Friday, August 23, 2019

Unrealistic Expectations

Nothing can quite prepare you for Motherhood.

I mean the pregnancy might go some way to prepare you for the sleep deprivation I guess but there is this massive shift in your reality that starts the day your baby is born that is rather indescribable. 

My favourite Ryan Reynolds quote sums up some of this quite perfectly. All of the feelings you have for anyone (including yourself) suddenly take a back seat to this precious bundle of joy.

I was no stranger to changing nappies or soft plays or even making up milk before I had Martin but it was a completely new level of exhaustion and overwhelm.

I bang on a lot about the 'mental load' of a mother (or a carer) because it's something I find even more exhausting than a colicy baby. The worry about safe sleeping arrangements, correct feeding levels, burping, car seat safety, nap times, developmental leaps, using the right baby products, giving them "tummy time' and everything else they might need never goes away. 

I can't help but notice though that the programmes we see on TV could use a little more reality to them when a new baby comes along. Do you remember when Rachel had a baby in Friends? After an episode or two showing Rachel with natural make-up and a couple of baggy t-shirts she bounced right back into being uber glam. And her life changed in no way shape or form except the coffee cup in her hand was often replaced by a car seat. Oh and they hired a nanny! (Great episode though!)

Similarly in 'The Big Bang Theory' the baby Bernadette and Howard have actually doesn't appear on camera, they both continue to lead their social lives with the only adjustment being a little white baby monitor on the coffee table. 

Babies don't just slide effortlessly into our lives. They consume our thoughts, capture our hearts and take us to the brink of madness and back! 

Would we have it any other way?

Monday, August 12, 2019

The C-Word

It's no good telling me its too early for Christmas!
I mean in all fairness I bought my Christmas crackers in January so you're not going to get through to me!
But lots of Christmas events are already open for booking and some are even full! 
So I'm going to share with you what I've already got booked this year...

1) The Grinch at the Showroom Theatre

Martin LOVES the Grinch and watches it all year round so when I saw this event on North East Family Fun's facebook I booked up straight away! It's a screening of the film with an added milkshake and cookie with a visit from the Grinch himself. For £10 pp it's not badly priced at all and I'm going to get the train in and see Fenwicks window to make a day of it (and possibly book Santa on the rooftop too if we can!) 
Fenwicks Window 2017

2) Centerparcs Winter Wonderland

I'm actually going to write a whole post on my love for Centerparcs! But I've always wanted to do winter wonderland and I'm really excited that we'll be able to see it this year! I got the deal earlier in the year (it's since gone up by over £100 so worth booking early) and I was able to book a trip to Santa's grotto last month for £16. There are lots of other activities to book but Martin is happy enough to swim all day which is FREE. 

Centerparcs earlier this year.

3) Pizza making with Santa

I'm always on the look-out for different Christmas events to keep it interesting for the whole month and this was right up our street last year at the Newcastle Airport Hilton.
For £12.95 per child the visit includes a pizza they can make themselves along with a drink, a disco and visit from Santa (who of course gives you a selection box!) 

There are prizes for dancing and Martin got WELL into this last year! I took my two nieces too and it was a hit with all of them. There is a simple adults menu to order food from and last year I ordered a delicious turkey sandwich with roast potatoes and gravy! 

Pizza Making with Santa 2018
If you've got any recommendations for anything else we should be doing please comment below!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Our stay at Bannatynes Darlington

Let me start by saying this is in no way an ad! My friend Charlotte and I booked a stay at Bannatynes Darlington to celebrate our birthdays which are within two weeks of each other. 

We saw a half price offer on Facebook and jumped at the chance. I knew the place was nice as I have been on several lovely spa days and held my husband's surprise 40th here last year. (In hindsight if I knew we were going to split up perhaps I wouldn't have gone to so much effort!) 

We paid £169 for a "Relaxing Retreat Spa Break" which included an overnight stay, a 2-course meal, breakfast and 40 minutes of spa treatments each with use of the facilities. 

We arrived at the hotel (on Charlottes actual birthday) and had a lovely warm greeting from the reception desk. Check in was swift and we had been upgraded to an executive room. 

On arrival to the room we noticed that they had out some birthday treats in along with a hand written card which I thought was a lovely touch! 

We headed down to dinner and got another warm welcome from the team in the restaurant. I ordered the chicken satay skewers and they were lovely. Then I opted for the fish and chips which in all honesty were the best of my life! The cocktails were lovely accompaniment (highly recommend the Jam sour!) 

Jam Sour
Being two tired mums to young children we crashed out in the room fairly quickly after dinner! 
Breakfast the next morning was equally delicious! On quieter days the hotel offers a plated hot breakfast which is cooked to order and you can help yourself to continental options while you wait. 

With breakfast done we headed over to the spa which is just a few minutes down the road and were given a full tour of the facilities before we went off to change into our robes. The pool isn't what I would call a leisure pool but on a spa day we are definitely more interested in the hot tub which is lovely! 

My favourite part of the spa experience is probably the relaxation room. How often do you get to lie around and do absolutely nothing? 

The relaxation room.

I enjoyed a back, neck and shoulder massage followed by a scalp massage and it was just an absolute treat! It was a bit of a warm day so we sat in the cafe and had a cold smoothie before reluctantly heading home. 

Smoothie Time

Because we got the deal on special offer I felt it was brilliant value but also wouldn't be opposed to paying full price as we had such a good time. Thank you to all the staff at both the Bannatyne Hotel and the Spa, we'll be back!

I did write a post three weeks ago about the COVID-19 situation and didn't get round to posting it THANK GOODNESS because everything I ...