Keep Up with the Jones Family Review

ROYAL CARIBBEAN INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS

Royal caribbean independence of the seas

Each time we drive to Southampton, we see them. Huge, majestic and so far out of reach in every way.  The luxury cruise ships that have graced the Quays over the past sixteen years have been magnificent.  I’ve taken three trips over the sea in my life so far – one on the Red Funnel to the Isle of Wight, the second on The Pride of Bilboa to France for an overnight trip with work; both leaving from Southampton, and thirdly on the Disney Wonder for a Bahamas honeymoon cruise. This weekend we were welcomed onboard my fourth ship – The Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas visitorRoyal Caribbean decided to invite a few bloggers onboard for the day to experience what The Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas [Jensen loved that his middle name, Indiana was the same as the Ship’s nickname, “Indy”] had to offer.  Did we love it?

Take a look…

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas Royal Arcade

I kind of felt as though this was my spiritual home when I saw that there was a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlour on the ship.  Jensen and I could see ourselves being here for breakfast, lunch…and dessert after dinner. I mean, that’s what cruises are for, surely?

Royal Caribbean Independence of the SeasThen we were told that there was a Ben & Jerry’s stateroom!  We headed down there but we won’t spoil the surprise.  It’s moo-arvellous.  After touring quite a few enormous suites where my boys found it fascinating that there were toilets with telephones in them – and a bath in one of them [Lyoto didn’t see the point when there was a whole sea to wash in] and wanted to sit on the verandahs all morning, until they discovered that there was actual ice cream for them on the pool deck.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

We took a tour by the enormous dining room with its glittering chandeliers and stemware.  It was quite possibly the most beautiful place I’ve ever dreamed of dining – and all I could think of was the scene in Titanic where Rose comes down the staircase to see Jack in his tuxedo at the bottom.  Probably not the best thought to pop into my head on a huge ship in Southampton docks [we were at Berth 101, so a little way down the quay], but still.  Jensen found himself a seat and said he would take me to dinner there and we could drink with real grown up glasses.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas dining room

We saw an ice rink, huge portholes, arcades and kids clubs – but nothing compared to the pool deck for our boys.  The self serve ice cream machine was the best thing ever.

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Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

After our tummies were full with swirly ice cream, we took a wander down the ship to see the Flow Rider and the spa area.  There were guests with cocktails everywhere and it made me nostalgic for our honeymoon where each day we enjoyed a Disney cocktail of the day.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

Soon it was time for lunch and we headed to my husband’s idea of dining heaven, Johnny Rocket’s.  We were originally seated inside a 1950s diner, but we switched to outside the restaurant because the view from a ship is just the most breathtaking, no matter where you are.  The air, the breeze – it’s paradise even in dock.

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So, truly, my husband would take a cruise just for the burgers each day I’m sure – and the milkshakes are delicious.  But then the dancing began.  Oh, the dancing.  Cast members from the restaurant came out to dance to the Bee Gees and my boys just couldn’t resist.  They were up and joining in – and making memories.  Just how a holiday should be.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

Hero was so full and out of puff that he fell asleep after dinner, as our bigger boys made their way to the pool at last!

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Let’s just say that it wasn’t the warmest day on deck – but after the initial shock of the cool water, they were away.  That is, until they discovered the hot tubs – then they were alternating between the two and shrieking with laughter.

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I sat poolside with Hero nestled in a wrap on his lounger – and thanked my stars I’d bought my mom-bag with me. If you’re after a bag that can do it all, this is it – my Amilie bag from Minene.  You have no idea how much I had in this bag. Seriously. I was like Mary Poppins. Even Spongebob found a place easily.

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas minene bagRoyal Caribbean Independence of the Seas

Minene Model Search

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Minene are on the look out once more for adorable tiny tots to model our new collection!

To enter please email Rachel at marketing@minene.co.uk with two clear photos of your little one aged 0-2 years taken in the last 3 months. Please include their name and age category.

We are searching for models in the following age categories:

Newborn – 3 Months  /  3 – 6 Months  /  6 – 12 Months  /  12 – 18 Months  /  2 Years

You can also enter via Instagram – just follow us @mineneuk and tag your little one using the hashtag #mineneuk.

Don’t forget to include their Name & Age category as a comment below your post.

Deadline: Monday 5th September

Photoshoot date: Mid September, TBC

Location: London

Thank you for entering Minene Model Search!

We’re now busy looking through them and will inform the winners in due course x

The Mini Mes and Me Review

As we are in the process of decorating Minxy’s and Jamster’s bedrooms we’ve been on the look out for new furniture, beds and accessories to get some inspiration. I’m fairly clueless when it comes to things like design, I could certainly do with all the help I can get, and although the Mr is a handy man at heart he doesn’t have an eye for interiors either! I thought it would therefore be the best option to ask the Mini Mes exactly what they want and to just go with that. After all, I know how excited they are about having a more attractive space of their own and it makes them feel involved with the transformations.

Jamster is after a modern skater theme with cool graffiti style artwork whereas Minxy is seeking a more feminine and classic look with floral designs, floaty drapes and big fluffy cushions. Regardless of the style, we definitely need more storage for their belongings and Minene stepped in to help in that department. They sent us some pretty baskets to kick-start our projects and these have already been very useful.

The smaller of the two is ideal for placing upon a table top or windowsill to store essentials like hair brushes, remote controls, DVDs, books, lip gloss etc for easy access, whereas the larger one can be used for laundry, bedding, toys or games. The strong handles make both easy to transport as and when required and Minxy loves the quilted look with flowers on the outside and the red polka dots inside for a nice contrast.

As a mum, I really appreciate the fact that these are machine washable so they can be kept clean at all times! If her friends are on the way over we can quickly scoop up anything laying around her room and throw it in to hide away which is useful, although thankfully she is naturally quite tidy.

 

There are matching boxes and cubes available so I think we might need to add those to our collection once her room is complete. It’s possible I will purchase the same in a different print for Jamster – he particularly likes the stars and grey chevron versions.

Baby Sample Sale!

flyer august copy

Minene BABY SAMPLE SALE starts this week!

Gorgeous clothes from newborn till 2 years plus muslins, bandana bibs and lots more starting from only £1

*CASH ONLY

Tuesday 16th August 2016 10am till 3pm
Wednesday 17th August 2016 10am till 3pm

@ 20 Wycombe Gardens, London NW11 8AL

Join Minene at the Kind & Jugend Trade Show

The team at Minene are going to present a colourful & joyful booth at the Kind & Jugend Trade Show, September 15th – 18th 2016, Koelnmesse, Germany.

Minene’s Marketing & Export team will be hosting thousands of visitors, presenting its new and beautiful collection, innovative products for babies, toddlers & kids.

We welcome you on taking advantage of this opportunity, and have a meeting with us, to:

 • Review the product range together and learn of special features        • Minene Partner’s Program       • Prices & Commercial terms          • Meet the Minene team

Click here for more information about the trade show
Email marketing@minene.co.uk for more information

How to make a Frozen Tutu!

Disney’s Frozen invasion is all set for the sequel, so there’s no point in packing up the blue paraphernalia just yet. With plenty more Elsa-themed dress-up parties in your future, here’s a super-easy, step-by-step guide to making a Frozen tutu to rival them all.

How to make a Frozen tutu - fast!

This simple, no-sew (or no more than a stitch) project that takes less than half an hour, and is easily adapted for babies, toddlers – or anyone who likes to flounce. (And even if you’ve had your fill of all things Frozen – there’s never enough tutus in the world, right?)

To make the tutu, you’ll need:

  • 2 metres or more of tulle (SPARKLY tulle!)
  • Scissors
  • Elastic
  • Needle and thread

Instructions:

  • 1. Measure the waist with elastic.
  • 2. Cut the right length and sew two ends together.
  • 3. Cut tulle into long strips.
  • 4. Take elastic and tulle strip and make a knot. TIP: place your elastic around a cooking pot – that way it will be easier to make knots and keep them neat.
  • 5. Continue making knots until you like how it looks.
  • 6. Party time.

Load up on kitschy sparkles and toss in a snowflake tiara for the full-on Frozen effect. Once the trend for all things blue thaws, you can swop the colour for standard princess pink (or whatever the new Disney flavour of the moment is).

Tutorial (adapted) and image from munchkintime.com