Trespass Walsenberg Waterproof Jacket Review

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Spring and Summer means more time to get out and about with the family, whether that’s for picnics in the parks or strolls through the Peak District getting outside is good for you! Unfortunately the good old British weather is often less than obliging and likes to throw random rain, hail, sudden cloud and unexpected sun into the mix. That means getting your outdoor clothing right is nothing short of crucial! Ultimately you want to be comfortable and that demands a coat which can stand up to most conditions that the skies can throw at you. For the past few weeks my husband has been testing out a new jacket which we hoped would do just that so here’s our Trespass Walsenberg Waterproof Jacket Review. walsenberg

The Jacket

Trespass says, ‘The Walsenburg men’s waterproof jacket is ideal for those who demand more from their outdoor clothing. This jacket benefits from high technical specs, which will keep you warm, dry and protected in the worst weather.’ Waterproof to 10,000mm Breathable to 5000mvp Windproof Taped seams Pockets include 3 heat sealed water repellent zip pockets for keeping valuables dry walsenbergback

The City Test

My husband wore his Walsenberg jacket to work every day for several weeks and through very weather. He found it kept out the wind and rain which kept him warm and comfy during those early morning commutes. He often travels on public transport which can be quite a stuffy situation but the jacket is very breathable, it even has zips under the arm pits to help it aerate further! dogcoat3

The Country Test

We have a nutty Dalmatian who likes to get out and about no matter what the weather man says. They walked in sun, rain and even some sleet but he came home dry and content every time.

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Final Thoughts

This jacket really lives up to its description. There were several occasions when trousers and shoes (not protected by the coat) were drenched, by comparison any clothing underneath the jacket was bone dry. On a somewhat superficial note the jacket is really well designed and doesn’t scream walking attire, Trespass have really thought about the overall look as well as practicality which I think is a huge bonus. I would highly recommend the Walsenberg jacket whether you’re looking for walking clothes or something to keep you comfy on the commute, it’s a great all-rounder.

Could the Jacket be improved in anyway?

Not really an improvement as such but it’s worth noting that the design of the hood isn’t the most practical if you’re going to be pulling the hood down often (such as entering shops). The zip is designed to go higher than a standard coat which means it’s super protective against wind and rain but that leaves a smaller face opening so you can’t just pull the hood down with speed. As I say this is a deliberate design consideration because this jacket is meant to keep you dry and it will, but worth noting for anyone unused to such a protective hood.

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The Walsenberg Jacket has an RRP of £199.99 but is currently available on Trespass.com for £61.99 www.trespass.com/mens-walsenburg-03431 Available in Black or Pine Sizes XXS – XXL (we found it ran true to sizing on the website).

This product was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. However the opinions expressed in this review are independent and my own.

Thomas Land Weekends at Drayton Manor 2016 Review

Thomas Land Weekends at Drayton Manor 2016 Review

Thomas Land Weekends at Drayton Manor 2016 Review

I can’t be the only one who is willing Spring to hurry up and make an appearance!! Warmer days, longer evenings and the chance for more family days out, I can’t wait! Thomas Land and Drayton Manor’s 2016 season is about to start in earnest (the full park reopens 12th March) but before all the thrill rides are back Drayton is hosting two Thomas & Friends Weekends events. Last Saturday the park invited lots of bloggers including my family to the first weekend, so today is our Thomas Land Weekends at Drayton Manor 2016 Review!Thomas Land Weekends at Drayton Manor 2016 Review

As usual we had a wonderful time, despite a chilly start. The park is looking as good as ever and there’s loads of new additions coming soon. The Tamarin Trail opens just before Easter and offers you the chance to get up close to some moustached marmosets as you walk through the new enclosure, so this year promises to be better than ever!Thomas Land Weekends at Drayton Manor 2016 Review

The park partially reopened for the Thomas and friends Weekends event which is also running on the 5th & 6th March. Thanks to Thomas Land’s expansion in 2015 plus the zoo, farm, cinema, carousel and so on there’s still plenty to do, in fact we were exhausted when we got back home.

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Thomas Land is great for all ages but it’s really aimed at families (and kids at heart) so here’s what my mini train conductors thought:Thomas Land Weekends at Drayton Manor 2016 Review

Little Miss Train Driver:

There are loads of animals at Drayton, I love riding Thomas and watching the other trains. Rides like Jeremy (Jeremy’s Flying School) and Troublesome Trucks are really epic! They always make me laugh and Troublesome Trucks makes my eyes water when you go round the fast bit! Toby’s amazing because he swings round and goes up and down, once I went on him seven times in a row! I really want to go back soon, especially when the new monkey trail opens in the zoo 🙂

Thomas Land Weekends at Drayton Manor 2016 ReviewMini Controller

Thomas Land has a water bit which is really fun because you spray water at a house which is on fire (Flynn’s Fire & Rescue). Then there’s also another water ride that you can go on (Captain’s Seas Adventure) and sometimes you can spray onto the walls and sometimes you can get really wet! There’s a driving school (Terrence’s Driving School) where you can drive Terrence around a track, I’m the only one small enough to go on it and it’s great.

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The Biggest Signalman (who in the pic above is illustrating how not to dismount a horse)

The rollercoasters are great, Cranky is awesome when you drop up and down fast, that’s definitely one of my favourite rides. I really like Rocking Bulstrode the Tug Boat as well, it spins really fast which make us laugh. Although the first ride I always go on is Troublesome Trucks, they go really fast and I love rollercoasters! Plus Mummy loves the Carousel (it’s true I do!)Thomas Land Weekends at Drayton Manor 2016 Review

As you can tell we always have a great time when we visit but just in case you need more convincing watch our short video which captures some of our favourite rides, plus a flamingo or two and a talking Cockatoo!

For more information

Tickets for the Thomas & Friends Weekends Events are priced at just £15 (pre-booked) for ages 12-59 with concessions available. Check out the event page here.

Visit Drayton Manor online for more details of upcoming events and attractions and to book early bird price tickets.

Disclaimer: We were provided free tickets to the event but all opinions are my own.

Jangle App Review – The app that teaches kids money skills!

IMG_1379Towards the end of last year I was invited along to a rather lovely lunch with Dragon’s Den newcomer Sarah Willingham. Sarah has collaborated with the financial chaps at Experian to create a brand new App called Jangle aimed at demystifying finance for kids.

The idea is to help kids manage their own money by completing various tasks in exchange for financial rewards. This not only teaches children the value of waiting and saving for non-essential items but the time spent completing tasks helps them to learn the value of their own time and therefore money. At least that’s the idea but let’s take a look at it in practice.

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At the moment Jangle is only available on iPad, but it’s in the pipeline for other platforms soon. Initially Mum or Dad downloads the app and sets up an account. This account acts as the master login which is used to approve the actions of your kids.

Create a Pot

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Once you’ve set up a profile for your child hand over the iPad and they can create a ‘pot’ to save for. This can be anything at all, a day out, a game, a toy etc. Add the cost and you’ve begun your saving journey. To add further motivation an image can be added to the goal, for example if you’re saving for a Pokemon game you can upload or search online for a image of Pikachu etc.jangle3

Finally a parent has to enter the master password to approve this savings goal.

Choose Activities

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Time to earn that reward! In this section your child choosing various activities, then requests what they believe to be appropriate payment. This is a really interesting exercise as they are essentially valuing their own time and the differences for various tasks can be dramatic. Of course they may think they deserve £25 to clean their room but that doesn’t mean you agree, so each task and payment has to be approved by a parent.

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Interestingly enough this really appeared to teach my kids the value of money. If they’ve just spent an hour earning £2.50 then suddenly blowing it on sweets doesn’t seem like such a great reward.

Once an activity has been completed a parent can approve and the money earned is added to their total which can be seen to grow towards their pot.

jangle6Kids Thoughts

My kids love this app, it allows them to save for whatever they want and how quickly they receive it depends not on their nagging skills but on their own motivation and hard work. If they don’t want to complete activities they don’t, but nor do they receive the reward.

My Thoughts

I love this app because it significantly reduces the nagging from the kids and I really think it teaches them the value of their time and consequently the value of ours too.

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However… I have come to find one aspect of the app somewhat annoying and that it the need for my approval at every single step.

Pick a pot and I have to approve before my child can go any further. Pick an activity and I have to approve before they can move on and so on. Believe me this gets frustrating when they are trying to reach £32 in £1 increments and you’re just trying to get dinner on the table or your hair dried. I think it would be vastly, hugely improved if kids could pick their goals and activities which then go into an approval que. This would allow me to login later and approve/change/deny in one go.

I believe it has been set up this way so that the financial learning journey is shared between parent and child which is great, but in reality approving each step was a bit tiresome.

Despite saying all that though I still think this is a minor niggle overall as I believe the app really offers such valuable learning that having to stop and approve constantly isn’t the end of the world. Incidentally it’s way more annoying to me than the kids, they weren’t remotely bothered.

For more Info and to download Jangle visit www.experian.co.uk/consumer/jangle or the App Store