Keeping The Kids Busy This Summer With David Lloyd

For some of us the long school summer holidays are already upon us or they are only a few days away and I’m sure that many of you are the same as me and having mixed feelings about it.

I absolutely adore having mine at home with me but it can also be a real struggle to keep them entertained and also work around them when all they want to do is have your attention.

This is where David Lloyd Health Clubs are an absolute godsend and offer anything from a fulfilled day with all the family, a few hours in a club or two to keep them occupied, full days of childcare and so much more.

With Oscar set to start school this September and Frankie needing a little extra extra push with swimming we are booking onto the intense course to really make sure they get their water wings ready!

It is not only swimming that All Stars at David Lloyd offer. They can learn skills in tennis and gymnastics too with the clubs expert coaches who make learning lots of fun!

As well as keeping fit as a family by swimming together, have a game of tennis or taking part in one of the family friendly circuit or spin classes the children can join in one of the many clubs that DL Kids offer. If sport isn’t their thing then there are plenty of other ways to keep them entertained such as film club, arts and crafts or Nintendo Wii sessions.

These clubs are a great way to keep them entertained and make new friends while you can take part in a class, head to the gym or even enjoy a treatment in the spa.

The holidays can be a really tricky time for working parents and finding childcare that the children will enjoy can be a real challenge. At David Lloyd you have the option of half or full days in their very resonantly priced holiday camps where the children can enjoy all the fun of DL Kids plus a yummy lunch…what could they possibly not enjoy about this!

My younger ones are pretty easy to please and are happy to give anything a go. My eldest son however is pretty hard to drag away from the Xbox but by some kind of miracle David Lloyd has managed to do that! He has loved coming to win as a family and of course fill his belly in the DLicious Cafe which is always a hit with us all for its deliiocs coffees, creamy smoothies and vast choice of healthy hot and cold meals. All of which can be enjoyed in the cafe itself or in the dedicated children’s area where the kids can left of steam in the soft play or spend some time on the built-in iPads.

Some thing he is yet to try is are the special 11+ gym, swimming and tennis sessions which he has his sights set on the summer.

With this wonderful weather we are having at the moment we also want to spend as much time as we can outside and David Lloyd has a large number of clubs with outdoor pools which we are itching to try out. Outdoor swimming in the UK is pretty limited these days so this really is a fantastic addition.

I’m sure there are things that I haven’t covered as the fun at David Lloyd is so expense you really need to see it to belive it. Why not nip along to your local club and see for yourself what a membership could offer you and your family this summer.

*collaborated post

Camp Bestival 2018 Family Ticket GIVEAWAY

With only a few short weeks left until the summer holidays begin I’m sure that a lot of you are already thinking about how to fill those long six weeks. We already have a few exciting things planned with one of them kicking off the holidays in the best way ever – Camp Bestival.

We are literally on countdown now as there is under five weeks to go and the line up is looking as incredible as ever!

Lulworth Castle will soon be turned into one of the most immense festivals you could wish to take your little ones too with entertainment from Mr Tumble, Dick and Dom, Mister Maker And The Shapes, Dinosaur World Live, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Gruesome Nature Live and bundles more!

If it is music you are looking for then you are in for a treat as taking to the stage this year are Simple Minds, Rick Astley, Clean Bandit, Orbital, Basement Jaxx, Shed Seven, Tokyo Myers, Declan McKenna, DJ Sara Cox taking things back to the 80,s and for the teens there is YouTube sensation, HRVY.

Something that always appeals to us as a family is the huge range of food on offer and this year seems to be just as good with traders such as River Cottage and the Feast Collective, DJ BBQ and his BBQ Zoo, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen and one I’m very much looking forward too – Rob and Josie’s Gin Festival.

There is a huge choice of accommodation to which may come as a surprise to many of you. Not only can you pitch up yourself, there is also the option to pick a more luxurious stay in one of the yurts, tipis or gypsy caravans that really would make your stay all that more special.

If this sounds like your kind of thing…and lets face it who wouldn’t then I have a family ticket up for grabs and you can enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T&Cs

•The prize includes weekend tickets to Camp Bestival for two adults and up to four children (under 18)

• Prize is non-transferrable

• Winners names will be added to a guest list for wristband collection onsite

• ID will be required for collection

• Full Camp Bestival T&Cs here

Disney On Ice Is Back With Worlds Of Enchantment

A few weeks ago Izzy and I took to the ice with Frankie Bridge and some of the stars from Disney On Ice to practice some moves whilst they were getting ready for the new show – Worlds Of Enchantment.

It is set to be yet another jaw dropping show with Ariel and her undersea kingdom, Lightning McQueen and his friends racing round the rink, the timeless classics from Toy Story that I know will be the favourite of my boys and of course there couldn’t be a show set on ice without an appearance from Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff.

Take a look below at just a snippet of what there is to see and keep an eye out of what we thought when we visit the show at the SSE Arena next week. It really would make the perfect day out this Easter!

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Seven

Well I am really playing catch up with myself this week and I am really behind with my “celebrating the small things” posts, however I promised myself I wouldn’t miss a week and I’m going to stick to it.

This week I’m going to be looking back over half term which was a pretty horrendous one for us to be honest!

All of the children were ill until the end of the week and to say I was getting cabin fever would be an understatement, but we still managed to get a few good moments to record.

Feeling Grateful For My Job: School holidays can be a real issue when it comes to thinking of things to occupy the children and this is where I am extremely grateful for my work as it brings such amazing opportunities for the children and allows their time off to be filled with amazing memories.

This half term we were asked if we would like to become Chessington World Of Adventure ambassadors again this year so it would have been rude to not have a trip to celebrate wouldn’t it. We also had a wonderful afternoon at a Little Miss And Mr Men Tea Party where the children were treated to an afternoon of food, fun and personalised pictures from Adam Hargreaves.

Growing Up Fast: I received an email from Oscar’s nursery to let me know that they would be changing things a little at nursery to get the older ones ready for their big move to reception this coming September.

If I’m honest it gave me a big lump in my throat to think that my last little one would be moving on and I won’t have a little one around the house during the day anymore.

We spent a good while that afternoon practicing writing his name and learning his numbers and I was immensely proud of how far he has come…even if I’m not quite ready for it!

Feeling Proud Of My ‘Middlish’ Child: I say ‘middlish’ as when you have five children there isn’t really a middle child is there!

The one I am referring to however is Izzy. I often underestimate how much she does for me and when I sit back and think about it I would be pretty lost without her.

I always told myself that it was my decision to have a large family and putting on the older children was something I wouldn’t do as it has never been their choice.

In reality though a huge part of my day involves try to solo parent whilst working and this is no mean feat at times and I have to call in some help which 9 times out of 10 falls on Izzy.

Don’t get me wrong she loves to have a moan and a groan about it at times but is always there to help wether I ask or not and I really need to show her my gratitude for this more often.

Giggles Galore And Family Fun At Camp Bestival

When it comes to Camp Bestival nobody is left out. There really is something for anyone from 1-100 and at no point throghout the whole festival is there time for anyone to get bored.

As the countdown begins the line ups are looking more and more exciting and if it’s things to keep the family happy you are looking for or having some belly laughs for yourself then this year all these bases are certainly covered.

Top of the comedy bill is award winning Sean Lock who is probably best known for his captain spot on 8 Out Of 10 Cats who will be taking to the stage in the Big Top on Sunday afternoon.

Veteran of comedy Dave Jones will also be heading back to Camp Bestival this year. He has been touring festivals and comedy clubs for three decades now and always enjoys his time with his family at Camp Bestival.

Another familiar face who will be returning this year is Andrew Maxwell, one comedy great modern stand-ups.

If its more family fun you are after then the line up is looking pretty spectacular already!

Camp Bestival regulars Mr Tumble and Dick and Dom will be there to keep the little ones entertained, joined again by Mister Maker And The Shapes who were a huge hit with my youngest ones last year.

Something that we are really looking forward to is the Nautical Gorilla Circus And Flying Trapeze School that will have everyone in awe at their dazzling and death defying acts, there will even be the chance to have a go yourself.

Andy And The Odd Socks will be making an apperance with the fun filled show of singing and dancing that is sure to entertain everyone.

The Magic Meadow will be home to a very special guest this year – The Whale Of The Pirates Misadventure. There will be a chance to climb inside the 50ft inflatable sperm whale and see all sorts of seaside tales.

Lastly a very exciting festival exclusive is going to be show casing this year – ZSL London Zoo: Gruesome Nature Live with an interactive musical show. There is all fun an interesting facts to find out about from who has the slimiest eyeball to which species of animal can endure fire.

This really is just a small snippet of whats to come this year and I I can’t wait to let you know more about this fantastic festival.

There is still plenty of time book your tickets and I have left all the info below:

Camp Bestival Ticket Info:

Camp Bestival 2018 will take place on July 26th – 29th. Early Bird tickets and Weekly Payment Plan are on sale now. Book Tickets here / 0844 888 4410

WEEKLY PAYMENT PLAN

The Camping Bestival 2018 Weekly Payment Plan is on sale now. Use our 25-week payment plan from £7 per week. Book online via Ticketline only.

TICKET EARLY BIRD PRICES

Adult Weekend Ticket – £180*

Student Weekend Ticket – £175*

Age 13 to 17 Weekend Ticket – £111.20*

Age 10 to 12 Weekend Ticket – £84.75*

Age 5 to 9 Weekend Ticket – £31.75*

Age 4 & Under Weekend Ticket – £10.60*

Babes in Arms (1 & Under) – FREE (but ticket required)*

*All weekend tickets include camping from Thursday

*Please refer to the Camp Bestival Ticket Terms & Conditions

Camping Plus, Boutique, Backstage and Hospitality tickets are available.

Car Parking – £20 in advance

Campervan Ticket (Field A) – £90 – please read Campervan T&Cs here before booking

Caravan / Trailer Tent Ticket (Field A) – £100 – please read Caravan / Trailer Tent T&Cs here before booking

Festival Programme Pack – £10 (reserve your festival programme pack to collect on site at the festival)

Around The World In 18 Raves:Camp Bestival Warm Up Tour With Big Fish Little Fish

As I am writing this the sun is shining through the window and I have to say I’m getting a little bit excited for the spring and summer to finally arrive.

The warmer weather for me is the que for me to start dusting off the sequins (well actually mine don’t really get put away)in preparation for festival season.

Last year we got into the spirit of things by attending the Big Fish Little Fish event at Dreamland in Margate and we are looking forward to returning again to get into the festival mood!

Big fish Little Fish put on amazing events that allow little ones to get their groove on along with their parents. Think glitter, sparkle, bubbles, lights and great music all wrapped up into a fantastic few hours that the whole family will love.

This year the tour will be travelling to 18 cities and will be based around Camp Bestivals theme this year which is celebrating all things nautical.

There will be a nautical themed craft area, baby chill out zone, a dance floor filled with bubbles, balloons and glitter and a very special parachute dance.

There will also be a chance for the whole family to have some fun in the photo booth whist trying to win a family ticket to Camp Bestival.

If this sounds up your street then take a look HERE at the differnt locations the tour will be visiting and get those tickets booked!

Celebrating The Small Things:Week One

When I first started blogging it was a subject I knew very little about, and to say that I went into it blindly would be an understatement; but through the encouragement of family and friends I began my blogging journey and haven’t looked back since.

Over the past few years my blog has gone from strength to strength, it has now become my full time job and has bought me and my family some of the most amazing opportunities and allowed us to meet some wonderful people…some of which I would now class as good friends.

My blog is a place that I come to when I want people to find out about a great day out we have been on, somewhere I can give advice on great new products I have tried out or to celebrate big milestones in our lives; but as the New Year sets in and we naturally evaluate the different parts of our lives I have realised there is one area I have really overlooked when it comes to writing…The Small Things.

There are so many small moments in our lives that we take for granted or miss all together, moments that although may seem small and insignificant they give us great pleasure and we should learn to cherish and show our gratitude for them all.

I have decided to now do a weekly post highlighting all those little moments that would normally pass me by as a document to look back on in years to come and remember fondly.

Brotherly love: When it comes to the youngest two its always been a bit of a love hate relationship, with the latter certainly being more predominant, so when a special moment such as Frankie requesting to take his little brother out to share his birthday treat is an occasion that should be marked.

Lego: This may seem like a strange one, but the wonderful world of Lego has bought us all so much joy since Christmas in many ways. It dominated the youngest two’s christmas lists this year but has brought the whole family such pleasure and brought us together for some much needed quality time as we all muck in trying to make the next creation.

Storytime: Its been more than a few years since Izzy has requested a bedtime story, and to be truthful its not very often she willingly picks up a book! So after buying her the fantastic Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls it has been an absolute pleasure to see her engrossed in reading and sharing what she has learnt about a whole host of ‘kick arse’ women.

Mini Ninja At Yo Sushi – Boxpark

I am very lucky that all of my children bar one are open to try pretty much any food that they are introduced to.

This has opened them up to experiencing a wide variety of different cuisines with sushi coming pretty high up on their list of loves.

Trying to make it for ourselves though is something even I haven’t attempted so when we were asked along to Yo Sushi at Boxpark, Croydon I was as excited as the children!

On a Tuesday and Wednesday at 11am during the summer holidays Yo Sushi is running their Mini Ninja Sushi making masterclass aimed at children aged 5-12.

Being as unorganised as always I hadn’t looked at the recommended age range and in fact went along with Oscar(3) and Frankie(5) and Izzy(11).

Our super friendly Sushi maestro sat the children down and got them kitted out in their hats and gloves in preparation to get creating.

They were all given instructions sheets on how to make Maki, Salmon Nigi and Crab Handrolls.

These weren’t neeeded as the children were shown step by step how to make each piece and there was plenty of hands on help if neeeded.

Usually the attention span of my children is limited to cupcakes but amazingly they sat through the whole hour without a fidget or a moan.

Once their boxes were filled with yummy sushi made by their own fair hands there was a quick game of who could move the edamame beans the quickest which was great to burn off a bit of energy.

At the end of the session they were awarded a certificate for all their hard word and given a bag to take home their sushi and the rolling mats they used so they could have a go again at home.

My lot however couldn’t wait to get home to eat so we sat for a while eating there creations whilst I sampled some delightful pork buns that I will certainly be returning again for.

There is still time to get you litttle ones booked in at several different locations around the country and it has certainly come highly recommended from us!
 *Collaborated post 

Just A Week To Go:Camp Bestival

My excitement is building by the minute as we get closer and closer to our trip to this years Camp Bestival.
Memories from last year keep flooding back and we are all looking forward to visiting old favourites and trying out lots of new experiences that will create a whole host of new memories for us all.

It may only be a week until the fun begins but there is still a few tickets available if you want to come along and join in the fun.

If you are a visual person like me and are still a little undecided if it’s the kind of thing for you then take a peek at this Camp Bestival video and see what a fabulous place it is to be!

 

Camping In Comfort With Pitch

Many of you may like the ‘roughing it’ side to camping and enjoy the whole process of finding the perfect spot to pitch up in and doing it all for yourselves.

I however find the whole process extremely stressful and with the lack of patience and knowledge my husband and I have pitching a tent is a recipe for disaster.

We had our first experience of this last year at Camp Bestival and let’s just say it wasn’t the best start to our trip away.

Tempers were frayed, there was sweat dripping from us all and the final product wasn’t exactly how it should have been.

It will certainly be something to look back in and laugh about but if this stressful few hours had of been taken out of the equation I think it would have made for a much happier start.

A few weeks ago we had our annual trip to Elderflower Fields and our saviour came in the name of Chris from Pitch.

Chris runs a bell tent hire company with a real difference, and was something that did in fact exceed all my expectation.

Upon arrival at the festival we were greeted with an extremely friendly welcome from Chris and the sight of the stunning tent that we were going to have the pleasure of staying in all weekend.

There was so much attention to detail in everything that had been set up, from the fluffy duvets and pillows to the pretty fairy lights and bunting adorning the tent both inside and out.

It really was a home from home and noting about it felt remotely like our previous experience of staying under canvas.

Another huge plus for me was the amount of headroom we got in this tent.

Trying to get children dressed and undressed is so much easier when you have the room to stand and walk about and the extra space also allowed for us to be more organised which is always a bonus.

For me the tent really came to life at night and certainly stood out from the crowd.

Each night we were cosy and warm and even during a huge thunderstorm not a drip of water came though.

Rolling the sides up during the day  allowed fresh air into the tent and it really felt like we were bringing the outside in.

Instead of rushing down to join in with the festival we were all super relaxed in the comfort off the tent which is always a good sign and a far cry from our previous experience.

There are an array of packages from the basic tent and beds to the whole chibang of cooking equipment and even outdoor games to keep everyone occupied.
I can’t recommend Pitch enough if you want the experience of camping with the comfort of home.

From a busy festival to a secluded beach trip, Pitch is the perfect way to camp in comfort and style and trying them out is a must!

*we were given the hire of this  tent for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.