It’s been several months since we first visited Scarborough Sealife Sanctuary as a family, and I was excited to both visit again, and then also see what (if anything) was different too now Summer has arrived. We planned a day around it on Saturday in Scarborough and it was very much enjoyed by us all!

We arrived first thing (10am) both to avoid the crowds, and also because we wanted to do other things in the afternoon in Scarborough. It was definitely a great time to arrive as we were able to casually wander round and do the activities they had without fighting crowds, and then there were few (if any) ques for the viewing areas.

If your kids, like mine, are obsessed with Moana, then Sealife is most definitely the the place for them right now. It doesn’t have anything remotely around it, but it does bring certain aspects of the film to life, because as we entered the Ray pool they started going nuts about “Moana’s Grandma” and it suddenly added a new spark to the visit! Of course then we made our way round the familiar sights and saw everything we did before from the various breeds of fish, the Octopus, Jelly Fish, Ray’s, penguins, seals and Sharks, as well as Penguin Island, now open to better view them waddling around on land!

The walk through tunnel is always a fave, and a place where Alice sat in excitement and wonderment for quite a while. She pointed, smiled and we realised what a fascinating and sensorial experience it must be for a little 1 year old! The turtle however was a source of fear, and whenever she swam past Alice, she cried and freaked out (moment over!).

FEEDING THE OTTERS

Our timely arrival meant that on this visit we were right on time for the Otter feeding once outside! This was a great addition and fresh experience this time for us, and whilst not necessarily something new there, the timing of our visit enabled us to be there this time!

Sealife at Scarborough have public viewings of feeding both the Otters and Seals at various times throughout the day, and with it being warmer weather it is lovely to stand out in the sun (close to the beach) and listen to the pro’s give a personal talk about each animal, their life inside and outside of captivity and how they help them at the sanctuary to prepare for life in their natural habitat!

Feeding the Otters was both a fascinating and a little gross (I never knew they ate baby chicks) experience, and was great to see close up. Megan had a front row spot and couldn’t take her eyes off them – as a lover of all animals, she was completely in her element. Like I’ve said before…that’s what we love about the Sealife Sanctuary – you see them helping, rescuing and rehabilitating sea creatures and mammals all over the place and for a budding vet it is pure inspiration and joy!  

Sealife in Summer is a great day out whatever the weather, but very much enjoyed in the sunshine we had on Saturday. I guess it’s easy to assume it would be a good go to on a rainy day (which i’m sure it would), but its location on the north bay is so lovely that sunshiney days mean you can truly appreciate all it has to offer; with panoramic views of the north bay, the glistening sea, and then to see the otters, penguins and seals more eager to pop out and say “hello”! Its nice to chill outside and watch them, instead of just rushing by to get to the next display!

Right now Scarborough Sealife Sanctuary have the “Octonauts Octo Glow Event” on with challenges for children around the centre and meet and greets available daily with Kwazii and Peso. There are also 2 new baby penguins bringing it to a total of 24!

Sealife in Summer is a great family day out and once you have bought your ticket, you can go back in as many times as you want. We love the touch pools, the penguins, the Ray’s and the shark tunnel… what will you discover?

*We are Ambassadors for Sacarborough Sealife and this visit and post were done in collaboration with them – all thoughts and pictures are my own! 

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On Friday afternoon I walked into the lounge to see my kids laid on the floor watching Moana (nothing new there). This time however they were completely silent and snuggled down in their new Snuggle Sacs from Ollie & Leila! It was such a pleasant and lovely sight. 

My kids, like lots of others, love to snuggle! They love nothing more than putting on a movie and snuggling down to relax and enjoy it. They snuggle under Ethan’s high sleeper whilst listening to CD stories, and they build dens and snuggle in those too. They are real little snugglers, so when Ollie & Leila asked us review their Snuggle sac’s I felt like it was an opportunity made for them…and judging by the wonderful sights of Friday they are a great success!

Made from super soft and fluffy fleece on the outside, with 100% cotton lining, and available in various fun and colourful designs, these are the perfect addition to any movie night, sleep over or chill out sess! Megan has the Dalmatian and Ethan the pirate, and they come rolled up in handy little tote bags that are useful for carrying them in, or storing and transporting them. They then have a convenient section at the head where a pillow can be put in for ultimate comfort, and I would say that they are basically a pimped up and awesome, snugglier version of a sleeping bag! 


What we Loved

– Their snuggle factor (easily a 10)

–  The fun design – so gorgeous

–  The handy bags…can be carried by kids very easily

– The pillow pouch – what a bonus

– The side zip to make it easy to get in and out of, and to let in air if you get too cosy!

– That the kids can lay out in pure comfort and enjoy their films, have sleepovers and love life!

– That they are machine washable and suitable for a dryer too

– They come with a 12m Guarantee

Snuggle Sacs would make a useful to addition to your home with kids, and also be a great gift for any kid for Christmas or Birthdays because they are just are so useful. The whole concept of this from a parents perspective, I think is brilliant. It gives them something to take to Grandma’s, Cousins,or camping even and it’s something they can use at home or away to chill in, or keep a little warmer in the Winter! The fact it can so easily be stored in a handy bag makes it more desirable too and they are so lovely. The designs are fab, and they definitely get a thumbs up from us!!

* Thank you to Ollie & Leila for sending us these in return for our thoughts. All words and images are my own. 

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Haliborange are the UK’s number one children’s supplement brand! Loved and trusted for generations, they are specifically tailored to support a healthy diet and lifestyle according to your child’s individual nutritional needs.

The supplements in the range offer a selection of great tasting flavours, including; orange, blackcurrant, strawberry or citrus. There is something for each individual child and each product carried a money back taste guarantee!

We are in the process of trialling a selection to see what we think here at Smith HQ (review to come), but whilst we make our way through that, how would you like to win your own supply?? Like I’m talking a 3 month supply as well as a fun Little Miss/Mr Men back to school bundle!

Whether your kids are starting school, or heading back after a Summer of adventure and fun, Haliborange would like to offer one lucky reader an exciting opportunity to WIN a unique prize bundle…

 

It includes a Mr Men or Little Miss Pencil case, Lunch box, Water Bottle and 3 months supply of Haliborange vitamins. Simply follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below. GOOD LUCK!!!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Twilight books were a big part of our newly married life and whilst not a natural lover of fiction, I did enjoy them (a lot). Back in the day I would read them on a night when first married, whilst Nathan went to play football. It was a great balance for us to “do our own thing”! I thoroughly enjoyed each one and fell in love with the characters the anticipation of it all…the fight, power, love story/triangles, and then finally each of the films too!

These days Twilight may seem like a such an immature interest for a now 30 something mother – and it certainly feels like a lifetime ago that my thoughts were taken away to the land of Vampires, werewolves and romance with the Twilight books. But, with no WI-FI still here at the new house (BT issues!), I have resorted to watching films out of our DVD collection, and decided a couple of weeks ago that to re-watch the Twilight saga again would be both nostalgic and joyful!

One thing I failed to account for however is how different my life is now, and how emotional it would leave me feeling for days after. I never anticipated it would, and then it did! As a result I find myself in this frustrating cycle of being annoyed and sad all at the same time. Sad for how it leaves me, annoyed that there isn’t the same joy in the things that I once loved so much!! It, to me, is one of the most frustrating things about life after loss; it’s this feeling that things just aren’t the same anymore…simple things like a film I loved and made me so happy, suddenly becomes tarnished because they hold triggers and reminders of what I have lost and how much pain lies beneath the surface. I suddenly see them from a new angle…read deeper into them or are more easily overcome with emotion.

Almost 3 years on I mostly know my triggers and know the what to expect in certain situations. I know how to protect myself and when I need more strength for things ahead. I know when not to shy away so much, and just ride the waves of grief that will inevitably come, because it is what it is – my baby died and as a result I feel sad at certain things more than others. The hardest part though are these random and annoying moments…the one’s where I am unprepared, and especially when it is with things I felt safe with and once loved so much that are the trigger of all that reflection and sadness. Like I say, I really do find it to be one of the most frustrating and hardest things about life after loss. Its like trying to walk but always tripping. It’s learning to walk through life again!

I never imagined “The Twilight Saga” to one of these triggers though!! I never Imagined Twilight of all things to remind me so much that my baby died and life will never look or feel the same again!

I forgot that the song “1,000 years” was part of the finale – the same song we chose to carry our daughter out to at her funeral.

I never imagined I’d feel a connection to Bella fighting for the life of her unborn child.. and then wondering again if I did enough?

I didn’t think fictional tales of death would have me balling, because I knew how they felt now. Or that the constant talk of “immortals” would leave me wondering where my daughter is and thoughts of life after death (Deep I know!).

I realise as I write this, and I say it often to Nathan too that even if I wanted to forget the fact my baby died (which I don’t) I couldn’t! It is actually impossible to “move on” from something so significant and even traumatic in your life, because somewhere down the line there is always going to be something to remind you of those days and moments when it was all so fresh and raw. I realise that time teaches you how to live and function normally with the pain of loss, but that it doesn’t completely erase it – to do so would erase the love and longing to be with them again.

I never anticipated a much loved film series would be the source of such great reflection and therefore become a trigger for my grief. I thought it was safe, but unfortunately this is one of the bigger frustrations and battles of life after loss and living with a new normal. You suddenly exist in a place where joy and sadness’s are suddenly intertwined and where your eyes see things, and you heart feels things, so very differently than before. I exist in a place where my daughter did die, and because of that loss in every fibre of being, something will always remind me and things will never be the same again, and that’s often a hard pill to swallow!

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