Thursday, 27 August 2015

Mack's Monthly best bits - August

augustWe are back rounding up of some of our 'best bits' from the month.... Just like a monthly favourites (which we love reading about!) but looking beyond make up and beauty products.  We'll look at our favourite days out, purchases, meals, movies....whatever made the month for us!  Some bits that are mentioned might feature in a more detailed post, but we thought it would be fun to have a quick round-up of our monthly highlights to look back on, and maybe inspire you for the month ahead....

This month Mack shares her best buys for her family camping trip, some toy purchases she made to keep her kids entertained during the summer holidays and a her new favourite TV series (New Girl) which she recently discovered!

Best moment:  August for my family meant one main thing...OUR SUMMER HOLIDAY!!!  How glorious it was to have time off to relax and spend together!  Unfortunately, we did not jet off anywhere exotic this year - it was a camping trip on the Sussex coast for us.  And we are hardcore...we were not having any of this glamping business -  it was all tents, sleeping bags, cooking on a gas stove and BBQs!  Here are a few things which made our camping trip a bit more comfortable and enjoyable:

Single folding camping beds:  I can really recommend these over inflatable mattresses and roll mats.  They are very compact when folded down, easy to transport in their carry bag, sturdy (with their steel frames) and comfy to sleep on (if you are under 6ft and/or under 110kg!).  This was the first time on a camping trip that I did not suffer from a bad back!  I got mine from Fashion World for £27 each (they sell for £36 each but I had a 25% off discount code). 

Camping Beds from Fashion World

Kids sleeping bags:  I got these cute sleeping bags for my boys aged 7 and 6.  English summer nights are not always warm and I was conscious to find quality, warm sleeping bags.  I bought these Highlander sleeping bags (in the Furry Friends and Robot styles) from Amazon for £14.99 each.  They were perfect!  The boys did not complain of being cold and slept well during the nights which averaged around 10 degrees Celsius!  At the time of this post, they are on now sale on Amazon for just under £20 but I note the online store Silverfox Travel & Outdoors is selling them for £14.99.

Highlander sleeping bags from Amazon (Furry Friends and Robot)

Picnic mats for carpet flooring:  Tent carpets can be very expensive.  A carpet for my Vango 5 person tent costs around £50 and I was keen to find a cheaper alternative.  I found these 2m x 1.5m picnic mats on eBay for just under £7 each and they worked a treat to help with insulation, warmth and comfort.

picnic blanket

Anyway, hope you all had lovely holidays and if your holiday is yet to come (like May's upcoming trip to Malta), have a wonderful relaxing time!

Best buys:  I am one of those Mums who splashes out a range of toys for the kids at Christmas and prays they last until next Christmas.  However, this summer this kids let me know that their Christmas toys had somewhat lost their novelty, so I indulged in a bit of toy shopping for the kids to keep them entertained during the long summer holiday!  I don't mind though as next to beauty shopping, I love toy shopping (I'm a big kid at heart!).  Here are two things I bought my children which I recommend as good, quality toys.

Simon Swipe Micro:  This flashing lights memory game is for 8 years plus but my children (who are a little younger than 8 years) love it too!  I bought 2 for £15 from Argos and they are the children's favourite toy...hubby and I are also addicted.  The kids play the 'solo' game and as a family we play the "Pass It" option.  To spice things up, we have a little family dance routine to the funky tune the game plays when it instructs you to pass it to the next player (one of those 'you have to know it to understand it' moments)! 
Best toys bought in August 2015

VTech Kidizoom Smart Watch:  This has kept the kids nicely entertained with its touch screen that features several analogue and digital watch faces to choose from, alarm, photo and video taking camera, photo editing facility, stop watch, timer, and 3 basic but fun games.  I bought them for £29.99 from Toys R Us (but I see now that both Argos and Boots are selling for a little cheaper).  I can't help but think "In my day we didn't have all these hi-tech toys and entertained ourselves conkers and I-Spy instead" but I guess times have changed, and it is a fact, kids aged 5 are taking photos and are able to edit them!  In all seriousness, this Smart Watch has really helped my kids to read an analogue clock face and they haven't taken them off all month!

Best Discovery:  Ok, so this month I discovered that I must have been living under a rock for a the last few years. Whilst trying to find some thing on Google Play to watch one insomnia-filled night, I thought I'd give the US TV series "New Girl" a try.  How on earth has it taken me an age to discover this brilliant, funny series?!? I love the main character, Jess (played by Zooey Deschanel) who is quirky, off-beat, and utterly loveable, and her male housemates are hilarious!  I love how the show highlights the differences in the mysterious ways of men and women, the joys and woes of relationships, friendships and general life in your thirties in such a comical yet realistic way.  If you are one of the few people on this planet not to know about this show (like me until recently), do check it out!

Hope August was filled with fun moments, discoveries and buys for you!

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