Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A Family Day Out at The Dudley Bowlplex

Leo and I were recently invited along to the new iKidz Centre and Bowlplex situated in Dudley. It is about a 50 minutes’ drive away from us so we planned a day out in Birmingham, one that was sure to keep little man entertained.

The day we were due to go Leo came down with a horrid cough and cold, so despite him feeling a little under the weather we decided he would still have a wail of a time once he was there!

The iKidz area is a fantastic soft play area for babies, toddlers and children to run around, expand energy and enjoy themselves.

Upon arrival we were greeted by smiling faces and shown where we needed to go in order to get into the iKids play area. Leo was offered squash and given a smiley face stamp for his hand (a stamp that he didn’t originally want, but couldn’t stop pointing out after!)

 As we walked into the play area I heard Luke exclaim ‘wow’ and I could immedietly see why he was in awe. The whole structure was modern, bright and exciting to look at. If that wasn’t enough inclination for you to take off your shoes and run, hop, jump and skip onto the structure…then you should have seen just how quiet this child’s paradise was!

Perfect for little man to explore without us worrying about him getting hurt.

The staff put on daily activities throughout the week for parent’s to bring their children along to, just to get them out of the house and entertained for an hour or so. I had picked the day we visited for two reasons, firstly there was an activity that I thought Leo would really enjoy and secondly it was a day that Luke had off work.

Leo was given chance to have a play before the daily optional activity began, and when the musical instrument session did start, Leo would not play ball. I showed him the instruments that he could play with…But Leo waved and ran away. Leo climbed up to the next floor and waved through a window to me. A big smile tearing across his cheeky little face.

There was no way he was coming back, so I was left with the lovely instructor and other families whose children did want to play.

They do a range of different activities with the kid’s throughout the week, on a Tuesday they have sand and water play! I think Leo would have definitely stuck around for that!

Aside from Leo and a few other children in the play area, it was so quiet. Leo could go wherever her wanted and do whatever he wanted. Luke and I were both free to follow him onto the equipment to make sure that he was ok in all of his endeavours.

Leo wasn’t his usual happy self and it was apparent that he was a little under the weather, but he was very soon running around the place like he owned it. He was climbing up and down the stairs, running around on the first floor…All until he discovered the Perspex floors….

Leo did not like those Perspex floors one little bit, and the only way that I could get him over them was to physically carry him over. I was really surprised that Leo could associate them with fear at his age, but he was adamant that he wasn’t going to be walking over on this occasion!

The play equipment is finished off to the highest standards and we discovered some super extras tucked away with the usual treasures, in the ball pool area there is some fabulous equipment such as a ball pipe that sucks up the balls you place inside up and away, spitting them above the ball pool into a net! There is also a table with holes that you can place balls on, pressing the button shoots the balls up and holds them with the air that streams out!

Leo thought this was all great and we spent a while just playing around in there.

There is a choice of 3 different types of slide, which I must insist you try! There is the long curly wirly slide, one very similar to the one we have in our local soft play area, the only difference is….This one is super fast. I took Leo down expecting the same leisurely decent, but when I reached the bottom I had one confused toddler and one very dizzy Mummy to contend with!

What I thought was really great was that there was a room on the play structure full of giant duplo, Leo thought this was great! The only dilemma that we faced was that the Perspex flooring was favoured in this room! The only way Leo would play in here was stood on the Purple seams!

The iKidz play area is situated on the far right of the bowlplex, and you can actually see the bowling lanes from the play area. This is where little man discovered bowling for the very first time! With Leo’s interest in place we decided now would be the perfect time to introduce Leo to the game. We were shown to our lane and helped to get the board all set up, and then the game commenced.

Leo had a super time for the first few goes, we put the ball on the run and let him push it down the ramp. Leo was actually doing better than I was! And in the end Daddy won, followed closely by Leo….and then of course there was me!

Leo soon started to feel more under the weather and began to become more whingey and just wanted cuddles, We picked this moment to take our very tired, grumpy little man out for lunch.

We had a lovely time at the Bowlplex and would highly recommend it for a family day out. There is something for everyone to do, the younger children will be more than welcome in the play area, for the older children and adults there are arcade games and bowling, Leo even demonstrated that you are never too young to take part!

Disclaimer: I was invited along to the Dudley Bowlplex to share my personal experience and opinions  We had a lovely time and would highly recommend a visit if you are in the area.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013


Iwas recently asked if I would like to trial Casabu – the flash sales parenting site that stocks a wide range of products for Mum and baby. Casabu host daily sales from a variety of the exciting product ranges that they stock, from clothing, toys, nursery equipment, maternity gear with up to 90% off retail prices!

To benefit from the great savings on Casabu you first need to create an account or sign in with your Facebook account. Once you are logged in a number of special offers from that day are presented to you, and you can either have a look at these deals or head up to the tool bar at the top of the page, where you can shop in a number of different ways:

-By Brand
- By Age
- By Category

The website is really easy to navigate and it is really simple to find what you are looking for. The deals change daily so if nothing takes your fancy today, then you can check back tomorrow to see what new goodies are in stock. Once you are all signed up you will receive a daily email with the latest deals, so it could not be easier to keep up to date with the latest bargains. 

I ordered Leo a really lovely wooden tool bench on the 30th April 2013, and you are given a rough idea on the product page of when your order will be dispatched. I was advised upon booking that delivery could take up to 13 days, it took 15 days in the end but I was in no rush for delivery as the item is actually being put away for Leo's birthday in June.

I have to say though that the customer service was brilliant. Casabu called me to let me know that there had been a delay on my item and told me that the stock was coming in later that week and it would be dispatched pretty much straight away to fulfill my order. They also sent me an email to confirm the voicemail after I missed their call, you cannot ask for anything more than that really!

The email told me that delivery would be made on the Wednesday, and they were completely right! I had to very quickly move the very bright tool bench box out of Leo's eye line as he wanted to open it there and then!

Casabu currently have some lovely items in stock, but you have to get in quick to secure what you would like as things do sell out pretty quickly.

Here is a little selection of the items I like on today's offers, 

For Leo's last birthday we actually bought him a Smart Trike Zoo and he adored it, and I can confirm that we certainly paid much more than the fantastic price of £72.00 that it is currently selling for over at Casabu!

I can highly recommend Casabu, and I have not been dis-heartened by the delay in my product arriving. I think if you are on the look out for a gift for someone, look in advance and then you will  be prepared.

Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a voucher for the purpose of this review, however all views and opinions are completely honest and my own.