A Shrek Adventure – WIN A Family Ticket

IMG_5955

Last Friday I headed on down to South Bank with my two monkeys for a day of fun culminating in DreamWork’s Shrek’s Adventure.

The interactive Shrek’s Adventure is based inside London’s County Hall, right next door to The London Dungeon. Shrek is one of the most popular films in our house and we couldn’t wait to see what treats were in store for us!

We arrived early for our slot and were greeted by an absolutely massive Princess Fiona. We joined the queue and waited as we were led through photographers and a queuing area. The experience is advertised as being suitable for children aged 6-12 and I have to admit that 3 year old Hux got a bit angsty at how long we waited – it was about an hour until we reached the first interactive experience. But it was a very warm day so he was a bit hot and bothered and when we go again (at half term!) I’d definitely visit in the morning when he’s generally a bit more amenable ;)

IMG_5973 IMG_5962

As soon as we reached the first main attraction all was forgotten – and I was asked to put my phone away so no more behind-the-scenes snaps.

We boarded a bus driven by donkey then ‘flew’ out of London to a holiday in Far Far Away. The bus was actually a moving 4d simulator and wrap-around cinema, the likes of which I’ve never seen before in the UK. It was brilliant for us because as Hux is quite small I often find he doesn’t meet the height requirements of a lot of attractions we visit – he just reached the 0.9m for this ride and was visibly delighted to be with the big kids.

The bus was a really impressive ride that even cynical old me loved to bits. This was the children’s first ever 4d cinema/simulator experience – Elfie was especially amazed by the water splashing at us as we dove through the river Thames –  and it really did feel like we swooped up in the air out of England before crash landing through the woods in Far Far Away.

We were then taken through a variety of rooms and experiences as we met various characters and were chased by witches – we cast spells, sang songs and danced through 10 interactive shows. It was a totally immersive experience that we genuinely all loved.

IMG_6070 IMG_6065

By the end of the experience we felt like we’d been on a really exciting adventure and there were smiles all round. Elfie’s still talking about it, asking questions about the story and wanting to watch the movies again.

IMG_6067 IMG_6073 IMG_6068You’re given the option at the end to buy a personalised book of your experience for £25; I usually poo-poo these extras as a way for the vendor to make an extra bit of cash but I’m glad I splashed out this time. Not only do the books contain photos of the day (which are always pretty awkward and hilarious, let’s be honest) but there’s a lovely story running through it. The photos of the children woven into the story of the book has made it a pleasure to read twice a day, which is about how often Elfie and Hux ask to read it.

IMG_5996And as the cherry on the cake we got to meet REAL LIFE SHREK! Which was just the best thing that I think had ever happened to my two.

Shrek’s Adventure have kindly provided a family ticket to give away to a reader of More Than Toast. All you have to do is comment with the name of your favourite Shrek character. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions: Competition closes at 12.00am (midnight) GMT on Tuesday 1st September 2015. Entries received after this time and date will not count. UK residents only. Entrants must be 18 +. Winner will be selected at random after the closing date and will be notified within 3 days of competition end. Only entrants received via the Rafflecopter widget will be considered valid. Exposure are responsible for provision of the prize, which is a family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) to Shrek’s Adventure, London. Travel and accommodation not included. 

Huge thanks to Shrek’s Adventure for inviting us to spend time with our favourite DreamWorks characters! 

Three Do South Bank

IMG_5864

Is there anything more beautiful than London in the sunshine?

Yes there is – London in the sunshine when your children are behaving like little angels!

I used to be a bit scared of bringing my beasties into town. I never quite got the hang of using the pram on the tube’s network of escalators and relying on black cabs got to be quite expensive. So I saved the journeys into London for the times when I was working or flying solo, thinking it’d be altogether a more enjoyable experience.

IMG_5848

But now Hux is 3 and doesn’t really need a buggy we’re about to become way more adventurous, London-wise. Starting with last Friday when we caught the train into town for a day in the sunshine.  By the time we got there I was mum number one because not only had we been on AN OMG TRAIN but then we also got to go on an OMG UNDERGROUND TRAIN. All I can say is kids, wait til you’re commuting on the 6.48 from Milton Keynes to Old St every day and we’ll see who excited about all these trains.

IMG_5858

Once we arrive in town we shot down on the Northern line to Waterloo to South Bank: one of my favourite areas of London that had previously been unexplored en famille. We’d been invited to the new Shrek’s Adventure experience next to the London Eye (more of which tomorrow) and were all really excited for a bit of magic. But first… lunch!

Wahaca Kids menu IMG_5884

One of my favourite things to do with my two is eat out. Scrap that – one of my favourite things to do in life is eat out, and I naturally do this a lot with children as they are so often with me. Today was no exception and I was desperate to take a trip to Wahaca – the kids had never been and I wasn’t sure what their offering for smalls would be like but I’m a big believer in introducing the children to adult dishes if there’s no menu geared towards them.

Wahaca Southbank kids menu

I didn’t need to worry, the children’s menu was spectacular with a build-your-own taco option and drink available for £5 – great value. Elfie had a great time painstakingly building her steak taco whereas Hux took more of a deconstructed attitude to his fish version and ate it piece by piece.

IMG_5894 IMG_5897 IMG_5898

Meanwhile I feasted on chicken taquitos, steak tacos and grilled corn. HAPPY MUMMY. I love Wahaca.

IMG_5925 IMG_5920

We topped off our dinner with frozen yoghurts in the sunshine on the top deck of the Snog bus overlooking the Thames. It was kind of heavenly.

IMG_5870

As we strolled towards Shrek for our 2.30pm booking there were all sorts of exciting things to see – starting with Jeppe Hein’s appearing rooms fountain. We had no towels or spare clothes with us but it was so tempting there was nothing for it but to strip down to our pants (them not me, I’d just washed my hair) and get stuck in. It was a bit chilly for Hux who bit a swift retreat but Elfie dove in and out of the jets for absolutely ages. After we dried off in the sunshine (London, you beauty) we wandered through the street entertainers laughing and marvelling at the fun and the downright weirdness of some of them.

IMG_5937

The strolling the sunshine, the relaxation and laughter… it really made me reflect on where we are right now as a band of three. I didn’t feel stressed out that I had to deal with two children alone, I didn’t feel conspicuous as a single parent in a sea of families with 2.4 children, I just thought we’ve got this. We, not I, because it’s a group effort, all of this. Though these two have never known any difference they must still get The Feels over having parents living split lives in households so far away from one another.  But they don’t act out or get upset, they just understand this is our way and they potter along being amazing.

IMG_5932

I am so proud of them. And I can’t wait to spend many more days with these special souls in the sunshine, in the cold, in the rain (because that’s more probable, let’s be honest). South Bank in the summer is grand and with my two it is even grander.

Life Stories – Louise Androlia: Life Coach, Tarot Reader, Artist

Screen-Shot-2015-07-12-at-11.36.04

There’s nothing on earth I find more inspiring than other women. None of us go through life alone yet it’s so easy to get holed up in our personal bubbles; that I think it’s so important to step outside our little world and look to learn from other people in our lives, setting leading examples.

Louise Androlia is one of these people for me. Having suffered a debilitating chronic pain condition in her early 20s she has forever been positive, working hard on her healing to battle through what was a difficult and painful time to learn and grow. She’s used these experiences to inspire her career as a Life Coach, Tarot Reader, Writer, Speaker, Artist and all-round lovely person.

Six months ago Loulou followed her dream to live in LA (and we all know how much I love a good dream follower) so I spoke to her about her experiences in getting through the hard times, believing in yourself and moving out to the USA’s West coast. Grab a cup of tea, make yourself comfortable and get inspired.

You can see Loulou’s website here, follow her on Twitter or Instagram and read her monthly tarotscopes on The Numinous.

When did you first realise how important awareness of the connection between mind, body and spirit is? 

For me it was experiencing a profound disconnect from the three of them. In the space of a few years (over my early 20’s) I had a debilitating chronic pain condition closely followed by a severe bout of PTSD. That was the mind and body covered and then the spirit, which to me is the part of ourselves that needs ‘lighting up’. I particularly noted that disconnect formed at any point I tried to be anything other than ‘me’. I think we notice that happening a lot in our teen years and it can stick with us.

It was through my own healing process that I got to learn the deeper meaning of what it feels like to be embodied and connected to oneself. I of course wasn’t particularly grateful at the time, but now I couldn’t hold my past in higher value because I’ve been able to learn to cherish my m/b/s in a way I never did before.

Truthfully it amazes me that we usually discover this connection through a period of suffering, when there is nothing more obvious that all parts of the human are connected. However it seems that most of us experience a disconnection in order to be able to know what it feels like to be connected again.

As a therapist I see the work that people have to do in their adulthood to heal from the effects of this disconnection and I would love to see a future where schools will make mental health awareness, nutrition and self care as important as anything else on the curriculum.

You’ve been quite frank and public about your own struggle with your health in the past and how you used alternative methods to feel better.  How important do you think this awareness and spirituality was to your healing process? 

 I really feel like I had no other option to dive in deeply to my own self-awareness and mind/body/spirit process, because my conditions were quite extreme. And I truly believe if I hadn’t I might not be where I am today.

Firstly in 2002 I was suffering with (what had been diagnosed as Fibromyalgia) extreme pain and what felt like a breakdown of my whole body, nothing about my physical body wasn’t in pain or some sort of crisis. When it feels like you are dying and the majority of research + testing points to A: You definitely not dying but B: There is no cure and maybe you can try this handful of addictive medications; something has to shift.

I discovered that all we want to do when we are in extreme pain, whether it is physical or mental is to ‘check out’. We don’t want to feel any of that, no one does. It’s scary and difficult. However healing is almost impossible when we are checked out, it’s like working with ourselves as a puppet rather than being present! Also, how lucky to actually have something that could be healed. I’m forever thankful for that.

In order to be able to feel even some sort of relief from our pain, whether physical or mental we need to study ourselves like the most precious specimen in the Universe and then take action upon what we have learned. I trusted that getting to know my body and then feeling when there was a difference was going to be better for me than taking a handful of addictive or chronic side effect inducing meds that ‘might’ help. I had a doctor who fully supported that and helped me on a trial and error of the natural route. From that I changed my diet and was 70% better within a month. I was also lucky enough to have a lot of support the ability to not work (I was at university and dropped out) and rest as much as I needed to, something I know not everyone gets the privilege of.

Note: I’m not someone who doesn’t believe there is a place for modern medicine but I very strongly believe that all conditions whether mental or physical deserve being explored fully, mind, body and spirit, even if it’s alongside a medication.

My intuition about medications came through a year later when I took a tablet which although was ‘natural’ I suffered a severe reaction to. (I was that 1 in a million) The reaction was a 3 week long psychosis, which lead to deep PTSD and a many years of recovery. This gifted me fear in the most extreme form and now that I am recovered fully I am very passionate about helping people particularly with fear. I also now have an autoimmune disease so It’s been so helpful to already have this awareness because it now means I am instantly able to thrive with this condition because of being so connected to my body.

 In my own opinion, one of our strongest driving forces is self-belief and finding mine (by accident!) has revolutionised my life. What do you think is the best way to begin on the journey of finding one’s self-belief, or inner confidence? 

I love that you say about finding it by accident because I feel that really makes sense! I’ve noted that when we are actively searching for things, for instance, trying to ‘be’ happy or ‘be’ successful we get lost in a non-existent space. True self-belief and confidence has to be felt not found on a map and I guess that’s why we discover it accidentally through our experiences. However I do also believe there are ways of thinking that encourage us into that space.

Here are a few that I live by:

– To gain self-confidence you just have to keep on becoming more and more self-aware, the more you learn about and cherish yourself, the more you have an opportunity to own and embody that knowledge. The best way to start is by committing to valuing your time, which I believe to be the true translation of meditation. Allowing yourself space to feel your feelings (especially the crappy ones) and be still.

I recommend a morning practice, where you just commit to sitting for even one minute (and up to an hour when you can) before you get on with your day. For anyone who thinks they don’t have time to give themselves any time, then this is even more of an essential, it is possible no matter how busy your day is. And self worth is intrinsically linked with this; I know one thing for sure and your life purpose is not to be cruel to yourself.

– As children we absorb a lot of things as a truth but an adult we get to choose how we take on information. So in adulthood you might find that a lack of self-belief comes from an old story you have been repeating to yourself since you were young. Now you are allowed to tear that page out and rewrite it into something more loving.

– Finally you really are perfectly designed to be you. The whole cliché, well it’s true, and what it really means is that you have absolutely everything you need, you just have to dig it out. To really feel confident we just have to stand fully and authentically within ourselves. It’s not easy but it is definitely possible.

unnamed-09.10.07

You offer tarot as a part of your services. Is the ability to read tarot something you are born with or can you learn it? For the uneducated (i.e. me!) how can a tarot reading help better oneself? 

 I have had a Tarot deck since I was about 17, so for half my life now! And Tarot is for everyone. Most people who don’t know much about Tarot have a generic idea that has come from TV or rumor, that of it being fortune telling or scary even. Tarot has always been used as a psychological tool and the 78 cards tell the story of the human experience and what you might encounter along the way. It is a beautiful way of learning about life, and so in-depth that you could never get to the bottom, the cards link with Christianity, Astrology, Kabbalah and so on.

When you sit with me, the cards I pull are representative of the contents of your subconscious, laid out in front of us (and yes this is also divine timing – the cards are always reflective of the person in that moment.) I act as an interpreter of sorts and give back to you what you already know but perhaps weren’t quite connected to.

I like to say that I will remind you of what you already knew but didn’t realize you did! And my feedback is always that people feel more connected to themselves, empowered and inspired. I am very anti fortune telling, because the future is fluid and to tell people things are going to happen is to actually take away their power. The present moment is the only place that is real and so it’s always the best place to work with!

I’m transitioning now from doing readings to mentoring and teaching, because I love to think that people use it as a powerful self-awareness and self-healing tool like I do. 

What is energy awareness and how can it help? 

 Ok, open questions to everyone who is reading this: Have you ever noticed your mood change on account of someone else’s? Have you ever felt your mood change based on the environment you are in? Have you ever had a moment where you referred to someone else as having ‘bad vibes’?

So I will guess that every person says yes to all of those things, I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t!

Reason being is that we are made of energy, we know that even through science, and we all inhabit an energetic space. That space around you holds all your thoughts and feelings. A great example is standing on a cramped train carriage, there might be 50 others people thoughts and feelings squishing into your space – hence why I feel claustrophobia is mainly energetic. So energy is invisible and most of all is contagious.

I teach energy awareness as a practical tool to help us feel more grounded and self-aware, because truth be told, none of use want to be walking around with anyone else’s ‘stuff’ – umm I for one know that I have enough thoughts and feelings of my own! So it’s like another way of checking in with yourself, being able to know when you are exhausted because of the company you’ve been in, or feeling anxious because you’ve spent the day with someone who was in crisis. Once we become aware we are able to release through breathing exercise, visualizations and all sorts.

The great thing is that the more you are grounded in your own energy the better friend, partner, mother, child, teacher and so on you can be, because you are just in your space and not scattered. Again, it’s a self-care thing!

It also means you’ll never refer to someone having ‘bad vibes’ again because you realize if their energy is strong it’s because they are going through something; it can help us be more compassionate too.

The main thing about the work I do is that it’s practical and accessible; I swear I can explain anything, which might seem totally crazy to any random person on the street. I haven’t known anyone I’ve taught not to come back telling me the difference it’s made. I myself started using energy tools in 1999 when I first moved to London. Originally I’d learned then as part of psychic work I was doing as a teen and then I got into this fast paced crowded city and suddenly thought, ok I know what to do! Aaaand I’ve not been claustrophobic since 1999.

I have a few in depth blogs on the subject so I’d love to share them if this peaks anyones interest – Part 1 is here and you can follow though.

louise-tarot

The same with life coaching – how might that help someone like me? 

The main thing that I have learned from all my clients over the last few years is: Everyone has the same set of fears, just packaged up in our own unique ways, and everyone feels alone.

To start with I hold a safe space for you to speak and feel freely, for you to explore your thoughts as well as be there to encourage and support your dreams and even brainstorm ideas. If you think about us just alone as individuals, we have all our great ideas, our intuition and all the good stuff; THEN we have a big cloud that also hangs out with us that holds our fears and anxieties and the shadows from our past + the fears for the future. I am able to speak to you about the things you are experiencing, but without that cloud. So the benefit is again having almost your own person interpreter who gives that other perspective that you perhaps just can’t see. You also have someone on your team, a cheerleader, and we all need that when we are in challenging times.

Our biggest changes come from quite small shifts in perspective. So, if you showed up to me I would have you fill in a lengthy questionnaire and from that and the way you are speaking I’d be able to quickly pin point the main themes that you have going on. For instance some common ones I help people with are; anxiety, self worth, fears of the future and change, letting go of control, helping understand the inner dialogue and self punishment and restriction.

Based on my life so far I have an ability to see how and why people are disconnected from themselves, and a whole set of tools and ideas to practice. I walk my talk and use all these ideas myself, daily.

I’ve been lost in my own darkness and I found the torch, so I feel it’s my responsibility to now help others. I want to help as many people as possible feel less alone.

I also love to get people out of the idea that they are broken and need to be ‘fixed’. You are not broken, but you are evolving.

louise1_zps7cc22883

You recently followed your dream of moving to LA, something I’m hugely in awe of. What was that process like of leaving behind everything you know to follow your dreams?  

I did indeed and it’s almost been six months! I’m so excited to be here. (come and visit – LA is SO amazing for kids too, I can’t go to any cool event without there being at least one baby present!)

My own fearlessness of sorts comes from being extremely stubborn – an aspect of personality I see as hugely positive because you can powerfully channel it into your self-care.

I had been in London on and off for 14 years and truthfully it had never loved it. I really do think it’s one of the best cities in the world, but I felt displaced. I grew up in the countryside and was craving something more expansive and to be closer to nature, as well as a deep desire to feel inspired again. LA has always felt like home and the past few years as I came back and forth for holidays I just knew it was where I wanted to live. I also have a huge network of close friends here so it’s been easy to settle quickly. Honoring my commitment to leaving London was really the dream, so if I hadn’t been able to come here then I would have moved somewhere else either way. I felt a lot of relief when it really sunk in that I really COULD leave!

I’m confident (because I’ve practiced this method for over 10 years) that if I move forward based upon what feels good then everything is given it’s best possible chance and I thrive, earn more money and my health is the best. My priority in life is to feel good, not to be successful, be happy, be rich etc. Feeling good covers everything! So this has helped the process a lot. I have an autoimmune disease and so my wellness is top priority, even just knowing the dry heat would up my health was inspiration.

Following your dreams feels GOOD, it carries all sorts of fears of course but fears are normal, but they are not solid, the roots are made of the good powerful love stuff. I’ve also worked hard over the years to be in a position where I can work from anywhere, so feel proud of that freedom I’ve created. I’m happy to say that all my close friends, even though they miss me being in London have been so excited for me too. The thing that really closed the deal for me was that I love my job and I love being of service, but it’s very difficult to be a therapist if you don’t value your own experience. I knew that as my sense of displacement heightened it would become harder to really be the positive and nurturing voice that I am for my clients, if I was feeling unfulfilled.

It’s also been so humbling and hilarious, because everything the same but OH NO IT ISN’T! My first month was like my own comedy show LA in LA, things like trying to open a bank account were so funny, because the systems are so different that you feel stupid all the time, and I loved that. I feel I’ve been gifted that sense of having wide eyes again, getting to see everything like a kid, wanting to experience all the city has to offer. I realize it’s so lucky to have this so I’m diving in fully.

Nothing is on the surface different here, I’m still me, same work, same anxieties, but just being in an environment that feels inspiring and exciting has transformed me fully into my most authentic self. I believe that you are always exactly where you are supposed to be, that all your feelings are valuable and in turn so are your ideas. If you feel a call from within, it’s not there to be ignored.

 

Thumbs Up To Muller Rice’s Remix

Muller rice remixed

My kids are into desserts. Typical children, right?

It’s definitely not genetic as I’m not so much into sweet things; I have a secret tub of Jude’s Salted Caramel ice cream in the freezer for ’emergencies’ but I’d generally rather eat a bag of crisps pre-dinner. I blame their love for the second course on nursery and school lunchtimes – they may get huge portions of fruit and veg there but they’re also offered the delights of crumble, jelly and chocolate brownies each and every day.

And so after every meal at home I’m greeted with the chorus “what’s for pudding?”

IMG_3060 IMG_3061

Recently I’ve been happy to serve them up with something a little bit different. We’re all fans of the good old rice pudding but rarely have it as it takes so long to cook in the oven – by the time I’ve thought about making one it’s 5pm and E always makes comments about ‘that time it took you so long to cook a shepherds pie that we ate it in our pyjamas, do you remember, mummy?’. So Muller Rice’s new dessert that merges the classic fruit corners with the traditional Greek rice pudding recipe of Rizogalo is perfect for us!

IMG_3067 IMG_3075

It comes in two varieties – Apple (Hux) and Strawberry (Elfie) – and are the perfect size to fill these two little tummies post-supper. You can see they’re not only a fan of the new remixed rice pots but also the good old thumbs up.

IMG_3072 IMG_3077

You might have see Muller’s ambassador TastyB the bear in the latest Muller ads. He’s also the voice behind their Twitter account and is generally the best food or beverage-related animal I’ve seen since Gordon the Boar ;)

Bon appetit!

Thank-you Muller for sponsoring MTT!

Single Parent Summers: #SummerGoodTimes

11374153_744548252337514_1095541494_n

Being a parent when your children aren’t there is an odd thing. It happens for me every other weekend and the odd week during the summer; the kids go off to spend time down south with their dad and I’m left to my own devices.

I alternate between a couple of feelings at this time. Always very sad at the prospect of being without my two sidekicks for a few nights, almost a bit giddy at the thought of the freedom of being able to leave the house at will unencumbered by baby wipes and helicopters. And also obviously excited at getting up at a time that doesn’t constitute the middle of the night for people in their early twenties.

At the start of my single parenthood I didn’t do too much with my time off. I’d clean the house, go to the gym, do the weekly shop. But as time has gone on I’ve realised how important this me time is to my happiness. For one, being in the house alone without the kids feels downright weird and a little bit lonely and for another it’s GOOD to get out and have the experiences I may have missed out on by having kids so young.

11311104_468411760006059_2028056571_n

Which is why I’ve started travelling a bit more. In the last year I’ve seen Paris, Amsterdam and Paxos (heart eye emoji) and then I spent time in New York last month seeing friends for my birthday. I’ve been working with Boots on their #SummerGoodTime campaign which is all about making the most out of my favourite season. So when a work opportunity arose in NYC and I realise I had a childless week to fill I thought why the hell not? and grabbed myself a last minute flight back out to the big apple.

Being out here again has been a bit of a whirlwind. I’ve spent a lot of time with my best friend Kirsty (a buddy who lets you share her bed is a buddy for life), hung out with people I met the last time I was here and made new friends. We’ve spent most of our time in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and I truly love this place. Between the relaxed vibe, restaurants, creative people and BEAUTIFUL SUNSHINE I could definitely see myself being here. Until October and for the whole period of Winter (minus 18? I don’t think so) but, whatever.

I love the distance from home I get by being away. And spending time with someone who knows me as well as Kirsty does is worth its weight in gold; we talk about life, love, the universe (and a lot of sex apparently?). Life clarity at its finest – I always come away feeling more confident about my next steps in life and inspired for my work and goals.

Being a single parent is not anyone’s ideal situation. But I feel beyond blessed (#BLESSED – vom – but you know what I mean) that I can take these times to myself to work at being the best version of myself, to sleep and to enjoy my time without the kids. I miss them like an arm of course but I know that will make me a better parent when I’m back in the country (and, erm, over the jet lag).

11848930_1010137825683211_465030550_n

This blog has brought me some wonderful things over the years but this summer I’m thankful for the encouragement Boots have given me to make the most out of my favourite season. And it’s not over, either; I’ll be returning home to a packed full schedule of things to do with the kids… London visits, beach fun and time with our friends. Three cheers for summer!

Hux the Toddler: A Week In The Life (and WIN LEGOLAND tickets!)

11184569_1579629715658902_740048132_n

Toddlers have basically never had it better. They’re constantly being entertained, given cool toys to play with, getting taken to brilliant places. I reckon I could live a pretty happy life as a toddler (Mum? Is that OK?).

As I posted about a while ago, SMA® Nutrition recently commissioned work of 1,000 mums to discover how toddlers today live their lives. Some findings particularly interesting to me included the fact over a quarter of mothers eat out with their toddlers once a week, with 78% believing toddlers are given a more varied diet nowadays than 20 years ago.

IMG_2258

Food is such a big part of our family life and I love introducing Hux to new things; it’s very important to me that my family eats a balanced and varied diet which is why I love working with SMA® Nutrition, a company that has over 90 years of experience in advancing baby nutrition. Their toddler milk is formulated for children just like Hux who are over 1 year, as part of their healthy balanced diet. The milk includes essential Vitamin D and Calcium to support growth and development of bones and Iron to contribute to normal cognitive development.

IMG_0190

SMA Nutrition asked me to track a week in Hux’s life to see how we compare.

Our weeks are usually quite frantic between work, nursery, school and pre-school. Hux goes to nursery for three school days a week and then pre-school two mornings a week. Wednesday is a nursery day because they have music classes, and as I mentioned, Hux loves a good tambourine!

Because I work our time together is all the more precious, and on the week I tracked our activities we were slightly hampered by the arrival of chicken pox, but we still managed to have a wonderful time together.

Firstly, we went to the cinema – Mr H’s premier trip to see a film on a big screen. I was worried about his attention span, as like me it is slightly lacking, but he sat quietly through the whole thing like an absolute champ. Score one for Hux! We saw the Peppa Pig movie and all really enjoyed it. Myself included…

IMG_0175

Our next trip out was to a restaurant. I love taking my kids out for dinner and see it as an important way to show them how we should behave in public. We’ve been dining out together since they were newborns and the whole dressing up – ordering – eating politely – having pudding is something we all enjoy; it’s a treat for me and a treat for them. This time we visited Café Rouge and though I couldn’t get him to try the snails he officially fell in love with Garlic Bread.

Next up, a drizzly day and feeling high from our cinema trip I decided to order an iTunes film for home. We’ve never managed to finish a whole movie without one or all of my children being bored so this would be a challenge – we’ve literally seen the first 45 minutes of Frozen about 600 times. But we bought Paddington and got almost to the end of it – amazing! We’ve watched it again since and it really is a lovely film for pre-school and school-aged children.

IMG_0513

You know that I wasn’t going to reach the end of ‘Hux’s week of fun’ without cooking him up something special. This week we tried two new dishes, ham and eggs with avocado and tomato and chicken noodles with green beans. Hux chomped through both of them like an absolute champion.

IMG_2618 IMG_2608

Another drizzly day, another indoors activity: finger painting! I’m probably being miserable saying this but, good grief, why is it that the messiest activities for kids are also the most fun? Hux (and Elfie) had a ball creating their masterpieces. I had palpitations ;)

Our week came to a swift close thanks to the torture that is Chicken Pox. I spent a long time grumbling about it but hey, we needed to get it out of the way at some point and now was as good a time as any. Poor Hux really suffered with his itching but it meant we could enjoy lots of quiet time together – we discovered Fireman Sam (a new favourite), read books, made cakes and had cuddles. I secretly very much enjoyed those extra cuddles, thanks pox!

What are your favourite activities to do with your toddlers?

To celebrate our toddlers SMA® Nutrition have given me a wonderful prize to pass on to one lucky MTT reader – a family pass to Legoland Windsor! For a chance to win, all you have to do is comment on this post telling me your favourite activity to do with your family and fill out the rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions: Competition closes at 12.00am (midnight) GMT on Tuesday 18th August. Entries received after this time and date will not count. UK residents only. Entrants must be 18 +. Winner will be selected at random after the closing date and will be notified within 3 days of competition end. Only entrants received via the Rafflecopter widget will be considered valid. SMA/Red are responsible for delivery of the prize, which is two adult and two child tickets to LEGOLAND Windsor.

Thank you to SMA for supporting MTT!