Sunday, 30 November 2014

Christmas Haul

I can't tell you how excited I am about Christmas this year, I can't wait to get the decorations up, we're doing Elf on the Shelf for the first time this year and Riley is at a brilliant age to really enjoy all the magic that Christmas brings.

I've been buying quite a lot of decorations and Christmas themed items and I love them all so I thought I'd share them with you.

I always get my Christmas cards from Hallmark as they have a wide range of choice, there's something for everyone and they quality is fantastic. I like to choose a few special handmade cards, some personalised cards and then the rest I just buy the boxes of cards plus buying them online couldn't be easier.

I got some gorgeous new decorations from Country Baskets, we're going for a white, red and silver theme this year so I got this gorgeous Silver, Glittery Stag, a Wooden Stag Head tree decoration (I'm a bit obsessed with stags), this beautiful Wooden Christmas Tree Advent Calendar and this really pretty Light Up Cone Tree for the fireplace. I can't wait to see what they look like in our living room, I could easily have got lots more things as they have a great choice and all at really reasonable prices.

I wanted to get Summer a cute Christmas themed bib for her to wear on Christmas Day so she doesn't spill anything on her gorgeous dress and I love how cute and girly this one is from Funky Giraffe, they have quite a few nice festive bibs in a range of colours so I may get some more and the more you buy the less you pay.

I love all of the different Christmas scented things you can get now so of course I had to get some Christmas scented hand wash. method do two amazing scents for the holiday season, Peppermint Vanilla and Mulled Cider, they both smell incredible and they're great for the environment too.

Lastly I got more Christmas decor items, this time from HomeSense, I love the Jingle Bell Tree which goes perfectly with our colour scheme, the Heart Wreath I thought was really pretty and would look great anywhere in the house and the little Wooden Tree Decoration goes with our other slightly Nordic decorations that I got last year. HomeSense is similar to TK Maxx in that they have fab items at discounted prices so if you have one near you then I recommend you go and check it out, they have some lovely items.


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Christmas Fun At Webbs Garden Centre

There are some things that just have to be done every year in the lead up to Christmas, ice skating and visiting Santa are two of them. We thought for a bit of a change we'd go somewhere different to do them this year and we decided to go to Webbs Garden Centre in Wychbold which is one of the biggest garden centres in the UK. 

They have an outdoor Christmas Ice Rink every year and you don't need to worry about the weather as it does have a roof. The ice rink opened on the 22nd November and runs until the 4th January, it's open 7 days a week and has some evening sessions too. Don't worry if you have little ones as they're catered for, there are several skate aid frames and push along skate aids available on a first come first served basis and they're priced separately.

We weren't sure what the kids would think about ice skating as they're only 4 and 1 but they loved it, we spent ages whizzing around the rink with them on the push along skate aid and they didn't want to stop.

The kids wore special skates that went on over their own shoes and were much easier to walk on so they felt safer on the ice.

We had so much fun skating, I'd definitely take the kids to do it again and prices start at just £6 per person for 45 minutes.

After our skating session we went to the Christmas Cafe for a hot chocolate and a muffin which are just £3 if you pre-order for before or after your skate. We also had some lunch in there later on and the food was delicious and really reasonably priced.

After our stop off at the cafe we went to see Santa in his Winter Wonderland Grotto, Riley has always been really scared of Santa and Summer had never met him before so we weren't sure how this was going to go. We were greeted by a very friendly elf who gave the kids stickers with their names on and set off into the Winter Wonderland.

We walked along a little path through lots of lovely winter scenery and then went in to meet Santa, he was really good with the kids and Riley wasn't scared which was so nice to see. Riley told him his name and what he wanted for Christmas and Santa asked him if he'd been good to which he replied "Yes!" then Santa asked him to make sure he left Rudolph a carrot out on Christmas Eve as he needs all his energy to fly the sleigh.

After we had finished chatting with Santa we had our photo taken which you can buy afterwards if you would like to and Santa told us to go through a door into his warehouse and choose any toy they wanted. We couldn't believe our eyes when we saw the shelves and shelves of toys waiting for us, there was so much to choose from the kids were spoilt for choice. It certainly made a change from the usual dodgy pre-wrapped colouring books that you normally get, we were very impressed.

It costs £7 to see Santa and I think it was worth every penny, it was by far our best Santa experience yet and that's including seeing Santa at Centre Parcs.

After Santa we had a walk around the garden centre to look at the animals in the pet shop and the beautiful Christmas decorations, we were there for pretty much the whole day and I can honestly say we enjoyed every minute of it.

For more information visit the Webbs website, you can also find them on Twitter and Facebook.


We were invited to try out the ice rink and visit Santa for free but all thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Make Some Extra Cash For Christmas

At this time of the year we could all do with some extra cash and one way that you probably hadn't considered was using a pawnbrokers like H&T Pawnbrokers to raise some extra money for Christmas.

The way they work is that you use something you own such as jewellery or something similar as an asset and they will give you a loan based on the value of your asset. When you pay the loan back you can have your asset back however if you don't pay it back then the pawnbroker can sell your asset to recover the cash you owe.

Another way to raise cash with them is to sell your unwanted gold, we all know that gold has a pretty high value at the moment and most of us have got some laying around in old jewellery boxes never getting worn so why not sell it and make some much needed cash.

You can also get personal loans but as with any type of loan you need to make sure that you can keep up with the repayments and also bear in mind that the interest on things like this tend to be very high.


Win A Christmas DVD Bundle!

I love a good Christmas film and nothing gets me feeling festive like snuggling on the sofa with my family watching Elf, with that in mind I have a fab giveaway for you today. You could win Elf, Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street and The Nightmare Before Christmas on DVD all provided by the lovely folks at Cash Gen the high street retailer of new and used DVD's.

To enter all you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below, giveaway is open to UK residents only.


Thursday, 27 November 2014

Braun Thermoscan 7 Thermometer

We have a new thermometer and it's come in really handy since Winter has set in, Riley is bringing home new bugs from school on a weekly basis and passing them onto Summer who had pneumonia last year so we have to keep a close eye on her. 

Did you know fever changes with age? The new thermometer allows you to set the age range of your child (0-3 months, 3-36 months and 36+ months) in order to get an accurate and reliable result. With Braun’s trademark pre warmed tip and Exactemp guidance system, the thermometer allows parents to manage their child’s fever. In just a few seconds the temperature is read: the colour coded display shows green if a normal temperature, amber for an elevated temperature and red for a high temperature.

By selecting Braun ThermoScan® 7, you are choosing the no.1 thermometer brand among doctors. Thanks to its patented pre-warmed tip, Braun ThermoScan® ear thermometers are already regarded as a benchmark for accuracy, and are widely used and endorsed by doctors around Europe. The tip on other thermometers can cool the area where the reading is taken, which can lead to inaccurate readings. The tip on the ThermoScan® is warmed before use, to ensure professional accuracy. Plus, the ExacTemp® guidance system confirms the correct position and accurate reading with a light and a beep. Now with new Age Precision® technology Braun ThermoScan® gives you even more reassurance when it comes to interpreting your child’s temperature. Discover all of the features of Braun ThermoScan® 7 IRT6520.

Summer has just had quite a bad chesty cough and this thermometer has helped to ease my mind when I've been worried about her temperature getting too high. It's really easy to use and takes the temperature incredibly quickly which really comes in handy when you have a wriggling toddler who doesn't want to stay still. I think something like this is invaluable when you have children and I'd recommend it to everyone.


More Ideas For Summer's Bedroom

I'm still planning how I'm going to make Summer's bedroom less babyish and more of a toddler room, she's more than ready to go into a cot bed but I'm not quite ready for the mischief that will ensure when she's left unattended in her room at nap times and bed time so for now I'm keeping her in her cot for a bit longer.

However when she does go into her cot bed I have found the perfect bed set to go beautifully with her pale pink bedroom.

This gorgeous bed set is the Baroo Tweetdreams Cotbed Duvet Cover And Pillow Case Set, it features pretty little birds, floral prints and stripes and I love the baby blue colour as it stops her room being too pink.

For her bedroom walls I plan to replace her current wall stickers with these super pretty 3 Little Clouds from Koko Kids, there's something really sweet about clouds and I love how the raindrops have different patterns on them. Koko Kids have lots of gorgeous wall stickers for girls and boys rooms and they're all really reasonably priced.

Lastly we've got her one of these adorable Teeny Beanies Florence Fairy Bean Bags, which is personalised with her name. Riley has a bean bag in his room and Summer loves it so I know she'll love this and it will look great in her new toddler room. It's really well made and comes in a range of sizes to suit different age groups, you can choose from a range of different designs and colours to match your child's room.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of my choices.


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

More November Favourites

  • The kids have been loving the Fox's Party Fairytales biscuits lately, they're so cute with the pretty icing and fairytale pictures. They would be perfect for a princess birthday party.
  • Riley has two favourite books this month, The Bully And The Shrimp which is a lovely story about how Noah (the shrimp) overcomes the Bully and The Diggers which shows all kinds of animals, people and machines that dig. Riley loves both books and we read them every night at the moment, even Summer likes to read them too, both books are available from Parragon Books.
  • We have a new thermometer and it's come in really handy since Winter has set in, Riley is bringing home new bugs from school on a weekly basis and passing them onto Summer who had pneumonia last year so we have to keep a close eye on her. The Braun Thermoscan 7 With Age Precision is a unique age adjustable in ear thermometer that allows you to check your child's temperature and assess if it is high in relation to their age as what is considered high for a 1 year old may not be so high for an older child. Summer has just had quite a bad chesty cough and this thermometer has helped to ease my mind when I've been worried about her temperature getting too high. I think something like this is invaluable when you have children and I'd recommend it to everyone.
  • I'm a massive fan of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate and my current favourite is the Chips Ahoy! as it's filled with super yummy cookie dough, I'm averaging one a night at the moment and it needs to stop lol.
  • As both kids have been ill lately this next item has been brilliant, the Spilly Spoon is a non spill medicine spoon shaped like a caterpillar, you pour the medicine into the handle which has measurement lines on it and then you can easily tip it into your child's mouth without spillages. Also if your child is a bit older they can give themselves the medicine without you worrying about them making a big sticky mess.
  • Lastly I've been loving the new Batiste Care and Vitality dry shampoo, it contains mandarin oil to enrich your hair and add lots of shine as well as making hair look freshly washed. It's a lifesaver on busy mornings when there's no time to wash my hair before the school run.
So that's the second part of my November Favourites for this month, if you missed the first part then click here, I'll leave you with a few photos of my kids enjoying their favourite books.


Monday, 24 November 2014

How To Get A Whiter Smile

I think having a nice smile with clean white teeth really makes a good impression on people but not everyone is lucky enough to be born with naturally super white teeth. There are lots of factors that effect the colour of our teeth and also lots of things we can do to make them whiter.

 Here are my top tips to getting a whiter, brighter smile.

  • The first thing to do is to avoid foods and beverages that can stain your teeth such as coffee, red wine, tea and soda. If you're a smoker then stopping smoking will also make a difference.
  • Eat teeth whitening foods such as apples, celery and carrots which act like fruit and veggie tooth brushes for you teeth and increase the saliva in your mouth which removes plaque. Eating strawberries helps as they contain a natural astringent which helps to lift stains, you can even rub half a strawberry on your teeth and leave for 1 minute before rinsing.
  • Practice good oral hygiene, it sounds silly but making sure you brush your teeth twice a day with a good whitening toothpaste and also flossing regularly and using a mouth wash can all help you achieve a much whiter smile.
  • There are lots of professional teeth whitening treatment that you can have if you feel like none of the above methods will help. Specialist clinics like Blue Sky Dentist offer these treatments and they're very popular if you have a special occasion coming up.
If you take some of these tips on board then you'll be well on your way to a whiter smile in no time.


Sunday, 23 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide - Girts For Him

  • If your man loves sport then the Halo II Pullover Sweatband would be a perfect gift, it has Sweat Block Technology which stops sweat from running into your eyes when exercising and looks pretty cool too.
  • Music lovers will really like to unwrap the Jam Storm Wireless Speaker on Christmas day, it uses Bluetooth to deliver high volume audio and impressive bass wherever you are.
  • If you're lucky enough to have a man who likes to cook then I'm sure he'd love the Ninja Storm 400w Food Processor and Drinks Maker, it's nice and compact and the simple pulse operation allows you to mince, chop, dice and blend food with ease.
  • Another great gift for men who love to cook are the Heston Blumenthal Orb Electronic Scales, it's contemporary look is perfect for a stylish kitchen and it has an easy to read digital display.
  • A great option for most men could be the David Beckham Instinct Sport Gift Set, you get a body spray and a hair and body wash and it's a bargain at just £4.99.
  • Smith & Kinghorn Festive Hamper is the perfect gift for a man who loves his food, filled to the brim with yummy festive treats this would make a really lovely gift for the man you love.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Love The Little Things #4

I've not written one of these posts for ages and I really miss it so I thought I'd bring it back this week, here's what I've been loving this week.


I've just started reading Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch and I'm gripped already, it's a thriller and exactly the kind of book I love, I'm not really into romantic comedy style books as I find them predictable and therefore  a bit boring.


I haven't watched I'm a Celebrity for a few years but for some reason I've got quite into it this year and I've been watching it most nights. I love Jimmy and Kendra and of course the hilarious Ant and Dec who let's be honest make the show, I don't know what's more entertaining, the celebs doing the trials or Ant and Dec wetting themselves laughing at them.

And of course I've been watching the amazing John Lewis Christmas advert over and over about a million times because it's just beautiful and my kids are in love with it, especially my 4 year old Riley. I think I just love the idea that toys are alive inside the minds of children, I know they were to me as a child and they are in my son's mind too so this really touched my heart. I cry every time I watch it without fail.


I've been wearing my vintage playsuit a lot lately and I absolutely love it, it's so comfortable and looks great with black tights and my ankle boots from Forever 21.


I've got Calvin Harris Outside ft. Ellie Goulding on repeat at the moment, Ellie's voice is amazing and she looks so gorgeous in the video, such a good song.


I've been a little bit addicted to making the Jus Rol Cinnamon Swirls lately, they're so quick and easy to make, I love to eat them while they're still a bit warm with a lovely cup of coffee in my favourite mug of the moment, my amazing owl mug.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Win SHOUT! and LOGO Grab Board Games

Win these two great new games from Drumond Park

All Brands and Jingle Bells for Christmas!

LOGO Grab is an ultra-competitive new card and dice game which everyone in the family will love – as you all play at once!  Be the first to collect two sets of three coloured cards, all bearing the names and images of well-known brands like Pot Noodle, MilkyBar, Dove Soap and the Volkswagen Beetle.  You throw four dice at a time, but what makes this game mind-bendingly different is that here, it’s the dice you lunge for, not the cards!  But if your dice jingles, sorry – that’s not Santa!  You lose a card!

Here’s something to shout about!

SHOUT!, for two or more players or teams, is bursting with quirky questions and cunning picture puzzles where you have to look, link and think – making connections between what you see on the Challenge card and what the answers are likely to be.  This fabulous new board game is really something to shout about! 

For stockists and to play games online, visit   

To be in with a chance of winning these fab prizes just fill in the Rafflecopter form below, giveaway is open to UK residents only.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Christmas Gift Guide - Gifts For Kids

Another gift guide post and today it's gifts for children.

  • I love personalised books and this one is perfect for Christmas, 'Twas The Night Before Christmas is a beautiful book that retells Clement Clarke Moore's festive poem with your child as the star.
  • Chocolate always makes a great stocking filler and what better than Cadbury Snowbites for a perfect Christmas treat.
  • The Bump N Go Bubble Train is a lovely gift for your toddler, it blows out bubbles as it goes and avoids obstacles so they can chase it around to their hearts content.
  • My son Riley loves the Pirate Robo Fish and spends hours playing with his in the sink and bath so I know these make a fab gift, they swim by themselves as soon as you put them in water and are extremely lifelike.
  • If you have a Thomas the Tank Engine fan then this next gift is ideal, the Thomas Go Glow Night Bright is a 2 in 1 night light and torch which works great for potty training as they can easily find their potty in the night and also gives them some comfort if they're scared of the dark.
  • If you're looking for something for a slightly older child then why not get them their first watch, Tikkers do some lovely watches for children in a wide range of designs and colours, Riley loves the dog watch and it's really helping him learn to tell the time.

  • As girls tend to like to colour in and draw Smiggle do some fab stationary which would make lovely stocking fillers, I love the Macarons Erasers and they also do Drink Bottles which also make a great gift.
  • Another great stocking filler is the Cadbury Snowman, they come in Vanilla and Chocolate flavours and they're delicious.
  • A lovely little set for girls is the Juicy Lucy Bathroom Set which contains a really pretty toothbrush, beaker and mirror.
  • Most girls love dolls so why not get them a Lalaloopsy Girls doll, they're super cute and come with a little pet, some hair accessories and another outfit to wear.
  • A nice keepsake gift is this Personalised Wooden Gingerbread Family House Decoration, you can specify the sex of the children making it a lovely gift that can be used again and again every year.
  • My daughter is obsessed with my phone so this next gift is perfect for her, the Tech Too Smooth Touch Smartphone is a really realistic toy phone that makes all kinds of sounds when you press the buttons and helps your little one to learn colours, numbers, names and animals.
  • Last but not least is the Robo Mermaid which is similar to the Robo Fish but more girly, simply drop your mermaid into water and watch her burst into life swimming on her own until you remove her from the water.
Hope this helps you out if you're stuck on what to buy for your little ones this Christmas.


Friday, 14 November 2014

Kids Winter Clothing Haul

I knew the kids needed a few new clothes for Winter and I also wanted to get their Christmas jumpers before they all sold out everywhere so I went shopping last week and picked up some great bits from H&M, Primark and F&F and I thought I'd show you what I got.

Our first stop was H&M where I got these two really cool long sleeved tops for Riley, I love the kids clothes in H&M as they're always really on trend and super affordable, the black top was £2.99 and I think the other top was £3.99. I also got him a new pair of dark skinny jeans as they're perfect for when he needs to look a little smarter, he already had these in a smaller size and has worn them to death so I just bought the next size up. Also they're great because they have an adjustable waist which is essential with Riley's clothes as he has such a small waist.

I also got this adorable 2 pack of Sophia the First tops for Summer from H&M because she is obsessed with her, they have quite a few Disney tops including Frozen and Doc McStuffins.

Next we went to Primark and I got the kids their Christmas jumpers, I thought the Santa stuck down the chimney was perfect for Riley as he thought it was really funny and I couldn't resist the cute reindeer jumper for Summer.

I also got Summer a lovely outfit that she can wear in December during the lead up to Christmas, I love the tartan and the sparkly bow on this jumper dress, she's going to look so cute in it.

I thought these grey cable knit leggings would come in useful for Summer this Winter as grey goes with everything and I fell in love with these gorgeous black patent ballet flats which will look lovely with all of her Christmas outfits.

And last but not least I got these super cute floral wellies from Primark as Summer didn't have any. I didn't really want to pay much for them as I knew she wouldn't be wearing them a lot but they're always useful to have so rather than pay £10 for them in Tesco or Asda I got these for £4.

I also got the kids their Christmas pajamas ready for their Christmas Eve baskets, if you saw my previous Matalan haul then you'll know I got Riley's Christmas pj's from there and I promised to give you a better look at them in this post so here they are.

Summer's Christmas pj's are from F&F at Tesco and I just think they're adorable!

I also picked up some really cute Christmas tops for Summer to wear during December, they came in a 3 pack and I love them all.

So that's everything I got, leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

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