Monday, October 20, 2014
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Novotel London City South.

Taking the family to stay in a four star hotel can be a daunting prospect, especially if one of them is only five years old. Many hotels do not really cater to the smaller ones and are not really that happy to see them, though they may try to hide it behind fake smiles.

However, The Novotel London City South offers a warm welcome to everyone, whatever their age. They seem to genuinely care whether you enjoy your stay and go out of their way to make you feel welcome, Making sure that you are aware of everything the hotel has to offer.

The family room we stayed in had an intriguing bathroom. With glass separating the bathroom from the bedroom, it looked as if you could see everything that was happening in the bathroom. Great if the little one wants to go and you relax on the bed and keep on eye on them from the bed whilst watching a film. Then, if you suddenly need privacy for the bathroom, at the touch of a button the glass becomes opaque and the occupant of the bathroom is no longer visible. Hours of fun for all the family with that alone. 

The room itself was nicely decorated, the beds were very comfortable, even the occasional bed was one of the best I have slept on. These beds are designed to be used for families and why should any member of the family not have a good nights sleep. Good and reasonably priced room service menu.

All in all a most enjoyable stay. The breakfast was good, plenty of it. You could even make your own pancakes and top them any way you liked. Plenty of breakfast choice and if you want the eggs done a certain way, they are only too happy to oblidge.

Handy for the West End and only a few minutes walk from London Bridge Station. An excellent family hotel for ALL the family.

The 4-star hotel puts you close to London Bridge, Borough Market, the Shard and the South Bank. The West End and O2 Arena are just a short tube ride away. It's 182 guest rooms welcomes you with free internet access. Elements restaurant has a tempting international menu, while Clinks Bar has light meals and a full range of drinks. Work out in the fitness suite, or relax in the sauna or hammam. The 5 fully-equipped meeting rooms can welcome up to 100 guests for conferences, meetings or weddings. Click for more info on Novotel and other locations.

Mum wins national water-saving challenge by collecting rain water

A mum from north-west Wales has saved 75,000 litres of water in just one month as part of a national water-saving campaign created by leading white goods manufacturer, Servis.

Ahead of World Water Week (31 August – 5 September), Servis launched its Start the Cycle campaign inviting consumers to pledge to save water in June, to see how a little change can make a big difference to our water usage.

Rebecca Morgan and her family, from Dolgellau, turned off the taps and got out the buckets to collect rain water, making use of every last drop in a bid to reduce their water usage at home.

The family saved nearly 75,000 litres by collecting rain, bath and dish water and using it to water the plants, wash the car and even clean the slabs on the patio. As the top saver, Rebecca Morgan was awarded a new Servis dishwasher.

Briton’s use around 16 buckets of water a day, which is around 153 litres and 10 litres alone is used in one flush of the toilet. As part of World Water Week Servis wanted to help make a difference and raise awareness of how easy it can be to save water.

Rita Balestrazzi, brand communications manager at Servis commented: “It’s been a great challenge for Servis to launch and to see the response from consumers is inspiring. We are delighted with the results and it has really demonstrated just how easy it can be to save water in the home.

“Every change can have such an impact, whether it’s turning off the tap when washing up or using water-saving appliances or appliances on a water-saving setting, each change can contribute to the reduction of water usage in households.

To help others save water Rebecca shares her top tips:

Make sure your washing machine or dishwasher is fully loaded before using to make the most of the water in each cycle
When doing the washing up make sure you put the plug in rather than leaving the tap running
When running the tap for hot water, fill up empty bottles and use around the house for watering the plants or filling up the kettle
Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth
Try having quicker showers, you’ll be just as clean but without the dithering
Put buckets in the garden to collect the rain; it can be used for watering your plants or even washing the car
Use a bucket and soapy water to clean the car as opposed to the hose with an ‘endless’ supply of water
Fix any leaky taps – more water will be going down the drain than you think
Choose super-efficient kitchen appliances which use less water per wash or cycle and have a minimum A energy rating
Your water company can provide free water saving gadgets from shower heads to tap aerators – visit Save Water Save Money and see what you’re entitled to
Place a device in your toilet cistern to reduce the volume of water used in each flush (these are often available from your water provider)
Save water...give it a try and see how easy it is!

For more information about the challenge visit


·     Surf’s up! Summer Nights arrive at THORPE PARK Resort

·         Late night rides, live music from bands and DJs

·         Limited tickets mean lower queues between 7 – 10pm

Now you can spend the day and evening at THORPE PARK Resort, with the arrival of Summer Nights on the closest island to London with its very own beach.

THORPE PARK Resort, an island like no other, will be keeping its five world-class coasters open until 10pm every Friday and Saturday throughout July until the end of August.

Catch the sunset while you’re coasting or embrace the summer festival vibe at the Resort’s beach, which will be home to pop-up beach bars, BBQs, limbo and an all new surfing machine, FlowRider*.

Summer Nights is perfect for thrill-seekers in search of the summer holiday vibe without catching an aeroplane to find it. Day guests can extend their tickets into the evening for just £5 on the door or alternatively visitors can come down exclusively for the Summer Nights experience which starts at 7pm and finishes at 10pm.

With limited tickets on sale – this is your chance to escape the hot summer day crowds and enjoy the cool breeze of one of the Resort’s top five coasters.

From the UK’s first winged coaster THE SWARM, Stealth, one of Europe’s fastest and tallest, the 100ft ‘beyond vertical’ drop of the movie-themed coaster SAW-The Ride to inversion coasters Colossus and Nemesis Inferno. PLUS get a super-soaking on Tidal Wave, bump around on King Pig’s Wild Hog Dodgems and take a spin on Storm in a Teacup.

Summer sounds will be brought to you with up and coming music acts and live DJs who will be blasting classic summer vibes across the park. 

After riding the coasters and the waves, why not sleepover at THORPE SHARK Hotel located on the ‘THORPE PARK Resort Island’ with 90 bite-sized rooms only a fin away from the summer fun and a perfect base to explore the Resort. Overnight packages start from £68.25* per person and include 2-day park tickets,  Summer Nights entrance on the first night of arrival,  plus priority ride passes for use within the first hour of Park opening and a hot buffet breakfast.

Summer Nights tickets are limited and are priced at just £15 per person. The FlowRider experience is priced at £15* per person and includes tuition, wetsuit and ride time

**All rides subject to availability.

For more information and to book visit

Mixels Rule!!!

We love them, I have become addicted to Mixels. The instructions are such that even I, a Lego making failure, can do them.

I am more than happy to put them together for children under 5, so that they can go off and play with them. Everyone seems to love them and following the instructions gives you a fairly robust toy that once broken, can be remade quite easily.

I confess to not being a master builder, I cannot build anything without the instructions and I find these very therapeutic to do.

Tune in to Cartoon network to see the Mixels in action. 

We are hoping to get a look at series 1 mixels which we missed.

Collect, build, mix and match the new batch of LEGO® constructible collectibles!

Build even weirder and stranger LEGO® Mixels™ combinations with these new additions from series two! Discover the nine unique characters in the three tribes: Frosticons, Fang Gang and Flexers – each with their own unique ways of getting rid of the Nixels!

Hailing from the frozen crystalline shells of dead volcanoes, the Frosticons are the totally chillaxed blue tribe. But don’t let their frosty exterior fool you – when they need to move, watch out! There are three ice cold Mixels in LEGO ® Mixels ™ Series 2 to collect.

Move massive objects with the mighty (and sleepy) LEGO® Mixels™ 41509 SLUMBO (RRP: £3.00)!  SLUMBO is the sleepiest and dreamiest of the Frosticons, as it takes an earthquake to wake this guy up. SLUMBO is awake, this lazy Frosticon has the muscle to move giant objects and create obstacles for Nixels.  But beware; SLUMBIO can get brain freeze from making ice tunnels!

Compared to other members of the Frosticon tribe, the unbelievably slow LEGO® Mixels™ 41510 LUNK (RRP: £3.00) makes everyone else seem positively energetic. LUNK might not be the brainiest, or the most graceful when waddling across ice balancing on his stubby hands, but that thick ice exoskeleton makes this Mixel™ incredibly durable. With one sneeze, LUNK can instantly freeze a Nixel in an ice cube!

Leading the way of this new tribe is tribe leader LEGO® Mixels™ FLURR 41511 (RRP: £3.00)! FLURR is the only tribe member who never seems sleepy and likes to fly around to explore distant Frosticon lands. FLURR is great at spotting invading Nixels far away but sometimes misses the most obvious things!

With the Fang Gang tribe, anything goes, especially when it comes to eating! The Fang Gang are notorious for their large appetites and bad breath. There are three hungry Mixels in LEGO® Mixels™ Series 2 to collect.

Repel the Nixels with the bad breath of LEGO® Mixels™ CHOMLY 41512 (RRP: £3.00)! CHOMLY is a lazy, trash-compacting Mixel who will try and crunch and munch just about anything. This serious eating habit cost CHOMLY a tooth once and now its smile has a golden gleam. This close-talking Mixels has very bad breath though, perfect for repelling those pesky Nixels!

Compared to other members of the Fang Gang tribe, LEGO® Mixels™ GOBBA 41513 (RRP: £3.00) talents lie in his amazingly sensitive tongue, used to seek out the best food on their homeland. Considering they live on a weird farm where they try and plant anything and everything to see if it grows into food, one could say that GOBBA has a unique gift – being able to avoid less tasty foods! Some say that GOBBA can taste feelings – sadness is very salty!

The fiercely loyal and energetic leader of the Fang Gang, LEGO® Mixels™ JAWG 41514 (RRP: £3.00) will stop at nothing to protect and help this quirky Mixel tribe. JAWG is a bit of an animal and won’t hesitate to bite intruders with those incredibly huge, fang-like teeth. Beware of JAWG!

Completing the new range of Mixels are the Flexers tribe; three flexible and fun LEGO® Mixels™ that can bounce, stretch and crush those naughty Nixels!

The Flexers tribe live in the remote Rubberlands and is proudly represented by confident but short LEGO® Mixels™ KRAW 41515 (RRP: £3.00)! Claiming to be the smartest Mixels in the world, KRAW loves to challenge anyone to a quiz, but this round-bodied Flexer’s main strength is to make like a bouncy, rubber super ball to evade or smash Nixels.

As one of the most powerful within the LEGO® Mixels™ Flexers tribe, TENTRO 41516 (RRP: £3.00), is incredibly elasticated and orange! Despite being strong and super-intelligent, TENTRO lacks confidence. No one knows why though, because this flexible Mixels has tentacles that pack a huge punch and the ability to climb any surface and capture any Nixel that attacks.

This last member of the LEGO® Mixels™ Flexers tribe might be the slowest but has the greatest strength! BALK 41517 (RRP: £3.00) has a mallet-like head that can hit, pummel and crush whatever gets in the way. All that head-butting has bashed BALK’s brain cells, so this hammer-header Mixel can be a bit forgetful and find it hard to spit out the right words. But there’s no one better to defend the Rubberlands from Nixel invasions.

Mixels™ is a ground breaking global franchise created by the powerhouse partnership of two of the biggest forces in kids’ entertainment – Cartoon Network and The LEGO Group - and will continue to be featured across multiple screens and platforms for 2014.

With each model featuring up to 70 pieces of LEGO® - including brand new elements such as eyes, teeth and ball joints – you can get super creative by mixing and matching your models to create hilarious new characters!

Check out for instructions and inspiration on how to build the wackiest model yet!

Windows 8 Nokia 1020

July 2014

There are now many Apps for the windows phone and more appearing everyday. Although the android is still ahead on the amount available, the windows phone does have the advantage of integrating with your PC very easily.

The Explorer browser has plenty of options with it, but if you choose, you can still download a different one. Maxthon works very well on windows mobiles.

Call clarity is something that should not be over-looked and having had numerous phones, this is certainly the best and most reliable to date.

The Lumia 930 is now out, we will bring you reasons to change to it, or not in the next week.


March 2014.

The Windows 8 Nokia 1020 is a spectacular camera and a fantastic windows phone.

With its special child locks, it is completely family a few months of using this phone, I absolutely love it.

However, how does it work as an actual phone - we already established that it is a fantastic camera with some nifty extras available but what about clear lines and ease of use.

So far, it has never let me down. The line is clear whether calling out or taking a call. Dialing is bright and clear to see. Contacts can be transferred over just by touching the phones together.

We are still looking at battery life. If you use it for Netflix alot or extensively as a camera, you may need to get the mobile power cover. We will be looking at this later. The camera does use a lot of the battery up but the good news is that it powers up again very quickly.

Microsoft are now on firm ground. Windows 8 is a good system, once you know how to make it work for you and install the latest update.


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