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Icmeler - Turkey
If you are looking for a bargain holiday with great weather, cheap food and friendly people then this place hits all that! Icmeler is a lovely town, not far away from the most popular Marmaris ( about 8km's).
Icmeler itself is very much reliant on tourism, shops are everywhere as are pubs, restaurants and excursion booths. Icmeler is surrounded by lovely mountains and has quite a narrow beach. The beach is shingle and it's all that pleasant but the water is clean and very very salty!
What is there to do?
Turkey has lots of different excursions available to suit all ages. If you like the water, Turkey offers lots of different water cruises, some at night and some at day. We recently went on an All Inclusive boast cruise around Marmaris and the bay's - we were taken to waterfalls and glorious areas of the sea where you could dive in. The grand total for this excursion was £10 each! An absolute bargain! The price for most excursions in Turkey are fairly cheap. Icmeler's closest neighbour is Marmaris, within Marmaris you will find two water parks, Aqua Dream and Atlantis. Both have their good features - I would say Aqua Dream is probably best for young children and Atantis for the elders but you will have fun whichever you go to! The cost of these parks is around £10.
There is absolutely lots to do from historic Pamukkale and EPHESUS, the fun of the water parks, jeep safari's, diving trips, Cleopatra Island.. the list goes on and on.
If you are taking children to Turkey then most excursion booths allow your child to go FREE providing they are under 6 years old.
Icmeler is very much aimed at the British Tourists, most things are advertised in English and it's common for them to advertise in £'s.
I found that our hotel (4* advertised) was probably a 3*, the rooms were clean but basic. I am not sure if this is throughout Turkey but most places we visited insisted that toilet roll was only put in the bins and not down the toilet. When wondering around we noticed that a lot of the 3-4* hotels had really small pools - I think this is the norm here.
Is it safe to go around?
I would say that Icmeler and Marmaris are completely safe, Small buses run ever few minutes from Marmaris to Icmeler and cost 2 Turkish lira (around £1). Definitely worth while to get on one. The buses (dolmus) travels from 6:00am to 1:00am so if you want to enjoy the night-life of another town it is viable.
The Turkish people are really kind and friendly, they remind me of the Greeks. They are willing to do anything for you.
We had the advantage of travelling on an all inclusive basis but decided to eat out on a few occasions. I was so surprised with the quantity and quality of the food for the minuscule price. We had a 4 course meal with live Italian music and a free drink for £10. I could not believe my eyes! The food was delicious. Alongside the beach front you will find hundreds of lovely restaurants so if you go self catering you will not be disappointed.
Although the food in Turkey was relatively cheap the drinks didn't seem all that. On average we would pay £2.00 for a glass of lemonade in a restaurant and around £2.50 for a large bottle of lager. Luckily our AI package meant that we could take advantage of the soft drinks at the hotel and not have to pay the high prices.
One thing to point out is the length of the transfer. You will be sat for at least 1 and a half hours on the transfer however they do stop for refreshments half way.
I have visited Turkey in August and September, I preferred September. In August the heat is at it's peak, 40-50 degrees most days - absolutely scorching and too hot for me. In September it cools a little, between 30-40 - far better for me. I have never ever had a day of rain in Turkey, only the odd day of cloud.
A fantastic holiday, would definitely go back for a third time.
Calm Down Boris!
This strory is completely interactive and lots of fun for the young ones, as you can see by the image, Boris is a orange monster ( a nice monster though). He loves to kiss people and is great fun.
The book is designed so that the reader controls Boris. In the back of the book you can slot your hand in and control Boris mouth ( a puppet)
Each page of the book has a whole cut out, allowing boris's to be on every page. As you travel through the book and help Boris get ready and feed him etc, Boris has some surprise tickles and kisses for your young one.
Sam Lloyd has created a wonderful story, magical for youngsters and lots of fun of course.
This book can be purchased from Amazon for around £5, most book stores will stock it and it can be purhcased from Tesco.
Penguin by Polly Dunbar!
This story looks very simple on the front, a basic white page with the letters "Penguin" and a picture of an animated penguin. The title itself doesnt really tell you much so let me explain.
Ben a young child gets a present, when he opens it he finds a Penguin and instantly takes a liking to him, he tries to play with him, to talk to him, tickle him, even pull funny faces but Penguin wasnt intersted and said nothing back. Ben tries and tries his hardest even by wearing silly hats and singing songs,firing him on a rocket into outer space and trying to feed him to the Lion but still Penguin said nothing. Until that is when the Lion eat's Ben for being too noisy and Penguin fights back the Lion to free his friend Ben.
The story has lots of pictures and the writing is bold and simple. Each page has many illustations and is very colourful.
The story itself is basic, its not the best story in the world in my opinion and my child looses interest quite quickly. The story doesn't really flow and the pages and pages of white looks a bit bland.
I have this story in paperback, but it can be purchased from most book stores or Amazon for little over £5.
The book itself has won the Early Years Award in 2007, although not a overly well known story - it's worth taking out from your library to try.
This story is fun, interactive and bright and cheerful. Every child should have a copy. The book is smallish in size (not as small as a5, but not as large as a4) and is square in shape.
We have this book in softcopy however a hardcopy version is available.
Although the story is simple, it is very creative and wonderful for young children.
Spot is a dog and has gone missing, as tea is ready it is our job to find him. Each page has an interactive fold for you to open. i.e. "is he behind the door". Instead of spot being there something else lies behind.. This is a great feature for your child to interact, they can open the folds and see what animal is. Eventually after pages and pages of looking Spot is found.
The text within the book is large and bold, simple enough for a young toddler to understand to read and relatively easy for a child to read. The longest word I found in the book was "wardrobe" but most words are one or two syllables.
The book can be purchased for around 3-4 pounds from most book stores. It is wrote by Eric Hill. Your local library will also have a copy, as this tale is very popular and well loved.
p.s. My toddler loves to play along, this is currently his favorite book.
So what do I think of DFS? Upon moving in to my new home and putting up with crappy second hand furniture, my boyfriend and I decided it was about time we got a new sofa of our own.
After a trip to DFS and sitting on many of the sofas we decided that a lot of them were very hard and not as spongy as we had hoped. I did however fall in love with one sofa in particular, a cream leather modern oversized sofa. AS DFS always advertise their half price sale I was pleased thinking the sofa of my dreams was not all that expensive. Unfortunately the sofa I wanted was not part of the deal and in fact the sofas that we found hard were in fact the ones on offer. By this time I had fell in love with my sofa and had my heart set on it.
The total price we paid for a oversized 3 seater, a oversized 2 seater and a foot stool was just over 3 grand. We were lucky in the fact that we were accepted on the 4 years interest free credit, meaning our payments are about 40 pounds a month. There is an option to have a year free without a payment but if you apply for this credit and get declined then you have to wait several weeks before being able to reapply.
The sofa itself is lovely however it has start to mark lately, as if the leather is wearing away and we have only had it 1 year!!! We did get a leather protection included in our price and a nice little kit to touch up areas now and again. It's handy to know that we have this, especially having a young child.
The wait time for DFS sofas is quite a while, ours was 12 weeks!!! Which seems like forever, after the three months had passed our sofa arrived with their own specialist delivery van. The van driver called half a hour before expecting to arrive which I thought was a nice touch, meaning I wouldn't have to sit in the house all day waiting.
Overall thought, a lovely suite that I would not swap for any other, hopefully the marks can be fixed with a bit of cleaning or a visit from the leather protection company.
3 our of 5
Tesco Cornflakes - As good as the leading brand!
After trying to cut down on our weekly shoppin bill we decided to try tesco's own brand Cornflakes.
They come in a yellow/ orange box .. exactly like shown on the picture associated with the item. Within the box the cornflakes are placed inside a plastic sealed bag.
The Cornflakes are golden and hard, they have a bobbly tecture. Each connflake is about 1-2 cm long, Unlike some of the cheaper competitors they are suprisingly similar to the leading brand, Kellogg's.
Whats in them?
Barley Malt Extract,
Vitamin D &
They are quite good for you too, with only serving contains 115 calories per 25g serving, 2.7g of sugar, 0.4g of Fat of which only 0.1g is saturates. They do contain 0.5g of Salt which is 8% of your daily allowance.
I tend to have the cornflakes with whole milk and sugar. They are very crunchy and I personally cannot tell the difference between these and Keloggs.
A box of Tesco cornflakes costs only 94p per 500g!! Bargain!! Save yourself a few pennies and buy these.
I remember the days when Teletext Holidays was on the TV, I loved it! All the latest deals were on the screen, page after page of special offers and you could see what you like. Even then you had to call the staff, which didn't bother me as we didn't have the Internet like we do now.
I must admit I don't like the website one little bit. I find it is long winded and it doesn't even allow you to price up and book online, which is a crime in this day and age!!!
I personally prefer a website that does all the maths for me, I don't want to phone up a local rate number to discuss things further..which is what this website suggests.
Another thing I dislike is that the search engine is designed in a way that makes you select a town or country you want to visit. Sometimes I like a little inspiration and would like to be able to select "anywhere" and see what the search engine brings me.
The website allows you to search for a destination, your choice of departing airport, the star class you want to travel and the board you wish to select. i.e. "Travel from Manchester to Egypt for 14 nights, all inclusive." You can also select how many days flexible you are.. they have this set at 14 which I think is quite good, some other websites offer 3 days and I find that awkward to use. I would like to see some more options i.e. "Free child places" "good for adults" "good for families" etc etc.
The Prices - I find the prices are still quite cheap but not as cheap as they once where. Perhaps this is due to inflation, more airport taxes etc.. who knows??? I have found many websites that are cheaper than Teletext now, some of which are www.icelolly.com, www.sunsave.com & www.sunmaster.com
The selection of hotels..
From my experience, I can think that hotels that are displayed on Teletext or any budget cancellation holiday website are normally poor. They do not excel the Travel Agents and in my opinion sometimes it's worth paying a little more and travelling with a company who have done all the research and will give you reputable hotels.
Overall, I would use teletext if I was looking for a cheap getaway but for a special holiday I would avoid.
Soft and Gentle Aroma Therapy (Jasmine & Rose Orchid Extract) anti-perspirant and deodorant is by fay my favourite!
I am normally a huge fan of the Palmolive brand but to my amazement, I was quite disappointed.
The smell, I think is quite sickly, it seems to linger around and has a horrible spicy smell. Palmolive recommend that this product will last for 24 hours... I have to disagree, the smell of the deodorant is hideous and seems to disguise nothing.. in fact I would say it blends with your natural smells and smells even worse!!
I purchased this bottle a long time ago and it is still left somewhat unused. I would only use it if I was in desperate need (i.e. an emergency).
I tend to use my other Palmolive variety's which have far nicer scents that smell fresh and light.
Palmolive think that this deodorant is "mood enhansing". In fact the only mood I feel when wearing this is ill.. it makes me feel sick!
On the plus side the deodorant does not sting and doesn't produce white patches like some other brands do. It is recommended that you shake before use and spray around 15cm away from your arm.
normally you can purchase from a supermarket for a couple of pounds bit I would definitely save your cash!!
For those who like this product please don't be offended.. I just really don't like the smell...
Bachelors Super Noodles are by far my least favourite snack meal!
Unfortunately my boyfriend thinks otherwise and therefore we always have them in the cupboard. The most popular flavour in our house is Barbeque Beef..
For those of you who don't know Super Noodles come in a dried format. They weigh around 100g per packet and cost around 60p each. If you are lucky you may get them on an offer. Currently you can get 5 packets for £2.00 in ASDA.
They can be cooked in either the microwave or on the hob. At the most, you will have to wait around 5-6 minutes to have your snack. Within the plastic sealed packet you will also have a flavour sachet, you can add as much as you like but I would recommend you add it all. AS well as being a popular snack, Batchelors advertise these noodles a being good for part of a meal. We (or should I say ' the boyfriend') would not have them as a meal, normally he takes as part of his packed lunch for his night shift as a quick snack.
So whats in them? ..to be honest absolutely alsorts. To name a sum: Noodles (Water, Wheat Flour, Palm Oil (contains Antioxidants (Butylated Hydroxyanisole, Citric Acid, Propyl Gallate), Salt) , Onion , Flavourings (contain Barley) , Garlic , Yeast Extract , Tomato , Sugar , Salt , Parsley , Dried Glucose Syrup , Vegetable Oil , Dextrose , Spices , Celery , Milk Powder , Wheat Flour . The alegry advice is that the noodles contain wheat, gluten, barley , celery and milk.
The taste? Not to my liking but I suppose they are just flavoured noodles. They can be quite moist but I think they are very sickly after a small quantity of noodles. For half a packet, a calorie intake would be 262. They have a whopping 11.8g of Fat, of which 6.0g are saturated.
Not to my liking but It's suppose relatively cheap snack
Why pay more for such a simple product when you can get all you need for 35p! ASDA Smartprice Tinned Tomatoes are terrific value for money and are also great for that waistline.
So what's in them? 60% tomatoes, Tomato Juice, acidity regulator (Citric Acid) . As you can see these tomatoes contain no hidden nasties.
The tomatoes come in a tin, just like a tin of bakes beans. The can needs to be opened with a tin opener as the smart price tin has no ringpul. The packaging is plain white, very simple.
A normal can of tomatoes contains 400g's. At only 42 calories per half a tin they are really good for you.
The taste? Persnally I never quite liked the taste of tinned tomatoes when I was younger, now I have aged by taste buds have changed and I love them. They are not as red in colour as some of the leading brands but apparently this is because Smartprice tinned tomatoes are made from the tomatoes that are less attractive and less red in colour. Personally this doesn't bother me, the taste is still really good.
I tend to use the tinned tomatoes for my spaghetti bolognaise sauce and many other tomato dishes..
Once opened the contents must be consumed within two days. If left un open these will stay in your cupboard for ages as the shelf life is high.
Personally I cannot justify buying more expensive tinned tomatoes when the Smartprice option is so good for its 35p price!
Strongbow - It's Bow time!!
Personally I can't think of anything better than to sip on this on a hot summers day. Although cider is probably one of the least healthy drinks for you..especially if your on a diet. I cant get enough of it. It's full of sugar and as it's fizzy, it's quite bloating.
H.P Bulmer created this delicious cider, they have been around since 1887!
I tend to purchase Strongbow by the bottle, as its cheaper - having said this I do think it tastes better by the can. Cans are often on offer in the major supermarkets - so grab them whilst you can.
I like to drink my Bow Extra Extra chilled. I also add lots of crushed ice and pour the fizz over the top. The noise of the ice and the fizzy cider makes me drool!!!!!
A 2 litre bottle of cider normally costs around £2.80, cans can vary from £2.50ish for 4 cans upwards.
A 2 litre bottle contains 10.6 units and has an alcoholic volume of 5.3%
Strongbow is delicious, surprisingly sweet although a dry cider and extremely refreshing.
Give it a whirl. xx
This BBC adaptation of the now famous story wrote by Julia Donaldson is wonderfull. The story itself is brilliant but the way this DVD has been made fully matches the story and is gripping to watch.
The DVD contains voice overs of many famous British actors. James Corden (my favourite Gavin and Stacey Character 'smithy' plays the part of the mouse. His fellow colleague Rob Byrdon plays the part of the snake. Other voice overs are done by Tom Wilkinson and Robbie Coltrane. The wonderful narrator is Helena Bonham. Helena narrates this short DVD very well. Her soothing voice is great for young children.
The story is based on a mouse who travellers through his land looking for nuts, he comes across a fox, a Snake and an owl, who all in turn try to convince the little mouse to join them to lunch... The clever mouse avoids "lunch" knowing that he is in fact lunch with a clever story which later comes round to bite him on the bum. Eventually he gets himself out of the tricky situation. The story rhymes throughout adding that extra fun factor for adults and children.
The DVD itself was first aired on BBC at Christmas time and was later released as a DVD, it lasts about 30 mins. Obviously as the story is quite short the DVD is drawn out but I think this adds to the effect of the story and makes it a great soothing film for your children.
The DVD can be purchased from Amazon and Play.com for around 5-6 pounds.
A great addition to your DVD case.. try the book too. Even adults will love it
Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup.
This famous soup is a much loved cupboard filler by many, personally, I never really saw the appeal when I was younger and even now I've grown up it's taken me a while to get used to. As a child I hated Tinned tomatoes and that is probly where it stemmed from. I am not going to say it's something I "have to have" or even a soup that I would select over another flavour but as it goes for Cream of Tomato soups Heinz have well and truly hit the nail on its head, it is 1000 times better than any other competitor by far...no other brand doesn't even seem to come close.
It has a delicious flavour and is surprisingly filling. The soup is not as thick as a paste but is definitely thicker than water, probably the thickness of cream. It is completely smooth and has no bits or lumps, so great for your youngsters - no chocking fret there.
A tin of soup would normally cost you around 70-80p, I tend to stock up on mine when it's on special - normally 5 for £2.00. The long shelf life means that you don't have to worry about it expiring. Generally a tin of soup would have around 2 years shelf life.
The soup comes in a classic tin, the red label with HEINZ plastered across the top I gold. Of all the tin designs, Heinz is probably the most iconic when it comes to soup.
This soup can has the added feature of a nice ring pull apposed to a flat top that would require a tin opener, therefore great to take to work for a packed lunch.
So whats in it?
Mainly tomatoes at 84%, Water, Vegetable oil. Sugar, Modified Cornflour, Salt,
Dried Skimmed Milk, Milk Proteins, Cream, Spice Exracts, Herb Extracts and Citric acid. So nothing particularly nasty.
The tin contains 400g apparently enough for 2 servings - although I could eat the full bowl easily. Per half of a can the calorific value is 112, so even if you where to eat a full tin it's still really good for you. The soup is low in saturated fat also.
The only other dietary information is that the soup is free of gluten and suitable for vegetarians. It also has no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
The Lion King
Simba - The Son of the King of Pride Rock
King Mufasa - King of Pride Rock, brother of Scar
Scar - Nasty, devious and selfish brother of the King and uncle to Simba
Zazu - The King's messenger / reporter for the land
Nala - Simbas close female friend
Timon - & Pumbaa - Simbas new found friends
Rafiki - the wise baboon
The story begins as Simba, a newly born baby Lion, is cradled in his mums arms whilst is father watches on. Rafiki, a baboon takes him away from his family to infroduce him from high above to a ground full of animals from the land. All the animals took and bow at him, so from this you can imagine Simbas family is of high importance. All except Scar, Scar missed the ceremony and when the king realises he pays him a visit to find out why. A little extreme you might think? King Musafa was upset that Scar had not went to the ceremony, more-so as he was Simba's uncle and his very own brother. Scar makes it very obvious that he did not go as he was jealous, he is bitter that he is no longer in line for the title of King. After a brief exchange of words King Musafa leaves and shows his newborn son the land which he will one day own. He said everything that light touches are ours... Simba points out a darkened area but the King makes it very clear that he is never to venture there as it is a dangerous place.
Later that day Scar meets Simba - Simba is delighted that he will one day be king and tells Uncle Scar all about what he will own. Scar used the situation to his advantage and cleverly but subtly gave Simba all the information he would need to go to the forbidden place (the Elephants Graveyard).
Shortly after departing from Scar, Simba sets off on his challenge making sure he picked his closest friend up on his way. After a few lies to their parents they set off on their way - but not without Zazu a bird who is also the family messenger/ reporter.
After lying about their plans they now have to shake off the messenger - they somehow do so but after some fooling around happen across a dark and gloomy place. Simba instantly realises it's the Elephants Graveyard and begins to get very excited. Within seconds Zazu appears and tries to get the little lions to leave. Unfortunately it's too late and some very nasty hyenas appear, clearly not pleased about the trespassing on their land they dash for the three. After some close calls the lions escape but Zazu is left behind. Simba does the right thing and goes back for him but it's not long before they are all in deep trouble. Simbas baby roar does nothing to scare the hyenas and its only when King Musafa appears that the trio are saved.
Whilst travelling back to their land the King shows his disappointment and gives Simba a father-son talk.
Later that night, scar pays the hyenas a visit. Scar shows great disappointment with them and can't believe that they didn't kill his nephew whilst they had the chance.
Scar is clearly a desperate lion and is willing to do anything for the title of King, even if it does mean killing his brother and nephew!
Desperate to become King, Scar is up to his old tricks again - he later goes to see Simba and pretends his father has a surprise for him. He asks him to stay by the rock and wait for him. Naïve Simba does so and is greeted by a large herd of animals; he runs for his life and gets into some difficulty whilst swinging on to a tree. For some reason Scar dashes to the King and the pair rush off to save Simba. Scar looks for afar as king Musafa tries to save his son. Unfortunately as Simba is saved, the king gets into some difficulty and is clinging on to a rock when Scar chooses to push him off rather than to save him. Simba rushes to his rescue but its too late, the king is dead.
Scar again up to his old tricks makes Simba feel guilty and advises him to leave the land for good (meaning he can be king). Young Simba feels he has no other option and flees the land. With Simba gone and the King dead, Scar would be in line for King - just as he had always wished for.
After a rough night sleep, the young lion wakes to find he is with two animals that he had never seen before Simone and Pumbaa - after debating whether to eat him or not they decided to take them with him in the hope that he would later be their friends and help them hunt better food. Simba was then welcomed to their village and lives the "Hanukah Mutata" (No worries)" way of life for many many years. Meanwhile Back in his homeland thinks look glim. There is no food or water and most life has left. The land seems to have no future, no prospects.
One ordinary day, whilst searching for food, a vicious female lion chases Pumbaa... It's only when Simba races to their rescue that he realises it's his long lost friend, Nala from Pride Rock. She beg's him to return home but he insists that his new home is in the village with his new friends. It's only when Simba is paid a visit by one of his fathers old friends, Rafiki, that makes him realises he must go home. With Simone, Pumbaa and his friend, Nala he ventures home to face Scar.
Scar, is less than happy to see Simba return and the two end up having a massive brawl. Simba closely comes to death but his strength and will to go on helps him defeat Scar. He tells him to leave and never return but Scar ignores him and the pair fight some more. Scar is soon revealed as the nasty monster that he is and the Hyhenas even turn on him and hunt him down.
With Scar now out of the picture Simba takes his place as King. Pride Rock, his home land begins to change and becomes more like the place he had left.
Formats, Availability & Costs
This brilliant story is available as a book and DVD. It can be purchased from most local book stores and some supermarkets. It can be purchased at Amazon from £15.00 (DVD) or £3.00 (book)
A wonderful classic story that will never tire. Disney have came up with a brilliant story with a great moral ending. It teaches about responsibility and courage.
Suitable for all ages.
**Moral of the Story**
You can't change the past, but you can improve the future!!
So who is Peppa Pig?
Peppa is a well loved animated children's character that is currently aired on Nickelodeon. Peppa is a pig, if you haven't already guessed and lives with her mum (mummy pig), dad (daddy pig) and her brother, George. Peppa is around 5 years old and is a loveable, friendly character - she can sometimes be very bossy and irritating though. I think George is about 3 years old, he is quite a lot smaller than Peppa, he has a favourite toy called Dinosaur.
The Pig family live like us humans, they have a house at the very top of a very pointy hill. They all wear clothes and have bicycles and have almost everything we have. The pigs do still have their piggy "oink oink" which can be quite annoying when you pick up on the "oinking" between words haha.
Where and how can I watch Peppa Pig?
Peppa pig is always on the Nickelodeon channels. It has been around since 2004 so you will be able to pick up many DVD's too. A website is also dedicated to the family meaning that your little ones can venture on the website to watch episodes, play games and complete activities. It is full of bright colours that will definitely keep your young ones occupied.
Peppa Pig is predominately based about the family consisting of her, her parents and brother but many other characters are involved too. You will often find reference to the following family members: Grandpa Pig, Granny Pig, Uncle Pig, Auntie Pig & Cousin Chloe.
Other than the Pigs- various other animal characters are on the show. I won't name everyone as it would go on forever but there is a family of Sheep, Cats, Dogs, Zebras, Donkeys and Elephant.... And much much more.
So what do I think of the show? To be honest I find is utterly annoying, the snorting gets on my wick and the short episodes mean that you are constantly hearing the awful music that goes along with the show. On the other hand my two year old loves it. If I can put my frustration aside for one minute I should explain that the show has taught him a lot about colours, shapes and general everyday information. He knew what binoculars where for example and nobody had shown him - we later learned it was from the show.
Children absolutely love Peppa! I haven't met one that doesn't. A vast variety of children's toys, games, bedroom furniture etc is not available in Peppa Pig design... even a Peppa Pug magazine.
One would think she's taking over the world!!!
Overall - a great show for the little ones... slightly annoying for the adult (as all cartoons are hehe)