Aquabeads Disney Playset – Review

A while back I was asking if anybody had anything they could recommend for an 8-year-old girls birthday. Annabelle was turning 8 and I wanted to create some form of gift guide to help other parents who may struggle with ideas. We were offered the chance to review Aquabeads Disney Playset.

When Annabelle opened her Aquabeads she was super eager to get started straight away. Unfortunately she has a younger brother and sister who would just mess with the beads so she had to wait until a suitable time before she could play.

What exactly are Aquabeads?

They are tiny little beads that you put into a little template and once your design is done you spray it will water and it sticks itself together. Long gone are the days where our parents used to have to stand there for hours and hours with an iron trying to do it. The beads appear to be coated in a kind of glue that is activated when it’s wet. Therefore it is no fuss and no mess ( This is something I particularly liked!)

So what did we think?

After we discovered which way round everything went ( which would have been much quicker if we had just read the instructions in the first place) Annabelles first attempt was Rapunzel. Now she isn’t the most patient of people and for a very long time she was the baby so therefore is a little bit of a pampered princess. So after discovering it was quite fiddly she declared that she couldn’t do it and asked her big brother to do it for her instead.

Once she had watched her brother she realised actually it wasn’t as hard as she first thought it was and then proceeded to make her own. She loved spraying them then waiting for them to dry. She was also fascinated that she could just spray them with water and as if by magic they just stuck together.

I personally think this is perfect for someone of Annabelle’s age and I love the fact that they don’t HAVE to follow the pattern if they don’t wish too so it can actually spark their imaginations.

Overall thoughts and feelings

Aquabeads was a big hit for both myself and Annabelle. If I had to point out a downside it would be that they seem to provide you with just enough to do each pattern so unless you purchase the spare sets you can’t play for very long.

This would be a fantastic birthday gift or Christmas present and there are plenty of sets to choose from. I love the look Annabelle loves the look of the Cinderella one!

  • We were given an Aquabeads Disney Playset in exchange for an open and honest review on our blog. All thoughts and feelings are entirely our own.

If you have enjoyed reading our review of the Aquabeads then why don’t you check out some of our other reviews such as Sylvanian Families Ballet Theatre and Logitech Doodle Mouse.


Why I Don’t Agree With The Whole Gender Neutral Thing.

Now before you shoot me or create a hate campaign, just hear me out, I have my reasons for not agreeing with the new gender neutral thing. As I’m sure you have seen being gender neutral is everywhere at the moment with John Lewis having a gender neutral label and schools changing their uniforms.

Continue reading “Why I Don’t Agree With The Whole Gender Neutral Thing.”

The simple kindness of a stranger can mean so much

The other day I posted on my Twitter account that I was feeling under the weather and I had a massive headache. If you are a regular reader then you will know that I suffer quite badly from headaches and it can at times be very debilitating. That was one of those days. What I wasn’t banking on was incredible kindness from a complete stranger!


I had a little note on my tweet that said “DM your address I’ll pop a little box of happy in the post for you. Free of charge because it’s rubbish feeling rubbish!” I was amazed that someone who didn’t know me at all had not only taken the time to read my tweet but had also taken on board that I was feeling rubbish and had offered to send me something. At this point I didn’t know what it was all I knew was that someone had taken time out of their day to care.

The next morning the postman knocked on my door with a small parcel. I excitedly opened it and inside was possibly the cutest yet most thoughtful thing. Not only did it have some biscuits, a tea bag and some stickers in there it also had the most amazing little tag that read “Hi Cheryl, I hope you’re feeling better and this helps with smiles” It really did brighten my day. Such a small and simple gesture but one that made a great deal of comfort to me.

So Why am I telling you?

Because what I didn’t know is this came from a company called Brew and a Biscuit  On further investigation of the company I discovered their aim is to simply spread a little happiness. Their little boxes come in a small variety and are less than £5! ( They don’t know I’m writing this so I can assure you they haven’t done anything to influence this post)

I just want to return the kindness they have shown me when I was feeling rubbish by highlighting the fact that they exist.

I’ve been nosying and in actual fact their boxes are very cute. There’s even a chocolate one which I think would be perfect for teenage hormone times!

Take a look and if someone you know if feeling a little down or not themselves then why don’t you send them a box from Brew And A Biscuit

Sad Mummy : How do you cope when your child appears to dislike you?

I am and always have been a firm but fair mother. I enjoy teaching my children new things and watching as they explore the world around them and learn. However recently I have come across something that I have never dealt with before and that is my son really seems to dislike me.

I don’t even mean a little or even when I’ve had to tell him off for doing something naughty. This is an everyday thing. It isn’t something I talk about not even to Gareth but it is something that is really starting to make me sad and I figured that I can’t be the only parent out there facing this and feeling this way.

I adore Freddie as much as the rest of the children. If anything I have a soft spot for him as he seems to be a little different from the rest ( I will explain more about that in a future post).

When did it begin?

Literally from when he was born really. Freddie was Gareths first ever baby and in turn that meant that Mummy didn’t get a look in. He wanted to do everything. Feeding him, night feeds , changing him. Don’t get me wrong after raising the 3 elder ones with very little help I really appreciated that he wanted to be so involved and I could rest but it also made it difficult to create a good strong bond.

I would where possibly scoop him up, play games and cuddle him on the sofa. Sing, count, dance, make him laugh but for everything else it was Daddy.  If he hurt himself I would go to help him and Daddy would swoop in and take him off me to make sure he was OK.

The fact that Freddie means so much to his Daddy is adorable but in turn has created a little bit of a problem where I try to do something and I am “Stinky”. Just the other day I tried to help him on the toilet as he is toilet training to be clearly told ” I don’t like you”.

He also was asked

“Freddie do you love Daddy?”


” Freddie do you love Jelly?”


“Freddie do you love Mummy?”

” No”

He literally went through the whole family one by one saying he loved them and not me. In that moment my heart just sank. No matter how hard I try. Taking him to the park, trying to get him to engage in fun things. Lying on his bed and reading a story at night he just doesn’t like his Mummy and I genuinely have no idea how I deal with it as all of my other children and even Bethie have been complete mummies kids. If they’re hurt it’s me they come to. If they need advice it’s me.

Maybe Freddie isn’t so close because I worked full-time when he was very small so I wasn’t around as much as I was for the rest of them. I really don’t know but if anyone has any advice I would love to hear it

Yours Sincerely

A Sad Mummy



Starting Year 4 – She’s too small!

Annabelle went back to school today where she began her journey into year 4. I can’t describe just how excited she was to return. In fact I would go as far as saying that I’ve never seen her move so fast.

Continue reading “Starting Year 4 – She’s too small!”

Afternoon Tea – Mercure Madeley Court Hotel – Review- How it SHOULD be done

You may have already read my review of my afternoon tea at the Telford Hotel and Spa and the fact that well quite frankly we didn’t enjoy it at all. After we left there we decided to call the Madeley Court Hotel and see if they could fit us in. They asked us to bear with them and they would call us back. 5 minutes later they called and told us they could fit us in so off we went to attempt afternoon tea for the second time that day. Continue reading “Afternoon Tea – Mercure Madeley Court Hotel – Review- How it SHOULD be done”

Afternoon Tea – Telford Hotel and Golf Resort – Review

On Thursday my friend Anna invited me out for a treat. We’ve both had tricky times recently and she thought it would be nice if we could go out for the afternoon and just relax and enjoy ourselves. She had purchased a voucher from Group On for a spa day. So the plan was that we were going to go to the spa and then enjoy an afternoon tea. Although the voucher ran out on the day we wanted to use it , it was the only chance we had to go with work, children and daily life so my friend was disappointed when she called and was told that she couldn’t use the voucher and it would now go to waste. However she decided to still go for the afternoon tea.  Anna had already been for afternoon tea at the Telford Hotel and Golf Resort a few weeks ago and had really enjoyed it so invited me so I could experience it too.

Our experience with Telford Hotel and Golf Resort

We walked into the building and I am very grateful that Anna knew where she was going as I didn’t have a clue and if I hadn’t have been with her I would have struggled to find it as it wasn’t very well sign posted and there didn’t appear to be anyone around to ask either.

As we entered the area for the afternoon tea we made our way to the bar where we were greeted by a friendly guy called Adam. He explained to us that we would have to wait for 30 minutes as we hadn’t pre-booked and we said it was fine as it would give us chance to have a catch up whilst we waited. He advised that he would bring our drinks over to us.

We made our way to the eating area where we were stopped by the waitress who informed us that all of the tables were reserved for the people using the spa and asked if we could either return to the bar area or we were welcome to sit on the sofas at the side of the restaurant. We opted for the sofas and sat down to have a chat and wait for our food.

The food

After we had waited the waitress bought over our food and my initial reaction was “oh look at that”, it had been served to us on a little picnic bench. I took photographs and then Anna explained how she wasn’t very happy at all as it was nothing at all like the quality of the food she had received a few weeks prior.  ( please bear in mind when you look at the pictures that my friend had paid over £30 for this food!)

I took a closer look and I genuinely couldn’t really tell what sandwiches were which so I picked up the menu to try to figure it out. I then noticed that the menu stated the scones were warm and that there was a selection of cakes however one of ours was missing.

Anna called the waitress over to ask her to tell us which sandwiches were which and even the waitress struggled to tell us. She actually said “It’s hard to tell in this light isn’t it” After mumbling and deciding which she thought was which she went to leave as Anna explained that she hadn’t finished her enquiry yet.


She then mentioned that the scones were cold and one of our cakes were missing and how she was actually very disappointed as when she had been previously the food quality and service had been much better. At this we were told ” 5 or 6 people raved over it yesterday”.

This immediately got us upset as obviously we weren’t asking how people found it yesterday and it wasn’t even as if the statement had been said in a friendly way. In fact the waitress then whipped up the food off the table and took it into the kitchen.

So What Happened Next?

The waitress returned around 10 minutes later and explained to us that the chef had called the head chef in order to try to figure out what the issues were that we had. By this point we were beginning to lose patience. We had already stated a desert was missing and that the scones were cold rather than warm as advertised.

We had waited around for quite a while longer when Anna expressed to me that she was now concerned about eating the sandwiches after they had been sat around for so long particularly as one of them contained fish and we decided that we would just like to get a refund and find somewhere different to eat. By this point we had been in there a total of 1 hour and not eaten anything. We instead had spent a lot of time trying to explain to our waitress what our problems were.

Anna made her way to the bar to request a refund then returned to our seating area. A short while later the waitress returned again this time to tell us that the duty manager was on his way down.

You really have to understand at this point that we had gone through the waitress, to the chef, to the head chef and now the duty manager when in actual fact if the waitress had simply apologised , warmed the scones and fetched our missing cake none of it would be necessary we still would have been very disappointed in the food but we wouldn’t have had such a large issue.


The duty manager came down and asked us what the issue was. We started explaining to him what had happened and the fact that the waitress had said to us that 5 or 6 people had raved about it the day before and that we thought the way it was said was very rude to which the manager said ” Well she’s telling the truth 5 or 6 people were happy with is yesterday”.

Now I am all for a manager sticking up for their staff. In fact I admired the fact that he stuck by her 100% However when that manager continues to have the same rude attitude then I have a problem. We continued to explain what had happened when the manager cut us off midway through speaking and said ” Right ladies let’s not waste anyone else’s time and get you a refund”.

The tone of the voice was of one that didn’t really care about anything we had to say. He asked us to follow him into the main reception of the hotel ( as they couldn’t issue refunds where we were) and handed us over to the receptionists whilst quite sarcastically saying to the receptionist ” These lovely ladies would like a refund on their afternoon tea” My friend was then informed it would take 3-5 working days for the money to be returned to her bank.

By this point my friend was very upset and we decided to look around and try to find somewhere else to try to make the most of our very rare child free afternoon.

Overall Thoughts

We had very high hopes about the Telford Hotel and Golf Resort and in actual fact I am struggling to find a positive. One positive I will state is the staff behind the bar were very polite and their customer service was fantastic. It’s just a shame the same can’t be said about the rest of the place.  For the cost of over £30 the food quality was actually awful.

Thank you for reading

If you have enjoyed my review of the Telford Hotel and Golf resort then please feel free to take a look at my other food reviews

Pondicherry – Ironbridge 

Frankie & Benny’s


Toby Carvery