Events & What’s On – Ireland August 2018

As part of their efforts to help motorists and home owners get Ready for the Real World and help them enjoy the best of the summer too, Liberty Insurance have shared a select list of events happening across Ireland this August.

Events

Galway Races

The Galway Races are famously good craic, with crowds of over 150,000 spilling into one of the most interesting cities in Ireland.

The Galway races are not just about the racing – there’s lots of music, great food, fashion and style and some serious people-watching too.

Sunday is Mad Hatter’s Day at the races, and the fun gets bigger as the hats get wackier. Expect branches, flowers, feathers, balloons, oversized cupcakes… we’ve even seen sandwiches and shoes on people’s heads

August 3rd – 5th: Castlepalooza

Castlepalooza is an independent music festival held in the grounds of the stunning of Charleville House, Co. Offaly.

Billing itself as a ‘Boutique Festival’ –  tickets are limited to just 1500 – those attending have access to the inside of the castle and the small numbers make for a very friendly event.

Although the main focus is on the music, there’s also art exhibitions, fortune tellers, games, a cocktail bar, a comedy club, great food and even a day spa available for the lucky few that go.

August 3rd – 5th: Indiependence Festival

This music and arts festival is smaller than most, with a limit of just 5000 tickets, which makes for an intimate atmosphere. Fans consider it to be the best boutique festival in Ireland and the organisers in Cork work hard to keep it good, both with an always excellent music line up and the range of other events that make it special.

The range of music is diverse and with 5 covered stages of various sizes, there’s always at least one act on that you’ll enjoy.

August 3rd – 5th: Enniscorthy Rockin Food Festival

Family favourite, Rockin’ Food Festival, is back with a bang this year and promises something for everyone.

Its recipe for success is a line-up of over 120 events, with half of them completely free.

A rock’n’roll gig trail offers free live music sessions from Friday night, August 3, right through until Sunday, August 5.

There’s loads for Kids to do including a Lego workshop, and slime making class and much more.

Meanwhile, food lovers can feast at the Artisan Food, Drink and Crafts Market with over 80 vendors to choose from.

August 8th – 12th: Dublin Horse Show

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend this month’s Dublin Horse Show at the RDS, as well as about 1,600 horses and ponies will participate in the show’s various equestrian events.

Some of the World’s best show jumpers will be there, competing for large prizes in competitions throughout the week, culminating in the Nations Cup on the last day of the show. This is as much a social as an equestrian event, with horsey people from all over the country gathering for a week of competition by day and hard partying by night.

August 10th – 12th: Puck Fair

Where do you even begin with Puck Fair?  It’s old for a start, it got official recognition from James I in 1603 and it was probably already ancient at that time.

Basically, this is what happens:

Each year a wild male goat is captured from a mountain and brought into Kilorglin, Co. Kerry. It is raised on a platform high above the crowd and there a young girl, who has earlier been crowned  ‘Queen of Puck’, crowns the goat King.

There follows much cheering and several days of general merrymaking. During the day it is very family-friendly, with lots of street entertainment and kids events going on. Music is everywhere, both organised and just from random buskers. There is a party feeling and lots to see and do.

August 10th – 20th: Kilkenny Arts Festival

The Kilkenny Arts Festival completely takes over the city, with official and fringe events taking place in every available space, from shops and offices to hotels and pubs as well as on the street.

There’s so much to see on do over the 10 days from visual arts and classical music to theatre, dance, literature, crafts and a strong children’s programme. Just dive in and enjoy.

August 16th – 19th: The Big Grill

A female chef who specialises in 160-day whiskey-aged beef, and a former celebrity personal protection specialist turned Brooklyn restaurateur, are among the headliners at The Big Grill festival, which makes its fifth appearance in Herbert Park, Dublin 4 in August (16th-19th).

More than 20,000 barbecue enthusiasts are expected to attend this celebration of cooking with fire and smoke, described by the organisers as “Europe’s largest barbecue festival”.

August 14th – 20th: Connemara Pony Show

This festival celebrating the world renowned Connemara pony takes place each August in Clifden.

In-hand classes, ridden classes, dressage and working hunter classes, carriage driving and show jumping competitions are just some of the events. There is plenty to see and do aside from the ponies, with a dog show, domestic arts competitions, Irish dancing and the promise of some surprise visitors for children – it is a very lively and friendly show to attend.

August 31st – September 2nd: Electric Picnic

This festival is probably known to most people and this year the lineup is one of the best ever. Apart from world class music, the Laois based festival offers everything from comedy to theatre and interactive art and holistic health to world cuisine.

There’s so much you can get up to this August and no matter what event you’re getting ready for, Liberty Insurance will be there with great cover you can trust. That’s why they help their customers to adjust their Car Insurance policy so they can add an additional driver, drive a van and more.

Little Tiger Party At Kidzania London

We attended the Little Tiger Party at Kidzania London on Saturday and it was fantastic! Having attended Little Tigers Birthday party last year we were really excited to be invited this year too. The girls love Little Tiger books & they couldn’t wait to find out about new books & meet the authors and illustrators. Surprisingly Izzy remembered last year’s Little Tiger Party, the books & activities we took part in. When I told her we had been invited she was so excited!

Little Tiger Party at Kidzania

 

Little Tiger Party

The Little Tiger Party (#TigerPBParty) was held at Kidzania in London where they recently teamed up to create a Little Tiger Library. The library is within Kidzania, giving children a chance to discovers new authors and role play as a librarian too. We arrived a little after 9.30am and greeted by a lovely breakfast buffet. We soon moved into the Kidzania Theatre where several authors & illustrators were ready to tell us about their books.

Kidzania globe

Blue Monster Wants It All

Blue Monster Wants It All! By Jeanne Willis

First up was Jeanne Willis who Izzy mistook for the queen! Jeanne read her book ‘Blue Monster wants it all’ a fantastic story that leaves children with a positive message. Blue monster isn’t happy with anything and thinks he needs a new everything. Even as a baby he wanted everything new from a new pram to a new cuddly toy. I got so absorbed into the storyline that I accidentally forgot to get a picture of Jeanne Willis reading to us, oops!

Blue monster throws away anything old and demands a new replacement. He even get’s rid of all his old toys, family and even the sun! All in search of something newer, shinier & better only to find you can’t buy new friends and family. When Blue monster realises this he quickly repairs his old broken plane and flies back home to his old family! It’s so easy to get caught up with having to have everything new, especially for children these days. I love that there is a story like to help remind children of what is actually important! Such a lovely way to start the Little Tiger Party.

Octopants

Suzie Senior & Claire Powell talking about their new book - Octopants!

We then learnt the origin of the second book, Octopants written by Suzy Senior & illustrated by Claire Powell. Poor Octopus has no underpants and can’t find any, no matter how hard he tries! Luckily he eventually comes across a solution! This is a fun, colourful book for kids and both girls really enjoyed both the book & the presentation.

Octopants written by Suzy Senior & Illustrated by Claire Powell

We learnt the Octopants song which was pretty funny! We helped to come up with some new pant ideas for the octopus, from chicken pants & dinosaur pants to unicorn pants. There were several amusing suggestions leaving Claire to figure out how to turn the idea into pants.

Look Out! It’s A Dragon!

Look out, it's a dragon! By Jonny Lambert
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Next up, Jonny Lambert author of ‘Only Lonely Panda’ came on to the stage. He told us about Saffy the dragon in his new book ‘Look out! It’s a dragon!’ and how he created her. Jonny uses a process called scratch & tickle where he adds paint to his image and scrapes & dabs it with various items until he is happy with it. When he created Saffy he then tore a piece of card to create her belly & finishing the process. This gives Saffy a lovely texture & depth throughout the book.

Jonny Lambert explaining the 'Scratch & tickle' process.

Jonny also showed us how to make a 3D cardboard dragon, this led to Izzy having a slight hissy fit. Izzy thought the dragon story was written because of her Cardboard box dragon. Of course, this meant she wanted to be a helper on stage! She was quite upset at not being chosen but she was very pleased to catch up later on with Jonny. She found him in the Little Tiger library helping children colour & cut out their own dragon & they sat drawing for a while!

Jonny Lambery & Izzy colouring & drawing together.

Saffy isn’t like the other dragons & wants to find a lovely new home. She comes across one and tries to make friends. Everyone is scared of Saffy though as dragons have quite a reputation though & they tell her to go away. When the other dragons come along and ruin their lovely home, Saffy rescues everyone and takes them to a lovely new home.

Cock-A-Doodle-Poo!

Cock-a-doodle-poo! book - Little Tiger Books

The last book, Cock-A-Doodle-Poo was read out by author Steve Smallman who had all of us giggling! Who knew there was so much poo on a farmyard or just how funny a book about poo can actually be!? Rooster is causing a lot of mess & havoc on the farmyard, especially for farmer Jill, but apparently, poo can even be life-saving!

Cock-a-doodle-poo! being read by author Steve Smallman at the #TigerPBParty

Kidzania London

After the party, we were kindly gifted tickets to explore Kidzania London, a huge indoor roleplay place for kids. There are so many jobs for children to try out, they earn Kidzo’s for each job.

Emergency Ambulance - Kidzania

Children can spend their well-earnt Kidzos on activities such as abseiling or riding around in various emergency vehicles or spend them in the final gift shop before leaving. You can even save your Kizos for your next trip and save up for something special!

Renault Formula E

Eva changing a Renault Formula E tyre- Kidzania

Eva was happy to go off and try out a few jobs starting with changing a Renault Formula E wheel. Unfortunately I’m not too sure what else she learnt in the Renault garage, I did ask a member of staff and explained I was there as a blogger and hoped to write about it before we went in but as Izzy discovered at the same time I couldn’t go in with her, I didn’t get a chance to find anything out.

Surgery

Eva performing surgery - Kidzania

Eva really enjoyed performing surgery too & overall she really enjoyed Kidzania, other than the music being a little too loud for her liking. We will look into seeing if they hold quieter days so she can try out a few more activities. I think if we had known how big Kidzania was we would have organised a friend to pick us up so we could do a full day and try everything!

Water Aid science laboratory - Kidzania

Parents aren’t allowed in the activities & the doors are closed which is great for children’s independence but unfortunately, Izzy was put off immediately. She was eventually persuaded by the open water aid centre where she learnt about using clean water and how to make bubbles which she loved! Izzy is really interested in germs & washing her hands regularly so it’s not surprising she enjoyed this activity.

Lovabella Baby Centre

Izzy caring for Lovabella dolls in the baby centre - Kidzania

Thankfully we lost her again when she spotted the Lovabella baby centre! This was the only activity she was happy to do alone. She really enjoyed herself and was happy to go in alone which was a huge relief!

Lovabella Baby Centre - Kidzania

Izzy also considered surgery but seeing the dummy & apron she had to wear put her off, seeing Eva perform the surgery even more so. By next year I’m sure she will love it though and happuly go into each activity alone. I can see us investing in annual passes as a gift for the girls in the future. I imagine once they are used to the venue I will be able to happily sneak off to the parents garden and leave them to it!

Saffy the dragon signed by Jonny Lambet to Eva & Izzy

Overall we had a fantastic day at the Little Tiger Party and can’t thank Little Tiger & Kidzania enough for having us. To really top the day we came home with a signed copy of each book & one of Jonny’s Saffy artworks he used on stage to explain scratch & tickle, which we absolutely love! I love that the girls both told everyone to sign Izzy/Isobella as Issobella, it became a little joke, Izzy Issobella! An amusing memory for the girls to look back on. Little Tiger parties are the best, we really enjoy these events and hope to get invited to the next one too!

5 Family Events We Are Planning To Attend 2018

We’ve found 5 family events we are planning to attend in 2018. Hopefully, the weather improves eventually! Having attended a few lovely events last year we wanted to put together a list of fun events. We are looking forward to getting out & having fun as a family and can’t wait to blog about them too.

5 family events

5 Family Events

English Festival – 21 April

We attended the English Festival with Martyn & the boys last year and had a great time. The English Festival had so much going on and so much fun for the kids. From petting zoos, sheep shearing, George & the Dragon performances, Punch & Judy, Voices from Victorian London and much more making it a fun day for everyone. As you may have read, we discovered some fantastic stalls. I can’t wait to meet them again & buy more of their awesome products. We hope to see Goody Ales, Sudzz, Joannes Preserves & The Chocolate Hut now The Brownie Edit.

Joannes preserves

Dickens Festival – 2nd & 3rd June

The Dickens Festival was another fun day out last year & we can’t wait to go again. With fun performers everywhere parades, a craft fair, fun fair & so much history spread across Rochester High street & the gorgeous castle grounds we all really enjoyed the Dickens Festival. We are hoping to maybe manage both days as we really enjoyed this event but we will see! A lot of the stalls from English Festival were at Dickens last year. Hopefully, we see them at both events too.

Fathers Day Motorfest – 17th June

I’m pretty sure most of my readers know we love cars, bikes, aircraft of all kinds. I spotted this fun day out at Barleylands and it sounds great, we have never attended this event before & hoping it’s as good as it sounds! Even the girls enjoy looking at different cars, bikes etc so it sounds like it will be fun a day for everyone. This had to be included in our 5 family events this year as it could give me #MySundayPhotos for the next year haha!

 

Greenwich Tall Ship Festival – 4th-8th July

Last year we found out last minute that the Greenwich Tallship Festival was on so I have made sure to note the date down this year! The Tall ships sail up & down the Thames & living along the river gives us a chance to see lots of the tall ships. I managed to get a few pictures last year but was unhappy with them. This year, with a new camera, I should be able to get some nicer shots. We may visit Greenwich to watch the Festival, there seems to be a lot going on. If not we will definitely spend the day by the river taking pictures.

 

Orsett Show – 1st September

I’ve wanted to attend the Orsett show for years but always forget to find out the dates. Now I have the date saved & the prices jotted down, I have no excuse! The Orsett show has been running for well over 100 years with a mix of agriculture, horticulture cattle & livestock, horses & hobbies & handicrafts exhibited & entered into the show. Whilst the finer details are yet to be released the Orsett show is well known as a great family day out. You can enter anything you have made into the Orsett show. Items you can enter include a cake, a photograph, some honey, preserves, needlework, art or handicrafts.

Are you attending any family events this year?

 

Visiting Santa At The Rainforest Café

Visiting Santa at the Rainforest Café was such a lovely, magical experience. Rainforest café invited us to visit Santa’s Grotto with a meal for the girls afterwards in exchange for an honest review.

Visiting Santa at Rainforest Cafe

The rainforest café is close to the Piccadilly circus Tube station which made planning the journey fairly straight forward. We were really excited as my brother was joining us keeping to our Christmas tradition we started a few years ago too.

The Rainforest café grotto experience includes:

  • A personalised invite from Santa Claus
  • A warm welcome from his elves on arrival
  • Enjoy a personalised meeting with Santa Claus in his grotto
  • A Christmas Gift
  • Children’s 2 course meal & soft drink

Traveling To The Rainforest Café

We couldn’t wait to finally visit Rainforest Café after having our original booking moved. Visiting Santa had the girls so excited and we couldn’t wait to get there. I will admit I had a stressful start though, I lost my bank card a week or so ago. Because of this there was an issue transferring money to the Mr’s account. Luckily my brother saved the day and we managed to get on our way but it made me extremely anxious. Going out with very little money is hell! Several lifts were broken at the underground stations which made my travel anxiety worse but somehow we managed the journey with the help of some lovely kind strangers. The girls enjoyed watching performers and passing the Piccadilly Emporium on the way to the Rainforest café.

Piccadilly circus performers

Both performers at Piccadilly Circus

With my chronic pain and my brothers lupus and bad legs we were a little bit of a mess by the time we arrived but the staff were so welcoming which really helped put us at ease.

Talking tree at rainforest cafe

If you have mobility issues the amount of steps at rainforest café will be a challenge. I do suggest talking to the staff before booking as they do have an accessible entrance. I had thought we would be ok but my brother and I struggled slightly. After all the stairs at tube stations it was quite exhausting. Totally my fault and totally worth it even if Tramadol will be keeping me going for the rest of the week haha!

The rainforest cafe

Arriving At The Rainforest Café

We went downstairs to the Mushroom bar which was full of fantastic rainforest effects and animatronics which were absolutely fantastic.

Gorilla in a christmas jumper

We were greeted by the elves at the booking desk who greeted the girls by name once they had our time slot. The girls absolutely loved this, the elves were brilliant and stayed in character the whole time which really added to the experience. We were asked to wait at the bar which has some awesome animal stools to sit on.

Arriving at Santa's Grotto

Visiting Santa At The Rainforest Café

An elf came and took us down another set of stairs after a short wait and asked the girls to find the Christmas trees. When they found the trees she told the girls they had just put the reindeer to bed so they had to be very quiet and tip toe into the grotto. They knocked on the Grotto door and entered a beautifully decorated grotto. Some grottos feel very claustrophobic but Rainforest Café have a large but cosy grotto which was great. Visiting Santa at the Rainforest Café is a fantastic experience.

Talking to Santa

Talking To Santa

Santa chatted away with the girls using the information from our booking sheet I filled out via email. Eva was delighted when Santa mentioned her teacher. He also mentioned a present she wanted and several other personal details. Izzy spent most of the time chatting away and showing Santa she can do the splits and yoga. She asked him lots of questions and really enjoyed herself.

Checking out the Christmas tree

Izzy really loved the Christmas tree and decorations. Santa barely got a word in edgeways with my two chatterboxes, he was fantastic with them though. As you can see they really enjoyed themselves visiting Santa in his cosy grotto.

Posing with Santa

Sticking To Family Traditions

We took a few photo’s of our own and bought a photo of the 4 of us with Santa. This is part of to our Christmas tradition so I was pleased when we were offered a picture of us all. The girls then received a rainforest café tote bag with a gorgeous soft fluffy penguin each. They also received a gorgeous Christmas stories book, certificate and sticker. They absolutely loved their presents and were so happy to be visiting Santa at rainforest café.

The girls, my brother and I with Santa at Rainforest Café

After our grotto visit we were taken to buy our photo which was £10. We were then told to head upstairs to the restaurant where we were shown to a table. The girls received a 2 course meal and drink as part of the Grotto package. Due to my earlier transfer issue I was unable to order anything myself but the girls meals looked lovely.

Kids meals at Rainforest Café

Eating At The Rainforest Café

Eva chose Burger and chips and Izzy had fish cakes and chips. Eva chatted a little too much (every meal!) so her burger went cold but she enjoyed the half she did eat. Izzy demolished her veg and much to my surprise she ate a few chips, they must have been amazing as she is extremely fussy with chips!

Chocolate ice cream and toffeee sauce sundae

They both had a lovely dessert after their meal. Eva had the chocolate ice cream with toffee sauce and Izzy had a lovely bowl of fresh fruit. They both left happy with full tummy’s ready to head home.

Fruit bowl at Rainforest Café

The waitress was fantastic and we didn’t have to wait too long between dishes which was great. The decorations and effects kept the girls amused whilst we waited. Izzy wanted to bring them home.. not sure an elephant that size would fit in the lift though! 

Animaltronics - Moving elephant

An Unexpected Accident

As we were leaving we of course had yet another problem on our part. Eva spilt her juice over her gifts and herself and began panicking. After our awful start I was close to tears myself. I doubted they could help but I somehow braved asking a member of staff if there was any way they could be replaced. Obviously I would have fully understood if they said no. I just couldn’t cope with the thought of a journey home with Eva distraught at rush hour. After such a magical experience I would have felt awful leaving without at least asking. Amazingly the staff managed to find one last penguin and Christmas stories book much to everyone’s relief.

Finally home with their presents

Fantastic Staff

I am eternally grateful to the staff who replaced the items for Eva. I took care of them until we got home to prevent anymore accidents. We managed to dry out the certificate with very little damage once we got home to Eva’s delight. Both girls ended their day with smiles on their faces cuddling their penguins.  They excitedly told the Mr all about the café, animals, elves and Santa when they got home.

Parrot at Rainforest Café

After all our stress it as fantastic to make it to the Rainforest Café to experience their fantastic grotto package. The food and drink are typical London prices. We will definitely go back again with the Mr as the girls really enjoyed the whole experience. I can’t fault Rainforest Café at all, the experience was fantastic. Staff were outstanding and even in our stressed states Alex and I enjoyed ourselves too.

We tucked the girls into bed with their penguins in their arms and huge smiles on their faces. They told us they had the best day ever as we left the room which literally says it all! Visiting Santa at Rainforest Café is a magical experience I would definitely recommend trying once.

Have you visited the Rainforest café before or booked the grotto experience? Would you book this experience?

Tammymum

Peppa Pig’s Adventure! Live At The Orchard Theatre

Izzy and I went to see Peppa Pig’s Adventure! Live at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford. Izzy loves Peppa & George and was thrilled to be told she would be seeing Peppa live. Tickets Prices vary, Pre-show dining can also be booked in advance.

Peppa Pig's Adventure

As we arrived at the Orchard Theatre Izzy saw the poster for Peppa Pig’s Adventure and got even more excited! We headed inside to collect our tickets and free Peppa Pig Stickers and a display of Peppa Pig goodies caught her eye. We came away with a George light up windmill (£8.50) and the Peppa Pig’s Adventure! Souvenir Brochure (£5).

 

We’re at @theorchardtheatre ready to watch #peppapiglive and Izzy is so excited!

A post shared by Ember (@relentlesslypurple) on

Once we had collected our tickets & got our goodies we decided to go get a picture of Izzy by the sign so she could send it to her daddy and sister. Of course they had to be shared on IG too! We picked up some popcorn & drinks for the show and headed off to find our seat.

 

When Peppa Pig’s Adventure started Izzy was over the moon to see her favourite characters on stage. She spent most of the time giggling away at Peppa and her friends. She liked Peppa’s new friend Daisy and their funny game of hide and seek.

Peppa Pig's adventure Live

The show was an hour & 15 minutes with a break in between. Izzy got a little distracted with her George windmill at points throughout the show but she still joined in singing a few times. She loved the puddle jumping song, especially getting soaked when Peppa & her friends jumped in muddy puddles! Overall Izzy loved the show and I would definitely take her to shows like this in the future.

Any Peppa Pig fans are bound to love Peppa Pig’s Adventure Live with it’s singing, dancing, joking and familiar characters and a new friend too!

Do you think your little one would love Peppa Pig’s Adventure Live at the Orchard Theatre?

 

Burnished Chaos

 

Dreamworks Trolls Truck Tour Lakeside

We were told the DreamWorks Trolls Truck Tour would be at Tesco Lakeside on Wednesday, so we decided to go take a look. It sounded like a fantastic crafty day, something we always enjoy joining in with. The weather was a bit miserable but we decided to head out anyway. We arrived and was invited in by a member of staff.

Trolls Truck Tour Lakeside

Trolls Truck Tour Lakeside

Cupcake Decorating Station 

Cupcake decorating station

The girls were encouraged to decorate cupcakes as we entered. The cupcake decorating station was really cool I have to admit. The girls spend some time smothering their brightly iced cupcakes in all sorts of sugary decorations. 

Cake decorating

Colouring Table

Over at the Craft table there wasn’t much going on but the girls were offered colouring pages which they sat with for a while. Eva had hoped for some fun Poppy based crafts so I’ve promised her we will come up with some our self at home. I think that may be because she enjoyed the crafts at The Little Tiger Party, where there was a craft planned for each book. Izzy got bored quite quickly and I had to stop her escaping out the doors.

Colouring

TV/Music Corner

I loved the colourful beanbags set out for the children to watch Trolls videos but neither of my girls spent much time over there. Izzy did play around with the cool Troll Pillows but didn’t sit and watch anything. I love the purple beanbag!

TV corner

Soft Corner

Another corner was full of soft play squares and cuddly Troll toys. Izzy had fun rearranging them until I stopped her from spreading them everywhere. There was a great range of Trolls products dotted around the whole truck.

Soft Corner

Salon Corner

The highlight of the experience was definitely the Salon area. The lovely ladies were really welcoming and chatty. Whilst Izzy refused to have a tattoo or her hair sprayed, Eva chose a poppy tattoo. A friend and her daughter had joined us too and her daughter’s hair was amazingly pink & sparkly afterwards!

Poppy Tattoo

Overview

We did enjoy our time at the Truck Trolls Tour. The Truck itself was absolutely amazing and laid out really well. Eva and I had hoped for more troll based arts & crafts and characters to pose for photo’s with.  Had we been out shopping and stopped by I would have been quite pleased to find such a fun free event. I took the girls to buy crafts afterwards as they had hoped for more. The truck is fantastic fun for Trolls fans if you have 20 minutes to spare.

Did the Trolls Truck Tour stop near you? What did you think?

My Sunday Photo – Southend Pier

This weeks photo’s for My Sunday Photo – Southend Pier were taken last week on a surprise visit to the longest pier in the world! 😱 These are some of my absolute favourite photo’s. It’s amazing to think all 3 have been there for so many years. The pier has an amazing railway too. I love visiting Southend in the summer, there is always something different to see or do.

Southend pier bell

Southend Pier Graffiti

My Sunday Photo - Southend Pier Railway

Have you ever visited Southend Pier before? What do you think of My Sunday Photo – Southend Pier?

Photalife</div

Little Tiger Press Books 30th Birthday

The girls and I were invited to celebrate Little Tiger Press Books 30th birthday on Saturday, at Discover in Stratford – London. Eva was especially excited at the idea of getting to meet authors and illustrators as she has become a total bookworm. So excited she woke us at 6am that day!

Tracet Corderoy reading Fairytale Pets

When we arrived Author Tracey Corderoy read her book Fairytale Pets, an absolutely fantastic story full of fun characters. As Tracey read illustrator Jorge Martin drew the characters which was amazing to watch! Eva sat mesmerized listening to the story whilst Izzy was… well Izzy haha! She spent half the time listening and half trying to ‘pop’ balloons.

After Tracey read the story to us Beth from Little Tiger Press ran through what we would be doing. There were 4 tables where we would spend 15 minutes at each. Authors and illustrators had crafts laid out based on their book. They all looked fantastic but biscuits definitely lured all the children in!

Jonny Lambert Author Of An only lonely panda

I managed to coax the girls away from the biscuits and we sat with Jonny Lambert, Author & illustrator of An Only Lonely Panda. Jonny had Tiger masks to cut out and wear. He was brilliant with the girls, chatting away with us all and helping Eva whilst I helped Izzy.

The girls loved acting like tigers with their masks, getting out their claws and growling!

Tiny Tantrums - Caroline Crowe

At the next table we met Caroline Crowe, author of Tiny Tantrums.  Tiny Tantrum monsters had been cut out ready for decorating. Again the girls happily chatted away whilst making their monsters, adding googly eyes & colouring them.

As always Eva made her’s extra colourful whilst Izzy enjoyed giving her monster 4 eyes. They both brought home their monsters to finish off too.

Making Biscuits with Tracey Corderoy

We then moved on to the table the girls had their eye on at the start, Tracey Corderoy had delicious biscuits for them to decorate with icing and a range of sprinkles. The girls loved chatting to Tracey and covering their biscuits. They also made a paper bag grumpy bear from the story!

Izzy icing her biscuit

Izzy concentrated so much making her biscuit, no surprise there. She loves her food haha!

Making her own 'Actually that is MY blanket, baby!'

When the final bell rang Eva ran over to the final table. ‘That is Actually MY blanket, Baby!’ author Angie Morgan and illustrator Kate Alizadeh helped the children decorate their own blanket.

Izzy drawing with Jorge Martin

 

Whilst Eva was busy glittering, Jorge Martin sat with Izzy drawing a tiger. Izzy of course took over! Between them they made this cute tiger with a basket of fruit for him to eat.

Little Tiger by Izzy & Jorge Martin

 

Eva loved making her blanket and getting glitter everywhere. Izzy did get round to making her own blanket too but I accidentally left it behind. Oops.. bad mummy!

Izzy and Kate Alizadeh decorating a blanket

 

 

At the end Caroline Crowe read Tiny Tantrums and the girls had lots of fun joining in and stamping their feet. Izzy tried getting a little too involved . She loved the story and had to be pulled back. She was over the moon to discover she had a copy to take home at the end.

Caroline Crowe reading Tiny Tantrums

To finish celebrating Little Tiger Press Books 30th Birthday there was a buffet. Of course this made Izzy extremely happy! A Little Tiger tote was handed out too. Inside were the 4 books from each table. The girls were able to get them signed by the authors and illustrators too which of course made Eva ecstatic. A beautiful selection of books to add to their ever growing book case!

It was lovely being invited to Little Tiger Press Books 30th Birthday party. It was a brilliant afternoon & I got to meet another blogger too, Bell From Bow who surprised me by recognising me. Pretty cool but so unexpected I probably went bright red!

Discover

After the party we were able to explore Discover and it’s fantastic play areas. You may have seen from My Sunday Photo’s. The girls were amazed by it and I can’t deny I was too! The magical tree with it’s musical notes & hidey holes for the kids to play in, Hootahs flying observatory & the outside play area have to be our favourite parts. We spent well over an hour there before having to head back for the train. We will be going back there in the summer to play as it is so cool!

Did you know it was Little Tiger Press Books 30th Birthday? Do you have any of the books mentioned here?

 

Grays Fire Museum 10th Anniversary Open Day

On Saturday we took the girls to the Grays Fire Museum 10th anniversary open day. They regularly hold open days but we usually can’t make it for some reason or another but we finally made it. We got there fairly early and stopped to watch the sky lift being moved which the girls really enjoyed watching.

Sky Lift

We headed inside the museum afterwards and found a fantastic display of vintage fire extinguishers. I especially love the Winhams 1950’s fire extinguisher and the L & G 1960’s fire extinguisher. I do love vintage exhibits like this. They are so fascinating seeing the differences over time.

Vintage fire extinguishers  

Whilst I was checking out the fire extinguishers Izzy was a little worried about a mannequin.. at least I thought he was a mannequin until he moved! You may have seen My Sunday Photo – The Moving Mannequin.. kind of creepy!?

Once Izzy ws over the mannequin she spotted these cool lanterns and was quite intrigued by them. I love the old photo’s that accompany the exhibits, they really helped the girls understand how certain things were used & what they did.

Lanterns

The wall’s around the museum and above all the display cases were littered with badges, helmets, photo’s and signs amongst other interesting items. It really was amazing to see so much history on display at the Grays fire museum. The girls seemed to really enjoy seeing the different helmets and fire engines that have been used over the years.

The walls of Grays Fire Museum

There were lots of boards filled with pictures, news clippings and information everywhere. The Grays fire museum have an impressive collection of memories & exhibits with some fantastic volunteers who were happy to answer questions too.

Displays

Eva and I continued to wander around the exhibits and came across another mannequin. This time it was definitely a mannequin.. we double checked! Eva nervously braved a picture with him haha!

Next we came across this brilliant display where a guy pressed the smoke button getting Eva to shout ‘Smoke! Behind you!’. Eva found the display really interesting looking at the gas mask especially but she didn’t seem too sure about the baby being inside one though!

Display

Fire Engines

We wandered around the small but full museum for quite some time. Looking at a range of equipment dating back well over 100 years used by the Essex fire service. The old fire brigade carts and vehicles were absolutely stunning, most in fantastic condition still too!

The girls as fire fighters!

The girls were fascinated by the different fire engines too, there were several different types parked up. They jumped at the chance of sitting in one of the modern fire engines just before we left. 2 volunteers helped the girls sit down and offered them helmets to wear which they happily accepted. Izzy was a little unsure because of the weight of the helmet but they both loved it.

We probably spent about an hour or so at the museum absorbing information & taking far too many pictures. I would definitely recommend anyone with an interest in the history of the Essex fire service going to the next open day at the Grays fire museum as it is wonderfully interesting with so many different exhibits.

Would you find the Grays fire museum interesting?

My Sunday Photo – The Moving Mannequin

The moving mannequin is this weeks #MySundayPhoto taken at the Grays Fire Museum 10th anniversary open day!

We had a fantastic day which I’ll share with you all tomorrow but for now.. guess which one isn’t a mannequin??

Mannequin or not?

Can you figure out which one is the moving mannequin?

 

Photalife