22 September 2017

Baking Biscuits with Our Favourite Cereals - Shreddies & Oats

***RECIPE***

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

***REVIEW***

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

***PREVIEW***


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 + Family Ticket Giveaway

*** PREVIEW + GIVEAWAY***

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. Simply enter below.

Jurassic Kingdom, Newcastle – What you need to know

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

***REVIEW***
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

***RECIPES***
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

***REVIEW***
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

***RECIPES***
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

***GIVEAWAY + AFFILIATE LINKS***

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.




11 August 2017

How to make Mini Pitta Bread Pizza's from scratch

***RECIPE***
I don't know many kids who don't like pizza. I also don't know many kids that don't like pitta bread. So put the two together and you have a perfect recipe for pizza night - Mini Pitta Bread Pizzas. And in this post, you'll see how easy they are to make from scratch.


How to make Mini Pitta Bread Pizza's from scratch


10 August 2017

Win the New Fidget Toy in our MOKURU Giveaway

***GIVEAWAY***
Earlier this year you may have read about MOKURU - The Latest Fidget Toy Craze from Japan. My Boys Club has now teamed up with MOKURU to offer three lucky readers the opportunity to win their very own Japanese balance toy in our giveaway. And just to let you know this post also includes an affiliate link.

Win the New Fidget Toy in our MOKURU Giveaway


9 August 2017

The Benefits of Holiday Friendships - Bloggers Experiences

One of the best things about holidays as a child is the friends you can make. Playing on the beach, building sandcastles, splashing in the sea, snorkelling, rock-pooling … you name it all of these activities are far better to do with other children, rather than your parents once you reach a certain age.

The Benefits of Holiday Friendships - Bloggers share their experiences of their own and their children's holiday friendships.


7 August 2017

10 Things to do with Kids within a one hour drive of Loch Ness

The whole family recently spent a full week in Scotland based at Loch Ness in a very beautiful lodge on the shores of Loch Ness. As well as the amazing views on the six-hour drive from Newcastle we also saw some amazing places on our travels on both the East and West coast of Scotland. 

The Highlands has so much to offer visitors. Here are our top 10 things to do in Scotland with kids that are within a one-hour drive time of Loch Ness.




4 August 2017

How to Make a Caprese Salad - A Simple Summer Dish

***RECIPE***
A Caprese salad is found on the majority most Italian menus. You'll see it as 'Insalata Caprese' in Italian and means "Salad of Capri". In Italy, it is usually served as an antipasto - a starter dish rather than a side dish but I think it also makes for a perfect light lunch in warm sunny weather. And because of this, it's one of my favourites. It's also a quick and simple recipe that anyone can make.

2 August 2017

7 Things To Do This Month – August

We are into the 8th month of the year - August, so what do we have to enjoy this month? Full on summer, school holidays, a bank holiday, sunny days, light nights, BBQs and also rain. 

That’s the British summer for you but I love it! So here are 7 things to do and enjoy this August.


31 July 2017

40+ FREE Family Events & Activities in North East England in August

It's August. And it's the summer and we have a whole month in which to entertain the family. Luckily there are over 40 FREE family events and activities going on right across the region ... and don't forget to check out our A-Z FREE Family Days Out in the region too!

40+ FREE Family Events & Activities in North East England in August

28 July 2017

Win a Swizzels Gift Box to Celebrate 60 Years of Drumsticks

***GIVEAWAY***
Swizzels are one of the longest running sweet factories in the world. They have been making sweets since 1928 and still continue inventing new ones to this day.  You've probably heard of every one of their sweets. In 1957 they introduced the drumstick lolly - the only chewy lolly available at the time - and we have teamed up with Swizzels to celebrate 60 years of the Drumstick Lolly with a great giveaway.

Win a Swizzels Gift Box to Celebrate 60 Years of Drumsticks



26 July 2017

Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail

***REVIEW*** 
Woodhorn Museum in Ashington, Northumberland has got an exciting new interactive family quest for the summer school holidays, where children and their families are being invited unearth the Wonderfolk. 

This sounded very intriguing so My Boys Club went along to help test the trail before it was opened to the public.

Wonderfolk at Woodhorn – The Interactive Family Trail in Northumberland


24 July 2017

Comics: Explore and Create Comic Art at Seven Stories

***REVIEW***
A new exhibition has opened at Seven Stories: the National Centre for Children’s Books, in the Ouseburn Valley in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Seven Stories has gathered together an eclectic mix of original comic art to impress and inspire all comics’ fans. 

My Boys Club went along to find out more…

Comics: Explore and Create Comic Art at Seven Stories in Newcastle

21 July 2017

I sea bacon - the vegetarian & vegan alternative to bacon

***REVIEW***
I was recently contacted and asked if I'd like to try a vegan alternative to bacon called 'I sea bacon'.

Really, seaweed that tastes like bacon? It does sound so unbelievable that I really wanted to try it. So I did.

I Sea Bacon - the vegan alternative to Bacon


19 July 2017

A-Z Free Family Days Out in the North East + Map

I thought a handy A-Z list of free family days out in the North East may just come in useful …with so many free places for a family to have a fun day in North East England you just need a picnic, sun cream, a brolly and transport and you are set.

A-Z Free Family Days Out in the North East + Map

18 July 2017

6 Films to Watch in the 6 Week Holiday at home with the Kids

***Sponsored Post + includes affiliate links***

There are so many great children’s films around at the moment. So much more than when I was little. We do like to get out and about as a family during the holidays but the boys also need some downtime, to recharge those batteries and we all love a family film night with pizza and popcorn.

If you missed any of these films when they were in the cinema, then the school holidays are a great opportunity to catch up with them on DVD and watch on an HD television such as the 4K TV Panasonic.

So get the whole family comfy, slice up the pizza, open up the popcorn and it’s just like having Hollywood in your home.

6 Films to Watch in the 6 Week Holiday at home with the Kids

17 July 2017

A Family Holiday to Loch Ness - Part 6 - Ben Nevis, Glen Coe and Loch Lomond

After a week in Scotland, staying on the shores of the beautiful and enigmatic Loch Ness, it was finally time to leave. So after we had cruised on Loch Nessdiscovered waterfallsexplored historic battlefieldstaken a road trip with the Harry Potter train and spotted castles and dolphins the week was sadly but finally over.

We had to be out of our self-catering accommodation by 10 am but we had the whole day to enjoy the journey home and make it an extension of the holiday rather than just a seven–hour ordeal! So our journey took us through the Great Glen Way, Ben Nevis, Fort William, Glen Coe, Loch Lomond and Glasgow before crossing the border and arriving back in Newcastle.

A Family Holiday to Loch Ness Ben Nevis, Glen Coe and Loch Lomond


14 July 2017

A Girls Night Out In Jesmond at Bistro 46

Every few months I head out without the boys or hubby and enjoy a foodie themed evening with a bunch of mum friends whom I've known since the boys were at nursery. On this occasion, the destination for our eating out was to be Bistro 46 in a suburb of Newcastle called Jesmond - a place I'd heard good things about but had not actually been to.

Bistro 46 Jesmond Newcastle review


12 July 2017

Win A Family Ticket to Newcastle Panto this Christmas - Sleeping Beauty


***GIVEAWAY***

As the Pantomime season gets ever closer, yes, it is only 166 days until Christmas Day, we have a family ticket to Sleeping Beauty at Gateshead International Stadium in December to give away to one lucky reader.

Win A Family Ticket to Newcastle Panto this Christmas - Sleeping Beauty

10 July 2017

A Family Holiday to Loch Ness - Part 5 - Castles and Dolphins

***REVIEW***
If you have been reading our recent posts you’ll know that last month we took a family holiday to Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland. Before we travelled, I had thought that it would be a good trip - but honestly, I never dreamed it would be half as amazing as the week actually turned out to be.

So far during our week-long stay in Scotland we had cruised on Loch Ness, discovered waterfalls, explored historic battlefields and taken a road trip with the Harry Potter train but on day 5 our plans changed and we'd end up in both the West and East coasts of Scotland photographing castles and dolphins.


Family Holiday to Loch Ness with Castles and Dolphins at Eilean Donan, Plockton, Black Isle and Moray Firth


7 July 2017

MOKURU - The Latest Fidget Toy Craze from Japan - Everything You Need to Know

***NEW FIDGET TOY REVIEW***

One of my favourite toys, when I was a child, was a Weeble – it wobbled but it wouldn’t fall down. So imagine my delight when I found out that the new ‘fidget’ toy that has taken Japan by storm and goes on sale in the UK from today, also stands upright every time you push it over … however you can actually lie this toy down flat too.

So what is this new toy? 

MOKURU is a Japanese balance toy that tests the concentration and hand-eye coordination skills for individuals of all ages.

MOKURU - The Latest Fidget Toy Craze from Japan - Everything You Need to Know

5 July 2017

Family Dining at Turtle Bay in Newcastle

***REVIEW***
A Caribbean-themed menu just conjures up so many great images and thoughts of food with so much flavour, taste, spice, sweet and sour ... amazing seafood, one-pot stews, curry dishes, fresh and exotic vegetables all cooked in wonderful sauces … with plenty of spice.

We were lucky enough to stop off in the Caribbean on our return from travels in Peru in South America, and I remember the amazing food we enjoyed, so when an invitation arrived to review the new menu at Turtle Bay in Newcastle it definitely got our taste buds going.

Family Dining at Turtle Bay in Newcastle

3 July 2017

A Family Holiday to Loch Ness - Part 4 - Relaxation, Rain and Bluebells

At the end of May, we took a family holiday in Scotland. In the Scottish Highlands at Loch Ness to be precise. 

After spending the first few days of our trip enjoying a cruise on the Loch itself and learning about Nessy, discovering waterfalls and battlefields and then taking a road trip with Harry Potter it was time to chill. And with a day of rain forecast, we decided to spend most of the day at the lodge. Well, it would be a big shame not too when it was so lovely.


Loch Ness Holiday Lodges and Invermoriston Falls.

1 July 2017

7 Things To Do This Month - July

Wow, it’s the month of July already. And where has the first half of 2017 gone? We don't have any birthdays to celebrate this month but the month of July was actually named after Julius Caesar as it was the month of his birth. However, we do celebrate our wedding anniversary.

July is also one of the months that has 31 days, so with plenty of days to fill this month here are 7 things to do, make, eat, read, listen to, enter and enjoy.


30 June 2017

Bouncing Around in Hartlepool at Jump 360 Trampoline Park

***REVIEW***
It was a Father’s Day with a difference this year as we headed down the A19 from Newcastle for a Father’s Day treat for hubby - a family bounce around at the Trampoline Park Jump 306 in Hartlepool.


29 June 2017

10 Rainy Day Ideas in North East England

Last week it was too hot. This week it's too wet. Got to love the British weather.

On average it rains one in three days in the UK, so as Brits it's always good to have in mind things to do, places to go and activities to enjoy as a family on rainy days. 

Living in the UK we are the used to the changeable weather, but as well as the sunshine that also means rain. Britain has four distinct seasons of fairly equal length - spring, summer, autumn and winter - and here in North East England we have a mild humid temperate climate with warm summers and no dry season. 

Much of our region has at least 105 days of rain every year so it's no wonder that we have so many great indoor places to enjoy family days out when it is wet.

10 Rainy Day Ideas in North East England

28 June 2017

Free Family Events and Activities in July in North East England

***FREE EVENTS***

There is plenty to celebrate in July. The school holidays will begin, it's Wimbledon, the sun shines and it is warm(er). It's also my wedding anniversary so a good month for us!

With over 25 free family events and activities throughout North East England in Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland, Durham and Middlesbrough - where will July take you this year?

Free Family Events and Activities in July in North East England


27 June 2017

Lunch with the Girls at Gusto on Newcastle Quayside

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of enjoying lunch with a few friends. Although all mums of young children, on this occasion we left our children at home and enjoyed an afternoon of good food and wine and grown-up chat. We ate lovely food, and the sparkling conversation and wine flowed too at Gusto on Newcastle Quayside as we celebrated a birthday.
Lunch with the Girls at Gusto on Newcastle Quayside

26 June 2017

A Family Holiday to Loch Ness - Part 3 - A Harry Potter Road Trip

During half-term in May, we headed to Scotland for a family holiday. Our family of four based ourselves in a lodge overlooking Loch Ness and spent a week exploring the Scottish Highlands. On day 3 we headed west for a 'Harry Potter' road trip. Can you believe that it is 20 years since the first Harry Potter book, the iconic Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published?

A Harry Potter Road Trip through Fort Willam and Glenfinnan to Mallaig.


23 June 2017

Sunday Lunch at The Stables, Beamish, County Durham

***Review***
The Stables Bar, Restaurant and Brewery can be found at Beamish Hall, in County Durham. The boys enjoyed a taster session of the Beamish Wild Holiday Camps recently and while we were there we also sampled Sunday Lunch. Here's how we got on.

Sunday Lunch at The Stables, Beamish, County Durham - trying out the vegetarian alternative to the traditional meat Sunday Roast.

21 June 2017

Cool Citrus Coleslaw - This Summer's Perfect Slaw Recipe

***RECIPE***
The summer solstice is here. Today is the longest day of the year, with more hours of daylight than any other in the UK. Ofter termed midsummer, in fact, the summer is only just beginning. And summer food to me means salad. 

Not a warm salad that we’ve enjoyed over winter, but a dish that is crispy, fresh, tasty, light but also filling. So here is a delicious recipe for a cool citrus coleslaw.


Cool Citrus Coleslaw - with Red cabbage, carrot and red onion - this Summer's Perfect Slaw Recipe


20 June 2017

Will the Veggie Burgers at Smashburger Smash it?

***Review***

It's always nice to receive an invitation to try somewhere new, in this case, Smashburger in intu Eldon Square in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.


19 June 2017

A Family Holiday to Loch Ness - Part 2 - Waterfalls & Battlefields

On day two of our family holiday to Loch Ness, in the Scottish Highlands, we come across waterfalls and battlefields, as we head into nature at the Falls of Foyers and also get a history lesson at Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre.

Family Holiday to Loch Ness falls of foyer, culloden battlefield, dores, fort augustus


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