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Tag: christmas

The Snowman Tour with Live Orchestra – The Winding Wheel, Chesterfield

The Snowman Tour with Live Orchestra – The Winding Wheel, Chesterfield

As some of you may already know, this year we marked the beginning of our festive season with a trip to see The Snowman Tour Live! Hubs, the girls and I donned our glad rags and headed over to The Winding Wheel , Chesterfield to experience the classic Snowman, accompanied by a live orchestra. Also showing was A Donkey’s Tale. To say we were excited was an understatement!

Both of our girls are very excited for Christmas this year, they are at an age where they understand the traditions and can’t wait for Santa to arrive. I knew that this year they would be so taken with the animations on the big screen and with the live orchestra. The biggest especially was in absolute awe! 

A Donkey’s Tale –

After a very entertaining introduction of each instruments in the orchestra, A Donkey’s Tale was projected onto the big screen. This is a story about a very lovable and  musical donkey who dreams of making it big. It turns out that his talents lie in dancing rather than making music, which all materialises after an exciting journey that both girls were captivated by! 

Last year we saw The Bear and the Piano which we all adored, so we were curious as to whether A Donkey’s Tale would hit the spot. It really did and the girls were still talking about the dancing donkey when we got home! 

The Snowman – 

I love The Snowman, so I was very excited to find out if the girls would love it as much now they’re a little older. From start to finish the girls were glued to the screen! They watched with amazement, they laughed and they cried. It was such a magical night that each and everyone of us loved! 

I couldn’t have wished for a better way to begin our festive season. Especially as during the interval we were visited by The Snowman himself! The girls couldn’t believe their eyes as the life size Snowman made his way around the aisles, dancing and waving on his way. This went down an absolute treat! 

For the second year in a row, we had a fantastic night at The Snowman Tour. The girls’ better understanding of the show and the time of year made our night so magical. We’ll definitely be back to see The Snowman next year, it really is the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season! 

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Ready2Robot Collectable Toy Review

Ready2Robot Collectable Toy Review

I’ve seen collectable toys popping up left, right and centre this year! My girls are loving them and to be honest, so am I. They keep them entertained for hours and it means that I always have an idea of what to buy them for special occasions. This week they were asked to try out Ready2Robot, collectable and slimy warriors that they can do battle with!

Ready2Robot are available at Smyths and all good toy stores and there are a few different items available:

  • Single packs are £9.99
  • Bot Blasters are £14.99
  • Battle Packs are £19.99

The Review –

Some might see these as boys toys, but in our house anything goes. If the girls enjoy playing with something, then that’s all that matters! Much like the L.O.L Surprise Dolls, Ready2Robot are small figures that you have to build once all of the pieces have been found. What my girls love most about this product is that the warrior in hidden in slime, they have to dig through the goo to find them!

Our eldest can spend hours playing with toys like this, she loves how intricate they are and has a lot of fun building them up. She also likes to swap and change the parts to make her own unique robots. These robots are great for encouraging fine motor skills in kids too, by letting them build, swap parts and add warriors you can see them learning whilst playing. The ideal combination!

Overall, we are impressed with this product. If you have younger children you do have to keep an eye on the small pieces, but apart from that they are fun and have the added educational benefit. Ready2Robot have definitely been a hit!

 

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L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store Review

L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store Review

*We were gifted the L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

This week our girls were sent the L.O.L Pop-Up Store to review. The biggest has been a big fan of L.O.L Surprise, since we reviewed our first dolls a few weeks ago. Now she’s a super fan and couldn’t wait to put the Pop-Up store through its paces. I was excited for this product too, as it meant we would be able to keep her L.O.L Surprise dolls altogether in one place!

The L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store is available at Smyths, Argos and The Entertainer.

The Review –

Our Pop-Up Store arrived on one the most miserable days of Autumn so far, which was perfect timing. Neither myself nor the girls bode when we’ve been stuck indoors, so to have this product to review was a very welcome distraction! First of all, we got out all of our existing L.O.L Surprise dolls, so that we had them ready to put on show.

Our biggest loves how detailed and intricate the dolls and their accessories are. She uses them to create her own stories, it’s great to see these dolls igniting her imagination so much. Once we opened the Store, we found all of the hidden packages to build up the doll that comes with the product. It was stored away in all of the different compartments, making it exciting for the girls to find them!

This product was full of different areas each with its own theme, including a diner, a beauty salon and a kitchen. The salon was a firm favourite with our girls, they had their dolls in there for hours beautifying them for a special event! Now that we have quite a few dolls, it’s really fun for them to swap and change the outfits on the dolls, making unique outfits for each and every one. Our eldest spent a whole rainy afternoon, making her dolls look like fashionistas!

Not only does the Pop-Up store allow you to display all of your L.O.L Surprise dolls, it also comes with a handle to turn it into a carry case. So wherever you are, it’s easy to take the dolls with you to keep the littles entertained. Our daughter loves that you can display the dolls most and has her proudly on show for everyone to see!

Overall, both the girls and I have been very impressed with the L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store. The girls adore it and it certainly makes it easier to store all of the dolls and accessories in our collection!

 

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Why we Love Smyths Toy Stores!

Why we Love Smyths Toy Stores!

*We have been compensated with vouchers for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

It’s at this time of year that my mind turns to the festive season. Ever since becoming a parent, I’ve become more and more organised when it comes to Christmas. I like to get the kids presents wrapped and put away in good time, so that I’m not caught up in the Christmas rush come December. I like to make sure we’re able to get all of the presents we want too and by getting them early, we’ve never had a problem with the popular brands selling out.

Our favourite and go to shop for presents has always been Smyths Toy Stores. We used to travel a little way to our nearest store, which was always worth it. These days though, there’s a huge Smyths in our local town. It’s so accessible and makes present buying for our girls super easy. There are rows and rows of floor to ceiling toys, everything you can think of all under one roof. To be honest, I think I love it in there more than the kids do!

Smyths Toy Stores new catalogue –

One of my favourite parts of preparing for Christmas, is getting the Smyths catalogue and browsing through all of the toys that are available. It makes me feel so Christmassy! The catalogue makes life very simple when you get to the store too, as even though we always like to have a browse, we know exactly what we’re going for and how much it will cost. The new catalogue is out in stores this Friday, I can’t wait to pick mine up to start my shopping!

This year’s gifts –

This Christmas, our girls will be two and 3. Developmentally they aren’t far apart, so I’m going to invest in a whole host of learning toys. These will be ideal for teaching them something, whilst they’re having fun. I’m especially keen on the VTech Innotab products, which I know Smyths have a brilliant range of. I’m also a huge fan of the VTech smart watches, which I know both of our two will have so much fun with!

I do like to buy toys that aren’t as focused on learning too, it’s so important that the girls have fun whilst playing. Both girls have a showed a huge interest in dolls over the past few months. Smyths stock everything from dolls to pushchairs and houses to travel cots. Playing with dolls really gets our girls’ imaginations working, so I think this will also be a great choice of present this year.

I’m so excited for Christmas this year, especially as our girls are now old enough to fully appreciate the magic of it. With a little help from Smyths, it’s definitely going to be a Christmas to remember!

Are you getting organised for Christmas?

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The Snowman Tour from Carrot Productions – 2018 Tickets NOW ON SALE!

The Snowman Tour from Carrot Productions – 2018 Tickets NOW ON SALE!

*We have been provided tickets for the 2018 show in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

Last year we were lucky enough to have been invited to see The Snowman Tour with live orchestra in our local town. It was such a brilliant night and one that Hubs and I vowed we would do again. Well, as it happens we’ve been invited back for the 2018 tour and we can’t wait! Carrot Productions will be embarking on their sixth tour this festive season, it’s one of the most magical shows around and one that is definitely not to be missed!

Not only does The Snowman Tour feature this classic, family favourite animation, visitors are also treated to an extra animation to kick-start their festive season. Last year we saw The Bear and the Piano, with narration recorded by Joanna Lumley. This is such a beautiful tale, that’s based on the award-winning book by David Litchfield. If The Bear and the Piano is on at a venue near you, you won’t be disappointed!

Other venues will have the pleasure of witnessing a world exclusive in the form of A Donkey’s Tale; an ordinary donkey with an extraordinary dream. Written and composed by Daniel Whibley. Each of these performances are accompanied by a live orchestra, which is made up from some of the best musicians in the country. Last year I was completely blown away by the talent of these ladies and gentlemen. They were absolutely incredible!  Not to mention the young vocalist, who sings Walking in the Air.

 

Copyright Snowman Enterprises Limited

Where can you get your tickets?

Tickets are on sale now and can be bought HERE! Carrot Products have secured venues all over the country including; Chesterfield, Blackburn, Gloucester, Chester, Durham and Liverpool among others. I know from experience that The Snowman Tour is the perfect night out, it will be a yearly occurrence for us. When The Snowman Tour comes around, we’ll know our Christmas has begun!

Wallace and Gromit’s Musical Marvels –

Carrot Productions also have some exciting news for 2019; for the first time ever you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy The Wrong Trousers accompanied by live orchestra! Tickets are now on sale and can be bought HERE! 

 

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Having an Elf-tastic Christmas with Tesco & Hallmark!

Having an Elf-tastic Christmas with Tesco & Hallmark!

Christmas is just around the corner and we are getting so excited.  There are so many traditions that we dreamt about starting when our eldest was born and this year has been the year for us to begin! From new pyjamas on Christmas eve, to Christmas crafting and stockings stuffed with presents. This year is set to be one of the best Christmases yet!

The most important tradition that our girls are yet to be introduced to, is our Christmas eve movie marathon! We settle down in our new pyjamas, to watch a selection of some of the best Christmas movies of all time. The last one we watch and the best of the bunch, is Elf! It’s my all-time favourite festive movie and I can’t wait for our girls to watch it for the first time.

This year thanks to Tesco and Hallmark, we’re going to give our girls the most Elf-tastic Christmas! We have the perfect hamper to make their first Elf experience out of this world. They have jelly beans to snack on, whilst Hubs and I set the scene with magic snow and streams of tinsel. Then we’ll settle down with our Christmas hats at the ready to watch Buddy the Elf in action. They’re sure to love the film as much as I do!

 

A Festive Competition!

Tesco are running an in-store competition offering one lucky winner the chance to get their hands on a £2000 gift card, to use towards the holiday of their dreams! To enter, all you have to do is pick up an Elf card and an entry form from one of the participating stores across the UK!  You can find out more HERE! 

Do you have any Christmas traditions?

 

Photo Credit

*This post was written in collaboration with Tesco & Hallmark.

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Keeping your Pets Safe this Christmas with Vets Now

Keeping your Pets Safe this Christmas with Vets Now

As the owner of an array of pets, including a very inquisitive border collie! I know only too well how careful you have to be with the food that we give our pets, in order to keep them out of harm’s way. I know that my pooch would eat anything that I put under his nose, for that reason it’s up to me to make sure I give him only healthy food.

 

 

As in most homes, our dog is part of our family and we still want to treat him every once in a while. After all, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a few yummy treats to mark the season! The trouble with Christmas is that most of the treats we have are poisonous for our pets. The goodies we enjoy should never be given to our furry friends, in any quantity. Mince pies and chocolate are common treats at this time of year, but are highly toxic for our animals.

Did you know that Vets Now see a 33% increase in emergency calls during the festive season? Not only that, across Christmas day and Boxing day they see a whopping 788% increase in chocolate poisoning cases.

As shocking as these figures may seem, unfortunately the dangers that human food pose to pets aren’t as widely known about as they should be.

So, what foods should you never give your pet?

Some of the most dangerous foods for our pets are the ones that we have around the house on a daily basis. Foods that you should always avoid giving as treats are:

  • Chocolate.
  • Raisins.
  • Grapes.
  • Alcohol.
  • Garlic.
  • Onions.
  • Caffeine.
  • Blue cheese.

This list isn’t exhaustive though, for more information on what your furry friends shouldn’t be indulging in take a look HERE!

Do you know what to do in an emergency?

One of the most shocking figures provided by Vets Now, was that 48% of pet owners don’t feel prepared to deal with an emergency involving their pets. The faster you act when your pet is unwell, the more likely the chance of recovery.

Things to look out for –

  • Changes to your pets behaviour.
  • Sickness, diarrhoea and lethargy.
  • Pain, discomfort and any other visible signs of distress.

How to be prepared –

  • Keep the number of your local Vets Now out of hours clinic handy.
  • Don’t be afraid to call if you’re worried about your pets behaviour.
  • Don’t give unnecessary treats to your pets.
  • Make sure human goodies are out of reach!

Safe ways to treat your pets over the festive season –

There are so many ways you can treat your pet over the festive season, without putting them in harm’s way. There are specially made festive treats available to buy HERE, that your pet will love! Or you can make your own pet friendly festive treats with some of the great recipes found HERE!

 

Other festive hazards to be aware of –

Christmas is a fun and glitzy time for us all, but there are a few dangers to be aware of where our pets are concerned:

  • Tinsel – this can cause blockages if consumed.
  • Salt dough – if consumed, too much salt can be a danger.
  • Lillies, poinsettia, mistletoe and ivy – all very pretty but poisonous for our pets!
  • Candles – curious pets can get burnt if they get too close.
  • Fairy lights – we all know pets like to gnaw, so it’s important to keep wires out of their reach.
  • Snow globes – these can be especially dangerous if they are imported as they can contain anti-freeze. Anti-freeze can be fatal, even in very small amounts.

Here’s to a furry happy Christmas to you and your pets!

 

Photo Credit

*This post was written in collaboration with Vets Now.

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Feeling Festive with Prestige Flowers

Feeling Festive with Prestige Flowers

This week, our house has been well and truly doused in festive spirit! With our girls becoming more aware of what Christmas entails, Hubs has taken it upon himself to make sure our home resembles Santa’s Grotto! With oodles of tinsel and reams of fairy lights, both girls have struggled to know where to look first.

As much as I love to see the kids faces light up when we get the decorations out, it’s also nice to keep an adult feel about the place. Too much tinsel can get a little glitzy for me! Luckily, this week were treated to a fabulous Christmas bouquet from Prestige Flowers. Flowers are a sure-fire way to put a smile of my face and they definitely offer our Christmas scene a bit of class, to counteract the sparkles!

 

A Christmas Bouquet –

Our bouquet was delivered really quickly, via the Royal Mail. Safely packaged in a branded box. I knew immediately what they were and was so excited to get them out. On opening the box I was surprised to see that not only was there a gorgeous bunch of flowers, but they also came with their own vase and a box of chocolates!

 

 

I love that these flowers are already arranged beautifully before they are packaged and are then held together with an elastic band. This is perfect for people like me, who unfortunately flower arranging doesn’t come naturally to! All I had to do was fill the vase, add the sachet of food attached and place the flowers in. Voila! Picture perfect flowers, with no need to spend ages creating the perfect look.

Our bouquet was made extra Christmassy with bronze stars and leaves added to the bunch. This makes them feel really festive, they certainly stand out from the simpler bunches of flowers that we usually have. As I work from home, I’ve put our flowers on my desk to brighten up the spot where I spend most of my time. It’s definitely nicer to sit with a fresh bunch of flowers, rather than just my laptop for company!

 

 

The Christmas bouquets from Prestige are the ideal gift for your loved ones, or even to give as a present to yourself. Our home has certainly been brightened up since their arrival and the chocolates were totally yummy too!

 

 

*This post was written in collaboration with Prestige Flowers.

 

 

 

 

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Wicked Gifts from Wicked Uncle – Making Life Super Simple!

Wicked Gifts from Wicked Uncle – Making Life Super Simple!

With Christmas well and truly on its way, Hubs and I have been thinking about the perfect gifts to buy our girls. Now that we’re both working, tasks like this aren’t just down to me. His Lordship has to muck in too! The trouble is, neither of us are especially good at the gift buying thing. In the past we’ve gone straight for the easy option and given money or vouchers. With two children to keep happy over the festive period though, vouchers just won’t cut it. We need all the help we can get. Luckily this week I was contacted by Wicked Uncle to try out gift buying, their way!

 

 

What do Wicked Uncle do?

Wicked Uncle are a website designed to make your gift buying experience for children, as simple as possible! To start you off, all you need is the age of the child and you’re presented with an array of age appropriate gifts. There are extra categories to narrow down your search, such as the gender of the child and what they’re most interested in. Our favourite categories to search through were ‘Braniac’ and ‘Outdoorsy’, as these suit Hubs and I perfectly too. There’s also the option to add gift wrap and personalised messages to the gifts you buy. They really have set out to make life as easy as possible!

 

How did Hubs get on?

As my husband usually leaves gift buying to me, I thought he would be the perfect candidate to try out the service that Wicked Uncle have to offer. He accepted the challenge and headed straight over to their site, eager to see what he could get our girls. The teacher in him always goes for the more educational toys, with the system that Wicked Uncle have in place he was spoilt for choice in no time at all.  He loved that he could identify immediately whether the toys would be age appropriate.

In the end he opted for a Learning Resources, STEM gears deluxe building set, for the biggest. For our youngest he chose the TOMY Megasketcher Classique.  The delivery on our items was really quick, perfect for those last minute buys. We were both impressed with the products and service from Wicked Uncle, especially Hubs who will definitely be using it regularly from now on!

 

 

What did the girls think?

Gift buying is hard at the best of times, but when you have two of the harshest critics to please, it gets even more difficult. It seems that with the help of Wicked Uncle, daddy did good! Both girls have loved their presents, they’ve also enjoyed playing with each other’s too.

 

 

So, thankyou Wicked Uncle! Not only have you made gift buying from here on in super simple, but we have two very happy girls as well. That’s definitely a win-win!

 

 

*We were gifted these products from Wicked Uncle for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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Elf and Seek – Advent Fun from The Little Treats Bakery!

Elf and Seek – Advent Fun from The Little Treats Bakery!

As far back as I can remember, advent has been celebrated with a chocolate calendar. A small square of chocolate each morning, that we rushed downstairs to eat before breakfast! I love advent calendars and since Hubs and I children, they’ve been an absolute must for the festive season.  This year though advent will be even more fun, as we’ve been asked to try out the Elf and Seek festive countdown from The Little Treats Bakery!

The Elf and Seek festive countdown box comes with twenty-four, individually wrapped gingerbread elves. The elves are to be hidden around the house on the countdown to Christmas, ready to be found by our super excited children! I think it’s a fabulous idea and I couldn’t wait to hide a few around the house, as a little practice run before the festivities begin.

 

 

Elf and Seek, with Gingerbread Treats!

 

When our Elf and Seek box arrived, Hubs and I had great fun getting creative with hiding places for them. After our girls had woken up, we showed them a picture of what they needed to find, hidden somewhere in the room. Our eldest took the challenge on with might and was determined to claim her elf. Our littlest followed her sister to and fro, they had a real ball and were so excited all the way through!

 

 

It was the biggest who found the first elf, with a triumphant ‘I did it’! She was so proud of herself and it was obvious Elf and Seek had been an absolute hit. The littlest wasn’t far behind and we had two girls who were both ecstatic with their finds! They sat and enjoyed their gingerbread elves with a cup of milk and the perfect morning was had by all.

 

 

The Verdict

 

Elf and Seek has been a complete success in our house. The girls loved the fun and excitement that came with searching for their treats, not to mention how good they tasted once they’d found them. Hubs and I were also really impressed by the concept and by the quality of the product. Most of us are aware of the ‘advent calendar’ taste of the chocolate in the more traditional calendars, but this product really is yummy. Elf and Seek is sure to be a regular feature in our house each time the festive period comes around!

 

The Little Treats Bakery

 

As well as the Elf and Seek box, The Little Treats Bakery also sent us a selection of their other festive treats including shortbread and gingerbread. All of our goodies came packaged so beautifully in a festive hamper. Attention to detail is a real strong point at The Little Treats Bakery, everything looks so pretty! However, the proof is in the pudding as they say and this is something that they’re also getting absolutely right!

 

 

As well as the extra treats we received, there was also a notebook, post-it notes and a stocking cutter so we can make our own festive biscuits come Christmas. As a blogger, the notebook and sticky notes will get so much use!

 

 

Overall, Hubs and I could not be more impressed with The Little Treats Bakery as well as Elf and Seek. We will definitely be ordering again next year, we have a new Christmas tradition to keep up with!

 

If you would like the chance to win your own Elf and Seek festive countdown box, all you have to do is enter using the form below. Please do check out the terms and conditions…good luck!

 

Win an Elf and Seek Festive Countdown Box

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