Saturday, 25 March 2017

Gorleston in Gear

We spent a lovely couple of hours at the Active Norfolk - Gorleston In Gear, which took place on the lower esplanade on Sunday 12th March. 
As you can probably figure out from the title, Active Norfolk aims to promote getting the people of Norfolk out and about and active! There's most likely the equivalent in your area too. 
They offer a wide range of information on classes/groups for all ages and arrange free active and fun events for the whole family.

We arrived at 12.30pm after a hearty brunch with our friends who also joined us. It was a bright sunny day and it brought the crowds out to take part in a family fun day focussing on getting out on your bikes. Chris is keen on cycling and has signed up for several events this year including Tour de Broads, Mollie is a good cyclist and Emily tries hard but is still a bit wobbly due to her nerves. 
We thought this was the perfect opportunity to kick start some Spring/Summer cycle rides and to boost Em's confidence.

The Gorleston in Gear event main attraction for most was the Family Discovery Trail around Gorleston. I'll talk more about this in a moment.

The first attraction we came to was some crazy bikes provided by Doc's Tricky Tricycles! These were specially adapted bikes all of which did the unexpected! For adults and children to enjoy, you would find yourself on a bike where the steering went opposite to the way you expect, on a trike which bumped up and down, a unicycle, tandems where one person pedalled and the other steers and many more. We spent a fun and chaotic half an hour in there!

I think this actually helped to encourage Emily more than anything.

We decided we needed to get signed up to the trail as the event was due to end at 3pm and we knew the trail should take an hour.

Whilst we did this, another group of friends arrived and as their daughter was a little nervous we arranged for Emily to go with them at a slower pace, whilst their son went with Chris and the other kids. 
Then off they went!

The object of the trail was to discover more of Gorleston and teams were given 12 questions to answer en route, those that complete the trail would receive a goody bag at the end.

I didn't join them as my bike needed some repair (any excuse!) and neither did our friend so we spent the rest of the afternoon browsing the displays and activities on offer.

From can crushing, pedal art and smoothie making in one tent, all aided by pedal power. To information services in another. 
The 3Sixty Bicycle Stunt Team put on a breathtaking stunt show, which we watched from the grassy verge. 

Further along the esplanade Pedal Revolution had their adventure course which consisted of ramps. beams and platforms. If you hadn't taken a bike along they had some to borrow. 
Pedal Revolution also offered bike maintenance and building bikes for charity. 

There was a sectioned off area for toddlers to learn how to ride with a wide selection of small bikes and balance bikes where several tots were whizzing round showing off their new found skills!

Pretty soon it was time to stop for coffee. There was a quaint coffee cart there called Farriers. This was built into a revamped horse box and severed delicious coffee! 

After this I had a try on the powered bikes. These have a power pack built onto them to make pedalling easier. After a sudden surge when you first push the pedal (not enough to throw you off mind you) the bike travels smoothly and with minimal effort. 
I could be quite persuaded with one of these, I just need a few spare £k!!!

By now the rest of our group had been gone for a good 1.5 hours and we had had a check in from Julie, they were on the last eroad back. So we headed over to the finishing point to wait for them. 
Soon they were pedalling into view! 

They were elated and after posing for a promo photo (!) they went off to collect their goody bags.

The goody bags were drawstring sports bags with a bottle of water, a Natural Valley cereal bar, a cycling bandana, a bike bell, map of suggested routes around our local area and a waterproof bike seat cover.

The kids were thrilled with their bags, as was Chris!

Then it was back to Juan and Julies for coffee and cake. What a lovely way to end the day.

For future events please visit the Active Norfolk website or follow them on Facebook.
We've marked their This Girl Can event in our diaries, where they will be hosting a whole month of events aimed to get girls active and runs through June 2017.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

International Coca-Cola Taster Combo at Disney Springs

  During our visit to Disney Springs, Florida we couldn't resist a look around the immense Coca-Cola Store.

For those of you who don't know, Disney Springs (previously called Downtown Disney) is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex, it underwent extensive redevelopment starting in 2013 and was officially renamed Disney Springs in 2015. Also renowned as the home of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

As well as the new shopping area with high-end stores selling fashion, jewellery and make-up brands, they kept the old "quayside" refered to as "The Marketplace", this is styled on 1930's America and is home to the very popular Disney merc stores and old time favourite food outlets, including my MUST pitstop - The Earl of Sandwich!

We enjoyed a wander round one hot afternoon and were keen to get into the new Coca-Cola store. This is a clean and modern store, faced in glass and covering 3 floors. Although there's lift (or elevator I should say) facilities inside, they also have a quirky sloped walkway which goes around the edge of the store, between the building and the glass facade. The girls, of course, wanted to walk up the slope to each level.

The first two levels in the store were full of Coca-cola merchandise, we just HAD to make a couple of purchases! Well, it would be rude not to.

On the top floor you will find the rooftop cafe or beverage bar as they call it, we headed up here to grab a drink.

The Beverage Bar serves a wide range of drinks, their main feature obviously being Coca-Cola products.
Chris had already had a little look into the new store online and had read about their Coca-Cola Tastes of the World taster tray.

These feature either International flavours for $8 or a float tray priced at $8.50, or you can go for the combo tray at $14 which has all of these.
No question, we went for the combo tray.

The International flavours tray contains 16 different drinks, ranging from well-known flavours to the more unusual (yes the infamous Beverley was there!)  Many of the different flavours can also be sampled for free in Club Cool, Epcot.

The drinks are arranged on trays with a number assigned to it, along with this you get a drinks guide. This tells you the name and the country where it is sold. Mollie acted as our "Coca-Cola Guide!"

The Float tray contained 8 different drinks, these had the flavours written on the tray.

We had a pretty refreshing time sampling the different drinks, my favourite was Inca Kola from Peru, Chris quite liked the Thums Up from India and the girls just couldn't decided!

I did find the floats a bit sickly but then after sampling all the flavours perhaps I was just a bit Coca-Cola'd out! Chris and the girls LOVED all the samples and made sure we didn't leave a drop!

As we left the store we noticed that they sold Surprise bags, these were priced at just $1.99! So we treated the girls to one each and they eagerly opened them once we were outside.

A Coca-Cola lanyard with a bottle opener and clip on the end. They have since filled this with keyrings!

Make sure you check out the Coca-Cola store when you visit Disney Springs!

NOTE: all prices shown are correct at time of publishing and are also subject to sales tax.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Whizz Pop Bang!

Hi Guys! 

Mollie and Emily here. This week we are getting to explore one of our favourite subjects - SCIENCE!

Did you know it's British Science Week from 10-19 March? 
So we are up for some totally "Awesomely Amazing Science for Kids!"

We have got 2 magazines packed with fun from 

Whizz Pop Bang offer a monthly magazine subscription from just £2.92 per month! The magazines are aimed at 6-11 year olds and are full of cool facts, hands-on experiments, puzzles and fun.

Each magazine has a theme and is packed with activities and information on inspiring scientists.

We received Seaside Special and Spring into Action and we couldn't wait to get our hands on them.

Both these themes are great for us, firstly we are now entering Spring and also we live right by the beach!

Seaside Special is full of facts about sealife, the effects of water motion, the sea and beach habitats. They talk about keeping our beaches clean and we are proud to have received Blue Peter badges for organising a Beach Litter Pick.

They also feature an interview with a Marine Biologist, a lady called Dr Maddalena Bearzi and the "Amazing Life of Jacques Cousteau."

In the latest news section, they welcomed home astronaut Tim Peake who spent 186 days on the ISS (International Space Station - we love looking for this in the night sky when they do a scheduled flyover! You can find out when it's next passing over by visiting the ISS website.)

The Spring into Action edition delves into the Secret Life of Seeds. The first activity on this page challenged us to find out how many seeds we could find in our kitchen - we found 3 different types in the fruit bowl, two types in the veg rack and loads in the tins and jars in the cupboard!

We then learnt about why lambs are born in Spring and some fascinating facts about their wool.

Emily loved reading about Mathematician and scientist Mary Somerville, who was a pioneering champion for Women in Science. She's one cool lady!
She first put forward the theory of another planet in our solar system and soon after that Neptune was discovered!

Whizz Pop Bang puts an emphasis on caring for the environment too, in their Plastic Fantastic feature they share the many uses of plastic but then also talk about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a huge floating rubbish tip which is 5 times larger than the UK! 

We've really loved learning about science with  and we will be using some of the ideas for our school Science Fair next term. 

The magazine has an "Ask Y?" section where readers can send in their science-related questions and theories and "Y" (the magazine's very own knowledgeable robot) will help to answer them.

A teacher said to us not very long ago, "Never stop discovering. Never stop asking why."

Find out more about Whizz Pop Bang by visiting their website or check them out on Facebook 

So go on, go and ask Y
and enjoy some seriously awesomely amazing science fun!

Mollie and Emily

Friday, 3 March 2017

Scrummy chocolate oaties

We love this old school favourite, Chocolate Oaties! YUMMY!!!!!

The girls decided to bake one afternoon after school and set about gathering the ingredients. This is a fairly simple recipe so I let them get on with it, just supervising whilst they use the stove and the oven, aside from that, they just get on with it.

Here's what you'll need:

225g/8oz Self-raising Flour
225g/8oz Margarine
225g/8oz Sugar
140g/5oz Porridge Oats
55g/2oz Cocoa 
25g/1oz Chopped Nuts
Chocolate for covering

You will also need:

A mixing bowl, wooden spoon, greased deep edged baking tray, scales and a saucepan.

Step One:
Preheat the oven at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
Set your prepared baking sheet aside.

Step Two:
Melt and margarine and sugar over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Whilst this is melting, place the self-raising flour, oats, cocoa and chopped nuts into a large mixing bowl.

Step Three:
Pour the melted margarine and sugar mixture into the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly.

Step Four:
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking sheets and spread out evenly.
Press the mixture down firmly.

Step Five:
Place in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Once ready allow to cool completely before turning out.

Step Six:
Melt the chocolate and drizzle or spread over the top of the oaties. Then using a very shape knife, cut into serving sized pieces. This recipe made 16 large rectangular oaties, these proved quite "rich" so I ended up cutting the triangles in half.

Store in an airtight container and these will keep for several days, not sure how long as we ate them pretty quickly! Yum!