Fringe for Bairns Returns for 2018

It’s almost Fringe time again guys. I cannot wait. The kids love a wee Edinburgh adventure and it’s great to show them the city when it’s buzzing with creativeness.

Before you even think about putting your hand in your pocket though did you know that The Three Sisters Bar have their very own dedicated children’s programme and it’s absolutely FREE.

Fringe for Bairns launches this Sunday (29th July) until Wednesday 1st August and has a fabulous programme of events which you can check out below.

 

Sunday 29th July

9am-12am– Frozen Sing-a-Long with Anna & Elsa

12am-2pm– Fairy-tale Themed Arts & Crafts, Magician, Balloon Modeller, & Face Painter

Monday 30th July

10am-12am– Lego Games, Lego Themed Arts & Crafts, Magician, Balloon Modeller, & Face Painter

12am-2pm Bricks 4 Kidz – Glasgow, Scotland

Tuesday 31st July

10am-2pm– Animal Themed Arts & Crafts, Magician, Balloon Modeller, & Face Painter

10am-2pm– Petting Zoo

Wednesday 1st Aug

10am-2pm– Superhero Animal Themed Arts & Crafts, Magician, Balloon Modeller, & Face Paint

In addition, Fringe for Bairns will also running a kids cinema every Sunday of the Fringe at 9am in partnership with Scottish Autism  to help raise both funds and awareness.

All the events will be super relaxed, inclusive and all about the kids being able to have maximum fun. We’ll be heading along to sing out hearts out with Anna and Elsa on Sunday so do come say hi if you pop along too 🙂

You can find more information on the Fringe for Bairns programme here.

Cx

 

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Wiggle, Dance & Laugh with Zumbini Fife

Little L has been asking about going dancing for some time. She’s suddenly aware that her brother goes to classes and is thinking ‘what about me?’ Truth. Yes she’s not even reached the ripe old age of 3 yet, but this girl is super switched on. L

I’ve been umming and ahhing about what to do as L is really shy with new people and situations and I didn’t want to waste money on classes that she wouldn’t like. I was delighted then when Katie from Zumbini Fife got in touch to tell us about her demo class and about the fact that parents stay and join in.

The Zumbini™ program is where the science of child development meets the magic of Zumba®! Designed for children 0 to 4 years old and their caregivers, together you sing, dance and wiggle your way through 45 wonderful minutes.

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Before the class began the kids were able to explore the instrument basket so it was clear that there were no noise rules here. Big tick for our two (T had been invited along as a ‘helper’ for the little uns and very much enjoyed the importance of being the only big one there). Then Katie explained a little about what the class involved…which went along the lines of ‘join in, let your children explore and do what they want, there are NO RULES (within reason of course. If your child is attempting to catapult him/herself out a window that would be a good time to intervene), let them be free to learn, play and interact as they see fit’. For me this is perfect as I still feel L is a bit young for a really structured dance class and I don’t want her to spend 45 minutes being told not to do this or that.

So this is precisely how it went. We had around 3.5 minutes of shyness before L was off, leaving me to sing and dance alone (pretending I was totally cool and not at all embarrassed) while she followed Katie around for the duration of the class. We sang, we danced, we banged drums, we played with scarves, we explored instruments and there wasn’t a moment for boredom to set in.

This is Scotland’s only Zumbini™ programme at the moment and I can see it being a massive success. The demo class we attended was full, every single adult and child seemed to have a ball, and most of the places in the first block of classes are already gone. We’re hoping to book in soon ourselves!

For more information about the classes and how to book check out their listing on the Fife for Kids website.

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*The Fife for Kids team were paid for this review but all opinions expressed are entirely honest.
Cuddle Fairy

Unleashing our Wild at Wildhood

Wildhood oh Wildhood.

How we fell in love with your laid back ethos and nature loving vibes. We explored, we got lost, we found ourselves, we laughed, we reconnected – we did everything you said we would on the posters and more. You were our first family festival and you gave us the bug.

Wildhood was billed as a ‘weekend of escapism, excitement and adventure’ where you were encouraged to step away from technology and enjoy quality family time in fairytale surroundings and the team rose to the challenge.

My Fife for Kids partner in crime Jess (aka That Crafty Mother) and I were just a lil over-excited to be invited along with our families to experience the magic for ourselves, and oh how magical it was.

The sun shone, the castle moat sparkled and the smiles said it all.

Jess: ‘I’ll be honest, it did take us an hour or so to find our rhythm and work out our day plan. We really wanted the dudes to lead the way and being social introverts this wasn’t an easy task! However animals masks made, a forest trail hiked, a maze lost in, a free banana, a good nosey about plus a picnic later and they were ready.

Fuelled with excitement, cake and an itinerary of adventure, we set foot into the real world of Wildhood serenaded by the Ukulele Orchestra of Sunny Leith.

The dudes discovered sticklebacks and tadpoles in the pond, crafted hedgehogs and built micro stick rafts. Carved stones, played hide and seek, attempted slacklining, ran through long grass fields, graffitied in the woods and made up stories of a magical rainbow kitty. They even had a poem composed especially for them, a perfect souvenir.

Sun kissed, giggling and exhausted we fell back in to the car and headed home to reality. Magic was had that day and it won’t be forgotten in a long time.’

Claire: ‘We arrived on site just as Circus Alba were setting up some equipment for the kids to try out and that was it, the kids were hooked! We spent the rest of the morning learning how to hula-hoop and spin plates and it took A LOT of persuasion to move from the tent to see what else was on offer.

Our exploration took us as far as the beautiful storytelling tree where we found ourselves with two entranced littles who again had to be coaxed on to another area. After a picnic lunch we did manage to have some fun pond-dipping, slacklining, playing drums in the woods, exploring the maze and trying out Rugby Tots (which little L adored) before it was back to Circus Alba for one last go at learning new skills before enjoying a hot dog in the last of the sunshine as the day came to an end.

The kids had an absolute blast and though we missed so much of what was programmed, it was perfect to have a day out led (mainly) by what they wanted to do and not once were they bored. We could certainly see that camping and coming for the entire weekend was the ideal way to be able to experience all of what Wildhood had to offer. Here’s hoping that the weekend was such a success that the team are already busy planning year 2.’

*This review was a collaboration between myself and Jess of That Crafty Mother/Fife for Kids. We were gifted free tickets in return for a fair and honest review of our experience. You can follow Fife for Kids on Facebook here.

Learning to Swim with Merbabies

I’m going to be honest, swimming is my least favourite activity to do with the kids. I know they love it, but I always find the pools cold and because I’m usually the one holding L while she bobs about, I’m even colder. So in general, I don’t love it.

But, it’s a life skill and I’ve been planning on looking at lessons for L for a while. T’s lessons are the traditional arm-bands ones so I was intrigued to find out what Merbabies would be like since they don’t do arm bands.

Firstly, I was delighted to find that the pool in Inverkeithing High was lovely and warm. Honestly, an actual warm pool. What a treat! First hurdle down.

L is a shy little one. She’s unsure of new people and clings to me like a Koala each time we go swimming (even though she says she likes it) so I was a little worried about how she would be.

I’d love to say that she loved every single second but that would be a lie. She cried as soon as Emma-Lou, the teacher looked at her, but thankfully this didn’t last. Emma-Lou is just so lovely and warm, she engages with the little ones, but not too much so they still feel safe with their parents. She is clearly really experienced with little ones and set out fun games throughout the lesson. She made it clear that if anyone did not want to do something this was ok. No pressure to just dunk your baby right under the water…phew! It would be hard not to like her.

About 8 minutes into the lesson L was holding on to the side of the pool unaided and grinning from ear to ear. She blew bubbles in the water AND she let me partially submerge her. This from a girl who cries if her brother splashes her in the bath, is MASSIVE. I was honestly shocked at her confidence in the lesson within just a few minutes.

We had a really fun 30 minutes and L then asked me for the rest of the day if she could go back. It’s fair to say the classes get a big thumbs up from us. So much so that I will keeping an eye out for the expansion into week day classes in our area.

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Merbabies offer accredited small group lessons for babies right up to pre-school with a complete emphasis on learning through play. Do check out their Fife for Kids listing for more details on the timetable, costs and to contact the team.

Cx

*The Fife for Kids team were paid for this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely honest. Images provided by Merbabies.

 

Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

Let’s all be honest. New Year’s resolutions don’t work.

And here’s why.

We spend December living excessively. Eating and drinking pretty much constantly from the moment we wake up until we go to sleep. Routine is thrown out the window and we just live moment to moment. And the media encourages this with non-stop food and drink adverts everywhere we look. So, by the time the month ends so have the adverts and they’ve been replaced with the diet and exercise ones. So we feel crap about what we’ve consumed and how we look. Then we start nit-picking about other aspects of our lives. ‘We don’t go out enough’, ‘I’m a bad parent because I hate pretending to be a ‘insert animal here’, ‘the kids watch too much tv’, ‘I look at my phone too much’ and so on.

And we resolve to be better people.  Eat less ‘bad stuff’, start an eating plan, stop looking at social media all the time, cut down on the Gin intake or whatever else you think is ‘bad’.

Then come the end of January we’ve failed miserably and feel crap about ourselves again!

Has anyone ended a year feeling positive about having achieved this type of resolution?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely in the mood for eating a bit better and moving a bit more. But only because I’m at risk of turning into a bit of cheese and quite fancy a bit of normality. Not because I’m getting sucked into this negative thinking and feeling disgusted by myself.

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*Review* Aladdin at the Adam Smith Theatre

We were excited to be invited by OnFife Theatres to review their 2017 Panto, Aladdin at the Adam Smith Theatre. As the show was in the evening we didn’t think it was a good idea to take L so I opted to make it a mum and son night and me and T went along ourselves.

Normally I take T to see the smaller family shows that Carnegie Hall (also part of the OnFife family) puts on but the time was right to introduce him to his first panto. I did carry on the tradition by taking Lo to see Shhh…The Elves are Shy at Carnegie Hall though and although this run is now complete I would recommend to anyone with little ones under 5 that you check out Little Ulla, which runs from Thursday 21st-Saturday 23rd with tickets only £5.

Anyway, back to Saturday. As this was T’s first panto experience, it took some persuading that it was actually ok to shout out during the performance. Once he realised I wasn’t having him on he was beyond excited and couldn’t sit still. It was great to see the genuine glee on his face.

It’s been a while since I went to a panto myself and I wasn’t sure if it would all be like it used to. I was relieved to find that it was a classic, old school, traditional pantomime, with all the usual hilarity, breaking out of character and audience interaction that you would expect.

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Christmas Isn’t Perfect. And That’s OK

Some of you may have read the post I did recently where I was basically having a big ol whine about not being able to find any Christmas Glee. It’s been a tough few months and we’re definitely not out of it just yet, the house is still the number 1 talking point and for all the wrong reasons. There’s just so much to do and we’ve been fighting the clock to get it ready for our first Christmas there. I think we could have done it if we really went for it. But after Alan missing out on so many evenings and weekends because he’s been doing things at the house, it seemed a bit pointless to burn ourselves out to get in a few days before Christmas and then we would have missed the whole build up to the big day, which, lets face it, is the best part.

Also, even though it was me who was really driving the ‘let’s get in before Christmas’ dream, when I actually took a step back and thought about it is started to seem a bit silly. I’ve put Christmas on this pedestal, wanting it to live up to all sorts of Insta-worthy amazingness when really, all the children care about it playing with their new toys and seeing their cousins. The don’t even care about the Christmas dinner. They’d probably be happier with pizza if we’re all being honest about it.

So now we’ve decided not to move in before Christmas and stay with Alan’s mum and dad for it. It’s different for all of us and there’s some things we’re all having to do a little differently. For example, the Christmas tree has gone up a little later than we would have normally have done it (due to T’s incessant asking about it), but a little earlier than they would have done it (due to T’s incessant asking about it). And I’m sure it’ll be really lovely for them to see the little ones’ excitement on Christmas morning, but there’s no way they’ll be loving the fact the excitement starts at 5am.

Anyway, thinking about these small things that will be a bit different this year has got me thinking about all the utter craziness that we can get sucked into in trying to make Christmas perfect.

Before you read on, if you do any/all of the below and love it, that’s great. I’m not judging. Christmas traditions are brilliant as long as we enjoy doing them. The things I’ve noted below are simply some of the things I’ve not found so enjoyable but have been sucked into in some bid to create Christmas perfection. Read More

100 Boring Truths About Me

I was tagged in this by a fellow blogger, thanks Three Time Daddy  (which I mistyped in google there and was presented with a whole host of ‘interesting’ websites. I don’t recommend googling three TIMES daddy – instead just click the link above to check out his site. Unless you do want to google three times daddy, in which case, enjoy).

Anyway, I was too polite to tell him to take a run and jump so, below, you’ll find 100 truths about little ol me.

BASICS
Q1: What’s your name?
A – Claire.
Q2: Any nicknames or aliases?
A – Mummeeeeeeeeeeeee
Q3: Your gender?
A – Female.
Q4: Your star sign?
A – Aquarius.
Q5: How old are you?
A – 33 and 11 months.
Q6: Your relationship status?
A – 4 years into the old matrimonial adventure.
Q7: Any children?
A – Indeed. A 5 year-old son and 2 year-old daughter.
Q8: Any pets?
A – Oh I wish. When I first broached the ‘let’s get a dog’ conversation Alan suggested we have kids instead. So I’m sure that gives a clear indication of his love of animals.
Q9: Any tattoos or piercings?
A – Having removed a bunch of piercings in recent years I’m down to ears pierced twice plus my tragus and 3 tattoos (4 if you count the fact that one is a cover up). All of the above demonstrating why you should THINK before acting! I’ll still get more tattoos though as I don’t really learn from my mistakes.
Q10: What do you like about yourself?
A – Oh lord. Em. I’m a genuine kind of person, I think.
Q11: What do you dislike about yourself?
A – I can be uptight/anxious if things don’t go the way I think they should. And sometimes I’m a little too honest.
Q12: Righty or lefty?
A – Righty.

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Why I Can’t Find Any Christmas Glee

Heyyyy, remember me?

It’s December! The time for Christmas Glee. The time in which bloggers share their gift guides and post beautiful pictures of their Christmas tree, or their little ones in cute reindeer jumpers, or having a lovely family day out meeting Santa in the local grotto.

Me? It’s been a month since I’ve written anything. A good couple of weeks since I posted on Facebook or Twitter and though I’ve been updating Instagram, it’s been sporadic and pretty half-hearted if I’m honest.

I’ve kind of lost my blogging mojo.

There’s been so much going on that I feel so lethargic and at a bit of a loss about what to write. I don’t have any Christmas cheer yet! And because I do enjoy a ‘5 reasons why’ and ‘top tips’ kind of post and just writing a bit about my life doesn’t seem quite right.

It’s boring!

And won’t score me many points on the old Google rankings front.

F**k it, I’ve nothing to write about except the things that have been going on in real life so I guess it’s better than a big black hole of nothingness!

First up – I QUIT MY JOB!

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5 Great Value Christmas Activities in Fife

Ooh, I love Christmas.

More so than ever since having my children. I want to make it completely magical for them and have lots of festive days.

Every year though I’m torn between wanting to do ALL the great Christmassy days out and not wanting to get lost in the abyss of spending enough money that it could pay off the mortgage. I genuinely believe we can have a blinking great month of December without it costing an arm and a leg. Let’s all remember it’s about being together and sharing some quality time with our loved ones.

So, with this in mind, I’ve been doing my research in order to bring you, the lovely people of Fife my list of Great Value Christmas Activities and hopefully provide a little inspiration if you’re starting to think about what you’d like to get up to.

1. Take A Trip To Carnegie Hall

We all love going to the Theatre at Christmas time for a fun-filled family trip. I doubt very much that we like how much it can cost for the whole family to see a Christmas show. It can be eye watering. For the last 3 years we’ve visited Carnegie Hall and seen some brilliant shows that guess what, have NOT cost an arm and a leg.

I was so happy to see that not only is this year no different, but they have actually have a whole family festival going on this Winter.

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