Jungle_Book_Generic_1200x675If you have little ones, I’m pretty sure you will have been enchanted by the wonderful characters and storyline of The Jungle Book. We’ve all seen how much our little ones adore watching the likes of Mowgli, Balloo and Bagheera on the big screen, so imagine their faces if they were to see them on the stage.

Well, as luck would have it, Children’s Touring Partnership and Royal & Derngate, Northampton are delighted to bring their new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s family classic The Jungle Book to The Lowry Theatre, Manchester from Wednesday 2nd May to Sunday 6th May.

Originally written in 1894, Kipling’s beloved tale will be reimagined with a brand new score and script, exploring the universal themes of family, belonging and identity.

The Jungle Book tells of Mowgli the man cub who battles for survival in this heart-warming coming-of-age story about a boy raised by wolves in the jungle. With the help of his animal friends, including Bagheera the panther, Balloo the bear and Kaa the python, Mowgli outwits the cruel and powerful tiger, Shere Khan, and learns the law of the jungle.

The award winning creative team bringing Kipling’s timeless story to the stage includes playwright Jessica Swale, director Max Webster and internationally renowned songwriter Joe Stilgoe.

Playwright Jessica Swale has adapted the story for the stage. Her previous acclaimed play “Nell Gwynn” won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2016.

Max Webster directed Dr Seuss’ “The Lorax” at the Old Vic, which was nominated for Best Entertainment and Family Show at the 2016 Olivier Awards.

Jessica Swale, writer, said “I jumped at the chance to adapt The Jungle Book because it’s such a vivid world- yet, for a writer, there’s so much opportunity to imagine the jungle afresh. Part of the book’s enduring appeal is that the jungle can be anything we choose. It’s a playground, a school, a hideaway, an adventure, so I’ve enjoyed exploring what sort of place this mysterious, delightful, sometimes scary place might be- and what better way to do that than with Max Webster, one of the most inventive and imaginative directors working today.
‘I loved the characters as Kipling wrote them, but wanted to find new voices which resonate now- funny, bright, dynamic voices, with a little more wit, and greater diversity, in terms of place, tone, gender and culture. It’s a funny, heart-filled roller coaster of a journey which, I hope, will transport the audience right round the world and back again”.

winHello Baby have teamed up with The Lowry Theatre to give away a family ticket (this is for 4 people with a minimum of 1 adult) to see the show on either Wednesday 2nd May or Sunday 6th May.

For your chance to win, comment on this blog post letting me know what your favourite song is from The Jungle Book  AND fill in the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Full Ts&Cs are below.

Terms and conditions:

  1. Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding anyone professionally associated with Hello Baby Blog or The Lowry Theatre.
  2. The prize is one family ticket to The Jungle Book for either Wednesday 2nd May or Sunday 6th May admission. The date and time of showing must be specified at time of confirming the prize. Each pass admits 4 people, one person in the group must be aged over 18. Additional tickets can be purchased next to the competition tickets if you wish to bring more guests. The show has an age guidance of 6+.
  3. The tickets cannot be transferred to another show if the prize winner is unable to make the week of the show and there is no cash alternative.
  4. The prize is non transferable and ID will be required at time of collecting the tickets from the box office.
  5. The prize draw starts at 12am on 23rd April 2018 and closes at 12am on 29th April 2018.
  6. Entry is free and must be made by commenting on this blog post and filling in the Rafflecopter widget. Entrants can gain bonus entries by visiting Hello Baby on facebook, following @hellobabyblog on Twitter, following @hellobabyblog on Instagram, following @hellobabyblog on Pinterest, tweeting about the giveaway, following @The_Lowry on Twitter, visiting TheLowrySalford on Facebook, following @The_Lowry on Instagram and then completing the Rafflecopter widget featured in this post.
  7. The name of the winner will be published on this website within 2 days of the competition closing.
  8. Hello Baby Blog’s decision on all matters is final and binding on all entrants. No correspondence will be entered into.
  9. By taking part in this competition you agree to be bound by the competition terms and conditions.
  10. Hello Baby Blog reserves the right to disqualify any entrant and / or winner in its discretion and without any notice in accordance with these terms and conditions.
  11. Once the winner has been selected at random using Rafflecopter, I will inform The Lowry Theatre of the winner’s name and they will be in touch to arrange collection of the tickets from the box office.
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  • renae shawApril 23, 2018 - 7:27 pm

    Has to be the bare necessities always gets you singing alongReplyCancel

  • ClaireApril 23, 2018 - 7:29 pm

    Got to be … The Bare NecessitiesReplyCancel

  • KatieApril 23, 2018 - 7:32 pm

    The monkey song. ?ReplyCancel

  • Amanda sandersonApril 23, 2018 - 7:33 pm

    My favourite song has to be ‘The Bare Necessities!’ReplyCancel

  • Rose mcmullanApril 23, 2018 - 7:49 pm

    I wanna be like you and of course bare necessities ? ? ?ReplyCancel

  • Helen GilbertApril 23, 2018 - 8:38 pm

    Ooo-bi-doo, I Wan’na Be Like You! Gets me singing and dancing every time! XReplyCancel

  • AnisaApril 23, 2018 - 9:47 pm

    Defiantly the monkey song xReplyCancel

  • Joy LeftonApril 23, 2018 - 10:33 pm

    Has to be the bare necessities!ReplyCancel

  • KarenApril 24, 2018 - 6:19 am

    The Bare NecessitiesReplyCancel

  • Lorraine KirkApril 24, 2018 - 6:55 pm

    It has to be the Bare Necessities!ReplyCancel

  • Lynn schofieldApril 25, 2018 - 9:43 pm

    The Monkey SongReplyCancel

  • Natalie TurnerApril 26, 2018 - 5:48 pm

    The Bare Necessities, amazing song that’s so happy :)ReplyCancel

  • kev banhamApril 26, 2018 - 5:57 pm

    It has to be the Bare Necessities!ReplyCancel

  • kimberley ryanApril 27, 2018 - 8:11 am

    has to be The Bare NecessitiesReplyCancel

  • Joseph JonesApril 27, 2018 - 11:48 am

    That’s what friends are for….by the vulturesReplyCancel

  • Kate SuttonApril 27, 2018 - 5:29 pm

    King of the jungleReplyCancel

  • Emma WhittakerApril 28, 2018 - 1:10 am

    I wanna be like you ?ReplyCancel

  • Rachael SexeyApril 28, 2018 - 7:37 am

    I wanna be like you ?ReplyCancel

  • Charmaine DanceApril 28, 2018 - 8:49 am

    Bare NecessitiesReplyCancel

  • Joanne smithApril 28, 2018 - 1:36 pm

    The bare necessities (going to be singing that all day now)ReplyCancel

  • Jessica MApril 28, 2018 - 3:35 pm

    I Wan’na Be Like YouReplyCancel

  • Theresa ThomasApril 28, 2018 - 9:24 pm

    Got to be … The Bare NecessitiesReplyCancel

  • Adrian BoldApril 28, 2018 - 9:29 pm

    I love the Bare Necessities song.ReplyCancel

Spring might have kicked off on a colder note than expected, but we’ve decided to channel sunnier days and pull together a road trip playlist that will be perfect for the longer journeys we have planned over the coming months.

My two love nothing more than belting out their favourite tunes at the top of their lungs in the car, so we thought we’d share some of our favourite songs that get us in that feel-good mood.

I also reached out to some of my lovely blogger friends and asked them to tell me what songs they consider essential fuel for long drives, and a whole host of eclectic and wonderful suggestions rolled in, most of which I’ve included in the road trip playlist below.

With a complete mix of music genres, there’s sure to be something that everyone in your car will love, after all road trips were made for singing along and busting out your best car dancing (seated of course).

So without further ado, here is the ultimate family friendly road-trip playlist that won’t drive you batty!

1 // On Top of the World – Imagine Dragons

2 // Happy- Pharrell Williams

3 // Life is a Highway- Rascal Flatts (Cars Soundtrack) – suggested by Sara-Jayne

4 // Try Anything- Shakira (Zootopia Soundtrack)

5 // Good Time – Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen

6 // Can’t Stop the Feeling- Justin Timberlake – suggested by Beth

7 // Holiday – Madonna

8 // How Far I’ll Go – Auli’i Cravalho (Moana Soundtrack) – suggested by LyndseyEmily and Natasha

9 // Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles – suggested by Hannah and Emma

10 // Go your own way – Fleetwood Mac – suggested by Becky

11 // Pompeii – Bastille

12 // Budapest – George Ezra – suggested by Alana

13 // Castle on the Hill – Ed Sheeran – suggested by Terri

14 // Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves – suggested by Nikki

15 // The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter – suggested by Amy

16 // Shape of You – Ed Sheeran – suggested by Ayse

17 //Belle – (Beauty and The Beast Soundtrack) – suggested by Lianne

18 // Holiday Road – Fleetwood Mac – suggested by Angela

19 // Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen – suggested by Mel

20 // Sheryl Crow – If It Makes You Happy – suggested by Kelly

21 // Stop – Spice Girls – suggested by Jenna

22 // Hold Back The River – James Bay

23 // Shake It Off – Taylor Swift (Sing soundtrack)

24 // I’m Still Standing – Elton John (Sing soundtrack)

25 // Despacito – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee (feat. Justin Bieber)

26 // Havana – Camila Cabello

27 // Symphony – Clean Bandit

28 // Your Song – Rita Ora

29 // This Is Me – Keala Settle & The Greatest Showman Ensemble ( The Greatest Showman soundtrack)

30 // Starship – We Built This City

I told you it was an eclectic mix! What’s your must have song on a road trip? Please let me know in the comments below.

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If you have an eye for design, you probably want to style your home to your unique vision. But at the same time, it still is a house that needs to serve its purpose well: a place for you to hold your items and for you to relax. This means you need to find the right balance between form and function. Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other since there are various pieces of furniture and technology that both look good and are practical. Here are a few ideas if you want to make your house look good but also keep it functional.

Creative shelving //


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Shelves add storage space so are indeed very functional. However, they also contribute significantly to the design of a room because they can act as a border, draw the eye, or display your items. The key is to choose a style and colour that matches the rest of the items in your room.

With open shelving, it’s difficult to go wrong. You can show off your personality by placing your items on display. At the same time, you can keep things organised and have effective storage options. Whether you have books, decorative pieces, or kitchenware, open shelves work great. Try to keep a reasonable amount of items on each shelf since you don’t want too much clutter.

Another option is to go for floating or hanging shelves. With these, you can take advantage of the vertical space. You’ll get extra storage space that you didn’t know was there before! These often give a modern look that doesn’t take up too much room.

Designer radiators // 


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One important part of your home that definitely needs to be functional is your central heating system. But often, the components of your heating don’t exactly go well with interior design. Take radiators, for example. Sometimes, your radiators just don’t match the look you want for the room.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case since there are radiator models that were built with design in mind. Designer radiators come in many styles, colours, and finishes. White is the classic shade to choose, while black is a more subdued, classy choice. You can even go for unconventional tones, such as red, blue, or green, to add a splash of colour.

Radiator styles can be grouped into two categories: modern and traditional. Modern styles have a more contemporary feel due to their smooth surfaces and straight lines. Traditional radiator styles have that classic look with the pipes and indents. These are great if you want to add some retro aspects to a room.

 Smart gadgets //


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If you want a modern look in your home, then it could be worth it to take a look at a few smart gadgets. The smart home trend looks set to stay, and with their numerous innovative features, it makes sense! Also, not only do they help improve your home, they usually have sleek, modern designs.

When it comes to smart home gadgets, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a smart thermostat. These gadgets help maintain the right temperature in your home and also lowers your central heating costs by making sure you are heating your home efficiently. There are numerous choice available, each with their own unique features and advantages.

There are smart gadgets for almost every part of your home. Fridges, light bulbs, showerheads, sprinklers, doorbells, home assistants, etc.—the list goes on. All of these smart gadgets work to improve life in your home and save money, all while looking great with their elegant, often minimalist, designs.

Multi-functional furniture //


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A big part of finding the right balance between style and practicality is choosing the right furniture pieces. To maximise both, pick furniture that both matches your interior design vision and has the ability to service multiple functions.

For example, ottomans and hollow benches offer a way to easily hide items away, are a place to sit, and have the ability to contribute to the overall look of a room. A practical, but stylish piece of furniture can also mean an item can be used in many rooms. For example, if you want to do a quick refresh of a room, you can shuffle items around to get a new look while also still serving their purpose.

Additionally, pick furniture pieces that can work in many different rooms. That embroidered chair could work just as well in your bedroom or your small reading nook just as it does in the living room. Also, that metal wire shelf doesn’t just have to be in the kitchen. Why not use it in your utility or laundry room? Here, you can find creative ways to use your furniture to find the best way to maximise style and practicality.

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Gardening is a great hobby for kids, especially if you’re also a fan of this activity. Gardening helps kids to develop life skills, as well as improve their mental health and self-esteem. Sounds great, right? It can be a bit daunting, however, when you’re just starting out.

Nonetheless, there are a ton of little projects you can start on – even in the dead of winter! It doesn’t have to be (and probably shouldn’t be) grandiose. Start small. Here are some ways to start gardening with your little one(s):

Watercress // 


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The first point of contact any of us usually have with gardening is through watercress eggheads! This is great as it gets kids thinking creatively about how they decorate their eggs, and shows them what goes into growing herbs and vegetables. You can find a step-by-step tutorial on how to get started here!

Herb garden // 


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If you have a little space to plant some herbs, why not give your child the responsibility of caring for them! You can print out little cards detailing the sun, water and soil necessities for each herb, and guide them to making the growing conditions ideal for their plant. This also gets kids involved in the kitchen, as they’ll be eager to have their herbs included in family meals!

Indoor garden // 


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For these winter days, an indoor garden is a great place to start with gardening. You don’t have to wait till spring to get your little ones excited about gardening! Get a few pots, replant them and assign responsibilities. Make sure your kids know what they need to do and give them little reminders every so often to help them on their way. Let the kids choose their plants, placement and pots.

Their own box //

Students at High Shoals elementary plant for the second time with the help of Dean Angle. Nov. 2011. Photo by April Sorrow

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If you’re an avid gardener, you probably already have an established garden with raised beds and boxes. Once your kid is a little bit more comfortable with caring for plants and gardening in general, give them their own space to experiment with the plants they like. Give them free reign to care for them as they like. However, you provide an example for them so when you care properly for your garden, so do your kids.

Let them choose // 

Children thrive when they are given clear scopes for their activities, responsibilities and consequences. So at every step of the way, they should be deciding how much time to spend on their projects, what kind of plants they want to grow, etc. With your guidance of course!

If you’re an absolute beginner with gardening but still want to get started with your kids, you might find some guidance from an experienced gardener useful! You can ask them for a bit of guidance for a one-time fee, to get you started on your own. Compare local gardeners in your area here.

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Not really loving your bathroom at the moment? You’re not the only one. Even if you once adored the way your bathroom was set up, decorated and cleaned, it doesn’t always stay that way, especially with kids and people coming and going. Our plans for a pristine bathroom go out the window and we end up settling on what we get.

Believe me, it doesn’t have to be that way. If your bathroom doesn’t make you feel nice, squeaky clean and relaxed after you leave it, you should make some changes to how it’s set out and possibly make some repairs. This doesn’t have to be a full-on renovation (although, if you have the time, money and inclination, why not). Many of us can’t afford to do so. So here are some small ways to make big improvements.

Do a deep clean // 

You may not even realise the grime that has been living on, under and around all of your bathroom surfaces for years. Yes, we clean our bathrooms regularly, but how long has it been since you took every little thing out of there and gave it a really good scrub with bleach-infused water and possibly some other deep-clean products? Hmm. Perhaps it’s time for a good old deep clean?

Giving your bathroom a proper deep clean means cleaning the fixtures, laundering all of your towels and curtains, cleaning the windows inside and out, removing and cleaning the countertops and shelving, cleaning the entire toilet in depth, descaling the taps, etc. This can make an absolutely enormous difference in how you bathroom, looks, feels and (frankly), smells.

Add more light //


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Sometimes it’s simply a lack of light that brings a bathroom from “ooh, lovely” to “hmm, not the best”. It’s important to think about how many lumens your bathroom needs – you can calculate this online. If it’s gloomy, think about replacing windows with bigger versions. Normally people go for uPVC windows in bathrooms since they are easier to clean and are good insulators to boot.

If you don’t want to do any DIY or building work, think about adding light fixtures or replacing your current ones. It can make a huge difference to have a well-lit mirror to get ready in front of in the morning. Wake up better by having brighter lights and see the dirt more easily, too! Even just getting some brighter bulbs can really help.

Clear the clutter // 

Just like in any room in our homes, clutter tends to accumulate as time goes on. In bathrooms, this can sometimes look like drawers filled with extra shampoo bottles and general stuff that we put in drawers when we’re cleaning up. However, this clutter invades space and makes it feel very disorganised. It’s difficult to relax when you’re surrounded by stuff all the time!

So get rid of all the clutter. A good rule of thumb is, if you rarely open this drawer and haven’t used it’s content in over a year, chuck the whole thing out. Perhaps keep some necessities like first aid kit and extra toothpaste, but keep it well-organised and labelled when possible (online there are tons of solutions to be found for keeping drawers organised if you need help). My motto is, when in doubt, chuck it out!

Replace the curtains //


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Shower curtains (and window curtains for that matter) get grubby over time. Yes you can wash them, but they also become damaged and frayed when you wash them regularly (which you definitely should be doing). Ideally, they should be replaced yearly. This also gives you a great opportunity to re-think your bathroom’s aesthetics.

Do you want to have something subdued, funny, pretty or stand-out? There are so many options to choose between when it comes to curtains, and they are easily replaced. So go crazy on your curtain choice and see whether you want to replace your towels or decorations to match. This is the bathroom equivalent of buying a cushion in a bright colour for your living room sofa to see if you’d like it all the time.

Re-do the grouting //

If you don’t mind getting down with the DIY just a little bit, think about your grouting. This is the number 1 issue in slightly grotty bathrooms. It is a little bit of a pain to replace, but makes an absolute world of difference in how your bathroom looks. Before you start on that job, see if the grouting is simply stained. After thoroughly brushing with a stiff brush and scouring powder, apply a solution of 50/50 bleach and water using a sponge or sprayer, wait for 10 minutes, re-apply and wait another 10 minutes.

If the stain remains or your grouting is cracked, it’s time to regrout the tiles. You have to first remove the existing grout from between the tiles. There’s a special tool called a grout rake you can use to do this. Otherwise, for larger areas, an electric tool like a grinder would work better. Then mix up some tile grout or buy pre-mixed grout and apply using a grout float. Wait around 20 minutes, then wipe the surface to remove excess grout live. Then it usually takes around 48 hours to cure so you have to leave it to cure until then.

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