#ThroneCon Game of Thrones Fan Convention at the Printworks

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So after a fun filled day at Kirklees Light Railway on Saturday; Sunday was expected to be just as exciting as we had tickets for the Game of Thrones convention at The Printworks, Manchester. I had bought tickets as soon as they were released as both myself and Rob are huge fans of the show and with guests such as Ian McElhinney (Barristan Selmy), Richard Brake (The Night King) and Ross O’Hennessy (Lord of Bones) it wasn’t something we wanted to miss out on.

It was our first time going to a convention like this so we didn’t really know what to expect, would it be child friendly? would it be over crowded?

On entering we could see that The Printworks had been transformed into The Seven Kingdom with a huge dragon’s head, market stalls selling show merchandise and cosplay characters walking around. We handed our tickets over and was given lanyards with our passes and a wristband to ensure we could enter the various areas of the convention. We were also directed to a timetable of events for the day.

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Autograph and photograph sessions / Meet the stars

Stars of the show who attended..

  • Ser Barristan Selmy – Ian McElhinney. A 40 year veteran of the Kingsguard and Lord Commander before his dismissal by, the most hated King Joffrey. After saving Daenerys Targaryen from an assassination attempt he become her closest confidante and adviser.
  • The Night King – Richard Brake. The supreme leader of the Wights, who has an army of 100,s of thousands, including one very awesome dragon.
  • Ser Meryn Trant – Ian Beattie
  • The Lord of Bones – Ross O’Hennessy. The Lord of Bones was a notorious leader among the Wildlings and an infamous, fearsome raider.

  • Lancel Lannister – Eugene Simon
  • White Walker – Ross Mullan
  • Randyll Tarley – James Faulkner
  • Pyat Pree – Ian Hanmore
  • Trystane Martell – Toby Sebastian
  • Myrcella Baratheon – Aimee Richardson
  • Mace Tyrell – Roger Ashton-Griffiths
  • Seramory Lorch – Fintan McKeown
  • Bowen Marsh – Michael Condron
  • The Waif’s Disguise – Margaret Jackman

We were very lucky as we managed to get autographs of both Ross O’Hennessy and Richard Brake who were both great guys to meet, and as we were ready to leave the convention we caught sight of both Ian McElhinney and Ian Beattie loitering around so we took this opportunity to get a quick photograph with them too.

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DiagCon themed Market Street with traders

  • There was lots of merchandise on offer, replica dragons eggs, cosplay weapons and table wear to just name a few.

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Q&A panels from cast and crew from the show

  • These were extremely busy but we were lucky enough to see the Q&A session with Ross O’Hennessy which was great.

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Pit Fighting
Sit on the Iron Throne

  • Here you could have your photograph taken whilst you sit on the Iron Throne. This was extremely popular with visitors but it was well worth the 30 minute wait.

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Art of Throne

  • Here you could see the work that is involved behind the scenes of the show with special effects and make-up artist

Game of Thrones inspired cosplay

  • walking around the Printworks were Knights dressed in armour, characters from the show and ‘direwolves’.

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Special food and drinks offers in many venues

The event was certainly family friendly, my three little ones although never having watched the show (for obvious reasons) really enjoyed seeing people dressed up, having their photo taken on the Iron Throne and petting the ‘Direwolves’, and although it was very busy the complex wasn’t overcrowded which made the experience so much more enjoyable.

The Printworks is to hold a Harry Potter Fan Convention next month, we have our tickets and are hoping that it will be as good as the Game of Thrones.

 

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Half term visit to Kirklees Light railway

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History of The light railway

The Kirklees Light Railway was first opened to the public on the 19th October 1991 by Brian and Doreen Taylor. On first opening the line ran from Clayton West to Cuckoos nest, this was further extended to Skelmanthorpe in December 1992 and finally to Shelley in May 1997.

In the early 2000s Brian and Doreen decided that they wished to take life a little easier and retire. The railway was acquired in 2006 by Stately Albion, a family owned company that specialises in the manufacture of park and leisure homes. With 6 locomotives (Fox, Badger, Hawk, Owl, Jay and Katie), 12 coaches, a new engine shed and station building at Clayton West the Taylor’s had laid solid foundations. Since purchasing the line Stately Albion have made many improvements these include new carriages, two large play areas and a new tearoom and picnic area at Shelley. The line now runs from Clayton West to Shelley – a distance of just under 3.5 miles

On arrival at Clayton West we were easily able to find a parking spot in the large free car park belonging to the site. Once we had parked up and everyone had eventually got out of the car with their belongings, we headed to the ticket office for a time table and to purchase our tickets. Ticket are very reasonably priced and All Day Rovers give unlimited travel ALL day on ALL services.

We decided we would catch the next train due into the station, which gave us 40 minutes to explore the Clayton West site.

Things to do at the Clayton West station

Miniature locomotives – Climb aboard the miniature train for a trip around the duck pond.

Picnic area – well maintained and uncover

Party Train – closed off for general access as its used for children’s parties / special occasions

Tea room/ cafe

Gift and model shop -well stocked with various gifts for all ages

Train Shed – here you can see carriage number 7

Playground- Securely fenced off and well maintained, this is a wonderful place for children to run off some steam. There are swings, a climbing frame, rope bridges and even a wooden train to play on. This is where we spent most of our time whilst waiting for the train. When the train pulled in to the station it was only with the promise of returning did the children agree to ‘come quietly’ as they where having so much fun.

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We reached the platform and we could see we was going to travel to Shelly in carriages pulled by the locomotive Badger. We quickly boarded a carriage, these were quite roomy and easily accommodated the five of us.

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Leaving Clayton West, “Badger” began rocking from side to side at a modest 12mph on its 25 minute journey to Shelley through the pretty countryside of the South Pennine Foothills.

After passing through Cuckoo’s Nest and the ancient Blacker Woods, Skelmanthorpe, we then passed through the impressive 511-yard long Shelley Woodhouse Tunnel. The tunnel is the longest to feature on any 15″ gauge railway line in Britain and is certainly an experience to pass through. Before long, we arrived at the terminus station of Shelley and disembarked the carriage, Badger was then turned around via the turntable in preparation for the journey back to Clayton West. Before departing for its return journey, the locomotive took on water and the driver briskly oiled round and checked the engine over.

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Things to do at Shelly Station

Tea room and small cafe

Picnic area – both an undercover and an outdoor area for you to enjoy your picnics

Small playground – Based around a train theme it has a sandpit and climbing frame for children to enjoy. It is securely fenced off and overlooks the platform so you can watch the trains come on go.

Outdoor games – Giant connect 4 and snakes and ladders was set up on our visit, we found these great fun.

On our return to Clayton West our locomotive this time was Owl. We watched as it pulled into the station as dropped its passengers off. Then again we were able to watch as the engine was uncoupled from the carriages and run on to the turntable so it was facing the correct was for the return journey. My little ones enjoyed watching this process.

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The return journey was just as pleasant as our outward journey and we all thoroughly enjoyed everything about our visit to the Kirklees Light Railway

Kirklees Light Railway runs special events through the year (these are slightly more expensive), such as the popular Day with Thomas and the Steam and Diesel Gala

for a list of special events, prices and timetables please visit the Kirklees Light Railway webpage by clicking below.

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Competition wins Jan – March 2018

A great start to the year with some amazing wins,  below is a list of wins for January, February and March

Jan 2018

 

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Miffy Lamp twitter #RT2Win competition with @Miffy_UK

Miffy leggings for my daughter, twitter #RT2Win competition with @Miffy_UK

Tardis Bird feeder, twitter #RT2Win competition with @findmeagift

childrens book through Toppsta

Pie making moulds, twitter #RT2Win competition with @cakeaccessories

Rombouts coffee selection, blog win

Bob the builder switch & fix, magizine win

Signed childrens book, magazine win

Bottle of Cointreau, twitter #RT2Win competition with @cointreauUK

Bundle of Kodak goodies, twitter #RT2Win competition with @kodaksupplies

Telestrations board game, magazine win

CO2 alarm, twitter #RT2Win competition with @JEGS_online

Sylvanian family aquabeads set, twitter #RT2Win competition with @aqubeadsUK

PS4 Monster Hunter game, twitter #RT2Win competition with @MonstershopUK

4 Cineworld tickets, twitter #RT2Win competition with @KidsKnowBest

Photoframe, twitter #RT2Win competition with @Burgopak

Childrens book with Toppsta

 

Feb 2018

 

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The Shanghai Job DVD, twitter #RT2Win competition with @FASpodcast

Gorgeous Ivy bag, online entry win

Electronic Journal, magazine win

Childrens book from Toppsta

Perrier bundle, twitter #RT2Win competition with @perrierUK

Valentines cooking bundle, twitter #RT2Win competition with @steamertrading

Writesize writing set, twitter #RT2Win competition with @writesize

£25 national book token, online entry

Cake ribbons, online entry

Little live pet butterfly, twitter #RT2Win competition with @Ukmums.TV

Minion Goodies, instagram win with pinklady apples

£150 ifestyle voucher, twitter #RT2Win competition with @discount_ins_

Sugercraft goodies, twitter #RT2Win competition with @partyanimalonli

CrocArt and CrocIce, blog win

£100 cheque, magazine win

Hollands pie goodie bag, online entry

Childrens book through Toppsta

March 2018

 

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Bundle of signed books, web entry

stuffed toy, twitter #RT2Win competition with @animalsandyou

Childrens book through Toppsta

Meal for 4 with Toby Carvery, Facebook win

DVD bundle, facebook win with Find Any Film

Childrens Story book – Cake, twitter #RT2Win competition with @mrkiplingcakes

Set of 4 dictionaries, twitter #RT2Win competition with @collinsDict

£300’s worth of jewellery from Anne Haak, online entry

12 pie selection box, twitter #RT2Win competition with @simplesimonpie

Halogen Aircooker, online entry

Children book through Toppsta

2 tickets for the Ultimate boxxer in Manchester plus £150 to spend on merchandise, twitter #RT2Win competition with @ultimateboxxer

Liz’s granola and bear grylls book, twitter #RT2Win competition with @liziskids

JuJuBe knight stars bag, blog win

Microwave, facebook win with Marks Electrical

Maped art bundle, mag win

Minion DVD and plush toy, twitter #RT2Win competition with @zoom_UK

4 bottles of Earth Water, twitter #RT2Win competition with @earthwaterEU

Cooks professional chefs knife, twitter #RT2Win competition with @harighotra

Daddys home DVD and merchandise bundle, twitter #RT2Win competition with @Mumsnettowers

Kickerball, facebook win with Smyths toys

Face paint bundle, Facebook win with Snazeroo

Shopkins pony set, twitter #RT2Win competition with @ukmums.tv

Brainbox game, twitter #RT2Win competition with @sophobsessed

Chocolate Picture Maker Review

Being huge chocolate lovers we so pleased to be asked to review some Chocolate Picture Maker kits from Zimpli Kids. Zimpli kids is a company that manufactures, markets and supplies unique and innovative children’s toy products such as the hugely popular Gelli Baff and Slime Blaster.

The chocolate picture maker kits allows anyone to create their own personalised 100% Belgian chocolate bar so we were really looking forward to receiving our kits and making up our bars.

We received three kits to try out, 2 Symbol kits and a Sealife kit.

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What’s in the box?

The kits come packaged in a colourful boxes each displaying clear nutritional data and a list of ingredients.

There is a handy instruction booklet, giving step by step instructions.

A foil bag containing 50g Milk Chocolate drops. The 100% Belgian chocolate that comes inside the kits is gluten free and suitable for vegetarians with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

A foil bag containing 10g Dark Chocolate drops

A foil bag containing 20g White chocolate drops.

A selection of stencils

Clear plastic activity tray

The only thing we needed to supply was a large bowl of water to melt the chocolate and some scissors

 
Creating our chocolate masterpieces

Step 1. We filled a large mixing bowl with warm tap water. It didn’t need to be boiling water to melt the chocolate which made it safe for my young children to use their fingers to massage any undissolved lumps.

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Step 2. while we were waiting for the chocolate to melt my children chose the stencils for their own bar. I wasn’t surprised at all when both boys chose the cat stencil and my daughter a seal stencil as these are their favourite animals.

(There are other stencils available to download on the chocolate picture maker website)

We used a little tape to secure the stencil to the underside of the plastic tray, this made it easier to move the activity tray around whilst outlining.

Step 3. Once the chocolate had been melted, we took out the dark chocolate sachets and snipped a small hole in the corner. We gently squeezed any air out of the sachet and then piped the dark chocolate into the activity tray carefully following the outlines of the stencils. This was a little fiddly especially for my boys but they were determined they could do it, and any major mistakes were quickly wiped away with a finger.

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Step 4. Once the outline was complete and because there was no need to wait for the dark chocolate to set, we were then ready to move on to using the white chocolate. The white chocolate was used to fill in the rest of the stencil/picture area

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Step 5. Next it was time to add the milk chocolate to the tray and fill in the gaps. This was by far the easiest and the most fun step, I am pretty sure a fair amount of chocolate was consumed at this point too.

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Step 6. We then put the trays into the fridge left them to set for around 20-30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes the bars had set so we took them out to admire our masterpieces.

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We had so much fun creating our chocolate bars and my children sure did enjoy eating them. The chocolate was sweet and smooth and not bitter at all. We have never made our own personalised chocolate bars before and it really was good and relatively clean fun. These kits would make the perfect gift for any chocolate lover.

Chocolate Picture Maker kits are only available from Amazon. Further information on the kits can be found at http://www.chocolatepicturemaker.co.uk/

 

Disclosure: We received the product in order to write an honest review

Real Coffee Bag Co. Review

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Do you love fresh filter coffee? I do and yet I tend desire my coffees the most in moments when I am wanting to either chill out (which isn’t very often), or when I’m so busy I haven’t got time to setup the coffee maker. If you are like me then I may have the perfect solution for you, coffee bags. Yes I was skeptical too, how can a coffee bag give you the same full flavour you would expect if you was using a coffee maker. Well thank you to a Twitter win with The Real Coffee Bag Co. (@realcoffeebag) I had the opportunity to try them out.

My prize was a 12 month subscription to the Coffee Club. I choose to receive the Home Blend as this sounded just perfect for me, but there was so many other flavours I could have chosen

The first pouch arrived within days…

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The instant I opened the pouch the smell of freshly ground coffee filled my kitchen and I couldn’t wait to get the kettle boiling and try them out with a biscuit or two 😉

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Well I was not disappointed, not only did my kitchen smell like a coffee shop but I had the same great taste I would expect from a coffee shop too. The coffee was dark rich and smooth and it was so nice being able to enjoy it almost instantly and without having to clean up any mess that is usually created when I use the coffee machine.

With these coffee bags you also have the convenience of being able to take great tasting coffee with you when on the go, whether that’s to the office or even on holiday with you, so you never need miss that perfect coffee.

The Real Coffee Bag Co. sell so many great coffee’s and you can even set up a monthly subscription and have your favourite coffee delivered straight to your door. Which means every month you will receive a pouch of 25 coffee bags direct to your door, postage is already included so all you have to do is boil the kettle and enjoy!

The coffee bags come in an array of blends and flavours, so you can be sure to find something that will satisfy your taste buds.

Flavours/Blends available …

  • Home Blend
  • Emirates Blend
  • Iberian Blend
  • Columbian Pure
  • Red Blend
  • White Blend
  • Salted Caramel
  • Hazelnut Flavour
  • Vanilla Flavour

There is also the option to change your coffee twice during the 12 month subscription period should you desire, so if you decided your first coffee choice wasn’t for you, you can just change it.

Membership to the Coffee Club usually costs £79.99 per year but this price has been reduced to just £49.99 or if you would prefer just to try a pouch before you commit to a subscription then you can purchase a sample coffee box for just £3.00 or a 15 bag pouch from as little as £3.30. To check out more of the great offers available you can find the Real Coffee Bag Co by clicking HERE

A Day at the Digikids show #DigiKids

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This event was held on the 18th-19th November 2017 at Event City Manchester, and with You-tubers such as Oli White, Ethan Gamer, Ali A and Amy lee attending, this HAD to be the event of the year, for my daughter Belle. I booked tickets for my family to attend on the Saturday, and to be honest I really didn’t know what to expect.

We arrived at Event City at around 9:30 and joined the rather large queue to get in. My little ones quickly made friends with a group of children who were also queing so this helped eleviate any boredom of having to wait. Once we did get inside it was just WOW! The first thing my boys saw on entering was the Minion display, they are absolutely bananas over the Minions so this was a BIG deal.

 

 

 

Throughout the day there was so many opportunities to gather autographs and pictures with your favourite online stars. But for weeks before our visit we heard nothing but, how Belle wanted to meet Amy Lee, so that was our first mission, to find Amy Lee.

Myself, Belle and the twins joined the back of a loooooong queue for Amy Lee, whilst my husband Rob went off to find a copy of her new book for signing. He was gone moments when he quick ran back ushering us to follow him. We did so grudgingly as we had now lost our place in the queue. But … as we turned the corner to the book stand, who was behind the counter? AMY LEE!!!! Mission accomplished.

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After all that excitement it was now time to explore the rest of the show. The show give us the opportunity to check out the latest tech through their Watch it, Play it, Make it, and Move it zones

Watch it

This zone offered live Shows from You-Tube stars, who gave great advice on making your own videos, Q&A sessions and just generally having lots of fun onstage.

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The amazing dance group Diversity were also present over the 2 days and during the show they performed an amazing routine that got everyone watching involved, even my boys who won’t usually get involved were dancing around by the end.

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Play it

In the play zone we found the 100 player Minecraft Hub, which was basically a vast sprawl of computers and consoles all with Minecraft at various stages of play. Because there was so much to see and do at the event we decided to leave this until later on in the day.

Also in this area was the Gamer bus, chances to try out Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality toys such as the Anki Overdrive.

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Make it

In the Make It zone we had the opportunity to try out tech toys that encouraged coding for kids such as the awesome robot, Cosmo, design our own Hexabugs, and even just sit and play with Mechano and wooden train sets.

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Move it

Crazy Carts, Ice Skating, Pakour, and a Scooter Disco where just some of the amazing things for the children to enjoy in the Move it zone. The scooter disco was a big hit with my boys who spent around half an hour just zooming around chasing one another.

As well as lots to do for the children there was also stands that offered sound advice to parents and carers on how to keep children safe online. We came away with a better understanding on the things we could put in to place to make sure our children could enjoy the internet, whilst also giving us peace of mind knowing they were safe.

The show was well organised, not overcrowded and great fun, I would definitely attend again with my family.

So if your children are into gaming, crazy about Minecraft, or mad on You-Tubers make sure you check out this year’s event that will be held on the 10-11 November 2018 at Event City Manchester. For more information click here

 

Competition wins October – December 2017

The last few months of the year are always hectic in our house and this year perhaps even more so, a holiday in Cornwall, 3 children’s birthdays, my birthday, husbands birthday, wedding anniversary, Halloween and Christmas just to name a few of the events, so entering competitions was really as and when I got the chance. Saying that, during October and December I did have some amazing wins, unlimited Cineworld passes, £300 of L’Oreal makeup and a huge Sylvanian families bundle just to name a few.

October wins

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Bunchems #RT2Win with @OhMyMeTV

£10 Amazon voucher #RT2Win with @RealTVRevisited

Cheestrings emoji bag online promotion

Thunderbirds bundle web entry with HeyUGuys

Herbal Essence collection blog win with Honest Mum, 7 shampoos and 7 conditioners

250g pouch of Brewtal Coffee #RT2Win with @brewtalcoffeeco

Carrs Silver Cutlery set #RT2Win with @carrssilver

Nutritab online entry from Moneymagpie.

Beautiful slippers, Instagram win

Mind the Gap tents, Facebook win with Monster Factory

Star Wars lamp #RT2Win with @PBC_online

Nintendo switch case and powerbank, youtube win

Hexabugs space station #RTtoWin with @digikids

2x Boxes of Gourmet brownies #RTtoWin with @Sgftv

20 M&S voucher, a #RTtoWin with @insurance2go

Childrens book won via Toppsta

 

November wins

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ITNG bundle won from an online entry with Mumii

Beatrix Potter 50p, facebook win

3D pen, a #RTtoWin with @RedBusCartridge

Sylvanian Families bundle (£120), magazine win

2x Cineworld year unlimited passes, judged Instagram win

Circus sticker book #RTtoWin with @kitsbookcorner

Paw Patrol art set, magazine win

Box of Chocolates, facebook caption competition

Animal Atlas book, #RTtoWin with @bouncemarketing

Aquabeads Cinderella set #RTtoWin with @aquabeadsuk

£25 Wilko voucher, #RTtoWin with @lovewilko

3 x 3d puzzles, magazine win

Box of Haribo frogs, #RTtoWin with @thetwistedfrog

Egypt book, #RTtoWin with @thesalariya

 

December wins

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Minecraft Lego set, won through Kelloggs Advent calendar

Childrens book

Liv Oliver Jewellery, online win with Brand Alley

Wooden Tildo Kitchen, web entry

ITNG fridge magnets, online entry

Italian Food hamper, online entry with

Case of mixed Rioja wines, Instagram win

Star Wars R2D2 keychain, facebook entry

£300 of L’oreal makeup, blog win

Blaze and monster machines playset, magazine win

Minecraft t-shirt and book, Instagram win

Kidz bop CD, online entry

Alive vitamins, #RTtoWin with @feelaliveuk

Chocolate hamper, #RTtoWin with @tokyolaundry68

Paddington merchandise, magazine win

4 roses bourbon, blog win