Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Did You Nose? (sp)

The Otrivine Brand is one that's been very close to our hearts noses over the past couple of years - for the children from when they were babies through to me and my horrible nose. Unfortunately, I suffer from regular/chronic sinusitis and over the past 2 years I have suffered at least 10 times with sinusitis. It's an awful infection that causes me a lot of pain and can last for up to 8 weeks at a time.

Desperate for some kind of prevention, I begged my doctor to help. He suggested that rather than trying to constantly treat the infection, I should take a daily dose of Otrivine Nasal Spray as a way of prevention. I wasn't convinced to be honest and felt a little cheated that he couldn't offer a more spectacular cure. However, since I started using the spray around 4 months ago, I have only suffered once with the infection. RESULT. Usually during the winter months I'm a constant mess of mucus - sorry TMI!

So already feeling a sense of trust with Otrivine,  I was really interested to hear that there is an Otrivine Natural Nasal Spray - a really unique product made from completely natural ingredients that claims to give effective relief from nasal congestion in less than 3 minutes.

Now you might not suffer from sinusitis like me, but we all know what it's like when you're full of cold and all bunged up. It's not something parents can dwell on they just have to get on with it.  Being blocked up can make everything feel that much more stressful and tiring so strangely I cant wait to try the natural version and se if it has the same effect! I'll certainly let you know how I get on but in the meantime here's a couple of really interesting facts that I bet you didn't nose (sorry - it's them not me!)

Find out more about Otrivine's full product range at

Disclosure I was paid a fee to host this blog post however the content and opinions in this post are my own.

Monday, 24 February 2014

The One Were I Hold A Millipede #BreakfastSurvival

Last week we headed to London for the Nestlé Cereal #BreakfastSurvival blogger event. It was an early start but the children love train journeys so they were really excited. We arrived in to Euston and headed straight there to be greeted by the lovely Nestlé peeps.

Nestlé had a whole host of creepy crawlies for us to meet courtesy of The Wiggly Wild Show. To be honest, I'm a bit of a scaredy cat and I hate anything with more than 4 legs, so when I was offered the chance to hold a millipede it made my hairs stand on end! Not one to freak out, I decided to be brave and managed to hold him and eventually a hermit crab too!

Chris got involved as well - only he went one better and was brave enough to hold the cockroach, the hermit crab AND eat some bugs!!!

It was great fun, although Mister A and Little E decided against holding any of the 'live' creepy crawlies, instead they settled for dead ones in glass.

There was also a lovely lady called Annie who was face painting. Little E chose a lovely butterfly design where as Mister A went for an Angry Bird which Annie kindly copied from his trainers!

Finally we headed in to the cereal room where we got to try some of Nestlé's cereals. With over two dozen different Nestlé Cereals to choose from there was something for all of us. Each cereal is made with whole grain and is a great source of at least seven vitamins and minerals, what’s more, each serving of Nestlé Cereals only costs 26p per bowl and that’s including the price of the milk!

Ok, so what's it all about?

The event was launch Nestlé's new #BreakfastSurvival campaign. We heard about Nestlé's recent research in to school day mornings which confirmed that almost two thirds of parents (61%) juggle more than 10 tasks in the morning pre-school rush hour - with less than 6 minutes to complete each one! This gave way to the fact that us parents are always on the look out for nutritious speedy breakfasts for the whole family.

With so much to juggle, it can be hard for us to make sure our children are getting the best start to the day. There are so many cereals out there and I do find it tough to make food choices that are nutritional but tasty and affordable. 

We met nutritionist Juliette Kellow and she explained: “Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. You haven’t eaten for about 12 hours so it’s vital your body gets the kick start it needs to help see you through the morning. By eating whole grain cereals with milk, you can ensure you get a mix of fibre, together with vitamins and minerals such as iron and calcium.”

I quizzed Juliette on the importance of calcium and iron and she answered so many questions that I had always wondered about.

We also met lovely celebrity mum of two, Marina Fogle who is supporting the campaign. She says: “Just like most families, sometimes we find it hard to navigate the jungle of the morning routine. But, however busy we are, making time for a nutritious breakfast is key. A bowl of cereal is not just quick and easy but a source of important nutrients my family needs to start the day in a nutritious balanced way.”

All in all it was a fabulous day out, the children loved it and we learned a lot too. Thank you Nestlé!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Jurys Inn - Customer Service at its WORST #epicfail

Tonight I am so frustrated by the lack of customer care I have received from Jury's Inn. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. Read the story, I'd love to hear your opinion!!

Back in October, Chris and I stayed at the Jurys Inn Hotel Birmingham. It was not a great experience. In fact it was so bad that we had to complain. The manager at the hotel offered us a complimentary stay at the Birmingham hotel by means of an apology.,,

As we had stayed at the hotel for a specific event I explained that the likelihood of us visiting Birmingham again in the near future was slim and that I would much prefer a full refund. The lady was nice but explained a refund wasn't an option...

We accepted the complimentary stay and I queried how we would eventually make our booking. The response was simple with no terms...

We were dissapointed with the whole experience (and the lack of refund) but I suppose we were happy that we had been offered a future stay.

This week we tried to book our stay, choosing either Jurys Inn London Islington or London Chelsea as a back up. I checked online and there were plenty of rooms available so I called the number. Unfortunately, the original lady that I had been emailing had now left the company and I had to speak to various people about the booking.

Eventually I spoke to a lady called Erica who was passed all of the details and said she would contact Islington (our preferred hotel) and make the booking. She called me back to say she'd sent an email and would contact me the next day (today).

This morning I emailed, nothing, so I called. Erica didn't start until 14.30 so I was told to call back then. I called back, Erica wasn't about. So I waited. Eventually Erica called back, she hadn't had a reply to her email. I explained that our stay was for tomorrow and we needed to know! She said she'd call me back within half an hour. 2 hours later I had to call her back to ask for an update. She said Islington had replied and there was no availability. She was nice enough and said she'd now email Chelsea to book with them instead.

I was gutted about Islington, it was the ideal location for our stay and I knew that there had been rooms. I decided to go online and check that all the rooms had gone... guess what? There were rooms free!! In fact, even now at 11.30pm there are still rooms available (although they have increased in price)...

So I called Erica back, explained there were rooms and questioned the email she had received. She seemed confused to and offered to call and check why we couldn't stay.

A while later Erica called back. "Yes there are rooms, but the manager will not give one of those out as a complimentary stay." This made me really mad but I stayed calm and instead said ok, we'll stay in Chelsea instead. Erica explained that she hadn't actually had a reply from them yet but she'd keep chasing.

I tried to call for a definite confirmation a couple of times but the line rang out. So I waited.. and waited....

At 8.30pm this evening, Erica finally called back. The manager at the Jurys Inn Chelsea said they wouldn't accommodate our complimentary stay either... but they could offer us the room we needed for £111. Oh great thanks Jurys!!!

So the night before our stay we are left with no room because Jurys Inn won't allow us to use our stay that we were given for our first bad experience... we can still take it (after this, our second bad experience)... just that it has to be on their terms... presumably when the entire hotel has no guests. I think it's a disgrace. Customer service at it's worse.

Had we had stayed at Islington, they would have turned a negative customer experience in to a positive one - thus neutralising the original bad stay. But no, now we're left with no hotel, hours before we leave and guess what...  all of the other hotels have shot up in price because we were left waiting so long to hear the big fat NO.

So I'm still out of pocket for the original stay.. the phone calls to Birmingham... and now an extortionate fee for a late room in London. EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE AT LEAST 3 ROOMS LEFT AT THE ISLINGTON HOTEL!!!! Why can I not take my complimentary stay as promised, there are rooms available... its not like the complimentary stay is a prize... something Ive won, with terms & conditions... this is a complimentary stay for a really bad customer experience!!! Your only chance to turn a negative in to a positive!!!

I just want to scream... but I won't.. instead I'll share my experience with you in the hope that you'll avoid them for future stays.... because they are pants and all they care about is money.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The One Where I Join Team Honk for the @SportRelief ‪#‎TeamHonkRelay‬

Team Honk 2014 blogger Relay

So Ive only gone and done it again - signed up for a charity sporting event without really thinking properly about it! Yes, again! This time I have officially signed up as a member of the 2014 Sport Relief #TeamHonkRelay

So what's the #TeamHonkRelay then?

Well, it's a person to person relay from Land’s End to John O’Groats with a route of nearly 3,000 miles that will involve nearly 200 bloggers, plus their family and friends!

The relay started back on 12th January in Cornwall... the baton is slowly making it's way up the country with the baton reaching me on Sunday 9th March via Ruth who's transporting the bike from Standish. Chris and I will give the baton a bed for the night. Then on Monday morning myself & my lovely husband will cycle around 15 miles to pass the baton on to Angela from This Is Life in Leyland.

But 15 miles on a bike... that's easy isn't it?

Well...those of you that know me will know that I'm rubbish on a bike... and that I'm not the smallest or fittest of peeps but I'm still willing to give it a go. Aside from the body issues the only bike I own is the one I got for my 15th birthday from my mum & dad!!

So if you want to see me ride 15 miles on a bike I got when I was at school... wearing a onesie... knowing that my seat is smaller than one bum cheek... then please please donate to our team fundraising page now>>!!

But what's it all for?

The aim of the Relay is to raise over £20,000 for Sport Relief. As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world.

How can you get involved?

It's not too late to do some fund raising of your own. Order your free fundraising pack here>

The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Good luck in whatever you do!!!

Sponsor us now... please???!!!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Review: Barbie: The Pearl Princess

A couple of weeks ago Vue Cinemas invited us to a special blogger screening of Barbie: The Pearl Princess down in London. Unfortunately, like with most events, living 'ooop North' meant that we were unable to travel. Luckily for us Vue were kind enough to offer us tickets to see the film at our local cinema.

Little E was really excited but Daddy and Mister A didn't want to come because "It's for girls". That didn't bother us in the slightest, and it meant that I could invite my friend Mel and her daughter for a lovely girls day out.
So I guess I should tell you a little bit about the film...

In this film Barbie plays a mermaid called Lumina that has a special magic 'pearl powers'. Her and her best friend Kuda, a pink seahorse, spend lots of time playing together, dreaming of being princesses. One day, against her Aunt's wishes, they head out of thier reef  and embark on an adventure to a majestic mer-kingdom. Once at the Royal Ball Lumina uses her special powers to save the day and unlocks the key to her dreams!

Whats the verdict?

Little E and her friend absolutely loved the film. We hadn't even made it home before she was asking whether there was a DVD!

Second Time Mummy Verdict...

The girls loved the film so it's a thumbs up from me - we'll definitely be looking out for the DVD version. The cinema itself was great too as they provide booster seats for the little ones so despite having people in front they could still see.

Check out Vue Cinemas this February half term there's lots of offers to be had:
Vue Kids AM every morning, in selected Vue cinemas, with tickets from just £1.75 for 2D films and from £3 for 3D films, for both children and accompanying adults;
Super Tuesday with up to a third off cinema tickets;
20% off all tickets this half term with special Vue Teen Tickets; and
2for1 tickets to see Moshi Monsters: The Movie.

Disclosure: We received free cinema tickets to allow us to write this review