Monday, February 11, 2019

When Life Doesn't Go To Plan

At the end of last year I made a plan, a relatively easy going one but none the less a plan. It was a plan to reach my goals and targets for this year both personal to me and family and home orientated ones. Then BAM life happened. Not in a bad way, just obstacles that we hadn't expected, delays on the things we had and that just derailed me. 

One of my top priorities was to get back into the gym, yes for the health benefits but also because(and I mean this in the nicest way possible) there are times when I just need some alone time and to do something that is just for me and truth be told after a session I always feel cheery(good old endorphins!). That plan hit a snag because despite my best efforts, childcare, work and my health made it virtually impossible to get there. So intention number 1 has not gone to plan




Short breaks and days out was a popular and frequent one one my 2019 Bucket List and although yes I know that we're only in February and still have 10 months of the year left, by now I usually have at the very least a skeleton plan of short breaks and days out pencilled into a diary. Building work that has gone on too long and the associated costs have now meant that we are having to wait until everything is completed so we can assess where we are with everything and then regroup and come up with a new strategy from there.

Those are just two examples but pretty much anything that I've wanted to do that involves planning or some kind of organisation has just gone out of the window. I find that when I don't meet targets or aren't hitting goals(even those set by myself) I lose momentum and drive and the wheels start to fall off and in my past experience, life always has a way not going as planned and that really gets to me. I find that as a very target driven person with a plan for almost everything, when I'm faced with challenges beyond my control I start backing out and make excuses as to why things can't be done another way or worse, becoming very anxious and low in mood.



This time I've acknowledged that I do this and I'm not going to let it put me off track any longer. I may not be able to get to the gym but I can make the most of the exercise and keep fit videos available on Youtube. I'm also looking at what we eat as a family and how I can personally make changes to my own diet to hit that 2 stone loss target.
I've accepted that our home is going to look like a bomb has hit it until all of the building work is finally completed and am making the most of not having to clean like a mad woman every day how I usually do. It also means that we get a bit longer to shop around and decide on the furniture and pieces that we truly want rather than picking things in haste and regretting them later.



I guess after a few paragraphs of rambling what I am trying to say is that life always has a tendency to not go to plan but it's how we deal with it that's the real game changer. When you're so focused on your end goal and then hit a bump in the road it can seem like there is no way around it or no alternative route but you can still get there. Taking a step back, looking at all your options, seeing things from a different perspective and a little patience can mean the difference between you getting there in the end and giving up!

Whatever your own personal struggle may be, YOU GOT THIS!! 

Emma xoxo

Friday, February 1, 2019

Is Your #FOMO Actually Causing You To Miss Out



#FOMO If you haven't seen these hash tag plastered all over social media recently where have you been? It stands for Fear Of Missing Out.

Whether it's moping over pictures of others partying, feeling envious of friends enjoying a meal out or even annoyed at a children's play date, how many times have you scrolled through your Instagram or Facebook feed and felt that you were missing out because you weren't at these events or even worse, weren't invited?


Truth be told I used to feel like that a lot. Despite having a good social life, active family life, great friends and super supportive partner there was always a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I was missing out. I wasn't sure what exactly, but surely I was missing out on something right? All the fun everyone else was having? Maybe the amazing bonds people were making with each other? I mean, for me to be sitting there feeling left out with everything I had under my own nose I HAD to be missing out on something great.

The sad reality was that I WAS missing out on something. I was missing out on the abundance of amazing opportunities that were staring me right smack bang in the face. I was so hell bent of making more out of the simple images in front of me than what they actually were that the fantastic life I was living became overshadowed by the life I WANTED to live.

Having suffered from anxiety and depression, I know first hand how easy it is to look at those perfectly posed and splendidly staged pictures on Instagram and Facebook and feel like you are not enough, your home is not nice enough, your holidays aren't fancy enough, your body isn't beautiful enough and worsen your mood and increase your #FOMO but STOP. Stop it right now!

             

It was only when I was organising all of our albums in the photo drawer and looking back over the last decade or so that I realised there was nothing for me to miss out on. We've visited some extraordinary places, took part in some truly memorable activities, had a blast on all of our holidays(UK based and abroad) and been fortunate enough to experience some tremendous things but because I thought I was missing out on something I had somehow managed to forget a many of these memories or make them seem a lot less significant than they are.

This year I am making a real effort to work on my well-being, to start living life and doing the things that I've always wanted to but had let life hold me back so my advise to you is this; There is no harm in liking or admiring what you see online but make sure that it's not creating a fear of missing out for you because that is what will actually cause you to miss out on some of the most magical moments in your life.


Emma xoxo


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Ten Year Challenge and My Face

For about 2 weeks now you'll have noticed an abundance of pictures with the hashtags #10yearchallenge and #thenandnow. I too took part and having the type of brutally honest friends and family that I have I know I always get the truth(no matter how embarrassing, oh yeah and when it comes to my appearance, 2 very honest teenagers!) So despite my own perceptions of how I've aged I braced myself for the comments

"You look the same as you did at school" "You look the same" "You look younger now" "You must have good genes" "What's your secret?" Were some of the comments I received across my social media.

I have to admit, neither of my parent's look their age so good genes could be the reason but that said for as long as I can remember my Dad has used Nivea face cream and knowing how good it has been to his skin, I myself have been a long time user of the face cream. 
More recently I started looking into Nivea's range of other skincare products and have been using them for a few months now and I have to say I have been very impressed. 

I always used to be a bit hit and miss with sticking to a skincare routine but promised myself to start making more of an effort to take care of myself and the items are so readily available and it takes literally a few minutes to make such a difference to my physical and mental well-being, there really was no excuse.

There's no getting away from the fact that I have freckles, for years I tried to hide them with make up but now I accept that they are part of my identity and embrace them but hormonal break outs I'm not so keen to embrace. Particularly as I have a tendency to pick at my spots which then lead to scarring and blemishes.

As I mentioned, along with the Nivea Creme I have been using some of the other skincare products over the last few months and boy have I seen an improvement. Every morning I have been washing my face with the Nivea Daily Essentials Gentle Exfoliating Scrub and then wiped my face using a cotton pad covered with the Daily Essentials 2 in 1 Cleanser and Toner. Once my face is dry I moisturise with the creme(I find this is also a good base for make up). Before bed I clean my face with the Nivea MicellAIR Skin Breath Micellar Water before toning again and finish off with the Daily Essentials 24HR Moisture Boost + Refresh Regenerating Night Cream.
I've stuck to this skincare routine for about 3 months now and I've noticed that my scarring and blemishes are less visible, breakouts are few and far between and my skin is looking much clearer and is so smooth to touch.

I generally find that despite the fab results Nivea products provide, they are so very reasonably priced that they are pretty much affordable for everyone. They have products aimed at oily, dry and combination skin so whatever your skin type you're pretty much guaranteed to find something suitable.

I'll continue to use these items as long as I continue to see the results I have been seeing and am now looking forward to the next 10 year challenge!

Do you have any skin care products that you swear by? How kind have the last 10 years been to you?


Emma xoxo


*This is in no way a sponsored post. I purchased all products mentioned and have just generally been really happy with the results

Friday, January 18, 2019

Social Media and Your Teen

Growing up in an age where a 'group chat' was literally a group of friends hanging out and actually chatting I never had to worry about social media, likes, followers, retweets etc but my children are growing up in an age where everything is online. 
We are encouraged to make appointments online, shop online, watch programmes online etc so is it really any wonder that younger generations are becoming more and more dependent on living life through a screen?




"It's not fair", "but my friends have one", "your so boring" were just some of the statements made by my then tween when discussing why she couldn't have a Facebook account. At the time, my daughter was just 12 and had started secondary school. Whilst many of her arguments for why she should be allowed to have an account were well thought out and very diplomatic, I was able to get her to understand why I made the decisions I did in regards to her having social media accounts. Compared to some parents I knew at the time I was not necessarily as liberal as them but I thought that children should be children and there will be plenty of time for them to be adults. Since then(which was just 4 years ago) things have changed dramatically. With children as young as 3 in possession of their own Ipads and tablets, logged into their own YouTube accounts or Netflix profiles to watch other children not much older than them on their own YouTube channels, playing with toys or unwrapping Kinder eggs (I seriously don't get it) do we have to change our thinking when it comes to children and social media?
     
Recently I've noticed quite a few adults on social media talking about how images and posts in their social media feeds is negatively impacting their mental well being and if it has that power on us as adults can you imagine the impact it must have on young, impressionable individuals. I'm not for one second saying that social media is an evil and bad invention but what I am saying is how do we manage our children and social media because let's face it, they have plenty to choose from;Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat the list goes on

Having 2 teenagers, I know that they have accounts across various platforms;, but I also have passwords to their accounts and follow them so have access and a voice in how they use it. So far, we haven't had any major issues other than the odd meme that they've re-tweeted or shared that I've felt maybe a bit inappropriate, so with that in mind I've put together some of my top tips for venturing into the world of social media with your teen.



  • Ask them why they want to open an account and what they want to use it for
  • Talk to them and prepare them for the negatives of social media too
  • Make sure you are both fully aware about internet safety and protection
  • Be clear on who they can and can't befriend and follow (people they know only and verified celeb accounts)
  • Ensure that their accounts are set to private and avoid using location services
  • Be mindful of what is posted (hurtful comments, personal details etc)
  • Never posting inappropriate pictures and videos
  • Never agreeing to meet with someone offline
  • If they see something that concerns them talk to an appropriate adult
  • Be clear on whether you want access to the account or if you trust them to manage it themselves
  • Decide on exactly what platforms they will be using
  • Agree on how long they can spend on social media (once you start scrolling it can turn into hours)



Hopefully those tips will help prepare to venture into the wold of social media with you teen.

Are your children already using social media? How do you manage it? Are you comfortable with it?

I'd love to hear your views.


Emma xoxo


Twin Mummy and Daddy

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Our 2019 Bucket List

I'm not a big believer in New Years resolutions, if you have goals or dreams then there's no need to wait for a new year to achieve them you should go for it, tomorrow isn't promised and all that but having said that, every year in January I like to sit down with the family and make a list of the things that we'd like to achieve over the coming year. Some are personal achievements, some are things we'd like to do as a family or couple and some things that our home would benefit from.

I find it easier to keep track of our annual Bucket list my organising it into colour coded goals


2019 Bucket List


Family            Couple          Children        Personal       Home


Picnic on the beach ~ Christmas Break ~ City Break ~ Spa Break
Theatre ~ Pedicure ~ Visit Boxhill ~ New Forest Short Break
Replace mattresses ~ New Dinner Set ~ Go Fishing
Loose at Least 2 Stone ~ Send a message in a bottle ~ Save More
Visit a trampoline park ~ Alton Towers Break ~ Visit a Waterpark
Have a Water Balloon/Gun Fight ~ Take More Pics ~ Visit a New City
Visit Virginia Water ~ Replace Wardrobes ~ New Sofa ~ Read More
Go on Holiday ~ Go to Peppa Pig World ~ Go for a Couples Massage
Go on a Steam Train ~ Hot Air Balloon Ride ~ Conquer 1 of My Fears
Replace Duvets and Pillows ~ Fit Breakfast Bar



Do you make New Years resolutions or do you have an annual bucket list? Let me know what's on yours

Emma xoxo


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Rediscovering Books

For as long as I can remember I have loved a good book. I used to enjoy random finds that once immersed would find me whizzed off into a world of romance, danger, plot twists and just a world that was completely different to my own and to be honest I think that was always the attraction.

As I got older, moved out of home, had children and just basically grew up I found myself reading less and less until eventually if I managed one book a year it was a miracle. This year I got caught up in 3 books and it reignited my love of reading. 

Now I'm not one for New Years resolutions(a few new school year ones maybe), if  you have goals or dreams then there's no point in waiting, tomorrow never may come and all that, so you have to grab life by the horns. 

Some may think that reading a few more books isn't that big a deal but it's what it means. It means setting a goal and sticking to it. It means showing willpower and determination and it also means prioritising my time. In today's society we often use phrases like "I'm too busy", "I don't have the time" and "I have other things to do" as a get out clause for not achieving our goals.

We are really lucky to have 3 really big and modern libraries all within walking distance that offer a range of services from free wifi and computer use to adult learning courses and stay and play sessions for little ones, homework clubs to study spaces and I intend to make the most of them this year.

I want to focus on maximising my time in 2019 and being the best person I can be physically, mentally, emotionally and financially so to kick start it off one of my first reads of the year will be The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. That doesn't mean that I'll be giving up my love of escapism any time soon though, I've also borrowed Liane Moriarty's number one bestseller What Alice Forgot. 

So moving forward, I'm hoping that rediscovering my love of reading will help me rediscover things about myself that I lost along the way.

What books have you been reading this year and what books are on your reading list for 2019?


Emma xoxo








Monday, December 17, 2018

That Girl

As the year draws to an end, like many others I find myself reflecting on the past 12 months. The highs, the lows, the good, the bad, the experiences and the lessons.

This year there has been one thing that has stuck out more than anything and it’s seemed to reoccur the last few years, DISAPPOINTMENT!


I’ve always been THAT girl. That girl who will always be the first to call and text. THAT girl who will share the latest bargain or discount code. THAT girl who loves to make plans and invite everyone to make as many fabulous memories as possible but all too many times it has dawned on me that because I’m THAT girl people take me for granted.

This year, more so than others, it has really dawned on me just how much effort I put into my relationships with friends and families and how complacent that those friends and family have become in assuming that I’ll just always be the one who will continue to make an effort.

Truth is, I just can’t and won’t do it anymore. As someone who has suffered with anxiety and depression in the past I know from first hand experience that toxic relationships, bad vibes and negative thoughts are a perfect recipe for encouraging depression and anxiety to creep back in a quite frankly, I want that door to remain closed.

This year there have been some people who have really shocked me with their actions or just showing me how low down on their list of priorities I am. People who I would have never had imagined in a million years would make me feel this way. When you are the one constantly making an effort and feeling like it’s unappreciated or not reciprocated it can lead to a feeling of loneliness, unworthiness and just plain upset, everything I don’t want to feel. So moving into 2019 I just cannot be THAT girl any more.

Happiness and fulfilment are 2 things that are top of my list for next year and I know that in order to achieve them I need to leave disappointment and negative energy in the past and surround myself with positive and uplifting influences. I know that I am the only one that can be responsible for my happiness so I need to ensure that my lifestyle is reflective of that.

Heading into 2019 I NEED to be THAT girl. THAT girl who smashes her goals, THAT girl who realises her self worth, THAT girl who makes fabulous memories and THAT girl who doesn’t let disappointment limit the amazing life I know I deserve to have.


What are you leaving in 2019?

Emma xoxo

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Guess Who's Back?!


I know I know, I've been pretty absent of late but that's a post for another day....

Love it or hate it for the next month your social media feeds will be full of images of elves up and down the country up to their tricks as Elf on the Shelf is back!
For some years now we’ve incorporated this into our Christmas traditions and the only way I can keep on top of it is by planning everything in advance.
This year I’ve noticed that loads of shops have starting stocking ‘elfy’ items to help you and your elf in their antics and I along with what seems like half of the country have picked up a few of these things.


Our elf, Kaboodle, named by our now 9 year old is a particularly tricky elf that usually gets up to no good and as such often leaves a lovely mess for Mummy to clean up!

Traditionally, Kaboodle arrives on 1st December through his special elf door leaving snowy footprints bringing advent calendars for all of the family with him. This year he will also be bringing a couple of extra bits an ‘elf cctv’ that I picked up in the January sales earlier this year for just 49p from Card Factory and 2 early Christmas gifts(a concert ticket for teenager 1 and a repaired phone for teenager 2). This will be accompanied with some elf bunting and 'Guess who's Back?' written on the hallway mirror in bright red lipstick.


During the course of the next month Kaboodle will make angel wings in some spilled flour on the kitchen work surface, decorate our Christmas tree with knickers, pants and bras, hang out his very own washing(a prop bought from Poundland) on a washing line by the washing machine.
He will also be put under a glass with a help me sign and other toys around him, toast some marshmallows over one of my candles, put eyes on all the fruit and veg in the fridge and have a play on the elf swing that I bought in Poundland. 

During December there are a coupe of nights that we are away but our elf visits us wherever we are and will do things like hide candy canes in our hotel room for the children to find and take all of our clothes out of the suitcase and put them on the floor or even draw silly faces on the mirrors(using a wipeable marker that we clean before leaving)

On December 25th when the children wake up there is usually a special gift along with a note from Kaboodle telling them how naughty or nice they have been and that he will miss them but will be keeping an eye on them for Santa.

If you want to see just what our elf gets up to then pop over to my Instagram or Twitter accounts to keep up with the adventures of Kaboodle.

Do you love Elf on the Shelf or hate it? If you love it, what does your elf get up to?

Emma xoxo

Monday, November 19, 2018

Chocolate and Sprinkle Coated Breadsticks - Recipe


So for the annual BBC Children In Need school cake sale I knew we would donate some homemade goodies but I didn't want the mess and drama of weighing, mixing, flour and sugar everywhere and that's before we got to the icing stage so I thought there must be something a little more MESS and STRESS free we could make.
After a quick rummage in the cupboards and a stroke of creativity we come up with chocolate coated breadsticks.

Ingredients
Box of breadsticks 
Cooking chocolate (we used both milk and white chocolate)
Hundreds and thousands
Edible candy stars

Method

1. Melt the chocolate one bar at a time. We melted ours in the microwave but you can do it in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Make sure you stir until completely melted.

2. Cover two baking sheets with parchment and cover one with your choice of sprinkles.


3.  Dip as much or as little of the breadstick in to the
chocolate and then roll in the sprinkles on the 
baking tray(we did try sprinkling the hundreds 
and thousands on to the melted chocolate but found 
that they stuck better when rolled).

4. Place your chocolate and sprinkle covered breadsticks on the other baking tray and once finished put in the fridge until the chocolate is completely firm

Voila......it really is that simple(although the process is much easier when you don't have the help of a three year old!)


If you give this recipe a go, I'd love to see your pics.

Emma xoxo




Monday, November 12, 2018

Dirty Little Secrets

Since becoming a mum I often crave just 5 minutes peace or often try to find a shortcut to make some tasks just that bit easier and quicker so here are some of my dirty mum secrets that have kept me going over the last 16 years....

Sometimes I can't be bothered to pick up a piece of rubbish so I leave it and claim that I'm conducting a social experiment to see how long it stays there before somebody else picks it up #lazy

I've been known to say that I am putting the laundry away when in fact I am hiding in my room watching Youtube or catching up on some reality tv #hiding

I'll buy treats when I go shopping and then hide to scoff a chocolate bar or share size bag of crisps whilst palming the children off with a piece of fruit #secreteater

Sometimes in the middle of the night I pretend to be asleep when the little one wakes up and needs to go to the toilet so that Big Sam will get up and do the honours #naughty

When the kids are being particularly annoying I wait until they turn their backs and then pull faces and poke my tongue out at them #mature

Sometimes I'll announce that I need to poo to deter anyone from following me to the toilet where I will in fact no go a poo but scroll through my phone for 10 minutes in peace #sneaky

Sometimes I make plans with people or for the kids to have friends for a sleepover then if they cancel I'm secretly happy  that I no longer have to leave the house or entertain guests #antisocial

When the kids start telling me about a new programme or toy and I'm knackered I'll often be heard using the words 'wow' 'amazing' 'that's good' or similar to feign interest #sly

I'll pretending that I'm treating everyone to a takeaway for dinner when the truth is I just can't be a*sed to cook #topchef

Days that I feel super tired or my back is playing up then I fore go mopping the floor in favour of just cleaning the dirty patches with a baby wipe #wipesforlife

Have you got any dirty mum secrets?

Emma xoxo


Monday, November 5, 2018

Travel First Aid Kit

For as long as I can remember my boys have always managed to have some kind of accident, sometimes big, sometimes small but with those two there is always a bump, scrape or blood. I know it sounds really stereotypical but that's just the way it has always been, I have prim and proper girls and boisterous boys!

As a family we love to travel, whether that be a day trip, short break or full on foreign holiday, but because I know how accidental these kids are I never leave home without my travel first aid kit.

I posted a picture of it recently on Instagram and had a flurry of messages asking me what I keep in mine so thought I would share the contents in this post. I know you can purchase first aid kits that are already put together but I wanted something a bit more tailor made with everything that I know one of MY LOT (or us adults) may need.......although there's no alcohol.




Travel First Aid Kit Contents

Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer
3+ months liquid paracetamol and spoon
Antiseptic cream
Paracetamol caplets
Bandage
Tweezers(ones with a flat edge and ones with pointy ends)
Plasters in a variety of sizes
Anti-bacterial wipes
Antihistamine tablets
Medical tape
Non adhesive dressing
A couple of sandwich bags
all of this is kept in a clear plastic ziploc bag

There are so many more things that I could keep in our first aid kit but I have found that this works for us and we have been able to help other families out when out and about.

Pretty much everything in our kit is from Savers, the dinosaur and unicorn plasters are from Poundland, the liquid paracetamol and antiseptic cream is from Sainsburys and the ziploc I got from Primark in their travel section(it contained empty bottles for travelling)




Do you have a travel first aid kit? What do you keep in yours?


Emma xoxo


Friday, November 2, 2018

Money Saving Challenge with Free Printable

What's it all about?

In short, the penny saving challenge is a way of saving money over a 365 days/annual period.



How does it work?

It's a pretty basic system, each day you put away an amount corresponding with the day that you are on in the challenge, so for example day 1-1p, day 2-2p, day 3-3p(or the equivalent in whatever currency is used in your part of the world.) As the days, weeks and months go on the amount you put away increases leaving you with a pretty nice little savings pot.
*I actually put away random amounts each day and coloured in the corresponding square


How much can I save?

If you stick to the basic idea of putting away 1p more each day, then at the end of the 365 day challenge you should have a total of £667.95 saved up. If you and your partner do a joint one then double that figure.
*I would often put any loose change in my pot too so had more than £667.95

When can I do it?

The beauty of this challenge is as it is a 365 day challenge you can start it at any time but for me I knew I wanted to use the money towards Christmas, so I started on November 1st 2017 with my last day being 31st October 2018. After all of the Halloween festivities and the children went to bed I counted up what I had managed to save and was blown away with my £783.11 savings.

What if I don't often have cash on me?

As much as I enjoyed doing the challenge the one thing that bugged me the whole way through was what I was going to do with all the random pennies and coins at the end of the challenge. I managed to bag most of it up and pay it into the bank for there's still some left over that can't be bagged up so that the bank will accept it so for this years challenge I am going to transfer the amounts from my main current account to my e-saver account using my mobile banking app. If you don't already have a savings account now is the perfect opportunity to open one!


What can I use it for?

If like me you like to plan things in advance then this challenge is perfect for you. You can save up for a deposit on a holiday, renting a property, a car, a renovation or diy project, holiday spending money, big birthday bash or like I did, for Christmas.......the list is endless 

How can I keep track?

There loads of free printables available online(this is where I got mine from last year) or you are more than welcome to use my free printable. I coloured in a corresponding square each time I put some money in my pot or alternatively you could keep track of it all in a diary or notebook.

Let me know if you have completed the challenge, done something similar or are going to give it a go.
Happy saving!


Emma xoxo


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Our Merlin Annual Passes

Recently I have been receiving lots or messages and emails about our days out at Merlin attractions, the cost of visiting them and why we go so often so I thought I'd write a post on why we bought our passes and some other info.

We have been Merlin Passholders for a few years now and the reason we decided to make the purchase was simply because of the amount of day trips and short breaks we take. 
We are quite an active family and love a day out but even after all my bargain hunting and coupon cutting, as a family of 5(Sofia was free at most attractions back then) entrance fees, travel, food, snacks, drinks etc a day out was costing A LOT more than our big monthly shop.

One of my cousins had previously been Merlin annual passholder and suggested that we look into getting them as we were visiting lots of the Merlin attractions anyway. The Merlin Annual Pass website is pretty straight forward. It breaks down the different types of passes available(standard, premium and VIP), the cost and what is and isn't included with each one.

We looked through all the terms and conditions and thought that the premium passes best suited our needs. We opted to wait for the January sales to purchase ours and as we were buying 3 or more we qualified for the family rate which made them £119 each instead of £169. That is quite a lot to spend in one lump sum and so soon after Christmas BUT even with the theme parks closed until March we made back what we spent within the first 8 weeks of having them. Standard passes are cheaper than the premium ones but for us, the ability to use them during the Summer holidays, free parking and £15 entrance vouchers for friends and family were worth paying the extra, just the car parking costs alone over the year would have cost us more than the extra £30. Also, if you buy them using Topcashback you can save even further or ask your employer if they get a corporate discount with Merlin as you can save yourself some more money there.


Because we live in London and are quite close to Westminster, we are able to hop on a bus for just a 20 minute journey and make the most of the London attractions along the Southbank(The Coca Cola London Eye, The London Dungeons, Shreks Adventure and The London Sealife Centre) pretty much whenever we want to. We have great transport links locally so are able to get to Chessington, Legoland, Thorpe Park and Warwick Castle that are also well served by public transport with ease(and our railcard makes this even cheaper!) Many of the attractions put on special events for Easter, Christmas , Halloween and Summer so it's worth subscribing to newsletters to keep up to date with all the latest news and offers.

There are some great benefits to our Merlin Annual Passes like up to 20% off food, drink, merchandise and more, exclusive passholder discounts on short breaks through the Merlin Holiday Club, discount on attraction tickets for friends and family and more.


There are 32 Merlin attractions to enjoy and with so many to choose from there is something to suit every member of the family(even if I do struggle to get my teenagers out on a day trip with their 'uncool' mum) and if like me you have a disability don't think you have to miss out. On production of appropriate evidence, disabled guests can get a carers pass free, there is disabled access at pretty much every attraction and help whilst you are there.

So as the theme park seasons winds down and comes to an end we know that there are still so many opportunities to get out and enjoy ourselves with our Merlin annual passes.

Emma xoxo


*I was not sponsored or paid for this post. We are Merlin Annual Passholders and I have received many questions recently about our passes and days out.