Last night I took Megan with me to the press night of “Madagascar The musical” at Bridlington Spa, and of course she absolutely LOVED it! One of our goals this year was to take the kids on dates with each of us regularly, so that we could spend one on one time with them, and so they could have fun solo with mum or dad. We felt it was a good way to be able to talk with them, as well as create special memories too. And so, when I received the invite to review Madagascar The Musical, I knew it would be ideal for our budding zoo keeper and a “mummy-daughter date” and it really was!

Madagascar The Musical – Starring X-Factor Winner Matt Terry

I think at some point of life we have all seen the hilarious and much loved film “Madagascar”? With it’s cheeky plotting penguins and hypochondriac giraffe, it won our hearts many years ago as fine choice family film (and lets not forget the humour of king Julien’s character and his epic partying)! It is without a doubt a favourite here too for us all, and the stage adaptation is just as enjoyable for both kids and adults alike.

Based on the hugely popular DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar The Musical remains true to the plot and follows all of your favourite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar. Starring X-Factor Winner Matt Terry as “Alex the Lion”, this show was filled with swag, brilliant singing and dancing, and very impressive plotting puppet penguins.

I loved the character of Gloria (her voice is incredible), and Megan loved “Alex the lion” (but didn’t like the lightning effects). Matt Terry played it very well and his voice (as well as all of the others) and performance was fantastic.

The character of King Julien had everyone in stitches, and the costumes of all of the characters were simply outstanding. The set is imaginative and colourful and it oozes comedy and high energy throughout. I love the bond of Alex and Marty, and the friendship portrayed between them and the others, is a wonderful message for any child.

There were little kids and big kids surrounding us in the Spa, and everyone was fixated and laughing throughout – it really was a great family experience. Younger kids will most definitely be blown away with the lifelike costumes and puppetry, and older kids will love the plot, singing and jokes.

And us adults? Well, for me it was lovely to see a much loved film come to life on stage and bask in its humour and adventure with my little girl – I loved King Julien and I loved attempting to “floss” with Megs during the finale while we laughed our socks off! We both had a wonderful night and went home singing and laughing all the way!

So why not join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and those hilarious, plotting penguins as they bound onto stage in the musical adventure of a lifetime. Filled with outlandish characters, adventure galore and an upbeat score, you’ll have no choice but to “Move It, Move It!”!

And….If you’re not quite sold yet, then check out this video for a sneaky peak at how amazing it truly is –

What you need to know:

This brilliant family show is now on tour, and is currently being performed at Bridlington Spa. It is here until the 22nd of September and Tickets start from £29.50 for Adults and £17.50 for children. It starts at 7.30pm and ends around 9ish (with a 30 min interval) which isn’t too bad for school nights!

*Thank you to Brid Spa for inviting us to this. Tickets were complimentary in return for an honest review. 

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One of my biggest pet peeves as a school mum are the shoes the kids wear! Of course they need to be black and in line with their uniform code, but finding the balance between budget friendly, practical and hard wearing is an absolute nightmare! Both Ethan and Megan are very active and consequently their shoes take a lot on a daily basis – they ride either a bike or scooter to school every day, are playing on the the trim trail or football at lunch time, climbing trees and playing in the park after school and then riding home again after. They often play out most nights, and whilst I encourage them to change into play clothes and trainers, they mostly just ignore me!

It is a frustrating cycle that every new term their shoes are trashed and I am having to dish out for new ones. With 2 kids this isn’t cheap at all! I know I love a bargain, but I am not even talking about tacky cheapo shoes (thought I did give them a go and retunred them for a refund after only 2 weeks in September). No I am talking here about what I thought were good quality ones from the high street, but found that the velcro came off on the fastener after a term with Megans Clarks shoes! It is all such a big farce and is doing my head in!

For this term however (since Easter) Ethan has been testing out Treads shoes. I first noticed them on a facebook AD and was intrigued by the fact that they offer a 12 month indestructible guarantee. As a mother that feels like I am buying shoes all the time, this was like a “hallelujah” moment! Affordable shoes, that look good AND have a guarantee?? Sign me up!

I love that the company was started by a parent just like me – done in with having to buy shoes all of the time that turned out to be tat and a waste of money! He knows how kids are and what is needed in a long lasting shoe that they spend a huge chunk of their lives wearing.

Treads are constructed using a “strobel” technique where the upper is placed into a mould and the sole is then injected around it creating one unit without the need for any gluing. This not only creates a really strong bond but offers additional flexibility which is perfect for active kids like mine!

They are made from permair leather which is breathable and water resistant, have reinforced seams and heels, and are scuff proof and wipeable. They have a nifty insole for shock absorbing, and another that can be removed to increase width (together Ethan says they feel very bouncy!). The flexible fused sole makes them hard wearing, non slip and non marking.

Treads shoes came through the post in a lovely box and were delivered very quickly. They have been comfy and hard wearing as promised, and Ethan has loved them!

As a mother I am really impressed as we reach the end of the school year, that I can look at them and see there is still so much more wear left. In this same period of time Ethan’s shoes would usually be battered and I would binning them, whilst muttering to myself about how much they cost and how trashed they are in such a short space of time! They would have holes in the soles, have the coating coming off and look awful, but with his new Treads shoes, aside from being a bit dusty and a little scuff at the front, they are in immaculate condition and as you can see from the next pic, also have plenty of wear in the soles!

What’s great is that they are really affordable too, with most pairs at £35.

What Ethan has to say …

Do you like your new shoes?

Yeah – course I do! I wear them every day and they just look so nice and a bit posh don’t they? I remember when I got them and they looked so clean and shiny! 

What’s the best thing about them? 

That they feel a little bit bouncy when I walk and that I can get them on really really fast. Oh and it’s good that they’re not broken like my others isn’t it? That means I can wear them still in year 3 if my feet don’t grow! 

How do you find them to play in? 

I’ve already told you they’re really good! UGH!! I can run really fast in them and they’re a little bit good to play football in too!

Win a pair of Treads Boys Shoes 

Buying uniform is an expensive affair, and to save you the trouble of having to shop for shoes, Treads are offering one of my lucky readers the chance to win a pair of shoes from their Boys range. The competition will run for 4 weeks (finishing on the 18th August) so that you have them in plenty of time for the new school year! To enter simply follow the instructions below and I wish you lots of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*Treads sent these shoes complimentary for the purpose of this post!

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One of the most common things that Nathan and I squabble about is our recycling and rubbish (dramatic I know)! Taking out the bins and recycling is his main “household chore” and as a busy mother I sometimes forget what can and can’t be recycled and at least once a week will lob all of my chopped tomato tins in the bin, instead of rinsing and recycling, or will keep the milk top on the bottle when I put it in the recycling bin.

I am getting better, but there is certainly room for improvement!

Whilst on some days I argue the point that “does one or 3 tins really make that much of a difference not being in the recycling?”. I know deep down that small steps like this each day can make a massive difference to the environment, but seriously –  on some days I just get so busy and a little slack that that goes out of my mind and I lob it all straight in the rubbish! I fail to remember that it is the job of each and every individual to look at their own ‘Social Spirit’ and understand how their impact can cause a negative or positive effect on the environment.

Have you ever wondered about your own social spirit and the things you are or are not doing to encourage a more sustainable life and protect our world? I don’t think about it too much if I am honest, but recently I have been reading all about it from an ebooklet produced by Glasdon UK, which aims to offer tips and advice on how each person can make changes to their everyday life. It looks at the global goals for a better planet, then brings it to a level that we as individuals can implement to have a positive effect on the environment, from now and for generations to come.

The idea is that whether you’re at home with the family, at work in the office or out and about in your local community, there are many ways that your social spirit can spring into action to help generate a more environmentally friendly world. It might be reminding your kids to use bins if they have a tendency to drop litter. It might be being more vigilant with the recycling at home (guilty), turning off lights and plugs to save energy or only eating ethically sourced fish!

It was a wonderful concept that had me reevaluating my social responsibilities and how I can better improve. I love the term “Social Spirit” and the idea of working to improve it to collectively help accomplish global goals! There are many ways we can radiate a social spirit from refusing plastics like straws at fast food restaurants, to getting involved in community projects. Each small and simple step, encourages others to join in the cause of protecting and looking after the world and communities we live in.

With this in mind, I have evaluated my own social spirit and here are 5 goals I have taken from their booklet that I hope will help us to increase social spirit and encourage more environmentally friendly behaviour from our family.

1.Recycling 

As already mentioned this is a working progress. We are pretty good at recycling in the home, but to be better at it I aim to be more attentive to what packaging I am buying and, recycling everything that can be recycled. I think by shopping smarter too we can cut down on the packaging that we bring into our homes.

I also want to use less plastics when we eat on the road, and try to choose things that will reduce the amount of rubbish and things that need recycling in the first place.

2.Teaching the Kids to Respect their environment 

This can be hard sometimes as kids naturally have a curious streak and if not watched could disrupt habitats. We try to encourage our kids to stay on footpaths when we are out and about, but other things like reminding them to use bins or put rubbish in their pockets untill they get home will be huge in helping nature. Also teaching them to respect plants and wildlife (not picking stuff from gardens) are all small ways they can show respect to our world and local environment.

This is kind of an ongoing reminder so that as they mature they will naturally have awareness for their community and keeping it clean and respected.

3. Make use of recycling bins when out and about 

When we are out/Eating out/In the car, we tend to just bag up all our rubbish and throw it in the nearest litter bin. Anyone who has kids will know how hard it is to keep a family car clean and so getting the rubbish out as soon as possible helps maintain some level of order.

To increase our social spirit, we are going to work on using the recycling bins that are out and about. This way we can help our planet by recycling even more!

4. Use reusable water bottles

This is something we have started this Summer and hope to continue. I have bought all of the kids a reusable water bottle, so that we are not buying as many bottles of water and consequently producing more wast/recycling! Reusable water bottles are way more sustainable and budget friendly.

5. Remember canvas shopping bags 

I am pretty good on the weekly shop at remembering my reusable bags. But where we fall short is with quick top up shops or clothing/charity shopping midweek. I have made a point of putting my canvas shopping bags in the changing bag, in a hope I will buy less plastic bags.

I love the world we live in, the countryside that is now our home. We try to walk and bike as much as possible, eat less meat and encourage our kids to use bins (to name a few). There are so many small ways we can respect the beaches and nature, our homes and community. Your social spirit can be incorporated into everyday life and decisions and by implementing small changes to your daily routine, not only will you ensure you live a more sustainable life, you will help to protect the environment as well as inspiring those around you to become more environmentally friendly.

What steps do you take to improve the environment? Share them below, or online – Don’t forget to join the conversation by using the hashtag #MySocialSpirit and lets come together to make our world a better place!

*Collaborative post

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As of 3.20pm yesterday afternoon our kids are officially on their half term break from school and it couldn’t come soon enough! Megan isn’t a fan of school and it is a battle every day, so she is excited to have her time as her own! And I am excited to have my kids back… I thoroughly enjoy the time we get to go out together and hang out during the school holidays, and with all of the lovely weather we’ve been having so far, I have been super excited to spend some time going on little adventures together! I always enjoy these moments and feel like a proper mum (if that makes any sense?)!

Anyway, tonight they will kick off their fun with an epic sleepover/fun times (which is lasting all weekend) with their cousins at Grandma Smith’s house! It sounds unbelievable what she has planned, and completer madness, but I know each of their cousins are as excited as them and cannot wait to go. With 8×4-7 year olds, I wish her much luck…but I am sure it will be hugely exciting and a wonderful, memorable weekend!

Meanwhile, I am very much looking forward to a bank holiday weekend and having some time with Nath working side by side to spruce up our home and finally put our stamp on it (with our little helper of course).

Usually our half terms are planned around daily themes (read more about it here) which works out wonderfully for a balance. This time round however I decided to mix it up a bit and have a more spontaneous approach. Instead of us brainstorming and planning together around our daily themes, I asked them each to pick a day they wanted and then decide what we be doing on that day – anything they want they can plan it for the rest of the family! They loved this idea so much and are now looking forward to their days, as well as sharing in the fun that one another has planned!

So here is what we are looking forward to this June half term…

MONDAY – The kids will still be living it up at Grandma’s so we will be taking advantage of the Bank holiday to either be finishing any DIY jobs on our list that we didn’t get done Saturday, or simply chilling at the coast with Alice.

TUESDAY – After a busy weekend, we have reserved Tuesday to be a chill out day. I think it’s important when they are off school to have one day at least where they can relax, play out, wander to the park and watch movies. Tuesday will be our day for this!

WEDNESDAY – This is Alice’s day, and so weather permitting we will be visiting an RSPB spot and take a picnic. She loves Birds and animals, and as we have membership I thought it would be a nice day out and a lovely day chasing Nature!

THURSDAY – Megan chose this day as hers. Without hesitation it was swimming and pirate golf at the coast! This will probably be a good day to meet up with cousins on my side and have some fun over that way!

FRIDAY – Ethan really wants to go to “THE DEEP” in Hull! I thought this was a splendid idea as we rarely go to places like this in our school holidays. He thought we could go on the Friday and so there we are – fun at The Deep on Friday! We will probably have a walk around the marina too, and if it’s warm weather, wander to the fountains in the city centre!

SATURDAY – On Saturday we will be returning to Hull to go to Hull Truck Theatre family open day. It is a FREE event from 10am til 4.30pm I have been looking forward to for a while (and I think it will be fantastic). As a theatre lover, I can’t wait for my kids to get hands on and involved with the things I love. It will be great to experience the joy and mystery of the Theatre together! Ethan is especially excited to check out (and hopefully have a go) at lighting and sound, and I think Megs will enjoy the crafty side of things and dress up! I am really looking forward to our family doing something together that makes me so happy!

Later that day we are meeting up with Ethan’s bestie from Leeds for some swimming or just some hanging out!

I am so excited for a week together – having fun and exploring East Yorkshire! Can you believe that next weekend it will be a year since we moved over here? I can’t! It has been such a different pace of life, a refreshing change to life in the City, and I am excited that nearly all that we have planned together is embracing our new favourite spots here in East Yorkshire! I can’t wait to hang with my kids this coming week and have some fun this Half term!

Hello to June Half term – we are so ready for you (once they’ve cracked on and cleaned the house this morning!) – let’s hope the sun shines brightly on our adventures!

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