I have this group of friends, and we kind of bonded over Wagamama. We’re four busy mums and we get together once every couple of months for a night out and a good old chin wag. And we always go to Wagamama. The food is quick, healthy, and tasty and we all have our favourites on the menu. We even have the Wagamama brand photo as our group What’s app picture. So I was thrilled when Wagamama gave me a voucher to take our little Wagamama Mama club (try saying that after a few g & t’s) on tour to see the cool new refurb at their Cardiff library restaurant. Trust me when I say, we don’t just discuss noodles.

Wagamama Cardiff

Refurbished Cardiff Library Wagamama

Wagamama chefs

Open kitchen

Mum Friends

We know each other from church, we’re all mums and we have a good laugh together. Our meet-ups have become a bit of a lifeline to me in fact and a highlight in my calendar. A safe space where no topic is off limits and when we have no advice or experience to share, we just listen to one another, and that is enough. There’s something special in that and I have come to really respect each one of these three special friends. They really are each amazing women in their own right and we’ve all been through our ups and downs this past year. I don’t see all of them from week to week but that just means we always have a lot of news to share. And share we do, over a nice hot bowl of ramen and fresh greens and green tea to help it all go down.

Nothing ever leaves the table. What is said in Wagamama’s stays in Wagamama’s. And we laugh a lot too. I really have a laugh with these girls, like a proper scream. Our meets are a real pick me up for me and I always feel uplifted when I get home. Without anything ever being said aloud, the Wagamama club dates have been protected in our house. Once they’re in the diary they are not messed with and I think Rich realised before me how important these catch-ups are for me. Just to get out of the house child free and let off some steam with friends who understand you is vital.

Wagamama friendsWagamama food

Wagamama restaurant

Allergies in Mind

We began meeting up for our consecutive birthdays in May, June, July and August, that was our summer meet ups sorted and we carried on from there. I fell in love with Wagamama because their allergy information on their website is brilliant which helped me loads when my baby was diagnosed with a cow’s milk protein allergy. I found I had more choice of the menu at Wagamama than anywhere else. I know they’ve really upped the ante with their vegan menu for 2018 too. Moreover, the food is always really fresh. It’s prepared right when you order and brought to the table as soon as it’s ready (no wilted greens from sitting under a heat lamp-winner) and there is masses of it. We all have our favourites on the menu now we’ve been going so much. The desserts are absolutely lush too and not things you get elsewhere, like banana katsu (lightly breaded deep fried banana with salted caramel ice cream-yum). The service at Cardiff was brilliant, leaving us to get on with our chin wagging without having to bat an eye about the food and just enjoy our time out.

I noticed a little sign that said Wagamama would donate 25p to mental health charity Mind for every positive drink bought (a fruit smoothie with spinach and pineapple, it’s so lush) which I thought was great.

Wagamama dessertWagamama menu

Wagamama’s watchword is kaizen which is a Japanese word meaning ‘good change’. Each of us has definitely been through a lot of change in the last year that’s for sure. A lot of good and a fair dollop of sad change too but no matter what has been going on we still get together to tell, laugh, and listen, and I’m really grateful for our little Wagamama mama group.

friendships

With thanks to Wagamama for giving me a voucher for their Cardiff library restaurant. 

If you enjoyed this post you might also like this one about Feeling Connected.

 

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Wagamama Cardiff library pin

Thanks to Wales Blog Network I totally scored tickets to the British Speedway at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium! For those who have about as much of a clue as me, this means motorbike racing. When I first saw they wanted bloggers on board I didn’t think I’d fit but then I noticed they were asking specifically for people who had never been before. If you read my ‘I think I could be drifting into oblivion with this mumming lark’ post then you will know I was on the look-out for something a bit out of the ordinary, a bit exhilarating and the Speedway certainly delivered.

Adrian Flux British Speedway Grand PrixAdrian Flux British Speedway Grand Prix

Background & Underground

In it’s 17th year at the Principality stadium Cardiff (still calling it the Millennium Stadium in my head every time) the speedway is the second longest residency at the stadium next to the rugby. It’s a well established event with a huge fan base. Some geek stuff – the bikes are 500cc with no gears or brakes!

 

I got to see the bikes close up on a pit tour the day before the main event. Our guide led us through the pits past all the rider’s stands. They were doing some final checks on their bikes making sure they were race-ready and revving the engines. Some of the more die-hard fans got to meet their favourite riders and see the draw for the first set of riders for the practise runs.

The stadium was really quiet for the practise runs, see in my video below I’m almost whispering. Watching the practise runs gave a good idea of what to expect at the main event the following day.

The Main Event

Race day was very exciting with hoardes of fans arriving to support the event, a lot of them having been to the free event day on city lawn. The official sponsor Monster energy drinks had the ‘monster girls’ who did an opening ceremony with flame throwing. We got into the stadium just as the riders were announced and the heats began. There are 23 races overall with each rider meeting each other at least once. The final race was the most exciting; you could tell each rider wanted it as much as the next, with Polish rider Maciej Janowski taking the 1st place. He was a very popular rider and the crowd gave him loads of support.

#MumsOnTour

guest passes! british-speedway

It was a really fun night off (well 2 days off in the end with the pit tour the day before as well) and just what I needed. I went with my friend Ceri from MyahzineTV and we both really enjoyed the whole event. Even though I didn’t know anything about it beforehand, it’s set up so that anyone can fully immerse themselves in the excitement really quickly. It was really special getting ‘backstage’ guest passes and I was made-up to get the opportunity through the blog. It was great to meet some other local bloggers too. Thanks again to The Welsh Blog Network.

Top Tips:

  • It’s billed as a family event and if you were hoping to take littlies you would certainly see lots of other families and kids. I personally would prefer to take older kids mostly due to the crowds. It is really loud as you can imagine with the bikes’ engines and there were a couple of collisions which I suppose could be a little scary for some smaller children.
  • The speedway is shown live on BT sports.
  • It doesn’t smell horrible! The fuel is made from potatoes so there is often a waft of what smells like cooking oil but I didn’t leave coughing with the smell of diesel in my hair like I thought I possibly would.
  • Buy a programme to follow along with the race running order during the live event.
  • Stay until the end. Once the 3 podium place winners have taken their trophies there is an amazing fireworks display show.
  • Buy memorabilia on the way out. This is a bit of a naughty tip but the touts were flogging everything half price on our way out! 😉
  • Book a horn free zone if you have anyone in your party who would not appreciate a very loud horn being blown next to them full blast at any given moment!

I would definitely go again, I had a great time. Tickets for 2018 are on sale now at speedwayGP.com

Have you ever been to the British Speedway before? Let me know if you’re a fan in the comments.

 

Lottie Dolls have brought out some new dolls and accessories . Lottie and Finn have some new roles to play including always artsy, junior reporter, and an astronaut accessory set. We have been sent the new Brownie Lottie Doll to show you here on the blog and one to giveaway too! Click the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of the page to see how to enter.

Brownie Lottie Doll

Here at the Hippy Christian Mum we are brand ambassadors for Lottie Dolls (see my new bright badge) and that’s because I’m a big fan. Lottie Dolls are all about letting kids be kids while encouraging them to be imaginative and adventurous. Lottie doesn’t wear make-up and is based on the proportions of a 9 year old child. When my daughter plays with her Lottie Dolls, she talks about where they are going and what they are going to do. She explores ideas around friendship, supporting each other at gym events and most recently with Brownie Lottie, leading a Brownie group and making a campfire.

Lottie Dolls

Brownie Lottie Brownie Lottie

As her mum I love seeing her creative side come out when she plays with her Lottie Dolls but my most favourite thing about Lottie is that she has inspired some really important conversations between Beg and I. We’ve talked about what a palaeontologist does (I had to have a Google, my knowledge only extended to what Ross from friends did and I’m not sure how true to life that was!) and she was happy to know that women can be scientists too (that one stung a bit but glad we got it out of the way).

Beg is hoping to join our local Brownie group so I was pleased when she chose Brownie Lottie to be sent to us for this review. Brownie Lottie comes dressed in her uniform including a neckerchief and jeans and trainers. I’m sure she will spark some conversations about Brownies and what Beg can expect when she joins.

Brownie Lottie Brownie Lottie

She also chose the new saddle up accessory set, which was just as well because the first thing on the agenda at Brownie camp was a horse-riding lesson (on a leopard, of course). I think Beg might choose Sirius the Welsh Mountain Pony next!

Brownie Lottie Doll

You can find Lottie online on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Lottie HQ are very friendly and chatty on Twitter if you like a Twitter chat 😉 You can sign up to club Lottie on the website to receive a 10% off voucher code for your first purchase.

*This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase through these links I will receive a commission. I received a Lottie Doll and accessory pack for the purposes of this review.*

Giveaway

You have a chance to win your own gorgeous Brownie Lottie Doll (RRP £18.99) in my blog giveaway. Just click the Rafflecopter link below to join in.

Your email address will be forwarded to Lottie Dolls HQ to join club Lottie which gives you a 10% off code for your first purchase. It will not be sent to any 3rd parties. The giveaway is open to entrants over 18yrs and you can enter from any country! 🙂 Lottie HQ assumes responsibility of sending the winner the prize. This giveaways starts on Thursday 13th July 2017 and ends on Friday 21st July 2017 at 12:00am GMT. The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. If the winner does not respond within 48hrs of the giveaway end date another winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you have any Lottie Dolls? Let me know in the comments. Here is a previous review of Forest Friend Lottie

Lottie Dolls

Win Brownie Lottie

 

 

 

**This Giveaway Has Now Ended**

When the lovely people at The Welsh Blog Network said they were looking for speedway bloggers in return for free tickets I was straight in there! If you read my most recent post about being a SAHM you’ll know I’m currently in the market for a bit of excitement. Ooh-err Mrs. And the speedway event definitely looks exciting.

British Speedway Grand Prix 2017

It’s on 22nd July 2017 at the Principality stadium, Cardiff and it looks to be an already well established event with great crowds. There’s lots on for families in the day on Sat 22nd July on city lawn too like BMX stunts and a Capitol FM DJ playing.

British Speedway 2017

I will be there and you can win a family ticket in my giveaway. It’s really easy to enter just have a quick read of the T’s&C’s and make sure to enter via the Rafflecopter link below. This giveaway ends on Wednesday 12th July 2017. Hope to see you there!

Giveaway T’s & C’s:

      • The prize is a family ticket (2 adults & 2 U16’s) to the British Speedway Grand Prix in Principality Stadium, Cardiff on July 22nd 2017.
      • The prize cannot be exchanged for a cash alternative.
      • This giveaway ends on Weds 12th July 2017 at 12:00amGMT.
      • This giveaway is open to U.K. residents and aged 18+ only.
      • The winner will be chosen randomly and contacted by email within 48hrs and announced on Twitter and Facebook.
      • If the original winner does not respond within 48hrs of the giveaway end time another winner will be chosen at random.
      • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.
      • The winner’s details will be passed on to The Welsh Blog Network for them to send out the tickets.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Disclaimer: I received a free family ticket in return for promotion and review of the event.

Win British Speedway Ticket

Gifts are not worth much when they are impersonal. That’s why I love it when I find a great new website that stocks unique and original items that I’ve never seen anywhere else. Based in the U.S, Uncommon Goods has an eclectic range of homeware and garden decor and because they go out of their way to support small businesses, you can almost guarantee your friends won’t have the same item in their home. Ever buy a nice print cushion cover only to then see it everywhere? You won’t find that with decor from Uncommon Goods because they source from local artists and independent creators.

Sustainability

The best thing about Uncommon Goods is that they know as a business they can have a positive impact on the environment and their community. You may have read my other post where I mentioned being concerned about questionable working practises. Being a certified B corp means Uncommon Goods are conscious of fair working practises, which means my Hippy side can shop with glee! More than that, through their own flagship ‘better to give’ programme Uncommon Goods has donated more than $1 million to charity. They do this by donating $1 with every order made through their website and you get to choose which charity you would like your dollar to go to. Totally lush hey! Now I can shop completely guilt free! So let’s get to it!

Homeware

I’ve had a good nosey through all their homeware and here are some I particularly liked. Let me know if you can imagine any of these on show in your home.  P.s. if you want something truly unique and oh-so-exclusive you can choose from their ‘Uncommon collection’ which is a collection of pieces that meet the highest standards for uncommon design, sustainability, and doing good.

footprint-rugFootprints Rug I love this because it reminds me of the footprints in the sand poem and I love the seaside so it would bring a bit of the beach feel to my home. This is £23.26  key-holders

Key ring holders. These are silly and fun. Practical and really unique to say the least! These are £14.12.

wishing-wall-Uncommon-Goods

Wishing Wall. Made in Florida this item is exclusively made for Uncommon Goods so you really won’t find anything like it anywhere else. This is a perfect gift for weddings or baby showers, write a wish for the family on the brightly coloured paper and post it into the wall. It can be hung in the home as a decorative reminder afterwards. I instantly thought it would be good as a prayer wall for kids church. This is £41.54 and can be personalised. bee-nightlight-uncommongoods

Bee nightlight. Recycled, hand-made and cute. What’s not to love? £31.57 lightbox

Light box. If you don’t own a light box, are you even a vlogger? From £12.46 literary-candles-uncommongoods

Literary candles. Scents of the page. Transport yourself to Sherlock Holmes’ study or Alice’s tea party with these literary scented candles. What a brilliant idea! £13.29 hand-embroidered-pillow-uncommongoods

Hand embroidered city pillow. So unique, you can choose a city or a country. They have London, Scotland, Ireland, England ones but no Wales boo hiss! I would buy the Hollywood one anyway! £139.58 signpost-uncommon-goods

Personalised family member signpost. A great feature for the garden, keep all your far away family members in one place on this original sculpture piece. Great talking point at BBQs and get-togethers. From £103.85

Delivery

Uncommon Goods headquarters are right in the centre of Brooklyn. When you place your order and check out on the website you will have a guaranteed order total so no need to worry about customs fees or taxes added on after.

I hope you found something you like! I have put all these things on my ‘future presents wishlist’. Let me know in the comments below if you love any of the pieces I have chosen.

*This is a sponsored post*

8 original home ware ideas from uncommon goods.