Reading has always been something I have loved to do. bESS TOO!

Ever since I was a small child I have enjoyed the escape offered by a good read.

Bess has thankfully inherited this love and is rarely seen without her nose stuck in a book. Her most favourite author is and has been for some time. Jacqueline Wilson. She has read everything Dame Wilson has written but has a special fondness for a character called Hetty Feather.

You can imagine how excited we were to receive an invitation to travel to the Foundling Museum and have the opportunity to meet Bess’s aforementioned idol!

Getting There

As we don’t often get to spend one-to-one time together I decided we should make a day of it. My brother kindly did his Uncle duty and agreed to look after Moose overnight so that Bess and I could catch an early train.

We hopped on the 7am train to Kings Cross and we were off! It was nice and quiet for most of the journey so we spent time chatting about how excited she was to meet Dame Wilson.

The Foundling Museum

The Museum is found on Brunswick square – the nearest tube station being Russell Square. It is set inside the Foundling hospital which was established in 1739 to offer care to babies at risk of abandonment. The founder, Thomas Coram was helped in his endeavour by the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel. Over the years many artists have become fellows which allows them to use their talent to create a project to inspire and involve young people and contribute to the work of the museum.

In 2008 Jacqueline Wilson became part of this fellowship and she created the character of Hetty Feather.

Picturing Hetty Feather

The exhibition is situated in the basement of the museum. At first glance it isn’t that big but to a Hetty fan I can assure you that it is a trove of delights! As well as costumes and props from the television series you will find other items such as a meal planner for the hospital and a set of rules for Matron.

watching Hetty Feather

I call this look; “sweaty, frizzy tube hair”

As well as things to see, the children could also dress up in some of the costumes from the series. Sadly I couldn’t persuade Bess to do so this time.

It was really interesting to explore the museum and try to imagine the lives of the foundlings and as a Mother I found some of it quite emotional. To have reached the point where signing your child over seemed like the best choice for them must have been so desperately sad.

Meeting Jacqueline Wilson

So, as we walked through the exhibition I saw a small set woman with white hair sitting quietly next to a desk and it took me a minute for my brain to catch up and realise that it was Dame Wilson.

Bess took her place in line (and grumbled a bit about deciding to leave her copy of Hetty feather at home) and soon it was her turn. To say Bess was starstruck was a bit of an understatement. She very politely asked Dame Wilson if she could please take a photo with her and told her that she was a massive fan. Dame Wilson was really lovely and thanked her for her kind words.

After that Bess didn’t stop grinning. We stood and listened to Jacqueline Wilson speak about Hetty Feather and her new book ‘Hetty Feather at Christmas’ as well as a book she is working on about a character called Rose Rivers which will be one to watch out for next year!

Admission

£8.25* Adults
£5.50* Concessions
FREE for children, Foundling Friends & National Art Pass holders

An additional £3 applies for Picturing Hetty Feather (FREE for children & Foundling Friends)

*Ticket prices include a voluntary Gift Aid donation

Open

Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 – 17:00
Sunday, 11:00 – 17:00
Monday closed

Joanne Whelan (Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones) is one of the impressive cast from the CBBC series

She just cannot walk past one without having a go (we didn’t get chucked out this time)

We really enjoyed our experience at The Foundling Museum and I would visit again. There are plenty of activities for families over the summer and into September. You can find more information here

 Bess hasn’t stopped talking about meeting Dame Wilson and I hope it’s something she will remember for a long time.

Love 

Mummy & Moose

I am in my mid thirties. 35 to be exact and I am beginning to concede that certain things in my life need a bit more consideration. Things which previously I hadn’t really seen as much more than a bit of a fuss. Things like a skincare regime. I have had a facial or 2 on the odd sneaky spa day but every day?

I would love to tell you that I cleanse, tone and moisturise

Sadly, I am not a liar so I can’t make that claim. If I am baring all then you should probably know that a quick face wash with some Aldi cleanser is about as good as it gets – most of the time I use baby wipes. Baby wipes have been a loyal and most useful friend.

Moving on

Receiving an invitation to review the SENSSE ULTRASONIC FACIAL BAR whilst pondering my now impending wrinkles seemed rather serendipitous so of course I agreed.

What’s in the box?

I was pleasantly surprised when my Facial Bar arrived. It comes elegantly packaged in a high quality white cardboard box. The SENSSE ULTRASONIC FACIAL BAR itself is something to behold. You would be forgiven for thinking it might be a microphone (as my 2 year old, Moose, did and does) or something a little more… adult. What it is however, is a white wand measuring 6.5″ tall with rose gold detailing  and a power button and 3 LED’s.

What does it do?

Well apparently quite a lot! The SENSSE ULTRASONIC FACIAL BAR claims to;

  • ENERGISE AND BRIGHTEN YOUR SKIN – Hot and cool face massager gives your skin an instant refresh that relieves skin fatigue and energises your facial muscles for a lasting, radiant glow.
  • SOFTEN AND RELAX FACIAL MUSCLES – The 42°C temperature in hot mode is optimal for increasing blood circulation, relaxing your facial muscles, smoothing wrinkles, and activating cell regrowth.
  • REDUCE REDNESS AND SWELLING – Uses optimal 6°C temperature to soothe sore facial muscles, and relieve skin fatigue; Also reduces redness and puffiness to make your skin look bright and beautiful.
  • INCREASE MOISTURISER ABSORPTION – Ultrasonic vibrations increase absorption of your moisturiser while cool mode closes pores, locking in your skin care product and preventing dirt and grime buildup.   

It looks complicated. How does it work?

It is really not as complicated as it looks at all. Firstly, remove your make up and then press the power button once to activate the “hot mode” and glide the wand all over your face to open your pores.

Next you should grab some moisturiser and either put it on the wand or dot it onto your face and then press the power button twice to switch to “hot mode with vibration”. The ultrasonic vibration is supposed to aid the absorption of your moisturiser.

Lastly, press the power button again to activate “cool mode” and close your pores. Yes you could just put moisturiser onto your hands and rub it into your face but this makes your skin feel so good that you won’t want to go back to your primitive moisturising ways ever again (probably).

Did it work?

In a word. Yes. It worked in that it made me take 5 minutes out of my day to concentrate on myself (which any busy parent knows is something in itself) 

It’s too soon to say whether it has made a big difference to my skin but it certainly feels better and I will continue to use it so watch this space! 

Want to win one?

SENSSE are giving you the chance to win a SENSSE Hot and Cool Ultrasonic Facial Bar (RRP £100)

 For your chance to enter visit the link below. Please note that I am not the owner of this giveaway. Any problems or questions regarding the giveaway please contact them direct.

Good luck!

Win A SENSSE Hot and Cool Ultrasonic Facial Bar #4 

 

Disclaimer: I was sent this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine!

Buzzoole

Travel has long been something which captures my interest and imagination.

We probably won’t have a ‘proper’ family holiday this year – but that doesn’t stop me thinking about and planning for the future! Sometimes far into the future, when the children have flown the nest and MrG and I are planning escapes on our own.

La Dimora Degli Angeli is a B&B situated in the heart of Florence which instantly catches the eye. Rooms here are all located on the fourth floor and lend themselves to a great view of the Duomo. The name of this boutique style accommodation is aptly translated into English as The Mansion Of Angels.

DOUBLE ROOM

The Decor

As you can see the stunning decor gives a definite boutique feel to the La Dimora Degli Angeli but all of the air conditioned double rooms come with an en suite bathroom and free wifi as standard making them as comfortable as they are stylish.

Owner Claudio has another equally stylish B&B, La Dimora del Centro, just around the corner overlooking Piazza della Repubblica

ROOM

Italy is such a beautiful country and Florence is no exception. With several outdoor pools to enjoy and history abound there are plenty of things to do. I love exploring old buildings so I think the duomo (Italian term for a cathedral) would definitely be on my must see list but for MrG it would be all about the food! Luckily Florence would not disappoint I am sure, I could imagine us dining al fresco or visiting one of the many gelato bars. 

We wouldn’t have far to go either because La Dimora Degli Angeli really is right in the heart of the action. Breakfast is not served at La Dimora Degli Angeli but rather you will be given vouchers to take to a choice of 2 local cafes. I quite like this idea – I would imagine it’s a great way for independent hoteliers and restaurateurs to support one and other while simultaneously introducing tourists to somewhere they may otherwise have missed!

 

La Dimora Degli Angeli does however have a tea room which is open to guests 24/7 giving access to coffee, tea and biscotti galore.

LAMP

I love the idea of stealing away to the heart of Italy’s Tuscany region but there is no way I would entertain the idea until the children have left home – this one would definitely be adults only! 

love 

Mummy & Moose

 

Collaborative post with La Dimora Degli Angeli

 

 

Recently my eldest two children Col & Bess were invited to get behind the wheel for an hour long driving lesson.

Yes, driving. In a real car. I was a little apprehensive – they are after all still babies really (sorry kiddos!) and both under the legal driving age in the Uk.

Still, one look at their pleading faces as well as a glance at the informative Admiral Young Driver website and I found myself agreeing to take them along.

Why Put A Child Behind A Steering Wheel Anyway?

Admiral Young Driver offers lessons to children aged 10 to 16 with experienced and specially trained instructors. According to Admiral Young Driver research shows that early driving experience cuts road accidents by 40%. That is a massive amount and anything which has that kind of effect on the safety of our young adults has to be a good thing!

Just So You Know

 

At the time of our experience Admiral Young Driver only used ŠKODA cars but have now moved over to Vauxhall. Young drivers will now be able to practice their driving skills in one of their brand new Vauxhall Corsas – all fitted with dual controls. All of their highly experienced instructors are DBS checked in keeping with the companies child protection policy.

 

The Young Driver Lesson

Admiral Young Driver has several centres in locations all over the Uk. Our nearest was in Milton Keynes.

Pupils are given a “Drive Diary” booklet on arrival at their first Admiral Young Driver lesson which serves as a record of what they’ve covered in each lesson and the progress they make. This was a lovely thing to take away to prompt and encourage our youngsters to talk about what they had learnt during their time behind the wheel.

After getting a warm greeting from their respective instructors, Bess and Col took a nervous walk over to a fleet of Skoda Citigo cars. Their nerves appeared to melt away, the instructors were great with both of my budding Stigs and you could tell.

Upon entry to their vehicles there was a quick run through of safety procedures and how to start and of course stop the car and other useful information such as when to use clutch and handbrake. Bess who is 11 steered the car at first while her instructor controlled the pedals until she built the confidence to take the reins – this was a matter of minutes. I was pleasantly surprised by how many manoeuvres were covered in the space of a single 1 hour lesson.

Waiting to spot a Bess or a Colin

During the one hour lesson we were able to stick around and watch from the semi-comfort of a grassy hill. Moose was most impressed at the opportunity to let of some steam as you can see

 

After the lesson we were met with 2 very happy kids. Both Bess and Col thoroughly enjoyed their driving experience. Not only does it make sense on paper to give them a chance to get as much experience as possible under their belts, it was above all fun!

Col has changed his mind about driving altogether going from someone who didn’t really intend to rush into getting his licence until much later to someone who is absolutely adamant that he needs to start lessons as soon as possible!

I have had both of my darling offspring begging me to take them back for another go and to be honest, I think we may well do it!

We received this experience in exchange for a review. All opinions are as ever our own.

Gousto is a subscription recipe box service with home delivery

Easy, tasty ingredients to make nutritious meals straight to your door. No brainer. So when they contacted me to ask if I would like to try a recipe box for myself and the family I didn’t need much persuading. 

Gousto offers 6 different subscriptions.

  • 2 recipes for 2 people – £27.49 per week
  • 2 recipes for 4 people – £41.99 per week
  • 3 recipes for 2 people – £34.99 per week
  • 3 recipes for 4 people – £51.99 per week
  • 4 recipes for 2 people – £41.99 per week
  • 4 recipes for 4 people – £59.99 per week

The great thing about the subscription is that although the default is set to a weekly delivery you can cancel, skip or pause deliveries at any time. 

Once you have chosen your delivery schedule you can pick from large number of meals. The menu changes weekly and contains a huge range of meat, fish or vegetarian based meals to suit most palettes. 

gousto box

I love cooking. That’s why I sat this one out

Mr G and I decided that given the option we would rather try 2 meals for 2 people than 1 meal for 4 people. I do all of the cooking in our house and have done for most of the 15 years we have cohabited. 

There was 1 occasion where Mr G removed a frozen chicken pie from its metallic case and attempted to grill it but the less said about that the better. Probably. 

With this in mind we agreed that to really see if Gousto recipes are easy, Mr G should be the one to have a go at cooking them. What was the worst that could happen?

I was impressed with how the Gousto box arrived. The packaging was extraordinary –  the chicken for example was packed with ice and wrapped with plastic covered sheeps wool. 

Gousto Lemon & Pepper Chicken With Rosemary Potatoes 

This was the first meal I chose. I have to be honest and say that my expectations were not high. I had been concerned that the portion sizes might not be very generous but as you can see from the photos I had nothing to worry about! 

chicken dinner

Curried Chicken & Sultana Rice 

This one was something MrG would never have chosen to cook in a million years. Completely out of his comfort zone (lets face it, that zone pretty much resides in the cereal cupboard) but he did seriously well. Once again, the portion sizes were spot on and the meal was absolutely delicious although Mr G did comment that the method could have been made a bit clearer to follow. 

chicken and rice

Would We Choose Gousto Again?

Without a doubt. Ok so perhaps for us it wouldn’t be a viable option for everyday meal planning but as a replacement for a takeaway when we want a special meal I could imagine this being something we would look at. At roughly £7.50 per portion it is something we could have fun cooking together and would be cheaper than eating out. 

Besides, now I know Mr G has these hidden culinary capabilities I would be a fool not to! 

Love 

Mummy & Moose.

 

Disclosure: We were invited to try these meals in return for writing a review. As always, all opinions are our own.

Mummy in a Tutu