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Articles tagged with: Days Out

Two Very Special Friends.

on Tuesday, 15 April 2014.

There are many very special things about being a parent.  But one of them is seeing the magic on your children's faces when they experience something new and exciting for the first time.  Those twinkly eyes dancing around, the happy smiles and the sheer wonder etched across their faces.  

Blogging has brought me a great many things but last week I did something with my girls which truly was so simple yet so special.  We went to make two very special new friends.

I have known about Build a Bear Workshop for a long time, in fact Mads has 'Rosie Rabbit', who one of our dear friends bought for her on the day LL was born.  However we hadn't been before, mainly due to the fact that I wanted to wait until they were old enough to understand.  I was really excited to take them, and Mads was excited to go and 'make a special friend' too. 

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We arrived and were greeted by the two lovely members of staff who were helping us make our new friends.

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There were lots of different animals to choose from but after careful consideration Mads decided she wanted a lamb and she wanted LL to have a bunny.

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First up we were told to cuddle each animal to make sure that the cuddles were good.  Mads thought the lamb was very cuddly!

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It was then over to the sound machine to pick a sound for our new chums.  Mads decided that her lamb would say 'I love you' and LL had to have One Direction 'What makes you beautiful' because she gets so excited and dances every time the song comes on.  

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The Build a Bear experience is so hands on for children, Mads was absolutely transfixed with everything that was going on and her smile was honestly so wide.  

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The next thing to do was give our friends some stuffing.  Mads get to help do hers and LL's by pressing on the foot pump.  This was 'the best thing ever.'

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LL was in awe of everything and the staff were so lovely with her, telling us that she had made their day with her happy smiles.  Auntie Annie doesn't look so impressed!

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Cuddling to make sure the stuffing was perfect.

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Next we needed to give our friends a heart.  We had to kiss it, shake it and rub it on our knees as our new friends would always '(k)need us.'  The staff were so great at making it an amazing experience.

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His heart went in so he was ready to be stitched up.

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LL loved to crawl round the shop and stand up to try all the things for herself.

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Next up our new friends needed a bath and their fur brushing.  

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We then had to decide on outfits for the as yet named Lamb and Bunny.  Mads decided the lamb was a boy and the bunny was a girl so we set about sorting out their new wardrobes.

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As Mads is obsessed with Toy Story, it was entirely necessary to go for a Woody outfit.  LL's bunny was dressed in a pretty summer dress.  We also bought them a pair of pj's each as well.

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Finally we needed to make our new friends a birth certificate.  It was decided then that lamb would be 'Woody' (we are nothing but original) and bunny would be 'Blossom'.

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And that was it!  We were given boxes to carry Blossom and Woody and sent home to enjoy our new friendships.

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I can honestly say that since we brought them home, Mads hasn't been too far away from her new friend Woody.  She absolutely loves him, and the fact that she got to experience seeing him made has meant it is all the more special for her.  She asks to put his PJ's on every night, although this means bedtime takes twice as long.  And LL loves to snuggle in close to her new bunny Blossom too.

The Build a Bear concept is simple, but we truly had such a special time there.  The staff were amazing with the girls, and the whole experience is so special for children.  Mads was at the perfect age to enjoy it and find it so magical, and LL just smiled and giggled non stop.  I found it so wonderful watching them having such a great time, and I will remember it for a long time.  There is something so lovely about watching your children's innocence and child like wonder.  

We can't recommend Build a Bear highly enough, and I know that Woody and Blossom will be special for a very long time.  In fact as I write this there are two little girls snuggled up in bed asleep with their arms tucked around their lovingly created new friends.

 

NB. We were invited to try out the Build a Bear experience and given two bears and some accessories (plus buying some too!) but all thoughts and opinions are my own, and we would have written about it anyway.  It's the most fun my girls have had in ages!

 

An Impromptu Day Trip To The Seaside...

on Tuesday, 01 April 2014.

With no plans for Mothers Day bar dinner at my Mums in the evening, we decided earlier in the week that we would have a day out somewhere on the Sunday.  However after waking up ridiculously early on Saturday and seeing the sun was shining we concluded that we should change the plans and go somewhere then instead.  

We decided that as the weather was reasonably nice we would head to the coast for our first seaside trip of the year.  The nearest one to us is Hunstanton, which although isn't the most pretty of seaside towns, is fine for a day trip.  It's got ice cream, a beach, fish & chips and arcade machines- really what else do you need?  

We had a really lovely family day out.  In the morning when we arrived we went for a walk before having massive ice creams that were a very naughty treat but totally worth it.  Mads loved having £3 to play on the 2p slot machines in the arcade, although she was most indignant that she didn't win anything.  We then had a picnic in the sunshine, with myself and Mr E having traditional fish and chips because quite frankly eating anything else for lunch at the seaside is against the law.  The girls had ham sandwiches although LL had a couple of chips too.   Mads is a little strange in that she doesn't like chips, she certainly doesn't take after her Mummy.

In the afternoon we went down to the beach and the tide was out so far that we couldn't go paddling, but we did plenty of serious sandcastle building and rolling about in the sand.  LL hadn't felt sand before and was absolutely fascinated by it, crawling around non stop for ages.  It was a delight to watch her as she loved being able to roam free and crawl about.  She did eat a few mouthfuls of sand when we took our eyes off her for a few seconds, but didn't seem too fazed by it!

We then headed back to the car for the journey home with windswept hair, very full tummies, and sand absolutely everywhere with two little girls sleeping soundly in the car seats from an overload of sea air. 

All in all a perfectly lovely Spring day and hopefully the first of many as the weather gets a little warmer.

 

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'Our Seeking Adventure Project' - January.

on Monday, 27 January 2014.

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There's many things I wish to teach our girls, but one big one is that even ordinary life is an adventure.  

Of course, we all get bogged down with mundanity at times- whether that be endless loads of washing, the 9-5 working week, or the fourth time at soft play in a row.  But when you are a little, everything is exciting and a joy to experience.  Playing boo behind the shower curtain, a spider crawling up the wall, or jumping in puddles are all guaranteed to bring smiles.

As a family we are very lucky that we do get to do nice things.  Not every weekend of course, but we do get to experience the odd day out, the occasional holiday and some very fun times.  We have to be careful about our finances, like everyone does, but do get to treat ourselves to an adventure every now and again.  This year is no exception, with various different dates booked into our diary- a holiday, weddings and days out with friends.  Weekends are made up of swimming lessons, parties and errands, and often we crave a quiet weekend doing nothing. 

I have always had this really romantic idea of heading to the airport and looking at the departures board and just paying for a ticket on whichever flight is leaving next.  There's something so exciting to me about not knowing where you are going to end up.  This hasn't happened in my life yet, but before our girls came along we used to love travelling. I get such a buzz from experiencing new places and going on adventures. 

Since Mads and LL came along, we just haven't had the finances to go abroad bar a trip to Spain to stay with friends.  But there are some beautiful places in the UK that I would love to see.  When you are a child, everything is magical, it doesn't have to be about spending money.  With that in mind we have decided to do a little family project for 2014 - 'Seeking Adventure.'

Once a month we are going to close our eyes, wiggle our fingers and point to a place on a map of the UK.  Whereever it is we are going to go there on a day trip.  It's not about spending money, far from it, it's about showing our girls that even ordinary life is an adventure and that we can have lots of fun whereever we go.  It's about opening their eyes to new places and making memories.  It's about just being together.

It's about taking a packed lunch, bundling two little tired sleepy heads in the car and finding somewhere new to explore.  It's about forgetting routines and structures for the day, and enjoying somewhere different.  It could be far away or just around the corner.  We won't know what we find until we get there.  It's about teaching my girls that adventures are everywhere, we just have to look for them.  

This month has been busy for us, so we decided that we would stay close to home.  We left the map on our section, closed our eyes, wiggled Mr E's finger, and he ended up pointing near to a place called Ely, about thirty five minutes from us.  So that's where we went...  

 

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Sheltering from the rain.

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A cuddle over cake.

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Checking out some fishies.

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Causing mischief.

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A stopover at Nana and Grandpa's.

The only problem was we didn't envisage the weather being quite so bad, and it rained heavily all day.  We had a look around, and settled on being warm indoors- finding a place to have lunch and a big bit of cake.  As such I couldn't take any photos as my camera would have got drenched.  On the way home we passed my Dad's house, so of course no adventure would be complete without a quick biscuit stopover at Nana and Grandpa's.

Not the best start to our first trip, but an adventure non the less!  Next month hopefully we will have the weather on our side and will venture out further.  I'm looking forward to experiencing something new each month with my little family. 

A Family Day Out.

on Monday, 16 December 2013.

I am very fortunate to live down the road from most of my family which is lovely.  Mr E's side of the family, however, live 'up norf' in Manchester.  We therefore don't get to see them as much, although of course we have the power of Skype.  The last few years we have had a 'fake Christmas' at our house a couple of weeks before the actual big day, but this year for a number of different reasons we haven't done that.

So this past weekend they came down to meet us and we went to Stamford, which is about 35 minutes away.  We had a lovely day, ate lots, walked around and window shopped, and exchanged gifts which are under the tree ready to be opened via Skype on Christmas Day.

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She carried around her backpack all day, it has lots of random treasures inside- including a toothbrush, LL's nappies, a Father Christmas toy, a Touch Eclait lid, and some gloves.  Essentials some may say.

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We hitched a ride.

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Yum.

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Dressed up warm like a little bear.  Not sure she was too happy about it though.

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We had pizza.  

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She loved the twinkly lights.  And looked rather grown up in her coat.

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Big news.  We have top teeth.  Neither of us are particularly happy about this.

All in all it was a lovely day, and got us feeling even more festive.  Less than two weeks until the big day!  

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