A year in review 2016

Hi everyone, I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas. I have had a little break from this blog and had such a lovely time with family and feel much more relaxed and revitalised. 

As we are moving onto another year I love to reflect and look back on all the things we have gotten up to. 2016 hasn't been to bad really but I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store for us. 

As usual January was a quite month for us. I like to spend time during January to get organised and look forward to new beginnings. I do this every year and it makes me feel so much better about our home. I like to not only organise things but to donate any unused items to our local charity shops or to family members. 

February was our Anniversary and we went out for a meal and cinema trip the day before .However we also got to enjoy our first Afternoon tea together on the actual day and Blake came with us too. Stuart also had a week off work so that we could do some fun things together such as messy play etc. 

We had a lovely mothers day and I was truly spoilt. Blake also got his first pair of shoes in March which he absolutely loved.  We also got around to booking our holiday to Cape Verde ready for November.  March was also Easter we visited Mead Open farm for the first time and also took Blake on a train ride where he did a egg hunt and met the Easter bunny. Last of all for March Stuart and I enjoyed a lovely review meal out at the Horse and Jockey. 

April was a more quieter month for us and we didn't really do that much other than our usual day to day routine and groups that I take Blake to. We did however do some messy play at home with a tuff tray I brought. 

May was also a very quite month for us with not much going on. 

June is my birthday month and so Stuart and I went out for a lovely meal at local Italian  restaurant. It was also Fathers day in June which we spent over at my in laws for a bbq and was a lovely family day. 

July saw my compile a list of things to get up to during the summer months. We enjoyed a picnic, fun at the local splash park with friends a few times and loads of other fun time spent with friends or as a family. We also took Blake on his first trip to London to the sea life center and then we also enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea at a lovely hotel also in London.  Last of all for July we traveled up to Manchester to take Blake to see In the night garden live which he loved.

In August Blake and I enjoyed some time with friends doing the local Children's trail which was loads of fun. Stuart and I enjoyed going to the Harry Potter studio tour whilst my Mum enjoyed a day with Blake. 

Other than Stuart's birthday being in September we had a rather quite month. We were getting back into a routine as the groups I take Blake to had started up again after the summer holidays.

October was another quite month we spent it mainly planning for our holiday to Cape Verde. We chose not to celebrate Halloween this year and instead just made some yummy Halloween themed cupcakes and muffins instead. 


Cape Verde was amazing and we had such a lovely time. November in Cape Verde was lovely and warm with temperatures reaching 31 degrees. I would definitely go back again even though the flight was 6 hours long. Not much else happened in November but coming back from our holiday made me feel so relaxed and made feel ready for the business of December. 

December is definitely my favorite month of the year. I started off with giving Blake a chance to explore Christmas decorations to get me feeling festive before our decorations went up. We got out Blake's Christmas/winter books and also took Blake to meet Santa at Mead Open farm,where he also got to meet some reindeer. Blake also turned 2 on the 16th and was utterly spoilt. He had 3 days of celebrations with a party with his friends on the 15th, soft play on the 16th and a family party on the 17th. Before we knew it, it was Christmas and now its near year.

How was your 2016? I hope it wasn't too bad for you. Are you looking forward to what 2017 will bring you? Do you have any special plans for 2017? I'd love to know. 

Christmas Tag 2016

Christmas is definitely my favorite time of the year and so I had to do the Christmas Tag 2016. Fellow blogger Becky from Hectic Dia-BEC-tic  tagged me and so here I'll be doing a Q&A on my Christmas favorites. 

What’s your favourite Christmas Movie?
There are so many great Christmas movies my favorites from when I was a child are Miracle on 34th Street and Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas.A more recent film I love is Arthur Christmas. 

 Have you ever had a white Christmas?
I can vaguely remember one year when I was little building a snowman in the back garden of my Nan and Granddad's house. I think it was Christmas day but can't be 100% sure. 

Where do you usually spend your holiday?
Since having Blake we usually spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day the 3 of us having family time and then Boxing day we usually go over to spend time with Stuart's family.

What is your favourite Christmas song?
This is a really tough one I love Micheal Buble White Christmas, but I also love classics such as Last Christmas by Wham. 

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
No, as a child I use to open one on Christmas eve before bed but it's not something I do anymore. 

Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
Ok, I'll give it ago: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen and Rudolph. 

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
Fake, I'd love to get a real tree one day but would have to be when Blake and any other children we may have are older. 

What is your all time favourite holiday treat/food/sweet?
Gosh Christmas there is always good food though. I love pigs in blankets and Mince Pies are a must. 

Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better?
I do love receiving gifts especially when someone has put great effort into their gift for you. However I do love seeing people open the gifts we have got them, more so since having Blake and seeing his face light up and get so excited. 

What is the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
Other than 2014 when Blake was born 9 days before Christmas,it has to be a bracelet I got from him last year. It was such an unexpected gift and Stuart and Blake chose well. 

What would be your dream place to visit during the holiday season?
A lot of people have said New York but for me it would be somewhere like Lapland or even Iceland.

Are you a Pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?
Fail miserably I hate wrapping presents especially ones that are odd shapes. 

Most memorable Christmas moment?
Opening my presents Christmas morning with my Sister and parents when younger it was always magical and a memory I will never forget. 

What made you realise the truth about Santa?
I was about 4 I think and I had decided to sneak downstairs to see if Santa had been and caught my Mum and Dad putting presents into our sacks and stockings.  

What makes the holidays special for you?
Spending time with family relaxing, watching films and just generally having lots of fun together. We also do a Christmas eve basket which we fill with fab stuff for Blake to do with us during the day/evening. 

I'm now tagging 3 other fellow Bloggers to do this tag:

I'd love to see your answers 

Our Christmas plans

With Christmas being only 4 days away I wanted to share with you our plans for Christmas eve, Christmas day and Boxing day. 

So Christmas eve this year falls on a Saturday which means that Stuart wont be at work. It also works out that because he has booked time off work and there are the bank holidays he wont be going back to work until 3rd January.  

Last year on Christmas eve I was unfortunate to have caught a bug which meant that most of the day I was too ill to do much. This year I am hoping to make up for it hopefully we wont catch any nasty bugs. The plan is to have a lovely relaxed Christmas eve day, give Blake his Christmas eve basket and watch Christmas films. We are also planning to take Blake to messy church which is from late afternoon to early evening. Before Blake goes to bed we will sprinkle some reindeer food out the back, hang up Santa's magic key, put out a snack and drink for Santa and carrot for the reindeer. We will then give Blake a bath and read him the night before Christmas before putting him to bed. 

Christmas day is going to be the 3 of us opening presents, eating lovely food and relaxing, playing with Blake, going for a walk and just have a lovely family day. I need to plan what we will have for breakfast but dinner we are going for the usual Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

Boxing day is going to be spent over at Stuart's Mum's and her partners which will be another lovely family day. 

What are your plans for Christmas this year? 

Blake's Christmas Eve basket 2016

This is our second year that we have chosen to do a Christmas Eve basket for Blake. I love the tradition of doing these baskets and we also do one for Easter but Christmas Eve ones have to be my favorite ones to do. 

So here are some of the fab items that Blake has in his basket this year: 

  • Peppa's Christmas DVD - We put a new DVD in this year, I picked this up from our local Morrison's for £3. By adding a new Christmas DVD we can build our Christmas movie collection. 

  •  The night before Christmas book - This is a book we will have in the basket year after year
  • Treats for Santa and Rudolph plate - Another item we include in the basket every year.
  • Cadbury festive friends biscuits - Blake doesn't really eat chocolate but he does love little chocolate biscuits like these so its a lovely little treat for him.
  • Reindeer food - This is another item we include every year to sprinkle out the back on Christmas Eve. 
  • Magic Key - As we live in a flat and have an electric fire place we love the idea of a magic key so that Santa can get in to deliver our presents
  • Magnetic drawing board - I picked this up in Poundland  as a little extra something for him to have. 
  • Santa and Rudoph Itty Bittys - These mini plush toys from Hallmark are adorable and a fab cute addition to the basket for Blake to play with. They do a range of different themed ones and so make a great collectors item.
  • Bath Crayons - I also picked these up in Poundland as a little bit of fun at bath time on Christmas Eve.
  • Ickle babybot bath bomb -  This lavender scented bath bomb I picked up from Lush is a perfect bath time treat on Christmas Eve. Here's to hoping it works at sending Blake off to sleep sooner. 
  • Cosy PJs (Not pictured) - Im including a pair of Pjs (currently in the wash) for Blake to keep cosy and warm in. 

Do you do a Christmas Eve basket? I'd love to know what things you like to include so please let me know below. 

Accessorize Lovelily perfume

Recently I have been lucky to be gifted the new perfume LoveLily that has recently been launched from Accessorize.

I've never picked out a perfume from Accessorize before. I was aware that they did perfumes but never really thought about trying out any as when I have been in Accessorize I've literally been in and out. 

My favorite perfume of all time is D&G the One which is pretty pricey and so I like to have some cheaper perfume options as well. 

Sweet and vibrant, Accessorize LoveLily fragrance features notes of raspberry, orange, jasmine and sweet vanilla for a delicious concoction that’s sure to become your signature scent – and in a striking bottle with flower cap, that will take pride of place on your dressing table.

The 75ml bottle retails at £19 and is a sweet and girly scent a bit like the Britney Spears fragrances. I like to say that I feel it is suited more for teens but I must admit at 26 I do love it myself too. I feel that this perfume would make a fab last minute Christmas gift and the scent isn't too strong or  overpowering like some sweet,girly scents can be. 

Have you tried any Accessorize perfumes?

Finding a family photographer with Bidvine

As a busy Mum I don't have time to be searching online for the perfect services that I need. 
This is when Bidvine comes in handy which is a website you can use to hire local, trusted service professionals and it's ridiculously simple to use. This can be handy for finding all sorts of services for your needs for example finding a professional family photographer that is within your budget and fits in with what is suitable for you. 

With Bidvine you just have to tell them what you need and where you need it. You'll have to answer some specific questions so that they can match you with the right professionals and give you a more accurate quote. 

When searching for a photographer I knew that we needed someone that was local or could come to us. We also want photos that can be done either indoors or outside and so I was on the search for Photographers in Bedford that could do that for us. Once I had completed the questionnaire Bidvine sent my request to professionals locally to me who could help me with what I wanted. 

Within ten minutes of sending my request I already had my first quote and within two hours I had four overall quotes. Prices were ranging from £60 up to £400 and varied with what they offered such as cost per hour or cost for the whole shoot and images on a memory stick. Some also shared their website details so that you could have a look at their work. 

Overall I think Bidvine is a handy website for helping you find the ideal service for you. I can see this being handy for busy families and those with a busy lifestyle who just don't have the time otherwise to find the professional they need. 

Festive Sensory Tuff Spot

I'm not sure why but I've not really shared activities that I do with Blake that often on here. We have a tuff tray and my aim is for next year to use it a lot more and share with you some ideas. On December 1st I decided that I wanted to put our tree up but than I came up with an idea of a festive sensory tuff spot first. So I delayed putting the tree up and let him explore some Christmas decorations as we have quite a few with different textures etc. 

Here is what I included:
- Tinsel 
- Faux mistletoe
- Different tree decorations in shapes and sizes
- Mini Christmas tree
- Bell tree decoration 
- Felt Christmas tree pen

Christmas decor for the home this Christmas

Since having Blake you can say that I have become slightly obsessed with Christmas and now have a lot more Christmas decor in our home than we use to. If we had the space our home would have a lot more decor and I'd definitely make sure we had a bigger Christmas tree. I love the magic of Christmas, giving gifts, spending time with family and seeing my sons face light up on Christmas morning. 

So today I am sharing with you some pieces mainly for the home from both Tiger and Poundstretcher that are making us more festive this season. 

Starting off with Tiger we have this cute dancing Christmas tree. When the button is activated on his hand the tree spins around, sings 'Jingle Bell Rock' whilst wiggling and dancing in time to the music. This is a fun item to have in your home this Christmas to brighten up cold dark days. I was also sent an angel broach which is a great for adding a bit of festive cheer to your outfit. The santa hanging is also a fab addition to your home, I'm yet to decide where about we plan to have him. Last of all from Tiger is the felt Christmas tree pen which Blake adores as it makes a jingling sound and he has been walking around shaking it everyday. 

Another shop I love looking for decorations in is Poundstretcher. Sadly our local store has shut down so to be sent a few goodies to use this Christmas was fab. The cute snowman and snowflake decorations are yet to have a place to go but I'm thinking of maybe having the snowflake over our living room door. 

This cute little penguin tree handing gives a bit more color to our tree this year and Blake seems to love him too. 

This adorable little reindeer is battery operated and changes color this is another item that Blake really loves looking at and now has it in his bedroom. 

You can't have Christmas without candles and this silver glittery Christmas tree is perfect. Currently sat on our window ledge this is such a cute festive candle that makes you feel all festive. 

We love little door hangings and this cream and red This House believes... design is a lovely addition to our Christmas collection to come out year after year. 

Last of all you have to have the wreath and this gorgeous red and green one will look stunning on your door. We are currently trying to find a over the door hanger so we can put ours up. We love the faux design and colors which makes it all festive an is a welcome addition to our Christmas decor this Christmas. 

Do you have any new Christmas decor this year?

Leapfrog: Fridge Numbers & Melody Musical Turtle #Review

Leapfrog are a brand that we love,in fact the majority of the toys that Blake owns are by Leapfrog. We are excited that we were sent two wonderful toys from the brand for Blake to have fun playing and learning.  Both toys are suitable for ages 2 years and over. 

First up is the Leapfrog  fridge numbers magnetic set which is  the perfect toy to introduce children to numbers and counting. The fridge number magnetic set is a colourful fridge magnet, which also acts as a tile reader and comes with 20 interactive number tiles. Place a tile in Scout’s picnic basket to hear the number out loud, and count along with Scout. Matching numerals to object sets help reinforce the concept that numbers represent quantities. £14.99. 

Blake hasn't really taken much interest yet in this toy. However I feel that as he isn't 2 until next week that as he gets a little older he will start to take more interest. He did however recognise Scout as he has the My Pal Scout which he adores and sleeps with every night.  

Next is the Melody the Musical Turtle that is the ideal toy to keep children engaged over and over again. Melody the Musical Turtle is a modern mix of classic memory play with a musical twist. Ten musical activities prompt toddlers aged 2 years and over to find numbers and colours, repeat sequences from memory and create tunes by pressing light-up buttons on Melody’s shell. It fosters skills such as learning numbers and colours, memory, music etc.  £14.99

Blake absolutely adores this toy and he will spend most of his time when playing with it in the music mode. I feel that this toy will grow with him and once he starts learning numbers and colors he will enjoy doing more of the memory games. 

I fully recommend these new toys by Leapfrog they are fun and engaging and will grow with your child as they start to learn numbers, colors etc and will keep them entertained. One thing I have always liked about Leapfrog toys is that they have not just got an off switch, but they have 2 volume settings which is great as some toys can be really loud. As you can see in the photo below Blake is really enjoying playing with the Melody musical turtle. 

Do you and your child/ren love the leapfrog brand? If so what is their favorite toy from them?
As always I'd love to know so comment below your thoughts.