Wednesday 30 December 2015

Eliot's First Ice Skate at Frosts Willington

We were recently invited to try out ice skating at one of the Frosts garden centres. Back in my teenage days I used to ice skate nearly every weekend with my friends so I was really keen to get back on the ice over the festive period!
We were originally booked in to ice skate on the 12th December. We arrived around our skate time, went to get our skates and I purchased a ticket for a skating aid  (the orange seal) which cost £4 for Eliot to sit on/hold on to out on the rink. I was surprised there were tickets left for the skating aids as the website forewarns you to arrive early to ensure you can get one for your skate session.
Once I had my ice skates on and Eliot had his toddler skates on over his trainers we headed for the ice. I could see as we approached the entrance to the rink that someone was getting on to the ice with the last skating aid. I asked a member of staff if there were any more as we had bought a ticket for one. I was told there wasn't which I knew would be the case and questioned why we were able to buy a ticket. The member of staff called a colleague over and they counted the amount of tickets that had been handed over which identified somebody had managed to sneak on the ice with a skating aid without buying a ticket. The staff were apologetic and called the manager over who was already talking to another family who appeared to have the same issue as us. By this point Eliot was quite restless and kept repeating 'I want to go on the seal'. When the manager got to us he apologised and took us in to the outdoor café, got us some drinks and cake while he went to see if we could be booked on to the next skate session. Unfortunately this wasn't possible as there was a birthday party and the next session we could get booked on to was two hours later. We didn't think hanging around for two hours with Eliot would be a good idea so the manager booked us in for a skating session the following weekend and refunded the £4 I'd paid for the skating aid. Even though I was disappointed that we didn't get to skate that day, I felt the manager did the upmost to keep us as customers satisfied and I was impressed with how the situation was dealt with.
Fast forward to the following weekend, I made sure we were there early, to ensure we did get a skating aid. This coincided with the previous skate session finishing, so it was a little busy with people handing their skates back to get their shoes on whilst we were doing the opposite. I'd purchased another ticket (£4) for a skating aid and sent my other half off to get it whilst I sorted out Eliot's toddler skates to go over his trainers. They were really easy to adjust the length and the adjustable straps just had to be tightened once Eliot's feet were in. Eliot wasn't too keen on having them on his feet but was still excited to be 'going on a seal'. We had to wait a few minutes before the session started (sessions last for 45 minutes) but once the rink was open for our session, Eliot and I were keen to get on the ice. We were one of the first people on, the session kicked off with Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas' playing through the speakers which made me feel really festive and set a lovely 'christmassy' atmosphere.
Even though I skated most weekends as a teen it was mostly for the social side, I was never a 'good skater' and my fear of falling over and hurting myself stopped me from letting go on the ice. Now I'm older and wiser that fear is certainly still there and worse than what it was back then, so I was quite relieved that I did have a skating aid boost my confidence! It took a few minutes for me to find my feet on the ice but I got there. It was wonderful hearing Eliot giggle with enjoyment as I pushed him around.
As we were one of the first people on the ice we got to skate around for a bit before it got quite busy. I'm glad we had some time with the rink being quite quiet as I felt my confidence decreasing the busier it got. It was quite comical watching people drag themselves round holding on to the sides, which is exactly what I would have been doing if I didn't have the skating aid to hold on to!

Eliot was adamant he wanted to push the seal himself at one point, being two he didn't really understand he would slip over easily on the ice, which is exactly what happened. He was fine and still attempted to push the aid himself but quickly decided he'd rather ride the seal, so I helped him clamber back on.
After around 20 minutes Eliot decided he wanted to get off the seal so I was left on the ice by myself, thankfully still with the skating aid. I did attempt to skate solo but was too worried I'd fall and not be able to get back up! So I skated with the aid weaving in and out of the other skaters.
To miss the rush of returning skates and collecting shoes I decided to leave the ice five minutes early which meant the process was very quick and easy.
We then headed to the heated ice café for a hot drink and treat which was a perfect way to end our skating session.
I really enjoyed skating at Frosts Willington and definitely recommend trying it out if you're not too far from a Frosts that offers ice skating before the ice rinks disappear at the beginning of January. I loved skating outdoors and think it makes a great family activity. It would ne a fab way to end the holidays before the kids go back to school!
Ice skating at frost is £14.99 for an adult & toddler ticket. £8.99 each for adults and £7.99 for Children.
* I received an adult & toddler skating ticket in exchange for a blog post. All views and opinions are my own.

Monday 14 December 2015

My Christmas Wishlist

This year I hadn't really given any thought to what I'd like for Christmas, mainly because I've been so busy at work. The only thing I have really been after is a new camera as Eliot damaged the shutter on my current one.
But as I've been shopping for others online or in the shops there have been a few things that have caught my eye and I have added a few more things to my Christmas List.
Top Left: I love ankle boots in the the winter, especially under trousers or jeans. These lovelies are from Jones The Bootmaker on sale at the moment for £69.00. I love the zip detail and the small heel. I can't cope with high heeled footwear these days but these still have a bit of a heel for a bit of extra height. I think they look great for a day to evening look too!
Top Right: Who doesn't have a favourite festive tipple, right? I'm not much of a drinker these days but it's nice to relax with a couple of drinks over the festive season. I'm a big fan of amaretto sours but I'm also happy with  an amaretto and diet coke. This special edition Disaronno is 'dressed' in Robert Cavali too for a bit of a twist.
Bottom Left: We are desperate to get new bathrooms in the new year and with that I think we need some new towels. This isometric design from John Lewis really caught my eye, I love the colours and think they would look great in the type of bathroom we are planning.
Bottom Centre: As I mentioned I'm in need of a new camera and my heart is set on the Canon G7X. I really want to get back in to vlogging and I know this is a favourite amongst vloggers. I've heard it's not too great with photographs but that hasn't put me off!
Bottom Right: I have loved Cath Kidston products for years, the first mug I had was bought as a gift I dropped it on the floor a year or two later which upset me! I currently have a 'flowery' mug that I drink my morning coffee out of at the moment but I wouldn't mind this red bus edition to my mug cupboard. I bought Eliot a bag in this print so he would probably think it was for him.
So there we have it, a range of bits and bobs I would love to find under the Christmas tree this year!
What's on your wishlist this Christmas?

I'm linking up with Blogging Mummy's Anything Goes linky.

Sunday 13 December 2015

My Sunday Photo 13/12/15 Visiting Santa

It's not a great photo but it certainly a memorable one. This year is the first year Eliot is really beginning to understand what Santa is all about. I was super excited to take him to a local garden centre to visit him this year. I actually have a new found love for garden centres after visiting this particular one, it was so Christmassy!
Before we went in to meet Santa the children made reindeer food for put out on Christmas idea, they then sang Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer with some of Santa's elves. Santa was great and told everyone a story before meeting with the children. Eliot was very excited and almost couldn't keep still to have his photo taken!


Saturday 5 December 2015

Our Plans For Christmas 2015

On 19th December 2014 we moved from London to Bedfordshire, to say things didn't go to plan would be a huge understatement. You can read about our move here if you fancy it. Things have been up and down the entire year for many different reasons so we both feel it's really important that this Christmas is a good one.
Initially we thought it would be nice to spend it as just the three of us. Quiet, not stressing about cooking for more people etc but then we had a change of heart, after all Christmas is about spending time with your nearest and dearest. Eliot loves being around people, especially his grandparents so it makes sense that we spend it with them too! So we've invited my parents and the other halves mum to spend Christmas at ours. I must admit I'm not completely looking forward to all the cooking, the last time I cooked Christmas dinner was in 2010 and I found it quite stressful. Fingers crossed I don't ruin the turkey and I can get all the food out on time! That I aside I am looking forward to it, I'm feeling a lot more 'Christmassy' since our tree went up today (a lot later than I planned!)
We also have a few other bits planned over the festive period. I want to take Eliot to see Father Christmas at a local garden centre, all the weekend slots are booked so I just need to decide when's the best day/time to go.
Next weekend we're going ice skating, a first for Eliot so I'm not quite sure how it will pan out but I'm hoping I'll get him on the ice at least! I predict it will be an issue to get the skates on him as he has chunky feet and I'm pretty certain he'll put up a fight.
Another first for Eliot will be a theatre trip, we're going to see The Gruffalo on stage. Even though I've seen it twice before (teacher perks ;p) I'm excited but also a little apprehensive  as Eliot isn't exactly a toddler who sits still! I'm hoping we'll make it through the performance but if not we'll have to make a quiet escape!
Those are some definite things that we'll be doing, I do want to go to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, we've visited the past couple of years so it will be nice to take Eliot back now he's that bit older.
I'm hoping we can fit some other family activities in too!
What are your plans for this Christmas? 
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