Check out the Birmingham Hollywood Bowl – Fun for all the family

February 23rd, 2017

On Sunday we went to check out one of the new Hollywood Bowl, based in Rubery, Birmingham. I often visit the Hollywood Bowl at Bentley Bridge in Wolverhampton, but the Rubery branch is bigger, better and far more glamorous, with an American style Diner, an adults only Snooker/pool area, and special VIP booths from where drinks and food can be ordered and served while you enjoy a game of bowling. We had the most wonderful time, proving that when the weather is dismal, bowling is good, clean fun for the whole family.

The Hollywood Bowl, as the name would suggest, has an American Idols theme running throughout. The walls, both inside and out, are emblazoned with the faces of the Hollywood legends, Marilyn and Elvis and Audrey are all there in monochrome glory. Once you enter the bowl, you are transferred to a kid’s paradise, with arcade games, grabbing machines and photo booths instantly grabbing the attention. This works well if you turn up a little early, or are waiting for members of your party – there are no dull or boring moments at the Hollywood Bowl.

Checking in for the bowling is very simple. You simply have to give the names of your party so that they can be imputed into your lane. You can also request the barriers for younger players who may need a little help. As long as you are wearing flat shoes, there is no need to change into the dreaded bowling shoes – unless you want to of course!

We were lucky enough to enjoy using the VIP lane. This has leather sofa’s and a table for drinks, the option to order drinks and food to your lane, and the plush velvet curtains that make this feel special. This is a great idea for a birthday party or a special treat.

There are a good selection of bowling balls of different weights and finger holes for each lane. The barriers will come up immediately for individual players if they have been requested, and there are also stands to help children to bowl easier. To be perfectly honest, I needed all those things myself as I proved to be pretty awful at bowling, although being too vain to wear the shoes and bowling in a heeled boot probably didn’t help matters…

Joe and Monty with a couple of the bowling balls

I can pose nicely with the ball…shame I throw rather than roll.

Paul and Julia – naturals!

The staff are brilliant, they are attentive without getting in the way, and add to the general fun atmosphere by handing out stickers to those who got a strike, and the eventual winner (Well done Paul!). They also took our food order, although we opted to eat in the diner rather than the booth.

Paul was our winner – bit of a kingpin!

After bowling, the diner is a great place to enjoy a milkshake, a light bite or a full meal. The menu is  full of American classics, loaded nachos, all kinds of burgers and hot dogs, a range of fries and delectable deserts. We ordered a range of food, including the enormous Kingpin burger which resembles a ‘Man V Food’ style challenge. Our food was delicious, piping hot, delivered promptly, with decent sized portions and very tasty options. You can check out the full menu here.

A party area is available too.

Food Options

Loaded Nachos

Popcorn Chicken

Chicken burger

Kingpin burger

We had a fabulous time at the Hollywood Bowl, and would definitely recommend it as a way to spend a fun filled few hour.

Hollywood Bowl, Birmingham

Address: Birmingham Great Park, Park Way, Rednal, Rubery, Birmingham B45 9PL

Building your own dream home

February 23rd, 2017

Whether you are trying to get onto the property ladder for the first time, or are looking to move to a bigger home as your family expands, or even thinking of downsizing as the children grow up and move out, we all have a dream house in our heads. The difference is that, these days, many people make their dream home a reality. This can be in building a home from scratch, or renovating a property, often one that was not always a habitable dwelling.

There are things to consider if you go down the creating or renovating route. You need to find that perfect plot or building, you need to make sure you have a budget that is both manageable and will be enough – you will need to have contingency plans too. You will also need strong construction and building insurance that can also deal with things like structural defects, a company like CRL can address these sorts of needs and also other issues that might arise. You may also need to address issues related to listed buildings. If you take on a building with some sort of heritage preservation order there will be additional costs, rules and building regulations to follow.

But it is so worth the effort. Programmes like ‘Grand Designs’ and ‘The Restoration Man’ show just how incredible a renovation can be, a real dream home that can be unique, beautiful and majestic.

Here are a few dream homes that I have fell in love with.

Martello Tower

Martello Towers were created as lookout points during the Napoleonic Wars and are now highly sort after properties that are ripe for renovation. They look huge and imposing, but are often based close to the coast, and make the most unusual home.

A lighthouse

Decommisioned lighthouses are becoming another much sought after property when it comes to renovations. Again the proximity to the coast, plus the design that is already iconic, make lighthouses an interesting take on a family home. Done well, and the renovation can produce a home that is a glorious space, like the one shown below.

Art Deco House Design

My personal favourite design of house is the iconic, distinctive Art Deco designs. These are often white, with curved walls and a flat roof. The roof can often be a problem, many are prone to leaks due to the inadequate drainage, but if you can invest time and a little money in restoring the period features, you can create an incredible space.

Fashion-Mommy Loves: A little bit of Paris

February 23rd, 2017

It is no secret that I love all things French. I’m an absolute Francophile when it comes to food, fashion and men (come on…my love for Olivier Giroud is plastered all over this blog whenever I get an excuse). So when the lovely Becky from The Lifestyle Blogger UK sent me this beautiful little cosmetic bag, I was over the moon. Why? Well it’s a celebration of all things Paris of course, and with a vintage feel too. In short, it’s totally Fashion-Mommy.

This little make up bag is the perfect handbag size. It will easily carry a lipstick, mascara, eye pencil and powder, a touch up kit, and would probably fit easily into a smaller clutch bag too, so you could also take it on a night out. If make up is not your thing, this would also work as a little pencil case to keep your pens together, or maybe as a case to keep your sunglasses safe.

The print is very, very pretty, emblazoned with a floral print that is then overprinted with french slogans and images of bird cages and the iconic Eiffel Tower portrayed like a stamp. The general effect is one of a pretty vintage montage, a shabby chic style that has proven to be very popular in recent times. The bag looks romantic and pretty, and would definitely appeal to anyone,  from a teenager who wants a pretty pencil case for her rucksack, to a woman wanting a basic touch up kit for her face. It would also work for make up brushes, or nail files and buffers.

The bag closes with a black zip and sleek silver zip.  The canvas fabric means that it is easy clean, ideal for washing if you are like me, and tend to get make up everywhere. All in all, this is a really pretty little bag that would grace any handbag or dressing table.