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A few weeks ago (where does the time go?) we were invited to have breakfast at Sea Life London Aquarium. I know, how fancy! But wait, it gets better. Not just a random breakfast, breakfast with some of the cutest little animals (mammals?) around. The Penguins at Penguin Point!

Sea Life London, which is situated right next to the London Eye is absolutely huge, and full of fish, sharks, turtles and now, it’s home to the Gentoo Penguins.

We decided to drive into London for this visit, as it was nice and early and we wanted to avoid the trains on the way home, so we got there with plenty of time to spare, and grabbed a lovely hot coffee on the Southbank. My kind of Sunday morning! When we got to the Aquarium, which was still closed to the public, we were taken straight to Penguin Point where we were given (more) coffee and a delish breakfast of pastries and fruit. Surrounded by the penguins!

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It’s such a great attraction, the area is huge and you can watch the penguins in their environment, in and out of the water, even under water which was amazing. The boy was transfixed watching them jumping in and out of the water. The whole set up has been designed exactly for the Gentoo penguin breed, the right temperature, the lights change according to the time of day, and although there is no physical outside, the conditions are controlled exactly. It’s completely closed in, so that nothing in thrown into their living area, as this type of penguin is known for eating things the find, and in places like zoos, a lot of people (stupidly) throw things like sticks and rubbish into the enclosure, which, of course, can really cause damage.

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Once breakfast had finished, we were given the chance to walk round the Aquarium again, and really look at everything. Although I hate fish, this place is still magical, walking under sharks will never be boring! I have to be honest, I have never even noticed the Sea Life in London, but now we’ve been, I’m wondering how on earth I missed it! From the outside you would never know how many amazing creatures they hold inside!

Tickets to the Sea Life London Aquarium can cost from just £19.50 when you buy them online, but they have a whole load of options available.

We were given complimentary tickets for this event. Massive thank you to Sea Life London Aquarium for having us!

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If you’re a parent of a child in year 2 or 6, you will no doubt have been through the dreaded SATS in the last few weeks. I don’t know how you feel about them, obviously, because I’m not you, I’m me, but while I agree that all kids need testing and they’re going to have exams all through their school years, I believe that 6 & & year olds especially shouldn’t be made aware of the fact that they’re having exams. It should be a fun thing to do, not dragged out for weeks on end, and they certainly shouldn’t be sent home with ‘mock’ papers.

You can see what happened at my sons school can’t you?

Anyway. His are all done and dusted now, he has one more day left at school and then we’re *finally* on the half term. Which means my little man can catch up on some sleep.

He is exactly like his mama. He likes to stay up late and get up late. There is no rush for him to get out of bed in the morning, he would much rather laze around and wake up gently, which suits me just fine, because, sleep is *not* for the weak.

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Anything I can do to make his sleeping rituals just that little bit more dreamy (see what I did there?) and I’m all over it, like a good mama would be. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it means I get to lay in longer myself, no sirree. The new Junior collection from The Fine Bedding Company is all about helping your little (or not so little) ones get the best nights sleep.

Sleep experts (would so love that job) suggest that children need between 10-12 hours of sleep every night for optimal learning and development. Lack of sleep can affect learning and memory ability which is closely linked to academic performance. Obesity, a reduced immune system, bad moods and behaviour and even depression have also been linked to sleep deprivation in children. And no one ever believes me when I say sleep is important!

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A good routine is important, we usually do dinner, chill out, bath, pjs, story, sleep. In the holidays that all goes out the window, but I am a big believer in letting kids have freedom from routine as well. The best part about going to bed? The bedding. Hello fluffy duvets and squishy pillows. Cotton sheets, dark rooms and very little background noise and even the most hyper child (mine) will be nodding off.

The Junior range from the Fine Bedding Company features a number of bedding essentials, including a light as air Washable Duvet and Pillow, made from advanced microfibres and encased in sumptuously soft peach skin. Available in cot, cotbed and single bed sizes, they are also machine washable. Pillows can be washed at 40C and the duvet at 60C, the temperature that kills dust mites, which have been linked to Asthma, Rhinitis & Eczema and ensuring beds stay fresh and hygienic. Prices start from £12 for the pillow and £20 for the duvet.

Suitable for children over 12 months, the new Junior range from The Fine Bedding Company is available on The Fine Bedding Company’s website, www.finebedding.co.uk from now, or through stockists from June 2016.

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Who’s a lucky boy huh? My son, that’s who!

House of Fraser very kindly sent him some new threads last week, for him to test, review and generally look like a bit of a dude in.

We went with some summer essentials because, not sure if I’ve mentioned, we’ve got a few holidays this year. Uh huh, and when do boys not need shorts and t-shirts? Never, that’s when.

As well as the basics, we also got a sunshirt, which I predict he will probably be living in while we’re in Spain. It’s got a high collar to protect his neck, short sleeves to cover the shoulders and offers UPF 50+ sun protection blocking out 97% of the harmful rays, so I can let him in and out of the water as much as he wants without having to completely smother him in suncream every second, win win for him and me. It’s also quick drying so it’ll be ready for the next day by the time he wakes up! For £23.95 I’m going to say, already, that it’s going to more than worth the money, just for the reassurance alone that he won’t get burnt.

Also included in the kids clothing bundle were some fab yellow shorts, a white t-shirt and a blue t-shirt all from Mango. Coupled with his blue Toms and his neon sunglasses, a few freckles dotted across his nose and his blonde-y hair peeping through, I’m going to have the cutest 7 year old in Nerja. Oh yes I am.

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White & Blue Tops, £5.99, Mango. Available in up to 13-14yrs.

Yellow Shorts, £16.99, Mango.

Platypus Australia Retro Hawaii Sunshirt, £23.95, selected sizes available.

All from House of Fraser Childrenswear.

 

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I’m not going to lie. My kids have good style. They obviously get it from their mama.

I don’t really have too much of a say on what the teenager wears, as long as it’s not overly short or clingy – I’m happy to let her have free reign. The boy is a different matter, while he’s got his own style and opinion, he’s not led by what he sees in the media or what his friends are wearing (yet) so I can still ‘gently’ guide him.

Roco kindly sent him some holiday clothes a few weeks ago, which he was very excited about! In the absence of any sort of sunshine at the moment, which would lead us to being outside, exploring, we decided to host a fashion show in my bedroom. In the style of any 7 year old, it involved lots of jumping around doing roly poly’s! I really need to get me a blogger wall to take pictures in front of….

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How handsome is this boy? I am picturing warm summer evenings in Spain, mama with a glass of something cold in her hand, blue seas and good music, and the boy rocking his Roco clothing.

The shirt, £13.99, is 100% cotton and has very fine stripes with a breast pocket and cuffed sleeves. Its got a real Tommy Hilfiger feel to it for a fraction of the price.

Always a fan of a stripe – this blue striped jumper by Minoti has a small patch on the left arm, is 100% cotton again and is available in two colourways, Red & White or Blue & White, again, £13.99.

Last but not least, baby blue shorts, £14.99 and available in sea blue (as shown) and dusk.

My kiddo is definitely more a skater-boy but this outfit is going to be perfect for smarter occasions, and he loves a shirt – I think it’s a ‘be like Daddy’ thing, but god he looks cute in them!

Roco Clothing

All items available from Roco online.

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Yup. That old chestnut.

I don’t think you can be a mama without feeling some sort of guilt at the end of every day. There’s always something you wish you hadn’t/had done, it’s like an actual law once you’ve given birth, you must beat yourself up forever more.

My guilt is this. A; I hardly ever see my two, especially my youngest, and B; said youngest is out of the house every single evening after school. Both of these are due to the fact that I decided now would be a good time to start studying my backside off.

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When I started the access course back in April (why does it feel like it was year rather than months ago?) I knew it would be hard work, I wasn’t expecting it to be *this* much hard work. Two days a week at college, easy to manage childcare around that, and they probably wouldn’t even know I was missing. But they do. H, not so much, she’s now at the age where she’d rather be at her friends house, or upstairs in her room with them. As long as there is food, music and wifi, she’s happy. But C, he goes to his grandparents on a Monday, beavers on a Tue, childminder on a Wed, his friends on a Thur and has taekwondo on a Friday. I know none of these things are torture for him, but it does make you realise why he’s a little bit grumpy and knackered come Friday afternoon. He’s tall, and loud, and confident, but he’s still only six, and really, he needs afternoons at home watching telly and vegging out. But then, where does the study time fit in? I’m at college till 9.15pm on a Monday, all day Tue & Thurs so that only leaves Wed and Fri to get the INSANE amount of college work done, and I’m not even slightly joking when I say insane.

Then there’s the future guilt. You know, the stuff that hasn’t even happened yet but you’re still worrying about it. What if I *do* get into uni, and what if I *do* become a midwife. He’s already asked me if he will still see me once I’m a midwife! ARGH! The heartstrings……!

I know I don’t have do any of these things, I could stay at home, cooking and cleaning but then there’s a different kind of guilt, one that feels like I’m kind of wasting my life by not at least trying.

So then it’s the whole cycle of guilt all over again.

Great this parenting lark isn’t it!

 

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