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Friday, 21 November 2014

Choosing a New House Phone: Retro Style or Modern Features?

Digital Cordless Home Phone

Well, our house phone is broke.  In fact, it's been broke and unusable for quite a while but I haven't got round to replacing it yet.

This is for a number of reasons.  I quite like not having a housephone. Sometimes it feels like it's just another way for cold callers to pester me (despite having signed up to the Telephone Preference Scheme (TPS) years ago).  

All of our friends, family, work colleagues and even utility companies ring our mobile phones nowadays and we have free outgoing calls on them so our house phone is pretty much redundant.

The only reason I have missed the house phone so far is to ring my mobile phone when I've yet again lost it (and very often my ringer is set to silent anyway!).

However, I do want a house phone again for piece of mind.  If my battery has gone or my mobile stops working, I need a house phone to use for emergencies.

This causes my next dilemma.  Which house phone do I choose?  We have always had digital phones with additional handsets for upstairs.  I love the cordless feature.  When looking after children, it is easier to take a call when you can still move around the house and keep an eye on them.  I also love caller display.  This helps to avoid those  pesky nuisance calls.

Cuckooland Retro Phone Duck Egg Blue

However, I love the design of colourful, retro style phones, such as the Cuckooland Retro Telephone .  They look so stylish and remind me of the time when we did actually have a rotary dial telephone (sadly this one is push button really).  A few years ago, I had a flat tyre and had to use someone's house phone.  They still had one of these original phones and I had to remind myself how to use it again- it took ages to ring out!

Panasonic Premium Design Phone

Realistically, I'm looking at a modern style phone to get all the features that I require.  Maybe I should go the opposite way and look for an ultra modern phone.  I like the sleek look of this premium design phone above.  It is cordless, has Caller ID, conference calls (handy for family calls) and a phonebook but the feature I love is Smartphone Connect-you can use your own smart phone as one of the additional handsets.

There is also a wide selection of new digital home phones on the Panasonic website.

I am wondering if I should pick a modern DECT for downstairs and a cute retro one for our bedroom.  I think it would look just perfect next to a Vintage Teasmade, don't you?

Which home phone would you choose:  retro style or modern features?

This is a collaborated post.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Ten Reasons to Visit Hogwarts in The Snow at Warner Brother Studios

Hogwarts in the Snow at Warner Brother Sturio Tour Watford London

As a huge Harry Potter fan, I love visiting the Warner Bros Studio Tour London during every season and special event.  I have to admit that their Winter Season is pretty special though and may be my new all time favourite!  

Here are my top ten reasons to visit Hogwarts in the Snow, which runs until 1st February 2015.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Coca Cola Christmas Truck, Cardiff Winter Wonderland and Christmas Shopping

Kids at Coca-Cola Christmas Truck

Well, the Coca-Cola Christmas Truck Dates for 2014 have been announced.  Seeing this news brought back memories of our time at the Christmas Truck last year and I searched this blog to read our post... I soon realised that I had never wrote the post up, so only a year later... here it is:

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Why we Loved Kingdom of the Elves at Bluestone Wales

Kingdom of the Elves Bluestone Wales Pembrokeshire

Last year, we had free tickets to Kingdom of the Elves as part of our stay at Bluestone Wales.  It definitely works out good value to enjoy this experience while on a weekend or mid week break, however you can also book limited day tickets from £20 per person.

Kingdom of the Elves Bluestone Wales Pembrokeshire

We arrived and were excited to see that the Adventure Centre had been decorated from inside and out.  We were greeted by friendly elves who welcomed us in and showed us to the waiting area.

Kingdom of the Elves Bluestone Wales Pembrokeshire

The kids played in the indoor play area whilst we enjoyed a coffee in our festive surroundings.  The Christmas Fair is next door if you arrive very early and have more time to spare.

Kingdom of the Elves Bluestone Wales Pembrokeshire

Our group was then called forward for our journey to begin.  We were given our Elf costumes (to keep-very handy for school concerts!) and red, rosy cheeks.  We then went to a secret place for the magic to begin...

 Kingdom of the Elves Bluestone Wales Pembrokeshire

During the experience, you move from room to room, which definitely helps to hold the kids (and the adults) attention.  In the different rooms, you complete different tasks to collect all the different Elf Badges.  I loved seeing how each of the different rooms was decorated.  Danny enjoyed solving problems and the team building tasks.
 Kingdom of the Elves Bluestone Wales Pembrokeshire

The kids got to take a ride on Santa's Sleigh but the grown ups are also included in the experience throughout (sometimes far more than they'd rather be!).

Kingdom of the Elves Bluestone Wales Pembrokeshire

It was wonderful to see the astonishment on my children's faces at the magic all around them.

Kingdom of the Elves Bluestone Wales Pembrokeshire

We had great fun singing and dancing.  I had such a huge smile on my face for the whole of the experience.   It even snowed and I admit that I had goosebumps when we all "believed".

Kingdom of the Elves Bluestone Wales Pembrokeshire

We completed all our tasks successfully and each became a 100% Elite Elf.  This meant we all got to party and also have our photos taken.  I was pleased to be invited to take my own photo as well as the official one being taken.

Kingdom of the Elves Bluestone Wales Pembrokeshire

At the end of the experience you can buy the photograph or photo gifts, but there is no obligation to do so.  I loved the Photo Baubles and Snow Globes so bought these.  

Kingdom of the Elves Bluestone Wales Pembrokeshire

We also booked tickets for "Story time with Santa".  The girls loved making Magic Reindeer Food, hanging their Christmas Wishes on the Magic Tree, listening to the story, and of course meeting Santa, who kindly gave each child a gift.  Some of the things that the children said to Santa had me chuckling, it was all so sweet.

My top tips for Kingdom of the Elves are:

  • Book early-it's very popular.
  • Join in with everything- it makes it more fun and also the Elves are less likely to single you out!
  • Buy a Bauble or Snow Globe Photo so you can treasure this festive, family experience each year when you put your decorations up.
  • If staying at Bluestone, pack a Christmas DVD to watch after the experience as you won't want the Christmas feeling to end!
This account is of The Kingdom of the Elves Experience 2013.  Day tickets can be booked by calling:  01834 887 999

Have you been to the Kingdom of the Elves?  What is your favourite Christmas day out?

Reasons to Book a Winter Break at Bluestone Wales

Kingdom of the Elves Bluestone Wales Pembrokeshire

Saturday, 1 November 2014

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