Archives for January 2018

I’m a Merlin Annual Pass Ambassador for 2018!

Finding out that I’d been chosen to be a Merlin Annual Pass Ambassador for 2018 will probably be THE best news I hear regarding my blog this year!

Merlin annual pass ambassador

Excited just wasn’t the word! Being an Ambassador for Merlin Entertainment means I’ll be able to take my family… my four wonderful children, to ANY of the Merlin attractions ALL year with our complimentary Premium Annual Passes… then come back here and share all our adventures with you!

What an amazing opportunity and SUCH an honour!

Right now there is a massive Sale on for The Merlin Annual Passes which ends on 12th February! Owning one gives you 52 weeks of family fun to enjoy from only £109 per person!

A  Merlin Annual Pass opens the door to 32 magical worlds across the UK, so wherever you live, you’re guaranteed to have the ultimate passport to fun!

Merlin Entertainments own some of the UK’s biggest and best attractions, including some of our favourites that I’ve written about before, like to fabulous Thorpe Park, who’ve I’ve been an Ambassador for for the last couple of years!  It boasts some of the best rollercoasters all in one place in my opinion and is brilliant for older kids and adults looking for those extreme thrills! It also has the best Halloween event in Fright Nights…. a must visit for me and Teen every year!

stealth thorpe park roller coasters

Blackpool Tower is another favourite after we visited in 2016! Definitely going to go back this year… from the amazing view from the top of the Tower, to Afternoon Tea in the famous Ballroom, it has so many venues within a venue! I want to include Sea Life this year when we go as we ran out of time last time!

blackpool tower

In Spring last year we visited Sea Life London and Shrek’s Adventure. Sea Life I hadn’t visited for years and we’d been invited to check out their new Jellyfish exhibition which was amazing! We hadn’t been to Shrek before as it’s a relatively new attraction so it was great to experience that! It’s completely interactive and lots of fun! If you’re a Shrek fan you’ll LOVE it…. be prepared to get involved! 😉

Sealife london ocean invaders jellyfish

LegoLand is top of our hit list this year! It isn’t too far from us, yet we haven’t been anywhere near enough times. No reason really apart from maybe fact that my Twins haven’t been too keen on rides and theme parks until the last year or so. We visited last Summer for the first time with them and they loved it! I used to go all the time when Teen was younger and I couldn’t believe how much it’s grown in size since then! There’s so much to pack into a visit that we’re so happy we’ll be able to go lots this year!

legoland

That’s the beauty of the Annual Pass! Even if you don’t manage to get one in the sale, they are still so worth having! It means you can leisurely stroll around one of the attractions, taking your time and not rushing around trying to cram everything in, knowing you can always go back whenever you want with your Pass.

The Annual Pass gives you access to special benefits and discounts too and the Premium Pass even offers you discounted rates on the resort Hotels with their Holiday Club!

A couple of Merlin Attractions we haven’t got around to visiting before but always say we will, are Warwick CastleThe London Eye (can you believe that?!) and The London Dungeons. Definitely going to be visiting these this year and hopefully book some overnight stays too!

We stayed at Chessington World of Adventures a few years ago and the attention to details in the rooms is totally unreal! My children absolutely loved it! There’s a new addition at Chessington this year in the shape on Tiger Rock which opens on the 5th May… an exhilarating log flume ride, featuring a new innovative big cat enclosure with Europe’s first overhead trails!

tiger rock chessington new 2018

If you want to purchase your Merlin Annual Pass for 2018 in the sale, you’ve got until the 12th February to grab that bargain! Don’t miss out! But don’t worry if you miss it, they’re available to buy all year round at any of the Merlin attractions or online.

Visit the Merlin Annual Pass Website now!

*Disclosure I have been gifted Annual Passes this year to visit some Merlin attractions and share my experiences. I have not been paid to write this post. All words and opinions my own and honest.

An evening with La Soiree!

La Soiree theatre west end

I’d received a couple of emails about the show La Soiree… well the children’s version actually, La Petite Soiree, which by all accounts is a watered down version, and I thought it sounded great! I wondered if I could get a chance to take my kids to see it sometime before Christmas but with one thing or another, there just wasn’t time.

Then, on my return to work, a colleague mentioned the show in passing, telling us she’d booked to go and see it…. the adult version! She said she absolutely loved it and it had become a bit of a yearly ritual for her now, something she went to see with her husband and some friends! Kicking myself for not booking, a few days later I received an email to say the show was closing soon so I thought… Right… I MUST see the show before it closes for the season!

Which I did! The ADULT version. Last week I grabbed a friend and we headed out for an evening with La Soiree!

La Soiree is, in it’s own words, a ‘theatrical phenomenon’… I think I would go along with that to a degree! It’s definitely not the usual West End musical I normally prefer to go and see! It’s completely bonkers with lots of adult humour being thrown about, which I’ll go into a bit later! I would describe it as a cabaret night featuring a variety of acts such as circus skills, burlesque, singing and comedy!

la soiree aldwych theatre london west end

Aldwych Theatre is the venue for this crazy show. It’s the first time La Soiree has been in the West End and they are so incredibly excited about it! It’s origins come from the after hours club nights at the Edinburgh Fringe and they have taken it all over the world, even playing Glastonbury… before finally taking up residence in this beautiful theatre for the festive run!

On arrival, my friend and I were shown to our seats by one of the theatre Ushers who to my astonishment, I knew!  He attended the same dance school as my daughter and he was friends with my 19yr old son back when they were younger! How funny! He recognised me instantly and we had a lovely chat… he’s now an actor but works at the Aldwych Theatre in between jobs! Anyway, our allocated seats were ‘ringside’… keeping in with the circus theme! The stage itself is a circular platform in front of the actual theatre stage which now has tables and chairs on it. These are for the audience too. I had heard that there’s a fair amount of audience participation in the show, so I was guessing the people in the ringside seats (us) would be prime targets!

My little friend though, the Usher, had other ideas for us! He wanted to upgrade us to the ‘posh seats’ that were on the stage! Knowing the acts would be swapping between that stage and the circular stage I was slightly reluctant. We would DEFINITELY be in the firing line… but my friend was eager so up we went!

La soiree aldwych theatre london

There was a great atmosphere in the auditorium. I got the feeling that La Soiree was one of those shows that people returned to again and again with friends or work colleagues! Certainly, looking around us at there seemed to be a corporate feel to some of the groups of friends watching. Maybe because it was midweek, people catching the show after work!

The small group seated on the table next to us, who let’s just say were under the influence, were already up for whatever the night had in store for them! They’d been to see it a number of times and one of the women said she hoped we didn’t mind being dragged up by some of the acts because that definitely would happen! We had a giggle with them and nervously looked forward to the start of the show!

at the theatre la soiree london aldwych

Then the show began… first up was a male duo from India who were acrobats performing an ancient art of mallakhamb, which involved a large wooden pole and incredible strength and skill! They also wasted no time in dragging someone up to dance with them in between moves… that person was my friend haha! She loved it though dancing away centre stage!

la soiree

Next up was Montreal’s Cabaret Decandanse who performed a couple of songs throughout the show with puppets. Each one being slightly more risque than the last! The puppeteers were just as good as the puppets themselves… I couldn’t take my eyes of the male one!

la soiree aldwych

A comedy duo came on next and straight away I was nervous! They were all over the audience…. I knew there was going to be some joining in here! They too had a couple of stints in the show. Called Daredevil Chicken, their first act involved chewing bananas and spitting it out into each others mouths! Gross! Not for me that one! Later they had a member of audience up with the woman part of the duo. A young guy who she got dancing and generally looking a bit silly. He seemed to enjoy it though… I was cringing! Then the guy from the duo had his most private part flapping around later on… I mean, we were NOT expecting that but it WAS funny, my friend and I couldn’t stop laughing!

la soiree aldwych theatre

One fab act was The Incredible Hula Boy! Dancing and spinning hoops to yodeling music in a funny little Austrian costume…. he had the most unusual look about him, a cheeky boy face that we found mesmerising! Totally bizarre!

la soiree theatre london

There are many acts involved in an evening of La Soiree which are rotated on a nightly basis so we obviously only saw a handful of offerings on the night we went!

I enjoyed some of the more acrobatic acts, like this girl.. Katherine Arnold who spun around the auditorium in this hoop!

la soiree

And Leon and Klodi who danced a gorgeously sexy gymnastic routine.

la soiree leon and klodi

The Chilly Brothers were a fantastic human flying trapeze act which were highly impressive!

la soiree the chilly brothers

One act I can’t go without mentioning was Amy G, who played a few sets on the night too! One of the favourites, she’s a legend on the international cabaret scene. A comic powerhouse with a spectacular voice, she’s been likened to Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. She was great with the audience, including myself… yes I didn’t get away with it… she cornered me and sang to me in a provocative manor, as she did to quite a few others! It’s brilliant the way some people interact…. almost wanting the attention and she was happy to give it to them! Amy G has played in over 40 countries, 7 languages, and on La Soiree’s little red stage for over a decade. She belts out songs, roller skates and also gets quite kinky towards the end!

la soiree amy g west end theatre aldwych

A few more acts were involved on the night and the show seemed to run along at an almost dizzying speed! The mixture of acts of comedy, skill and sauciness made it a truly unique evening. We had a brilliant time watching La Soiree and I would recommend it to anyone! If you want to be more of a spectator it’s all good… you can sit anywhere in the auditorium as the acts only pick out people in close proximity to the stage. They also look for eye contact before choosing their ‘victims’ haha so they have an idea of who’s up for some fun! And believe me, there’s no shortage of willing participants!

Audiences have just over a week left to catch the show and it’s brand new family-friendly sister show, La Petite Soirée… which has all the fantastic acts but without the sauce! Both shows will be ending on 3 February 2018. For tickets, head over the La Soiree website for seating plans as prices do vary widely.

Big Brother, Oasis and Shiny Brogues #LittleLoves

So Week 3 of 2018 and I’m struggling with tiredness. I need to get to bed much earlier but even when I do I end up catching up with work or reading and then it’s always after midnight when I’m going to sleep! My alarm is set for 6.30am, giving me 6 hours if I’m lucky. Not enough sleep for me. I have snoozed for England this week! Today I pressed that snooze button for almost an hour, causing us all to rush around like crazy dudes trying to get ready and out of the house! My children are still asleep too by the way (lazy little so and so’s!) so I have to wake them and I hate doing that.

Anyway, hope you’ve all had a good week. Here is my list of Little Loves…..

Read

The forgetting time book books

I’ve started a new book…. The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin. I’m only a couple of chapters in but I’m already intrigued. It’s about a little boy who seems to remember his past life. It’s got some great reviews so hoping it will be a good one!

Watched

big brother tv show

It has to be Big Brother! I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and I wouldn’t watch the Summer one with members of the public because it’s all got a bit silly now with most of them chasing fame! It’s also on for far too long… too much of a commitment to keep up, but I did use the love it in the early years when it was very much an experiment on human behaviour! The celebrity one is different as it’s only on for a few weeks and I can’t help but to be intrigued…. to discover the sides of the celebrities as we’ve never seen them before. Even the Z Listers, which most of them are, quite often turn out to be TV gold! Yes it’s all been done before but every housemate is different and it’s the element of surprise and unpredictability that fascinates me!

It’s been much better this year… a lot more civilised. The Year of the Woman has given us more intellectual conversations and has generally been more respectful. I pretty much like everyone in there, if there was any time I’d like to be in the Big Brother house it would be now, with those people! They all seem to be getting along reasonably well which is unusual. But of course, there’s still time for it all to unravel 😉

Can’t go without mentioning The Greatest Showman! Went to see it last weekend with my eldest two kids and OMG I loved it so much! Much better than I imagined. I’m a massive musical fan so it had to go a long way to impress me but it certainly did! And Hugh Jackman….. I love him!

Heard

I’ve been listening to Oasis again the past few weeks. I was a big fan back in the day and after watching that documentary that was on over Christmas… Supersonic… if you watched it, wasn’t it brilliant? Such an intimate look at the very start of their journey and a wonderful insight to the bands’ real personalities…. a real eye opener! The programme just made me want to listen to their albums again. I was there at Knebworth that Summer of 1996, a moment in Britpop history! Did you know that more than 2 and a half million people applied for tickets for the 2 Knebworth shows? Apparently they could’ve sold out at least 18 Knebworth shows instead of 2! Crazy! I feel very lucky to have been part of it… was one of the best days ever!

The sun was setting in the sky on this perfect, warm summer’s evening as they played my favourite song….

Wore

I’ve been wearing my Hotter shoes this week. I’ve had them over a year but the first time I wore them they gave me terrible blisters! I’d gone into London and my heels bled…. I was at an event in a hotel and they had to get me medical help! Hehe….. That’ll teach me to wear new shoes with bare feet! Understandably, it put me off wearing them, even though I did the old holding them over the steam of a boiling kettle to soften up the heels… I’ve still been scared of them! Well no more. Because I do actually love them….. Nice aren’t they? I’m liking them with black tights and a skirt and so far… no blisters!

IMG_3572

Made

I’m trying to make sure my twins are doing a bit more work at home. It’s not always easy as they just want to chill when they get home from school but I promised myself I would encourage them to read and do some fun maths. They still need to get their heads round the basics with maths and do struggle somewhat. We are back doing the Smartick Maths programme which I was lucky enough to review last year. They enjoyed it then and I felt as though they came on in leaps and bounds whilst on it so I’m super pleased to be using it again!

And Lastly

I had a lovely night out with a friend on Thursday as we headed to the theatre to see La Soiree! I will talk more about it next week and I’ll be writing up a review in the next day or two but WOW! It was the most bizarre show I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen loads! It was absolutely freezing on Thursday though and getting myself out on the train into London on a school night was a bit of a struggle, but so glad we went! We had a brilliant time! Made a mental note to do it more often!

Have a good week everyone…. looks like it’s going to be a cold one!

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

Most Effective Exercises to Tone up Your Body

exercise better yoga

If you have been dieting for a while, you will know that as you lose weight, you need to start toning up so that you can achieve some longed-for definition. This is certainly me! I don;t need to lose weight, but I desperately want to tone up! But, if you’ve been combining dieting with exercising to lose weight, it can difficult to swap your regime to one that works on toning alone. Toning your body isn’t just about the way you exercise, it is also about how you treat your body and the way you eat. Here are some ideas to help you tone your body while still staying on track with your diet….

Think About What You’re Eating

When you’re looking to tone your body, what you’re doing is trying to tighten up the muscles and skin so that your arms and legs get more defined. The problem that some people have with this is that they still try to stick to their low-calorie diet while attempting to tone. Your body and muscles need calories to work so that they can work efficiently. By sticking to a low-calorie diet, you are not giving your muscles enough fuel. It will not only take longer to tone your body, but the results won’t be as good as you are expecting. That doesn’t mean that you should eat everything, you should stick to a diet that is high in nutrients and vitamins, just increase your calorie limit.

Start Eating Better Carbs

If you’re just starting your diet, or you’ve now finished dieting, you need to start swapping your carbs for better ones. Instead of eating potatoes, white bread, and pasta, you should eat food like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. It is also a good idea to start eating nuts, seeds, and avocados as they contain healthy fats. These types of food will give you the energy you need without adding anything negative to your diet. It is important to eat regularly, up to five or six meals a day, to keep your energy levels up, especially if you are exercising a lot.

Keep Up Your Protein Intake

Although you may be limiting certain foods because of your diet, it is important to maintain a high level of protein. If you can keep eating foods such as dairy and animal proteins, then you can maintain your muscles during your diet. If you don’t, then as well as losing weight, you will also lose muscle mass, which you don’t want to do when you are trying to tone up. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, then there are many other alternatives to dairy and meat that also contain good proteins.

Drink Water

Your muscles, just like the rest of your body, are made from mostly water – 70-80 percent in fact. It can never be emphasised enough how important it is to stay hydrated, not just in normal circumstances, but also when dieting and toning up. Water is vital for helping your body develop new muscle, while dehydration can cause the muscle to break down. Don’t forget to always take water with you when you are exercising and continue to drink during the day as well. You should also try to avoid drinks that are high in caffeine such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks. The caffeine will bind to the water in your body as it passes through, so you will lose more water drinking caffeine than drinking any other drink.

Interval Training

If your usual weekly routine involves lots of cardio, then you might get better results for your muscles if you switch to interval training. With this type of exercise, you do short bursts of intensive exercise followed by a longer interval of slower training. If you can do this for two to three times a week, you will see that your muscles will tone up as well as getting the cardio workout you need. Some exercises such as Pilates, already do this slowing down and speeding up which is ideal for toning.

Yoga

When it comes to strengthening your muscles without excessive weights, there is nothing better than yoga. The exercise itself is not that demanding in a cardio way, but it can be extremely effective at toning your body and making you stronger. It’s especially good for people that can’t, or don’t enjoy intensive workouts or long periods of cardio. Hatha yoga is particularly good. It’s also something that you can do at home with a DVD or by watching Youtube! As with any exercise, even yoga, you should build up to it gradually, especially if you haven’t exercised for a while. I would love to get into yoga. I might give it another go this year.

Mix Up Your Workouts

While exercise is great for your body, if you want to get more from your workouts, then try to mix up the way you exercise. By trying to work more than one muscle group at a time, you will cause your body to release more hormones and burn calories for longer, even after your workout. It means that instead of doing two different workouts a day, just do one mixed workout once a day. It also has the benefit of burning calories faster and toning your body quicker.

Take Time to Rest

Just as important as exercising and eating healthily, is taking time to rest in between your workouts. Stress can cause the body to store more fat and diminish muscle, so try to do something you love to help relax you. It is also vital that you rest in between workouts so that your body can repair itself. If you don’t, you will pick up injuries that will prevent you from exercising for longer. Rest also includes sleep. The more sleep you get, the better it will be for your body. You repair your body in your sleep so the more hours in bed you get, the better the results will be at the end.

By doing these few things, you can start to tone up your body in the right way and get the best results from your workouts.

*Collaborative Post

Getting Girls into STEM with Pretty Curious by EDF Energy

I’ve been seeing the STEM campaign by EDF Energy on social media for a while and was initially surprised to learn that of all the people working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) related jobs, only a small percentage were women. Years ago I would’ve thought that to be the case but not in this day and age surely? Maybe boys have been naturally drawn to those subjects in the past because of the generations before them, and girls go to the more arty type subjects at school. I don’t know. But I do know that unless schools and us as parents are actively trying to change these perceptions and teaching girls about the diverse roles these subjects can lead to… nothing will change.

pretty curious EDF Energy

Step forward EDF Energy! They decided to create their Pretty Curious campaign which has been running for a few years now and has been incredibly successful. It was set up to raise awareness and give young girls the opportunity to learn about the industries they could work in. Just one in four people working in core STEM roles in the UK are women and EDF Energy is reliant on STEM skills not only to deliver a low-carbon energy future but also to create smarter energy solutions. That’s why they they want to recruit from the widest talent pool possible including a new generation of STEM advocates.

Having a 12 year old daughter myself, I do actively encourage her to explore STEM subjects, especially technology which I know she’s interested in already, and Maths because she’s quite good at it (she doesn’t particularly like it though!). She loves making things and getting stuck in so when we were asked if we’d like to take part in this campaign and receive a Star Wars Droid Inventor Kit, my daughter was very excited!

EDF Energy have partnered up with Star Wars: The Last Jedi recently as they believe having a major movie on board which features two inspirational female lead characters with strong STEM skills… Rose and Rey, can encourage girls to look at STEM in a new light.

pretty curious edf energy star wars

pretty curious edf energy star wars

When the Droid Inventor Kit arrived, it was all I could do to keep my twin boys away from it! They just assumed it was for them and I guess therein lies the problem. Because the toy was a mechanical, construction robot thing, my boys immediately thought it had come for them. I would go so far as to say they were even a little shocked when I told them no, it was for their sister! They looked at each other in disbelief!

Why is that? It’s that stereotypical gender role argument… that boys usually have all the building toys and girls would have the creative toys or dolls etc. To be fair, being an R2-D2 I personally would never have bought something like this for my daughter and it DOES look like a boys toy, so it’s taught me something too right there! It’s silly though because there’s no reason why girls shouldn’t build and construct things…. they’re just as capable and enjoy it just as much!

This is why I love this campaign.

So, I made sure the boys took a back seat this time… they could sit and watch! The kit was fantastic. Created by Little Bits, who make customisable, remote control toys, comes with everything they need to make the Droid, including batteries!

The first thing to do is download the App. This provides all the instructions as well as the tools to controls your Droid once complete, there are paper ones too but my daughter was straight into the App!

star ward droid pretty curious edf energy

star ward droid pretty curious edf energy

As you can see there are a fair few parts and circuits to navigate but the step by step instructions were easy to follow. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed working out what to do all by herself. I literally didn’t have to help her once and she absolutely relished this.

pretty curious

pretty curious edf energy

pretty curious

pretty curious edf energy

The App that accompanies the Droid becomes the controller too… a very important partner! It comes with more than 16 different missions for the Droid to undertake so no need for kids to become bored! Again, my daughter set all this up by herself. Being able to work out how to put something like this together without help was so important. It meant she didn’t have to ask anyone else to do it, which would’ve meant a disconnection between her and the Droid. She couldn’t wait to try out the circuits she’d connected and built, before it was even completed!

droid inventor kit pretty curious edf energy

Once the main control part of the Droid had been assembled, it was then time to add the body. These toys have been designed so that you can create your own inventions too and not just have the R2-D2. This encourages kids to think outside the box and customise their Droids in as many different ways as their imaginations allow! They can even ADD to the mix by buying different Little Bits kits.

All that needed to be added then was the outer shell and all the stickers. She had fun with that! The R2-D2 was complete… and doesn’t he look amazing?

pretty curious edf energy droid inventor kit

My daughter thought the whole process of building the Droid was great! She discovered she possessed the necessary skills to work out the logistics, the problem solving, the coordination, the design, and that she could do all this with no help!

Once she had played around with the Droid for a while, taking him all over the house, controlling him with the App, it was time for my twins to finally have a go!

pretty curious

They loved it… especially all the noises it makes! R2-D2 has a voice and he uses it!

My daughter was also encouraged to watch a virtual reality video about three women who work for EDF Energy in three very different roles… a structural engineer who helped design The Shard, a Research Engineer for off shore windfarms and a Coder who also founded crowdfunding website Mode for Me! She was amazed by these jobs and realistically she may never have known about these roles had it not been for us taking part in this campaign. I’m sure they inspired her to consider her career options more carefully now she has seen what she could do!

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I would absolutely tell anyone with a daughter to head over to the EDF Energy website as there’s so much information on there about the Pretty Curious programme. The events they organise too are challenging girls creatively to experience those career possibilities available by pursuing STEM subjects at school.

Also on the website you’ll find……

Future Me avatar and quiz

Create a sharable and personalised avatar in a STEM-related career to picture yourself in a potential future role ranging from a biologist to an electrical engineer. If you’re not sure what the future could hold, take their easy personality quiz to see what career may be best suited to your interests.

Parents quiz

Be the first to take the new parents quiz and see what STEM-related career would best suit your child. Identify their strengths, plus discover information and guidance on pursuing a career in that particular role once you receive your results.

We have fully appreciated collaborating with EDF Energy on their brilliant #PrettyCurious campaign – I feel as though we have benefited a great deal from it and learned so much. I really hope you find it educational too.

Cocktail Masterclasses to combat Dry January!

cocktail masterclass k west hotel

With so many people taking part in Dry January and trying to detox the Christmas over indulgence, The Studio Bar at the K West Hotel & Spa in London’s Shepherd’s Bush has decided to start the year 2018 with a healthy dose of boozy debauchery instead!

What a great antidote to all the ‘New Year New Me’ resolutions! Move over green smoothies, let’s just start as we mean to go on!

The K West Hotel & Spa’s West London Celebrity hangout is inviting guests and visitors to take part in a 1.5 hour masterclass, led by the expert mixologists of Studio Bar. You can learn how to mix two of the most popular cocktails around… the Cosmopolitan and the Mojito!

How do you fancy playing bartender, getting to grips with the mixing and shaking and even pouring like a pro? Taste tests will also be required….. well, it would be rude not ti! By the end of the cocktail masterclass, guests will have stirred up a storm and be ready to impress with savvy mixology knowledge!

If you fancy giving this a go, and it DOES sounds like an incredibly fun event to have with your mates, The Cocktail Masterclass can be booked between 4pm and 7pm from Monday to Sunday. The classes take place in the understated surroundings of Studio Bar, which transforms from a laidback lounge in the day into a buzzing bar after nightfall, with top DJs playing sets from 10pm until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Priced at £30 per person, the masterclass can be booked for groups of between 4 and 8 people. The package includes the 1.5 hour session and appetizing bar nibbles.

studio bar k west hotel

K West Hotel & Spa’s fun and vibrant ambience is fused with ultimate relaxation in a prime location. Situated in Shepherds Bush, the hotel is on the doorstep of Westfield shopping centre, the largest urban retail destination in Europe with over 240 outlets.  Fashionable areas such as Notting Hill, Portobello Road and Kensington are also just a short walk away.

 

Harry Potter, House Music and Family Time #littleloves

I’ve decided to join in with the #LittleLoves linky hosted over at Coffee Work Sleep Repeat as I’m hoping it will encourage me to write more about my life and things that I’m loving right now. Also to make me to reflect on the week I’ve had and what I should be thankful for too. I haven’t written many posts like this for a long time and I think my blog needs a bit more of the personal touch again!

It’s the first week of January and it’s been quite busy. Had a lovely New Year’s with the kids at my Dad’s then drove home just in time to get the kids back to school yesterday (Thursday). It was sooooo difficult getting up while it was still dark. The kids have had some very late nights over the Christmas break so I really need to get them back into their routine asap. Luckily it’s only a two day week – result!

Read

jodi picoult the pact

I’ve just finished this book which I enjoyed very much, The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I thought it was a good read and it kept me guessing until the end… about a suicide pact made by two young teenage lovers which goes wrong. Or does it? My sister in law gave it to me, along with quite a few more which I’m slowly getting through. I’ve only just started reading books again this past year. I’ve always thought I didn’t have enough time…. well, being a busy working mum of 4 with a blog it’s hardly surprising! I still find it difficult to spare the time, I have this mental battle with myself that if I have time to read then I have time to be getting on with more important tasks that need doing! Which is stupid because we all need a bit of ‘me’ time and we all need to relax at some point…. but it’s that mum guilt thing I guess!

Going forward, I’d like to read a few motivational/mumboss books… maybe I’ll find some inspiration from the #littleloves community 🙂

Heard

This week I found a box of my old, tatty, CD’s from when I used to go raving! It’s been great playing some of my old House Music really loud again. Tunes that I’d forgotten about, by some of my favourite DJ’s of the time (early to mid 90’s). I was a serious clubber and did the whole Ibiza thing back in it’s hey day… seems like another world away now… but it’s been lovely this week having the music take me back to an incredibly fun, carefree time of my life and I’ve been reminiscing lots!

WATCHED

harry potter movies films

Watched so much rubbish over Christmas…. can’t beat a bit of Crimbo telly! What I did end up watching though and didn’t really plan to because I have the whole set of films on DVD and also have them all recorded on my Tivo Box…. and that is Harry Potter! The whole 8 movies were on every day from Christmas to New Years Eve and although I didn’t catch the first two, we watched the rest. Teen watched a couple too (on the few nights he was in!) He grew up with Harry Potter, we went to see most of the films together at the cinema him and I so they have a special place in my heart.

Wore

loungewear asos

loungewear asos

Being as I’ve been one lazy mumma during the Christmas break and the first half of this week and lived in my comfies or pj’s (not a pretty picture!) so I’m thinking I might invest in some snazzy ‘loungewear’ – quite liking the above sets from ASOS but in all seriousness…. what even is loungewear? They just look like glorified pyjamas to me! Can you wear them out or are they just for indoors? I do like them though!

Made

I don’t make things, ever! I’m not at all crafty so I will never be showing anything here that I’ve actually made! But this week I’ve been making the effort to be more organised and plan. I’ve already made a start with my blog by adding the post planner but I’m looking for the perfect diary/planner to write in every day. I quite like the Happiness Planner but haven’t made my mind up yet. If you have any suggestions let me know…

And lastly…

Having family time and being with loved ones over the Christmas break has been wonderful. We really needed the time out, away from everything. Even though I was gutted to be coming home and back to reality, work and school, I feel the holidays have done me the world of good!

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
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