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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Becoming A Single Parent.

A little over a week ago, I entered the journey of single-parenthood. It's been a tough old week, in fact its been a tough few months but still. I don't actually know what to say about this matter but feel its something part of my life which should be documented.
Choosing to become a single parent was much of a mutual decision between us, our relationship was not what it once was, one which had become a little unfair for us both. Never did either of us dream of separating, I mean we had a wedding next year, but its one which is for the best for everyone involved.
This past week I've not yet found parenting any different, maybe I should have done but nothing has changed. Maybe as time goes on I shall find it a little strange, maybe days when Jack isn't around.
So yep, posts from now-on wards will be pretty much about Jack and I, and our journey through this and making the most of it. Jack of course is my world and nothing will come between that.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Review: Disney On Ice 100 Years Of Magic

Last Saturday evening we headed to Birmingham NIA, soon to be Barclaycard Arena, to watch the Disney On Ice show. 
I've been to one Disney on Ice show previously and this was when I was much younger. I had always wanted to take Jack to one but felt he may not be quite ready. I was a little worried to how Jack would react, would he sit still? Would he run around? However, when I was given the opportunity to attend the show in return for a review, I jumped at the chance. 
We easily found out seats, although from the entrance we entered we were placed the other side of the arena. However, we were placed on tiered seats at the side of the rink but could clearly see everything with more or less nothing blocking our view. 

Right, onto the show, the show was opened by Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck, Goofy and Chip and Dale, which Jack loved. He has never really seen Mickey or Minnie that much before but he was so excited. The costumes were fantastic, exactly as I remember from when we visited Disney Florida. Even the skates on each of the costumes were fantastic with attention to detail. 
The first half of the show lasted around 45 minutes featuring scenes from Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast who were then joined by Disney Princesses, Finding Nemo, Toy Story (which Jack absolutely LOVED) followed by 'It's a Small World'. 

There was then a small interval, for toilet breaks, purchasing merchandise etc. Jack got a little amazed by the ice machine which smoothes the ice. 
This was then followed by roughly another 45 minute showing scenes from Pinocchio, Mulan, The Incredibles (which again Jack enjoyed) and Lion King. At the end of the show, all of the cast returned to the ice as various characters to give a final finale and shaking hands with the guests around the outer of the rink. 

The show itself was fantastic, with no faults at all. Each scene, although some rather different followed on from each other beautifully. All of the crowd were joining in with the songs. The set, costumes and overall skating was absolutely fantastic and faultless. How they manage to do all of that on Ice will always amaze me. 

I think the show was perfect for Jack, he really enjoyed it, and much to my surprise he stood still the whole way through and was dancing and clapping along, he seemed to really enjoy it. So if your thinking of going with Toddlers, I highly recommend it still. 

You can see where else the show will be stopping off at in our previous post here

Please Note: We received three tickets for the show for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Having my Hotter Moment with Hotter Shoes.

Back at the end of September I attended a blogger event with Hotter Shoes, we were invited along to there store in Mell Square, Solihull. To be honest I was going along for a change of scenery and to catch up with some lovely local bloggers. 

Right, lets start this by me being honest, before attending the event and whilst outside my thoughts were 'Hotter Shoes are old ladies shoes and something only my Nanna would wear'. Well how wrong was I, it does seem I'm not alone on this as a couple of others at the event also had the same thoughts. 

When we arrived we were greeted with some lovely snacks and drinks provided by Hotter, before watching a fab presentation and learning more about Hotter Shoes. Melanie gave us a fab talk about how Hotter shoes began and how they have grown and progressed over the last 15 years.
During the presentation we learnt all about Hotter's secrets of comfortable shoes including their concept comfort feature. This is clever hidden padding, soles and designs which make their shoes incredibly comfortable to wear. Each pair include cushioning, flexibility, lightness and wiggle room for toes. Hotter is the UK's biggest shoe manufacturer making a pair of shoes every 20 seconds. 80% of their shoes are still manufactured within the UK.

Anyway, back to shoes, shoes and I don't particularly go well together like some ladies love of shoes does. For me comfort is most important but finding a pair to fit my weirdly sized feet is a bonus.
After the presentation from Mel, we were let loose to look around the store and have our own 'Hotter Moment' and find a perfect pair to take home. When I found out we got to receive a pair of shoes I decided I would opt for comfort rather then style so that I would be able to wear them all day within my new job. There was a fantastic range of new styles and colour, including new season trend's, this is when I realised they aren't 'old lady shoes'. 

I instantly spotted and fell in love with the Donna shoes, in a beautiful navy suede finish, they were beautiful however maybe not practical for standing in for almost 9 hours. I then discovered the Jewel shoes, flat and comfortable and they fitted all of the boxes for me. When I tried on both pairs of the shoes, I had my hotter moment, they instantly felt like slippers and I wouldn't have been able to tell I was wearing proper shoes.
So I left the store with a beautiful pair of Jewel shoes in Black. Perfect to wear to work, and definately practical. Unforuntely I didn't have too good an experience with the Jewel shoes, the customer service team at Hotter are truly wonderful and I couldn't fault them one bit! On the Sunday following the event I then returned back to the store and picked up the others I fell in love with, Donna in navy suede.

I still have my eyes on a couple more pairs of Hotter Shoes, I think I'm now converted. I love my Donna shoes, and the excuse to wear something a little different to what I would normally wear. 

Please Note: I was invited along to the hotter event at the Solihull store. For attending the event we received a free pair of shoes in return for a review. 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Win a Pair Of Tickets To The Baby Show @ London Olympia

Being a Britax Mumbassador gives me lots of fun and exciting opportunities to share with you all. 

From 24th – 26th October, The Baby Show will be at London Olympia, and as a Britax Mumbassador, I’ve been given 2 tickets to give away to one of my lucky followers!

Britax will be on stand F65 at the Baby Show, showcasing the Affinity pushchair. Suitable from birth, this pushchair combines safety and style. With its range of gorgeous colours, this pushchair is designed for parents looking for the ultimate in style, but without compromising on safety, comfort or ease of use. Britax will also be showing off the DUALFIX car seat. A clever ISOFIX Group 0+ & 1 car seat that swivels a full 360°, it offers parents the choice to leave their child rearward facing up until 18kg (approx. 4 years) or turn them 180° to a forward facing position from 9kg, without the need to reinstall the seat. With DUALFIX’s 360° flexibility, parents have the choice to make the decision that best suits their family’s needs.

Alongside these products, Britax will have the popular BOB active stroller range on hand to try at the show at stand number G80. BOB is the sporty little brother providing products for active families, including the all-terrain power pushchair BOB Revolution® PRO. This stroller launched earlier in 2014 and is the first pushchair on the market that has a swivel wheel which is safe and approved for running and skating in the UK and Europe. This also makes it perfect for everyday use too, providing nimble manoeuvrability even in tight spaces!
Enter into the give-away below and you could find yourself on your way to The Baby Show to see the latest products on the market. The competition closes on 17th October, so don’t miss out on your chance to attend!

Pair Of Tickets To The Baby Show @ London Olympia

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Having a better nights sleep with Dormeo

At the beginning of the month we were asked if we would like to review a memory foam mattress from Dormeo. If I'm honest, this took no thinking at all and there was a instant reply of yes. We have needed a new mattress for a while now as our has slowly given up, but as funds are a bit far stretched we have made manage. So a perfect opportunity seeming as we had just finished decorating. 

I had heard many things about memory foam mattresses, many of them being good so we were rather excited to get to try one.
The mattress we were given to review was the Dormeo Memory, which has a comfort grade of medium, suiting most people particularly those who sleep mainly on their sides, with both Ashley and I do. 
'An upper layer of visco-elastic memory foam is sewn directly into the Florentine-stitched cover to guarantee a sumptuous, accepting softness on your body.
Beneath the sumptuous upper-layer lies a deep foundation of supportive, patented Ecocell. The 3D open-cell foam gives your body the base and foundation it needs for that vital, consistent back support.'
The mattress also features a structure preventing the build-up of heat and moisture on the sleeping surface, whilst also being anti-static and protecting against dust mites.

This matress comes in a range of sizes from Single to Super King and all come with free standard P&P and a 60 night comfort guarantee. 

So, what do we think. Well first impressions were very weird. A small rectangular box arrived supposidly being our new mattress. I was simply unsure how this could be so. HOwever, we opened the box to find a vacuum packed mattress. Once the packaging was opened we left the mattress to settle for the day whilst we were at work. When home you would never have known this mattress came packed so small. 

Then came our first night of actually sleeping on the mattress, well that was very strange. I'm not entirely sure why they have an entirely different feel to a standard mattress. But it was the best nights sleep I had had in a long time. The memory foam mattress have no bounce in them, which Jack doesn't particularly like, but it makes for a comfier night sleep. As for the cooling element I've not been as warm as I sometimes am during the night, which I think is of the help oft he mattress. 

The mattress is also incredibly light making it easy to manouver when changing the bed sheets, heaven. 
For anyone looking for a new mattress or thinking of trying a memory foam I would definately recommend them. 
Also I would highly recommend Dormeo, at the moment they have a great sale on, but there prices seem reasonable anyway.

Disclaimer: We were sent a mattress for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own and not influenced.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Working full time and crazy life of recent

Since I've returned to work full time, I've not blogged as much as my life seems to have taken a crazy turn. As well as starting a whole new job I also decided to return to work full time.
I somehow thought my life would be better, I'd have less things to do etc etc. However I couldn't have been more wrong.
Within my new role I am currently doing some training, whilst this is easy as I do it at work. My body still doesn't seem to be used to the idea. Of course I am using my brain a lot more which is what I wanted but then by the time I return home I'm extremly tired. Within my old job, I worked two days a week a Monday and Thursday, I didn't really need to use my brain too much and I had been doing the job for a long time it was like second nature - also I sat down for majority of the day. However now, I work Monday to Friday occasionally Saturdays and once I qualify Sundays too, use my brain for the enterity of the day and stand on my feet all day. I used to have plenty of time to spend with Jack, do household chores and meet my friends and relax - now I have none. Once I'm home, I have all the things to do I would normally have done within the day time so having no time at all for blogging or at the very least social media.

To top all of this off, a couple of weeks ago my poor mum was taken ill, and we had to have the paramedics out to her, luckily she was fine but they asked her to make an emergency appointment at the GPs for the Monday. I took a super early lunch at work and went along to the GPs with my mum to know what was happening, from there she got rushed to A&E and was treated for a heart attack. Now for those of you who maybe don't know me too well, my mum is my world and I'd be totally lost without her. So cue a mini panic from me, luckily she didn't have a heart attack although a couple of weeks on we are still not entirely sure what happened.

Following from this, I've been trying my best to try and fit in some family time with Ashley, we are struggling a little to find time to spend at the moment since starting my new job and he's been working overtime. We are still trying to complete operation garden whilst trying to plan the wedding and many other things.

I'm hoping I can begin to plan my time a little better, hope to get Jack back into a bedtime routine so I can have some time to blog, or at least catch up on social media. I'm also hoping I can plan some family time in as well without worrying about other things.

Life sets us many a challenge, this being one of many of mine. Heres hoping we come out the other side well.

Peppa Pig's Big Splash UK Tour

If you have young children, or maybe even if not, you are sure to know who Peppa Pig is. Many children are a fan of the mischievous little pink pig. Anyway, Peppa Pig and family have captured the hearts and many hours of many pre-schoolers and toddlers over the past couple of years.

Now summer is over and its time to find warmer ways to keep the children entertained, thats where Peppa Pig's Big Splash Tour comes in. Peppa Pig and family are touring the UK and Ireland again this Autumn/Winter and are set to keep all Peppa Pig fans happy, incorporating lots of fun, laughter and of course muddy puddles.

The show promises to be an all-singing, all-dancing adventure with puppets and sing-a-long opportunities.
The following trailer gives you a little glimpse.

Throughout October the tour will be visiting Woking, Isle Of Wight, Bristol, Southampton, Bournemouth, Clacton-On-Sea, Billingham, Nottingham and Leeds and then visiting London in December.

Of course, when planning an adventure we as parents have many things to consider such as transport and accomodation if not near. We always look at other things to do in and around and possibly making a weekend of overnight visit. Finding accomodation with children can sometimes be a long process finding something family friendly. If you are visiting the show in Southampton there is a choice between Holiday Inn Southampton, Holiday Inn Eastleigh or Holiday Inn Fareham. You could possibly even visit Peppa Pig World too. Alternatively if visiting the show in Woking there is Holiday Inn Farnborough

In Collaboration with IHG.