Post Comment Love 28th - 30th April

Welcome to another Post Comment Love with me and Stephanie, it's great reading your posts week after week and we're so glad that you decide to come back every week. If you're new here, welcome! We love having newbies link up and if you have a minute why not check out our Blogger Showcase questions and send us your answers, you'll be featured in a Blogger Showcase in the future!

This week I've been noticing changes in my boys, both of them at the same time! BP is months away from becoming a teenager, he's been going through the process for years, slowly changing from a smily boy into a grumpy teen. It's rare that we catch him in a good mood so when we do we take full advantage of it. We've had arguments and strops, slamming of doors and lots and lots of complaining. It's tough, especially when I realise he thinks that everything I say is wrong.





Teenagers who are never required to vacuum are living in one. 

Fred G. Gosman





LP is also changing, he used to be the ray of sunshine in the house, he always had a smile on his face. But lately his smile is turning into a frown and he's spending a lot of time sulking. At 8 years old I thought he was a little young to be going through the tween changes but it's clear that that's what is happening. It doesn't take much to hurt his feelings and he can sulk for England! If he gets in a sulky mood almost nothing can snap him out of it. At the moment I'm just clinging to those times when he's happy because I know, like BP, they won't last long.

I have taken on my Evil Mum persona more often than not recently and it can be tough. The boys choose not to listen but then it is my fault when they get punished for not listening. I can't win. It's tough, this parenting lark. Right now I'm just holding on to the thought that I'm doing it for their own good, sooner or later they will thank me for it. Won't they?





Good habits formed at youth make all the difference. 

Aristotle





At least we had a good time during the holidays!

I've been spending a little time doing crafts this week, although nothing has come out of it yet ideas are circling around my head. I've also done some reading, which is lovely as it's my time to wind down.

What have you been up to this week? Are you enjoying your time with the kids back at school?



Blogger Showcase Natalie from Up Your Vlog



Who are you? 


My name is Natalie and I run a blog called UpYourVlog. It's a Lifestyle blog which focuses on Beauty, Fashion & Fitness mainly.



How did you discover blogs/blogging?


I discovered blogging through Zoella. I got hooked on YouTubers and then realised the world of blogging which seemed much more appealing to me.



Why did you start blogging?


I started blogging to appease my parents. They'd constantly ask me questions about what I got up to so I thought this would help! I also love writing and wanted to keep it up after I finished university.



What do you find most challenging?


The thing I found most challenging (and still do) is finding the balance between my online life and my offline life. It's hard to keep the balance but I'm getting there...I think!



What is your favourite topic to write about?


My favourite topic to write about is advice blogs. It always fills me with pride when I get comments back saying that I've helped in some way. Or that I've shed light on something that wasn't understood by the reader.



Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?


I started off blogging for fun but now I've noticed that my blog is a small stream of income, I want to progress and turn it into something that could potentially be a full-time job. I've got the drive and passion for it so why shouldn't it do well? As long as I have fun though, that's all that matters!



Have you ever attended a blogging conference and if so, what did you think?


I've not yet attended a conference because I wanted to get a couple of years blogging under my belt. I feel like I'm nearing the point now where a blogging event would be beneficial to stepping up my blog to another level of awesomeness.



What are your 3 best posts?


My three best posts would be:

http://www.upyourvlog.com/2015/10/orvis-uk-fly-fishing-in-green-park.html - I know, fly fishing. But it was such a great experience and a surprisingly high traffic post!

http://www.upyourvlog.com/2016/07/the-final-results-gravitate.html - Finally a health product that I actually saw results from!

http://www.upyourvlog.com/2016/10/why-jealousy-can-be-good-thing.html - I love advice posts and this is one of many in the future that I wish to do more of.



Describe yourself in three words!


Caring, Passionate and Creative.



Are you a tea and biscuits or coffee and cake person?


Depends on the time of day. Morning definitely coffee... perhaps skip the cake, but afternoon is tea and biscuits.



What's your idea of a perfect night out?


Cocktails, cocktails and more cocktails. Equally alternative beverage would be presecco. I would spend the night dancing in a bar. That would be a perfect night out for me.



What would your best friend/OH/mum or kids say is your best quality?


My drive. I'm a hard-worker and give it my all.


Connect with Natalie:


Thanks for answering our questions Natalie, feel free to grab our 'featured' badge.


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Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two.

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

Thank you for popping by.

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7 ways to spend your time as a stay-at-home mum

As a stay-at-home mum to young children, I’m talking toddlers and preschoolers, your days are filled. You barely get a chance to have a hot coffee, but there will come a time when your kids are at school every day and you have the day to yourself. 

I have been a stay-at-home mum since BP (almost 13) was born, I left my job for maternity leave I never went back. When LP (now 8 years old) was about to start school I worried that I would become the type of mum that was obsessed with cleaning. I needed something to concentrate on other than being a mum and being at home. With almost 13 years experience I'm sharing a list of the things I've done to fill my time.

Once the daily chores are done there’s only so much TV you can watch before getting bored so here’s a few ways to spend the time your kids are at school.






Coffee with friends


Mum friends you met in the school playground, working mums with a morning off work. Arrange a meet up at the local coffee shop, or your home, and have a good old gossip. It's a great way to spend an hour or two. 

I recently met up with one of my mum friends and we chatted for more than an hour while enjoying a lovely Latte. It was great to be able to talk without being interrupted by bickering siblings, which so often happens when you arrange a play date! 




Meeting up with friends is a great way for you both (or all depending how many of you there are!) to relax and chat without the burdens of motherhood.





Hobbies


Do you have a hobby that you’ve let fall by the wayside when you had children? Is there something you used to love but haven’t had the time?

Go back to it!

I’ve tried cross-stitch, sketching, and jigsaws, but now what I love more than anything is building with Lego. It might sound a strange thing for an adult woman to love Lego but there are some brilliant sets like the Tower Bridge or the Palace Cinema. Building them is such fun and the detail is shocking sometimes!

And if you're struggling to think of something check out my list of hobbies.




Reading


I love reading but the only chance I get is when I’m in bed. I spend at least 30 minutes reading before going to sleep. Whether it’s newspapers, books, your kindle, or blogs (wink, wink) reading is a chance to relax, to let go of the day-to-day stresses of being mum.





You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me. 

C.S. Lewis






Escape reality and jump into a good book.





Fitness


If you’re into exercise (*shudder*) it can be a great way to spend time and get those endorphins racing around your body. Running or heading to the gym may help shift some pounds or keep you fit enough to run around the garden after your kids when they get home from school.






Shopping


Heading to the high street and trawling the shops for the perfect outfit or the best present is so much more pleasant without the kids in tow.




I love shopping without the boys and a chance to go clothes shopping all on my own is heaven! If the pennies are tight you can always try window shopping, it can help with inspiration for homemade presents or inspire home ideas.





Trip planning


A school break is always just around the corner and taking time to plan a day trip can distract you from the boredom.

You could surprise your family and plan everything while they're at school, plus them not being there makes it all easier to plan!

A few years ago the Hubby and I planned a holiday to Orlando, Florida while the boys were at school! 





Pamper time


Visit the salon.
Get your nails done.
Have a shower in peace.

All brilliant ways to spend your free time.




It’s not often you get the chance to pamper yourself so when you do take advantage of it. You’ll feel so much better, you’ll be happier, and as a result your family will be happy too.

Happy mum = happy family.





Whoever is happy will make others happy too. 

Anne Frank





So as you can see there’s no excuse for being bored when the kids are at school. Use your time effectively and there’s plenty to do!

How do you spend your time when the kids are at school?


If you enjoyed reading this post you might enjoy Stay-at-home mums - why we shouldn't be ashamed or if you're looking for hobby ideas check out Hobbies for stay-at-home mums

I'd love to hear how you spend your time when the kids are at school - come connect with me on Facebook and we'll chat! 

And if you're a mum who wants to start celebrating even the tiniest of wins join my #MumWinning Revolution!

10 ways you can feel better in 10 minutes!

Being a mum can strip you of your energy, leave you feeling wiped out and disorganised. That in itself wouldn't be too bad if it wasn't for the fact that you almost never get time to yourself. Getting just 10 minutes to yourself is near impossible but if you can swing it then here's 10 ways you can feel better in those 10 minutes.

It will help you smile again and maybe even make your days a little bit easier.



Take a shower




A simple (and quick!) shower may be all you need to feel better. Wash away the day, give yourself 10 minutes and enjoy the peace.





To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. 

Buddha





Clear out a kitchen cupboard.


It may sound dull but clearing out a cupboard can be quite therapeutic. I did this recently with a cupboard that I'd been hoarding old baby cutlery in. Can you believe I still had sippy cups and bottles and LP is now 8 years old! I was so ashamed of myself!

I tell you what though, clearing out that cupboard felt so good. I got rid of the things I didn't need (a LOT of baby things!) and made space for the things I do need and use. It brightened my day and made me feel like I'd done something productive.

So why don't you pick one of those cupboards you've been ignoring and clear it out. You'll be surprised the difference it can make.



Sort out your wardrobe




Take out winter clothes (or summer, depending on the season) to make room for your spring wardrobe. Throw away clothes you haven't worn in years, anything you'll never wear again, and make space for new purchases!

We all like an excuse to go shopping right?!



Plan a room makeover


Whether it's a real makeover plan or just for fun planning what you'll do is sure to make you feel both motivated and happy. Choosing paint or wallpaper, adding your own unique touch to your home, is a wonderful feeling. Picking out furniture or ornaments, flowers or paintings, it's all fun.

Even more fun is planning what you would do with a room if budget wasn't an issue. Let your imagination run free, pick out all the things you always wanted and dream big!



Put on make-up



A touch of foundation, mascara and lippy. That's what I do. If I'm feeling down, or a tad sorry for myself I put make-up on. I may be feeling rubbish but I can at least look a little better when I look in the mirror.

Simple, easy, and you'll be done in 10!



Sit and have a cuppa


No kids (if you can manage it!), just you, your cuppa, and peace. Don't even put the TV on, sit and enjoy the quiet while having a cup of your favourite drink.

Being able to sit quietly and do nothing is not something us mums get to do very often so when you do, enjoy it. Take full advantage of those 10 minutes.



Go for a walk


Fresh air, the great outdoors, nature... it can inspire and brighten your mood. A walk through the woods or at your local park with give the children time to run around but also give you the freedom to breathe fresh air without listening to whining constantly.




I love the occasional walk, especially if it's somewhere the boys can run off for miles (as long as I can still see them). If you're in the Nottingham area Wollaton Park is great for that, the kids can run off as far as they like and you can still see them.

Go somewhere here you can look at the scenery and smile. Trees, gardens, flowers, anything that makes you smile, walk past it and take it in.



10 minutes for your hobby


If it's card-making plan your next card, if it's sketching start your next project or continue your current one. Have 10 minutes doing something you love and wait to see the stress melt away.





If you do what you love, it is the best way to relax. 

Christian Louboutin 





Whenever I'm feeling like I need a time out I take a few minutes (sometimes less than 10) and plan my next project. Sketching, card-making, or even writing, it doesn't matter as long as I get time to myself doing something I love to do then I know I'll be happy.



Research a new hobby


As a mum you tend to forget who you are when those little bundles of joy come along. It's so easy to look after the little ones and forget that you used to love doing something. You don't allow time for yourself and as a result all those hobbies you had disappear.

Take 10 minutes whenever you can to find a new hobby. If you don't have any idea then search the internet, you could even check out my post on hobby ideas. Think of the things you enjoy doing and see if there's a hobby that incorporates those things.

My hobbies include card-making, sketching, stamping, and writing. I get plenty of time for most of them but even when the boys are at school every day I make sure to get some time doing what I love.



If all else fails...





Lock yourself in the bathroom and put earplugs in. Take a book or a kindle with you, your phone even, and read or browse Facebook while getting a few minutes to yourself. Try to forget being 'mum' for a while.



Being a mum is a 24/7 job, but that doesn't mean you're not entitled to breaks. Take time for yourself - you, and your family, will feel better for it!

I hope I've helped you think of ways to get 10 minutes to yourself, and given you reasons why you should!



Have fun and Make Your Escape!

Over the Easter Holidays we spent days in theme parks, days at home, and days visiting family. It's not very often we find something new to enjoy but this time we did. On the very last day of the holidays we tried out Make Your Escape in Derby.





What is Make Your Escape?



Escape rooms. 

Never heard of it? Let me explain.

You, and your team, are locked in a room and have 60 minutes to solve puzzles in order to escape. You work together to solve the clues, some puzzles are difficult, some are easy. Your aim is to escape the room. 





Sometimes even the best of us have to lose ourselves in fantasy to survive reality.

Maxi Bransdale






How it works



There are two rooms at Make Your Escape; Signal and Spellbound. Spellbound is the more difficult of the two.

When you show up you are taken through a few rules (like not being allowed to take photos) and asked not to tell people about how to solve the puzzles. Obviously the fun is in solving them so to give it away would spoil the whole experience. 

Once you've been through the rules you're shown into the room and when the door closes your timer starts. 






Not good at puzzles?



Not to worry. There's someone on hand to give you clues if they think you need them, but they don't give the answers. It's lots of fun, even if you do end up needing help. 





You can take the kids!



Make Your Escape is recommended for ages 12+ but we took LP (8yrs old) with us and he did well. We all had fun.

I would say any younger than 8 and they may struggle a little. They could help find things but not help much with solving the puzzles. Obviously this is a judgement call on your part.





Our whole life is solving puzzles.

Erno Rubik





What we thought



From the moment the four of us entered the Signal room and began searching for clues it was a winner. LP found somewhere to search, as did BP, and they both contributed. First of all they helped us find things and later helped with solving some of the clues and puzzles. They were inquisitive and enjoyed looking through the room (I think it was the 'being nosy' they enjoyed most!). We used tools and the boys had a great time finding and solving clues.

There is a story behind the Signal room and it unfolds as you solve the puzzles. It was interesting to see it unfold and was satisfying at the end when we escaped with just 5 minutes remaining. 

Talking about it afterwards we decided that we would try out some other Escape Rooms too. We enjoyed Make Your Escape so much I'm sure we'll be back soon (they told us they're building a new room!). Although they say they're recommended for ages 12+ LP did very well helping us and we all contributed. If any one of us hadn't been there, we wouldn't have escaped.

I highly recommend a visit to Make Your Escape in Derby, it's a fun activity and takes a little more than an hour.



If you enjoyed reading why not join other mums and let me help make your days easier?



What we did during the holidays

The boys are back at school and we're getting back to routine, it's always lovely after a hectic break to be back to normal. We had a great time with the boys at home though and on the very last day of the break we did lots of things to fill the day. The holidays are a time to be spent together and we certainly did that during these holidays.



Climbing at the park


We visit family every weekend at the moment which means we're spending a lot of time in the car. The boys end up playing a lot of games and have lots of screen time so during the holidays we decided to change that and take them to a park close to my in-laws.




The boys both decided to try their hand at climbing and LP pushed past his fear of heights and managed to climb to the top of the climbing frame. He was so pleased with himself and couldn't wait to tell his Nanny all about it! 





Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.

Barry Finlay, Kilimanjaro and Beyond






Of course LP isn't one to shy away from a challenge so when he saw his older brother climbing a rock he wanted to try too. With a little help from the Hubby he did it, and my heart lived in my throat the whole time he was up there.






The little one wanted to climb too, but his mummy said he was too little so he waved to the boys instead. 




After the climbing we took them for a walk and there were tracks leading down a very steep hill. They pleaded with us to let them take the steep track, I didn't want to at all but in the end we let them. You have to let them explore don't you? We took a longer track down and when we reached the bottom of their track we saw they were still quite high up and struggling a little. We watched as BP helped his little brother by showing him how to move slowly and if he needed to to go on his bottom. They slid down the track a little further until the Hubby went up to show them how to use the trees to help their descent.


The Hubby going up to help...


And coming down.




Even after that LP wasn't done and wanted to climb on everything...








Walking in Dovedale






If we take a different route to the in-laws we drive close to Dovedale and having visited before it was on our list to go again. Not wanting the boys to get bored we decided to take them to Dovedale for a walk and let them run off as much as they wanted.




I like walking in Dovedale, the views are amazing, especially when the sun shines on the hills. The river and the local wildlife makes the walk peaceful (if the boys are far enough away!) and the Hubby and I get to chat while walking which is always nice.




The boys enjoyed going over the stepping stones to cross the river (I always hate that bit), and enjoyed the freedom of running off ahead. We walked up the many steps and when we reached the crest of a hill LP spied a bench and sat down. 



Within a few minutes he was up again and investigating a tree close by. The Hubby then taught him how to climb the tree, moving along its branch. LP needed a little help getting down but once he'd been shown how to do it he was ready to try on his own. He proceeded to climb the tree, inch along the branch and get down all by himself. And again my heart was in my throat until his feet hit the ground. When he'd done it his face was a picture though, and it made me realise I need to let him do these things even though I might hate it.








Alton Towers



A view of the castle you don't often get to see.


On the same day we visited Dovedale we went to Alton Towers to pick up our Merlin Passes. We'd planned to go to Alton Towers in the afternoon as we knew there would be some waiting around for the passes. Usually we would go early in the morning to get around all our favourite rides.






Despite it being the holidays and us being there in the afternoon the boys still managed to get on some rides. BP and the Hubby rode Galactica (used to be Air) and LP, BP, and the Hubby rode Spinball Whizzer (used to be Sonic Spinball). It was LP's first time riding the Spinball Whizzer and he loved it.









Family


I always use the holidays to visit my family, they live more than 90 miles away and the drive alone takes a few hours. I do love visiting my mum and dad though, they welcome us with open arms, the boys are spoiled and I get to eat cake without feeling guilty!





The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.

Richard Bach





We spent the day chatting and the boys played in the garden. It was just like any day at home but I was with my parents and that made it so much better.




Alton Towers again


This time we left home early to get to Alton Towers at opening time. The boys got to go on all their favourite rides and the Hubby and I got a lot of walking done. LP rode Thirteen for the first time and loved it and I went on it at the same time (and hated it!) and vowed never to ride again. The weather was beautiful, enough that the boys went on Battle Galleons, got completely soaked but still laughed about it.




We are lucky enough to live close enough to Alton Towers that it's a lovely day out without needing a hotel stay somewhere. There's plenty to do, and although LP is now too big for CBeebies Land there's still plenty for him to do and he loves that he's too big for some rides. I'm sure we'll be visiting a lot more over the summer and cannot wait. 





Board Games






Regular readers will know we love our board games but it got to the second week of holidays and we still hadn't played any. We spent a whole day at home, let the boys play their games and then got out the board games. There was a game of Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride and we even managed Colt Express. 



Spending time at home


Spending time at home during the holidays is just as important as the days out so we made sure to have some days at home. The boys played their games, we watched TV, we were happy at home. LP built some Lego, BP wrote a book review, and we all had easy days.





The last day of the holidays


On the last day of the holidays we went for it...




We'd already booked to see Lord of the Dance in the evening but the Hubby decided he wanted to do more. So we visited an Escape Room in Derby (review coming soon!) and played adventure golf at Paradise Island in Derby Intu. We spent money, had fun, and gave the boys some great stories to tell when they went back to school.




I feel like we made great use of the holidays this time and although I'm wiped out I know the boys had a good break from school and have plenty to tell their friends. You don't need to leave the country, or even your own home, to have a great time during the holidays.

I'd love to hear what you and your family got up to during the holidays.



If you enjoyed reading this you'll enjoy Trying out Highfields Park Adventure Golf, or if you're looking for ways to spend time at home check out Simple ways to enjoy summer.

Stop by Facebook and let me know how you spend your holidays.

And if you're trying to stay organised so you have more time to spend with your kids during the holidays try out these cleaning checklists, they'll keep you organised.

Post Comment Love 21st - 23rd April

Welcome to Post Comment Love, a linky where you can share any post you like, as long as it was written this week. Stephanie and I love to read your posts and cannot wait to see what is linked.

So how was your Easter holidays? Or are your kids still on their holidays? My boys went back to school on Tuesday and to be honest I couldn't be happier about it. There's a funny thing that happens when your kids grow up, you start to look forward to the time they're not at home. It sounds awful and I'm sure you think I'm horrid but it's true. When they're at school they see their friends, they play games, and they attend after-school clubs and it keeps them busy and happy. When they're at home they have all this energy and no way to use it up. 





Motherhood is tough. If you just want a wonderful little creature to love, you can get a puppy.

Barbara Walters





As they get older and become more independent my role as their care-giver is diminished and I'm more of a chauffeur/referee/chef/cleaner. They do their own thing, and so can I. So instead of being sad about my kids growing up I choose to look on the bright side. I look forward to more time to myself, I see opportunities on the horizon. There are so many reasons I love being a mum to school-aged kids but having time to myself has to be at the top of the list!





I restore myself when I'm alone. 

Marilyn Monroe 





So as I was saying, they're back at school. We're back to early mornings, school runs, and after-school clubs. But we're also back to eating healthier meals, being able to control what I'm cooking for the week and seeing what's coming day after day (for the most part). 

I have more time for blogging (and hopefully card-making) which is always nice and means I can catch up on my reading (again!).




Well, that's all from me. If your kids are still on holidays enjoy the last few days, and if not enjoy that peace while they're at school!





Blogger Showcase Pam from pamsbakeandbabyblog.com



Pam, a 32 year old mum of two, enjoys writing about her mishaps with the kids and loves the camaraderie from fellow mums. As she's only been blogging for 5 months it's just for fun at the moment but she is looking forward to seeing where it takes her. Check out her answers to our questions over on Stephanie's blog.

You can connect with Pam here:



Feel free to grab our 'featured' badge Pam.


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Pocolo



Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts. 

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two. 

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

Thank you for popping by.

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Why it's okay to want your kids to go back to school

My boys went back to school on Tuesday and I couldn't be happier. They've driven me mad with their constant bickering, physical fighting, and the need to be entertained for every second of every waking moment. It's exhausting. And it's okay. Last week I couldn't wait for my kids to go back to school, and there is no way I'm going to feel guilty about that.


We love our kids, obvs!



LP has just taken an interest in tap-dancing (since seeing Lord of the Dance) and is so cute when he starts trying to tap around the kitchen, moving his legs as fast as they will go. His arms flail about and he has the biggest smile on his face, and I cannot help bursting out laughing every time he does it.

BP, while quiet a lot of the time, on occasion will do something lovely. Like make a drink without being asked, or offer to go to the shops for us. He is a lot less active than LP (being almost a teen will do that!) but can be just as entertaining.

My life has been enhanced by my boys in ways I never knew possible until I had children. They brighten my days and make me smile.





The kids are Job One. So, to be quite candid, if they need me, I do my utmost to make sure I'm there.

Susan Rice





Your kids' funny little laughs, the way they get excited about a cardboard box arriving at the front door. They make you smile on a daily basis and you wouldn't be without them.

But...

That doesn't mean they don't drive you mad. From the bickering with their siblings to need to be eating something at least once per 10 minutes it is draining having them at home.




I have to referee every day. LP and BP's fights are getting more physical and someone always ends up in tears. No matter how many times I tell them to stay away from each other they still get back together and before long are fighting again. *sigh*





Activities, activities, and more activities


The kids have spent the best part of six (or more) weeks at school, being bored to death with maths and english, and they crave entertainment. They want to have exciting days, they want to be surprised and have fun. And you?




You're tired just thinking about it. You're busy enough every day, what with the motherly duties of keeping a household running, and now you have to deal with the kids being at home. Every. Day. The house won't survive the holidays without some days when you won't do any cleaning at all!





No more early mornings!



The first thought in your head on the last day of term is "great! no more early mornings!"

But of course you are so wrong. When the kids have school holidays they suddenly find the ability to get up early. You were the one dragging them out of bed at 6:30am on school days and now they're up at 6am with bright eyes, waiting for the wonderful activities you've planned for them.




No school runs


For at least a week you're not going to have to hurry the kids out of the door and into the car so you can get them to school on time. No yelling at them to find their shoes. No screaming because you can't find their school bag. And no rush-hour traffic.

Then you remember all the other driving you've got to do. Driving to the theme park, to see the family, to the local soft-play centre, and now the kids are going to be in the car with you the whole time.




No peace


When the kids are at school you can take advantage of that lovely moment when you get back home after the school run and the house is quiet. When you can sit down with a hot cup of tea and listen to the news without interruptions.

But during the holidays it's impossible to get even 10 minutes to yourself. You're making snacks, entertaining the kids, and trying to keep the house running without thinking about yourself for a moment. By the time the kids go to bed you are exhausted and are ready for bed yourself. 



Back to school


The kids are excited to see their friends, which means they'll actually get out of bed when you tell them to. You won't have to listen to their bickering any more because they'll be at school for the majority of the day and out of each other's hair. That also makes after school more pleasant too because they haven't been winding each other up all day. 




No activities planned for the day, no driving to do (apart from the school run), and that lovely hot cup of tea/coffee waiting for you on your return home after drop-off. 

The peaceful house, and being able to get the housework done in an hour all make great reasons to want your kids to go back to school. 





Kids flourish if we get them to school every day. 

Connie Smith





So stop feeling guilty about it and look forward to getting the peace and quiet back. 
I know I was!




What's the first thing you will do for yourself when the kids are back at school?

Taking the boys to see Lord of the Dance, Dangerous Games

The very first time I saw Lord of the Dance was in Las Vegas way back in 2003, the Hubby (then the boyfriend) were on holiday and it was showing in one of the casinos so we took the opportunity to see it. Not long after that we saw Riverdance too. I love both shows and since 2003 have seen them both twice.

A few weeks ago we noticed that Lord of the Dance, Dangerous Games was on tour and would be in Nottingham for just 3 days. We don't really have any babysitters available nearby so we wrote it off as a non-starter. Although we would've loved to see it, it just wasn't possible. That is until we thought about it, I mean what was stopping us taking the boys to see it too?

It took just an hour to decide that we would do it and the Hubby bought the tickets. We'd planned it for the last day of the Easter holidays (Easter Monday) and although the boys would have a late night right before going back to school we figured it would be worth it.



Arriving at the Concert Hall


When we take the boys to the Theatre we always try to make sure we don't go in too soon. The last thing we want is to keep them sat in uncomfortable seats waiting for something to happen, that's how you get irritable children. Five minutes before the show started we headed to our seats. In the past we've had issues with LP not being able to see what's going on on stage so this time we decided to take his booster seat (from the car) in to the Concert Hall with us. We sat down and I got LP's seat sorted, he had a huge smile on his face when he noticed he could see the stage without any problems.

After a few minutes the lights went off and the show began and I knew straight away we'd made the right decision.




The show starts


LP's face lit up when he saw the dancers on stage, he watched in amazement as their feet tapped and jumped. A couple of times he couldn't help shouting out as he asked me questions but not once did he take his gaze off the stage. I saw as his jaw dropped when the dancers tapped fast and he really enjoyed the final part of the show. We'd shown him a Youtube video beforehand and he was excited to see it in person. 





Dance is the hidden language of the soul

Martha Graham






I was surprised that LP managed to follow the story of the show. It was all dancing so I thought it might pass him by but near the end of the show, as the Lord of the Dance beats the bad guy and the bad guy disappears with the Lord of the Dance's belt, he whispered to me "But what about his belt?!" and I realised he'd followed the story the whole time. 

BP was sitting next to the Hubby but he said he really enjoyed it. He was entertained and enjoyed certain parts of the show, like the dance off. One thing he did say was that he was a little bored by the end, which I can understand. However, he did say he would like to see it again. 



What we thought


When we decided to take the boys to see Lord of the Dance I wasn't sure about it. I figured we would get to the intermission and they'd ask when we were leaving. They would be bored watching the same dances again and again and say so. 

But that wasn't the case at all. 

LP enjoyed it so much that he's starting tap-dancing around the house and having tap dance off's with his dad. And BP posted on Facebook about it - almost unheard of! So they must've had a good time right?





Dance is the only art of which we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made. 

Ted Shawn 









As a mum I wouldn't recommend going to see the show if you're children are younger than 8. LP just turned 8 and he coped okay but a year ago I don't think he would've. For the older boys (like BP) there are parts I'm sure they'd enjoy, like when the women dance in what I can only describe as their underwear (!), although I'm also sure BP would never say that was his favourite part. I'd recommend taking, or buying, snacks while there and definitely take advantage of the intermission. We made LP go to the toilet during the intermission because we knew he'd never last until the end. We also bought them both an ice-cream too. 

I absolutely loved the show (and not just because there were topless men dancing!), it's always impressive watching the dancing. Men doing press-ups to the beat of the music, dance-offs, and a very talented lead dancer made the whole evening brilliant. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of the dancing, although I would've loved to we were asked not to do it as it distracts the dancers. I was far too engrossed in enjoying the show to take out my phone! I would go and see it again tomorrow if I could. 

Would you take your children to see Lord of the Dance, Dangerous Games?