This Saturday just gone it was preview weekend for the Lego Batman Movie. So we headed out to our local cinema to treat the boys to a morning out! We went for a morning showing , hoping that we won’t ruin any adults who may also what to watch (the Flixster doesn’t always sit still or quietly!)
We needn’t have worried though he was great throughout the film. He’s still only 2 but will mostly sit though a film. Especially when its something he likes.
The combination of Lego and Batman had both of the boys captivated. I say both I should say all, since hubby liked it too!
If you like action (in the form of lego action) then this is most definitely a film you will enjoy. I laughed quite a lot too. Given that I don’t normally go for action films I have to say it was a good watch! There are quite a few adult jokes, I’m not talking rude panto style innuendo , I mean jokes that adults will laugh along with.
Thomas most defiantly enjoyed it. Having not spoken all the way through he was sucked into the whole movie. It is quite long for a lego film (at almost 2 hours – 110 minutes I think) however the plot line moves quickly along and in no time it was already the credits so you’re not sat there hoping it would end soon.
I think it will be one the boys want to buy on blu-ray when it comes out, just like the original lego movie they loved it!
In short if you like lego and batman go watch the film. Its out on general release from this Friday 10th February.
I love the changing of the seasons, my favourite season is most defiantly summer. But each season has it’s own unique beauty and winter is undoubtedly the frost kissed grass and sunny mornings. In winter it’s easy to catch the sunrise as it’s so late. It’s not so easy always to take a minute to appreciate its sheer beauty. This weeks photo was capture on my iPhone from a moving vehicle (I wasn’t the driver!) I was so impressed at how well it came out. I really love how cold it feels.
As some people might already know we are a family of Disney lovers and we are very lucky to also be DVC owners (if you don’t know what this means in simple terms its a property investment in Disney thats very flexible and suits our family) We love to visit Walt Disney World in Florida and are very lucky to have been quite a few times.
Memories in our Special Place
Walt Disney World hold very many special memories for us as a couple. It was our first holiday together back in 2005 (although I had been before) The place hubby almost proposed……..almost……
We took our honeymoon in Walt Disney World.
Thomas’s first holiday abroad holiday was there.
Felix’s first holiday was there too.
We’ve been with friends and family, although I’d still love to be able to take my mum, maybe one day!
Trip Report Introduction
Last year we were lucky enough to be able to spend 3 sun, fun and family filled weeks in the beautiful Walt Disney World resort making incredible memories. Although it was last August it’s taken me this long to start writing about it. We stayed one week at Coronado Springs Resort followed by 2 weeks at our DVC home resort Bay Lake Tower. We flew Thomas Cook airline (another first as we have always flown Virgin Atlantic in the past) something I was nervous about as I’d read mixed reviews. I will go into detail about the flight later.
I am going to break up the trip report into parts or it would be too long for one post!
Despite having been to Walt Disney World many times, there were as always lots of ‘firsts’ on this trip, which I want to write down for the boys. Also lots of familiar things which we have very much missed having not been since 2013.
It’s quite hard to explain when you haven’t been to Walt Disney World just how magical the place is. The staff (or cast members as they are known) go the extra mile to make you feel welcome. Nothing is too much trouble, they make you feel welcome everywhere you go. The whole resort is clean, and not just clean, spotlessly so (or so I have always found). It’s welcoming to everyone, young, old, those with and without children with them. There usually sunshine at some point each day and it’s generally warm (I did have to once buy joggers and a blanket, not this trip though!)
So the first part of the report will be travel day. I look forward to sharing our trip with the blog!
You might be wondering what emetophobia actually is. Alternatively you might be here because you have it and might want to find out more. Lastly you might be here to read about another person’s experience of suffering with this phobia.
Now before I start properly talking about it I thought I’d mention a trigger warning. Some people with this phobia don’t like to read the ‘v’ word. I am not bothered by it so I will be using it. Everybody’s experience of this phobia is different so I’ll just be talking about me and my experience.
If you’re still reading this I’ll assume you’re ok with reading the word, so welcome and lets move on!
Until about 4 years ago I didn’t even know the word for the phobia I have. I didn’t know it was a thing. I just thought everyone was as scared as I was. Apparently not. My phobia has become far worse since having children. I’m thankfully every day for a husband who doesn’t have the same phobia. He is my rock in the hard times for me.
Emetophobia is essentially a fear of vomiting. People who suffer with emetophobia can have very different fears around vomiting. Not all emetophbics suffer in the same way. So as I talk about it I am describing my person experience, which I know from reading isn’t the same as other people’s experience so please bear that in mind.
Having read a lot about emetophobia it is mostly caused by a childhood experience of vomiting, either by yourself or someone else. I think I know what my experience was but don’t want to type it out on here.
I am scared of the following things. Me vomiting, I am petrified. The children vomiting if theres any chance I can catch it. If I knew they were vomiting for another reason, say a migraine I’m not so bad, but still the underlying fear is there.
The fear of the unknown vomit, that scares me.
I’m scared of other people vomiting if I don’t know the cause. If I know there’s a bug going around and they have mentioned being in anxiety creeps in. If I know they have been sick because they are pregnant or hung over that ok, I can pretty much cope with that.
I’m petrified of someone in our house having a vomiting bug. The anxiety that this causes me is awful. I am lucky in life that not much makes me anxious. I’m blessed to be on the whole a calm and measured person. I’m not a born worrier. I am generally cool about most things except the one thing I can’t control.
I think that’s the worst thing about emetophobia, you can’t avoid it. With most phobias, for example flying or heights you can generally avoid them. You don’t have to fly if you don’t want to (mostly) or go to high places and look down. With emetophobia, you can do lots to minimise the risks but you can’t totally avoid it. Especially when you have children in nursery and schools, there’s no way to control who they mix with or how hygienic it is.
I want to explain what happens with my phobia and what my symptoms are (again these can be different for everyone). When I think that someone in our house is sick or going to be ill then I get almost instant anxiety. Anyone who’s suffered from anxiety will know that symptoms can vary. For me the anxiety manifests itself as my stomach churning over, I feel sick, for an emtophobic this couldn’t get much worse. There’s a knot inside my stomach, which for an emetophobic is the last thing you want, because this then spirals into worry that actually I am also going to be ill.
I try to reason with myself and think about the worst possible thing that could happen. The worst possible thing that could happen is that everyone in the house is poorly (at worst at the same time) and that would mean being ill for maybe 24-48 hours followed by a period of recovery. However my head won’t listen and never sees beyond the illness to the period of recovery. I assume that we will be ill forever, the vomiting will never ever stop, I would be in emetophobia hell. For some reason I can’t rationalise it out in my head. I become petrified. Feeling so guilty that I can barely hug my own children when they are poorly.
I just don’t know how to handle this phobia, I can’t avoid the trigger. It occupies my thoughts a lot. I sometimes wonder if me thinking about it causes it to happen more?
I’d love to hear from anyone also suffers, and even so much more so if you’ve recovered. I know theres a few programmes out there to try and tackle it but I need to know they actually work before I invest my hard earned money. I can not carry on like this though, spending the winter months in a constant state of worry when I’m not with the children.
In a nationwide search which assessed over 175 million reviews, Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club have been voted to have the best Breakfast in the North West by Hotel search website trivago.co.uk. This weekend we were invited down to taste the award wining breakfast.
Weekend time is precious time in our home. We like to make the most of our time together. During the week with the rush of work, school and nursery we barely get any time to spend together where we can truly relax. So we were all very much looking forward to a weekend breakfast not far from home.
The Worsley Marriott Hotel & Country Club is set in beautiful grounds and as we arrived on Saturday we were greeted by the stunning sight of the sun rising above the frost covered grounds.
We followed the signs to our destination – The Grill in the Park at the Worsley Park Marriott.
Grill in the Park
Bring in the Grill in the Park is like being in a log cabin, the decor is lovely and the soft wood theme and striped carpets make for a calm and quiet atmosphere. Breakfast at the Grill in the Park is a self service and contains a wide selection of cooked as well as cold options. Priced at £16 per person for the buffet or £12 for continental option. Just £10 if residents add breakfast with a room at check in.
We were shown to our table and offered a hot drink which was brought out to us. If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know we are coffee lovers so there was only one choice for us!
The boys were set on getting cereal to start their breakfast, as a special treat they chose coco pops.
Even at this point Thomas was giving it the two thumbs up.
I went for a walk around all the choices to make sure I knew what was available. I noticed that there was a lovely selection for those people who need to have Gluten free. You don’t often see this at breakfasts so I thought it was a really great plus for the Worsley Park Marriott.
I had a small bowl of steaming hot porridge with some fruit to start. I love having oats in the morning. Followed by some smoked salmon and scrambled egg. The eggs were some of the best I have ever tasted and highly recommended. There was yogurts and fresh fruit as well as sliced ham and cheese. With three choices of fruit juice alongside white and brown bread to toast.
Hubby went straight for the recommended option of an omelette cooked to order by the chef at the hot breakfast selection. You can choose your own fillings and it’s cooked right in front of you. He chose Bury black pudding and blue cheese another recommendation.
He said it was really nice. I’m not a fan of black pudding but I did taste the cheese with the omelette and it was very tasty. I did consider having one made with just the cheese but as I was already full I thought I’d save it for next time!
Whilst at the omelette station he noticed that there was a waffle iron too. Mentioning this to Thomas was a mistake as then he wanted one. He was already on his second course, local back bacon and sausage with a hash brown and scrambled egg. That boy can eat!
We agreed that if he finished his food we would get a waffle to share. I can’t say I was disappointed or surprised when he finished, I wanted to try the waffle too!
We shared it between the four of us (with syrup on) it was tasty!
With full tummies having enjoyed a tasty start to the day we were finished. It really was delicious and I have to say the lovely serene atmosphere was an added extra. The Worsley Park Marriott is a beautiful hotel set in stunning surroundings. I can understand why it has been voted the best breakfast in the North West. It is by far the best breakfast we’ve had out as a family for a long time and we have already said we’ll return.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and there’s no better way to start it than with a fabulous breakfast at the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club, we can’t wait to go back!
It’s been quite some time since I wrote a proper letter to you. So I thought I’d start 2017 with a letter about our Christmas memories of 2016. I know that you will each remember in your own special way but at just 5 and 2 year old memories will become hazy and fade with time. So here’s a letter all about our celebrations.
The Countdown Begins
December started off as I always like it to start, a letter to Father Christmas ( I prefer to call him that, I know ‘Santa’ rolls of the tongue but to me he’s Father Christmas)
We walked together to the post box to post your carefully written letters. Well Thomas wrote one and Felix just scrawled a mark and I wrote some things for him.
Then on the morning of December 1st you came down to find the advent gifts and the elf door.
I wrote a post back in 2014 about the door which can be found here.
The elf door has returned year after year since then. This year it turned up right beside the fire place.
You each had a chocolate advent calendar as well as an additional toy advent calendar. Thomas you got the Lego City one and Felix you had the Vtech toot toot one. As well as the calendars the Christmas Dvd’s arrived and a couple of books too. I don’t like to keep the Christmas Dvd’s out all year round or they don’t feel special.
Late Night Shopping
With the countdown to Christmas on I promised to take you late night shopping Thomas. As a child this was one of my favourite memories of Christmas. Unlike today there was no local huge shopping centre that was open all hours. Late night shopping meant a special trip to the local town (usually a Thursday night) when all the shops would be open late. In my childhood the coffee shop culture wasn’t the thing it is now either so there would be no coffee stop. Something which probably seems the norm to you two boys.
For me late night shopping at Christmas would mean dressing up warm and for a special treat getting the bus to the town and going in and out of the shops to look for Christmas presents. These days most of my things are bought online so even the actual ac of “shopping” seems like a treat even to me! So I took you shopping Thomas, but instead of a town we went to the Trafford Centre. I had a few bits to get so it seemed logical. It was a late night for you, way past your bedtime but you seemed to enjoy it non the less. I treated you to your first ever McFlurry too and I had a coffee. Of course being an ice cream fan you were impressed!
I took you to chose a birthday and Christmas present for daddy. You chose some pyjamas and some socks. Typical Daddy presents!
Christmas School Play
On the 13th and 14th of December it was time for your school Christmas play Thomas. Although you are in year 1 now and this was your second year in school it was the first play you had done. In reception you were at a different school and they just did a songs show. I felt a bit swizzled, I only got to see you stand in an all black outfit and sing. Although it was lovely it just wasn’t the same as a ‘Christmas show’. So this year I sat (and stood as I was at the back) though your show. It was beautiful. You were a star this year and I could see that you did your very best to perform. I know you’d been practising at school for weeks so when the night finally came I was excited to watch it.
I was so proud of you. Always remember that I love you so very much beautiful boy. My heart swelled with pride as you copied the dance moves and sung your heart out. Knowing all the words.
Well done little man and to all key stage 1, it was a fabulous show and a credit to you all.
Rotary Club Father Christmas
A few nights later the rotary club Father Christmas was due to visit our area. I think we peaked a little too soon and got a bit excited about this! We seemed to have to wait for what seemed like ages! I heard the music from the float about an hour before he got to our street, and sadly that night it was raining. But we were desperate not to miss him so ended up in and out of the house for about an hour to just keep looking! Finally it was our turn, and you both were very excited by his visit. You put your money in the collection box. Thats what I love about you Thomas you are very generous even when you don’t have much to give. Then you had photos and we went to bed. Late again but with happy hearts.
I’m not sure you were to pleased to get too close Felix but you were excited by the lights and music!
Then it was time for mummies night out with work. The Saturday of my Christmas do had come and I am thankful that my lovely husband was there to look after you both whilst mummy got to go out and have some Christmas food and drinks with work friends. I loved it and felt great now that I’d lost 2 stone with Slimming World last year.
By now it was almost Christmas, not long until the big day but we still had school and work to get through!
On the 18th of December you and I Thomas made this gingerbread house together, well I say together. We were supposed to make it together but you were somewhat distracted by a film at the time. So I ploughed on through and this was the result. I was pretty proud of it considering it was the first time I’d put one together. Ok it was a kit but still, it stood up! And it looked pretty nice on the coffee station over the Christmas period too.
Your school Thomas didn’t break up until the 22nd December so the countdown was short once school was out! Felix you were in nursery until the 23rd.
On Friday the 23rd I was still at work and so was daddy but you were off Thomas. Daddy was working from home but had a very important call to make in the morning so for the first time you came with me to work for just a couple of hours. You were so good and sat in the office whilst I got on with the job. Everyone loved seeing you and said how good you were. For you it was a treat to be in work with mummy and you took the responsibility of being the recycling bin manager very carefully. People in our office were having a nice Christmas tidy up and were giving you paper waste to put into the slot in the bin which you loved.
Daddy picked you up by 11 and I was able to finish the day off and get the job done. Making sure everything was ok before I left for Christmas. I am so lucky that I didn’t have to work over the Christmas period so got 4 days off before I had to go back.
We were also lucky that Christmas fell on a Sunday so Christmas eve was a Saturday. Lots of time to get festive and prepare for the big day to come.
Christmas eve morning another tradition. The arrival of the Christmas eve box and the disappearance of the elf.
Theres always new pjs, a film, some chocolate, some fun things to do and the reindeer food.
During the day we spent most of the time just hanging around, playing and preparing. Daddy and I did as much as we could to get the meal prepared ahead of time so that we could spend Christmas morning with you both and not in the kitchen. I laid the table and prepared the conservatory for the big day. This year we had moved the table to the conservatory to make room for more play in the house.
It works well because we are lucky enough to have a table in the kitchen to eat on for everyday meals. By 4pm we all went to church for the crib service.
Christmas Eve – The Evening
On our return we had our traditional Christmas eve buffet. Just the four of us. We watched Muppets Christmas carol and drank hot chocolate. I have always watched muppets Christmas carol on Christmas eve for as long as I can remember. Since my mum bought the VHS (you’ll have to google that boys to find out what it is!) we have always watched it on Christmas eve, something I will continue with you boys too. Of course now we have it on streaming so no actual physical disk or video required! Despite that I still only get the dvd out on christmas eve.
So with new pjs on and hearts full of excitement it was time to scatter the reindeer food and go up to bed!
Mince pie, milk and carrot left out and up you went!
You probably have realised boys how much I love Christmas. My heart is aching just writing this, sad that it’s all over for another year. I already miss the excitement and the anticipation.
The day, this was it, the much anticipated day was here!!
We woke up before you as you’d both been having late nights and had got into a later morning routine which was nice.
Thomas you were up first to discover the stocking on your door. You raced into us to wake us up (we were already awake!). The Felix you were up not long after. We all got quickly dressed (also a tradition, which is weird as any other weekend we’d be downstairs in pjs!) and went down for breakfast. On the way down you discover the Father Christmas had wrapped the living room door too as a surprise! How funny!
Christmas breakfast is always a treat. Usually its smoked salmon but this year we were going to have pancake stacks. Trying to relive our american trip I think! I had also bought pop tarts for you two. I know they are incredibly bad for you and so full of rubbish but it was a special day!
We sat at the table and unwrapped the stockings, you both loved it. I had (and still do) have a heart full of happiness. I love seeing the magic in your faces.
After a lovely breakfast it was time for the main event, the presents! Now I didn’t take lots of picture at this point because we were just enjoying being together and opening some gifts. You both loved the what you had received. Thomas your main present was Lego Dimensions, which you were so happy with. And Felix your main gift was the Vtech Toot toot friends house. You love playing with people and houses so that was a hit!
One of the other presents that you loved Thomas was the Usborne Maze Book. I can’t recommend this enough for children who love to do mazes. It’s full of different kinds of finger mazes to do, which kept him occupied for ages and still does!
Not long after we done most of the presents my parents arrived, they were coming for dinner. We all opened some more presents and then hubby and I got on with cooking some dinner (well mainly he cooked and I helped a bit!)
I opened some lovely Prosecco for dinner, theres on me who drinks in our house. my dad had a glass too but my mum was driving so didn’t have any.
Even here as we start dinner you can see the maze book is still bing intently studied!
Dinner was lovely, cooked mainly by daddy the chef. Everyone enjoyed it and it was a reall family time.
Felix your choice of food didn’t surprise anyone…
Just 6 pigs in blankets for you! You love your sausages! I love that you nearly lined them up too. Although you are speaking loads Felix you still call them ‘dosages’ which is just so cute!
After dinner we had some coffee and a play with all the new toys. All too soon it was time for your Grandparents to leave. With full tummies and tired but happy we all headed to bed. That was it Christmas day over for another year. It had been an amazing day and w are so lucky to have such lovely people and things in our lives.
Today is the first day of a new year. A new year always bring such promise. Such amazing new beginnings. Each year I like billions of other make new years resolutions. Resolutions that start out so meaningful. Resolutions that often get broken within a month or two. So of course I couldn’t really break my traditions of making new resolutions. I just figure I’ll write them down so I’m more accountable to someone, if only myself!
My 2017 Resolutions
Lose weight – I know everyone probably has this on their list. Last year I attended slimming world and managed to lose 2 stone. It was 2 stone of baby weight that really needed to go. Flixster was turning 2 and it was time. I drifted away from slimming world after we came back from Florida and that was my mistake. I know I’ve gained a little weight back. Thankfully no where near all of it but I have decided to go back this year and rejoin. The food optimising plan really suits me so I’m going to rejoin. I’d love to get back to what I weighed when I got married but I’ve got a long way to go. I haven’t decided if I’m going to blog about it yet as weight bothers me so I’m not sure.
Have more fun – This one involves finding more time. Or more accurately trying to make better use of my time. I want to be able to have more fun with the children. I want to be able to just play with them when they ask me too. Just being able to put down what I’m doing and play. Be like a child again. Be there for them.
Pay off the debts. We don’t have a lot of debt but with husband being out of work for a while and moving house things have started to mount up a little. At the moment they are manageable but I just want to be debt free. So for this I need to work hard and focus on where our money is going and direct it to the right place.
Be more organised – This includes all areas of my life. I need to be more organised with food and meal planning for the family. I need to be more organised at work and be more prepared for things happening. I’d like to write more, so I need to schedule in the time properly for that.
Do more exercise – Yes another one on most peoples lists. I have learned from previous years that I need to start small with this one. If I go in all guns blazing and make promises I can’t keep I fail. So for this one I’m just going to aim for at least one serious exercise session a week, but more would be great.
So I’ve kept it simple with 5 resolutions. Lets hope that 2017 brings me the motivation and time to stick to them. At least they are written down now! I need to regularly revisit them and make sure my motivations are still in place.
Last week I went on my final Christmas shopping trip to the actual shops. It’s an annual thing for my mum and I to go to the Intu Trafford Centre together to go and see all the lights and festive windows and decorations.
We often eat out at Wagamama and I’ve written about before so was delighted when they asked me to come along and try their new delicious dishes, some amazing sounding steam bun based side dishes.
Steamed Buns at Wagamama
They are called ‘Hirata Buns’ which are a popular Asian street food. Wagamama has seen an increase in demand for the steamed bun side and so to change things up a bit there are now four different steamed buns to try. The two that we picked were mixed mushroom and aubergine as well as tori kara age and fresh tomato. The first were described as two small, fluffy asian buns stuffed with mixed mushrooms and panko aubergine, served with japanese mayonnaise and coriander.
They were nice and I would have them again but by far my favourite were the other ones. Those we described as two small, fluffy asian buns stuffed with tori kara age and fresh tomato. Served with japanese mayonnaise and coriander.
I love the freshness of the tomato with the tori kara age, it seemed to go well together. The sweetness of the steamed buns was also a perfect combination. I would warn you though that they are filling so if I had them again I’d combine it with a different side for variety. Although thankfully on this occasion the boys weren’t with us or I’d would of probably not got a look in. I think they would love the steamed bun range!
No trip to Wagamama for me would be complete without a classic Yaki Udon. It is my absolute favourite item on the Wagamama menu. So tasty and filling and alway freshly prepared.
Alongside the food I usually choose a fresh juice. This trip I asked the waiter for his recommendation and he suggested a positive juice. Which was pineapple, lime, spinach, cucumber and apple. He was right it was delicious!
As always we came away feeling satisfied and knowing we’d eaten great food freshly prepared to order. If you’re looking for somewhere to share a family meal over the festive season then I’d suggest you find a Wagamama. I can’t imagine it will be long before we go back again. We really enjoyed the steamed buns and some lovely fresh food.
Thanks to Wagamama for inviting us to try the new ranges.
If you’ve ever dreamed of an indoor Christmas themed fun park then look no further than Winter Wonderland at Eventcity. Event city is next door to the Trafford Centre. There are rides, shows and fun galore to be had when you walk through the doors of this very special Christmas treat!
Last year we had so much fun the boys didn’t want to leave and we can’t wait to go again! In addition to the rides there are bouncy castles and slides a plenty.
Winter Wonderland 2016 runs from 10th December 2016 to 1st January 2017. It is all indoors at Eventcity right next to the Trafford Centre. With loads of free parking available you’re sure to have a fab time. Each session lasts 4 hours and includes all rides. Also the Basil Brush Show, the Cinderella Mini Panto, the Christmas Circus and a Meet & Greet with the big man himself! Of course the sessions after the 24th December don’t include Santa as he’ll be off having a very well deserved rest!
New shows for 2016
As well as the rides, there will be a dazzling array of colourful shows. Including an exciting new addition for 2016 – Christmas pantomime – Cinderella! There will also be a brand-new Sci-Fi show, a Christmas circus, Pip Ahoy! from Channel 5’s Milkshake and a chance to meet the nation’s favourite fox – Basil Brush! Santa Claus is inviting all the children to come and visit him! Children will be enchanted by the Ice Princesses, Fairies and Elves who love to play and chat and have ‘s-elfies’ with the children.
There will also be a whole host of games stalls and a vast array of food and drinks stalls to purchase.R Refreshments including hot snacks and sweet treats.
We have been kindly offered a family ticket to give away for Winter Wonderland for use on the evening of December 12th – this session starts at 6:30pm.