We have visited Stratford Upon Avon twice this year already and it is swiftly becoming a favourite place of mine.

This weekend the whole family gathered together to celebrate my older siblings fortieth birthday, so seven adults and five children took to Shakespeare’s land to celebrate in style.

The fact that Britain was bathed in a heatwave certainly meant the weekend would have been wonderful anyway. However Stratford is a glorious place to travel to with a party of all ages. StratfordOur top tips

Stay central, cars are not needed in Stratford.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn which was a stones throw from the bustling waterway and Shakespeare tower.

Explore in trainers

Sunday morning saw half of our party don running shoes and tread the paths alongside the Avon.  Monument, gloriously old buildings grab your attention, distracting you from the pain of the run and you can see so much more when moving faster. P1060996
Set sail on the Avon

One of the best things we did on our weekend away was go on a boat cruise with Bancroft cruises. P1060947 Our tour guide, Romeo, was funny, interesting and kept the whole family entertained as we sailed down the Avon, a simply beautiful way to see Stratford. P1060963 P1060968 P1060979 P1060981 The market in Stratford is amazing, check out this super range of fudge! P1060998Whatever your age or family size, we can really recommend Stratford upon Avon as a great place to spend a weekend. We need to go back to check out much, much more Shakespeare!

We work hard all year, so of course we deserve a little luxury from our well deserved holiday. So if you’re looking for a luxury break, why not consider a few of these destinations:

The Caribbean

The Caribbean comprises more than 700 islands, reefs and cays. Surrounded by crystal clear sea and with fine white sandy beaches and coves backed by palm trees, you’re sure to find your very own tropical paradise here. With so many islands to choose from, although not all 700 are inhabited of course, there is bound to be a perfect island for you and your tastes. There are amazing watersports facilities at some resorts –  you can try your hand at everything from snorkelling to windsurfing! Add to that the fantastic golf courses and a wealth of other sporting, shopping and spa facilities and you have the perfect combination of activities for a wonderful luxury holiday.

carribean

All of the islands feature luxury hotels and resorts to tempt you to part with your well-earned cash. You could visit lively Jamaica, Antigua with its 365 beaches, St Lucia and its drive in volcano and rainforest canopy top tour, the beautiful Grenadines, or even combine a few and create your very own luxury tailormade tour of the Caribbean.

Greece

The ancient land of Greece is another wonderful destination to consider if you’re looking for a luxury holiday. With numerous islands and a huge mainland area, it’s packed with beautiful resorts, stunning countryside and amazing luxury hotels. There are so many destinations to choose from here, including the stunning volcano top island of Santorini, which offers amazing views and beautiful sunsets – or there’s the largest of all the Greek islands, Crete, which is packed full of facilities as you might expect. Perhaps enjoy a sunset cruise, eat breakfast on a deserted beach and indulge in a romantic horse ride through the countryside, taking in the pretty white washed traditional Greek villages as you go, before relaxing in one of the best hotels in the world. The choice of amazing things to do here is endless.

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Egypt

The home of the Pharaohs, Egypt is nothing but luxurious. From state of the art hotels to luxury tours and Nile cruises, you have everything needed to ensure that your trip to this amazing land is nothing but amazing. Visit the pyramids of Cairo and Giza and marvel at the tombs of Pharaohs past – take a lazy cruise down the River Nile on an amazing ship like the Oberoi Zahara from Luxor to Aswan, enjoying the sights as you go, while experiencing the fantastic on board facilities like the pool deck, spa rooms, gym, theatre, games room and boutiques, before chartering a private tour of the sites you’d like to see along the route. This has to be the best way to experience the history of this amazing country.

Other fantastic destinations to consider are Mauritius, The Maldives, The Seychelles, South Africa and Kerala in India. And don’t forget to book a room with Travelodge at your departure airport before you fly, so you arrive at the airport relaxed after a great nights sleep and ready to soak up every second of your luxury break away.

Featured Post

We love Lollibop, and find it an incredible day out with fun for all the family.  We are counting down the days to August 15th in our house (till we see Justin and Mister Maker again), and we are very excited to announce that you can try and win a family ticket to join us on the day.

This year Lollibop has an all star line up!

Saturday and Sunday kick off with CBeebies Superstar Justin Fletcher headlining and Mister Maker take over the main stage on Friday.

The event has moved house again and this year takes place at Hatfield House, August 15-17,  welcoming stars of CBBC’s Big Friday Wind Up Sam & Mark to LolliBop for the first time.

Other LolliBop ‘newbies’ include Thomas & Friends with a bespoke interactive play experience created especially for LolliBop, Chris & Pui with their Mini Roadshow, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery of the Pyramid, Cook and Line from Swashbuckle (Fri & Sat only) and Michaela Strachan’s Really Wild Adventures Show.

Michaela Strachen

LolliBop is delighted to announce it’s first ever Disney experience with the Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic present a Silent Disco!  My little one cannot wait to see what this is all about!

Lollibop Disney

There is so much to do at Lollibop  including music, dancing, fashion shows, DJs, Pirate school, den making and plenty of takeaway crafts

LolliBop 2012

The ever-popular Skylanders returns to LolliBop to launch the fourth installment of its award winning franchise – Skylanders Trap Team™. Kids can expect the opportunity to play the brand new game before it’s released later in the year.  My son is super excited about this!

Situated in Hertfordshire, just off the A1 with plenty of parking or a short 22 minute train journey from London Kings Cross, the stunning country house and gardens of Hatfield House offer an incredible array of spaces to host LolliBop’s vast activity and entertainment programme.

LolliBop 2012

Festival Director Gareth Cooper comments; “The 2014 lineup is jam packed with big names for the main stage, alongside an unprecedented number of live theatre performances; sporting activities; creative workshops; nature talks and brand new areas and acts, never before seen at LolliBop.”

Alex Winters

With good motorways links, extensive on site parking and just a five minute walk from Hatfield train station, LolliBop 2014 is more accessible than ever before.

Tickets are on sale now priced £17.50pp, all details can be found at: www.lollibopfestival.co.uk

Or you can win a family pass by entering this simple competition,

I have got one family pass (for four people) to give away to this brilliant festival. To enter, answer the question below:

Q: Where is the location of LolliBop 2014?
A: Hatfield House

B: Hyde Park

C: Central Park

– let me know in the comments, and you can go for additional entries by using the rafflecopter widget.

As always, please read the terms and conditions before entering.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Some things can easily evoke a sense of nostalgia in me.  The sight of black jacks in the sweet shop remind me of running up northern streets with a darkened tongue, playing with all my might.

Skipping ropes make me want to stay out after dark jumping in time to a chant, and whenever the Goonies comes on, I grab the cashew nuts and sit myself down in front of the screen for 90 minutes.

And Tom and Jerry – the beautifully politically incorrect tales of a mouse bettering a feline on a day to day basis.  I love it, and have turned my children into mini addicts too.

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And Tom and Jerry are back!

In the new Tom and Jerry Show.

It still harks familiarity to the original which means I still adore it.

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Some Tom and Jerry facts for you died hard cat and mouse loving fans

Tom and Jerry are the proud owners of 7 Academy Awards.

There has never been a drop of blood shed in the original cartoon series (to my knowledge).

The cartoon was created in 1940 – so way before my time.

Tom was originally called Jasper and Jerry was the mouse without a name.

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The new show is belting, myself and my three children are glued to Boomerang on Saturday mornings at 9am, and often we are all found chortling with laughter.  It is one of my favourite times of the week.

Disclosure: We were asked to review the new series and sent a promotional disc and goodies.

 

 

 

The idea Paleo seems a bit baffling at first, and certainly since I announced my dietary change, I have been asked many a time ‘what do you eat?’.

The answer is easy, simple, clean food.

This week, Morrison’s asked me to shop and eat – two of my very favourite things to do in life, and they sent us £80’s worth of vouchers to do the job.  So I thought I would seize the opportunity and give you an insight into how you chow down on a Paleo lifestyle.

£80 goes a long way in Morrison’s, especially with their new cheaper, reduced prices, which are here to stay!  When you are in store, look for the yellow stickers which cry out ‘I’m Cheaper’, and you will know those low prices are here to stay

I went into store with the plan of just buying food for the weekend, but found the money to stretch to almost a full weekly shop.  Which isn’t bad considering I eat only Paleo diet, so only free range, organic meat and absolutely no processed food.

So our Morrisons funded Paleo week looked something like this:

Monday

Roast Chicken with all the trimmings, (the peas aren’t paleo – they were a tiny little cheat!)

Roast Chicken Morrisons

Tuesday

Tuna Nicose

Tuna Nicose

Wednesday

Lemon & Lime Chicken thighs on a bed of roasted pepper and onion.

Lemon and Lime Chicken

Thursday

Onion, Mushroom, tomato and sundried tomato three egg omelette.

Omelette

Friday

Pork Loin steaks, sweet potato, and roasted pepper, mushroom and onion

Pork loin

Thanks to the I’m Cheaper range, we even stocked up on ham and eggs for those breakfast essentials. Our shop also included scrumptious packed lunches for the kids every day and salads for me!

We spent £87 in total, feeding a (hungry) family of five for a week on some lovely nutritious, paleo meals.  Needless to say, we are loving the new everyday prices from Morrison’s.  We still have Gammon for tonight and Fahitas for tomorrow!

You can find out more about the I’m Cheaper range from Morrisons by clicking this link.