Monday, 22 September 2014

Elmo and Cookie Monster on CBeebies

Sesame Street, #Furchester Hotel on CBeebies, Elmo and Cookie Monster

We've secretly attended an event back in May, and I can finally tell you all about it! We met the super famous Elmo and Cookie Monster, and the cast of the Furchester Hotel!

Sesame Street, #Furchester Hotel on CBeebies, Elmo and Cookie Monster

Sesame Street, #Furchester Hotel on CBeebies, Elmo and Cookie Monster

It was our first time visiting the Media City, and we were well impressed! We were fascinated by the massive window stickers on BBC's building, and luckily because of that, we found our way to the correct building! The kids were really excited when they saw The Furchester Hotel sticker on the building and couldn't wait to go inside and see what was in store for us.

Sesame Street, #Furchester Hotel on CBeebies, Elmo and Cookie Monster
Sesame Street, #Furchester Hotel on CBeebies, Elmo and Cookie Monster

Sesame Street, #Furchester Hotel on CBeebies, Elmo and Cookie Monster

The first part of the event involves pictures with Elmo and Cookie Monster! The 2 big stars are finally here on CBeebies! When Sesame Tree (do you remember?) was showing, I did wonder why the actual Sesame Street stars never visited (although clips of Sesame Street was shown). So it's very exciting to see a new show on CBeebies that actually involves the all time favourite Elmo and Cookie Monster themselves! Elmo and Cookie Monster were really adorable and have been giving the kids massive fluffy hugs (some kids disappeared completely in it)!

The kids also enjoyed a bit of colouring and taking pictures in the photo booth (I packed the picture away by accident while packing for our move!).

Sesame Street, #Furchester Hotel on CBeebies, Elmo and Cookie Monster

We then moved on into a function room to have a lovely snack, while the kids busied themselves with a CBeebies magazine each. We were then greeted with our second surprise of the day:

Sesame Street, #Furchester Hotel on CBeebies, Elmo and Cookie Monster

Sesame Street, #Furchester Hotel on CBeebies, Elmo and Cookie Monster
Pictures with the actual celebrities!
A VIP meet and greet with the main Furchester Hotel cast! We were all surprised and excited to meet them up close, especially the actual Elmo (Ryan Dillon) and Cookie Monster (David Rudman) who came all the way from America!! Wow wow! It really felt like meeting the world's most famous celebrity! The UK and US top puppeteers were amazing! Some puppets took 2 person to control, and the puppeteers co-ordinated so well that the puppets moved naturally even during the unplanned conversations with the children!

We've met:

Funella Furchester (Louise Gold) - Furchester Hotel owner
Furgus Fuzz (Andrew Spooner) - Funella's husband (Abby missed a picture with him, doh!)
Phoebe Furchester-Fuzz (Sarah Burgess) - Funella and Furgus' daughter

The story goes that Elmo came to the hotel to visit his cousin Phoebe, while Cookie Monster landed himself his dream job in the hotel - room service and dining room waiter (I don't think there are many cookies around to be served to the guests!). They encounter many different guests and as their family motto is "A Furchester never gives up!", they try all sorts to solve problems and please their guests.

We also watched an episode of unfinished (which made it even more special!) The Furchester hotel and we loved it! We are really looking forward to the launch of the series on CBeebies this Friday 26th September 2014, and to make sure that she won't miss an episode, Abby has asked us to record the whole series for her!

As if this wasn't VIP enough, the producers have granted us a VIP tour to see the filming and visit the actual Furchester Hotel set! The set was very detailed and beautiful, and really really high! I was impressed that they have put so much effort into producing a children's show. The children might not necessary spot some of the details but they still put a 100% into creating the set.

According to the producers, it was specially built on top of a platform so that the puppeteers can work on set with a bit more ease. Apparently some puppet show sets weren't built on top of a platform and the puppeteers have to lie down on the floor to act!

You can see a picture of the set with the platform here on CBeebies Blog for Grown Ups, and a Q & A with one of the producer Dionne, who was ever so lovely to chat to on the day. I'll be looking out for the "AMs" on the show!

We are really glad that we were given the opportunity to meet the cast and see the set. It gave us the opportunity to see what went behind the scene, and allowed the kids to learn the amount of work needed for a 10 minutes episode. It was definitely an eye opening experience for eberyone.

Remember, The Furchester Hotel will be showing on CBeebies this Friday 26th September 2014 at 5pm. If you are a Sesame Street fan, or your child loves Elmo and/ or Cookie Monster, this is definitely the show to catch!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

London What to Do - Sing-a-Long-a-Frozen

We don't always go to London for a few days trip, but we did during the Summer holidays and went to the Kew Gardens I recommended in my previous London What to Do post! It was beautiful and really worth spending a day there.

My favourite place to go in London is still their city centre though. Apart from shopping in the high streets, there is so much more to do especially for children, and now for those who absolutely love the Disney movie Frozen too!

Since it first came out, Abby and Clay have both been Disney Frozen's little fans. Even Clay can sing-a-long to the Frozen songs, and they both love to act out the scenes! I found a gorgeous Elsa dress for Abby, and Clay has been saying: "My turn! My turn!" as he wanted to wear the dress as well!

We knew that there was a Sing-a-Long version of the movie, but I didn't realise that it's still showing in London City Centre! It's showing until the 25th October 2014 at Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, so if you have a little fan, you should definitely take them to the Sing-a-Long-a-Frozen, before it's too late.

If you aren't from London and would like to make a weekend trip for this, have a look at my recommendation below to help you with your planning.

Sight Seeing:

Image from
There is a LOT of tourist areas in central London, including the Tower of London, Big Ben, London Eye, etc that is a must see if you haven't yet. If you aren't too bothered about visiting the places individually, a guided cruise ride along the River Thames allow you to see them all in one ride.

Me and hubby are big Phantom of the Opera fans, and when we watched the 25th Anniversary in Albert Hall version again on TV, Abby and Clay has shown a lot of interest. If you think that your child might like a musical theatre show, but worry that Phantom of the Opera is a bit too dark and sad (Abby said that I lied as not every story has a happy ending after all!), there is the new Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical showing at the Drury lane Theatre Royal that they might like instead.

Image from

You have to visit the Natural History Museum if you visit London with children. There is a lot to see, experience and learn, and I have no doubt that they will enjoy spending their time there.

Eat and Drink:

Okay I might be a bit biased here, but I love exploring restaurants (not limited to Chinese cuisine) in China Town. The food we had at Little Korea (authentic, proven by the number of Koreans visiting) in China Town was amazing, and I was certainly glad that we visited as I've never tried Korean Cuisine before, and I now know that I love their food and will certainly have it again.

Even if you don't fancy having a meal in China Town, I highly recommend BoBa Jam bubble tea and Asian dessert shop located on the outer edge of China Town, which Eileen from ET Speaks from Home took me to on a super hot day after Britmums Live event. Unlike other bubble tea shops, you get to enjoy other type of desserts, and there are a huge variety of bubble tea, that comes with all sorts. I recommend their QQ Jelly on Peach Slush with Milk Pudding on a hot day, and their Okinawa Bubble Tea for any other day. They do savoury snacks too, so there is a bit of everything for everyone. 


Montcalm at The Brewery, London
If you don't mind to splash out a bit on accommodation, there are a lot of choices around London, varying from modern to heritage. I must say though, unless you are going to spend a lot of time in the room, it would most likely be money wasted. If you are going to be out and about most of the time, I would suggest the more affordable hotels like Holiday Inn London - Kensington Forum or Holiday Inn London - Mayfair, and spend the money on fun or food.

London can be a hectic place to go to, especially with young children, but there are so much to see and do for them as well that it would be a shame to not bring them there. If you plan it carefully and not restricting yourself to tight schedule, adding plenty of time for travels (as walking from one place to another can be very tiring for children) and be forgiving for last minute changes, the trip to London with children can still be enjoyable.

Friday, 19 September 2014

The Blackpool Tower Dungeon Family (of 4) Ticket Giveaway

Since very young, no matter how scared I was, I like listening to scary stories, let it be supernatural or historical. Obviously I love to watch horror movies, but I also enjoy picking out scary history from places, for example, the 4 star hotel we visited for our anniversary, or even Longleat House that we went to recently. I always wondered what is lurking underneath a church, or even the sectioned off floor in Madame Tussauds Museum in Blackpool.

The first time I visited the UK, my family here took me to see the London Dungeon.They knew me well! I wasn't (and still not) very good at understanding spoken English, but I kind of understood that there was some sort of disease (plague) that caused blood vomitting (the London Dungeon was very graphic about that), and a serial killer was killing women. I was a bit spooked but I enjoyed the tour very much!

Ever since we had kids however, we avoid going to the Dungeons, as we don't normally go to places without our children, and they are just too young for it. It is a shame as I've never been to the Blackpool Tower Dungeon before, which is the nearest to us now.

But that doesn't mean that I would pass on a chance to give away a family of 4 ticket to one of you and send you on your way to have some frightening fun!

The Blackpool Tower Dungeon gives you a 60 minutes tour to relive a 1000 years of Lancashire's murky past. It has 10 shows acted out by brilliant actors, a drop ride, rich sets and special effects. I've checked out Lancashire's stories and it's pretty dark, so this should be good! I was looking around their website for more information, and found a personality test to see how suitable you are to visit the Blackpool Tower Dungeon. I took the test and only scored 52%! It told me to "bring a friend... or cuddly toy" *felt insulted but knew it's true*.

So to make this giveaway a bit more fun, I'm going to ask you to take the test and tell me what you score, and what the test suggest as well. As it's a giveaway, there is no right or wrong answer, and you don't even have to do it, but it's really fun and I would love to see your results!

For those who took the test, I'll be giving you an extra entry to the giveaway for effort. This will be checked obviously. Have fun and good luck! x

Deadline: Sunday 5th October 2014 midnight (where 12:01am is Monday)

Terms & Conditions:
  • The giveaway is open to UK and N. Ireland only
  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post's comment section (Disqus) to enter the giveaway. Please make sure that you are not leaving an answer as Anonymous, as I would not be able to check whether you've left an answer. If you have to answer as Anonymous, or if your Disqus ID is different from your Rafflecopter entry name, please add a means of ID on your answer that I can use to link it to your Rafflecopter entry. Unfortunately if I can't, all your entries will not be counted.
  • If you have problem accessing Disqus, I also accept the answer answered in Facebook under the competition post.
  • Please make sure that your email used to enter the Rafflecopter is active, and you do check the spam folder in case the email I sent you ended up there
  • All entries will be checked.
  • Winner will be drawn by the Rafflecopter randomly.
  • The family ticket is for 4 person (minimum of 1 adult). Tickets are non-transferable.
  • No cash alternative, accommodation or travel are provided for this giveaway
  • Winner will be drawn by the Rafflecopter randomly
  • Winner will be announced by Wednesday 8th October 2014 on here, Twitter and Facebook.
  • Winner will have to respond to my email by Tuesday 14th October, 2014 noon. A new winner will be chosen after this.
  • The prize will be posted or emailed by the PR. I'm not responsible for any prize issue, but if you have any enquiry do let me know and I'll try my best to help
  • For a simple guide to Rafflecopter, please read Di Coke's Rafflecopter Guide
  • Please read Rafflecopter's privacy policy as well
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