family

What makes a good family film? How about likeable characters, a good plot, a baddy and some hijinx? Well, Surf's Up 2: Wave Mania has all those things plus some cool surf moves. On Sunday, my family and I went to the DVD launch party for Surf's Up 2 and we had loads of fun. The film is about an ambitious and clever penguin, Cody, who is desperate to achieve fame and fortune through surfing. Along with his friends, Lani and Chicken Joe, they battle it out to see who can join the famous Hang Five surf team (voiced by some of the superstars from WWE).

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Husband rarely goes away for work, but once a year he attends a conference with his firm. This year he used our car, which isn't a big deal as the weather was nice and I happily walked everywhere with the kids (he was only gone for 1 1/2 days). But the girl was a bit of a nightmare on Saturday. And when Husband arrived home at 3.30pm, I was happy to see him. But I knew I also needed some time alone. So I grabbed the car at 3.35pm and went for a mental health walk in Richmond Park.

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I love a UK city break. And though I enjoy exploring new places with the children, I adore having a little getaway with Husband. In January, exhausted from Christmas and winter colds, the two of us were in desperate need of some time alone. So we called in some reinforcements (aka The Grandparents), and off to Bath we drove.

As we only had one night away, Bath is a great destination as it is only 2-2 1/2 hours away from London (by car). And as it isn't a big town, it is quite manageable to walk around in a day. We didn't see everything that Bath had to offer, but we did take in some of the best-known sites. So I thought I would share some of the fun we had during our four hours in Bath.

The Roman Baths

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This past week has been the February half-term break, so I took the week off from my blog to hang out with my little monkeys. Sometimes, at the end of half-term, I feel a bit sad that the children have to return to school. This is not one of those times. Yes, we have had some fun times. We did a lot - including baking, seeing the new Batman Lego film, playing in Bushy Park, spotting the Butterflies at Wisley, watching lots of Netflix, having haircuts, enjoying play dates that wrecked the house and drinking milkshakes at Ikea.

But the kids were both tired and cranky for the first few days. And the girl was disagreeable for most of the 10 days. So I spent most of the evenings feeling tense and needing to unwind after dealing with tantrums. And tonight I am on the sofa, not-so-tense because I know tomorrow will be mostly peaceful. I adore my children but, my word, I love some peace and quiet.

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Every year, my family and I visit RHS Wisley to see the butterflies in their glasshouse. There is something so special about seeing more than 6,000 exotic butterflies fluttering around. And while the children enjoy it, I especially love it. It is so calming seeing all their beautiful colours and patterns. And there are such exotic flowers and plants in the glasshouse, coupled with the heat that is needed to keep the butterflies alive, that you feel like you're somewhere tropical.

Children can do more than walk through the glasshouse. Wisley have a spotter's guide (for which they ask for a £1 donation) so the little ones can looks for specific butterflies and find out their names. We have been going since 2014, and I love looking at photos from previous visits to see how much Moozles and Dubz have changed.

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Husband and I try to have one or two mini-breaks each year, without the children. Even if it's just for one night, we both feel re-invigorated having uninterrupted couple time that lasts longer than two or three hours and which occurs far from our sofa. I can't believe I'm the only person who isn't that lively and interesting on a Friday night after a long week mothering my socks off.

For the past five years, we have kept the breaks to the UK as there are so many wonderful, nearby places I have yet to explore. I actually have a bucket list of UK cities that I would like to visit in the next few years. I guess there's no hurry, but I am a bit impatient. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago we visited Bath. The lovely people from eviivo had invited us try out one of their award-winning properties, so how could we say no?!

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We watch a lot of kids' movies. Sometimes they are funny, and sometimes I find myself bored out of my mind. Last month, my family and I were invited to watch Sing at the Odeon in Leicester Square. And to be honest, I did not have high expectations. I thought it might be one of those films that showed the best bits during the trailer/advert, and then the actually movie would be a bit boring. But I am happy to say that I was mistaken.

Sing is a pleasant surprise. There is a strong plot (I don't want to give too much away but it does involve a talent show). The main characters are complex and lovable. There were plenty of laughs, but there were also some sweet moments. And the music is superb. Dubz spent a lot of the film dancing around on his chair. He even got up at one point to boogie. It was beyond cute.

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How can a child be so cute, yet so infuriating at the same time? Dubz has had a rough week. He hasn't gotten enough sleep and has thrown tantrums most afternoons. And then today, after brunch, he just went a little crazy and was hitting, and sitting on the floor holding my leg, fighting his sister, and trying to sit in the middle of the road. We were out with friends, and it makes it so much tougher to catch up when you're navigating bad behaviour. And then we got home, feeling frazzled and stressed.

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Let me start off by saying that I have wanted to watch a Cirque Du Soleil show for years. But Husband always refused to go saying they were probably overrated. Last week, I was invited to the opening of Amaluna at the Royal Albert Hall and I got to finally see for myself, if the Cirque Du Soleil hype was worth it.

I won't leave you in suspense. I loved the show. I went with one of my mummy friends, who had also never see a Cirque show. And we were wowed. I wasn't actually sure what to expect. I knew there were acrobatics, but I thought it would just be one act after the other. In fact, it is the story of a mother and daughter (Miranda) who have been exiled to an island. A boat crashes and some castaways wash ashore, including Romeo who falls in love with Miranda. The couple's relationship is at first thwarted, but luckily there is a happy ending.

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The Loveliness of Fogginess

I would normally stay home on a foggy day (if there isn't any school or work). I mean, how can anyone have outdoor fun when you can barely see your hand in front of your face?! But I spent all of December feeling poorly, and spent an entire week in bed at Christmas. So on New Year's Eve Eve, I took the kids to Richmond Park. I was feeling guilty for not taking Moozles and Dubz out for fun holiday outings, plus I was desperate for some fresh air.

Regular readers will know that I take weekly walks in Richmond Park, so I am quite familiar with it. But it was so foggy that day that I took a wrong path and we ended up somewhere new. But there was no need to worry as we discovered an amazing tree trunk and a hollowed out tree. The kids had so much fun climbing around. And I didn't have to worry about us walking into a deer.

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