**Disclosure – We were gifted a signed copy of “The Jamymee Rescues – A Daisy Doo and Holly Boo Adventure” Written by Dan Cooper and Illustrated by Richard Birch. In return we are providing our honest review of the book, all opinions are our own. **
George is an absolute bookworm of late. He’s always loved stories but just lately he is insistent that you read up to a dozen a day. At his preschool sessions he often sits in the story corner and justs ask the preschool assistants to read book after book. On the subject of preschool, two of his fellow classmates happen to have a very talented Daddy. He’s recently published a children’s book called “The Jamymee Rescues – A Daisy Doo and Holly Boo Adventure”.
Here’s the blurb:-
“Daisy Doo and Holly boo are sisters. Not just any old sisters. But best friends who do everything together…even when they are asleep.
You see Daisy Doo and Holly Boo have a secret, a very special secret. Can you keep a secret? Ok then, I’ll tell you what it is. You see when Daisy Doo and Holly Boo get ready for bed they put on their ‘special’ pyjamas called Jamymees! ”
So when all is said and done, our verdict of this book comes down to whether George enjoyed it. The answer to that is…he LOVES it! At 25+ A4 pages, it’s a little longer than our usual stories. Although the book is typically aimed at 4-8 year olds, the story was compelling enough to make George at 3 years old want to know more.
We typically read 3 or 4 pages a night and try and leave it at an appropriate place to continue the following night. This also encourages George to want to go to bed as he is eager to find out what happens next.
The book is full of imagination and wonderment, as the two sisters, along with the help of their talking dogs, transport to Dreamland to rescue a pup in need. The characters are all based upon real life family members of the author Dan, including their rescue dogs. He shares pictures of their real life counterparts on The Jamymee Rescues Facebook page .
We haven’t read many older children’s books so I’m unsure what the standard quota is for pictures vs words ratio. The books we read usually contain a few more pictures but George didn’t seem to mind.
It’s worth looking out for the special fading light button illustrated on the picture pages. The light indicates how long the girls have left before they wake up, and the mission can no longer be completed. A dreamland timer if you will. This made George interact with the book as his suspense of whether the girls would make it in time grew.
Overall this is an engaging read and whilst it is by no means perfect to the trained eye, it is a book your little ones will get excited about again and again.
If you would like to purchase a copy of the book, please message the author Dan via the books facebook page Buy your copy here!
You can commission your own piece from illustrator Richard ‘Woody’ Birch via his page Woody Illustration.
**Disclosure – I was invited to Bluestone Wales for a midweek break in return for this honest review. All opinions are my own. This does not affect the integrity of this post.**
This post is about the magical, chilled, friendly, chilled, welcoming, adventurous, did I mention chilled? 5 days we spent at Bluestone National Park Resort .
We arrived around 2:30pm on the Monday and checked in whilst still in our car. A traffic light style system calls you up to the check in window where the staff handed us a welcome pack with our entry key cards and premium wifi code that hubby had purchased, along with a copy of the Village Voice. We parked up and headed straight to the golf buggy hire as this was also the nearest loo’s and nature was a’calling. I’ll talk more about the golf buggies later.
Before I could finish in the loo, hubs had completed the gold buggy pickup so we thought we’d take it for a test spin on a mini tour of the site. We located our lodge which we would be able to access at 4:30pm (or 3pm for other lodge types). You are allowed to bring your car onsite to unload and load up on check in and checkout day but otherwise it must be stored in the car park.
George was loving the golf buggy but we felt after the long journey he needed to stretch his legs in the treehouse play area. The treehouses are fab for children of all ages to explore and overlook the newly refurbished adventure playground which was colourful, clean and great quality. It was lovely to see families congregate here whilst the little ones ran round dizzily deciding what to play on next.
We were staying in a Caldey Lodge in Bartholomew rise not far from the lake. Our two bedroom lodge came complete with an open plan kitchen, diner, lounge with tall ceilings to add to the feel of space. There were french doors which opened onto a patio area with picnic table and bike rack. Off of this lounge area was the twin and master double side by side with the bathroom with shower and large heated towel rail.
The lodge was comfy, cosy and the heating worked a treat. What struck me most was the high quality of everything. Heavy, solid wood furniture in the bedroom and dining area. Strong and decent cooking and kitchen utensils which were all well kept and sparkling clean. It felt like a home from home. (It was actually better than my home!)
Having had spinal surgery when I was a teen, I’m pretty fussy about the beds I sleep in. Don’t get me wrong, I can sleep anytime anywhere,but if I don’t sleep in the right bed then my body can suffer for days. At home we have a half sprung/half memory foam mattress with a feather down topper. It’s my ideal bed and sadly I always miss it when we are on holiday. Bluestone’s mattresses however were absolute bliss. Due to having a toddler that likes me to be near, I spent time in both the twin bed and the double and both were equally comfortable. I literally could have stayed in their beds all day ( if I wasn’t being dragged out at 6am by George every morning)
A unique perk of Bluestone is the ability to be able to hire a golf buggy for either a day or the duration of your stay.The golf buggy is a great novelty and it helps a lot with a toddler in tow. Our trusty steed for the week was number 77 Lili-Mai and we had great fun taking it in turns to whizz round on her.
A warmer time of year we might be tempted to walk more or hire bicycles and trailers but we are so glad that we had the golf buggy as a semi refuge from the rain. It meant we could get from A to B quicker without turning up drenched. Little tip: take extra towels/tea towels for wiping the seat dry which (thanks to Welsh weather) you may find yourself doing half a dozen times a day.
You can also take your own bikes and there’s also guest transport to help you get around the resort with designated bus stops. If I am honest though, the site was not as vast as I’d expected. It’s easily walkable and only marginally hilly in some places. The paths are continually being maintained, with staff filling in puddles and holes with gravel on a regular basis.
Top tip – if you aren’t from Wales, make your peace with the weather before you visit. We went expecting nothing but rain so that anything else would be a bonus. Plus, Rainbows!
Food and Drink
This is mine and hubs favourite part of holidays. We love eating out and trying different eating establishments so we wanted to ensure we tried as many of the onsite restaurants and cafes as possible.
In the end the only places we did NOT try were:-
The Knight’s Tavern which I popped in to use the toilets and the atmosphere was pleasant and very similar to that of a pub that serves food. It’s the lower end of the budget of the restaurants onsite.
The Oaktree restaurant which is a pizza / pasta restaurant but on the first night George wanted to be in the lodge so we got takeaway chip shop food from…..
The Chippy which was nice but I have had better and the staff there lacked a welcoming persona. The fried halloumi is worth a try.
Farmhouse grill – The second time we planned on visiting the Oaktree we actually changed our minds as we couldn’t resist returning to the Farmhouse Grill for the second night in a row. I’d recommend booking a table here to ensure you get seated. You can tell it’s freshly made using top notch ingredients. To quote their menu;
“Using quality local ingredients to instil a sense a place“
Staff are so attentive. Hubs was massively impressed on our second night when someone accidentally smashed a glass at their table and before you barely heard the smash there were already two members of staff dashing to the table with a mop and broom.
Checkout piccies of what we had below.
The children’s menu is fab and is a world away from the typical chicken nuggets and chips but still appealing to children. The ‘kids platter’ was such a perfect dinner for him with so many of his favourites.
We also ate twice in the Ty Coffi cafe. Once for a breakfast, (they do a mean beans on toast which went down a storm with George) and their panini’s are great too. There was so much more we could have tried. It was often very busy in there so they definitely could do with a few more staff as the ones there seemed rushed off their feet which meant they didn’t really have time for ‘service with a smile’. t didn’t prevent us from returning though. Their hot chocolates and sausage sandwich are the best way to warm up after a hike through the vast forest.
Bluestone also have a cafe, Caffi Môr, within the spa which I sadly didn’t try, along with a camp style rustic woodland diner which wasn’t open for the season of our stay.
Things to do
There’s such a vast timetable of activities to do at Bluestone, from shadow puppet shows to baby yoga and massage, 4×4 safari driver experience round a track or a host of tree top activities at the steep ravine.
Explore the forest
We chose to check out the Winter lights enchanted walk in daylight and continue on into the forest where we squelched through mud and then washed our boots in the stream. The forest towards the steep ravine is full of really tall, narrow trees, which when the wind blows creates a creaking noise as the trees all knock together. We enjoyed standing still for a while and listening to this noise, before pretending the trees were going to come crashing down and racing up the hill. George loved this game and natures own sound effects added to the feel.
We also spent a fair amount of time playing at the playground which we nicknamed the Teletubbies playground due to the green hill feature.
We tried the shadow puppet show which was great and the village hall decor is magical. It involved participation and dancing from the kiddies rather than a sit and watch puppet show.
If booking via the website you can find a brief description for each activity but I didn’t use this, preferring to book at the booking office after we got a feel for our surroundings. The show was great and top marks for the effort put in by the staff.
When we had enough of being outside we visited the Blue Lagoon swimming pool. They have something for everyone. Slides, wave machine, pirate ship spray area, lazy river taking you outside and an enclosed baby and toddler splash zone where balls float on the water, they can explore walking round an artificial rock pool, squirting gadgets and basketball. This area has a lockable gate to prevent little ones wandering off towards danger.
The Blue lagoon is also open to the public but it wasn’t overly busy when we went mid morning (residents only) and there was room for everyone. There are also designated photo points where you can use your camera without capturing unknowing suspects in your shot.
The adventure has something for all ages and brings the fun inside. The under 5’s circus zone is completely in another area of the building and features a bright, clean and colourful soft play area. It has a fab mini ride on car on a track. As well as giant building blocks, and baby gym and balance equipment.
The large main area of the adventure centre downstairs contains masses of wooden climbing frames in a tree house style. Some reaching up the ceiling easily 20 feet in the air. There are free ride on trikes available and a bouncy castle. You can help yourself to a game of mini golf or play some games at the amusement arcade. There’s also a mechanical digger to dig a large pit of sandy stones. For the bigger kids inner child in us all there’s bookable indoor wall climbing. A mezzanine platform allows you to grab a coffee from the Wildwood cafe whilst the madness ensues downstairs.
Seasonal dinner show
On our final night there we’d booked ourselves into Merlin’s Magical Dinner show. This was in the Wildwood Cafe situated in the adventure centre. Here we had a set menu of roast dinner and desert. This was brought up on a big serving plate to our table where we helped ourselves. Meanwhile the staff were extremely attentive, asking if we needed any more potatoes, gravy etc.
Before and after dinner the staff entertained us by putting on a show in the areas around our tables. There was magic, music, comedy and some audience participation from the children too. This really was an unforgettable dinner experience.
Winter lights parade
The dinner experience over, we all wrapped up warm ready to march in the parade through the site. The parade was led by a 12 foot Merlin wizard. A member of staff accompanied Merlin whilst banging a drum. He encouraged us through the cold, night with chanting and singing. The children ran and flashed torches and various items they had made at bookable groups that week.
We gathered in the courtyard at the Knights tavern where the staff and Merlin took to the balcony. They guided us as we watched the light show featured in my video below. They then sang into the evening whilst the crowd sang and danced along. It felt like such a wonderful community vibe and no one was in a hurry to be anywhere.
Check Out my youtube video to see more of the light show
People tried to warn me I would be cold in Wales but I didn’t anticipate HOW cold. I lived in 3 layers all week. I’d defo buy thermal undies if visiting in Winter again.
Having said that, our stay has totally changed my outlook on going out in bad weather. As a football supporter and follower, bad weather has never really bothered me. But Bluestone has really cemented the ideal that whatever the weather, fun can be had.
Hubs and I have already said we would love to return in the summer, maybe with friends or family. Travelling from Essex is a long way for a mid week break. In future I’d opt for a 7 day break. I’d love to checkout the local sites and beaches too as we didn’t leave the resort this stay.
This is a place where you can return again and again and never tire as every activity differs. I’d also love to try one of the upside living lodges, offering fab views of the Welsh countryside.
So our dude is nearly three in a couple of months. He’s always had floppy long hair. Not ponytail long, but long enough to run your fingers through. I’m reluctant to shave it as it retains his baby quality. Although I’m not the type to go on about how I wish they would stop growing up so fast.
So dudes latest hair cut was actually at the barbers and he had a little shave at the sides. They kept the top long and floppy and styled it with a slick of gel. This looked cool. He felt like a big grown up boy which is all important now he has started preschool.
I wasn’t sure though. I loved the look but it felt too harsh using such products. He’s still only two. Plus as soon as he got a bit sweaty the gel just made him look like a greasy mess.
I made it my mission to find a child friendly hair gel. Well I didn’t get very far if I’m completely honest. I found a few detangling sprays but that’s not what I wanted. Then my sister in law pointed out Frezyderm to me.
Frezyderm UK is a family owned and trusted dermocosmetic brand. Their motto being;
Inspired by you
Established in 1986 in Greece, they offer premium skincare and hair care solutions for all ages and skin types. Their products strive to meet strict pharmaceutical standards and they are fast becoming the go to brand for dermatologists across the globe. Living in the society that we do where by allergies and sensitivities are more prevalent than ever, Frezyderm will no doubt be a such a life changer for so many. You can find more on their products here https://www.frezyderm.co.uk/
Although George doesn’t suffer with any allergies or sensitive skin, Frezyderm fitted perfectly with my desire for a gentle hair styling range. I contacted them and asked to kindly try some of their kids haircare range in return for a review post on my blog. (There’s the disclosure right there, wink). As always I promise my review is completely my own honest opinion and my integrity has remained.
Although none of our family suffer with allergies or sensitive skin so I cannot comment on that aspect of whether the products caused any less irritation than others.
The price of these products is a little higher than a lot of brands, however they are very specialised and I know that the free from allergens ranges very often tend to cost more than brands which contain “nasties”.
I have always assumed you are paying for the research and dedication that has gone into ensuring the product won’t cause you or your child unnecessary irritation or harm. Obviously everyone’s skin is different so there’s no guarantee of anything but I’d recommend you try them yourself if you or a member of your household does suffer. Frezyderm could be your saviour.
Something I felt was worth highlighting is the branding. Frezyderm subtlety brand their kids haircare range boys with a star and girls with a flower. I know that gender stereotyping and branding is a hot topic right now. I feel, as I said, that their branding is very subtle but I did feel the need to ask Frezyderm what the difference is. This was their response;
“The two sensitive kids shampoo boys and girls have an equivalent structure of composition having as a first priority the safety and the effectiveness. But, the shampoo for girls offers an enhanced detangling effect because of the girls’ long hair.”
This seems completely logical and I think it mirrors other brands that produce different haircare products for men and women.
So that’s my take on the shampoo and styling gel we tried from Frezyderm. In true Gorgeous George’s Mama fashion I felt it apt to write a poem about this fab find. I know mama’s of children with sensitive skin and I really hope this leads them to finding some fab and friendly products for their daily routine.
Our children’s skin is delicate
Some more than the rest
When it comes to keeping them clean
We only want the best
No nasties to make them scratch or wince
Frezyderm is their friend
To make your child all clean and fresh
You’ll love this stuff no end
They may not have a perfumed smell
No soap or silicones
No allergens as well
If gluten doesn’t like you too
Then these products are definitely for you
So why Frezyderm I hear you think
Look no further than your child at the sink
Next time they need to get themselves clean
Frezyderm will work a dream
The shampoo creates a wonderful lather
It won’t sting their eyes if some slips in after
The hair gel really does the trick
On mama’s hair too and it doesn’t stick.
It holds just how you’d like it to
Without making your fingers feel like glue.
I’ll stop the gushing and just say
In return for some products I’ll send people Frezyderm’s way
But only because I truly like
The way their gel helps dudes hair to spike
My search for child friendly hair gel ends right here.
And I’ve also found a way for you to bathe your child without fear.
Fear of flare ups and discomfort may now come to an end
If you give Frezyderm a try and maybe recommend a friend.
We are hugely excited here at Gorgeous George’s mama to be reviewing these wonderful CD’s and DVD’s by Nick Cope. We also have two signed copies of Nick’s Cope’s, “A Round of Applause for the Dinosaurs” to giveaway. A collection of songs for all the family.
This is our first ever giveaway so this is kind of a big deal for us and we are very grateful to Nick for providing us with the CD’s for this giveaway. Enter at the end of this post for your chance to win.
So how did Nick and his fabulous tunes come into our life? I am always on the lookout for child friendly, educational apps for George to enjoy on our smart devices. This is where we came across Hopster. Hopster claims to;
“Help kids learn through the content they love”
With the ability to stream some of their favourite television shows, discover books, music and lullabies, Hopster is a safe and varied app. We decided to unlock everything this app has to offer by signing up to the £3.99 monthly subscription.
By selecting the music gramophone flower, or the music area wheel you will find a section dedicated to Nick Cope. From here I decided to find out some more info on this musical mastermind. Someone who had created music for kids but with parents sanity in mind. The songs have a sometimes comical and often thoughtful edge, and are as catchy for kids and grownups alike. Nick also has a soft and calming voice. Unlike the typical shrill women type, belting out cheesy nursery rhymes that we have become accustomed to.
Nick sings about all the cool stuff that kids really wanna sing about. Bums, poo, burps dinosaurs, ants and pirates to mention but a few. Anyone that knows me knows I love anything related to poo. Nick’s CD’s are great to listen to and sing along with in the car or at home. Many of the songs also have well illustrated, quirky videos. You can find these on Nick’s website or Youtube channel and by also by purchasing The Nick Cope Show DVD here http://www.nickcope.co.uk/ Or indeed via the Hopster app where we discovered him.
Two of my favourite of Nick’s tunes are The baby’s done a poo! and the opening tune to the Cd up for grabs, I’m a little Lizard. With lines like;
“……the baby’s done a poo, the baby’s done a poo, it’s not a bog surprise cos that’s what babies do”
“….the sand is too hot, so i’m standing on a rock, i’m a little lizard and I’m standing on a rock”
…you can’t resist the urge to sing along. The DVD also has a singalong option.
Another personal favourite is “I don’t wanna do that”. This song summarises toddler parenting perfectly. It doesn’t matter what his mother suggest he does, the little boy doesn’t want to do it for the most seemingly irrational reasons and what ifs. I’m sure many mums and dads can relate to this. It also warms my heart how the song ends. You will have to visit Nick’s site or the hopster app to find out how it ends.
“Don’t stamp on an ant” also appeals to the crazy earth mother inside of me. I jokingly accused my step dad of massacring whole families in recent years when I witnessed him doing what many of us have. The dreaded kettle of boiling water on an ants nest. I just envisage ants running screaming everywhere as ant wives see their ant husbands boiled alive in front of them and ant children run screaming. Welcome to my overactive imagination. This song supports my theory wonderfully though. Thanks Nick. We are all indeed just getting by on this little planet.
Here’s a little about Nick:-
“Nick Cope is the indie-surrealist kids’ entertainer Robyn Hitchcock and Syd Barrett, foolishly distracted by cult status, never were.’ Stewart Lee 2016
Nick Cope is a professional singer and songwriter, and has over 20 years of experience in music, including international success as lead singer and songwriter with The Candyskins in the 1990s.
He now writes and records music for children and has established a fanatical army of little people and their parents, from all over the world. Nick performs all over the UK at all the major art and music festivals including Edinburgh fringe and Book festival, Hay and Cheltenham literary festival and hundreds of theatre and arts centres. He regularly spends the summer performing at (to name a few) Wilderness, Somersault, Camp Bestival , Cornbury ,Wychwood , End Of The Road and travels to Hong Kong each year to the Clockenflap festival.
What George thought;
On the morning we collected the CD’s I popped them straight on in the car. Before the first verse of “I’m a little Lizard” had played out, hubs was already singing along, second guessing the words. They are that easily to follow and sing along to. It wasn’t long before I was singing along too. George was giving us both the dubious face as he wondered what we had both had sprinkled on our cornflakes. I think he recognised the songs from the app and wondered how they were being played out of the car speakers.
On returning home I put on the DVD. When he saw the illustrated videos I think he identified with the songs better and was mesmerised from start to finish. Dubiously eyeing me as I again sang and bopped along. He’s not one for audience participation much is our George but when I asked him if he enjoyed it his response was;
Perhaps he is destined to be just like his father…a man of few words. Unlike Mummy who has enough words for all of us though and doesn’t allow anyone else a word in edgeways.
Click the link below if you would like to win a copy of Nick’s family friendly CD, “A Round of Applause for the Dinosaurs” . The first three options are mandatory. All other options will increase your chances of winning.
The Georgeous has reached that age, the grand old age of two and half. The age at which playing with his toys is everything. Not a moment can be spared for anything else. Eating, bathing, getting ready to go out to his favourite phonics class. It’s all a distraction in his mind, to drive him away from his precious toys.
We have found a way to draw him away for a few vital minutes to allow us to occasionally leave the house and to stop for mealtimes. Bath time however is a struggle. He actually loves a bath. It’s a place where he has another array of toys which he can only play with at bath time. Once he is in there he loves it and needs convincing to get out. So when I was invited to review some fun and friendly bathtime products by https://www.goodbubble.co.uk/ I couldn’t resist.
A bath said mum with a tired old sigh,
A bath for whom? Said mini Sir, not I!
Indeed mini sir, a bath for you,
To rid you of smells like sweat and like poo.
But I don’t want a bath, said mini Sir.
I want to play with my cars first.
But this is a new bath, explained mama dear,
With bubbles of cloudberry to clean out those ears.
And magical hair wash containing fruits of the dragon
To clean and detangle, what’s the worst that could happen?
And as surely was promised, the cloud bubbles grew,
Mama scooped them all up and gently she blew.
The cloud bubbles floated, as soft as they are,
Whilst mini Sir squealed in delight, forgetting all about cars.
His hair was then washed with the fruits of the dragon,
As mama reached for the comb, would you believe what had happened!
The tangles were gone and good fun had been had.
With “Good Bubble” products, bath time isn’t so bad.
Silicone, paraben and PEG free,
No artificial colours or nasties you see.
With ingredients sourced from mostly natural sources,
It’s not tested on creatures likes rabbits, or horses.
Vegan friendly and great value too.
Pop down to your local store and buy a few.
We’d like to thank Good Bubble for letting us try and review,
So we could share their fabulousness with all of you.
All opinions included are simply our own.
They make mini Sir happy to bathe instead of to moan.