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LoveDrop: A great Valentine’s Day gift for couples.

I’ve always felt that Valentine’s Day is aimed more towards couples in the exciting early days of their relationships. Long term relationships don’t have to be ‘boring’. The everyday stresses and struggles of life put strain on any relationship. It’s important to have time alone together to maintain a happy and healthy relationship/marriage.  Ben and Alex created the LoveDrop subscription when they realised how important date nights are in a long term relationship and I couldn’t agree with them more. 

LoveDrop is a bi-monthly subscription box with a dates night theme. This subscription box promotes intimacy, togetherness and fun. Each LoveDrop features a designer adult toy, romantic gifts and intimate activities to explore together. When you sign up you’ll receive the next box once its released. Boxes are dispatched on the 10th of every other month. The upcoming dispatches are February, April, June and August. You’re billed £45 on the 5th of every other month but can pause or cancel your subscription. Use code ‘VDAY18‘ for £5 off your first box in time for valentines day.

Each LoveDrop box has a leaflet explaining ‘What’s in your LoveDrop box’ where you’ll see just how good a deal this subscription box is. You’ll also receive date ideas, challenges that will bring you closer and position of the month. December’s box included a LELO Nea adult toy, The Melt Co ‘Joy’ candle, LELO hex condoms, lubricant samples and a bar of Divine milk chocolate.

To find out what’s in February’s LoveDrop subscribe here.

I love the idea of these LoveDrop subscription boxes. I must admit I was a bit cautious when I was asked to review as this type of thing can be a bit taboo that’s why I haven’t gone into too much detail about the actual sex toys. At the same time I believe lots of long term relationships and marriages end because life gets in the way. Make time and give LoveDrop a try.

LoveDrop isn’t just a potential relationship saver, it gives new and exciting ideas to try to spice things up.

January Review: Income Report & Stats

If you’ve been following Busylazymum.co.uk you’ll know that I used to do an income report and life got a little hectic and the reports stopped. I’ve decided that I will do a monthly review instead of an income report. Each month I will list the posts written that month and include my best bits, an income review and blogging statistics.

January Review

It’s been a quite month for blogging, I have only written 5 posts but I think they’ve been good quality posts.

My most viewed post from January was my VR Here review with 198 views.

Blogging Statistics

Total Visitors 14,216

Total Visits 43,284

Social Statistics

Facebook 164

Instagram 150

Pinterest  30

Twitter  150

Income Report

*The following income is what has been earned this month, due to payment dates some haven’t been paid as of yet. Also some of this income will have tax deducted via PAYE.*

This month through mystery shopping I have had lots of free (after reimbursement) food shopping, a couple of hot drinks and a hair cut.

Mystery Shopping £89

Mystery Shopping Reimbursements £61

Sponsored Post £60

Total Income £149

I have not included the reimbursements in the total as this is money that I needed to spend in order to do the assignment therefore it isn’t a boost to my income. Speculating to accumulate.

Review: Inflatable Snowman by Maplin.

*I was sent this product in return for an honest review*

I was so excited when I found out Maplin wanted me to review their 6ft Inflatable Light Up Snowman. I’d actually been trying to persuade Alan to add one to our outdoor display, so I was made up to receive this opportunity to review it. Unfortunately my Snowman was delivered just after we’d taken our Christmas decorations down, but that didn’t stop me giving it a try.

The instructions on the box were very simple and easy to follow. I had expected it to be a lot harder to set up than it was. It was literally plug in and go. I inflated it for the purpose of this review in my office, although it is for use outdoors only. There are ground pegs included in the box to secure it outdoors.

The Snowman is made from waterproof fabric and is weather resistant. The whole snowman lights up and displays a scrolling Merry Christmas message. I am so excited to set this up with our decorations next Christmas. It will definitely be the focal point of our display. You can see our 2017 Christmas lights here.

 

 

 

Our Hurghada Holiday

*Sponsored Post*

Back in 2015 we were searching for our summer holiday. I had always thought that Egypt would be really expensive. It was actually coming up in the same price region we were looking at to travel to Turkey, Greece or Cyprus. We’d heard that Sharm El Sheikh was very touristy, so chose to avoid that area. We decided to book another area of Egypt; Hurghada. You can find out more about Hurghada holidays here.

Our Hurghada Holiday

We flew out in late June and stayed at the Sindbad Aqua Club Resort which was amazing! Sindbad actually own 3 hotels next to one another and you have use of the facilities at all of them. This gives you a huge choice in restaurants and bars which were all included in the all inclusive. It also gives you access to the waterpark which has 7 full-sized slides, 3 smaller slides for children, and activity pool for children and it also has a large wave pool. We spent the first week between the resort and the beach. The beach looked beautiful but it was a shingle beach which we don’t really like – I know we can be a bit fussy. The sea however was just gorgeous. It was warm and clear. If you found a spot that was quite still you could clearly see the little fish swimming around.

Excursions

The second week we booked a couple of excursions. Inside the lobby of our hotel was an area which gave information about the various excursions that were available and the different companies that supplied them.

Excursion 1

Our first trip was a boat trip which gave us the chance to swim with dolphins and snorkelling on the coral reefs. We took a coach to a small port where we boarded our boat called the ‘Road Sea.’ We were all given life jackets, they even had children’s life jackets small enough to fit Lewis who was under 2 at the time. We were taken out into the  out into the Red Sea and stopped in the middle of the sea – Maybe not in the middle but we couldn’t see any land.

All the guests were split into smaller groups of about 8. Each group went out in search of dolphins in a small speed boat. One of the tour guides would dive down in search of the dolphins and as soon as he saw them he’d give us a signal and we would tip backwards out of the boat to swim down to them. We tried this 2 times with the boys on our laps but as we would check that they were ok before looking for the dolphins we kept missing them. On the third turn some of the other guests wanted to stay in the boat and offered to keep the boys so that we could go by ourselves. This time we saw them, Alan managed to swim alongside them but my swimming skills aren’t great so I unfortunately didn’t quite reach them.

We returned to the Road Sea. Whilst another group were off trying to find the dolphins, some swam by.  A few of the guests were snorkelling and/or swimming around the boat and were lucky enough to swim with them. It was amazing to watch. They are such beautiful creatures.

When all the guests had returned to the boat we had a buffet style light lunch. After lunch the engines started and we were on the move. We stopped at a large coral reef area where we went snorkelling. Alan took Tristan snorkelling and he really enjoyed seeing the fish. I left Alan and the boys swimming and went for a quick snorkel myself. I’ve never been snorkelling before but I would definitely recommend it. From looking at the reef from the boat I would never of imagined there would be such colourful array of fish.

Excursion 2

For our second excursion we decided to go on a semi-submarine trip. It turned out to be more of a glass bottom boat which was decorated to look like a submarine. Although the description wasn’t quite right we still had a great time. The coach ride to the boat was very scenic. We arrived at a beach and we had about an hours free time before the submarine/boat was due to leave. I’m not sure what this area was called. – possibly El Gouna – if anyone has been and know the name of this area please comment below. It was beautiful and very quiet. There was a shopping area over the road from the beach which looked quite posh.

 

We boarded the submarine/boat and set off. The tour guide showed us a poster showing the different types of creatures you can see in the Red Sea. Approximately 45 minutes later the tour guide asked if we’d like to make our way downstairs. The boys eyes lit up when they realised they could see all the fish and that we were under the water. Maybe not the best photo ever but can you see the Turtle?

Once we were back on the upper deck and heading back to shore the tour guide introduced us to this little fella.

The rest of the second week was spent on resort and at the beach. Overall we had a great time in Hughada. Both our boat trips were great fun and we would certainly recommend them even if you have kids. Tristan could swim a little, Lewis not so much at the time but life jackets are provided. Don’t let it stop you.

Other information

There are many other excursions you could do. Go and see the pyramids in Cairo or the valley of the kinds in Luxor. We choose on this occasion not to visit these but we intend on going back in a few years. There were also water parks you can visit as well as quad biking and safari tours. There’s definitely something for everyone in Egypt.

VR Here Review

 

*collaborative post*
On Thursday Alan and I were invited to A complimentary session at VR Here, Liverpool’s Virtual Reality Center which opened in April 2016 and was the first virtual reality arcade in the UK.

We were very dubious about the new virtual reality technology having tried those simulator rides years ago. Although we were aware that technology has come on a lot in the past 5 years we were still unsure what to expect.

We were pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed the session. Bryan from VR Here taught us how to use the HTC Vive headsets and we trialled a variety of games. VR Here currently offer a choice of 37 games and we tried out 8 of them.

We started off with The Blu which is an underwater simulator where you could ‘touch’ the fish and the coral reef and they would react as if you really were touching them.

Moving on we played Space Pirate Trainer where flying robots are attacking you and you can shoot them back and protect yourself with a shield.

Once we’d figured out the controls we played The Lab  and learn how to transport. As your limited to the booth transporting allows you to move throughout the game more freely. Along with transporting we learnt how to use a bow and arrow and I learnt that it’s not one of my strong points.

Using the skills we’d learnt in The Lab we moved onto Quivr; a multiplayer game where we had to protect our gate from intruders using a bow and arrow. We could teleport to different places along a snowy mountain. I thought I had been doing really well considering my practicing has been so dire – until I realised that Alan had teleported to an area close to where I was and ‘my’ shots were actually his. 🙈

Continuing through the games we went onto Raw Data; another multiplayer game which was similar to the I-robot film multiple robots would attack you and you needed to shoot them.

We went from robots to zombies in Brookhaven Experience  which was quite intense as it was so fast paced. I really enjoyed this game, it was my second favourite.

After killing all the zombies we moved onto Richie’s Plank Experience where features a host of mini games. The first we played was plank where you went up a skyscraper in a lift. The doors opens to allow you to walk out on a wooden plank to view the city. Bryan told us that this game does simulate falling. Intrigued I stepped of the board and felt like I was falling in the game. it was a bit surreal as I could feel I was stood up but felt I was falling.

We played another mini game called Jetpack where you could fly across the city and you had a hose to put out fires. I’m not quite sure why but I started feeling a little queasy during this game, maybe it was the feeling of moving up and down which we hadn’t experienced in the earlier games.

We ended the session playing Rec Room which was another multiplayer game consisting of mini games. We had a quick go on Paddleball and then moved onto Paintball. I didn’t quite grasp the idea of the game and was absolutely battered by Alan in this. I thought it was about getting the flag but Alan seemed to follow me round just shooting at me.

Alan’s Verdict
‘It was really enjoyable, not what I had expected and that I would recommend VR Here to anyone. My favourite game was the Jetpack mini game’.

I really enjoyed it and whilst it wasn’t something I would have gone out of my way to do before I would now. I found the headset started to feel quite heavy toward the end of the session but Bryan said afterwords that he would usually only recommend an hours use then taking a break before continuing. My favourite game was Raw Data, I enjoyed the shooting and the fact that it was multiplayer, something we could do together – put a different twist on date night.

You can book different sessions (prices are per booth)
– £20 for 30 minutes.
– £30 for an hour.
– You can book additional hours at £10 per hour.

You can book your sessions at VR-here.co.uk

BusyLazyMum readers can enter ‘WELCOMETOVR’ for a £5 discount when booking.

If your unsure on virtual reality you can book a free 15 minute free session with VR Here on a Sunday between 12 and 1.

VR Here also do free Virtual Reality nights at Font Bar Liverpool and VR Club at VR Here, you can find out more about these events on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

I would love to take the boys along to try it out I think they would be fascinated with The Blu, The Lab and Ritchie’s Plank Experiences. Unfortunately at the moment they’re a bit young. Bryan said that they wouldn’t recommend anyone under the age of 8 to play on this equipment but them it depends on the size of their head as to whether the headset will fit securely. We were told that generally VR Here customers are 12 and over.

VR Here also offer parties, stag do’s and team building events. They have a capacity of 20. If your interested in a party email them for a customised quote.

Sun Holidays January 2018

the sun holidays january 2018The Sun Holidays are back!

If you’ve read my blog before you’ll probably know that we have been on many Holidays with the sun. We’ve been to Butlin’s many times and also gave Pontin’s a try.

Sun Holidays

This year Sun Holidays are working a little differently.  You can book online by collecting 10 token code words printed in the Sun from Saturday 6th January to enable booking from Monday 15th January. Or you can book via Sun Savers collecting 9 sun savers codes and book 2 days earlier.

Sun Savers

Don’t forget if you’ve booked a Sun Holiday within the last 2 years you should have received your email and/or letter for a VIP Sun Savers code during the first week of January. With this VIP code you’ll get priority access as it counts as one of the 9 Sun Saver codes you need and you’ll be able to book your Holiday on Saturday 13th January. A day before normal Sun Savers and 2 days before the main booking office is open.

If you don’t use sun savers booking will open on Monday 15th January

Available holiday dates

4 nights

February 5,12,19,26

March 5,12,19,26
April 16,23,30
May 7,14,21
September 3,10,17,24
October 1,8,15,29
November 5,12,19,26

3 nights
February 2,9,16,23

March 2,9,16,23
April 13,20,27
May 4,11,18
September 7,14,21,28
October 5,12,19,26
November 2,9,16,23,30

Holidays from £15
4 nights
April 2,9
May 28
June 4,11,18,25
July 2,9,16
August 27
October 22

3 nights
March 30
April 6
May 25
June 1,8,15,22,29
July 6,13,20
August 24, 31

Here are your codes.

 

Saturday 6th January           EASY
Sunday 7th January             BATH
Monday 8th January             LAKE
Tuesday 9th January             STAY
Wednesday 10th January      PINK
Thursday 11th January        COST
Friday 12th January             ECHO
Saturday 13th January        BOND
Sunday 14th January           CAPE
Monday 15th January

Enter your codes at Club950.co.uk to book your holiday.

Today is my New Years Day

Today is my New Year’s Day. The holidays are over. Alan’s gone back to work, the boys have gone back to school and we’re all back to reality.

2017 Review

2017 was a crap year for me and my family. One bad thing after another. There were a few good things that happened.

Alan & I started a new business hiring out hot tubs which had its teething problems, but we are looking forward to building the business this year.

We got on the property ladder and brought our  lovely house. This had been a big goal for a few years and I had felt that I needed the security of owning our own house after having a rented property sold from under us when Lewis was only a few months old. Buying our first home has certainly been the most stressful thing I have ever done, I wasn’t prepared for there to be so many ups and downs. We lost what we thought was our dream home; a lovely huge 4 bed house which needed completely renovating. But when that fell through we found the house we brought not quite as big but it didn’t need anywhere near as much work  and has a lovely big garden with lots of potential.

Alan took part in Tough Mudder, Total Warrior and the Great North Run. I am so so proud of him for completing these even when he was in agony with a back problem he’d been having physio for. These events lead to lovely weekends away in Maidenhead, The Lakes & Newcastle.

2018 Goals and New Years Resolutions

  • To try harder to concur my social anxiety.
  • To spend more time making memories with my family.
  • To make up for not having an abroad holiday in 2017.

2017 Blog Review

My blog didn’t go as I hoped last year. I didn’t get chance to put in the time it’s needed but I am happy with its growth considering.

I last reviewed my stats on 28th October on our first blogging birthday and I set the following goals for the next quarter.

  • Hit 10,000 views
  • Reach 100 followers on Instagram & Pinterest.
  • Reach 200 followers on Facebook & Twitter.
  • Increase DA.

Although it’s not quite 3 months since I set these goals I feel the new year is the perfect time to review them and set new goals for the next quarter.

Blog Statistics

  • 12,101 Visitors 🎉 GOAL ACHIEVED 🎉
  • 39,196 Visitors
  • DA 13 🔸Ok, so my DA hasn’t changed, but I have made steps to improve such as guest posts and taking part in linkies and will continue to do so. 🔸   🔴UPDATE🔴 10th January: My DA has increased to 14! 🎉GOAL ACHIEVED 🎉

Social Statistics

  • Facebook 163 likes
  • Instagram 144 followers 🎉 GOAL ACHIEVED 🎉
  • Pinterest 25 followers
  • Twitter 215 followers 🎉 GOAL ACHIEVED 🎉

Next Quarter Goals

  • To reach 15,000 views.
  • To reach 200 Facebook followers.
  • To reach 250 Twitter followers.
  • To reach 175 Instagram followers.
  • To reach 50 Pinterest followers.

What goals or resolutions have you made? Leave me a comment.

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Gift Ideas for Mum & Dad

*I have been gifted some of the items in this gift guide*.

I always struggle when it comes to buying presents for adults, especially if they’re not immediately family or close friends. I’ve put together this guide to help those of you that share this struggle.

For The New Mum

Childs Farm Baby Bedtime Kit £12.99 from Childsfarm.com

For The Car Enthusiast

Simonz car cleaning gift kit with wireless mouse £15.00. You can find it here.

For The Make-Up Lover.

W7 Eye Eco eye colour palette, Boozi Lip Balm, Illmasqua Eye Gel and I-Art Eye colour are all available from Very.co.uk

 

For the Skincare addict

Collagen boosting night ampoules, overnight spot corrector and eye lifting serum from the Skin Doctors.

For The Long Soak Lover a bath bomb from Bomb Cosmetics

And you can’t go wrong with a piece of jewellery.

This bracelet by Fiorelli is from Very.co.uk

Ok so I’m a little bit hopeless when it comes to Men’s gifts.

I’ve got my husband an Apple Watch this year, if you have a tech lover or a fitness fanatic you can find out more about them here.

John Lewis Christmas Adverts in LEGO!

*I was gifted an mini moz the monster set in return for this post*

If you love the John Lewis Christmas Adverts as much as I do then you’ll love this.

The past 6 years of John Lewis Christmas Adverts have been turned into LEGO sets which are on display in the toy department at level 4 at the John Lewis store on Oxford Street, London until Friday 22nd December 2017.

I was absolutely devastated when I heard they were so far away and I wouldn’t be able to go and check them out.

The Journey – Christmas advert 2012 is built from 1,800 bricks and took 18 hours to build.

The Bear and The Hare – Christmas Advert 2013 is building from 2,400 bricks and took 20 hours to build. You can view this Advert in my Top 5 Christmas Adverts.

The Man on The Moon – Christmas Advert 2015 is built from 1,700 bricks and took 22 hours to build.

Buster the Boxer – Christmas Advert 2016 is built with 1,200 bricks and took 23 hours to build.

Monty the Penguin – Christmas Advert 2014 is built with 2,300 bricks and took 22 hours to build. You can view this Advert in my Top 5 Christmas Adverts.

Moz the Monster – Christmas Advert 2017 is built with 2,650 bricks and took 53 hours to build.

 

You can read more about these displays here on the John Lewis website.

I was gifted a Moz the Monster mini set for this post. I found it quite fiddily to build but he looks great and is currently proudly placed on Tristan’s shelf.

George’s Grotto

This Christmas our home has been turned into a Grotto in memory of my late father in law who sadly passed away from cancer recently.

 

My husband, his siblings and everyone who knew George remember how much he loved Christmas. He would always turn his home into a grotto every Christmas without fail. He would always encourage others to do the same and always offered a hand. My sister-in-law’s both remember times when George went to stayed at Christmas and would help set up their decorations.

This year we have all decorated our homes in his memory. We would like to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, who helped support George throughout his illness. You can donate at our fundraising page here http://www.justgiving.com/Georges-Grotto

 

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