Friday, 30 March 2018

Enjoy being an Ice Age explorer at West Midlands Safari Park this Easter

We are big animal lovers in our family and a lot of our days out involve going to see animals, either at attractions or just going out and about in the great outdoors. It's been a little while since we last went to West Midlands Safari Park (we go to the fireworks there every year), and even longer since we attended the launch of the Land of Living Dinosaurs, and I am really keen to go back soon as Ethan gets really excited and would gain so much more from the experience now he's older too.

We have the perfect excuse to go this Easter holidays as the UK’s largest Ice Age exhibit is opening at West Midland Safari Park TODAY!


Here's what I have found out about this latest attraction...

Ice Age is an immersive, multi-sensory experience, allowing guests to step back in time and walk amongst the magnificent creatures that roamed the Earth millions of years ago. An investment of £1.25 million has been put into this project and the WMSP team has created three distinct and interactive time zones, plus there's an enormous rumbling volcano and huge atmospheric ice cave installations, both of which can be walked through by intrepid explorers.

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Thursday, 29 March 2018

Enchanted by Disney - Disney On Ice, Worlds of Enchantment Show Review

Not sure if I have mentioned this before, but we LOVE Disney as a family (ok, so maybe it's slipped in once or twice - be it DisneyLife, Oh My Disney, Disneyland Paris or many other posts that make a mention of it!). We all have our favourite stories, from classics to the new Disney Pixar films, and Mickey Mouse is just the greatest character. So, you can probably imagine just how much fun we had at Disney On Ice: Worlds of Enchantment, which has just come to Genting Arena Birmingham.


On until 1st April in Birmingham, before heading off around the country to Nottingham, Liverpool, Cardiff, London and Aberdeen, this is a fantastic awe-inspiring show to go and see.

We went to the last Disney on Ice show last year, Passport to Adventure, and it is a bi-annual event that tours the UK with a cast of your favourite characters.

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Jelly Invaders and choctastic fun with Cadbury

Just as the Easter weekend is about to start, I have a few more events to share with you that you might enjoy (links to all my other posts at the bottom too!).


Take part in the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, and help the National Trust, or hop to Cadbury World to see some special guests


If you have some young explorers in your family, the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, 30th March to 2nd April, offers an really different kind of eggsperience.

Families can take part in egg hunts through muddy woodlands, heathland, along nature trails and through spring gardens blooming with life, with six different Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts to choose from – in the region, choose from Charlecote Park, Moseley Old Hall and Packwood House.

Plus, every time you take part in a Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, you’ll be helping the National Trust fund vital conservation work to protect our special places across the U.K.
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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

5 modern interior design ideas to give your home a lift

Our home is our castle and any king or queen knows that a castle needs to look its best. The trouble is, life can take its toll on any home and over time, leave it looking tired. Rather than just accept that your home is past its best, why not see if interior design can help you to transform it? 
There are a surprising amount of ways that you can make sure that your home is not only perfectly designed but modern and stylish too. 

 Written in association with Balustrade Components

For a truly modern approach to design in your home, you can’t go far wrong with a Frameless Glass Balustrade. They are not only stylish, but they give your home a truly modern look too. 
Want to find other ways to give your home a lift? To help you, we have put together 5 of the best modern interior design ideas that you can try in your home. 
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Food fiesta - trying the new menu at Chiquito

I absolutely LOVE Mexican food. The salsa, the guacamole, the melted cheese - what's not to love?! Seriously, if there's cheese, avocado and / or lime involved, I am there; this is my idea of food and drink heaven.


So, you can imagine how excited I was to hear about the new menu at Chiquito and how quick we headed down to one of our local restaurants, in Walsall, to try it for ourselves.

WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS IMAGES THAT WILL MAKE YOUR MOUTH WATER...

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Monday, 26 March 2018

Easter shopping, egg hunts and an indoor nature trail

Because I am looking for things to do over the Easter holidays, I have been looking at different events going on in and around the Birmingham and Midlands area and wanted to carry on sharing some ideas with you.


In Mell Square, Solihull, there will be an egg hunt and to launch it, on Saturday 31st March, the Easter bunny will be on-site from 10:30am to 12:30pm to give the first 50 families an exclusive goodie bag. Then, from 31st March to 15th April, children and their families will be able to take part in the egg hunt for free, where you will be tasked with finding the colourful egg stickers that are hiding in store windows, before ending the trail in Poplar Way to guess how may eggs are in the box.

Shoppers can pick up their entry card from across Mell Square, and once complete, the card can be returned to the post-box – found at Virgin Holidays in House of Fraser, Drury Arcade – to be in with a chance of winning a prize bundle from selected retailers.
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Friday, 23 March 2018

Top tips and what's on at Drayton Manor this Easter

You can't beat a theme park for a fun family day out really, can you? We love going to them as they offer so much to do, not just rides, and had a great time for Ethan's birthday last year at Chessington World of Adventures as well as at least one trip a year to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor.

If possible, I'd love to go again at some point over the Easter holidays and thought as it's a popular attraction in the Midlands area, I'd share my top tips for a tip top visit to Drayton Manor - as well as some information about their exciting Easter celebrations too...


Ethan, like many boys and girls, has loved Thomas the Tank Engine since a young age and having the chance to see the characters comes to life never fails to put a big smile on his face.

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Thursday, 22 March 2018

How to make a quick and easy Easter bonnet

No doubt if your child is at nursery, preschool or primary school, they will have been tasked with making an Easter bonnet or hat.

That is, they need one and you'll have to make it (if they're particularly little), unless you've been super prepared and your local supermarket is well stocked.


I never had to make something like this myself until a couple of years ago and at the time, I wasn't sure where to start. When I looked in Asda for inspiration, they didn't have any of the cool items I've since seen to make a bonnet, including hat bases and all the trimmings (all really cheap too, so worth checking out if you're stuck), so I had a go at making something using an ordinary hat.


It worked well and we will probably do the same again this year, so I thought I'd share my idea again in case it helps any other mums or dads panicing that they can't find a bonnet for love nor money...



We picked up a straw trilby hat for £4. Ethan loves hats and I figured that with careful decoration, we'd easily be able to revert the hat back after Easter so he can use this as a summer hat.

We had some tissue paper at home and I also had a few Easter egg paper shapes cut out plus feathers, so I figured there was enough to give this bonnet thing a go.

Ethan coloured in a polystyrene egg for means I fixed this with some elastic at the front of the hat, looping it through the holes. I then wrapped the tissue paper around the top and fixed with some sticky dots.


I added a banner to the front, Easter egg shapes to the sides and themed washi tape all the way round the circumference. I then topped if off with some coloured feathers and an Easter chick.


It's definitely looks home-made and it's bright and cheery - hopefully it will do the job!


I wanted to make an effort but also not worry too much as I know it will probably be a wreck by the end of the day.



Little man seems pleased with it too and I can't wait to see what fun they have doing their parade this week.

***

What do you think of this hat we made a couple of years ago? We did the same again last year and it was really practical for school too!

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Easter Fun Day at Symphony Hall, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Birmingham Library

As I mentioned earlier this week, I am REALLY looking forward to the Easter holidays and having a bit of a break and some quality time with Ethan, and some time together as a family. I am looking at things we can do during our week together, then Ste's week with Ethan, and sharing a few ideas on here over these couple of weeks (see my post about National Trust property Baddesley Clinton).

If the Easter hols start for you next week and your local to Birmingham, then you might want to head to Symphony Hall, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Birmingham Library as they are opening their doors to host a free Easter Family Fun Day on Thursday 29th March.



You can bounce your way through pop up performances, crafts and interactive storytelling sessions, plus there will be family friendly backstage tours to go on, so lots of exciting things to fill the day with, starting from 10am and running until 4pm. 

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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

From red to rose gold - home hair colour change tutorial

I’m pretty well known for changing my hair frequently and I’m quite brave when it comes to trying new looks, particularly new colours, and will dye my hair at home even when it’s a dramatic change, but do visit the hairdressers once or twice a year too for something completely different.

I like bright or bold colours and I really like blended hair tones too - why be just one hair colour when you can be a few?!

Ombré hair do is quite practical as it can help with root regrowth, and a couple of years ago I first tried this at home myself and shared a tutorial of the end result.

Having updated my hair colour at the weekend, taking my deep red locks to a brighter palette of rose gold / peach, I thought I’d share how I did it in case you’re brave enough to change your colour at home.


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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Clearing up some common home heating oil misconceptions


If you’re moving house and your new place has an oil-fired central heating system, then you’ll almost certainly hear all manner of horror stories from friends and family about how expensive, dirty and unreliable oil is.

* Collaborative post


Don’t panic, just nod and smile at the naysayers and then remind yourself of these busted myths.
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A little bit of Lush - a haul from my first proper visit

Up until a few weeks ago, I had never been to a Lush store before. I'll let that sink in for a minute. I seem to be the only person I know or follow that hadn't experienced this brand firsthand before and perhaps even more shockingly, I had never EVER enjoyed a Lush bath bomb.

What the?!

All that has changed now and I have enjoyed several Lush baths, trying out different bombs and melts, and picked up a good haul of things to try out...


I picked up Angels on Bare Skin (£7.50 for 100g) as a soft cleanser, as I have some psoriasis on my face now and need something that will be gentle. I thought that trying some Lush products would be a good idea for my sensitive skin, as they may be less harsh and aggravating. I really like Angels on Bare Skin - you mix a small amount in the palm of your hand with some water and it becomes like a paste that you rub onto our face, leaving it feel really clean.

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Monday, 19 March 2018

Midlands days out and places to visit this Easter - Baddesley Clinton

I am counting down the days until the Easter holidays and when Ethan has a break from school so we can spend some quality time together. I will have one week of the break off and hubs the other, and I want to plan lots of nice things to do together - including places to visit, so thought I would share some of the attractions and locations we have visited across the Midlands before as well as any other new ideas we have, in a series of posts over the next couple of weeks.

Today, I'm sharing a past post of mine, from when we visited National Trust location, Baddesley Clinton...

I've always been interested in getting a National Trust membership as I love the great outdoors and have always been fascinated with history, so the idea of having a pass to visit so many great locations whenever the fancy takes us is one I rather like.

It's amazing how many things are just around the corner when you look for them and, at the weekend, we discovered another new place to spend a lovely day out.

National Trust property Baddesley Clinton, in the Midlands - To Become Mum

We visited Baddesley Clinton, a National Trust moated manor house built in the 1500's. Steeped in history and with acres of gardens and land to explore, we were looking to spend a nice day in the sunshine as a family.

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How To Get An Emotional Support Animal Letter From Doctor

The social nature of man is known to all. In fact, the emotional aspect of the human personality needs as much care as the entire physical and mental aspect. It is because if a person is emotionally strong, he may sail through all situations of life in an easy and assured manner. Unfortunately, numbers of people worldwide suffer from certain emotional problems. These may get reflected in the form of disorders related to the mental as well as emotional aspect of the human personality. Such people certainly need a companion that may help in offering emotional support and let the concerned person overcome the mental disorder or disturbances. 


* Collaborative post


Emotional support animals are the best option in this regard. In fact, the trend of keeping emotional support animals is increasing day-by-day as pets prove to be as caring and supportive as human beings. In order to keep an emotional support animal, you definitely need to get an emotional support animal letter from the mental health care experts. Now one may wonder how to ask doctor for emotional support animal letter. Let us try to get an apt answer to this question in current article. 

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Friday, 16 March 2018

8 Frugal Kids’ Birthday Party Ideas


We want to give our kids the best. We want their birthday parties to be elaborate get-togethers that they will remember for years to come. This means only the best decorations, food, and entertainment.

Well, that’s the dream anyways. However, our wallets don’t always agree with the grandiose of our dreams. That doesn’t mean that we need to give up our dreams of the perfect party, though. 

* Collaborative post


It's not long until Ethan's birthday, and the party we are planning, and in this post, I'm going to share some ideas as to how you can throw your kid a great party without breaking the bank.
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Thursday, 15 March 2018

5 ways to speed-clean your kitchen

The family is round for dinner and everyone has just about finished tucking into their Sunday roast. All eyes are now on you to take on the challenge of washing up. No one likes cleaning at the best of times - even less so after a big dinner - so, finding ways to clean up as quickly as possible will make the task much more bearable.


Here are just five ways you can speed-clean your kitchen, to get back to the fun:

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Want a bright future for your kids? Get them excited with STEM subjects


There are no guarantees of what will happen in the future - when our children or grandchildren reach adulthood, who knows what their lives will be like?

* Collaborative post

Perhaps no one will have to work, and everything is done by robots? Maybe everything from food to houses will be created by 3D printing machines? Or maybe with the increasing population rates, jobs will be scarce - and times could be tough.

But one thing we can say with certainty is that there will be certain skills that will always be in demand - those of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math - or the STEM subjects, as they are now referred to.

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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Mother’s Day reminds us that we are the perfect mum, in our own special way

Mother’s Day May be another occasion where card companies and retailers all see pound signs and try to convince us that the more we buy, the more we show we care, but it shouldn’t mean it’s another day to shrug off.


Ever since Ethan was a bump, Mother’s Day has been an exciting date for me. It may be just another Sunday, and another day being me and being Ethan’s mum, but it is a special day to enjoy together. It’s a chance to step back and appreciate what you have in each other. How far you have come. The love that you have. The effort you put in. 


It’s a time to really think about the most important relationship you have, and how with each year, it changes.
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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

5 ways to treat yourself – and not a wine glass in sight!


We all know that life can sometimes be a little difficult, and as parents and carers it can be easy to neglect yourself in the busy world we find ourselves in. You need to take care of yourself. But finding the time – or even knowing where to begin, can be difficult.

Well, while we’re on the subject sit back, relax, get yourself a cup of tea (or something cold and fruity) and check out these ways to treat yourself, right now!

* Collaborative post


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Why did I wait so long to try these?!

You know sometimes, you hear about something or somebody recommends something to you, but you just never seem to get around to trying it for yourself?

Recently, I have discovered three beauty tools which were just that; things I had seen somewhere or had been recommended but for some reason, I never actually thought about giving them a go.

Until now.

Using some Christmas money, I decided to pick up three new things to try out and I am really glad I did.


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Monday, 5 March 2018

A Mother's Day wishlist

Sunday will be my fourth Mother's Day, although when Ethan was a bump in my tummy, he managed to still send me some flowers, a teddy and card so really it'll be like my fifth. And to me it may just be another day, another Sunday with my bubs, but is means so much. It sounds silly, but I sometimes still can't believe that I am a mama and having Mother's Day is just a lovely excuse to remember the most important role I have, and enjoy celebrating the special ocassion with my little family.

And, of course, to celebrate the two other mums in my life - my mum, who says she never wants anything for Mother's Day, and my mother-in-law, who says she already has what she needs. Gift buying for others can be tricky, right?!

I've always got my eye on a few things (I can't help it, I love window shopping!) so I thought I'd share a few things on my wishlist right now, as they might inspire a gift idea for you for Mother's Day...



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Sunday, 4 March 2018

Snow day fun - #MeandMine / #MySundayPhoto

Perhaps like everyone else in this week's link up, I've chosen a snowy photo for #MySundayPhoto. It snowed on and off this week but it was only towards the end that it made any real impact in the Midlands and it led to us having a snow day or two in the end.

We bought a sled, took Ethan up and down the hill we live on and ventured to the shops too for supplies. Ethan and Daddy also built Ethan's first snowman, so it's been a weekend of firsts.

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Friday, 2 March 2018

Be Brave in Bandages and wrap up for Big Bandage day 2018


I am not a very brave person. I am scared of spiders, not that good with heights, get spooked in the dark, often have dreams where I am falling or trapped and I have never had a leg or bikini wax. Fact.

If I think about the scariest or hardest times in my life, like child-birth or miscarriage, I guess I have had to be brave - either put on a brave face or just get myself through it any way I could - but overall, I'm not one to take risks or do something that scares me.

Brave is a label best saved for those who really do have challenges and do their best to face them head on.

Like the children at Birmingham Children's Hospital.


Now I can't read a story about the great work the hospital charity does or the case studies of the children they help without getting teary. Ethan is my world and I cannot imagine every having to go through what some families have to. It's the reason why I got so behind The Big Sleuth last year (a trail of bear statues across Birmingham to raise important funds) and the reason I am sharing this post, as it is a brilliant cause, close to home and I know the people who work in the fundraising team, so wanted to do my bit to support their latest appeal...


One of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s largest annual fundraising events, Big Bandage is back and the charity is looking for it to be BIGGER, braver and better than ever with its Big Bandage Day on Friday 9 March!
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