About Me

About me

My name is Nik and I am Mum to two small boys called Sam and Oliver and partner to the long suffering Ali and we are based in Devon, England.

My blog is about my journey though life, the highs, the lows and all the fun and messy bits in-between.

It is a personal blog that is written by me and only features my opinions. I do work on behalf of businesses and companies, writing posts and reviews but I will only give you my honest thoughts, if I love it or hate it I will tell you.

If you would like to get in touch with me or my mini monsters please contact me at
themummymonster1@gmail.com





Monday, 25 June 2018

Paulos Circus Making Memories Tour 2018


 
Roll up, roll up to the hottest show in town!! (Literally!!)
 
What a show, what a performance, we certainly made memories whilst watching the circus.
 
I was kindly invited to bring my family along to review the Making Memories Tour at Paulo's Circus, which is currently situated at Darts Farm in Topsham, Exeter and I have to say we all loved it.
 
We were advised to arrive early to collect our tickets and my goodness I'm glad we did. The seats are first come, first served so pick your seats wisely.
 
 
 
Unfortunately to get five seats together, we had to sit around the side of the tent and my Dad had a large tent pole in his view. It wasn't completely obstructive but he did have to lean a little into the aisle to see some of the acts.
 
After a while the lights went down and some music started playing. The music to start with is quite loud and my little one, Oliver, two years old, wasn't overly keen. Thankfully Nanna came to the rescue and he soon calmed down.
 
The lights and lasers started shooting around the tent and visual countdown started. At the end of the count down, you were introduced to the circus by the Ringmaster and he in turn he introduced the first act.
 
 
 
The first act, was two large cages, two men spun the machine and performed all sorts of tricks in the cages, before then blindfolding themselves and performing some more tricks. I did slightly worry when one of the chaps ripped his jeans on the cage!! My hear did a little leap!!
 
 
 
Next we were introduced to the clown for the evening. Now this clown is certainly not scary, not even a red nose in sight,  but he does like a lot of audience participation and if you are pretty and sat in the front row, by careful if he looks at you!! lol
 
 
 
Mr N, the clown, definitely does a good job of distracting you whilst the rest of the crew set up for the next act.
 
The next act up was the knife throwing act. I'm afraid my phone camera let me down for this act, so no knives in action but it was brilliant and the knife throwing certainly made me squish my bum cheeks together as he threw them at his lady. My Dad also enjoyed the lady changing her dress into something even more skimpy!! lol
 
 
 
I had heard about the next act and was certainly looking forward to seeing him. The act was called Laserman and he didn't disappoint. I love lasers ever since seeing them done properly at a Muse gig.
 
 
 
Laserman controlled the light beams with ease and precision in time with the dramatic music and created an awesome effect. I have to say, personally, this was the highlight of the show for me. It kept me guessing how he was controlling them and actually I still haven't worked it out but I am guessing his feet were involved somewhere along the line.
 
Lights were also involved in the next act. Think Anne Wheeler (Zendaya) in the Greatest Showman. The lady performed also sorts of spinning and leaning and being generally very flexible, that I wouldn't like to attempt on the floor let alone in the air. I could see Sam's face light up with the hoop she was using lit up with lights and she spun around the tent.
 
 
 
After a funny musical interlude with Mr N, the clown, next up was the Juggler, you cant really have a circus without one cant you?? He balanced and juggled balls before moving onto the juggling pins. Now I am in completely in awe of this act as I have tried to juggle so many times and just cant get the hang of it, I am all fingers and thumbs.
 
 
Then to the final act of the night. The big trapeze. Again I had seen photos of this act but couldn't quite believe he was actually able to ride a bike along the wire, with a lady dangling underneath him!!! He then took a chair out onto the wire before balancing the chair and him and taking a little break by sitting down!! PS There are NO safety nets underneath these acts. If they fall, they fall. Full respect to them. I wont be even able to climb the ladder, let alone walk the wire.
 

 
 
Before we knew it, the stars of the show were taking their bows and thanking the audience. The crowd responded with lots of claps and cheers showing a sign of a job well done.
 
 
 
I called it the hottest show in town because it was fab but the temperature in the tent was almost unbearable. I thankfully had packed drinks for the boys and both of them needed topping up again at the end of the show. I think I would recommend an evening show in future if the weather remained this warm.
 
 
In all honesty, I think Oliver was still a little bit young for the show, especially in the heat but it was perfect for Sam. "My best bit was the men in the cages when they went blindfolded. That was so cool."
 
 
My Mum and Dad also enjoyed it and I would like to thank @thepauloscircus for gifting us the tickets to watch the show. We will certainly return.
 
 
If you fancy watching a brilliant performance you can find the show at Darts Farm, Topsham, Exeter form now until Sunday 8th July 2018 and all performances are just £7 per seat. Please note there are no performances on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday's. Thursday and Fridays performances are
5pm & 7.45pm and Saturdays/Sundays 2pm & 5:00pm.

For more information please check out: http://www.greatestshowman.co.uk/

Disclosure: In return for five tickets I was asked to give an honest opinion of the show. All the thoughts in this review are my own.
 
 
 

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Glamping at Andrewshayes Campsite, Dalwood.

I cant believe that tbis was a year ago!! It was something i had always wanted to do and we were finally able to try it with Andrewshayes.

There is also a competition running on the Andrewshayes website so its worth checking it out.
http://www.andrewshayes.co.uk/new

Please check out my review from last year below:

Glamping at Andrewshayes, Dalwood, East Devon


Earlier this week we were lucky enough to be invited to Andrewshayes Campsite in Dalwood, East Devon to try out their new Glamping pods.
Now as a child I have fond memories of camping and I have been desperate to take the boys, however Ali has never been so keen. At 6ft2” he has never been comfortable in tent, especially when he knows there is often a hotel around the corner so glamping seemed like the perfect comprise.
So, on Tuesday after school and work, we packed the car and excitedly headed up to East Devon.
We arrived at the campsite and headed to the reception but unfortunately it was closed and we were signposted to the warden on duty. The warden was easy to find, he gave us the key and explained that due to it being low season the bar and restaurant would not be open but there were other local pubs serving food.
We headed around the campsite and easily found the toilet block before we glimpsed our home for the evening. Pod G19.
The pods face away from the road for privacy and to take in the view of the field of cows, which both my boys were fascinated with!!
The car was parked on a hard-standing right behind the pod and a green hard path led to the front decking where a picnic bench is located and a viewing panel into the field.
With excitement, we opened the door and were hit with the beautiful smell of fresh cut wood. The pod felt warm and looked cosy. Just inside the door there as a small table and some bench seats covered in cushions. One of the seats lifted and allowed bags to be hidden away safely.
Through the archway, there was a raised double bed with a stool and underneath two single beds on wooden frames which could be moved. The boys were keen to explore the raised bed as they could look out the window as Ali and I unpacked the car.
We quickly made the beds with our own bedding whilst the boys explored the lower single beds. Ali was able to move the beds around and we could fit a Mothercare basic travel cot into the end of the room for Oliver.
The pod was equipped with a kettle, a heater, a fire blanket, wood burner and dust pan and brush. The dust pan and brush were the only items we used. The grass on the campsite had recently been cut and due to the rain, it stuck to all our shoes and so in turn it came into the pod.
The pod really could have done with a mat to reduce the amount coming in or somewhere dry to leave your shoes outside.
The boys loved exploring the different beds. They were able to hide underneath the raised bed and climb up and look out the window.
Once set up, we headed up to the toilet block. The toilets, showers and cubicles were exceptionally clean. I was also really pleased to see two family rooms. These rooms consisted of a toilet, a changing table, a large sink big enough to wash a baby in and a shower.
We headed out for tea. Unfortunately, the pub in Dalwod did not open until later in the evening so we decided to try the New Inn in Kilmington. The food was lovely, (I recommend the Prawns) and the staff were brilliant, friendly, especially with the children.
We headed back to the pod and took the boys to the family room to get showered. The boys again thought it was brilliant to walk across the campsite in their pyjamas and a jumper. Something I have fond memories of as a child! It’s strange what sticks in your mind isn’t it.
We headed back to the pod with high hopes of the children sleeping!! Ha ha ha ha
Sam was excited and Oliver was overtired. Oh dear!! Not a good combination. We tried making it darker in the pod by hanging a towel on the window and a blanket over the doors. Eventually Sam gave in but not Oliver!!
I left him with Ali as I headed up to the showers. The shower is a press button one and it needed to be pressed a couple of times for the water to come at a decent temperature but the pressure was good.


Back at the pod, I snuggled into the comfy bed with Oliver whilst Ali headed off to the shower. Oliver eventually gave in to sleep and we transferred him into his cot where he thankfully stayed all night.
The bed was a full double bed and the mattress was really comfy. It kind of felt naughty sleeping in a bed but technically camping!!
After a good night’s sleep for us all, we got up, although rather early due to the sunlight. If you don’t want an early start I recommend a black out blind for the door.


 We had breakfast and then headed out into the campsite to explore. We found the swimming pool which the boys had all to themselves and thoroughly enjoyed going between the baby pool and the main pool.
We then headed to the games room, where there are a lots of computer games, a snooker table and a soft area for the under six’s. Both my boys really enjoyed the soft play area. There were lots of things to amuse both Sam and Oliver and it was a good place for them to play before we got back in the car and headed home. Just wish we could have stayed longer to enjoy the local area.




Would I glamp again? Definitely!! I really enjoyed it. It was a fab experience.
Would I visit Andrewshayes again? Absolutely!! I have already suggested to my parents that they should stay at the campsite as it is perfect for them to have a look around the area. However, I may suggest they rent the caravan with a hot tub.
Disclosure: In renturn for this review I recieved a nights accomodation in pod G19 at Andrewhayes Campsite. The words and opinions however are all my own.

Friday, 8 June 2018

BAM bamboo clothing

 
BAM Bamboo Clothing
 
So you have heard of Bamboo right?? Of course you have!! 

 
So what do you think of when you hear of Bamboo?? If you are anything like me you think of a plant that Pandas eat but recently I have been re-educated in the Bamboo plant and it’s uses. 

 
As some of you know I was recently sent a pair of socks from a company called BAM Bamboo Clothing based in Plymouth. 

 
When the post arrived with my unexpected socks I actually happened to have chilly feet so I popped them on and I have to say I was amazed at how soft the socks were. Proper snuggly soft socks but they also weren’t too warm either. 

So who are BAM??
“BAM is Europe's first bamboo clothing brand.  A small band of enthusiasts, doing something special.  Raising the bar and having a lot of fun doing it."  BAM website.
After receiving the socks I decided to contact the company to find out more. 
I spoke to their customer service team who advised me about their bamboo fabric and its history. At this point, I’m still in a bit of denial that you can make clothes from Panda food, especially a fabric that is so soft!! 
The team also told me about the benefits of wearing Bamboo clothing which include
Being super soft
It’s antibacterial 
It has uv protection
It’s kind to your skin
Thermo control
Moisture wicking


So, what do BAM do?
"Performance clothing made ethically for use whether you're at the south pole or in the gym, on the side of a cliff or in the bar modestly talking down your achievements. Or otherwise :)” BAM website
 
Is BAM ethical and sustainable?
 
"The way bamboo is grown (without fertilizers and pesticides, without the excessive watering needed for cotton, giving a yield that's 10 times that of cotton, per acre, allowing growth on hillsides and other marginal land, etc). Also, there are new developments coming online all the time, for example Modal, which is made in pretty much the same way, is now processed mechanically, so it seems only a matter of a short time before bamboo follows. In fact, one company in China is already doing it 100% mechanically, by crushing and pulping so it's happening already (source: eco textile news). It just needs a short while to become widespread.
 
Another process, using ionic liquids has been discovered by a team in Belfast, (source: ETN July 2009) which is super low impact and actually biodegradable. Our view is very strongly that even before these exciting developments, the whole picture of producing this fabric from planting through to the end garment is environmentally far more positive than cotton for example. It's just a question, in terms of impact, of how low we can go and we're looking at new ways all the time."
Hannah, Customer Team Leader.
Again still unsure, they decided to send me a hoodie to try it out for myself. 
So I chose the ZIP THROUGH BAMBOO SWEAT – NAVY which retails for £50. 
The medium weight bamboo sweat with temperature regulating, moisture wicking, plus odour resistant and made with Medium Sweat double-knit bamboo fabric, this women’s classic zipped sweat top is appropriate for an both an active lifestyle and relaxing. Styled with a lined hood with draw-cord, full-length front zip, pouch pockets, plus banded hem and cuffs, it’s the one you’ll reach for time and time again.
It features
 • Full zip front and drawcord hood
 • Relaxed fit
 • Moisture wicking and odour resistant
 • Hypo allergenic and UPF50+
 • For pre and post workout or casualwear
So I waited for the top to arrive and I didn’t have to wait long. I opened the bag to find a fab navy super soft hoodie inside. 
I was a little nervous that it would fit as I am generally a size 16-18 and the hoodie was a size 16 but I slipped it on and the fit was great. 

 

 





 
 So far I have had the top for a week and it has been my go to top for when the sun disappears and the temperature drops.  I have also worn it on the school run when the morning has been a bit chilly. It has been perfect and very comfortable. 
I also like the fact that the zip feels sturdy. With cheaper hoodies, I often wonder if the plastic zip will last. The BAM hoodie’s metal zip will certainly last. 


 
I also like the little touches with the BAM logo on the strings. 



 
So my overall impression of the hoodie is that is it a cracking top whether you go to the gym or where it on the school run.
 
I just need to convince BAM clothing to offer slightly bigger sizes so I can buy more items.
 
If you fancy taking a look at the range of clothes on offer please check out the website https://bambooclothing.co.uk 
 
In return for this honest review I received a BAM hoodie and BAM pair of socks free of charge.
#honestreview #gifted
 
 
 
 
 
 

Train of Lights Review

Review of the Train of Lights On Saturday evening, Ali and I made Sam's day by taking him and Oliver on the Train of Lights which ...