The Hooper Hotlist of 2017

The Hoopers Family Photo Shoot

Happy New Year from the Hoopers!

2017 has been a brilliant year for Here Come the Hoopers and we are still on cloud nine from our UK Blog Award finalist news.  Roll on April to see if we have won! I can’t honestly believe that at the middle of this month we will have been blogging for 2 years.  Here Come the Hoopers started out as an online journal to record our family adventures.  We had no idea that anyone other than my Mam would read it… and we certainly never dreamed we would meet so many amazing people and have some brilliant opportunities. New Year is a great chance to look ahead but first let’s see what you enjoyed reading in 2017.

1. Golden Forest Club – Sequoia Lodge.

Golden Forest Room

Last December we headed over to Disneyland Paris for some festive family fun.  The Golden Forest club room in Sequoia Lodge was a big hit, thanks to it’s close proximity to the parks and to the free afternoon tea buffet.  Food in theme parks is expensive, so we found this to be brilliant value.  Unlike Disney World in Florida, Paris is a compact park, so a little afternoon re-charge and a sneaky glass of red wine spurred me on to keep going to the fireworks finale!

To read our full post on the Golden Forest Club

2. Sage Summer Party 2017

Sage Summer Party

One for the Great Park locals and Sage Software employees, but you just cannot go wrong with a fab afternoon of FREE festival fun.  Sometimes it’s easy to see only the negatives of where you live (litter, dog poo, poor bus services to name a few) but events like this are brilliant for the local community.  It also meant I dodged a visit to the Hoppings on the Town Moor as all the rides here are yeah you guessed it… FREE!

See our post on the Sage Summer Party

3. New New Bengal, Gosforth High Street

New New Bengal Pickle Tray

It’s always exciting when new places open up in your area and the New New Bengal has become a favourite of ours due to its delicious food, modern decor and close proximity to Alan’s Mams new retirement flat! We spotted on Facebook that the restaurant is soon launching an Early Bird set menu this month.  As Alan’s mam likes to eat out and be back in the house in time for Coronation Street this one will be a Hooper family winner I’m sure.

For more photos of lush curry dishes see our post on New New Bengal.

4. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on Furniture

My first project using Annie Sloan chalk paint to spruce up an old wood coffee table.  We found the technique of no sanding or prepping so easy we ended up chalk painting every cupboard in the kitchen and the dining room suite.  I like the easy option when it comes to decorating. There was no stopping me with a paintbrush in 2017 and I have lots of plans for a full house decoration in 2018.  I’m sure Alan can’t wait!

See our first Annie Sloan paint post.

5. Enchanted Belsay – English Heritage

Enchanted Belsay 2017

This was a slightly disappointing night in our festive programme, but a winner in the clicks! Unfortunately, we found the event to be pretty lacklustre and not a patch on the previous weeks light show at the Enchanted Saltwell park event.  I’m sure the organisers will up their game next year, and I would really like to head back to Belsay in the better weather as the grounds are impressive… even in the dark.

See our post on Enchanted Belsay

6. Park Foot Campsite – Pooley Bridge – Ullswater

Park Foot Camp SIte

This was a true Hooper trip of highs (swimming in the lake at sunset) and lows (dog poo, projectile vomiting) and actually ended up being our only camping trip of the year. The site was certainly the biggest one we had ever been to and the views of the lakes were stunning, but it was just too busy and commercial for our liking! Despite all of this, the amazing weather and brilliant company will stay in the memory bank.

7. Hatchimals Colleggtibles and Toys and Me Tiana

Hatchimals Colleggtibles and Tiana Toys and Me

2017 saw the kids take their Hoopster YouTube Channel to the next level, becoming more confident in front of the camera.  The girls loved the chance to meet YouTube star Tiana launching the Hatchimal Colleggtibles range at Smyth’s Toy Superstore in Tamworth.  With Tiana’s Toys and Me Channel subscribers currently standing at 7.6 Million, I don’t mind having this little girl as their role model.  Maybe we could retire early?

Read all about the Tiana Meet and Greet here

8. Newcastle Castle:  The Gateway to Old Newcastle

Newcastle Castle

Sometimes the best days out are on your doorstep and offer the biggest surprise.  The castle is one I’ve passed a million times but never explored.  From its cheap admission price, interesting exhibits, free crafts and amazing views this was a great day out and well recommended.

See all about Newcastle Castle here.

9. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Makeovers

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Pop Princess

This post was one of our first but is still getting lots of reading time.  I think if anyone is tempted to spend 100 dollars (or more) on some makeup and glitter on your little princess at Disney World, it would be worth checking out some reviews before you commit.  The girls may have ended up looking like something from Pageant Moms, but again one of those special memories and some pictures to embarrass them on their 21st Birthdays.

See our post on the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

10.  Cheviot View – Brownie Pack Holiday

Cheviot View Kirknewton

So I survived my first Brownie holiday, was awarded my Licence and have agreed to do it all again. It mustn’t have been too bad! Organising a holiday takes a lot of time and effort, but the girls love being away and enjoying the great outdoors.  Looking forward to another crazy year with my Rainbows and Brownies.

Read all about our Brownie Pack Holiday here.

Plans for 2018

So far 2018 is looking to be another fun-filled year.  We have trips to Scarborough, London, Centre Parcs Whinfell, Wooler and Manchester planned and still have to decide on a Summer break.  We have ambitious plans to spruce up the house, so won’t be heading abroad this year, but I’m sure we will have fun whatever we do.

A massive thank you to everyone who reads, shares and comments on this blog.  You spur us on to keep going even when life gets crazy.  Here’s to more adventures in 2018!


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