Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Our day out at Bristol Zoo **REVIEW**

We are always on the look out for fun, family friendly days out and living a short drive away from Bristol city centre means Bristol zoo has become a one of our favourites!

So when we were recently invited along to Bristol Zoo Gardens to enjoy a day out this weekend we couldn't wait to go back. The kids were super excited too!


Bristol Zoo gardens is situated in the Clifton area of Bristol quite close to the Clifton suspension bridge and is easily accessible by car, bus and train. Bristol Zoo is the fifth oldest zoo in the world and first opened its doors to the public on Monday 11 July 1836. Since then it has helped save over 175 species from extinction!


One of the reasons we love Bristol Zoo is because from the moment you walk through after purchasing your ticket there are animals to see and things to do. There is such a variation of animals here too, everything from flamingos and monkeys to lions and seahorses.
Here are just some of the animals we have seen today...






There are plenty of viewing area's for the animals too with most of the enclosures featuring large sheets of clear plastic/glass so the view to the animals in not obstructed by heavy fences etc. There are also several viewing platforms for certain areas such as seal and penguin coast and gorilla island so even when busy you can still get a good view of the animals.

Both James and Evelyn loved venturing in the underwater tunnels to see the penguins and seals happily swimming around and I have to admit its pretty amazing to see! There are several "tunnels" you can walk through whilst the penguins and seals swim around and above and its here you can really capturing just how beautiful (and large!) these animals really are. The port holes dotted around these tunnels provide perfect viewing for toddlers and young children too.




During our visit it was also great to see the zoo involved in so many conservation projects and seeing these dwarf crocodile eggs being lovingly cared for in the reptile house was fab!


Its not just about the animals at Bristol Zoo though! There are some beautiful gardens you can wander around in with benches to sit at and take in the beauty of them. There is also a maze for the kids, a large park area and a splash zone where children can take of their shoes and splash around in. Also dotted around the zoo you will find "challenges" and facts for the kids to take part in. These including timing how long you can stand on one leg like a flamingo, can you run as fast as a cheetah and check out your wing span on a chart in comparison to an eagle!


If you are planning on having lunch at Bristol Zoo there are several options. There is a cafe situated within Bristol Zoo which sells an array of cafe style food including a packed lunch style childrens box. There is also a new "bbq" style grill situated just outside this cafe selling delicious smelling hot dogs and burgers (it really does small amazing). We found the prices in these quite expensive though e/specially if you have come as a family as it would soon add us (around £5 for a hotdog/burger from the grill). We opted to take our own packed lunch and there are lots of places you can eat included a large grass area in which an animal encounters show often begins around lunch time which is fab for the kids!

Bristol Zoo definitely gets a big thumbs up from us. Its a fantastic day out that all of the family can enjoy. There is always something to see, something to learn and something to do, whether its animals you want to see, some thrill seeking on the high wire or learning about endangered species and how we can help Bristol Zoo has it covered. Our photos above only cover a small portion of whats to offer at Bristol Zoo gardens and it really is worth checkout it out for yourself.

Tickets are priced at around £14.45 for an adult and £9.35 for a child with under 2's going free! Don't forget though if you book online you can receive 15% off these prices! You can book tickets online here.

Have you ever been to Bristol Zoo Gardens? What was your favourite bit?

xXx


**I was not paid for this post, We were given a family ticket and used our visit to produce this honest review. 
All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Eve Mattress **REVIEW**

Evelyn has recently moved from her cot in to a bed and so began the hunt for a suitable bed for her and James as we had decided on bunk beds, but more importantly a new mattress.

I had been doing quite a lot of research on different mattresses online, after all she is going to be spending (Hopefully) a good chunk of the night in her bed and being so little I didn't want anything that was going to hurt or damage her posture or growing bones. This was when the lovely people at Eve Mattresses offered us one of their luxury mattresses to try with Evelyn.

After having a read on their website about the mattresses I was really excited for it to arrive, in fact I was a little jealous they sounded so comfy!


Eve mattresses are designed and manufactured in the UK and to keep costs to a minimum are only sold online to cut down the high retail costs! When you purchase your mattress online it will be delivered to your door rolled in a box. I had never seen this before and was worried this would damage the mattress in some way. However when the mattress arrived it was indeed rolled inside the box and I had been told that the mattress would need to be left to lay flat for around 12-24 hours. It looked quite flat inside the box however as soon as I broke the vacuum pack seal it started rising immediately! It was clear the rolling of the mattress has caused no damage to it at all and actually made it a much easier and convenient way to deliver our mattress!

I loved the simple, stylish and clean design of the mattress with its white top and bottom and vibrant yellow side panels it really pops and stands out.


You can really tell this is a luxury brand from the stylish finish to the thickness of the mattress (its huge compared to a standard mattress!). When you lay on the mattress it is extremely comfortable its like sleeping on a very supportive cloud! The foam is soft enough that it molds around your body yet firm enough to offer enough support.

Eve mattress only sell one type of mattress so they can offer the best price and quality and there is no going around in circles trying to work out which mattress is for you. An Eve mattress is made up of...

High Density Base Layer - 18cm of ultra resilient base foam provide the foundation base layer of the mattress, supporting the layers above.

Breathable Comfort Layer - 3cm of cooling foam which offers 30% more breath-ability than a more traditional memory foam. This layer features open air technology that encourages air flow within the mattress.

New Generation Memory Foam - 4cm of responsive memory foam make the 3rd layer within the mattress. This provides balanced comfort, relieving pressure on joints and encourages ease of movement throughout the night. 

The Cover - Completing the mattress is the stylish white and yellow knitted cover. Made from a two way stretch fabric the cover provides a delicate soft surface accentuating the new generation memory foam below it. 



It may be coincidence or it may be the mattress but im taking no chances! Evelyn has slept amazingly since being in her big girl bed with her Eve Mattress and I can't blame her. I had led with her several times during naps or story time and returning to my old mattress just doesn't feel the same. I may have to invest in a Eve sleep mattress for myself!

Buying a mattress is a big decision but I can hand on heart highly recommend Eve their no nonsense easy to navigate website makes finding the right mattress for you simple. You know that the price you are paying doesn't include any high retail costs and you are left with a mattress that makes going to bed that big more enjoyable each night for a great price. 

Still not sure if an Eve mattress is for you? Well Eve Mattress offer a 100 night trial of there mattresses so you can try it out before fully committing. If you do decide to purchase one each Eve mattress comes with a 10 year guarantee! 

Check out the Eve Mattress website here - www.evemattress.co.uk.

xXx

**I was not paid for this post, I was sent this item in return for an honest review. 

All thoughts and opinions in this post are my own and written by me. **

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Coping with an Age Gap!

There is an almost 5 year age gap between James and Evelyn with James being the oldest at 6 and a half and Evelyn almost 2. 

I didn't plan to have such an age gap in fact I didn't really plan at all. I fell pregnant with James when I was just 18 and whilst unexpected I now wouldn't change him for the world! Being so young made me realise I didn't want to rush in to having more kids just because of an age gap. I wanted to wait until I was ready, until I felt ready to make that big leap in to becoming a mum of 2. 

It took us quite a while to conceive Evelyn when we finally decided we were ready, which also widened the gap between them and when she eventually came along it was the summer before James was due to start Primary school. 


Of course with James being a little older it was nice that he could understand a little more about the fact he was going to become a big brother and he was so excited to meet his new baby sister. I worried the whole time I was pregnant though about him feeling pushed out, it had been just him for so long how would he feel about sharing me. 

When Evelyn came along James was amazing with her, he couldn't wait to meet her and was so gentle and protective over her whenever he was around. You could just tell how proud he was at being a big brother which did make me feel much better about the situation. We also always made sure we made some time that he have one on one time with just us when Evelyn was in bed so he knew he still had our attention too which definitely helped. 


I am not going to lie though having the age gap is tough especially now at this sort of age. Evelyn is at an age where she wants to be involved in everything everyone else is doing, mostly her brother! Whereas James wants a bit of Independence he is much older and doesn't want to play the baby games that Evelyn is able to do. As a parent its trying to waiver on that thin line between encouraging them to play together and letting them have their own time and space. 

For example we went to a soft play a few days ago, this posed another problem. The soft play centres James likes are huge, high and pretty dangerous for Evelyn, of course they have baby sections but Evelyn doesn't want to be in those if James isn't. However the soft play's that are suitable for Evelyn are much to babyish for James who then bores easily in them. Such a simple thing such as soft play becomes a nightmare of feeling like someone if missing out, its toughie but we have managed to find a few places that meet in the middle and keep them both happy. 


James is also at school now and with school comes after school clubs including swimming clubs and Beaver scouts. I do feel for Evelyn a little and she often gets carted along to these as her dad is at work and I have to take James. As there is such an age gap none of these clubs are suitable for Evelyn which means she is often bored and spends more time than I would like her to in the pushchair whilst we watch or wait around for James. 

Of course there are perks to the age gap too. As James is older is easier to explain to him about why we have to do things. He helps play with Evelyn so I can do the washing up and watching him be so protective over her is so beautiful. Evelyn dotes on her big brother which is so wonderful and I think this is partly because hes that bit older than her and she looks up to him. 

I have found there doesn't seem to be as much arguing between them either. Perhaps because the toys Evelyn has James doesn't want and the toys James has Evelyn doesn't know how to use! I am certain the arguing with come later though and of course they do still argue usually over food or bed time! 

People ask would I change the age gap and my simply answer is no! Yes its hard, really hard sometimes actually but I definitely didn't feel ready for another when James was younger and I am glad I didn't push myself to have another just for a small age gap. I think for me I feel it would have been even harder with 2 when I wasn't mentally prepared for another child than it is with a bigger age gap. 

Whilst there are tough days there are amazing days too though! James is adorable with his sister when they are getting on and watching him teach her and her intently listening fills me with pride. Knowing that she has a brother that little bit older to guide her through the world with that little bit of extra knowledge behind him makes me love them both a little more. 


When people ask the question "whats the best age gap?" my answer is there is no "perfect" age gap. With any age gap will come hard days and situations as well as positives. You just have to do what feels right for you and your family. 

xXx