Thursday, 28 April 2016

Geronimo Festival - Tatton Park 2016!

Last year we were excited to be asked to attend Geronimo Festival at Tatton Park.  It was an absolutely fabulous day and we are so looking forward to attending this year as official Geronimo Ambassadors!




Last year the weather was amazing - the kids had such a lovely time and we watched all of our favourite CBeebies stars on the stage - Mr Bloom, Hook, Line and Sinker - all this with lots of other activities stands spread all across the park. You can read our review of last year's festival here. As you can see we had so much fun last year.

This year we are very excited to let you know that none other than Justin Fletcher of Mr Tumble fame will be there. Every child loves Mr Tumble!! We are so excited to be there this year!

Geronimo runs this year in Tatton Park on Sunday 29th May and Monday 30th May.

If you would like to book tickets to Geronimo, you can do it online here.


5 Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Alleviate Sleep Apnoea




Image by Claudio Beck via Flickr

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is a serious condition that causes much suffering for those diagnosed with the disorder. Researchers have found evidence that people with this disorder carry a higher risk of heart attacks, car accidents, cognitive impairment and workplace mishaps.

The news isn’t all bad though as a number of lifestyle changes have been identified that can alleviate much of the suffering and significantly reduce a number of the harmful flow on effects of the condition.

Weight Reduction


While there are always exceptions, being overweight can often play a part in the severity of obstructive sleep apnoea symptoms. Sleep apnoea occurs when the airways become narrowed or even blocked while sleeping, which causes one to eventually gasp for breath. This continually interrupts the deep sleep cycle responsible for rest and the restoration of many physiological functions. Excess weight bears down on the airways and exacerbates the condition. Reducing one’s weight even a little can translate into decreased symptoms and deeper, more restful sleep.

Decreased Alcohol or Pharmaceuticals Intake


Alcohol, sleeping pills and muscle relaxants can all contribute to the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea by relaxing the soft tissues of the throat and airways. The use of any of these substances can contribute to breathing problems and reducing their intake can often decrease the severity of the symptoms. Reduction of medication should always be done in conjunction with a qualified health professional but limiting one’s alcohol consumption is a positive lifestyle choice that has many positive benefits.

Sleeping Position


Many of the risks associated with obstructive sleep apnoea are related to the chronic tiredness that is caused by multiple interruptions to sleep throughout the night. This loss of sleep can lead to reduced concentration, increased irritability, lapses of attention and difficulty in remaining alert and focused.

The condition is made worse by sleeping on one’s back as the airways more easily close as gravity forces the soft tissues of the throat and neck to bear downwards and the airways to narrow. Adjusting ones position by sleeping on the side rather than the back can make a huge difference. Some sufferers sew a pocket with a tennis ball into the back of their bedclothes to ensure they turn onto their sides when sleeping.

Mandibular Adjustment Devices


A mandibular adjustment device such as those recommended by Sound Sleeper is an oral device similar to a mouth guard that subtly alters the position of the jaw while sleeping and encourages the airways to remain open. This non-invasive and cost effective treatment option has borne remarkable results and earned high praise from many sufferers of obstructive sleep disorder.

Sleeping on a Slight Incline


Adjusting the incline of one’s bed can also help reduce downward pressure on the airways while sleeping. Special cervical pillows are available that change the angle of one’s head, neck and shoulders so that they are slightly raised when sleeping.

Using a mechanical bed that allows for the upper torso to be raised can also noticeably reduce symptoms. Lying completely flat slightly collapses the airways while sitting up keeps them open. It’s not comfortable or practical to sleep upright forever but even slightly elevating the upper body can make a significant difference.


Obstructive sleep apnoea is a serious condition that can often drive sufferers to frustration and despair. Experimenting with some of these simple lifestyle changes can provide much needed relief and a renewed sense of hope for regaining the ability to have a restful night’s sleep.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Good Qualities to Look For In A Dentist

Image by WestonStudioLLC via Flickr


Dental care is not an easy job. It requires a mix of manual precision, patience, and enthusiasm to be a good one. This is why it’s so crucial to pick a dentist. If you have kids, you don’t want someone who may be competitive but is not good at handling children. Or you don’t want a dentist who may be ultra-patient but looks like he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

You want someone who is good but how do you qualify someone as good? In this article, we will talk about the 7 qualities that a good dentist should have.

1.    He does continuous learning

Dentistry is an evolving industry and dentists need to catch up if they want to remain competitive. A good dentist sees his profession as an on-going learning process where he has to keep abreast with the newest research and technology relevant to the dental industry.

2.    He makes all patients feel welcome

A good dentist’s dental clinic should have a friendly and welcoming atmosphere as well as friendly and helpful staff. Visiting a dentist is already daunting enough. A good dentist should be able to make his patients feel comfortable and relaxed in his office where the patient is able to ask questions without hesitation. Face Value Dental is a good example of a clinic that provides this desired atmosphere in their clinic.

3.    He has good manual dexterity

Working on a space as small as the mouth takes great skill. It’s a skill dentists have to master for many years. A good dentist must have good manual dexterity meaning they have to have good coordination and a steady hand. There are also moments where they will have to stand over the patient for long periods of time so a good stamina is a great plus.

4.    He educates his patients

A good dentist educates his patients on how to maintain proper dental care such as brushing and flossing regularly. He also tells them of the preventative measures such as avoiding foods and habits that stain teeth or activities that could result in teeth fracture or displacement.

5.    He gives patients a sense of control

Dental procedures can often be daunting to the patient. Even more so when they know there is no other way to getting around it. A good dentist in Brisbane is able to pacify his patient by assuring him of the safety of the procedure and how it will benefit him after. He provides his patient with all the options for treatment and supports the decision provided it yields a desirable result for both parties.

6.    He knows how to connect with his patients

It doesn’t matter if your dentist is an extrovert or an introvert. If their heart and mind is in the right place, they should be able to connect to their patients and staff on a level that shows they care and understand. You won’t get the best service if, let’s say your dentist is only in it for the money and would rather be somewhere else rather than drilling his patient’s teeth.

7.    He has great problem solving skills

Patients have different needs and not one solution can work on all of them. A good dentist evaluates a patient’s dental problem carefully and provides a tailor-made solution that yields optimal results for the patient.

So there you have it! Top qualities that every good dentist should have. They’re a given but it’s important that you know what they are. You don’t want to end up getting short-changed and put your dental health at risk. Choose wisely and good luck!

Any thoughts? Let us know in the comments!


















Monday, 25 April 2016

6 Dreamy Date Ideas For An Epic Anniversary

Image by weba via Flickr

An anniversary can be a very important milestone in a partner’s relationship. It signifies how far you have come and celebrates the love you have cultivated for each other. It’s no wonder you will want to do something special for the one you love at this time.

So, you’re planning the ultimate dream date for you and your loved one’s anniversary and maybe you are in need of some great ideas for a dreamy date? Well you have stumbled across just the right article. Here we will discuss some of the perfect dates you can plan for your special one to give them a night to remember.

In fact, some of the best dates don’t require you spending an arm and a leg or any intricate planning. We have some higher-budget ideas and some that are lower in cost so you get a good spectrum of choices when deciding what to do for your dream anniversary date.

Ø  Sunset Dinner along the Beach: If you want to do something pretty organised and well planned out, you can opt for taking a trip to the Brighton Savoy’s famous restaurant beachviewbayside. You will get to experience first-class cuisine from across the world whilst soaking up the views of the most stunning sunsets. It’s the perfect way to unwind with your loved one and celebrate your anniversary together. With the romantic air surrounding you and your special one, it is a great place to propose.The Brighton Savoy also offers lovely wedding venues in Melbourne by the beach.

Ø  Surprise them by learning a dance: Has your other half always loved a good tango or salsa but thanks to your two left-feet, you have always had to back down from the challenge? Well, this time give yourself alittle more time to prepare and take some Latin dance classes to get you feeling confident and pulling out all the moves for your anniversary date. Your partner will beshocked and flattered you have put in this much effort!

Ø  Hire bikes and go on a night-time cycle around the city: Whether you are away or in your own city, seeing the town you are in by bike is a beautiful way to explore and really soak up the scenery.

Ø  Book a romantic hotel stay for the weekend: If you are thinking about planning the perfect weekend away for two, the Brighton Savoy can be a brilliant place to stay. Not only does it offer anything you could ever need for a comfortable night away, but it has luxurious settings that will create the special environment you are longing for.

Ø  Surprise them with a last-minute getaway: Drive them to the airport and book a last-minute, cheap flight departing somewhere not too far for the weekend.

Ø  Hot Air Balloon ride: This can really be a treat for you both as you drift up into the sky and enjoy floating slowing in the air and looking down on earth. The perfect way to celebrate your anniversary!


So depending on what you are feeling and what your partner likes, these ideas can be a great way of deciding your dream anniversary date. They don’t have to cost too much nor do they have to be overly fancy, but just taking time and effort to plan something special can go a long way. 

Friday, 22 April 2016

How I Juggle

No not like a clown, unfortunately. My skills don't stretch that far. I often get asked and emailed one or both of these things:

1) How do you do it?
2) Do you think I could do it with [insert work/child/dog/whatever commitments]?

Number 2: The answer is clearly - I don't know. I can't REALLY help you, or decide for you. I am happy to talk with you about this, I can give you my opinion, but I can't make up your mind. I can give you the pros and cons and then you have to choose.

So, number 1. I have thought about this long and hard. For about 7 years to be precise. My oral answer is usally "Oh.. I don't know... I'm bonkers!" and I'm all just crazy with a K or whatever. Up the wall, demented. And whoever I am talking to will laugh about it and that's that, I'm off the hook and I don't have to seriously answer the question. However, that is all a bit of self-conscious, nervous bullshit, I'm afraid. I'm not bonkers, or crackers. I know exactly what I am doing, and I am actually (despite appearances) highly organised.

(OK, I'm the first to admit that usual day-to-day things like opening doors and working televisions fox me.)

However, when it comes to managing being a student, working, having three kids (and occasionally writing nonsense or too-open blog posts with little or no filter) - I know what I am doing. Having thought on this a lot over the past however long - I can also now tell you how I do it. I'll warn you, it's not pleasant. I sacrifice a lot. Things that don't matter to me, but might be important to you - horses for courses. I also never stop, I HATE sleeping and I probably have a different outlook on lots of things to most people. I find I've adapted to my situation. So anyway, I'll try and keep this brief.

How I do it.

1) Organisation

My papers and books are everywhere. I am messy with my work. But up here *points to temple* EVERYTHING is in order. I compartmentalise everything. An example would be - a to-do list for today (or a typical day)

Work
Reply to email regarding museum event
Organise poster boards for reception
Meeting 11am
Post expense claim forms x 2

Home
Call doctors to cancel appointment
Change bedding
Buy brocolli to go with the tea
Sit with Alice to go through her book
Talk to Emily for a bit
Go over potty-training rules with Rosie

Uni
Read article on easing of US/Soviet tensions in the 80s
Make essay plan
Email tutor to ask about ethics application
Flick through book to check for references
Flick through primary source archive
Choose options for next year

Blog
Set up giveaway for toy dog
Write down all events in diary and confirm attendance via email

So this is just a typical to-do list. This is precisely how I "see" it in my head. I have to do all (or most) of these things today and I will work through them piece by piece. I am actually very organised. Along with this, I am also punctual, hard-working and all of those other rubbish buzz words that people who think they are clever use. It helps.

2) Intelligence

As mentioned above, I am an absolute idiot of a person at times. I have zero common sense and sometimes my filter just goes awry and you know everything about me in ten seconds. However, when it comes to my degree, I am intelligent. (Oh God don't write that it sounds so frigging self-confident) This is a true fact though. I know what I am doing - it is a f*cking masters degree - you have to be smart, on the ball and have your wits about you. If it was easy everyone would do it.

I think fast, I write fast, I read fast. Not only do I read fast, I understand and I comprehend. This is obviously important.

There, I said it. *shows off brain*

3) Sacrifice

Now, this is the tough part. I often don't think I have sacrificed anything because it doesn't feel like that. My life is FULL. I am on the go all day every day, if I am sat down my brain is ticking over, thinking of the next step, it has to be. So I'm not bored, I don't feel like I am missing anything. However, realistically, I think what I have sacrificed includes (but is not limited) to the following:

Friends, extended family time, haircuts, nails, cinema trips, relaxing, doing nothing, 100% focus on the kids, fashion, shopping, books that are not academic, reality TV, computer games.....

Ina few years I may look back and thing "Oh I wish I would have made time for ....." But there is no point in second guessing how I may or may not feel.

4) Dropping the Guilt

Or most of it. I haven't got time to feel guilty. If Alice and Rosie want me to stay home and make their breakfast, I will do it if time allows, if not, I'm out of the door. I'll make their tea later and make up for it. I can't feel any guilt for this - I have deadlines, places to be. No doubt some people will find this next sentence hateful, I can't drop everything for them.


5) Being Myself

Having moved from Manchester to live in Liverpool some time ago, I felt like I was always trying to fit in, to make people like me, to be like other people. I used to do this in work, when I was out and about - it's just hard work. At uni I feel like I can just be me. I don't have to put on an act - I can be exactly who I am. I might be a square peg in a round hole most of the time, but now being myself helps me to cope. I buy things I just like to have around me, I only do what I want to do, I surround myself with objects and things that I like. I am honest about what I don't like.

This really does make a difference. As my social life and leisure time is limited it is important that I find happiness and fulfillment in my day-to-day life, and this is how I do it. I think what I am trying to say is that I am embracing being a little bit weird instead of rejecting it.

Having written all this, people cope in different ways. This is just the way I do it. I have what I want to do in my head and I just do it.

I manage, and actually I manage very well, despite regular mini-meltdowns of course.

Sometimes it is good to write that down.

*breathes*





Thursday, 21 April 2016

Giveaway! BABY born Train Andy

As parents of three girls, we are always looking for new toys to try. As you can imagine we have been through quite a few toys since having Emily almost 13 years ago (is it that long, crikey I feel old!) I like our girls to play with all different kinds of toys for their entertainment, their development and their education.
That's why I am delighted to team up with BABY born to bring you this lovely giveaway for a BABY born Train Andy puppy dog.

Andy is an absolutely adorable little character. Not only is he adorable, but he is pretty smart too Battery operated, he can bark, walk and even go to the toilet with one little click of the button. He also acts like a real puppy by whimpering and begging if you are eating food. He also responds if you pat him on the back by sitting down - just like a real furry friend.

If you would like to be in with a chance to win your very own BABY born Train Andy, just fill in this simple Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

1. The prize is one BABY born Train Andy Puppy
2. Open to UK entrants only, all entries will be verified
3. The giveaway ends 5th May 2016. Prize will be sent direct from BABY born, blogger assumes no responsibility for delivery.

Creating A Memorable Proposal: How to Pop the Big Question


Image by acjetter via Flickr

If you’re wanting to propose to the love of your life, you’re going to want to create a moment that’s just perfect for her; something that accurately reflects what’s special about you as a couple.

One of the big mistakes many people make is thinking that they’re ought to be a crowd of strangers around to witness such an intensely personal moment. That’s not always the right way to pop the question.

So, we’ve put together a few tips for creating a special and memorable proposal. Don’t forget to visit Melbourne’s most respected jewellers to pick out the ring!

1.    Setting the Perfect Scene

Often, the most magical moment you could possibly create is in a space that the two of you have all to yourselves. But other times, your bride may prefer a public proposal. Which is right? It doesn’t matter – things don’t have to be absolutely perfect, they don’t have to go exactly to plan, just so long as it’s a memorable occasion. It doesn’t need to be about the perfect show of a proposal – it’s all about the celebration and joy of love. If you’re a shy guy, don’t be intimidated by videos of public declarations that have you breaking out in a panicked sweat – do what’s right for the two of you as a couple.

2.    Does It Really Have to be Public?

Your proposal is not a stage show. It’s not at all about showing the world how incredibly cool you are. Its value does not lie in the amount of people who witness it, watch it on video later or hear about it. The value of your proposal lies completely in how special it is to the both of you and the type of story it gives you as a couple to share and celebrate for the rest of your lives together.

That is the biggest potential problem with planning public proposals – men tend to try and outdo each other to come up with YouTube moments that will go viral. That’s just losing the point of what should be such a special and momentous occasion.

There is such a magnificent high that comes from a magic, well-thought out and personalised proposal. And no matter how many people witness it, or not, only the two of you really get that “high.” If you’re wanting to create that incredibly magic moment, which is the feeling you want to achieve – not an ego boost of a ton of strangers praising you, don’t forget to have the ring ready. Visit the leading diamond jewellery company in Melbourne to choose a ring from their great selection.

3.    Finally, Seal the Deal

Another very important note on proposals worth mentioning: plan it all the way through! So many guys go to lengths to plan the build-up and the big question, but then so many ooze awkwardness and have no idea what to do once she has said yes – particularly when there is a crowd of people around and the applause dies down.

Have a solid plan of what you are going to do right at the end of that magic proposal. For some couples, keeping it simple is just the answer.


Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Time Thief

The sun glares at me through the bus window. I put my sunglasses on and stick on my headphones. It's a 40 minute bus ride into town to uni. Today is a weird day. Usually on a Wednesday I stay at home with the kids. On a Wednesday we have a lazy morning, lots of cuddles, breakfast. Then a couple of hours cleaning, the school run, washing, ironing. Then the school run again. Then cooking, more cleaning. The days fly by and I just do my best with the time I have. Time is stolen away from me.

This Wednesday is different. Warren has some kind of flu and is pretty much stuck to the couch. Today there was a seminar that I would usually have to miss - a one-off for some students to present their work to the class - to show everyone what their original piece of research will be for their dissertation. For various reasons (the world conspired to help me) today I was able to nip out for an hour to the seminar. I was over the moon. Sounds ridiculous, I know.

This isolation that I feel being a mother and a student - it all disappears when I am in university, when I am around like-minded people. When I am doing what I feel like I should be doing. Of course I love being around my children, but everyone needs a break, even just once in a while.

And so, a gloriously sunny Wednesday, the bus bouncing down the East Lancashire Road straight into Liverpool. Me, happy. With each mile that the bus travels I feel lighter. I feel the stress lifting from my shoulders. I feel free. For once, it is I who is the time thief.

Usually I feel the dynamics of my marriage as a woman. Although myself and Warren are equal in our relationship, there is always the biological or even societal pressure for me to be "Mummy." Of course I am "Mummy" and I love being mum. However, as well as choosing to become a parent, I also chose to be a student. I choose to be a researcher. I choose to pursue a rather more academic path. With choice comes responsibility. I chose to be a mother and ergo I am responsible for my children. I also chose to be a student, ergo I am responsible for my own self-development. Choices make us free and tie us in knots all at the same time. I am both bound and free.

Suddenly, in the sunshine - I feel very happy. I feel like I am the luckiest woman in the world. My life is full of choice, of opportunity and I have many different paths open to me. Not just as a woman, but as a human being. I do not have the time to worry about what I didn't do, or what I didn't do well. I complain about feeling isolated and yet on this bus ride I am alone, I feel the sun on my skin and I feel like I know exactly where I am going.

Curved Radiators: The Perfect Home Heating Solution for Bay Windows

One of the most exciting products to recently appear in the heating appliance market is the curved radiator. Curved radiators and bay windows are a perfect match that look fantastic when well-chosen and professionally installed. In the past, having bay windows always presented heating problems for a number of reasons that are all addressed by curved radiators.


 
Image by UralRider via Flickr

A STYLISHLY SIMPLE SOLUTION


Curved radiators fill the available space beneath bay and curved windows in a way that no other heating appliance is capable of doing. A traditional radiator installed close to the curved window is usually far too small to properly heat the room. The alternative has been to install a bigger radiator further away from the window but this ends up intruding too far into the room, steals valuable floor space and limits having full access to the window. Traditional radiators often look out of place and ugly, which totally ruins the aesthetic of an otherwise attractive room.

In stark contrast, curved radiators come in all manner of size, colour, finishes and heating capacity and can also be custom made to ensure they fit snugly in the available space. A well-chosen curved radiator will properly heat one’s home with ease and also brings a pleasing and stylish look to the room in the process.

CONSULT WITH A CURVED RADIATOR SPECIALIST


When looking for heating options to suit bay and curved windows, it is always best to consult with a company that specialises in curved radiators such as http://radiatorcurving.com/. There are many in the heating industry that still insist on recommending outdated and inappropriate radiators for spaces that would be much better served with a curved radiator. Only a curved radiator specialist will have the experience to offer the right solution upon your very first visit, especially when you come prepared with a few key details.

HOW MUCH HEAT IS REQUIRED?


In order to effectively heat a room or an entire home it is crucial to know the exact amount of floor space available. Using a system that is too small will result in a cold home that can never be adequately warmed. On the other hand, choosing a heating system that is too large will cost more to install and also to run by unnecessarily consuming excessive amounts of electricity. Make note of any other radiators in the home and also the amount of watts or BTU’s they output.

USE PRECISE MEASUREMENTS AND A TEMPLATE


Precise measurements of the space beneath the window where the heater is to be installed are required to find the unit that best suits your needs. The simplest way to do this is to place a sheet of wallpaper on the floor in front of the window and cut out a template that fits the space exactly. Also be sure to measure the height of the window sill from the floor to help determine how high the radiator should be.

If the store does not have ready access to a radiator of the required size in stock, they can easily use your template to order a suitable unit or even have their manufacturer custom build a perfect fit.

Curved radiators are the boon that many homeowners have been waiting for. Curved, bay and irregular shaped windows no longer pose heating difficulties. In fact, curved radiators don’t just solve problems, they offer up a range of exciting décor possibilities that make them a much sought after enhancement to homes of all ages.


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

My Masters - The First Year

I can't believe I am almost a year in to my degree already. Half way there. It is Twentieth Century History so it's a fast rollercoaster ride through the years; world wars, fascism, communism, The Cold War, Vietnam, 1956,1968, Thatcher, the EU, all the way up to 9/11.

Essays

My essay grades have bordered on distinction, bordered being the annoying part. However, I am hoping that my dissertation brings it up next year and I'll have my way. I have worked for it, I am trying my best!

Work/Life Balance

There is a good work/life balance. I am extremely busy. I cook, I clean, I am a mother. I work part time and I read when I can. I write. I research. I wash dirty clothes and I iron them. I take the kids to pantomimes, to the park, I buy them clothes and ice creams. I think about my studying a lot and listen to documentaries on the bus to work. I read sat on the toilet, I read in the bath, I read at the dining table. I think about what I am writing and where I am going with it a lot.

Uni has become less work, and more a part of me. It is who I am now. I have been doing this for almost seven years now and I feel like this is my busy peak. I am so busy that I am spinning and reeling from one thing to the next. I hate things that waste my time - time is so precious to me now, every minute counts.

Dissertation

Next year I will start to write my dissertation. As it turns out I have stumbled across a subject that has not been written about at all. It has real legs, real potential for PhD research - lots and lots of work surrounding socialist feminist movements in this country. I have found boxes and boxes of material to work with - it looks amazing, I am so excited to get started. My supervisors are also enthusiastic about this project - but I can't make a real start until the summer. Until I have finished one more essay. One last push.

Night Class

As I am studying feminist movements, I do need to learn more about the roots of feminism. It just so happened that there was a night class at the uni, and me being me, I decided to sign up. It's not enough for me to just read about it myself, I want direction, I need to talk about theory, concepts and motivation. The night class runs 6pm - 8pm Tuesdays, so Tuesdays are going to be very long for me. Work 8am - 2pm - Uni seminar 3pm - 5pm and then an hour break and then the night class. I am very much looking forward to it.

On Doing This

I am so very lonely. It sounds like I'm being very mardy and silly, but this is a very lonely life. I run from one task to the next and I can't settle on anything. I am constantly feeling like a square peg in a round hole. I do fit in at the uni. I love walking around the library and I am at ease in seminars and when talking to my tutors I feel like I belong there. On occasion I will feel slightly stupid, like what on earth am I doing here why am I doing this? But that feeling quickly passes and I realise that I can do this because I am and because I will.
Would I recommend you do this in my position? I would say think carefully. I feel like I have laid out a path for myself now. One that I want to travel, but a tough one nonetheless. I have been away from uni for 4 weeks now over the Easter break. It has been very tough. Nobody around me understands what I am doing. I can't talk to anyone about my research. No-one cares. I sometimes get the feeling that people think I am stupid, silly and when I am with people who I can talk to, who can hold a conversation with me about my subject ... I revert back to type and become silly again. Mentally, I struggle with myself. Loneliness plays a big part. Isolation, complete isolation.
I am back at uni next week and I can't wait. Doing this part time is very testing - I wish I could throw myself into this full pelt but I can't.
I have written about all of these feelings of identity crisis, change and feeling alienated. It is all here. 

Education is changing me, as I have written before. I can't go back to how I was I just have to keep moving forward, and the further down the line I go, the lonelier it seems.

I have decided that I definitely seriously need to consider full time education after this degree. Part time is too hard. I am too pushed and pulled in every direction - I am every person at once and I can't focus on what I want to do. Financially, I probably couldn't afford to give up work. Unless I got a funded PhD (highly unlikely.)

My steps next year will be to lay the foundations for my PhD and see where I go from there.

Anyone want to talk about Eduard Shevardnadze?

*rocks back and forth*








Sunday, 3 April 2016

Review: Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs At Epstein Theatre, Liverpool

We were delighted to be asked to review Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs at the Epstein Theatre in Liverpool. We love the Epstein Theatre and the younger girls are a bit princess-obsessed at the moment and Snow White is one of their favourites, so we were very excited to go. The Epstein is a quick bus ride away for us so we packed some snacks and made a full day of our little jaunt into Liverpool.

The pantomime itself was brilliant. Packed full of sing-along tunes and fun jokes, the kids had a ball. It stars James Hill of The Apprentice fame, and Georgia Austin as Snow White. It is produced by LHK Producion - so there were some fabulous familiar faces that we have seen before at the Epstein - excellent dancers and singers and some great scenery and costumes.



The kids particularly enjoyed the interraction from the characters. Oh yes, we know when to boo and when to cheer! There was also a sing-along and an episode of water-gunnning the audience, which the kids thought was hilarious.

Michael Chapman was very funny as the Dame, the kids really enjoy his flamboyant outfits and his funny one-liners. Lewis Pryor plays the Dame's son Muddles, and together they make a good comedy twosome. The kids particularly enjoyed Muddles' rendition of Bieber's What Do You Mean?

We had a lovely time at the theatre. If you are looking for something to do with the kids over the half term break then this would be a great option.


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, Liverpool, L1 3DZ
Runs until Weds, 6rd April 2016
Performance times vary (check with Box Office)
Tickets: £16.50 adults/£174.50 concession/£54 family

Disclosure: We were kindly invited to review this pantomime free of charge for the purpose of this review, all words and views are our own.

Review: The Blackpool Tower Circus

We love taking the girls out for day trips to spend good quality time and are always on the look-out for new and exciting things to do. Like most parents, we want the time that we spend with them to be quality time. That's why we were very pleased to be asked to review The Blackpool Tower Circus. We had never been to the circus with the kids before and were very much looking forward to our day out in Blackpool.

We had picked such a lovely day to go too - the sun was shining and there was a lovely breeze. We spent some time walking along the promenade and had a little picnic lunch in the sun.

Me and Alice at the Tower


The circus itself was held in the bottom of the tower - the venue is brilliant, small enough to feel quite cosy and to have a great view, but large enough to accommodate all of the action - of which there was lots! 

The circus was hosted by Mooky and Mr. Boo, who engaged the audience with some excellent comedy sketches and sing-along moments. The kids absolutely loved it. We sometimes had trouble with getting the kids to sit still for more than five minutes, but they are pretty good with live shows - apart from a few toilet trips, they were engaged and happy throughout the show, singing and clapping along.

Mr Boo and the dancers

The circus acts included a high-wire trapeze with plenty of talented acrobatics, somersaults and impressive catches. In the interval there were plenty of snacks and drinks on sale as well as the opportunity to get your face painted. The clowns also read out happy birthday messages and shone the spotlight on them - which was a nice touch.  Balancing acts, death-defying knife throwing and cross-bow firing were also part of the show - they were performed by a very talented group of people. We were also very impressed with the live band that accompanied the performance.



I would highly recommend The Blackpool Tower Circus for a day out over half term. There are a number of ticket options available to include the other attractions available - you can find out more here.

We had a lovely time - the kids absolutely loved it.



Disclosure: We were invited to review the circus free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words and views are our own.

Review: Peter Pan At St Helens Theatre Royal

We absolutely love a good pantomime. I always find that a good panto is great for all ages and is a great way to spend time as a family. We were over the moon to be asked to review Peter Pan at St Helens Theatre Royal last weekend. I have never been to this theatre before, but Alice is no stranger - she once performed on the very same stage for her ballet show - so she was more than excited to see Peter Pan there too!



The pantomime was such great fun. Plenty of sing along songs, fun jokes for adults as well as kids and some great action and flying scenes! Ray Quinn of X Factor fame starred as Peter Pen and Radio City's Claire Simmo played Tinkerbell. The whole cast were excellent and we had plenty of "BOOs!" (in the best way possible of course) for Captain Hook.

We all know the story of Wendy Darling who is taken along with her brothers to Never Never Land with Peter Pan to meet Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys and finally do battle with the wicked Captain Hook. This panto version is fresh, funny and exciting - all of our girls loved it. There was a dance-along at the end, with both parents and children encouraged to "whip nay nay" - come on, own up - you know how that one goes!

If you are looking for a panto to take the kids to over the Easter holidays, I would definitely recommend this one. We had so much fun.

Performance dates available:
Sat, 2nd April – 1pm
Sun, 3rd April – 1pm
Thurs, 7th April – 1pm
Fri, 8th April – 1pm
Sat, 9th April – 1pm and 5pm
Sun, 10th April – 1pm
Thurs, 14th April – 1pm
Fri, 15th April – 1pm
Sat, 16th April – 1pm and 5pm
Sun, 17th April – 1pm

Tickets: From £11 for children and £12.50 for adults

To book visit St Helens Theatre Royal

Disclosure: We were kindly asked to review this performance free of charge. All words and views are our own.

Disqus for Wife, Mum, Student Bum