Half Term in Manchester and Win a box of Jammie Dodgers Oaty Bites

So that was half term! I hope those of you with school age kiddos had a lovely week off, I always find it goes so quickly but I think we are all sort of glad to be getting into our normal routines this week. I'm always so torn between wanting us to be together ALL the time and also knowing they have to have their own lives and own friends too ha!

We had such a lovely time on a break 'up North' visiting my sister who is in university in Manchester, this is only second time I've visited and its definitely one of my favourite cities. I'd love to visit again as there is so much I want to explore there.

We're working with Jammie Dodgers Raspberry Oaty Bites in this post who were kind enough to send us a whole box of the delicious snacks to keep us going on our break. As most parents agree the key to a successful outing id to always be well prepared with snacks. We travel by train a lot and literally as soon as we sit in our seats they are asking for lunch, even if its 9am ;)

Whats great about these biscuits is they are made with no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, artificial sweeteners or hydrogenated fats. They are also suitable for vegetarians (likes us) and contain no GM ingredients. Whats even more brilliant is that both kids thin they are delicious and act like they are the biggest treat whilst I know that they are great wholegrain oat snack packed with fibre and without all the nasties. 

We headed to MOSI (museum of Science and Industry Manchester) which is such a great day out. We actually came here when Wilf was the exact same age as Mabli is now. I knew we could easily spend hours here and both children would get something out of it. If you are planning a trip to the city then I'd definitely recommend it.

Can we just pause for a second to take in how amazing Wilf's face is in this photo? There is a victorian fayre ground in the gardens and they got to spend their tokens on a ride each plus Wilf had his first ever experience of 'hook a duck' and won some lego. I'm pretty sure when I was little you never really won anything on those stalls so we were both pretty chuffed by that outcome!

It was SO cold the few days we were up there that we even ended up walking in the snow at one point but we just loved walking by all the canals and spotting the names on the pretty boats. As you can see Wilf was enjoying another pack on our walk back.

All of us are big fans of the new range from Jammie Dodgers so I'm super pleased to be offering one reader a box of 12 multi packs on the snacks. Each multipack comes with 5 inner packs so thats a lot of Oaty Bites to keep you going. I have to admit both me and Tom are a bit partial to them as well now!

If you don't happen to win then I'd defo recommend you give them a go anyway, you can pick them up for £1.69 per 5 pack at Tesco.  I'd love to know what you think of them and if you're kiddos love them as much as mine.

Thanks to Jammie Dodgers Oatly Bites who sponsored this post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Our Week in Pictures plus two vlogs!

Hey Guys! Hope those of you with kiddos had the most brilliant half term. I'm going to be back to share a few of our pictures from the week but in the mean time I wanted to share a couple of video here too. I started the week doing something really different for me which was taking part in a shoot with Very. I'll be sharing more on my Instagram soon so keep your eyes open for that one!

We spent the rest of the week with my little sister which was just so lovely. I'm so proud of the person she is and all she is achieving. There's something lovely about your siblings becoming adults and friends, even though we are ten years apart in age!

I sort of fell out of love with YouTube at the start of the year but I really loved making these two little videos so I think the little vlogs are what I enjoy doing most. Hopefully I'll be able to keep them up to at least once a week.

If it's the first Monday back for you after the break then hope it's kind on you. The house sure feels quiet when Wilf is at school but it's not long until the next break!


Maternity, Paternity and Modernity - A post from Tom!

It's been 6 months since Tom left his job and I wanted to share some feelings on the process. I always get very mixed reactions when I tell people about our family dynamic. I'm always conscious that this was such a big life goal for us and that for many it might not currently be a possibility. That being said a few people have also said that their husband or their dynamic would not work well at all doing the same. Each family and relationship is different so whilst it might not everyone's cup of tea it is working so well for us. I'm so thankful Tom gets to see the kids as much as he does when they are so small. Who knows what the future might bring but we're enjoying this time in our lives for now!

Before Wilf was born, Fritha and I both worked full time, Fritha in a job that she didn’t greatly enjoy. So she was glad to go off on maternity leave and was pretty sure that she wouldn’t return if she could help it. She started blogging when we moved into our first flat. While she was pregnant the blog developed into being more about her life and experiences and the beginnings of our family. She was able to make a small amount of money relating to blogging and along with some other social media related work she was able to become self employed (and more importantly not return to her old job).

When Wilf was approaching three years old a part-time member of my team at work was retiring and so we would be hiring a new person. By this time Fritha was earning more money from blogging, so after crunching some numbers asked I to drop down to four days a week. This was one of the best decisions I/we have ever made. I got to spend a whole day a week doing things with Wilf. For anyone considering working 4 days a week or some for of flexible working I would say go for it. You won’t regret it.

When Mabli was going to be born we discussed how we would arrange our time/childcare, especially as Fritha was now self employed and if she stopped so did her business. We had semi joked before that Fritha had been at home with Wilf so I would do the next one. But with the change in legislation meaning that I could share Fritha’s maternity leave it just made more and more sense. So Fritha took two weeks maternity leave and I took six month paternity. Fortunately working for a University meant that there was good maternity pay and after a few discussions with HR and payroll they agreed that I was entitled to it (I don’t think anyone had ever taken extended paternity leave in this way before and there was a lot of head scratching and saying hypothetically I guess you should have the same rights as a woman :))

This was a great opportunity for Mabli and I to bond, but also allowed  for me to spend much more time with Wilf before he started school. And as it turned out it was a bit of a trial run for what was to come..

Fast forward a year from going back to work and our part time child care for Mabli was coming to an end. By now Fritha was drowning in work and Wilf was about to finish his first year of school. So as the summer holidays approached I decided to man up (the real type of manning up) and become a stay at home dad!

I'd love to know your thoughts on our decision and if you have any questions then do drop them below! x


A cosy weekend building solar systems!

We've had a really cosy weekend, you know the ones where you just stay in your cosy clothes (or pj's!) all day and just hang out? Wilf declared it one of his favourites ever which reminded me how it's not always about going places but just about being together and having fun.

BEAR got in touch to ask if Wilf would like to check out their new Space Race themed cards and we jumped at the chance because both my kids are obsessed with these snacks. I remember first discovering them when Wilf was about two years old and when he asked for them at the counter initially refusing until I realised they were 100% pure fruit and veg and immediately picked up a pack for him. They have been firm favourites in lunch boxes, after school snacks and always in my backpack for being out and about and either of them get peckish.

I think its important to all parents to make sure their kids are eating well and not getting quick fixes from unhealthy sugary snacks. So if they taste great and are healthy then that is a definite win in my book.

We were kindly send a brilliant space bundle from the team at BEAR to play with including these glow-in-the-dark planets to create a solar system. We though it might be fun to put a sheet over the top of Wilf's bunk to create a back drop for our display.

If you're not aware of BEAR then they all contain these fun cards in each pack. They have done various themes in the past including different counties which we loved collecting but this theme is all about space which is right up our street. We spent most of the afternoon playing 'space races' with the kit we were sent blowing our space characters using straws.

Then stopped for a Yoyo break of course ;)

I love that as well as healthy treat they actually contain one of your five-a-day and the same amount of natural sugar as a small apple.

(this is Wilf playing a magic trick with me haha!)

We had so much fun playing 'Space Racers' with the kit from BEAR and the delicious Yoyo snacks too. A perfect afternoon for my astronaut obsessed little boy (and his mum too!).

Even his little sister got involved once she'd woken from her nap ;)

Do you buy BEAR Yoyos for your kiddos? Are they as into collecting all the cards as mine are?

In Collaboration with BEAR 
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