I like to be pretty organised for Christmas, and tend to start my shopping once the kids go back after October half term. I usually have a pretty good idea of what to get the kids, and to be honest they do present me with a rather large list. But when it comes to buying presents for the males in our family, I find myself getting a little stuck. Do you stick to the traditional pack of socks, the Lynx gift set, or a set of beers from around the world.

Christmas gift ideas for Men

This Christmas I am going to take a little inspiration from some of the gifts my husband received for his recent birthday.… Continue reading

*This post does contain pictures of the full contents of the Smiggle 2017 calendar* 

*I am also giving away a Smiggle advent calendar here*

Tis the season to start thinking about advent calendars, and my 11 year old daughter has already started her campaign to find the best one. Being a stationery addict she is of course drawn to the advent calendar from Smiggle. The calendar promises 25 days of stationery surprises, as well as offering a great competition to win a whopping £500 Smiggle shopping spree.

Smiggle Advent Calendar 2017 contents

So the big question is….. what exactly is inside the calendar. The contents are not listed on the Smiggle website, and I was originally going to open a few doors to offer a sneak peek inside.… Continue reading

Last night we were invited to the Press Evening of Winter Wonderland in Manchester. As it was our 4th visit I have shared with you our 10 top tips for visiting Winter Wonderland this year. You can also read my review of last years event here.

If you have older kids make your way towards the back of Winter Wonderland. Here you will find the bigger rides for older children (and 45 year old husbands).

Fairground ride

Wear layers as I find it gets quite warm inside Event City. If you have coats there is a cloakroom at the entrance to Winter Wonderland.… Continue reading

The summer holidays are fast becoming a distant memory, and now that we are in Autumn it means it is perfectly acceptable to start mentioning Christmas. I *may* have even started to buy a few presents. But Christmas is not just about giving and receiving  presents, stuffing ourselves full of chocolate and drinking sherry. It’s a chance to get together with family and friends, and enjoy the many Christmas attractions that happen each year.

Winter Wonderland Manchester

For the past 2 years we have visited Winter Wonderland in Manchester, which is the biggest indoor Christmas attraction located at Event City (next to the Trafford Centre).… Continue reading

At the end of November I was invited to attend the Co-op Christmas Blogger Evening, which was held at their impressive head office in Manchester. After a long journey I was very grateful to be handed a glass of fizz when I arrived. I had around 10 minutes to catch up with some blogging friends, and we were then invited to take our seats for ‘A Taste of Christmas’. During the evening we had the chance to try lots of food and wine from the Co-op Festive menu for 2015.

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We sampled starters which were pate and prawn cocktail which were both delicious.… Continue reading

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1 – Putting the tree up in November. Quite simply Christmas is in December NOT November. I had planned to put the tree up on the 18th December, but a certain 9 year old forced us into the loft last Sunday. With a hangover too….. oh the joy.

2 – Braving the shops ANYTIME in December. My Christmas shopping is done via a laptop, Pyjamas on with a large glass of gin/wine/baileys.

3 – Taking about 4 hours to write Christmas cards. Sorry but I don’t see the point in Christmas cards anymore, and have not sent one in about 8 years.… Continue reading

I don’t know about you, but planning the food for the Christmas festivities takes up alot of my thinking time. Of course we all panic that the shops are going to be shut for the whole of the Christmas period. And as usual I will no doubt be buying food to feed the five thousand. For the past few weeks I have been buying some Christmas food to put away. Okay the Roses *might* have been opened on more than one occasion.  And at least the gin has been purchased.

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I do my weekly shop online, but the other day I popped into Tesco and I really missed just wandering around a store.… Continue reading

I don’t know about you, but prior to even thinking about getting the Christmas decorations down from the loft, I have to give the whole house a good clean. I get a certain sense of satisfaction about cleaning, and the one room I am looking forward to tackling is the kitchen. We have a fairly small kitchen with limited worktops, so literally every available space matters. One thing that takes up alot of space is our microwave. I feel its far too bulky, and if I am honest I have never liked it. I am constantly cleaning the outside of it, as it shows every single fingerprint.… Continue reading

Over the past few weeks, I have been wondering whether this will be the final year. The year that my youngest, who will be 10 in January, stops believing in the magic of Christmas. And that leaves me with a heavy heart. Since my son was born 13 years ago, we have visited Father Christmas every single year. 13 years of taking those all important photos as they look excited, and sometimes bewildered at being in the presence of Father Christmas.

We have visited him in many different locations, but by far my favourite has to be Centerparcs. Not least because you get a fairly decent toy, though you do have to pay for the privilege.… Continue reading

Now I must apologise as I mention the word ‘Christmas’ in this post *gasps*

I was really excited to receive 4 of the new candles from Yankee Candle festive collection. This collection is called ‘Baby its fun outside and cosy inside’ which is just THE best title for a festive collection. You instantly conjure up images of frolicking in the snow, and cosying up by a roaring fire. The new fragrances are called

Cosy By The Fire          Bundle Up

Winter Glow                  Berry Trifle

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I adore the smell of Yankee Candles and couldn’t wait to open them and have that all important sniff.… Continue reading