Having lived in Leeds for 7 years or so I have visited Kirkstall Abbey a few times, I have taken the kids on the odd occasion to their weekly craft/play sess and even once went into the musem..it was an epic fail – Mainly because they were too young and not interested and I was disappointed to never have seen the whole museum.

For the last few months I have had it on my “To go to” list and yet we have never actually got around to going, I figured now they were a little older they may enjoy it more…I was right! Mr Smith is currently off work with a chest infection (he’s apparently on deaths door!) and so as to help him get some rest I bundled the kids into the car and off we went. From where we live it only takes about 25 mins and we stopped off on the way for a sandwich each and arrived there around lunch time, it was perf because everyone was heading to the cafe for lunch and so it was pretty quiet. As its Easter there were some lovely crafts and then we explored the Victorian Streets – Absolutely brilliant. So many teaching opportunities, lots to touch and even some fancy dress.

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Upstairs was even more kid friendly with a section about looks/looking good (to be honest I didn’t read much as they legged it to the wigs) and then a gallery all about Victorian children, toys, and living. They had a lot of fun singing nursery rhymes with me and then we played tea parties, followed by story time in the den (with mummy not the museum). I couldn’t believe that then they had a nursery with old toys on display and plenty of toys for the kids to play with (que hyperventilating from E) it was so lovely.

wigs playingThe Victorian era is one of my faves and it was great that we were able to spend a good hour and half in the museum learning and playing together, the staff were all very child friendly too and it was just a lovely atmosphere. The fun didn’t stop there as we made our way across the rd to the FREE Abbey, which I must warn is VERY tempting for children to climb on! They loved exploring it and were in awe at the vastness of it all. It was great to see them soaking up history and loving their life!
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I cannot wait until the weather is warmer so we can actually go again and this time spend the whole day there and at the park too; playing, exploring, learning, creating and picnicking you can do it all at Kirkstall Abbey & Abbey House Museum!

Linking up with Yorkshire tots for #YorkshireFamily (Thanks)

#YorkshireFamily with Yorkshire Tots
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When I was pregnant with Megan I had to go for fasting blood tests to see if I had gestational diabetes, something I DID have with Ethan. I ended up being just shy of 15 minutes late and was refused my appointment. I was astounded that even though I had fasted from dinner the night before, was pregnant, started hormonal crying that I couldn’t even get past the receptionist, she not only refused my appointment but made me feel terrible for being 15 minutes late to it!

Iv’e been several times since this episode and having learnt my lesson usually arrive just before our appointment time, but usually find that they have no problem making us wait beyond the “15 minute rule”! Yesterday was no exception, in fact it was a disgrace! Ethan has had a sniffle and cough for a week or so but nothing that has made us feel the need to see a Dr, as the morning went on however he started crying in pain (not like him) and holding his right ear! He felt hot but said he was cold, I was fortunate enough to be able to get him in with the DR for 10:50 and so we arrived at 10:45 so as to check in and be on time
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…15 minutes after our appointment (the time frame I was refused) we were still waiting. Half an hour later after 2 toilet trips WE WERE STILL WAITING..Ethan snuggled on me crying in pain watched by other patients and finally 45 minutes after our appointment we were seen…45 MINUTES!! Try explaining for that time why he is still in pain and why the DR can’t yet see him, trying to comfort him and keep Megs out of mischief, they did well but it wasn’t the best of mornings I assure you!
The diagnosis (eventually) was that he has a bad ear infection and swollen glands, something the Doc said he would find very painful and likely to be deaf in that ear for a few weeks.

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After another 20 minute wait and toilet trip at the onsite Pharmacy, we left armed with antibiotics and calpol!

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I am very much aware that we are fortunate to live in a country where we have free healthcare at a pretty good standard but as if having ya kid poorly isn’t hard enough with out being sat for almost an hour in the surgery to be seen, when if the shoe was on the other foot we’d have most likely be sent on our way! I mean if it was A&E or a walk in centre you would expect to wait wouldn’t you? but when you have an appointment at surgery so vigilant in keeping to that time, that also says there’s a “0” minute waiting time you wonder what the freak is going on?!
RANT OVER!

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Since becoming a mother and being at home almost full time, my desire to be able to sew has increased significantly. I learn’t to sew/use a sewing machine whilst in high school and I remember my mum doing a little bit here and there and letting us use her sewing machine for the occasional up-cycle project as a teen. My memory tells me I did pretty well with it which is evident by “A” for textiles! As with many things we learn at school you smash it in an exam and then think that we will never really need it again or rather want to use it. I seriously never imagined that as I married and had kids that I would want to be making personal home furnishings, costumes and clothing for them. Teenage me would never have wanted to go fabric shopping and design lovely things for the fam, let alone enjoy doing it too. Isn’t it funny how life experiences change us and our interests move into new realms?!

Earlier this year some local ladies posted on the community FB wall enquiring about whether there were any local and reasonable sewing classes. Whilst I have made the odd baby quilt and for Megs the odd skirt I have REALLY wanted to improve my skills and learn (or rather be reminded of) how to use my sewing machine. For a while I have seen lovely fabrics and even bought some but never had the confidence to attempt anything. I was just as eager as everyone else and after we were able to find a teacher the “Take a break” sewing group was born! We meet every fortnight for 3 hrs on a Saturday where we receive instruction and a helping hand from our lovely and VERY patient teacher. Together we create – sometimes chaos mostly usable fabric things and always a mess! I really love this group and look forward to it – I love to chat and laugh with the other ladies  as we attempt to become domestic goddesses. I love to create and see the finished products and I am really getting into refining and improving my sewing skills. This group has become an ordinary part of every other Saturday but I just love it. Everyone is so nice, we share some sweet baked goods, have some fun and make some lovely things, we often justify our mistakes with things like “well the pattern was bigger than I wanted anyway” or “It was just a practice”…its fun but Im sure at times our teacher wants to tear her hair out with us all!
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So far I have made a tote bag, Cushion cover and currently battling with some bias binding on a quilted cosmetic purse (that im not interested in anyway hahahaha #justification) Sewing is becoming my new mummy hobby that I love. I already have fabric to make a dress for Megs, blind for the landing, cushion covers and a gift for someone. I want to make both kids some shorts for the summer and PJ’s and I want to make lovely things for people for Christmas. I can actually see as I complete each project how these goals are quite within my reach now, I love that I can make things to my taste and that are so cheap compared to buying them.

I look forward to my next sess to see what I can crack out!
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Sometimes as mothers we just need a chilled day out, something out of the ordinary, something to do aside from the cleaning and laundry, we all need to rejuvenate and “have a day off”! Now that Ethan and Megs are getting older they are BOTH in pre school, they go on a Monday and Friday and these days are cleaning, food shop, laundry, shopping kind of days for me…except this Friday.

I am quite partial  to obsessed with a good deal and vouchers and so last year when I saw a spa voucher on living social for 2 with a hot drink an pastry for £12 I snapped it up, with the stress of everything I had forgotten about it and received a “gentle reminder” that it expired this weekend (whooopppssss) and so Friday was the obvious day to go as it was kid free day and the household chores would still be there Saturday. Nath is the 2nd of 11 kids and I am blessed to get along with everyone in his fam. In September 2 of his younger siblings came to Leeds for uni and so I asked his younger sister if she fancied it and as it was also her day off from uni and being young free and single she didn’t need a sitter of course it was a definite YES!

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The spa was at Aldwark manor in the most picturesque location which we couldn’t believe was only 40mins from Leeds as it very much felt like we were on holiday. I deffs want to look into a night away here for myself and Mr Smith as its just so beautiful. I love Yorkshire, especially parts like this and in the sun…it was lovely! It was also so nice to chat together and it not be all about kids but just normal stuff, I love laughing with friends and family about kids stuff and we did briefly bring them up but it was mostly about fashion, diets/health, holidays, boys and the usual teen talk – I loved it!
Gorgeous countryside, Swimming, jacuzzi, sauna and a steam room.. followed by hot chocs and a croissant each made for the perfect day off – it was blissful!
The most random part of the whole trip that cracked us up was a toll booth near the village that was an extortinate 40p admission – both ways! It was ran by an old man that became irritated with us on the return journey because we didnt realise we needed another ruddy 40p to get out!!!!

spaOverall I had a lovely relaxing day, kid free (well until the school run) and a great catch up with one of my many lovely sister in laws.

If you too would like the same experience its back on and deffs worth £12 just can’t guarantee such excellent company!

https://www.livingsocial.com/deals/1419106-spa-experience-for-two-19-nationwide-locations

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