You know you have had a good day out when you are driving home listening to your tired children chatting excitedly about their day with big smiles on their faces and that is exactly how it was on our way back from Chessington World of Adventures.
We do love our theme park days and this was our second visit to Chessington; the first being last summer and the one thing I love about Chessington is that there really is something for everyone. When you have children of different ages, this is an important factor in your choice of day out. In our family, we have 10 year old R who is the daredevil teen in training who will go on any ride; the scarier and faster the better. L is 8 and is starting to go on faster rides but nothing too fast or scary. A is 4 and she loves the smaller, slower rides. Chessington definitely ticks all of those boxes.
So what is there for people who like the faster thrill rides?
There are lots of rides in this category and I asked R what his top five rides were. Firstly is Rameses Revenge which I went on with him last year and he couldn’t wait to go back on it (without me this time). This ride is not for the faint-hearted but if being turned upside down, spun around and then shot at whilst upside down by huge jets of water, this is the one for you. Next is the Cobra, where you are spun quickly on a circular platform backwards and forwards on a 90 metre track. R managed to convince L to go on with him this time and L described it as ‘awesome’. Third in his top five is Dragon’s Fury which is a colossal looking roller-coaster where you whizz around the twists and turns in a small car. Next up is Tomb Blaster; a ride through Ancient Egypt armed with a laser gun to shoot at scarab beetles and mummies. Finally, he loved the Scorpion Express which is Chessington’s new ride for this year. On this ride, you take the train and race around the track avoiding the scorpion with fire and water effect to make the ride exciting.
For the less adventurous rider, there are still lots of great rides. L did brave the Cobra and the Scorpion Express and loved them both. They both featured high on his top five too. His favourite ride is the Monkey Swinger which is swinging chairs but better. There is a height restriction on this ride and you can see why as the chairs go very high and you are also squirted with water from below. L loves this ride.
Keeping his feet firmly on the ground, L also likes the Temple of Mayhem which is a two storey playhouse where you can run around an explore and shoot soft balls at other unsuspecting people. Finally in L’s top five is the Zufari which we all enjoyed as a family. The Zufari takes you on a real off-road truck through the wilds of Africa where you can enjoy close up views of some fantastic animals and birds. Watch out for the cave though.
A also thoroughly enjoyed her day at Chessington and there was lots to keep her happy. It was busy and it seemed as though most people were there for the bigger rides and so the queues for the smaller rides weren’t so long. A’s number one ride was Sea Storm which she remembered from last year. Sea Storm is a speedy roundabout aboard a Pirate Galleon that twists and turns over the stormy sea. A great fun ride that L also enjoyed.
Next on A’s top five are the Flying Jumbos which we went on a few times. A enjoyed ‘flying’ her elephant which fortunately only meant pressing a button to make the elephant go higher and lower and we also enjoyed the view from the top. Third choice would be the classic Carousel which is a traditional ride and A always loves them. Her final choice of ride was the Jungle Bus which is a bus ride with a difference as you go up and down with great views and a funny feeling in your tummy. Her last choice is not a ride but the show. There is a large stage and seating area in the middle of the park and there are regular Madagascar Live shows which are hugely popular and great fun to watch.
There is so much to do at Chessington that we only covered a small part of it and there were some rides that we didn’t have time to go on. There is also a zoo and Sea Life center which are excellent as we visited them last year but this time we ran out of time. We made good use of our time and were there until the absolute last minute. It is a fantastic day out for the whole family with so much to see and do for everyone, I would thoroughly recommend a visit and here are my top tips to making the best of your day.
- Arrive early. The park opens at 10 and traffic coming into the park and the queues for tickets can build up. It is probably a good idea to pre-book tickets online before you go.
- Fast Track Tickets – Chessington offers a good system where you can buy individual tickets for rides or groups of tickets ranging from two or three rides to the whole park A lot of people use the Fast Track system and some rides get sold out early so if you are thinking about using the Fast Track, buy your tickets when you arrive. It is worth getting the Fast Track tickets on busy days although you may still have to queue for a short time.
- There are some great places to eat and look out for ‘children eat free’ deals that are available in some restaurants if you eat later in the day. We ate at the Pizza Pasta Express which appealed to everyone, had great food and was good value. There are also lots of good places to picnic so bringing your own food is definitely an option too. I can also recommend getting an ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s where you can have any of their huge range of delicious flavours in a good value cone or tub.
- Finally take a change of clothes for the children as they will probably get very wet!!!
We were lucky enough to be sent to Chessington courtesy of The Sun who this week are offering their readers the get your hands on two tickets for Chessington World of Adventures . In order to qualify for your free tickets, you have to sign up to The Sun+ (The Sun’s digital entertainment bundle) for two months (initial payment of £1 followed by a second payment of £8.67 for the second month).
The Sun are also after your #Sunfessions; in other words those little white lies and stories that you have told to get your children to do something or something that you have accidentally done to one of your children’s toys. You all have some funny #Sunfessions to make I have no doubt.
To support the #Sunfession campaign, I also have ￡250 to give away to you lovely blog readers to spend at Chessington. All you need to do is log in to Twitter or Instagram account and retell a hilarious awful thing you have done to your kids. Don’t forget to include #Sunfession AND #StressyMummy. Hit tweet or post, and then visit the Sun site to see your #Sunfession appear: http://bit.ly/1dwABCw Once you have posted come back and leave a comment below telling me if you published your #Sunfession on Twitter or Instagram and your username.
My #Sunfession is that my children believe that if they tell lies, their noses grow. I’m not sure they believe me anymore but it worked for many years.
I will be picking my favourite after midnight of Thursday 24th April, so you have one week to make your #Sunfession.
Terms and Conditions
To enter the competition to win £250 to spend at Chessington World of Adventures, you must make your #Sunfession via Twitter or Instagram.
Any entries that don’t include #Sunfession AND #StressyMummy won’t be included.
You must also leave a comment on this post telling me if you made your #Sunfession on Twitter or Instagram and your username.
The judges decision is final.
Only open to UK residents.
We were given free tickets to Chessington World of Adventures plus spending money. All images and opinions are our own.
We have recently fallen in love with Hama Beads. We have had them in the house before, but A had the princess mobile kit for Christmas and amazed me by wanting to spend a whole day making it. It is her pride and joy and is hanging above her bed.
I love the idea of the mobiles as it gives you somewhere safe to put your creations when you have finished which for younger children is ideal. L was quite fascinated by the mobile and how it had been made so when I was offered the chance to review some Hama Beads, I chose a mobile set that I thought he would like. There were two reasons why I wanted to try Hama Beads with L; firstly because I knew that he would enjoy it as he is quite creative but the main reason is that Hama Beads are a good way to improve fine motor skills and concentration in children; both of which we need to work on with L.
The Space Mobile set is fantastic. It contains 2500 beads and two peg boards with the instructions to create rockets, spaceships, planets stars and even a rather sweet looking alien along with the instructions and the kit to make the mobile when you have finished. L is 8 and I was really pleased to see him get stuck into the mobile straight away. He is also a bit of a perfectionist however and so many planets have been created and then tipped back into the box.
As the last couple of weeks of term have been really busy, L hasn’t got very far with the mobile as yet but is keen to carry on with it during the holidays and he wants to finish it before he moves into a bedroom of his own in a few weeks so that he can hang it up above his bed. We do have an alien and planet Earth so far. I think that the Space Mobile kit will look brilliant when it is finished and it defeinitely makes Hama Beads more appealing to boys.
A wasn’t left out and she had the Hama Beads Window Decorations. As soon as she saw the box, she couldn’t wait to get started. This set has 4000 Beads and comes with three different peg boards, instructions and white tack to enable you to stick your finished creations to the window. What I also liked about this particular set is that it comes with a large plastic tray that is great for putting the beads in while you work.
Sticking your creations on the window once you have finished is such a lovely idea and a really great way to display your hard work. A has completed half of the models and they are proudly displayed on the living room window.
Both of the sets have been really well received and both L and A will enjoy continuing with them over the next couple of weeks. I secretly quite like ‘helping’ too as Hama Beads are really therapeutic for adults too.
We were sent both sets for the purpose of this review. All images and opinions are my own.
When you have someone in the house with an allergy to house dust mites, a steam cleaner is a really useful tool. Whilst it doesn’t get rid of them altogether, it does help if you use it in the areas where the sufferer spends the most time. L has an allergy to house dust mites and particularly in his bedroom, it is a constant job to thoroughly clean all of his bedding, bed, curtains and carpets to try and ease his symptoms.
So when I was offered a Morphy Richards 9-in-1 Upright and Handheld Steam Cleaner to review, it looked like its many functions would be a great help both in my battle with the dust mites and also generally for cleaning around the house too. It can be used as an upright steam cleaner and also as a handheld too and it comes with a variety of attachments allowing you to;
- mop hard floors
- steam carpets, upholstery, bedding, curtains, mattresses
- clean tiles, grout, mirrors, windows, bathroom surfaces, wheel trims, worktops, glass surfaces, oven and hob
- help to de-ice the freezer
- steam clothing
Setting up and general use
The instructions are really straightforward and it doesn’t take long to read through them. Setting the steam cleaner up is really easy and it is simple to change from upright to handheld and to add and remove the different attachments. Within ten minutes of getting the 9-in-1 out of the box, I was cleaning with it. The water is contained in a 400ml detachable tank which is easy to detach and refill and you can see how much water is in the tank and you don’t have to wait for the cleaner to cool down before adding more water. This amount of water lasts for around 20 minutes of steam cleaning. It also has variable steam which is useful as it allows you to control the amount of steam depending on where you are using it. A new feature of this model is that it has an anti-scale cartridge which prevents limescale build up and should help prolong the life of the steam cleaner. This cartridge needs replacing every three months.
Once you have set the 9-in-1 up and filled the water tank, you are ready to go and it only takes 30 seconds to heat up and you can start using it which is a huge improvement on steam cleaners that I have had in the past. This is really handy when you are moving through the house too as you have to unplug to change rooms and it then heats up again as soon as it is turned back on.
I found the 9-in-1 easy to use in both the upright and handheld positions. The cable is a good length and can be wrapped around storage hooks on the handle to keep it safely tucked away when not in use. One feature that I did like was that it comes with a cooling rest tray to stand it on to catch any escaping moisture but this also acts as a stand and makes it easy to store. It also comes with a drawstring bag to hold all of the attachments.
Using the 9-in-1 Steam Cleaner
As my house is in desperate need of some love, I made it my mission to put the 9-in-1 Steam Cleaner through its paces and use as many of the functions as possible.
Cleaning grout in the shower
This was my first job and I was seriously impressed. Using the long brush attachment, I blasted the grout in my shower which was looking very sorry for itself. It is one of those jobs that I have been meaning to do for a while but the 9-in-1 made light work of it. It took about fifteen minutes to do the whole shower and I used the maximum amount of steam and as you can see from the photos, it made a huge difference and I could see the dirt running down the tiles. The tiles and shower tray needed a good wipe afterwards, but once I had done that, it looked much better. You can see the difference in the photos, the grout is still discoloured but looks a lot better than it did.
Cleaning Tiles, Glass Surfaces and Sinks
The tiles in the shower are cleaned regularly but I thought I would give the 9-in-1 a try to see how it worked. For these jobs you need the squeegee attachment or the flat cleaning head with the cloth attached. I opted for the squeegee and you simply press the edge from top to bottom with a small amount of steam and wipe the squeegee at the bottom. It didn’t take too long to do and although the tiles weren’t sparkling, they did look better. The glass door and cubicle wall are very streaky from limescale and again the 9-in-1 did a reasonable job of cleaning them.
I also tried the 9-in-1 on the tiles behind my hob as they tend to get very greasy and it is a real job to get them clean. The 9-in-1 did a good job on these and after a quick wipe with a cloth, a lot of the grease had been removed.
Window cleaning with the squeegee is not the easiest to manoeuver but it did a good job of the insides of the windows; you have to wipe the excess moisture up and in the end I wiped the whole window but they were much cleaner afterwards.
You can use the 9-in-1 to clean sinks, showers and even toilets, so I tried it out on of our sinks. I used the angled nozzle attachment to steam the taps and all around them and I could see a lot of the dirt coming away. What I like about this attachment is that it makes light work of those crevices that are hard to get to. I then wiped the sink and taps over with a cloth and the whole area looked a lot cleaner.
I haven’t had the chance to try the 9-in-1 with the oven, but as my hob was looking particularly dirty after a busy week, I thought I would see how much of a difference the steam cleaner would make. Once again, I was really impressed with the difference. Just two minutes of blasting the hob with steam and using the small circular brush attachment easily lifted the grease and burnt on stains that were on there. I then wiped around with a piece of kitchen towel and you can see from the photos how much cleaner it looks.
While I was there, I decided to do the same with the outside of the cooker hood which always seems to have a greasy, dusty residue on it when it hasn’t been cleaned for a few weeks. This was no match for the 9-in-1 which blasted through the grime and literally left the hood sparkling after I had given it a quick wipe over. I literally spent five minutes on this as I am trying to test all of the functions quickly but even in that very short time, I was impressed with the results.
Upholstery and Bedding Cleaning
I was keen to get steaming in L’s bedroom due to his allergies and I pretty much steamed everything; curtains, carpets, bedding, headboard and mattress. I kept the steamer on a fairly low setting and it steamed everything quickly and it dried quickly which is great as you don’t want everything to be left soaking wet when you have finished. As a handheld, I found it really was really easy to go around everything.
I also gave our sofa bed a good clean too as it is has a black cover that shows everything. It had a few stains and looked rather sorry for itself. I whizzed the 9-in-1 over it using the flat cleaning head and it definitely looked better afterwards and most of the stains had gone.
Back into the upright position for cleaning floors. I hoovered first to remove any excess dirt and I tried the 9-in-1 on my hall carpet as this is the one that has the most wear and tear from the constant trampling of muddy shoes. I then turned the 9-in-1 up to maximum and went over the carpet several times. It has a glider attachment which is like a frame that you sit the head into and it allows the cleaner to literally glide over the carpet. This is a great feature and I did try it with just the floor cloth and it was much harder to push around. If I am completely honest, it didn’t make a huge difference. It did clean the mud patches a little bit and the carpet looked fresher and smelt better but looking at the microfibre cloth, it obviously did remove some dirt.
I also tried the 9-in-1 on my living room carpet and again, the carpet did look and smell fresher after a steam. I tried using the circular brush attachment on a couple of stains and again it did make them fade a little but didn’t get rid of them all together. I will say though that my carpets are 11 years old and in desperate need of replacement, the 9-in-1 isn’t designed to be a heavy duty carpet cleaner but it certainly freshens carpets up.
Hard Floor Cleaning
Finally, I used the 9-in-1 to clean my kitchen floor which is lino and is always very dirty thanks to muddy shoes coming in from the back door into the garden. I swept the floor thoroughly and turned the steam setting to minimum as recommended and went over the whole floor. I found this function the hardest as it took a lot of effort to get the dirt up but it did a good job and I was left with a clean floor that wasn’t soaking wet.
Would I recommend the 9-in-1?
Definitely. I have used a few steam cleaners over the years and this one impressed me. I only spent a short amount of time testing the 9-in-1 as I am trying to test all of the functions quickly but even in that very short time, I was impressed with the results. I love the fact that it is easy to use and assemble, heats up quickly, has variable steam and also easy to store. As a general help for cleaning around the home, I found it useful and I know that I will use it a lot and the fact that I can use it to deep clean those hard to reach places such as grouting and around the bases of taps is a real bonus. When it comes to carpet cleaning and this is not a steam cleaner that will remove heavy dirt from carpets but that is not to say that it doesn’t improve them. The Morphy Richards 9-in-1 Steam Cleaner gets a big thumbs up from me and I would definitely recommend it as anything that makes cleaning easier is a wonderful thing.
The RRP for the Morphy Richards 9-in-1 Upright and Handheld Steam Cleaner is £99.99.
The lovely people at Morphy Richards are giving me a 9-in-1 to give away to one lucky reader and this will be a huge help to your spring cleaning. Fill in the Raffle copter below.
We were sent the 9-in-1 for the purpose of this review. All opinions and images are our own.
I may have mentioned once or twice how much I love Yellow Moon and how excited I get about being one of their bloggers. When the boxes arrive it is always the cause of great excitement and I can honestly say that we have never received anything that we haven’t enjoyed using. Our latest box had an Easter theme and A was very quick to notice that there were some Easter Charm Bracelet Kits (my daughter seems to have an inbuilt jewellery alarm) and they were straight out of the box and into production. These kits are really cute. They contain three individually packaged bracelet kits, each containing 6 metal Easter charms, coloured plastic beads, silver plastic beads, elastic and instructions. A is a little young and needed some help getting started but once she was away, she spent ages happily threading the beads onto the elastic and was absolutely thrilled with the end product. These kits are a lovely idea, the charms are really pretty and A has worn her favourite bracelet every day since.
Clearly Yellow Moon know my daughter very well as they also sent us some Easter Holographic Stickers which were next on the list. Yellow Moon have a huge range of stickers and as A isn’t the biggest fan of drawing and painting, I have bought stickers for her before and she loves using them to make cards and pictures. The Easter Holographic stickers are perfect for A with cute shiny pictures and using the Pastel Greeting Card Blanks that we were also sent, she set to work making some Easter cards for her grannies.
One of the things that I love about Yellow Moon are their craft pens which I have bought many times over the years. They do a wide range of craft pens; Glass painting, fabric, Candle pens, Porcelain pens and Decor pens that can be used on different surfaces. I love them as you can use them for different projects and Yellow Moon have so many things that you can decorate. I know from experience that these make great gift ideas and we have produced many coasters, photo frames, candles and candle holders over the years that have been a huge hit with the grandparents.
We were sent the Giotto Metallic Decor Pens that can be used on any surface and these pens are so easy to use with a lovely combination of metalic colours. We tried them out with the Cross Ceramic Tealight Holders and the pens are so easy to use and dry really quickly too, you can do as much or as little decoration as you want. We also tried the Giotto pens out on some pebbles that we had collected from the beach last year and they looked really effective.
The Egg Candle Kit is great fun and if you look at the pictures on the Yellow Moon website, you can make some amazing designs on your candles using the special liquid wax pens. A happily splodged colours on her candle and then rolled it around whereas L went for a wavy effect with random dots. The lovely thing about this kit is that anything goes and you can design your candles whichever way you want.
Thank you to Yellow Moon for our lovely box of goodies, as always we have had great fun trying out all of the products.
We were sent these products for the purpose of the review. All opinions and images are our own.