David Lloyd Know How To Party

As I’m sure most of you know by now that I only have praise for the amazing health club that is – David Lloyd.

It helped my find my mojo again and was the catalyst for my weight loss, it’s a great way to spend quality time as a family as well as keeps you fit and it has even pulled my gaming mad son away from his Xbox which is no mean feat and I will be talking more about this soon.

As well as everything I have mentioned above one of the big pulls for me is the sense of community that David Lloyd encourages. There was is always something going on from quiz nights to BBQs and the other evening we went along to experience this at the kids Halloween party.

The three hour long party was full of fun from beginning to end. The children got the chance to make slime, try their luck with the slimy lucky dip, bob for apples, get their faces painted and so much more!

The staff all got into the spirit of the event and were dressed up and full of life. They boogied away with the kids and seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as the children.

All parties need some good food and there was plenty on offer…even cheeseburgers in the shape of pumpkins!

It was the perfect way to kick off our Halloween half term and has only instilled in me more why David Lloyd is the only health club we would choose.

*We have been given a family membership for the purpose of these posts and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Needing To Feel Needed

This week bought the day I had been dreading for so long and to most of you this may seem extreme, but after a long twenty one years of having a little ones at home with me this era of my life has almost come to an end.

I have spent hours upon hours craving a few hours on my own to grab a child free coffee and now the silence is strange, I have moaned so many times about my mornings being filled with hectic and noisy soft play visits and luke warm coffee being drunk at toddler groups which I’m now finding myself longing for.

My work over the past few years has been crammed into a few small hours during the day and leaving me having to put in hours way later into the evening that I liked. My new found freedom should be a blessing to finally get back to a proper working day but instead I’m craving the sound of Cbeebies in the background and requests for snacks every few minutes and I think this is where I really finding it hard… I’m no longer needed!

The care of my last little bundle has been handed over to someone else who as I know to well will become their font of knowledge, his independence will grow even greater and all those things that I have moaned about and tired of over the years such as wiping noses and buttoning shirts will soon be a thing of the past and in a strange way I’m really going to miss all of this.

Of course I know that nothing lasts forever and I want and encourage my children to be confident, strong willed and independent but this doesn’t help me feeling a little more redundant with each new step they reach. The person that I have been for over two decades is slowing changing and I am not sure I’m ready for that.

My job as a Mother is ever changing and evolving and I should be embracing this new chapter in both our lives rather than seeing it as something negative I should look at all the positives its brings and I’m sure that a few months in I will be reading this back and wondering what the hell I was getting so emotional over. But for now I’m going to make the most of these last few child filled afternoons and try and embrace the change it will bring for us both.

photo credit – Laura Shaw Photography

Celebrating The Small Things:Week Twenty Five

This week has been a real mixture of sentimentality, celebrating new challenges and making new friends.

17 Years Of School Runs – It was only the other day when I was taking the obligatory video of my feet for Instastories on the school run that I realised my little toes had been doing the school run for the past 17 years! There have been different schools, we have taken different paths but ultimately I have wracked up a fair few miles over the years and still have plenty more to go and I love it!

Facebook Live – This was actually a pretty big one for me but wanted to celebrate it as it was a big step in my confidence journey.

I was lucky enough to go along to Mumsnet Head Quarters in Kentish Town to film a Facebook Live to let everyone know about the Disney 24 Hour Challenge that I am taking part in.

Not only did I face my fear of the camera I also had the added pressure of it all going live which aside from a massively dry mouth and sweaty palms I got through. I had some help and encouragement from the lovely Franca from A Moment With Franca and Amie from Mumnet and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

Oscar’s New Friends – When my older children started school it pretty was just that. There were no meet the teacher days or picnics to welcome the children and their families, we were all just thrown in at the deep end and had to deal with it.

Over the years this transition has become much more of an event and our lovely local softplay organised a meet up for children starting reception at our school. It was a great chance for the children to meet their new friends and the parents to meet over a coffee and of course a big boy of cake!

David Lloyd Clubs:The Start Of Our Family Fitness Journey

All the start of the year I wrote a post on the reasons that I wouldn’t be making any resolutions this year and was going to aim for longer term goals so there was no pressure to getting a huge long list of unobtainable goals completed by the end of the year.

Plenty of changes have sprung to mind with being more organised and procrastinating less…I can safely say this one is very much still a work in progress. One of my lifestyle changes however was to rekindle my love for fitness along with the rest of the family.

Going back three years…pre blog! I was an absolute gym bunny and nothing would get in the way of my daily training. This was all well and good but at times the Mum guilt would set in and I would feel bad for prioritising this time just for myself. This alongside trying to work hard to build my blog meant that sadly my exercise was the thing that I let go.

So with a pretty substantial weight gain and the pressure of spending quality time with the family I wanted a facility that could entertain, motivate and bring pleasure to us all through exercise and I knew this was going to be no mean feat.

The majority of gyms are solely for over eighteens and if the do have crèche facilities the hours tend to be limited and due to this very hard to book into. Then comes the teens and preteens who are often not allowed to use the gym equipment or join in with classes because of their age so get left out completely.

Thankfully David Lloyd Clubs have come to my rescue and asked me to try out their very family mined facilities for the next few months to see if it is possible to enjoy fitness as a family.

David Lloyd – Purley has recently undergone a huge makeover and no stone has been left unturned when planning this club which in one of the largest in the area.

There is something for everyone from a game of tennis on the numerous indoor and outdoor courts, the chance to take a dip in one of there two pools or just relax in the hot tub or sauna. There are workouts galore from a huge variety of group fitness classes to doing your own thing in the state of the art gym area.

If relaxation is what you are after then they have a fabulous cafe bar offering a huge variety of hot and cold meals, giving you the opportunity to grab a quick coffee or sit down with the family to have a tasty meal.

Your meals can even been served in the dedicated children’s area that has its own soft play area.

But for me the real attraction is their DL Kids facilities that allow the children to be cared for in the creche, older children have a huge variety of activies to take part in allowing them to have fun and meet new friends.

There are even specific classes put on for the family to take part in together such as family circuits and family spin they we can’t wait to try.

I really have only scratched the surface of what they have to offer here so please keep an eye on my Instastories to see what we are getting up to and I will be back on here very soon to let you know how we are getting on with this new and exciting journey.

*We were given a family menership for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Now We Are Six:Happy Birthday Frankie

When I was one, I had just begun.
When I was two, I was nearly new.
When I was three, I was hardly me.
When I was four, I was not much more.
When I was five, I was just alive.
But now I am six, I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six now forever and ever.

A.A. Milne

This was one of my favourite poems from my childhood and now as I’ve grown and become a mother I can relate to the words with each year that passes in my little ones lives and I have to agree that six is a pretty perfect age.

On frankie’s six birthday where his birthday request has simply been, ‘Lego and mussels’ I look on in wonder at the beautiful little boy he has become in those six short years.

He is certainly my most vibrant child that has a charater and tenacity that is heartwarming and alluring and his charming personality never fails to fill a room.

He is strong willed, determined and passionate and although this obviously comes with its challenges I wouldn’t change it for the world.

In fact it was his head strong ways that saw my big birthday plans of a trip to a Lego exhibition in town for him come crashing down when he insisted on a simple day of softplay with his little brother and a lunch of mussels to finish.

Toddler Christmas Lunch At Hobbledown

For the first time last year we took a visit to Hobbledown in Epsom, Surrey for their wonderful Toddler Lunch With Santa.

After a terrible journey due to horrendous traffic I arrived with two very miserable toddlers!  I booked in through the screaming and made our way to the play barn, found a table and thankfully peace was restored.


  
After a good run around in the brilliant soft play area that also has a cafe to serve a much needed coffee a friendly elf came to lead us into the cosy hut where we would be meeting Santa.

The children all sat at the table while cute gingerbread men were handed out for the children to decorate.



Following this a yummy packed lunch was served whist Santa made his grand appearance to sit with us whist we ate.


  
The children were then called up one at a time to have a chat and collect a present from Santa.


  
Nice and full we waved goodbye and went to have a look at Santa’s reindeer and a couple of very cute donkeys, and then finally had a run about in the huge sandpit before heading home.



This is such a wonderful day out for toddlers with a real mix of things to do.  You also have the option of paying for entry to the rest of Hobbledown which is a really good day out with plenty to explore.

The only issue I had is that it is listed as simply a craft activity on the internet so number five couldn’t actually take part due to his allergies.  If I had known in advance this is something I could have provided my self so that he didn’t feel left out.

Mother’s Day Cards With Monkeybeans At Mother Kitty’s

Our house on Mothering Sunday usually involves my husband having a last minute panic and rushing off the the petrol station to get a quick card and the obligatory croissant breakfast.

To save him one little stress this year I thought I would take number four along to Mother Kitty’s in Coulsdon to do a craft session with a group called Monkeybeans.  The sessions are run by a super friendly Mum and daughter team that really engage the children in their activities.  They also run sessions at the Caterham Arms which we have been to before that involve a sing-along session at the end which rounds the activity off really well.  These sessions are perfect if you like your little ones to expore their artistic side without the mess in your own home!





With a beautiful glue sodden card in hand number four and five had a run around the soft play and then donned their Mother Kitty masks that they were given in the session to take home and colour in.



What are your plans this Mother’s Day?

Quality Time With My Biggest At Mother Kitty’s 

In the blink of an eye that tiny precious little bundle that you bought home helpless and solely dependant on you will pass each wonderful milestone at such speed, that before you know it they will have become a teenager launching out and becoming their own independant person.

My number one is nearing her eighteenth birthday and is now her own person with her own interests that take her away from the family home alot.  This means it is really important to set some time aside to have a good catch up and for her younger siblings to spend some quality time with which we all love.

Our best option is somewhere the little ones will be kept occupied so we can have a natter and most importantly to any teenager free wifi!!



We picked a newly opened play cafe in Coulsdon called Mother Kitty’s.  The disused football changing rooms on Rickman Hill recreation ground have been lovingly restored to create a cosy soft play cafe with a vintage twist perfect for the under 5’s.



The play area hosts a large slide with a cute little play house tucked underneath, a mini climbing wall, ball pit and a sectioned off area to stop the littlies getting squished.  The cafe serves a good selection of sandwiches and cakes with a babychino at a bargain price of 25p. This will definitely  be a regular haunt for our catch ups from now on.



All played out and on our way back from the school run tonight number three had noticed that the evenings were getting lighter, which lead us to a discussion about the start of spring and what that entails.

Once indoors with our chat in mind and looking at my vase of yellow crysanthemums in the kitchen I decided to get the children involved on some still life painting using the beautiful flowers as inspiration.  There were certainly a personal twist on their creations but the thought was there.