Ice Skating at #SelfridgesTrafford this Christmas

Last week we were offered complimentary family tickets to go ice skating at Selfridges in the Trafford Centre.  We’ve thought about taking the boys skating before now but hadn’t gotten around to it and I wondered if it would be worth it if they didn’t like it.


Well, we all LOVED it!!!


I knew the rink was covered but I wasn’t expecting it to be completely inside which was great especially since it was pretty nippy outside.  The Christmas, skating-themed decorations and the happy, friendly staff added to the welcoming festive atmosphere and we were all excited to get onto the ice.




Adults wear full sized skate boots which reminded me of inline skates I had as a youngster and the little ones have double-bladed skates which they wear over their own shoes.

You can also hire a bright orange seal for children which were invaluable for us.  Spud was confident enough to use the seal to help him balance on the ice but Pooh Bear just wanted to sit on it and be pushed around.  I’ve not seen aids like this before where the child can actually sit on them and it meant that we could all skate together even though Pooh Bear wasn’t keen on the idea of having a go at standing.


There was plenty of space to skate at speed if you wanted to and if you’re not so confident, the seals help your balance too but are a bit low to use for too long as they’re designed to help children and we’re all tall.




What made it even more fun was that The Snowman and The Snow Dog were on the ice!  Spud bought his Snow Dog with him knowing they would be there and loved having his photo taken with them.  They are having  lots of different characters each weekend for you to meet. Next Sunday (21st) Peppa Pig will be making an appearance at the two early morning skates, 9-10 and 10-11am.




I thought I’d have a little play and try and make Spud into an illustration but I’m not sure it worked…




We had a really fun time.  We were all feeling christmassy.  The slight chill in the air and the wind through our hair left us all feeling invigorated and excited.




We had planned to have a hot chocolate at the rink but Spud needed the loo and unfortunately as it was Sunday, Selfridges wasn’t open yet.  Scatty Dad took him whilst we handed our skates back and I have no idea why it took them so long but in the end we decided to meet them at the Christmas Market for food instead.



(Pooh Bear was in a funny mood where he’d pull a cheeky smile before I took a photo but as soon as I pressed the button, he’d pull a grumpy face then run and give me a hug hence the trying-to-escape-pose with his Aunty here)


We’ll definitely be making time next year or perhaps again this year for a Christmas skate, the rink is open every day until 4th January (except Christmas Day).  If you want to find out more about the rink at #SelfridgesTrafford then please visit the website for more details.


****Disclosure****  We were offered complimentary for a family skate but were not asked to write a review in return.  We did however have such a lovely time that we wanted to share it with you.   As always, this review has been written expressing our honest thoughts and opinions.

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Burton Mere Wetlands #countrykids

We had a crazy week during the school holidays.  Every day was all go so I was glad to take time out for a more sedate activity on Halloween morning at Burton Mere Wetlands near Ness.

We only found out about Burton Mere’s existence the week before whilst talking to a lady from the RSPB who manage the wetlands.  We were given simple directions to get there but as usual, we got lost and had to rely on my phone to finally get us all there in one piece.

As it was half term, there was a Halloween Trail on so the boys were very excited…




Scary Faces









These two islands reminded us of Abney and Teal’s…




We also found bats…




And a Woodpecker…



The sky was beautiful and I had a play with a few filters on Instagram…


I think the birds are Canadian Geese.






We met Harry too…


@wildeaboutbirds #HenHarriers


Burton Mere is a really lovely place to visit.  Even with Spud and Pooh Bear shouting “Puuuuuuumpkiiiiiiiin” every so often, it was still a really peaceful place and I loved the atmosphere.  Everyone was really friendly and with the walk, the birds and the hides, there is plenty to keep the whole family occupied in the fresh air.  We’ll definitely be visiting again soon and will try a bit of actual bird spotting next time.


***We have become members of the RSPB so our entry was free to Burton Mere and other reserves across the UK.  We paid for our membership and this ‘review’ is not sponsored in any way.  All thoughts and opinions are honest and accurate as usual***


This post is being linked up with Coombe Mill’s Country Kids.  Please click the icon below and pop over and see how everyone else has been enjoying the outdoors.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Filed under Environment, Outdoors, Reviews

A Beautiful Sunny October Day #countrykids

Last Sunday was just the sort of day I love.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue and we went to the park with friends and family.




We did a bit of swinging…PicsArt_1413567400578


A bit of hanging…




A spot of exploring…



Some rock-hopping…


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And to finish, a bit of modelling ;) ……


PicsArt_1413570185825 (1)


I actually love sunny days in Autumn, Winter and Spring more than I do in the Summer.  The sky always seems much bluer and the way the sun hits everything is just lovely.  You can do much more too since it’s not too hot.  We’re not fans of the heat.


We’re linking up with the marvellous Country Kids over on the Coombe Mill blog.  If you’ve not been over to Fiona’s blog before, please do visit because there are so many other bloggers who link up with brilliant ideas for outdoor fun AND Coombe Mill looks like such a fun place to have a brilliantly child-friendly holiday.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Filed under Life, Outdoors, Spud & Pooh Bear

Mesothelioma Awareness Day 2014

Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day and I know most people probably won’t have heard of this rare form of cancer and even more will have trouble pronouncing it!  Unfortunately, I have actually come across this cancer before and when I was contacted by Heather, I was happy to help raise awareness by sharing her story and some facts about Mesothelioma.

Eight years ago Heather had just given birth to her daughter, Lily, when she was diagnosed with Mesothelioma and was only given 15 months to live.  After life saving surgery to remove her left lung, Heather survived and is now working hard to raise awareness.


Heather and Lily

Heather and Lily


From what I understand from a family member who works with people diagnosed with Mesothelioma, it is an aggressive disease and the average timescale patients are given after diagnosis is 10 months!  The only known cause of Mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos and there are increasing numbers of diagnoses being made of people who were only experienced second-hand exposure i.e. from the clothes of their partner or parent.



Click for enlarged version


My biggest fear as a parent is being diagnosed with a life limiting or life threatening disease especially whilst my boys are young.  It would be absolutely awful knowing I wouldn’t be around to see them grow up.  I can’t imagine how Heather must have felt to have been given such devastating news so soon after giving birth.  Thankfully Heather is a survivor but she is one of the lucky ones thanks to her swift diagnosis.  I personally have friends and family who were exposed to asbestos so it’s also important to me that we raise awareness and work towards a cure for this cancer specifically.  Although it is rare, approx 2,500 cases are diagnosed in the UK and US each year, it is very aggressive and patients can be relatively young when diagnosed.

Mesothelioma usually sits dormant for 20 – 50 years after exposure so if you think you may have been exposed, please have a look at Mesothelioma.Com (US site) and Mesothelioma UK to find out about the symptoms, support and more information.  You can also follow the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance on Facebook and Twitter.

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Drugs in Breast Milk Helpline needs our help!

As a peer supporter, a mum and even at work, I signpost families to the Drugs in Breast Milk Helpline EVERY SINGLE WEEK.

GPs are notoriously hit and miss when it comes to breastfeeding knowledge.  It isn’t something they have adequate training on unless they take it upon themselves to do it.  This means that it’s a bit of a lottery as to whether your GP gives you the right information with regards to any breastfeeding issues but thankfully, there are people they can refer you to and there are also some invaluable resources out there which they can call upon if they aren’t sure of the right course of action for you.

The Drugs in Breast Milk Helpline is manned voluntarily by Wendy Jones, pharmacist and registered BfN Breastfeeding Supporter.

You can consult the information sheets and frequently asked questions on the Drugs in Breast Milk Page but if you have a query which isn’t covered in those or have a more specific case, you can email and phone Wendy for a more personal response which is absolutely invaluable.

It’s not only information on medication which is provided but also on alcohol, beauty treatments, dentistry and routine surgery and how that can affect breastfeeding or not.

I cannot stress enough, the importance of being fully informed when it comes to breastfeeding so you are able to make the right decision for you and your baby.  Too many Mums are told that they must stop breastfeeding if they need to take antidepressants when that is usually not the case.

The Drugs in Breast Milk Helpline empowers women.  It enables them to go to their Healthcare Provider armed with the facts and get the right treatment for them.

There is even an information sheet on breastfeeding and the Norovirus.  How I wish I’d known about it when the wrong info from  a health professional and my own ignorance put an end to Spud’s breastfeeding.

Every Mum to be should be aware of the helpline as there are so many unreliable sources they will come into contact with especially on-line.

Unfortunately, the helpline is at risk of closure due to lack of funds.  If the helpline did close, it would be devastating.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I mention the helpline and information sheets at least twice a week on-line, and in real life to Mums looking for reliable information on a whole host of medication and procedures.

If you have used the helpline as a Mum or if you use it in your role supporting Mums, it would be great if you could complete one of the following surveys:

Mum’s Survey

Supporter’s Survey

You may be wondering why it matters if a Mum stops breastfeeding needlessly to take a medication or have a procedure and perhaps you will never understand but as a Mum who stopped breastfeeding because of misinformation, I can tell you now that it does matter and it is important.  This short video shows some of the responses to the surveys so far and goes a little way to explain why it is so important to Mums and babies…

#savedrugsinbreastmilkhelpline video




Please share any ideas you might have to raise funds long term and you can  donate to this priceless cause by texting DIBM88 followed by the donation amount to 70070.  You can also donate on JustGiving.



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Filed under Breastfeeding, Charity