Family Fun at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Last week we had a lovely day out at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, It was a bit of a spur of the moment trip if I’m honest. My OH had just taken possession of his new (to him) car and wanted to give it a bit of run out.

This was our second visit to YWP, the first being a couple of years ago and there have been a few changes since we were last there.

We arrived a little after lunch and decided we should grab a bite to eat before heading off to see the animals.

After navigating the gift shop without it costing us anything we headed to the Safari Cafe, located within then Safari Village.

The menu had a good selection of both hot and cold foods and an equally good selection of drinks (including alcohol for those who fancy a tipple).

As we only wanted a light lunch we opted for ham sandwiches for the kids and paninis for me and my OH. I went with ham and cheese while Rik settled on mozzarella. We added a couple of side orders of chips too.

To drink I had a diet coke, the kids had juice and Rik had a salted caramel milkshake.

The food arrived within 5 minutes of ordering and it was really nice. Rik enjoyed his milkshake but said it tasted more vanilla than salted caramel.

Although we all enjoyed our food, it was a little expensive (£32.50 in total) If we were to visit again we would most likely take some kind of pack up as there are plenty of picnic areas within the park.

 

After we had refuelled it was time for the main event. We paid and made our way into the park.

First up we went to see the Meerkat and Mongoose Mansion before heading into Lion Country. We got a pretty good look at the lions, one of which decided to have a good roar while wandering around the enclosure. This didn’t go down too well with Anya who wasn’t keen on the noise.

On the way out of Lion Country as we headed Into Africa we got to see the rhino. He was a new addition since our last visit and the kids were very intrigued by him.

We gradually made our way around to Leopard Heights spotting lechwe, giraffes, ostriches and emu on our way.

After the leopard we moved onto the Land of the Tiger where we were able to follow one of the tigers as he paced around the enclosure.

One of the main attractions for the kids were the polar bears and as we made our way to Project Polar we stopped off to view the South American animals together with the sleeping giant anteater.

We spent quite a long time watching the four polar bears as they were quite active and playful.

When it was time to move on we worked our way around, past the giant otters and onto Wallaby Walkabout.

Wallaby Walkabout is an open enclosure where you can get up close to the animals. We didn’t get too close as a lot of them had babies and we didn’t want to disturb them. Even so it was still a fabulous experience for the kids.

Lemur Woods was next on our agenda. This is another open enclosure where you can walk around while the lemurs play in the trees above you. Neither of the kids were as impressed as me in here as they thought the lemurs would jump on their heads.

Our final stop was to see the baboon and painted dogs. However they were all more interested in the gardeners working outside the rear of their enclosures so we didn’t get a brilliant view of them.

All in all we had a lovely day and would definitely come back again. Although next time we will be a little more prepared and take our own food.

For more information on pricing, opening times etc visit their website.

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Debbie x

Disclaimer: This trip was organised and paid for by us.

Easter Egg Suncatchers

Most kids love arts and crafts and mine are no different. This year we have decided to make a selection of things for their grandparents for Easter.

After scouring Pinterest they have decided they want to make some egg shaped suncatchers. We also went to Hobbycraft and bought some ceramic Easter baskets which we will decorate using foam clay.

Easter Egg Suncatchers

For the suncatchers I started with an egg template that I found online. I printed it out onto yellow card and then cut around the inside to leave a border.

I then covered the egg with clear sticky back plastic (I used this) and cut to size. The kids were given a box with pieces of pastel coloured tissue paper and left to their own devices to cover the sticky part of the egg.

When they had finished I added a piece of ribbon and stuck another piece of sticky back plastic over to seal it.

The finished product
Almost finished

Voila, some fantastic suncatchers for our Easter baskets.

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Debbie x

 

Things I Loved in March 2017

Can you believe we are already a quarter of the way through the year? Spring has almost made an appearance, the weather is slowly warming up and the nights are getting lighter.

There have been some big changes recently as Anya has started nursery 2.5 days per week, leaving me a little bewildered at what to do with myself.

So let’s see what else I’ve been getting up to in the last month.

Mother’s Day

The day started off quite well. I got a lie in and breakfast in bed. After that it didn’t quite go according to plan and we ended up making last minute changes to our schedule. This meant that I was left at home alone while the kids went with my OH while he dropped off his Mum’s card and gift.

The day might not have been as originally anticipated but it turned out OK in the end and I did get some lovely gifts from the kids to boot.

Madam Secretary

Why have I not watched this before? I absolutely love it. I’ve been binge watching while doing my ironing and am already 4 episodes into series two (I had a lot of ironing!!)

Lethal Weapon

Although I don’t watch TV that often, but every now and again something catches my eye and gets me hooked. This was one such program. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first saw it advertised and knew it would have to be really special since I loved the movies with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.

Well I have to say it is. I love Damon Wayans portrayal of Roger Murtagh and Clayne Crawford’s Martin Riggs is easily on a part with Mel Gibson.

Reading

You may have realised but I love reading and this month I have managed to get through 7 books bringing my total for the year to 18. Some may have been less than 200 pages but they still count.

My Goodreads 2017 Challenge

Night Out With Friends

We attended a black tie awards dinner a couple of weeks ago which obviously meant a new dress. Thirteen dresses later I finally found one I was happy with.

We had an amazing evening with friends both old and new. We ended our evening at the casino before making our way home at around 4.30am! Luckily the kids were having a sleepover at Nana and Grandad’s so we did get a lie in.

So that’s March in a nutshell. What have you been loving this month?

Thanks for reading, until next time

Debbie x

Parkinson’s Awareness Week

Today I’d like to talk to you about something that affects me on a personal level. I’d like to talk to you about Parkinson’s.

I know it seems like every month there are various health awareness days, weeks and months from the various charities/organisations each promoting their cause and April is no different.

This month is

  • Stress Awareness Month
  • Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
  • IBS Awareness Month

Then we have

  • Parkinson’s Awareness Week on 10-16 April
  • Orchid Male Cancer Awareness Week on 17-23 April
  • MS Awareness Week – 25-30 April

Finally

  • 2 April – World Autism Awareness Day 2017
  • 11 April – World Parkinson’s Day
  • 17 April – World Haemophilia Day 2017
  • 25 April – World Malaria Day 2017

Although there are several areas mentioned above that I support, I would like to talk to you specifically about Parkinson’s as this is one disease that is very close to my heart as a few years back my Dad was diagnosed this currently incurable disease.

What is Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition caused by a lack of a chemical called dopamine due to some nerve cells in their brain dying.

The loss of nerve cells in the brain causes the symptoms of Parkinson’s to appear. Plus without dopamine people can find that it takes longer to do things as their movements become slower.

There’s currently no cure for Parkinson’s and we still don’t know why people get the condition. However, drugs and treatments are available to help manage the symptoms, which get worse over time.

So why am I writing this

People with Parkinson’s need a breakthrough. Only with the support of the public can we develop better treatments, faster.

It was over 50 years ago since the last significant drug discovery for Parkinson’s was made. However, the current Parkinson’s drugs aren’t good enough. They don’t stop, slow down or reverse the condition or its effects. They can only mask some symptoms for a time – and they can have distressing side effects.

I’m seeing this first hand with my Dad. His current level of medication is causing hallucinations. He has seen people stuck in trees and a whole family sat in the living room watching TV with him.

World Parkinson’s Day

This year World Parkinson’s Day (Tuesday, 11 April 2017) falls within Parkinson’s Awareness Week. This day marks 200 years since the Parkinson’s was first recognised as a medical condition.

How can you help?

On World Parkinson’s Day, use the hashtag #UniteForParkinsons wherever you can on your social media channels. I know I will be!

If you want to find out more about Parkinson’s and what you can do to help/raise awareness then please visit Parkinson’s UK and the EPDA 

Thanks for reading, until next time.

Debbie x

Keeping Mum ~ Oh My Blog! featuring Jades Long Journey

Oh My Blog is a monthly interview series where fellow bloggers come together to answer a series of questions on a specific theme. This is a chance to get acquainted with a whole range of bloggers, some of whom you may not have heard of before, and learn a little more about them!

This month, the theme is Mums (because it’s Mother’s Day soon!) and we’re hosting Jade from Jade’s Long Journey.

1.  Introduce us to your mum. What’s her name? What does she do? Reveal her age if you dare!

My mum is called Sarah and she works in a hotel which is great if I need a hotel room as she gets discount. I don’t think she will mind me telling you all that she is 47 years young.

2. What’s the one thing your mum always used to say to you?

I was a naughty child so I was always getting told off so I think as bad as it sounds it I always remember being told I was grounded. Oops!

3. Someone’s playing your mum in a film. Who is it and why?

This is really hard and I honestly have no idea. If Barbara Windsor was younger I would say her because my mum has a similar laugh and she loves carry on films.

4.  She’s won the lottery. What’s the first thing your mum buys for herself?

This is a conversation we have had many times, when I was little I picked the lottery numbers and every number I picked came up the issue being my Nan refused to pay for the numbers I chose as she thought they were silly. So I know she would buy herself a horse and stables.

5.  What embarrassing story about you does she always tell when you meet new people?

I don’t think there is one. When she met my boyfriend for the first time she hit him with a whip and put a vibrator on her nose (we were in Ann Summers). My sisters normally tell the stories.

6.  What are your plans for Mother’s Day this year?

I think we will just go for a meal she has been eyeing up a menu at a local pub restaurant that has a 32oz steak (could be 23oz).

7.  What’s her favourite TV show at the moment?

Well The Walking Dead has just come back on so she will be hooked on that but she also likes watching her old classics like Auf Wiedersehen Pet.

8.  What’s the biggest or most important thing that your mum inspired you to do?

To be strong and not let things get to me. It is something she inspired me to do without even knowing it.

9.  Your round at the bar! What’s your mum drinking?

Strawberry Daiquiri  

10.  What’s the biggest different between you and your mum?

She loves horses and spiders and I’m scared of both spiders more than horses.

11.  Most important question of the lot. What is your mum’s stance on 50 Shades of Grey? Does she love it? Hate it? Not even know what it is?

She has read it but I haven’t as I’m really not a fan. I think she enjoyed the books.

12.  What’s your favourite memory of your mum?

Oh there are so many as she is just funny unintentionally. We were all talking about the game station SEGA and she said oh yeah the logo was green and we all just looked at her and said no it was blue her response well it was green in my head. And life with my mum is just like that.

13.  What do you think your mum was like as a kid?

A bit of a goodie two shoes. She was in the church choir and was on songs of praise but left when offered to help at the local stables.

14.  Cast your mind back a bit; what was the thing you did as a child or teenager that made your mum the angriest she has ever been with you?

I don’t think I dare say on here. I was arrested once accused of theft from a house I babysat in she was pretty angry with me until she knew I didn’t do it.

15.  Finally, what’s the BEST piece of advice your mum ever gave to you?

If your not happy then leave.

If you enjoyed this post, you should head over to Jade’s blog and social media.

Blog   *   Twitter   *   Facebook   *   Instagram   *   Pinterest

Thanks for reading

Oh My Blog!

Q & A with a 3-Year Old

Today marks my youngest’s third birthday. I’m still trying to work out where the time has gone. Anyway, in keeping with our family tradition we asked her the same questions we have been asking my son since his 3rd birthday.

Here are her answers

What is your favourite colour?

Red (she was wearing her Wonder Woman costume at the time)

What is your favourite toy?

Poison Ivy (she had just received this doll for her birthday. To be honest it could have been any one of a number of things)

What is your favourite fruit?

Bananas (this was completely expected as she has one for breakfast nearly every morning)

What is your favourite TV show?

Batman (other than her dad and brother being batman obsessed, I’m not too sure where this came from)

What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?

Potatoes (not sure where this came from, although she does like mash)

What is your favourite outfit?

Wonder Woman (see explanation above)

What is your favourite game?

Batman (again, I blame her brother for this)

What is your favourite snack?

Apples

What is your favourite animal?

An elephant

What is your favourite song?

All the Single Ladies by Beyonce (known as Oh Oh Oh by Anya)

What is your favourite book?

Jack in a box (I have no idea what this book is or where she has seen it as it’s not one we have in our collection)

Who is your best friend?

Niamh and Norah

What is your favourite cereal?

Rice Krispies

What is your favourite thing to do outside?

Play on my bike (again she got a bike for her birthday and has been wanting to play on it since 6.30am)

What is your favourite drink?

Juice

What is your favourite holiday?

Baby?? (No idea what was going through her head, although I think she was getting a little fed up by this question)

What do you like to take to bed with you at night?

Hailie

What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast?

I’ve just telled you that (she’s not one for wasting time repeating herself!)

What do you want for dinner on your birthday?

Tea towels (not sure of the nutritional value, but I’m sure I can oblige if she really wants.)

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Go to sleep (it must be terribly hard work being three)

So there we have the thoughts of a newly 3-year old.

Thanks for reading, until next time

Debbie x

Kon Mari – Week 3: Kids Clothes

This week on our Kon Mari schedule we’re tackling the kids clothes.

As my kids are 5 and nearly 3 respectively I asked them to help. I didn’t expect too much from them and was ready for them to disappear half way through but that was fine.

Corey’s Room

I started with my son’s wardrobe and he helped me pull out all this clothes. We sorted them into piles to help the process and made a start.

Corey’s clothes

We began with his PJ’s and went from 7 pairs to 3. Hoodies and coats and went from 6 to 3 (some of the discards still had tags on)

Coats and Hoodies

He reduced his jumpers and sweatshirts from 8 to 5 and t-shirts went down to 23 from 29 (he definitely takes after his dad with this!)

T-shirts
Sweaters and Jumpers

He got as far as going through his jeans/shorts, which went from 18 to 15, before getting bored and wandering off to play.

Jeans and Joggers

I finished off his underwear, folded it all and put everything back in his wardrobe before bagging up the discarded clothes.

Anya’s Room

Next up was his sister’s room. From the outset she decided she didn’t want to help so I set to work on my own.

Anya’s Clothes

We got rid of 11 tops, 5 dresses, 1 pair of leggings, 2 coats and 11 pairs of pj’s. Her wardrobe is still fit to burst but at least she can see everything now and it all fits.

Anya’s Discard Pile

All in all it was quite a productive day and it’s a lot easier to see what they both have and where they have gaps. This will make it easier when shopping for them in future.

Next week we are working on books. Wish me look as both me and the kids are serious bookworms.

Thanks for reading, until next time

Debbie x

Review: Marvel Universe! Live

On Sunday we took Corey to Sheffield Arena to see Marvel Universe! Live. I bought the tickets in March last year as a birthday present for him, and almost forgot about them until I saw the show advertised on social media.

The Venue

We had tickets for the lunchtime matinee at Sheffield Arena. We have been to the Arena on a number of occasions so were aware of the parking facilities and what to expect with regard to traffic. The doors opened at 11am and we arrived around 11.15 and parked in the arena car park. One thing we never considered was pre-booking parking – we would have saved £3 off the £10 parking charge if we’d have pre-booked.

We made our way towards the red doors just as it began to rain. Fortunately the queues were relatively short and quick moving so we were inside in under 5 minutes. After a quick toilet break we were ready to find our seats. Since Corey doesn’t really like big crowd of people so we avoided the overpriced merchandising stalls.

Once the crowds began to die down my OH made a quick food stop and returned with 2 massive hotdogs and a portion of chips. We paid £10 which I don’t think was too bad considering the size of the hotdogs.

The Show

The show started with a bang, literally, which saw Corey’s hotdog fly into the air and land in Rik’s lap. Other children burst into tears and left(some never returned). From that point on Corey spent a lot of the show with his hands over his ears. I began to wish we had taken some ear plugs for him as he was totally engrossed in the action.

The show is based around the Cosmic Cube, one of the most sought after treasures in the Marvel Universe, and the source of ultimate power. The show begins with Thor shattering the cube into tiny fragments to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

In order to defeat Loki, the Marvel Superheroes including Captain America, Ironman, Thor, Hulk, Spiderman and Wolverine must travel around the globe to find the fractals of the Cosmic Cube.

The show contains some amazing acrobatic stunts and motorcycle deft-defying feats. There were a few other loud bangs, gunfire and fireworks plus a great storyline with dialogue worthy of a movie.

It was great to hear the cheers from the crowd when the heroes appeared. We also had the obligatory boo’s for the villains.

Considering we are a family of DC geeks we all though the show was amazing and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

Thanks for readying, until next time.

Debbie x

A-Z of Family

I had a bit of bloggers block when it came to writing today’s post for some reason but after having a bit of time out with a cup of tea and playing with the kids, a little light-bulb came on after the kids where arguing (for a change) over the alphabet (as you do) and so today’s post came to be – an A-Z of my family.img_1059

A is for Anya. Anya is my youngest. She is clever, talkative, outgoing and a complete diva. She wants to be both a princess and a superhero and loves both equally.

B is for Baking. We love baking cakes and buns and gingerbread and, well just about anything. We usually bake at least once a month if not more and although my diet doesn’t appreciate it, my OH’s work colleagues usually do.

C is for Corey. Corey is my only boy and my middle child. He’s clever and extremely articulate and will go into great detail about the smallest of things. He’s also the total opposite of Anya in that he’s quite an introverted and sensitive soul. He currently wants to be a dinosaur and loves anything Batman related (I blame his Dad completely).

D is for Dyspraxia. My OH was diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia about 3 years ago, and at the time we were advised to watch for signs in our children too, although as yet nothing is too obvious in either of them.

E is for Elves. Every year since Corey was born we have some magic elves that come and live with us during December. They can be a little mischievous but generally mean well.

F is for Finnish Spitz. We used to own a Finnish Spitz called Rylee but sadly he had to be put to sleep in 2015.

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G is for Girl Power! Unfortunately for my OH and Corey, the girls outnumber the boys in our house 5-1 (if you include the rabbits!).

H is for Hilarious. My kids regularly come out stuff that have us in hysterics, so much so that we have considered getting them their own reality TV show.

I is for Ice-Cream. Almost every meal is followed by a request for ice-cream, especially by Corey; Anya prefers yogurt.

J is for Jigsaws. You can’t beat a good jigsaw; the kids love them although Anya prefers taking them apart over putting them together.

K is for Ker-Plunk. This is the one game in the house that the kids love and Mum and Dad hate, mainly due to the amount of time is takes to put it together.

L is for Lucky. I sometimes look at my family and feel like the luckiest person in the world.

M is for Mummy. This is my current job and my most demanding but I wouldn’t swap it for anything (although a spa weekend would be considered some days).

N is for No Fear. Unlike Corey and Olivia, Anya appears to be completely fearless. In the past couple of months alone she has made friends with a snake and decided she wants a horse after she got to sit on one of my friends.

O is for Olivia. Olivia is my eldest daughter and is currently at University. She has turned into a lovely young lady and I’m extremely proud of her.

P is for Punta Prima, Menorca. This is where we had our first holiday abroad last year with our youngest two and they loved it.

Q is for Questions. Constant questions are part and parcel of my day as a Mum. Some are pretty standard (mum, can I have …?), some are strange (mum, do rabbits eat carrot cake), and some I am unable to answer either because I can’t stop laughing at the question or I just don’t have the answer.

R is for Rabbits. We currently have two, Nibbles and Poppy.

S is for Swimming. Both Corey and Anya started swimming classes when they were only a couple of months old and they love it.

T is for Tantrums. We have our fair share of these and they are usually over something very bizarre such as not being allowed to go shopping wearing slippers, or not being able to eat the stalk of an apple before school.

U is for USA. I love America have only managed to get their twice. Our dream family holiday would be DisneyWorld, Florida and the surrounding theme parks. It’s on our family bucket list.

V is for Vodka. I’m pretty sure this stuff was invented specifically for mum (and dads) so they can recover from ‘one of those days’.

W is for Why? Again, questions. This is one questions that drives me completely insane on a regular basis as we generally just go around in circles. I truly do feel sorry for my mum now considering this was my question of choice when I was young too.

X is for X-Rays. I still have copies of Olivia’s x-rays from when she was 11 and managed to break both her wrists whilst on holiday in Cornwall with her best friend. It’s safe to say she doesn’t do things by halves.

Y is for Yorkshire. We’re all Yorkshire born and bred.

Z is for Zoos. We love a good day out at the zoo looking at all the animals.

Until next time

Debbie x

Birthday Questions

Every year since his 3rd birthday we have asked Corey the same questions on his birthday and this year was no different, apart from the fact I was a day late!

Last week Corey turned 5 and in keeping with tradition we asked him the questions – here are the questions and his responses.

  1. What is your favourite colour?

Blue

  1. What is your favourite toy?

Imaginext toys

  1. What is your favourite fruit?

Apples

  1. What is your favourite TV show?

Team Umizoomi

  1. What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?

McDonalds

  1. What is your favourite outfit?

Batman stuff

  1. What is your favourite game?

Lego Batman on the computer

  1. What is your favourite snack?

Buns

  1. What is your favourite animal?

Seal

  1. What is your favourite song?

Don’t know

  1. What is your favourite book?

All of the ones in my middle drawer

  1. Who is your best friend?

Alfie

  1. What is your favourite cereal?

Coco Pops

  1. What is your favourite thing to do outside?

Play on climbing frame

  1. What is your favourite drink?

Fizzy Vimto

  1. What is your favourite holiday?

Menorca

  1. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?

My teddies

  1. What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast?

Cereal

  1. What do you want for dinner on your birthday?

Birthday cake

  1. What do you want to be when you grow up?

A dinosaur!

Until next time

Debbie x