Family, Fresh Air And Precious Moments

When all the hype of Christmas and New Year is over and the rushing around like headless chickens has commenced one of my favourite parts of the season begins…outdoor adventure!

Although I love the excitement and magic of Christmas I equally love getting out in the chilly winter air and spending quality time with my family before the routine of school and work sets back in.

This year we managed to have a trip to Knowle Park to spot the dears, collect some sticks and get VERY muddy!


We also took a trip to Brighton to grab some delicious seafood as a welcome break from the richness of all the Christmas food and blew some cobwebs away with a long walk along the seafront.


The beginning of January can be a pretty depressing time with the miserable weather, the come down after all the fun of Christmas and those purse strings a little tight. So why not get out into the fresh air and release some of those feel good hormones and I can guarantee it will perk you up no end!

Country Kids

Living Arrows:1/52

With my love of photography and wanting to capture as many moments in my children’s ever changing lives I am excited to be joining in with Living Arrows which is a project aimed at celebrating childhood created by Donna Wishart.

I’m really pleased to be able to start this project off with a couple of images of my youngest two doing what we love most…getting outside.

We had a trip to Knowle Park in Sevenoaks to see the deer, get in some fresh air after being stuck indoors over Christmas and to try and get as muddy as possible! 

Living Arrows

Bratz Instapets Review

As with everything toys have to move with the times and Bratz dolls have always been at the top of the trends.

Over the past year we have been lucky enough to try out the Bratz Remix Doll and the Festival Vibes Doll.

Both of these dolls have kept their quirky design with the addition of fun, current themes.

We were asked to try out Jade from the new Instapets range and I knew my social media loving daughter would love everything about this doll.

Jade and the other girls from the range have a kawaii theme behind them which is something that originates from Japanese popular culture and in simple terms means ‘cute’.

Jade comes with her cute purple fluffy jumper to match her cat, a funky leather skirt and spiked boots.

She also has plenty of accessories to change up her outfit such as cat shaped earnings and cat eye sunglasses that are perfect to get her ‘insta ready’.

They encourage you to get some snaps with your own pet and upload them to Instagram which was the favourite part for number three.

We spent ages styling her hair and changing around her accessories to get her ready for the camera.


I think there will be another doll firmly on the Christmas list this year!  

*we were given this doll for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions. 

Num Noms #UnBoxingDay

Boxing Day is here and what better way to celebrate than by unboxing the brand new third series of the super cute Num Noms.

These super cute characters are interchangeable characters that you can have fun mixing and matching as you please to create your own flavour combination.

The ‘Nums’ are the squishy outer shell and the ‘Noms’ are the harder ones that are filled with lipgloss or light up.

I wasn’t to sure who they would be most aimed for in this house but number three had to fight with the boys over them as the cute creatures were loved by everyone.

In the new series it was hard to chose a favourite from the huge range.

One of our favourites was the Peyton Peppermint which was very Christmassy!

The boys favourites were the light up Noms with the cherry coming out on top.

Number three spent ages stacking, mixing and of course trying out each and every lipgloss.

Straw-Nana was a hit but the Cucumber Melon not so!
The series came in a great reusable package that makes keeping them together a lot easier.

These little cuties have been a huge hit in this house and I would love to find out what your favourites are.

*we were given these toys for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions 

Melting Snowmen Christmas Presents

One of my favourite gifts to make at this time of year is chocolate bark. You can use a mixture of so many different  ingredients and it is completely up to you what combinations you choose.

This year I got a resounding ‘no’ when I suggested it again for teachers presents.

I took to the Internet and found a great recipe for melting snowman that I knew would change their mind.

All the recipes I found were American so lots of the ingredients were unavailable over here.

I managed to change things around a little and here is how we made them.


Melting Snowmen

  • 6x200g bars white chocolate with krispies
  • Small amount of orange royal icing 
  • Black sweet beads
  • Handful pretzels 
  • 10 rolos 
  • Shallow baking tray
  • Grease proof paper
  1. Break up the chocolate into a heat proof bowl and melt over a pan of boiling water.
  2. Line a baking tray with greasproof paper and spread the melted chocolate across the whole tray.
  3. Place a rolo side on into the chocolate to create a hat.
  4. Place on two black beads to make the eyes and three more for his buttons.
  5. Roll a small amount of icing to create a nose and place this on the chocolate too.
  6. Lastly break the pretzels into small strips and put onto the chocolate for the arms.
  7. Put the tray into the fridge and allow to harden for a few hours.
  8. Cut into sections and place into cellophane bags.

      Getting The Kids To Bed On Christmas Eve

       

      “‘Twas the night before Christmas and all though the house every creature was stirring, yes even the mouse”

      Sound familiar to you?

      This is my house nearly every Christmas Eve.  A house full to the brim with super excited children to hyped up to go to sleep and a list as long as my arm of things to get done once they finally drift off.

      The excitement was in fact so great one year that my eldest daughter was crying she needed an ambulance; I kid you not she had got that worked up she was actually having a panic attack!

      Over the years I have used some tried and tested methods and for the last few years things have been a little more smooth sailing.

      I have a few tips here to try and get your little ones off to sleep as easily as you can:

      Limit The Sugar What! No sugar at Christmas I hear you say. This is admittedly an extremely tricky one at this time of year, but keeping the sugar at a low on Christmas Eve will make sure that the bouncing off the walls is only from excitement and not a sugar high!

      Wear Them Out this is one of my biggest tips. We always try to include plenty of outdoor fun on Christmas Eve that includes as much running, jumping and climbing as possible to ensure they will be greatful to get their heads on their pillows.

      Quiet Rituals make family traditions that will become familiar each year so they are used to them. Quiet crafts, a bit of baking, a Christmas movie a board game. Anything that will draw their attention away from the main mans appearance that evening is a good thing.

      Milk For Santa, Milk For Them as well as putting out that mince pie and a glass of milk for Santa, pour one for the children too. The amino acids in milk add sleep and let’s be honest every little helps.

      Create A Restful Room there is no good trying to put them to sleep in a room full of flashing fairy lights and noise. Limit any stimulation and make their room as peaceful and dark as possible. Blackout blinds are perfect for this and might even get you a extra bit of time in bed on Christmas morning.

      The ‘He Won’t Come’ Threat ifall else fails the threat of him only coming if they are sleeping always works wonders!

       
      *collaborated post 

      We’re Going On A Bear Hunt Screening

      Sometimes you can open a book and immediately get lost in it; It can capture your imagination with every word and you can become completely immersed in the whole story.
      This is what ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’ by the fabulous author Michael Rosen has done for each and every one of my children…well I should include myself too really!

      I’m sure there are not many parents out there they haven’t squelched and squirched though the mud at bed time or wadded through the swishy swashy grass whist keeping a little one occupied in the doctors waiting room.

      This book has truly been a saviour to me on many occasions, and over my nineteen years of parenting this is a book I have never tired of.

      When we were asked along to the screening in Leicester Square of this timeless classic that is due to hit our screens on Christmas Eve I’m not sure if it was the children or me who were more excited!


      The animation that has been produced by the masterminds behind the Snowman and The Snowdog started and within the first few minutes I knew I was going to be hooked.


      The siblings are left at home by their parents under the supervision of their eldest brother, and after getting a little restless set out on a walk to try and discover a grizzly bear, encountering all the familiar obsticals along the way.

      There is the same hurried journey back home, but this time little Rosie forms a bond with the friendly bear and finds it hard to say goodbye.

      To turn this short story into a thirty minute long adaptation the story has or course been added to a little but has in no way detracted to much from the original story.

      With the enchanting storyline, magnificent illustrations and fabulous music dare I say this could be set to become a festive favourite and even knock The Snowman off of its pole position for me!

      We’re Going On A Bear Hunt will be showing on channel 4 at 7.30 on Christmas Eve and repeated again on Christmas Day at 5.25pm