Sunday, 19 October 2014

Pumpkin week at Hatton Adventure World and ticket giveaway

I can't believe it's coming up to half term already, but I'm looking forward to spending a day getting all Halloween-y at Hatton Adventure World.  We last visited Hatton Adventure World in Warwickshire back in April and had a great day.

From 25th October to 2nd November, Hatton is letting every child who visits harvest and carve one of the 40,000 pumpkins it planted in the spring.  I wonder what our son will create with his? 
 
On our visit we're also planning to visit the pumpkin house and see all the creepy crawlies, and real spiders - although maybe I'll give the spiders a miss and visit the gorgeous boutique shops instead.  I know our daughter will go in her halloween outfit, and maybe she'll win a prize in the daily dressing up competition.

The lovely people at Hatton have given me four tickets to giveaway, which will allow a family entry during pumpkin week, or up to the end of 2014*.  Good luck if you enter - and really hope to see you there over pumpkin week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions

  • You must be resident in the UK to enter.
  • Competition runs from 19th October 2014 until 23:59 on 23rd October 2014.
  • Entry is via one and/or more of the methods in Rafflecopter widget.
  • Winner(s) will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter.  The winning entries will be checked and must be current at time of checking.
  • There is one prize.  The prize is four tickets to Hatton Adventure World which are valid until 31st Dec 2014.  The tickets can be used during pumpkin week, but * not on bank holidays or for entrance to Santa's Grotto promotion.  They cannot be used with any other offer or with a group booking or membership.  There is no cash alternative.
  • The winner(s) will be contacted by email or on Twitter (if appropriate) by 24th October 2014 and asked to confirm their mailing address.  If no reply is received within 48 hours, a new winner may be chosen.
  • The winner(s') name(s), as registered when logged into Rafflecopter will be displayed after the end of the competition.
  • Judge’s decision is final.

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com
Listed on Loquax 

Friday, 17 October 2014

A great big SIX #WotW


When our son was born, I had no idea I could be a Mum.  No idea how to be a Mum.  And then I held him, and he was mine.

Little did I know back then the huge impact he would have on every single aspect of my life.  How naive I was to say that my life wouldn't revolve around him.

And now he's turned six.  One third of his time as a young person, gone.  At times it's taken an age, and at times, it's whizzed by in a flash.  The joy, frustration, love, exhaustion, pride and exasperation have all been worth it.  Every single second.  I'm so proud of him, my all grown up baby boy.

Happy birthday, son.


The Reading Residence



Thursday, 16 October 2014

Christmas countdown linky - week one

Every year I promise myself I will be more organised for Christmas, and every year I end up in Toys R Us a few days before Christmas, panicing.  Yes, and wrapping presents up until 1am on Christmas eve too!

So this year, I'm starting a Christmas countdown blog series.  Each week I'll post one thing I've done for Christmas, or one thing I will try and do over the coming week.

I'd love you to join me and link up your Christmas themed posts.  Maybe you're being organised, maybe you've reviewed a great gift for someone, or perhaps you're just blogging about things you'll be making.  Whatever it is, I'd love to share the inspiration!

If you'd like to link up, please grab the badge and link up below.  Please share the love and comment on a couple of other posts.  The linky opens on a Thursday and closes the following Wednesday at midnight.

Week one challenge

So by next week, I plan to audit all the gifts I have bought the kids over the last month or two in the sales, and work out what else I buy for them.  What about you?

Me add three





Playing cars and sparking imagination

It was our son's birthday a short while ago and he was six.  Six! 

We were wondering what to get him for his birthday for a while.  He had a wonderful Kettler Go-kart in the summer, and is having a party, so we didn't really want to get him loads.  We try hard not to let him be spoilt.

So I wandered round the toy aisle of Tesco a couple of weeks ago, with a now extended Christmas toy choice, not feeling hugely inspired.  He loves cars, so I ended up in the car section.  There really wasn't much, but a Hotwheels Super Spin Car Wash play set caught my eye.  At £15 it was about the right price, and I knew our son had lots of Hotwheels cars and track too.


Well.  It has been the hit of the century!  The set itself has ramps, spins cars around manually (as if to wash), and the best bit is that you can link up track to a ramp and let cars go off as far as they can.

So far, our son hasn't stopped playing with it.  It's been a while since he's played purely with his cars, but this has undoubtably sparked his imagination again.  It's great when you find something that's a hit!  I can feel more of this range coming from Father Christmas!


Monday, 13 October 2014

Stepping up to 10,000 steps

Recently the company I work for has launched a walking challenge - 10,000 steps a day for a few weeks.  We all know we should be doing this every day, but it's hard, isn't it?  I can't resist a challenge so I thought I'd give it a go.


Like everyone who does an office job, I tend to sit still for long periods when I'm working.  Measuring over the last week or so, I don't even hit 5,000 steps on those days, agh!  So here's how I'm trying to build in some extra steps in my week and especially on working days:

Measure up

Recording steps is a great first start to increasing them.  I'm using my Withings Pulse electronic pedometer, combined with the app on my iPhone.  Looking at it at lunch time and realising I've only done 2,243 steps is enough to get me out for a walk!

Ironing madness

Ironing's one of those boring jobs.... but I've been trying to build in a few more steps by putting each item away as I iron it.  This means a few more walks across the landing, a bit more time, but added 500 steps to my pedometer that evening.

Treat - walk - walk - treat

Chocolate in the evenings is a bit of a vice of mine, so this week I didn't buy any at the supermarket.  Instead, if I really, really want some, I have to walk to the local shop.  This has the double bonus of saving me calories when I can't face going out and burning some off on the days I do!


Parking mayhem

It makes me laugh when I pass our local gym, and cars are gridlocked just outside it.  The same people who are so desperate to park so close are inside on running machines - crazy!  Park as far away as you can from the shop, school, doctor, whereever, and add another couple of hundred steps to your day.

Walking the school run

This makes a difference to me of about 4,000 steps a day - even in the rain we're out walking to and from school whenever I'm not working and have time.  Ditch the car - you will all feel much better for it.

I'd love to hear how you get to 10,000 steps a day, and woud really appreciate any tips!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Rainbow wonders - My Sunday Photo


The weather over the last couple of days has been a bit hit and miss, so with a dry spell yesterday we took the opportunity to get the kids to the park.  In fact it was our kids and their cousins who we're here for the afternoon.

After half an hour or so the rain drops started to fall, so we decided to head home.  I'm so glad I looked up before we did - this double rainbow was breathtaking.  I love autumn and our seasons, and this was a beautiful reminder of how lucky we are.  The kids all loved it too.

OneDad3Girls


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Win tickets to The Baby Show Olympia 24-26 October

The Baby Show is one of the hottest events around for expectant and new parents, and I have five pairs of tickets to the next Baby Show at Olympia London 24-26 October to giveaway thanks to Chicco.  That means five people have the chance for them and a friend to get in free!

 
Chicco is a sponsor of the show; there will be lots of great discounts on its fab toy range and some great new products on its stand.  I'm sure there will be loads of toys for little ones (and the young at heart) to play with too.

When you check Chicco out at the show, you may even see a picture of toddler girl and I in the Tested for Happiness feature!  Here she is next to her picture on the stand at The Baby Show in Birmingham earlier this year.


To try and win a pair of tickets, please complete the Rafflecopter below.  You can tweet every day for even more entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Terms and conditions

  • You must be resident in the UK to enter.
  • Competition runs from 8th October 2014 until 23:59 on 15th October 2014.
  • Entry is via one and/or more of the methods in Rafflecopter widget.
  • Winner(s) will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter.  The winning entries will be checked and must be current at time of checking.
  • There are five prizes.  The prizes are five pairs of tickets to The Baby Show London Olympia 24-26 October.  The winner(s) can choose which day to attend.  The winner(s) will receive a code to redeem online and must print their tickets.  There is no cash alternative.
  • The winner(s) will be contacted by email or on Twitter (if appropriate) by 17th October 2014 and asked to re-confirm their email address.  If no reply is received within 48 hours, a new winner may be chosen.
  • The winner(s') name(s), as registered when logged into Rafflecopter will be displayed after the end of the competition.
  • Judge’s decision is final.
Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

Happy autumn days

Isn't this a wonderful time of year?  Nights and morning's are cool, but the days are still warm(ish).  We've been lucky this year that summer has been full of lovely weather and September was so dry.  Although the last few days have definitely turned chillier and wetter, the sun is still warm out there in the day.

The changing of the season's is always full of promise for me, especially this time of year.  The stability of school for a while, getting things done, harvest festival, homely soups, filling foods and ultimately Christmas.


I especially love to see the trees turning golden brown, and crunchy leaves underfoot on the school run.  My bodywarmer came out a couple of days ago - a welcome return from unforgiving summer clothes!

I don't think I could live anywhere that didn't really experience the seasons.  Rain or shine, cold or warm, autumn is definitely my favourite season.

I'd love to hear what you think of this time of year.