Blogizing Topic of the Day: Hot or not?

halfgstring

 

This apparently is the new trend on the beaches this year: The half G-string.  We personally think its a step too far and may as well wear a sock! What are your thoughts? Hot or not?

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Chimp Management

We have been recommended a book to read….it’s called The Chimp Paradox by Dr. Steve Peters.

Here is what Amazon says about it:

“Do you sabotage your own happiness and success? Are you struggling to make sense of yourself? Do your emotions sometimes dictate your life?

The Chimp Paradox is an incredibly powerful mind management model that can help you become a happy, confident, healthier and more successful person. Prof Steve Peters explains the struggle that takes place within your mind and then shows how to apply this understanding to every area of your life so you can:

– Recognise how your mind is working

– Understand and manage your emotions and thoughts

– Manage yourself and become the person you would like to be

The Chimp Mind Management Model is based on scientific facts and principles, which have been simplified into a workable model for easy use. It will help you to develop yourself and give you the skills, for example, to remove anxiety, have confidence and choose your emotions. The book will do this by giving you an understanding of the way in which your mind works and how you can manage it. It will also help you to identify what is holding you back or preventing you from having a happier and more successful life.

Each chapter explains different aspects of how you function and highlights key facts for you to understand. There are also exercises for you to work with. By undertaking these exercises you will see immediate improvements in your daily living and, over time, you will develop emotional skills and practical habits that will help you to become the person that you want to be, and live the life that you want to live.”

We have decided to give it a go….as you get older you definately think about things more than what you did when you were younger.  You think about what has happened in your past, how these things have shaped or affected you and sometimes everything can feel like it is crashing down all around it.  It can become difficult to manage and you begin to suffer from things like anxiety for example.  This is what happened to us after lots of major life changes happening in such a short space of time.  If you can understand why you are feeling such a way it can help you deal with it, therefore we will give this book a good read and hope for the best.  Blogizing will provide you with a full review once we have digested and practiced what is in the book.

Here are some reviews from people who have already read the book, and it all seems very positive.  So fingers crossed eh! 🙂

Have you already read this book?  Did it make a difference to your life? If so, in what way?  We would love to hear from you…..feel free to leave your comments below!

Review: Alternative Father’s Day Gifts….no more socks!

With just over two weeks to go until Father’s Day, we have decided to put together some of the best and most unusual gifts we have found from one of our favourite sites notonthehighstreet.com  because let’s face it, not only is your father sick of receiving socks every year, but you are tired of buying them 😉 My dad is a keen gardener and he also loves to cook, so when I saw this gift I was rather excited.  I really do think he will love it and it is on order as we speak.  Everything you need to grow five funky vegetables in one kit box.

A fantastic gift for any keen or intrigued gardener and/or cook, they will be able to grow purple carrots, red brussel sprouts, stripy tomatoes, yellow courgettes and multi coloured swiss chard.  At £13.50 I think this is a great and affordable gift.  I’m just looking forward to my invite for tea!

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With the Tour de France passing through parts of the UK what better year than 2014 to purchase some silver ‘cylist’ cufflinks, they are a little bit more pricey but this is only likely to happen once in your life time, so give your father something to remember-he will certainly be able to recall the year you bought him these! £90

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Looking for something a little more useful?  Check out these fab alarm clocks.  Just click your fingers, clap your hands or gently tap your bedside table and the time, date & temperature will alternately appear for you in red LED colour. It automatically switches off when the room is quiet, lighting up again when the alarm goes off or as a response to your clicked fingers or clapped hands. The numbers seem to float on the lovely wooden block, but that’s just half the magic of this cubiod with a conscience.  At £28.50 we think these are a bargain.

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We all know how our dad’s love to be the King of the BBQ, so with Summer just around the corner, keep him happy with this stylish BBQ, at £34.95 we think it is a steal.

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  Okay…we apologise now….we could not help ourselves, and had to sly some socks in somewhere.  But here is the difference, they are Dad and child matching socks, at £11 for the two pairs, we think they are pretty awesome

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Fancy a splurge or you ve just won the lottery…We have three gifts just for you: 1.  Our favourite of the three.  A Heinsberg Retro Suitcase £390

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Rare! Not to be messed with, as brutal as it is beautiful, the Heisenberg Retro Suitcase Speaker!  One of the original members of the trunkie family that has it all; the looks, the sound and the attitude. Incredibly lightweight for its size, this speaker packs a real punch.

Complete with two port holes for extra bass reflex.

Audio specifications: 2 x 6 inch pioneer woofer, 1 x 4 inch pioneer midrange, 2 x 2 inch pioneer tweeter, 6 hours battery life, 200 watt built in amplifier, 3.5mm aux lead

2.  We love this tent that looks just like a book, perfect for any book worm father, and what’s more, it will be perfect for those family camping trips or festivals. £395

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3.  Finally, a very stylish champagne or wine cooler, though if you are willing to spend £2650 (yes that is the price) then you may as well fill it with champagne have n’t you! We just love the natural look, hand raised and finished with a hammer texture this sterling silver cooler will last forever.  By far the piece we love the most….we just wish we could afford it!

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Happy shopping and do not forget…..Father’s Day 15th June 2014

Related Articles: Mother’s Day (blogizing.wordpress.com) Valentine’s Day (blogizing.wordpress.com)

Review: Boomerang Scam? Festival Goers Feeling Ripped Off

Being offered the opportunity to review a Family Festival in Leeds I jumped at the chance.  I set off in the morning of Bank Holiday Monday, 26th May 2014 with my three children in tow….Typical Teenager (It’s not fair) Boy aged 15 1/2 years, Total Tom Boy, Girl aged 7 3/4 years and Princess, Girl 6 1/4 years.  You can call me The Reviewer (or mother or mum, if you must), aged 33 years young. The festival: Boomerang Jam, claimed to have something for all the family, so we were all looking forward to a lovely, fun-packed day out.  Even the weather appeared to be on our side.

Child Friendly Leeds?

Child Friendly Leeds?

The journey there took us just under one hour, it was relatively easy to locate and it was well sign posted once you were in the right part of the city.  I was under the impression that parking would be free, as when I had asked I was told there was ample parking at the location.  Imagine my disappointment when it was going to cost me £6 for the day.  With a family ticket for 2 adults, 2 children costing £40, the total tally for a family day out would already be racking up. I returned back to my car to display the car park ticket and a passer by was complaining about what a ‘rip off’ the festival was.  I listened, but at the same time decided I would make my own mind up, afterall….some people do just like to complain! And, I am not one to follow the crowd so to speak.  I approached the ticket office and collected my family ticket left for me.  The staff did not seem jolly in the slightest, I thought I would give them the benefit of the doubt as the weather was pretty grim.  I proceeded through the gate with my three children in tow…’The Typical Teenager’, 15; ‘The Tom-Boy’, 7; and ‘I’m a Little Princess’, 6.  The steward on the gate was the happiest member of staff I saw throughout the whole of our stay.  She guided us towards the entrance where you were met by a row of portaloos to the left, large metal fencing and the Mini Farm to the right.  “Don’t forget to the see the animals” She said, “There is a donkey and some rabbits and things.” All the time still smiling.  That woman deserves a medal.  She knew the feedback of the Festival was negative, it was written all over her face, but she still remained friendly and professional throughout. We went to the Mini Farm, very aptly named as it consisted of two donkeys, two alpacas, two sheep, two goats, one large lazy pig, one calf who needed its bum washing, two goats, three guinea pigs, four rabbits and one humongous sized rabbit.  Oh and four chickens and a couple of pigeons! Within five minutes maximum ‘I’m a Little Princess’ declares “I’m bored!”, ‘Typical Teenager is still displaying the look of ‘Where the hell are we mother’ whilst ‘Tom-Boy’ is still in hysterics at how huge the rabbit was.  Saying that, we certainly did not have to prise her away from the area.

Boomerang Jam Festival 2014 Mini Farm

Boomerang Jam Festival 2014 Mini Farm

We returned to the entrance of the festival.  As I looked around the area, I actually felt a little shocked that this event had been allowed to take place.  It was set up in an unfinished car park.  A fence in front of me cordoned off some large concrete blocks and very little had been done to cover up what they were.

View of Festival from Entrance

View of Festival from Entrance

Fenced off Concrete Blocks...building site!

Fenced off Concrete Blocks…building site!

There were a few food vans dotted about, a display from the Army, a couple of small marquees/tents and some fairground rides and games. We walked over to the small cup and saucers.  I admit I expected the rides to be free, unfortunately this was the not the case.  Of the small selection of fair rides and activities available there were a handful of things free, namely a climbing wall for older children, a large inflatable bouncy castle slide, cupcake decorating, hook a duck and face painting.  Pretty much everything else carried a price tag.  Unfortunately, many of the things advertised we not there.

marquee activities overwrite

What’s in here? Not much!

Advertised on the website before the event was:

Half Pipe and Pro Performers  Main Stage  Arena  Dance Tent Food Demonstrations  Mini Farm  Rock  Climbing Inflatables  Fair Ground  Graffiti Artists  Arts and Crafts Stalls ● Competitions ● Breakdancing ● Beat Boxing performances  and much much more.

Unfortunately, there was not much, much more, nor were all of the advertised acts and activities present.  I am not sure as to what the arena was supposed to be, unless they were referring to the poorly kept car park/building site, there was no dance tent, no food demonstrations, there were no arts and crafts, no competitions, no beat box performances…. The entertainment on the main stage consisted of a loop of Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, Bob The Builder, and local dance troups.  We stayed for a maximum of one hour and a half and I do believe we pretty much saw the whole of the entertainment.

One of the four acts...

One of the four acts…

Not only was the event poorly organised but unfortunately many of the workers, who appeared to be there independently (so I am unsure as to where the entrance fee money was going) were very unprofessional and simply did not seem to care about the very families who had paid to attend the event.

Quite possibly the best free activity

Quite possibly the best free activity

‘Tom Boy’ and ‘I’m a Little Princess’ wanted to go on the trampolines.  As the large inflatable bouncy castle had been free, I assumed that the trampolines would be too….. How incorrect could I have been!  The damage…£4 each for 5 minutes.  The 5 minutes included the time it took the children to take off and put back on their shoes, so around £1 a minute for jumping on a trampoline.  In fact the worker started attaching another child into the harness whilst Tom Boy was trying to put her shoes back on.  There was no area for them to take their shoes off or put them on so the only place was to sit on the side of the trampoline to do it.  More alarmingly, whilst I was there, an organiser came over and asked one of the workers if he has been smoking whilst putting a child on the trampoline as they had just received a complaint. Within the small marquee, there were a couple of free things for the children to do.  There was free face painting, you could have a model balloon made or you do do some cupcake decorating.  Oh…and not forgetting you could milk a large plastic cow, supplied by Arla Foods, which in actual fact ‘I’m a Little Princess’ actually enjoyed for a shortwhile.

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Cow milking supplied by Arla Foods

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Stir Krazy Kids Activity

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Cupcake Decorating with Stir Krazy

As a parent, the most highlighting part of the event for me was speaking with one of the owners of Stir Krazy, a children’s cookery club.  It was lovely to see the passion she had for her business and hear about the reasons she decided to set up the club.  Cathie went on to tell me about the holiday clubs and children’s parties they run in Leeds and surrounding areas and how they are a new business.  I wish Cathie and her partner Sarah all the best, as their concept is a lovely idea for children and a great alternative to conventional childcare.

The misery of the majority of the rest of the staff and stall holders could not be contained, and was perhaps most apparent on the face of the balloon modeler who, not only looked uninterested….but also appeared to do a runner half way through the day.  One little girl asked the man if he would make her a flower, he obviously was not listening or could not be bothered as he handed her an orange looking dog.  A man asked for a giraffe and the balloon man told him he did not have time to make a giraffe.  I could not believe my ears.  There was no interaction with the children at all.  When it came to ‘I’m a Little Princess’ wanting her balloon, ‘Typical Teenager’ had also heard everything going on, and so for his entertained told her to ask for a zebra.  At the same time I made a comment that all the balloons looked the same and he looked like he needed to be elsewhere.  He must have heard me, as amazingly ‘Princess’ ended up with something resembling a zebra.

balloon man

Not interested?

zebra balloon

zebra

Oops where has he gone?

Oops where has he gone?

The ‘Festival’ claimed it was part of the Food and Drink Festival, however there was nothing at this festival to suggest such a thing.  The only food available were in the form of the usual burger vans, there was one creperie van.  No evidence of any cooking demonstrations and there was one small beer tent, which was hardly used, probably because most parents did not appear to want to stay that long. All in all, it was a disappointment.  I am not sure what went wrong, whether there were lots of booked acts that did not turn up or whether it was just very poorly organised.

Unorganised....

Disappointing….

I have waited a couple of days to write this review, in the hope the organisers may have issued some sort of explanation but to date nothing has been released.  Quite honestly, if I was the owner of the venue (http://thetetley.org/) I would not have allowed the event to go ahead. It is such a shame, the organisers had a good concept here, but there simply was not enough organisation, enough things to keep people entertained, and the ticket pricing was just all wrong.  There was nothing to keep a 15 year old entertained, which I know is difficult at the best of times, but I had hoped that the dance tent would do that.  My two daughters aged 7 and 6 were bored within an hour and a half. After searching the internet I have found many other complaints from families simply feeling that the festival was a scam and a rip off.  We can only hope that the organisers are able to compensate the families in some way by providing such a sub standard event, at an extortionate price and wasting valuable family time. You can read other reviews here and here

ben ten  peppa pig meet n greet

SUMMARY Event: Boomerang Jam Family Festival, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK Date Attended: 26th May 2014 Value for Money?: No Toilet Facilities: Plenty of portaloos, the ones I visited had plenty of toilet roll and hand sanitiser.  Baby facilities were located within the Tetley Building, meaning parents having to leave the festival area. Recommend to Other Families?: No Would you attend again: Yes.  I would love to see the event organisers put on the event that they advertised and this time do it justice, and get the pricing right!  I would like to come back next time and be able to give a postive review. Overall Rating: 1/10 Reason for Rating:  My children did enjoy the large inflatable bouncy castle slide and meeting Peppa Pig and Ben 10.  The event was over priced, unorganised.  Not enough activities to keep families entertained.

WHAT MY CHILDREN HAD TO SAY:

Children's Reviews...

Children’s Reviews…

If you need to contact Boomerang Jam here, you can do this here: http://boomerangjam.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/boomerangjam?fref=ts Related Articles: Booming Bank Holiday Entertainment for all the Family (Blogizing.wordpress.com) Reviews of Boomerang Jam (Mumsnet.com) Boomerang Jam on Facebook If you attended the event and left feeling disappointed with your experience please feel free to leave a review in our comments, or a link if you have posted a review elsewhere. Acknowledgements: Blogizing would like to thank the organisers of Boomerang Jam Festival for providing a Family Ticket to allow us to come and review the event for you.  Although we were disappointed this time around, we hope you can learn and grow 🙂 B signoff

Free Spirt Bridesmaids & Page Boys: Inspiration for your big day

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Those of you who follow us here at Blogizing know we like to write about things which we like.  Festival Brides has been a favourite of ours for some time and today they have really got us excited.  We love new things, new ideas and new concepts. So when we saw their feature for bridesmaids and page boys based on the film ‘Wild Things’  we could not contain our excitement…we only wish we had an alternative wedding to cater for!

http://festivalbrides.co.uk/children-of-the-wild-flower-girls-page-boys

page boy bridesmaid

“The key to this look, however you decide to embark upon it, is for your little people to look a little dishevelled. No over styled hair, just a hint of sparkle and earthy, natural toned clothing. They should look like they belong in that woodland and most of all they should look comfortable, enjoying the rusty crown you’ve placed on their head, or embodying the lost boy spirit of their tribal painted face. Don’t force it, find something they’ll love and you’ll have yourself a seriously happy, free-spirited mini bridal party.”  Festival Brides

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The inspiration for these outfits has been taken from the Lost Boys of Peter Pan and Where The Wild Things Are, we think they are amazing.  Any festival lover enjoys dressing up and being able to take inspiration from this style and add it to your own amazing day is a dream come true for us.  Let your children have fun and play out their favourite characters and have lots of fun.  A much better alternative to being stuffed into a big, heavy frilly dress or suit we say!

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Enjoy 🙂

For more on this topic and for lots more photos and inspiration take a look at Festival Brides post here

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Blogizing: The Book That Changed My Life

We all have that one book that once we have read it, it stays with us forever.  For whatever reason it made a huge impact.  Whether it is because you can relate to the character, the situation or it just ‘clicks’ with you, you know after reading it, it is with you, part of your brain and part of your soul. The book I am referring to is One Day by David Nicholls.  It was made into a film starring Anne Hathaway as the leading lady.  I was so excited when I found out they were making the book into the film and I had high expectations.  Unfortunately…it did not fulfil them and I was left feeling a little disappointed.  Which initially surprised me as I really do like a film with Anne Hathaway normally, she played a great part in The Devil Wears Prada, and I think that is when she first caught my attention.  Anyway….after some further consideration I realised perhaps the film was nt all that bad and it was in fact my actual love for the book, and the fact i had read it a couple of times, not only digested the information contained within the book, but pretty much memorised it, therefore noticing every little thing they actually left out of the film, and the parts they had changed.

This was the first book that I ever finished.  FACT

This was the first book I actually ever cried at. FACT

This is the only book that has had an impact on me. FACT

By why? I hear you say…..

It is written within an era I was growing up in therefore I have a connection straight away…..the 80’s! I was born in 1980 and although the fashion and music in my opinion, leave a lot to be desired I still love the 80’s.  The way people seemed to ‘make do’, the  memories of my family, places I lived, toys I played with, holidays I enjoyed.  These were the happiest ten years of my life, as at the age of 1o my parents separated and subsequently divorced, so I hold the 80’s up there as important, happy, iconic years of my life.

As I began to read the story, I really related to the main character Emma, and felt it could even have been me.  Not actually me, but if I was to be auditioning as a part to play Emma in a film, based upon my love life and my expectation of my love life….it definitely could have been me.

One Day is a funny/sad love story spanning twenty years, a book about growing up – how we change, how we stay the same.

The story basically follows two people, Emma and Dexter-who meet at University on their night of graduation and the following day they go their seperate ways.  However, on the same day every year they catch up on what is happening in each others lifes.  It follows them for twenty years, showing how they change.  You so desperately want them to get together and when it is right to do so for one of them, it is the wrong timing for the other.  Many things happen and they change for the better and for the worse.  Dexter follows the wrong path of drink and drugs and Emma just does not seem to be reaching her full potential.  Eventually they get together and what happens next was such a shock, I cannot tell you!  Well, actually…..I can tell you but it is still painfully difficult…..Emma is hit by a truck whilst riding her bicycle through the streets of London.  I remember reading this book whilst in the bath and I actually sobbed.  Not cried as in tears running down my cheeks….but full on balled my eyes out to the point my cheeks stung from the tears.  This was such a tragic story.  From the point of meeting Emma loved Dexter, but he was so silly not to realise it.  Eventually, he finally came to his senses, sorted out his life, they get together and she is killed.  ‘That would just be my luck, I thought!

It is n’t that I am a particularly morbid person in any way.  I do however have an irrational fear of death.  I am always pursuing ‘my one true love’ whoever that may be and I am so worried that if I find them they will be taken away from me.  Riddiculous I know, and probably the reason I have never been lucky enough to meet my soul mate.  The universe probably thinks I do not deserve it or cannot handle it.  Quite possibly correct.  The good news is, I am receiving counselling for my fear as it extends to all parts of my life, to a point where I can be quite self destructive in order to protect myself and/or others.  I do this subconsciously, so a lot of the time I do not even know I have done it.

I have moved on to realising that I am just as entitled to a happy life with happy things in it that any other person.  This has been a big step for me.  I also now know that when good things happen it does not automatically mean things will be taken away from me.

This book was life changing for me.  Not just because I, at the time, related to the story, but because it made me realise the intensity of my fear and after some years finally get some help. Never have I again managed to engage so much with a book, nor have I cried to that extent.  Thank you David Nicholls for what is likely to be ‘the’ book that changed my life!

http://www.davidnichollswriter.com/one_day

Which book has had a lasting effect on you? We would love to hear about it 🙂

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Booming Bank Holiday Entertainment for all the Family

Boomerang Jam Festival, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK

If you are anything like me you will love a good festival!  I attend them throughout the Summer with friends leaving my children with my fabulous parents! I enjoy the break but think the kids enjoy a break from me too if I am really honest with myself!  However, now and again my children, boy aged 15, and girls aged 7 and 6 often are on my case about them going to festivals.  As they are getting older I can understand why they want to get  involved especially when they see how excited I get!  My son has attended Bingley Music Live with friends from school and we have attended the Aire Do!, a festival in Keighley, West Yorkshire, which in the past has showcased the likes of Rudimental and Jake Bugg.

Last year when entering the gates at the Aire Do Festival I was surprised to see how excited my two girls were just at the fact they were getting a festival wristband! They are definately likely to follow in my footsteps as they were dancing around in front of the main stage whilst listening to Black Sabbath play Agadoo and zipping in and out of the little dance tent.

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This year, as soon as they found out I had booked my first festival ticket, they were on my case. “muuuuuummmmmmmm, when can we go to a festival?” Although the Aire Do is a great little boutique festival it is not until August, so there is a little while to wait.  It also got me thinking about which festivals were actually family friendly. I have been to many, who claim to be family friendly, but in all honesty just do not have the facilities to keep your children entertained whilst you can go off and party….it is not realistic is it 😀

I began to delve into the world wide web, do a little research and see what I could come up with.  There seems to be a real lack of festivals marketed at families, which is such a shame.  The ones that are, do appear to be aimed more at older children.  For me, I have two age groups to contend with, and the teenager is the more difficult of the two!  I did however, come across a festival which is local to me, called Boomerang Jam.  It is to take place on Sunday 25th and Monday 26th May 2014 at The Old Brewery, in Leeds.  Conveniently located some 7 minutes away from the train station it is easy to reach, or alternatively if you are travelling by car there is a large car park so no need to worry about the travel arrangements, which can often be a big stress for a family day out.  The highlights seem to be appearances by Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, Bob The Builder and Ben 10 amongst others….thats the little ones sorted out then….but what about the teenager?  There promises to be stunts by bmx bikers and skaters as well as the dance tent and lots of workshops to keep them entertained.  My teenager is also a particular lover of food…any food, but he also appreciates food.

Half Pipe and Pro Performers  Main Stage  Arena  Dance Tent Food Demonstrations  Mini Farm  Rock  Climbing Inflatables  Fair Ground  Graffiti Artists  Arts and Crafts Stalls ● Competitions ● Breakdancing ● Beat Boxing performances  and much much more.

Boomerang Jam is also part of The Leeds Food and Drink Festival 2014 and will deliver some of the finest cooking displays and tastiest treats Leeds has to offer! 

I have decided there definately seems to be enough here to keep a 6 year old princess, a 7 year old skater girl and a football crazy, x-box mad, foody teenager entertained.  Therefore, I for one shall be giving it a try, and I will of course report back!  It is important in these difficult times that the quality time we so desperately seek with our families is time which we feel is well spent and of course value for money.  I will be visiting to see if this is what we will be getting.  From the face of it, it looks promising so lets keep our fingers and toes crossed and pray to the universe that finally there may just be a family festival which not only promises to deliver a great day out for all the family, but actually does.

Boomerang Jam Music Festival, Leeds, West Yorkshire.  25th & 26th May 2014

Tickets from: £10