My First Ballet – Swan Lake

my first ballet swan lake theatre english national ballet

I’m extremely excited that ‘My First Ballet’ Swan Lake is back on again and we have tickets!

I was going to see it back in 2015 with my daughter but for one reason or another we couldn’t make it. We did, however, manage to see another show in the ‘My First Ballet’ series the following year, which was Sleeping Beauty!

If you haven’t of them before, the My First Ballet’s are created by the English National Ballet and performed by students of the English National Ballet School. Created especially for children as young as three and adapted to an hour in length with a narrator to help young audiences follow the story, My First Ballet is the perfect introduction to the magic of ballet.

my first ballet swan lake theatre kids

my first ballet swan lake kids theatre

english national ballet my first ballet for kids

Storyline: The magician Rothbart has turned the princess Odette into a swan; only at night can she return to human form. Will Prince Siegfried be able to save her or will he fall for Rothbart’s sorcery?

Featuring choreography by Antonio Castilla, English National Ballet’s Ballet Master and Repetiteur, this shortened version follows the familiar story with Tchaikovsky’s wonderful music is a wonderful way to introduce new audiences to the world of ballet and is a fabulous family day out!

Since its creation in 2012, over 250,000 people have enjoyed our My First Ballet series.

My First Ballet: Swan Lake opens at The Peacock, London on 29 March 2018 before embarking on a national tour to Churchill Theatre, Bromley (14 & 15 April), New Theatre, Oxford (21 & 22 April), Manchester Opera House (28 & 29 April), The Grand Theatre, Blackpool (05 & 06 May), New Victoria Theatre, Woking (12 & 13 May) and Princess Theatre, Torquay (19 & 20 May).

To coincide with the tour, the English National Ballet will host on-stage creative dance workshops, aimed to provide a gateway into the world of ballet. Children and their parents/ guardians will have the opportunity to learn extracts from the production with English National Ballet dance artists and get up close to costumes and scenery. English National Ballet School Summer Performances return this year to New Wimbledon Theatre 6-7 July. Tickets go on sale Monday 23 April.

For more information and to book tickets, please go to

6 Healthy Treats Your Kids Will Love

Children love a tasty snack throughout the day. Unfortunately, most kids’ favourite sweet and savoury treats are filled with saturated fat and sugar, which can quickly result in an unhealthy diet. To ensure your son or daughter creates a healthier, happier body, check out the six healthy treats your kids will love.

Frozen Yoghurt

Frozen yoghurt is one of the healthiest snacks you can give to your children, as it is lower in calories and saturated fat in comparison to other snacks. You can also use different yoghurt flavours to complement your child’s tastes, so it’s the perfect treat to enjoy after dinner or on a hot summer’s day. Learn more about the popular VonShef ice cream maker, which you can use to create mouth-watering frozen yoghurt (or even sorbet!) treats the kids will adore. Plus, it’s also an ice cream maker for days when you’re allowed to treat yourself and your family.

Fruit Smoothies

Are your children reluctant to eat fruit and vegetables? Add some much-needed nutrients into their diet by concocting delicious fruit smoothies your children will beg you to make. You can incorporate a wide variety of fruits to create different flavours, such as bananas, oranges, pineapple and more. You can also use both fresh and frozen fruit, so it’s a great way to sneak some vitamins and fibre into their diet.

Sweet Potato Crisps

Does your son or daughter love to reach for a bag of crisps after school? Cut down on their intake of salt and saturated fat with a healthier, homemade alternative. Sweet potato crisps are simple to make with a little bit of oil and salt. The vegetable is also packed with essential nutrients your children will need to develop a healthy body, such as vitamin C and D. What’s more, you will know exactly how much oil or salt you’ll be adding onto their crisps.

Mango Fruit Rollups

There is nothing but mango in these scrumptious fruit rollups. You simply need to grind four cups of diced mango in a blender or food processor until smooth, before spreading the puree evenly on a pan using a spatula. Once you have done so, bake the rollups for three to four hours (preheated oven at 175ºF), and they’ll be ready to roll once the puree is dry to the touch. Baking times will vary depending on your oven temperature and the thickness of the roll-up.

Peanut Butter

What child doesn’t love peanut butter? Pick up natural peanut butter and select a jar with no added sugar or various fats. It is a great source of protein and healthy fats for children, and it’s a versatile ingredient that can complement different foods, such as bananas, apples, wholegrain crackers, toast, and celery. You might even dip a spoon into the jar for yourself!


Cheese is filled with both calcium and protein, so it can be a healthy addition to a child’s diet when enjoyed in moderation. You simply need to ensure it does not feature in every meal or snack. So, monitor their intake of cheese so they can enjoy a delicious snack, which pairs well with apples or carrot sticks.

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Lion Selfie! – #MySundayPhoto

lion selfie chessington lions animals


Talk about right place at the right time! This was taken during half term at Chessington World of Adventures! Casually watching the gorgeous lions in the zoo there and this one was extraordinarily friendly, honouring me with this super selfie!


Days Out, Marcella and Elizabeth Hurley #LittleLoves

Two weeker here! Half term for us was amazing! We got out and about and managed to pack quite a lot in! I didn’t want school to resume this week, but all back to normality and the daily grind is well under way again.

Have to mention my lovely girl’s achievement this week. She got the highest marks in a maths exam in her class for the SECOND time in a row! She’s never really shown any flair in maths particularly so quite surprised this happened again! I was proud as punch last time but now my pride is off the radar! My clever girl.

Feeling a bit meh about some personal issues going on right now but still lots to be happy about, so here’s my Little Loves list for the past two weeks!


I’ve been reading a lot more with my twin boys recently which I am enjoying. Obviously I’m supposed to listen to them read on a regular basis for school, which I do, but for ease I tend to get them to read to me together. But making the effort to read individually again has been beneficial. They’ve picked out a book each and I take them upstairs one by one to snuggle up with me and read a little bit every single day (or most days). They’re 8 now so they CAN read but reading out loud, highlighting words they don’t know and talking about the books helps them enormously to understand and enjoy the books so much more! It’s time consuming in an already busy evening but we’re all getting so much out it. They’re improving their reading skills and I’m spending some precious one to one time with each of my twins which is wonderfully special for all of us.



It has to be Marcella! I had a binge watch of the first series on Netflix last week which I thought was brilliant. It packed loads into every episode. The amount of characters all intertwined was tricky to keep up with in places but I managed and thoroughly enjoyed all the twists and turns! I couldn’t wait for the new series to start on Monday… did you watch? Not sure what I think yet, maybe too soon to tell but looking forward to seeing how it goes.


Lycra! Yes I made a welcome return to the gym this week after a few months hiatus, so back on went the lycra and back on the treadmill I went!

Actually it was my daughter that spurred me on as she had an inset day at school and had been badgering me to take her to the gym for some time (kids her age, 12, seem to be just getting into it now) so I booked her in for an induction. It was lovely, a bit of mum and daughter time, so I hope it’s something we will continue to do together as and when we can. I’ve been twice since on my own too this week as I really need to up my fitness levels! Go me!

Not much lycra on me showing in this photo but my daughter here is wearing plenty!

littleloves gym workout


Gossip! Met up with a friend this week for a much needed catch up and a gossip. We did a bit of shopping, a bit of coffee shop sitting and a LOT of gossiping! Perfect day!


We made lots of trips out during the half term…..

We made our first visit as a Merlin Ambassador to Chessington World of Adventures. The whole park wasn’t fully open but the zoo and a few rides were, as were the restaurants! We had a brilliant time and can’t wait to go back again!

Chessington merlin theme parks

We were invited to the press launch of Dinosaurs in the Wild which is an interactive experience set 67 millions years ago! Rubbing shoulders with dinosaurs and celebrities alike, a great time was had. This is definitely one of those attractions not to be missed. Full review coming in the next few days! Check out my selfie with Elizabeth Hurley – I grabbed her just before we left as I couldn’t go without saying hello! I look awful in this photo and she doesn’t look too impressed either but she was VERY lovely, as was her son Damian who looks like a model! She was also VERY tall! ;)

elizabeth hurley dinosaurs in the wild

dinosaurs in the wild

We visited the fabulous Willows Farm in Hertfordshire… one of our favourite local days out.

Willows Farm goat

We also went trampolining!


And lastly….

I can’t believe the cold weather is kicking in again… I thought we were on our way to Spring! Not yet it seems, so we’re bracing ourselves for the onslaught this week. Snow forecast for Monday!

Keep warm people! x

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

What to Do if You Experience Pregnancy Discrimination at Work

Although the law protects you against unfair treatment at work due to a pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for women to find themselves struggling at their workplace, or even pushed out of a job due to falling pregnant. In certain industries, where it may no longer be safe to work whilst pregnant, your employer should work to find you a suitable position that you are able to fulfill during the time until your maternity leave commences. Sadly, many employers today still do not treat women fairly when they’re pregnant or want to take maternity leave from work. If you feel that you would have been treated fairly were you not pregnant, your employer may be breaking the law. Here’s what to do if you are treated unfairly or wrongfully dismissed from your workplace due to pregnancy.

1. Get Legal Advice:

The first step is getting legal advice from an experienced solicitor who is used to handling similar claims. They will be able to look at the specifics of your situation to let you know whether you are being treated unfairly, and whether it’s worth thinking about making a claim against your employer. If you’re trying to avoid a lengthy court case whilst pregnant, then it may be worth speaking to experienced settlement agreement solicitors who will be able to increase your chance of coming to an agreement with your employer outside of court.

2. Keep Records:

If you are going to make a claim, then it’s important that you are able to provide evidence of the unfair treatment. If you were dismissed for seemingly no reason when your employer found out that you were pregnant, then this may be evidence enough. However, in most cases, it’s not always as simple as that. It’s a good idea to keep detailed records of how your employer’s treatment of you changed from falling pregnant onwards. For example, if you lost out on opportunities for progression or were demoted to a lower-paid position.

3. Know Your Rights:

It’s important to be fully aware of your rights surrounding pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. Legally, you are protected against pregnancy discrimination from as soon as your employer is informed that you are pregnant, however, you are not legally required to tell your employer about the pregnancy until fifteen weeks before your baby is due to be born. Once your employer has been informed, you are protected against unfair dismissal, unfair treatment, redundancy, and discrimination on pregnancy grounds.

4. Pregnancy or Performance?

If you are dismissed from work during pregnancy, most employers will not admit that it is because you are pregnant. However, bear in mind that there will be circumstances where a dismissal during pregnancy is for fair reasons, for example, gross misconduct is not protected against whilst pregnant. Except for in the most serious cases, your employer will need to warn you beforehand if you are about to be dismissed. It is unfair for your employer to dismiss you for pregnancy-related reasons, such as absence due to morning sickness or the need to make adjustments to accommodate you.

Your employer should not treat you unfairly because you are pregnant – if this is the case, get legal advice today!



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5 Reasons why Everyone Needs an Emergency Fund

5 reasons why everyone needs an emergency fund. Money savings

If you find yourself struggling every time you encounter a financial hurdle in your life, then it might be time to start considering the benefits of an emergency fund. An emergency fund can help to make sure that you’re capable of paying your bills, and shelling out cash for any unexpected expenses when problems naturally arise.

Without an emergency fund, you could open yourself up to countless potential problems including debt and discomfort. Here, we’ll look at just some of the reasons why everyone could benefit from having an emergency safety blanket in place.

Life is Unpredictable

The first, and most important reason why everyone needs an emergency fund is that no matter how good you are at budgeting, the truth is that we can’t prepare for everything. When you first begin to budget, you may find that you’re leaving out some of the essential expenses that you need to plan for, and an emergency fund can make sure that you’re ready to tackle those problems when they come up.

Just remember, as unplanned expenses do begin to emerge, you can write them down and adjust your budget accordingly to ensure that you won’t forget about them in the future. That doesn’t mean that you won’t need an emergency fund anymore, but it should ensure that you tap into it less frequently.

An Income Only Goes So Far

If you’re living alone, then the chances are you only have one source of income to rely on. Unfortunately, since you can’t turn to someone else for help when something goes wrong, you’ll find that you need even more help to ensure that you can fight back against potential problems that could arise.

Ideally, if you’re the sole income provider in your family, you’ll need to work on having at least a year’s worth of funds saved up. You can then build a larger emergency fund later if necessary. Remember, if you’re just starting a family, you might need to increase your emergency fund to take children into account.

Owning a Home is a Huge Commitment

If you own your own home, you’ll find that your need for an emergency fund is even more significant, as it’s up to you to pay for all the upkeep expenses and repairs that are necessary to keep your home in a livable condition.

As a homeowner, your emergency fund will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have something to turn to if things go wrong and you need a little extra help. Remember, home repairs can be very expensive, as is something like replacing a boiler. The more you can save back to protect your home, the more you can rest assured that you will always have a comfortable place to live – no matter what hurdles might come your way.

You Need to Prepare for Major Issues

This follows on from the “life is unpredictable” comment. Even if nothing ever goes wrong with your home, and you keep hold of the same job for a number of years, you could still face major issues if you’re facing a serious medical problem or dental concern. Health issues aren’t only expensive, they can also mean that you end up having to take days, weeks, or even months away from work.

Whether you’re the sole provider for income in your household or not, a long time away from work is sure to have a negative impact on your quality of life. An emergency fund can help to soften the blow when you should be focusing on getting better.

Emergency Funds Help You Reach Your Goals

Finally, if you’re focusing on reaching an important financial goal, like starting your own business, or owning a property, your emergency fund will help to prevent you from dipping into your other savings when things go wrong. This should mean that you’re less likely to move backward on your goals instead of forwards.

Although your progress might slow down a little as you’ll need to replace your emergency funds too, you’ll be able to keep your savings untouched, so you don’t have to worry about losing track.

Though personal loans are available when you’re struggling to make ends meet, and you don’t have an emergency fund in place to help you overcome life’s little challenges, it’s often much better to budget some money aside for a rainy-day fund in case things go wrong. Borrowing options do exist, but they’ll only take you so far and can be very expensive to pay back.



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Photo by Philip Veater on Unsplash

The Crown, Foundation and Singing! #LittleLoves

I haven’t made the Little Loves linky over at Coffee Work Sleep the past few weeks, which is annoying as I made a pact with myself to join in every week! Oh well, life gets in the way sometimes and I seem to be juggling a lot of balls right now so I’m trying to not give myself too hard a time.

So what’s been happening these past few weeks… Well my Twins’ school had a major gas issue which meant they had to close for a day and a half one week. Luckily for me my work place is local and flexible so I could leave early to pick up the boys, even though we were only given an hour’s notice! I do wonder about parents who work further away or don’t have such understanding bosses! The following day was also my day off so it worked out fine for us and I loved spending an unexpected day at home with my boys!

Last week I was so ill with the flu. I was off work all week apart from Friday and spent it mostly in bed shivering or on the sofa. I felt very sorry for myself indeed. Back at work fully this week and it’s been nice to get properly dressed up and to feel human again!

Here’s my list of Little Loves this week…..


I am always reading but normally it’s in bits on my phone and in a hurry! I’m constantly clicking through links on Twitter to read articles of interest… at the moment it’s usually business related content. I enjoy reading anything about start ups, entrepreneurs and marketing.

Another Twitter account I love right now is Blinkist. I could happily click through on every link they have on their account and their website magazine is good too! Blinkist is an App that summarises all the best nonfiction books, in a quick and easy to read format. Absolutely perfect for those that never have any time…. like most of us! I don’t have the App myself, I’m more than happy with reading the snippets it provides on Twitter!

I’m also a sucker for the celebrity gossipy news stories on SnapChat… spend way more time than I really should reading those!



Being ill does have one perk… being able to watch loads of telly! I started, at long last, watching The Crown on Netflix! Yes I know I’m incredibly late to the party on this. I did start watching a while ago but the first one or two episodes I found difficult to get into. I wanted to give it another chance and I’m so glad I did! I’m way in now on episode seven and loving it!

the crown


I heard my boys practicing their lines for their school assembly and then heard them say them when I watched it ! They had a couple of lines each and it fills my heart with pure joy to see them saying their lines with confidence… a little quiet yes but up until last year they would hide in sharing assemblies they hated it so much, and they would NEVER have said a single word because of their shyness. I’m so proud of them.


Not much to report here! Wearing the same old stuff… could do with a shopping spree but I don’t really want to buy more Winter clothes and it’s too cold for Spring clothes just yet. Will wait another month then treat myself I think!

I’ve been wearing my new Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation recently. I’m not a massive fan of foundation and tend to just wear concealer but sometimes when I feel particularly pasty and my skin isn’t great, especially in the Winter, this foundation is amazing! It IS thick so you only need a small amount, which I apply with a brush, but it boasts the best coverage on the market and I would absolutely agree. I love it. It’s on the pricey side but in store they colour match it to your skin and it lasts ages. Think I might go for the lighter version next time to try!

estee lauder double wear


I absolutely love singing, I was trained as a child and can often be heard singing very loud at home! I believe this to be totally normal but when my kids friends are round I sometimes forget myself and burst into song! The look on their faces is priceless… it’s like they think I’m completely bonkers! Either that  or I sound truly terrible haha! Anyway, now the kids are older I’ve decided to brush up on my (limited) skills and I’ve joined a singing class… just for fun. I’m naturally a shy person so this week when the first lesson was due, I wanted to pull out. I was nervous and didn’t want to go. But I made myself, and I’m so pleased I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

And lastly….

Half term at last woohoo! Been counting down the days since the kids went back to school after Christmas! Really looking forward to spending a week with my babies, staying cosy at home some days and having fun adventures on the rest!

Hope you have a great week!

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
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