Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Shrewsbury Food Festival 2018 With the Mooses

I am pretty sure you have all heard of this festival - 'Shrewbury Food Festival'. It sure has over the years made a name for itself and rightly so. It deserves the rave reviews it has required. It really does.
Now, I won't lie - Our attendance at this festival was all very last minute so we couldn't experience everything that this festival had to offer. A bit gutting really but totally our fault. With this in mind we are super excited to get planning our experience next year.

We went along to the Saturday afternoon. From the second we pulled up to park the atmosphere around Shrewsbury was just grand. My daughter kept exclaiming "Mommy. I am so excited!" Got a festival baby on our hands it would appear. There's a lot of parking in and around Shrewsbury so no issue there. I mention this as many of you ask often about parking and access. We wandered on up to the festival field, trying as best we could to contain our kids excitement. We were failing as they could hear the live music and just wanted to get their 'floss' on. The live music was something else!

As soon as we entered the event every angle offered something for us to look at. Be it large iron animals or be it FOOD obviously - food. My goodness there was food everywhere. The smells were insane. I'd started to dribble before I even spied a burger. The smells in and around this place were incredible. So good infact, you're just permanently hungry as you wander about. Good though as you can just keep eating and trying new things. Perhaps not so good for your waist line but hey, make it your cheat day. :-)

All of my children were given a bright orange wrist band. I popped my name and number upon their bands. A lovely member of the team (a volunteer I must add) made them aware of all the members of staff walking around in orange Tshirts. She told them they were there to help and if they found themselves lost or in danger they were to go up to these people, explain their situation and make them aware of their wrist bands. I was super impressed with this. It made me feel so reassured. Bringing kids along to the festival was a bit of a scary thought before hand. I was worried about them not being able to be free as Daddy and I would constantly be telling them to not move, hold hands etc but this simple safety band really put our minds at ease. So simple yet so effective. We felt like the kids had a little more freedom with these on meaning they could really let loose and get their festival vibe on.

Our time at the festival was much shorter than we would have liked. Unfortunately, my work commitments just didn't allow me any more time. We did however manage to cram a fair bit in to our few hours there together.
We spent most of our time in the children's quarter and listening to the cracking live music. To be honest, all that mattered to my husband and I was that the kids were having an ace time. Which they were. They loved it. We really do have an outdoors, festival loving bunch on our hands.
The children's quarter offered A lot for kids to do. The 'Little `explorers' tent totally stole my children's hearts. It was filled to the brim with really interactive fun and educational toys. We had to peel our children out of this tent. It had their focus straight away. Every child in that tent was super busy and engaged. Plus, they were offering all the children drinks free of charge. With the heat, this was a life saver. I loved the fact that no matter where you were within this festival you could hear the live music playing in the background. You constantly felt like you were in the thick of it, not missing out on anything.
Every tent you went to had very enthusiastic and friendly staff busily working away within them. You were never short of someone to find advice or direction from. Plus, they had a baby changing tent. Winner!

We would have loved to have stayed at this festival for far, far longer. Time just did not allow but from what we experienced, I would highly recommend it to families with a passion for food, outdoors and music. My advice would be yes, it is a food festival with loads to try but pack a small picnic too just so you can really spend the day there and camp down. Try the foods it has to offer, join the queues, get stuck in and embrace the festival vibe. Go for the music alone if your'e a music lover. The bands were incredible. At one point pretty much every one was up dancing. It was great to see.

Mini - Mooses thoughts on 'Shrewsbury Food Festival' :-
"I really like the feel of a festival. I like that I am outside and able to listen to music all day. This festival was great as it had pigs there. I love pigs and my sister loves Peppa Pig. I loved the inflatable assault course most of all. It was green. I love green. We had a really good day!"

This post comes to you from Momma Moose Diaries in partnership with Discover Telford Visit Shropshire. Follow my adventures over on Facebook and Instagram as we experience many more days out in and around Telford and Shropshire.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Momma Moose's MOMMAS

A group just for you Mommas. Following supportive discussions and Momma fist bumping over on my blogs Facebook Page - Momma Moose Diaries. I thought it only right to give you Mommas your own space. You know, somewhere where you can discuss the 7 cup cakes you just rammed in your mouth whilst hiding in the pantry with little hands a knocking the door, pretending your looking for the last tin of beans. Or the tights you wear up to your tits to keep you warm without the risk of it being public enough your partner realises you're a secret eater and it isn't the kids raiding the biscuit tin really. Joking aside Mommas, use this space. Make it a hub to discuss openly anything you wish. Be it your space to have a laugh or your space to get serious, we are all here to support you. To support one another and anyone failing to do that will be shown the virtual door, you hear? You are here because you want to raise your 'Momma' fist high in the air alongside other Mommas that raise theirs with you. You are here to listen, to guide, to advise, be polite, influence, inspire, ask, give, share, discuss but most importantly SUPPORT!


Saturday, 7 April 2018

Are We Done With 3 Children?

It's a bit of a cheeky question really isn't it? But, one that I know people just can't help themselves from asking. And, I can't blame them. I see big families and constantly wonder if they are at their biggest or if they actually wish to expand more. Plus, I don't mind people asking me at all. I quite like it when people can be open with me and enjoy me being more so in return. I talk a lot about my family. I share a lot. It would be ridiculous for me to expect no one to ever question me or for me to   be offended when challenged.
So, in response to your question - Honestly, I am not sure. I know, I know that is such a boring and deflating response for you all. I know that. I'm sorry but it's the truth. I have no clue.
I, in no way have that final feeling where my family is concerned. I can't say I absolutely do not want any more children because I absolutely do not know that. I totally understand and think it's great when people can be so definite and content with their family that they know no more children are on the cards. That must be quite a nice feeling as it allows you to think about the future a little differently I guess. I suppose planning is a little more easier when your decision is final and agreed. In a way it's annoying that I am so undecided. It sort of messes with future plans a little you see. It tampers with ideas.
Mind you, who knows, we may not actually have a choice on the number of children we are yet to have. Mother Nature may have already sussed it out for us. We may already be at our max where kids are concerned. Who knows? Who actually knows?

My husband and I talk a lot about this and at great length but we never come to any conclusion. We can never give a definite.
I don't think we have to. We don't have to. And, I know for many of my readers this is probably a totally annoying answer to a question you've been burning to ask. I'm sorry about that. Right now, all I can say is, Honestly, in response to the 'will you have more children?' question, I am not sure. A little bit of me enjoys the dynamic of our family as it is now. I like the way we are growing together and the way we experience things. I like the fact that we can now all communicate with one another and the kids are getting to know their relationships. I like that. But, then I like the idea of giving my 3 another friend, a little someone to nurture and care for. That's a nice thought. I like the idea of a larger age gap this time round, welcoming a new born into a family with big BIG brothers and sisters. Yes, I like that. I like that too.
Sounds cliche and cheesy but who knows what the future holds? What OUR future holds? I think I'm happy just ploughing along as we are in the knowledge that we have no real knowledge where this is concerned and you know what? That's okay!

Monday, 6 November 2017

Ironbridge. Blists Hill Victorian Town.

Half term came and went very quickly didn't it? No sooner was it here, it was gone. Just like that. Yes, it went by quickly but it did not go by quietly. No siree. We had a fabulous week. It really was the best fun.
We knew our week together would be precious as Daddy works all the hours normally, often missing the kids for days on end. So, we had planned on filling our days to the brim and just enjoying one another greatly. We achieved this. We totally did.
One of our favourite days being our Sunday spent at 'Blists Hill Victorian Town' in Ironbridge. It truly was a wonderful day. Not only did the kids enjoy themselves but us oldies were more than entertained throughout our stay also.

Upon our arrival the Reception staff were more than accommodating. Not only did they explain in detail what the day had in store for us to us Parents, they also took note of the children and included them in the introduction. We received a map and were directed clearly to the nearest lift as we had the pushchair with our littlest in with us. The happy, polite staff certainly set us up for a lovely day and the staff kindness didn't stop there. Every member of staff we met along the way throughout our day showed the same level of care and attentiveness. In my books that's a real winner where days out are concerned especially when you have the whole Family out with you. It's always good to know that nothing is too much trouble. You can't beat a good team of staff offering great customer care.

I really don't want to give a great deal away to you regarding what you see and experience on the day as it was the element of surprise that I enjoyed the most whilst visiting the museum. I love how you just sort of stumble across wonderful finds whilst you're there. Literally behind every door there is something to see and every corner holds a small story. I liked that I didn't know what was coming next. Obviously, we had the map as reference but what we actually saw once we got to each point was just so story telling and magnificent. It's beautiful. And, yes - We found the sweetshop. Oh and the pub .... Yup, we found that! I feel that this may be the point to tell you to take cash with you. The pub does not accept card. Boo. But, now you know so there's no excuse.

I love that you can literally spend as little or as long there as you like. You could easily kill a whole day at this Museum without even realising. Equally you could stroll around for a couple of hours and have just as much fun. The atmosphere is very relaxed and you totally take this Town in your stride. This is appealing to families with young children. You don't feel rushed or pressured into moving quicker etc. They offer multiple picnic areas throughout the Museum also which is really helpful. You don't have to worry about spending extra money on food or being judged for bringing your own lunch along. Food, in mind - If you can you MUST give the fish and chips at the chip shop a try They are delicious. DELICIOUS I tell you. Who doesn't love a potato deep fried in beef dripping drenched in salt and vinegar? ;-) There are also multiple cafes on site offering both hot and cold food. It's an accommodating place.

One thing I noted about this museum that I knew I had to share with you - The male toilets offer changing facilities for babies within them. Now, this may sound simple to some and very obvious. But, believe me often that is not the case. So many places we visit only offer baby changing within the ladies toilets. It's wrong, I know. Yet it happens. So, I knew this piece of info would be important and appreciated by many of you lot.
Oh if you are planning on visiting whilst sporting the highest of stilettos please don't. Wear comfortable, practical shoes. Sounds highly boring but it's totally true. Whilst at the museum you walk a lot. Be prepared for it. There's no way around it. You have got to walk people!

If you get a chance whilst out and about you should definitely check this museum out. It's living and it really is wonderful. We had the most informative and exciting day out. It's extremely accessible and very interactive. It offers something for all ages really. Okay, so there isn't a soft play to chuck your littlies in (Odd comment I know. You'll be surprised what you see written online) but it isn't necessary. It's a really good fun day out. One of which I am sure you will ALL enjoy.
We are yet to attend but I hear the events they run here are pretty amazing also ie: Halloween, Bonfire night, Christmas etc. You should totally check it all out online and pay them a visit. Would I recommend this to a friend? Yes! I totally would. I see no reason what so ever to not go along and have a bucket full of fun. Go enjoy the walk, the smells, the fish and chips, the sweets, the experience, the pint, the pie, the theatre. Just go. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

How To Make Magic Filled Wands

Anyone else got Harry Potter mad kiddlets? I mean, we are all a tad Harry Potter obsess aren't we really? Even if we don't admit it we know deep down we are somewhat intrigued. With that in mind and my sons love for all things wizardry we got our craft on yesterday and made a handful of beautiful wands.

Now, you know me. I love a craft and a bit of mess but I do love it to be simple. And, this little activity does not disappoint. It is so simple. So fun yet so effective.

What you will need:
  • A small selection of thick sticks. Don't have them too thin as they will break fairly easily when getting your wizard on.
  • PVA glue.
  • Glitter
What you need to do:
  • Take your sticks (wands) and cover the tip in PVA glue. We cheated a little here and just shoved the stick into the bottle of PVA glue covering the end nicely.
  • Hold your stick (wand) over a piece of paper and get sprinkling your glitter all over the PVA glued area.
  • Leave your wands to dry. Try to tilt them up slightly so they aren't resting on the paint. Keep turning them as they are drying so that they don't drip.
  • VOILA!
Ideally leave them to dry over night. You see, when you are sleeping the magic happens. It is when your eyes are closed and your in the land of nod that your wands will become filled with spells and power. If your wand requires a top up of magic leave it out on your window sill when there is a full moon. It is on the evening of a full moon when the world is most enchanted.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Live and Let Live

As a Blogger, A mother, A social sharer I get asked a lot about my parenting choices. I lie, I don't get asked a lot. I get asked constantly. I don't mind this. I am happy to share my views on things and it is only my views that I am sharing it is not my instruction. I do not feel the need to tell any parent how or how not to raise their children. That isn't my job and it isn't the point of this blog. I share my experiences and offer a little outlet to those that read it. This in mind, it is hardly surprising that people easily ask me questions. It is easy to presume that I am just happy to chat about it. Of course it's easy to presume that. I share my everyday life online for goodness sake. I take that into account and generally am more than happy to answer questions when asked.
I have no right or wrong. I have 3 children each one of them different. Each one of them require different boundaries, discipline, types of play etc. They are not all the same person. I don't treat them like they are. They are all individuals with differing personalities. So, the way I raise them has to change slightly from child to child. Yes, the basics remain the same for each of them. You know, the good manners, etiquette, mindfulness etc. But, not every situation for each of my children is dealt with in the same way. I won't lie and make out that they are miles apart in personality. They have their similarities for sure but ultimately they are different people. You're probably wondering where I am going with this. Well, I feel that Parents and Parental choices are taking over the media at the minute. Especially Social Media. You can't do right from wrong being a parent can you? You're damned if you do and you are damned if you don't. Well, that's how it feels. I'm pretty sure most would agree. The media is full of conflicting advice for Mothers and Fathers. What we should and shouldn't feed our children. How we should and shouldn't put our children to sleep. What we should and shouldn't allow our children to wear. What we can and can't allow our children to play with. How a child should or shouldn't be disciplined. This so called 'advice' is everywhere. One site saying one thing and another saying the opposite. It's a battlefield out there for us parents. It really is. And, I get asked about this a lot. When I say 'this' I mean all the online articles, interviews, videos, status updates that shared daily. People ask me my opinion on ALL of this stuff all the time. And, my thoughts pretty much always remain the same -

Live and let live. 

I tell my children every day - Just be you. You do what makes you happy. You only get one shot at this life and I truly believe that you should live it for you. When I say that, I don't mean go off and worry about no one else. Of course, I don't mean that but if you are happy with you are, love yourself then you will happy to feel that way about others. You will accept others and their happiness. You will be able to look deeper and see a bigger picture. You will be far more accepting and understanding. You will be selfless and care for others far more in doing so also for yourself. Stop worrying about what the World is telling you, you should do and just do what makes you happy. If no one is getting hurt and you are enjoying the life you lead then you are doing something right. Does it really matter what my children play with? If my daughter wishes to play with cars then she will play with cars. My Son a dolly then so bloody be it. It's absurd that we still have this notion of pink for girls, blue for boys. Babies for girls, football for boys. It is absurd. It's unnecessary. I still to this day am unsure as to what people think will happen if we allow our children to play with a toy of their choice and not a toy of their gender. Is it the fear that they may turn gay? Why is that even a fear? Why are we fearful of this? Just stop. And, everyone knows you don't just turn gay. You are born gay. Fact. A toy will not make that decision for you. Plus, it isn't even a decision. I repeat you are born gay. That's who you are and it should flaming well be celebrated by not only others but you too. And, believe me now if any of my children grow to tell me they were born gay I would be just as proud of them as I would upon finding out one of them was straight. What does it matter? Surely happiness is all that matters. If we are honest with others and ourselves isn't that all what we ideally want for our children? Happiness? Live and let live. Live your life to the full. Do what feels right and do what makes you happy.
It is not wrong to puree your children's dinner. Just like it isn't wrong to baby led wean. Neither of these things are incorrect. You do what you do. Each method of weaning is safe and advised. Stop judging another parent because they chose to do something a tad different to you. Stop. Just stop. Live and let live.
In order to get this across to my children, live and let live. I totally practice what I preach. I do what makes me happy. It has took me many years to feel totally at ease with it but it is always what I have done. I am not defined by the way I look or the colours I choose. I have my hair the way I have it because it makes me happy. The clothes I wear make me happy. The choices I make, make me happy.
Just be you. Please. No one else is youer that you. That much is true.
I could go on and on talking about this. I won't but I could.

Keep your eyes peeled for my next post. This post has totally got me all fired up!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Momma Moose Wears

Some of you may already be aware of this. Some might not. So, for those aware allow me to remind. For those unaware allow me to inform.
It is no secret that a blog reader especially a 'Mommy' blog or 'Family, Lifestyle' blog reader loves a good style and fashion post. Come on, I know you do. There are many a Blogger out there sharing with their readers what they wear on a day to day basis. I love watching those vlogs and reading those blogs. I'm sure there are many that don't but there are also loads of us that do.

I love fashion and enjoy my wardrobe very much. Style is important to me. I know many people see 'Mom style' and 'School run style' as utterly pointless and boring. But, it matters to me. It really does. I enjoy dressing up and I enjoy the clothes that I wear. If I didn't have my style I'd literally have nothing other than Motherhood which in many respects is fine but I'm not willing to give it up. So, before you judge a Mother on her look and fashion sense at the School gates just stop and think. Lt's be honest you can never get it right can you? You create a cool outfit and you're being over the top and indulgent as a Parent. You turn up in joggers and a sweater and you're being lazy and slobbish as a Parents. Honestly, most days the School run is my only chance to chat to other adults and feel a little free. If I didn't make the effort clotheswise for it then I might as well be in pyjamas all day.

Over the last few weeks I have received a lot of emails regarding my style (if you can call it that.) Many people are curious and fascinated by it and others just like to give me a thumb up (or thumbs down) every now and then. I love hearing from you guys and I love adapting what I do to suit my readers. So, with your recent messages in mind I have now started 'MOMMA MOOSE WEARS' over on  my Facebook page. Basically, I share with my followers my outfit everyday. If and where I can I post tags to the shops that items are brought from. It's nothing too serious. It's just a bit of fun. You should check it out if style matters to you.