UK lifestyle and money blog

Victoria Sully Nov 2018 Circle Logo

 

Welcome to the Lylia Rose UK money and lifestyle blog.  I'm Victoria Sully, a busy mum of two, wife, full-time blogger and online money-maker.  I’m passionate about making money online, saving money, self-employment, healthy living and blogging.  I’m on a personal mission to be healthier and wealthier!  Thank you so much for joining me.


 

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Category: Travel, Holidays & Days Out

  1. Toddlertastic Review at Jumptastic Trampoline Park Gloucester

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    jumptastic gloucester trampoline park toddler toddlertastic review lifestyl
    Boing!  Picture Source

    We had the absolute best time two weekends ago when we attended Jumptastic Trampoline Park in Gloucester for the very first time.  Jumptastic had been on my radar for quite a while, perhaps even a year since first hearing about it from the mums at Bella’s old playgroup.  It sounded fantastic – a whole warehouse filled with trampolines attached to one another!  Who doesn’t love bouncing around right?  It certainly makes me feel like a big kid whenever I get on a trampoline or bouncy castle, so this place sounded awesome!

    I’d originally tried convincing Ben to go with me on one of our date nights, but these are few and far between and the chance hasn’t yet arisen.  Searching their website one day to show Ben what we’re missing out on, I was amazed to discover they have a Toddlertastic session suitable for under fives!  No way!  This meant we could take both Bella (4) and Reuben (1) together and go as a family to try it out.  Even better!

    Toddlertastic Jumptastic blog review gloucester lifestyle blogger uk

    Bella was super excited.  We don’t have a trampoline in the garden and she has been asking for one so we must get one next year.  The excitement didn’t fade when we got there either!  Bella is often quite shy in new places and situations and takes a while to settle in, but not here!  She was running around totally hyper and loving every second!  Boinging from trampoline to trampoline and even jumping into the foam pit!

    Reuben had an absolute whale of a time.  The huge parachute material was draped over one of the vertical trampolines and he couldn’t clamber up fast enough to keep sliding down the super slippy slide it created!

    Ben and I also had tons of fun!  There was plenty of room for everyone there so we got to bounce around a fair amount too!  I love the feeling of butterflies it creates in my stomach and it gave me a bit of a silly high!  It’s the funniest and most fun thing we’ve done in a long while and it was great to do our first activity as a family of four which we could all enjoy.

    I really want to go back for a date night with just Ben so we can boing around unrestricted without the young children there, but we’ll also go back for Toddlertastic in the New Year as it was so much fun for everyone.   We couldn’t stop talking about it all day!

    I’m sure there are plenty more trampoline parks across the country, so why not find one near you?

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  2. Christmas at The Brewery, Cheltenham | Dinner with Santa, Elf, Anna & Elsa!

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    Christmas at The Brewery, Cheltenham Dinner with Santa, Elf, Anna & Elsa b

    Christmas at The Brewery, Cheltenham | Dinner with Santa, Elf, Anna & Elsa!

    Bella is so excited for Christmas this year.  She’s now four and a half and understands the whole magical experience more than ever.  We were meant to go to Peppa Pig World for their incredible Christmas experience, but sadly some tragic family news meant we had to cancel our trip and tickets.  Thankfully Bella seems to have forgotten all about it and hasn’t mentioned it yet, probably with all the other exiting Christmas things which have been going on!  Now she’s at school and dance class she’s had a Nativity, Christmas dance show and lots of Christmas themed days/activities at school!

    Christmas at The Brewery, Cheltenham Dinner with Santa, Elf, Anna & Elsa b

    Not wanting her to totally miss out on the Santa experience I set about to find something local we could do instead.  We’d already promised Bella a trip to a pizza restaurant come payday and I was amazed to discover Prezzo in The Brewery, Cheltenham, had an event with Santa and the Frozen princesses!  It sounded perfect and luckily they still had a table left.

    Not knowing what to expect I assumed we’d have our dinner, then go to see Santa and the princesses afterwards for a chat, photo and maybe a gift.  Well, this did happen, but to my surprise the experience was so much more!  We were greeted by Anna and Elsa as soon as we entered Prezzo.  We’d decided not to tell Bella and keep it a surprise.  I knew this could have gone one of two ways; a super excited Bella squealing at the sight of her favourite characters or a super shy overwhelmed Bella not sure of what to make of it all.  

    Christmas at The Brewery, Cheltenham Dinner with Santa, Elf, Anna & Elsa b

    It was the latter!  Bella hasn’t really seen anyone dressed up that often and she clung to me instantly!  We were shown to our table and luckily the entertainers realised she was best left for a short while until she settled in and relaxed, watching from afar.  After a short while they came to the table with come colouring for Bella and slowly Bella began to relax and start talking to her favourite princesses.  Anna, Elsa, Santa and his Elf continued to come over to our table several times to talk to Bella and Reuben and happily pose for photos.  It really was more of an experience, rather than just seeing Santa for a few minutes and then leaving.  They also did a sing along by the Christmas tree which all the children could go over and join in with!

    Bella had such a great time and has even asked for the princesses to come to her birthday next summer.  Oh, and we also got to enjoy a yummy pizza each, even better!

     

     

  3. Our First Time… at Thermae Bath Spa

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    Our First Time at Bath Thermae Spa by Lylia Rose UK Lifestyle Blog (4)
    Image Credit: Matt Cardy & Thermae Bath Spa

    Thermae Bath Spa is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a long time now.   I’d seen several photos of their incredible rooftop pool online which looked so amazing.  We finally arranged childcare at the end of September and treated ourselves to a ‘Thermae Welcome’ package in the New Royal Bath.

    The package included a 2 hour spa session, luxury robe and slippers for, at first glance, a pricey £37 each.   Since going, I now think this price is totally worth it in my opinion for a once in a while indulgent treat!  I’d misread the website and thought we had a 4 hour session, so was surprised it was only 2, but actually this was more than enough.  We even left a little earlier than the two hours feeling relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated! 

    If you eat at the spa restaurant your time counter stops so you won’t lose any spa time.  Unfortunately the only vegetarian meal contained alcohol so we didn’t eat there, which was a shame as I really wanted to experience eating my lunch in a restaurant in a robe and slippers!  If you’re reading this Bath Thermae, please offer a healthier non-alcoholic vegetarian meal!

    Our First Time at Bath Thermae Spa by Lylia Rose UK Lifestyle Blog (2)
    Image Credit: Dave Saunders & Thermae Bath Spa

    After changing into our robes and slippers we used the very white staircase to walk to the Minerva Bath.  I wanted to giggle on the steps as the experience is quite bizarre!  It’s super white everywhere and feels quite futuristic or like we were in a film as we passed several other people dressed in white robes and white slippers!  I felt like I could be in one of those films about lucid dreaming or something and we were on our way to have our brains zapped!  Perhaps this is a more normal experience of a spa day for you, but the ones I’ve been to before only have one level so it’s more of a pool experience, out of the changing rooms and straight into a pool.  This is the first time I’ve been to one on several levels.

    As soon as we entered the water we were so impressed.  It was so pleasurably warm!  I must have said to Ben at least ten times ‘why don’t they make all swimming pools this warm?’  Obviously this is a spa, but I can’t stand when I go to a swimming pool and the water is so cold I spend most of the time with goosebumps and emerge with blue lips.  The temperature of this water is so much more satisfying!  The Minerva Bath has a lazy river which was great fun!  Grab a float, lie back and let the jets move you along – super relaxing.  We spent a lot of our time just bobbing about in here enjoying the warmness.

    Our First Time at Bath Thermae Spa by Lylia Rose UK Lifestyle Blog (1)
    Image Credit: Philip Edwards & Thermae Bath Spa 

    Next we went up to the pool I had been eagerly awaiting to see the whole time – the Open-air Rooftop Pool!  It was pretty busy, but we luckily managed to grab a spot next to the side with a view over Bath and the countryside hills – perfect!   Although it was the end of September and quite nippy outdoors, the sun was shining and felt so warm on our faces.  With my eyes closed I could have almost convinced myself I was abroad on holiday!  It really was so pleasurable I could have stayed in this pool for the entire time and happily paid the £37 to do so for an escape from everyday life and a short break from being Mummy!  It has also convinced me that we need a holiday abroad with a pool that isn’t freezing ASAP!

    Our First Time at Bath Thermae Spa by Lylia Rose UK Lifestyle Blog (5)
    Image Credit: Rob Slade & Thermae Bath Spa

    After Ben convinced me to leave this pool, we tried the Aroma Steam Rooms.  These also had a futuristic feel as they were giant glass pods!  There were four in total, each infused with a different aromatic essence.  I’m not a huge fan of steam rooms as I feel like I can’t breathe properly, but gave each one a go, if only for a few minutes each!  It’s such a strange sensation not feeling like you can breathe fresh air and instantly sweating!  I do feel like the sweating does something good for my skin though.  The vapours in these steam rooms also make it a more pleasant experience.  At the time of visiting they had Eucalyptus, Lemon Grass and Ginger, Sandalwood and Lotus Flower.  My favourite was the Lemon Grass and Ginger -  I could have smelt this all day!  If you love steam rooms then you’ll really love these.  I think perhaps for me it’s something I need to get used to.

    Our First Time at Bath Thermae Spa by Lylia Rose UK Lifestyle Blog (3)
    Image Credit: Matt Cardy & Thermae Bath Spa

    Before leaving we had another visit to the Minerva Bath for another go on the lazy river.  There’s also a super powerful jet spray which we stood under to give our shoulders and neck what felt like a super intense massage!

    My favourite part was the rooftop pool by far.  I felt so relaxed with the sunshine warming my face and staring out over the views or even closing my eyes for minutes at the time that I completely forgot all life’s little daily stresses and worries.  I definitely want to return for another session and make it perhaps a once a year treat.  I’d love to try the evening package with food (when they have a more suitable veggie option for me) to see the contrast at the spa between night and day, I'm certain visiting at night time would reach a whole new level of relaxation!

     

  4. Our First Time… Staying in a Yurt!

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    romantic yurt for two michaelchurch escley (3)

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    romantic yurt for two michaelchurch escley (1)

    Grwyne Fawr Dam & Reservoir in the Black Mountains, Wales (4)

    Grwyne Fawr Dam & Reservoir in the Black Mountains, Wales (5)

    Grwyne Fawr Dam & Reservoir in the Black Mountains, Wales (7)

    Grwyne Fawr Dam & Reservoir in the Black Mountains, Wales (6)

    Our First Time… Staying in a Yurt!

    Review of Romantic Yurt for Two, Michaelchurch, Escley

    Welcome to my new series ‘Our First Time’.  I’ve decided (and persuaded) Ben that we should have a date day or date night at least once per month where we try something new or go somewhere we haven’t been before.  We rarely spend time alone as a couple so it will be a great way for us to ensure we do things just the two of us and we get out of the house! 

    We’ve been in our new home for two and a half years now and for the first two years, and still often now, any time the children are away for a night or day with family we’ve used the time to work on the house or garden.  We’ve been redoing every room, top to bottom, floors, ceilings, doors, fireplaces, kitchens, baths, you name it - we’ve been changing everything!  There’s still a ton of work to do, but not so much that we have to devote ALL our time to it.  I’m also getting a little tired of spending all our money on the house and want our lives back a little.  So once a month, or twice if we’re very lucky, we’ll be getting out of the house and exploring!

    Our very first new experience was at the end of August and we went glamping!  I’ve wanted to stay in a yurt for quite a while now, since glamping really popped onto the scene a couple of years ago.  I love yurts, and teepees and wigwams.  They’re much more my thing than camping in a standard tent!  So much more interesting and wonderfully made.  Ben loves camping full stop.  You know, camping in a tent.  I didn’t mind this so much when I was younger (and drank alcohol).  In fact not long after we got together we camped in Cornwall and it was fun.  But I was drunk and so sleeping in a tiny tent on the floor didn’t bother me!  Now I prefer a little more luxury, so glamping is a great half way compromise I think!

    We couldn’t help but exclaim ‘wow’ several times when shown the yurt.  It was really beautiful inside and instantly inviting.  Cosy, warm (thanks to the wood stove), splashes of boho themed textiles all around and even a glamourous chandelier hanging in the middle!  Best of all was a big comfy bed swamped in cushions and snug throws.  Perfect!  This was my idea of camping! 

    The yurt had everything we needed including a kettle with a selection of hot drinks, fresh water, towels, toilet roll and toiletries.  It was a short walk to the toilets, so you still get a feel for ‘real’ camping’!   There was even a small DVD player and several DVDs to choose from.  There was a film we hadn’t seen so we snuggled up under all the blankets in the evening and enjoyed watching a film on the portable player with a hot drink and the log burner roaring.  It was so relaxing and so nice to spend time totally alone.

    The yurt is set near a campsite which is by a pub and B&B.  We enjoyed a really scrumptious home cooked meal in the pub before cosying up in the yurt.  It was so delicious.  There was plenty of food too, way too much for us to finish. They were very generous with the portions, so a good idea to go on an empty stomach!  In the morning we enjoyed breakfast in the B&B – a lovely country farmhouse where all guests sit in the kitchen together at a huge farmhouse table whilst nattering to the hosts as they cook breakfast!  The breakfast was included in the price of the stay and we enjoyed every mouthful!

    Before arriving at the yurt we went for a walk to the Grwyne Fawr Dam & Reservoir in the Black Mountains, Wales.  It was an absolutely stunning place.  So peaceful and picturesque, it almost didn’t feel real as we sat by the glistening water with the mountains behind.  The dam is super impressive too.  If you’re wondering what to do whilst staying here then this walk is a must.

    Our first experience staying in a yurt was a very good one and I’d definitely stay in another!  It’s much more luxurious than regular camping and all the little extras make it worthwhile.

    Here’s the link to the yurt we stayed at 'Romantic Yurt for Two, Michaelchurch, Escley: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/12280185?s=KqBjZt9-

     

  5. The Eden Project

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    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Review

    Our family day out at The Eden Project, Cornwall, and my favourite photos

    In July we returned to The Eden Project in Cornwall for our second visit.  We’d been before when Bella was only a dinky one year old, so three years on we noticed how the biomes had really changed and the rainforest one in particular seemed to have boomed!  I’d really recommend The Eden Project as a family day out.  It’s perhaps more beneficial for older children as they will learn so much, but our littles (1 and 4) still had a great time exploring all the plants and enjoying delicious food in the cafes - Reuben even had his very first green juice all to himself!

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project is where a china clay pit once stood.  Or rather, lay or whatever the word is as it was dug into the ground rather than standing on the ground!  The pictures remind me of a quarry; dug out land with rocks exposed over a huge amount of space.  No greenery in sight, just ruined land.  The idea of The Eden Project began on napkins in a pub by a chap called Tim Smit.  He had an idea to showcase the world’s most magnificent plants and needed a very big space. 

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out 

    Once funding was secured, the big build began in 2000.  The entire project is made with being environmentally friendly in mind and incredibly, they even made their own soil for the entire place!  Some of the plants were bought in, but many were grown from seed on site.  The rainforest biome became home to over 1000 plants from across the globe.  The Eden Project proudly opened to the public on March 17th 2001 and by June already had over 1 million visitors – really quite something.

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    I was really excited to return for a second time and was not disappointed.  As we visited during the summer holidays they had an extra exhibition… dinosaurs!  This was an unexpected surprise and the exhibition was quite remarkable.  The best costumes I’ve ever seen for dinosaurs – Bella was quite literally terrified!  She had to confirm the dinosaurs weren’t real with us several times!  If you check out my Lylia Rose Instagram, you’ll find a video of a dinosaur walking around!

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    It’s an amazing experience to be able to see pineapples and bananas growing in the rainforest biome!  Who knew pineapples grew up from the ground?  I’m sure they’re meant to grow on trees like coconuts?!  Other favourites of mine were seeing the rubber trees, palm trees and cocoa trees.   This year I was excited to see a baobab smoothie bar as I’ve told of my love for baobab many times in this blog.  We also say the remnants of the titans which had amazingly all flowered in May (click here to see).  These mighty (and stinky) flowers grow for a whopping 10 years before flowering and die 48 hours after bloom.  They look like something prehistoric.  I can just imagine dinosaurs walking around them!

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    Can you see the pineapple?

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    Spot the bananas!

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    Who knew wellie boots were so ancient!

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    New baobab smoothie bar!  Yum!

    The second and smaller biome is the Mediterranean biome.  With a more familiar European feel, it reminds me of holidays to the Greek Islands, South of France and even Lanzarote with its white painted walls, citrus and olive trees.  It certainly makes me want to jump on a plane and show Ben these beautiful places!  Being quite a cactus fan, I loved the aloe vera plants; really huge and again quite a prehistoric feel to them. 

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    One of my favourite parts of any day out is meal times!  We were lucky to enjoy both lunch and dinner at The Eden Project and both were equally fantastic.  There are plenty of vegetarian options and loads of scrumptious looking healthy foods with many ingredients grown on site!  This type of food is right up my street.  I enjoyed a veggie kebab, every mouthful just delicious.  For dinner we ate in the big hall on long benched tables.  I chose some sort of veggie tart with salad and potatoes.  The quality of the food is so good.  I made lots of satisfied mmmmmm noises the whole way through.  I also recommend the juice bar next to the Mediterranean biome entrance.  There’s a bit of a wait as they only have one juicing machine, but it’s so worth it.  I chose two green smoothies for us all to share.  Reuben even had some (his first drink other than milk and water so far) and loved it!

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out

    I’d highly recommend a trip to The Eden Project.  I look forward to returning again.  The tickets do seem a little steep, I think we paid £25 per adult and both children were free as so young.  The tickets last for one year though so you can return any time.  Plus, it’s a charity so you’re supporting a great cause & educational project.

    Have you been to the ‘eighth wonder of the world’?

     The Eden Project Photos and Blog Review July 2016 Lylia Rose Family Day Out