Escape room Manchester

What can be better on a weekday than to try something new? I was delighted to be invited to the blogger event held at The Escape room Manchester. My husband and I worked all day and we were ready to have fun.
The Escape room is in a great location, close to the city centre. We got there in time, we had some drinks at their bar while we were waiting for our group. The bar is opened to their costumers only, so it’s quite private. I really love that.

Escape room

My husband and I looked at the themes the rooms have. The concept behind the Escape rooms is pretty simple, by solving puzzles, you have to discover how to exit the room in less than 60 minutes.
At the Escape Room Manchester there are 5 different rooms: The Mummy; Prison Break; Slaughter house; Room 13 and The Secret Lab. The first one has a difficulty of 3, the next two are 4 and the last two are 5, the hardest.

We were part of a group of 7, a little bigger, as the rooms are for 2 to 6 people. I would say it was fine for us, we had plenty of space and everybody got involved. I don’t want to talk too much about what’s involved in solving the puzzles, so I don’t ruin the surprise. Our team was assigned to the one that it looked the most interesting for me: The Secret Lab.
The story is that a news reporter has to investigate an incident at a local estate. The police is already there and the place is in quarantine, so everybody in the building is locked inside.

We had a short briefing where someone told us the rules and the clock started ticking. One in our group had been to an escape room before and she was familiar with what must be done. I would recommend an easier experience if nobody in our party has tried this before. We started searching for clues and soon we were discovering secrets. It took us 36 minutes to finish and escape, only 2 minutes slower than the best time for that room.

It was fun, I enjoyed it a lot, even more than I thought I would. My husband loved it too, we plan to go back and try to escape from another room pretty soon. If you never tried it, I would recommend it, it’s fun and exciting.

02 Escape room
I mentioned the location, really fab.

I was invited to Escape Room Manchester. All opinions are my own and I wouldn’t recommend them if I wouldn’t think you would love this experience.

Stainsby Mill

A few days ago my husband and I went to Stainsby Mill. It’s part of National Trust, along with the Hardwick Estate. The current mill was built in the 19th century. The Victorian mill is still operational.

01 Stainsby Mill

We had a guided tour and it was lovely, we learned so many things about the mill. The most fascinating thing was how clean everything was kept in Victorian times, quite surprising. It was interesting to see how the white flour was made.

02 Stainsby Mill

On the day we’ve been there it wasn’t enough water to power the mill as someone, most likely a local farmer, left the water running so it wouldn’t flood the fields due to rain. The guide told us the mill would resume milling the following day. It was a shame we didn’t see it in action, but even so, the tour was exciting.

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Electric Mountain

In our trip to Wales, we’ve been to Electric Mountain. The name is pretty much self explanatory, as it’s a guided tour of the Dinorwig Power Station. The power station is in Elidir Mountain and it’s one of the largest man made caverns in Europe. The power station converts the power of water into electricity and its main objective is to supply a short and high energy boost if required.

01 Electric Mountain

Dinorwig is made up of 10 miles of underground tunnels. For the construction of the tunnels, 1 million tonnes of concrete, 200,000 tonnes of cement and 4,500 tonnes of steel were used. It was amazing to hear that the station was built because the traditional stations can’t cope with the increase in energy demand when people are making their tea after a football match. Turning on so many kettles at the same time needs a lot of extra electricity for a short period of time. It’s also interesting that we want to think we are so different, but in reality we all use the kettle at the same time, quite predictable.

02 Electric Mountain
The tour started with a short movie about the power station.

After the introductory movie, we all had got our hardhats and we took a seat in the special bus that took us to the center of the power station. We’ve made a stop and the guide explained different aspects of the power station. It was fascinating to hear all the details and there are plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

The station is in a disused slate quarry. Most of the workforce is local and that was one of the aspects taken into consideration before the project started. The protection of salmon and trout stocks was another issue and there is a small video about the environment at the end of the tour. It’s amazing these steps were taken many years ago to protect the fish.

This power station works with pump storage. So the water is stored in a high lake, when it’s used the water goes through the plant and it gets to a lower lake. During the night, when the electricity is cheaper and the demand is lower, the pumps are set on reverse and the water goes from the bottom lake to the top lake, through the same system. The energy required for this is higher than the one it produces, but this happens at night time as I said, when the electricity is produced, but it’s not used.

It was a lovely tour, very informative and interesting. Both my husband and I enjoyed the experience very much.

The prices for the tour are £8.50 for adults and £4.35 for kids, it’s an unique opportunity to see into a working power station and I think it’s worth it. It’s not suitable for small children as they would get bored and kids under 4 are not allowed. On their website it’s mentioned booking is required. We didn’t book, but it wasn’t exactly the high season and we took the last 2 tickets available at that particular tour or we would have had to wait for a couple of hours. I suggest booking to avoid any issues on a busy day.

Have you been to Electric Mountain?

C’est la vie

I was delighted to be invited to join the latest campaign organized by lights by TENA. The campaign is called C’est la vie, a perfect name for the idea behind it, as it’s about the Oooops moments™.

C'est la vie
Lights by TENA has sent me a lovely kit with foolproof solutions, easy to sort out everyday issues, issues that can be annoying, but not that difficult to solve. I was intrigued about the kit as I usually make my own sort of kits for certain issues.

I’ll start by talking about my kits. I’ve made a “basic needs” kit and I have one in every handbag I own: a pack of napkins; hair clips and hair elastics in 2-3 different colours to suit what I might wear and one close to my hair colour; 1-2 wipes for glasses (very good to wipe the screen and the camera of the phone); 2 pens; business cards; chewing gum and a pad, so I’m prepared if it happens to get my period while I’m out. Before I leave home I would add a few more essentials like the lipstick I’m wearing that day, a comb (I do comb my hair if I’m away for more than 3-4 hours), a small mirror.

I have another kit for the dog, in the car. This kit contains a tennis ball, a pack of napkins, an antibacterial hand wash, doggy bags and lots of balloons. Festus will play with the balloons and we have lots of toys without taking a lot of space in the car. I have an additional kit in the boot with the same things. When we leave, I will also take one of his towels, his traveling bowl, water, leads and collars (2 of each) and more toys if we need them.

The kit I received from lights by TENA is fab and it came in a gorgeous bag that I will definitely use often.

Nail polish remover pads. I had a similar product before and it’s so helpful. Especially when I’m attending a fair, I will use a bright nail polish and a small chip will be visible. I will keep this item in my handbag or in the car, just to be sure I can remove all the nail polish instead of hiding my hands.

Dress&lingerie tapes. I had no idea they existed, but now I think it changed my life. I love a little bit of cleavage, but I don’t want to show more that was intended. I can’t wait to try this tape on one of my dresses.

Sewing kit. I have a sewing kit at home, although considering I have a sewing machine and a few things for it, it’s more than a basic kit. I was happy to see this one, as I wanted to get one for the caravan. While camping a sewing kit can prove to be vital, especially as I can’t take my whole wardrobe with me and small repairs might be needed.

Fixing mist for makeup. On a hot day, a fixing mist for makeup must be useful. I never tried it, but I will these days.

Anti-static spray. I have a skirt that is so comfortable, but the static makes it annoying to wear. I hope this spray will solve this issue. The spray should also help on a windy day, to keep the skirt/dress in its place and not revealing all. I can’t wait to try this and I don’t think I’ll have to wait for long as we get lots of windy days in Liverpool.

The next item is a gradual tan cream. I can’t say I would use it as I don’t particularly want to get tan and I avoid it as much as I can.

lights by TENA liners for those Oooops moments™. This is a delicate subject and not a lot of women might be comfortable talking about it. It’s also strange that we are so reluctant of talking about this, as 1 in 3 women are experiencing light bladder weakness at some point. I was surprised to see this as I though it’s not that common. I saw the C’est la vie clip on youtube, it’s fun and I think that is the right attitude. A lot of things can go wrong, but with a little bit of preparation, we can do anything we want.
If you want to try them, there are free samples available, more details at lights by TENA.

Purifying cloths. These cleansing wipes can be used for removing makeup and also for wiping things like deodorant marks on dark tops. Another product I will use when I’m at job related fairs. I have to look spotless and these will be very handy.

*Post in collaboration with lights by TENA

Houses in Essex

In our trip to Essex I noticed beautiful embellishments on many houses. I took a few pictures to share them on my blog.

01 Lovely houses in Essex
Although I’m not too keen on the subject, the level of craftsmanship is impressive. I like the features, the grass looks realistic, the trees have also lots of details. The house in the back has a lovely roof and the fence looks realistic too.

02 Lovely houses in Essex
Most of the plaster panels on this 18th century house have a  feature on them. It looks really beautiful. It would have been interesting to know if some of the plaster was original or inspired by original designs, but I have no idea. Also, I’m not sure if this is something specific to Essex, I didn’t find anything online. If you know more, please tell me in the comments.

03 Lovely houses in Essex

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5 Good things

Tonight I’m eager to see the football game between England and Slovakia, I’m sure it will be exciting. It was a busy time for us, so in the last couple of weeks we didn’t get to do lots of things (that I can blog about). I have a few topics for posts ready and I’m going to write about those when I’ll have a little more time. Until then, these are my 5 good things.

A photo posted by Anca (@ancaslifestyle) on

1. Father’s Day. We had a great time yesterday on Father’s Day. Hubby received a beautiful card from the dog, we had lots of nice things to eat, pizza, fresh homemade bread, pizza. We played in the garden with the dog and we went out on walkies. It was fun and a really relaxing day.

2. Baking bread. After seeing Paul Hollywood at BBC Good Food a few days ago, yesterday I’ve baked bread. It’s so exciting to make the dough, wait for it to rise and then bake a perfect bread, delicious and fresh. I love cooking, but baking bread must be one of the favourite things I like to make.

3. Baku. Azerbaijan looks amazing, I have to admit I had little expectations from Baku, but it’s a lovely place. The Palace is beautiful, the architecture, the modern buildings, the F1 track. This new track it’s an amazing addition to the F1 calendar. It’s a shame the race was a little boring, but maybe next time will be better. It was lovely to see that they were having before going on the podium, a relaxed attitude is better for the viewers too.

4. The pigeons. They are back and hungry, not too bothered if I’m getting the clothes off the washing line. At some point one of them was eating while the dog was playing in the garden. They look a little cold here, aren’t they sweet. I think they will make their nest in the same spot like last year and in a few months we’ll have baby pigeons learning to fly in our back garden. At least I hope it will be like last year.

5. Reading. I picked a few interesting books and I love reading them. I will make an update with what I’ve read pretty soon, maybe by the end of the month. I’m still working on the blogging schedule at the moment.

BBC Gardener’s World Live

I mentioned when I blogged about BBC Good Food Show Summer yesterday that I went to BBC Gardener’s World Live too. It was the first time at this show. It is similar to the Harrogate Flower Show, pretty much the same size.

01 BBC Gardener's World Live
There was a flower marquee and the flowers were wonderful. All the exhibitors have small plants for sale and they will answer any question visitors might have about the plants. It’s great to be able to have a chat when you consider growing something new that you are not familiar with.

02 BBC Gardener's World Live

gardeners world
I liked the carnivor flowers the most and we are considering buying a few as pest control for your garden. I will have to read more about it, but it seems like a great idea at the moment, as I’m looking for a natural way to control pests. I will also have to see if my approach that I can only describe as “laissez-faire” is an actual option for carnivores.

Continue reading BBC Gardener’s World Live