Tuesday 24 May 2016

Bradley: My Letter to You on Your 12th Birthday

Dear Bradley,
Last week you turned 12. Twelve. TWELVE. 
If I keep saying it, maybe it'll sink in a little more?!
I'm still getting my head around having a 12 year old.
Strangers can't quite believe I have a 12 year old either, 
you seem to have grown up so quickly whereas I still look quite young, 
too young to have a 12 year old son... apparently!
So, you're no longer my 'little boy', you're in secondary school, 
growing up, changing, finding yourself.
I'm hoping that this is the year you begin to mature, 
as you're still very silly and immature and you know this affects our relationship. 
You often make me very cross and you've recently been in trouble 
at school for this kind of behaviour and this led to you having your birthday treat cancelled.
You weren't happy, but we had to punish you somehow.
I hope you're going to turn this around and start to grow up a bit now you're 12.
It's a shame I have to be so negative but you know how important 
it is for me to get on well at school and be sensible.
I do want to work on our relationship. It's been difficult for you, I know. 
You had 10 years of being an only child, that's a LONG time. 
Then along came your little brother and you were no longer the centre of attention, 
you had to realise that you no longer had me all to yourself, 
you had to share me and I know this must have been hard for you to adjust.
I often want to spend more time with you when we get the chance, 
and when you're not being silly, it's great. 
We have fun and you always comment on me being in a good mood.
[see what happens when you behave ;)]
I wish you wanted to help out more, and wanted to do more things with us as a family, 
but you'd rather spend your time on your computer nowadays, which is a shame.
When you do spend time with Taylor, he loves it. 
He adores his big brother and gets very excited when you come home and play with him.
You love seeing him learn new things and he makes you laugh.
I love you, millions.
You have a heart of gold and I'm always so proud 
when people comment on how well mannered you are.
You're very clever, you've always made me proud academically. 
I know you're finding a few subjects quite difficult at school but just persevere with it,
 do your best and ask for help and support when you need it. 
That's all I ask of you.
People keep telling me that it'll just get worse once you 
become a teenager and hormones are flying everywhere. 
But I live in hope that this is the year that you're going to surprise me!
We shall see! ;)
Remember we love you, make it a good one!
Love, Mum x

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Saturday 21 May 2016

My Weightloss Journey - Month 1

weightloss, weight, slimming

I never really struggled with my weight, a naturally slim size 8-10 between 8.5 and 9.5 stone, even after having my first baby I slimmed down pretty quick.
However, having a baby in my 30's has been a whole different story. I don't have little babies, oh nooo, seems I give birth to toddler sized babies! So after a 10 lb-er, I was am still pretty big.
And with him turning 2 this August, I think the 'I've just had a massive baby' excuse has sailed.
I have no willpower.
I have no motivation.

There I've said it.
When it comes to food and fitness, I suck. 
I go through fad diets, then quickly give up when I'm having a bad day.
But I've decided I really need to do something about it. I'm not happy and I need to make some changes. I'm going to be bridesmaid for my best friends in September, so I have a huge incentive to fix up!!
I've decided to document everything on here, as I'm hoping it'll motivate me to work hard, if I have to update you guys on how I'm doing.
I work from home and I have a toddler to keep me busy every day. There is no time for gym or classes, so any exercise will be done at home.

Weight: 10 st 3 lbs
Waist: 39 inches
Hips: 40 inches
Chest: 39 inches
Arms: 10.5 inches
Legs: 22 inches

1. A loss, any loss.
2. To stick to my meal plan as much as poss.
3. To up my water intake.
4. To workout every day.
5. To take my matcha every day.
6. To be strict Monday - Thursday and allow myself a cheat day over the weekend.

So, wish me luck!!

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Wednesday 11 May 2016

A Day Out at Alton Towers

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

If you follow my Snapchat you'll have seen me snap my day out at Alton Towers recently. 
A fun-packed, family theme park set in beautiful Staffordshire countryside, with history and heritage that dates back to the 1800's.

Being a huge fan of theme parks and a bit of a thrill seeker when it comes to rollercoasters, I LOVE Alton Towers. I hadn't been for a few years so I was looking forward to a day out with my bestest to see what had changed. 

The resort is a huge theme park set around gorgeous castles and grounds, with rides and attractions for all ages. A perfect family day out. As well as the theme park, the resort also offers short break experiences in their themed hotels and water park. I'm desperate to check these out, hopefully soon!!

       Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

Fortunately, on the day we visited, the weather was absolutely beautiful! It was term time, so the kids were in school which meant it wasn't too busy at all. In fact, we hardly had to queue for any rides which was a novelty! 

Tip: Entrance to the park can be quite expensive, so I'd recommend booking online in advance or look out for special offer vouchers and BOGOF tickets.

We arrived just after opening, parked up and entered the park on the tram. As the park is pretty big, there is a Sky Ride going through the park if you don't fancy walking, although it was such a nice day it was nice to walk around.

Everywhere was clean and the grounds were so well kept. I would've loved to have spent a couple of days there and had a chance to explore the grounds a little more and have a picnic on the lawns.

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

Both Jemma and I are fans of big, adrenaline pumping rides so we aimed to get them all in! 
The Smiler was one neither of us had been on before so we were excited to get on, it looked amazing! And it was! It had us both giggling and screaming! I wanted to go on again! 

Staff were all friendly, on the ball and thorough during health and safety checks with each ride. It made a nice change to see staff happy to help and passionate about ensuring visitors have a happy and safe experience.

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

Tip: There are Fastrack packages available to purchase to reduce waiting time but luckily we hardly had to wait at all for any rides.

Recently opened Galactica was probably the only ride that had a slight queue. Previously known as 'Air' their iconic flying rollercoaster has been given a 'space flight' makeover. Enter the space station, smile into the port holes for your #SpaceSelfie and await the instructions on the screens. You're off into Space!

I wasn't sure what I thought of this ride. I did think it was really cleverly done. You get to wear a virtual reality visor, which at first you're filled with dread that it's going to fly off mid loop-the-loop but it was actually secured really comfortably. The floor disappears from beneath you [but of course you can't see this!] and you're lifted into horizontal position before your visor projects space flight images and sounds to create the feeling you're travelling through space. All with the motion of the rollercoaster and the wind whooshing around you. 

It was surreal. I felt strangely calm on this usually more adrenaline rilled ride, and I really enjoyed it. That said, it kind of took away the thrill of the flying rollercoaster, how you held your breath when you 'flew' close to the ground and your tummy turned when you flew upside down in the sky. 

Galactica was clever, but I missed Air. Great concept though.

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

Of course we relived all the old school favourites, Nemesis, Oblivion as well as 100kph Rita and the first free fall drop coaster, Thirteen. My favourites were definitely The Smiler and Oblivion. Can't beat a vertical drop! ;)

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

Of course, if you're not so much a thrill seeker there are tons of family friendly rides, smaller coasters, children's attractions, water rides and lots more. There's something for everyone to enjoy.

And if the water rides aren't your thing, while you're stood at the side holding the bags, there are water pistols ready and waiting to blast freezing cold water at people as they splash by on the rapids. As myself and Jemma found out! :)

Tip: You may want to check the resort website before your visit to see what rides and attractions are closed for refurbishment. I was slightly gutted the log flumes were closed!!

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

It was the perfect weather for a picnic on the lawns if we'd bought one, but there are plenty of food establishments placed around the park for whatever you fancy. We had lunch in The Burger Kitchen which was yummy!!

Had we visited a week later, we could have tried out the BRAND NEW Rollercoaster Restaurant where diners witness their meals travelling down a 'rollercoaster track' to their table. This sounds amazing and I can't wait to see how this works!

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

As well as the different cuisines available to eat in, there are a few places to grab a quick snack, and with the sun shining we took the opportunity to grab an ice cream. Now, Nitrogenie is no ordinary ice cream, it is made with liquid nitrogen. I had lemon meringue pie flavour. And let me tell you, it tasted AMAZING!!

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

There are many rides and attractions for younger children, including CBeebies Land which is well positioned next to the entrance so not too far for little ones to walk if the trip is solely to visit this. I cannot wait for Taylor to get a little older to be able to enjoy it here, he loves CBeebies. 

Full of bright colours and bouncy CBeebies music, the area is full of small rides, shows and interactive areas featuring favourite characters. 

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

There are so many great rides and attractions to enjoy.  We loved Duel, the haunted house that gives you the chance to blast the ghosts and ghouls with laser guns after they've made you jump! Jemma squealed and jumped the whole way round but still beat me with double the points!! :)

There is also a mini Sea Life centre, an Ice Age 4D experience and many other family friendly attractions.

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

My top tip if you're visiting Alton Towers is to plan in advance and take advantage of the offers online. It may be worth looking into FastTrak tickets or the DigiPass which enables you to receive all the ride photos.

Keep an eye on the digital queue time boards around the park, showing queue times for most rides, enabling you to decide which area and rides to head for next.

The Parent Queue Share Pass is a great idea if you have young children with you, one parent queues as normal while the other waits with the children, gets their pass punched so that the second parent can then head to the ride host to enter through the fast trak point, enabling both parents the chance to experience the big rides.

Alton Towers, National Holidays, days out, short breaks

Alton Towers is a great day out or short break for grown ups and little ones alike. I definitely recommend a visit! Why not relax and let National Holidays take you there by coach?

Have you been to Alton Towers recently? 
Which is your favourite ride?

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* I received complimentary tickets in return for this review.

Family Fever

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Trespass Babies Rain Suit - Review

trespass, baby, toddler, rain suit, all weather, outdoor play

It's so important for little ones to have the opportunity to have time outdoors, even in all weathers. Working in Early Years I know this all too well. 
Having access to regular outdoor play supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles, and children should have the opportunity to explore the outdoors whatever the weather. 

Taylor loves being outdoors, he loves exploring and being out in the open space. We're very lucky to have a big garden but the weather at the moment is so unpredictable, he hasn't been getting to spend as much time out there as he'd like. After a few days of rain, the ground can stay wet and muddy for a few days meaning his clothes would often get filthy.

The Sneezy Babies Rain Suit by Trespass is perfect for protecting little explorers clothes and is part of their Baby Boys Outerwear range.  

trespass, baby, toddler, rain suit, all weather, outdoor play

The fold away rain suit, which includes a waterproof jacket with hood and a pair of trousers with elasticated waist and hems, comes in it's own storage bag to carry around in case you're ever caught out in the rain. Baby will be kept dry with complete protection from the rain.

trespass, baby, toddler, rain suit, all weather, outdoor play
trespass, baby, toddler, rain suit, all weather, outdoor play

The suit, which is windproof, has 2000m waterproofing and taped seams that lock out moisture, is super cute and child friendly with it's crocodile print. Taylor happily popped it on for play time in the garden and I was confident his clothes were protected from the wet grass.

trespass, baby, toddler, rain suit, all weather, outdoor play

The coat can be used anytime as a lightweight waterproof jacket and I'll be reaching for the suit whatever the weather so Taylor can have time exploring the outdoors most days. 

The suit is easily folded up and stored in it's own little bag which is great for taking out on walks or long journeys incase of any downpours. It can be machine washed so after a little play in the rain or mud, you've no need to worry about cleaning it up!

No more wet and muddy clothes. No more worrying about being stuck indoors whilst it's drizzly outside or waiting for the grass to dry. No need to change clothes after every outdoor play time. No more worrying about getting caught up in a heavy shower. 

We love it!

trespass, baby, toddler, rain suit, all weather, outdoor play

Trespass Babies Rain Suit* is available to purchase on their website for £18.99 and comes in 3 different sizes from 6 months to 24 months.

Do your little ones love playing outdoors in all weathers?

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