A #ThankGoodness Optiwell Treat: Win a £350 Luxury Hotel Break

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It’s fair to say that being a parent is bloody hard. Whether you’re a single mum or an attached dad or a legal guardian, the responsibility of being in charge of small human beings is massive and something you can rarely escape.

There have been times where even the smallest of parent-based responsibilities have freaked me out: I remember once writing a shopping list soon after Hux had been weaned and feeling totally overwhelmed with the pure responsibility of feeding two kids three healthy balanced meals a day. I mean, that’s not a huge task in itself, but when you factor in a 50-hour work week, a daily load of laundry, the constant picking up of LEGO and a healthy dose of sleep deprivation it can all seem a bit much.

I think if I didn’t have my short respite periods, my fortnightly weekends off or my trips away with the children, I’d go properly mad.

Which is why I always leap at the chance to relax and enjoy myself wherever possible. So when my friends at Optiwell said “hey, you’ve had a busy summer, fancy bringing the kids to celebrate our #ThankGoodness campaign at a gorgeous countryside hotel?” I said YES PLEASE WHERE DO I SIGN UP?!

healthy breakfast ideas

We popped off in the car one sunny Thursday, motoring over to my old stomping ground of Worcestershire to meet up with a group of lovely bloggers and Optiwell representatives, ready to relax and have some fun.

You might remember me talking about Optiwell before: it’s a yoghurt drink new to the UK market, one our family has previously enjoyed at the breakfast table. At only 64 calories per 200ml it’s a really brilliant snack for busy women like me who may otherwise find themselves turning to Hobnobs or Haribo (guilty) for that 3pm hunger/boredom pang, and I was excited to learn more about it as a snack rather than a breakfast.

#ThankGoodness Optiwell

#ThankGoodness Optiwell

Arriving at The Elms in time for afternoon tea on the most gloriously warm day was such a treat. We were joined by Katie from Mummy Daddy and Me Makes Three, Aby from You Baby Me Mummy, Emma from Brummy Mummy of Two, Katie from Pouting in Heels and Sarah From Taming Twins. I have to say that whoever came up with that guestlist was inspired: though I knew only a couple of the other mums previously our little group got on like a house on fire, I don’t think we stopped laughing the entire time. It was really a delight to be in the company of such warm and inspiring women.

#ThankGoodness Optiwell

As soon as the cakes were demolished – including this gorgeous Raspberry Loaf cake with the Optiwell-inspired recipe from the talented Sarah – the children were despatched to play together in the orchard as the mums gossiped and laughed over more rounds of tea. We were duly collected for our spa treatments one at a time; pedicure for Hux, manicure for Elfie and the loveliest back and shoulder massage for me. I could feel the stress evaporating!

#ThankGoodness Optiwell

Soon after, our children were rounded up by The Elms’s nursery staff for a very special outdoors cooking lesson and feast in the last of the sunshine, as we looked on and enjoyed how happily they all played together. Having visited a Mark Warner resort this year – arguably one of the best holidays for childcare I’ve ever seen – I was interested to see what nursery staff at a UK-based hotel would be like.

#ThankGoodness Optiwell #ThankGoodness Optiwell #ThankGoodness Optiwell

I was nothing but impressed at the standard of childcare here, the children were engaged and happy with all the activities laid on for them and I was amazed that such brilliant childcare facilities were available at such a high-end British hotel.

#ThankGoodness Optiwell

After the children’s tea it was off to check-in and get ready for dinner. Our room was magnificent, Hux: “our bath has PAWS!!”, and there was much excitement-slash-debate over who would get to sleep in the super-cool camp bed in our room (Hux won). It’s always brilliant to not have to compromise on luxury when you stay in family-friendly hotels in the UK, and I thought The Elms thoroughly hit the mark with their well-appointed rooms, comfortable communal areas and brilliant facilities.

#ThankGoodness Optiwell #ThankGoodness Optiwell

In what felt like the absolute height of decadence, I again dropped the children off with the nursery nurses for a slumber party with their new friends in their PJs. While they ate buckets of sweets, gave each other glitter tattoos and enjoyed a disco and a movie we were to relax over a three course meal and wine. HEAVEN. There were even candles, you guys! Between the other mums on the trip and the lovely Optiwell ladies I could not have been in better company, and my salmon starter, steak main course and chocolate pudding was thoroughly enjoyed.

#ThankGoodness Optiwell

#ThankGoodness Optiwell

Whizzing my sugar-high children to bed for 9.30pm I happily sunk into that paw-footed bath with a glass of wine and a couple of vintage episodes of Peep Show. Perfection.

Breakfast the next day was just as fun with the kids tearing around the banquet table after each other as we drank yet more tea and enjoyed each other’s company (and the odd bottle of Optiwell!). The weather had turned so the planned kids’ teddy bear treasure hunt was moved inside – just as well as Elfie and her new cronies had found all the clues the day before.

#ThankGoodness Optiwell

We were treated to sandwiches and more lovely cake for lunch, and before long it was time to say a sad goodbye to our new friends. We were waved off with a beautiful goody bag for each of us, very full tummies and a head full of happy memories. I am so thankful that my job allows us to have experiences like this and Optiwell truly treated us like Queens (and princesses and princes); the experience of this beautiful hotel and such wonderful company was just what we needed to conclude our lovely summer.

The Elms is part of the Luxury Family Hotels group, who have properties all over the UK. In partnership, Optiwell and the Luxury Family Hotels Group are offering one lucky winner £350 to spend on a stay in one of their beautiful hotels! All you have to do is enter below to be in with a chance of winning. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition ends at midnight on 28th September 2016. The prize will be administered by Optiwell/Luxury Family Hotels group and there is no cash alternative. 

Huge thank-yous to Optiwell for working with MTT and treating us to this magnificent stay at The Elms. 

  1. #thankgoodness for my friends I’ve made since having my girl. There for me no matter the time of day, no conversation topic out of bounds and certainly no judging.

  2. I would say #thankgoodness to my husband who puts up with me working very long hours and helps so much with our daughter and things around the house. Would be lovely to treat him.

  3. #thankgoodness for my mum who has come to the rescue so many times over the past few months, who since having children myself I have so much more respect for.
    Also that photo of Hux having a pedicure is everything, he looks so chilled!

  4. #thankgoodness for friends with kids, who know what it’s like to need to talk at a million miles an hour, constantly pausing to referee tittle tattling, while nursing cold coffee even more thankful to those with DL passes- #thankgoodness for soft play!

  5. I always say #ThankGoodness on a Friday evening, after a manic working week, juggling a very stressful and hectic job with 2 beautiful girls, when the girls are tucked up in bed and I know I have a lovely weekend off work. I snuggle up on the sofa after a long soak in the bath, in nice cosy PJ’s, a mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream, bar of my favourite chocolate and either a good book or a film!

  6. #thankgoodness for weekends so I can get time to relax with my family, juggling work and homelife sometimes gets rather hectic

  7. #ThankGoodness for my little family who make me feel so lucky my little boy who always makes me smile. My husband for standing by me and helping me so much cant thank him enough. I am so lucky and happy they are in my life I am so #ThankGoodness

  8. How would you say #ThankGoodness and relax?

    After everyone is in bed I have a mug of tea and a square of dark chocolate and enjoy a moments quiet

  9. Honestly? I like to say #thankgoodness for still being in one piece after a very turbulent few years. I’m thankful for the support of a few and to the inner strength I have – which I’m pretty sure I got from mum. :) X

  10. #thankgoodness for a job that I love, 2 amazing children, the best friends ever and a wonderful family <3
    However it's 9.30pm on a Friday and I'm already in bed, totally exhausted! Haaa the single mum life! ;)

  11. I say #ThankGoodness and relax with a school friend whom I’ve know for so long I don’t have to worry about being judged and can relax. We love to spend the day at the spa whilst our husbands do ‘boy stuff’ with our children

  12. #ThankGoodness to my amazing friends and family that have helped me out with emergency childcare etc and made me feel that I’m not alone. I couldn’t do half of the things I do without them x

  13. I say #ThankGoodness after a long day by having a long soak in the tub and putting on PJs and Slippers especially now the seasons are changing!

  14. After a long week of work and family life nothing says #ThankGoodness and relax like feet up with a glass of wine and a good box set !!

  15. #thankgoodness that my 19 year old cat who was given less than a week to live has survived 6 weeks so far and is back to her old self :)

  16. I would say #thankgoodness for my wonderful parents who stepped in and have supported us since I lost my husband 16 years ago when my children were just babies

  17. I say #ThankGoodness for all the wonderful days out with friends, and then recover from them with a relaxing film night and a big bar of chocolate :)

  18. I would say #ThankGoodness to a beautiful hotel room and comfy bed after a fabulous day sight seeing in london all thanks to Optiwell Luxury Family Hotels Group

  19. The only way I can #ThankGoodness and relax is by being away from my normal environment, where I don’t have to worry about washing, washing up, putting things away, hovering, cleaning etc., etc. Basically, I need a holiday!

  20. I would say #ThankGoodness and relax by sticking on my comfy PJ’s after a long soak in the tub, light up a yankee candle and enjoy a brandy and coke with my feet up for a change. with 3 kids I am on them more than off even a week after surgery on my spine

  21. I would say #ThankGoodness to my sister when she has my two children so me and my husband can go to warmer climes for my husband who has Cold Agluttinin

  22. #ThankGoodness for child-friendly holidays with entertainment and fun for the kids! Makes holidays truly relaxing for us parents!

  23. #thankgoodness I’ve got a husband who will share all things children with me 50/50 and that we can relax with a nice meal st the table

  24. when i have done everything that needs doing like kids baths, stories, dinner, washing up, washing put away I grab a cup of tea and put on a movie and say #thankgoodness its my time!

  25. I would have to say #ThankGoodness for my amazing Hubby and our 4 children. Been through a hell of a lot in our 18 years together, but is has always only brought us closer together #luckylady!

  26. #Thankgoodness for having two amazing healthy children, that have made my world complete! And thank goodness for my wonderful mum xx

  27. I say thank goodness for having some amazing people around me all the time, and beautiful children and thank goodness and relax when work is over! :-)

  28. I would say #ThankGoodness to my partner who understands how hard it is to be a stay at home mum to our one year old. And #ThankGoodness for the fab coffees he makes me !!!

  29. I would say #ThankGoodness when it is Friday night and work has finished for that week and I can enjoy the weekend with my boys

  30. I #ThankGoodness for our monthly special family nights when me, my partner and our two children stay up and watch a movie with lots of munchies

  31. My favourite way to say #thankgoodness and relax is with a good cup of tea and a chance to colour, I love how when I colour I am able to completely clear my mind of all background thoughts and completely relax

  32. I say #ThankGoodness when all children are in school/play school, I don’t get much time to myself so make the most of the 3 hours twice a week when I’m alone

  33. #ThankGoodness for amazing friends who give me a dose of sanity when my boys are mad, and for those amazing hugs and kisses my boys give me.

  34. I #ThankGoodness for having two happy, healthy children but I love relaxing with a cup of tea, reading my favourite blogs while they’re napping x

  35. #Thankgodness and relax on saturday when our daughter does 2 hours of dance and my hubby plays football. I get to curl up with a good book or catch up on the blogs I follow in peace :-). Your stay looked amazing btw xx

  36. I would say #thankgoodness and relax after a hard week at work. I just want to sit down (after standing all week) and have a bit of peace and quiet.

  37. I would say #thankgodness for my mum, she works fulltime but still helps by watching my 5 year old so i can work too, would be lost without her

  38. I’d say #ThankGoodness and relax when my four sons are asleep and my hubby is watching football and not mithering to use the ‘quiet time’ for Nookie :P Nice Bath in peace and Hot chocolate

  39. #Thankgoodness for cuddles with my little ones after after school club and a husband who makes me a cuppa every weekday so I can function! Thank goodness for this competition to mentally imagine myself here with all the family having fun! X

  40. #ThankGoodness for my amazing Mum who looks after literally everybody. I would love to thank her with afternoon tea in a posh hotel!

  41. I say #ThankGoodness at 5.30pm on a friday when i go to pick the little one up after work at after school club…. #ThankGoodness we survived another week ;-) Looks like you all had a fab time!

  42. I would say #ThankGoodness to the little things in life that make me smile, they are very precious and often make such a difference to my day

  43. #thankgoodness for my 2 closest friends who are also work colleague so I’m with them everyday! Talk about being in each other’s pockets haha! X

  44. I say #thankgoodness to my sister in law who has just had my niece and works very hard bringing up my newborn niece and my 17 month old nephew bless her she needs a break

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