Hey everyone. Welcome back to my blog.
So if you follow me on Instagram you will know that I’ve been having some treatment of sorts recently for my FND. I’m managing to go out a little bit more now. Especially with my scooter!
So I figured I would let you know about the places I visit and how I get on.
So I recently visited Chester Zoo with my parents, Ste and Alfie. They often have some sort of event on and at the time of writing this they have a dinosaur 🦖🦕 event on.
So we headed off just before the summer holidays started on a Tuesday.
Adults – this can vary depending on when you go. For instance peak times it will be more expensive. So it can range from £20 – £25:45.
Children – again this can vary depending on when you go. However it ranges from £15:45 – £20:90. Aged two years and under are free. Paying child from 3 – 17.
Students and senior prices are £4 cheaper.
Now if there are two of you going, and one is disabled. The disabled guest had to pay but the other adult i.e the carer goes free. You may need to provide evidence. For instance, a photo of your disability badge or your PIP payment.
They don’t ask questions. They are very friendly and just accept it.
Now I took my own scooter, however you can hire one if you need to when you are there. It’s £25 refundable deposit and booking is essential. There is disabled Parking right at the front.
If your not disabled I do believe there is a very big car park so it shouldn’t be an issue to find a parking space.
There are toilets everywhere in the park and just as many disabled toilets as there are regular toilets. This is great as sometimes there aren’t many and find you have to go further for one sometimes. However we went for a drink at a place called June’s Food Court. They have a huge playground outside which is amazing. However I can’t say I was impressed about the toilet facility for disabled guests. There’s an almost regular sized door to get to all toilets which makes it hard to get through, and where the disabled toilet is, I couldn’t logistically drive in, open the door and get in to the disabled loo. Thankfully I just about managed to walk in (with difficultly I might add). However I couldn’t walk at all I would let have been able to use the toilet. Not good.
It opens at 10am and when they scan your ticket there is a gate for you to go through. So every barrier is a gate which is great, you can just go to any que.
I do believe from looking online there is a day where they are turning off the sound effect. This is on Sunday 28th July from 10am – 12pm. This is amazing as with many conditions noise can be a problem.
Everywhere is wheelchair accessible, however electric scooters are not allowed on the monorail or the Lazy River boat trip. My only complaint is the flipping wood bridge they have to get from the Lions to the Bats I think it is. My chest was killing me after that extremely bump ride! They wood panels go side ways so it’s really hard to ride a scooter or wheelchair on this. However I am sure there is a good reason.
Even if you don’t have a disability, the zoo is huge. So it’s great that they have a monorail! For the tired weary legs or your toddler, it’s brill to have a ride around and look out at the animals.
Generally you can manage to get through most doors however there are a lot of doors that don’t have an open door button so if your in a chair you will have to ask someone to open the door for you. Again, I am sure there is a good reason for this.
Food and drinks.
There are many many places to eat if you want to buy lunch while your there. If your taking some lunch there’s also plenty of places to sit outside to eat. If it’s on the grass or a picnic bench.
They have places for snacks, coffees, ice cream and even dole whips now!
They even have a fancy place to eat if you want to be a bit posh for a bit!
What to see
Ok, if you get chance to stop and look at the Oriental gardens. It really is beautiful. It’s at the back of the posh pub pictured above. They also have a few other bits of gardens in the same area.
The elephants 🐘 are available to see as soon as you walk in.
You can get an up close view of the giraffes 🦒 In their ‘house’, or view them from different points from the outside of their enclosure. We didn’t do this this time around though and just saw them from the back of their enclosure.
The penguins 🐧 are just amazing! I love them. You can view them on one side where you can see under the water and see them wizz past. Or you can watch them over the other side from above.
If you come across the butterfly 🦋 house do go in, it is beautiful.
The bat 🦇 house is bloody scary. You can barely see and have bats flying about freely as tog walk through. Enter at your own risk ha ha!
The smaller animals are just as beautiful as the big. From the birds and frogs to the lions and panthers. They are all beautiful. They even have fish.
The zoo is huge and it is rather difficult to get through every animal in one day. So pick your favourites when you get there, you will be given a map as you enter so keep hold of this.
One area of the zoo is still under construction at the moment from the fire they had. Some animals where lost and they are having to re build this area. So you may not see some of your favourite animals whilst your there.
Dinosaurs- The Event
This was amazing, the detail in the dinosaurs are incredible. They are animatronic with sound efforts so small children could find it scary.
However it’s so wonderful to see and walk through.
Chester Zoo really do know how to do events.
Alfie has a great time and his favourite was the T-Rex and the giant snake at the end lol!
Other stuff you should know
Whilst we didn’t stop to do these I did take a moment to notice you can do crafts with some staff. Such as make animals with your handprints, you can also get your face painted.
The shop they have at the front is huge. There’s all sorts in there and it’s so big, there is all sorts to choose from and it can actually be over whelming for little ones. We took Alfie in and Mum said he could have something. However there is that much there that he got a bit overwhelmed with everything.
All in all I have to say despite the two minor problems I faced, it really is a great day out. With deals and wheelchair accessibility it’s a win win situation and a great day out for us where I can function physically in my chair and adults and children alike all enjoy this day out. I also feel like I am winning at Mim life bringing Alfie here. I struggle with some places to take Alfie so this is great as I can use my scooter everywhere and Alfie has a great time and we can ride him out lol!
Hope you enjoyed this new section of my blog. Days out with a disability. (Need something more catchy I think lol)
Here are some more of my favourite photos I took.
What I wish I knew before I became a Mummy.
I don’t know about you but about 80% of the time I am totally winging it with this motherhood malarkey!
I couldn’t wait to be a Mummy and have my own children when I was younger. I thought I would smash parenting. With always having homemade meals, taking my children 👶🏼 everywhere. Playgroups, outdoor play, groups, clubs etc. Being the so called picture perfect ‘Pinterest Mummy’.
There’s books and apps all about the different stages of pregnancy. Even help and advice on general new born stuff. Teething. Rashes. Temperature advice, and lots more. What about the rest though?
May be it’s just me and the way my brain works. I mean with three neurological conditions, things aren’t easy as you know and I work hard to keep my head above water most of the time.
Being organised is hard work as someone who’s dyspraxic. Not sure if that’s the reason I’m like this or if everyone is like this 🤷🏻♀️.
What I’m getting at is, the fun side of parenting. The part where some people just know where to take their kids, what groups are on, clubs etc.
It’s one of the things I feel really bad at as a parent.
Before I became a Mummy to Alfie I wish I knew where to find out what’s on. I wish I knew how to make new Mum friends without looking desperate!!! I wish I knew how to organise our time better. How to make the most of our time together while he’s young. How to know what’s on where, deals, where is best to shop.
I mean seriously, I look online and think oh crap that would have been good or I should have done that or he would have loved that. I’m the one that’s two steps behind and not two steps ahead.
I’m a bit of a last minute Mum I guess and always seem to do the same stuff.
I feel like everyone else has got a better grip on how best to entertain their children. That or they have a secret handbook I don’t know about! Not me. I look online in the evening to catch up with people and think oh wow that would be great, then the next day I forget about it. Or it’s already been and gone.
I guess you could say I wish I had a p.a to help organise and hunt things down for me. It just feels like a full time job trying to organise you and your kids to do stuff.
I mean I’m never ahead for anything.
I know I’m not alone though, I’m sure there’s others like me that feel like this.
The one who thought they were born to be a Mummy and would be that ‘Pinterest Mum’ where others admired. The truth is I’m far from that and I’m sure I’m not alone.
We are all winging it and not many of us find ways to fill our time where it’s forever exciting.
I mean we are all smashing this parenting malarkey but are any of us really a Pinterest type Mummy or Daddy? If you are that’s great. Just share the ideas with the rest of us so we have a head up lol!
Basically I could do with a guide book on what best groups and websites in my area are so that I can look back on Alfie’s childhood and think. Damn I was amazing and made the most of it.
What do you think?
Do you feel a bit like this?
Welcome back to another edition of Emma’a bites. How are you all and how is your meal planning going?
I don’t know about you but I find lunches and meals a bit easier in the summer, it feels like there are more choices. I mean let’s be honest. No one wants a salad or a BBQ in Winter!!!!
Now before I met Ste and before we moved in together more so, I didn’t have much variety in food and what I ate. If you had told me years ago I would be happily making myself a salad I would have laughed!!!
So let’s chat about salads. Now don’t get me wrong, I can still get a bit iffy about what I eat in a salad. You won’t catch me putting a raddish in my salad for instance!!!
Now let’s get this out of the way. I realise this next comment can be quite controverisal but……I like fruit in salad. There I said it!! I have my limits, mainly though I will pop some grapes in my salad. Ste was reluctant at first but he agrees it really add’s to the flavour.
Cheese wise, I much prefer using grilled hallaumi. If your adding grapes too then wow!!
Actual salad leaves I prefer a mixed bag of leaves. I will use iceberg lettuce too but I prefer the former.
As for the other bits you can put in I stick to my favourites. Red pepper and cucumber are a must for me. I also use, red onion, cherry tomatoes, boiled egg chopped up, croutons, pasta, spring onions. You could also use watermelon if your having halloumi with your salad.
If your a meat eater, you can use all sorts. Ham, cooked chicken, or if you want to push the boat out a steak!!! Steak salad is amazballs!!!
If you make a decent salad, personally I don’t think you really need to add a dressing but thats just me. If you do however want a dressing I would stick to things like, olive oil, olive oil with balsamic vinegar, sea salt, or even just a squueze of lemon is nice. If you do use any of these though, I really would only use a little bit.
I wish I could say I have an endless supply of ideas about salads but I don’t. Truth is I thought this may be a good time to remind you that salads can be really nice and tasty!! I would love to know what you like to put in your salads.
Here’s my meal plan for the week. If there’s anything you fancy knowing more about let me know. Next week is homemade lasagne.
B – cereal
L – Salad
D – filo pastry bake
B – spinach, poached eggs, toast
L – Sandwich, crisps and fruit. (We are out for the whole day)
D – cheesy chips (quick easy and needed after a full day out!)
B – cereal
L – salad
D – Lasagne, garlic bread and salad
B – cereal
L – salad
D – pork steaks with veggie rice
B – french toast
L – fruit
D – homemade pizza
B – spinach, poached eggs and toast
L – sandwich, salad bits and crisps (out for the whole day again)
D – quorn nugget curry and rice
B – Mc Donald’s fakeaway sausage and egg McMuffin
L – fruit
D – Turkey dinner
Thanks for reading.
So you’ve just left school. Finally ready for a new start, to make new friends and begin new adventures. Finally rid of the childish school bullies.
I know you are sad that you won’t see much of Ste Shep anymore but don’t worry he will become an important part of your life and honestly, sometimes you will wonder how on earth you can get rid of him 😉
Enjoy college, you will meet some people that will become fantastic friends. They will help you through some difficult times. More on that later.
Ok a few more bits of advice on your college years. I know you get a little shy at times but you must stand up to the Theatre Teacher, he’s a prat, you probably should report him but make sure he knows before he drags you off that you were not in fact drinking alcohol on stage! Also that guy you like in IT? He’s a twin. STAY AWAY! You will only embarrass yourself!!!
Enjoy your years working at Woolworths. You will have some stories to tell (or not 😉 ) and meet some great people who will be important to you for a while.
I know you don’t know what you want to do with your life career wise but don’t worry you will fall into a career that you will love and enjoy for many years. I know this will surprise you but you actually go to university. I have a few pointers on this area of your life so pay attention.
You know deep down something is wrong so get help. I know you know your not learning like every one else, you struggling to see words and make sense of them and also to remember them. Please just listen to your gut instinct, the sooner you get help the better.
Also, this is where you will face your first (yeah sorry there is more!) biggest challenge yet in life. You know what those people are doing is wrong, they will hurt you emotionally so so much. You will cry and sob about going to work. Don’t leave it until it is too late, speak to someone you can trust. Things get out of hand quickly. It works out ok in the end but it isn’t a pleasant journey. You will however be a much stronger person and because of this you will be able to stand up for yourself more.
Moving on, let’s talk about one of Mum’s favourite sayings. Nothing stays the same. She is right, some things do happen for a reason and some things are hard to find the reason. You will loose some friends along the way in life. In different ways. It’s sad and tragic and all upsetting. You will find it hard but what you must know is some people will stay and thats ok. Some people are only in your life for a brief moment and some forever but the friendship you have with them at the time are amazing. It’s just the way it is. Please try and learn early not to worry about what other’s think or compare yourself to others.
As you write this you are 34 years old (I know it sounds like your old and that you probably have your shit together but trust me you don’t- but you have a great husband so it’s all fine lol) and you still haven’t really learnt not to compare yourself but trust me, in doing so you only make yourself feel sad.
Now then. I need to give you some advise. If you take nothing else from this then please remember this. Take the photo. The year after you get married (eeeeeeek exciting!), starts off amazing but something happens which will change your view on the whole world. Your husband is utterly incredible. It will change you. You will be stronger from it and you will help other’s from this as well. I know you will be scared and I know you will be lost and confused, but please, take the photo. Take all the photo’s you can. As I said I am now 34 years old and trust me when I say that 5 years on and it is still the biggest regret of your entire life and you will never ever get that moment again. Just take the photo.
Things get better and a gift from above is sent to you. It’s precious and amazing and hard work but it’s worth every moment.
I just want to say one more thing before I go. Towards the end of 2016, if you feel like something isn’t quite right. Don’t leave it too late, please get help. No-one will think your loosing the plot or going mad. If you feel something isn’t right. Ask for help. Just trust your instincts. Your instincts are usually right.
I don’t want to say any more as I don’t want to give too much away of what happens. I just wanted to give you a heads up on some things. I know it seems like there is a lot and that you have a lot to deal with but trust me when I say your a kick ass woman and wherever your life takes you, just know you always give it your all. Don’t worry about others and what they are doing.
Oh and save money when you have some. It kind of comes in handy when your older lol!!!
Take care, from the older and supposedly more wiser you lol!!!!
P.S. One more thing, that night out for someone’s 18th, tell your mate to take a bloody handbag. It just leads to trouble, confusion from the bouncers and a hole lot of hassle. Funny yet a little bit scary!!!!
So this week I thought I would share one of my favourite recipes for lunch. This is actually a Delia smIth recipe that my Mother in Law introduced me too.
It lasts a few days when left in the fridge, I make it then refrigerate and we help ourselves through the week. Perfect if you ask me. Or it’s a nice addition to a bbq.
Ok for this you will need:
Water (1 pint boiling water)
Get pan and heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil before you add the rice and the water. Don’t miss the oil, I did, don’t make my mistake. It basically stops it all sticking together. Who knew 🤷🏻♀️ lol!
While that is cooking, make your vinaigrette dressing. Get a jug and add a teaspoon of salt, 1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoon mustard powder, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2/3 turns of black pepper and 6 tablespoons olive oil. Stir it up and then add to so,etching with a lid to give it a good shake.
Once that is done go and chop your apple, pepper, cucumber (use about 2 inches), spring onions (3) and set aside until your rice is done and cooled.
Once your rice is cool fluff it up with a fork and add the ingredients plus 1 oz currents, pour over your dressing and give it a really good mixup. Then serve or store in the fridge to eat as and when you want to.
Hope you enjoy this as much as we do. You can also add walnuts for a crunch if you want.
Don’t forget to tag me if you make any of my dishes I write about, over on Instagram @dyspraxicdomesticatedmummy
Let’s talk about about self care but not in the sense we are all discussing at the moment. We all talk about looking after ourselves and taking time out from the busy stressful life but what about children?
We expect so much from them, we expect them to be on their best behaviour, to do and act a certain things, we plan their day, what they eat and wear. They spend all day at school or nursery where they have to be on their best behaviour, expecting them to be nice, learn things all day, repeat things, concentrate all day. We expect them to have constant respect and care towards everyone. We generally expect quite a lot from them but what about letting them have some downtime and do something for them to relax and unwind?
As adults we are only now learning about self care and we still aren’t very good at it. So how about we start at the beginning and teach our children how to switch off, unwind and love themselves?
I recently ran Alfie a bath with a bath bomb and a hot chocolate, he loves a bath anyway but generally only has a few toys and bubbles. This time I let him have as many toys as he wanted, blew the bath pillow up and let him have a bath bomb. He absolutely loved it. We also have movie nights with the kids where they pick a film and we get some goodies out and a drink they want.
It might be that sometimes we let them have a treat tea.
We let William have time on his x box to have chill out time and do what he wants to do. Being older William has more responsibilities at home and he finds Alfie as stressful as us ha ha so I think it’s important to let him have his time to himself where we aren’t breathing down him to be and act a certain way.
I also think it’s important as some children suffer with anxiety from an early age so it’s super important to help them learn how to deal with it.
Some good ways to help children dealing with anxiety that people I know have suggested are things like, yoga and smiling minds. Some children find drawing and colouring quite relaxing which is great as then you can get chance to chat to them.
Some people use worry dolls too, or those worry tree’s. Also there is a growing trend of parents and children having matching stars or dots on their hands so the child knows the parent is with them.
Also labelling emotions for them really helps them to understand what they are feeling. I mean we can’t expect them to understand their emotions straight away, we have to teach them everything don’t we and give them the tools they need to understand what they are feeling.
Life has a habit of throwing curve balls be it big or small and if we don’t help them learn how to take a step back then I guess we will never change in the world of self care and learning how to look after ourselves. After all things that happen in our life and the curve balls we get can have an impact on our children too. I ended up in a wheelchair and had to learn to walk again. That had a major impact on our children, so, if your not already starting self care with your little ones then give it a go. I really think it will help them not just now but in later life too.
I would love to know if you practise any self care with children.
Emma xx 💋
This is Alfie after his bath. He actually has hair that’s been tamed for once lol x
Welcome back to another weekly addition of my foodie bites. This week we are going for a one pot easy Peary cheap meal. The best kind I find!
This week is all about gnocchi. If you haven’t tried it it’s pasta with the texture of potato. Now it’s quite filling so it is up to you if you use one or two packs for this but I guess it depends on how many people your serving it too.
Get a dish and put your gnocchi in the dish and set aside while you make your sauce. This won’t take long.
You will need a jug, tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, worcestershire sauce, stock cube (chicken or veg), ginger, cayenne pepper, paprika, basil, garlic, breadcrumbs and mozzarella cheese.
Add the tinned tomatoes to the jug and then; 3 tablespoons of tomato purée, 3 teaspoons basil, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 3 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons garlic, 2 teaspoons ground ginger and salt.
Mix it all together and then add a few dashes of worcestershire sauce and may be about 200/300ml of stock depending on how much sauce you want. Pour the sauce over the gnocchi.
For veg I recommend adding red onions and peppers to this. You could add spinach but I’m not a huge fan. Mix that all on and I would say cook for about 10/12 minutes on about 180. I always guess so just check it and text and see what you think. At this point you need to add the cheese and the breadcrumbs after and cook for a further few minutes until melted and then serve.
If you desperately want meat with it I recommend getting some Parma ham, spray a tray with fry light and cook in the oven until crispy and then pop it on top of your gnocchi when it’s on the plate.
Quick, easy to do, simple, no fuss, one pot dish and it’s slimming world and calorie friendly if your into that. Plus it’s great for both meat eaters and vegetarians!
Enjoy and re,ember if you try anything I have blogged about please tag me in your photos on Instagram @dyspraxicdomesticatedmummy