Peppa Pig // The Movie

While we were laid up in bed last week, watching endless hours of kids tv, we saw an advert for a Peppa Pig movie and in my delirious state, I booked us tickets.

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As far as I’m concerned, taking Raffy to see Peppa Pig at the cinema is the biggest gesture of motherly love that’s possible.

Don’t get me wrong- I love Peppa Pig. It’s the perfect way to distract Raffy while I deal with my emails and stuff the washing machine. It’s simple story lines and graphics could keep Raffy hooked for an eternity, but it’s not something that I want to have to watch.

Obviously, when I told Raffy that we were going to see it at the cinema, he could barely sleep for excitement. The nearest cinema showing it was in the Showcase Cinema near Reading, which is about an hour’s drive from us.

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Upon arrival at the time-warp that is the Showcase Cinema, Raffy chose his little selection of sweets and we found our seats.

What I thought was going to be a movie was actually episodes of the show, introduced by Channel 5’s Milkshake presenters. There was one extended 15 minute episode, The Golden Boots which was actually quite entertaining, for Peppa Pig. For the most part, my enjoyment was purely seeing Raffy so happy.

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If you fancy going to see it, Peppa Pig and the Golden Boots runs daily from 14th-19th Feb at selected cinemas. Find one closest to you here. Go on, it’s only an hour!

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Single on Valentine’s Day {Part 2}

If you’d asked me how I thought I’d feel on Valentine’s evening, I’d have answered easily. I’d be happy and fulfilled after a busy day with my boy, spending some quality time together. Ready to settle down for an evening alone, in PJs catching up on Mr Selfridge.

I had no idea how today was going to turn out, and that I’d be here alone, in PJs with my heart full to bursting with gratitude.

I wasn’t expecting any gifts; flowers or chocolates. I hadn’t sent myself any (I quite often do….) and I don’t have a secret admirer. And I couldn’t have been more fine about it. I don’t feel at all pressured to have someone to look after me or make me feel special. Especially when prompted on a specific day to do so.

So you can imagine my surprise to come home to a huge bunch of beautiful roses, with my name on them. The card said that they were from Raffy, but it was all organised by his dad.

It may seem a little unorthodox to be receiving such gifts from your ex, but I can’t tell you what it means to me. Coming from (no offence) the least forward-planning and romantic man on the planet, these were a massive surprise. But what’s more than that, is that they are a symbol of friendship. Of kindness and of love.

Despite everything that we’ve been through, it overwhelms me that we are able to stick together, though separated and still be a family. That Raffy can still have two parents and learn about chivalry and team work.

I also have some rather amazing friends who gave Raffy some flowers and a card for me. And a lovely single rose left for me by another friend.

I can’t begin to explain how much I appreciate that so many people are thinking of me, to know that I am surrounded by so many beautiful people. This Valentine’s Day has been full of love, and I’m a very lucky lady.

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Single on Valentine’s Day

In complete contrast to all of my earlier personal posts, this will not be a sad one. Yes, I’m single. This is my first ever single Valentine’s Day. And it feels really weird.

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Every time I leave the house, open a magazine or check my emails, I am being reminded to panic buy something heart shaped. The Internet seems to know everything about me and tailors advertising to prove it. Click on a nice pair of shoes and they’ll show on every page for a week. So how on earth hasn’t it cottoned on that I’m single? Those pink, flowery emails just keep flooding in.

I delete them, obviously. But not because I don’t want to see it, or because I feel left out. I do it with a sense of relief.

Incredibly, despite the fact that I’m currently unattached, I actually feel more loved than ever before. I finally feel that my world is complete and my heart bursts every day with love and gratitude.

Something incredible happened when I stopped and took stock of everything that I have and stopped trying to fix what was broken. I was able to fully appreciate and enjoy the relationships that I have in my life.

I no longer feel sad about what I don’t have, and jealous that everyone else’s lives seem to go to plan. I’m actually quite happy with my own little world as it is.

So this Valentine’s Day we will be celebrating love, as we do every other day. And my date has never looked so good.

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Dinosaur Adventure Golf // Raynes Park

Coming from a massive golf family (my brother’s a pro and my mum should be by now…..) it was only a matter of time before Raffy picked up the golfing bug. He regularly grabs spare golf clubs knocking around the house and plays in the kitchen, mostly tapping golf balls under the oven and cheering, as if he’s scored a goal.

We were up in Raynes Park running errands and some time to kill so I thought a game of mini golf would be fun. I have never seen Raffy so fully committed to an activity- huge dinosaurs, an actual golf club (toddler sized) and brightly coloured balls, what’s not to love?!

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I took the first shot to show him what to do, then helped him line up his. Quite unbelievably, he got a hole in one. I didn’t. He spent much of the next hour taunting me, singing “I win!” even though he didn’t sink another shot at all. However he was slightly less smug in the three holes that go through a dark and noisy cave.

I was surprised at how competent he was, both physically and in understanding, considering that he’s not three yet. It wasn’t until we finished our game and had to hand back the clubs that he threw an almighty toddler wobbly which took all kinds of bribes to diffuse. So I’ve promised him that we can play golf again- next time at Pirate Golf in Woking. And I’m sure that it won’t be long before he’s part of the O’Sullivan Golf Team and playing every weekend.

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Janxiety? One Month Review

At the beginning of January I made three resolutions for the new year (read them here). As I’m writing this I can only actually remember one- and I haven’t started that one yet. However, I do remember that what I said was important to me at the time, so I thought one month later it’s worth having a check back to see how I am doing.

And here they are:

1. Good Health

The plan: To do a whole 30 and to get down to the gym.

Well the good news is that I have just completed my whole 30 and am feeling great. I’ve lost some Christmas weight and am ready to treat myself to some new clothes. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I’ve decided to keep going- at least at 90%. I know that grains and dairy make me feel worse so I’m going to cut those out completely, but a teeeeny bit of good quality dark chocolate is about to be reintroduced….

The gym part hasn’t exactly gone to plan. I would be lying if I said that I’d never got my gym clothes on and fallen asleep on the sofa. It’s just really hard to get up and go when it’s cold and dark and you’ve been both a full time mother and a working mother at the same time. So there’s an area for improvement.

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2.Make a Savings Plan

The plan: to make a solid plan for saving money and make it happen.

The January sales? Don’t judge me.

3. To Perfect the Art of Eyeliner

The plan: To figure out how to use liquid eyeliner without looking like it was applied by a two year old.

This is the one I haven’t started yet. I did try once, but I was getting ready to go out and it was making me late. Must schedule an hour in front of a mirror with lots of makeup remover. And a Pinterest tutorial.

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So one month in and although I haven’t achieved everything, I still have 11 months to go. I think I’ve made an alright start but I’m definitely ready to kick it up a notch….. watch this space.

(featured image: diary from design-milk.com, all other images from Pinterest)

February // The Events Guide

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After having such good feedback about our events guide for January- here’s my top picks of things going on in February. There’s something for all ages here, but act fast some tickets get sold out quickly!

1. The Mini Vault Festival

7th & 8th Feb, 21st & 22nd Feb and 7th & 8th March.

Go underground and discover the magical world that is the mini vault festival. A programme of spectacular events and shows and a host of free activities and interactive exhibits for the kids to explore. Entrance is free to the festival and tickets for shows (book here) are £8 each. It all kicks off next weekend in the caves underneath Waterloo Station with a free Pirates of the Carabina circus show and finishes in March with a Big Fish Little Fish family rave. With so many fantastic shows and events going on- you’d be mad to miss it.

2. Room on the Broom Stage Show and Workshops

17th-21st Feb

The Rose Theatre in Kingston is hosting a musical production of the Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler classic, Room on the Broom, a show straight from the West End. On the 18th & 19th Feb there are also Room on the Broom workshops for 4-8 year olds, three hours jam packed with drama, arts and crafts and all things witch-y. The workshops are from 10am-1pm on both days at a cost of £20 per ticket (sibling concessions available). For more information or to book tickets, visit the Rose Theatre’s website here

3. Imagine Children’s Festival

9th-22nd Feb

Children will be taking over the Southbank Centre for another year of the Imagine Children’s festival. With readings by fantasic children’s authors, flamingo croquet, music, dancing and a huge variety of shows- this event is not one to miss. Check the website here for a full events and activities schedule. Most of the event are free but some performances require booking and carry a charge.

4. Hampton Court Palace

My absolute favourite of days out is to Hampton Court Palace. Aside from being a secret history buff, there is so much to explore here, both in the palace and in the grounds. To make it even more enticing, tickets booked online for visits before 13th Feb are half price! So why not go and spot the King wandering through Base Court, have some lunch in the Privy Kitchen and see if you can find your way out of the most famous maze in the history of the world. There’s a whole list of family things to do here and tickets are bookable here.

5. The Gruffalo Trail

Set deep in the woods in the Alice Holt forest, the characters from the well loved children’s book, The Gruffalo’s Child are waiting. Explore the forest on the self-led family trail stopping at activity stations and collecting things along the way. Entrance is free but there is a £2 activity pack which you can collect from the cafe (9am-4.30pm). The trail will close on the 28th Feb, for more information click here.

Grandad, Me and Teddy Too // Polka Theatre

Part of Raffy’s Christmas present was tickets to see a show at the fabulous Polka Theatre. Situated on the edge of Wimbledon, this children’s theatre puts on the most wonderful adaptations of children’s books and stories in their two small theatres.

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This particular production was written especially for Polka’s Adventure Theatre, a tiny and intimate setting for shows aimed at the very young.

Upon arrival, you wait for your show in a mini museum of all things theatrical and imaginative; a large wooden duck swimming through the carpet, a rocket blasting through the ceiling, antique rocking horses and giant books to sit on while you read. If you had time to spare, there’s an adjoining cafe with train carriage booths to enjoy some lunch while you wait.

When we walked into the adventure theatre, I was amazed at the attention to detail in the small set. Raffy happily sat on the carpet at the front while we took benches at the side. He was instantly mesmerised by the music and soft lighting and all of the children sat beautifully entranced through the whole show.

The story was about a little girl and her visiting grandad going on imaginative adventures in her play room, and although very simple- the use of clever props and tricks made it wonderful to watch.

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Geared towards toddlers, the whole performance lasted 40 minutes- which is perfect, and all of the children are invited to bring a teddy to sit with. This is probably a clever plot to stop the toddlers swarming the stage and pinching toys, but it also added to the relaxed bedtime vibe of the show.

This show is only running until the 8th Feb, but if you’re quick you may still be able to grab tickets. If not, don’t worry- the Polka Theatre always have fantastic toddler and older kid-friendly shows on so it’s worth keeping an eye out.

For more information on the Polka Theatre’s upcoming shows and to book tickets, click here.