6 Dec 2016

Christmas 2016 // Portable North Pole Review

The magic of Christmas has well and truly hit the the household. From twinkling lights to cheeky elves to being a real grown up and sneaking in parcels and presents into the house to hide. I adore this festive season for so many reasons - but since becoming a parent I am even more in awe with the magical special parts of Christmas which dance about. Creating these sparkling memories and making them believe in that little piece of magic. 

We have been using the Portable North Pole website and app to help create even more of that magic alive with the boys. This fantastic website allows you to create personalised audio and calls to your child. Portable North Pole or PNP is one of the world’s most beloved Christmas family entertainment brands Each message is carefully crafted to engage, surprise and keep children in suspense and they have become a modern tradition in millions of homes worldwide at Christmas.
Your able to purchase a Portable North Pole Magic Pass for £9.99 via the website which opens all amazing features to you which include Unlimited premium videos and Santa calls - both of which that allow you to add Santa's verdict and create fun scenarios. There is a reaction recorder via the app which is lots of fun to capture that magic and excitement which just bubbles over with the little ones. 

My kids are obsessed with devices and phones and sure its not the Santa from "times of yore" but this bringing the traditional ideas and magic of Santa and making is accessible to the (well mine are) kids who are part of this new technological age.

The app allows kids to play games, watch videos and receive Santa calls. You can set up the parents page to allow you to create the interactive videos and calls - which feed through to the kids page where these are able to be viewed - the Reaction recorder is so lovely for you to be able to watch back the joy in their faces. 

The app is easy to use and you can add in all types of photos, facts and information to really hammer home that the magic is real. You are also able to access birthday videos during the year. And you can get a Santa-Approved Certificate to print for each of your videos. The videos are all of a high quality and really show a traditional santa and his elves hard at work. You are able to add multiple children to one account and be able to personalise these videos for them. 

Its a fun way (and able to be done from your sofa) to make some Christmas magic appear for the little ones.And if you can't be silly, believe in spreading Christmas cheer and well to be honest - not being the most truthful with your kids at all times. I really do love the magic.

1 Dec 2016

Christmas 2016 // Kids Crafting with Baker Ross

I have always got big expectations of the Christmas crafting I want to achieve. For me there is always a long list of stuff I want to do - and ultimately this does not happen due to life being busy. But one thing I do try make time for on my list is sitting down and getting creative with the boys. There is so much fun stuff and ideas out there that is simple and quick to do with them. Taking 20 minutes out of my day to sit and colour or stick or decorate something - that is special. An important part of Christmas for me is not the presents or the food or anything like that. Its using the time to make memories with my boys. Happy Christmas memories - like the ones I had growing up.

To help aid my Christmas memory making task the Baker Ross team sent this fantastic bundles of self contained kits for us to play with. We have a selection of fun stuff from coloring sets to more involved activities like the cross stitch jumper cards.

This was our full bundle - I love that I have activities which even little man can do on his own. The scratch cards have been great fun and Maxwell was experimenting with different types of mark making, textures and colours. A few sets are to make Christmas decorations which I am excited to see hanging on the tree. Our full listing of  kits include :  Scratch Art Pictures / Cross Stitch Pals  / Snowflake Fingerprint decorations / Santa Mix and Match decorations / Gingerbread house decorations / Santa wish lists / Christmas baubles colouring in

 The sewing card kits are so cute. There are 6 cards in totals with festive character rocking a Classic Christmas jumper. The cards are pre punched with holes to allow little fingers to stitch in the pattern with some threads. Maxwell was keen to get a start on this as he has been wanting to learn to cross stitch as he watches me with my hobbies.
Looking at our table makes me happy. I set up a box with all the goodies in - long with some pens and pencils. The kids dip in and out of the box and Christmas creations are appearing as each day passes. I like leaving a station like this easily accessible to the boys - to encourage them to be curious and want to create without it feeling like a forced activities.

Check out the Baker Ross Christmas shop and pick up some bargainous Festive fun!! Theres lots to pick from - even some kits to make some handmade gifts at home with the kids.

Do you have any plans for some festive crafting with the kids? Still on my list includes Christmas card making, cookie baking and maybe just maybe another attempt at a gingerbread house!!

28 Nov 2016

Christmas 2016 // TK Maxx Home Decor

I love Christmas and super excited that this time of year is here again - time to dust off the decorations, pull our the tree and make lists! All the lists. I love pulling out the boxes and looking through the bits we have collected over the years. The Christmases we spent before our lives were made all the more crazy and busy with the boys. The times when our tree was not full of pretty hand made decorations that they have lovingily made at school and nursery.

Each year I try and add a few new pieces to our collection - just a couple of things (I have to remind myself I do not need it all!!) just a few pieces that in years to come I will look at remember this Christmas - Christmas 2016.

Recently the team over at TKMaxx sent me through a voucher to hit up their store and get some new pieces for this year. I must admit I have not frequented TKMaxx much in the past - I find it a bit stressful hunting around. But it clicked when I visited last week - on my own. It was not the the visit I found stessful, it was the fact I had kids involved trapseing behind me - and on a time limit. But taking time to browse the aisles on my own - well that was a bit lovely.

And look at the goodies I got!!

There was so much pretties stuffed on the shelves - with all types of different designs and patterns to sort all sorts. The platter plate is china, and has a slight curve - I'm thinking will be perfect for serving up Christmas cookies over the coming weeks. I picked it up for £7.99. The Merry & Bright is a painted wooden canvas which is sturdy and stands well (£2.99). The pottery candle votive is so pretty with a star snowflake pattern (2.99) And I have a serious thing for cookie cutters - its an addiction. These are quite small which will perfect for decorated with the little ones. and the gingerbread house !! (3.99)

They have some gorgeous ranges which will inspire that festive look for your home.

These scandi inspired designs

- with bare wood and pretty accessories to add some festivity to your guest room without it feeling too like sleeping in a snow globe.

These individual and a little random in design baubles will really ad some individuality to your tree. They are a touch vintage chic with the bold colours but look really modern at the same time. Teaming these with some plain metallic baubles on your tree will really make them pop. And that taxi perfect little gift for any NYC or USA expats enjoying Christmas in the UK.

Then something very differnet with these Nordic inspired pieces. Soft colours, fablous textures will create a lovely peaceful enviromeent to celebrate the season.
 Whatever your style - go take a browse in your local TKMaxx and get inspired to find a design and style that makes our heart sing.