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Hi Gear Voyager Elite 6 Tent Review

So something much larger on the #TriedTested review page this week from us. Over the weekend we decided to give our new tent a dry run ahead of the Just So Festival in a couple of weeks. Daddy wanted to see how quick it was to put up and take down.

Daddy putting up the Voyager TentIt was the first time we had taken it out of the packaging and had just purchased it in the Go Outdoors sale after a recommendation by a friend. Hi Gear seemed to be a good trusted brand and their prices were reasonable. We got it for half price in the sale!

We wanted to buy a tent that could sleep up to six so we could go on large family holidays to the New Forest and attend festivals without having to worry about orgainising accommodation.

This six man tent seemed like a perfect solution. Daddy has a Go Outdoors card which also provided extra discount as well. Both mummy and daddy love camping and as children they used to go camping all the time with Duke of Edinburgh trips, scouts, girl guides and brownies.

Playing peek-a-booThey wanted to introduce me to camping at a young age and get me climatised to the great outdoors. This tent is massive compared to the one and two men tents they are used to. In fact both mummy and daddy agree it’s like a palace! With standing room head hight in the foyer area! My mummy is amazed by the sheer weight and size of it. You couldn’t go hiking with it she thinks!

While mummy is keeping me entertained daddy lays out the tent, poles and instruction in a green belt behind the house. He’s conscious that he doesn’t want to get told off by neighbours or people using the park and equally afraid that someone might think he’s a traveller and try to move him on.

Tent upIt takes him 40 minutes to put it up for the first time, That includes putting all the little compartments up and the add ons. He does the majority of it himself only calling on my mummy once to hold up the tent from the inside while he secures the poles into position. It has a cross pole design giving it extra strength in windy conditions.

While my mummy is inside the tent she sees it grow to life in front of her eyes…it expands and gets bigger, taller and wider. She remarks that there is something quite satisfying seeing a structure form. The ground sheet is sewn in, meaning I don’t get any creepy crawlies in my bedroom :) it has a front door and side door perfect for when you need to duck out to the loo in the middle of the night and don’t want to wake the whole campsite. (I don’t have that problem, maybe adults should wear nappies when they camp!!)

I run around the corner with Grandma and my mummy peeks her head out of the tent. I have never seen anything like this before, it’s like a mini house outdoors. Excited, I run over to explore. We spend a good hour playing and exploring the tent together. It’s 2.3 meters high, 5.5 meters long and 4.2 meters wide in a lovely emerald green.

Inside the tentWe all go down for a cheeky 5 winks in the foyer area on the nice carpeted ground sheet. It’s a beautiful, large tent with lots of cubby holes to stash things and a large foyer area. The separated pods are good as well, as I have my own bedroom which is more than large enough to put a travel cot in. Very impressed.

It’s very relaxing in here and the gentle breeze on this hot day makes it feel like we are in holiday, not in a park in Basingstoke. We get some strange looks though and every time a dog walker strolls past daddy remarks (very loudly) “Isn’t this great – test driving our new tent for our trip next week?” which makes my mummy giggle. You don’t seriously think that someone would report us to the council do you daddy?!?

Playing in the tentAll in all a lovely way to spend an afternoon. It takes daddy 30 minutes to take down and pack away the tent which requires help to fold. But proof in the pudding will be when he has to do it under pressure at the Just So Festival, especially when I’ll be causing havoc!

Stay posted to see how we get on. To find out more about this tent visit Go Outdoors. Go Outdoors also provide a price matching service, so if you find it cheaper they will beat it :)

Happy camping folks!

Bella xx

Family Fever
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Polesden Lacey National Trust

Friday 18, July 2014

Mummy and meDear mummy, our travels took us somewhere new last weekend. As we were driving back from London and the traffic was bad on the M25 we decided to take a quick detour via Leatherhead towards a little village called Bookham, in between Dorking and Guildford.

We had been told that Polesden Lacey, a National Trust Estate, was just round the corner. As we are members of the National Trust, it was a good opportunity to stop in and visit.

Front of the houseIt’s another fine day and the skies are blue. We drive up the long road through an impressive gate and up to the estate. The car park is a stones throw from the entrance to Polesden Lacey and it’s not too busy today.

We arrive at 2ish and grab our picnic blanket and get the sun cream out of the car, a quick nappy change in the toilets, which are cool and clean and I feel refreshed after my long car journey. A quick runaround is just what I need to stretch my little legs!

This place is beautiful! And is surrounded by rolling hills and stunning scenery. People are sat in deck chairs soaking up the sunshine.

Polesden Lacey viewsPolesden Lacey is an Edwardian House and estate and is located on the North Downs. It is owned and run by the National Trust and is very popular. The house originally was owned by Margaret Greville, a well-know Edwardian hostess. Who entertained royalty and the privileged. She was a close friend to Queen Mary and bequeathed all her jewels to Elizabeth the Queen Mother, including a diamond necklace belonging to Marie Antoinette!

She was named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1922 and her estate was bequeathed to the National Trust.

The grounds of the estate are extensive and we head off to see the house and take in the views. It is spectacular and you can see why King George VI and Queen Elizabeth spent part of their honeymoon here! Mrs Greville’s collection of fine paintings and porcelain is displayed for visitors to see in the house. My mummy ducks in and has a quick look while daddy and I play on the lawn. The estate has a regal feel about it and we imagine young royals playing on the lawn as children.

Walled gardenWe explore the walled garden next, as it’s July the roses are still in bloom and they looked fabulous. Lavender lines the paved paths around the gardens and you could hear busy bees flying from one flower to another.

It was so peaceful here and we had the whole place to ourselves. Our favourite blooms were the snow white ‘Iceberg’ roses and the beautiful dip dyed yellow and pink ‘You’re Beautiful’ blooms. Both looked stunning against the deep blue sky.

Stone sculptures littered the formal gardens, some scary and some angelic. I was memorised by daddy blowing bubbles and followed them around the gardens chasing them with my hands. It was lovely to spend quality time with my daddy and we both lay down on the picnic blanket and stared at the sky. I nestled my head under his arm and we both chilled out.

Roses at Polesden LaceyBut not for long! Mummy had brought my ball with her and we played piggy in the middle, while I chased it on the grass in my bare feet. I loved the feeling of grass in-between my toes. Daddy carried me through the trees and I giggled in delight as we ducked and dived through the leaves as they brushed across my body.

On the way back we walked through the pleasure grounds and watched staff set up for a wedding, a lovely spot for one. It’s still very warm, so before we head back to the car we stop by the cafe opposition reception and have an ice cream.

My mummy goes to get my National Trust passport stamped (a collection of little stamps we’ve been acquiring on our trips around the National Trust estates) and we sit and enjoy the world go by.

My ice cream at Polesden LaceyA lovely short break in-between car journeys and we could have spent the whole day there! So much more to explore and we will be back.

Bella x

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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The Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth

The Spinnaker Tower from the bottomDear mummy, we had the pleasure of visiting Hampshire’s tallest attraction at the weekend, the Spinnaker Tower. Not only did we see it from ground level while walking around Gunwharf Quays shopping outlet, we also had the opportunity to go up on it. It’s an impressive sight and can be seen from the motorway driving into Portsmouth.

The Spinnaker Tower opened in 2005 and so far has welcomed over 2.5 million visitors, wow mummy that’s a lot!! It’s one of the South Coast’s major attractions.

But it’s not for the faint hearted as my Grandma found out! She’s scared of heights you see, but braved the lift which transported us 100 meters above sea-level (in 28 seconds!) to see the spectacular views across Portsmouth’s historic dockland. There are 3 different viewing decks.

We found out from the friendly member of staff in the lift, Hannah, that the Spinnaker Tower is the UK’s tallest publicly accessible tower outside London. It’s even taller that the Blackpool Tower, Big Ben and the London Eye! And it weighs 30,000 tonnes and uses 201.2km of steel to reinforce the viewing decks alone! That’s enough steel to wrap twice around the Isle of Wight!

The Spinnaker TowerWe went on one of the hottest days of the year where temperatures reached 30 degrees. But inside the Spinnaker Tower, even though it was busy, it was air conditioned and calm. At one stage we had a complete viewing deck to ourselves, before the mass of foreign exchange students commandeered the platform.

We enjoyed the 350 degree views and could see across the Solent to Southampton and the Isle of Wight, on a really clear day you can see as far as 23 miles out across the Portsmouth Harbour and we loved watching all the channel and IOW ferries sail past.

The window cleaners are going to have a job on their hands after I pressed myself up against the windows, my little sticky hands leaving prints as I pointed at the little people and boats down below.

Mummy and daddy liked the interactive touch screens and family trail which helped them make out the landscapes and found them very informative. They provided an overview of Portsmouth’s history which brought the views to life through giga-pixel technology (a bit like the maps of Google). This makes me confused as I don’t know what ‘Google’ means, so I go back to watching the boats and ignore mummy explaining this to me…

Sky walk at Spinnaker TowerOne of the bravest things we did during our visit to the Spinnaker Tower was venture across the Sky Walk, a glass floor raised 330 foot above Gunwharf Quays. We could see the tiny shoppers walking past with their little shopping bags.

It also gave us the opportunity to really appreciate the architecture of the tower. The tower takes it’s name and design from a sail of an ocean yacht and took four years to build. We had to take off our shoes as to not damage the glass floor.

Mummy went first stepping out across the open space, her bare feet stomping on the glass and I followed, at first I was nervous and couldn’t understand why people were gasping and pointing, but then I realised what people were looking at.

Spinnaker Tower Sky walkI was transfixed, down on my hands and knees pointing and umming in approval. I held my mummy’s hand to walk right across the Sky Walk floor and we took pictures. Grandma on the other hand was having none of it! She couldn’t bear to watch and it was a great achievement even getting her onto this first viewing platform. She was very brave!

We took the lift upwards again to the second platform, where in the corner of the room we could see abseiling equipment roped off, waiting for the next charity descent. Rather them than me, I thought, besides I could fit my whole body in one of those helmets!! It was nice and quiet up here and I got to sit by the windows and take in the views.

Looking out to seaThere was also a cafe on this deck called Cafe in the Clouds, but we didn’t venture in, we had too much too see. We didn’t go up onto the open air sky deck at the highest point as it was too busy and the stairs were packed, but we definitely got a taste for the high life.

We spent a great afternoon at Gunwharf Quays shopping and at the Spinnaker Tower, so would recommend it for something different to do with the kids. It’s not everyday you see that great view and get to walk over a glass floor with an impressive drop below.

The Spinnaker Tower hosts some great events from live music nights to comedy club nights, weddings to abseiling. Visit their events page to see what’s on.  Mummy and daddy liked the look of the Ghoul Ball over the Halloween weekend :)

Ferries down belowWe will be back when I’m a little older, the Spinnaker Tower window cleaners haven’t seen the last of these grubby hands! Besides we have yet to see the Spinnaker Tower Mascot ‘Vugo’.

Admission is £8.95, Child £6.95 and Concession £7.95 and worth every penny we say.

www.spinnakertower.co.uk

Bella x

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Basingstoke LIVE

Saturday 12, July & Sunday 13, July 2014

www.basingstokelive.co.uk

Basingstoke Festival FlagsDear mummy, the weathers been beautiful recently! Last week we decided to visit the climax of Basingstoke Festival, Basingstoke LIVE. It marked the close of the month long festival organised by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. Basingstoke LIVE is a two day music festival which takes place in the centre of Basingstoke, Hampshire at The War Memorial Park.

It showcases local acts from all different genres of music. Basingstoke LIVE has 5 stages in this massive field. Each stage has it’s own theme and plays music tailored to its audience. Over the course of the weekend Basingstoke LIVE played host to over 140 acts. My mummy’s favourite stage was ‘Amped’ which played Metal, Rock, Punk and Indie. It was very loud at this stage and there was a lot of shouting going on! Bands to highlight were Blood of The Spectre and Ded Orse. Other stages played hip-hop, folk, drum ‘n’ bass and acoustic sessions. So something for everyone!

Basingstoke LiveThe music festival is surrounded by market stalls, food outlets and fairground rides and if you’re not into live music then there is loads for the family to do. Daddy took me away from the Amped stage as it got a bit loud for my little eardrums and mummy sat and watched the bands while eating her chips.

Daddy took me to the Creative Stage where we entered a black marque and were plunged into darkness, it was lit with funky neon lights and had funky artwork on display. This was more like it I thought, more my ‘scene’. Outside the creative tent, festival organisers put on displays and performances and there was an opportunity for people to create they own tie-die festival t-shirts, which was a nice idea by the council.

Basingstoke Live ArtAll in all a really good FREE day out, yes they aren’t major commercial acts, but it really highlighted the amount of talented musicians we have here in Hampshire. Don’t be put off by the youthfulness of this festival, the Unplgd! Stage had some easy listening and great songwriters on show….who knows one of these acts could be on Radio One soon.

Basingstoke LIVE returns in 2015

Bella x
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

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My Trendy Thursday (well Monday…actually)

21.07.14

We’re a bit late for joining in with Alexandra at www.medicatedfollower.com for her weekly feature showcasing some of social media’s best dressed little people. Doh! As we’ve been all over the place, travelling up and down the South Coast. We’ve been to Portsmouth, London and Dorking during the course of the weekend. On Friday we were on location at BizzyKidz studio in London to update my portfolio pictures for the modelling agency. I wore a super comfy playsuit from Baby Gap which was perfect on this hot stuffy day.

Bella at BizzyKidzBaby Gap are also running a summer sale at present and this is one of the items they have reduced. It has easy poppers and is made out of super lightweight cotton. It’s one of my favourite pieces and I love the denim and little ditsy floral print. Credit goes to Daniella at BizzyKidz studio for taking this fantastic photo, she’s a very talented photographer. We had a fab time dancing around the lighting rigs and playing with the props, let’s just hope it leads to some bookings :) The agency has a lovely family feel about it and we would recommend them as a child model agency. The staff are friendly and accommodating. BizzyKidz also have a great success rate and work with a number of large organisations.

Fingers crossed we can get a job, as I love the camera darrrrling! Hehe ;)

Cheeky face at BizzyKidz

For more on BizzyKidz visit their blog. All pictures are copyrighted to BizzyKidz Agency.

Our travels continue as my little fingers can’t keep up with typing, so stay posted for our review on the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, visiting Polesden Lacey in Dorking and generally having a whale of a time in the sunshine.

Bella x
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Little Green Radicals Review

Little Green RadicalsDear mummy, at long last the Little Green Radicals sale has arrived! Unfortunately we didn’t get to it quick enough and a lot of the autumn/winter related clothes (long sleeve tops and leggings) had sold out. But we did manage to pick up this super cute summer dress, lovely earthy brown cardigan and funky striped berry leggings. It’s still the heat of summer but already my mummy’s directing her attention to finding clothes that are suitable for the colder nights.

Little Green Radicals PackagingHere’s a little review on the Little Green Radicals clothing we purchased. We had a bit of a who-ha with ordering, as the online stock was showing up differently then when they went to go to the warehouse and dispatch, but it was quickly and professionally dealt with by a lovely customer service representative called Gaby. Little Green Radicals are renowned for their quality and attention to detail. The cardigan we purchased had a beautiful embroidered owl stitched onto the front. They also are very ethical and all their clothes are organic and fairtrade. See their story.

Dress printOriginally I had picked a long sleeve top to go with my berry coloured leggings, but they had sold out after I placed the online order so I was offered another choice of the same value or similar, so I picked the gorgeous chocolate coloured cardigan.

Bella in Little Green Radicals DressThe goods arrived quickly and came with a cute little owl postcard. It was all beautifully folded and presented. And the clothes were true to size, neither too big or too small for me.

I wore the dress straight out of the packet as I loved it so much. It was light and soft cotton, so perfect for this hot muggy day.

Owl detailThe berry legging we’re perfect too and we loved the colour ways. The cardigan, obviously wasn’t our first choice but looked pretty to and was a great cover up.

I would love to be able to afford their clothes at full price, but until I get my own pocket money I will leave the sale shopping to my mummy. She loves a good bargain.

Bella x

Family Fever