Vienna Festival Ballet Presents The Nutcracker

Ever since Miss J was a baby, I have wanted to take her to the ballet. Before I even knew what an accomplished little ballerina she would turn out to be, it was a dream of mine to share such an evening with my girl. This last week, I was given the opportunity to do just that, when the Vienna Festival Ballet visited Worthing. Miss J and I each invited a friend to join us for the evening, and the festivities began with a meal at Pizza Express, where the little ones enjoyed three courses.

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After dinner, we headed to the nearby Pavilion Theatre, at the head of Worthing Pier. We were a little late and the show had already started, but Miss J was transfixed from the moment we took to our seats. At the interval, the girls enjoyed an ice cream and we bought a programme from the artistic director himself, Peter Mallek. The glossy souvenir was full of photographs and information on the ballet company and their shows, which made for interesting reading prior to the second half of the show.


Miss J was so excited when the Nutcracker resumed after the interval. She kept nudging me to point out a particular move that had impressed her, and commenting on how amazing the dancers were. As for the show itself, we were treated to some wonderful dancing, with styles and inspiration from around the World. The energy and enthusiasm of the cast was captivating, their professionalism impressive; they did not put a foot wrong all night.

The four of us had a great evening; the children, in particular, loved the show. So inspired was Miss J that she twirled and spun and danced on her tippytoes all the way home!

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Thank you, Vienna Festival Ballet, for making one of my wishes come true. Enjoying an evening of ballet with my girl is an experience I will never forget. Perhaps, one day, I will be watching her on that stage?



We received four complimentary tickets to The Nutcracker for the purposes of this review. All thoughts are my own.


Birthday Sleepovers

I have lots of fond memories of sleepovers as a child; staying with my grandparents, spending summer holidays with my cousins and, from the age of about 12, birthday sleepovers with friends. I remember the all-consuming excitement of the latter, of being allowed to stay up after the parents and siblings went upstairs to sleep, of snuggling up on makeshift beds in front of the TV, with midnight feasts, of barely sleeping before the sun came up. Good times.

For these reasons, I am so looking forward to the time when Miss J is old enough to have a friend to stay over. I am thinking she will be about eight or nine, but I like to be prepared! I have lots of ideas of activities the girls could do and of pamper packages and baking kits that I could provide them with. The sleepovers could have themes; perhaps one could be a movie night? When it comes to cosying up for the night, we are lucky enough to have a double sofa bed, so camping out in the lounge will be an option. However, I also like the idea of these children’s beds, with pull-out guest beds, from bedzrus. For a younger child wanting a sleepover, these beds would be perfect.

I cannot wait until Miss J is old enough to have birthday sleepovers; I think I may well want to join in though!

Autumn Bucket List

Following on from the success of our summer bucket list, I have decided to plan one for autumn. I absolutely adore autumn; I’m not sure I can even adequately put into words just how much I love it. We are an outdoorsy family, and autumn is great for so many al fresco activities, including puddle jumping and leaf kicking. Alongside this, it is also a wonderful season for snuggling up with hot drinks, pretty crafts and fabulous food.

We have already made a start on our autumnal activities by completing a yummy task I have been meaning to do with the kids for ages – toasting marshmallows over a candle. In my opinion, this should be top of anyone’s autumn bucket list!


Here are the rest of my plans for this beautiful season:

Fly a kite

Catch leaves

Collect conkers

Dance in the rain

Splash in puddles

Collect leaves and sticks for a bonfire picture

Make edible sparklers

Build a bonfire on the beach

Pick a pumpkin from the local PYO

Chase your shadow

Watch the sun set from the top of a hill

Go trick or treating

Carve a pumpkin

Make toffee apples

Use chalk to draw skeletons on paving slabs

Watch fireworks

Build a rope swing

Write your name with a sparkler

Snuggle on the sofa with a duvet and hot chocolate


And there we have 20 autumnal activities. Perfect!