Category: Reviews (page 1 of 9)

Dance your way to Fitness with Aurora Studios Belfast

This week I was invited to an event a little bit out of my comfort zone – a chance to try out Belfast’s newest ‘dance fitness’ classes at Aurora Dance Studio, Fountain Street, Belfast. As someone who does not find traditional exercise particularly enjoyable, I was interested in finding out more about alternative ways to burn some calories. I took my cousin Anna with me to see what it was all about!

Aurora dance studios belfast

After success with Aurora Dance Company, offering dance classes predominantly to children, Aurora Studios owner Erin Lyle saw a gap in the market for a City Centre dance studio. Aurora Studios offer adult fitness classes with inspiration from hip hop, Latin, ballet, and burlesque dancing. Also on offer are Rebounding classes (exercising on a mini trampoline), Yoga and Circuits.

Aurora dance studios belfast

We had a go at Rebounding, Ballet Fitness and ‘Burlexercise’. All three were great fun and totally different to anything fitness related I’ve done in the past, with the only comparison being the Zumba classes I used to go to. My favourite would have to be the Ballet Fitness. Not too intense and I really enjoyed the routine. I will definitely be back to try out the hour long version of this class!


The studio is bright and airy, and perfectly located right in the centre of Belfast. The timetable has early morning, straight after work, or evening classes, to suit everyone’s busy schedules. Essentially it is a non intimidating, fun place to keep fit and learn a few dance moves in the process! This type of exercise is so much more suited to me than pounding the treadmill or more straightforward, cardio based workouts.

Aurora dance studios belfast

Thanks Aurora for a great evening!

Love, Laurel

Harry’s First Panto!

Yesterday we were kindly invited to see the ‘Gingerbread Mix Up’ at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. Not a full blown pantomime, just a great family show and perfect for the Christmas holidays.

gingerbread mix up lyric theatre belfast

At 20 months old, I wasn’t sure how Harry would do, but he shocked us by absolutely loving it. He sat completely still, enthralled by it all for the entire first half. An ice cream during the interval may have contributed to his slight hyperactivity during the second half, but all in all he loved it and I wouldn’t hesitate to bring him back to something like this in future.

gingerbread mix up lyric theatre belfast

The Gingerbread Mix Up, written by Martin Murphy and directed by Richard Croxford, is a funny, quick witted family show with excellent stage design, catchy songs and plenty of audience interaction.

“Meet Primrose: apple of her Dad’s eye, bane of her Mum’s life, all-round little monster. Cast out in the forest with only her Nintendo for company, Primrose meets Pardon – cool cat turned witch’s assistant, with a promising sideline in Big Bad Wolf impersonations.  Can Pardon save Primrose from the evil old witch’s cooking pot?  Will the witch find out who’s been eating her gingerbread house?  Will Primrose ever finish level 4 of Bandor, Master of Neverworld?”
I am ashamed to say this was my first time at the Lyric and I was extremely impressed with everything about it. The theatre was almost full, but everything was very stress free, well organised and spacious with no queues and very friendly staff. My husband enjoyed the fact they sold beer, and the theatre itself, as well as the setting, is beautiful.
The Gingerbread Mix Up is a perfect family show for children of all ages and I would highly recommend it. It runs until Saturday 7th January so there’s still time to check it out! Adults £18/Kids £12.50.

Love, Laurel

Review: A new bedtime story for Harry – The Weatherbies!

A key part of Harry’s bedtime routine are his books. He likes to read 2 or 3 of them, twice!  He loves books with flaps and textures, bright colours and rhyming stories. We were recently asked to review a new childrens’s book – The Weatherbies!

bedtime story
The Weatherbies series was created by Maghera based mum and childminder Yvonne Fleming. The first book in the series is based on ‘Sammy Sun’ – just one of Yvonne’s ‘weather based’ characters. Yvonne developed the books and characters whilst telling her own sons bedtime stories. She illustrated the characters herself after creating them from simple doodles as she played with her children. From here, Sammy Sun, Colin Cloud, Flo Snow, Harry Hail and six more characters were born. Yvonne plans to release a collection of 12 books based on the adventures of each character.

weatherbies yvonne fleming

When our copy of the book arrived, Harry was immediately drawn to it. It is extremely bright and easy for him to hold. The story is happy and positive and most importantly, it rhymes! The book is now safely added to our collection and will be chosen by Harry regularly I’m sure. I also have one to give away. If you think your 2-5 year old would fancy a read, tag me on Twitter @laurelloves85 and use the hashtag #weatherbies.
The book is aimed toward 2-5 year olds, and the series is currently in the early stages of television production. You can also buy a copy, here.

bedtime book toddler

Love, Laurel

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