Bug hunt anthisan

Bug Hunt!

A bug hunt can be fun, or so I found out today! A couple of weeks ago we were contacted to see if we’d like to take part in the ‘Big Blogger Bug Hunt’.
Now if you’ve read anything of mine before you’ll probably already know I have two young boys (4 & 2) and there’s nothing we like more than getting out in the back garden and getting dirty and wet (especially the two year old!)

I’ve posted about gender specific toys/games and play before. With my boys I’ve never gone for traditional gender aimed toys, they have always been welcome to play with whatever they wish too. I am finding more and more though that they do gravitate to more traditional boy toys, cars, trains, dinosaurs….wrestling each other!! So a bug hunt was a no brainer (even though inside I’m screaming please don’t bring them in the house!!!!). I’m not scared of bugs, I’m just not super keen on sharing my space with them. If they are outside doing no harm that’s fine by me but cross over my threshold and prepare to face the consequences!
Given that the weather has been so nice of late (with a few exceptions!) and we are looking for summer holiday activities we seized our chance and set off on a bug hunt around the garden. I say set off, what I mean was raced off in opposite directions to find the dirtiest areas of the garden.
I’d already explained to the eldest that bugs tend to be found in dark usually damper conditions in the garden.

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So he went to look under the trampoline. It had been raining earlier on so hopefully bugs could be found!

It’s hard with children to explain that some bugs may bite without putting a fear into them so I tackled it by getting the boys to imagine being a bug, imagining how big a human would look. We talked about bugs being scared of humans and sometimes that reaction is to bite, so we must always leave bugs alone and if we do need to move or handle them to do so carefully or with the catcher from the bug hunt kit.

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The boy asked what happens when bugs bite and the best I could explain is that it might hurt him. I really don’t want to make him afraid of bugs or insects, but to respect their space and just leave them alone.

It wasn’t long before the boy had found some ants, that’s no surprise in our garden as they seem to be everywhere!

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I’m not sure if these ants bite, we didn’t handle him to find out, we just scooped him up carefully with the catcher and put him in the magnifying pot to have a closer look. I remember as a child playing near some red ants and they definitely bite! I remember being bitten all over my legs, it was pretty itchy and painful. I know that the bodies reaction to bites is to release histamine which when released onto the skin’s surface by scratching makes the site of the bite even more painful and itchy. The recommend treatment to relieve the itch fast is to apply an antihistamine cream on the site of the bite, to reduce redness, inflammation and swelling. Anthisan is an antihistamine cream which can be used on bites, stings and irritation, throughout the summer and all year-long.

We looked at the ant for quite a while, trying to count the legs and body parts before letting him go again back where we found him, and moved onto to looking for other bugs.

The boys were quite excited to see this one, but knew it was too big for the pot and we didn’t want to damage its wings.

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It stayed still enough though for us to look at and admire.

I’m not sure Flixster was clear on the brief of the bug hunt and ended up getting plant and flower samples to look at, but we just went along with it, he was enjoying himself.

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The bug hunt and outdoor fun kept us amused for quite some time and that’s exactly what you want from a summer holiday week day entertainment. I can highly recommend getting out in the garden or a local park to look for insects and bug life, but be sure to keep the antihistamine cream handy in case of bites and stings!

With thanks to Anthisan for sending us the bug hunt kit, we had a great afternoon on the hunt!

 

 

 

 

Summer holiday day 1 is over, well it’s over in so much as the boys are in bed…for now! I have housework and other things to do not to mention any other stuff that I’d like to do, or thats needed doing for a while!

When I was a child, I remember thinking that 6 weeks summer holiday was amazingly long and would last for ever. As an adult with my own children, I’m pretty much thinking the same about summer holiday but for a very different reason!

Childcare in the Summer Holiday

Nursery continues as normal on my work days, but with no school for the summer I’ve had to find a holiday club for the boy. Still only 4 and still so small and vulnerable. I hope he’s ok at the holiday club. He often takes a while to settle into a new setting. The staff don’t know him, they don’t know his little quirks, how he likes reassurance over things. I’m trying to prepare him for it but I’m not sure he knows what to expect. It’s somewhere that has been recommended by other mum I know so I just hope its right for him. He’s mentioned already that he’s a bit worried as he doesn’t know where the cloakroom will be. He doesn’t realise I’ll spend the whole day worrying and thinking about him, wondering if he’ll find someone to play with. Worrying that he won’t know where the toilets are, or who to ask if he needs something. What if time passes really slowly for him and he just spends ages wondering when I’ll be back. I hope he finds someone to talk to.

The best thing would be that he settles in quickly and has an amazing day. I really hope he does, but he’s still my baby. Still finding his feet in school let alone a new setting.

What is it about some of the videos on Youtube? How are they so popular?

My children are 4 and 2, I make no apologies for letting them watch youtube videos. I am always close by to check what they are watching is safe and suitable and usually it buys me a few minutes to do some household tasks. They never sit there for hours on end, just a few short sessions. They certainly seem to enjoy it. But one thing still puzzles me, why are some seemingly odd videos so popular?

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For example, the items wrapped in play-doh, whats that about? And the endless opening of ‘surprise eggs’. I just don’t get it. As the boy grows up he’s increasingly interested in both ‘How to’ and games videos. He likes to watch other people play computer games (age appropriate of course!) he’ll spend a while watching other people playing Mario or watching other people opening toys. I suppose it saves me having to buy the toy for him to open!

For a while he’s been asking to make his own youtube video, I’m not sure he’ll be very poplar but  I think he just wanted to get on youtube. He chose the subject himself, again not something that people really want to watch but I’m sure I’ll appreciate capturing him in the moment and be able to look back with fondness at the video. I love how the technology of today means where ever I am in the world if there is internet I can watch my beautiful boy.

So here it is, his first intentional instructional video on youtube, he even says like and subscribe at the end….I wonder where he got that from!?!

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you……….”How to make toast with a 4 year old!”

Youtube Debut

The End of Reception

My eldest is in his Reception year at school. I only get to do school drop off for two days each school week because I do long hours during my three work days. I would love to drop off everyday but I am very grateful that I at least get to do two each week. Yesterday started like any normal day, the early rise as usual. Me thinking I have hours to get ready (when in fact we do have about 3.5 hours (so why is there ALWAYS, I repeat ALWAYS) a last-minute dash to beat the bell at school? Does this just happen to me?


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So after the 3 hour-long battle to get both boys, washed, dressed, fed and ready we were dashing off to school once again to beat the bell. We got there just in time for final goodbyes, a kiss, a quick hug and a little wave. Me stood with Flixster waving the boy off, watching him to the last-minute until he goes through the door and turns left into the cloakroom out of sight. It was then that it hit me.

Like I walked into a solid brick wall.

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That was it, that moment, he only has a week left in reception. He is finishing reception, how did this happen? Why was I so sad?
Another milestone, another glaringly obvious reminder that time never stops.
It only seems like two minutes since I was dropping him off for his taster sessions with a tear in my eye. I was sad back then because he was growing up, school were stealing my baby away. I didn’t know when I dropped him off back then that he’d end the school year in a different school. Due to our house move and the opportunity to move schools he only spent one term at his original school and the other two terms at a different one. He has settled in so well at his new school, he still talks about the old one quite a bit but knows his new one is here to stay. I know I should feel happy but I didn’t. In that very moment I just wanted to hug him and cry quietly and not let go…ever. I felt even worse letting him go because I’d only just told him off for stamping on my foot and marking my new shoes, it seems so trivial, I should have just let it go and spent longer hugging him instead.
I’m not sure I like being reminded of time passing, I’m sure everyone feels the same. Some times I need the world to stop moving so I can take an extra few moments to appreciate it.

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I need the boys to make sure they know I love them, I need to bottle their little smell, frame their tiny little hands and the trusting look they give you when they need reassurance. I need to appreciate every single moment in time.

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Wagamama – New items on the menu!

We were delighted last weekend to be invited to try out some of the new menu items at Wagamama in the Trafford Centre. Wagamama at the Intu Trafford Centre is the largest Wagamama site in the company and even has a mezzanine floor. This particular branch opened back in October 2015.

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We decided that after a busy day helping at the school summer fair we’d all built up a healthy appetite for some yummy tea.
My 4-year-old is a Wagamama pro, given the choice when we eat out he would hands down chose Wagamama every time. He’s been eating out at Wagamama since he was very young. We love it because it’s so family friendly. The staff are always very accommodating of children and the children’s menu at Wagamama gets my stamp of approval as lovely, tasty healthy foods for children. He loves that he gets his own special children’s chopsticks and he certainly know how to use them.


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We were sent the invitation to try the new menu items which included Duck Donburi, Steak Bulgogi, Tamari Chicken, two new juices and a new side of shredded duck wraps.

Hubby is a real foodie and so he didn’t need asking twice to get stuck in. If you haven’t been to Wagamama before they will always tell you that no matter what you order, the food will be brought out as its ready, this keeps it hot and fresh. Wagamama at the Intu Trafford Centre has a wonderfully long open kitchen that really shows off the chefs skills.

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The smell wafting across the restaurant definitely sets the scene of the food to come. Being a large restaurant it was quick and easy to get seated. Each time I’ve been I’ve been seated straight away, as every parent knows hungry children don’t like waiting! So settled in our booth we quickly set about choosing the food.

The boy loves having his own children’s menu to choose from and Flixster just enjoyed the crayons and paper!

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We quickly decided to try the Duck Donburi , shredded duck wraps and repair juice from the new menu. The boys chose  mini chicken ramen as its his favourite and for Flixster we chose mini chicken cha han as I figured he’d like it. The food came out as it was ready smelling delicious and looking amazing. The children’s meals were still very hot (as you’d expect) so they spent quite a while tucking into the steamed chicken gyoza and shredded duck wraps I should have ordered more!

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Hubby and I barely got any! What we did taste though was lovely.  We often order the steamed chicken gyoza in Wagamama and it was lovely as always. The shredded duck wrap is new on the menu, the boy lovely it but wasn’t sure about the sauce at first, I think he was expect ketchup so the fruitiness really surprised him. He did ask for more though so it was a hit!

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It was hubby who ordered the duck donburi it came in a bowl with the fried egg on top. You are supposed to break the yolk of the egg then fold in kimchee and stir up the rice with the donburi duck for the full experience.I tried some and it was delicious. I just couldn’t stray away from my absolute favourite thing on the menu (I’m pretty sure it’s a favourite with lots of people) number 42 the yaki udon!

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Once everybody dishes had arrived and the sides had been hoovered up we set about eating our own as well as sharing round. I love the children’s chopsticks in Wagamama, so easy even my 2 year old can use them!

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All the food was as always delicious! We loved the new Repair juice with Apple, Kale and Pear. Even the boys tried to share it with us. I was hesitant as I knew it had kale in it but all I could taste was the Apple and Pear, a really lovely drink.

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Luckily the children’s menu has milk on it which Flixster loves so he was easy to distract with that!

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We were so full after the yummy food we couldn’t fit in a dessert which was a shame as they all sounded so nice on the menu. The boys even had to have half of their meals in a takeaway box to eat later in the day. I love that Wagamama offer to pack it up so readily and always have the best boxes and containers on hand to safely keep the food from getting everywhere.

Many thanks to Wagamama for inviting us to try the new menu items. We love how family friendly it is and how the food is consistently yummy, delicious and fresh! We’ll be back soon I’m sure, especially considering the boy keeps asking to return!

Thank you NHS

This post is a thank you to the NHS, a thank you to all the people who work there. A thank you to everyone, from the consultants to the cleaners. You are all part of a massively valuable team.

In the middle of last week my beautiful boy started complaining of stomach pains, he was sick just the once and so we assumed that it wasn’t just a tummy bug. The pains continued and he described them as switching on and off (similar to the migraines he suffers from) I of course headed to Dr Google as we all do and started to learn all about abdominal migraines.
Could it have been that? Could he have been suffering his first abdominal migraine, apparently they are common in children and as he already suffers from migraines the odds were in his favour. The other thing that had made me suspicious of a migraine was that Thursday was his school trip and he had been pretty excited about going to Monkey Forest with his class. Maybe the excitement had triggered the migraine attack (if it was that). He stayed off school on Wednesday and Thursday spending much of the day sleeping it off and of course missing the trip he had been excited about. By Friday he seemed much improve and Friday was the much anticipated Queens 90th Birthday party at school so he returned to school in the hope he’d make it to the party in the afternoon and get to join in with the fun.
It wasn’t to be, just before lunchtime the school rang me to say he was spiking a temp and crying. I sent hubby to pick him up as we only live a minutes walk away and I was in work. He still wanted to go to the birthday party and so I suggested he have a nap and see how he felt afterwards. I came home in the hope he would be improved and I would return with him to the party. It wasn’t to be, he work up with an even higher temp and was very upset. I gave him some paracetamol and we settled down for snuggle on the sofa where he was very drowsy.
After another hour he still wasn’t cooling down and so we rang the GP to see if there were any appointments that afternoon and if not what the options were. As expected there were none (apparently their systems were down as well)
We happen to live in an area of the country that still provides a walk in centre service to its residents and so along we went. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve taken him to the GP , in fact two fingers. Twice. I guess we’ve been lucky and I’m very thankful that we don’t often have to seek medical help. If my children do get ill I usually self treat or seek the advice of a pharmacist if needed. I try and reserve a visit to the GP for serious illnesses and thankfully that has only ever been twice.
So off we went to the walk in centre, when we arrived we were checked in by the receptionist quickly and asked to take a seat. I noticed that as people we arriving after us there attention was drawn to a laminated sign on reception. I hadn’t been told to read it but from what I understand from conversations going on in the waiting area it basically said that the service was at capacity and the wait would likely be 3-4 hours. I tried to explain this to my baby, but I’m not sure the concept of how long 4 hours sat in a chair would actually be had sunk in to a 4 year olds head. He was doing so well waiting quietly on a chair beside me which is more than can be said for quite a few of the other people in the waiting room. Some were winding up others beside them, others were just generally moaning. Some people were taking out their frustrations on the poor receptionist who was just passing on the message. I was so embarrassed that people felt it was ok to act that way, they selfishly felt that their own need to see someone was a priority over all the other people in the waiting room. One lady who’d only been waiting about half an hour, was taking great delight in bad mouthing the NHS and how awful it was that she and other around her had to wait so long. I didn’t speak up, looking back I wish I had, I guess partly this is the reason for the post. I suppose I didn’t speak up as I was sat their with my mum hat on and not my NHS hat. Plus I had my 4 year old who wasn’t very well sat right next to me, snuggling up, wanting his mummy to be there for him, not wanting me to start arguments. I was desperate to say something to that lady. In so many parts of the country the Walk in Centre services have been closed down or scaled back enormously. Firstly she was lucky to live in an area where the funding is still in place. Secondly she was lucky that everyone in the NHS was there for her. NHS staff work so hard for a wage that comparatively hasn’t risen in many years. Pay freezes and increasingly pressured work environments don’t always make for a great staff morale but the staff of the NHS are always there. It was Friday evening, she had been triaged by a nurse and was obviously well enough to be deemed perfectly OK to wait for the 4 hours. It turns out she was waiting to see someone about a pain in her leg. I know this because she spent some time moaning loudly about her leg that she needed someone to see it today, despite her having had this pain since the previous weekend. All of a sudden she felt it was her right to see someone there and then and not have to wait. By this time we’d been waiting for 3 hours. I was so proud of my baby, he’d waited for 3 hours without moaning, he’d mentioned how hungry he was but hadn’t moaned. Another person waiting next to us had commented on how good he was, my heart swelled with pride (and worry for him). If a 4 year old can wait to be seen then so can that lady. Did I she honestly believe that the staff at the walk in centre were just put there to waste her time, sis she think they were just drinking tea. Far from it, I imagine that the people there had spent all day tirelessly seeing patient after patient without so much as a proper break, and would probably be doing so late into the night.
We patiently waited and once it got to our turn we were thankfully to be seen. I made sure to explain to the boy why we had to wait so long. He understood in simple terms that there were lots of poorly people and that the ones who were more poorly than him had to be seen first which is why we had to wait so long.
The nurse was very apologetic and did explain that given his rising temp and his other symptoms we probably should have been a higher priority and seen quicker. She suspected he may have been suffering with appendicitis and so gave the paediatric doctors a ring at our local hospital who asked us to go straight to the paediatric assessment ward to be seen.
I popped home before we headed to the hospital to get some things in case we had to stay in overnight as it was already past his bedtime.
The hospital were great, the staff on the ward were so kind and caring. He once again made me proud to be his mummy by answering all the questions asked of him (and some more besides!) A few more hours went by and after seeing a variety of different people we were discharged thankfully to go home and watch and wait. It may have been appendicitis but equally it could have been a urine infection or something else. With children it’s so hard to tell. All the way through the evening he kept asking me if it was midnight yet, he was obsessed with staying up past midnight (something he has never done) but by 11:30 he was really flagging, he’s usually in bed for 7 so it really was a late night. At 11:45 he fell asleep, missing his own target by 15 minutes. At 1am we were free to go and so I picked him up in my arms like I did when he was a baby and began carrying him back to the car. So small, so vulnerable, so beautiful. My heart full of love for my baby boy, no matter how old he is he’ll always be my baby. My heart full of gratitude for the wonderful staff of the NHS who work so hard everyday to keep us all healthy and who’s work often goes without thanks. Thank you NHS I for one am grateful!

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Geronimo – A fabulous family day out!

Geronimo has been and gone for another year, this year was our first year visiting Geronimo at Tatton Park. In case you don’t have time for the whole post I’ll summarise it for you now. We had an amazing day out that surpassed my expectation in everyday although it was very busy we still managed to enjoy everything.

And for those of you sticking around to find out what we got up to here goes! We headed the warnings on the website and made sure to arrive early. Thankfully the weather was on our side and it was set to be a sunny day at Geronimo!

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Flixster was sad in this photo because he’d just broken (again) the shark he loves a lot – we’ve spent more money repairing that shark than it cost to buy in the first place!!

The festival itself was due to open at 10am but I noted that it did open a little earlier than planned which I think was a great move by the organisers considering the crowds that had already begun to build up. We arrived around 9am and were parked up pretty easily with no queues, the whole car park seemed well organised which makes a refreshing change for a large festival. Grateful for no queues to sit in on the already hot day we headed to the entrance. We were through the main gates in no time and wristbands on our arms headed to get a map. The map listed everything going on at Geronimo that day and gave you a rough idea of where things we happening. It would have been easy enough to wander around Geronimo without a map but the times guide was very useful!

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Our first stop was the 3ft and under area, there was a mixture of things in here, some soft play for the little ones, some story telling, some mini shows etc. We quickly came across Mini Professors who explained that we could book the boys on to a science class about bubbles. Now the boys are mad about bubbles and the eldest loves a good learning session so it was a no brainier. With them booked on we had 45 minutes to do something else at Geronimo before it began. So off we headed the big inflatable area, bound to be a winner!

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The queues for rides and attractions weren’t too bad early on and so whilst the boy had some bouncy fun I took Flixster to the mini roundabout, he loved it!

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I really love it when things like this are included because with little ones you never know which way it’s going to go, will you pay your money and have to endure a ride full of tears? On days like this it doesn’t matter if they love it and want to go on 10 times or are not so sure and don’t enjoy it, because at Geronimo its all included! No need to spend extra on all the rides!

The time quickly passed and we were heading back to Mini Professors to do some bubble experiments!

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The boys loved it, I promise, despite Flixsters face on the photo! They learnt all about how bubbles are formed, what they are made of and how to hold one. The boy was enthralled, and I’m still hearing all about it now, he even had to pass on his knowledge to the grandparents recently when he saw them. So I know he learnt quite a lot at the one short session.

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After our session we went on a general explore of the site, there was so much to see and do, we saw live music acts and lots of general street entertainment. The boys were fascinated by the Hippo, where else would you see a huge hippopotamus just trotting along?!

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The sun shone beautifully and it was soon time for lunch. We did bring some snacks to keep us going throughout the day, and lots of water to drink too, but we had a mooch round the various food stall and picked the wood fired pizza. We were not disappointed, it was very very nice! It didn’t last long with the boys around!

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After a lunch sat in the shade and a rest for the boys, it was time for more fun to be found and we didn’t have to look far!

The heater skelter had a long queue but with a few rounds of I-spy we didn’t seem to be waiting too long, plus with the added distraction of the never ending entertainment the boys weren’t bored thats for sure. the giraffe spotting also helped pass the time!

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I didn’t get a photo of them coming down the heater skelter, I wasn’t sure when to expect them but from the smiles of happiness as the boy got up off his mat he certainly had a good time!

The sun was really beating down by mid afternoon and even with water, hats and lots of cream on the weather was really making the boys flag so I suggested we get a spot to watch the main stage, it just so happened that we caught the end of Mr.Blooms show followed by Swashbuckle which the boy adores. He’s always asking to go on that show, he loves the idea of the games and the challenges. It was Cook & Line from Swashbuckle on stage (and if you don’t have preschoolers or young children who watch CBeebies then you won’t know who I mean!)

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As you can see from the pictures we were miles away from the stage but could see and hear everything perfectly well which was great for the boys, especially Flixster who enjoyed the dancing most of all!

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The shows on the Geronimo stage were great and the boys loved watching, it was a nice relaxed atmosphere where it felt ok to just let the boys dance if they wanted to, no one was packed in and there was plenty of room for everyone which was really great.

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Even after a full day of shows and experiments and having fun the boys still wanted to go on the rides again a few times before we had to say goodbye to Geronimo for this year and as it was their day I wasn’t going to stop them, so off we went. The boat was Flixster favourite by a mile!

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The time did sadly come to have to say goodbye, and of course any trip out wouldn’t be complete without a child saying as you get back to the car “I need the toilet”……… so back to the entrance we went……then back to the car again….and finally we were setting off home. Both of them were spark out snoozing within minutes of leaving the Tatton Park site. Happy boys and happy parents. What a fab day we had enjoyed together as a family and another day for the memory banks. Thank you Geronimo team for inviting us to enjoy the day together.

 

 

 

Geronimo Tatton Park

I can’t believe how quickly the month is disappearing, and next weekend sees the second bank holiday of the month, for us this can only mean one thing. Geronimo Festival! For more details visit the official Geronimo website here.

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It’s our first time visiting Geronimo and we couldn’t be more excited. Geronimo is on at Tatton Park on 29th and 30th May (Sunday 29th now sold out) It’s going to be a spectacular, jam packed, family fun day aimed at families with children up to the age of 12. My two boys are 4 and 2, they are massive CBeebies fans so we’ll be getting to the main stage in plenty of time to see all their favourite characters including Cook & Line from Swashbuckle and Andy Day and Mr Bloom. This week I’m excited to announce that for fans visiting on Monday you will be able to see the Bafta award nominated Dick & Dom too! As well as the main stage shows there are lots and lots of other activities going on throughout the day including a circus skills workshop, jousting, live theatre shows and a zip wire! Each area of Geronimo will be packed with things to do and see.

Tickets for Geronimo are still onside and are priced £25 each with under 2’s going free and can be bought direct from the website.

Like all outdoor events the organisers can’t arrange the weather and although there are some indoor shelters with activities don’t forget your waterproofs and welly’s if the weather is forecast for rain or showers! And don’t forget to allow plenty of travel time to Tatton Park, you don’t want to miss part of the event because you were running a little bit late and got caught up in any traffic.

 

 

Printworks

When hubby and I first started dating around 11 years ago, our first date was spent in the Printworks Manchester, back then if I remember correctly the Printworks to me seemed to be full of bars and clubs, with a couple of restaurants thrown in as well as the Odeon cinema. I wouldn’t have thought of it then as a family destination. Todays trip has changed my perspective. Having spent most of our day there today has defiantly changed my mind and I’m grateful we got the chance to go and have a family day together.

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Family Time at the Printworks

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We started the morning with a trip to the Odeon cinema to watch the new Angry Birds Movie which was just released the day before we visited. It was Flixsters first time at the cinema so it was exciting for him to be having a ‘first’ too. Although he had been before when he as only a few weeks old, he was fast asleep in a sling on my chest so that doesn’t count! This time he had his very own seat and his very own childrens snack box. I wasn’t sure what to expect with a film based on an app but the film was pretty funny in parts, even for adults!

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I really like going to the cinema on a weekend morning as it’s usually full of other children so you know you that even if your little one talks it won’t be disturbing other peoples film experiences which is great as most people there will be understanding and have children themselves. The boy has been going to the cinema on weekends with one of us since he was about two and a half so he’s very used to sitting and enjoying a film, he takes after his dad who’s film mad!

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The family snack deal went down very well with everyone and at £9.99 for two childrens packs (with popcorn, snack and drink), a medium popcorn and two adult drinks I thought that was pretty good considering what you would expect to pay normally for each individual item.

Towards the end of the film I did take Flixster out for a little walk and then we watched the very end of the film from the exit corridor so that he wouldn’t be disturbing people, but it was only the last few minutes of a 90 minute film for someone who’s just turned two I don’t think thats bad. For the rest of the film he mostly sat watching and enjoying the big screen, it went far better than I had expected!

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After the film i could tell he was tired as it was hitting nap time so we popped him into the buggy and off he went to sleep as we had a little walk before lunch.

Lunch at Frankie and Bennys

Lunch was booked for Frankie and Benny’s which in the Printworks is almost opposite the cinema entrance. All the restaurants in the printworks look nice but I picked Frankie and Bennys as its somewhere I’ve not been for about 10 years. When I was dating hubby we went a few times but it never seemed to change much so I guess it sort of fell out of our radar. The boys had never been to Frankie and Bennys either so it was a nice treat for them.

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We were seated in a booth which was great for the children as hubby and I could block the exits and easily stop them from running around, sometimes when you sit at a table I seem to spend the entire meal repeating the words “please sit down”. The staff were very accommodating with the buggy too which was lovely of them, so we were able to have Flixster asleep next to us at the table whilst we had some food. He did wake later on in the meal and helped finish the chips and the dessert.

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The boy was super chuffed at his childrens menu, he loves being able to make his own choice of food and I love that he can feel grown up by reading and making his choices.

frankie and bennys printworks

Our waiter who if I remember correctly was called Janis was great with the boy, he really made him feel welcome which is lovely when you have children, you feel more relaxed about the meal and get to enjoy the family time together.

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As we were there at lunch time we choose our food from the lunchtime menu, I went for the fish with salad as I’m following a health eating plan at the moment and hubby went for burger. The boy also went for the build your own burger choice and decided to have it with cheese , bacon, ketchup and some fries and beans as side orders. We also ordered a starter of dough balls to share.

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I’m glad we did share them as there were lots to go round. Sometimes with dough balls at other restaurants you’d don’t get very many but I think the portion at Frankie and Bennys was just right.

My food was lovely and the salad was nice and fresh which to me is always a good sign, hubby said his burger was yummy and the boys plate was gobbled up pretty quickly and finished off by Flixster when he awoke from his nap! thankfully the soft drinks were unlimited refill which I prefer as you don’t have to worry about the cost or how thirsty you get, you know what you’re paying up front and theres no hidden extras when you get the bill!

The childrens’ meals came with a choice of drinks and as milk was on the menu thats what the boys ordered, milk lovers the both of them as they don’t like fizzy drinks.

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I skipped dessert but there seemed only one obvious choice for the boys to share and my boy had already spotted it on the menu! It was the Ice Cream Candy Shop, you do pay a little extra for it as its not part of the kids included desserts but   having seen the enjoyment my two had with it, I’d would treat them to it again next time. It does say great to share and I would say it was two much for just one of them so I’m glad they did share it between them. It came in a little wooden crate with a bowl of ice cream and various sweets to sprinkle on as well as a little jug of chocolate sauce. Upon seeing it for the first time the boy exclaimed “This is the best day ever!” which made me laugh quite a lot!

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It even came with a little paper bag to take any remaining sweets home which was a nice touch!

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Hubby choose the waffle and ice cream on recommendation from our waiter, he was not disappointed, I could smell how nice it was from across the table and sadly he had already tucked in before I got a photo!

By the end of the meal we were all perfectly satisfied and came out having had a lovely family day together, the trip has proven to me that the Printworks is much more a family destination now, and I look forward to more days out there together in the future to try out some of the other restaurants although the boy is already requesting to go back to Frankie and Bennys!

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Thanks from us to the Printworks for inviting us to come and enjoy some family time together!

 

 

 

This past weekend we were invited to an event run by TheHut.com in Manchester at Artisan kitchen and bar in Spinningfields which is one of my favourite areas of Manchester. This is a link to the hut’s website.

TheHut.com Summer Fun

As we are so fond of Spinningfields and the weather was so nice, we arrived early so we could have a nice walk around and enjoy the sunshine. Theres always something to look at in that area of Manchester and even the boys love exploring to see whats changed and whats new.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d not shopped with thehut.com before. I had heard of the company but I am not familiar with what they sell. The invitation was extended to family’s so I was hoping the boys would be kept entertained while I got a chance to look at the products.

On arrival we were greeted by this site, which was very welcome on such a hot day.

the hut

The boys enjoyed some soft drinks whilst I indulged in a glass of prosecco, it’s not often I get to drink whilst we are out as I’m usually driving so I jumped at the chance to have a small glass since I wouldn’t be driving home!

The juices looked so refreshing!

The boy made a beeline for the games and spotted a Disney version of Monopoly. He loves monopoly although his attention span isn’t very long so he plays his own made up version most of the time.

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Being a Disney mad family this is perfect for us and is on our ‘wish list’ now. I loved the details of the game, the playing pieces were just so lovely and intricate. Daddy tried to explain the rules again to him but often it’s just best to go with the flow and try to follow his own made up rules!

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While he was busy with the game Flixster spotted the Ninky Nonk (if you haven’t got young children this is a vehicle from a television show called In the Night Garden) and was very happy to spend a long time just pushing it around and playing with it.

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Perfect conditions for Mummy to indulge in a little browsing. The tables were set out with various different items and my first call had to be to the shoes, a little passion of mine although I haven’t been able to indulge in a while.

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I love the Vivenne Westwood ladies shoes, shame they weren’t my size but a fellow blogger did try them on and exclaim how comfortable they were (jealous!) We are already converse fans in our house so I was interested in the Superga shoes as I think they’d be much easier than laces for the boys whilst we are on holiday. If only I had a girl for the pink converse too!

Homeware from thehut.com

The other things I spotted were some lovely housewares (yes I know I should like an old person when in my head I’m still an 18 year old running wild!) These Calvin Klein towels would defiantly be kept for best and not rolled out with the regular pile the kids are ill! (yes everyone has those don’t they!) They are just so soft, if only I could have an adult only (no make that women only) bathroom.

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The clothes too looked lovely, in particular I had my eye on this Boss top, so floaty and summery it has to be on the wish list from thehut.com, I can see it being worn with some lovely skinny jeans and heels and a statement necklace.

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I was genuinely surprised at the range that thehut.com stock, I’ve since had a look at the website and there’s loads more choice on there too. They currently have a voucher on the website for 15% off for new customers so I’ll be making use of that myself. If you spend over £20 p&p is free and if the total is over £50 then next day delivery is included at no additional cost (I’m an impatient person so this is a nice bonus for me!)

I was genuinely surprised at the diverse amount of products that thehut.com sell and have enjoyed browsing through the website, there’s definitely a fair few things added to our family wish list.

My favourite thing though about thehut.com event apart from the chance to get my hands on some fabulous products was the chance to have a little family time together in a lovely surrounding on a sunny day and being able to chat to other lovely blog writers and hopefully make some new friends!

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