This Summer has been wonderful, and great for the days we’ve been able to spend with our friends from the village! Our lifestyle is very different these days and we spend a lot more time with the people we live around (which is lovely). I love that the our neighbours and the kids my kids go to school with are not only our friends now, but also the people we socialise with and go on adventures with!

I have loved having the time to talk and laugh with my new pals whilst the kids spend all day playing and getting along.

On Monday we walked 4 miles locally (it took all morning) and the week before that we spent a whole day on the beach in Hunmanby. Then Thursday we had a day out to Scarborough! These trips have been pretty nuts, but a lot of fun too, and they have made Summer more memorable. The great part is that they have also all been FREE!!

Whilst there is still a good week or so of the summer holidays left, I thought I’d share with my Yorkshire readers especially, a few free ideas we have enjoyed with our friends in big groups – just in case you have hit desperation mode and need a couple more ideas to see you through til September!

1. A beach day 

2 weeks ago we went to Hunmanby Gap which lies between Bempton and Filey on East Yorkshire Coast. The day wasn’t super warm, but dry and sunny enough to be able to spend a good 6 hours on the beach digging with friends and chasing the tide (and a seal!). There were about 8 families that came and we built a little base on the beach, where the kids played non stop around us all day and we enjoyed banter and picnics!

I swam in the sea with one of my friends and we all generally just chilled and had fun with one another. I realised on this day that seemingly ordinary days, and things we would usually do over the Summer anyway, were enhanced 10 fold by being in a big group of great friends!

  

Just up the coast is filey brigg and we have also been there twice this Summer for rock pooling with family and extended family. If you want another idea then know that it makes for a real adventurous free day too even with wellies and raincoats on!

2. A country walk 

As we live in a village now, we are fortunate enough to be able to walk 5 minutes out of our door and be in beautiful fields and open countryside. We took advantage of this on Monday and had a spontaneous group trek with dogs and kids! We did just shy of 4 miles on a circular walk that brought us home again. The weather was dry and I enjoyed the exercise and chat with my friends. It always makes me smile to see my kids running through fields and embracing nature – especially when surrounded by their best friends from school (or cousins too).

You may not live as close as us, but a local nature walk of any description with friends, makes for easy exercise and a lovely time!

3. Scarborough open air theatre 

On Thursday a group of us headed to Scarborough in convoy and had a walk around peasholm park and a picnic overlooking the lake.

From there we walked over the road to the open air theatre where they had a 2 hour family friendly show. This was a free event that runs throughout the summer and was so feel good and chilled. There was singing, dancing, “Double Trouble”, magic, puppets and laugh out loud Comedy! The kids absolutely loved it and it was nice to sit in the sun and be entertained together. I was really impressed with what a great day it was and will certainly be keeping it on my radar for next Summer!

Sadly on this trip some of the mums were working but it was great to be with the ones that could come!

 

These little outings and local adventures have made our summer holidays extra special, more fun and adventurous, and they have meant we have spent less whilst still making lots of lovely memories! I love our new friends… they make the ordinary extraordinary!

 I love that we have found wonderful friends amongst our neighbours and that we have found people with like minded interests and outlooks on life. I enjoy hanging out with them, not just because they are lovely people and friends but because there is a high chance our kids are all going to grow up together and end up in the same high school too, and that makes me a little bit excited (and scared) that these potentially could be more than neighbours and school mates – but friends for life!!

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I am a little later than usual with my weekly round up of joyful moments from this last week – mainly because it has been such a busy and fantastic weekend I haven’t really had much time to sit and collect my thoughts. This week overall has been an incredibly hard one for me and in time I will go into more depth on that, but for now I am more than grateful that it ended on such a high, so many lovely moments shared together. We have enjoyed the kids sports day, football and a beach adventure!

The highlight this weekend (aside from our victory over Sweeden to qualify us for the Semi’s – how mint!) most certainly was our family expedition through the caves on Saturday evening. Kitted out in wetsuits, our little family joined my sisters family and our parents up at Thornwick Bay and together had a whole lot of fun swimming in the sea. We were seen climbing through the caves and “cliff jumping”, and It was a whole lot of fun/a rather epic moment!

Grateful For 

The beach makes me so happy, so to have the opportunity on Saturday to get into my wetsuit was a joyful moment I felt grateful to have. We went in the evening at low tide so the waters were calm and blue and the evening sun looked and felt lush. I felt truly grateful for Summer, for brave kids that were up for the adventure and for fun times with some of our family.

This week I have also been grateful for mum friends at school that get me and took time to chat about life! I am also very grateful for sisters and having a fab time on Thursday with 2 of them carbooting and ice cream eating. It was such a lovely day out and I am once again grateful to live close by them and the coast – so much more spontaneity in life as a result!

Succeeded At 

This week I succeeded at getting into my wetsuit after 2 years (too long) and loved it! Last year we never really took the opportunity to go caving and really missed the fun we have together up in the caves! I also succeeded at doing a tonne of laundry thanks to the glorious weather and succeeded at hitting up the car boot sale and finding some mega deals.

Found Beauty In 

A boat full of kids eagerly floating through the caves with us. My kids playing with Russian dolls whilst sat in their England tops watching the world cup! And, seeing the little kiddies at sports day running their little socks off – so cute!

I also found great joy and beauty in the continuously sunny days we’ve had, the beautiful coastline in the evening sun and seeing the Puffins line the cliffs!

This gorgeous weather has brought so many wonderful moments and I am feeling so happy that we are having a proper Summer – long may it continue.

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Since seeing “The Greatest Showman” a few weeks ago, my children have been slightly (insert very) obsessed with Circus’ and stunt people. They dance, attempt to do random stunts, and put on shows for us all of the time. Megan especially dreams of a life in the circus as a trapeze artist, and will often use this as the main reason she doesn’t need to go to school EVERY day! So, you can imagine the sheer excitement that ran through our home last week when we were invited to see The Paulos Circus in York on Saturday for a family afternoon of fun! Lets just say it was the ultimate dream for them, and a wonderful treat for us all.

We invited Grandma along with us as we thought she might enjoy it too, and all hopped in the car and headed to York with a picnic! It was easy to find, plenty of free parking, and thankfully traffic was minimal for a Saturday afternoon which was great. Once there, and after a short wait in line, we found some spare seats (its a free for all so get there early) which were nicely placed just on the second row back. The show was fantastic throughout, and we all had a laugh a minute as we sat there in the big top as spectators of the 2pm performance of “The Paulos Circus” and their #CreatingMemoriestour2018!

 Nothing beats the thrill of live entertainment, especially when it is something you are so passionate about, and involves a show that is filled with so much to see, and generally all round very talented individuals. They only have about 8 performers for the whole thing, which in itself is amazing. And together “The Paulos Circus” team put on an incredible 80 min show that is jam packed with ‘edge of your seat’ stunts, traditional circus tricks, catchy and well loved music, laugh out loud jokes and all round silly behaviour!

It opened on a complete high with stunts that took our breath away. And then, just when you become reasonably comfortable with what you are seeing, they would step up the shock factor and add in blindfolds to which you would here a subtle “nooooooooo” make its way across the audience! There were several moments (straight up and throughout) that had us torn between daring not to look, and needing to look at what they were about to do. It was such a fantastic opening (and all round performance) that had us captivated from the start.

Each of the stunts performed were amazing and we saw everything from “A Clown” (not in traditional clown attire), to a juggler… Trapeze…tightropes and knife throwing! We were completely wowed by the magic of the light show, and this was a truly spectacular part – it must have taken ages to coordinate! “Mr Laser” brought the mystery factor to the ring, and blew us all away as he moved and commanded the flow of light around us. I loved how though his performance he created the illusion of light being something more physical that you literally felt you could reach out and grab! Alice especially was fixated on this whole part, and loved it. It was something I suppose was extremely sensory for the younger members of the audience as well as being awesome for us all. (These pics don’t really do it justice)!

The show was great for the kids  – they loved the shock of the stunts and performers, the beauty of “the sparkly lady” on the Trapeze ring, and they laughed their socks off at the mimes, and antics of the lovable “Mr N”! They loved the experience of being in a circus tent as a spectator of live talent, and especially loved the fresh popcorn that grandma treated them to!

For us adults it was hilarious and breathtaking, and overall it had a good balance of being both exciting and a little silly. It was filled with laughter, amazement and just pure joy for all of the family, and from Alice at almost 2, up to Grandma who is a little older, we all very much loved it from start to finish and had a great Saturday afternoon as a family.

Circuses, I find are such a lovely thing to do as a family. They provide moments to laugh together, moments to be wowed together, and moments to be completely blown away together. I love that in places like this, we are all feeling the same emotions at the same time, and I love the excitement and adventure of being in a big top where extraordinary things occur! It makes lasting memories for all and is all such a fun and lovely family day out.

Isn’t it amazing what people do for jobs? It is inspiring (especially to our budding trapeze artist) to be in the presence of people with such wonderful talents, and it most certainly gets a thumbs up from us!

The Paulos Circus is touring Yorkshire right now, and For just £7 each, it is money well spent, and an absolute bargain for a family afternoon out! There is something for all ages (even little Alice loved it) and both kids and adults alike will have a jolly old time! It is currently at ROKO HEALTH CLUB, Stirling Road, York, YO30 4TU From Friday 6th of April until Sunday the 13th of May, and then I believe it will be coming to East Yorkshire! For all dates and times why not keep upto date by following them on Facebook or Twitter!

Please note there is knife throwing, and a scene with a plastic bottom… but thankfully not together!!!!

*Thanks so much to The Paulos Circus for inviting us along in return for a review. All thoughts and pictures are my own.
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Is there anything more lovely than seeing kids enjoying their childhood and running wild? I just love it! I love to see my kids enjoying the outdoors, in the fresh air and running around, because not only is it a fantastic natural (and fun) form of exercise for them (and it’s free), but it makes me happy to see them letting off steam!

On the 24th of April 2018, children from across the Humber region will be getting together to participate in the Humber “GO Run For Fun” – A FREE event taking place at Hull Ionians Rugby Club, in partnership with Active Humber! It will span across 2 KM and is promised to be a fun free activity, where children can enjoy themselves and achieve something, all while taking part in physical exercise. The organisation is also providing a Health & Wellbeing Programme alongside the event to educate young children about the importance of diet and regular exercise, which I think is fantastic. 

With 21 schools taking part from across the region, including the run, a fun warm-up for the kids, and an appearance from the mascot, it looks like so much fun, and I kind of wish my kids were going to be there too (I know they would love it). 

GO Run For Fun is an organisation set up and committed to helping kids between 5 and 10 to get more active and healthy through their free running events. Their aim is that simple – get more kids running! And since starting in 2013, they have already welcomed over 200,000 young runners across their events in the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Mexico and the USA.

Children’s health has been hitting UK headlines recently, with Public Health England suggesting 22.6 percent of children aged 4-5 and 34.3 percent of children aged 10-11 are overweight or obese. As a parent this is so troubling to me and we have always tried hard to help our kids be active and eat well to avoid the problems that come with kids being overweight. GO Run For Fun not only aims to deliver these fun, mass running events but, as mentioned, is also delivering a full Health & Wellbeing Programme to support the initiative. 

How we help our kids stay healthy …

We are quite an active family, who enjoy a lot of things outdoors, and so often our weekends will involve a walk of some description in nature! My kids, however have always been active and keep healthy by scootering or biking to and from school every day, by doing sporty extracurricular activities, and by us monitoring their snack/sugar intake.

We all enjoy a treat, but often at home we eat mainly vegetarian, and their main snacks after school is fruit, a wholemeal wrap with natural peanut butter, or raisins or something similar. We occasionally have crisps but I only ever buy enough that they would get them twice in the week maximum! All of our meals during the week though are fresh, cooked from scratch and mostly veggie. It’s something I really enjoy, and cooking for me is such an enjoyable thing, that we eat a wide range of foods and flavours! I find that this is not only a cheap way to eat when feeding the 5 of us, but I also find that the majority of things I make are also colourful and therefore have the healthy factor.

Just last night I made an insta-worthy dish that everyone thoroughly enjoyed (and lots of people asking for tips). It was honestly so quick, fresh, full of flavour, and healthy too, so I thought I would share it to give you a sense of some of the things we love – I present to you “Falafel with Giant couscous salad & Tzatziki sauce” – Yum!

Falafel & Giant CousCous Salad with Pitta & Tzatziki Sauce

You will need:

*Falafel (my falafel is shop bought from Tesco/Lidl and you can get them in all supermarkets. You can also step up the health factor by making your own, but my homemade ones have always been a little dry!)
*Giant Couscous
*Fresh Spinach
*Baby plum tomatoes (sliced)
*Feta
*Fresh Coriander
*2 Lemons
*Wholemeal Pitta
*Greek Yogurt, Cucumber, minced garlic, dill and lemon juice for the Tzatziki (or again buy it if it’s easier)! 

For the Salad – cook and cool the giant couscous, then add a couple of handfuls of shredded spinach leaves, sliced plum tomatoes, cubed feta, and chopped coriander

Pour over the juice of 2 lemons and mix it all up well

For the Sauce (If you are making it from scratch)

Combine chopped cucumber with 2 cups plain greek yogurt, 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1/3 cup chopped dill, 1/2 tsp salt (add more to taste) and 1/8 tsp black pepper

Then serve with warmed pitta and falafel (again cooked), and enjoy the deliciousness! 

Our Favourite Humberside spot to get some exercise…

Moving to a new area means you have both the privilege and challenge of finding new favourite spots to enjoy with the kids/as a family! Whilst we are fairly new to the East Riding/Humber region we both grew up here and have obviously visited family here too over the years. There are many places that are lovely to walk and cycle, and we especially love the coast. But one of our faves (not far from Hull City centre) would have to be The Humber Bridge Country Park!

I love that it is right on the edge of a city and yet once in there you feel worlds away! It is a nature reserve and a place where you can walk and relax together, have a picnic, play at the park, and the kids can run free or take their bikes and scooters. I also love that because it is next to the Humber Bridge, if the weather is nice you can also factor in the option of a walk or bike ride together across and back – covering an easy and fascinating 2 miles!

Helping kids to stay healthy can be such a natural and fun thing. I love to see my kids being active and enjoying the outdoors. We all love a treat, but I love that this is in moderation and they appreciate the taste and benefits of fruit and vegetables. They are always willing to try new foods, new experiences and as a result are finding things they enjoy whilst staying active and healthy!

Check out the GO Run For Fun mission statement and see if there are any areas you might be able to improve on in helping your kids and family be a little more healthy this Spring/Summer!

Ready, Steady, GO! – Run each day of the week

Bin the Sugar, Win with Water – Drink 8 glasses of water a day

Eating the Rainbow – Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day

Keeping Going and Not Giving Up – Use the word Yet when you can’t do something, be resilient, not giving up

Team Spirit – Be a team player

Improving Fitness – Be active for 60 minutes during the day

 

*In collaboration with GO Run For Fun

 

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