Hey readers,

We were lucky enough to test out Inflata nation in Birmingham, of course, I said yes because I know that my boys would love it.

So, what is Inflata Nation Theme Park?

Inflata nation theme park is a family day out attraction and is indoors. It comprises of inflatable activities in a huge indoor arena – therefore doesn’t matter what the whether anyone can bounce and have fun. At the location, there are many activities for any age or size to enjoy.

Attractions.

Inflata Wreck – Not for the faint-hearted, our multi-person giant inflatable wrecking ball game.
Inflata Grab – Stretch that bungee cord to see how many balls you can collect. A real-life multi-person human version of Hungry Hippos.
Inflata Duo – A giant dual lane drop slide, that you can enjoy with friends.
Inflata Tots – Only for our under 4’s, a dedicated arena with lots of fun features, including slide & ball pool.
Inflata Drop – Try this jaw-dropping inflatable slide and land in a giant ball pool.
Inflata Wall – Take on the wall and you’ll be scaling our giant inflatable climbing wall, on your own or with friends.
Inflata Race – Who will be the first to complete the two-lane assault course?
Inflata Bubbles – A large extra bouncy ‘bubble’ area, when all you want to do is a bounce.
Inflata Bash – Air filled inflatable pillars that you can bash around.
Inflata Duel –  A wibbly wobbly gladiator duel platform. Will you win the dual or take a tumble onto the giant airbag below?
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However, if you want to sit back and just watch your children play then there is the cafe offering homemade food and drinks. There is also stairs and more seating and it overlooks over the whole arena.  Let’s not forgot to mention there is free WIFI, whoop!
The inflata nation theme park is currently open at Birmingham, Manchester, Cheshire, Beverley and Glasgow.
Getting tickets to Inflata nation is easy to navigate on the website and also get confirmation booking – where you can print off your receipts. Also, bear in mind that you have to sign a weaver – now you can print the form off and sign it (we did this to save time) or you can fill in the paperwork at the premises.
Once you have handed over the tickets to the front desk on the right-hand side when you get into the doors. You will have a wristband to say you have paid and each one of you gets one.
Then you have to go down a hall on the right where you watch the video on the things you can and not do such as no flips between the balls.
The very short safety video is permanently running so even if you are, let’s say seven minutes late then you only lose seven minutes play, unlike other similar venues that only play their safety videos every half an hour.
Once you have done that there is a shoe rack where you can store your shoes or alternatively there are lockers which require a pound. There is also electronic ones that you can pay by your bank. However, I used the pound coin ones so not entirely sure how the electronic lockers work.
It is important to make sure that children and adults were long sleeved tops, trousers and socks when entering the arena.
The sessions last for an hour however you can add time if you want to.

Cost.

Under 4’s – £5.95 (1hr) / +1hr – £3.
Age 4-15 – £9.95 (1hr) – +1hr – £7.
Adult – £9.95 (1hr) – +1hr – £7.
There are also exercise classes, disability sessions and birthday parties – check out the website to find out more information.
Inflata Nation is open 364 days a year (except for Christmas Day).
Address.
The address is;
Unit E,
Stechford Retail Park,
Flaxley Pkwy,
Birmingham,
B33 9AN.
Opening times.
Monday – Thursday: 12 pm – 8 pm
Friday: 12 pm -9 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 9 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 8 pm
During school holiday periods, we are open from 10 am Monday – Sunday!
It can get very busy so probably best to book tickets online beforehand so you won’t get disappointed.

Overall.

It was a really enjoyable experience for the whole family to enjoy together on a day out. I thought one hour was adequate time to enjoy as both my boys started to get tired at the end and very sweaty.
The staff were really friendly and helpful. the place felt safe and secure. The tables and toilet area were clean.
The rooms were bright and the decor I thought was fun and playful.
Overall a great experience  – 10/10 🙂
Here is a video below so you can get a feel of the place.

Cheers for reading. X
This is an advertorial feature – I was gifted tickets for me and my family to go to Inflata Nation in Birmingham in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

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How to reduce food waste at Christmas

Hey readers,

How often do we buy too much food over the Christmas period and end up chucking that food away? well, here I am going to tell you ways to help reduce food waste at Christmas time.

Shopping List.

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Instead of just going full force when you go food shopping make a list beforehand and plan your meals so you know exactly what to get and use up.

Link up food.

Make food last longer and use up more by putting groups of food that are used in different items.  For example – If you’re going to make custard with the yolk of the egg, you can save the yolk-white for making meringues instead of just throwing the used egg away it is going to get used in something else.

Frozen.

Instead of buying fresh food swap it for frozen then you can take out what you need and freeze the rest for a later date. You don’t have to worry about going off quickly as it will last longer in the freezer.

Fruit and Vegetables.

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Instead of going for the perfect vegetables use the wonky vegetables, not only is it cheaper but also it is not getting wasted win-win.

Buy the exact amount needed.

When you go shopping instead of buying a bag of carrots say go for the desired amount such as three carrots – therefore you know you are going to use them and not have food lying about rotting then ends up in the bin.

Buy seasonal produce.

When looking at the seasonal product it is what the farmers are harvesting and are ready to be sold to the supermarket. It is fresh and full of flavour. Depending on the season would equate to what food would be the season.

In season right now the types of food would be Brussel sprouts, goose, potatoes, parsnips and apples to name but a few.  This will cost less because it has not been needed to travel to get to supermarkets as far and doesn’t come with the premium prices, therefore, saving you money on your shopping.

Supermarket deals.

grocery cart with item

It can be very tempted to buy the deals that are in the supermarket such as buy two products and get the third three or buy one get one free. They are easy to spot in the supermarket as they have bright yellow labels and bold text to stand out and catch your eyes whilst shopping. But don’t be fooled as you may not actually be saving money as they may be items that are hard to shift or close to their sell by date. Also, check the quantity as you may get as much as you would if you brought the same pack on its own. For example, if one pack of digestives is 150g for 50p but you get 75g for buy 2 to get one three. It may cheaper just to buy one pack and not have an unwanted stock of food at home.

Cheers for reading X

Christmas pressure

Hey,

Christmas can be tough especially when you see how good some people live their life on social media. But what you must remember is that it is only what you see in a picture, you don’t know the whole story. Remember you are not alone and lots of other people feel similar with the pressure of Christmas and them high expectations you put on yourself.

I don’t have all the money in the world but I have learnt that it does not matter. I don’t need to be perfect nor do I need to put this big expectation on myself to be something that I can not achieve, it is ok too so what feels right for you. Everyone is different and the more I accept myself and my situation the better chance I will of enjoying Christmas without the stress.

I think one of the things about the Christmas stress is expectations to be perfect and provide everything for everyone. why put Yourself under that stress when you know it is not achievable if you haven’t got the money. No point beating yourself up over it, it is ok to have a budget, it is ok not to buy everything in the Argos Catalogue. You do not have to worry as social services will not be knocking on the door because you have not brought your child enough toys for Christmas or the latest gadget.

However, it is also important to remember that Christmas should not be about the money but getting together and being nice to one other. you don’t need a million pounds to have a good time. You could go for a walk together and that would be just as wonderful be sure you are doing something together as a family. Sometimes just being with the people you love is more important. I have been at times the loneliest with no one and I need to remind self it is so much better now with having the opportunity to spend Christmas with the people I love and love me back.

You don’t always to have money to be happy.. of course, it helps with paying the bill’s and keeping a roof over your head. but for materialistic gifts, happiness is only short-lived anyway into you want the next thing. Anyone can go out and buy something but not everyone is as lucky as me to have a safe roof over their heads or having people in your life that accept you for who you are.

Who cares about all the stresses of Christmas? The only person is you, most kids really care and just hold on the memories.

Don’t spend if you can’t afford it is ok to do what is right for you and within your means.

No point getting stressed about money do what feels right for you and remember really it’s the only day. Enjoy watching telly, eating too much chocolate and being with the ones you love.

Cheers for reading X

Why I hate Elf on The Shelf!!!

Hey readers,

What I am going to write in this post may divide opinion but it is only my opinion so don’t get too distressed if you’re a fan of the old Elf on The Shelf. I am not, lol so I am going to tell you why.

If you haven’t heard of Elf of Shelf let me give you a quick explanation about this popular trend at Christmas time. It is an Elf that is sent from Santa to check up on children to see if they are being naughty or nice. It derived from America from a story that was written in 2005.

Parents go out and buy an Elf toy (if you buy the book there is one with it) and every day from the 1st of December right up to Christmas parents will bring old Elf when the kids are in bed and place him around in the home in different locations each day. Another addition to this phenomena some parents even add presents with the Elf to reward the child for being good.

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Deceitfulness.

The idea of encouraging children to behave because the Elf is watching them can potentially encourage children to be deceitful and hide their behaviour in order to get rewards.

Pain in the bum.

The thought of having to think of new and creative ways for the Elf is hard work especially in December as it tends to be one of the busiest months of the year.  There is the pressure to buy all the products that are attached to Elf on the Shelf and just encourages consumerism. Not to mention the pressure on Social Media to outdo friends or acquaintances with what the elf has been up to.

Creepy.

There is nothing more creepy then knowing an Elf is watching you all the time and is knocking about at your home. Why do we need to make children feel they are being watched I much prefer to give my boys the trust in doing the right thing. Not to mention giving them the feeling that they have the respect of their own privacy without thinking that an Elf is constantly watching them.

Anxiety.

I have seen many fails on Youtube regarding Elf on The Shelf and one of the themes that made me question the whole idea of the Elf is the sheer anxiety and distress that it causes children. Some children have a fear of toys that come alive, especially if they have seen them in movies such as Toy Story.

The Elf can cause some children to be petrified in case they have done something bad and will get punished. Where it could simply be the case that they have done a mistake and that it was not intentional. They may feel paranoid and cause more distress, it may trigger them to be anxious when they really don’t need to be,  bearing in my mind that The Elf on The Shelf lasts most of December.

Learn.

It is common knowledge that sometimes the best way to learn is through mistakes, but this stops children learning through making things right when they are simple but on the naughty list. They don’t get that opportunity to learn and grow as a person.

So, there you have it, that is why I hate Elf on The Shelf.

Cheers for reading X

My top 10 Christmas songs

Hey readers,

I have compiled a playlist of my favourite Christmas songs to get you dancing around that Christmas tree. I love a bit of everything from Jazz, to hip-hop to even 80s (of course has to be done doesn’t). So grab a mince pie and enjoy.

Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea.

My favourite Christmas song EVER is Driving home for Christmas by Chris Rea. I just think it is a really beautiful voice and that sense of love to it, makes me smile and feel all googly inside.

Let It Snow – Dean Martin.

I love jazz music when its Christmas time, it just feels classy and a bit like your got to sh*t together. It just has the right collection of notes. Dean Martin’s voice just captures Christmas for me and it makes me think of fires and all the jazz (excuse the pun there).

Winter Wonderland – Frank Sinatra.

My favourite Jazz singer has to be Frankie baby with this classic of Winter Wonderland. it is a perfect compliment when wrapping presents and decorating the Christmas tree.

Baby, it’s Cold Outside – Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews.

Let’s move along in time to the late ’90s with this amazing duet from Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews. It is checky, it is fun what more could you want.

Merry Christmas – Mel and Kim.

I can not miss out in adding an 80’s classic in my Christmas song wish list with this timeless song that you definitely hear. It is, of course, Merry Christmas by Mel and Kim. You know this a fun pop song and you be guaranteed to want to sing along to it.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year – Andy Williams.

A beaut of a song is this is one of the most popular songs of Andy Williams with it’s the most wonderful time of year. What a credible voice and perfect to add to anyone’s Christmas playlist.

Merry Christmas I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight – The Ramones.

Now I have picked something a little alternative and not such a popular Christmas track. It is a song by The Ramones called Merry Christmas I don’t want to fight tonight. I like this track because it is got a raw edge to it and a bit more realistic regards to the pressures of family life at Christmas. Let’s face there is a lot of pressure whether it is financial or whatever it can take its toll.

The Little Drummer Boy (Peace on Earth) – Bing Crosby featuring David Bowie.

A beautiful duet with David Bowie and Bing Crosby. To think a glam rocker and a crooger could work so well but it did and thank goodness it was released because it is brilliant!

Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto – James Brown.

Now we are moving on to a bit of soul with the Godfather of soul James Brown. If you ain’t tapping along with this one what is wrong with you, it is upbeat and full of funk with a mix of Christmas blended in.

Christmas in Hollies – RUN-DMC.

For a fun and one you want to turn the volume up is Run DMC with Christmas in hollies, for of awesome Christmas raps to get you in the spirit of Christmas.

Cheers for reading X

Best Christmas apps.

Hey readers,

Who doesn’t love a good app to get you distracted and something to play with that is new. Here are my top Christmas apps that get you excited for the festive period.

Christmas Countdown 2018.

If your really excited for Christmas a suitable Christmas app for you would be Christmas countdown. You get to chose from several different Christmas background themes including the likes of Santa, snowman or many other symbolic Christmas things. There is also Christmas music played on the countdown screen along with the option of falling snow. The best bit about this app is that it doesn’t include ads.

NORAD Tracks Santa.

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NORAD Tracks Santa is a great app for kids as you can watch Santa travel across the world (from New Zealand to San Francisco and many more places) on Christmas Eve which will help children get excited for Christmas.

Live Christmas Tree Lights.

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If you like to jazz up your mobile phone wallpaper with moving snow and has twinkly lights then this app is the one for you. There is many different Christmas themed wallpaper to get your phone all Christmassy.

A call from Santa Claus!

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Ever get sick of the children misbehaving? I have a short-term solution to the run-up to Christmas with the Santa Christmas call. Adults personalise the call beforehand with the name of the child and what they have done well this year and then can set the timer for the phone to call say in four minutes making it feel authentic for the child. Then the call and the child has the press the green phone symbol to answer. Once answered Santa starts talking about the child and the things he is doing. Lasts a couple of minutes but children get really delighted by this one.

Zedge.

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Zedge is a ringtone and message sounds app with a database of so many different types of ringtones and messages sounds they have covered especially with Christmas related sounds, with having festive ringtones such as Wizzard – I wish it could be Christmas every day.

Christmas Photo Frame.

 

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A fun way to jazz up your pictures is to add a bit of Christmas magic to them with this app has festive frames – you can put stickers with hats on to your pictures, or you can have festive quotes or even falling snow. This app has it covered for editing your photos to vamp up with a Christmas feel to them.

Christmas Radio.

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Are you looking for some Christmas music to play when your decorating your tree or making your mince pies then checkout Christmas radio as it is an app dedicated to Christmas radio channels? This app has a grand total of 29 channels! There is so much choice from calm Christmas tunes to classical music, this app has it covered all in one place. Another positive about this app is that you can play it in the background of your phone and still serve the net.

Do you have a favourite Christmas app that I haven’t covered that you rate highly? Love to hear your thoughts 🙂

Cheers for reading X

What to write in Christmas cards

Hey readers,

It can be hard to think of things to write on Christmas cards to friends and family. So I have a selection of texts that you can use and I have picked a mixture of different categories, enjoy!

General Message.

* Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May you be surrounded by all the things that bring Christmas cheer.

* Hoping you can feel love, joy, and peace this Christmas season.

* Keep Christmas a time of celebration and love. Don’t let Christmas become a chore. Don’t let Christmas bring strife to your home.

* Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and happy holidays.

* Have a lovely Christmas and a fantastic new year!

* Happy Christmas! Merry wishes and Santa kisses!

* “We hope Father Christmas brings you all you’ve asked for!”

* “Tis the season! Wishing you peace, joy, and love!”

* “Have a magical holiday!”

* We want to send our warm wishes to let you know we are thinking of you this Christmas.

Quotes.

* Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . .means a little bit more!’ Dr Seuss.

* One can never have enough socks. Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books. from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

* Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind. Mary Ellen Chase.One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly. Andy Rooney.

* I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month. Harlan Miller.

* Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. Norman Vincent Peale.

* I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values. Thomas S. Monson.

* Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. Calvin Coolidge.

* Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. – Peg Bracken.

Funny and offensive.

* Merry f%#@ing Christmas.

* I think Santa should hire giants instead of elves so that he can have a faster production of gifts.

* Rudolph has a red nose because he is drunk.

* I would say all I want for Christmas is YOU, But I really would love a new credit card as well!

* Christmas (noun) – The only time of year in which one can sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of socks.

* Merry kiss my ass!

* If you rustle my Brussels and pull my cracker, i’ll jingle your jangles and stuff your turkey.

* When I think about you I touch my elf.

* It’s beginning to feel like a lot like…fuck this!

* I tried to think of the perfect thing to write in your card. Then I realized that I’ll never reach perfection, so I’ll just be honest. I’ve got nothing.

Cheers for reading X