recognise this and offer so many great holistic classes. I always look forward to relaxing on a matt at the end of a Body Balance class, lying in the dimly lit studio concentrating on my breathing and forgetting about whether I’ve loaded the dishwasher or if Eden has clean uniform for the following day. I’ve really found classes like that are helping me to deal with my stress and anxiety.


Setting up for Pilates class with ball, matt and water bottle


As part of my New Year’s resolution for 2018 I need to tackle my clutter! I think it’s important to break down big tasks into more manageable chunks to avoid being overwhelmed. My desk at home is almost always a mess and I constantly mean to go through and declutter my wardrobe… each time I look at them my heart sinks as it seems such a huge task. I’ve now started to take the pressure off and set myself a target of 30 mins a day. I set myself a timer and tackle a bit at a time instead of spending a whole day doing it. This gives me peace of mind, I feel like I can ‘cope’ and don’t feel so overwhelmed by it all. I really wish (and so does my husband) that I were a ‘super tidy neat freak’ and that it came more naturally to me… but sadly not!

This year… I will succeed!

So this year, I’m not setting myself an unrealistic challenge of losing a stone in a month. I’m eating healthy but if I want a cake at the weekend or ice cream at the cinema I’m going to allow myself that treat. I’m concentrating on working hard on the inside as well as the outside. I want to be strong and healthy not skinny. This year I’m going to do what makes me happy and going to the gym really does (I never ever thought I would say that!!!). I’m going to tackle my house and declutter where I need to and I’m going to make time for me! Most importantly I am going to continue making happy memories with what is most important to me… my family.

Look after yourselves… get healthy but in a safe way, make good food swaps, don’t deny yourself something you truly love, forget unrealistic goals, ditch the fad diets, try out a new class and learn to love yourself in 2018!!!

A girl smiling, me, flexing her muscle jokingly


Thank you for reading ‘New Year’s Resolution, how to succeed!’


Working in collaboration with David Lloyd Gyms. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

Books, Crafts, Family Life, Food, Home, My weekly round up

My little loves December

My Little Loves for December

So it’s mid December and things are about to get crazy! It’s time to reflect on all my favourite parts of the month so far!


We were kindly send a copy of Binx the Jinx to review. A rhyming story about Binx, an incredibly cute black cat looking for friendship! At first Binx struggles to make new friends and gets bullied by the other cats because he is different. Then he meets Gin who proves that Binx isn’t a Jinx at all but in fact the luckiest cat around! The book is written and illustrated by Michelle Hird, it is beautiful, bright and colourful. Eden really enjoyed the pictures and it was enjoyable to read. We have loved reading this book and have read it several times already!

My little loves December Binx the Jinx

Binx the Jinx by michelle Hird


We have watched just about every Christmas film this month. Our favourite Christmas films have to be:

Elf, The Polar Express, The Snowman and the Snowdog, The Elf Story & Arthur Christmas.


Eden told me the sweetest thing, she told me ‘Mummy do you know you’re my best friend? You are my BFF’.

Sometimes that girl is just too cute for words!


This week I finally made time to make my Christmas rag wreath! Using a wire wreath frame and lots of torn pieces of fabric (about 1 inch x 5 inch in size). You simply tie each piece on to the frame. It didn’t take very long, was very simple to make and I think you’ll agree looks very festive.

My little loves Christmas rag wreath handmade


Well this week we got lots of snow! This was Eden’s first proper snow that she can remember. The last time we had heavy snowfall was back in 2012 and Eden was just a few months old. So we wore… lots of layers! Unfortunately all of the gloves I’ve bought Eden are knitted and woolly, she doesn’t actually own a waterproof pair. I improvised, popping in one pair of gloves, a plastic bag to stop her hands getting wet and another pair of gloves on top! Sadly they slipped off her hand every time she threw a snowball so a bit of epic fail, lol!My little loves December Eden in the snowjEden making snow angels in the snowEden and I in the snowEden hugging her first ever snowman


This week, I discovered a delightful little tea room in Brentwood Essex called Merrymeade Tea Room situated in Merrymeade House. We enjoyed a scrumptious afternoon tea and because we’re in December it had featured some yummy festive treats. It was brilliant value at £11.99 a head and Eden even had a kids one all to herself. One of my favourite parts of an afternoon tea has to be the sandwiches. The bread was so soft and fresh and had a good selection of fillings. The carrot cake and mini brownie Christmas puddings really were delicious. We can’t wait to visit again soon, we definitely recommend!

Visit their Facebook page for further details here.

My little loves December Merrymeade Tea RoomAfternoon tea at Merrymeade Tea RoomsMerrymeade Tea Rooms picture from outside

And lastly

I have been busy every day coming up with new elf on the shelf ideas. I’ve been trying to use new ideas as Eden would remember if I repeated many of them from last year so the pressure has been on. Here are some of my favourites I’ve used for 2017 so far. They certainly are cheeky elves, Eden is so excited each morning to see what they have been up too!

Elf on the shelf ideas wrapped in Christmas paperElf on the shelf ideas mini gingerbread house Elf’s knitting Elves playing snowball target practiceThe elves leaving the elf story movie to watch

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Christmas, Days Out, Home, Lifestyle, Shopping, Unusual

A German Christmas Market in Essex

German Christmas Market in Essex

Every year I always promise myself a visit to a Christmas Market in Europe. Yet, every year life gets in the way and it just doesn’t happen. This year however the Christmas Market came to me! Meadowcroft Garden Centre in Battlesbridge plays host to a German Christmas Market in Essex.

Christmas German Market in Essex - A view of the stalls and seating area

On arrival

Outside you are greeted with festive baubles, reindeer and Christmas Trees inviting you inside. As you step through the doors you are transported into the festive atmosphere of a German market. Inside there are 20 traditional wooden market stalls. They are filled with many delights from Nutcrackers to Cuckoo clocks, along with lots of wonderful Yuletide gifts. Its a great opportunity to get some unique Christmas presents this year. We particularly liked the handmade Russian dolls. Eden picked one of these as her reward for receiving the Head Teachers Award this week! It was difficult to choose just one, there were so many beautifully designed dolls of various sizes.


Christmas German Market in Essex - elves

Christmas German Market in Essex - festive market stall with dried orange arrangements

 German Market in Essex - dried orange gifts

Christmas German Market in Essex - close picture of a cuckoo clock

Christmas German Market in Essex - Brightly lit up candle holders

Christmas German Market in Essex - A selection of brightly coloured russian dolls

Treat yourself

Whilst shopping you can treat yourself to some German beer or hot Gluhwein or maybe something to eat. They serve Bratwurst and Sauerkraut, Belgian waffles, along with lots of sweet treats. We really enjoyed our Bratwurst sausage in a bun with lots of mustard. There are plenty of seats in the middle to sit and soak in the festive atmosphere of the German Christmas Market. We also bought some of the Schokokuss chocolates they came in a variety of flavours and are filled with sweet whipped egg whites and are not too dissimilar to marshmallow.


Christmas German Market in Essex Food stall

Christmas German Market in Essex - Trays of chocolate treats

Christmas German Market in Essex - German beer bottle lined up

Gift Shop

Aswell as the German market, there is a lovely gift shopped stocked with lots of gorgeous Christmas decorations and gifts. There is also a really nice cafe there, we enjoyed a delicious cream tea after our Bratwurst!

The Christmas German Market in Essex is FREE OF CHARGE to enter. It is open from 10th November to Christmas Eve, during the garden centre opening hours:-

09:30 – 17:30 Monday to Saturday and 10:00 – 17:00 on Sundays.

I would definitely recommend a visit to get you in the festive mood! Thank you for reading ‘A German Christmas Market in Essex’.

Family Life, Home, Lifestyle

Family Gym Time – 3 months on at David Lloyd

Family gym time

Three months ago our family set out on a new and exciting journey. We became members of our local David Lloyd club with a ‘family membership’. You can read about the start of our family gym time journey here.

Before joining the David Lloyd club, myself and my husband attended two different local gyms without any kids clubs facilities. This meant that my husband and I never trained together and all of our workouts needed to be during the week whilst Eden was at school or one of us had to look after Eden whilst the other one went to the gym. This was the complete opposite of spending family time together.

Training together

Since starting our membership, it has allowed us family gym time. We can all visit the gym together. Eden is always so excited to head off into kids club, whether it’s ‘Get active’ or a ‘Make and Create’ class. The options for kids don’t stop there. Eden regularly enjoyed Ballet, Tap and street dance classes all included within the membership. David Lloyd also runs other classes, swimming, tennis and yoga along with a monthly Friday club night with a children’s entertainer, movie nights, special event night. There are so many options to entertain the kids.

Whilst Eden was off enjoying a class meant that my husband and I were able to go off and train in the gym together. It became a regular family event, enjoying every Sunday morning at the gym together. Afterwards treating ourselves to a family brunch. It definitely brought us together as a family, spending much more time together during the week. It also meant that with so many kids classes on offer I didn’t have to cram my workout into the day but I could take Eden after school.


Family Gym Time - David Lloyd get make and create class

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd eden waiting for class


The classes available at David Lloyd far super cede those available at my previous gym. I really enjoyed trying lots of new classes and each week changing up my training plan. I was able to mix up my weight training with my husband, with brilliant HIIT classes, Fight Klub, Pilates, Core and Legs, Bums & Tums. I have definitely benefited from training at David Lloyd both physically and mentally, I have proof that my body is improving by using the Boditrax system. It measures not just your weight but fat, water and muscle, along with other things. After tracking my progress each month, my muscle mass is growing and fat decreasing, I’ve even manage to improve my metabolic age by 5 years!

I think it’s so important to look after ourselves both physically and mentally and by having family gym time we are setting a good example to Eden from early age. We are showing her just how important it is to keep fit, stay active, eat healthy and to look after yourself.

I believe David Lloyd clubs are not ‘just a gym’, they are so much more than that, it is a way of life.

They are so family focused, the food menu is healthy and delicious, they offer brilliant classes for all ages and abilities, and if you don’t fancy any of that you can chill and some ‘me time’ in the lounge area or have a swim and steam. We have truly enjoyed our time at David Lloyd and look forward to our time ahead.

To find out more information about your local David Lloyd, visit their website.

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd fight klub

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd Squash

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd in the gym

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd. Hubby and I

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd our family

Thank you for reading ‘keeping fit as a family – 3 months on at David Lloyd’.

Written in collaboration with David Lloyd Clubs but all opinions and views are my own.

Books, Home, Lifestyle

Getting kids into Languages with One Third Stories

One Third Stories

When I first heard about One Third Stories I was really excited, it sounded like the perfect introduction for getting kids into languages. Described as ‘Stories that start in English and end in a different language’.

One Third Stories is a subscription service aimed at children from 4-9 years that delivers a story book each month along with an activity pack. I’ve always wanted to get Eden learning a new language. Eden is the biggest book fan so introducing languages through a story book and fun activities would really appeal to her.

One Third Stories kindly sent us one month’s pack to try out and Eden was keen to get started. You can choose between French and Spanish. We opted to learn French, and were very excited when our bright and exciting yellow One Third Stories package arrived.

One Third Stories Package

Learn languages through stories

Along with the story book, activity pack and flash cards, you also get a link to download the audio book. You and your child can then listen to it and learn how to pronounce the words properly.

First off we listened to the audio book, at the end of the audio book, there is a glossary of all the French words used during the story. Over the next few weeks we read through the story several times together.

Afterwards we spent some time practising the flash cards to see if we could remember the words in French, testing each other. Inside the activity book are lots of fun things to work through using the words recently learnt.


One Third Stories Book and activity pack

One Third Stories activity pack

One Third Stories activity pack

One Third Stories flash cards french


We have really enjoyed our introduction to French via One Third Stories. Eden has picked it up really quickly. Quite often in the back of the car I can hear her going over the French words and sayings she has learnt.

I would definitely recommend this service. Eden really enjoyed listening to the audio book and likes to listen to it at bed time. The book is beautifully illustrated and a pleasure to read. Eden also liked working through the games and activities in the activity book and using the flash cards.

Watch our video to see our One Third Stories pack in action:


For more information about One Third Stories and their books, please visit their website.


We collaborated with One Third Stories on this blog post but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for reading ‘Getting kids into Languages with One Third Stories’.

Crafts, Days Out, Farms, Home, Outdoors, Parks, Shows, Unusual

Entertain the kids this Halloween half term!

Halloween Half Term week

Halloween Half Term Days Out

Looking for ideas for Halloween Half Term? Here is a list of some of our favourite spooky and unusual days out over Halloween Half term in and around Essex.


Barleylands Farm Park are running Pumpkinfest during the Halloween Half term week. Halloween themed activities and a free pumpkin for each child. They have two spooky evenings Friday 27th & Saturday 28th October packed with thrills, spills and chills for tots to young teens.  With family friendly activities including Huge Fairground Ghost Train, Haunted Fairground House, Boo Barn, Witches Walk, Haze Maze, Spooky Toddler Story Time, Creepy Reptile Cave, Halloween Disco and spooky games. Book tickets online.

Hopefield Halloween at Hopefield Animal Sanctury on 29th October 11:00-16:00.  Halloween event with Fancy Dress Competition, Haunted Bus, Halloween arts and crafts and mask making fun, Halloween themed Love On The Rocks and fantastic face painting. Entrance: Adults: £6, Kids: £5, Under 3s are FREE.




Pick your own pumpkins

Cammas Hall Farm at Hatfield Broad Oak  you can pick your own pumpkin, enjoy a tractor and trailor ride, get lost in their Maize Maze, face painting or maybe make your own Halloween mask. Don’t forget to stop off for a Halloween treat in their Tea Barn.

The Pumpkin Patch at Basildon or Colchester. Free entry and open every weekend during October 10-4pm.


Pumpkin Patch Halloween Half TermThe Pumpkin Patch Halloween Half Term


Take a ride on a Halloween Train

Audley End Miniature Railway

Ride the spooky train deep into the woods to visit the witches. Every ticket includes craft making, face painting, story telling, a visit to the dance tent and a gift for every child. Book online.

Epping Ongar Railway, Ongar

Are running 3 spooky ghost train events during Halloween Half term. Saturday 28th October 2017 (day + evening), Sunday 29th October 2017 (day only), and Tuesday 31st October 2017 (evening only). Don’f forget to visit the Halloween marquee at North Weird, where there is magic shows throughout the day, face painting, a silent disco and, for the grown ups, a bar. Each child receives a gift. Book online.

Audley End at Halloween Half Term


Essex Police Museum

Essex Police Museum in Chelmsford are offering Halloween crafts, make your own scary mask and trick or treat bag. Fancy dress welcome and free entry to the museum. £2 per child. 21st, 25th and 28th October 10:00 – 16:00.

Check their Facebook page for further details.


Essex Wildlife Trust

Essex Wildlife Trust have many Halloween Half Term activities across all of their centres, here are some of our favourites.

Hanningfield Resevoir have plenty of activities running through the Halloween half term, check their website for further details. Spooktastic Family Trail. Solve the spooky clues and track down the creepy creatures of Hanningfield Nature Reserve? Trail sheets £2.50 per child. Sun, 22/10/2017 – 10:00am – 3:00pm. No need to book.

Haunted Hanningfield on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October 10-3pm. Follow the spooky trail through the woods to the spooky House, dare you go in? Halloween treat for the brave. Bug hunting, Pumpkin carving and Halloween crafts in the Visitor Centre. Donation £8 per child. No booking necessary.

Belfairs Woodland Centre have Horrible Halloween crafts, drop in for some Halloween crafts on Saturday 28th October 10am -2pm.

Haunting Halloween at Langdon Nature ReserveSat, 28/10/2017 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm aimed at children 6yrs+. Follow the self-guided trail but beware of things that go bump in the night! Finish with stories and marshmallows at the camp fire. Three sessions available starting at 6pm, 6.30 or 7pm (younger children are advised to attend the earlier sessions) Family event aimed at children 6yrs+, must be accompanied by an adult at all times. £7 per person, booking essential.


Haunted Hanningfield Halloween Half TermHaunted Hanningfield Cabin Halloween Half Term


Halloween Book Reading

Free Book reading event of ‘The Seven Sisters’ by Sibel Beadle, local author of children’s book series ‘Witchy Travel Tales’. With craft activity and book signing at Barleylands function room on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October and Saturday 28th and 29th October at the following times each day: 11-11:45am, 12-12:45pm and 1-1:45pm.

Broomstick Making

Make your own broomstick at Norsey Wood. Tuesday 24th October. 1pm – 2:30pm. £2.50 per child. Prebooking required.


Spooky Fest Wat Tyler Country Park

Spooky Fest running Monday 23rd October 2017 until Sunday 29th October 2017, 11am until 3pm. Three halloween themed mazes with live characters. Step back in time and walk around the haunted house, looking out for ghosts, ghouls and all things that fright. Meet the 2017 freaky clowns in the extra large Circus. Hook a duck, have your fortune read and see if you can escape the never ending corridors. Introducing the new vampire village. See the vampires hide out, rotting corpses, and spooky effects. Book tickets online. Children 4+ £5 each includes a sweet treat.


Lullingstone Castle & World Gardens

Lullingstone Castle just over in Kent is hosting some Halloween magic on the last day of the season. Pumpkin carving, spooky house and garden tours – perfect for all the family. Tom will give garden tours at 1pm and dusk tour at 5pm, learn about the origins of pumpkins, colours and varieties and children can spot the Halloween tricks in eerie torchlight! Fancy dress is welcome. 29th October 12-8pm.

Hedingham Castle

Halloween Weirdness and Wondercraft at Hedingham Castle. 10  Halloween themed workshops, creepy creatures, bash the rat or smash the skull, gooey cauldron of ghastly gunk, slithering reptiles, gory face painting, scary stories in the castle dungeon and a spectacular fiery finale! 10% discount when booking online.


Magic Shows

Monday Mayhem at Orsett Hall. Halloween Children’s Party with AJ Entertainers. 10.00am – 1.00pm and 2.00pm – 5.00pm. Entertainers, Balloon Modelling, Face Painting, Arts & Crafts, Mini Disco. Tickets £8.50, book online.

The Magic Frostie Halloween Show on 23 October at 14:00–15:30 at Wickford Community Centre. A Halloween themed show filled with music, Puppets, Balloons, Mind-Blowing Magic. Book online.


Thank you for reading ‘Entertain the kids this Halloween half term!’

Pumpkins Halloween Half Term



Crafts, My Sunday Photo

My Sunday Photo 24/09/17

My Sunday Photo

My Sunday Photo this week is of mine and Eden’s milk carton elephants we decorated at Billericay Art Trail today. They were coloured in using Sharpies.

There were lots of free crafts to try and we had a fantastic time. There were lots of brilliant artist’s work on display and we met lots of talented and friendly people. A great day out for free in our local high street! We already can’t wait to get involved next year!

Please meet our colourful Elephants! Now I just need to find a home for them both!

Thank you for reading My Sunday Photo

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Books, Home, Lifestyle

‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph – A Review

Kevin by Rob Biddulph

‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph

We were thrilled to receive a copy of ‘Kevin’ the newest book from the bestselling, award-winning author of Blown Away and GRRRRR! ‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph published on 10th August 2017 is a story about a boy, his imaginary friend and a beautiful friendship.

Kevin by Rob Biddulph Front Cover

The Story

Eden immediately liked the front cover. She was drawn to Kevin’s big friendly face staring back at her, she couldn’t wait to see more.  In the story we are introduced to Sid, a cheeky and sometimes naughty character. He get’s in to trouble with his mum and thinking fast blames it on his imaginary friend Kevin. Much to Sid’s surprise he discovers that Kevin isn’t as imaginary as first thought. In fact he is quite real and Sid is transported into Kevin’s bright and colourful land. During Sid’s time with his imaginary friend he discovers that Kevin’s feelings are very real and being honest and truthful is very important. Sid realises his faults, learns how to take responsibility and to make amends.

‘Suddenly Sidney did not feel so clever. He actually felt like the least best-friend ever. He went up the stairs full of sorrow and guilt. To where he found Kevin tucked under his quilt’

‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph is an enchanting storybook. Every parents dream, the rhyming tale is a pleasure to read and the pages are filled with beautiful illustrations. Starting in a dull grey world you are transported into Kevin’s bright and colourful world where Sid learns a valuable lesson.

Kevin by Rob Biddulph Eden reading

Kevin by Rob Biddulph review Kevins land

Kevin by Rob Biddulph review Eden enjoying the book

Eden’s Imaginary Friend

Eden really enjoyed the story. Although only 5 she understood the story was about Friendship. Eden loved the characters in the book and really liked the bright and busy pages. I asked Eden if she had an imaginary friend and what they might be like. You can see her response and her thoughts on ‘Kevin’ in our short video here:

‘Kevin’ By Rob Biddulph is out now and hard back copies are £12.99.

Thank you for reading ‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph – A Children’s Book Review.

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Kevin by Rob Biddulph review

Crafts, Home, Lifestyle, Memories

Tips for an awesome Trolls Party

trolls party

Trolls Party

So it seems that we have all fallen in love with those gorgeous, bright, colourful characters from Trolls. In particular Poppy has found her way into many of our children’s hearts (even the adults)! This year we took Eden to see a Trolls in the cinema and she was instantly hooked. All the singing, dancing, bright colours and glitter made it an infectious mix. So I wasn’t surprised she opted for Trolls party for her 5th birthday this year.


Trolls Party Eden and Poppy


Here’s how we made our party Trolltastic:


The Entertainer

We had Poppy the Troll come and visit us from Fizz & Giggle Parties. Poppy was so much fun, she sung and danced and played so many games with the children. The kids were up and dancing the whole time both girls and boys. They played with a parachute, did the limbo, pass the parcel and musical statues. The kids all had a truly amazing time! Poppy even did glitter tattoos whilst the children ate their lunch.


Trolls Party Eden and Poppy the entertainer

The Decor

I think with Trolls definitely ‘more is more’. So plenty of colour, lots of detail and making it very busy. The cake table with rainbow tissue paper flower backdrop makes a great photo background for taking pictures on the day. The table was layered with a tutu skirt to the front and coloured foam flowers scattered on the top. You can buy tissue paper flowers quite cheaply and they make such a pretty and bright decoration. You can buy similar tissue paper flowers here. I also made a rainbow balloon tower with Poppy sprouting out the top. I’d never made one before and watched a video on YouTube. It wasn’t too bad to make but it involved ‘a lot’ of balloon tying!!!

Finally we bought some rainbow bunting from a local pound shop and hung it around the hall and some cheap personalised banners from eBay, around £4 for 2.

The food, cake table and backdrop was set up by The Party Kitchen. They did such an amazing job and we were thrilled with how it all looked.


Trolls Party cake display table

Trolls Party cake display table


The Cake

So the cake had 4 different colour sponges inside and was covered in multicoloured buttercream that I blended to make a kind of marble effect. Trolls is set in the forest with wonderful flowers and mushrooms so I added lots of brightly coloured flowers and mushrooms to my cake. I made them all different colours, I tried it keep it quite random. I rolled long strips of coloured sugar paste to create a rainbow and white balls for clouds. Green grass was piped around the bottom of the cake. To finished it off and I bought Poppy rather than struggle to make my own. I think she looked great on top of there.


Trolls Party Poppy princess cakeTrolls Party rainbow cake layers


The Food

There are so many options to make your food bright and colourful. Fruit platters always make a wonderful bright display.

We had flower shaped sandwiches, brightly coloured cupcakes and chocolate dipped biscuits with sprinkles at our Trolls party.


Trolls Party food flower sandwiches


The Party Favours

I knew I wanted to include a Trolls Pez in the party favours. Eden absolutely loves Pez and collects the different characters. I bought a mixture of 3 characters, Poppy, Branch & Glitter Guy. I made wands by filling skinny cello bags with skittles as they are such wonderful bright colours. I topped the skinny cello bags with multicoloured stars with a personalised sticker to match in with the rainbow theme. You can buy the skinny bags and toppers on The Candy Bag Shop’s Facebook page.

I found these rainbow popcorn style boxes and instantly knew they would be perfect as our favours.

I also popped in some bubble wands I found in a local pound shop, a Trolls keyring I bought on eBay and some chewy sweets. The kids were thrilled with them.


Trolls Party Party favour trolls pez and rainbow boxTrolls Party Rainbow party favour boxesTrolls Party sweet wands


The Outfit

I found this brilliant unicorn costume online which was brightly coloured with sequin lined skirt and rainbow arm and leg warmers! So much fun. Although Eden didn’t wear the unicorn headband. We opted for a rainbow colour bow instead.


Trolls Party Edens unicorn outfit


Thank you for reading ‘Tips for an awesome Trolls Party’


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Trolls Party