Last night Keith Jack (runner-up on BBC1’s Any Dream Will Do), Mica Paris (one of the UK’s most respected female singers with top 10 hit singles and albums worldwide) and Jorgie Porter (Hollyoaks/I’m a Celebrity), took to the stage alongside a whole cast of incredibly talented individuals, and raised their voices (and the roof), here on the Yorkshire coast over at Brid Spa, in the hit musical “FAME”!

Based on the 1980 phenomenal pop culture film, “Fame – The Musical” is the international smash-hit sensation following the lives of students at “New York’s High School For The Performing Arts” as they navigate their way through the highs and lows, the romances and the heartbreaks, and the ultimate elation of life.

The story follows a group of teens from audition through to graduation as they work to achieve their musical, drama, and dance dreams, all whilst figuring out their place in the world and trying to put their personal spin on their chosen Art! It explores the different economic backgrounds and learning abilities of the students, and the impact this had on their progress at school. It was a great story, portraying an indepth look at the real cost and sacrifice of “Fame”, and what lengths some will go to, to try and get it!

The cast worked well together and there was a wonderful mix of personalities, dance types and emotions. One of the highlights for me, that I loved a lot, was the jazz music that accompanied the whole thing (the musicians were unbelievable) – it brought a great and quirky vibe to the performance. And the choreography? Well of course that was on point too – energetic, and everything you would expect for a classic like FAME!

Whilst exciting and energetic…all singing all dancing and very feel good, it is not for the faint hearted! With scenes of drugs, sexual innuendos and the odd profanity I found some of it a little cringe and eye popping too, but aside from these points, I really enjoyed the overall story and the dynamics between the characters. The exploration of adolescents (with all of its challenges and struggles) was both funny and incredibly sad and heartbreaking too. It was fun but thought provoking, and I really liked that mix.

Finally the singing – oh the singing!!! I was blown away by the magnificent vocals of Stephanie Rojas (who plays Carmen) and Keith Jack too – My oh my can that man sing! All of the cast had remarkable singing and dancing abilities, but these in particular really struck me as sounding incredible and just stunningly beautiful in everything they sung. Mica Paris – who joins the cast as Miss Sherman –  took it to a whole new level with her vocals and was simply unbelievable, leaving the whole theatre in complete awe (and me wishing I could sing like that!).

I was excited to see Jorgie Porter on stage, and doing something different to Hollyoaks! I was pleasantly surprised to discover what amazing ballet skills she possesses – She played Iris well and was a natural on stage. I found her American accent was very good too and both herself as Iris, and Jamal Kane Crawford  as “Tyrone”, worked really well together and brought a lovely bit of romance!

Despite the lighting (that really stressed me out for some reason) this was a high energy emotional rollercoaster and I really enjoyed watching each characters story unfurl and their abilities evolve, as they progressed through life at “New York’s High School For The Performing Arts”. I have always loved musicals and stories set in and around performing arts schools, and I loved being able to go to the opening night last night with one of my friends for a girls night out! It was a lot of fun and overall, very well done!

Fame – The Musical is suitable for children aged 12+ and will be here in East Yorkshire until Saturday the 20th October 2018. Tickets can be bought here – https://www.bridspa.com/events/?eventid=109202 and I hope you have a lot of fun seeing it! 

*Thank you to Brid Spa for inviting me to the opening night – It was a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy it too! All thoughts are my own, and I have permission to share these images! 

 

 

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Mr Smith rarely wants for anything (which is a great attribute to have), at least until we get to his wardrobe, and then I really wish he did want for more  – more stylish things! Put it this way, he is still wearing the same jacket he had when I met him over 10 years ago, and would wear all of his clothes down to threads if I didn’t intercede now and again most the time and “advise” him otherwise! I don’t like to come across as a controlling spouse, and nor is this by any means ripping on my lovely husband, but he really does have his own unique style (which includes plenty of navy blue) – being brave enough to feel totally cool wearing combo’s that most people wouldn’t dream of wearing together (especially in public!). Therefore, I do feel somewhat responsible to direct and encourage him down a slightly more stylish path and give him some pointers on how to put things together (not to mention he looks way fitter when spruced up nicely!).

Its no wonder then that I jumped at the opportunity recently to work with Jacamo menswear on a style challenge for Mr Smith! I was asked by them to pick some things from their Summer range to spruce up his look for a particular event/purpose and then to share with you all his look/our thoughts on their brand!

I instantly decided to go down the “smart casual” path; both for our upcoming holiday to Italy, and also so he could have things that generally looked a bit smarter. The things I chose, as you will see, are also very versatile for work too. I believe part of being thrifty is that when you are buying pieces for your wardrobe, it always pays to have something you can wear for various things as oppose restricted only for one purpose!

The first thing I chose for him were a pair of knee length smart black chino shorts, which come with a belt. These I felt were a must for our holiday/essential for his wardrobe, as he only had denim shorts and I liked the idea of him having something a bit more posh! They look really good on him and suit him well. He loves the feel of them and said the belt was a great bonus.

For an everyday casual look I paired them with a white Tshirt that has a logo “Keep Exploring” on it. He liked the tropical vibe of this and said that the logo transfer was smooth and soft, unlike other cheaper T shirts he has had where they tend to feel more crisp! Both of these items were from the Jacamo brand and were very reasonably priced. We were both incredibly impressed by the softness of the fabrics and the excellent fit of them. Nathan is 6 ft 3 and wears an XL on top, with 38″ bottoms – both of these items (as well as the others) fit him very well and he commented on how comfortable and cool he felt whilst wearing them. He could run, play, move and carry the kids as he desired, and didn’t feel like his clothes were restrictive or irritable. I really like this outfit on him and he is pleased with my choices.

Up next are 2 short sleeved shirts. Nathan works in an office for the NHS and so is required to dress smartly for this! The office is incredibly warm too, and so he much prefers to have short sleeved shirts, paired with his Chino’s for work! I chose for him a lovely white French Connection short sleeved shirt as this one is super smart, trendy and would do him for church and work, as well as the fact that it would also look fresh in the sun on holiday with his new shorts for a smart look for when we go our dinner. It’s a great all rounder and he loves that it has a respected brand to it, is cool and a very comfortable fit and fabric.

The next one I imagined to be a little more casual for day wear when I chose it. I thought it would also look great with his new shorts for a more “smart-cas” look for sightseeing on holiday, or tucked in to his navy chino’s for work! It was a lovely olive green/navy checked shirt by Ben Sherman and was reduced by £16, making it only £34. This one was one of his faves, as he liked the longer length of it and has found it comfortable paired with both his shorts on a weekend, and with his chino’s for work (erm wonder wear those ideas came from?!)! The various colours in it make it work with so many other things, as well as through different seasons. I think it really suits him and is very flattering!

Mr Smith certainly feels the bees knees in his new gear and I think he looks rather attractive too! We both love the amazing array of sizing, brands and styles available through Jacamo and in our small experience here would agree that their clothing is excellent quality and we cannot fault their service. Jacamo cater for bigger and taller men and Nathan has certainly seen a big positive difference in the comfort and fit of their clothing compared to some of his current pieces.

If you have a man in your life (or are a man yourself reading this) then why not check out their site and see what gems you can find to spruce up your own/their look this Autumn. Whether for holidays, work, casual, or the upcoming Christmas season, there are some fantastic things for all shapes, styles and sizes, that are priced really reasonably too – ideal for gifting or sprucing up any man’s wardrobe/look.

Black Shorts – £30  |  White T shirt – £12  |  Ben Sherman Shirt – £ 34  | French Connection shirt – £30
*Thank you to Jacamo for gifting us these items in return for this review.They are so lovely and we will most definitely be shopping with them in the future. All thoughts and images are our own!

 

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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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I am someone that absolutely loves and very much needs my sleep (just ask Mr Smith). In recent years this has been made much harder by 3 things – Kids, a snoring husband and restless nights on a springy tat mattress! Whilst I can’t do much about the first 2, the change of our mattress to a Simba Hybrid, has made a world of difference to how well I sleep!

When we were first married I slept very well – we had at that time a lovely memory foam topped mattress that brought me sheer comfort every night, but when that reached the end of it’s life during Mr Smith’s final year at University, we could only afford to buy a cheapo one from Gumtree (of all places)! Of course there was no shopping around, no testing out, no reading reviews – it was an essential and it was cheap, so it was a done deal! After the first night we knew exactly why it was so cheap and vowed that we would never scrimp again on a mattress!

You can then only imagine how much I leapt for joy when Simba came to the rescue and asked us to review one of their Hybrid King Size mattresses. The Simba Hybrid is like no other – With a unique combination of 2,500 conical pocket springs, responsive memory foam, a “simbatex” layer, a perfectly engineered support base and a temperature control hypoallergenic airflow sleep surface, it is 5 luxurious layers designed to fit you and help you get the quality of sleep you’ve been dreaming of.

Together these 5 layers provide freshness and comfort, cool and gentle support, and it’s engineered support base has 7 different zones to ensure a perfect night’s sleep for all. The Visco memory foam moulds expertly to your body shape and it’s basically like a mattress that is tailor made for you. Whatever position you choose to sleep in, this mattress is engineered to offer optimum comfort and a fab nights sleep like never before!

Its complete luxury (and yet very affordable) and was just what our bed and lives needed!

The Mattress came in what I would consider a small box for a King size mattress!! I stood there in amazement wondering how the heck a King Size mattress had fit in there and why was it even in a box? Little did I know the surprise that Simba had in store for us!

Once you have taken it out of it’s little box, Simba needs time to settle into it’s new home. We removed all of the cellophane, laid it on the bed, and then the magic happens! The Simba Mattress begins to expand and settle – its all rather fascinating really! Within minutes you have an inviting mattress sat looking at you, and beckoning you to jump on. And then, a few hours later it is settled and ready to use, and you begin to see what all the hype is about.

100 night sleep trial and a fab warrenty

I don’t need 100 nights to tell you that this mattress is not just good, but absolutely blooming fantastic!

But if you aren’t sold by the end of this post, then know that Simba not only make a wonderful mattresses, but they offer you 100 nights to to make sure the mattress is just right for you. If then you are not 100% happy with it for any reason during the 100 day sleep trial, they will arrange a free pickup of your mattress and fully refund you the cost of your purchase – no questions asked.

I also love that Simba offer an amazing warranty too which is something else we love about them as a company. Every Simba mattress comes with a 10 year guarantee and if your mattress fails during the 10 year warranty period, they’ll exchange it for a brand new one.

Our Verdict

We have had the mattress now for almost 3 weeks and are sleeping in absolute luxury – It has turned our master bedroom into a haven of happiness!

During these last few weeks one of the biggest things we have noticed is that we barely feel one another turning over or moving around. This is because of the Simba Hybrid’s flexible zoned base and unique patented springs, that respond individually to each sleeper so that your movement doesn’t affect your partner, and as a result we are sleeping incredibly well. One night last week Nath brought Alice into the bed, and again I didn’t even feel or notice her presence as I would normally do, instead I slept right through!

The mattress is medium to firm and I love it. It offers great support for both of our backs, and I definitely have noticed a difference on my hips. They have been achy since having kids and if I walk a lot during the day, I really feel it at night. The Simba Hybrid offers instant support and on busy days especially, I can’t wait to hop (or rather crawl) into my new dreamy bed!

We are both side sleepers and I especially have noticed that once in position, I barely move all night. I sleep well, in a deep long sleep and wake up feeling way less achy and groggy than I did with our old mattress! I found after the first week my body felt better, and now 3 weeks on I have noticed I feel really rejuvenated every day. I wake up feeling rested, even if I have gone to bed late! It certainly proves to give quality sleep to us both!

So in a nutshell – We basically sleep a hundred times better on the Simba Hybrid Mattress than we were doing – even with 3 kids in the mix!

I can’t get enough of my bed now! It is optimum comfort to sleep in, so comfortable to work from (yes I am writing write now from it!) and watch movies in, and I love how you just sink into it and feel instantly happy and at ease! We both love it, and I could quite easily spend my whole day in bed. Some afternoons I have a sneaky lay on it, just because it feels THAT nice!

Sleep (and the quality of it) affects so much of our lives. If I am tired, I am grumpy – I feel sluggish and achy, and generally have a miserable day! I need my sleep and our new Simba Hybrid is ensuring that that is attained on a level I haven’t experienced in years! Having this dream of mattress means I am able to sleep wonderfully and spring out of bed in the morning ready to face whatever the kids are throwing my way! As the young people of today would say – It’s “on point”!

How about £75 off your Simba purchase? 

Simba believe that if everybody was a little more rested, the world would be a very different place. Happier, healthier, more productive and better decisions would be made. They are re-imagining every aspect of the sleep experience one bed at a time and would love to offer all of my readers a hearty £75 of their purchase of a Simba Hybrid Mattress! Simply click the link, and look forward to an amazing nights sleep for less ———-> GIVE ME £75 OFF MY SIMBA

* We are working with Simba in an affiliate partnership and were sent the Simba Hybrid complimentary in return for both a review and social media work. Thank you Simba for such luxury – All pictures are my own! 

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