Monstersaurus

If you’re looking for something fun to do this Easter then you must check out the Underbelly festival in Southbank and more importantly this super funny show – Monstersaurus

What’s it about?

Follow the young inventor Monty as he creates a whole world of whacky inventions and incredible monsters, but he has a problem -now he has made them all, what is he going to do with them?!

My daughter was a big fan of the music in this show. She got up and danced to every musical number! My daughter really loved meeting the different monsters too!

Right at the beginning of the show the children meet these scientists that give them special ingredients that they will use later on in the show. It was a great way to get all the kids in the audience involved.

Where?

Belvedere Road

London

SE1 8XX

When?

15th – 22nd April 2019

How much?

Tickets from £11.50

(includes £1.50 in fees per ticket)

You can buy tickets here and find more info about The Underbelly Festival!

The Cat In The Hat 🎩

Wow what can I say? I’ve never seen little miss laugh so much at the theatre! It was a fantastic family show and now one of my favourites! I found myself comparing it to the film which is one of my all time favourites and I totally preferred the stage production!

I’m sure most of us know the brilliant story of The Cat In The Hat so I won’t go into much about the story but what I can tell you is that you’ll definitely laugh at this production! There’s plenty of audience interaction! We are encouraged at different points in the show to get up out of our seats to dance and sing! This was most definitely my daughters favourite part!

The characters are well developed. My little one loved The Cat In The Hat and hasn’t been able to stop talking about him since. She was really impressed with him being able to balance on a ball while carrying a bunch of items including a goldfish!

My highlight of the show was the hilarious fish with the beautiful voice and Thing 1 and Thing 2! They did an amazing job at being super silly and entraining the whole audience!

I honestly loved every moment of the show. Even the wet parts! (You’ll have to see it to know what I’m talking about 😀)

When?

Wed 10 Apr – Sun 21 Apr 19

Where?

Rose Theatre Kingston

24-26 High Street

Kingston

KT1 1HL

How much?

Tickets start at £15

For more info check out the website

Marwell Zoo

We were invited to check out the AMAZING Marwell Zoo in Hampshire! We had a brilliant day out! There’s so much to do, so many amazing animals and super friendly staff!

Where?

Marwell Wildlife, Thompsons Lane, Winchester, Hampshire SO21 1JH. (free parking)

Opening hours:

Open daily from 10am apart from Christmas day and Boxing day.

How much?

I really liked the fact that as soon as you enter you’re able to fill in a “lost child” sticker! The zoo is huge so this was very useful and gives you a little peace of mind as a parent!

We started off the day checking out the cute penguins!

The Rhinos were little miss’ favourite! She couldn’t believe the size of them! The animals are clearly well looked after and they have so much space to roam around freely! It was a very busy day but because of the size of the zoo, it does not feel crowded at all so I was super happy about that! You should be able to visit here on a weekend or school holiday and have the same experience!

The highlight of the day was most definitely the Tropical House which opened last year. It spans across two levels and it’s just brilliant! You see some amazing animals and you literally feel like you’re in another part of the world!

There’s plenty of places to eat at the Zoo! You can bring your own food or purchase food there! There are also a few playgrounds dotted around the zoo so your little ones can burn off some energy!

There’s also a little train that goes around the zoo that you can hop on! We didn’t get a chance to try it but it looked like a lot of fun and it’s a good alternative to walking if you get a little tired

Brickosaurs

BRICKOSAURS! is a collection of life-like LEGO® brick dinosaurs on display around the zoo! If your little one loves dinosaurs and Lego then they’ll love this! At the entrance you’ll be given a sheet and you can tick off all the dinosaurs you can find! BRICKOSAURS is running until 1st September 2019.

There are around 36 BRICKOSAUR sculptures, in 16 displays around the zoo and even more arriving for the summer holidays.

We loved every minute of Marwell Zoo and would definitely return!

Where is Peter Rabbit?

We started off the Easter holidays with a trip to the theatre! We watched the all new family show “Where is Peter Rabbit?”

When and Where?

Theatre Royal Haymarket

18 Suffolk Street London SW1Y 4HT – nearest stations – charing Cross and Leicester Square

FRI 5 – SUN 28 APRIL 2019

How much?

Tickets start from £22.50 inc. £1.00 Restoration Levy

What we thought of the show

It was a lovely way to start the Easter holidays! I thought the puppets were fantastic as well as the puppeteers! We get to see some fabulous Beatrix Potter Characters such as Jemima and and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle!

The show lasts around an hour and in all honesty we don’t see a great deal of Peter Rabbit hence the name of the show. We see glimpses of him throughout and then right at the end we finally find Peter Rabbit. I didn’t see this as a bad thing as the show was still amazing! There’s lovely singing as well as engaging storytelling!

Honestly I have to say it again but the puppets were truly fantastic and now my daughter wants a Rabbit and a Fox 🤣

Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what some other mums had to say…

Anna – The boys adored watching this beautiful show based on the magical stories by Beatrix Potter and seeing their favourite characters brought to life by spectacular puppets on the stage. They were completely mesmerised for the whole hour long performance and I’ve never seen jack sit still as long!

Rehea – We loved Peter Rabbit live. The puppets the songs the set it was all great, having watched the cartoon now with my daughter I wasn’t sure what to expect but I loved the fact characters I used to read about as a little girl were on stage telling their little stories,The puppets were amazing and very realistic!

Kira – It was a joy to watch Beatrix Potters stories come to life in such a wonderful setting!

For more info do check out the website here

Big Jam Sandwich

What is it?

A super fun family picnic in the park suitable for kids up to the age of 11! There’s so much to do like…

PEPPA PIG AND GEORGE HOLIDAY FUN TRAIL

Peppa Pig & George Holiday Fun Treasure Trail Peppa is writing a postcard to Suzie Sheep, and would like the children to help her.  On arrival children will all pick up an ‘At the Beach’ Postcard and their mission is to find all 4 of Peppa Pig’s splashes hidden around Garon Park and fill in the postcards to tell Suzie what Peppa has seen at the beach. 

PRINCESS HUGS

Meet & Greet the princesses As well as performing various sing-a-longs on stage Elsa, Jasmine, Moana & Cinderella will be available throughout the day for photo opportunities and hugs with the children.

MR BLOOM AND HIS BAND

Your little ones are bound to love this if they’re big fans of Mr Bloom! It’s always great to see your favourite tv characters in real life!

There are so many different activities going on at the Big Jam Sandwich. Don’t miss out on a fabulous family day out

When is it?

Sunday 4th August 2019

Where is it?

GARON PARK – Southend-On-Sea, Essex

How much?

All adults and children 12 months or over need a paying ticket

babies under 12 months are free of charge, you can purchase the free baby ticket once you have ordered a paying child or adult ticket.

Further details on ticket prices can be found here

We are so excited for this! Check back in August for the official review!

More info here

Dumbo 🐘 – Review

2019 is the year of Disney remakes and sequels. So many different Disney movies coming out this year and we’re just beyond excited!

This evening we saw Dumbo and it was beautiful in every way possible! The storyline to the CGI.

As you know may know if you’ve read our other movie reviews, our reviews and quick and straight to the point!

Running time 

112 mins

What I loved:

Every moment. From beginning to end! Dumbo is a classic and it was amazing to see the remake do it justice! I excepted nothing less from Tim Burton (love ALL his movies!)

It’s the perfect Mother’s Day movie too! The way Dumbo’s mother protects him in the movie is so sweet and it will melt your heart!

Watch the trailer here

Parents guide available on IMDB

Here’s what little miss had to say:

Getting into online teaching…

I get so many DMS about this that I have finally decided to write a blog post about it.

It’s a little different than our normal content (I like to stick to the theme of my blog) so I was reluctant to write this at first but I think it’s important that I do share this. I’m sure I’ll be helping someone out there that wants to spend more time with their kids!

So if you’ve read the blog and you’ve browsed our Instagram the you know it seems like we go EVERYWHERE and it kinda feels like we do! A lot of people ask how I find the time and the money. Well I teach online. Sounds crazy right?

That’s exactly what I thought! I joined a Facebook group a few years back. It was something along the lines of “stay at home jobs for mums” Honestly it was pants! It was full of other mums trying to get you to join their “team” to sell Avon or Usbourne books (no shade but that was not for me) then someone privately messaged me and told me about a company called DADAABC. A company where you can teach English to Chinese students. I thought it was a scam at first but after some research I found out it was legit!

I started to do more research and looked at a few reviews on a website called Glassdoor. Glassdoor is a website where current and former employees anonymously review companies and their management.

I read too many reviews of past employees saying they didn’t get paid so I decided to not go with this company.

Facebook groups

I then found out there’s a huge Facebook community of online teachers. There are so many different groups where teachers share their honest reviews.

Here’s a few I would suggest joining:

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

How do I become an online teacher ?

  • First things first. You need a good laptop/tablet (some companies allow you to teach from your phone or tablet)
  • I would recommend a Mac book. There are lots of decent refurbished ones on eBay for good prices! I personally would stay far away from windows laptops. I’ve never had one that has run smoothly!

  • You will also need a good internet connection. You may need to upgrade the broadband package you already have.
  • Headset – a noise cancelling one is best.
  • External camera – only needed if the camera on your laptop is pants!
  • Classroom – if you want to teach kids then you’ll have to have a “classroom” just find a place in your home where that you can decorate to look child friendly. Here’s mine…

  • Desk/standing desk – you’ll of course need a desk for your laptop if you haven’t got one already. I suggest getting a standing desk also. Of course it’s not good to stay sitting all day long so this will help. It will also help you stay awake if you decided to work crazy morning hours.
  • Props – I didn’t have to buy much Teaching props as I just used my little ones toys but you’ll need props to keep kids entertained and to keep their attention when teaching. These can be anything from stuffed animals to flash cards.
  • TPR – learn this meaning from now! Total Physical Response – a method of teaching language or vocabulary concepts by using physical movement to react to verbal input.

  • TEFL/TESOL certificate – you’ll NEED one of these if you want to teach Chinese people as it has recently become a new law. You can buy a course cheaply on groupon or Wowcher. Not all companies require one so you’ll have to do your research.
  • Bachelors degree – again not all companies require one but if you do have one then make sure you mention it! It can also help with getting you more pay!
  • Interview – you’ll have an interview with most companies. It’s usually just a relaxed chat talking about your experience if you have any. You may have to also teach a demo class. There are plenty of YouTube videos to help you out on this.
  • Register yourself as self employed – you will have to do this no matter what company you work for. You are responsible for your own taxes.

Racism

Unfortunately as a black teacher I’ve experienced racism in the online teaching industry particularly from Chinese students and companies. I’ve had students call me the N word. I’ve had companies turn me down because I’m black despite my many years of experience. It’s crap but unfortunately it’s part of the online teaching world! Despite this, there are great companies out there that will hire you despite your skin colour.

Also unfortunately a lot these companies prefer North American accents but don’t worry as there are plenty of ones that want Brits too. Have a search on the Facebook groups I suggested earlier on.

Pay

Most of these companies pay you in dollars which is great for American teachers…not so great for us Brits! The exchange rate is crappy and goes up and down all the time unfortunately! Most companies will pay you up to $15. Some even go up to $25/30

Hours

A lot of companies require you to work a set number of hours per week. Others like Cambly don’t require set hours at all. You literally log on an wait for students to call you. The flexibility is fab!

Fines

Some companies such as Palfish will fine you for missing classes. You may have over slept or you just forgot out had a class. Not all companies do this but a lot of them do. They’ll deduct money out of your wages unless you have a genuine reasons for missing a class and can prove it e.g a doctors note.

Reputable companies

Cambly – great if you’re just starting out. No minimum hours and they pay you weekly. You can speak to students from all over the world and they operate 24/7

Palfish – Its an app so it’s great as you can use your phone or tablet. They pay you once a month and in RMB.

Landi – I haven’t worked with them but I’ve heard good things and they definitely hire Brits

SayABC – I worked with them briefly last year but they weren’t the right fit for me as I think the classes are too long (most classes are 25 minutes…theirs are 40 minutes)

You can find a good list of companies on this site here

Also check out indeed too!

Important!!!!

Some companies will ask you to prove you’re a Brit so you’ll have to send an image of your passport. Be sure to block out any sensitive information!

Umm I think I’ve answered pretty much every question you guys have asked. Feel free to pop anymore in the comments 😊

Good luck and let me know if you get hired by any of these companies 💋💋

Butlins – Minehead

I’ll try to keep this blog post short and simple because we’ve been to SKEGNESS and BOGNOR and they’re pretty much the same.

So as usual we book with The Sun Holidays and paid only £38 at first. A few months later I got an email from Butlins letting me know that I could upgrade our room (to a silver bungalow) for just £5 per person which I did so the whole holiday cost £48.

Here’s what our silver Bungalow looked like…

It was decent and clean so I had no complaints.

Tip: there’s a Tesco, Morrison’s AND Lidl a short walk from the site. Buy all your food and drinks there and save yourself a lot of money!!

What to do at Butlins Minehead?

There’s plenty to do from watching live shows, to fairgrounds, arcades, swimming, playing at the beach etc! Unfortunately we went at a time where the weather wasn’t so great so we spent most of our time indoors but it was still a lot of fun for little miss. She made so many friends and had a fabulous time!

Getting to Butlins Minehead

OMG please drive if you can! I don’t drive to places longer than 2hours as little miss gets restless and so do I tbh. I really wish I drove here. The train journey from Paddington to Taunton wasn’t too bad. It was around 2 hours. It was getting the bus from Taunton to Minehead (£6 for a single ticket btw) which was manic!

First of all the bus couldn’t fit everyone on and their luggage. In fact there was hardly any luggage space on the bus there so our luggage had to be put on seats.

There was also a diversion which many busses were taking longer than normal plus we went through some narrow country roads that didn’t seem safe at all. At one point the bus had to reverse back through a tight space because of a huge lorry coming in the opposite direction. Manic!

The bus ride back wasn’t too bad as we left really early and this bus actually had luggage space!

You will need the number 28 bus and you can find out the bus times here

Would we go again?

Most likely no. I think Butlins Minehead needs updating a little plus the journey for me was too much hassle! It wasn’t terrible but I most definitely prefer the other two sites!

TODDLER time @ Flip Out Wandsworth

A brand new experience has opened up at Flip Out – Wandsworth and it’s just perfect for under 5s!

What is Flip Out?

A super cool trampoline park based in Wandsworth!

Toddler time

Flip Out Wandsworth have introduced a brand new Toddler Time Experience for an amazing price! The new and improved Toddler Time experience at Flip Out Wandsworth includes not only the fabulous trampoline park but now also a newly installed soft play area, fun interactive games, bubbles, great toddler music, bouncy castles and so much more!

Where is it?

Bendon Valley, Wandsworth SW18 4LZ

How much?

Toddler Time is now the price of 1 hour (£13 one adult & one under 5), with the option to stay for 4 more for FREE!

Need to know…

  • Despite the parking signs outside, parking is FREE for Flip Out customers only. Just make sure you register your car at the front desk to avoid a parking fine.
  • There’s a lovely cafe available to purchase food and drinks as well a seating area.
  • Lockers are available
  • Baby changing facilities are available
  • You will have to watch a safety video every time you visit
  • You will have to purchase special socks with a grip to jump on the trampolines if you don’t have some already
  • Please note: Toddler Time is available in the school holidays from Mon- Fri in the 9am and 10am bounce only.
  • 10am – 12pm every weekday is a dedicated session where a section of the park is open with no others besides fellow parents/guardians and their under 5s using the arena. (Term Time Only)