Thursday, 31 December 2015

Easy Rainbow Thank You Cards

You all know that I love a rainbow and crafts so this week combined the two to make easy rainbow thank you cards with the boys for all those who kindly gave them presents this Christmas.
Easy rainbow thank you cards

This weird time between Christmas and New Year sees so many of us feeling sluggish and lazy making these super simple cards perfect. All you need is card, paper, paint and a printer.

You can use any paint but for this i dug out our solid paint sticks. We actually haven't used these in ages but I have to say how much I love them, they are perfect for practically mess free painting(unless your name is Alex and you paint your hands red with them) and they are great for all ages as they are really chunky. I must remember to use them more often.

We stuck to rainbow brights and I got the boys to decorate some plain paper with rainbow stripes or polka dots. Once dried I cut out squares and rectangles and stuck them onto some folded card. Using the Create function on Twinkl(really easy to use) I made some thank you labels, printed them out and stuck them on top of the painting.

And there you have rainbow themed thank you cards!
Rainbow thank you cards

Rainbow thank you cards

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Christmas 2015

So Christmas 2015 is over and we are looking ahead to another year. For me the best part of Christmas is definitely the build up, the excitement and also of course Christmas morning. 
Christmas 2015

The boys were so excited. Each year seems to be more exciting for Seb and he really got into the whole Father Christmas thing this year and also loved learning about the nativity story(thank you Twinkl for the resources!)

This is the first year ever that Phil hasn't worked over the festive period and it has been lovely to have him at home particularly on Christmas Eve when excitement was reaching fever pitch! Amazingly the boys went to bed beautifully that night after sprinkling reindeer food and leaving some treats for Father Christmas. 

Christmas 2015 father Christmas treats

Christmas morning saw the boys waking around 8.30am and after some frenzied stocking opening they came downstairs to see if anything was left under our tree. The rest of the day was spent playing with new toys and being visited by both sets of grandparents.We feasted on camembert, roast beef and gateaux and watched The Stickman on TV.  


Overwhelmed

Just before Christmas I had some issues with the hosting of my blog and this has led to me losing over a year's worth of blog content. As any blogger would understand I was pretty upset about it all and was left feeling a bit overwhelmed at what I needed to do to try and reset my blog up. 

As it was my birthday and then Christmas I decided to leave it until the festive season had past and come back to it afterwards. So here I am with a quite a bit less content but I am going to try and get everything back in working order in my spare time without getting too stressed (I am meant to be watching my blood pressure after all!).

I still feel a bit overwhelmed with it all to be honest, I lost so much but I need to move onwards, I have missed writing my blog, I have brands that I work with and I was lost without my written down weekly meal plan so that will be back from Monday.  New year, new start!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Schwartz Mulled Wine Spice

One of my favourite Christmas drinks is delicious warming mulled wine, it instantly makes me feel festive. Being six months pregnant, I had resigned myself to a mulled wine free festive season until I was sent some Schwartz Mulled Wine Spice to try.
Schwartz Mulled Wine Spice contains allspice, orange peel, cloves and cassia and it perfect for use with red wine but can also be used with non alcoholic wine or with cranberry juice, ideal for those of us who won't be drinking. I decided to try the spice with some cranberry juice.
Schwartz mulled wine spice

It is really simple to use, simply pour 1 litre of cranberry juice into a pan and add 2 of the spice sachets, heat until just below boiling point and keep at this heat for 10 minutes, remove the spice sachets and simply serve with sliced oranges.
The smell while heating is just gorgeous, the house smelt so christmassy. And the taste?  Well it is lovely and warming, the spices work really well with cranberry juice.  I think you could easily make this in the slow cooker too if you were having people over. I will definitely be drinking some of this while I cook on Christmas day in place of my usual glass of wine.
As well as Mulled Wine Spice,  there is also Schwartz Mulled Cider Spice, both are available now with an RRP of £1.78 for 6 sachets.
**I received this product for the purpose of this post but all opinions are my own**

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

How Many Presents Should Children Receive at Christmas?

You can't have failed to miss the story last week of the mum who posted a photo of her Christmas tree complete with so many gifts that the tree could barely be seen. The story soon went viral. All over the TV, radio and social media people have been asking how many presents should children receive at Christmas?
I have seen so many different opinions on this topic from those who buy hundreds of gifts to those who go by the rule something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. Of course there is no right or wrong answer. It is entirely up to a parent what they spend and how much they buy their children at Christmas, most (including us) fall somewhere in the middle ground.

How many presents should children receive at Christmas

Personally I can't imagine getting the boys that huge number of gifts. I can see how exciting it would be for small children to come down on Christmas morning to be greeted with all of those presents. On the flip side i can also imagine opening them all would soon get a bit (dare I say it)...boring? Opening, saying wow, putting it to one side and moving onto the next, does it all get used? Even with the amount we buy there are things that still sit unused, and as for storing it all, where does it all go once Christmas is over?
If I were to spend a huge amount I would probably buy a couple of good quality high priced items that would be well loved instead of loads of smaller presents. I mean it would be amazing to get them something like this teepee or water wall, things that would last years and could be passed down. 
I think the main thing to remember is no matter how many presents your children receive is that there is more to Christmas than the gifts. Can you remember every gift you received as a child? I can only remember a couple of mine (ah that Nokia 3310 that I was so desperate for) most of my Christmas memories are of spending time as a family, watching Top of the Pops and eating a huge dinner round the table. This is what I want for my children, that lovely warm feeling inside, not how many presents they received. 
What is your opinion on this, how many presents should children receive at Christmas? 

Monday, 14 December 2015

Twenty Five Weeks Pregnant

At twenty five weeks pregnant baby is around 35cm long and weighs about the same as an average swede. Baby is starting to fatten up now and looks more like a newborn.
25 weeks pregnant, bump, twenty five weeks pregnant

My midwife appointment went well, normal blood pressure yay, she measured my fundal height for the first time(measuring 26 weeks) and the student listened in for the heartbeat and we could see him kicking out. I am back in to see her a on New Years Eve and also have a Glucose Tolerance Test at the hospital that week (fasting right after Christmas when I should be eating chocolate!). I keep thinking after Christmas when we start to prepare more that it might start to hit me a bit more that we are going to be having another baby, it still doesn’t quite seem real and I feel really relaxed about the whole thing,
I have felt fine as usual, a bit tired and grumpy for a couple of days but I guess at almost 6 months pregnant that’s to be expected. I had an afternoon nap on Saturday which was so lovely, I am so great full to Phil for entertaining the boys while I rested. My c section scar felt a bit tender at one point this week, almost like I had bruised it but a soak in a warm bath seemed to sort it out quick enough, I am hoping to avoid any more of that for a while. I feel a lot smaller this time, with Alex my bump was absolutely huge, I am going to dig out a photo for comparison.
I ordered some new pj’s for the boys and couldn’t resist buying a super cute banana print romper for the baby too ♡ I have seen some lovely bits on the H&M website too but am waiting for the sales now.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Clay Tree Ornaments

This week we made some clay tree ornaments. Every year I make salt dough tree decorations with the boys, we have been doing this since Sebastian was one so I am well versed in the art of salt dough by now and both sets of grandparents have lots of salt dough decorations, although they can go a bit horrible ours have lasted really well. I was all set to make some more this year when i remembered that I had a big tub of clay right at the back of my craft cupboard (yes I have a huge cupboardful along with a TROFAST unit from Ikea) and decided to use that for this years ornaments instead.

Clay Tree Ornaments, Christmas tree star

The clay I had is Air Drying clay from Early Learning Centre, it is really easy to work and roll out and simple enough to mould too. We rolled it out to around 1/2 cm thick and used some Christmas themed cookie cutters to cut some shapes. Remember to add a hole to your ormanents so that you can hang them, i use a drinking straw to pop a hole in mine.
Clay tree ornaments, air dry clay
To speed up the drying out process (it usually takes a couple of days) I popped them on top of the radiators while they were on during the evening and they dried really quickly that way.
We painted our ornaments with normal childrens paints and left them to dry before adding glitter paints on top or painted baubles on to the trees. I then added some twine to hang them with.

Clay tree ornaments

Clay tree ornaments, gingerbread man

Clay tree ornaments

These make such lovely keepsakes for yourselves or grandparents and it would be lovely to buildup a collection over the years.
Top Tip Use a cocktail stick or skewer to initial and add the year to the back of your ornaments.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Why there is no elf on my shelf

It’s that time of year again, yes the Elf on the Shelf is clogging up my social media timelines with his antics. Over the last couple of years Elf on the Shelf seems to have exploded. I first spotted them on blogs and now they’ve spread to my Facebook and Instagram feed, it seems that everyone wants an elf on their shelf this Christmas. Well apart from this house, there is no elf on my shelf.

Why there is no elf on my shelf

If you haven’t heard of Elf on the Shelf(where have you been?). It is a tradition where an elf moves into your house for the month of December , he does naughty things at night and reports to Santa on what you’ve been up to. The explaination on the official site states.

Santa’s scout elves help him manage his naughty and nice lists. During the Christmas season, the elves are adopted by families and fly back to the North Pole every night to tell Santa about the day’s adventures. When the elves return from their nightly North Pole journey, they hide in a new spot and wait for their families to find them!

So basically you use it to bribe your children to be good or the elf reports to Santa! Now i have seen lots of blog posts with excellent reasons for not having an elf including the bribery thing but i have 2 very simple reasons for not doing it.

First up to me they aren’t even cute, dare I say it I find them a little creepy looking. When I was small I was given a clown doll by my aunt, well that clown freaked me out and I was terrified of clowns for a long time and I’m still not a fan. The official elf with it's creepy face eminds me of that clown in a way.
Secondly (and probably the main reason to be honest), I can’t be bothered. I know that I would start off full of ideas and then I’d get fed up of it. In fact last year I did get a(cute, non telltale) elf who delivered our advent calender but that was as far as I got with it. Honestly i just can’t get into the whole thing. I love doing an activity a day with the boys during advent but for me the elf doesn't get me excited 

I hope everyone who is doing Elf on the Shelf enjoys it but forgive me for scrolling past and having no elf on my shelf, I just don’t get it. 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Five Fab Stocking Fillers Under £5 and giveaway

There is no doubt that Christmas can be an expensive time of year, even the price of small gifts soon adds up. There are some great bargains out there and today i am going to show you some fab stocking fillers under £5 each. These items are all from the Kids Create range from Anker International and will definitely keep the kids occupied plus I am hosting a giveaway with some fab dinosaur themed prizes.
First up is the amazing Create and Build Fire and Police sets. My boys absolutely love both building and the emergency services so these sets were hugely popular with them. They are aimed at age 5+ and come with easy to follow instructions. The results are sturdy models that are compatible with other popular building bricks. Priced between £3.50 and £4.50  these sets are available from various outlets including The Book People and One Stop Shop. 
Snap games always go down well with my two and this Monster Snap game is no exception. Simple enough for the boys to play together this bright sturdy card game even comes in it's own tin, so there is no excuse for losing the cards. Available from Hobbycraft.
If you have any dinosaur fans in your household, Kids Create have a fab range of dinosaur products, and these dinosaur crayons would make an ideal addition to their stocking. Super cute and a total bargain at between £1.50 and £2.50 they are available from Lewis Home Retail. See below for a fab dinosaur giveaway!

Most children love to craft and it can often keep them occupied for hours, This craft bag contains all you need to create some fantastic masterpieces. I love that it literally contains everything from card, to pom poms to glue, perfect for making post Christmas thank you cards. A great bargain priced between £3.50 and £4.50.

Puzzles are another great way to keep little ones occupied, these My First Puzzles are aimed at age 3+ and between them the boys managed to complete them without adult help. Small enough to fit into a stocking they are a fantastic price at between £1.50 and £2.50, available at Independent shops, eBay and Amazon.

As I mentioned Kids Create have a full range of dinosaur items and I am giving away a set of dinosaur goodies to one lucky reader. The prize contains 1 set of dinosaur crayons,  1 dinosaur puzzle,  1 set of make your own dinosaur figures and 1 set of corrugated dinosaurs as pictured below.

Terms and conditions

  • All entrants must be resident in the UK and over 18.
  • No cash alternatives.
  • The winner will be drawn at random and contacted by myself so please make sure I have some way of contacting you (Twitter, Email etc).
  • Prize will be sent by myself via recorded delivery.


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Lush Razzle Dazzle Bath Oil

Lush have been busy launching lots of new bath oils recently. Lots seem to be online exclusives but I have managed to pick a couple up in store including the Lush Razzle Dazzle Bath Oil which I am reviewing today.
Lush Razzle Dazzle bath oil

I have mentioned a couple of times in my pregnancy posts that I have been suffering with dry itchy skin during this pregnancy mainly on my legs and it drives me insane as well as looking awful from where i have scratched in my sleep. Lush bath melts are full of moisturising loveliness so have made an ideal treat for my poor pregnant skin.
Razzle Dazzle Bath Oil is fruitily scented with raspberry and lime, it also contains shea butter, cocoa butter and coconut oil an array of moisturising loveliness. Although smaller than most Lush products the oil is bright pink with a hint of shimmer running through it ensuring that it will get some attention.
Lush Razzle Dazzle bath oil

Pop it into the bath and it gives a pretty pink marbled effect in the water, it reminds me(in a good way) of the marbling we used to do in primary school. Once fully melted it turns the water a pretty pink colour.
After my soak my skin was left feeling soft and moisturised, and most important to me, my skin had a break from the pesky itchiness. At only £2 per bath oil, this is one of the cheapest Lush products out there and it makes a lovely treat.

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