Friday, 14 November 2014

Food glorious food!!

Now there's nothing more we like to do than treat ourselves to the odd meal out or two! Weather that be our favourite restaurant, somewhere recommended by a friend or one of those little treasures you find while driving home, and that's just what we found!

Hare and Hounds, Bradford.
Part of the Embers Inn chain.

Now this place is HUGE and family friendly. It has a conservatory overlooking the gardens and a massive beer garden (for those warmer days). Inside, It has a rustic feel to the decor, you only have to see the open fireplace to get the feel......ideal for those long winter nights.

Now onto the good stuff, the FOOD!

The menu is set into 4 sections.
Main Menu, Set Menu, Sunday Lunch, Kids Menu and there's more than enough choice that it could take a while to actually pick what you want *NOM*

All the food is cooked to order so there is a small wait, but not long enough for the kids..... or the other half to start with the "When is it ready?!?" and the portions! Well there's no complaining there either, these were beyond filling.

And what's lunch without a pudding?!
 I say pudding, it's more like your main meal in size and big enough to share, if you're into that
*which I am NOT !*

Now you would think that this little spot of lunch would cost a small fortune but it DIDN'T, very impressed with the price, quality and definitely the portion size and will be venturing back VERY soon, maybe to try their Christmas menu which is also very reasonably priced
*see here Christmas Menu*


*All photos, apart from the building shot, are our own. Review based on our personal experience.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Yummy Minions!!

Lets all admit it, no one can turn down a Cupcake...... Especially one as yummy looking as these!

Nothing says 'Honey, I'm home' better than a box of Cupcakes, and the other half defiantly scored some brownie points with these cute Minion's. But he can't have all the credit as he didn't make them, it was actually his friend at The Humming Bee Bakery . And she doesn't just make Cupcakes, but we'll get to that shortly.

Not wanting to eat a Minion's face I went for one with the most frosting on *enter sugar coma!*
ohhh - MY - word
 was it to die for! 

It was light, fluffy and with just enough frosting that you could actually taste the cake too.
*no drink needed to wash these cupcakes down*

Now I'm no expert but when your fussy 9 year old and other half are practically licking their plates clean you know you're onto a winner! And after looking at some for Ms Humming Bee's gallery pictures it may well be a cake next!!

*Cupcake Samples*

*Cake Samples*

We really hope you check out The Humming Bee Bakery and sample their delights for yourself....... and trust us when we say you will NOT be disappointed!!

*All thoughts are our own.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Our Daughters 9th Birthday

Recently we celebrated our daughters 9th birthday with a trip to Xscape in Castleford.

We had intended to go on an outdoor adventure, however typical British weather meant that we had to make some last minute adjustments. 

Some friends had recommended Xscape and said what a fabulous day out it was.

Our Daughter brought two of her friends along to enjoy the excitement and upon arrival it was decided that we would first put our Golfing skills to the test in 15 holes of 4D glow in the dark golf. I know what you're thinking, what is 4D Golf? Well it involves wearing 3D glasses whilst going round the golf course which to add further excitement is neon and in the dark. There were two courses of which we did both, a underwater "Search for Atlantis" course and a "Curse of  the Mummy".

Both were excellent fun and the kids had a great time mastering their golfing skills whilst laughing at each other as their pearly white teeth gave off a vivid glow as they opened their mouths. The holes were interactive too and certain things would happen as the ball went down the course or into the hole. It was great fun and we all enjoyed seeing who would become the 4D Golfing Champ !

After we had finished the golfing the next challenge the kids undertook was the laser obstacle course.

 Each child took it in turns to enter a dark room where "lasers" were beamed into various obstacles. The object of the game was to get to the other side of the room, hit the red button and return to the entrance in as quicker time as possible, for every laser they hit extra time would be added. Our daughter took the cautious approach whilst other kids simply charged through in an effort to see how quick they could get back. Again the kids really enjoyed this and it was a really unique attraction.

Xscape provides plenty of places to eat, Frankie and Benny's, Nando's, TGI Fridays and Pizza Express were just a few eateries available. 

After lunch the Adventure Xplore play zone was next on the list, the kids could run wild, climbing, sliding and exploring in this area. A full cafe was also in this area so adults could grab a coffee etc whilst the children were off playing.

The kids must have played in this part for well over an hour coming back for the odd drink, each time coming back redder and redder.

When they decided they had had enough we decided to go outside to cool down, this didn't really have the effect we hoped for as outside were bouncy castles, trampoline bouncy things (you will see what we mean by the picture) and water walkers. 

So they all decided that they would do the trampoline bouncy things and the giant bouncy castle. 

It was a great day out and our daughter loved every minute, and to say that it was not originally what we had intended to do we were really glad we went. There was still things we did not do while we were there so we have another reason to go back.

*All thoughts and photos are our own.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Where have we been?!

This poor, poor blog has been very neglected recently and for that we are very VERY sorry :(
But on the plus Side we have LOADS to tell you!
From a few family days out,


World Book Day

Our Daughters 9th birthday,

 Our family holiday to DISNEY WORLD, FLORIDA (will need a few posts for that!)

 AND some very exciting family news :D

So keep your eyes glued to our blog, our next post will be up tomorrow! And hopefully every day after that!!

The Parkinson Family

Monday, 10 February 2014

H2Wow! Water Bottle

Fresh tasting water on the go !!!

At home we try, where possible, to lead as healthy life style as possible, that doesn't mean to say we don't enjoy the unhealthy life style but we try to find a happy medium between the two.

One of the key factors of leading a healthy life style is drinking water, and if you are like us and on the go, in and out of the office or in the gym, sometimes the only water on offer may be that from a tap.

Now if you're like me, there is a significant difference in the taste of tap and bottled water, tap water just doesn't  cut it sometimes and just doesn't give you that fresh taste. So when I read about the H2Wow! Water bottle I decided to buy one and I am not disappointed !!

I ordered two water bottles, one as seen on this blog in red and another in green. Both arrived in super fast time and were really well packed. The item itself is simplistic but yet so effective and using this item is going to change our drinking habits for the better, save us money (Always a bonus!) and at the same time help to save the planet and a life, as with every bottle purchased £0.50 is donated to Just a Drop charity, which strives to ensure that children across the planet have access to clean drinking water on a daily basis. So the purchase of this bottle was a no brainer really and the gesture made by H2Wow! To make this donation with every purchase just made the decision to purchase one all that more easy.

The water bottle is not like a standard water bottle, the water has to pass through a filter before it gets to your mouth. You gently squeeze the bottle at the same time as you suck! This way you get a steady flow of water. It did take me one or two attempts to get the method right but once you have it's like second nature. 

When you first get the item you have to unscrew the lid and remove the carbon filter from its housing, this is all very easy with no tricky clips etc. you have to soak the carbon filter in hot water for two minutes. Give the bottle and the other components a good rinse in some soapy water and then rinse them off, just as you would do with any water bottle you may purchase. 

Once you have done that you put the filter back into the housing and screw it back into the cap. Then just fill it up once and squeeze the water through the bottle , just to ensure it's clean of any soapy residue. Then you're good to go!!

The filter in the water bottle makes for cleaner healthier and much better tasting water, and the best thing is you just fill it up from the tap!! It removes organic contaminates from regular tap water and reduces the chlorine taste and odours.

We have been filling ours up on a night and putting them in the fridge, then when we first get up or hit the gym (as I do most mornings) you have really great tasting water without the expense of buying branded bottles. We have even put ice in the bottle with the water and again it's so refreshing.

It's great to have in the office too because you just fill the bottle up and have it sat on your desk and again it's just like drinking a purchased fresh tasting bottled water. 

We are really impressed with this purchase and would recommend them to anyone looking to improve their healthy life style, of which drinking plenty of water is a key factor. They come in range of colours and are really reasonably priced plus as I mentioned above by purchasing one of the H2Wow! Water bottles you are also helping out a worthy cause, having availability to clean water everyday is a privilege and something that many of us take for granted.

So check out this product guys!! 

You can order via or email

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Viking, All the inspiration your office needs!

  When we were asked to try out some sample stationery we thought why not, as a new blog we have to start somewhere, right?! So you can imagine our surprise when this BOX landed on our doorstep with a thud!

As stated, inside we found, pens, pads, highlighters, neon mini post-it notes, USB stick, rubber bands, paper clips and YUMMY hot chocolate and a big bag of choccies to keep us sweet. All courtesy of Viking Direct.

Now a lot of people use stationery every day at work apart from me, I'm an Engineer so don't use it. BUT i also run another blog, Orchard Book Club . Where things like stationery and such come in handy, you can never find a pen when you need one!

As a book reviewer my kindle is always with me, and a mini pad and pens come in handy when i need to jot something down from the latest book I'm reviewing.

Reviewing on the go!

I packed my bag with the Viking goodies, obviously i had to have one of each pen and i loved the flip note book, will be buying more of those! And a highlighter for the important bits i feel my review needs.

The mini neon post-it notes were a fab addition. I added notes to them so that i could see them at a glance from my blogging diary, I'm lost without this!

Reviewing curled up in a comfy chair.

If I'm reviewing at home i NEED a big pad, there's a lot of scribbling out and changing about to do so these Pukka Pad are a great idea, and lined ***i can't write in a straight line***
Viking seem to sell it ALL, from every day office essentials like, Ink and toner, office furniture, filing and storage. To, rock salt, De-Icer, heaters, tea, coffee and CHOCOLATES and not to mention they have deals galore....and all at very reasonable prices too, i even took the sales sheet that was in the box to work :)

Their website is very easy to navigate and is broken down into sections, you even get a FREE GIFT when you spend over a certain amount as well as FAST FREE DELIVERY with orders over £30!
With 23 years of experience and expertise why not give them a try....... I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

Thank You to Viking Direct for our goodies, We didn't get a look in once our 8 year old spotted the choccies 😁


Monday, 3 February 2014

A party with a difference with PartyLite

 Obviously i have lead a sheltered life, because when my good Friend, Rachael, at Pure Beauty and Holistics invited me to her PartyLite candle party i looked at her with a blank expression on my face.
I had never heard of them (and I'm a candle freak) let alone been to one of their parties!
So not wanting to be the only PartyLite virgin, i dragged a very willing friend, Simone  along for a night of scented delights.

Rachael played the fantastic hostess as usual, supplying us with drinks, nibbles and mouth watering cupcakes. As we all got nicely settled, the PartyLite host, Sharon, gave us the newest brochure to paruse and a beautiful smalling samples kit was sent around the room.
 You can see it now, Me reading the brochure as Simone is shoving a sample pot under my nose saying "Smell this one!" and there were 40 of those little pots to smell!

To ease us into the candle delights,Sharon decided to play an alphabet game. Each letter of the alphabet had to relate to something within our handbag, K for Keys, T for Tissues......You see where I'm going with this. To our surprise the only guy of the night, Karl, ended up winning (he had an imaginary handbag ;) ) After the fits of giggles, Sharon gave us a brief introduction to PartyLite,

In the early 1900s, schoolteacher Mabel Baker began crafting candles from the wild bayberries that grew in her native town Cape Cod. At first she gave them as gifts to her friends and family, but it wasn’t long before her entrepreneurial spirit took over. With a lot of persistence, hard work and support from her husband, by 1909 Mabel had turned her love of candles into a flourishing business.
Mabel remained passionately committed to growing and nurturing her business throughout her life. When she died at the age of 94 in 1965, what had begun with a single bayberry had become a company worth $6 million. Today, she continues to be our role model for success.
As Sharon was telling us about the company you can see that she loves her job, and goes on to tell us that ANYONE can become a consultant. Full time, Part time, the hours are up to you. To find out more see here ---> Become a PartyLite host.
So now came the HARD part......Choosing what to buy! There were so many great products and lovely smelling candles that choosing was becoming difficult, and I'm pretty sure Sharon or Rachael didn't want me staying the night trying to decide. So i opted for the Spring Beginnings 15 piece sampler set, Picture.

Sharon had a beautiful table of products to show, from dancing candle pots, to a stunning Enchanted Woodland Votive Hurricane light (this was my favourite!)

I would highly recommend getting the girls round (and maybe the boy's) and having yourself a PartyLite party, It's fun and different. You never know, you may love it that much that you become a host yourself!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Xavi Hernandez - 700 Appearances for FC Barcelona

Tonight at Camp Nou, Barcelona will celebrate the 700th appearance of the great Xavi Hernandez.

Xavi came through La Masia, which is the Barcelona youth academy at the age of 11. He made his first team debut against RCD Mallorca on the 18th August 1998 and tonight see's Xavi make his 700th appearance for Barca.

Xavi has scored 82 goals and made more than 180 assists for 50 players. Xavi is also the first player in FC Barcelona history to play over 150 international matches.

Xavi's honours list is expansive. He won the U-20 World Cup for Spain in 1999, and the Olympic Silver medal at the 2000 Olympics. Since he made his senior debut for Spain Xavi Hernandez has been capped more than 130 times. In 2010 he won the World Cup with Spain as well as both Euro 2008 and 2012, in 2008 Xavi was named by UEFA as the player of the tournament.

Xavi has won more trophies in his career so far than any other Spanish player in history.

Tonight will see Xavi make his historical 700th appearance over shadowing former Barca great Miguelito and current team mate Carlos Puyol.

It's a double celebration for Xavi this week, as he also celebrated his 34th birthday.

In my opinion Xavi is one of the greatest if not the greatest midfielder of all time. His club and international records speak for themselves and his game is a pleasure to watch.

I only wish that tonight I was in Catalunya and the Camp Nou to watch and celebrate this great achievement and watch the greatest team on earth.


*Photos sourced via FC Barcelona Facebook page*

Thursday, 23 January 2014

January sucks...... Until you find your gift cards! *part 1*

Is it me or is January the worst month ever!
It's cold, dark and no one has two pennies to rub together.
So you can imagine our excitement when we stumbled across the stash of gift cards we got for Christmas :)
As a family we enjoy going out to eat, in fact our Daughter would eat out every night given the Chance!
So with our £50 TGI Friday's gift card in our pocket off we went.
Now, we have never been to TGI's *shock horror* so was pleasantly surprised with the choice of food and the pricing, not to mention their fab decor..... I mean who has a wall of Baseball's made into the American flag? Or a traffic light above their head while they eat?!

Chicken Wings
Loaded Potato Skins
Mozzarella Dippers
The Monster
Jack Daniel’s® Burger
Chicken Finger BLT

And what meal is complete without dessert?!

Brownie ObsessionTM
Strawberry Sundae

Mini Monste BurgerMi

And soft drink are FREE REFILLS!!
Now to that fab decore!!
The most colorful bar we have EVER seen..... and with so many bottles!

That fantastic Baseball flag

And THAT traffic light! I personally, was mesmerised with this :)

So for a fun family treat get yourself down to TGI Friday's .
The food is out of this world and the staff are friendly and cater to your every need!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Mike Jenkins (1982-2013) Strongman Legend


November 3rd 1982 - November 28th 2013

Over this festive period, especially if you live in the UK it's more than likely that you will have seen Worlds Strongest Man on TV.

Strongman is loved in our household and we have attended Strongman events when they have been in the UK and watch and follow the sport closely.

However this year we watched  the WSM finals with a heavy heart knowing that one of the Sports greats and one of our favourite competitors, Mike Jenkins, was no longer with us.

We never had the pleasure of meeting Mike, however he was just one of those guys that you warmed to on TV, a lively and bubbly character who entertained whilst lifting and moving weights most humans could not comprehend. 

Mikes death is a huge loss to the world of Strongman and he will be deeply missed throughout the strongman and powerlifting world.

Mike was from Westminster , Maryland and worked as a high school athletics director when not competing in strongman. Before switching over to strongman in 2007, Mike was a professional football player.

In 2007 Mike entered Maryland's Strongest Man contest of which he won, this then qualified him for the North American amateur national strongman championships held later that year. Mike placed 6th in that contest. Spured on by this he competed in the North American Nationals in 2009 in Which he came 2nd.

Mike then competed in the inaugural Arnold Amateur Stongman World Championships in 2010 and he won the contest! With this win it meant that Mike received his pro card as well as being invited to compete at the 2011 Arnold Strongman Classic with the worlds best. Later in 2010 Mike competed in the America's Strongest Man and placed 2nd behind the three time champion and strongman legend Derek Poundstone.

Mike, taking up the invite competed in the 2011 Arnold Strongman Classic and placed an amazing 2nd behind arguably one of the greatest stongmen to live, Zydrunas Savickas.

With this 2nd place, Mike qualified for the finals of the Worlds Strongest Man 2011. Mike won the first two events of the finals but then had to unfortunately withdraw due to a back injury finishing 8th overall. We, as many people do, strongly believe Mike could have gone on to win if not for this injury.

In 2012 Mike won the 2012 Arnold Strongman Classic finishing ahead of former champions Derek Poundstone, Zydrunas Savickas and the current worlds strongest man Brian Shaw. That year he also won the Giants live event in Melbourne, Australia, again qualifying for the WSM finals.

Mike finished 5th at that event, during which he set a joint world record with Nick Best in the hip lift event, lifting and amazing 1150kg or 2540lbs !!

Mike Jenkins once again qualified for the Worlds Strongest Man 2013 Finals held in Sanya China and improved on last years result finishing 4th in what was a gruelling contest.

It was on the 28th November 2013 that everyone heard the shocking news that Mike Jenkins had suddenly died. Mike was aged 31 and his death is a devastating loss to the Strongman World.