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Tag: break

Festival Fun – The CBBC Summer Social!

Festival Fun – The CBBC Summer Social!

*We have kindly been provided with a family ticket to the CBBC Summer Social. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

 

This year is the first year that we’ve had to work around school holidays. With the biggest in state nursery, it’s all about half term breaks and summer holiday plans! We want to make the summer holidays as special as we can, so that our girls know that if they work hard in school all year then they can have a total blast at the end of it. That’s why we are so excited to have been invited to the CBBC Summer Social this year! There’s so much on the agenda and we can’t wait for our girls to get involved in everything they have organised!

 

What’s on –

This year, the CBBC Summer Social is being held between 3rd – 5th August at Croxteth Hall in Liverpool! It’s the BBC’s biggest kids event and has a really great line-up that your littles will love! There’s Union J, Matt Terry, Johnny Orlando and Mackenzie Ziegler! Shrek the Musical will also be performing, as well as the New Hope Club!

If like me you have children younger than 6, then there’s an allocated CBeebies Village just for them! There’ll be sporting events, workshops and art activities all suitable for children from reception age. Also performing in the CBeebies Village are Andy Day and the Odd Socks, Mr Bloom, Swashbuckle’s Cook & Line and my girls’ favourite, Mr Tumble!

 

 

The CBBC Summer Social is set to be such an incredible event. We can’t wait to head to Liverpool and to see our girls enjoy their first summer holiday festival!

 

 

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Our Family Holiday at Bluestone Wales

Our Family Holiday at Bluestone Wales

*We were gifted a mid-week break at Bluestone National Park resorts for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

Recently, we were lucky enough to be invited to enjoy a mid-week break at Bluestone National Park Resort in Wales. My husband has wanted to holiday at Bluestone for some time now. He’d heard so many good reports from friends and colleagues about the place, so needless to say he was so excited to finally get to stay. Holidaying with two toddlers is never easy, but Bluestone promised so much fun and something to do whatever the weather.  We had high hopes for an extra special family holiday!

Perusing over the Bluestone Wales website before we went, I noticed that there were many activities that we could book before hand. Including hiring bikes and golf buggies for the week. There were also tonnes of activities included in our holiday, such as the Blue Lagoon swimming pool and a large activity centre. As it was our first time, we didn’t know what to expect and so we didn’t book anything beforehand. When we arrived though, we decided that we would hire a golf buggy for the week. The Bluestone site is huge and quite hilly, as much as our girls love to walk sometimes it proved a little too tiring for them. The golf buggy helped us get around the site with ease and our girls thought it was so much fun!

 

 

Free range fun –

The guys at Bluestone are huge believers in free range fun. The landscape and the activities they provide encourage both adults and kids to get outdoors and enjoy being with nature in the fresh air. This kind of holiday is perfect for us as a family, so when we found out that our lodge was right on the edge of the lake, we couldn’t have been happier. The girls loved walking around the lake and into the surrounding woodland each day. I loved waking up to such a beautiful view too!

When the weather is bad, there’s still so much fun to be had at Bluestone. Our girls were fans of the Blue Lagoon swimming pool. It has two smaller pools, including a special baby and toddler area, which is ideal when you have little children. The large pool has a wave machine and a lazy river, so there’s something for everyone. Our girls loved that the lazy river took you outside, especially when the sun was shining!

I was amazed by the activity centre at Bluestone. There’s something for every age group, including mini golf, soft play, a bouncy castle and a climbing wall. There’s a cafe for the adults too, which serves a mean burger if you’re feeling a bit peckish! The weather on our first day was particularly bad, so the activity centre was an absolute god send. The kids had so much fun and were completely worn out. If we’d holidayed anywhere else we’d have been cooped up all day, which with toddlers is almost always a disaster!

 

Idyllic surroundings –

Every which way you turn at Bluestone, you’re met by idyllic surroundings. My favourite part of the site is Camp Smokey! It’s a restaurant down in the woods, just by a stream with a small ford. We went down there one evening when it was quiet and it was just perfect. The kids loved playing in the stream and throwing sticks into the water from the bridge. We found a bench and the girls had their supper surrounded by nature. It was one of those night where the planets aligned and we all felt utterly content.

The village area of Bluestone has two playgrounds for the kids. One for the older children and an area specifically for tots. As our girls are in between ages, they enjoyed both playgrounds thoroughly! There are tree houses with walkways that join the two playgrounds, each tree house has a fun activity in it which were a massive hit with our girls. The village also has a grocery shop, coffee shop, restaurant, spa and a couple of boutique stores. We had lunch in this area a few times over our stay, the girls even enjoyed an ice cream in the sun!

 

Returning to Bluestone –

Bluestone National Park Resort is definitely somewhere we’ll holiday again. It has everything you need for the whole family to enjoy their stay to the full. Next time we stay, I’m determined to book myself into the spa for a little pamper and Hubs would love to go to the shindig down at Camp Smokey. We made some amazing family memories at Bluestone, it’s a holiday that will take some beating!

 

 

Take a sneek peek into life at Bluestone –

 

 

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Knowing my Limits – Wife. Motherhood. Life.

Knowing my Limits – Wife. Motherhood. Life.

I’m often the person handing out tips on how to squeeze some sort of work into every waking minute. I’ve never been shy about telling others how it’s possible to work and look after kids at the same time. A lot of my posts have been written to help mothers in my situation, to make scheduling their days easier and to allow for maximum productivity. This post is going to be a little different though. It’s not going to encourage you to fill every second, of everyday with work. It’s also not going to encourage no work at all. The aim of this post is to highlight that the key to success is to know your limits.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t think working hard is unnecessary. Some days it’s essential that we cram the hours in, in order to progress. It’s that slowly but surely, I’m beginning to realise that burning the candle at both ends will only lead to a decline in achievement. My husband is always telling me that I’m working full-time hours on my blog, as well as looking after our children full-time. Both of these positions are what I chose and are still what I want to do. There comes a time though when something has to give. As my children are always my first priority, it would seem that I need to manage my workload to fit around me. I need to be mindful of how much I’m fitting family life around my work.

Recognising I need to adjust the balance –

As with most things, recognising that things aren’t as they should be is the first step to making a positive change. It doesn’t always mean that we act on it immediately, but it plants the seed. I’ve known for a while that I don’t quite have the balance right. The trouble with me is I get a little addicted to progression and for that reason I find it hard to slow down. If I achieve something good, it just spurs me on further and in consequence down time becomes less and less.

Less down time means less time with the littles and less time with Hubs. Not that either of them mind particularly. The only person it really bothers is me, because I didn’t quit work in the first place, for nothing. I did it because I wanted to be there all of the time. The job that I do now means that I am always at home with them, but it’s amazing how much you miss when you’re sat behind a screen.

Getting it right –

I don’t suppose there’s an easy way to get the balance right. Whether I’m being wife, mother or trying to progress in my work life. One has to give, to make way for the other. The trouble is, all of these roles are so important to me, I want to be able to give each one my full attention at all times. I want the perfectly clean house, the thriving business, to be super mum and the doting wife. It’s time to accept that I can’t do everything. I need to get to know my limits and more importantly, to live by them.

When the girls go to school, I’m sure things will get easier. I’ll have the hours in the day to get on top of everything I have to do. Then once they come home, they’ll have my attention until bedtime. Until that time comes though, I need to make sure that my work is confined to their bedtime hours as much as possible. I’m only too aware that they won’t be this young forever and if I’m not careful, I’ll only remember their younger years as the snaps I caught through a lens.

 

 

 

 

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How do Bloggers Relax? Time Out Tips from Those in the Know!

How do Bloggers Relax? Time Out Tips from Those in the Know!

This blogging business can get very hectic sometimes. We spend hours in front of our screens writing and reading. Not to mention all of the work that goes on behind the scenes of each and every fabulous blog out there! The trouble with there being such a long list of daily tasks to complete, is that it’s rare for bloggers to step back and take a little time away from their work.

Taking time away from the screen is super important and even if we don’t really have the time for a break, we should make time to step away from technology. I know when I need to take a break as I begin to suffer with a bought of writer’s block and I find social media exhausting. Usually I enjoy both of these aspects of what I do, but when they become a chore I know it’s time to down tools and head out!

I find that I relax most on the days that Hubs is around, spending quality time together as a family is the perfect remedy for me. When I know I’ve got a day like this coming up I schedule as much as I can in advance, so I know that I don’t have to spend too much time working!

I really believe that we should all take a break now and then, without worrying about what’s going on in our little corners of the internet. So, I thought I’d ask my fellow bloggers how they relax when they’re all blogged out and need a break from the screen. Here’s a round up of time out tips, from those in the know!

 

Pete from Household Money Saving: ‘I enjoy taking the kids out on their bikes or to the park. Some much needed fresh air and exercise for us all.’

Tracey from Pack the PJs: ‘I walk the dogs (and children). Ideally we go on an ‘adventure’ to keep the kids amused and interested … as Pete says, the fresh air is what’s needed after sitting at your laptop for many hours.’

Laura from Five Little Doves: ‘I read. Having spent most of my day writing/reading blogs, it’s nice sometimes to read a good book and switch off from blogging full stop.’

Sarah from Mummy Cat:  I play games on my Xbox, I turn off twitter and just relax playing games with my friends, best way to unwind.’ 

Nat from Awaybies Kids: ‘I love going for a coffee or lunch with friends, if I ever get the chance! And yoga…I feel brilliant afterwards.’

Elizabeth from the Homemaker’s Journal: ‘I meet with friends physically to relax. It helps me to get my mind out of the internet and into the real world. Sometimes, go to a movie. dinner or a dance club and enjoy the social aspects of being human.’

Clara from The Balance Collective: ‘I read. A LOT. I tend to have at least two books on the go at all times. One fiction and one non-fiction. However, they tend to give me more ideas for blogs!’

Collette from Truly Madly Cuckoo: ‘Definitely a coffee with friend, although these coffee mornings can often last well into the afternoon.’

Claire from Mumsy Midwife:  ‘I knit and crochet! I love making toys and blankets so do this to chill when I’ve seen too much of the screen.’

Nikki from Yorkshire Wonders: ‘I take a long hot bath. Light some candles, put some aromatherapy oils on. (Only works if other half can keep control of kids downstairs!)’

Laura from The Mamma Fairy: ‘I go for a run or a gym class, total detox from it!’

Christy from Welsh Mum of One:  ‘Definitely going out for walks helps a lot. Walks by the water refresh me and help with screen-burn a lot. I’m lucky that I live quite near a few parks with large lakes as well as the city waterfront. Even if it’s raining I’ll head out for a walk to clear my mind and reset mentally.’

Victoria from Lylia Rose: ‘Getting out the house is a must when this happens! A power walk around the block, a walk up a local hill looking over the views or a trip to the park/woods if the kids are in tow. Getting out into nature helps me most.’

Kelly from Kelly Allen Writer:  ‘Crafting and reading. If I’m out-screened then I turn to a quiet corner and read or I get my craft on and make anything and everything I can! It isn’t always good, sometimes I bin what I’ve made, but it’s an outlet.’

Sophie from Soph-obsessed: ‘I meditate! It’s my very own me time where I can completely switch off and forget everything else!’

Jenny from Accidental Hipster Mum: ‘Sometimes I leave my phone downstairs and read on my bed for a bit. Heaven.’

Erica from The Incidental Parent: ‘I catch up with the latest box sets. Snuggle on the sofa with a blanket, biscuits and cuppa.’

Victoria from Fabulous Mummy: ‘Going out for a walk or pick up a book really nourishes my soul. I get really consumed with my phone, everything is on there from radio to banking…there is no escape unless you make some time away from it.’

Lynne from New Mummy Blog: ‘Walking, I grew up hill walking and climbing so it really helps me focus and unwind both at once! A few years ago I got into painting to unwind from an incredibly stressful time at work working ridiculous hours. Ice just bought some new paints so am hoping to start that again to get some ‘me time’…. we’ll see if it happens!’

How do you like to relax?

 

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The Day My World Stood Still. Well, Nearly.

The Day My World Stood Still. Well, Nearly.

Blogging, writing, social media and emails galore. Sound familiar? I’m not moaning, it’s the theme tune to my life and I love it. However, since I found myself on this path I don’t think I’ve downed tools for even a day. I’m always conscious of deadlines, I squeeze work into my day any which way I can and when it’s finally time to go to bed I work for a couple more hours. You know, for good measure.

Well this week something amazing happened. I scheduled all content, put down my phone, closed the laptop, packed the kids into the car and took the whole day off to enjoy being a family. OK I’ll admit that I did have a few sneaky checks of my phone, completely cold turkey was probably a bit of a big ask! For the most part though I just enjoyed some time out, knowing that work would still be waiting for me when I got back.

I’ve written so many times about how taking a break is one of the best things to make your business thrive. It seems I’m not very good at taking my own advice. I’m always banging on about how refreshed a bit of time out can make you feel and how it can give you the motivation to crack through a load of work when you get back to it, I fully believe it too. So I just can’t work out why it’s taken me this long to act on it!

So what has taking a break taught me?

 

  • That the world won’t implode if I don’t reply to an email in 30 seconds flat.
  • That the day goes by in less of a blur if you take some time to enjoy it.
  • That my concentration improves markedly after taking some time out.
  • That going to bed at a reasonable hour once in a while is necessary.
  • That the world looks much prettier when you aren’t looking at it through a camera lense.
  • That I love my job and a break is necessary if I want to succeed!

 

It turns out that taking a break isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact it’s completely necessary for each and everyone of us to stop what we’re doing once in a while and take stock of where we’re at. I’ll definitely be taking another break sooner rather than later, all work and no play makes Zoe a very dull girl!

 

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