Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Drusillas Park, East Sussex - review

We chose the perfect day to go to review Drusillas last week. It was sunny with just a slight breeze, hot but not sweltering and I can wholeheartedly recommend the park, we had an amazing day out!

We arrived around 11am after frantically packing swimming stuff as my friends warned me to prepare for the splash area which I'm so glad they did!  Being a Tuesday during term time, there were no queues and we immediately started exploring everything along the entrance way, taking part in some of the "zoolympics" exhibits and finding lots of other interactive features and plenty of buttons for the twins to press - big plus for them.

They dug for scorpions like meerkats and listened to sounds of various animals, shouted as loud as they could (101 decibels for Priya), raced each other to see if they were as fast as a cheetah, checked which animal they weighed the same as, how high they could climb...

We also found mice, monkeys, reptiles and a few other creatures, all before we found ourselves outdoors again by the prairie dogs where the twins loved running in and out of the tunnel by the enclosure.

Although it was mid-week, we weren't sure how busy it might get so we made our way over to the safari rides I'd read about and waited for the cheetah ride to open.  This was my favourite ride in the park and Kalyan adored it, he loved pressing his own button to make the cheetah fly up in the air - it went pretty high!  Priya did NOT want to go up so she just enjoyed going round and round, it may have been a mistake to take her on the Hippopotobus, she didn't enjoy that one at all.

We also explored the Hello Kitty area which was much more Priya's style, she's still talking about the teacups and enjoyed "driving" her own kitty car.

I was pleasantly surprised by just how much there was that little ones can do, I worried about their height being an issue for some rides but they just had to have an adult accompany them.  We explored the maze, following the frog trail and Kalyan was delighted when Granny got squirted and screamed!  He spent ages setting the frogs off again and again.

We ate lunch at the Explorer's Cafe as the other food places all seemed to be closed as it was off-peak.  We did find another open cafe where we had an ice-cream later on and think there were other other food options there too and it had a soft play inside.  For lunch we had baked potatoes and got the kids lasagne and chips to share.  I thought they'd love it but they hardly ate any, perhaps they were just too excited, K was desperate to get on the train!  The portion sizes were great and we enjoyed our jacket potatoes (even though mine typically got cold after three, THREE, toilet runs from two kids!?)  We ate at the outside tables as it was such a nice day and it was quite dark inside the restaurant.  There was also a lovely patch of grass next to us where we sat for a bit as Kalyan discovered the Elephant which makes fart noises!!

Of course, the Safari train was a massive hit too and we enjoyed riding around the whole park listening to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".

The splash pad area was awesome!  Once they were used to the water spraying everywhere, they couldn't get enough!  Kalyan in particular loved it, running about all over, through various fountains and spraying himself by putting his foot over them, giggling and squealing.  It was so fun to watch them and of course Mummy had to have a turn running through with them too - it was nice to cool off!  It was also ideal for parents to chill at the side for a while as the kids run about excitedly in the water without having to worry about anyone drowning!

After the water play, we had an ice-cream and then some fun in one of many play park areas.  There was a trampoline, swings, slides, zip-line, banana swings, climbing frames...  So much more to do, we'll have to return as we just couldn't fit everything in one day!

We only really explored the rest of the zoo route towards the end of the day and somehow missed out on one whole section where the flamingos were (I went back to find them while Mum took the kids on the train again).  Although I love the colourful illustrated map, we did find it a bit confusing to navigate on our first visit.

The farm section was brilliant but we'd left that until later as it was a little busy on our way in and by the time we got there, they'd started taking the animals out to the field so we only saw the Shetland ponies and a pig.  The cow milking station was great fun though and they both had a turn at squeezing the udders and learning about all of the cow's stomachs.

I went back to see the parts we'd missed and to grab a few more animal photos while the kids had one last train ride with Granny.

I'd been told by so many people that Drusillas Park is a great place to take the kids for a day out but until we went, I wasn't sure it would be worth it since the twins still nap in the afternoon and their behaviour can sometimes mean we have to leave places early.  £80 for four of us for a day out that might only last a couple of hours seemed pretty expensive and I wasn't sure there would be enough to keep them entertained in case they couldn't go on all the rides.  Turns out there's LOADS for them to do and they thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so we stayed until closing time at 6pm (with no nap) and they still didn't want to leave!

For a full day's family adventure, it's excellent value for money with so much to see and do and if you become a member, it could be even better value.  The staff are all lovely, so friendly, helpful and polite.  The park is so well maintained, clean and tidy, we really enjoyed wandering around for the day.  I definitely recommend it. we were all really impressed :)

We received complimentary tickets to review Drusillas Park.  As always, all opinions are my own honest thoughts.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Bank holiday fun with dandelions and the paddling pool

The early May bank holiday was just what I needed.  The weather was perfect.  My Mum was here with us (and is all month while Nik is studying) and the twins were on great form.  I've started writing a bit more about my PND diagnosis and also took the scary step of writing about it in my local magazine column in Uckfield Matters, as well as talking about it on air during my monthly Uckfield FM chat slot.  The feedback I've received has been wonderful and supportive so I'm very glad to be able to bring more awareness about maternal mental health.  I'm doing much better now for various reasons and feeling much more like myself again and these types of weekends are doing me the world of good.  Not so much the rainy ones with moody twins but I'm even finding them easier to cope with.

So as for our fun bank holiday weekend, here are my favourite photos showing what we got up to!

Fun with dandelion clocks.  Kalyan has been desperately waiting for the fluffy ones to appear and was delighted when we took him to a patch of hundreds (and I was delighted with the evening light)!  You can see more from this session on my bexphoto blog as well as a pull-back shot of the surprising location.

We bought a new paddling pool and had lots of fun in the recently de-jungled garden - thanks for all the gardening Mum!

And had fun dancing in pants in front of my mirror!  We've all become quite obsessed with The Greatest Showman and I know all the words since I bought the album!

I painted my toenails in a rainbow spectrum (obviously added extra greens to make it up to ten) although I do need a brighter purple next time as mine was too lilac.

Oh and we made some pom-poms which Priya helped with my unravelling the wool for me as I wound it on.  Watch this space for my ideas of what to do with my new pom pom collection, it's time I did some crafting again!

I also got some jobs done which had been on my list for the house for ages like some sorting, tidying and spray painting!  I'll be sharing more about the house soon as I add some final finishing touches to the new guest room before I take photos for another before & after post.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Downstairs Loo - Before & After

It's been months since this room was finished and I took photos back in January but have only just gotten around to blogging it since I wrote about the plans and before photos here.  I adore the new wallpaper and I'm so glad we decided to splash out on the F&B Lotus pattern.  In the end though, we couldn't justify the cost of doing all the walls in such a small room so opted for just the back wall in paper and actually I'm so glad we did, it looks fab with the other walls in the dark grey background colour, Plummet.  The amazing Matt and his mum from MRJ Services did a fantastic job hanging the wallpaper and painting the room.

We've since added a nicer light pull too but to remind you of the before, see below:

I'm yet to fully decide on artwork for this room, I've moved our old diving photo and although the African painting  is still above the toilet, I haven't been brave enough to hang it yet, I want to decide on the art for the main wall first.

We decided we needed a fancy soap to go with our new fancy toilet walls so I asked my sister-in-law for a recommendation as she works in Liberty.  She suggested this lush Aesop one and MIL bought us it for Christmas and SIL bought me this lovely Dr Vranges diffuser too so we have all the lovely scents sorted.  I also replaced the dead orchid!

So, what do you think?  Has anyone else splurged on F&B wallpaper?  I think it was worth it, I love this little room and it seems to look bigger with the large pattern too!

Any advice on art for the walls would be fab too, thanks!  ;)

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Framfield Spring Fair - fun in the rain

On Saturday we went along to one of many local spring and summer fairs in various villages surrounding Uckfield.  They're all great fun and we love supporting our local fetes and their fund raising for schools and various other village causes. 

The Framfield Fair was our first one this year and despite the rainy weather, it was a lovely event.  I'm not sure Kalyan was convinced after I'd made the mistake of telling him there would be a tractor there (it wasn't) and his only interest being for ice-cream (as the van was right next to the entrance) and the Nerf gun stand. 

Once we did pry him away from the guns, he eventually showed interest in the snakes brought along by ESRAS and we enjoyed watching the dancing around the maypole with Miss Maypole, Donna Maria

Priya was initially only interested in looking at the animals but was keen to hold a snake before we left and she and Kalyan were so gentle with Bandit and took turns very nicely as he slithered around them.

Priya also liked the tarantula who seemed to be sleeping.

There was also the obligatory BBQ and various other stalls, Priya had a go at some crafting and Kalyan went on the bouncy obstacle course for about 2 seconds!

We also liked the cute cuddly lambs brought along by a local farm. 

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