Now that the weather is a little more sunny and mild (hello no coat all week) , we have really made the most of it and have been getting out loads. The week started slow with some much needed time in to clean, but ended with some lovely days out up to Harlow Carr in Harrogate and the city centre yesterday where bargains galore awaited me!

3 for £1 on strawberries

First up were the delicious strawberries I stumbled upon in Leeds Market.  3 for £1… I couldn’t believe my ears so pulled up with the pram for a nosy and low and behold they were just that.  And massive too. Genetically modified or not I grabbed a quid and we enjoyed them after dinner last night with our guests.

Nak’d bars in the pound shop

I found Nak’d bars in the pound shop…whoop. Okay so they were £2 for a pack of 4, but at 50p each that’s some lovely money savings.

Charity shop

I’ve wanted to look in the city centre charity shops for a while as often there are cooler pieces and at better prices too. I got myself a too, shirt and some dungarees for Alice for just £5. The top has silver flecks and looks a little more classy than your average Tshirt style, i’d say more jumpery and will be great for church with my pencil skirts and the shirt I imagined with skinnies and tan sandals in the summer. You can never have too many stripe right? (Que heart eyes emoji).

And finally it’s royalty day today at school so the kids are heading off as a princess and king. I bought see gold card in the pound shop for Ethan’s crown and a meter of red velvety fabric in hobby craft for 4 quid…the rest will be with fabric from my stash and thankfully Megan has several princess dresses already in circulation.  Have a great weekend…tomorrow we are clearing out the dreaded cellar ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

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Whilst a lot smaller than I imagined it to be, the National Space centre in Leicester is bursting with fascinating facts, images and displays to blow your mind with a whole load of stuff about our universe and space travel. It is a great place for most ages and makes for a fun and thought provoking day. We have wanted to visit there for a while, with Ethan’s interest in Space and Megan too, we figured it would be a great day out and so loved the opportunity to go and review it this Saturday just gone.

Its hard to find places that capture kids attention for a whole day out at the crazy ages of 4 & 6. Often museums and places like this see us skipping over bits that aren’t particularly of interest to get to the “kids sections”, but the National Space centre have done a great job of catering to the needs of the whole family in every section.

It was quite busy and so we didn’t fancy queuing for the simulator in the Tranquillity Base, but this certainly seemed to be where most of the action was for kids, with an opportunity to do some training for space on various simulators and tasks. But aside from that, it was still jam packed with fun things to do and explore! Initially Ethan said “this isn’t space it’s so boring!” So I don’t know where he thought he was going, but following an exploration of the centre and the planetarium, a purchase of some crystals and “space chocolate” in the shop, he left saying it was the best place ever?! (6 year olds ay?). So that is the verdict we will go with and here is why.

The National Space Centre – Our faves:

5. Space travel

We have seen so many films about space and going into space, but to see the astronauts suits face to face, and then see and read about all that goes into getting a human being (or dog) beyond our Earths atmosphere is simply fascinating. It is amazing still to this day that people have gone into, and returned from space. That they have learnt what is needed to survive beyond on our planet, and studied rocks and samples from others. The kids had a lot of fun playing in the mock up of the Columbus module and found it hilarious that there was a tiny shower and hundreds of buttons to press!

4. Stars and the moon/Exploring the Universe

How can you not look at the stars and planets and not feel awe? Whether a believer in God or the big bang/evolution, seeing the universe is inspirational and this part of the centre left me pondering on so many things for the rest of the weekend. It is incredible to read about stars, our planet, life beyond our planet and of course scientific discoveries that continue to help our life.

Here the kids had fun dressing up as stars and getting to grips with gravity. They explored a worm hole and laughed their heads off at Aliens. The highlight though was the fun quiz/video they watched and participated in located in the Tinytarium.

3. Rockets

Of course this was in our top 3. Rockets are just so cool! And seeing the huge ones they have in “Rocket Tower” was also amazing, just at the sheer size of it – unbelievable! I had to keep reminding the kids that all of these things have actually being in space, but I think I was the one who was most wowed them. They just played it cool! Ethan and Megan did spend a lot of time beneath them though playing with one of the display’s where they select the various rocket and then launch it and see how high it shoots. This was very cool and a great look into science on their level.

2.  “That rocket in the cafe”

Every so often it blasts off (dry Ice I think or something), and the kids never tired of it. It counts down officially and most of that side of the centre shakes. It is rather exciting, and so in the afternoon when our legs were aching from all of the wandering and exploring, we took a seat whilst they played underneath it going nuts!

1. In first place it has to be the planetarium.

The largest in the UK, the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium it is an opportunity to really get a feel for the magnitude and vastness of space. Included in the ticket price, is one of their showings. We chose an animation about the big bang and evolution “We are Stars”, and laid back in our seats and watched it literally unfurl beneath our eyes. It really has the wow factor being immersed in 360 degree cinema technology, and being that close to space was absolutely amazing to us all. I loved every second, as did the kids and I can’t say enough how amazing it was. If you just go for that – GO!

The kids really loved the planetarium and obviously had a fabulous time overall. They left having learned more about molecules and space dust, had grasped a simple understanding of atoms and how rockets work, but most importantly they had had a super fun day exploring space, science and discovering amazing things to help us understand our universe. I think it is definitely worth a visit as a family, but I think I would also like to go back kid free to have more of an opportunity to read everything, watch more and see some more complex things in the planetarium. But for a first visit it gets a thumps up from us all and was just a wonderful place to stretch your mind and ponder on the depths of life and what was before and will be after – AMAZING!

 

Family Fever
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“It’s your turn to…” is a phrase exchanged numerous times a day between myself and Mr Smith. It’s your turn to drive because I drove here..it’s your turn to wash up as I always do it, or it’s your turn to choose a film…go tell the kids to get back into bed (and so on). Often the phrase is used in relation to the children and up keep of our home, ensuring we are doing our “fair share”. And more often than not its actually just said in jest because its funny to look at the other person and say “erm she’s poo’d – it’s your turn”!

Rarely though is it ever his turn to cook. He doesn’t really do that ever. Not through a lack of choice of an overly sexist attitude, but more because the kitchen is my domain and I made clear of that fact early on. I love to cook and find great joy in food shopping and meal planning, and I mostly love experimenting in the kitchen to create delicious food to be enjoyed together as a family. I find people in the kitchen with me are more of a hindrance than a help once I get in the zone and so pretty much from day one it was me cooking and him doing the bins! As a result I cannot remember a time (at least recently) when I have said “It’s your turn to make dinner”… of course when I have been ill, on the brink of a meltdown or just recovering from a new baby, he steps in with his limited skills to make us some pasta, homemade wedges, beans on toast or eggs…but dinner is something that is almost always my turn.

And then last week I made a passive aggressive comment about him making more effort on date night and it was so lovely that he actually picked up on it and acted. On Friday morning I got a text saying that it was his turn to make food for date night and to let him take care of it! The control freak within me had to take a back seat and I literally had to fight myself to not interfere and nose around what he was doing, and just keep away from the kitchen! It wasn’t anything extravagant; just some posh Italian ready meals and flat bread with Elder flower presse, but he took a turn to cook and it was lovely. He had thought of me, listened to me and he waited on me, and it is a moment that made me feel so loved and just generally fuzzy and smiley inside.

I have, and always do admire that Nathan is willing to be better and try harder. He wants to show me love and appreciation and makes an effort to where possible. And so yes, because we make such a thing of whose turn it is, its always so nice when they take your turn too (if that makes sense?), its a great sign of love to change 2 pooey nappies in a row or take an extra turn to put the kids back to bed. So whilst I am 100% sure plenty of husbands cook for their wives (and that is wonderful), I don’t necessarily want him to because of the joy it gives me to do it myself. But the joy comes in the moments of small random acts of taking his turn when it isn’t his turn at all.

Small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness (even when prompted) in marriage or a relationship create a moment in the ordinary groove of life that reaffirms why you love them and why you adore being together. I always find it so nice/lovely/sweet and just a real treat from my bestie when he goes beyond the ordinary to make a special moment by taking a turn when it isn’t his turn. Its often a joke between us but its also something that keeps us going strong and serving one another out of love!

The Ordinary Moments
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I feel like in recent months, that I should be changing this to “What I bought in home bargains this month”, because once again it seems to be somewhat of a home bargs haul!!

I decided a couple of weeks ago that I needed a pencil case and found in the mothers day range at Home Bargains, this lovely gold sparkle one. The size is great and I think its just lovely – especially for like 79p! I also spotted the note books whilst there, which were a pack of 2, again hovering somewhere around the £1 mark and I couldn’t not buy them. If you have a home bargains and can get there, then do check their mothers day stuff out right now, it all has this rose gold and bronze feel to it all and is simply gorgeous!

Next up, and again from the home of the bargs is a hula hoop for little Megsie. She has been doing super well at school both in effort and success, and so as a treat I said she could buy something special. She chose the glitzy hoop for £1.99 and has been jumping around with it in our room like an uncoordinated elephant ever since!!!

Finally are a couple of things I picked up in the charity shop the other day as I was getting off the bus before the school run! A lovely H&M blouse for £2 and a crazy dress with no known brand to me, again for a bargain at £2.50! It made me laugh as I had been round all of my favourite shops in Leeds looking for some new things and bought zero…I then by chance hit my local and bag some lovely things. I cant wait for continued warmer weather where I can have the opportunity to wear them. I love the silky blouse, it just seems so versatile, and the dress pattern is mint. It will look fab with sandals in the summer!

Once again I am linking up with Julia at Rainbeaubelle to swap ideas of lovely things one can find under £5!

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