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Christmas, Days Out, Home, Lifestyle, Shopping, Unusual

A German Christmas Market in Essex

German Christmas Market in Essex

Every year I always promise myself a visit to a Christmas Market in Europe. Yet, every year life gets in the way and it just doesn’t happen. This year however the Christmas Market came to me! Meadowcroft Garden Centre in Battlesbridge plays host to a German Christmas Market in Essex.

Christmas German Market in Essex - A view of the stalls and seating area

On arrival

Outside you are greeted with festive baubles, reindeer and Christmas Trees inviting you inside. As you step through the doors you are transported into the festive atmosphere of a German market. Inside there are 20 traditional wooden market stalls. They are filled with many delights from Nutcrackers to Cuckoo clocks, along with lots of wonderful Yuletide gifts. Its a great opportunity to get some unique Christmas presents this year. We particularly liked the handmade Russian dolls. Eden picked one of these as her reward for receiving the Head Teachers Award this week! It was difficult to choose just one, there were so many beautifully designed dolls of various sizes.

 

Christmas German Market in Essex - elves

Christmas German Market in Essex - festive market stall with dried orange arrangements

 German Market in Essex - dried orange gifts

Christmas German Market in Essex - close picture of a cuckoo clock

Christmas German Market in Essex - Brightly lit up candle holders

Christmas German Market in Essex - A selection of brightly coloured russian dolls

Treat yourself

Whilst shopping you can treat yourself to some German beer or hot Gluhwein or maybe something to eat. They serve Bratwurst and Sauerkraut, Belgian waffles, along with lots of sweet treats. We really enjoyed our Bratwurst sausage in a bun with lots of mustard. There are plenty of seats in the middle to sit and soak in the festive atmosphere of the German Christmas Market. We also bought some of the Schokokuss chocolates they came in a variety of flavours and are filled with sweet whipped egg whites and are not too dissimilar to marshmallow.

 

Christmas German Market in Essex Food stall

Christmas German Market in Essex - Trays of chocolate treats

Christmas German Market in Essex - German beer bottle lined up

Gift Shop

Aswell as the German market, there is a lovely gift shopped stocked with lots of gorgeous Christmas decorations and gifts. There is also a really nice cafe there, we enjoyed a delicious cream tea after our Bratwurst!

The Christmas German Market in Essex is FREE OF CHARGE to enter. It is open from 10th November to Christmas Eve, during the garden centre opening hours:-

09:30 – 17:30 Monday to Saturday and 10:00 – 17:00 on Sundays.

I would definitely recommend a visit to get you in the festive mood! Thank you for reading ‘A German Christmas Market in Essex’.

Family Life, Home, Lifestyle

Family Gym Time – 3 months on at David Lloyd

Family gym time

Three months ago our family set out on a new and exciting journey. We became members of our local David Lloyd club with a ‘family membership’. You can read about the start of our family gym time journey here.

Before joining the David Lloyd club, myself and my husband attended two different local gyms without any kids clubs facilities. This meant that my husband and I never trained together and all of our workouts needed to be during the week whilst Eden was at school or one of us had to look after Eden whilst the other one went to the gym. This was the complete opposite of spending family time together.

Training together

Since starting our membership, it has allowed us family gym time. We can all visit the gym together. Eden is always so excited to head off into kids club, whether it’s ‘Get active’ or a ‘Make and Create’ class. The options for kids don’t stop there. Eden regularly enjoyed Ballet, Tap and street dance classes all included within the membership. David Lloyd also runs other classes, swimming, tennis and yoga along with a monthly Friday club night with a children’s entertainer, movie nights, special event night. There are so many options to entertain the kids.

Whilst Eden was off enjoying a class meant that my husband and I were able to go off and train in the gym together. It became a regular family event, enjoying every Sunday morning at the gym together. Afterwards treating ourselves to a family brunch. It definitely brought us together as a family, spending much more time together during the week. It also meant that with so many kids classes on offer I didn’t have to cram my workout into the day but I could take Eden after school.

 

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd get make and create class

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd eden waiting for class

Classes

The classes available at David Lloyd far super cede those available at my previous gym. I really enjoyed trying lots of new classes and each week changing up my training plan. I was able to mix up my weight training with my husband, with brilliant HIIT classes, Fight Klub, Pilates, Core and Legs, Bums & Tums. I have definitely benefited from training at David Lloyd both physically and mentally, I have proof that my body is improving by using the Boditrax system. It measures not just your weight but fat, water and muscle, along with other things. After tracking my progress each month, my muscle mass is growing and fat decreasing, I’ve even manage to improve my metabolic age by 5 years!

I think it’s so important to look after ourselves both physically and mentally and by having family gym time we are setting a good example to Eden from early age. We are showing her just how important it is to keep fit, stay active, eat healthy and to look after yourself.

I believe David Lloyd clubs are not ‘just a gym’, they are so much more than that, it is a way of life.

They are so family focused, the food menu is healthy and delicious, they offer brilliant classes for all ages and abilities, and if you don’t fancy any of that you can chill and some ‘me time’ in the lounge area or have a swim and steam. We have truly enjoyed our time at David Lloyd and look forward to our time ahead.

To find out more information about your local David Lloyd, visit their website.

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd fight klub

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd Squash

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd in the gym

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd. Hubby and I

Family Gym Time - David Lloyd our family

Thank you for reading ‘keeping fit as a family – 3 months on at David Lloyd’.

Written in collaboration with David Lloyd Clubs but all opinions and views are my own.

Books, Home, Lifestyle

Getting kids into Languages with One Third Stories

One Third Stories

When I first heard about One Third Stories I was really excited, it sounded like the perfect introduction for getting kids into languages. Described as ‘Stories that start in English and end in a different language’.

One Third Stories is a subscription service aimed at children from 4-9 years that delivers a story book each month along with an activity pack. I’ve always wanted to get Eden learning a new language. Eden is the biggest book fan so introducing languages through a story book and fun activities would really appeal to her.

One Third Stories kindly sent us one month’s pack to try out and Eden was keen to get started. You can choose between French and Spanish. We opted to learn French, and were very excited when our bright and exciting yellow One Third Stories package arrived.

One Third Stories Package

Learn languages through stories

Along with the story book, activity pack and flash cards, you also get a link to download the audio book. You and your child can then listen to it and learn how to pronounce the words properly.

First off we listened to the audio book, at the end of the audio book, there is a glossary of all the French words used during the story. Over the next few weeks we read through the story several times together.

Afterwards we spent some time practising the flash cards to see if we could remember the words in French, testing each other. Inside the activity book are lots of fun things to work through using the words recently learnt.

 

One Third Stories Book and activity pack

One Third Stories activity pack

One Third Stories activity pack

One Third Stories flash cards french

 

We have really enjoyed our introduction to French via One Third Stories. Eden has picked it up really quickly. Quite often in the back of the car I can hear her going over the French words and sayings she has learnt.

I would definitely recommend this service. Eden really enjoyed listening to the audio book and likes to listen to it at bed time. The book is beautifully illustrated and a pleasure to read. Eden also liked working through the games and activities in the activity book and using the flash cards.

Watch our video to see our One Third Stories pack in action:

 

For more information about One Third Stories and their books, please visit their website.

 

We collaborated with One Third Stories on this blog post but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for reading ‘Getting kids into Languages with One Third Stories’.

Crafts, Days Out, Farms, Home, Outdoors, Parks, Shows, Unusual

Entertain the kids this Halloween half term!

Halloween Half Term week

Halloween Half Term Days Out

Looking for ideas for Halloween Half Term? Here is a list of some of our favourite spooky and unusual days out over Halloween Half term in and around Essex.

Farms

Barleylands Farm Park are running Pumpkinfest during the Halloween Half term week. Halloween themed activities and a free pumpkin for each child. They have two spooky evenings Friday 27th & Saturday 28th October packed with thrills, spills and chills for tots to young teens.  With family friendly activities including Huge Fairground Ghost Train, Haunted Fairground House, Boo Barn, Witches Walk, Haze Maze, Spooky Toddler Story Time, Creepy Reptile Cave, Halloween Disco and spooky games. Book tickets online.

Hopefield Halloween at Hopefield Animal Sanctury on 29th October 11:00-16:00.  Halloween event with Fancy Dress Competition, Haunted Bus, Halloween arts and crafts and mask making fun, Halloween themed Love On The Rocks and fantastic face painting. Entrance: Adults: £6, Kids: £5, Under 3s are FREE.

 

 

 

Pick your own pumpkins

Cammas Hall Farm at Hatfield Broad Oak  you can pick your own pumpkin, enjoy a tractor and trailor ride, get lost in their Maize Maze, face painting or maybe make your own Halloween mask. Don’t forget to stop off for a Halloween treat in their Tea Barn.

The Pumpkin Patch at Basildon or Colchester. Free entry and open every weekend during October 10-4pm.

 

Pumpkin Patch Halloween Half TermThe Pumpkin Patch Halloween Half Term

 

Take a ride on a Halloween Train

Audley End Miniature Railway

Ride the spooky train deep into the woods to visit the witches. Every ticket includes craft making, face painting, story telling, a visit to the dance tent and a gift for every child. Book online.

Epping Ongar Railway, Ongar

Are running 3 spooky ghost train events during Halloween Half term. Saturday 28th October 2017 (day + evening), Sunday 29th October 2017 (day only), and Tuesday 31st October 2017 (evening only). Don’f forget to visit the Halloween marquee at North Weird, where there is magic shows throughout the day, face painting, a silent disco and, for the grown ups, a bar. Each child receives a gift. Book online.

Audley End at Halloween Half Term

 

Essex Police Museum

Essex Police Museum in Chelmsford are offering Halloween crafts, make your own scary mask and trick or treat bag. Fancy dress welcome and free entry to the museum. £2 per child. 21st, 25th and 28th October 10:00 – 16:00.

Check their Facebook page for further details.

 

Essex Wildlife Trust

Essex Wildlife Trust have many Halloween Half Term activities across all of their centres, here are some of our favourites.

Hanningfield Resevoir have plenty of activities running through the Halloween half term, check their website for further details. Spooktastic Family Trail. Solve the spooky clues and track down the creepy creatures of Hanningfield Nature Reserve? Trail sheets £2.50 per child. Sun, 22/10/2017 – 10:00am – 3:00pm. No need to book.

Haunted Hanningfield on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October 10-3pm. Follow the spooky trail through the woods to the spooky House, dare you go in? Halloween treat for the brave. Bug hunting, Pumpkin carving and Halloween crafts in the Visitor Centre. Donation £8 per child. No booking necessary.

Belfairs Woodland Centre have Horrible Halloween crafts, drop in for some Halloween crafts on Saturday 28th October 10am -2pm.

Haunting Halloween at Langdon Nature ReserveSat, 28/10/2017 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm aimed at children 6yrs+. Follow the self-guided trail but beware of things that go bump in the night! Finish with stories and marshmallows at the camp fire. Three sessions available starting at 6pm, 6.30 or 7pm (younger children are advised to attend the earlier sessions) Family event aimed at children 6yrs+, must be accompanied by an adult at all times. £7 per person, booking essential.

 

Haunted Hanningfield Halloween Half TermHaunted Hanningfield Cabin Halloween Half Term

 

Halloween Book Reading

Free Book reading event of ‘The Seven Sisters’ by Sibel Beadle, local author of children’s book series ‘Witchy Travel Tales’. With craft activity and book signing at Barleylands function room on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October and Saturday 28th and 29th October at the following times each day: 11-11:45am, 12-12:45pm and 1-1:45pm.

Broomstick Making

Make your own broomstick at Norsey Wood. Tuesday 24th October. 1pm – 2:30pm. £2.50 per child. Prebooking required.

 

Spooky Fest Wat Tyler Country Park

Spooky Fest running Monday 23rd October 2017 until Sunday 29th October 2017, 11am until 3pm. Three halloween themed mazes with live characters. Step back in time and walk around the haunted house, looking out for ghosts, ghouls and all things that fright. Meet the 2017 freaky clowns in the extra large Circus. Hook a duck, have your fortune read and see if you can escape the never ending corridors. Introducing the new vampire village. See the vampires hide out, rotting corpses, and spooky effects. Book tickets online. Children 4+ £5 each includes a sweet treat.

 

Lullingstone Castle & World Gardens

Lullingstone Castle just over in Kent is hosting some Halloween magic on the last day of the season. Pumpkin carving, spooky house and garden tours – perfect for all the family. Tom will give garden tours at 1pm and dusk tour at 5pm, learn about the origins of pumpkins, colours and varieties and children can spot the Halloween tricks in eerie torchlight! Fancy dress is welcome. 29th October 12-8pm.

Hedingham Castle

Halloween Weirdness and Wondercraft at Hedingham Castle. 10  Halloween themed workshops, creepy creatures, bash the rat or smash the skull, gooey cauldron of ghastly gunk, slithering reptiles, gory face painting, scary stories in the castle dungeon and a spectacular fiery finale! 10% discount when booking online.

 

Magic Shows

Monday Mayhem at Orsett Hall. Halloween Children’s Party with AJ Entertainers. 10.00am – 1.00pm and 2.00pm – 5.00pm. Entertainers, Balloon Modelling, Face Painting, Arts & Crafts, Mini Disco. Tickets £8.50, book online.

The Magic Frostie Halloween Show on 23 October at 14:00–15:30 at Wickford Community Centre. A Halloween themed show filled with music, Puppets, Balloons, Mind-Blowing Magic. Book online.

 

Thank you for reading ‘Entertain the kids this Halloween half term!’

Pumpkins Halloween Half Term

 

 

Crafts, My Sunday Photo

My Sunday Photo 24/09/17

My Sunday Photo

My Sunday Photo this week is of mine and Eden’s milk carton elephants we decorated at Billericay Art Trail today. They were coloured in using Sharpies.

There were lots of free crafts to try and we had a fantastic time. There were lots of brilliant artist’s work on display and we met lots of talented and friendly people. A great day out for free in our local high street! We already can’t wait to get involved next year!

Please meet our colourful Elephants! Now I just need to find a home for them both!

Thank you for reading My Sunday Photo

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Books, Home, Lifestyle

‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph – A Review & Giveaway

Kevin by Rob Biddulph

‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph

We were thrilled to receive a copy of ‘Kevin’ the newest book from the bestselling, award-winning author of Blown Away and GRRRRR! ‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph published on 10th August 2017 is a story about a boy, his imaginary friend and a beautiful friendship.

Kevin by Rob Biddulph Front Cover

 

The Story

Eden immediately liked the front cover. She was drawn to Kevin’s big friendly face staring back at her, she couldn’t wait to see more.  In the story we are introduced to Sid, a cheeky and sometimes naughty character. He get’s in to trouble with his mum and thinking fast blames it on his imaginary friend Kevin. Much to Sid’s surprise he discovers that Kevin isn’t as imaginary as first thought. In fact he is quite real and Sid is transported into Kevin’s bright and colourful land. During Sid’s time with his imaginary friend he discovers that Kevin’s feelings are very real and being honest and truthful is very important. Sid realises his faults, learns how to take responsibility and to make amends.

‘Suddenly Sidney did not feel so clever. He actually felt like the least best-friend ever. He went up the stairs full of sorrow and guilt. To where he found Kevin tucked under his quilt’

‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph is an enchanting storybook. Every parents dream, the rhyming tale is a pleasure to read and the pages are filled with beautiful illustrations. Starting in a dull grey world you are transported into Kevin’s bright and colourful world where Sid learns a valuable lesson.

Kevin by Rob Biddulph Eden reading

Kevin by Rob Biddulph review Kevins land

Kevin by Rob Biddulph review Eden enjoying the book

 

Eden’s Imaginary Friend

Eden really enjoyed the story. Although only 5 she understood the story was about Friendship. Eden loved the characters in the book and really liked the bright and busy pages. I asked Eden if she had an imaginary friend and what they might be like. You can see her response and her thoughts on ‘Kevin’ in our short video here:

‘Kevin’ By Rob Biddulph is out now and hard back copies are £12.99.

The Giveaway

You can enter to win a full set of Rob’s 5 children’s books, Blown Away, Grrrrr, Odd Dog Out, Sunk! & Kevin.

We are giving away 5 sets of the books to 5 very lucky readers. All you have to do to enter is fill in the rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is running until midnight on 23rd September 2017. Open to UK entries only. Good luck to all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for reading ‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph – A Children’s Book Review.

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Kevin by Rob Biddulph review

Crafts, Home, Lifestyle, Memories

Tips for an awesome Trolls Party

trolls party

Trolls Party

So it seems that we have all fallen in love with those gorgeous, bright, colourful characters from Trolls. In particular Poppy has found her way into many of our children’s hearts (even the adults)! This year we took Eden to see a Trolls in the cinema and she was instantly hooked. All the singing, dancing, bright colours and glitter made it an infectious mix. So I wasn’t surprised she opted for Trolls party for her 5th birthday this year.

 

Trolls Party Eden and Poppy

 

Here’s how we made our party Trolltastic:

 

The Entertainer

We had Poppy the Troll come and visit us from Fizz & Giggle Parties. Poppy was so much fun, she sung and danced and played so many games with the children. The kids were up and dancing the whole time both girls and boys. They played with a parachute, did the limbo, pass the parcel and musical statues. The kids all had a truly amazing time! Poppy even did glitter tattoos whilst the children ate their lunch.

 

Trolls Party Eden and Poppy the entertainer

The Decor

I think with Trolls definitely ‘more is more’. So plenty of colour, lots of detail and making it very busy. The cake table with rainbow tissue paper flower backdrop makes a great photo background for taking pictures on the day. The table was layered with a tutu skirt to the front and coloured foam flowers scattered on the top. You can buy tissue paper flowers quite cheaply and they make such a pretty and bright decoration. You can buy similar tissue paper flowers here. I also made a rainbow balloon tower with Poppy sprouting out the top. I’d never made one before and watched a video on YouTube. It wasn’t too bad to make but it involved ‘a lot’ of balloon tying!!!

Finally we bought some rainbow bunting from a local pound shop and hung it around the hall and some cheap personalised banners from eBay, around £4 for 2.

The food, cake table and backdrop was set up by The Party Kitchen. They did such an amazing job and we were thrilled with how it all looked.

 

Trolls Party cake display table

Trolls Party cake display table

 

The Cake

So the cake had 4 different colour sponges inside and was covered in multicoloured buttercream that I blended to make a kind of marble effect. Trolls is set in the forest with wonderful flowers and mushrooms so I added lots of brightly coloured flowers and mushrooms to my cake. I made them all different colours, I tried it keep it quite random. I rolled long strips of coloured sugar paste to create a rainbow and white balls for clouds. Green grass was piped around the bottom of the cake. To finished it off and I bought Poppy rather than struggle to make my own. I think she looked great on top of there.

 

Trolls Party Poppy princess cakeTrolls Party rainbow cake layers

 

The Food

There are so many options to make your food bright and colourful. Fruit platters always make a wonderful bright display.

We had flower shaped sandwiches, brightly coloured cupcakes and chocolate dipped biscuits with sprinkles at our Trolls party.

 

Trolls Party food flower sandwiches

 

The Party Favours

I knew I wanted to include a Trolls Pez in the party favours. Eden absolutely loves Pez and collects the different characters. I bought a mixture of 3 characters, Poppy, Branch & Glitter Guy. I made wands by filling skinny cello bags with skittles as they are such wonderful bright colours. I topped the skinny cello bags with multicoloured stars with a personalised sticker to match in with the rainbow theme. You can buy the skinny bags and toppers on The Candy Bag Shop’s Facebook page.

I found these rainbow popcorn style boxes and instantly knew they would be perfect as our favours.

I also popped in some bubble wands I found in a local pound shop, a Trolls keyring I bought on eBay and some chewy sweets. The kids were thrilled with them.

 

Trolls Party Party favour trolls pez and rainbow boxTrolls Party Rainbow party favour boxesTrolls Party sweet wands

 

The Outfit

I found this brilliant unicorn costume online which was brightly coloured with sequin lined skirt and rainbow arm and leg warmers! So much fun. Although Eden didn’t wear the unicorn headband. We opted for a rainbow colour bow instead.

 

Trolls Party Edens unicorn outfit

 

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Trolls Party

Crafts, Days Out, Eating Out, Fashion, Food, Lifestyle, My weekly round up

My weekly round up with My Little Loves 12/08/17

weekly round up bracelets

My weekly round up

Well I have to apologise… it’s more like my two weekly round up (possibly verging on three!). Since the school holidays hit I’ve literally been on auto pilot and my feet have barely touched the floor. I’m exhausted to say the least. I’ve been juggling days out, working, the gym, volunteering, parenting, party planning and the odd bit of housework! So with all that going on I have to confess. Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat for the last couple of weeks.

So it’s been jam packed so far. We’ve had my husbands family come to stay for the first week. They travelled down from Scotland hoping for some sunshine sadly, all they got was rain! We soldiered on and went on plenty of days out braving the truly rubbish British weather! We still had a fantastic time.

Week 1

During the first week we visited the Fairies and Elves festival at Audley End Miniature Railway… it was a truly magical day. A ride on the train through the woods followed by lots of fun with the fairies, you can read about it here.

weekly round up audley end fairy and elf festival

We also got some more use from our Merlin Annual Passes and visited Chessington World of Adventures. The rain meant few queues so was great news for us! Read our review on the Merlin Annual pass here.

weekly round up eden at chessington

We were lucky enough to be invited to the Barbican Centre to meet ‘Buttons’ the animatronic Cadbury Cow. We had a life drawing class with illustrator Rose Blake and stuffed our faces full of chocolate! My kind of day! It was part of Cadbury’s ‘Adopt a Cow’ campaign. You can read more about it here.

weekly round up cadbury adopt a cow Buttons

I’ve also recently been invited to try out our local David Lloyd club, so have been making the most of it. It’s been brilliant taking Eden along to the kids club classes and I’ve been able to train with my husband in the gym. It’s really taken the pressure off childcare during the school holidays. We even tried out the squash courts and I managed to hit myself with the racquet! The bruise is still going strong after a week. ha ha. Read more about it here.

weekly round up david lloyd gymweekly round up david lloyd squash courtweekly round up david lloyd selfie collage

Read

Well I’ve recently been enjoying reading a new blog ‘whinge whinge wine’. Fran has been making me laugh out loud this week and choke on my coffee. Not forgetting her amusing Facebook posts… the Ta Ta towels were quite an eyeful! I love looking out for Fran’s posts!

Watched

I am volunteer befriender for Age UK and regularly visit a wonderful elderly lady called Beryl. She is 90 years young, just celebrated her birthday this week. We have a lovely bond and natter away for hours each visit putting the world to rights. During the school holidays I’ve taken Eden with me to meet her. Initially I was nervous that Eden might get bored or play up but she has made me very proud. It was so warming to watch the two of them together. Reading books, laughing, joking, colouring in and having a cuddle on the sofa. It was simply magical. Eden told me as we left ‘she is a very nice lady isn’t she mummy’ and I tend to agree with her!

Heard

About million questions every day from my almost 5 year old. My brain needs a rest! Enough said!

Wore

Well I think this adorable outfit with matching headband from Next has to be my ‘wore’ choice this week. I just loved Eden in this outfit with lemon leggings and matching cardi. I think she look so adorable. Doug my husband passed comment that she looked like a little washer woman! What does he know?!

weekly round up eden in next dressweekly round up eden in next dress and headband

Made

Eden made me the prettiest little friendship bracelet. She also made herself a matching one too. She used up all the heart charms on my one so didn’t have enough for her own! I love it, Eden can be so thoughtful, I will treasure it forever.

We also went on a Scrapbook Safari at Hylands House, set in the Park. Unfortunately it was in the rain so wasn’t a great time to see the grounds! But after getting soaking wet outside we got to go into Hylands House. Eden got to make scrapbook pages about the trail, this weeks theme was ‘under the sea’ and we made a cardboard fish. The least waterproof type of fish!

weekly round up Our friendship bracelets
weekly round up eden at hylands house nature trailweekly round up cardboard fish and scrapbook

Ate

We returned to one of my favourite afternoon tea spots, Camelia Hotel in Southend. We were thoroughly spoilt with the warmest, freshest scones straight out of the oven! Served with a huge cup of clotted cream, just as they should be! Read more about my favourite afternoon tea spots here.

weekly round up camelia hotel afternoon tea

And lastly

We have partied hard over the last few weeks. Many of Eden’s friends are turning 5 so we’ve been busy attending all the parties. Best is yet to come though as Eden’s will be next week! I cannot believe that my little pickle will be 5! That went by in the blink of an eye!
So next week I will be busy making the cake, balloon towers, card and a Playdoh surprise egg (oh god help me!). The last one took me about 4 hours… you can see Eden open her last one here! What am I thinking doing it again, I must be mad?! I’ll blog about it and let you know!

weekly round up eden and balloons

weekly round up party table and cakes

Thank you for reading ‘My weekly round up with My Little Loves 12/08/17’

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Family Life, Lifestyle

Getting some Mum Me Time with David Lloyd Clubs

Mum me time with David Lloyd

I had two main concerns when approaching the school summer holidays:
1. How will I get a ‘break’ during the school holidays?
And
2. How am I going to get to the gym regularly?

My usual gym routine consists of dropping Eden at school and heading straight to the gym for my workout. This works perfectly for me and I’ve worried about what I’m going to do during the summer holidays. My current gym doesn’t offer kids clubs that would allow me to train 4-5 times a week.

I think as a mum it’s really important to not only have family time together but actually schedule in some ‘me time’. I think I need it for my sanity. Constantly juggling working, parenting and home life takes its toll. Sometimes my brain feels like it can’t switch off so I think it’s so important to give yourself a break from it. For me, the gym is my ‘mum me time’ so it’s vital that I fit it in.

I was invited to go along to my local David Lloyd Club for some Mum Me Time so I jumped at the chance. It also meant that I got to take Eden along and take advantage of the kids club. Eden was super excited about this, going off making new friends and trying out new activities.

David Lloyd Club

On arrival at our local David Lloyd Club I was immediately impressed, such a friendly family environment. In the cafe and lounge area, there is a soft play area for kids to use along with computers and tablets. Allowing the kids to play within sight and the adults to relax. I could already imagine chilling in a comfy chair with a coffee whilst Eden played in the soft play area.
Mum me time with David Lloyd CafeMum me time with David Lloyd Soft play

I handed over a super excited Eden to kids club and went on a tour of the club. The facilities are amazing, a lovely gym split into clearly defined areas for training with brand new equipment. Large studios for classes, spin studio, indoor pool with children’s pool, heated outdoor pool, badminton, squash and tennis courts. Another nice touch is the not just male and female changing rooms but a family changing room too! Makes the awkward changing situation so much easier as a family.

I took part in a Synergy HIIT workout which was brilliant, really pushed my limits and followed it with a relaxing ‘Wellbeing’ stretch class. The instructors were both friendly and really knew their stuff. I can often feel self conscious in gyms and especially in classes but I felt totally comfortable and at ease at the David Lloyd.
Mum me time with David Lloyd gym

Mum me time with David Lloyd GymMum me time with David Lloyd Synrgy circuitMum me time with David Lloyd Studio

Mum me time with David Lloyd tennis courts
Mum me time with David Lloyd Me after workout

Lunch

Feeling refreshed after my workout I collected a very happy Eden from kids club. She excitedly told me about her morning playing football, doing crafts and colouring. We had a lovely lunch together, the food was of a really high standard with brilliant healthy food choices on the menu. Eden finished before me and got to enjoy the soft play whilst I finished my lunch in peace!
Mum me time with David Lloyd Food

After lunch we got changed and I took Eden for a swim in both the indoor and outdoor pools, we spent hours happily splashing around. Eden had a whale of a time and I’m looking forward to increasing her confidence during the summer months. Although she loves the water she will not put her face in the water without having a melt down so this is something I’m going to try to improve over the next couple of months.

Mum me time with David Lloyd Eden swimmingMum me time with David Lloyd outdoor pool

The months ahead

I can’t tell you how excited I am about making the most of the facilities at our local David Lloyd Club over the next few months. The facilities and schedule of kids clubs is brilliant. There is something for all ages at a range of times, meaning I can train all summer whilst Eden is being entertained. Even better the kids clubs are included in the membership, you can’t ask for better than that.

With a family membership it also means I can train with my husband. We are currently members at different gyms which means we never get to train together. I’m really excited about this, we will actually get some time together and they do say after all that ‘Couples that train together, stay together!’. I’m looking forward to going to the gym as a family, getting my ‘mum me time’, training with my husband and Eden having lots of fun.

Check out your local David Lloyd Club, they have over 100 clubs up and down the country.

mum me time with david lloyd

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Written in collaboration with David Lloyd Clubs but all opinions and views are my own.

Lifestyle, Unusual

Eden meets Buttons – Cadbury’s Adopt a Cow Campaign!

Cadbury’s Adopt a Cow Campaign

We were invited along to take part in a life drawing class with Illustrator Rose Blake and ‘Buttons’ the 8 foot animatronic Cadbury cow for Cadbury’s Adopt a Cow campaign.

The journey

Eden was super excited, she couldn’t remember the last time she went on a train as she was still small and in her buggy. We had taken her for a sightseeing tour around London to see all the sights. Even managing to get into Downing Street to stand outside number 10 that day! I think Eden slept through and missed most of it!

The journey was simple, we went straight into Liverpool Street. Followed by a short 15 minute walk to the Barbican Centre. I’ve never been there before and thought it was an amazing place. With exhibitions, a shop and cinema.

We stopped for a quick bite to eat in The Barbican Kitchen where kids eat free with an adult meal! Always a bonus! Then headed up to our life drawing class with Rose Blake.

cadbury's adopt a cow At the stationCadbury's Adopt a Cow On train

Meeting Buttons

So Buttons the animatronic cow was created to mark Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons Adopt a Cow campaign. It was revealed that many city children had never seen a cow before and many children had no idea of their size or what they looked like. Buttons The Cadbury cow is giving city children an opportunity to get up close and see what they are like.

When we first walked into the room, at first glance you would think it was the real thing. Controlled by animatronics and puppeteers, Buttons stood 8 foot tall and was extremely impressive. Lifelike and mooing just like a regular cow.

Eden wasn’t intimidated and went straight in for a hug. She wasn’t quite so brave when it came to touching his tongue but she did it and then made a run for it!

Cadbury's Adopt a Cow Eden hugs Buttons

Cadbury's Adopt a Cow Buttons the cow

The drawing class

The room was set up perfectly. Several easels spread around the room, each with its own equipment. All centred around for a great view of Buttons. Rose Blake had kindly prepared booklets giving easy step by step instructions on how to sketch your cow. Eden of course went free hand and drew a rainbow cow with multicoloured spots! My husband couldn’t resist having a go too, even I got in on the action.

The session was super relaxed, Rose Blake was very friendly and came and chatted to each of us about our pictures. Once finished the children got to show their pictures to Buttons. Eden was thrilled that Buttons liked her picture!

Cadbury's Adopt a Cow Eden and daddy drawing

Cadbury's Adopt a CowCadbury's Adopt a Cow Drawing the cowCadbury's Adopt a Cow colouring the cow

Cadbury's Adopt a Cow Rose Blake

Cadbury's Adopt a Cow Showing Buttons her pic

At the end of the class, Eden received a cow balloon and a Cadbury gift bag which of course included some Cadbury Buttons. She was so pleased! Especially with the balloon and chocolate buttons.

The Cadbury’s Adopt a Cow campaign gives families the opportunity to adopt a cow via an on-pack promotion and 20 lucky families the chance to win an overnight trip to meet their cow at its farm.

Special promotion packs can be found in stores now with the competition closing on 31st August 2017. For more information about the Cadbury’s Adopt a Cow campaign go to https://adoptacow.cadbury.co.uk/.

I think Eden will be talking about meeting Buttons for a very long time! What a great day out!

Cadbury's Adopt a Cow CampaignCadbury's Adopt a Cow Eden and daddy

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