24hr Swim Challenge to Swim the Length of The Thames

Everyone Active opened a new 50m pool today and to launch the grand opening the public were invited to go along throughout the weekend to take part in free activities which included group exercise classes, family swim sessions and fitness challenges.

The Leisure Centre has worked in partnership with Total Swimming to expand the swimming provision to local residents. The new 50m pool is a first for our area as it designed as modular format. The only other Olympic length pool is London Aquatics Centre in east London.

Along with many sport activities that were all free to local residents and members was swimming sessions in the new pool. We booked onto a couple of sessions, including the swim challenge and life saving course.

The boys were very excited to be amongst the many people to jump into the pool. I had signed them up to help contribute into the challenge which was to swim the length of The Thames from Source to the Thames Barrier which os 288.2km.

The youngest managed to swim 550 mtrs and the eldest swam 2600 mtrs. They were lucky enough to swim alongside Olympic swimmers James Goddard and Joanne Jackson, who we found to be very friendly and were very interested in making conversation about how well the boys were swimming.

Both boys were rewarded with a medal once they finished and a signed card from the British Olympian James Goddard.

Olympic swimmer Grant Turner gave the eldest some top tips on how to perfect his swimming stride.

With the pool so close to where we live we are looking forward to spending more sessions in there in the future.

 

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15 Signs You Know You Have a Teenager When…

The change is almost over night; one day you have an adoring young child who would do anything for you to make you happy and the next BAM! You’re faced with a moody, angry teen who slouches around the house and argues back at you when you ask them to do a chore.

Now, I am quite lucky that most of these signs I only had when my son went into secondary school and, to be fair, they didn’t last for long (maybe a year or so). I think it took me falling ill for him to shake his butt and get a grip with his emotions and feelings. Some of the signs are still happening and, well, I could be talking about the significant lazy other half too! (but that’s another blog post lol)

We all have our own experiences with our teens – some good, some bad. Here are some that I have experienced with my sons:

  • They no longer feel the cold and go out without wearing a coat in the Winter. Wearing a coat is to uncool!
  • Teenagers know everything! There is no need to use the internet anymore, just ask your teen. Oh, and they have an answer to everything too (that’s if you can hear them talking through their mumbling)
  • There is no need for a cloak cupboard anymore, teens will leave their coat and bags at the front door as soon as they enter. They say it’s easier for them to grab the next day
  • They have a better social life than you. As soon as they turn 13 they will be attending anyone and everyone’s party.
  • They live in their bedrooms. You will never see them unless there is food on the table and it’s time to eat
  • They begin to mumble in a low voice when they are talking to you. You will never make out what they are saying
  • You will never get to use your own charger anymore as it will be claimed by them to charge their tablets or phones
  • They want every item of clothing to be designer and are no longer happy with Primark or high street clothing
  • Their friends are allowed to do EVERYTHING that are not allowed to do and you will constantly hear about a friend who can do what they want
  • If they DO pick up their dirty dishes and cutlery and take it to the kitchen, it will not make it into the sink but instead it will be left next to the sink ready for the cleaning fairy to wash them
  • You will find dirty, stinky socks all over the house. Say goodbye to pairing them up, you will have odd socks everywhere
  • They constantly have their phone next to them, headphones plugged in. Now, I’m pretty sure that they are not even listening to anything it’s just a way for you to not talk to them
  • Sleep. They can sleep all day long. It may be because they don’t got to sleep until the early hours as they have spent most of the night on social media
  • There is never any food in the house even though you just filled up the cupboards and fridge with food. Either they have just eaten it all or they mean that there are no snacks for them to grab and eat straight away
  • Say goodbye to that expensive hair shampoo or body lotion that you save for special occasions as it will get used almost immediately. Oh, and your bathroom will have  a cloud of smoke in their from all of the deodorant that was sprayed.

Don’t worry, the teen years don’t last for long, You will soon have that loving little child who once ran from their classroom door straight into your arms because they were thrilled to see you. They no longer fit onto your lap for a cuddle and you may have to stand on a stool to hold them in your arms again but their loving and caring side soon comes back.

Do you have any signs to share?

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Personalised Display Frame for Mini Lego Characters

We have tons of mini Lego figure characters all over the house. There isn’t a day that goes by where I am going round the house picking up the damn little blighter’s from the floor in the bid to save my precious little tootsies from stepping on them during the night.

My middle boy absolutely loves Lego and has been recently collecting the Harry Potter versions. He doesn’t have the full set yet as he is desperately wasting his money trying his best to get just two of them; Tina Goldstein and Percival Graves.

We are rapidly running out of sides to display his Lego sets and characters on. A few years ago I did make a hanging storage  for his Lego mini figures but that is now full. Cabinets and shelves in his room are full to the brim too. So, for Christmas I made him a special little gift, A Lego mini-figure frame.

It was easy to make and didn’t take long at all. I took a look online before making one and saw that companies were charging a small fortune for the frames. I had all of the craft things in my cupboard, all i needed to do was put it all together.

To make the storage frame you will need:

  • A box frame deep enough to fit in the characters. The size depends on how many figures you want to put on show. I used a 7″x 7″
  • Strong glue or a glue gun
  • Ruler and a pencil
  • Plain paper for the background
  • Mini Lego display bases
  • Lettered wooden tiles

Instructions:

Cut a piece of paper down to fit on the back of the frame. You can decorate this any way that you please. I did a simple picture of Hogwarts.

Make marks where you want the bases for the figures to be and measure out equal distances between them.

Once all the marks are on the background, stick it down into the frame

 

Using strong glue or a glue gun, stick down the mini figure base plates. I used two for each one, just to ensure that it was securely stuck to the background

All you have to do now is personalise it with a name using the wooden tiles. The tiles I used had a self adhesive dot on the back so it was easy to stick on the frame.

 

The frame is now ready to place the mini figures in

It really is such a cute way to display your favourite Lego Mini Figures and makes a brilliant gift to a huge Lego fan. I loved how it turned out and am already thinking about doing something similar on a larger scale for him.

 

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Visiting the Seals At Winterton

Roughly half of the world’s population of grey seals are found around Britain.

Grey seals come ashore to breed – the breeding site is known as a rookery. The females arrive at the rookery and will usually give birth a day later. They feed their pups for the first 3 weeks. After the pup is weaned, the mother will leave. Over the next few weeks the pup will moult its soft white coat for a mottled waterproof one. Within 3 weeks the pup will have its adult fur and when it starts to feel hunger it will make its way to the sea where it will learn to swim and to feed for itself.

We visited a rookery on the beach between Winterton and Horsey Gap in Norfolk.

We arrived at Winterton and walked along the sand dunes for about 20 minutes until we found a good spot to watch the seals.

The seals had made their way up from the sand onto the grassy dunes and were sleeping in between them.

 

It was such a beautiful sight to see and witness but also sad to see that there were a few pups that had not made it past the first few weeks of their lives. This may have been because the Cow (Mum) had been disturbed and she abandoned her pup to get away.

We sat and watched in awe at the beauty surrounding us.

We listened to the waves crashing against the shore line and to the screaming sound of the Cow and pup communicating with each other.

You are advised to keep a safe distance from the seal as they can have nasty bite but it is hard to see them when walking with in the dunes. We stumbled across a few who were sleeping and only noticed them at the last minute.

When they move they can move pretty fast.

They are such beautiful creatures, with cute little faces. they almost remind me of fat dogs with no legs.

After over an hour of walking along the beach we made our way back to the car. Winterton is a popular destination for dog walkers because of the long sandy stretch of beach. We visited the same beach in the summer and stayed close by at Hermanus Holiday Site, read about it here

 

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Homemade Hot Chocolate on a Stick

These hot chocolate stirrers are ideal to give away as a festive treat or even just to enjoy at home in front of the TV.

They are super easy to make and cheaper than buying from the shops. I made up a batch of 30 for the children at school and they didn’t take long to make at all. You can made endless variations too, to suit any taste

  • Dark chocolate
  • A mix of white and milk chocolate
  • Skip the marshmallows
  • Add in edible glitter or honeycomb

They make the creamiest and smoothest hot chocolate with added little surprise of mini marshmallows inside that make an appearance once the chocolate has melted in the hot milk.

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate (i used a large bar of galaxy, but you can use whatever you want)
  • Marshmallows – mini or big
  • Stirrers, lolly sticks or spoons
  • Square shaped silicone molds or even small plastic yoghurt pots
  • Cocoa powder to sprinkle
  • Chocolate dazzles to decorate

Method:

  • Melt your chosen chocolate in the microwave or in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water
  • Sprinkle cocoa powder into the molds
  • Place a spoonful of melted chocolate into the base of your mold
  • Add in some marshmallows
  • Top with another spoonful of chocolate
  • Place the stick into the middle of the chocolate in the mold

  • Top with dazzles or any cake decorations
  • Place into the freezer for about 30 minutes to set
  • Remove from molds gently
  • Wrap in cellophane and store in the fridge

You can also stick your stick into a larger marshmallow and then place that into the mould and pour in the chocolate.

This is my son stirring his chocolate on a stick making his hot chocolate (excuse the music playing in the background)

 

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