16 November 2017

Thai Food for a Tenner in Newcastle

Did you know you can get a two course Thai meal and a soft drink for just £10, in the heart of Newcastle?

The Zaap Thai restaurant, located on Newgate Street in Newcastle, in the building that formerly housed the COOP deparment store, offers such a deal on weekdays between 11am and 6pm.

Thai Food for a Tenner in Newcastle at zaap thai

14 November 2017

10 Things to Expect at Lumiere Durham 2017

Lumiere, the UK's largest light festival returns to Durham later this week, for a fifth time, lighting up the historic city's skies from Thursday16 - Sunday 19 November. 

Organised by Artichoke and Durham County Council the free biennial festival brings some of the world's most innovative artists and light designers together in a breath-taking and spectacular programme of artworks across four dazzling winter nights in the north east of England.

10 things to expect from  Lumiere Durham - #LumiereDurham2017

13 November 2017

Staying at Sleeperz Hotel in Newcastle (And being a tourist in your home town)


It’s not often that you get to be a tourist in your own city. But that is exactly what we did during the last half-term break. We were tourists in NewcastleGateshead. A place, where I have lived for over twenty years, and where the boys have always lived. It was great. It has given us all a totally new perspective on the place where we live. And we didn’t just have day trips every day either, we actually stayed in a hotel too. A Sleeperz Hotel.

family room review Sleeperz Hotel in Newcastle

10 November 2017

Fireflight at Fire Station Sunderland – Everything You Need to Know


Have you heard that FREE tickets for a spectacular show in Sunderland are now available? 

It's proving to be very popular and although the release of tickets was staggered they went very quickly. And I mean quickly. Keep watching the Facebook Page for further updates.

This one-off performance will take place on Thursday 23 November, when more than 100 local performers will feature in the event which will officially open Sunderland’s newest arts hub, The Fire Station.

Fireflight at Fire Station Sunderland – Everything You Need to Know

8 November 2017

Premier League Primary Stars - Has Your School Signed Up?

Earlier this year the Premier League introduced a new initiative called Premier League Primary Stars. Not just about playing football, this initiative uses the appeal of football to engage and inspire young people to learn and develop important life skills. 

My Boys Club have been asked to get involved and find out more to encourage parents to register their schools to this free initiative.

Premier League Primary Stars - Has Your School Signed Up?

6 November 2017

Free Family Fun in North East England in November

It may be November now and we’re starting to get used dark evenings and chilly mornings but that doesn’t stop the family getting out and having some great days out together. Bonfire night may have gone but we’ve found plenty more free events and activities offering plenty of family fun this month.

There are plenty of free Christmas Markets to visit this year and also lots of Christmas Light Switch-On’s too. And don’t forget our A-Z Free family days out too across the North East – many of these places are open all year.

Free Family Fun in North East England in November

3 November 2017

Where To Watch Christmas Lights Being Switched On in North East England

That's it. Fenwick's Christmas Window for 2017 has been unveiled and it’s Paddington. It's always a closely guarded secret but did you guess correctly? I think a lot of people did this year. 

I'm definitely starting to feel Christmassy and I've even had my first mince pie of the year. Soon though, it will be the jingle of sleigh bells and the rustling of wrapping paper which can mean only one thing, that Santa Claus is on his way. 

So now that the countdown to Christmas has begun, when and where will you be able to see the Christmas Lights switched on this year across North East England.

Where To Watch Christmas Lights Being Switched On in North East England

2 November 2017

7 Things To Do This Month – November

We are fully into autumn now. The clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing but there is still so much to see and do, both at home and outdoors – just make sure you wrap up warm. 

Here are 7 Things to do this month now it’s November.

7 Things To Do This Month – November

1 November 2017

Christmas Markets with FREE ENTRY in North East England

Get your Christmas shopping all wrapped up with over 30 Christmas Markets and Fairs across North East England that have FREE entry for all this festive season. 

Starting this weekend this includes events in Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, South Shields, Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Durham plus many more ... so there are plenty of places to go to find that special gift this Christmas between now and the end of the year. 

Christmas Markets with FREE ENTRY in North East England

30 October 2017

Enjoying The Discovery Adventures Podcast by Land Rover on Family Days Out

***Advertisement Feature***

What do you do when you are in the car? Do you drive in silence; listen to the radio, CDs or playlists? What about when the family is in the car? 

29 October 2017

15 FREE Firework Displays in North East England


Where will you be watching fireworks this year?

There are plenty of FREE places to watch fireworks this year in North East England. Here are fifteen that we have found for 2017. Although they are all free events, donations are welcomed. So get the family together, wrap up warm, stay safe and take note of The Firework Code and head to an organised Bonfire and Fireworks display. 

Where to watch FREE fireworks displays on bonfire night in north east england

27 October 2017

How to Make Homemade Rocket & Spring Onion Soup


One of the things I adore about autumn is making homemade soup. A bowl of soup is nutritious, filling and packed with flavour, and it really is easier and quicker to make than many people think. 

Some of my families favourite ingredients for soup are tomato, beetroot, sweet potato, lentils, spinach and good old leek and potato. In fact, that soup is always our starter on Christmas Day! 

So here is my recipe for Rocket Soup - which I created after buying the wrong ingredient. 

How to Make Homemade Rocket & Spring Onion Soup gluten free dairy free

25 October 2017

Seventh Generation Household Eco Cleaning Products Review + Giveaway


I’ve yet to find anyone who really, really loves cleaning. Some people may not hate it, but let’s be honest it’s a chore we could all do without. It’s also a really important chore though, but is one way to make us feel better about cleaning to use eco products?

We already make a few of our own cleaning products, often using lemon juice and white vinegar as ingredients – they do work but they do leave a different kind of smell and don’t cover all cleaning tasks. So what would we think of the plant-based environmentally friendly products that we were invited to try by Seventh Generation?

Seventh Generation Household Eco Cleaning Products Review + Giveaway

23 October 2017

Despicable Me 3 Pencil Holder & Storage Box Jigsaws


My youngest has always loved jigsaws. From a large Gruffalo one, when he really young, to a world map and a solar system, they really capture his interest and he always wants to finish them.

We were asked to review some new Despicable 3 Jigsaws from Ravensburger recently. Now my youngest not only loves jigsaws but totally adores Minions too. He still adores his Tumbling Stuart which still makes us all laugh. So I knew he’d be perfect for this task – he is 8 years old.

22 October 2017

The Famous Five Adventure Game App Review


Who remembers reading The Famous Five books by Enid Blyton when they were young? 

I had every book in the series. All were well-worn, with a creased spine, over-thumbed pages and folded corners. I loved reading them over and over again. We’d also play The Famous Five, me and my friends that was, pretending we were having adventures. The difference was we were all girls and we didn’t have a dog, lashings of ginger beer or adventures for that matter. But it didn’t matter we loved the books.

So when I was approached recently to see if I’d like to review the 21st century version reboot of the books - a mystery game app called The Famous Five Adventure Game - I didn’t hesitate. 

The Famous Five adventure game app review

20 October 2017

5 Family Friendly Things To Do Before Christmas In the Land of Oak and Iron


It seems a long time ago now, but I actually grew up in a place that is now named the Land of Oak and Iron. Sounds really cool and mystical, doesn’t it? And actually, it is. It’s a place that is bursting with acres of beautiful natural woodland, rich in wildlife, and also has a whole industrial and cultural heritage to celebrate. 

Plus, it is less than 30 minutes away from Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland. So before Christmas why not try pumpkin carving, follow the red kite trail, find woodland sculptures, discover the power of water and choose your Christmas tree in the Derwent Valley.

5 Family Friendly Things To Do Before Christmas In The Land of Oak and Iron

19 October 2017

Free October Half-Term Family Fun in North East England

***Regional Events***

This October we have found over 30 free family fun events and activities taking place across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham. There are Halloween themed events and activities, science-based fun, nature, comedy and plenty of pumpkins too. So wherever you go we hope you have a spooktastic time!

free halloween family fun in north east england this October half term

18 October 2017

Espresso Maker and Wine Preserver Giveaway

A confession here. I am one of the world’s biggest coffee fans. It is always my first drink of the day. I love a skinny latte or a black coffee with ginger syrup, and for when I’m feeling the need for a caffeine pick-me-up, an espresso too. 

So when I was offered the chance to review a coffee maker and to add to that a wine preserver too, plus the opportunity to offer a lucky reader the chance to win both, I obviously had to say yes!

17 October 2017

Fun Family Walks - Northumberlandia in Northumberland

Have you been to Northumberlandia? We met up with family and friends there a few weeks ago and it has to be said it is a fab place in Northumberland for a fun family walk.

16 October 2017

Where To Book A Family Holiday in Late Autumn

This warm weekend has made me realise just how much I've missed the sunshine recently. Suddenly I'm longing for a bit more of it and craving another holiday. Have you ever taken a late-autumn break?

Where do you holiday? Where do you go and how do you choose where to go? And is it different now to before you had children?  With so many places in the world offering different things,  it's sometimes not so easy to choose. Which is where companies like Tots to Travel can help with their experience of crafting perfect family holidays.

15 October 2017

The Hilarious World of Julius Zebra with Gary Northfield

Gary Northfield has been writing and drawing comics since 2002. He has regularly worked for esteemed magazines such as The Beano, The Phoenix, National Geographic Kids and The Dandy.

He regularly visits schools and libraries, teaching kids of all ages and abilities how to draw comics and cartoon characters. We were lucky enough to be invited along to a workshop at Seven Stories recently where we were introduced to the hilarious world of Julius Zebra.

The Hilarious World of Julius Zebra with Gary Northfield

13 October 2017

How To Make A Dairy Free Nacho 'Cheesy' Dip


If you are looking for a dairy-free alternative to a cheesy nacho dip then try this recipe. It's basically a carrot and a potato and a few ingredients out of the store cupboard. Honestly, it's that easy. It's also dairy-free, gluten-free and suitable for vegans too.

How To Make A Dairy Free Nacho 'Cheesy' Dip

11 October 2017

Getting Outdoors in Northumberland with Footprints on the Moon

Did you know that behind the Visitor Centre at Plessey Woods in Northumberland there is a forest school? 

Hidden away under a canopy of trees you will find Footprints on the Moon – who invited us to unleash our inner wild one Saturday afternoon to try out their new Exploring and Survival Forest School.

Getting Outdoors in Northumberland with Footprints on the Moon at Plessey Woods

9 October 2017

When to Put up the Christmas Decorations?

When do you start putting up your Christmas decorations? When I was little I remember putting up the Christmas tree every year. Not at the beginning of December, and never any earlier, but probably a week before the big day and the tree always then stayed up until 12th Night (5 January).

When to Put up the Christmas Decorations? with Cox and Cox

6 October 2017

Art Workshops for Kids at Seven Stories, Newcastle

Seven Stories is the National Centre for Children’s Books with unique exhibitions, engaging storytellers, visiting authors and fun activities for all ages. It is located very close to where we live in the Ouseburn Valley, just outside the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, and is housed in a former grain and flour warehouse with a tremendous riverside setting. 

We have been to Seven Stories so many times, but did you know that as well as books and exhibitions, it often has art and illustration workshops too?

Art Workshops for Kids at Seven Stories, Newcastle

4 October 2017

Tom Gates Brilliant Bands & Doodle Live Show Comes to Newcastle

As well as a link to our fantastic giveaway to win tickets to see the Tom Gates show this post also contains some affiliate links. These links to products available on Amazon cost you nothing however if you do buy anything after clicking link Amazon will pay me a small amount -  so thank you in advance if you do!

Are you a Tom Gates fan?

Tom Gates is a schoolboy who loves doodling and carrying out fun experiments. In a series of award-winning books written by Liz Pinchon and aimed primarily at tweens - children aged 8 - 12, Tom suffers, jokes and doodles his way through lots of hilarious situations.

But not only can you now read about him, you can also see the live show at Tyne Theatre and Opera House later this month and we have a free family ticket to give away over on our Facebook page.

Tom Gates Brilliant Bands & Doodle Live Show Comes to Newcastle

2 October 2017

7 Things to do this month - October

Can't believe we are now well into autumn. This year is going so fast. I love the crisp but cooler days, with blue sunny skies and the amazing array of coloured leaves on the trees. But we just don't get enough of them though, do we? Nevermind. Later this month we have half-term holidays, Halloween and preparations for Bonfire Night and many of you may have already started your Christmas shopping too, but before all of that, here are 7 things that you can do, go, make, eat and listen to this month - whatever the weather ...

7 Things to do this month - October

29 September 2017

Free Family Fun in October in North East England - 30+ events and activities

We have found over 30 free family events and activities across North East England during October including Fun Palace across the region, astronomy the Northumberland Coast and in the North Pennines, plus Freedom On The Tyne - a great drama that will engulf NewcastleGateshead, inspired by Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and epic civil rights struggles from across the globe, both past and present at the end of the month, as well as half-term fun.

Listings of over 30 free family fun events and activities taking place during October in North East England.

27 September 2017

How to Make Gluten-Free Pizza Using Chickpea Flour for 25p

Nearly everyone loves pizza. We certainly do in this house. To be fair what’s not to love? Especially now you can get gluten free, dairy free and healthier options too. Do you make your own pizza bases though? 

Now I know it's not quite as convenient as buying them from a shop or having them delivered. But definitely cheaper and healthier. And they really are easy to make. We even make mini pitta bread pizza sometimes. But did you know you can also make gluten-free pizza bases by using chickpea flour?

How to Make Gluten-Free Pizza Using Chickpea Flour

25 September 2017

10 Things I Love About My Tweens

What are the things that make you most proud of your children? When you really think about it, what are the attributes and characteristics of your kids that just amaze you? Make you smile. Your heart glow. And make you proud to be a parent.

10 Things I Love About My Tweens

22 September 2017

Baking Biscuits with Our Favourite Cereals - Shreddies & Oats


I love baking and the boys love eating what we bake. For a quick snack last weekend I decided to whip up some biscuits. I had look through some recipe books to see which ones didn’t require any ingredients that we didn’t have in the cupboard. I also wanted them to be a little bit healthy so tried to find ones with oats rather than just butter, sugar and flour.

Baking Biscuits with Our Favourite Cereals - shreddies and oats

20 September 2017

Be a Geordie Ninja Warrior at Jump 360 in Newcastle


My Boys Club, was recently invited along to the press launch, of the newest trampoline park to open in the North East. The boys love trampoline parks so we had no hesitation in accepting this invitation, however little did we know that we’d become Geordie Ninja Warriors once we were there.

Be a Geordie Ninja Warrior at Jump 360 in Newcastle

18 September 2017

See The Snowman on Tour this Christmas


Yes, it's less than 100 days until Christmas. So much to do in preparation - but so much to enjoy as well. 

I love Christmas. And one of my favourite things about Christmas Eve is sitting down to watch The Snowman, and its equally good sequel The Snowman and the Snowdog, with the boys. 

The Raymond Briggs classic animation was released 35 years ago, but it still has all of the charm, enchantment and magic for me that it had when I was little. The iconic tune ‘Walking in the Air’ will always evoke special Christmas memories for me. So imagine my delight when My Boys Club received an invitation to go and see The Snowman at Durham Cathedral this coming December, providing the perfect winter outing for all the family.

See The Snowman on Tour this Christmas at Durham Cathedral

16 September 2017

Jurassic Kingdom, Newcastle – What you need to know

*** PREVIEW ***

Jurassic Kingdom, a national tour featuring around 30 life-size prehistoric creatures, continues its journey around the UK next week with a visit to Newcastle. My Boys Club have been invited along, and we also have a family ticket for the Jurassic Kingdom, worth £38, up for grabs too, in our giveaway. (Now closed)

15 September 2017

What to Cook with Apples? Three Easy Apple Recipes

*** RECIPES***

We were very kindly offered a bag of apples recently. We don’t have our own tree so apart from those we buy at the supermarket or market we don’t tend to get a glut of apples. However a big bag of apples is too many for the fruit bowl so instead, we decided to make scrumptious new foods using easy apple recipes to eat including Autumn Apple Jam, Apple Muffins and of course it had to be an Apple Crumble.

What to Cook with Apples? Three Easy Apple Recipes

13 September 2017

Top Tips for Visiting Warwick Castle

*** REVIEW ***

I love castles. Even got married in one. And I count myself very lucky to live in a country with more than its fair share of stunning castles, of which Warwick Castle is among the best in the UK.

We recently enjoyed a family day out at Warwick Castle with our boys, aged 8 & 10. As well as its own fascinating past it's also got Horrible Histories for the boys and hubby was very impressed to discover that Game of Thrones author George RR Martin, loosely based Lord Walder Frey on Richard Neville, also known as Warwick the Kingmaker. 

We had such a great time that we thought we'd share with you our top tips for visiting Warwick Castle.

Top Tips for Visiting Warwick Castle

11 September 2017

Overdue Date Night at Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle

Date nights are always good. Whether it's a walk along the beach, a meal out, visit to the cinema, or in this case a night at the theatre. So when we get an opportunity for a date night, we try and make the most of it. 

On this occasion, we had received an invitation to the press night at the re-launched Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle, for the production of Overdue. And with a babysitter available we headed out for a pre-theatre meal and a show.

8 September 2017

Keeping Young Drivers Safe – Driving Lessons for Under 17s + Giveaway

*** REVIEW ***

How many times have you read a news headline about another young person in a driving accident? Sadly the majority of times it turns out to be a boy, and now that my boys are starting to grow up I am thinking about the future and of ways to keep them safe. Driving lessons for under 17s is one way to start the process.

Driving is such a useful skill to have and I’d like my boys to be able to drive one day – in the hope that they can chauffeur me around (I can dream). Driving is not only useful but fun, exhilarating, opens up new adventures but it doesn’t come without its risks but I’d also like them to understand the importance of driving safely too.

Keeping Young Drivers Safe – Driving Lessons for Under 17s with Young Driver

6 September 2017

#EatDrinkSunderland Restaurant Week Preview

*** PREVIEW ***

It's not just the Great North Run that is happening this weekend but it's also the start of the third Sunderland Restaurant Week. This is when eateries all over Sunderland serve up delicious food at even tastier prices for a whole week.

Last week we enjoyed a sneak preview as four venues opened their doors to North East Bloggers and Press and showed us what would be on offer this coming week. These included: The Prosecco Bar, Asiana, Port of Call and Serendipity Tea and Trinkets.

#EatDrinkSunderland Restaurant Week Preview

4 September 2017

5 Quick & Tasty Vegetarian Family Favourite Meals

It's back to school this week and I'm trying to be organised around meal times. The boys have packed lunches which I plan, if not prepare, in advance, and I always have some sort of meal plan in my head when I go food shopping,  but have nothing set out for the week. 

So I've started to think about our favourite family meals. Ones that are quick and easy to make as well as tasty that we can enjoy after school. So here are our five quick & tasty vegetarian family favourite meals.They are also perfect for lunches over a weekend and in the holidays too.

5 Quick & Tasty Vegetarian Family Favourite Meals

1 September 2017

7 Things to do this month - September

The summer holidays are nearly over and I'm starting to think ahead and about Christmas, never mind Hallowe'en and Bonfire Night which we still have to enjoy. But in September there's always the chance that summer may last a little longer and take us through month and in autumn with some late sunshine. 

Anyway here are 7 things that you can do, go, make, eat and listen to this month - whatever the weather ...

7 Things to do this month - September

31 August 2017

FREE Family Fun In September in North East England

*** Free events and activities across North East England***

The school holidays may be coming to a close but there is still plenty of family fun to be had, with places to go and events to watch in September. 

Here are over 20 free events and activities offering free family fun this month.
FREE Family Fun In September with Free events and activities across North East England

30 August 2017

Dining Out In Durham: The Collage Restaurant at Radisson Blu

When you have both lived and studied in a city, like me and hubby did in Durham, and you are presented with the opportunity to return and review a snazzy restaurant, how lucky were we that we had babysitters for a Friday evening and we could go and enjoy a child-free meal at the new Collage Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Hotel, in Durham.

Dining Out In Durham We review The Collage Restaurant at Radisson Blu

29 August 2017

10 Ways to Keep Tweens Happy in London on a Budget

Last summer we headed to London with our young boys for a short-break of a couple of days en-route to Devon and a visit to the Grandparents.

Like on any trip away we knew we’d need to eat, find accommodation, to pay for travel there and in and around London, and we also wanted to take in a few attractions – paid for and free - as well as have a really good time. Our budget was less than £500 for a three-day trip.

This is how we did it and kept our tweens happy!

25 August 2017

Chickpea Pizzas at the Bear and Natural Kitchen, Newcastle

Just before the schools broke up for the summer holidays, me and hubby made the most of working from home and took ourselves out for a late lunch before picking up the boys from school.

We headed to the Bear and Natural Kitchen on Heaton Road in Newcastle upon Tyne. Not only is it not far from the boys' school but also a health-conscious café, run by a fully qualified nutritionist and serving up exciting healthy food and drinks.

Chickpea Pizzas at the Bear and Natural Kitchen, Newcastle

23 August 2017

Our Four Favourite Homegrown Tomato Recipes including Chilli Chutney, Caprese Salad, Guacamole and BBQ Sauce

Of all the British summer vegetables tomatoes are maybe one of the most versatile. So vibrant, plentiful and tasty. We grow them in the garden in pots, from grow bags and even in hanging baskets. 

Small cherry tomatoes do well in our garden but we have tried others too, with success. This year the yellow tomatoes have been so juicy and sweet, that think I’ve found my new favourite. Here are four of our favourite recipes to make with homegrown tomatoes.

Four Favourite Homegrown Tomato Recipes

21 August 2017

10 Things To Do Before Your Kids Go Back to School - Saving Time and Money

***Post contains affiliate links***

The school summer holidays. Sometimes we dread them arriving. How will we keep our children occupied, find time to work and have a rest ourselves? But the six-week holidays are no sooner here, and we really start to enjoy them and then are gone. Then we start to panic about how we are going to get everything ready for when our kids return back to school. 

In two weeks time, my boys will be going back at school so here are some of the things I'm going to be doing to prepare ...

10 Things To Do Before Your Kids Go Back to School - Saving Time and Money

18 August 2017

Hallmark Itty Bitty Review + Giveaway


Little did I know, that when I attended a blogging conference earlier this year, that one of the most popular things I take home for the boys would be Itty Bittys. Itty Bittys, if you don't know, are adorable plush toys that stand roughly 5 inches tall - honestly so cute.

So now we have teamed up with Hallmark to offer My Boys Club readers the opportunity to win some Itty Bittys for yourselves.

Hallmark Itty Bitty Review + Giveaway

16 August 2017

Where can Kids Eat Free (or for £1) in the North East This Summer? + Map

So we’ve got just over two weeks left of the school holidays to enjoy but have the holidays made a dent in your family finances yet? Did you know there are so many places across the region where kids can eat free or for £1 offers?

Where can Kids Eat Free (or for £1) in the North East This Summer?

14 August 2017

10 Places To Visit With Kids in NewcastleGateshead

Newcastle upon Tyne is not only the most northerly city in England but also the place where I have lived for over half my life. It's a university city, Newcastle and Northumbria, located on the north side of the River Tyne in northeast England. On the south side of the river is where you find the town of Gateshead - there are seven bridges connecting the two places across the river.

We love travelling. Discovering new places, meeting new people and doing new things. We had an absolutely brilliant time in Loch Ness earlier this year but it's also easy to forget how many great places on our doorstep. Within 15 minutes of our home, we can be at any number of fantastic attractions, both free and paid for in Newcastle and Gateshead.

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