The perfect Hot Chocolate

Every year when the weather starts to get colder I crave Hot Chocolate. I buy what’s on offer at the time usually Cadburys or Galaxy. Using the same brand can get boring after a while so I decided to go and try some luxury ones and the usual brands I use to find the best hot chocolate yum yum!

The first place I tried was the home of Chocolate… Thorntons. I visited the Thorntons Cafe in Truro. A small cafe which had lots of lovely treats to choose from. I had a Hot Chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, which came with little chocolates on a miniature side plate. It cost £2.95. I sat in the corner to try not to get in anyone’s way with my pram. It took up nearly all of the space between two tables so I tried not to block the walkway.

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This was by far the most chocolatey hot chocolate id ever tasted. Very sweet and thick. Perfect after walking around the shops on a cold day. The only thing I didn’t like was that they put marshmallows in the hot chocolate before the whipped cream, so after the cream had gone I swallowed a big gooey chunk of marshmallow. (Some people may like that).

The next place I went to was Costa. I went to Cornwall Services, Roche off the A30, where I ordered a Lindt Hot Chocolate with whipped cream from the Christmas selection for £3.35. It’s lovely in there, lots of seating, very spacious and has lots of natural light coming through the big windows. Perfect place to stop for a break whilst travelling or to meet with friends.

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It tasted lovely, nice and chocolatey but I couldn’t define the taste of Lindt. I enjoyed it and have been back for another! Cornwall Services has a children’s soft play area and big climbing area called ‘Indoor Active’. Perfect place to let your children play and let off some steam.

I then went to Starbucks. Just off he A30,  Fraddon where I ordered a Starbucks Signature Hot Chocolate for £3.35. Its quite dark inside, with lots of seating but the tables are quite close together so I sat at bar next to the servers as I didn’t want to try and weave through tables with my pram whilst holding a hot drink and a plate with a cookie on.

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I enjoyed the hot chocolate, it wasn’t too sweet it was just right. I’ve been back again as I enjoyed it very much. Plus it’s next door to ‘Next’ so perfect to pop in after shopping.

The next place I went was to my local supermarket and brought some Hot Chocolate Sachets. You add these to 200ml of hot water. I brought Cadburys and Galaxy 32p each or 4 for £1.

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Both tasted equally as nice, the Galaxy one was smoother and sweeter but I personally preferred the Cadburys one which tasted more chocolatey.

I’ve heard of chocolate stirrers that you stir into hot milk, and found some in Lidl £1.29 for a two pack.

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These were nice but the chocolate tasted a bit basic. This gave me an idea to make my own Lindt Hot Chocolate using hot milk and three Lindt chocolate balls.

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Now this one tasted absolutely amazing! Perfect as I could taste and add more chocolate if needed. This got me thinking further about what else I could try and thought I’d try Terry’s chocolate orange.

This one reminded me of Christmas as I always get a chocolate orange from my dad. It tasted lovely and I even had a couple of pieces of the chocolate to dip in yum yum.

So I’ve decided if I’m making a Hot Chocolate at home I’m going to use hot milk and add chocolate. Then I can use whatever is in the cupboard or whatever i fancy that day. Dairy Milk, Galaxy, Lindt, Thorntons, Nestle, Terry’s chocolate orange, Nutella and the list goes on. You can use any bar or your choice to make the flavour you desire.

Whats your favourite Hot Chocolate?

All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall.

In Cornwall we have some beautiful sites to visit, some free like the wonderful beaches and other attractions like The Lost Gardens of Heligan which cost. Luckily for locals we can buy a locals pass. You pay one payment per person and can visit the attraction as many times as you like for one year. We paid £14.50 per adult and £6.50 for a child, under 5’s are free.

Onsite there is a restaurant, cafe, ice cream hut and shop.

When you arrive you park up and walk in past the farm shop to the entrance. I highly recommend wellies for walking, I made the mistake of wearing flat slip on shoes which were covered in mud by the end. I saw a lot of locals taking their dogs for a walk.

Once in the first thing you come to is the ‘Giants adventure trail’. All wooden ramps, logs and stepping stones to walk across. My son had a brilliant time balancing walking across them. He was a little worried at first as they were wet and slippy but his confidence grew and he thoroughly enjoyed it.

We came across a Giants head peaking from the ground! We thought he was playing hide and seek with us.

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And further down we saw the sleeping Mud Maid. We crept past tip toeing and shh’ing.

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We continued walking until we got to the ‘Jungle’ where the scenery is absolutely beautiful. Very peaceful I could have sat looking at that view all day.

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There’s a small uncovered space to leave pushchairs and the ‘Burma Rope Bridge’ you can cross. I didn’t leave my pushchair so I couldn’t cross the bridge but the others did and I met them the other side.

The walkways are raised board walks surrounded by exotic plants.

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We came across a big wooden play area on ‘East Lawn’ with a slide and parts to climb. (I couldn’t get a photo as there were too many children in the background). There were picnic tables around for me to sit with the baby whilst my son had a run around and played.

After a while we all decided to head back. We still hadn’t gone around the whole place but thought we could come back with the baby in the carrier to explore properly.

We came across different animals such as pigs, goats, sheep, turkeys, chickens and ducks. My baby daughter loved the animals it’s the first time she’d seen any. Her eyes were darting around looking here, there and everywhere. She was giggling at the noises they made.

We had just missed watching the sheep shearing but had the pleasure of seeing the farmer and his sheep dog round up the sheep. We were in time to see them being fed.

We then went into the craft tent where my son used pre cut potato stamps and paint to decorate a tote bag for the small price of £1.

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We then made our way into the play barn. There was a table with a play farm to play with but my son headed straight over to the ride on tractors.

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We spent the remaining time in there. We all had a lovely day and can’t wait to go back again! Now we have our locals passes we shall go any chance we get. The only negative I have to say is not everywhere is pushchair/wheelchair friendly and can be steep in places for people who struggle to walk. When I return I will use the baby carrier as I think it would be a lot easier for us.

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All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Elf- The Musical

One of my favourite Christmas films has to be Elf. I love the actor Will Ferrell I think he’s brilliant, he plays the main character Buddy the Elf. If you haven’t seen the film Buddy grew up in the North Pole until one day he found out he isn’t an elf but in fact a human. One Christmas Eve the orphan baby made his way to the North Pole in Santas sack where they decided to raise him. Santa later told him he has a father in New York City and Buddy set off on an adventure to find him. I could watch the film over and over i would never get bored. It is hilarious.

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I have a love for theatres. So when I saw Elf advertised I booked straight away. I booked first row on the circle at Theatre Royal Plymouth. Great seats with a great view (there is a bar so may restrict view for some people). And cost £39.00 a ticket. I went with my two sisters.

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I was a little worried it wouldn’t live up to the film but it was amazing. Great performance, the actors and actresses were spectacular. Ben Forster played Buddy the Elf, he played the part brilliantly. The whole performance was fun and had you smiling and laughing throughout. Me and my sisters thoroughly enjoyed it.

I have so many favourite parts but wouldn’t want to ruin it for anybody who is going to see it. I will say that my favourite character was Deb, Walter Hobbs’ office assistant. Deb played by Lori Haley Fox was hilarious. Every scene she was in I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

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I had a brilliant time, lots of fun and giggles. I’d recommend the show to anyone and everyone. Perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit!

All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Looking for a new alcoholic beverage, best put my beer goggles on…

I’m the type of person who doesn’t embrace change. Only lately I’ve started too. Any time I go out drinking Im very predictable and always order the same drink and have done for the past 9 years… Malibu and Coke. When I was a teenager I drank Vodka and Sprite which I couldn’t touch now. I can’t even drink Sprite without my mind giving me the taste of Vodka eww.

I love Pina colada but it gets sickly very fast. I also like Sex on the Beach a mix of vodka, peach snapps, orange juice and cranberry juice. I’ve made it on a few occasions and got everybody drunk, as the mix of juice tastes very nice and on a hot day. You can knock back glasses of ice cold juice very easily. The juice can get a bit filling though. Also love a Bellini peach or strawberry I have no preference. Fruit purée mixed with Prosecco, lovely. Not many pubs sell Cocktails so I’m looking for something new.

Ive never really liked beer but recently found I can drink cider if it has a flavour too it. Here’s the latest I’ve tried…

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Stella Artois raspberry Cidre. Rekorderlig wild berries Cider. Rekorderlig peach-apricot Cider. Kopparberg raspberry Cider.

I tried afew other flavours but these four were the ones I liked the most and will buy again.

The Stella Artois was the first cider I have tasted and actually liked. I tried this a while back and have had it ever since. You can taste the raspberry but it isn’t too over powering. It’s nice and sweet but not too sweet so it isn’t sickly.

I brought two Rekorderligs. One of which were wild berries which is very nice, the best mixed berry drink I’ve tried so far. I’ve ordered this in a pub since trying it and will continue to order it. You can taste the berries but like the Stella it isn’t too sweet and over powering. The other one was peach-apricot flavour. I love fizzy peach water and also apricot jam is my favourite flavour jam so when I saw this flavour I had to try it! (Usually I go for raspberry or berry as I know I’ll like it). It tastes amazing, I think I’ll have to be careful drinking this one as you could drink one after the other.

I have tried Kopparberg a while back but couldn’t remember if I liked it so I brought them to try. I tried a mixed berry Kopparberg which I wasn’t too keen on but loved the plain raspberry one. It’s very sweet and tasty could get a little sickly after too many though.

All of these bottles are 4% and best served ice cold. Perfect for a sunny evening in the garden.

Beauty and the Beast tea party/baby shower

As you may know I love Beauty and the Beast. I was super excited when the new film came out. Me and my sister went to see it at the cinema and really enjoyed it. Emma Watson fit the part of Belle perfectly. Mrs Potts and Chip they were my favourite characters, I loved seeing them turn human at the end.

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Afew days after going to watch the film, we went to Borington Hall Hotel for a beauty and the beast themed tea. It was lovely. We had sandwiches, plain and fruit scones with jam and clotted cream, Belles brownie books, Luminaires grey stuff (chocolate mousse), Cogsworth tart and a rose cake. All served with a hot drink whilst the Beauty and the Beast sound track played.

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It was was a lovely experience, every where was decorated beautifully and we were also given a little tour around the hotel as we were early. We learnt its history. It was beautiful, and was even better to share the experience with my sister who is an even bigger fan than me! I’ve heard the hotel have a Mad Hatters themed tea now.

Both me and my sister have been collecting everything Beauty and the Beast. Mugs, purses, snow globes, frame, socks, pjs, slippers, bags and the list goes on.

A week after having my daughter my sister had surprised me with a baby shower. She planned a Beauty and the Beast tea party. I hadn’t got a clue about it, and was that shocked and overwhelmed I cried (3 times I think). Even after it was all over and I was home I cried when I thought about it. She made me feel so special.

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All of the food was brought from Asda, Beast from Build a Bear, Chip purses and mug from Primark, snow globe, pompom keyring and bell frame from Clintons, Rose lamp from The Range and the other accessories online.

She had the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack playing, (I even cried when she put it on). I was speachless I just sat eating listening to the music, I didn’t speak as I was trying to take it all in. The amount of time and effort she had gone to was unbelievable.

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I look sad and cried all my make up off but I was really happy.

Doesnt it all look beautiful. My sister also brought a little outfit for my baby girl to join in the fun. Can you guess what it was? …

Yes of course, Belle. The outfit was brought from Asda. They also have Cinderella and Snow White in the same style. All of them are beautiful but of course Belle is my favourite.

How do you like your eggs in the morning?… I like mine with Guinea pigs

Other than bunnies I love Guinea Pigs, my first pet was a Guinea pig called Daisy. I remember going to our local pet shop and looking at all the animals for sale. I saw a beautiful red eyed, ginger and white piggie with a white tuft on the top of her head. It reminded me of a daisy so that’s how she got her name. I fell in love with her. I done what all children do and asked my mom if we could buy her. She told me that she would think about it and explained how you have to look after pets and how important that is. She said that we need to do some research on them before buying one as we didn’t know much about them.

We ended up buying a book on Guinea pigs. I think I may have done some nagging and promising to hold, feed and clean out the hutch as a few days later I went to a friends house and when I returned home there was a big box in the living room. Inside were two Guinea pigs, one for me (Daisy from the pet shop) and one for my sister. Hers was black and sandy with black eyes, she named her Buttercup. We were so excited, they went and brought them whilst I was out. My dad made them a run for in the garden, they had fresh vegetables daily and lived a happy life.

After that I’ve always loved Guinea pigs. So it doesn’t come as a shock that when I saw the Cath Kidston Pets Party range I fell in love and wanted it all!

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My first purchase was the oven glove, tea towels, egg cups, egg timer and salt and pepper shakers.

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I want the whole collection! It’s all so beautiful, there’s a dress and cardigan for me and baby grow for my daughter I want to buy. They also have Disney things, 101 Dalmatians is out now and Peter Pan will be released in a few weeks time. I love the children’s backpacks they are lovely, and would make brilliant Christmas presents.

We decided to try out our new goodies, don’t they look amazing?…

All items are hand wash only. They go well with my country style home.

I couldn’t resist and brought the 2018 diary, pencil case, pencils, sharpener and rubber. I won’t be using them until the new year but have looked through the diary and it’s fantastic. Perfect for me and my needs. It has calendar pages, daily sections, note pages, address book pages, memorable pages and much more.

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All items are available online and in store. Mine were purchased from the Cath Kidston shop in Drake Circus, Plymouth.

All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Something fishy is going on

Yesterday we went to National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth. My son Kane went there on a school trip a while back and received a free return ticket. We planned to go yesterday as I was hoping it wouldn’t be too busy a day after the bank holiday weekend.

I used my sat nav to find the Harbour car park, I found the postcode on the aquarium website, it cost £4.50 for upto 3 hours.

We went in at around 2pm and luckily for us there wasn’t a que to go in. So straight in we went. There was a lift, ramps and stairs so it was fully accessible to get around. Across 3 floors there were lots of different species of fish. Kane could name most of them and also tell me facts on them. He loved showing me all the fish and showing me around (as he’d been there before). He especially liked the cuttlefish. His baby sister enjoyed looking at the big fish in the big tanks. In the middle of the aquarium there’s a big tank with chairs lined up like a cinema and you can sit and watch the fish swimming by. We sat there for a while, her eyes were darting here, there and everywhere. I found it very relaxing, I could have fallen asleep. I saw that you can stay at the aquarium overnight (selected dates) it’s called ‘sleeping with sharks’ it sounds interesting.

There were lots of staff checking tanks and walking around incase you needed anything. Some held doors open for me as I had the pram and were very helpful. In the seated area I was just talking about there were lots of things found in the sea for example compass, parts of a ship, diving helmets ect. There was a member of staff there talking to people looking at them. She played a game with a few children including my son. He sat down nicely playing the game and I could see he was really enjoying it. The staff member engaged well with the children and made sure they were all involved in the game not just the ones who spoke up.

The Aquarium is enjoyable for all ages, me, my 6 year old and 2 month old had a lovely time, and we will definitely return. I paid £15.95 for a standard adult pass and recieved a ticket for unlimited return for a year. I was very pleased with that.