Learning To Love My Body

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I wrote a post recently about when we take little J to the swimming pool it is mostly dad's in the water with the kids. Whenever I look around it is mainly women watching from the viewing area, me included.  I know how much little J enjoys swimming and going to our local pool so I have promised to make more of an effort and visit the pool with him.

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Days Out | Indoor Play Centres In Manchester

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Over the last few months we have visited lots of indoor activity / play centres, however there are three in particular that little J has said are his favourite. All completely different but all based around in and around Manchester so I thought I would share with all three.
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Our Stay At Simgill Farm Cottages

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We have just returned from a lovely family weekend break to the Lake District. We love visiting the Lakes and have previously stayed in a little Bed and Breakfast, Caravan Park or Hotel. This break was a little different as there were 14 of us in total so we needed to book somewhere big enough for us all. After a lot of searching the internet my brother in law found Simgill Farm. It's described as luxury self catering accommodation with properties that sleep up to 18 people.

Simgill Cottage
Boy standing outside Simgill Cottage
We booked Barn Court which is a detached 5 bedroom cottage that can sleep up to 14 people plus room for cots for children under 2. We have never stayed in anything like this before so we weren't  sure what to expect however after reading the reviews on TripAdvisor and browsing some photographs we were really looking forward to it.

Check in time is from 3pm however we were stuck in traffic on the journey then popped in to Kendal for some dinner first so we didn't arrive till almost 8pm. We headed to the owners house who greeted us and came across opened the cottage up, and gave us a brief tour.

Living Room at Simgill Cottage
Downstairs there was a large living area which had three sofas, tv, video and dvd player and lots of cushions and beanbags.

Downstairs Bedroom at Simgill Cottage
There was a bedroom which had one double bed and two single beds. This bedroom had a small wardrobe and 8 decent sized drawers.

An en-Suite bathroom
Across the hall from the bedroom was a small bathroom with toilet, sink and shower cubicle.

A hallway leading to the kitchen
Dining Room at Simgill Cottage
Just along the hall was the kitchen. It was fully equipped with a huge dining room table. It wasn't big enough for all of us to sit around at the same time due to highchairs however there were extra chairs and breakfast bar stools available.

The kitchen had everything you needed from a self catering cottage. It had a huge double oven, microwave, kettle, toaster and lots of cutlery, glasses, plates etc.

There was also a fridge, dishwasher and washer/dryer.

Outside there was a huge garden area, hammock with stand, BBQ and a hot tub which is available to use at an extra cost. I am sad to say that we didn't use the outside area at all we were too busy exploring the Lakes.

Master bedroom at Simgill Cottage
en-suite bathroom
Upstairs there were 4 bedrooms. A Master bedroom with ensuite and a single bed.

Double bedroom at Simgill Cottage
a double bedroom plus single bed
Two double rooms and the last bedroom had a double bed and a single bed. There was also a bathroom upstairs too.

Simgill had provided us with two travel cots, two highchairs and stair gates were fitted, so really child friendly and saved some space in the cars travelling up.

An Alpaca Farm
Simgill Farm is home to over 100 Alpacas and we were lucky enough to book a time slot to go up to the fields and see them.

Boy feeding alpacas
Boy feeding alpacas
Boy feeding alpacas
This was free of charge and I would definitely recommend it. The owners were very friendly and answered any questions we had about the Alpacas and also gave us buckets of food so we could feed them.

Travelling in a group of 14 including 4 small children I was a bit unsure whether it would be big enough and whether we would all have enough space as I know we were all bringing toys etc but it honestly was. It never felt overcrowded and I know the four of us felt like we had lots of space and could head to our bedroom should we need a quick rest.

Big J shared a room with his cousin even though our room had two single beds so it was just the three of us. The extra bed was used as a place to store things so that did come in handy.

Like I said earlier we have never been to this type of accommodation before so had no idea what to bring so we did pack everything we could think of however there are a few things we didn't need.

Whats Included.

Towels - There were plenty of bath towels and hand towels on each bed.

Toilet Rolls - We only used the downstairs bathroom as our bedroom was downstairs and there were two rolls provided. I did top this up with our own toilet rolls as this bathroom probably got used the most by everyone.

Hand Soap - there was a small bar of soap provided and small toiletries.

Tea/Coffee - Again a small selection of tea/coffee is provided (similar to those found in hotel rooms)

Entertainment - There were a selection of videos and dvds in the living area, playing cards and also some family board games such as scrabble.

Wifi - Free and was very good considering we were in the Lake District

Highchairs/Cots - available on request.

A visit to the Alpacas - Definitely worth a visit. The kids loved it.

What To Bring

Food/Drink - It's self catering so unless you want to eat out then I would recommend bringing some food especially breakfast/snacks. There is a Morrisons and Aldi about a 10/15 minute drive away.

Hairdryer - I brought my own anyway but I didn't spot one in the rooms.

Iron - there was a board however couldn't find an iron.

Kitchen Roll - I was lost without this because I use it for everything.

Kitchen Foil - The trays in the oven where already lined but I brought extra and it was used.

Overall we had a great stay at Simgill Farm, I think we all wished it was for longer. It's a great base for visiting the Lakes. Kendal is about a 20 minute drive away, Bowness/Windermere/Ambleside is about 30/40 minutes and Coniston was approx 1 hour away.

Departure time was 10am so it was nice to get up and enjoy breakfast before we left. When it was time to go the owners popped over to say goodbye and also to start cleaning for the next guests who were arriving that afternoon. It does seem very popular so booking in advance is definitely recommended.

The lake district
Would we visit again? Definitely if we could get a big group together again. Like I said earlier I wished we had booked for longer as there is so much to see and do in the Lakes, an extra few days would have been great.

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The Finishing Touches Thanks To Hello Canvas

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It's so nice to use the words finishing touches because that means that our house is finally done. It's taken a long time but I can now say that our home makeover is now complete thanks to our last two photo frames which arrived a few weeks ago from Hello Canvas.
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Dealing With Unexpected Expenses

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I am really looking forward to the Summer holidays this year and being off with the boys. Although we haven't booked a holiday or got any days out planned, we will be hoping to book something shortly. We have had lots of unexpected bills and expenses recently so unfortunately our savings had to come to the rescue. We often have months like this when we seem to pay out more than we expect and it is something that I do try and plan for because obviously you never know what's going to happen but unfortunately I hadn't planned well enough.
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Giveaway - Win a £25 Prezzo Gift Card

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You may have seen my recent posts about our visit to Prezzo. We had a lovely evening sampling the new Summer menu and drinks. We cannot wait to go back over the Summer and we are giving you the chance to try out the new menu too by offering our readers the chance to win a £25 Prezzo gift card.
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Disney On Ice - Dream Big Coming To UK This Autumn

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When I heard about that Disney On Ice was returning this Autumn with a new show I was eager to see how it could top the show we saw a few years ago. When I saw the announcement that Dream Big will feature Moana, Frozen, Beauty and The Beast, Tangled, The Little Mermaid and Aladdin I was so excited, what a fantastic bunch of characters. 
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CBBC Summer Social Is Coming To Liverpool

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We are so excited about CBBC Summer Social coming to Liverpool this year. We have been to something very similar in the South a few years ago and it was amazing. This time it is our hometown and we cannot wait to attend.
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Exploring Cheshire This Summer

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The Summer Holidays is one of my favourite times of year. I get the whole school holidays off with the boys and together we love planning all the things we want to get up to. Days out is usually top of the list as we love being out and about and this Summer we are going to be #ExploringCheshire. We are so lucky to live close to Cheshire as we get to experience all the fantastic things to do and see.
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