Have you seen? the lovely Al Fresco Holidays have spent a whopping £2.5M on a  rebrand for its 10th anniversary…

AL FRESCO Holidays announces a bold new look, a host of new parcs, new accommodation types.

While the bright new branding may be bold and unfamiliar, Al Fresco bosses are proud of the fact that as far as the customer is concerned the team behind their Al Fresco holiday remains unchanged and they can expect the same acclaimed service and personality they’ve been accustomed to.

 Al Fresco will expand its love affair with European outdoor holidays by offering its customers inspirational holiday options at no less than 68 parcs across six countries in 2014. The introduction of 14 new parcs – in Spain, Italy and Croatia, including seven new  Authentic & Value French parcs, gives holidaymakers much greater choice and value for 2014. And in addition, 10 parcs from its parent company will be launched as the Homair Vacances brand under the Al Fresco umbrella.

Al Fresco’s pioneering dedication to offering luxury camping holidays continues with the introduction of three beautiful new types of mobile home – the Piccolo and Bellini Riviera and the stunning Verdi, an ultra-spacious mobile with three bedrooms, two shower rooms and expansive decking with access to the en-suite master bedroom.

 Al Fresco raises the bar once more in 2014 as the first operator to introduce mobile homes with private swimming pools on one of Europe’s premier campsites in Croatia, Park Umag. This is a perfect cross over product between the trademarks of a villa holiday and the friendly, open interchanges of a camping holiday where families can enjoy holidaying close together. The Croatian adventure also continues for the tour operator becoming the first to sell holidays on the picturesque Dalmatian coast.
The 10 Homair Vacances parcs, in fabulous rural French locations and on the beautiful island of Sardinia, offer family holidays at very economical prices. Located in the Vendee, Languedoc and Cote d’Azur regions in France, as well as on increasingly popular Corsica, the parcs are perfect for the more self-sufficient traveler.
Al Fresco Holidays Managing Director Nick Riggs said:
“We pride ourselves on bringing the very best European parcs in the most desirable locations with quality accommodation. The new Verdi, as well as the new premium “large and lively” resorts in Spain, France and Croatia, are a continuation of that promise.
“The introduction of the Homair brand answers the needs of a more specialist and independent holidaymaker who likes nothing more than mixing with different nationalities and experiencing life as a local. Our new Authentic and Value brand offers the best of both worlds for the intrepid Francophile who still appreciates the touch of a helping English hand some part of the way.”

“Our success is due to the commitment of the whole Al Fresco team – we have a magnificent team spirit, which is based on a wealth of experience in the industry and a passion for delivering great holidays. The influence of Homair has been extremely positive in terms of additional know-how and European specialization, vital in order to drive out the greatest value in resort. We can genuinely lay claim to be being the most specialist player in the camping sector.”

The new Al Fresco brand benefits from a completely fresh makeover to reinforce its new credentials and will stand out from its competitors on parc and in the agent shops.
For more information please visit: www.alfresco-holidays.com.

The older I get the more I turn into a grumbler…


I whinge about leaving doors open, letting the heat escape from the house, I moan about wearing shoes indoors, I moan about shopping at expensive supermarkets when the cheap ones fair just as well.

I really don’t like wasting money.

But behind my moaning is a sensible approach.

Take my latest bugbear…

We went away for the weekend recently, and I know I turned off the heating and water before jumping in the car.  However when we came home I walked into a beautiful toasty house where every radiator was aglow.

My husband swears he didn’t overrule me, but I think the red in his cheek came from more than the heat.

Heating an empty house is like burning money in my opinion and yet with set heating times it seems almost impossible to avoid.

That is until now….

Today I heard about Hive.

A new app designed for people like me!

It lets you control your heating remotely, from wherever you are!


You don’t need to change your energy supplier, you do need to pay a one-off fee of £199, but I reckon I could easily recoup this within six months by having remote access control to the heating and hot water.

Hive is so clever that it can even notify you when you reach a certain temperature in the house.


Caught in an unexpected rainstorm in the shops at four pm, your hotwater doesn’t normally come on until seven pm, but you are due out at six. Hive solves this dilemma easily by allowing you to get the hot water on using your phone, leaving you free to fight with the umbrella and get home fast to climb into a steaming hot bath.

This short video displays lots of times when a clever little app like Hive can come in handy.


For more details on Hive, have a look at their website.

How it works

A person who knows what they are doing (an engineer) comes to your home (as part of the £199 set up fee) and plugs a ‘hub’ into your broadband router so your thermostat can connect to the internet and be remote controlled.

This clever little box simply plugs into your broadband router so that your thermostat can connect to the internet and be controlled remotely. Your qualified engineer will plug the hub into your router as part of the installation process.

Then you can download the app for free, managing your hot water and heating from wherever you are.

But that is not all…

The Hive hub automatically turns on frost protection when you turn your heating off, plus you can preset your preferred temperatures for speed and ease.

Nice and funky!

One way to combat increasing energy prices, is to get smarter about your usage, I am going to be that with my new Hive heating!

I am terribly over excited, never again will the other half heat the house when we are out for the weekend.

In association with Hive



As a child, I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I thrived on watching the superhero foursome Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo.  I even dressed as Leo (the mighty leader for a fancy dress party – my main memory is of being incredibly hot!)

Hence why I am pretty excited to be giving away a copy of Season One on the blog today!

All you need to do to enter is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter, and leave a comment telling who your favourite Turtle is!

Winner will be chosen at random on January 6th.

3 Facts about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

All the Turtles are trained in the art of ninjutsu

There was once a female Turtle who just mysteriously disappeared.

Uncle Phil from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air was the voice of Shredder in the orginal movie.

To enter – follow the rafflecopter instrictions and leave a comment telling me who your favourite Turtle is.

Dont forget to read the terms below before entering.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

  • The promoter of this competition is MarketME Ltd Second Floor, 7 – 10 Charlotte Mews | London | W1T 4ED
  • By entering this competion you accept the following terms and conditions.
  • The competition is open to United Kingdom residents aged 18 and over only, excluding employees of the Promoter or anyone else connected to the competition and/or their immediate family.
  • Winner will be chosen at random from all eligible entries received before the closing date.
  • The competition starts on December 18th 2013 closes on the 6th of January 2013 at 12.00am GMT.  Entries after this time will be discounted.
  • Entry is deemed as a blog comment using the rafflecopter – bonus entries are allowed.
  • Prize winners take full responsibility for any and all liability, claims, demands or causes of action they may hereafter have for injuries or damages arising in connection with any prize and the use thereof and agree not to sue or make claim against the Promoter for damages or other losses sustained from using any prize.
  • The first prize is a Season One DVD Of Teenage Mutant Ninja Tutles as detailed here.
  • The prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative will be offered
  • The winner will be announced on this website within 14 days of the competition ending.  The winner will be contacted by e-mail, if they do not respond within 3 days another winner may be chosen.
  • Entries using any software or automated process to make bulk entries will be disqualified.
  • The Promoter’s decision on all matters is final and binding on all entrants.
  • No Correspondence will be entered into.
  • Entries that do not comply in full with these terms and conditions will be disqualified.
  • Prize winners take full responsibility for any and all liability, claims, demands or causes of action they may hereafter have for injuries or damages arising in connection with any prize and the use thereof and agree not to sue or make claim against the Promoter for damages or other losses sustained from using any prize.
  • Where prizes are to be provided by a third party this website will have no responsibility for the acts or defaults of any other persons.
  • All personal information about prize winners collected for the purpose of this competition may be shared with other Promoter entities and/or agents so that prizes can be delivered. Entrants accept that if they win a prize, the Promoter will have the right, without additional payment or permission, to use their name, age, town of residence and likeness for the purposes of announcing the winner of this competition and for related promotional purposes.
  • By taking part in this competition you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions and by the decisions of the Promoter which are final in all matters relating to the competition.
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BB squealed in delight recently when a large box appeared at our door.  It was sent by Rosetta Stone, who are mixing up languages and Christmas this year.  They have kindly set up a free coupon to learn German in six months, watch this space, and a real challenge – a make your own cracker set!

I am not a natural crafter, in fact I shudder at the sight of scissors, glue and sparkly things, but being thrifty, I decided to give it a go….

Check out these beauties!

Impressive eh!

Made by me, BB and BB’s Godmother – who unfortunately suffered a scissor related craft injury through BB’s ‘enthusiasm’ with the cutting element of the crafting!

You want more?

 I am willing to bet the lovely Maggie from RedTedArt is worried that there is a new craft blogger in town….

And now, all I have to do is learn German!