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Cheaper than therapy

Here comes the Summer…WIN tickets to GERONIMO – The Biggest Children’s Festival in the NW!

Last week, in my post about Disney on Ice, I promised you a competition and, despite the meltdowns, the tantrums and the terrible twos, one of my very very favourite things to do is spend time with my babies and Mr L doing something different. Preferably out doors and ideally including ice cream!

Because I am a caring, sharing kind of gal I want the same for you guys so, how about this:

Brand new to the festival scene for 2015 comes Geronimo, a weekend of organised mayhem at Tatton Park in Cheshire, May 23 – 25.

Geronimo Tatton Park

Expect a line-up jam packed with some of the biggest names in children’s entertainment, including CBeebies favourites Mr Bloom (calm down ladies!) Katy Ashworth, Alex Winters and Cook & Line from Swashbuckle. Geronomites will also be able to enjoy den making, zip wires, donkey rides, circus shows, baby ballet, cookie decorating, storytelling, a petting farm, tree climbing, craft workshops, bubble shows and much more.


CAN NOT WAIT- we adore a den and donkey’s, ballet, stories, cookies- all the rest of it.

Tatton Park is famous beautiful gardens and woodlands, it has excellent motorway links and extensive on site parking.

Tatton Park

The whole programme is designed for the under 12s and tickets are on sale now priced £20.00 per person with kids under 2 totally free.

Happily, one of you lovely lot will be able to go totally gratis as I’ve got one family pass (up to four paying people) to give away. You’re Welcome!!

To enter, all you need to do is answer the question below wirh a comment either on the blog or as a Facebook comment.

Q: Where is the 2015 Geronimo Festival taking place?                    

  A: Tatton Park

 A: Lyme Park

A: South Park

Good Luck!!

Have a wonderful weekend, we’re off to my gorgeous cousins wedding where both of our babies will be beautiful, brilliant, well behaved bridesmaids…we hope…watch this space.

Loads of Love,



T&C’s: The competition closes on 23RD April (St Georges Day!)  

We have one family pass to giveaway. Each pass admits 4 people, one person in the group must be aged over 18 (NB children under the age of 2 years do not require a ticket).

The winning family can attend on the day of their choice, either May 23rd, May 24th or May 25th. The date must be specified at time of confirming the prize. Travel and accommodation are not included. The prize is non-refundable and no cash alternative will be offered. The prize is non transferable and ID will be required at time of collecting the ticket wristband upon arrival. The prize includes all events and activities at Geronimo but not food and drink from any stalls or bar. Winner chosen at random.


How to Save a Life #WinningWednesday

Can you Adam and Eve it- I go to the bother of hosting a #winningwednesday, pick a winner and they don’t respond to my emails- RUDE!!

Oh well, thanks to a lack of common courtesy (or a serious personal issue keeping them away from social media, I’m not sure which!) I am re running the competition for one of you to win a British Red Cross First Aid Book and Kit.

first aid book


Anywho, at that time what I said was, the app was really useful but that everyone should, if possible, attend an actual real life course.  Read the rest of this entry »


Glasto Baby!!! (actually an amazing #WinningWednesday)

As I type this, Arcade Fire are going mental at Glasto and my awesome friends, The Mix Nots, have just finished a 7 hour DJ set. Oh what I would give to be hanging in a sweaty tent at Glastonbury this weekend with a mouth like Gandi’s flip flop.
Alas, here I am, home alone writing about my former life a festival goer. Sad times!

Well, no more. I will not go gently into this good night…I WILL seek out a festival that is suitable for families, kids, people who don’t want to utterly give up on life because they’ve spawned children.

And, my friends, I have struck festival gold…I am not talking Bestival…too obvious- plus it totally clashes with work, that is The Festival of Code Weekend lovelies, YRS’s biggest gig of the year.

LOLLIBOP is exactly where is it at for Family Leary this year and I am so excited.
I am even more excited that I have a family ticket to give away to one of you lucky people.


Lolibop 2014


Lolibop 2014 is taking over the gorgeous Hatfield House which is under 30 minutes away from London, just an hour from Cambridge and Reading and less than 90 minutes from Leicester- it is pretty convenient for most of us really and, if it is just that bit too far for a day trip, you could make a weekend of it; in case it has escaped your attention, there is a bit of a passport situation at the minute so this summer is THE perfect time for a Staycation! One day in the city and one in the country? Sounds pretty good to me.

Hatfield House lOLLIBOP 2014

Looking serene before the littlies descend!

So, just what is Lolibop all about?

Lolibop is ALL ABOUT THE KIDS– it’s not an adult festival with a bouncy castle ’round the back, calling itself family friendly! It is totally designed with anyone and everyone under 10 in mind but, with all the necessary touches to prevent you from one of those awkward Mummy Meltdowns when the toilets are inadequate and no one will warm your bottle!

Divided into various zones to keep everyone happy, I have already checked the line up and earmarked a few ‘must do’s for Family Leary;

  • Lets make a story with Southbank Centre regular story teller Vanessa Woolf! As you know, I the girls love a good story.
  • Baby Yoga- surely I can’t show myself up in a field of toddlers…can I?!
  • Disney’s Silent Disco- AMAZING!! Who doesn’t love a head bang to ‘A whole New World’…Not the Jordan and Peter version!
  • The Thomas and Friends area- I really enjoy Thomas the Tank so it will be brilliant to see the engines ‘in person’ so to speak- I can’t wait to see the girls faces!
  • The Lollikitchen- The girls love getting their hands dirty with a bit of cooking so this will be right up their street- they could do with someone who knows what they’re talking about showing they the ropes!

The eagle eyed amongst you will recognise that none of these activities are the ‘Big Names’, I think, as with most festivals, it will be worth checking out the full programme and seeking out the hidden gems.

For older kids there is absolutely loads to do- you are utterly spolit for choice with football sessions, science shows, DJ sets and street dance, it sounds awesome frankly and I am a little bit gutted that my girls are too young for this session at the moment…it would be way too obvious that I was simply there to check out Mr G!

bear grylls, lollibop 2014

If you are more of a Pyramid Stage person, you can look forward to the likes of Sam and Mark, Mr Maker, Mr Tumble and so on but I reckon, with two under 3’s, we’ll save that for next year and enjoy the side shows this time round.

Mr Tumble Lollibop 2014

mister maker, lollibop 2014

If you fancy winning a family ticket to Lollibop, all you need to do is hit the link and enter my fab competition.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

See you there- we can’t wait.



If you aren’t lucky enough to win- you can still get in on the action; check out the ticket section of the website here.


I used to be indecisive…an Oxo Tot Review

I never knew how much I didn’t know about myself until I became a mum…today’s news is…I have become a ditherer. I am so afraid of making a wrong decision and inadvertently committing my children to a life dressed a princesses and refusing to climb trees that, when a totally simple email popped into my inbox I was floored…

Here’s what happened… The lovely people at Oxo Tot have launched some new products and wanted family Leary to give them a whirl, write a review and host a give away- so far so good. They wanted to send us a Twist Top Water Bottle and a Flippy Snack Cup. Brilliant. Here comes the tricky bit…What colour would we like them in…Pink, Green or Blue…I was floored. WHAT HAVE I BECOME???

Looking at the selection I could see that, whilst they were all lovely, if the big little was going to choose herself she would go for the pink, no question. My brain went into over drive…Oh my word, has society conditioned her already?? By choosing pink am I reinforcing the gender stereotypes and forcing her into a world where she won’t feel able to achieve as much as her male peers??

check out the range!

check out the range!

Read the rest of this entry »


The Pudding Club and another #WinningWednesday

Hi Guys!

Hope that you are all well and happy? I am, mainly because I have a brilliant #WinningWednesday prize for you this week…check it out; Oh, and just for clarity- incase I saw you yesterday or something and I was having a ‘mare, I wrote this post on a Saturday night (loser) having been over to Liverpool on the Friday. Now I’ve cleared that up, read on! Read the rest of this entry »


Bootcamp & Biscuits (A Squidges Review) #WinningWednesday

Man alive, I am in bits.
I went to Bootcamp yesterday morning and ever since I have been walking like my legs aren’t mine. I am aching from just under my belly button (which, in itself is now only distantly related to where it once belonged) right down to my ankles. My ass in particular has had better days but, I guess, no pain no gain hey…please say yes and assure me that incredible results are just days away!

Well, incredible results would be just around the corner if I was not writing this whilst chomping on some Squidges cookies.
I have to, I was sent some to review. It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it!

Nom Nom Nom

Regular readers will know that I am a big fan on shopping locally, shopping independently and supporting small business whenever you can.
With that in mind, I was more than happy to chow down on some cookies made practically on our doorstep. Not literally, that would be weird and very likely have hygiene implications but, they are homemade on the Wirral. Nice.

Firstly, let’s just have a brief aside to deal with the whole issue of the word ‘cookie’. Some people are of the misguided opinion that cookie is just an American term for a biscuit.
It isn’t.
A biscuit is your stalwart coffee break snack. Something as ordinary as a Rich Tea to dip into your beverage of choice. They can be as highbrow as those ones wrapped in golden foil and found only in a purple box and only at Christmas. But even they will never be cookies.

A cookie is an entirely different beast and a Squidges Cookie is something very special indeed.

The tube of delightfulness arrived via Royal Mail just two days after I’d exchanged emails with Katie and, as soon as I opened it I was impressed by the packaging. There was a handwritten note which would obviously be personalised if it was a gift. A cute touch.
I would have been more wowed if the outer packaging had been more in keeping with the thick white cardboard tube and lovely blue ribbon. Brown paper and marker pen writing didn’t set the right tone for me but that is incredibly picky. (Since giving Katie my feedback she has decided to change this so I am well impressed- good choice!)

Absolutely beautifully packaged.

Absolutely beautifully packaged.

Anyway, once I’d torn off the wrapping I could immediately see I was on to a good thing; they smelt delicious, they looked fantastic; really fat and juicy and not too perfect. You could certainly tell they’d been handmade freshly as opposed to baked en masse by a machine. So far, so good. I hope you’re salivating reading this?!

And so, on to the taste test…I was sent 5 Oat, Honey and Raisin cookies which Katie suggested would be a good variety for for the whole family. Not too sweet, no chocolate etc.
They were big, moist and absolutely delicious.

Get in my belly!

Get in my belly!

I had every intention of allowing the girls to have a taste one. I honestly did but, after I’d given one to my mum, one to Mr L and had one myself, there were only two left and, as much as I love my children, I just didn’t think that they would be able to appreciate or articulate, how utterly amazing they were so, having given up chocolate and caffeine and most other things that offer me any iota of joy (food and drink wise) for lent, I made the decision to keep them for myself. I don’t regret it.

Katie, who launched Squidges in January of this year, recommends putting a cookie in the microwave for 20 seconds and then serving with a dollop of ice cream as a full on dessert.
I absolutely agree. These cookies are not something to be mindlessly munched.
They are too good for that. They are a genuine treat and need to be really savoured and enjoyed whether warm with ice cream, or with a cup of tea and a magazine and blissful silence.

All of the ingredients used in Squidges are sourced from local companies (obviously not the chocolate) but the butter, the flour, the eggs, the milk and so on are all from Cheshire or North Wales so basically, if you are reading this in Cheshire or North Wales or round about,  it is almost your civic duty to buy some to help improve the economic outlook for local businesses!

I’m not going to lie, at almost £15 a pop (including delivery), Squidges Cookies are never going to become a habit but that is not the aim.
They are meant to be a thoughtful gift for someone special and, with the lovely touch of a handwritten note with each order, they really do fit the bill. You couldn’t fail to be pleased if someone ordered some Squidges for you. (please read between the lines here Mr L!)

Squidges are going to be selling at local food fairs over the course of the year so I would recommend making a beeline for her stall if you see it and trying some of the eight varieties of cookies on offer currently, the next one I fancy is intense chocolate but that will have to wait until Easter Sunday (and, for someone to order me some!)

And now on to the best bit…Katie has very kindly given me a tube of her luxury cookies as a #WinningWednesday prize. The winner can either keep them for themselves (recommended!) or can opt to give them as a gift to their very own someone special (direct route to heaven).
To be in with a chance of winning this Mother’s Day competition please leave a comment below stating your name or visit the competition via the Squidges Facebook page The competition closes on Wednesday 26th march at 6pm to ensure there is time for them to be delivered for Mothers Day but, you don’t need to be a mum or even plan to give them to a mum to enter, everyone’s welcome!

Right, that’s all for now folks, I’m off to shake the crumbs off my sheets and get some shut-eye. Yep, that’s correct, I have been eating them in bed. Very naughty. But very nice!

Hey Bert!

Hey Bert!




Squidges sent me these cookies for review. Though I like to think that they are calorie free they in fact are not But they will be worth every last mouthful, I promise!


#WinningWednesday- Canvas Design Review

They say a picture paints a thousand words and I couldn’t agree more.

I love a good photo and can be transported back to specific times and occasions, right down to the sounds, smells and feelings just by casting a glancing at an old snap.
That’s the power of a picture.
An afternoon of well-intentioned sorting can pass in a blink if you happen across a box of these precious rectangular memories.

I sincerely wish I was better at photography and I would love to take an evening class to improve. It’s on the bucket list along with The New York Marathon and renovating a property. Read the rest of this entry »



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