Thursday, 30 October 2014

What's Happened? What's Happening? - Half Term Fun

So half term in full swing and I''m sure many of you have been out and about having fun with your families. Ours has been relatively quiet although we did enjoy a fantastic hour or so at the Lowry Theatre on Tuesday.

We had some lovely family fun days linked up with #WHWH last week. I'm so pleased Nottingham Comic Convention was a success as one of the organisers is a great blogging friend. Mummy of Two's Little Mr A looks like he had the time of his life! I love the photo of him with  Yoda and the Speeder Bike.

Shannonagains is a real #WHWH regular and I always enjoy her posts. She manages to find some really quirky exhibitions and events in London to write about and I'm always keen to read. Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace is a fascinating, free street art gallery in St James' Park which explores the battlefields of the First World War and there modern day appearance. Definitely worth checking out if you have a free hour or two in London.

What have you been up to? What are you planning?

I'd love you to link up your blog posts to What's Happened? - featuring events, days out, holidays, film, theatre and restaurant reviews and any other 'happeneds'. What's Happening? is the place for you to link your event previews, holiday or days out plans, ongoing events and ticket giveaways.

I read and comment on every one and share on Twitter, Facebook. Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.

I've created a Pinterest board where I pin all of your posts, feel free to follow it.




As always, I would love it if you would add the linky badge to your post to direct your readers here

What's Happened? What's Happening?





Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Emily Brown and The Thing on Stage

Yesterday we went off to the Lowry Theatre in Salford to see one of their half term plays. Emily Brown and the Thing is based on the book of the same name by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton. While we don't have this book in our collection we do have 'Emily Brown and the Elephant Emergency' and Emily and Stanleys adventures are a favourite of Bud's so we were keen to see the show.

Emily Brown and The Thing

Emily Brown and the Thing is the latest production from Tall Stories. A touring theatre company who have been staging a wide range of children's shows including Room on the Broom, The Gruffalo and The Snail and the Whale.

The story sees Emily Brown and her old grey rabbit Stanley, struggling to sleep after a day full of adventures. Every time they are just about to drop off they are disturbed by an upset 'Thing' who can't sleep. Emily and Stanley set off on a range of missions to help the Thing to feel better but, perhaps there is an underlying cause for his sleeplessness?

A vivid mix of music, acting and puppetry tells the story with the cast of three displaying masses of energy and really engaging their audience. Emily Brown is played by Anna Wheatley and ably supported by Sam Donovan as Stanley (my favourite) and Chris Gunter as The Thing. Anna Wheatley really captures Emily Brown's much loved character and I think few fans of the book would be disappointed by her portrayal. I was a little unclear as to how Stanley and the Thing would be portrayed but the way in which acting and puppetry is combined is brilliant, really seamless and made the production even more fascinating for my four year old.

The show was a real hit with the children in the audience, there were a few scary bits, one of which made LM almost jump off my knee but the recommended age of 3+ is spot on. Bud loved the show and has requested the book.. He was utterly entranced by it and hasn't stopped talking about it since!


If you'd like to see Emily Brown and the Thing you can see it at The Lowry until 2nd November then on dates across the UK until December. check out the tour dates (click 'book now').

Emily Brown and the Thing is part of the Salford and Trafford Family Arts Festival which is on across the area until 2nd November. There are masses of different activities across various arts venues and museums. check out the Family Festival listings to find out more.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Meet the Cussons Mum & Me Midwife

Last Friday I headed out towards Manchester Airport to the offices of PZ Cussons for a very special afternoon with the team behind the Cussons Mum & Me range. I was rather excited as I've used this range ever since I was pregnant with LM, with both children and for myself. I'm definitely a Cussons mum.

Kerry Evans Cussons Mum & Me Midwife

We were invited there to meet a very special lady. Cussons Mum & Me have teamed up with Wellbeing of Women to sponsor a midwife in her PhD studies and the first recipient of the £60000 sponsorship has been announced and was there to meet us. Kerry Evans is a midwife in Nottingham and we were able to spend some time talking to her about her career and her studies. She came to midwifery after having her own children and found that her interest grew in clinical research. Until recently it has been difficult for midwifes to choose  a clinical research route - where they can continue to practice and to study at the same time - so Kerry is something of a pioneer. Kerry plans to research the management of anxiety in pregnancy and I think it's a fabulous idea that she will be able to work with real mums as she does this. It was great to talk to her about her career and lots of birth stories were shared around the table, while we enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea

As already mentioned, Cussons Mum & Me products have been used regularly in our home since they launched over two years ago. There are three ranges of products under the name - Bump, Baby and New Mum and we received some lovely products from across the ranges. Many of which we use already but also some new and exciting items to try. I really love the Baby Bath to Comfort Snuffles. I used it all last winter with both of my children and found that the menthol really helped their snuffly noses. It comes highly recommended from us.

Cussons Mum & Me range

Cussons Mum & Me have  active Facebook and Twitter follow them for updates on their #VoiceofMums campaign, product news and giveaways.

Preparing for Pregnancy

If you're planning a baby, or have even started to try to conceive then there's a few ways that you can smooth the process and make sure you are fully prepared to start your pregnancy journey.


1. Make sure you take your folic acid - an obvious one really but anyone who is considering a baby should be taking a folic acid supplement every day. Studies have proven that folic acid significantly reduces the risk of neural tube birth defects and it might be possible to get a prescription for it from your GP, alternatively you can buy them at pharmacies and in supermarkets.

2, Keep up your exercise regime - it's much easier to adjust a regular exercise routine for pregnancy than it is to start anew when you get pregnant. Obviously gentle exercise is best and things like swimming and aqua aerobics can be really good.

3. Schedule any medical treatment you may need - medical treatment is more complicated in pregnancy so, if you have any treatment planned make sure you can fit it in before that line turns blue. This applies to cosmetic treatment, like those for acne scarring, too. If you're taking medication routinely you should discuss this with your GP before falling pregnant as your prescription may need to be changed or adjusted.

4. Watch your diet - losing weight before getting pregnant might sound a little mad but it's a good idea to try and make sure you are following a healthy diet. Watching your alcohol and caffeine intake is a good idea too. Drink plenty of water to make sure you stay hydrated.

5. Stop smoking! Goes without saying really. Smoking during pregnancy has a number of increased risks associated with it, best to stop before you think about a baby. This applies to both parents, not just mummy!

6 Bin the pill - if you're using the contraceptive pill then stop taking it as soon as you decide you would like a baby. It can take a few months for the hormones to clear your system, although it happens much more quickly for some women.

7. Talk - make sure you and your partner have the same expectations and feelings about a possible pregnancy. You will also need to discuss finances,, future childcare, maternity and paternity leave and your home.

Did you prepare for pregnancy? Do you have any tips for those who are? I'd love to hear them below.

Partnered Post





What's Happened? What's Happening? - Half Term Next Week

We're actually on half term this week. Bud gets two weeks for his first school holiday so we're enjoying a quiet, home based week to allow him to recharge a bit, prior to a few days out next week.

Apologies for the unscheduled break last week, although I was secretly pleased to see how many of you missed my little linky, real life got in the way and I just didn't have the time to post. Sorry again.

I'm going to tell you about a little 'What's Happening' of our own. Next week we will be going to see 'Emily Brown and the Thing' at the Lowry Theatre in Manchester, as part of the Salford and Trafford Family Arts Festival 2014. The event sees partners including Manchester United Museum, IWM North, SEALIFE Manchester, MediaCity UK, intu Trafford Centre, Ordsall Hall, Salford Museum and Art Gallery and Salford Community Sport (amongst others) will be staging a range of events from book readings to ghostly happenings, all culminating in the Big Family Play Date on Saturday 1st November!

In addition to Emily Brown and the Thing the Lowry will also be staging Stomp, the sensational, all action musical hit Great for older children!

What have you been up to? What are you planning?

I'd love you to link up your blog posts to What's Happened? - featuring events, days out, holidays, film, theatre and restaurant reviews and any other 'happeneds'. What's Happening? is the place for you to link your event previews, holiday or days out plans, ongoing events and ticket giveaways.

I read and comment on every one and share on Twitter, Facebook. Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.

I've created a Pinterest board where I pin all of your posts, feel free to follow it.




As always, I would love it if you would add the linky badge to your post to direct your readers here

What's Happened? What's Happening?





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