Tag Archives: Ice Skating

Get Your Skates On

10 Jan

 Just because my son has Aspergers Syndrome and special educational needs, it doesn’t mean he can’t do all the things your child can do! OK, a handful of those “Things” are that bit more difficult, but he gets there all the same!

 Sometimes, I often find myself saying the above to Little man, a child who has lost confidence, through no fault of his own! This is a child who needs that push, a gentle reminder that everything is worth a try. 

 It’s not just the fact that Little man missed out on many trips and activities while attending mainstream school (though this has had a considerable impact) it’s also little man’s social and physical abilities that also play a part. 

 So, when I won tickets for a family trip to the Stratford City, Westfields outdoor ice rink, I knew Little man would struggle if but a little. 

 The great thing was that I actually bagged two lots of family tickets…well, 3 lots actually, all on different blogs that I read! I was delighted to discover I had won the first lot, then I was informed by yet another blogger, id won her competition too. This set I gave up for another lovely blogger and her family who had also entered, but then to discover from yet another blogger that I won a third time was absolutely great if not a little strange. With this revaluation, I decided to invite the neighbours along too.

 Both my older children, Little man and his sister Alice-Sara, are gone friends with the children next door (in all honesty one of the children is Little man’s one and only true friend) so, I hoped that this would make the whole experience of getting out on the ice, a little less daunting for the Little guy, and it did… eventually!

 Don’t get me wrong, there was no meltdowns, not one in fact (I know… shocking) it was more little man’s OT needs that posed a challenge! My son is what some would describe as a little clumsy, which is basically down to his gross motor skills! Yes, he can ride a bike, amazingly well in fact, but he often has a little trouble with his spatial awareness (knowing where his body is in space) his balance, can sometimes be a little off at times too. This impacted with the crowded ice rink would undoubtably pose a challenge, this I already knew.

 Yet, the fact he had his friends there and the sheer determination within him, saw him past the challenges that presented him, and as a result, I ended up a very proud mummy!

Above: All friends together on the Ice

 The staff at Westfields couldn’t have been more helpful, I didn’t notify them that a child with Special needs would be joining us (a group of 8 consisting of 2 adults and six children) but all the same I felt the staff went out of their way to help. There was one point when the little man started freaking out that his skates were not tight enough (he has this thing where shoes need doing up dead tightly, he states it’s so his feet have control of his shoes and not the other way around) Yes, it’s another OT thing)! The staff on the ice were amazing, rushing out to check he was OK and bending down on all fours to tighten his skates. 

 When we first stepped on to the ice, I noted how my daughter and her friends went whizzing of into the middle of the rink, as grateful as I am to have such a confident young daughter, I did feel some sadness for my Little man as he clung to the edge as if his whole life depended on it. He looked at me with fear in his eyes as he stated he just couldn’t do it! I continuously reassured him and bit by bit he came slowly away from the edge.

My daughter & friend first one of the first on the ice

Hanging on for dear lifeThinking about it!Off he goes

 I found my biggest confidence booster for the little guy was, once the rink filled with more and more people I happily pointed out that he wasn’t the only one clung to the edge of the rink (Seriously, it was mostly the full-grown men, hanging on for dear life). Little man, is like lots of children of his age, where he feel incredibly stupid if he struggles to do something that others are finding a breeze, therefore seeing all those grown ups looking like they were hanging from a cliff, seemed to stop him from giving up and making his way back in to redeem his comfortable trainers. (Yes, he tried suggest it once or twice.)

 We were on the ice around 45 minutes and despite his fear, he made it to the middle of the rink! To watch him skating with his friends and smiling having fun, has been the highlight to my year so far… all ten days of it!

Standing proudly with his friend at the centre of the rink

 So… what about me, did I fall on my arse? Nope! Though I almost did once or twice, I just about managed to stay on my feet. 

 I was convinced the skating finished at 6pm, though I was wrong, the last session actually started at 6 pm, meaning the skating didn’t end till 7 pm. With this I gave in defeat and left the Little man and Alice Sara with their friends and their mother (my lovely neighbour) while I headed off to collect my comfortable flat shoes and off it for a sneaky fag 🙂

 Little man was having a blast and now didn’t want to leave. I decided to sit out and just watch for the last hour (my excuse was that I was now a photographer, or at least trying to be)! Though I really shouldn’t admit this, sitting on the sidelines gave me a good opportunity to view some classic skating fails! Wow… Seriously, though I see a couple of women hit the deck, and of course a good number of children (my own included) I have never seen so many men fall over in one place in my whole entire life.And Oops a daisy

 How can you not laugh, there were some classics. Plenty of men, one or two rather dishy I must add, skating around on their butts rather than their skates! Did I feel guilty for laughing so much that my sides were sores? No… not really, they all seemed to see the funny of things, eventually!

 All in all… we had a brilliant time which was all down to them fabulous blogs that ran the competitions, (thank you Essex mum , Madhouse reviews & Emma and three) as well as those who took care of our needs at the skating rink.Alice & FriendOne of the Little man’s friends from next door

 Essex mummy (one of the bloggers I won tickets from) has asked me if I fancy doing a guest post reviewing our experience, we had such a fabulous time it would be rude to decline (so, do keep an eye out for that). 

 For those interested, the rink is now closed but will return again next year for the festive season. We went on the last day before it packed up for the year and considering I thought that I had Christmas well and truly out my system, the festive christmas tunes and chilly ice made it feel like Christmas Eve again. I think January is a brilliant time to go, and I would highly recommend the Stratford City Westfields Outdoor Ice rink.

 Oh… and Little man? He now wants roller-blades! 

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Bag yourself a bargain this Christmas with Groupon

26 Nov

I’m a girl who likes to shop, I’m also a girl who likes a bargain. I don’t have a hidden pot of cash to spend on what I like, I have three children and I’m a full-time carer for my son on the autism spectrum, so… yes, I admit, I like to get things that bit cheaper if and when I can! Who doesn’t?

I never go out and buy anything big or considered a luxury item at full price anymore, I just don’t have that luxury (unless, I have won some money or saved my arse off for months on end in-order to buy it)! Christmas is especially expensive and I like to keep my eyes peeled for a deal or two.

Groupon is a national online company that aims to bring you a selection of discounted offers on everything from hair cuts, clothing vouchers for awesome big name mail-order chains to some smaller independent outlets & high street stores, homeware, gifts, toys, restaurants, club, spas and more. You can sign up for a daily email where you’ll be sent the daily national deal & you can even choose to have them send offers personalised for your designated area.

I’ve known about Groupon for sometime, I’m a member of their Facebook page and have had the emails sent for a few months now! Despite some pretty special deals, I’ve never really got round to grabbing ahold of one! So, when I was asked to review Groupon as part of our Christmas feature, I thought, ‘Yer Why not!’

Groupon gave me a code for a £40 gift voucher towards any of it’s deals. Each deal normally last for a period of 24hrs. I would really recommend that you opt in for the daily email in-order not to miss something amazing. Here’s a small selection of  some of the deals I’ve seen over the past few weeks…


course of 10 Belly dancing lessons, each lasting 90 minutes a session for a mere £14

MP3 player with extras priced at £29 giving you 69% off

Well-being: Deep tissue or Swedish massage with Facial at the Sunshine factory for £34 saving 60%

All day beginners DSLR Photography course for £59, 60% saving.

Weight Loss hot-pants from Zaggora for £19 instead of £44 (I have these and these already and this is a bargain)

Kids bedroom wall stickers £8 instead of £17

Eight swimming lessons for kids or adults £28 instead of £76

Ice Skating for two at Broadgate ice rink for £8.00 giving you a 60% saving.

Two games of tenpin bowling for 4 people £12 saving 79%

LOVEFilm unlimited rental for 3 month for £6 saving £80%

Vera Wang Glam Princess 100ml bottle £29.99 from the London Perfume company saving 52%

All the above are really awesome deals however, there was one that isn’t listed above that really caught my eye, so much so it was my first ever Groupon buy which I used part of my Groupon voucher to pay for.

Decorative Wall Stickers from Moskys One (£9) Two (£17) three (£25) four (£32) or five (£40) I went for the second offer (two stickers for £17) Funny thing was, I had been looking on the Moskys online site not even two days prior to the deal and I had fallen in-love with two of the large decorative stickers, but at £23 each I just couldn’t justify buying them especially at Christmas time. Of course I jumped at the chance to get my hands on my lusted after stickers when the deal came through, £17.00 for two is an absolute steal!

It was really simple, I just clicked the buy now button and once on the payment page I entered my log in details (new members can sign up from the log in page if they haven’t done so already) I selected the offer I wanted (number of stickers) I then filled in all my details and put in my Groupon code in the designated area provided. You use this box for promo codes or those on gift vouchers, other-wise you can select the option to provide your payment details (number of options such as card and pay-pal) I gave all other relevant details including delivery address and that was it, job done!

You will not be sent your voucher in-till the offer comes to an end (this will be sent in an email) nonetheless you are sent a confirmation email and even the chance to spread the word, send the offer to a number of friends and for everyone who buys it your account is credited £6 (nice little earner for those with the big diary of contacts, especially at Christmas).

My deal lasted 24 hours, I brought it quite late with 22 minutes to spare, a few hours after it was closed, Groupon sent my voucher. This means that when I go to purchase my stickers from Moskys I just enter my voucher code and the money is deducted at the checkout just leaving me the postage and packaging to cover.

I haven’t yet order my stickers and I have until the 14th December to do so (it’s on my to do list)! Remember to read the T&C of each deal, some have exemptions, all have a day in-which they run out, some sooner than others. Deals on services such as treatments, hotels, meals, activities , etc., state if there is any additional VAT and online orders of all items will detail any additional shipping chargers ect. All can be checked before making a payment. If your voucher is for a deal on a product, you will normally be given an estimated delivery time (example allow 1-2 weeks for delivery) I found this most helpful, and most will especially if buying gifts for Christmas.

I later found my second “Must have deal” which was a Bratz on the mic fashion doll from KidsPlaystore.com Valued at £49.99 but priced up as £17.99 on the Groupon deal, giving me a saving of 64%. I read the T&C which state I will need to pay an additional £6 P&P and must allow up to 3 weeks for delivery which means it should be here in time for the big C! Which will delight my daughter I’m sure! 

I only got the above deal yesterday and plan to order both my deals in the morning, so here’s hoping the Groupon partners supply a good a service as Groupon has so far, making this a fantastic way to shop.

The experience for me has so far been excellent, I’ve received a good level of customer service, found the ordering system easy to follow, and have been sent emails as and when I should be. All the deals are 100% genuine and the full retail price can be seen on the individuals website. Groupon also offer really cheap last-minute holiday which they are practically giving away in some cases! Groupon can also provide gift vouchers, and they host some great competitions from time to time.

A great range of deals, with some interesting gift ideas to give to your loved ones. I know that I’ll be using Groupon again, I’m just waiting for that next special deal.

Groupon experience so far 4/5 stars.

Given my orders go through on the retailers sites OK and deliveries are good it will easily go up to the full 5 stars.

Check out the all new Groupon TV ad

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