Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Ocean Florida, A Dream Destination and win a goody bag #Competiton

I always have high standards when I go on holiday, having children there is always so much more to consider, I want to go aboard and feel, safe, comfortable and at ease. 

Ocean Florida is the UK's Number 1 Independent Florida travel specialist with a dedicated team of Florida travel consultants, as well as a Kissimmee team to deal with on-resort customer queries. Whether it's a villa, hotel, cruise & stay, fly-drive, or a USA multi-centre holiday you’re after, Ocean Florida can put together a bespoke itinerary to suit your needs and ensure your holiday is unforgettable.

Ocean Florida are currently hosting a some superb discounts, currently prices are starting from as little as £489pp. As part of the deal you can receive upto $200 Mastercard credit to spend when you book any USA holiday with them.

If your chosen destination is Florida this year or even next year, maybe you are undecided pick up the phone and speak to a real person, who can give you plenty of inspiration, possibilities, with planned itineraries and quotes.  They could possibly make your dream holiday a reality.  Florida is on my wishlist, I know this will be a holiday to remember for all the right reasons.    

The wonderful people at Ocean Florida will give one of my readers one of their splendid goody bags.  Its filled to the brim with great goodies.  All you need to do is complete the following steps:


Please follow the 10 steps:
Leave a comment on my blog, follow my blog via GFC, subscribe to my blog via email, follow me on Twitter @LondonBirdLucy, and like my facebook fanpage; Its a London Bird Thing, Follow me on Instagram
Follow @OceanFlorida on twitter and like them on their facebook fan page. <br />
Make sure to tweet #FloridaRocks giveaway. 
Ends 16 October
Open to UK residence only<br />
Only open 18+
 - Winner contacted soon after and details made public on my social media sites.

If you have any questions regarding any of their superior holidays, feel free to contact them via social media. 
Twitter: @oceanflorida

Thank for you stopping by, please don't be shy, make sure to say Hi!

Disclaimer:  This is an unsponsored post   

Monday, 5 October 2015

Cardboard Dream house competition with Ocean Finance

3 years ago we moved from a flat in city to a house in Hertfordshire, we are surrounded by fields, woods, the village green is only a 5 minute walk away from our home.  I live on a quite street.  Our house is small with a little garden, however it has all the comforts every house has. I love my home and my sons love it too, more so as recently I decorated their bedroom. 

I asked my son what made them happy at home.

Liam 5 - I like having hot showers, sleeping in mummies and daddies bed and playing Minecraft.

James 7 - I like falling asleep on the sofa, having my bedroom and playing with all my toys.

Neither of them mentioned the decor, the size of our home or even having family.  Sleeping and playing seemed to score high. 

I gave them the colours, pens, crayons and a jar with of bits and glue.  I told them it was there house and  they needed to decor the house anyway they wanted.

They both came up with the same idea together to draw themselves.  (Well I believe it was Liam's' but James claimed it as his idea)  I helped by drawing an outline of their bodies and they cracked on.

James, 'Mum we must be on the house as its our house'.  To be fair this makes perfect sense to me.

Liam started off as Liam, then he turned in to Diamond Steve a Minecraft character.  Liam added a yellow sun to his chest, this is because home feels warm and is always sunning, even when its raining outside.  Also there is a hammer and car.  The Hammer is for Liam as he is the builder and makes new pieces of furniture, he is going to make a new table to do more drawings he tells me.   The car is magic and helps Liam win races because his older brother James wins all the races.   Also he will buy the shopping and their might be a lot of ice-cream.


James went wild, he used colourful feathers for his hair, he said he like using the hairdryer as his hair feels soft and fluffy.  He now wants me to blow dry his hair every morning.  
The sparkles are his tummy, that's were he laughs so much at home.  He feels happy and it comes from his tummy. 

All the soft balls on the house our his toys, Lego, Skylanders, books, left all over the house.
The orange and green stripes are the green is the stairs going to the the boys bedroom.  The orange is our water machine because he loves drinking water.
There is also a Christmas Tree, its Christmas every day, Santa please bring me a 3DS.  There is a round spiral, that is an indoor swimming pool, with another tree that grows chocolate. 

I have to agree I would love a swimming and chocolate tree.

This is for the Cardboard Dream house competition: Details here.
This competition is only open to 30 bloggers and you must have one or more children between 3-12 years of age. To reserve your children(s) place email us at: competitions@thinkmoneygroup.com.

For over 20 years, Ocean has been helping people create their dream homes throughout the UK. We provide personal finance solutions including personal loans, homeowner loans, credit cards and mortgages.

This is my entry for the Cardboard Dream house competition.

 Don't be shy, come and say Hi!

Friday, 2 October 2015


I would like to thank Oliveit UK for hosting this delightful giveaway with us. 

Olive it! Is giving one of my lucky readers a chance to bag two places on an exclusive culinary masterclass with celebrated Spanish Chef Omar Allibhoy. Omar has been hailed by Gordon Ramsay as the “Antonio Banderas of cooking”.  He is smoking hot in the kitchen, he has been working his socks off to get Tapas recognised here in the UK!  

Omar will be hands on hosting an exclusive cookery tuition session, teaching a variety of tapas, inspired recipes using everyone’s favourite Mediterranean ingredient… table olives! 
Talk about mouth watering.

This will be an excellent opportunity to learn how to use the mouth-watering flavours of olives to add a twist to everyday dishes, weather you are cooking at home or you are entertaining guests.  The culinary masterclass will be located at the infamous gastronomic hotspot 'Food at 52', in the heart of Clerkenwell, London. 

This bespoke class will take place on Thursday 15th October (12.30-3.30pm) with guests cooking up a variety of exciting dishes, there after the winner will get to sit down to enjoy sampling the mouth-watering feast accompanied by carefully selected wines.

So don't be shy come and give it a try.

Competition Time
T&Cs: Please follow the 10 steps:
Leave a comment on my blog, follow my blog via GFC, subscribe to my blog via email, follow me on Twitter @LondonBirdLucy, and like my facebook fanpage; Its a London Bird Thing, Follow me on Instagram, Follow @OliveIt_UK on twitter and like them on their facebook fan page.
Make sure to tweet the  #CHEFOMAR giveaway.  
Ends 11 October
Open to UK residence only
Please note this is an exclusive cookery lesson with Spanish Chef OMAR ALLIBHOY. The venue is Food at 52, Clerkenwell, London. The class will take place on Thursday 15th October (12.30-3.30pm)
Only open 18+
 - Winner contacted soon after and details made public on my social media sites.  

To keep up to date with the Olive it! campaign visit www.oliveit.eu or follow on Twitter @OliveIt_UK, Facebook @OliveItUK or Pinterest @OliveItUK.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

I have a JOB! Working 9 to 5

I have a little bit of fabulous news.  I have a J.O.B! Yippeee!!!   

I have been working...

Over the last 6 months, its been really playing on my mind on how bored I am, especially as both of my sons are now at school full time.  My major concern is not having appropriate child care in the summer holidays, also deep down I have felt a little scared, I don't want to fail my family or a future employer.

Out of the blue, I had a message from friend, someone I used to work with.  They need someone to help, however it is only a temporary position.  I knew I could do the assignment with my eyes closed, so I jumped at the chance.  The best part is I can work from home.

Last week, I went to the corporate offices at London Bridge for a couple of days training.  It felt really nice to be welcomed by so many lovely people, training went very well.  I took to the work like a duck to water.  This last week I have been working full-time from home, its been great.  I wouldn't say its been easy, working from home has meant I have had to prove to myself to be disciplined, not too many tea breaks and having to keep myself focused.  I have a my little office set-up in my frontroom, looking out onto my street, Absolute radio has been keeping me entertained in the back ground. 

My body has had to get used to sitting down for hours at a time but apart from that it is going very well.  I am really pleased this is a start in the right direction, that I had wanted, actually what I needed.  I hope to find something more permanent when my assignment finishes.  Most of all it is nice to feel useful and get paid too.

Also, I have to give 110% kudos to full time working parents that keep their blogs upto date... Working in full time employment.   It is really difficult to work, run a home and write a blog at the same time.  My sons only went back to school on Friday, I haven't found time to keep up with my blog, I've been too knackered to write, its been impossible.  So massive respect too the parents bloggers that do!

Whatever you dream of doing, good luck, nothing is impossible.   

The Ugglys Pet Shop review, The Ugly pets you'll actually like to play with

I have 2 boys, both like fairly gross and ugly things, neither of them are spooked or shocked by weird looking things.  It could be because their daddy has a love for War Hammer 40K, Star Wars and Zombies. 

Liam is my youngest at 5 years old, he is interested in animals, dinosaurs, sea creatures.  He is a very curious little chap, full of questions, he likes to repeat facts.  He has a love for animals, especially dogs, not a day goes by he is asking for a puppy or on occasion an alligator.

Recently was kindly sent The Ugglys Pet Shop to review.  My first impression was this is really gross... however I am not a little boy with a inquisitive imagination and admiration of animals.

I actually get it now, they are suppose to be gross looking.  Both my sons found them hilarious and very funny not gross looking whatsoever.

The box may look a little deceiving, as it looks like there are 4 little stackable houses.  Two of the pictures are cardboard, there is only one house, the otherside is the Pet Shop entrance (the red door).  Also included is the Manic Monkey, he has a big wonky grin and boggled eyes, looks like a total loon.  The blue big roof is detachable. 

Its a great introduction pack, for anybody wanting to start the collection.  The Ugglys PetShop is £12.99  Character Online.

PUSH DOWN >> Poooff!

There are 101 Ugglys pets to collect.
Pets can be purchased alone in twin packs £4.99 (no house included).  Or individual houses with 1 pet included £6.95.

However if you want them to stack them on top of your existing Pet Shop and add the roof on top you will need to buy them the houses in twos.  It would be like building a block of flats.

Every home has its own it's silly, stupid sounds too .  If your kids are anything like mine, the sound of goofy noises, of course big fat burps and smelly farty noises are the best to have everyone rolling around in stitches!  All you need to do is press down on the house and your little house will blast off with funny noises.  Each house will make a few different sounds.   I can only imagination what a stackable Pet Shop would sound like, a mad place spring to mind.


Liam really like the pets too,  he takes his in his pockets, puts them in the Pet Shop when he is at home.  These are lovely little toys, nicely made, the small parts don't fall off, lots of little details, not cheap looking, the stickers don't peel off either.  Best of all The Ugglys Pet Shop make my sons laugh out loudly too.  They all also interchangeable, they can all be stacked as you want them to be.  They are easy to store as they don't up much space.

Fun great toys for little fingers and great minds.  They are aimed at children aged 5+

Disclaimer: This is an unsponsored post.  I was sent them for a honest review.  I hope you get to enjoy these charming, Ugglys too!

Do not be shy, come and say hi!  

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Manomasa Torillas Review and Torillas Meatball recipe - Very Tasty indeed

I had been sent some Manomasa Tortillas chips to sample, I am the first to admit me and my family are a bunch of snackers and we love torillas chip at the best of times.  I had only seen the Manomasa brand online.  I have never actually had the opportunity to eat them before now.  

The Manomasa are corn flour tortillas (perfect if you are a Coeliac and want Gluten free). The Manomasa Brand was born in the back streets of Mexico, paying great homage to 'The Totopo', a traditional flat corn tortilla (flat bread). The Totopo would be baked in the a clay oven and unlike any other tortillas The Totopo had salt added to the Masa (corn dough) and holes are made in the disk prior to baking.

Manomasa uses traditional Mexican techniques to create authentic style tortillas, they are much thinner then other tortillas I have eaten.  Also do not be fooled they are nothing like the thick Nachos you may have brought in supermarkets.

There are 6 flavours, each has a new and tasty combination, fairly original with a ingredient global twist.  The different flavours have unique shaped tortillas on the front their packets.  So do not be alarmed to open the Manchego & Green Olive to find the tortillas rectangle shaped.

These tortillas are packed with flavours and deliciously put together, hopefully to meet everyones individual taste needs. My favourite's are the Green Lemon & Pink Peppercorn & Tomatillo Salsa both flavorful, bursting with exciting flavours, the texture in my mouth is really something too.  My least favourite were the Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper maybe because I expected them to tasty more like crisps and they did not.  However my other half and youngest son voted these ones the best.

Manchego & Green Olive: RECIPE No.15 The DIPPER layered with juicy Mediterranean olives, subtly sweet PIMIENTO and tangy MANCHEGO CHEESE

Green Lemon & Pink Peppercorn: RECIPE No. 86 The TOSTADA is packed with creamy beans, pepped up with zesty GREEN LEMON and delicate FRUITINESS

Chipotle & Lime: RECIPE No. 24 The TOTOPO with smoky chipotle chilli & zingy lime with RED BELL PEPPERS, GUAJILLO chilli & TOMATO PUMPKIN SEEDS

Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper: RECIPE No. 34 The SIXER with a pinch of salt & twist of cracked BLACK PEPPER crunch full of golden LINSEEDS, brown linseeds poppy, CARAWAY & sunflower seeds
White Cheddar: RECIPE No. 51 The SUPER SCOOP with creamy Cheddar cheese and CILANTRO. A rich WHITE CORN chip liberally scattered with GOLDEN LINSEEDS.

Tomatillo Salsa: RECIPE No. 63 THE TOTOPO GRANDE with fruity Peruvian Amarillo chilli, a crunch of RED and WHITE QUINOA SEEDS, blended with tingling TOMATILLO SALSA.

I thought it would be a shame just munch them all up as this could so easily be done.  I made a meal with some of the Manomasa Tortillas chips.

We are huge fan of Latin style dishes.  I cooked up a storm in the kitchen and made a family favourite Meatballs.  


Recipe: Main Dish, Gluten-Free
Cooking Type: Oven or Actifry 2in1
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6


500g Minced beef
One small Onion
2 cloves of garlic
One 160g packet of Manomasa Tortillas chips (I use the Manchego & Green Olive) I like the idea of added a cheesy twist to my meatballs
A vegetable stock cube
1tsp of mixed herbs
5g of cumin
A table spoon of Tomato puree
1 egg
Add Salt and Pepper

One Large Onion diced
3 Garlic cloves crushed
10ml Oil
2 Tins 400g of chopped tomatoes
A big dollop of Tomato puree
10g mixed herbs
1 x Vegetable stock cube and
1 x Beef stock Cube
150ml of boiled water
10g cumin
A sprinkle of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

Pinch of Salt
10ml Oil
1 and half cups of rice
Boiled water - use the same cup and double the water.
(3 cups of boiled water)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Gas mark 4

Rice: Boil the kettle.  Add the oil, the rice and salt to a medium sized pan (make sure you have a pan with a lid).  Cook the rice on a medium heat, until the rice looks white, this should take about 10/15 minutes.
Then add the double quantity of water of rice, to the rice.  Cover the Pan with it's lid and bring to boiling point.  Will be ready in 2 minutes (not any longer)
Then reduce the heat to it lowest setting for 25 minutes.  Turn off the heat and keep covered until ready to serve.        

Meatballs: I blitzed the onion and garlic in the food processor, for 5 seconds, they will look finely chopped up.
Then added the Tortillas Chips blitzed all until they resemble fine crumbs.

In a large bowl add all the ingredients and mix very well.  
Roll the meat into balls, not too big, so they fit in the palm of your hands.
Put them in a baking tray and let them cook in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes
Actifry Option: Actifry 2 in 1 - Cook in the top tray for 20 minutes

While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce.

Sauce: Add the Oil to a large heavy pan
Add the Onion and Garlic
cook until golden brown
Add Herbs, Spices & Puree
Mix it all up
Add the 2 tins of tomatoes
make sure it's all cooking on a low heat
Crumble both cubes and add to the tomato sauce mixture
mix well for a couple of minutes.
If the sauce get too thick add some boiled water
cover pan and let it simmer, keep checking it not burning until the meatballs have cooked.

Once the meatballs have cooked, add them to the sauce.  Ensure they are completely covered in the sauce.  Keep them simmering in the sauce for 10 minutes and add boiled water starts to get thick.
 Done ready to serve:

If you want to add some extras.
You could make a homemade Guacamole and Nacho style tortillas.

One avocado peeled and deseeded
3 thin Spring onions, peeled and chopped
2 small fresh tomatoes
(one little green chilli optional)
Salt to taste

Blitzed with a hand mixute, make it chunky or smooth, however you like, its ready to serve with the Manomasa Tortillas.

Nacho style Tortillas:
2 big handfuls of Manomasa tortillas
add sliced JalapeƱos
a handful of grated cheese on top and quickly grill until the cheese has melted. Done

Our dinner tasted fantastic, I make meatballs a lot.  These actually were a lot lighted then the plain meat ones I always make. We could taste a hint of cheese from the tortillas, they came out really nice.  This was really easy to make and I had four empty plates and plenty food leftover for 2nds.

We have ready enjoyed Manomasa Tortillas.  I can't wait indulge again soon.  If you get a chance to make them, please let me know how it went.

Thank you for stopping by, don't be shy and come and say Hi!

Disclaimer: this is an unsponsored post, I was sent a few packets of Manomasa to sample and give my honest opinion on them.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

LEGO® Dream home competition! with Ocean Finance, my sons entry

James and Liam had been set a blogger challenge from Ocean Finance, they have been building their dream home from Lego blocks.  To be honest it has taken some time, the Lego blocks have been on the table for a few weeks.  'We are doing it, has been said a lot.'

They love the Lego kits and can easily follow the instructions.  Doing free-play has really sent them wild.  I told them weeks before the Lego arrived they will be working together to build their dream home.  I asked them to think of ideas or draw some pictures, maybe when we're out they may see a building they like. I said 'run with your imaginations. It could be for your Skylander Toys, The little Minions we have, whatever you like, you think it and you can build it.'

I could see their little face thinking what to make, how is it possible.  I am pleased to say with a lot of encouragement they have gone for it in a big way!

I am really impressed.  Liam had so many ideas he tried to run with them all, adding the flags and lights, making the beds, the trees and the Games rooms and kitchens.

There has been lots of adverts for the Pixel movie, Liam wanted Pac Man to greet his friends, so made him and added him to the roof.

'The kitchen has a glass wall, so we can see outside' said Liam.  'This has been inspired because our bathroom is next to the kitchen.'  They have to turn the light-on in the kitchen at night to go to the toilet.

They had to have bunkbeds (same as they do at home - Love the details) so they can talk to each other in bed. 

A games rooms, no mummies allowed! (Well that is just a rude I told them) With a touchscreen TV and all the gadgets like daddy.

James added the garden and swimming pool, with lifeguard, Liam added the diving board. James said their treasure chests are kept there for safe keeping, because he is very rich. 

The Hall lamp, is brain control,

They added a Water Bar.  This made me laugh, we have one at home, James drinks so much water, it makes sense he would add one.

Garages for the car, buggy and helicopter.

James made most of the walls.  Liam built the kitchen wall, with all the details.

They believe their house is the best, because their dream home is amazing, it has everything they need and want.  All their friends want play with them too.

I have enjoyed them playing together and being very creative, they are still playing with the house, both still adding things.

Liam also said one day he would buy me my dream house, I wonder if I can hold him to that.

This is my sons entry for the 'LEGO® House Competition' run by Ocean Finance 
There are 60 bloggers all of whom have been sent lego, for the child/ren to build their dream homes.  Good luck everyone.

Disclaimer: This is an unsponsored post, I was sent some Lego to build this home.