Ox Pature Hall Hotel: A Review

We were kindly invited along to the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough , North Yorkshire a few weeks ago which was fantastic as it was our wedding anniversary and my birthday. My husband and I hadn’t had much time together and this was perfect as it was just before the run up to the madness of Christmas and its very difficult for us to find a sitter and get time off of work.  After dropping the youngest off at a friends and arranging to have the eldest picked up after school, we set off for our drive which was really lovely especially when we hit England and went through the little villages which had been all decked out for Christmas.

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When we reached our Destination, we were very impressed by what we had seen and the website in my opinion really doesn’t do it justice! We were met by lovely staff who showed us to our room which was a luxury suite and we were asked when we would like to have dinner and told to take our time after our drive from Glasgow. Once left by staff, we explored the room and the grounds of the hotel which despite it being dark, they had some beautiful lights in the courtyard and breath taking views. The room itself was spacious, impeccably clean, comfortable and beautiful. I can certainly see why someone would like to have this hotel as their wedding venue and if I got to do it all over again, I would certainly make the journey

After we relaxed, had showers and got changed, we made our way to the restaurant and the  staff seated us in the bar beside a roaring fire and asked us if we had wanted any drinks and presented us with the menu. A few minutes later we were taken through to choose our meal and have our starters,  the whole menu gave us a variety of different choices of very tasty food. We didn’t have to wait long at all and we chatted to staff in between waiting on our meals who gave us the history of the hotel and local area. I think my husband and I were grateful for the relaxed atmosphere and friendliness we were shown as we have been in luxury hotels previously but felt that the staff weren’t allowed to talk to the guests for very long and that makes for a very uncomfortable experience.

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After dinner, we went back to our room and relaxed before going to bed and I think we probably had one of the best nights rest that we have had in a long time. The area was so quiet and peaceful and we didn’t hear the usual sounds of the city that we are used to .. This was bliss for us! When we woke in the morning, I ordered our breakfast and we also had the opportunity to have a late check out and its amazing that when you are used to waking so early in the morning to deal with children , to be able to have 1 hr extra in bed  was our little piece of luxury! It really was nice not having to rush and the breakfast was to die for!

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We had the opportunity to have high tea but due to the distance and having to pick up the kids, we had to decline but I know that its absolutely delicious as a friend has experienced it a few months ago when she stayed. However, we will definitely be returning to experience this as we both fell in love with the hotel and the great thing is we wouldn’t be against bringing the kids. The other fantastic thing about this hotel is that they welcome dogs so we wouldn’t need to find a dog sitter and ours would have a field day running around the area.

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I thoroughly recommend this hotel for the area, a wedding venue, romantic getaway, family get away , or really for anyone who wants to experience luxury in terms of food and comfort. Its a beautiful hotel and I only wish that we lived closer but still have no issues in traveling as our stay was perfect. Thank you to the staff of Ox Pasture, for welcoming us and providing us with an amazing night away.

 

 

 

 

 

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Air Travel With Two Kids

As most of you know, I lost my Dad suddenly in October which meant that I was home for a month – without the children.

It wasn’t a place for them as I was at the hospital almost every day and if I wasn’t there, I was sleeping. Also, as it was such short notice, there wasn’t time to gather my thoughts, let alone the children.

Which brings me to the topic of this post! I was at work the other week and a friend was asking how I was and commented that I looked a bit down. I had said that I wasn’t really feeling the Christmas vibe and that I was very tired and generally quite home sick.

She asked when I would be returning home next and I told her that it would be July but that I’d love to go for Christmas however, due to the type of work that we do it means that all holidays are suspended over the Christmas period.

Later in that night, i’d decided to look at flights and look at the prices to see what they were at this time of year. I was surprised that Air Transat and Canadian Affair ( both of whom I use to travel home), had really affordable flights leaving the following week!

The only thing was that I didn’t have a passport for M as hers had expired but I managed to get an appointment with the passport office and it came quite quickly through their fast track service. We booked flights the day before travelling, packed quickly and loaded our suitcases with gifts.

When we got to the airport and were ready to board, I was a bit apprehensive as I hadn’t travelled with the two kids in their own before at the same time and I also have a fear of flying! However, we boarded early and after speaking to the crew, they managed to offer support and reassurance.

I would like to say that my flight was trouble free but it wasn’t due to my almost 2 year old causing chaos! He only slept for approx 30 mins throughout the 7hr flight and he was also running up and down the aisles but luckily the staff were understanding and the passengers were too! It also distracted me when we had a tiny amount of turbulence!

The kids were given a bag each which contained a multi coloured pencil, a sticker book, activity book, earphones and a few other little things to keep them occupied. They also had the film “Frozen” which kept all kids on the flight very content!

On our way home, it was a night flight and I was hoping that the kids would sleep and thankfully they did. I was lucky that on both flights, the staff bent over backwards to make sure that the kids were well looked after as well as myself.

As I mentioned earlier, we are going home again in July and I will be booking via Canadian Affair and flying Air Transat because I know that the service I receive will be top notch. I’d like to thank all of the staff on flights TS224 and TS225(Glasgow to Toronto)you do a job , despite having a very small environment and hyper kids around you and still manage to smile!

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How bingo can help dementia sufferers

Research and experience has shown that playing mentally stimulating games can have a positive effect on people suffering from dementia. Many celebrities have brought some attention to this fact and have advertised games that keep the brain active. Bingo is an excellent example of a game that provides mental stimulation – who doesn’t enjoy the fast paced excitement as the tension builds? The good thing about bingo is that it is straightforward in terms of the rules, and a game that most people have played at some point in their life, meaning that a minimal amount of new learning is involved. Bingo is good fun for all ages and abilities, and it is extremely practical; no complicated pieces are required. Online bingo requires even less hassle – there is no set up involved, no problem pieces that can get lost or broken, and no cleaning up afterwards. And because bingo provides cognitive stimulation, it has benefits for the brain. To understand this, take a quick look at what dementia is.

Understanding dementia

Dementia is a symptom that can be caused by a variety of diseases. It is marked by a fast decline in memory and cognitive functioning, so we typically associate dementia with memory loss and disorientation. It can also be recognised by a decrease in attention and motivation, and problems with language and reasoning as the dementia becomes worse. Dementia is caused by the loss of, or damage to, neurons in the brain. A common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s affects the brain by destroying the nerve cells (neurons) and the nerve connections that have been formed in our brain as a result of our life experiences.

In other words, we know how to do something because of a nerve connection that was made in our brain during our lifetime. The death of brain cells causes the loss of mental and physical functions – a patient with dementia can no longer do something because the nerve cells and the connections have died.
Keeping the brain active

In order to keep our brain healthy, we need to keep it active to give it the best chance of maintaining those connections, or forming new ones. This is where games involving brain activity, such as bingo, come inYou can visit here for a colourful, stimulating online bingo gaming experience.

In 2001, a study by B P Sobel at Princeton University in New Jersey concluded that a simple cognitive activity, such as bingo, can be of great value to the daily management of Alzheimer’s patients. The authors found that bingo provides mental stimulation that is highly therapeutic for people with cognitive disorders. They found that participants performed significantly better on measures of cognition than those who did not play bingo, and staff working with the participants reported increases in alertness and awareness; this lasted for hours after the testing was complete.

Bingo uses our cognitive skills because it involves the mental process of perception, memory, and judgment and reasoning; cognitive skills are utilized when the participant sees and recognizes a number, and then uses his or her power of mental reasoning to match that number to a game card. It follows that playing online games such as bingo can even help patients to tap into their long-term memory. It is important to remember that it is normal to see a decline in cognition as we get older, but with dementia, this decline is much faster and more severe. Playing games that utilize our cognitive skills is therefore beneficial for everyone in keeping the brain fit, active and mentally stimulated.

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Using Craft in your home design

Original ideas and unique items personalize a home, and when you give yours a makeover, you may want to try some of the fabulous craft techniques that can help you achieve the home interior of your dreams. Here are a few examples of interesting things you can do that provide a superb finish and a professional or chic look.

Think laterally

Many things in the home are easy to think of as offering little opportunity when it comes to displaying or utilizing craftwork — for example floor coverings, window dressings, furniture and decoration. Yet all of these lend themselves beautifully to handicrafts because of the range of options available for materials. For instance, in place of drapes at a window, fixing shutters to let in natural light will result in brighter, cleaner design lines and allow you to show off your carefully crafted artifacts to better advantage.

Most kitchens and bathrooms have floors and walls that are tiled or partially tiled. Ceramic tiles can also be decorative and you can create mosaics on floors or murals on walls in your favorite colors and patterns literally anywhere in your home. For example, break up a plain white bathroom décor by using single, feature tiles in a complementary color or colors in an irregular pattern to create interest. If you don’t want a complete retile, you have the option to choose tile paint or to put new tile over existing tile – there are stick-on varieties that work on any tiled surface and on walls with no tiles.

Work with wood, glass and shells

Perhaps the most versatile of all materials, wood lends itself to any number of craftwork opportunities, whether gathered as driftwood on the beach, or salvaged and repurposed. A section of an old wooden ladder, cleaned and repainted, can make a useful towel shelf and rail if leaned against the bathroom wall at a slight angle. You may want to fix it firmly at the top and bottom to ensure it is safe.

Glass shelves and cabinets are ideal for displaying your favorite craft items and painting your own glass or ceramic ornaments, for example for Christmas, is great fun and something all the family can enjoy. A shell trim makes a very pretty frame for a mirror or a photograph, as does driftwood. Seashells also look good when used to decorate a plain lamp base or plant pots.

Fashionable fabrication

The wide range of fabrics available today allows you to get your creative juices flowing and select the finishes, colors and designs that please you most. Table linens can be adapted to reflect the seasons or special occasions; cushions and throws are easy to make, if you sew, and you can match them or design complementary items that fit with your furniture and preferred decorating style.

No matter which type of craftwork you prefer, you can find or make items that are of practical use as well as beautifully decorative. Using craftwork in your design schemes is enormously satisfying and truly makes a house your home.

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Sykes Cottages: The Townhouse,Kircudbright

This weekend it was my birthday and I wanted to do something different, go away somewhere nice that I hadn’t been to before… Somewhere that I could relax and put my feet up and big enough for the kids to run about in and play. It was ideal when Sykes Cottages arranged for us to go to “The Townhouse”, in the lovely,  inviting and historic town of Kirkcudbright.

When we approached Union Street and saw all of the beautifully colored houses , we were excited to see what awaited us inside. We weren’t disappointed. The house was absolutely amazing, warm and we felt right at home immediately. The location which is around the corner from the town center, was very convenient for any of those last-minute items we all generally forget to pack when in a rush.

When we walked into the house, we saw an amazing sitting room which was very cosy, with two very comfortable couches, a TV, books, some board games and DVD’s. We really had everything that we needed for a weekend with the kids. The one thing that the house didn’t have, was WiFi but we didn’t see this as a negative at all because we went away to relax and escape the usual hum drum that we have on a regular basis. If we needed to find out any information, it was already at our finger tips because there was a lot of information on what to see and do, a phone book (remember those?), and a very handy booklet located on the table in the hall. If you’re absolutely desperate though, we found free wi-fi in the various little coffee shops and you can pay for it via BT but why waste a perfectly wonderful weekend surfing the net?

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Continuing on our tour of the house, we went to the middle floor where the kids made their own discovery. In the room which we nicknamed ourselves as the “seaside” room due to the lovely bunting, vibrant and fresh colors of blue and white, there sat a lovely bear called “Sam”. He had his own little bag which contained his clothing and various outfits, the children were captivated and played with him all weekend. He went everywhere with them when we were in the house and they wanted to take him with them when we left. He was a fantastic addition  and a really great idea. It made the experience  even more family friendly and added character to such a wonderful and old house

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Next there was a single room and then a bigger room which we chose to be ours for the weekend due to its brightness, color scheme, and view of the street. The floors were beautiful wood and there was an old fireplace inside which added to the rooms character. I wanted to further investigate the history of this house because when you are inside, you can almost imagine being transported hundreds of years back in time, The owners have done a wonderful job of restoring the house and keeping many original features such as wallpaper  samples which have been put into frames and old photographs from the 1800′s.

On the top floor of the house, there is a bedroom with an en suite, which is the master and normally we would have opted to stay in there but with the children being with us, they always want to be close by. The room at the top was nicknamed the “Rose” room by my eldest due to the decor and there was a hint of a red rose smell in the room as well. It’s a beautifully decorated room and very large too, but I think that the one we chose was our favorite by far.

The attention to detail in this holiday home is probably by far the best that I have ever seen and we go away quite a lot. I like style but I favor comfort and a family friendly atmosphere which is what we got when we stayed in the Townhouse and we are looking to book again in the next couple of weeks, It’s not far, has loads of things to see and do as well as a lot of history for those (like me), who are interested in architecture and of times past. Go, stay and relax because I guarantee that you will come back feeling refreshed but with a longing to go back.

 

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*Thank you to Sykes Cottages for the opportunity to stay at this lovely cottage.

 

 

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