Forest Holidays, Strathyre: Review

Right now, I’m sitting in a hot tub.. ,  surrounded by glorious greenery, sunshine and all of this is located outside a beautiful cabin with some much needed, peacefulness thrown in. What more could you ask for? Personally, I wouldn’t need anything else but the folks over at Forest Holidays certainly go that extra mile to make sure that when you stay in one of their cabins, all of your needs are being catered for… Even ones that you didn’t think you had!

When Forest Holidays agreed to let me review this weekend, we decided to turn it into a bit of a surprise for the 6year old and not tell her where and what we were doing. There were clues such as “being in water at night, under the stars” and “sleeping in a forest”. As we turned off the A84, on to the little road leading up(which we later learned in our dusk walk with the ranger,was the old train track from London to Inverness)and she saw the cabins… Her face was a picture. It was worth it and it’s things like this that memories are made of.

We reached our destination and went into the reception/shop where we were greeted by the warm and friendly staff member who told us about the cabin (Silverbirch), the activities such as nature workshops and walks at dusk, bike hire, in house chef, birthday packages, romantic break packages etc to the fresh bread made locally and the pamper services. The staff go above and beyond to make sure that you have all that you need and if forgetting anything, they provide you with a leaflet and printed out fact and info sheet.

After getting the directions to the cabin which would be “home” for the next few days, We drove up to our parking place which was numbered to our cottage and had space for two cars, but if you have more in your party,you can pay for an extra parking for a small fee. We crossed a little bridge where we went over a  stream and entered into the most wonderful cabin, that I had ever had the pleasure of staying in.

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All of us ran around checking out the bedrooms and Thunderpants chose a room which would be hers, the one with the “den” in it. I then looked into our room and was blown away. We had the most comfiest of beds, robes, towels and a fantastic en suite which had a bath even bigger than our own corner tub at home. There were cute little flooring lights and I knew I would be relaxing in this after the kids were in bed, with a book and a glass of bubbly.

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We were so very impressed by what we were seeing and despite the rain, the views were beautiful, so very atmospheric and we felt  cosy in our cabin, especially after we put the log burning fire on. It was exactly what was needed for two stressed out parents and two adventurous children. I could feel my stress drain away, and the fact that we hadn’t any access to wifi was even better because it stopped me from doing any work, checking emails, going on to Facebook and other social media platforms. This was a break from all of that and some much deserved and needed time, without distraction.

After dinner, which we chose to use the  BBQ, we headed out for the dusk walk with the resident ranger who told us all about the local area, the wildlife, plants, and animals. he was a very resourceful guide and he had Thunderpants captivated as well as the adults. You could tell that he enjoyed his job a lot, and really got quite a bit out of educating folk. We took some pictures of where we went , as you can see below.

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During the course of the weekend, we also went into Callander, just to pick up a few things but to be honest, I would have been happy to have stayed at the site without venturing out. I think I will be trying out the canoeing when we hope to visit at the end of the summer with some friends, as well as some of the other ranger led workshops too.

 

There is so much to do here at this location, whether the sun shines or not and we are planning a stay in November for my Birthday and our Anniversary. One night alone, and the rest with friends and family. I have so much to say about our stay because there was so much that we experienced in our three days. I would thoroughly recommend this as a romantic getaway or as a family break. It really is a multi-functional holiday destination! Please do visit, because you won’t be disappointed.

* A special Thank You goes out to all staff who arranged this for us.

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NY American Grill Glasgow: A Review

 

I like food. Everyone likes food, it’s what we need for survival as well as water etc. I like good food though. I grew up on a diet of shell fish and meat , having lobster, oysters mussels , fillet mignon etc. My Father is French and enjoys good quality food and I’d like to say that I have his love for the good stuff.

I also like trying out new food and places to eat. When I was invited a long to Glasgow’s newest eatery in Princess Square, I called a friend and we headed into town to attend the grand opening, last Thursday to see what it was all about.

To say that the place was packed, was a bit of an understatement but I guess with the promise of free food and drink… Well, I’m sure you can imagine the rest. I would like to say though that we were met by some lovely and knowledgeable staff who made sure that we had gotten a drink and also explained a bit of background to the restaurant , food and events that were happening on the night. There was lovely bowls of popcorn on the tables as well, to tide us over until the food arrived.

My friend and I had a glass of Prosseco , and the first bite to eat was crab cakes and shrimp coated in coconut and batter. The shrimp was to die for and I could have eaten a whole plate. The crab cakes were nice but a bit lacking in flavor. We then had a sample of their burger, which was OK… Nothing really special to be honest but nice all the same.

We then moved on to chicken wings, ribs , brownies and cheesecake. All of which were absolutely scrumptious. We were also advised to try out their cocktails and being with a gin lover , and me a gin virgin, we tried out the “Aviator”. It was very nice and it’s safe to say that I’m now a convert.

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We left soon after this due to it being very busy but I will be returning to have dinner there with the girls in a few weeks. I have no doubt that this restaurant will be a hit. From the decor, choice of music, and most importantly food, I would highly recommend NY American Grill. It isn’t just your usual burger joint – trust me, being born and brought up in Canada… I’ve seen my fair share!

In conclusion, try the cheesecake, shrimp,cocktails, and ribs because you’ll be missing out! A big shout out to the staff who really did amazing in the night, smiling all of the time and always available to answer any queries, quick to tidy and just all round happy!

 

Aldi Washing Powder:Review

20130424-101754.jpgI was sent some washing powder last week and was asked to review them, and with being on maternity leave where money will be tight soon as I want to extend the time that I originally thought about taking, I was pleased to be given the opportunity to do so. The Gel costs£2.19 for 630ml and the powder tablets are £2.49 for 36 tablets.

I was given two products which are non bio, with kids in the house this is the type that we buy anyway and we are always open to trying new things. Immediately I liked the scent even before doing the wash as it was very refreshing and I knew that the 5 year old would think it was great as she has a thing about smelling nice already.

The name of the products are “Almat” and the gel has a stain lift, does 21 washings and can be used with a water temperature as low as 15 degrees. The washing powder contains 36 tablets and can do 18 washes and again can be used at the same 15 degree temperature as the gel . The tablets and gel have been approved by the “Good Housekeeping Institute 2012” which provides honest reviews of products and you can see more here.

As much as I read reviews though, I need to test them out myself and I am so very impressed by the result. Having an 8 week old baby in the house who’s nappies end up spilling over (sorry for the mental picture guys), and it always ends up on his sleep suits resulting in approximately 4 changes in one day, and a 5 year old who likes getting dirty and playing in her sandpit and has been known to take off her shoes at the park, the dirt and grass stains are usually difficult to get out. However, after using these two products I was immediately impressed that the stain life technology actually did what it said it would do. I did have to increase the water temperature for the heavily soiled items but its a small price to pay and I didn’t have to throw out socks or sleep suits as I have done in the past.

Also, as a Canadian being brought up to respect the environment, I am conscious that it can be used at a lower temp and the packaging is recyclable as well, so its a winner in all respects I feel. I know that I will continue to buy this product and many others as they increase their brands and quality, whilst helping our family save money in the process.

I received Aldi’s Almat washing powder and gel in order to give you my honest thoughts on this product. The thoughts and opinons above are my own, yours may vary. I was not paid for this post.

 

 

 

 

 

Competition Time:Cussons Mum and Me Bump Pack

Hey everyone! Here is my first competition which I hope that you can all RT on twitter and pass on to any pregnant Mamma’s out there. I used the sleep mist when I was pregnant and I feel it was a god send for the whole family! The mixture of camomile and lavender was so soothing and I now spray it in the children’s room before they go in to bed, which seems to have them out like a light. It has also helped the husband with his insomnia!   All you need to do is follow the link and enter to win. The winner will be drawn on Friday at random and notified.,
The Bump Gift Pack includes:
Smooth & Glow Pregnancy Shampoo
  • Containing Almond Oil and Pro Vitamin B5 to keep hair nourished and easy to manage. The perfect item to keep mum-to-be looking her very best.
Soothe & Nourish Body Lotion
  • With a blend of Avocado, Almond & Grapeseed oils, this product will leave mum-to-be feeling hydrated and moisturised. A great choice during the cold chilly months when your skin can be extra prone to damage. Plus it contains Allantoin that can help to relieve itchy skin, especially over mum’s bump.
Relax & Unwind Bath Soak
  • This product contains Camomile which is known for its relaxing properties. The ideal gift for mum-to-be to get some “me time”.
Relax & Unwind Sleep Mist
  • With Lavender and Camomile this sleep mist will have mum-to-be unwinding in no time at all. Its relaxing aromas will let her gently drift off to sleep.
With an RRP of £15.99 the Bump Gift Pack includes every essential mums-to-be will need.
Cussons Mum & Me is a new range of products designed to help with the amazing realities of becoming a mum. The range addresses three keys needs of mum and baby – sleep, skin and hair and has been designed to help with every stage of the journey – from bump to new mum to baby.
All Cussons Mum & Me products are available from major retailers including Tescos, Boots and Sainsbury’s. For more information see: www.mumandme.com#

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