Sunday, 19 November 2017

Review: Luggwoods Santa Experience

Yesterday we were invited to visit Santa's Enchanted Forest at Luggwood's and I must say we weren't disappointed! 

Neither Logan or Elise knew where we going so when we arrived and they saw the festive lights and signs for "Elves at play" there excitement levels soared knowing then they were meeting the main man Santa! 


Before boarding the train to go through the enchanted forest Logan and Elise got their faces painted by some helpful Elves and after that our journey began! The Elves greeted us and welcomed us on board the train and from that moment on the children were entertained and drawn in by the magic of Christmas. 

As we journeyed on the train, there was singing and fun with the Elves, the waking of the fairies and the saving of Christmas! When we arrived at Luggwoods barn we were greeted by none other than Mrs. Claus! We gathered inside to listen to her stories, saw the Elves workshop and danced with them on stage!

From there, there was more singing and we entered another room to get ready to meet Santa. As we waited we wrote and posted our letters to Santa, got a pic with the Elf on the shelf and there was Hot Chocolate and Santa's sleigh where you could also have a picture taken. 


The time came for us to meet the main man and both Logan and Elise were so excited. For us, it was big deal for Elise meeting with Santa as she has a big fear of beards (as per hubby, it's known as pogonophobia!). This year she began to get over her fear thanks to her godfather so for her to go in and high five Santa with ease made it for us! 
We got to have a few minutes to chat to Santa which was lovely and of course Logan and Elise received a gift. 

When we said our goodbyes to Santa, we were led by the Elf, out towards a room where the children were entertained with a disco and we collected our family photo with Santa before boarding the train back.  

To quote Logan on the way home "I didn't like it, I loved it" and I must say, I have to agree! It was such a lovely experience for all of the family and I look forward to seeing how Elise gets on with Santa next year ;-)

The whole experience lasted about 90 minutes and from start to finish the children were entertained throughout! 

If you haven't booked your visit to Santa yet, follow the link here 
to book your families ticket at Luggwoods. 

Disclaimer: I was invited to Luggwoods as a guest and all views are my own

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Moving Forward and I'm looking for you!

There's nothing like taking a step back, pausing and reminding yourself why you are doing what you are doing?! What was and is your motivation? 
Over the last few weeks this is just what I've done and I feel I've a new lease on not just life but on me! 

Since taking part in Acorns, it has reminded and helped me to refocus on the goals I need to set for my startup business, Darcy the Dingo to help move it forward and also for myself. I now feel more motivated than ever before and have a new and revived confidence in myself which I'm really enjoying. 

One goal, I have set is setting up a new focus group which you may have seen shared on my Facebook pages here or here. My reason for setting up this focus group is to hear your thoughts! Hearing what you have to say is important to me, so I would like you to take part and have your say. 

What's required if you take part?

To take part you will be asked to fill in some simple details* for your child/ ren to receive some postcards and letters from Darcy himself for 3 months! 

During the 3 months, there will be a private, closed Facebook page where you can ask questions or chat with others if you wish. 

At the end of the focus group, I would then ask those who take part to fill in a brief survey to gauge your feedback. 

So, what do you need to do to take part?!

It's simple, just pop an email to with the title Focus Group and let me know your'e interested in taking part! 

Can you spare 5 minutes?

Another aim I've set for myself is a brief survey which you may have seen the link for on my social media. There are 10 questions in all and you can answer as much or how little as you please
I'm hoping which I'm sure you can understand to gather as much information* as possible so would appreciate it if you can give as much detail as you can ;-). To take part in the survey, just follow the link here

I'm really looking forward to what is ahead for me and Darcy the Dingo and beginning the focus group and hearing yours and your little ones thoughts!

*It's important to note, that any information received is confidential and will not be shared with any other party.  

Thursday, 9 November 2017

I did it FOR me!

Today, was a great day! A great day because I took more steps for me! In my recent post Little Steps, which you can read about here I spoke about how lately I haven't been myself and since then I've being taking those little steps for myself! 

Starting Acorns on October 23rd with 55 other amazing women was the most wonderful thing I've been part of in quite sometime. While it was something for my business 
Darcy the Dingo, it was also something for me! It gave me a WOW, and reminded me, I am GREAT, I can ACHIEVE and I WILL achieve! 

So ..... what did I do today?! 

Well, today I took a massive step and one I said I'd never do, as it wasn't for me because "Been there(ish) done that(ish)" kind of thoughts went through my mind many times up until the last couple of weeks but thankfully, I turned those negative thoughts around and took the plunge with my fab friend and partner in crime to join one of the local gyms! 

While I've always known my body can do it in the gym with the correct training, I'm one of those people who needs my mind to be convinced that I'm actually going to take those steps TO DO IT and for the right reasons. 
Some of you will have read some of my posts regarding #BeTheBestYou and Fitness which you can read here and here and while I did do it for the right reasons for my body and health, they weren't always right for me. At the time, if I'm honest I was forcing myself to be something I'm not. 

.... Quick background! 

I remember 1st June 2014 I made a decision to take steps for me, for my body and my health. That day, I was delighted not that I was going to make lifestyle changes to be a fitter and healthier me but that I'd made a decision for me, for ME to make positive changes for myself. My journey while it was slow I was making a difference to myself both mentally and physically. 
I made good progress slowly on my own and as the months passed I took part in various programmes that really looking back weren't for me. Yes, they made additional positive changes which was great but for me, they weren't sustainable. They were plans and choices that didn't suit me and more importantly didn't suit our family. With taking on these programmes, it meant these bigger changes I really wasn't ready for and now 3 years on, I'm back to square one and then some!! 

So now, lets fast forward to today! Today, my decision was made for the right reasons like it was back in June 2014 - for Myself! Today, along with a great partner in crime to support me and vice versa, we joined our local gym, All Aspects Fitness and while yes its day one, we're looking forward to our journey ahead! 

Today, I walked away with my own goals, goals that are achievable for me and over the next 6 weeks, I'm going to work towards them. I say 6 weeks because, yes, I do plan to enjoy the festive season. While there will be some visits to the gym over the festives, there will also be visits to the box of choccies and some drinkies!! 

So my decision today was all for ME and not what other people have said I should / shouldn't do. Today I'm chuffed, I made this decision and I'm looking forward to tomorrows session and training with my great friend in crime. I know, I'll be like a ball of jelly as each training session progresses, but I also know, it will be worth it and it's for me! 

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Little steps!

For months, I have been writing blog posts in my head but they never seemed to get written. There are many valid reasons why I never sat down to write them and also some excuses telling myself, tomorrow, I will get back to it, but alas this never happened until now! 

Over the last 12 months in some ways I haven't felt myself, not in a bad way but in a way that that I've been thinking a lot about things, life in general I suppose. And with all of this thinking well, if I'm honest it made me none the wiser and if anything it held me back from things I should've and wanted to do! 

When I think back to when I began my blog which you can read here, I was excited to have my own little space on the world wide web to call my own where I could share my "clucks and downs" with those who wanted to read them. I still love having this space but as already mentioned, I haven't made the time to share but more importantly, I haven't made the time for me! While the blog was to be my own space on the web, I also wanted it to be a place for me to escape from it all for a little while. So, today, today I've decided to do my best to stop overthinking and step by step to move forward. 

It can be so easy to put ourselves on hold and now its time for me to take steps to change that. I have many things in my life that I am grateful for and so many more to look forward to, one of which will start in the coming days. 
On Monday I received news that I was accepted to the Acorns Programme. To say I am delighted is an understatement. It was my third time to apply for the programme and thankfully, "three's a charm" and I was accepted. For me being accepted to the programme is the reboot I needed to move me forward not just for Darcy the Dingo but for myself! 

So today, I am seizing it to be the start of small changes for me and looking forward to the positive outcomes they bring! 

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Ringing in the New Year early with younger family!

I remember our first New Years Eve as a family. Our eldest was just 5 months old and when the clock struck midnight and as we welcomed 2012, we couldn't help but sneak into him while he slept & give him a kiss. 

Now 4 years on and we're a family of four, ringing in the New Year is even more special but sneaking into their rooms without waking them is a little more difficult! Thanks to Netflix we need not worry and together we can ring in the New Year as a family. 
Netflix have brought back their kids New Years Eve countdown which I know our two will be delighted to hear.

There are 10 brand new countdowns from a selection Kids Originals, and together as a family we can countdown the New Year before their bedtime. 

Dreamworks Trollhunters

There's a fantastic choice including Word Party, Puffin Rock, Luna Petunia, All Hail King Julien, Skylander’s Academy, Project Mc2, Fuller House, Chasing Cameron,  DreamWorks Trollhunters and Beat Bugs.

Beat Bugs

While Beat Bugs will be our choice there is something for all ages and we can share that special moment as a family a little earlier than usual!

The New Years Eve countdowns are available now and here is the link for you decide on your families favourite!

I'd like to wish you all a Happy New Year and a wonderful 2017

I received a Netflix subscription and an Apple TV from the Netflix Stream Team. All views and comments are my own 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Netflix: It's my Summer Saviour!

For the last four summers I have watched parents with children of school going age tear their hair our trying to entertain their little ones and keep the frustration and boredom at bay. It was something I never understood until this summer! Our eldest son got his first taste of "freedom" when he began pre-school last September and trying to keep him entertained has become more difficult :-( Now for the remaining weeks of the summer holidays before he begins "big" school, I'm looking at ways to keep both himself and his little sister entertained and not only stop myself from pulling my hair out but from them pulling at each others! So thanks to Netflix, we are covered for those rainy days and calm can be restored ;-)

So far this is what's been tops on our Summer list! 

Paw Patrol

I think for many parents Paw Patrol really has been the life saver and now with Season 2 available on Netflix there is more Paw Patrol loving across the land ;-)
For those of you who are not familiar with Paw Patrol ....where have you been? Paw Patrol is about Ryder and his Team of Pups and they are there to take care of anyone in trouble in Venture Bay. when someone "yelps for help" in Venture Bay, Ryder is there to delegate what needs to be done to each of the dogs and that are best suited to their skills. The dogs are called Chase (a favourite in our home), Marshall, Skye, Rocky, Rubble and Zuma. 

If you haven't already taken a trip to Venture Bay, its time you stopped by! Paw Patrol has calmed many a crazy day in our coup ;-)

Word Party

Word Party is a recent launch on Netflix and is going down very well with our 2 year old and her big brother too who's 5, likes to join in on the fun!  
It is a vocabulary building show created by The Jim Henson Company and follows 4 cute baby animals as they sing, dance and play. 
The show invites younger viewers to join them and help teach the baby animals new words, practice these new words themselves, and celebrate these achievements with a "Word Party!"

Check out the link below for a little taste as to what Word Party is all about! 

Masha & the Bear

This is so loved by both our kids. They have watched series one numerous times and I've no doubt they will be the same with Season 2 which is due to stream from August 1st. 

Masha and the Bear is a Russian cartoon series and is based on the oral children's folk story of the same name. The cartoon is about a mischievous little girl Masha who is kept out of trouble by the "fatherly" figure Bear. As our son would say "she is very naughty" which I agree with, Masha is also very lovable too. Poor Bear has his heart broken at times minding and hiding from her but you can see the love they also have for each other.  

Some extras you might like .... & not just for the kids! 

For the Kids
        Peppa Pig - Now Streaming
        The Magical School Bus: Seasons 1-4 - Now Streaming
        Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh - Available on July 29th
        Project Mc2 -  Available on August 12th
        Glitter Force: Season 2 - Available on August 26th
        Dawn of the Croods: Season 2 - Available on August 26th

For the Family
        Charlotte’s Web - Now Streaming
        Chicken Run - Now Streaming
        The Addams Family - Now Streaming
        Gilmore Girls: Seasons 1-7 - Now Streaming
        The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland - Now Streaming
        Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Shrek Forever After - Now Streaming
        Beat Bugs - Available on August 3rd

For Mum & Dad

        Orange is The New Black: Seasons 1 - 4 - Now Streaming
        Pretty Little Liars: Seasons 1-6 available in full now  Season 7, Episode 3 is available NOW, with each further episode available weekly
        Grace and Frankie: Seasons 1-2 - Now Streaming
        Stranger Things - Now Streaming
        Power: Season 3, Episode 1 - Now Streaming, each episode available weekly                                                    David Cross: Making America Great Again - Available on August 5th
        The Get Down - Available on August 12th

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Going back on my "word" for me!

Yesterday I put up the image below on my social media accounts which some of you may have seen. There are some of you who will know exactly what I got up to but for those who don't, I joined Slimming World! I know, I know, not another person / blogger joining Slimming World! There are some of you saying "You said you'd never join something like this!" Well, I did and to be honest I'm quite glad I gave in for various reasons.  

As many of you know I'm at home with two children aged 4 & 2. Along with minding my precious babies and our home I'm also in the process of setting up a business aka #SecretProject ;-). With all of that I'm trying to also mind me and make sure I'm in good shape. Like many of us though when you are juggling a lot of things something has to give and in my case it has been me! 

My weight over the years has fluctuated so much with my heaviest being about 13St 7lb to my lightest over the last 5 years being 11St 5lb. The last year more so I have really struggled to get back to even the 11St 5lb mark. Up until about 6 weeks ago I was just 1lb off reaching it but alas, I let life get in my way and now I'm nearly 1 stone off that target (as per my scales ;-)!). 

So, why did I join if I was able to do it before? Well, I'II tell ya! Laziness in a way and wanting to clear some much needed head space! I don't want to have to think any more about what I should be eating! I want someone to say "Eat this and you will loose the weight". I want to see recipes in front of me that are there to help me on my weight loss journey. 
When you are trying to lose weight alone it is a lot easier to give into temptations and say "I'II start again tomorrow" weight fluctuation shows I've said this to myself more than once! 

The last few months I really have found it so draining thinking of my weight and looking at my wardrobe or lack of as I refuse to buy anything until I'm smaller. I can see with me not having the right head space to keep myself on track that I'm beginning to creep nearer to that 13 stone mark and it wont be long until I'm back into a size 16 which I don't want. 

Now that I have joined I feel quite relieved as it is in some ways one less thing for me to worry about. I can now concentrate more on other things knowing that if I follow the steps remain sensible I will achieve my goals. I know that with losing the weight it will give me more of the energy I need to build my business and also give me more importantly a better lifestyle with my family. 

So, as per my weigh in yesterday afternoon I am 12St 7lb! I'm going to go by this as my starting weight as I know my scales can fluctuate plus at home I always weigh myself in the morning before breakfast (yesterday morning I was 12 stone 3lb ;-)!) . The target I have set for myself is 10St 7lb. Not an ideal weight for my height but fir me it is an achievable goal and a starting point. 

I'm not going to be blogging about my journey through Slimming World (yay, I hear some of you say, lol), maybe the odd post when I reach milstones but if you are following me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat (username: @chirpslilredhen) I'll share some of my journey with some pictures and updates on my weight loss.