Almost every weekend Megan asks us if we can go out to Wetherspoons for Breakfast. She loves eating out for breakfast and especially loves the sheer size of a brekkie she can get there (because its so cheap!).And so this Saturday, after they had both completely cleaned their rooms, we decided to reward them by taking them out for a big Breakfast at our local Wetherspoons.

It was a pretty nuts experience (as is usual with our nutty kids), and whilst they were mostly better behaved than they usually are when we eat out, it was still an exhausting experience that I wouldn’t want to repeat any time soon! Aside from that and a country walk following, this week has been rather casual and uneventful (but filled with some lovely ordinary moments that have made me smile)!

Grateful For

This week I am grateful for my children! Whilst we have these really nutty experiences where I wonder who these monkey’s are that I have birthed, we also have moments where I look at them all playing or being lovely and I am glad that I am a mother to such a lovely brood of kids! I am grateful they cleaned their rooms this week, that Ethan has taken to kissing me goodnight every evening (whilst asking me how I am), and I am grateful they have each other to play with, be friends with, and have ultimate sibling adventures with!

I am grateful for an overall lovely weekend with the 3 of them.

Succeeded At 

This week I succeeded at getting the kids to clean their rooms – they look so nice now and I haven’t stood on lego in 2 days (winning!).

Found Beauty In 

The most beautiful part of the week was out lovely countryside walk on Saturday afternoon! We took a short walk in the wolds, and with the sun shining, fresh air and clear views, it was most lovely! We are very fortunate to live in this part of the country and I love that these stunning (family friendly) country walks are so accessible to us whenever it takes our fancy!

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As we reach the end of September 2018, we cannot help but feel gratitude – gratitude for a gentle month that in the past has been so hard. And gratitude for the safe arrival of 2 new nephews/cousins for our children – we are looking forward to meeting them and watching them grow! We are thankful this month that the kids have seamlessly slotted back into school life, and that life overall has been good and positive this month!

September for us has always felt like “dooms day”! As it approaches, our emotions and anxieties are heightened as we prepare ourselves for the anniversary of losing our daughter, and another birthday without her here.

Whilst still reflective (and in some ways still hard) we did not feel that heaviness to the same degree this year and consequently it has meant that this September has been a month that we have enjoyed and found love in. We made the most of celebrating Poppy’s 4th birthday through a floral arrangement for her grave, a balloon release at the lighthouse, and cake and ice cream. Our pictures this month were taken that day – the 16th of September and our 3rd childs heavenly birthday! I like that each September now, however hard or solemn, however reflective or even peaceful we feel, we still get to celebrate her, and we still get to have pictures that symbolise us as a family of 6!

Aside from the build up to Poppy’s anniversaries, and time to remember her more so, September saw Ethan and Megan head back to school for years 2 and 3. They have been on time every single day (which is massive) and are enjoying being on Pack ups this year (for a change). They are both doing well so far and seem to be enjoying it and doing well – we couldn’t be happier with that.

September also saw me head back to college to embark on my Level 4 Counselling course – I have only been back 2 weeks, but so far it feels right and I am excited to get stuck into it and make new friends along the way! I am excited to be another step closer to this ambition of mine and the growth and knowledge that awaits in these next 2 years. Once I am qualified, it will be a huge blessing to our family, and a great adventure for me!

In and amongst anniversaries and back to school, September has also seen a few family adventures around Yorkshire. Our family have enjoyed a trip to the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway (as well as a swimming and disco party for our brother in laws 40th that day!), a coach trip over to Preston to our Temple for the day, and a lovely country walk in the wolds yesterday! When I think about September 2018, I am content in the fact that we have each embraced opportunities and adventures that have come our way. Whilst on occasion we have certainly missed the freedoms and fun of the Summer holidays, we have certainly made the most of this month and for that I am thankful.

As October approaches, we are more than excited (and very much looking forward to), celebrating Ethan turning 8, our 9th Wedding anniversary, and then for half term – heading to Tuscany for a week! It’s going to be an epic month and we cannot wait for all of the memories and fun that await!

In September we are Grateful for:

*A peaceful Month
*An opportunity to Celebrate Poppy and send her balloons!
*Family that came to celebrate Poppy – and for the ones who sent their thoughts!
*For new friends and for them making us feel loved on Poppy’s anniversaries and enjoying lunch out together!
*For a trip to the theatre with Mr Smith (Date night out – hallelujah)
*Mummy and Megs seeing Madagascar the musical
*Country walks
*Bonus sunshine days
*Seamlessly adjusting back to school – and enjoying it!

 

 

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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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