Life With Pink Princesses https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk A personal blog from the heart of a young Mum Fri, 18 Oct 2019 16:04:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 98180168 Super Cute Shimmer Stars Pets https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/shimmer-stars-pets-toy-review/ https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/shimmer-stars-pets-toy-review/#respond Fri, 18 Oct 2019 09:00:00 +0000 https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/?p=35793 It has definitely been a while since I’ve written a specific toy review, this feels rather odd but very exciting. This blog has been a lot about our travel adventures over the past year so what better way to mix things up than with a toy review ahead of Christmas. Oh no I dared to …

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It has definitely been a while since I’ve written a specific toy review, this feels rather odd but very exciting. This blog has been a lot about our travel adventures over the past year so what better way to mix things up than with a toy review ahead of Christmas. Oh no I dared to mutter the C word in October – sorry!

The girls recently had three cute fur friends arrive for us to get to know. I’ve been a bit out of touch with the latest toys as my girls are annoyingly steering towards the online world over physical toys. That’s the world we’re living in right now. Basically, I have no idea what’s in or not. These are apparently super cool according to my ladies.

The three fur friends are from the Shimmer Stars range and there’s four to collect in total; Bubble the puppy, Twinkle the unicorn, Jelly Bean the cat and Pixie the panda. For those wondering, Jelly Bean is a white cat with gorgeous green eyes. Each of the gorgeous characters were so soft and cuddly.

Shimmer Stars are suitable for ages 4 and above, they cost around £20 depending on which store you buy from. I love that they came in a cardboard box which can be recycled and there wasn’t too much extra packaging, a few ties and a little plastic bag containing the sequins.

The Shimmer Stars pets come with the soft toy itself, a wand which has over 200 reusable sequins aka glimmer shimmers inside, one headband for your child or grown up I suppose, one comb, one tutu scrunchy (that I didn’t realise was a scrunchy until much later on during our play), one collar, and one hair elastic with a bow tie.

The idea of this toy is to get creative, decorate your toy with the sequins I mean glimmer shimmers but you can also use the sequins on your own hair too. I initially thought what a gimmick, how can sequins stick to a cuddly toy/human hair?!

The wand comes apart to reveal the sequins inside. You then pop a glimmer shimmer in the centre of the star lid, and use the wand stick through the middle. It’s all a little magical if you ask me. You then place the sequin to the fur or your own hair and push the button at the end to release it. Then it truly does stick to the fur really securely. I love that you can do this over and over again, as long as the glimmer shimmers don’t get lost of course.

What I didn’t realise until the girls showed me, was that the accessories on the toy could be used as hair and jewellery accessories for us humans too. The little skirt doubled as a hair scrunchy. The collar was a cute bracelet and the bow in it’s hair was a hair bobble. Pretty clever and opens up the play and imagination so much further.

These three cuties (the toys not my monsters) have given so many hours of fun for the girls. They literally adore them and Elsa especially still takes her Twinkle the unicorn to bed each night. For once, I feel that these are priced really well and would make excellent gifts for friends or birthdays.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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Willows Activity Farm Potato Shindig https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/willows-activity-farm-potato-shindig/ https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/willows-activity-farm-potato-shindig/#respond Wed, 16 Oct 2019 07:00:00 +0000 https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/?p=35922 On one of the last sunny weekends, we packed up the girls and headed for Willows Activity Farm. It was a new adventure for us. Willows had kindly invited us along to experience their Potato Shindig which took place over September. Willows Activity Farm is situated in St Albans, Hertfordshire. It is literally just off …

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On one of the last sunny weekends, we packed up the girls and headed for Willows Activity Farm. It was a new adventure for us. Willows had kindly invited us along to experience their Potato Shindig which took place over September.

Willows Activity Farm is situated in St Albans, Hertfordshire. It is literally just off of the North of the M25 and took us just over an hour to get there. Not long at all even though the kids were constantly saying “are we there yet?”.

We arrived just before opening time which was 10am. There was a little bit of a queue forming. Hubby took the girls into the gift shop as there’s a toilet in there ahead of our day out.

Entrance to Willows Activity Farm at the weekend costs £16.50 for an adult and £17.50 for a child when you book online advanced tickets or around £20 for on the day tickets.

We picked up a map of the farm and bought two bags of animal feed. They were £1 for two bags. It was a decent sized animal feed bag too which is always nice.

As you can see from the map, Willows Activity Farm is a really good size. The different attractions are labelled and correspond to the timetable for the day. We found this really helpful when navigating and planning our day.

The girls could not resist the Bouncy Haystacks. They have little shoe racks provided and staff supervising. It was obviously still very early in the day so it wasn’t busy. I loved seeing the girls smiling faces.

Eva spotted the Country Funfair rides. Of course our little thrill seeker wanted to have a go. She ended up having two rides before we headed to catch Tristan the Runaway Tractor.

Tristan the Runaway Tractor was nothing like what I expected. It played fun children’s songs as it took a loop around a field with sheep and cows. The girls were really excited to see a couple of baby cows chilling out in the shade.

I had a rough idea of the things that I wanted to experience from the schedule so next on our list was the Milking Demonstration. Although I love the girls to be having fun, I also like them to learn some things too so this seemed like the perfect thing to see.

The lady leading the demonstration with Milkshake the cow, was really engaging. She got the audience involved and I even learned some new things about cows and the milking process.

After the milking demonstration, we headed to watch our first character show. It was Benjamin Bunny. This is a cute little show that gets the kids and adults dancing. The show lasted about fifteen minutes.

After the show we took a little loop around the animal race track to see the reindeer. Eva loved that one of them only had one antler making him a reindeer-corn in her eyes. We also stumbled across some hungry cows and goats. I love the cute “feed me” boards that surround the tube. This is a more hygienic way to feed the farm animals.

The Sheep Race was just about to kick start when we wandered past. We spotted them getting the sheep ready with their different coloured coats. We positioned ourselves near the finish line.

We didn’t realise at the time but there was a chance to place a bet on which sheep would win the race. The girls had little bets between them, all picking their favourite colours and then we waited for the race to begin.

The race was really uplifting and I always find all the cheering so much fun.

I didn’t know what to expect with the Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground but was completely blown away. It’s a super cute playground with so much going on.

Obviously, it is Peter Rabbit themed. There’s a section with a wooden treehouse and climbing frame. Eva spent a lot of time in this area as there’s a little obstacle bit and a log to explore.

Mrs Tiggy-Winkle’s Kitchen is so good, it’s the perfect little burrow with fun games inside and a kitchen to ignite the imaginations. I then spotted Mr McGregor’s Garden.

Honestly, if you visit Willow Farm you will not be disappointed in this area. The video I filmed from our day out has more of a tour for you to see. It’s just amazing. 

I originally thought that the JCB Young Drivers Zone would be a paid for area. But it’s not, it’s all included in your entrance price. The Drivers Zone is located near the entrance in a huge barn. There are so many little ride on tractors to choose from.

Elsa especially loved this area and I couldn’t persuade her out of there for a long time. There’s seating inside for grown ups too and it’s a lovely sheltered area if it was to rain.

Although we did bring a lunch pack of snack foods, we decided to try out the Peter Rabbit Burrow Cafe. Hubby went and ordered our food whilst the girls played in the JCB barn.

Staff were friendly and attentive. The cafe was clean and food was quickly served. Hubby bought two adult meals with drinks which came to £13. Hubby is very frugal when it comes to money and he was suitably impressed by the price of the food in the cafe.

After finishing our food, the girls took many many turns on the carousel that is outside the JCB area. They loved it! All the fun fair rides are included in admission so we didn’t need any extra cash and they were able to take as many turns as they wanted.

I did pop into the Arts and Crafts barn to see if it was worth a little visit. By this point in our day, I was worried we wouldn’t fit everything in. The barn has a little station full of crafting materials and there’s plenty of table benches to craft on. I made the decision to avoid the craft barn. 

The whole reason we had been invited to the farm was to experience the Potato Shindig. An event taking place over September. They host lots of different themed and seasonal events throughout the year, the Pumpkin Festival is currently underway. There’s also a low-bang firework display and a Santa Spectacular before the end of the year too.

We headed up to the Potato Patch which is over the other side of the farm. They gave us a brief overview of what to do, gave us a big fork for the grown up and three little spades for the kids, and a bucket to collect the potatoes then pointed us towards the potato patch.

I love that it is true digging for potatoes. They haven’t just bought them and spread them across a field which I know another farm does. This is properly grown potatoes in a potato patch. The girls love this kind of thing, getting green fingered. They were so excited.

We found a whole bucket of different sized potatoes and took them back to the entrance of the Potato Shindig. The staff then put our potatoes in a bag for us to take home. This experience is all part of the entrance fee and was so sweet. We have since enjoyed delicious roast potatoes, mash and jacket potatoes from that harvest!

Hubby and Eva had their eyes on the Woodland Play Trail. It’s an obstacle course that goes around The Big Dig. Eva always enjoys a challenge like this so she whizzed off in front, whilst the rest of us battled through the obstacles at a more steady pace.

We then made our way into the Big Dig which is a giant sandpit with tractors to climb, play equipment to explore and adorable huts too. This was a really good time for Hubby and I to sit down for a bit and watch the girls play. Freya actually had a little bit of a tantrum at this point so spent most of it sitting looking rather grumpy.

One thing I really loved about Willows Activity Farm is all of the thought and detail put into everything. Especially the Peter Rabbit themed areas. Mr Tod’s Lair was great fun for both adults and children. It had secret areas to explore with an upstairs, downstairs and a cooking pot to hide inside.

It’s a good time to mention the incredible enthusiasm of every member of staff, but particularly a lady called Mary. Every single encounter we had with her was so bubbly and friendly. She was honestly brilliant with the children and it’s people like her that made our visit so much more enjoyable than it already was. I did mention this to the customer services area so I hope she knows how thankful we are.

I had badgered Hubby to head to the Farmyard barn. We wasn’t sure what would be inside but I assumed farmyard animals. I was obviously right and I’m so glad we went in.

We got to see the newborn donkey, the girls cuddled guinea-pigs and Freya got her fix of seeing pigs (one of her favourite animals). It’s a lovely barn with plenty of space and all of the animals are in clean, spacious enclosures.

When the girls were riding the carousel a hundred times, I did pop into Mrs Rabbit’s Kitchen and Soft Play area to have a peak. It looked so good so I made a note to make sure we spent some time in there.

The girls were really excited. It’s a large indoor soft play area with a cafe/seating area. We instantly lost the girls to the soft play. There are also drop slides too but you have to have long sleeves and trousers to use them. Thankfully I knew that, so Eva was able to satisfy her need for a thrill.

A bit weird for me to mention, but I feel it’s necessary. The toilet facilities in Willows Activity Farm are really clean. We visited at the weekend so it was busier than a normal day and even right before closing the toilets were spotless. I was really impressed actually. Other farms or day out attractions we’ve visited before have always been clean on opening, but deteriorate by the end of the day.

Having clean toilets is quite important to us as my youngest daughter has anxiety about going to the toilet so this meant we had a stress free day. Yup, I know, we are weird!

Of course we couldn’t come to a Peter Rabbit themed farm without meeting the bunny himself. I queued for fifteen minutes ahead of the time for meeting. Advice, queue early for the meet and greets because it gets busy. Somehow we managed to persuade all three children into a photo with Peter and Mrs Rabbit. I literally love that family photo!

We then had some time to play in the outdoor play areas before we headed up to the gift shop. The girls had decided they wanted to spend some pocket money in there. We agreed a set amount and let them loose. It’s actually decently priced in the gift shop.

We then headed home with three exhausted girls. We had such an incredible day out at Willows Activity Farm and I’m even daring to say it was one of my favourite places to visit.

We didn’t manage to quite do everything. There was a little area near the entrance that we accidentally completely missed – Cotton Tail Village. So we have to return obviously!

I hope you enjoyed reading and will take a visit yourself to Willows. Please don’t forget to watch my video as it will probably give you a more immersive experience of our day.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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Riding The ICON 360 Wheel & Saying Goodbye To Orlando #17 https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/riding-the-icon-360-wheel-saying-goodbye-to-orlando-17/ https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/riding-the-icon-360-wheel-saying-goodbye-to-orlando-17/#respond Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:00:00 +0000 https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/?p=35401 Here we go. I bet you’ve been looking forward to our very last post from the Orlando trip. Wondering just how many more could there be. Thank you to everyone who has read all 17 of these. Our flight was in the early evening so we had a good chunk of the day to do …

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Here we go. I bet you’ve been looking forward to our very last post from the Orlando trip. Wondering just how many more could there be. Thank you to everyone who has read all 17 of these.

Our flight was in the early evening so we had a good chunk of the day to do our last hoorah of fun before being confined to an aircraft for nearly ten hours.

Any good day starts with a good breakfast. Wyndham Orlando Resort have a restaurant called Gatorville. They serve a really delicious buffet breakfast. I think it was the best we’d eaten for a while. Eva indulged in a plate of fruit, Elsa enjoyed many slices of toast and Freya had her favourite waffles with syrup. Hubby and I had an amazing full English fry up.

We checked out of Wyndham Orlando Resort, left our suitcases in a locked room in the Lobby and took our full tummies for a walk in the sunshine to attempt The Wheel at the ICON Park. It was closed the day before so we had been unable to experience it.

The Wheel is much like the London Eye here in the UK. The Wheel is actually only a tiny bit smaller. It’s essentially a huge ferris wheel with pods.

We happened to be one of the first people to ride that day. There was no queues so we hopped straight on board. It was a great way to see above Orlando. We got an aerial view of the hotel we’d just stayed at. You could also see in the far distance Universal and the Disney parks.

The entire experience lasts around 25 minutes. It’s really slow moving and is a lovely chilled out activity. The Wheel experience was actually kindly gifted to us through our hotel, but for a private pod it costs around $100 or individually it would be around $28 per person.

The girls (mainly Eva who is always after a thrill) did find it a little slow and not quite the entertaining adventures we had over the previous two weeks, but I enjoyed myself. It was a really nice way to finish the holiday and was really close to Wyndham, our hotel.

We popped into Walgreens for some mouth ulcer cream and acne cream. They have the best stuff in America! I’ve had my acne totally transformed since the holiday which is always great news.

I also wanted to mention the mifold Grab N Go Booster seats. If you’ve read my previous blog posts from our holiday, you will know that we made the decision not to hire a car. Instead we used Uber cars to get ourselves around. Although the car seat laws are very different in Florida as they are in the UK, we wanted to make sure the girls were safe when we travelled around.

The Mifold was so compact that it fit into our rucksacks or just at the bottom of our stroller. So it made the perfect travel companion to keep our girls safe.

We had about an hour to chill out in the hotel Lobby before we set off for the airport. The bright weather had disappeared to grey storms. I had began to get a little anxious that our flight would be delayed or cancelled.

We actually had a pretty horrific experience in Orlando airport and I have debated about whether to include it or not, but I definitely feel like I need to.

As you are probably aware our eldest daughter is diagnosed with Autism. Our youngest also suffers with sensory issues and we believe is autistic too. We organised for the girls to wear special lanyards and registered them with Virgin Atlantic. These lanyards and little badges with Virgin helps them to be recognised with a hidden disability. Gatwick staff and airport had been incredible.

Orlando International Airport was terrible. We had issues with the check in staff being abrupt, lacking in understanding of disabilities and very rude. We did approached our concerns to a manager who helped us get it resolved. However, the experience really upset Freya. It wasn’t the nicest way to end our holiday.

Thankfully our flight wasn’t delayed by too long. We was able to grab something to eat and have a sit down in the terminal. The Orlando airport is set out very differently to Gatwick in London.

Elsa doesn’t cope very well on flights but did manage about two hours of sleep. Sadly, I got zero sleep the entire flight which meant I had been awake for over 24 hours with the time zone differences.

We had such an incredible, once in a lifetime holiday to Orlando. We created memories that we’ll cherish forever. We also caught the Disney bug too so everything is all about Disney in this household.

The very last thing for me to do is share our very last Orlando video. I can’t believe it’s all over until next time.. Thank you so much to all the brands that worked with us to make this happen, and to all my readers and watchers for the support.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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Stormy Weather & The Skeletons Museum #16 https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/stormy-weather-the-skeletons-museum-16/ https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/stormy-weather-the-skeletons-museum-16/#respond Mon, 07 Oct 2019 11:00:00 +0000 https://lifewithpinkprincesses.co.uk/?p=35400 It’s definitely a really sad feeling when you wake up and know that there’s only one more sleep left of the most incredible holiday you’ve ever experienced. It was even more sad when that specific day was overcast and gloomy. Just in case you haven’t seen them yet, there’s another fifteen blog posts from our …

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It’s definitely a really sad feeling when you wake up and know that there’s only one more sleep left of the most incredible holiday you’ve ever experienced. It was even more sad when that specific day was overcast and gloomy.

Just in case you haven’t seen them yet, there’s another fifteen blog posts from our trip to Orlando. They cover everything we did during our holiday including trips to SeaWorld, Universal Orlando Resort and Disney. Please do check them out or you can watch the videos from the Orlando playlist.

We started our last full day in Orlando with a trip to the world’s largest McDonald’s. It is within walking distance of Wyndham Orlando Resort which is where we’d been staying for our last few nights. 

Hubby was desperate to visit this McDonald’s, if you’ve been a long time reader of my blog you’ll know that we love a Maccy D’s. It was so unreal! There’s a games arcade inside and even a soft play! 

Everyone was feeling pretty exhausted. We decided to head to Universal Orlando CityWalk for the Universal Cinemark cinema. The brand new The Secret Life Of Pets 2 came out the day before, so it felt silly not to go and watch it in an American cinema for the first time.

My Mum treated the girls to the cutest popcorn boxes with a drink. It was a weird experience, you buy a ticket and can sit wherever you want. All of the seats were recliners and felt super luxurious. I am so glad we got to experience that for the first time. I ended up falling asleep during 90% of the film, but the girls really enjoyed it.

It felt a little bit bittersweet being back in Universal for one last time, we hadn’t planned to go so it sort of pulled on my heart strings a little. Just like when we left a week ago.

We had wanted to ride the The Wheel at ICON Park but due to the stormy weather, they had shut the wheel for safety. Instead, we decided to pop into the SKELETONS Museum of Osteology.

SKELETONS is a small indoor attraction with 500 real animal skeletons. I thought this may be a little creepy to go into a museum full of skeletons. The entrance costs around $20 each.

The staff were super friendly and welcoming, like everywhere you go in America actually. They gave the girls Scavenger Hunt sheets to help them explore the museum.

There is over 40 exhibits to explore. The museum is set out so that you can go round in a loop. This is great in figuring out if you’ve missed anything. Each animal skeletons is labelled with information on that specific animal.

I found it incredible to see how interested the girls were. They really loved it. There was a tortoise (or turtle) that had been caught inside a beer packaging ring, then the shell had grown until it was too tight.

I probably should note here that all the skeletons that are in this museum are there after dying naturally. The museum has a special facilities where they use flesh eating beetles to clean up the skeletons. It’s all very fascinating actually.

Whilst we spent our afternoon in the SKELETONS Museum, the weather had become much more stormy and the rain was horrendous. We ended up going back through the museum one last time before venturing into the rain for the short walk back to the hotel.

On our walk home we popped into a gift shop. We all needed to get some last minute gifts for family and friends. You can see our full day in our day in the life video below.

I spent the rest of our evening packing our suitcases. The worst part of any of our holidays, no matter how long, for me is the last night. Knowing you may never see or experience it again. But there’s also an excitement to get home and snuggle in your own bed.

We managed to get the girls to bed at a half decent time ready for our travel day. Please don’t forget to watch the video below. I can’t believe I’m finally at the end of our Orlando content.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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