A Wonderful Day Out At Carters Steam Fair

We were gifted with free rides and food and drink for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Who doesn’t love a funfair? I know I do – and my kids do too. Something I really love is vintage style funfairs with carousels and rides like that. When offered the chance to come and review Carters Steam Fair who were in my area this past weekend, I just knew I had to say yes. It sounded like a dream come true for me and I knew the kids would love the day out. It has plenty more dates for the rest of the year so be sure to visit if it is coming near you!

Carters Steam Fair is a traditional English travelling steam fair. Their rides date from the 1890’s to the 1960’s and they have spent the last 40 years rescuing and restoring vintage fairground rides whilst taking them around London and the South East for the public to enjoy. Carters Steam Fair itself actually started in 1977 when John and Anna Carter bought the Jubilee Steam Gallopers that they still operate today.

Carters Steam Fair are unique in the fact that the engines, rides and transport all have absolutely beautiful signwriting, lining and traditional fairground decoration from Joby Carter and his team. He is a leading expert on the traditional craft of sign writing and fairground art and hosts training courses at the Carters Yard throughout the year which I think is incredible.

We arrived and headed over to the token booth to pick up our pack which enabled us to our free rides for the purpose of review. You can also buy tokens here or around the site from one of the many machines and you can even buy tokens online and take advantage of special deals! The rides are very affordable – the tokens are 50p each and the smaller, toddler rides are around £2 to £2.50 in tokens with the bigger rides a little more.

We were gifted with twenty free ride tokens so we could give a fair review of the rides they had to offer, two tokens for candyfloss, two tokens for a hot drink, two tokens for Hook-A-Duck so the kids could both have a go on the sidestall and a VIP ticket for a token deal should we wish to buy more.

There are many rides on site and Jack and Olivia did their best to try them all, although some even Jack wasn’t quite brave enough to try! I’m going to talk a little about the rides below.

The Jungle Thriller Ark is suitable for both adults and children and costs 5 tokens per person. This can go quite fast and can get quite busy as there are plenty of different animals and things to sit on. The ride speeds around and rises up on ‘hills’, much like waltzers do. Jack really enjoyed this ride.

The Jubilee Steam Gallopers is the oldest ride the fair owns, built in about 1895. The ride is gentle and is suitable for all ages although smaller children should be accompanied by an adult. This ride costs 5 tokens per person and was one that both kids really enjoyed. It truly is a magnificent piece of art too, so many beautiful designs and excellent craftmanship.

Jack was much braver than me and gave the Chair O Plane a go. This is for those who are over 1.1m in height and costs 5 tokens per person. This ride dates from the 1920’s and is a rare example of a working vintage Chair-O-Plane. Jack loved it although did a look a little bit worried by the speed and the wind when he was up there, haha!

The Mini Octopus was one of the kids most favourite rides. It costs 4 tokens per person to ride and two people can fit in a car. It is suitable for pre school age up to around the age of 6 although Jack did go in too and he’s 7. It spins you around and takes you up and down and both my kids loved it, especially being able to ride together.

Toytown was probably one of Olivia’s favourite rides! As you can see, she went on it quite a few times. It costs 4 tokens per person to ride and you can ride a train, a tractor or even a horse! It is a great little ride for little ones.

The Autodrome can fit quite a few people in each car and the kids loved going round, steering the wheels like they were driving it themselves.

Somehow the kids managed to persuade me to take them on the Hurricane Jets – they are suitable for all ages but young children need to be accompanied. It costs 5 tokens per person and is lots of fun as you control how high you go with the lever in your jet. The ride flies fast and high and as you can see, my kids really enjoyed it!

The boat ride is for sailors under 1.1m in height and is 4 tokens per person. Young children can be accompanied by an adult. The boats slowly glide around as the children pretend to sail in them and both my children loved the ride.

We didn’t manage to get on all the rides and did go on some such as the Ghost Train but didn’t take photos. I couldn’t believe that the gentleman in the above pictures was actually powering this particular ride by hand – amazing!

We had a wonderful time trying out the rides and also checking out the sidestalls, especially the Hook-A-Duck where both kids left with a little prize. There are a number of side stalls including a coconut shy, arcade and shooting salon.

Steve and I also found the living wagons absolutely beautiful – I’m sad I didn’t actually take photos of any but you can see just how beautiful some of them are here. There are also a number of beautiful vehicles to check out. I mentioned early on in the post that I find vintage funfairs so beautiful and this funfair was both a pleasure to the eyes and to the soul, my kids had an amazing time as did we.

If you find that Carters is coming to your area, please do consider visiting. You won’t be disappointed.

The Lion King Talking Plush Toys | Review

We were sent these toys for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

The Lion King is one of our most favourite films in our family so you can only imagine just how excited we are for the live action movie coming out this week. To celebrate the release of this much anticipated film, we were sent a couple of the brand new talking plush toys from Just Play.

We received a talking Simba (RRP £22.99) and a talking Timon (RRP £9.99), perhaps my two most favourite characters from the film! These plush toys are suitable for ages 3+.

Olivia and Jack were super excited to play with them – they’ve been waiting patiently for the new film to come out and were so happy to see the new plush toys that had arrived for them.

Simba stands at 14″ tall and has a few different catchphrases – you simply press his paw to hear what he has to say. Unlike some toys where the audio can come through quite crackly, his phrases are as clear as a bell. He’s super soft and great to cuddle – well, according to Olivia as she has barely put him down since he arrived!

Simba’s phrases are ‘Trust me, I got this!’; ‘Follow me to freedom’; ‘Well, I’m not letting anyone tell me where to go, what to do or even who to marry. There will never be a king like me’; and ‘I’m going to be the king of Pride Rock’.

There are three plushes of this size to collect – Simba, Nala and Pumbaa and the kids are desperate to collect them all! They do require AAA batteries but these come included – something a parent loves as there is no scrambling around trying to find some!

Now Timon is smaller in stature, coming in at 8″. You can get Timon, Pumbaa, Simba and Nala in this size. He also says a variety of phrases and is super soft and cuddly. He also comes with batteries included, although these are button batteries owing to his size.

Timon’s phrases are ‘Hmm….tastes like chicken’ ; Welcome to our humble home.’;  and ‘Repeat after me kid, Hakuna Matata’.

As you can see, these are really good quality toys with clear audio, super soft to the touch and super cuddly. My kids barely put them down and I’m sure will be taking them to the cinema to watch the live action film when it is released later on this week.

Who is your favourite character?

Blog Tour & Review | How To Make Time For Me by Fiona Perrin

I was sent a copy of this book for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.

I am so happy to be on the blog tour for How To Make Time For Me today – please do check out the other stops on the tour.

About The Book

No-one said being a single mum would be easy…

Everyone knows that being a single mother means having no time to yourself. But for Callie Brown, its more exhausting than most. She’s juggling the needs of three teenage children, two live-in parents, a raffish ex-husband, and a dog who never stops eating.

The last thing Callie needs is anything more on her plate. So when she bumps (quite literally) into a handsome, age-appropriate cyclist, she’s quick to dismiss him from her life. After all, if she doesn’t have time to brush her hair in the morning, she certainly doesn’t have time to fall in love…

Funny, heartwarming and oh-so-true, this is a novel about motherhood, families, and life after divorce, perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Allison Pearson.

My Review

I can totally relate to Ms Calypso Brown. A mum who never seems to have time to herself, I saw a lot of myself in her.

This was an interesting tale about Callie and her life with her twin girls, Wilf, her ex Ralph, his new wife Petra and various other characters including Patrick – or should we call him William?

Some of the time it seems like Callie is really down on her luck and you are really rooting for her to get her own back on people such as Petra who is so obnoxious, it’s unreal! You can see how little time Callie really does have to herself and just how much she does for others – and the opening scene is quite funny, to say the least.

I really liked the characters of Patrick and Marvin, you definitely couldn’t ask for better friends than these two and I loved Lorca and Lois, her parents – or should we say, her fourth and fifth children.

This was a great read. It was light but impactful and just what I needed after a busy few weeks.

About The Author

Fiona Perrin was a journalist and copywriter before building a career as a sales and marketing director in industry. Having always written, she completed the Curtis Brown Creative Writing course before writing The Story After Us. Fiona grew up in Cornwall, hung out for a long time in London and then Hertfordshire, and now writes as often as possible from her study overlooking the sea at the end of The Lizard peninsula.

Follow Fiona on Twitter and Facebook.

You can buy the book on Amazon {affiliate link}, Google Play, Kobo or iBooks.

Blog Tour & Review | The Brighton Guest House Girls by Lesley Eames

I was sent a copy of the book for the purpose of review. All thoughts are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.

I’m so happy to be on the blog tour for The Brighton Guest House Girls today. Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour.

About The Book

A saga of immense charm and warmth, with three characters you won’t forget. Thea, Anna and Daisy forge an unbreakable friendship through adversity.

Thea’s loathsome stepbrother is trying to trick her out of her inheritance of her parents’ beautiful house in the seaside town of Brighton by means of a Will which Thea believes to be forged. He gives her three months in which to leave. Afterwards she will face destitution.

Anna is pregnant and grieving, her explorer fiancé lost at sea. Her violent father drives her from the family home in the back streets of London’s Bermondsey and her fiancé’s upper-class relatives cruelly reject her.

Daisy is in search of independence, running from a man she doesn’t want to marry.

Together the three girls set up Thea’s home as a guest house and embark on a mission to outwit her stepbrother by proving his fraud. In a race against time, nothing will turn out to be quite as it seems.

My Review

Words cannot describe how much I love this book. I wasn’t too sure how ‘me’ the book would be but the author had me gripped from the get go. The characters are all unique and well built, the plot is well thought out and fleshed out through the book and the sub plots also work well together. You feel for Thea as she tries to fight against her evil stepbrother, you want to mother Anna when she is left alone whilst young, pregnant and grieving.

Daisy is the only one who isn’t in turmoil but is looking for something more from life and this brings her into the path of Thea and Anna. The three main characters are all very well developed and you truly get a feel for their stories – the backstory of each is well written and it is like you are in their minds.

You find yourself willing everything to be alright in the end and you also find yourself wanting certain pairings which may seem unlikely from the beginning of the book.

Overall, this is a fantastic saga and I really enjoyed it. I’d love to see more from these characters in the future although I’m not too sure their stories could be continued, I just loved them so much. I’d love friends like Thea, Anna and Daisy, wouldn’t you?

About The Author

Born in Manchester but currently living in Hertfordshire, Lesley’s career has included law and charity fundraising. She is now devoting her time to her own writing and to teaching creative writing to others. In addition to selling almost 90 short stories to the women’s magazine market, Lesley has won the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award and the Romantic Novelists’ Associations Elizabeth Goudge Cup.

You can find Lesley on Twitter and Facebook. You can buy the book here:

Amazon {affiliate link} | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play


Enjoying A BBQ With The Family

We were sent these products for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

What is summer without a barbecue? We love barbecues but it isn’t always possible to get everyone in the same place at the same time.

I was recently sent some products from Bar-Be-Quick and Home Bargains to review and to enjoy for a summer BBQ. So what were we sent?

From Bar-Be-Quick, we were sent a Bar-Be-Quick Instant BBQ, a Kikkoman Teriyaki marinade, some Bar-Be-Quick foil trays, some Bar-Be-Quick bamboo skewers and and a Bar-Be-Quick grill guide.

From Home Bargains, we were sent some summer napkins (which snuck into the pics with the Bar-Be-Quick products above!), reusable plastic cups, reusable plastic plates, ice cube trays and a plastic sip straw cup.

Everything you could possibly need for a BBQ out in the summer. So what did we think of the products?

With some instant barbecues, they don’t quite live up to their promises. This one said it was suitable for 2-4 people, burns up to one hour and was clean and easy to use. It totally lived up to expectations, burning for around an hour or a little more and cooking food for us four quickly and evenly. We enjoyed a variety of food, cooked on the BBQ from chicken kebabs to hot dogs to burgers.

We put the large plate, small plate and cups to good use for putting food on to choose from, to use as our own plate and for drinks. The bamboo skewers were put to good use for the chicken kebabs – I think I’ve found a new favourite BBQ food!

I’ve never really shopped at Home Bargains before, except for the odd occasion, as the nearest one is quite a drive away but I will definitely be making more of an effort to visit now – the plates and cups are great quality – and with two kids in the house, reusable plastic plates and cups always come into good use! The drinking cup with straw has already been claimed by Olivia and is fantastic, good quality for the price.

When it comes to the Bar-Be-Quick products, I’d heard of them before but hadn’t really tried their products. I’m suitably impressed. The BBQ lived up to expectations, the trays and skewers were very useful and the grill guide has been great for giving us further ideas.

Overall, I was very impressed with the products I was sent and would definitely consider buying from both retailers again when it comes to another BBQ.

You can find out more about Bar-Be-Quick and their products here and you can shop for these fab colourful summer tableware items at Home Bargains here.