Thursday, 16 October 2014

LEGO Mixels: Series 2 – ‘Slumbo’, ‘Tentro’, and ‘Nixel’

This review is something a bit different on the blog. I was given the opportunity to review a series of LEGO sets and as I am not really qualified in this area I got some help from my cousin Ryan who is a huge LEGO fan and well suited for the role of chief tester!

Here is his first review of the LEGO Mixels Series...

Series 2 of the LEGO Mixels are here, and I am lucky enough to review two of the products!

First we have Slumbo, a member of the Frosticon clan in the Mixel Universe! Overall, this is a great, build able figure, with a lot of fascinating pieces!

'The Eyes' The eye pieces are simply Minifigure head pieces, with a blue classic space helmet put over it to acts as eyelids!

'The Teeth' This is a brilliant piece, which, when covered with another piece, looks like teeth!

'The Weapons' These lovely, sculpted weapons are parts that could easily be mistaken for Slumbo's hands. They are lovely new pieces, which I'm sure will be used in the future!

'The Blue Pieces' Here you can see all the blue, translucent pieces included with the character (From L - R): Diamond, 'Cheese Slices', and the weapons.

Also included with this figure is a 'Nixel'. The Nixels are the enemies of the Mixels, and is a great surprise to include in the set.

Finally, we have Tentro, who is a member of the Flexers clan.

'The Eyes' Every creature has to have eyes, and Tentro's come in the shape of orb pieces!

'The Neck' Tentro's head spins, and this is the piece that allows it to turn 360 Degrees!

Overall, Slumbo and Tentro are a great value for money, and are brilliant for a quick and easy build!

To find out more about The Mixels visit the LEGO website

Thank you Ryan for such a fab review! I hope you all enjoyed reading this and please keep an eye out for the next review of the LEGO Ultra Agents!

Win Tickets to The Baby Show and be Late For Reality's Representative!

I have been to The Baby Show twice now and it is such a great day out for parents. Whether you take your little ones with you or take a much needed break and embrace the wonders that are parental aids and products...come on guys you know you love them! 


Give the picture below a little click to read about what Ted and I got up to at the last Baby Show event at the NEC in Birmingham!

We are going on holiday next weekend so unfortunately won't be able to make it to The Baby Show Olympia but I am on the hunt for one special reader who will be able to be my eyes and ears on the ground in London and let me know the latest must have gadgets and funky fashion for our toddlers this Autumn! 

If you would like to win a pair of tickets to The Baby Show in London Olympia to use on either 24th, 25th or 26th October then all you have to do is comment below with why you would be the perfect candidate for this job and I will choose the most suitable to win the tickets!

The winner will be required to write a short review of their day with pictures if possible and will be credited fully for the article. The article will then be posted on the blog within a week of the event.

You have until Sunday 19th October at 8.00pm (GMT) to submit your entries. Terms and Conditions apply. 

Readers can also get 10% off tickets to The Baby Show by following this link and entering the discount code BLOG.

Terms and Conditions

        The winner will be judged from all the correct entries, and only they will be contacted personally. Prize must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred. There will be no cash alternatives. Entrants must write in the comments box why they would make a good representative for Late For Reality at The Baby Show.
        The competition will run from 16th October 2014 11.30am to 19th October 2014 08.00pm.
        The Baby Show and Late For Reality do not accept any responsibility for late or lost entries due to the Internet or email problems. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt. Entrants must supply full details as required on the competition page, and comply with all rules to be eligible for the prizes.
        No responsibility is accepted for ineligible entries or entries made fraudulently.
        Unless otherwise stated, the Competition is not open to employees of: (a) the Company; and (b) any third party appointed by the Company to organise and/or manage the Competition; and (c) the Competition sponsor(s).
        This competition is a game promoted by Late For Reality. Late For Reality's decision is final in every situation and no correspondence will be entered into. Late For Reality reserves the right to cancel the competition at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, and if circumstances arise outside of its control.
        Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to agree to be bound by them when entering this competition.
        Prizes unclaimed by 23rd October 2014 will be deemed to have been forfeited and Late For Reality reserves the right to either offer the prize to the entrant whose name is next drawn at random or to re-offer the prize in any future competition.

The winner will be required to write a short review of their day with pictures if possible and will be credited fully for the article. The article will then be posted on the blog by 1st November 2014.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

My Review of Virgin Active

As mentioned previously on the blog I was recently given the chance to try Virgin Active for 3 months. Those 3 months have whizzed by and I wanted to give you an overview of my experience.

Hands up who has kids...

Hands up who works too...

Ok now keep your hands up if you have time to even have a shower let alone maintain a healthy exercise regime...

To those of you with your hands held proudly in the air I too raise my hand...not because I manage to but in a salute to your stamina. 

#4F started as Friday Family Fitness Fun and unfortunately the linky wasn't a success. I think the main reason could be that people are quite shy about their exercise routines and struggle to share it with the world. I for one experienced this shyness when it came to going to the gym. 

My first gym session I am sorry to say was my only session. I entered the gym, had no idea where I was going, what to do on the equipment and was too shy to ask an instructor. I scurried in to the changing rooms, which were communal as with most large leisure centres (something that always makes me feel a little uncomfortable from the outset) and I quickly discovered you needed a padlock for the lockers. 

Blushing I hid my bag in a corner locker, praying nobody stole anything...not sure anyone wanted my BritMums freebie bag or Ted's child size drinks bottle though really. (Can you tell I was prepared?). I did however have my shiny new running shoes and joggers on so I looked the part even if I didn't feel it. 

I stepped out into the gym and walked to the nearest corner and onto a running machine. I didn't understand what the buttons did but again I was too nervous to ask! I walked for 5 minutes, ran for 10 and walked for 5. I then hopped off the machine, scurried back into the changing rooms and headed home where I hung my head in shame!

I am usually quite a confident person but for some reason I just couldn't find that confidence to work out in front of people and unfortunately it put me off going again. 

I did however enjoy lots of swimming sessions with Ted and he gained so much confidence in the water. We preferred the Collingtree Park club for swimming Although Riverside has a big child's pool complete with water slide etc I felt for Ted he needed the confidence boost that came with time and not too many other children running about. We were able to borrow swimming aids from the lifeguards and found which ones worked best for us. 

The pools are so clean and inviting, feeling more like spa than a local swimming bath. They have amazing relaxation area complete with jacuzzi's, sauna's and steam rooms. At Collingtree Park you have private cubicles for a warm shower complete with complimentary shower gel and shampoo. You also get changed in the immaculate changing rooms which even have GHD hairdryers, straighteners and a selection of tissues, cotton buds and cotton pads for easy make-up removal!

The restaurants at Virgin were also a big positive with a huge range of meals and snacks, each labelled clearly with nutritional content so you can see exactly what you are eating. I love their sweet potato fries and they are surprisingly low in calories. They also sell Costa Coffee which is much needed after an exhausting swim.

To summarise...I think the Virgin Active gyms really are among the best leisure centres in the country. They have top of the range facilities and their staff are friendly and highly qualified. I love the fact that they are promoting health and well being for families and encouraging children to keep active. I think the price for membership is high but if you work out regularly it is well worth it. For me the £42 a month would be wasted as I just can't get the time or motivation to get into the gym but if you visit a couple of times a week it is really great value for money.

Here are my previous fitness posts

Travelodge Nottingham Review

Joe and I were lucky enough to get a weekend break away for my birthday last week. When it came to deciding where to go we initially were going to venture to the seaside but I wanted to be a little closer to home so opted for one of my favourite city's...Nottingham!

Nottingham is a city that I have always loved. It is full of tales of Robin Hood and his Merry men and drenched in culture. I love the quirky little shops including The Tokenhouse which sells gorgeous stationery and gifts! There are lots of designer shops too including Vivienne Westwood, Gucci and most famously Paul Smith.

We were invited to stay at the Travelodge Nottingham Central which is literally in the heart of the city. Parking was £10 for 24 hours which I would normally be put off by but I think most city centre hotels have a lack of on site parking which I am told is quite normal. If we had parked in a different car park we would have got subsidised parking for £9.50 by Travelodge but were happy with the underground car park we found.

As we were unable to check in until 2pm we went for a walk into town where we browsed the shops and grabbed some lunch...good old Greggs bakery! It was just nice to spend some 'grown up' time and hold hands for a change without a buggy to lug around or reins to hold! 

We visited a few geeky shops like Games Workshop and Forbidden Planet and I pretended we could afford designer clothes as I browsed the rails in high class boutiques before scurrying off to find Paperchase!

When we got back to the hotel we were still a little early for check in so had a cuppa and a play on my camera in the restaurant. The staff were so welcoming and helped us to find any places we didn't know in the city. Dee was the receptionist when we arrived and couldn't have been more helpful (I must add this was before she knew we were reviewing the hotel).

When we finally got to our room we were pleasantly surprised at how big it was, lots of space and a big shelf unit for clothes if we were staying long enough to unpack! The bathroom was also very large with a shower over the bath, complimentary shower gel and plenty of fresh towels.

The TV had freeview built in with lots of channels and there was a selection of tea and coffee for a nice brew. We had dinner included but the menu was so reasonably priced at £12.75 for 2 courses & drink and I was chuffed they do late night snacks available from the restaurant all night!

We had a bit of a chill out then headed down to dinner. Joe ordered lasagne and I went for Piri Piri chicken. My chicken was a little dry and I didn't really expect high class food for those prices but the rest was lovely. Joe really enjoyed his and the selection of drinks at the bar was great. I even had Irn Bru which they never sell anywhere.

With it being a Saturday and me being a nerd I wanted to watch Doctor Who so we headed back to our room with some snacks we got on our shopping trip and settled down to an evening of peace and quiet and watching TV in bed. I fell asleep so early and had one of the best nights sleep I had had in a long time. 

The Dreamer Bed was so comfortable and the sheets were incredibly soft. We had a 10.5 tog duvet which was really cosy although to be honest the room was a nice temperature so didn't need it.

The next morning we woke up and headed down to breakfast. I think there were only a couple of other people there, I had the feeling most of the guests would be in bed still recovering from nights out on the town! 

Despite the amazing review so far breakfast got a bit of a thumbs down for me. The continental option was mainly cereals with the option of a pot of Muller yoghurt and either grapefruit or orange segments. Really not a wide choice. The hot breakfast was sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs, beans and grilled tomato. Don't get me wrong that is fine if they are all cooked well but the bacon was just cooked, the beans were watery and tasteless and the tomatoes didn't even taste like tomato. 

I would have liked the option of fried eggs and if everything had been cooked better I would have been more than happy to tuck into that, I am far from a food snob but it just wasn't very appetising and I ended up settling with scrambled egg and toast.

The staff on the other hand were again very friendly and the manager even came and introduced himself. I was a little taken aback as I would have preferred to be treated like any other guest but I think he meant well. 

Overall I would say we had a great stay and for £45 a night you really can't complain about Travelodge's value for money!

Here is a little more information from the Travelodge team about what value for money you can expect.

Travelodge has recently embarked on a clear strategy to become Britain’s favourite hotel for value.  In addition to its investment in extensive hotel refurbishment, in January 2014, the chain announced it will install its new Travelodge Dreamer bed in all its UK hotels by September 2014.
The hotel chain has also slashed prices for wifi to an initial free period of 30 minutes and £3 for up to 24hrs. It’s also providing in-room complementary toiletries.       
During February and March 2014 almost 9000 team-members received new customer service training and this year the company will extend its network of hotels further this year, with 15 new hotels expected to open in city centre and key holiday locations.  
“Our new advertising campaign is the latest milestone on our journey to build a new Travelodge and become Britain’s favourite hotel for value.  We’ve expanded from our traditional roadside locations and now have more than 500 hotels. We’ve been investing a million pounds a week in modernising our hotels and we’re installing more than 37,000 new Travelodge Dreamer beds.  Our customers are telling us they love our new look, so now is the right time for us to be back on television, inspiring people to get up and go.”
“Our campaign inspires you to get up and go and explore all that Britain has to offer.  Whether you are going to take the kids, leave the kids, or make more kids, there are now over 500 Travelodge hotels to base yourself in and thousands of new beds to get up and go from.”

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Being Undead is an Awfully Big Adventure!

That spooktacular time of year is on it's way and this year I thought it would be fun to dress up the blog a little! The Halloween themed header is something a little different but I wanted to get into the 'spirit' of things and show you my silly side! 

Late for Reality

How are your Halloween preparations going? 

Come back over the month for fancy dress idea's, crafts and special features!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Huzzah! Our second Mike The Knight event!

A couple of weekends ago we had the opportunity to visit Warwick Castle for another very special Mike The Knight event. As we attended last year when Ted was quite little we were very excited to visit again now he is old enough to really enjoy it. 

Mike and his friends visited the castle all through September for a series of magical days which included a host of activities for the children and the chance to have a photo taken with Mike and the Dragons!

We were also lucky enough to preview the new Mike The Knight movie - Journey To Dragon Mountain and Ted amazingly sat through the how hour long film for the very first time! 

The movie was fab! We don't really watch Mike The Knight at home as Ted is an obsessive Nick Jr fan but both Ted and I really enjoyed the movie and the storyline was very sweet.

I won't ruin it for you with spoilers but you must get jam tarts at the ready! The movie is available in stores now and retails at £12.99


After the screening we were able to explore the castle and its grounds, we love Warwick Castle and ventured into the historic town where we discovered a wonderful old tea room called The Bretherins Kitchen which is set in the Lord Leycester Hosptial and Gardens. a 14th century tea room for afternoon tea was just perfect...even if Ted did nearly break a china teacup! 

It was a very special day with my boy and his Nana and we will definitely be heading back...fingers crossed Mike The Knight returns again next year!

Monday, 6 October 2014

A Letter to my Readers...

My Dearest Blog Jockeys...

I just wanted to let you know I am still here. We have been having 'issues' of a toddler variety of late. Sleepless nights, fighting bedtimes, traumatic bath times and most upsettingly is separation anxiety at an all time high. This has resulted in exhausted Mummy and Daddy who have zero energy left to function as normal human beings. Mummy in particular has lost every ounce of imagination and is experiencing writers block. 

I feel very sad that something I love has ended up filling me with a sense of 'do I have to' that I have never felt before. However, my writing is taking a back seat at the moment to leave room for the important things like eating, sleeping and entertaining an oversensitive little boy. 

Mummy duty has taken priority and rightfully so as it is the most important job in the world but it means the blog has been quiet and this is why. Sorry lovely readers, I promise to be back soon but for now why not have a little explore of some archived posts and learn more about our little family!

Send me motivational thoughts people! 

Lots of Love