Pretty Woman The Musical Review

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I have waited what seems an eternity since receiving my tickets as a present to see Pretty Woman The Musical and I can honestly say it was worth the wait. I always worry watching the stage show version of such an iconic movie such as Dirty Dancing and The Rocky Horror Show but they are always done so well and Pretty Woman The Musical was everything I had hoped it would be. 

pretty woman the musical poster


I'm sure you all know the plot to the movie Pretty Woman but if you don't then Pretty Woman is a true fairytale. Vivian works on Hollywood Boulevard with her room mate Kit as they try to make enough money to pay rent. Edward is a successful business man who finds himself in need of some directions to his hotel room at the prestigious Regent Beverly Wilshire. 

What starts as just a one time thing, Edward and Vivian are drawn to each other and after making a business deal to spend the next 6 days together we watch as their love for each other grows and grows and the unlikely couple soon seem a perfect match. 

I knew I was going to love Pretty Woman The Musical as it is one of my favourite movies but I absolutely loved the songs. I thought both Edward and Vivian really showcased their vocal talents but for me Edward stole the show. His singing was effortless and I'm glad he got the chance to showcase his talent throughout the show. Filling Richard Gere's shoes is a hard task, but he did the job!

Pretty Woman The Musical is touring the UK and more information on venues and dates can be found below. 

23 Jan - 3 Feb 2024 - Liverpool Empire

5 Feb -  10 Feb 2024 - Hull New Theatre

12 Feb - 17 Feb 2024, New Wimbledon Theatre

20 Feb - 24 Feb 2024, Grand Opera House York

27 Feb - 16 Mar 2024, Palace Theatre Manchester

19 Mar - 30 Mar 2024, Milton Keynes Theatre

2 Apr - 13 Apr 2024, Edinburgh Playhouse

15 Apr - 20 Apr 2024, Theatre Royal Plymouth

29 Apr - 5 May 2024, Wales Millennium Centre

6 May - 11 May 2024, Churchill Theatre, Bromley

14 May - 25 May 2024, Leeds Heritage Theatre

28 May - Sat 8 Jun 2024, Sunderland Empire

15 Jul - Sat 20 Jul 2024, Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent

20 Aug - Sat 24 Aug 2024, The Alexandra, Birmingham

Have you booked your tickets to see Pretty Woman yet?

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Michelle
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Murder In The Dark Review

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Disclosure - we were invited to watch Murder in the Dark. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

I have loved going to the theatre since I was a little girl and it's only until the past few years that I have started to enjoy shows that are not musicals. Musicals have always been my favourite but since watching The Mouse Trap it opened a new door for me and now I have seen a wide range of stage shows and I hope to continue to enjoy them as much as I have. This week we went along to one of our favourite theatre venues in the North West, The Lowry to see Murder In The Dark. 

Murder in the dark programme


I'm not a fan of reading reviews of theatre shows before I've seen them however I had heard that Murder In The Dark was a show that would keep you on the edge of your seat with an atmospheric staging and plenty of jump scares. It certainly did have me jumping in my seat a few times and the staging was the perfect setting for this show. 

The show takes place on New Year’s Eve, when the 'has been' pop sensation Danny Sierra crashes his car on a deserted road. Luckily Mrs Bateman is soon to the rescue and she brings the famous but troubled singer Danny Sierra and his dysfunctional family to an isolated holiday cottage in rural England. As soon as she shows them to her cottage the atmosphere becomes spooky with lights turning off and on sporadically as well as the TV. 

the cast of murder in the dark around the table


Over the course of the night we dig deep in to Danny's past as he is joined in the cottage with his much younger girlfriend Sarah, his ex wife Rebecca, his late teens son Jake and his brother who he was once in a band with. We find out that the choices and the sacrifices Danny made in the past will always come back to haunt him. 

Murder In The Dark is touring the UK with a list of venues and dates below.

Jan 23 - Jan 27 2024 , Salford, The Lowry
Book Tickets Online Here

Jan 29 - Feb 03 2024, Southend-On-Sea, Palace Theatre

Feb 06 - Feb 10 2024, Cambridge Arts Theatre

Feb 27 - Mar 02 2024, Cardiff, New Theatre

Mar 05 - Mar 09 2024, Cheltenham, Everyman Theatre

Mar 12 - Mar 16 2024, New Brighton, Floral Pavilion Theatre & Blue Lounge

Mar 19 - Mar 23 2024, Richmond Theatre, Surrey

Mar 25 - Mar 30 2024, Glasgow, the Pavilion Theatre

At the moment the show is only touring until the end of March 2024 however I am sure it will continue beyond this date as it really is a great watch and a great cast including Tom Chambers and Susie Blake. 

Have you booked your tickets to Murder in the Dark yet?

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Michelle
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Penguin Experiences In The UK

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This post was last updated Jan'24 and contains affiliate links. 

This year Penguin Awareness Day is celebrated on 20th January and whether you are a penguin lover or not it's sad to hear that each year penguin numbers are dwindling. Celebrating Penguin Awareness Day or National Penguin Day can help support penguins by donating to charities or you can visit your local zoo to find out more about penguins. You can help save penguins by buying a tracking bracelet where a portion of proceeds go to the global penguin society or penguin experiences are a great way to get up close to the penguins and learn more about them. 

penguin


Penguin Cove Experience At Chester Zoo, Chester CH2 1LE
Chester Zoo offers penguin lovers the chance to feed the penguins from their purpose-built feeding area. The Humboldt penguins who live in the penguin habitat will search for the fish as you throw them in the water. 

You will be given an expert keeper as your dedicated guide at Penguin Cove. Here you will learn fascinating facts and your guide will be able to answer all of your penguin related questions.

Each experience lasts 1 hour which include 20 minutes on the Penguin Cove feeding platform.

It's the perfect way to meet and feed the Humboldt penguins.

As a reminder of this unforgettable experience you will be given an exclusive gift and personalised experience certificate

As the experience takes place inside Chester Zoo, free admission is included within the price of the Penguin Cover Experience. 


penguin lying on the ground


Adopt A Penguin At Blackpool Zoo, E Park Dr, Blackpool FY3 8PP
Have you ever wanted to own a penguin? Unfortunately in the UK it would be really hard for us to have a penguin as a pet however at Blackpool Zoo you have the opportunity to adopt a penguin. 

Adopting a penguin helps to support Blackpool Zoo maintain a high standard of animal welfare. It also gives you the opportunity to learn about your favourite animal. 

When you adopt a penguin at Blackpool Zoo you will receive:
12 month adoption of your penguin
Two admission tickets to Blackpool Zoo
Personalised certificate of adoption
Fascinating factsheet
Thank you letter
Name on our adopter's board


penguin swimming in the water


Meet and Feed The Penguins at Welsh Mountain Zoo, Old Hwy, Colwyn Bay LL28 5UY
The Welsh Mountain Zoo gives you the opportunity to get up close to their Humboldt Penguins.

The meet and feed the penguins experience includes 20-30 minutes meeting and feeding Humboldt Penguins. You will have a one to one chat with the penguin keeper giving you the opportunity to find out some interesting facts.


penguin


Penguin Encounter, Twycross Zoo, East Midland Zoological Society, Burton Rd, Atherstone CV9 3PX
A chance to get up close and personal with one of the most popular animals at Twycross Zoo, Penguins. You will enter the Penguin Pool area giving you the opportunity to feed the penguins. 

Each encounter lasts approx 30mins and will include time with the keeper, feed the penguins and a penguin souvenir. 

Admission to Twycross Zoo is not included however you can receive discounted, one-day admission when purchased during the booking process. 


two penguins


Penguin Keeper Experience, London Zoo, Outer Cir, London NW1 4RY
Have you ever dreamt of being a penguin keeper? Finding out all about penguins and what they get up to behind the scenes? London Zoo have the opportunity for you to be a penguin keeper for 90 minutes. You will head to London Zoo's Penguin Beach and will have the chance to experience exactly what it's like to look after a colony of penguins.

As part of the experience you will get the chance to clean, prepare food for the penguins, learn how to conduct basic health-checks, and you will finish your experience by feeding the penguins.

This is a very intimate experience up close with the penguins and will give you plenty of opportunities to ask everything you've ever wanted to know about penguins and life behind-the-scenes at London Zoo.

Admission to London Zoo is not included and tickets for this experience go on sale from February 1st. 


two penguins one standing one lying


Feed The Penguins Experience, Drusillas Park, Zoo Park Ltd, Drusillas, Berwick, Polegate BN26 5QS
Drusillas Penguin Feeding Experience is the perfect chance to get close to the Humboldt penguins! It's an amazing one-to-one experience allowing you to spend time in the penguin enclosure. 

You will go behind the scenes of Drusillas Park and feed the penguins their favourite treat. The encounter also gives you one-on-one time with the Zoo Keeper who will be there to answer any of your penguin related questions.

As a memory of this special experience you will get the opportunity to get some close up photos of the penguins from inside their enclosure. 

Entry to Drusillas Park is included for the Penguin Experience participants


penguin


Penguin Feeding Experience, Marwell Zoo, Thompson's Ln, Colden Common, Winchester SO21 1JH
Head to Penguin Cove with the opportunity to go behind the scenes and feed the penguin colony at Marwell Zoo. You will get the chance to learn all about the penguins from those who know them best!

Your experience will last approx 30 minutes and entry to the zoo on the day of your experience is included. You will receive
10% discount in the gift shop, an E-certificate and an E-gift card (no further details given on this?)


penguin swimming in the water


Penguin Magic Moment, Edinburgh Zoo, 134 Corstorphine Rd, Corstorphine, Edinburgh EH12 6TS
A Penguin Magic Moment at Edinburgh Zoo is ideal for penguin lovers who would love the opportunity to get up close and feed the Gentoo Penguins their favourite fish. You will also get the chance to learn all about the penguins who live at Edinburgh Zoo and facts about the species. 

Entry to Edinburgh Zoo is included and you will also receive 10% discount in the gift shop and free car parking.


penguin


Meet The Penguins, Belfast Zoo, Antrim Rd, Belfast BT36 7PN
The Meet The Penguin experience brings you up close and personal with the colony of gentoo and rockhopper penguins that live at Belfast Zoo. The experience lasts 30 minutes and includes feeding the penguins and the opportunity to talk to the keepers who care for penguins. 

Each experience includes admission to the zoo for the participant, an experience certificate, fact sheet and penguin photograph.


Have you ever enjoyed a penguin experience? If so we would love to hear about it. 

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Michelle
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How To Beat The January Blues

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This post was last updated January '24

Blue Monday is the 3rd Monday in the month of January. If you haven't heard of blue Monday before or have no idea what it is well it's supposed to be the day when we can get very sad and down in the dumps. It's not surprising really because January is probably the worst month of the year as it's the month after all the Christmas festivities and there is not much to look forward to. If you are feeling a little blue today then read our tips on how to beat the January blues.

a path through the woods


Get Outside
On these darker days its only natural to want to stay inside and curl up on the sofa however it is best to try and head outside for some fresh air. if you can. Going for a walk and getting some light can make us feel a whole lot better. In between Christmas and New Year we went out to the park a few times and it really did help. Just that bit of fresh air cleared our minds and dusted off the cobwebs.

Go Shopping
Taking a trip to the shops in January can really help beat those 'down in the dumps' days. There are lots of January sale bargains still to be had out there and finding something you want or need at a reduced price can give you a lift that you need.

Disneyland Paris castle
Plan A Trip
After Christmas we all want something to look forward to so planning a trip is a great way to lift your spirits and have something planned in your diary. January is when I start browsing the Internet for cheap flights or breaks away, usually it involves a trip to Disney however we have already booked our Disneyland Paris trip this year. That doesn't mean though that I can't try and sneak another holiday in. 

Try Something New
January is the month for resolutions, aims and goals but they are usually made up of things we want to change about ourselves. Whether it is our weight, our job, our lack of exercise. However it would be nice for one of our aims or goals to be something positive. Think about something you've always wanted to do whether it's learn a new language or join a dance class and do it. It's good to try something new once in a while and get out of our comfort zones. One interesting idea would be to treat yourself with a fun and exciting experience - our friends from Experience Gifts have plenty to choose from! 

books

Me Time
We all need a little 'Me Time' however most of us tend to put others first and we forget about us. It's important to remember that we need time for ourselves away from busy work schedules and every day life. We need to make sure we take care of ourselves and January is the best time to start a new routine for ourselves whether it's a weekly pamper night, an early night or just curling up with that book that you've been meaning to read for a year. I am determined this year to read more and although last year I did pretty well since joining my book club

If you are suffering from the January blues this year just remember you are not alone. Most of us don't like January but its just one month out of twelve and thankfully it's almost over.

Michelle

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What To Pack For A School Ski Trip

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If your son or daughter gets the opportunity to go skiing with their primary or secondary school, it is such an amazing opportunity. Some children may already know how to ski whilst this may be the first time for others, either way this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most and if possible not to be missed. However, as a parent we found it quite stressful, knowing exactly what to pack for a weeklong stay. 

a group of adults and children on a ski slope


The first thing you need to remember is when packing for any school trip is that your child will be responsible for carrying, lifting, pushing or pulling their suitcase or bag. Teachers unfortunately can't help every child with their luggage so it's down to each child. 

If your child is flying to their ski resort they will most likely only be allowed 15kg maximum. This is still heavy for little ones to carry. Also most hotels have lifts however we have found in the past that schools prefer the children to use the stairs while transporting their luggage so it's wise to have them practice on stairs at home lifting or pulling up their case. 

So bearing that in mind, it is quite difficult to know exactly what to pack for the ski trip. The school will give you some basic information on what the essentials they need, which I will speak about however, it’s the 'other' clothes and accessories that they may need on their trip that you don’t get much guidance on.

As a parent of a son who went skiing as a year 6 pupil, here is exactly what we packed but I have also added what you may also need for packing for a girl too.

packing a suitcase



We opted for a large holdall bag with wheels* which was recommended to us by a resort volunteer. Also we used packing cubes labelled with what was inside, which we found was so much easier for our son. We showed him exactly what was in each packing cube so he knew exactly what was where. 

For travelling our children where given a red jumper and were asked to wear their ski jacket so no need to pack this.

Also the teachers who were travelling with the children were in receipt of their

Passport
EHIC
Spending Money (€80)

child lying in snow wearing ski goggles


In The Case

Ski Essentials 

1 pair of salopettes - these are recommended over ski trousers so they don't fall down.

2 x base layer tops

2 x base layer trousers 

1 x fleece 

2 x pairs of ski socks - ( 3 pairs if you are not requested to put a pair in their hand luggage).

1 x ski goggles - These must be of a high quality to protect their eyes.

1 x sun glasses - Again these must be of a high quality to protect their eyes.

1 x ski gloves

1 x hand warmer gloves - these go inside their ski gloves for extra warmth.

1 x suncream - preferably one that can be worn around the neck so they can reapply when on the slopes

1 x lipsalve - preferably one that can be worn around the neck so they can reapply when on the slopes.

1 x hat - a beanie style hat is preferred as needs to sit inside the helmet. 

1 x neck warmer - these are preferred to scarves.

Other Clothing 

3 x tracksuit bottoms or leggings - plus the pair they travel in.

7 x a mixture of short and long sleeve t-shirts - plus the top they travel in

2 x hoodies, jumpers or tracksuit tops - hotels are usually warm so no need to over pack.

10 x pairs of undies or knickers - 1 for each day plus a few spares.

10 x pairs of socks - 1 for each day plus a few spares.

2 x pyjamas

1 x slippers

Toiletries

Toothpaste

Toothbrush

Shower gel

Roll on deodorant

Brush

Hair bobbles and/or clips

Towel - the hotel our children went to did not provide towels

boy walking through snow



Hand Luggage - We chose a medium sized backpack

This will differ for everyone but our school wanted inside hand luggage

A packed breakfast - our meet time was 4:15am so they ate their breakfast at the airport

A packed lunch - this was so they could eat their lunch before leaving for the resort in Italy

£10 to buy drinks at the airport - as you can't take drinks through security

An empty sports bottle - There are water fountains in most airports

Activities to do on plane coach such as pencils/ paper/ colouring books/ top trumps

A hi vis vest that was given to us by the school

A large trolley bag such as a sports direct bag

A pair of ski socks - this was so they could go straight to their ski boot fitting once at the resort.

This all fitted neatly in his packing cubes and in his large holdall. It was heavy but he could manage it with some effort. 

I've popped a link to the Amazon Basics Packing Cubes*  we used and also Large Holdall With Wheels*

If there is anything I've missed off please feel free to message me and I'll include. If you have a child going on a ski trip I hope they enjoy it and make memories to last a lifetime!

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Michelle
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