Hopping back to the theatre for ‘Where is Peter rabbit?’

Last week we attended the press performance of Peter rabbit live at Theatre Royal Haymarket (tickets kindly gifted.) It is a lovely show for younger children and I also enjoyed the beautiful performance.

They both thoroughly enjoyed the show!

Beatrix Potter’s short stories are brought to life on the stage, through puppetry, storytelling and songs. Jai has always loved Peter Rabbit, so this was a special show for him.

The puppets are really lovely and even though the puppeteer is Standing right behind them, your eyes are always on the puppets. Jai’s favourite character is definitely Mr McGregor, who’s scenes were hilariously funny. I personally loved the music and the upbeat nature of the show. There is never a dull moment on the stage, there was always something going on to keep eyes transfixed.

Naughty Mr McGregor!

The recommended age for Peter rabbit live is 3+ although you can bring younger children at your own discretion! I brought along Mila and she was as good as gold. She actually watched the whole show and was mesmerised by it! The length of the show is only 50 minutes, which was perfect for both Jai and Mila.

Oh, there’s Peter rabbit!

This lovely show is a part of Kids week, which offers a free child’s ticket to the theatre, when a full paying adult ticket is purchased. This is a great way to save some money as the theatre can be expensive. It’s such a lovely thing to do though, and a special day out, perfect for a summer holiday treat.

You can get your Kids week tickets here: https://www.lovetheatre.com/tickets/5683/Where-is-Peter-RabbitT?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI18TigN_e4wIVjbHtCh1row8AEAAYASAAEgII3PD

‘Where is Peter rabbit’ is showing at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until the 1st September. Our tickets were gifted but all opinions in this review are my own.

Roar for Dinosaur world live!

This blog post is our review of Dinosaur world live which is currently showing at the Troubadour theatre in Wembley until 1st September.

Dinosaur world live 2019

Jai has been Dino mad since a very young age – and his interest is Dinosaurs is still going strong. For that reason, we were very excited to have been invited to the press performance of the show.

The theatre has only just opened so it is very modern and has a gorgeous design. Upon entering the theatre, there is a huge dinosaur egg that you can pose with for your perfect photo op.

Photo op!

The show itself lasts approx 50 minutes which I think is perfect for young children. They recommend that the show is for 3+ years, although I brought along Mila which was fine. I wouldn’t bring a baby along if I thought they would cry as I would just have to stand outside the whole time to avoid disturbing anyone else. But I know that Mila will sit happily, have her milk or sleep – she only cries when hungry so as long as we had milk on hand we were fine! She watched the first half and fell asleep for the second half.

Ready for Mila’s first theatre trip

The length of the show was great for Jai also, as although he is 4, his attention span is still not great – even when watching something he’s very interested in! He was mesmerised by the show – and at times even jumped out of his seat with fear (good fear) because the puppets are so realistic!

We loved how interactive the show was. At various parts, children were picked to go up on the stage which is a lovely experience for them! They got the opportunity to see the dinosaurs up close whilst helping out with the plot of the show!

But don’t worry if your child is not chosen, just like Jai wasn’t. There’s is an opportunity for a photo op with a dinosaur at the end! Jai loved this! It took me ages to get him looking at the camera because he couldn’t take his eyes off of the dinosaur!

Dino meet & greet (look at Mila’s face!) 😂

Dino world live is showing at the Troubadour theatre, Wembley, until 1st September. Tickets are available as part of kids week, where children go free with a full paying adults! Tickets available at https://officiallondontheatre.com/show/dinosaur-world-live-london-tickets-111407123/?fromSale=KW&month=08%2F19

Baby and child modelling – all you need to know

Hi guys! This is something that I get asked about a lot. Advice regarding legitimate agencies and how to get your child signed to one. This post will explain all of this, along with Mila’s experience so far.

How and why did I get Mila Into modelling?

One of my best friends Resha messaged me one day when Mila was about 9 weeks old. There was a post on Facebook regarding a company looking for a young baby for modelling. I joined the Facebook group, spoke to other mums regarding the child modelling agency and got into it from there.

Baby modelling is something I’ve always been interested in getting the kids into. When jai was first born I applied to some agencies, but looking back on it now they were definitely scams and I’m so glad I didn’t sign with any of them. As he was my first born, I was wrapped up in the whole motherhood thing as a whole and the modelling went to the back of my mind.

When Mila was born, and I saw how gorgeous she was, I definitely wanted to get her into it.

How do I apply?

Further down in this post you will find a list of all legitimate agencies. Head to their websites and apply! Never pay a penny to join an agency – this will be a scam. Some fake agencies can charge thousands of pounds for a portfolio that your child doesn’t need.

Did you know that for babies you need to update their pictures every month? Can you imagine how expensive that would be? All you need is your phone or a digital camera and you take your children’s pictures from home!

Further Down you will also find the guidelines for the photos you need to take to apply, and then wait to hear back. It can take up to 6 weeks for them to get back to you, and they only tend to do so for acceptances. Don’t be disheartened if your child doesn’t get accepted. Keep applying to other agencies and make sure your pictures are as described below. Feel free to message me the pics you have taken and I can let you know if they are suitable.

Which agencies are legitimate?

So below there are lists of legit child modelling agencies. They are separated into agencies in the North and the South. You really need to be based either in London and surroundings, or Manchester and surroundings – as this is where most castings and shoots take place. Some agencies will only take on children who live in these areas. However, some are more flexible and they are happy with wherever you live, as long as you are willing to travel, possibly very far, at the drop of a hat!

There are also two types of agencies. Sole and non-sole. If you sign to a sole agency it means that you can only be signed with them and only do modelling work through them. If you sign to a non-sole, it means you can sign to multiple non-soles at the same time.

There are pros and cons to both. We personally went with a sole as I believe some of the best agencies are sole (Ray and robin, Bruce and brown, Grace and Galor etc)

Just because you are with multiple agencies it doesn’t mean you will get more work, but just because you are with a top agency it doesn’t mean you will get more work. It’s a hard one. I think you need to go with your gut, try it out, and if you are unhappy you can always go from sole to non-sole, or vice versa.

North & south agencies – sole

Bonnie & Betty

Urban angels

Dee boss

Hashtag

Elliot brown

Little Allstars

Signature

Kids London/ Kids Manchester

Ora

So talented London

North & south agencies – non-sole

Mustard

Lacara

Y2K

Model me management

Stellar management

Bondhi talent

Gingersnap

South agencies – Sole

Bruce and brown

Grace and Galor

Ray and Robin

USI agency

Baby grace

My kids

Cheeky monkeys

South coast Kidz

Daisy and dukes

South agencies – Non-sole

Kiddiwinks

Mini models

North agencies – sole

DK models

Mentor

Boss model management

Nemesis

Ology

Warwick management

Catwalk (CMM)

North agencies – Non-sole

Phoenix models

What photos should I submit to agencies?

I can guarantee you that your child is beautiful – all children are. The thing that will set your child apart from the rest and get them a spot with a top agency is all down to you. Photos are everything.

– No hair bows!! No matter how tempting this may be, you will not get accepted if you apply with bows in your child’s hair!! I’m talking from experience. When I reapplied without the bows we were accepted!

No dummies/ hats/ messy faces

– Hair should be out and natural

– plain clothing. A white baby-grow is perfect for a baby, and a plain white shirt for an older child.

– No filters or editing! Again, so important! Agencies will know and they will not take on your child.

The lighting should be good. No shadows on the face. Clear white background, no clutter. In front of a plain white wall is ideal. Make sure nothing else is in the photo.

Please can you explain what happens at a casting and a shoot?

So a casting is basically an audition for a job. Prior to this, a company, for example; Mothercare, will give the modelling angency a brief of what they are exactly looking for. The agency will them present them with model cards containing photos of each child that means the brief. The company then decides who they would like to see at a casting.

Castings tend to be very last minute, sometimes you may even be told the night before. For this reason you need to be flexible and it is more difficult if you are working.

For Mila’s Next casting, we were given three days notice. We were told to be at the location between 09.30 and 10.30, and as I hate being late we were there at 09.25. We were second there, which means we got seen really quickly. 15 minutes later there were about 50 babies in the waiting room!

We got called in, given a baby grow to try on, and Mila was put in front of the camera. A photographer took her photos for a couple of minutes and she was done! As easy as that.

You generally hear back within two weeks. We heard back exactly two weeks after, and we were availability checked for a job the following week. (Availability checks do not necessarily mean they’ve got the job. You will be told soon after if you have been confirmed for the job.) Two days before the shoot Mila was confirmed. Yippee!!

At the shoot, the whole team were really lovely. There were other models there ranging from toddlers, up to adults. Mila was shooting for a Christmas range of family matching pjs. There was breakfast and drinks available on set and you were made to feel very relaxed. There’s quite a big team of photographers, stylists, creative directors and make up artists etc but it’s a great experience and there’s always someone to answer your questions.

Mila wasn’t great at this shoot as she was unwell on the day so very clingy to me. But she got through it and hopefully they got some great snaps! Looking forward to seeing her on the Next website at Christmas!!

The maximum hours for a young child on set is 5 I believe, and the child has plenty of breaks in between. All jobs are licensed by your local council, as a child is working. This is all done by your agency so not something you have to worry about.

Mila waiting to go into her first casting

What modelling work has Mila done?

So as above she has done Next. She has also been in a US tv series which is out in America at the end of July! This was such an exciting experience for us, as it was her first job. We were picked up in a Mercedes and taken to a hotel. Right outside the whole road had been closed for location filming. Eventually we were called to set and Mila did so well! It was really cold but her lovely on screen mum and dad kept her warm and happy. They had to do the 45 second scene about 20 times so it took a while.

We had lunch in the hotel and then was driven home. Such a lovely day!

Mila with her on screen mum & dad

I think that is pretty much all of the questions that we have been asked. If there is anything else please comment below or DM me. I’m happy to help!

Review – bakerdays letter box cake

Hi guys! Back In June we were kindly gifted a gorgeous letter box cake from bakerdays for Father’s Day. We were so happy with the product so wanted to let you know all about it!

Just the idea is fab. A personalised 5″ cake which is delivered through the letter box! What an amazing gift idea. It’s so lovely that you can send someone special a unique gift that they would never expect to drop through their letter box! You don’t need to worry that they won’t be at home for the delivery and who doesn’t love cake?!

The Flavour that we went for was Vanilla, however, Chocolate, Fruit, Gluten & Wheat Free are also all available.

We arrived back from holiday with the cake having been posted through the letterbox on the promised date. It arrived in perfect condition and in a lovely reusable tin, with the words “just for you”

The cake was absolutely delicious. It was the perfect size for the three of us to enjoy, and Samir loved the photo and the words on the cake. It was very special.

Take a look at their website for an upcoming special occasions you may have. You won’t be disappointed! http://www.bakerdays.com/

Go bananas for Jungle Monkeyz Adventure!

We were kindly gifted some tickets for Jungle Monkeyz Adventure in exchange for an honest review of our experience – so here it is! I took Jai, my sister and my 10 year old niece – Marli.

Ready for an adventure!

The experience is set in the Mayan jungle and lost temples, where the mission is to find the lost gems to return to Alex the monkey and his dad. The story and aim keeps the kids motivated and encouraged, and is not too young or too old. All kiddies can have fun with it!

We found all of the Gems!

It is set within the building of a soft play in pinner that we have already attended on multiple occasions and Jai loves! I actually remember going there when Mila was about 4 weeks old and I was still so uncomfortable with breastfeeding, but all of the staff were so lovely to me and I felt so at ease that I whipped the boob at with no problems at all 😂

So this new Adventure experience has only been open for a matter of weeks, so I didn’t really know what to expect, other than some jungle themed activities.

What’s that over there?!

Upon arrival we were greeted by the lovely Carmen who showed us to the waiting area and provided the kids with some books and pencils which were to be used throughout the experience.

In the waiting area…

After a short few minutes, we were taken to the entrance where Carmen bid us farewell and out of nowhere our charasmatic jungle guide appeared! Each group has their own guide for the entirety of the experience and they are all trained actors so know exactly how to make the experience fun and realistic for the kiddies – and adults!

Rainbow, our fantastic jungle guide!

“Rainbow” was fantastic! Jai was hesitant for the first few minutes as he was fresh from just having a tantrum, but Rainbow cheered him up so quickly and before we knew it he was having the time of his life! 

From the outside of the building you would never have guessed what wonders await you behind the doors.. we were all so truly impressed. It must have taken loads of time and money to perfect the jungle in the way they have.

Around every corner there was a surprise and something that shocked us. The tour guides are fab at getting the whole family involved in every aspect of the experience. It is also so educational, and it is done in a way that the kids don’t even realise they are being taught.. they just think it’s all fun!

I’m sure we just saw the naughty Caiman!

There is a gorgeous seating area about 70% of the way through the journey.. where you can have a drink and the kids can have a chat with a talking tree!! This area is absolutely perfect for birthday parties! 

We loved the technology that they have incorporated. I don’t want to talk about it too much as I feel like it was so great as it was all new to us and such a surprise. But I have to mention the sand which I can only describe as magic! Jai already loves sand as it is, and it is a great sensory activity for all ages, but have you ever played with sand which actually changed into volcanoes when you built it up, and rivers when you flattened it down? I think not!!!!

Incredible technology!

The experience is aimed at children aged 3-12 years, although it is fine to bring younger children along with their older siblings (I could have taken Mila along but wanted some quality time with Jai) 

We really couldn’t rate Jungle Monkeyz Adventure any higher and I recommend it to everyone with kids who are the ages as explained above. It is so different, so personalised and your kids will feel very special with all of the attention on them from their tour guide, that you just wouldn’t get from a large attraction.

You’ve also got the soft play in the same building where parents can grab a coffee whilst letting the little ones get rid of the last remaining bits of energy before home time. The two combined make it a full day out! 

I would like to thank the whole team for having us along, because it was such a special day for Jai and Marli – and it is so rare to find something that a 4 year old enjoys as much as a 10 year old. But they truly did, and two weeks later they still talk about it.

Someone’s excited!

A family ticket for two adults and two children costs £49. Children under 1 are free.

https://www.junglemonkeyz.co.uk/adventure/tickets

We were gifted tickets but all opinions are my own and we truly loved our day.

Moooochas gracias Odds Farm park!

Hi guys! Yesterday we have spent the day at Odds Farm Park! I’m sure you’ll already be aware of this as I’ve been storying about it all day and have even posted an IGTV video about our day (have a watch if you haven’t already!)

This blog post has a bit of extra information and recommendations so it’s definitely worth a read if you are planning a visit. I will [try] to keep it short and sweet because as I’ve said above there’s already lots of info on my page!

We drove from our home in west London and it took exactly 25 minutes from door to door. It’s straight down the M40 and when you come off it’s literally a straight road for 10 mins and you’re there! There is plenty of on site free parking available.

When you enter and either show your ticket or purchase one, you come through to a lovely little area where you walk through and have questions on the wall regarding to bees and wildlife. It was a really cute interactive area that both the kids and adults enjoyed, and had lots of little backgrounds, perfect photo opportunities!

Then there is an entrance where you can go through to the soft play or outside onto the farm and other activities. We headed for the farm as we were off to see the bunny display. There are lots of demonstrations on throughout the day and there are clear timings displayed on information boards and a leaflet you are provided with upon entrance.

We were a little early for the display so popped into the crafts tent. It was gorgeous inside! We have seen many crafts areas at various attractions but the quality of the one at Odds Farm is second to none. All of the equipment looks so new and clean. There were different activities put out on each table but as we were going off to see the bunnies we only had time to do one. We looked at life cycles of different insects and used microscopes to look at different bugs! This activity lasted about 10 minutes and was enjoyed by all of us and of course very educational! We then headed off to see the bunnies and planned to come back but we were so busy all day out in the sunshine that we forgot to! So we look forward to it next time!

We then went to see the bunnies out of their huts which was cute! We got to give them a stroke and watch them hop around. In the same area are all the goats and sheep, and for £1 you can purchase a bag of food to feed them. The kids absolutely loved doing this and although they were nervous at first, they saw that all the animals were capable of was a little lick on the hand, they couldn’t wait to feed them all one by one!

Some of the outdoor activities include crazy golf, mini Land Rovers, welly wanging, multiple outdoor play areas, Pedal Go karts, tractor and trailer rides and of course lots of farm animals to see!

However, the kids favourite area was the unique splash zone, known as H20dds! There was so much to do in there that kids could easily be entertained for a few hours in nice weather! There were lots of plastic toys around such as little boats and watering cans. These are the type of things Jai would pick up in a water park and think that he can play with- but they would turn out to be another child’s and all hell would break loose! But Odds Farm has it covered with plenty toys for all to play with! Remember the kids swimming costumes and towels!

The indoor play areas are also amazing! There is a dedicated under 1s area and under 5s area, as well as a massive adventure play area! Some of those slides are definitely only for thrill seekers and I was clearly too scared to go on them!!

Everywhere in Odds Farm is so clean! The facilities are all really modern and everything is so well looked after. The baby change facilities are fab, and there are so many staff members around if you ever need any help with anything! For example, there were dedicated staff in the water play area and at the top of the slides.

I also loved that even though it was a sunny bank holiday weekend, and it was clearly very busy, it didn’t feel busy if that makes sense? For example, as we pulled up in the car park it looked packed and I dreaded how busy it was going to be inside, but at the entrance there were no queues, and we didn’t actually really queue for anything for the whole day! I think this is mostly because the farm is so big, and there are so many things to do that even when it is busy, everyone is spread out and you don’t notice it!

I honestly couldn’t fault our trip, I just wish we had visited sooner. I’m buying us annual passes so we can revisit as many times as we want, as it has everything for every weather, so we can’t go wrong!

Although our tickets were gifted, everything in this blog is my own opinion – reflected in our purchase of annual passes!

Mila’s routine – 5 months Old

Hey everyone! So this was the most voted for blog post in our poll last week! I will write about Mila’s current routine which will change in the coming weeks as we introduce BLW into the mix!

6.15am – wake up time!

So this time varies between 6am-6.45am. She may even wake up sometime before this and I just don’t realise because she just lays happily in her cot. She does eventually start to have a little chat to herself and that’s when I go over to her. As I approach her cot she gives me the biggest smile ever, and it makes up for any early start and puts me in the best mood for the day!

6.20am – Milk prep and nappy change

I make a fresh bottle of milk and put it in cold water to cool down. Whilst it’s cooling I change Mila’s nappy. We absolutely love Asda’s little angels and Tesco’s Fred and flo nappies. It is so true that every baby is different, even with what nappies work best for them. With Jai we only used Pampers from when he was born to when he was out of nappies at 2 years old. We did try other brands but they all leaked or made him sore. However, with Mila the cheaper versions have worked excellently and every morning there is never any kind of leak onto her clothing etc and we are really happy with them!

We then sit in the front room, and I watch TV whilst I feed her. She is done within 10 minutes and then we sit and have a little chat and cuddle.

7.00am – Back to bed

We then go and get into Mamas big bed! If Jai has slept in my bed the night before than he will still be fast asleep. If he was in his bed then by now he would have called for me and I would put him into my bed for him to sleep for an extra hour or so in the morning. So we are all in my bed and we have family cuddles! Mila will usually try her best to wake up Jai by pulling his hair or hitting him in the face haha and then gives up and falls asleep in my bed. She will only sleep up to 30 minutes generally and then she’s awake again.

8.00am – Out and about

If Jai is at nursery (Wednesday – Friday) then we will now be getting ready and out of the house by 8.20) Jai’s nursery is paid for from 7.30am but on maternity leave who is really leaving the house at those sort of times!

If Jai’s at home (Monday – Tuesday) then we will all come into the front room. Mila will sit with Jai on the sofa or on her chair, I will make Jai’s breakfast and sterilise bottles for the day ahead. Mila will watch about 10 minutes of TV with Jai and have a bite on her teether. I then change her nappy in time for her next feed.

09.30am – Milk!

So literally without fail she requests this bottle at pretty much exactly the same time every single morning! She has her milk and I sit her with me for 10 minutes after and by then she is yawning for her nap.

10.00am – Nap!

This is her longest nap of the morning and she sleeps for a good hour at least.

10.30 – Play!

During this awake time we usually have tummy time, cuddles, playing on the floor, watching a little bit of telly or we go out. Her next feed is due around 1pm and she gets tired again before then so will have a shorter nap.

11.30– Nap again!

It can be difficult putting her down for this nap. This is normally where she is the whingiest. If we are out then she will fall asleep really easily but if we are at home and I put her down in the cot she will moan or cry for a few minutes before falling asleep. I go to her every one minute or so and put her dummy back in her mouth, kiss her and tell her I love her and then walk out. I repeat this for about three minutes. If she is still crying I will pick her up and calm her down but generally she is always asleep within the three minutes, or I can tell she is about to fall asleep so will walk out again.

12.30pm– Nearly lunch!

So as soon as he wakes up I get her bottle ready. She then has her bottle and a nappy change.

13.15pm – Plaaaaay

So her tummy is full and she is feeling fresh. If we aren’t out at this time then again we will be playing. We will practice her sitting up, listen to music, read a book and she will lay on her activity mat.

14.30pm – Naaaaap

Back down she goes for around an hour long nap. This nap she normally goes off really happily and falls asleep straight away.

15.30pm – If we haven’t already been out yet in the day we would usually go out around this time, either to pop to the shops or go to a coffee shop etc.

We then go and pick Jai up around 1700 (if he’s been at nursery. This routine would vary quite a lot if Jai was at home as we would most likely have gone to their nannies house or soft play etc)

If it’s nice weather we tend to pick him up at about 1700 so we can go to the park for a bit, or if it’s not good weather we pick him up closer to 1800.

18.00pm- Splish splash

This is the difficult time where she is clearly very tired and wanting her bed but I don’t want to put her down this early. I make a nice warm bottle and leave it in the front room as she screams for it as soon as she gets out of the bath.

I run a bath and I pop her in at about 18.15. Sometimes she goes in alone and sometimes she’s in with Jai, it all depends. She absolutely loves bath time! She could be screaming but if you place her in the bath she is immediately calm and smiling! I keep her in for about 15 minutes and we have lots of fun with the bubbles and splashing. I then wash her hair and body, and get her out, wrapping her into a warm towel and taking her into my room.

Her changing table is in her room and I use this throughout the day but I think it’s just nicer to dress her after her bath on my bed. It’s warmer and comfier. I keep the heating on in my room 10 mins prior to her getting out of the bath so it’s nice and warm when she’s out.

I dry her and moisturise her body with child’s farm lotion. I’ve used this since she was born and we’ve never had any issues. It keeps her skin really soft and best of all, it smells amazing! We’ve never tried any other creams on her because we are happy with this one.

I then put a little bit of coconut oil in her hair and brush it. I dress her in the night time baby grow and take her into the front room for her last feed.

18.45 – Bot Bot and bed

After she has her bottle, I keep her sitting up right for at least 15 mins to prevent her being sick. If I’m really busy running around after Jai or doing something, she will sit in her chair for 10 mins and watch Telly or play with her toys.

If by 19.00 she is crying to go to sleep then I put her into her cot and she will fall asleep straight away.

If she’s still quite awake and happy then I bring her into bed with us and we read our bedtime stories together for 10 minutes and then I put her into her cot.

She usually then will sleep through until 6ish but sometimes she may moan during the night for her dummy, and once it’s back in her mouth she is straight back to sleep!

So that is Mila’s day.

She has between 5-6 feeds. She loves her sleep! We all love our morning, family cuddles. She loves being out and about and watching everyone and everything.

It will be interesting to see the changes that come within the next month and how different the next blog of her routine will be after she is 6 months!