Our Favourite Merlin Days Out If you follow our family on Instagram you will see we love our Merlin Annual Passes. Brought on a whim in their sale in 2016 I wasn’t sure how much we would use them but we have got our monies […]
Wow, where did the year go? As the year draws to a close, it is time to look back at our 2017 plans and wishes and review it. Did we tick them all off, what will be carried forward to 2018? So read on for our 2017 review.
Here’s Our List we made in January 2017
- Firstly to make the most of the last 6 months of our Merlin Annual Passes. We brought them on a whim last June and have had fab days out in Weymouth, at Chessington, Blackpool and Alton Towers. But there is still so much to explore we will be visiting London a couple of times. Where we will visit all of the attractions included there especially The Shrek Adventure and The London Eye. The teen also wants a grown up day out to Thorpe Park to enjoy the rollercoasters, not sure how keen I am but heyho best keep the eldest happy. Review – We did make the most of the last six month of our Merlin passes. With trips to Legoland and Chessington. Plus an amazing day out to London, with my eldest 2 girls.
- A personal one for me would be to grow my blog following. Regularly post weekly or more and also gain confidence in vlogging too. Review – oops this certainly didn’t happen! I blogged but not in a regular pattern. I have however read listened and learnt lots about how to establish a cracking blog. So I have made some tweaks in the recent weeks. I have planned and already written several posts for the new year, so I’m on track.
- Our first and maybe one and only camping adventure. The eldest it 16 this year and asked to go to a festival for her birthday special treat. So we have booked for the whole family to go to Camp Bestival in July. I’m really not sure where to start. So any camping tips gratefully received. Some of the line up has been announced and looks like so much fun. Review – We did it! We camped even if we opted for the easier option and booked Pitch Village. They offer pre-pitched tents, with sleeping bags. Plus they have separate toilets, showers, plus a constant supply of hot drinks. It was, however, the wettest Camp Bestival ever I think. But once you’re wet, your wet! And we still had the most amazing time and we may well head back in 2018.
- It is GCSE year so a biggy, so we are all hoping that the pressure of exams doesn’t make the house a too dull place. She will shine I’m sure, good luck gorgeous. Review – Even though I was worried sick come August. She completely stormed it. I was so very proud that she is now the proud owner of 9 A-C GCSEs. So she got onto her desired course at college. And seems to have grown into a little adult in the last few months.
- My business goals have been set and they will be achieved (positive thinking at it’s best). I will keep to them this year and see some growth enabling (us) me as the only adult in the house to not worry so much about making ends meet each month. Review – Business has been steady throughout the year. But some targets have been missed but life threw me some curve balls I got distracted by. So I have returned to the drawing board and 2018 plan is mapped out. Now to action it and not let anything get in my way! (words of a determined lady)
- We absolutely loved getting away to Disneyland Paris just before Christmas this year. A getaway was much needed after the long school term, but as completely amazing as it was it was bloody knackering too. So it got me thinking, dreaming and wishing for another holiday next Christmas, but I would love for us to chill in the sunshine and let the kids swim/splash about it a pool (as I would love to see the benefit in heavy investment into swimming lessons). So I will be in contacting my travel agent soon to pick her brains for ideas of where to go. Review – We didn’t venture overseas for any of our holidays in 2017. However, we did take some amazing breaks. February Half Term saw us head to an old favourite, Trecco Bay, Porthcawl. Easter we stayed at home as it was J and A birthdays, so it was party galore. Plus T went on a trip of a lifetime to New York with her school in April. In July we had the most amazing bargain holiday to Cornwall. Booked last minute, we managed to blag the hottest week of the year. We could have been in the Carribean, we returned sunkissed and totally refreshed. We then finished off the year with a festive visit to Bluestone.
- Our house is busy and very well used by our big family. I’m first to admit it isn’t as tidy as I would like but seriously I can’t keep up with it and running a business and looking after the kids. So a cleaner would be a dream but until I can afford one, I think it’s time for a freshen up, so we plan to get the paint out! Review – oops this one so didn’t happen, we still live in a little bit of chaos. I did get the paint out early in December, but the hallway isn’t finished yet. So this one will be carried over to 2018!
- I’m sure we will add tons more adventures along the way this year but this gives up a good start. What have you got planned? Review – Looking back we made too many amazing memories to list them all. Some favourites, all three of the youngest going to the same primary school. T and I going on BBC 5 Live. A lush weekend away with some amazing ladies and no kids, so much laughter. Seeing Take That in concert. Welcoming our new family member, Topsy the Tortoise. Dancing to Craig David in concert with T, 15. Who wasn’t even born when I was garage mad!
Phew what a year, the good times certainly outweighed the tough times. Now onto the new year, with excitement for what awaits.
Bluestone – Kingdom of The Elves
This year I have not been able to get into the Christmas spirit at all. With less than 2 weeks to go and a house full of kids, I really needed to get my head in the game. So when the opportunity arose to visit Bluestone for a Christmas break, it was time to get festive. As I decided the kids needed a treat after a tricky few months.
I had heard great things about the Christmas activities at Bluestone for the last couple of years, especially Kingdom of The Elves. So couldn’t wait to experience it with the kids for myself. We were booked onto our flight to Elftopia in the middle of our break. Meaning we had plenty of time to explore everything else on offer at Bluestone. We loved the Blue Lagoon and its waves, lazy river and flumes. The Adventure Centre where the Kingdom of the Elves was based also houses lots more. Including the massive wooden adventure playground, crazy golf, climbing wall, sky trail and younger kids soft play area. So we had hours of fun in the there.
Bluestone has a village of its very own with a convenience shop, gift shop, a couple of restaurants, coffee shop and outdoor playground. Plus the Well Spa Retreat, not that I could visit this time as I alone with the 5 kids. Afterall it would have been kind of cheeky to leave my 16-year-old in charge of the smaller kids while I pampered myself.
Kingdom of The Elves
We picked up the 3 littlest kids elf suits the day before our flight. They didn’t have any suits to fit the older 2 girls, but to tell you the truth I don’t think they would have worn them. However, they were given a large plush elf cuddly toy each.
I made sure we arrived at the Adventure Centre about half an hour before our time slot, to ensure we were all ready. Rosy Cheeks and all. We had to head to the departure lounge where we left all our worries behind and security checked we were all believers!
Then we boarded the plane to Elftopia, the journey was comical, bumpy and snowy too. The Elf Pilot was full of jokes and cheeky antics, that kept smiles firmly on the kids and adults faces throughout the flight.
The kids then went to the stardust workshop, where they met Seren the Elf who was full of glittery, starry fun. Then onto The Funhouse, yes plenty of parents including me can remember our weekly dose of the Funhouse. Elf ‘Pat Sharp’, we loved this interactive part of the Kingdom. There was full parent and child participation in games against the kids and adults. I bet you can guess who won!
After the funhouse, it was the final part of the Kingdom of The Elves was pretty icy. We got to meet the Snow Queen there. And had great fun dancing and singing. Plus a full-on snowball fight too.
The whole Kingdom of The Elves experience lasted about an hour and 20 minutes. We went it the kingdom with a group of around 20, so a pretty personal experience. Not too crowded, so all of the kids got a look in. I find it really hard to find Christmas activities that suit all of the kids. They are aged from 4 years up to 16 years. But we all smiled laughed and joined in, definitely one for the memory jar!
Disclaimer: We were offered a Midweek visit to Bluestone Wales and Tickets to The Kingdom of The Elves in return for an honest review.
This week it would have been my Daddy’s and my little tribes Grandpa’s 71st Birthday. On his heavenly birthday, we take time out of our busy schedule to reflect. On his life and all the happy memories, we have of him. Remembering Grandpa enables our precious […]
Parenting is a constant learning curve and I am not sure I will ever get it sussed. So this is a post I thought I would never be writing about why my 4-year-old co-sleeps with me.
Ok, when all my babies were small they didn’t co-sleep with me. A couple of reasons I fed completely on demand so never clock-watched. When they woke they had a little top up. Then dozed off and I transferred them to the cot. All of 5 of them were pretty settled accept my middle daughter. After pacing the floor with her for awhile while she woke the whole street up. She would give in and fell back to sleep and then settled down in her cot.
And as a teen mum with my first 16 years ago I had been advised not to and wanted to be the best possible mum I could be and stuck to the rules. Yes, you don’t hear that often but you did read that correctly I stuck to the rules!!! The more children I had the rules regarding co-sleeping seemed to change every time and it seemed like a minefield. So I stuck to what I knew and popped my little sleep depriving bundles back in their cot.
So fast forward many years and my youngest bundle is now a school goer at the ripe old age of 4. And she wants her Mum more than ever at bedtime. She goes to sleep absolutely fine, but more nights than not when I go up to bed she’s in my bed. Do I move her back no, would I have done so with the others, yes! Sorry kids that doesn’t mean I love you any less, in case you’re reading this. It just means I’ve caved and become a softy. But subconsciously I know I’m holding on to my final baby.
But the reality of it all is she now spends 5 days a week away from me, more than ever before. Her little brain has adjusted to some big changes, with starting school. So I’m not going to cause a fuss about it.
How long will it last, I have no idea but I’m sure she won’t still be creeping in when she’s a teenager. So as winter’s coming and the nights are getting colder. I’ll allow her to warm the bed up and save me to effort of filling up a hot water bottle!